Thursday, July 30, 2015

Brooklyn Ramblers land MLB'er!

Dave Johnson, patriarch of the Brooklyn Ramblers--east coast faction of the MBC-- sent us this link proving that New York really is the city of dreams. While we Mission ballers are content to accept the occasional bedraggled orphan who wanders in from the woods of Golden Gate Park, the Ramblers are drafting former All Stars.  Cliff Floyd, a 13 year pro, played last week with the Ramblers, which you can read about here:

By all accounts, Mr. Floyd is a class act, and displays all aspects of the MBC ethos.  So if he is any example of the majority of players in the MLB, and follow my logic here, major leaguers are good players, and major leaguers are just like us, ergo, we are all good enough to be major leaguers.  It's so simple!

So, shine up those shoes boys, I am sure that we are all getting the call soon up to the bigs.

In all honesty, this is a pretty awesome story, and I think our only logical response is to appeal to Willie Mays to come and play with us.  Anyone know him?

I am also still holding out hope for a East/West game, maybe we can meet in the middle?  According to a website I just found, that would put the game on East State Farm Road, North Platte, NE 69101.

Hmmm, we should probably discuss this a bit more.

Don't look back.

S. Paige

Thursday, July 16, 2015

7/12/15 Cop Field

Satch made it very clear that he wanted to eat some major innings on Sunday.  It had been a while since I had gotten more than a few innings of work, and I was dying to stretch out the ol' soup bone for a spell.

Starting for the homers, it looked good, it felt good, and for the first two innings, it went good.  We racked up four runs, and I thought I had it all in hand.  We scored a few more, and it started to look like this was going to be a blowout.

Then Carter, my opposite on the bump, laced a line drive to left that went past the borrowed left fielder and rolled approximately to Mclaren Park for a three run homer.  Welp, at least now it was a game.  The outfield is like tarmac these drought stricken days, so anything that gets there is going to roll, we soon discovered.  Doc showed up around this time and umpired for most of the game.

Carter was off his feed and lasted a shorter time than usual on the hill, replaced by Sonny after the 4th.  Sonny threw his assortment of razzle dazzle and the game settled into the middle innings.  By this time the score was 8-4 (there was a long discussion as to whether we had 7 or 8, Greg was pushing for a 7-5 score, but that is just his anarchist nature).  I kept throwing, and feeling good.

The day couldn't have been nicer, but the lowering sun was becoming a source of consternation for the left field, which unfortunately was also the position that we were trading out, having only 16 players.  It also got hot out on the bump, but the nice thing about heat is that sweat and sunscreen are readily available to load the ball up nice and greasy (whoops, did I just admit that?).

The real MVP of the game was quickly proving to be Abe, who kept rapping out hits, including his own two run home run that narrowed our lead to 2, and in the field he was putting on a clinic of defensive gems.  Our team, on the other hand, seemed to be putting on a clinic of how not to catch pop-ups.  It bordered on surreal, but then, we would pull out a great play, and all would be right again.

True to form, we scored a few more, and then the roof collapsed and in the 8th, the visitors tied the score 11-11!  I was going down with the ship come hell or high water by that point, so I trudged to the bump for the 9th, and held the visitors scoreless to complete the regulation inning game.

But the score was still tied at the end of 9 and so we continued, this time with Josh on the hill, who had patiently waited for me to exorcise all my pitching demons.  He did his job well, and we played through the 10th and into the bottom of the 11th, against a new pitcher, the homers took their walks to load the bases and with 2 outs, Tony Rojas hit a dribbler up the middle for an infield hit and the winning run lumbered home.

Homers- 12-11 in the 11th.  Poetry.


* Abe was all over the place, and even hustled out his home run, that still hadn't been picked up by the time he hit third.

* Adam and Nick both played 1st base with aplomb

* Doc was overruled a few times on strikes, which was OK.  He also disappeared for half an inning, which was ruled as overly convenient for the home team.

* For some reason we kept allowing Mitch to cover left for the other team.

* James asked to use the War Hammer, which I thought was great, then he bunted three times in a row, for base hits.

* Greg caught all 11 innings!

* One inning, Tony, me, and Greg went down in order, without the ball leaving the infield.

* Abe made a spectacular catch in foul territory.

* Josh played a solid SS with range

* I hit a fat man triple, which means to right field, with accented roll and a slow outfielder in pursuit.

* Thanks to Danon and the Texas Ranger for swelling our ranks

S. Paige

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

6/28/15 West Sunset

It wasn't the worst blow out in MBC history, but it was close and we didn't even finish the game.  Going into it, I thought our home team was stacked, we had veterans, we had power....we had bupkis as it turns out.  The other team routed us pretty much from start to finish, and it was never a close game, that I can recall.

Greg started for the homers, and wasn't doing anything different, but the hits-- which started with a lead off triple over me and lil' Satch's head-- just kept on coming.  We couldn't guard against the well-placed ball.  We didn't do great with the balls that we did get close to, but not overly so.  Mostly it was just a lot of hits.

Noah started, three weeks after the birth of his first son, and did just what he always does, and effectively.  When it became a laugher, he gave the ball up to Gaston, not exactly giving us a chance.  Sonny took over for Greg, but the visitors kept doing what they had been doing.

Round about 4:45, some teenagers and a coach looking guy showed up and said they had the field.  We showed him our permit and he said he had one for 5, not on him of course.  We told him that until he produced the document, we were going to keep playing.  Eventually, after being a dick about it, he got some sort of official looking email and that was that.  Greg acquiesced the field, but only after restating that if the guy could have handled the situation better and why we did what we did ( I am cleaning up the language).  So we got 8 innings in.

Final Score, a very soft...22-7?


* Noah pitched very well, congrats on the kid!

* Storm and Rich both banged off the right field wall a few times, one of which caught me right in the solar plexus on the ricochet

* Josh had a good day at the plate

* We did get a double play when it was sorely needed

* Noah hit me in the one place where I don't have any fat....

* Someone was almost thrown out at first from left field

* We had three consecutive seeing eye ground balls off of Gaston

* Its easier to try and name all the people on the visiting team, rather than remember who got hits, so Josh, Rich, Noah, John Mcg, Storm, Elvin, Gaston, Mitch, Daniel, good hitting.

Have fun on the 4th, I am sorry I will be missing it.

Friday, June 26, 2015

6/25/15 MBC vs. SQ Giants

We needed a rematch, after the crushing defeat we suffered at the last game.  And while technically not a win, we managed to comport ourselves with dignity and grace, and walk out with our heads high.

We got in remarkably quick, and the game started on the parched dry field.  In unusual style, we scored three runs in the first inning, with Coney Island James torching a double to put up a crooked number.  Of course, our lead was short lived, and by the end of the 1st, it was tied at 3.

Sean started for us, and had a rough first inning, but settled down after that, and only allowed 2 more runs over four innings, with 6 K's!  He struck out the side in the first, which gives you an idea of our ineptitude to get an out at the beginning of the game.  Our team had a serious case of the dropsies the entire game, I think we would have walked away with the win, if we had managed to squeeze the ball.  Oh well, what can you do?

In the 5th, Satch came in and had the same first inning that Sean had expereinced, and by the end of it, the score had gone up to 8-4.  By professional standards, a long margin, by MBC standards, no problem.  We chipped away, and with a very quick 6th inning, helped by a great doubling off play, we ran the score back to tied in the top of the seventh.  More importantly, we managed to get to a 7th inning in a mid-week game!

Gaston came in to preserve the tie, and had to do it his own way, by walking the bases loaded before getting the third out, on a line drive to 1st, that of course was dropped, but thankfully picked up and the out and the tie were in the books.


* Chris played a great SS and scored a run

* James was the hit machine, and beleaguered left fielder, watching the ball rattle around the yard fences

*  Gaston made a great pickoff and it turned into a rundown play, where the entire team began to converge on the pickle

* Greg continued to it with confidence....but only when at SQ

* In the picture, the point of holding that bat is that the team wouldn't let me bring in one of my bats. To which I claimed that chances were very high that I would break a bat.  And I did.  Can't say I didn't warn ya.  I had threatened to break Elvin's bat since he mouthed off about my bats, but chose the high road.  Contrary to popular opinion, I did not break the bat purposefully.  I am not a sicko, just a freak.

* SQ lead off executed a perfect bunt.

* Gaston decided his prison nickname should be Shotgun.  Then he picked some kumquats off of a tree in the SQ parking lot.  I suggested that Prison Fruit might be a better nickname.  Which one do you think the team decided on?

* Gaston also made new friends immediately by hanging out in the shade of the right field fence, yakking it up with the fans.

* Elvin got the tying run RBI (by taking a pitch and then letting the catcher throw it away), Ed gets the assist for stealing 2nd and inducing.

* Nick, James, and Gaston first game.

* Ed and Elvin both made some great plays at 2nd

* Backing up and hustling actually made a difference in the game.

* Sean appears to be selling hot dogs in the team photo.  Classy move.

S. Paige

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

5/31/15 Cop Field

Satch wasn't there, since I was catching these fish.

But apparently, there was a good game, or at least a good double play and Sean's usual dominance.  Thanks to Mitch "Grouchy" Burnham for the bringing this to the attention of everyone.  Pay note to Abe's admonishment of one junior esquire, for voicing what he did not know for sure....they are a stern bunch in the legal arena....

And can I also say that the MBC is starting to get overrun with lawyers, and yet there is not a single MD or RN in the bunch.  Do medico's not like baseball?  What that means of course, is that if someone gets seriously injured during the course of the game, they won't get any immediate symptomatic treatment, but they can staunch the bleeding with the business cards of the 8 lawyers lined up to represent them in a personal injury lawsuit.  Here's the thread, and then some lawyer jokes to cap it off, all in good fun gentlemen (I use that term loosely).  Thanks everyone, I'll be here all week.

S. Paige

On Jun 2, 2015 5:50 PM, "Mitch Burnham" <

I was just watching a ball game, as I do these days, and witnessed a great turn of two. I couldn't help but remember the two the losers turned in Sunday. I know Abe turned it but can't remember who fielded it and caught it at first. But just wanted it to get its due.

On Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 6:17 PM, Elvin Vu <

Imma guess adam was at first and josh fielded it. 

On Tuesday, June 2, 2015 6:35 PM, Carter Rockwell

-----Original Message-----
From: Carter Rockwell <

Adam was at first, I was at short 

On Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 6:42 PM, <John McGrath

 I was the out at second.  Carter is correct.  He was at short.  I tried to get a spike into Abe's leg, but he was too quick.
-John McGrath

On Tuesday, June 2, 2015 8:20 PM, Abe Zuckerman
Let us also take note of Sean's masterful complete game thrashing.  I think the losers' half of the 6th or 7th inning was over in literally 3 minutes.  If not for the double play my 0-4 would have hurt quite a bit more.

Oh, also, ELVIN!  Goddammit!  You're a lawyer now.  If you don't know something, keep yer damn mouth shut.

1. At the height of a political corruption trial, the prosecuting attorney attacked a witness. "Isn't it true," he bellowed, "that you accepted five thousand dollars to compromise this case?" The witness stared out the window as though he hadn't hear the question. "Isn't it true that you accepted five thousand dollars to compromise this case?" the lawyer repeated. The witness still did not respond. Finally, the judge leaned over and said, "Sir, please answer the question." "Oh," the startled witness said, "I thought he was talking to you."

 2. Q: Why did God invent lawyers?
A: So that real estate agents would have someone to look down on.

3.  Q: What's the difference between a lawyer and a leech?
A: After you die, a leech stops sucking your blood.

4.  Lawyers occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. - Winston Churchill

5.  A man walks into a bar. He sees a beautiful, well-dressed woman sitting on a bar stool alone. He walks up to her and says, "Hi there, how's it going tonight?"
She turns to him, looks him straight in the eyes and says, "I'll screw anybody any time, any where, any place, it doesn't matter to me."
The guy raises his eyebrows and says, "No kidding? What law firm do you work for?"

6.  An attorney was sitting in his office late one night, when Satan appeared before him. The Devil told the lawyer, "I have a proposition for you. You can win every case you try, for the rest of your life. Your clients will adore you, your colleagues will stand in awe of you, and you will make embarrassing sums of money. All I want in exchange is your soul, your wife's soul, your children's souls, the souls of your parents, grandparents, and parents-in-law, and the souls of all your friends and law partners."
The lawyer thought about this for a moment, then asked, "So, what's the catch?"


Thursday, May 28, 2015

5/16/15 SQ Giants vs. MBC

This isn't going to be a long write up, cuz the game really sucked.  Or more to the point, we really sucked.  We felt strong, we got in on time, but we could not for the life of us, get a hit or catch a ball.  The Giants pitcher threw the whole game, and under any other circumstances, we would have been able to hit him and hit him well.  But not this game.

Satch started for the MBC, threw two decent innings and then the wheels came off in the third and the Giants never looked back.  They had three or four extra base hits in a row and for what seemed like the whole game, what wasn't a hit, didn't get caught.  I bowed out with the score 8-1 after four and gave the ball to Sean who did a much better job of settling down the hitters. 

Jon McGrath had our lone RBI on a hit to the opposite field.  Great work John!

That's about it.

Didn't bother with a picture, and we sure need our manager and lucky charm Johnny Bartlett out again, we did a poor job playing rudderless.

Final 10-1.  Ouch.

S. Paige

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

4/26/15 Cop Field

Couldn't beleive that I managed two games in one week, but somehow I did.  It may have something to do with the next four Sundays being off the table for any case, happy to be here.  A little sore from Thursday, but not bad, and certainly enough to throw a few more.

The homer squad was looking pretty formidable, and so we did a little horse trading and then we had several latecomers that all kind of evened up the thing anyway.  I started for the visitors and kept racheting up K's, something about the fastball has changed, not sure what, but it's on point these days.  Tim spot-started for the homers and was effectively wild, for several innings.

The best part of the game was that Liam McGrath played a legitimate game with us, made some outs, and had at least one hit, over the third baseman's head.  Proud, we were.  Then, I think he got picked off.  Well, it's a long season.

We were down for most of the game, as we just couldn't seem to get the hit we needed off of Tim.  Once they homers removed him from the game, it took on a different tone and we started our climb out of the cellar.  Gaston took over for the visitors but was kind of lit up--by his standards-- if I can recall.  What had been a blow out turned into a neck and neck sprint for the finish line.  I think Elvin and Greg got a chance to pitch for the homers in there somewhere, and we lost about four players who had to leave early (sorry, I took too long a break to accurately remember this game...).

The game took on a bit of death march pace by the end, and no one wanted to play extras, but it had been an exciting game.

Final score Visitors-13-8?


* The visitors turned a legitimate double play

* While I felt good, and got some K's, I left the game praying for a No Decision.

* Liam made a great catch

* It's amazing how when you are down by 6 runs, getting back 2 just seems to be such a relief.

* We had one play where two outfielders called the ball, avoided hitting each other, and the ball dropped between them  Later, two infielders called the ball, crashed into each other, and dropped the ball.

* The drought-field is getting to that point that you can get about 200 feet of roll after it lands

* Sean made an amazing running backwards, basket catch at 1st.

* One the final plays in the 9th, by a surging home team was a hard hit ball from Chris Powell that richoceted off the the ankle of the thrid baseman and was caught by the SS.  The SS threw to first, only to then realize that it was a caught pop fly, and good for an out.  Tony, from the 3rd base coach box verified that it never touched the ground.

* Plenty other spills and thrills, but they are lost to all those who were not there to witness them

S. Paige

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

4/23/15 San Quentin Giants vs. MBC

The first prison game of the year was met with a lot of traffic and paperwork to begin with.  Not exactly how one wants to start the season, but it is the Bay area, and it is prison, so....

Rules have gotten stricter; we have to formally sign no-hostage and no-interaction forms now, and the gate guard goes through each of our pieces of equipment searching for contraband (I guess) and we can't bring metal bats, metal canteens or bags of any kind.  Sorry Noah, you will have to leave your 57 lbs of gear at home this year....

As usual, we lost one man before we started (get that license renewed rookie) and not as usual, we were led by our new manager, Johnny "Cornelius McGillicuddy" Bartlett into the depths of the pen. He composed the line-up, kept a formal scorecard and was quick to argue on behalf of the team on a bullshit ground rule double call.  Under his new management, we thrived.  This was close to what the lineup looked like ( I am operating off of memory here.)

Mitch CF
Chris SS
Satch P/RF
Sean 1st/P
Duane 1st
Brian RF/LF
Sonny 2b
Daniel 3b
Greg C

I wouldn't say I felt good going into the game, or at least not better than usual.  But once on the bump, the fastball seemed to be pretty lively and I got a couple of people to swing at the knuckleball, so all was well there.  In the second, mixed in between a couple of very loud hits, I managed to strike out the side.

In a rare move of thinking about someone other than me, I took myself out and asked Johnny to put Sean in to make sure he got a chance to pitch.  Glad I did, as Sean stifled the Giants for the rest of the time, striking out three for himself.  In addition, Sean hit a massive gapper that should have been a triple, but was called back inexplicably by the 2nd base umpire who called it a ground rule double, even though the player had never signaled it.  It never came in contact with anything other than the usual fencing and concrete out in right.  I was pissed cuz I scored from first on the play and had to go back to third. Eventually I scored on Duane's hit to the right side and subsequent defensive error, as did Sean.

The Giants for their part played a good game, their best pitcher was in the hole, reportedly for some vague allegation that he was dealing.  SQ S.O.P is that you get thrown in solitary while they investigate your case.  He had been in there a month already, and showed no sign that he might be released any time soon.  The replacement pitcher was a young kid, with a decent fastball and a great curve that he used sparingly int he first few innings and relied more on as the game went on.  We hope to see him again.  A lot of new faces on the Giants, but they all knew what they were doing and the game was a closely contested one.  The fans started strong, one in particular was jabbering away the entire game.  He wanted to know each of our names as we came to bat, and he rode us pretty hard for everything we did.  Thankfully, he was on the Giants case as well, especially as Sean and I piled up K's.

The most amazing play--and thankfully with a good ending-- was the left fielder crashing the concrete and pipe barrier in foul territory in pursuit of a foul ball hit by current AOY, Ed.  The outfielder caught the ball a split second before his thighs hit the low concrete wall and his head connected with the pipe railing.  A sickening sound thudded through the park, and it looked like it could be really bad.  An alarm was sounded and we waited for what seemed like a long time, while the EMT came rolling out in his golf cart.  Luckily, the fielder arose after a minute, with a bandage on his left eyebrow, but moving under his own power.  And he held on to the ball!   We all applauded loudly.  It was a great play.

Darkness was falling rapidly, and in the last inning, it became very hard to see the ball against the wall.  A double to right center was missed by everyone, Mitch ran the opposite way to catch it, before realizing it was behind him.  Sean got the final out and we gathered to shake hands and humbly accept praise on the fact that we managed to win a game.  We talked to SQ stalwarts Chris and Otter, who let us know that the A's are again a force to be reckoned with.

Final Score- 4-1 in five innings, making it an official game.

Out the way we came, listen to the same jokes about getting to leave because we won, and that we looked like a team formed in a bar (yeah, and...?), took a very dark team picture and on to the Marin Brewing Company for some refreshments.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Eight Things You Gotta Love About Mission Baseball

"Eight Things You Gotta Love About Mission Baseball"

A Short Proclamation by Coney Island James 

Thanks to Coney Island for writing this up, he even asked before he submitted, to make sure it was the kind of thing that I would allow.  Don’t worry, I didn’t let the power, nor the praise go to my head.  I did however, take him up on adding a few of my own, let me know if you think of others, or if you want to submit your own piece of scripting to the blog.  It’s here for all of us. - S. Paige

I have made it through one and a half seasons with the fellows of Mission Baseball. The excitement of a rookie season -- played mostly in denim, if you recall -- has given way to a sophomore campaign packed with excellent moments.  Why, just last week I joined the distinguished list of runners thrown out trying to steal second, and a few weeks before that I hit the top of the fence at Crocker-Amazon for the longest single ever!  Through slumps and streaks we keep coming back, because you gotta love Mission Baseball.  In fact, I can easily list eight things about our game that I truly appreciate. 

I know that lists are generally of the "Top Ten" sort, but I settled on eight to recognize the guy running this blog:  "Satch", ol’ number 8.  All players should feel free to add to this list.


(13) Satch hasn’t been caught (officially) for throwing an illegal pitch (yet).

(12) We have stopped games and reshuffled the teams when they were too lopsided.  No one really enjoys a blowout, especially compared to a tight, see-saw battle.

(11) You don’t get a free base just for standing up there with the bat on your shoulder.  The point of the game is to. Hit. The. Ball.

(10) With a few notable (and may I say notorious) exceptions, MBC players can be relied on to give an accurate and honest call on a close play, regardless of how it may affect the outcome of the game.

(9) Unlike the MLB, we have never discriminated against women players. In fact we love it when a lady plays with us, and wish it happened more often.

8. We have no PA system, which means you will never hear any of the following: walk-up music, YMCA, Macarena, chanting "Day-Oh", or any other "bark like a seal when we tell you" sound cues. Mission Baseball is not a club or middle school pep rally. Play ball!

7. No DH. Nothing more to say here.

6. The pace of a Mission Baseball game is usually good. Why? Not many batters step out, pitching changes during an inning almost never happen, and breaks between innings are relatively short.

5. For the most part, we don't have base running coaches. I know that some may disagree with me, but I think that this forces base runners to develop techniques and skills that coaches normally provide (choosing when to steal, judging the outfielders, scanning the field while running, making quick decisions, and so on). Do you want a greater emphasis on base running as a skill? Then get rid of the nanny telling you when to stop and when to run. There, I said it.

4. No instant replay. Nothing more to say here.

3. Most of the fields we play on have no fences. What? This is something to love? Yes, and I will tell you why! It introduces different strategies into the game for both offense and defense. As an outfielder, fences are useful in positioning. Without that reference point, you have to exercise greater judgment based on the hitter and the situation. Plus, there is nothing back there to contain a ball that just got blasted over your head! Similarly, batters have to consider whether swinging for the horizon is truly worth the effort when the defense is already way out there, counting gopher holes 300 feet away from home. Besides, who doesn't love a homerun earned the hard way?

2. We tack on an extra inning or two to many games, even if the score has been settled, simply because we love playing.

And the number one thing you gotta love...

1. No off season. Nothing more to say.

Monday, April 13, 2015

4/12/15 West Sunset

What a day for a ballgame.  The wind that was supposed to descend on us never came and we enjoyed warm, even hot sunny weather the entire game.  We had 21 players, and what seemed like a good match up went sideways early.

Satch and Sean squared off, and Sean shut us down in the first.  Satch managed to limit the damage to one run in the first and one in the second, but the writing was on the wall, something was going on with the defense.  The third proved to be THAT inning.  We had about 6 chances at fly balls and couldn't catch them.  Add to that missed foul out opportunities and legitimate hits and the score after the 3rd was 7-0.  I managed to record strikeouts for all three outs, but I would have been a lot happier with a quick inning.

Sean continued to throw effective ball, and we were pretty powerless until we started to hit the ball on the ground and make the other team actually play defense.  Then they had their bad inning and suddenly we had a good game.  For a little while.....

Storm came in for the visitors and had some trouble with the strike zone, Sean kept at it for the homers.  Carter came in the 8th, as we were clinging to our smallest deficit, eager for a comeback-Cinderella story, the score 9-8.

I fucked it up.

There I said it, all the bad humors I had been waving away through the beginnings of the game came back to me in spades.  I had a bunch of opportunities to make plays at SS, and I pretty much screwed them all up.  We managed to get two outs (which was the theme for the day) and then every time I had a chance to get that last out, I couldn't do it.  Sean hit a perfect squib pop up that I was right on line for except that I was playing in and it sailed over my head.   John McGrath deked me perfectly on a ground ball, staying between me and the ball just long enough for me to lose sight of it completely and then have it go through my legs.  I got a ground ball from Bob that I should have thrown to first, and I threw to second instead, not in time.  I got another ground ball and I threw it to 3rd, a hurried bad throw that went right by Elvin.  Finally I managed to get an out at first, although Storm had to make a good stretch to ensure that we got the out....ugly, in fact, fugly.

So our close comeback turned into 14-8.

Mike Gaspar tried everything he could to get us into a rally, including one of the best jumps we have seen, but with Gastone on to close it out, we were over-matched (I managed to strike out too) and the game came to an end with no one even entertaining the thought of extra innings.


* Sean pitched a great game

* Thanks to Carter, Bob, Gaspar, Greg for catching

* New guy Josh had a good game and timely hits

* Mitch made two errors in center, which is unheard of and goes to show that the defense and the outfield in particular was jinxed yesterday

* Sonny and I both smoked the ball.... right at some one....

* Gaspar and Adam were the only guys that were hitting like they knew what they were doing

* Nick Smith was back, and his usual high quality self

* Abe was doing it with the glove and the bat, just like the game at Crocker Amazon

* We kept hoping with all our pop ups that the other team would start dropping them, but other than Tony's one crucial drop that started our only rally, the homers kept it pretty tight, looking unsure at times, but effective.

* The homers definitely deserved to win, and I don't mean to disparage their hitting prowess, but it was hard to notice in the midst of our bumbling

* We had Greg picked off at second, but no one (especially me) bothered to get to the bag to try

* I did manage to strike out 7or 8 batters in 5 innings of work.

* James made a great throw from right, but the runner knew the rumors of his arm and chose not to test it.

* I recorded all three outs in the third and the fourth innings (the last one was a 1-3, do I get an out or assist on that?).

* Thanks to everyone who came out

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

3/22/15 Crocker Amazon

I don't know what the trouble was, since last week there were 22 odd souls that were able to show up for the game, but this week we barely cobbled 14.  If not for anything else, Crocker Amazon has a fence!  For hitting balls over!  How can you wannabe Jimmy Foxx's pass up something like that? 

This week's Florence Nightengale came in the form of Elan, a young ropy fellow who is another graduate of Lowell like Gaston, and I imagine also in his mid-20's.  He showed up as we were contemplating which one of the drunks in the stands would be the most likely to play.

So 7-7.  Since it was the minimum, here was the team breakdown:

Visitors: Greg, Tony, Coney Island James, Abe, Carter, Bob, Daniel

Homers: Satch, Lattig, Gaspar, Elan, Mitch, Sonny, Theis

The soupbone was feeling good but you wouldn't have known it after the first inning, the visitors lit me up like a pinball game.  The most impressive was James, who clanged the fence and came within a foot of hitting a three run home run.  He had to settle for the longest single in history, as the runner ahead was only going halfway to second in case it was caught. I was actually hoping it would go out, we so rarely get real home runs it would have been fun to watch.  But we turned back the tide, and a nifty defensive lock down staunched the bleeding.

Greg was on the bump for the visitors, or should I say the hole.  The mound at CA leaves a lot to be desired and we both quickly learned that the only way we were going to throw with any confidence was to move to the extreme right of the rubber, where the landing would be on terra firma rather than terra cavum.  Made for an interesting angle on the batter as well.

The breakout star of the game has to be Gaspar, who went an astonishing 4-5, striking the ball and spraying the field with such confidence and ferocity that Greg started feeling like it was some sort of personal vendetta.   It was awesome.

The homers tied the game and then the visitors took it back then homers retook the lead, never to relinquish subsequently.  The game wasn't marred by errors, nor was it a complete rout.  We managed to stop a rally in the making with a nice line out-throw out double play, and I personally hit into a classic 4-6-3 double play that the visitors turned, so defensively both teams had their moments.  In something I have not seen in a while, 2 of the 5 runs scored by the visitors came by way of the legit sacrifice fly.

Like clockwork, our drunk friend stumbled onto the field during the 7 inning to "umpire" the rest of the game.  See earlier blog entries about this guy, we knew chances were good that he would show, and we just decided that he could call himself the umpire as much as he wanted to, but the catcher still had the final call.  It only came up once on a third strike, when he thought there was only 2 strikes.  He must have recognized his own official impotence, so he left the field during the 8th and retired to the stands again.  I felt kinda bad for him, but hey, what do you expect wandering into the middle of a game and calling yourself the umpire?

Elan pitched the last 3 innings for the homers, a good lefty with a smooth delivery.  James came in to throw for the visitors and had some mustard on the ball.  The deficit was too much for the visitors to overcome, however, and the final score was the homers, 8-5.


* Gaspar raking the ball all day

* James' long, strong, powerful single

* Abe made the defensive play of the game, on a surefire triple from Elan, going to the wall to snare the ball in right.

* Thies had a gap triple that left him a little winded at third

* I went a spectacular 1-6, didn't get the ball out of the infield until my final at bat

* 7-7 gives you a lot more at bats, but it sure would be nice to have a moment to rest at times.

* The two breaking balls I got Tony and James on were my proudest accomplishments of the day

* Abe also had a confident and well struck double

* Greg swung at a knuckleball in a 2-0 count.  The sky is falling

* I was instantly punished for trying to kickstart the scoring by using a metal bat.  I jarred my hand and popped the ball up to the shortstop. 

* A blue heron and a resident hawk were in a battle for the sky during the game.  The hawk won.

Hope more people show up next week.

S. Paige

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

3/15/15 Big Rec

Here after a long writing absence is Mr. Mike Lattig.  Fitting that he returns to the recap, much as he returned to the bump, after many a months rest. Thanks!

It was another glorious day for baseball in Golden Gate park. A high sky with wispy clouds, a slight breeze, but plenty of sun and warmth. And with the 3 o’clock hour fast approaching we were a tidy 9x9.

As is custom for GG Park, that became 10x10 once game time rolled around, but I don’t think anyone was sad to have an inning off here and there. However, the visitors may have wished for more at bats when all was said and done.

With my shoulder feeling as good as it has in years, I decided to hop on the bump for the home team and was blessed with one of those rare days when everyone seems to find their natural defensive positions. I couldn’t have drawn up a better defensive lineup if I tried: Tony at 3rd, Chris at Short, Josh at 2nd, Sean at 1st, Ed behind the dish, and Mitch, Joe and James in the outfield. It instilled great confidence – and they lived up to expectations.

Opposing me on the visiting side was fellow crafty righty (that should be a thing, shouldn’t it? Why can only lefties be crafty. I’m trademarking it…) Sonny, who’s really been coming on of late as a pitcher by keeping people off balance. But this was not to be his (or his team’s) day.

After Bob opened things for the visitors with a squibber up the middle that somehow evaded Chris, and I ran a 3-0 count to Carter that included a 30 MPH curveball in his back pocket, the game was on lock down.

I came back to strike Carter out on a gravity ball in under the hands, and then I believe we retired 13 straight hitters after that, with a combination of pop-ups (4 or 5 of them) and ground balls that were gobbled up by a solid infield. That included a great scoop at first from Sean on one play, and Ed bolting out from behind the plate to grab a ball up the third base line, then spinning and firing a bullet to first for the out.

By the time the 6h inning closed, only about an hour and a half had passed, I’d faced 23 hitters, and the game was essentially in the bag at either 7-1 or 9-1. A rare lopsided game in the MBC that didn’t seem like it would even threaten to reverse itself in the late innings as our games can tend to do. And it didn’t.

On offense, we weren’t putting up huge lopsided numbers. We just seemed to string 2-3 hits and a few stolen bases together every inning. Tacking on 2 here, one there, three more here to pad the lead and never look back.

Sean’s bat definitely took the prime spot – as he peppered left center all game long with an inside-out stroke that was a beauty to behold. Add to that a few drives from the likes of Joe and Mitch (and I think James too – though he was more the king of the foul ball, so much so that Daniel was playing him on the line in hopes of catching one…). I’d guess we all contributed a hit or two throughout the day to just keep the line moving and keep the runs coming.

Ultimately, I gave way to the two hard throwing lefties to seal the deal, and they did just that with Sean and Gaston each dialing up a solid 2 innings to cruise us home for the win. (and yes, 6+2+2 is 10. And even then we finished before 6.)

Sonny was relieved nobly by a cast of unusual pitchers that included Ryan, Daniel and John McGrath. A virtual cornucopia of Crafty Righties™ if ever there was one.  And we kept tacking on runs here and there. To the point where I’m not sure anyone knows what the final score was. (And JT wasn’t there, so we may never know…)

All in all, it was a lopsided game, but a fun one. Crisply played, mostly clean all around on defense, and agreeably extended to take advantage of the sunshine. Sounds like next week we’ll be moving on from the cozy confines of GG Park to the windy slopes of Crocker Amazon. So glad we got a good one in while we could!