Monday, November 13, 2017

11/12/17 Golden Gate Park






I get two games a year where I pretty much can play, without a lot of bargaining.  My birthday weekend and Fathers Day.  This was one of them.  And I was late getting there, due to other family obligations that I won't mention, but suffice to say, there was some bargaining this year....

Luckily, there were plenty of players, and the day was beautiful, so I got there in the end of the first inning, and dropped right into the ball game.  I played right field for the first few innings, and then Greg, magnanimous person that he is, let me pitch for my birthday.

Sean had started for the visitors, and he was doing well, keeping us from really breaking anything loose.  I was in the hole against Sean, but managed to get two singles, line drive to left, and line drive to right.  The amazing part is that I scored both of those times, I can't remember the last time I scored two runs in a game. 

We were up 4-2, then James came up and bunted for a single, then stole second of course, and then scored.  So the next time he comes up, Greg decides to goad him into doing it again by playing on the grass on the third base side of the mound.  James, a New Yorker, wasn't about to let anyone push him around, and so he bunted again.  Greg picked it up, got an eyeful of the afternoon sun and promptly winged the ball past first base and out of bounds.  James take second, and then comes around to score again.  It was all going to be so perfect.

All this time, I am pitching my heart out, despite about four different nagging injuries.  The knuckleball is working beautifully, I think I got at least 5 pop outs on knucklers.  I keep picking on Don for strikeouts and then, just like last game, a pop up in the no man's land behind the mound.  I feel like this one is a little easier, and then I step on the group of spare baseballs we keep back there just as the ball hits my glove, it bounces up and hits me right in the philtrum (anatomy lesson- the space between the nose and the lip). So my face hurts now too.  But I was still having fun.

The entire game, Greg and I are on a diving mission to see who can make more errors, mental and physical.  I came up short on a ball in right, Greg gets a ball in right, hits him right in the middle of the glove and pops out.  His throwing error, my dropped ball.  The rest of the team was picking us up though, Tony played outfield all game and made some fine plays, Chris Powell had another amazing over the shoulder catch as well as one in foul territory.  New guy Dave made some solid plays at 2nd, Ed and Mike were both rock solid behind the dish, Abe made a beautiful play at third, diving to catch a ball and then making the out at 1st.  So other than me and Greg, defense was aces.

Sonny takes over around the 7th, and the mystery of Sonny continues to abound.  He is deceptively fast at times, and just when you think he is wild, he hits the corners and makes you rethink the whole thing.  We couldn't buy a rally.  But the visitors tie up the game, and then go ahead in the 9th, 5-4.  Mike takes his walk in the bottom of the 9th, as he is supposed to.  Steals second, is moved to third, someone didn't take their walk and suddenly there are two outs, a man on third, and I am hitting.  Not what I usually look forward to, but hey, can't say it wasn't a good birthday game.  I get in a hole with Sonny, and then when I think it's all over, I choke up about 4 inches and poke a single to short left, luckily the outfielders were all playing me at 390.  So we tie it at 5 and go to extra innings.  Which was great.

Except that we still can't score a run, and the other team has Mitch, who called his shot after refusing a walk, knowing that he could then steal second easily.  He told us that "he wanted to get his 2 [bases]."  And then he hit a double, and we collectively shrugged and figured, if you can do it that way, why not?  He came around to score, making it 6-5.  We had no more magic to give, though Chris absolutely destroyed a ball that Elvin came up with at 3rd on a wing and prayer, and by his own admission had to take a moment to realize that he had A.) caught the ground ball, and B.) had to make a throw to 1st.  Which he did very well.  There are those of us that now believe that Elvin is a really, really good player but only when he is in total shock.

Final Score- 6-5

Highlights:

* Thank you to everyone that made it out, I would have been real bummed at a Havana 6 game for my birthday.


* The visitors played hard the entire game, and minimized the damage of their errors.  The homers maximized the damage of ours.

* Kudos to James for bunting in the face of the bunt shift.

* Bob was coaching the first baseman after he dropped a thrown ball, to get Bob out.  We think maybe he didn't want to keep running, but was obliged to until the out was recorded.

* Sean and Sonny both did a really good job on the mound, as did Greg, and I want to say that I appreciated getting the chance to throw.

* James made an error in center field, very uncharacteristic, that allowed us to score a run.  He continued to snap catch fly balls after that, ala Ricky.

* Loren showed up and dragged himself into the fray in the middle innings, but couldn't come up with the big hit

* Mitch hit one between 3rd and SS, and Chris made a great sliding stop to keep the ball in the infield.  The next time, Mitch hit it just a little different and it perfectly threaded the defense.  He's always trying to improve....

* I was cited for giving too much direction to the team during plays, I always like to think of it as real-time encouraging commentary.

* My steadfast refusal to back up 3rd continues

* Ed chose to signal a fair ball with arm only, on a long drive down the left field line.  I like the nostalgia of it, but I bet defense and offense alike would appreciate a vocalized version.

* After popping up a first pitch knuckleball, I asked Bob how he could do such a thing?  He told me I was tipping my pitches.  To which Chris replied, Then why didn't you get a hit?  It's a valid question.

* Thanks for a great game, my philtrum hardly hurts at all anymore.  My adductor longus, iliocostalis lumborum, plantar fascia, and deltoid and teres minor muscles on the other hand.....

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

10-22-17 Big Rec GGP

An amazing day for a game, perfect weather, exactly 18 players (eventually) and what looked like a good matchup.  But for some reason, though the homers lineup was formidable on paper, we couldn't hit our way out of a paper bag.

A lot of the credit needs to go to Sonny, who for 9 innings kept us off balance, hitting pop flies and weak grounders.  You do that, and your defense makes the plays, you can't lose.  His team also turned a legit double play, which was awesome, if you weren't the team trying to build some momentum.

Satch was out and hoping to get a good workout to keep the arm limber, and sweat out the dastardly poisons as a result of a late-night 3-generation poker game.  The results of my poker game were a lot like the baseball game, unfortunately.  But it felt good to throw, and other than the hard hit balls, and the wobbly defense, myself included, it was a good outing.

Chris Powell continued to rip me apart, much like his last outing, where he had several extra base hits.  I thought that if Powell was the only player allowed to score, which is always a foregone conclusion, the score would remain close enough for us to have a fighting chance.  Well, it kinda worked.  He scored a lot anyway.

The game wasn't a blow out, but when you hit 19+ balls in the air and they get caught that doesn't leave a whole lot of chances to score.  Sonny and I shared a few really tight short innings, 5 pitch kind of affairs.

The 9th inning came and we tried to mount a comeback, I leaned in to a pitch, took it off the arm and took my base, howling and rending my teeth to sell it ( I would like to thank the Academy), Greg took his walk, and there we were suddenly with the bases loaded for the first time in the game, and Nick W coming up.  He took 4 straight balls, but chose not to take his base, something we all were a little confused by.  But we trust our players.  From 3rd base I said, "You are going to feel pretty dumb when you pop out to 2nd base."

And then he popped out to 2nd base.

Although technically, Liam dropped it and them got the force out at 1st, but still, pretty amazing right?  Maybe I can market my self as the Picayune Jerk Psychic.  I can only psychically predict when small, shitty things will happen to you.

We had kept the game moving so briskly, that by the end, it was only about 5:10pm.  In our stupidity, we proposed an extra inning, just for fun.  I trudged out to the mound for the 10th, and felt settled in. 3 runs later, it was not quite such a good idea.  And our turn in the bottom of the 10th, we fared no better against the new pitcher, who had a 1-2-3 inning.  Yay.

Final score: 6-2

Final Extra Inning Scrimmage- 3-0 

Highlights:

* A lot of new faces, which was nice to have since we actually had enough players for once

* Somewhere there is cell phone footage of me attempting to pick up a weak ground ball with my bare hands and failing, about 8 times.

* Big thank you for John Mcg and Liam for making the late arrival to square us at 9 a piece.  It makes a difference!

* Nick W. made a fine catch in left field but the best part of the play was that he didn't try and throw the ball afterwards as he was spinning and tumbling.  There has been an uptick in little league throw-arounds lately in the MBC.

* We had Mitch in center field, and I don't know if he made a single out.  That is a waste of talent

* We had a new guy at SS, who made some great plays, and looked like he had the capacity to hit well, though he suffered along with the rest of us.

* A real new guy, Jeremy, played for the first time since 1997, and held his own for being out of the game so long.  I did strike him out with a change-up that was a grade a certified dick move, as Greg pointed out.  It was also completely necessary at the moment, which Greg also pointed out.

* Jimmy broke a cheap bat he got at West Coast Sports and is not faced with the unenviable task of going back there and trying to buy a new one.  You just never know if it's going to be a good experience, or a really trying, soul crushing one.

* Cap tip to Sonny, effectively wild and changed speeds really well

* Liam was nice enough to swing at a knuckleball for strike 3 that was around his eyeballs.

* I celebrated a little too much after we successfully carried out the Gaspar shift.  I think it was the relief of not another bloop, in a day filled with them.  But I apologized to Gaspar afterwards.

* One of the longest foul balls I have ever seen was hit, either by Don or Chris

* A ball was popped up behind the mound, and I went after it, knowing that it was going to fall in between the defense, and as I called it, Greg commented, "I don't think you do." He was right, but we got the out.  Real time, real talk.

* We had Chris picked off twice, and both times Adam was sure that he had caught the ball, but no.

* I did manage to finish strong in the regular game, striking out three of the last four batters I faced, including Mr. Powell.

* Missing regulars list- Tony, Abe, Nick S., Lattig, Elvin, Bob, Sean, Nero, Coney Island James, Duane, Carter, JT

Hope this late summer weather continues for another week.

Monday, October 9, 2017

10/9/17 Cop Field




It is official.  The Mission Baseball club is experiencing a drought of players.  We thought it was just the summer doldrums, but it's October now, and we had 10 players show up yesterday.  Sure a few of the regulars had legitimate excuses but even counting them, were are barely 15.  I am not helping the cause any with my own spotty attendance but for fucks sake, we need some new blood.

The field was in amazing shape, so good that we almost didn't want to set foot on it until we had a team.  We approached the Mexican teams that were having batting practice on Camp Swampy, but they wanted nothing to do with us.  We asked a father and son that were practicing in left field, and they were excited to play.  Ended up being the best thing we did all day.  Javeed and Janier were both excellent, especially since one of them was a 10 year old kid.

So we ended up with 6-6, also known as Havana 6's if I am not mistaken.  No one sat on the bench for more than a minute or two the whole game, and we played with two outfielders and all fields open.  Tony pitched for the visitors and Satch for the homers.  It was a pretty low scoring affair, given the holes in the defense, the visitors were ahead for the entire game, but the homers slowly chipped away at the lead.  We scored first, but then went silent for several innings.  Tony is currently unhittable at times, he struck out quite a few of us, some more than once.

We entered the bottom of the 9th (which was really the 7th or 8th, just to get on with it) only down by a run.  I had a spectacular O-fer going, struck out the first two times, high pop fly, another pop fly.  Tony got me in the hole 1-2, and I was determined not to strike out on the Uncle Charlie again.  I reached out about 3 feet off the plate to get the ball and wristed it right between SS and 3rd.  Finally!

I was forced off on a fielders choice but Elvin got on, took second, and was hit home by Don to tie the game.  Bob stepped up and in true AOY style, hit a ball to right field where no one was playing and the game was ours.

Not a bad little game for such an ugly showing.

I am not going to harp on no one showing up because it doesn't seem to work, or that our email has about 100 people on it and we can't get a full 18 regularly but if you are reading this, better start asking your friends about playing, we need warm bodies.  If you are a once in a while player, start making it more often.  If you are a stranger who enjoys a quality and friendly game of baseball, let us know.

Highlights

* Tony threw another excellent game, new iteration of the player the SS/CG pitcher.

* Chris Powell was 5-5, all line drives, amazing

* Thanks to Ed and Bob for catching in addition to playing defense.

* While we are on the topic, Ed let a fly ball bounce right past him while filling in center field for us, which scored 2 runs.  Suspicious behavior....

* Janier had a legit hit to right field, as well as making several good defensive plays at 2nd.  His last hit was a line drive straight back at me, which I luckily caught in my glove rather than my face. Gamer!

* His dad hit two triples before I got him to reach for a knuckleball

* Ed on the other hand hit the knuckleball up in the air twice in a row for infield outs

* Wes Phelps was cheering us on, sharing his seaweed snacks, and napping in the outfield.

* We turned a legitimate double play in the early innings!

* Not too many hits to the opposite field until the last inning

* Elvin played well at 1st, scored the tying run and stole and almost slid into 3rd...

* Nick W scored our first run, and appeared to be suffering from the fall out of hustling for the rest of the game

* I think Tony joined me in being anemic at the plate

* Don was HBP 3 times by Tony.  It was brutal.  :)

Well, hope some people are inspired to come out and play, we could use about 6 more regulars.

S. Paige

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

9/17/17 Cop Field

Three weeks in a row, can't believe it!  I had the two lillun's in tow, but they behaved themselves pretty well, and the game moved along quickly enough.  Late though we were, we made 14, which was a nice feeling, having been at plenty of games at that horrible 13 man mark.

The real news of the day was Tony Rojas, who my kids refer to in hushed reverent terms around the house.  When we practice hitting in the back yard, they argue over who gets to be Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, Brandon Belt.  They they argue over who gets to be Tony and Greg.  So I must be doing something right. 





Tony pitched a masterful complete game, the majority of which was a shutout.  Our team couldn't have hit their way out of a wet paper bag all day, and Tony was mixing and matching everything under the sun.  His sidearm rising slurvy ball found the strike zone consistently, and he got us to hit the ball in the air all day.  He was great.

I was given to the other team to provide much needed bat power, and I sucked at that all day.  0-5, I do believe, only once did I hit the ball on the ground, and it was right to Chris Powell.

There were only 7 men on each team, and yet the homers had 4 lefties- Sean, Phelps, Lattig, Tony....yeah, who ever divvied up these teams must be a sadist.....Me and the boys played right field for most of the game but never got a fly ball.  The one inning we played 2nd base, there was a fly ball to right, and then Chris Powell of all people hit a scorcher right at me and the kids, I prayed for a true hop, and got it, and threw to first.  The boys wear helmets when they are with me on the field, but they may need hockey masks too.

No matter who was pitching the homers would not stop their hit parade.  Sonny pitched the first 5 or so, then Nick W. came in but had trouble finding the strike zone. I volunteered to pitch the 8th, knowing that there would most likely not be a bottom of the 9th.  I had held back some cookies for the boys to bribe them to sit quietly on the bench while I pitched.  It worked and the inning went well enough, although no one could really stop the home team.

The decision had been made in about the 5th inning, with things goign the way they were that we would call the score 8-8, rather than 8-0.  This was done to try and foster some competitive spirit amongst our team,but even charity runs could not induce us to play any better, and the homers kept on scoring runs, and by the end of the 8th it was 12-8.

We did finally score a run, which was a small bit of redemption and a feel good story on it own.  Liam, the older McGrath boy, had a trying day with Tony, somewhere in the ~3/4 K range, and this was his last chance.  Sonny hit a nice sharp single, and was dancing off first, and then second in his surfer gear, ratty T-shirt and black cutoff shorts.  Liam laced a line drive into the gap in left, and Sonny raced home.  We had finally scored a run, and Liam had avoided a sombrero.

The only run of the day for the visitors it turned out.

Final Score- An honest 12-1 thrashing.

Highlights:

* Homer Team- Powell, Elvin, Sean, Lattig, Greg, Tony, Phelps

* Visitors-  Abe, Sonny, Nick W., John McG, Liam McG, Don, Satch

* It wasn't that we didn't get some people on base, we just could not score a run

* Don had several nice hits, and was always stranded

* John McG crushed a ball

* Chris Powell had 3 doubles and a triple, at least

* Don was HBP once, maybe twice

* In the 8th, Don was awarded the SS bad hop trophy for two in a row and that jigged instead of jagging.  Luckily, they didn't hit him in the face

* I think our defense in left for the other team was better than our defense for our own team

* Apparently Abe is only a hitting machine when I am facing him, not when we are on the same team....

* Thanks to Greg, John McG, Liam for doing the catching

Let's hope that a few players are inspired to show up next week so we can have a proper game?




Monday, September 11, 2017

9/3/17 and 9/10/17 Balboa Park



Sorry for the late additions, time just keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping, into the future.  The Labor Day game,which was my first in a little while, was well attended, which made it both an anomaly and a pleasure.  Sorry to say that the numbers coming out for baseball have been pretty paltry lately, and we have tried our best to cull the email list to only those that have a reasonable chance of showing up, or at least want to stay up to date on our game.

I will attempt to consolidate the games, for brevity and clarity: I pitched 10 innings on 9/3/17, and lost the game after having a shut out for 6 innings and leading the game for 9 innings.

Other than my inability to get some people out, and the hitting of the other team, I was helped along in my loss by an uncharacteristically dropsy infield, where pop flies were treated like the other man's job, and ground balls found the wrists and arms of players rather than their gloves.

Oh well.

As the visiting team, we scored one run each inning in the top of the first four innings.  And the score remained 4-0 through the first 6 innings, something that I was very proud of, and as we know, pride does indeed come before the fall.  It was palpable to Greg and myself when the momentum suddenly changed, a tweener begat an error, begat another error, begat a ground ball that was hit softly enough to be an impossible play, et cetera.

The home team deserved to win because they did not give up, they kept their heads in the game, and and capitalized on the chances they had.  After Sonny started the game, Nick W. pitched several fine innings of relief work to keep the game close.  They tied it up late, and then in extra innings, Jimmy's New Guy friend put a softball swing on a do nothing changeup and hit it over the left fielder (who was also on their team) for the win.

Highlights:

* Felt good to air out the ol' soup bone for a lot off innings

* Elvin was good at not letting himself out of the at bats, and I don't know that I got him out (at the plate...)

* Bob sneered his way through the game

* My favorite part was Tony leading off an inning with me behind him, and I told him if he got on that I would bunt the second pitch.  Well, he got on to the tune of second base, and he and I traded knowing nods, I placed a bunt down the third base line for an uncontested infield hit.  He was hoping they would try and then he could have scored from second.

* Don made some much needed catches in center field

* Abe was his usual dependable hitting and field self

* Greg and Gaspar did a great job behind the dish, and I was sorry that I was not able to get the win  for them

* It was a beautiful hot day at the yard, hot weather makes it easier to pitch for sure

*One particularly galling play, Jimmy was covering in left field, and was playing what appeared to be an extreme Gaspar shift.  Except that Gaspar was not up.  So a routine fly ball to left became a triple.  I am all for cheating but you got to sell it.

* I almost didn't make it to second base, because I was talking to Adam, you gotta watch that, he draws you in

* I also made another bonehead running play, I really got to start asking more often how many outs there are.  I think I am used to always being up with two outs that I assume that is the default when I am on base.  In any case, I was on second, ball hit to short left, doubled off.  Fuck.

* Sonny had a nice hit down the left field line for a double


9/10/17- Camp Swampy

So this one happened yesterday, a bit more fresh in my mind.  The boys were with me, so we got out early to have some time to play with on the improved playground at Balboa.  There was some beer league championship game happening on our field, and they weren't giving up before it was over, so we schlepped all the gear to Camp Swampy, which I don't think we have played on since April.  We only had 15, and the 3 McGrath boys had to leave early, so we tried our best to get as much in as possible, before the game turned back into a pumpkin.

The boys insisted on playing on this huge fallen log, which was OK, other than the jagged pieces of broken branches that were lying around.  But they were occupied at least. 

The homers, which was my team, had lanky lefty Liam to start, and he looked good, snapping off some quality pitches.  He threw hardest, of course, against his brother, Aiden, which is to be expected.  Aiden did not go down without a fight though.  It was great to have two new generation players, a few more years and my boys will hopefully be out there too.

Lattig started for the visitors, throwing breaking stuff all over the map, and then when you think you are going to see a curve ball, he would pour one in on the outside corner.  We jumped out to a lead,  raised it to 5, the visitors came back slowly and surely, and I think by the end of the game which was about 6 innings, the score was either 6-4, or maybe even 6-5, us. 

Mitch and Greg caught the game, and did a fine job, especially with a lot of balls in the dirt.

Highlights:

* James tattooed one to me in left while the boys were out there with me, luckily it came right at me, and the boys had helmets on.

* Chris Powell had a rare dropped pop fly, which is usually his forte

* The visiting team was stealing bases all over the place

* Lattig had an at bat with at least 6 foul balls

* Abe did double duty in center since I had kids on either side of me through half the game

* John McG had a good game, almost took out his own kid with a slide, and was the lynchpin to having the game in the first place, vis a vis his progeny

* Mitch hit a gapper in right that I thought might be an in-the-parker.  He settled for a triple

* Nick W. came out with is two daughters, thenone of them got stung by a bee and they all had to leave.  I don't know if he got a chance to bat

* The one silver lining on the shortened game was that the boys got to do a lot of hitting on the diamond after the game.




Friday, July 21, 2017

7/21/17 MBC vs San Quentin Giants





There was a game last month, but there was no write up, mostly due to the fact that it was a blowout. something in the neighborhood of 15-something a lot less.  So we had our work cut out for us.  The residual traffic from a jackknifed truck on the Richmond bridge made for an extremely long drive up, and Satch, after warning everyone about the accident, was the last person to arrive.  It's a simple man that can't take his own advice, but I thought 90 minutes would be enough time to drive 17 miles.  I was sure wrong on that one.

We got in finally, and were relieved to see that the Giants had their uniforms on already and all their equipment.  We were also impressed to see a film crew walking around, with none other than Chris "Stretch" Rich, who was paroled recently, and who was back in as the first visiting alumnus of the SQ Giants.  A nice moment, considering that it was probably about 12 years ago that we played our first game in the SQ, and faced Stretch who was probably about 44 at the time.  Elliot gave a short(ish) talk about the semblance of hope and camaraderie that exists in the baseball program, and Chris (as he would like to be referred as) talked about the circumstances around taking his wife's life and was very forthright on complete ownership of the problems that led to her tragic death.  He also talked about seeing Mt. Tam every day from the abbreviated view in SQ, and his goal to one day stand at the top.  He brought out a picture he took from the top, and pointed out where SQ was.  By this point we were all pretty antsy to get playing, since weekday games are always too short too begin with.

We went down easily in the first, and the Giants responded with 3 runs, one earned, an unfortunate thread of the game.  We answered back with a run in the 2nd, and then both sides fell quiet for a few innings.  Satch started the game, and the warm summer sun was helping to keep all the muscles loose and limber.  The first 5 innings of the game were some of the best pitching I have done recently.  My fastball had a lot of movement on it, and I was getting strikes with 2 kinds of breaking pitches. The umpire was calling a low strike zone, but it was consistent for both teams at least.

Then the wheels came off.  The Giants pounded us for 5 runs in the fifth inning, mixing gorks and dinks in with the occasional well placed single.  And we responded by booting the ball when possible, or letting it go past us completely.  Oh well.  It happens every time.

I lasted one more inning, and then handed the ball off to Carter to close it out.  After surrendering a lead off walk, Carter settled in and pitched well.  Until the 9th when suddenly our team got the mental and physical dropsies again, and they scored another 4 runs.  They concluded that they would forgo their last out int he 9th, so that we had a chance to hit one last time, which was very nice of them.

Suddenly, we started hitting, after an entire game of wasted opportunities.  Carter absolutely destroyed a ball that whanged off the left field fence, two feet higher and it would have been a frozen rope home run.  We got 3 across the plate, before the end finally came.

Final score: 12-5.  Sounds ok, if you didn't watch us play the game.

Highlights:

* Nick W. with a triple to score our first run.  He claimed to still be out of breath, 4 innings later

* The Giants centerfielder moved like Hunter Pence's grandpa, but he tracked down at least 3 well hit balls.

* Don got walked three times, his intimidation was palpable, I guess

* Greg played first, which was not the usual.

* Jimmy had a couple of ropes, but was thrown out trying to steal third with 2 men on (and Satch at bat.  Obviously no confidence, didn't think I could get the job done.)

* The highest hit ball in quite a while still had time to drop between Sean, Nick and Jimmy behind 2nd.

* Ruben made end of the bat contact with a nasty change-up in the first inning that spun like a flying saucer about 5 feet in front of home.  I fielded it but couldn't get him in time.  Closer examination, he had torn a 50-cent piece sized flap in the ball. To the disbelief of the MBC, I chose not to try and use the ball to my advantage.

* Every close play we tried to get at first, the runner was called safe.  Every close play that the Giants made at first, we were called out.

* Cap tip to the SQ pitcher, who threw the entire game.

* We decided that if the game was a 45rpm, it would be titled: A Whiff of Dignity, B side: Delusions of Grandeur. I think the LP will probably be called And Then the Wheels Came Off....

* We got a mercy call at 2nd, on Bird, who went past the bag and scrambled back.  The umpire was blocked by Bird's body from seeing the tag, but called him out.  Bird was not pleased.  Jimmy admitted (quietly) that if he tagged him, it was definitely after he had gotten a hand back on the base.  The top of the next inning, the same umpire called out Sonny on a play at second that he was totally safe on.  Balance, I guess.

* The camera crew didn't give us the time of day the entire time.

* Jimmy made some good plays at 2nd, but the best was just catching a line drive that a guy absolutely pissed on.  Luckily it dropped enough by the time that it got to Jimmy that he could catch it.

* Don did a great job behind the dish, called a good game and blocked a number of pitches in the dirt.

* I threw a 3rd strike curve ball that was so nasty that the umpire froze and didn't call it.  But everyone knew.  Sean especially, who was arguing from center field.

* Miles had a nice hit and performed well leading off, given that he has been in SQ only once before.

* We probably left 9 or 10 runners on over the course of the game, 2 out rally never got off the ground.

* Carter made a great play at third, on a ground ball that looked like it was going to be a tweener

* I think I had two hits, one I can be proud of, and one that the third baseman admitted was coming too fast for him to do much with, and 2 RBIs.  The first at bat I tattooed a ball to dead center, that anywhere else in the outfield would have been gone, but the damn center fielder tracked it down.

Next SQ game August 12, against the Giants again.

S. Paige

Monday, July 10, 2017

7/2/17 Fourth of July Doubleheader- GGP

One of my favorite traditions is the doubleheader, and not just because it is twice as much baseball on a Sunday.  It is a time when we see players that have not come out in a long while, the games are usually a little more competitive, and we have yet to not fill the ranks for teams for both games.  Given that the last few months have seen a real drought of players, that last point cannot be stressed enough.

Game 1:

Sean started for the visitors and Greg for the homers.  I was late, and came in the bottom of the first, and missed the squeeze play that scored the first run of the game for the visitors.  The teams were about 13-13 or so, which meant plenty of time to warm up.  For at least the second year, Sean was resplendent in his red uniform.  He threw 7 innings, and dug a huge hole in the mound, not cool.  James took over for Sean and had a 1-2-3 inning. Greg went 5 strong for the homers, and handed the ball over to Satch for the rest of the game.

Bottom of the ninth.  Game score was 7-6.  Lead-off single, tying run is on base.  Stolen base! Lead-off man / tying run is on second with nobody out! Mike Lattig, who later admitted he did not know the stakes, does not do what he would usually do (sac bunt) and instead swings away and pops up to the infield, one out.  Next batter: ground out to short, runner advances to third, sacrifice, 2 outs, Sean on 3rd base, Ken from the Ramblers up.  Three straight fastballs, and the game was over, the BBQ ready to begin.


Game 2:

Satch started the second game, having only thrown 4 in the last game and determined to get some use out of the old soup bone.  Nick W. started for the visitors, much to the surprise of most, who didn't know that Nick was a pitcher.  But he has a good fastball, and keeps in in the zone, very effective over the 5 innings he threw. Ed, with arm in sling, went behind the dish to call the balls and strikes.  While it was great to have him involved, Ed, by his own admission thinks he may not be umpire material, after letting slip that calling this game reminded him that he needs to get his optometrist prescription filled.  And he may have been intoxicated.  But he didn't do that bad....

Cavalcade of pitchers in second game: Tony followed Satch, then new Mike, then John Carey for the homers.  Lattig after Nick, then Ryan then Loren for the close opportunity.

While the pace of the game might have been a little slower due to the food and libations, it was not the dropsy-fest that sometimes is the case.

The 9th saw the visitors up by a run, 8-7, with Loren, in tow with girlfriend, looking for the save opportunity.  Unfortunately, Satch had something to say about that.  A single up the middle, to be exact.  Then Loren forgets that he should be pitching from the stretch, Satch takes 2nd uncontested.  Takes 3rd on a fielders choice, and then, with John Nero up, scores on a wild pitch to even the score.  Homers don't score again, and we decide that tied after 9 (for the second year in a row!) is a good place to end the day.  Happy Freedom Day!

Highlights (with suggestions from the team):

* Mitch had the defensive play of the game with a long run from SS and a Willie Mays-style over the shoulder catch

* Wesley, Charlie and Thomas all present as the new generation of MBC players, start dates 2020+

* Duane made some great plays at SS

* New guy batting with shinguards on

* John Carey manufacturing a run by stealing 2nd, 3rd and then coming home safely on a passed ball

* Game 1: Visitors scored 1 in the first and two in the second.  Ken had a long double in there somewhere.

* Satch hit a long one over James' head in the first game, with the Shoeless Joe bat, which has finally splintered away enough to be retired, so long old friend.

* Johnny Bartlett solid at 3rd base, like he had never left

* John Carey was effectively wild pitching the 2nd game, no one digs in on a hard throwing kid with control issues

* JT's recent batting average dipped below to .800, but continues to tear up the offense

* Ed was hit in the beans by a errant pitch from Lattig, luckily he was drunk enough that it didn't hurt too much

* Sean and Tony presented the best dressed award to Johnny.  The stipulation is that Sean never actually got the trophy from Tony, until this year's game, so there is up to a one year delay in transfer of award.

* No Best Improved or Horsheshit Cocksucker awards.

* In a bold and asshole-ish move, the AOY contingent voted to withhold the award this year, as no one truly broke the barrier of AOY-ist behavior.  This is a good sign in some ways.  I will divulge some of the contenders: Don, for being a Yankee's fan, a steady SQ player, and a roustabout.  Sean, for dependable SQ service and a nice lip caterpillar, McG for stealing with 9 run lead so he could leave the game early, Satch for sending emails every time he knows he can play in a vain attempt to plead for adequate attendance, Elvin, for refusing to entertain the notion of sliding, and Tony and Greg, cuz they think the whole thing is stupid, and it would be fun to see them tell us to stick the award where the sun don't shine.

Pics from John Nero and Video from Ryan:









Tuesday, June 20, 2017

6/18/17 Cop Field

What a great day for a game, and not just because it was Father's Day and I got to play. Lil' Satch had sat me down early that morning to tell me that he was not going to join me at the ballpark, because when we weren't playing tag-team second base or right field, it got boring sitting on the bench when I pitched.  I thought it was a well-constructed argument--for a five year old--and let him know that I appreciated him talking to me seriously and that I hoped that he would still entertain the idea of coming out sometimes.  He promised to think about it....

Since we are in the midst of a record breaking heat wave at the moment, it was also very nice to have a day of sun and warmth in San Francisco, too few are the days that it gets above 70 degrees.  We started 30 minutes late, trying to be polite to the rag tag team before us.

The downside of course, was that the sun was also pretty blinding and led to hits on at least six or seven fly balls and pop ups that would ordinarily been routine outs.  But no one was seriously injured either, so that was good.

We had exactly 18, and the teams were divided what seemed like evenly, but the score did not reflect that.  No small part of that, I humbly add, due to my own contribution to the game.  But more on that later.  Sonny started for the homers and Greg for the visitors.  Sonny, who has been masterful as of late, was finally proven to be human, as he gave up runs early.  Greg, recovering from an errant pitch from Stretch at the a SQ reunion game, was just happy to be out there, but his command was not what is was supposed to be. After the first two innings, the score was 4-1, but Greg had had a frustrating second inning and pulled himself out.

Satch came in and went the rest of the game, the slow curve and the change up were getting me a lot of outs.  The homers scored 2 runs in the third and nothing after that.  The visitors on the other hand, were just getting started.  We began dismantling Sonny, first a little and then a lot.  I can't recall too many bad hops, but the left field was pretty bad, Nick W. in particular had quite a few "shrug, cover up, and run" fly balls hit to him.  Abe came in for a mop up job in about the 6th, and fared a little better than his predecessor.

We had a great defense, anchored by John C. in the outfield, and Tony, Greg, Ken, and Mitch in the infield.  John McG did an awesome job behind the dish, though Bob might disagree with a few points.  Not to say that the homers didn't have some good plays, Abe and JT combined for some outs, and there was a great relay putout at the plate, but unfortunately luck and the whammy had a lot to do with the outcome. James, in particular had a rough day at the plate and in the field, though he almost threw out someone at first base from center field.  A solid line drive single at the end of the game hopefully is a portend of more positive things to come, good luck buddy, we have all been there!

The long and the short is that we scored a shit ton of runs in the game, and we ended up leapfrogging the eighth inning because it was getting late, and people needed to go.  The homers were unsuccessful in their comeback plans and the final score was: ~14-3?


Highlights:

* I looked back on the history, and this is the first time I have been on a winning team since August 8, 2016.  That could be some kind of record, and also a bad sign of how few games I have played in the last year.

* It was great to have full rosters on a great day

* John C. started things off on the right foot by stealing second with his old man behind the dish.  We encouraged him to stick it to Bob the whole game.

* We also saw Bob block a ball like his life depended on it, mostly cuz John was the runner at third.

* John McG put himself into serious AOY contention by stealing second with a 8 run lead.  His defense was that he had to go, so he was just trying to get around to score quicker.

* Kier and Max, the father and son dynamic duo, were patrolling the infield.

* Abe wanted me to make sure to tell everyone that he was 4-5.

* At one point, I made a Willie Mays-style catch in no mans land in the infield, after we had surrendered about 3 dropped pop ups.

* JT had a great day at first, and made some decent contact at the plate.

* Tony was finally lulled out of his hitting doldrums by using the Carter FF bat that I commissioned.  It's a 34"/49oz

* Max tried using the bat too, but after the first swing, came to his senses.

* Our team almost had a real bummer of an inning, but we righted ourselves after some tough plays and got the outs we needed.

* Greg almost tried wearing sunglasses in left field, but decided against it

* Mitch took a nifty hop off the arm, that floated up perfectly, he barehanded it and threw it to first

* So, probably due to the warm weather and the two hours of swimming I did beforehand to stay cool, I had one of the best games of my life.  Pitching-wise, everything felt good, and I threw one of the nastier breaking balls in recent memory to Bob for strike 3, one of about 8 Ks on the day.  At the plate, I think I had 2 singles, 2 doubles and a home run.  Jimmy was playing left field when I hit the homer, and said that it landed close to where first baseman plays on the other field. So that would be about riiiiiiiiighttttt here:



430 feet isn't bad.  It actually rolled all the way to the other backstop, which was a great feeling as I was approaching third to know that I could slow down and not code on the diamond.

I guess I should be a little less boastful, but since it might be another 11 months before my team wins again, I gotta take it when I can get it.

S. Paige

Monday, June 5, 2017

6/4/17 Big Rec

The rally hawk was in pure form on Sunday, he swooped and dived through the game, tussled with a crow, and snatched a gopher out of a hole and flew around showing off his kill to the game.  Unfortunately, the dynamics of the game were similar, my team was definitely the gopher.

On paper, we were a dangerous bunch, even if there were only 7 of us, and the game was saved from being a 13-man affair by the arrival of John Carey.  But we had Lattig, Duane, Mitch, Adam, Tony, me and new guy Ken, who is the Rambler from the East Coast game that Dave emailed us about.  I would take that team any day of the week.  But we couldn't field or hit our way to anything.  All day.

Cap tip to Sonny for a masterful complete game, he kept us off balance and the one time we strung some runs together to tie the game, it was short lived.  The other team, comprised of Sonny, Bob, John C., Elvin, Chris, Abe, and James, capitalized on every error we made, and played a tight game of defense.  It was the difference.

I don't want to take away anything from the homers, they had some big hits, but we should never have been in the position for them to hurt us as much as they did.  We had a plethora of pop flies that fell in between two fielders, overthrown plays at first, and one very suspicious misplay in right field.

I threw the whole game as well, and felt good, it was nice to know that my elbow issue has, for the moment, subsided, though I kept it at about 65% the whole game.  Great to get in a full game though.

We were down 3-0 by the end of the second inning, and we roared back to tie it up but that was the last time that we ever got anything close to a rally.  The score kept mounting, 5-3, 8-3, and we didn't or couldn't answer back.

In true Titanic versus the iceberg style, the game ended on a short fisted bloop that James crashed in from third, caught in the tip of his glove, then fired to first to hang me out to dry, as I was stuck in no man's land waiting to see if he caught it or dropped it, which would have forced me to run.

The final score: 10-4.

Highlights:

*The mystery of his successes continues, but can't take away from the face that Sonny pitched a hell of a game

* Chris Powell hit the ball hard all day

* I had a great battery mate in Mitch, but I think we lost some of the integrity of our outfield

* We ripped the ball a few times, but the wind killed it

* Lattig was stranded on base at least 4 times, he came up with 2 out hits all day and we couldn't help

* Elvin was my angel of death all day, hitting left handed, I would get 2 strikes on him, and then he would bloop one right in the middle of everyone

* No one killed the slackliner that was practicing in the left field foul area

* Bob and Mitch did great as the sole catchers of the day

* I picked Elvin off at first, as he stood slightly off the base talking to Adam, and then took a lead, while I was nowhere near the rubber.  It also helped that I threw the ball to the space in between him and the base.  

* Sonny also came up big for his team with a double and a couple of RBIs

* Abe was thrown out by Mitch at third, by a significant margin, something that surprised us all

* Adam, by his own description, contributed very little in every arena

* Tony managed to get a few hits, but is still not comfortable running, evident when he was unable or unwilling to take an easy 2nd base after his hit

* I think our team gave 3 free bases on out of bounds overthrows at first

* We need to make a concerted effort to enforce the slide rule and /or teach Elvin how to slide.  As Mitch said, otherwise someone is going to get hurt.  When there is a play, sliding is the safest course, especially in a friendly game such as ours.  It protects the fielder from full body collisions, unintentional though they might be, and directs the play away from the head and body to a much safer ground level.

For those that are more visual learners:

http://www.wikihow.com/Perform-a-Baseball-Slide

S. Paige

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Mission Baseball club is known....

I was perusing the April SQ News and got to the baseball section. 

We are a force to be reckoned with in SQ, in case anyone was wondering.

I also like that we are The Mission.  Full stop.  Hopefully we can live up to the hype....




Friday, May 19, 2017

5/18/17 San Quentin Giants vs. MBC Game 1



Always a good feeling to get back to prison, said the entitled group of baseball players.  It was, though, and an added bonus that some of the players that we have grown to know are approaching release dates, and ready to re-enter society with the aim of starting to give back to the community.  We wish them the best of luck, and hope that they keep those ideals in mind during the transition.

Unfortunately our entrance was delayed by a bureaucratic get-together, so we didn't hit the field until about 5:30.  That gave us just about two hours to play ball.  We warmed up as quick as possible, and got to playing.  In a stunning change from our usual self-imposed hit like our hands are tied to our shoes, we put up 4 runs in the first inning.  We were helped as well by an umpire who didn't call every pitch 5 inches around the zone a strike.

Sean started for the MBC and looked good.  His breaking stuff and cutters were keeping the team off balance.  They scored 2 runs back in the bottom of the first, on some legitimate hits, the next inning they got another one, and then in the third, I screwed everything up.  I was playing first base, and Sean picked a guy off, with a runner on third, who happened to be Ruben, one of the best all around players that SQ has.  He was just waiting for me to throw the ball so he could break for the plate, and before I realized it, I had waited too long to get the ball in front of the runner.  Safe at second, Ru stayed put, and the next batter scored them both on a single.  FUCK! (is what Sean said in his mind, and I said out loud.)

We entered the fourth down a run, and though we threatened, no runs scored.  I entered the game to try and hold the line, and at least I was able to do that.  1-2-3 inning, punctuated by the strike out looking.  We came back to the dugout ready to do battle.

The fifth inning it all came together.  With some nifty baserunning, we scored the tying run off of the new pitcher, and with the bases empty, I hit my third single of the game, took second on Sean's single and as I was leading off, the count 2-1 to Don, the pitcher tensed then...ALARM, ALL INMATES DOWN.  Crap.

So the alarm announcement in San Quentin is in place to keep check on the inmates when anything anywhere in the prison goes awry.  It can be a fight.  It can be someone tripped on the stairs and hurt their ankle.  It can be a door wasn't closed properly. The idea is that until any situation is cleared, all inmates remain exactly where they are so that the order and integrity of the prison can be maintained.

10 solid minutes we all sat there waiting.  The ALL CLEAR was sounded, and the game resumed, however, the stoppage had screwed the pitcher all up.  He walked the next two batters, and I came home to give us the lead, 6-5.  I had time to high five the bench, take in that we had the bases loaded and ALARM, ALL INMATES DOWN.  Double Crap.

We sat there for the remainder of our time,  waiting while something somewhere was being attended to.  Eventually, Elliot, the SQ coach called the game since we had to be processed out by 8:00pm.  We didn't even get to shake hands with the team, since the alarm was still in effect.  We waved and said Thank you.

As we marched up the hill the ALL CLEAR was given, and with a communal sigh of exasperation, we turned once more to the SQ Giants, waved and said "We'll settle this, next time."

Not the sort of thing you routinely want to be saying on a prison yard, but for us and the Giants, it's just business as usual, good clean baseball.

Highlights:

* An error-less affair, which is very uncommon for us

* The players did a great job rehabbing the field, helped by the real winter we had.  The infield now has grass and everything!

* Sean pitched a great game

* We won.  Sort of.

* Chris made a couple of outstanding plays at SS

* Chris was also robbed of a stolen base by an egregiously bad out call at third.

* The SQ runners will steal bases not a matter of if, but when.

* We did a good job of hitting the cutoff man, and not wildly flinging the ball around the diamond.

* Tim played a solid third base

* Carter took one in the ribs, cementing his place as the Bob 2.0

* John was denied his chance at redemption for two frustrating at bats

* Mitch might have had the hardest hit of the game, line drive to left center.

* A lot less K's than we usually have

* We broke 2 of the bats that the SQ Giants have, hopefully the rules will change soon so that we can start bringing in our own again

* I got a ground ball three steps to my right, then had to turn and race for the bag.  The runner was about 230lbs.  I am, what I am. I managed to get to the bag first, but the collision would have been severe if it had happened.  This is a hypothetical animated look:

* Don blocked a couple of pretty honest pitches in the dirt.

* Claims were being made by the base runners that Sean was balking on his pick off move by crossing his back leg.  Here is the MLB rule:

8.05 If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when-

(a) The pitcher, while touching his plate, makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch and fails to make such delivery; If a lefthanded or righthanded pitcher swings his free foot past the back edge of the pitcher's rubber, he is required to pitch to the batter except to throw to second base on a pick off play.

The NCAA rules states:

SECTION 3 A balk shall be called for the following action by a pitcher:

l. From the set position, if the entire free foot or any part of the stride leg breaks the plane of the back edge of the pitcher’s rubber and the pitcher does not throw or feint a motion to second base or pitch to home plate


So from what I can tell, the MLB rule is more open to interpretation, as well as, you can bring the knee across the back plane but not the foot, so that could be something to remember.  Either way, it has nothing to do with crossing the leg and everything to do with crossing the back plane of the rubber.  Let's bring the rule book next time, so we can all agree.

Thanks to all that showed up:

Greg, Don, Mitch, John, Chris, Tim, Ed, Carter, Sean

Friday, April 28, 2017

4/23/17- Camp Swampy

Sometimes you can have it all.  Or a most of it.  I was late to the game but not by too much.  I also brought my buddy George, who was in town for his 40th birthday.  Our arrival made it 16 total, which is a much more enjoyable game.  I can't believe that on a blindingly beautiful day that there was not 25 in attendance, but, hey, I guess that is something to work on.

In the course of the game, I was swapped and traded so much that I really can't say whose team I was on the most, but I do know that when we got there, Sean was pitching for the visitors, and Carter for the homers.  I feared my at bat, given that the last time I was in the box was more than a month ago.  But I managed to dink a ball to right for a clean single, one of three for the day. So I am not complaining.

The score was 4-0 when we got there, and it sounded like it had been a rough beginning, and by his own admission, Coney Island James was having one of his worst games.  He was right.  Even Ted Williams struck out occasionally, though.

Speaking of strikeouts, Bob got himself a hat trick of K's for the day, but was not HBP.  Tragic.

I threw two innings, hoping like hell that my arm and elbow pain was not going to be a problem.  And it wasn't, thank the gods.  There was some rust on the fastball, and a little forearm tightness, probably atrophy of not pitching since 2/12/17, and that game I was pitching with a broken toe....

The visitors came back, with a strong outing against Mitch.  We started losing players, which we could not afford. Then I got traded to the homers, and suddenly was trying to win the game against the team that I had been playing and scoring for. 

James had come into pitch and he was not having any problems there, he was locked in.  But I got a hit.  Tried to steal second.  Eventually got to third, with 2 outs and Greg up to tie the game.  An epic battle, Greg got new life on two pop-fouls, but eventually was not successful, and the visitors won the game.  I cheered for baseball, since I didn't remember who I was supposed to be supporting anymore.

Highlights:

* Camp Swampy is in a great shape, especially the mound.

* Good pitching from everyone

* I think Ed got at least one RBI

* Tony's knee is still not 100%, but good enough for him to do everything but run

* Keir had a great game

* Elvin was called out at third for not sliding, which is SO him!  Slide, dammit!

* Greg was doing some great blocking in the later innings to keep runners at bay

* My friend George, who has not played competitive baseball since the last time he played with the MBC (and tee-ball before that) made a catch in left field, with a strong coastal breeze.   He also only struck out once, which is impressive.

* Mitch made a tough catch in center look easy

* The wind was crazy!  A pop up that looked like it was going into the bleachers came back into fair territory

Next game- St Mary's, 3pm. Be there.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

3/12/17 Cop Field

Sorry for the late posting of the game.  I was pretty out of it the whole game, due to bringing both kids with me.  The good news is that no one got hurt.  The bad news is that it is a fairly big distraction having two little kids running around that you are trying to keep an eye on while the game is in process. 

The teams were 9-9, which was nice, Carter started for the visitors, and Brian Phelps for the homers.  Both were very effective, not giving up any big melt downs, and the defense kept the games close.  I was a real train wreck in left field, and lil' Satch had his first assist, backing me up on a ball that skipped away from me.  

I kept the kids interest by talking up the long ball capabilities of all of the hitters that we faced, "Oh here comes Bob, he's gonna hit a big one...", "Pay attention, it's James, he hits it real far..." "Brian is trying to slap it the other way, be on the lookout...."The kids would ooh and ahh, and get ready, usually tripping themselves in the process of settling into the ready position and having their back to the game when the ball was finally in play.  Ah well, they had a good time, and they wore helmets the whole game.

The game was a low scoring affair, 3-1, 4-2, 5-3, for most of what I witnessed, we were in the lead thanks to some hustling  and hitting, and few well timed botched plays.  The new guy off the street who played with us struck out his first two times, and then looked like he relaxed a little, and scorched a triple to center.  Sometimes you just gotta remember it's a game.

The kids were in danger of crashing which was not going to help anyone enjoy the game, so I fell on my sword and packed them up and took off about the 7th inning.  I will say that as we were leaving, Abe hit a ball to left and stretched into a double, didn't get tagged out or anything!  Noteworthy.

Abe also provided me with the recap of the exciting conclusion:

Game ended up tied, 5-5.  Visitors (us) eventually won 8-5, scoring 3 runs in the top of the 8th, but I cannot remember how.  I do remember that in the bottom of the 9th with one out and McGrath on first, James hit a monster pop-up to left and Bob made a nice running catch to grab it at the line.  

McGrath must have assumed that Bob wasn't going to make the play (or forgot the number of outs?) because he had rounded second by the time it was caught and was non-traditionally doubled-off at first when Mike (playing second) noted that McGrath hadn't come close to touching second on his way back to first. [We've all been there, John!]

Highlights:

* Chris Powell and James were on the same team, which I think there is a UN resolution that bans that sort of thing.

* I believe that a double play was completed by our team

* Sounds like Bob made a hell of a catch in left

* Greg had a nice hit

* I grounded out weakly and had a flare single that wouldn't have been possible without the piano leg bat.  Luckily, a hit off the hands is still good wood with that bat.

* The new guy also made a great catch in right, which he made look easy

The rain looks to be staying, this weekend, but you never know....






Thursday, February 16, 2017

Late Postings of Pictures from the MBC

I have been sent some pictures lately that I have not got around to publishing, so I thought I would do so now.- S. Paige

This is the rally hawk, from a game at GGP.  For those who don't know, there is at least one resident hawk at the fields at 7th and Lincoln, who is not afraid to swoop down and snare a gopher in the midst of a game.



The next is the Goat Man, who has been seen several times at GGP, walking his goat.  Some old-timers say if the goat looks at you, you'll never get another hit.


This is the victorious team from July 2016, outside San Quentin.  If I remember correctly, we walked most of our runs in, but hey, that counts as a strategy.





And here is a classic example of Abe's new single-out, step by step.

Step 1:

Look he's all raring to go, strong stance, awaiting the pitch





Step 2:

Racing around first base, he can smell the double, he knows he hit it hard, Carter is looking all slump-shouldered, why shouldn't he have the extra base?






 Step 3:

Uh oh, why is that ball so close all of a sudden, that's isn't supposed to happen?  Well, let's see, if a object is moving at approximately 10 mph towards a target, and another object is moving in the opposite direction, from a slightly greater distance,but towards the same target at approximately 50 mph, which object will arrive there first?  Abe, you're a smart guy, which one is it?

 



2/12/17 Somewhere

Officially there was no game, all the fields in SF were closed.  You got that?

But 18 people gathered in the city and played a game that was suspiciously like the game that we normally play on Sundays.

Carter started for the homers and Sonny for the visitors, and the field we didn't play on was in great shape.  We were a strict 9-9, and it seemed like the teams were pretty well-matched.  There was a lack of old-guard, Greg and Tony being off on some surfing adventure, as well others who couldn't make it for a variety of reasons that were probably valid.

The mud made for an interesting day in the outfield, balls that normally would have rolled for a while went nowhere, and when the ball was heaved in, one side of it was covered.  Maybe it was a game-changer, the visitors certainly had the left-center hit down, but couldn't get more than a single out of it for the most part.

The stars of the game were probably the father/son duo of Keir Beadling and his son Max, who put on a display of offensive and defensive magic for the most of the day.  Max at the hot corner was especially amazing, snaring a series of hard hit balls down the line, most of which he converted to outs.  They also had back-to-back doubles.

The game itself was the usual see-saw battle that we have had lately, that consists of the team that I am on getting within striking distance and then being gutted towards the late innings.  And Sunday, if we had a game that is, was exactly the same.  I entered the game on the hill in the 5th, with our team down a run.  We tied it up.  Then they went ahead again, and we stayed that way for an inning, and then a series of pop flies, line drives, and booted balls made the game 7-3 in a hurry.  And it ended that way.  Theoretically.

Highlights:

* Thanks to everyone who made it out, the email from Bob was not especially heartening, but the positive response on people that wanted to have a game was great!  And then they actually showed up, even better!

* Doc showed up, walking out of the corn like a fresh recruit.  He was going to umpire, but feeling especially spry, he ended up playing.  He got a single, and recorded an out in right field.  Not bad for a guy with three fractured vertebrae.

* It was decided that James is the yin, and Chris Powell is the yang, and therefore should not be on the same team.  The reason being that they can both hit, steal bases at will, play defense, throw people out, and in general, manufacture runs almost single-handedly.

*  Abe has a new thing.  It's getting a hit and then trying to stretch it into a double and getting thrown out by 30 feet.  I don't think it's a good thing, but it's his thing.

* I had two RBIs despite having broken my pinkie toe that morning and having to leg out both hits one of which was a swinging bunt.  Thank God for the errors of others.

* Thanks to John McGrath, Bob, Ed, and ***for catching on a day that the pitchers and the mud couldn't have been fun.

* I hit Carter with a 0-2 change-up.  That might have pissed me off more than anything else.

* The new guy who threw the last 2 innings had some great velocity.

* Chris Powell twice hit lazy pop-flies to right field, picking on an old man, he should be ashamed of himself

* Abe also broke his Fuckface bat, after 6 months of ownership.  I am starting to think that bat company is a bit nefarious.

* Good to see McGrath out, who I have not seen in a while, along with Doc

* Randy, who apprently was Musial-like last week, continued his hit parade, minus one glorious strike out, thanks to your truly, AOY 2017 hopeful.

Hope for the bet this week, but the rain looks pretty constant through Monday.

S. Paige



Thursday, February 9, 2017

2/5/17 GGP


I wasn't able to make it out, celebrating Lil' Josh Gibson's 3rd birthday.  With all the rain, I was surprised that it happened.  There was a pleading email sent out by AOY Rockwell, in town on some nefarious plot, and he REALLY wanted to play ball.  Glad that enough showed up to accommodate him.  

Here with the surly recap is Bob "Fuck you, and the horse you rode in on" Carey.




It was great to have Will out.  Carter was there, and at some point their mom stopped by with Carter’s son.  Way too many Rockwells!  Carter brought implements and he and Will were half done with the work by the time I got there.

We had a good turnout — peaked at 19.

Lousy game, the homers trounced us.  Sonny started for the home team and was mysteriously effective.  Carter started for the visitors with me catching.  He seemed to have decent stuff, but they kept barreling him up, especially with oppo shots.  Randy was on fire, lots of line drives.

I got hit.  Someone else did too.  Baseball god justice reared its head and Carter hit Sonny dead on the ankle bone, and Sonny acknowledged that Karma was a bitch.

I managed to get inside Ed’s head on one at bat.  Told him that Carter was going to knock him on his ass and he could not get the idea out of his head even though Carter did not come near him.

Lots of AOYs:  Phelps, Lattig, Sidawi, Carey, Pfahler, Rockwell.  Abe and Sean seem to be working on their campaigns.

At one point we had an all-geriatric outfield for the visitors:  JT in right, me in center, and Nick in left.  Results as might be expected.

That’s all I remember, we got it in before the rain came down, although there was a shower in about the bottom of the sixth.

Played all nine.

Bob