Tuesday, July 9, 2019

7/7/19 MBC Fourth of July Doubleheader







By Bob's count, this is the 17th doubleheader that we have had, meaning that the first was in 2002.  I don't remember if I was in the game yet or not.  I came home in May of 2002, so it is certainly possible.  Bob also reported that the game was at Moscone, but why wouldn't we have had it at the Presidio?  These are all good questions that need answers.

In any case, I mis-read the date on the email this year, and when I realized that, I didn't think that I would be able to make the game, having been in Europe until Saturday the 6th for a family trip.  But we made it back, and I was eager to do something other than sit in a airplane seat, or walk in an airport.  The management and organization of the game this year was a little hap-hazard, but in some ways that was alright too.  Maybe we over-manage the plans to the detriment of the day?  But forks might have been nice too.

Game 1:

This was a real pitcher's duel, or a shitty hitting game, depending on how you want to frame it.  I started for the visitors, and Lattig for the homers.  The first four frames, I threw shutout ball, and Lattig almost the same, the lone run coming on Elvin scoring on a either a passed ball or a sac fly.  But it was 1-0 when I bowed out, we were running at about 14-14 at the time, and I didn't want to take up too much playing time.  Sonny came in after me, and surrendered one run, making it knotted at 1.  HR was the hurler after that, and sad as it is to report, he coughed up the lead and ultimately the game.  Sad that it was only one run, which ordinarily is nothing in the MBC.



Lattig threw a few more innings and then gave way to Tony Rojas who rode the lightning the rest of the way, and got the three inning save.  The game was very well played defensively, neither team gave an inch, and neither team seemed to be able to stitch together more than two hits either.  The defensive play of the game had to be Daniel, who laid out full-Superman to snare a ball in left field.



I was pleased with the handful of Ks I got (James, John C!) and the fly balls on knucklers, which was many.

Final score: 2-1 Homers

BBQ:

Once again great, we had pulled pork, burgers, hot dogs, ultimate veggie burgers, salad, chips and salsa, antipasti, beer (even a keg of homemade by Oliver!).  This year's AOY was a fiercely guarded secret, Don consulted with Bob about it (who apparently then forgot about the decision), but wouldn't divulge to the rest of us until the announcement when the new AOY was revealed to be.... Don, again.

 

Yes, he went meta on the AOY award, and did what we past winners have all wanted to do, crown ourselves for another year.  The symbolism of the new, big, gaudy trophy, the MAGA hat, the declaration and crowning of himself as the winner was not lost on us, a bold new direction for the future awards.



There are those in the group who feel that the AOY award has outgrown its function and utility and is now just another barrier to the true purpose of the day.  I am torn here.  I enjoy a little fun with my fun, and to that, the AOY presentations are always entertaining, though I can also admit that sub-cultures and inside jokes do have a way of creating dissonance and may lead to in group/out group hostilities.  I liked Don's take on the ceremony this year, but I admit to being a little dread-stricken when I saw the MAGA hat and the preamble.

It should be noted that no one is required to attend the award ceremony, as this, like all other things on the 4th, is a celebration of freedom.  Perhaps capping all ceremonies at 3 minutes would be a good idea, to limit game burden.  Maybe not trying so hard to be rigid, non-conforming misanthropes would help everyone too.

The original celebration was termed the Bad Sportsmanship Award, given in earnest each year to a player who had trouble playing nicely, or who it seemed went out of the way to exhibit anti-harmonious sporting behavior (throwing helmets, or spitballs being two examples).

It morphed into the AOY when we wanted to celebrate a player who went above and beyond for the club, but who we also wanted to make sure didn't get too swell a head--hence the friendly admonition of being the Asshole of the Year.  In truth, there is usually a "real" winner of the AOY, who is usually a person we kinda despise and or at least wish was more convivial to the nature of the MBC.  By last count, Eli and James (lefty) from several years ago were the perennial winners, being supplanted a few times by others.  You can read more in this entry:

https://missionbaseball.blogspot.com/2010/09/player-profile-special-edition-flotsam.html

A few years ago Bob started the Horseshit Cocksucker (HSCS) award which was sort of an off-shoot of the AOY, and more in the vein of the Bad Sportsmanship award, given for bad behavior.  But every time we awarded it, the awardee got angry and felt attacked, so I think it just faded away.

The best dressed award was missing this year, presentation of trophy is always on a year-delay, but it should still be acknowledged.  Sean P. is the current holder.

Game 2:

We picked up where we left off, though we had a few leave and few more show up.  Sean, resplendent in his red uniform, started for the (now) visitors, and Phelps for the homers.  Lefty on lefty.

It quickly became a 3-0 game, showing that our team was more focused on the beer cooler than the strike zone.  We got back 1 when I made it to first on a gork hit, and Powell ran for me, making it around the bases easily.  Phelps was distracted by Wes, who was trying to coach him from the sidelines, and after a few , he bowed out, and HR re-entered the game.  I stayed for one inning of that, and then had to leave myself, so as not to come home to my stuff on the front lawn.  The final will be updated as reports are filed.

Update:

Here are four different takes on how the game ended up, good to know I am not the only one who doesn't recall this stuff perfectly:

Lattig:

7-6. Same team that won the first game. The home team scored 3 off of Dannie in the bottom of the 7th to take a 6-4 lead. We scraped out a 2-out rally to tie it in the 8th. I believe there was some John Carrey related hustle involved. Greg came in to right the ship on the mound. Then I got a two-out hit (line drive to left. Shocking, I know) to drive someone in from 3rd with the winning run in the top of the 9th. (I blame the beers for not knowing who). Greg locked it down with an easy 9th. I think there might have been some good defense in there somewhere. Likely by Sean. Again... beer.

Ed Sidawi

I think it was 8-7 or so. The visitors had a lead, then it was tied up in the bottom of the 8th. the visitors scored somehow and greg shut it down in the bottom of the 9th. 

I could be totally wrong, I wasn't really paying attention to the game. I can tell you greg got two outs on two back to back change ups. That was fun.
Sean P:
Visitors came from behind to win in the second game 5-4? 6-4? I think Lattig or JT knows
Tony R:
But the final of the second was...  Oh shit I don't remember but the visitors (us) beat the homers by scoring the tying runs in the eighth and the go ahead run in the ninth.  Greg closed it out.  Until next year.

Highlights:

* Powell and a new guy had the two biggest hits I think

* Abe was handcuffed by his girlfriend showing up with her friends, during a pivotal at bat

*  Outstanding defense all around

* To that, I think there were multiple double plays, as well as line drive snares especially at third

* For future reference, Abe's idea of a BBQ potluck is to have his gf bring him a burrito. She didn't though, so now what?  He did bring an 12er of Olympia though, I respect that.

* Greg glided to a fly ball in left that looked like a gapper, and came up with it like it was no problem

* I was taunted for the team breaking up my no-no.  But it was after I had recorded 7 outs in the game, I think one has to at least get through the lineup once before you start talking about no-nos, right?  I admire the heckling though.

* Good to see Daniel, Richie, Stoner, etc.

* In a twist, Stoner did not slide for a fly ball, and dirty his fancy white pants.  Obviously he needs to come out more often.

* There was a really close play at home, I think the cleat of the runner was tagged just before contact with the plate, but glad it wasn't me making the call.

* Bob threatened to kick my ass if I drilled his kid, after a near miss with a fastball.  I clarified if I drilled him hard.  He agreed. Whew!

* Thanks to Nick Smith for the expert photography

*  The sun came out for 3 minutes this year

* Abe is the new Bob, he gets hit alot.  Always on the elbow for some reason

* Bob was hit in the first game, and the gods all smiled

* Greg hit a beautiful opposite field ground ball for a hit.  I was pulled towards second thinking we had a good chance at a a double play.

* Doc came out, but didn't ump or play.  Great to see the old guy though

* New guy Ryan had a nice hit, one of the few for our team




Thanks to everyone who came out, Happy 4th!


Monday, June 10, 2019

6/9/19 GGP

I was a tad late, owing to other duties, but I made it out.  The weather was beautiful, almost too much so.  It has been a long time since I experienced 91 degrees in SF.  The park was alive with lots of people, and the olde tyme baseballers were doing their thing.

When I arrived, it was 0-0 in the 4th inning, and Brian P and Sonny were having a strong back and forth.  They both looked pretty good to me, and continued to do so, though our team gave up some unearned runs in the 5th.  Just. Could. Not. Get. A. Handle.  Mike Lattig, by his own admission, had a very off defensive day.  Not what one wants to hear from the 1st baseman.

The visitors scored a few and it was 3-1 when we had to give up the field.  Greg would have been proud in the even-handed non-dickish way we did so, packing up at the stroke of 5 to give the All-Stars their chance to play their game.  The olde-tymers were almost down with their game, so we hung out on the grass for 20 minutes and waited for that to be done so we could finish.  It was leisurely.

I had pitched the last inning on the old field, and the first inning on the new field.  I have to say I preferred the mound of the East field, which is completely backwards, given that it is the JV Field of the two.  Arms felt good.  Hip felt bad.  Another day in paradise.  I did get out of a bases loaded jam, with the help of a revitalized defense, so that was awesome.  And I struck out Loren, who was even later than I was.

Chris P came in for the 9th, and did a great job.  We went into the bottom of the 9th trailing 6-1, and I think that we scored at least one, maybe two off of Nate, who had come into pitch after Sonny.  But too much to surmount, and on a replayed third-out (Tony couldn't let the game end on a questionable 3rd strike call, and it was redone, this time he soft-popped it to Urano).

Final- 6-3?

Highlights:

* Great showing, and what a day for a ball game!

* We lost Mike N to a injury at 1st, it was a strange one, he was going back to the bag, and suddenly he was on the ground, looking like Buster Posey post-Cousins impact.  I guess he rolled his ankle, so hopefully it is minor. Get well soon!

* Lots of fair balls down the left field line

* Brian P had a booming triple, and I mean booming, this thing was soaring over James' head

* Before I got there Mitch apparently made a fantastic full extension diving catch to rob a hitter.

* Mitch also made a great 3rd out grab in foul territory while catching

* Chris P continues to hit the hardest balls, but right to someone's glove

* Abe had a classic sac fly, something that doesn't happen too often in our game

*  Thanks to everyone who played and substituted, we had to swap out players with all the different things going on, people leaving, more coming, etc.

Stay cool.  This weather reminded us all that I have proposed an MBC East Bay game, I am still working on it, maybe July-August?  The good news is that the new solar cover on my pool is actually doing its job.

S. Paige


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

5/29/19- San Quentin A's vs. MBC





We were looking to have a better game than the opener, which was a hot mess.  To that end, I think we were very successful.  We still lost, but that is also kind of OK.  Mitch and Abe both were last minute cancellations, so we ended up with 10 on the gate.

Sean got the start, and the first three innings, we had a real great game, lots of base runners left on both sides, and heart pounding action.  Brandon started for the A's and he was just as good.  After the first third, the score was 2-0.  We thought that we would have more of a chance with Brandon not being at SS to rob all our hits up the middle, but he just fielded all of them from the mound.

Then we had The Inning, and boy did it get ugly.  The A's put 7 runs on the board, and they were not all earned by any means.  We booted, we dropped, we overthrew, we underthrew, we threw away.I In the midst of all that, the A's also hit at least one home run and a multitude of doubles.

So there we were, the score 9-0, with a lot of game left.  And for once, we didn't give up or fall to pieces.  It always is the case that you just try to score one run, and good things happen.  We had to fight for that one run though, after we were almost hosed (again) on a call at first that was so egregious that we could not let it lie.  We appealed to the home plate umpire, and after a bit, he called the runner safe, and our run counted.  From their we built a nice little comeback, scoring a few more, and holding the line.

I came into relieve Sean and gave up two runs, then Sonny came in and gave up a few more, and then Mike N. (I think) but were still in the game, even if it was 11-5 at that point.  The light was fading but the players wanted to keep going, mostly so that they could get another at bat, but we managed to get out pretty unscathed, and headed into our final inning looking at a 13-5 deficit.

Back we roared, and by the time the final out was recorded, the score was 13-10.

Heads held high.


Highlights:

* We got fooled with the hidden ball trick at 1st instead of 2nd this time.  Sean and I were in the midst of telling Phil to stay on the base as he walked off and was tagged. Don was base coaching, in theory.

* Chris inherited the Mitch lead off position, and was promptly walked, just like Mitch

* A lot of bad calls: James was very safe at 2nd on a steal early on. We did manage to reverse a call on another egregious ring up at first.

* Only one HBP for us, a solid thump.  I think Sean hit 3 guys?

* Don did a great job behind the dish dealing with an uneven strike zone.

* Mike N. gets the Most MBC play award: He got a ground ball at third, two outs, runner on third. Rather than throw the ball to first he tries for the runner at home. The pickle starts but Mike ends up chasing the guy towards home rather than back to the base of origin (as we are all taught). He's getting closer but not enough to catch him, he then decides if he can't get the runner out he'll just maim him instead. He throws the ball at the runner's back, then trips over him as the runner slides into home. Safe. Run scored. Team flabbergasted.

* I managed to get three hits on the day, 2 singles and a ground rule double. Thank God the double went into the dead ball bench area cuz it would have been the most embarrassing single ever. I am not a fast runner anymore.

* The team as a whole did pretty good with the bats. We got to Brandon eventually and the relief pitcher T-Tone as well. Our baserunning still proves to be our weakness.

* James went full Derek Jeter (Boooooo!) trying for a long fly ball, he hit the warning track gravel and then his legs ran into the stationary table in right center, up he flew and over, and onto the ground.  He almost made the catch, but he also didn't break his leg or his neck, so we were all relieved.

* We need to pony up the bread to send Elvin and Mike N. to sliding camp.

* Special thanks to Sonny for getting me to the game, and James for getting me home. 

* Several of our players had some well-struck hits

* The leadoff hitter for the A's had a double and home run in his first two at bats, both to the same deep part of left center

* Sonny is an assistant coach for A's now, I think they enjoyed getting to hit off of him in a game.

* James did a great job of calling off the other fielders to catch balls, and therefore not have another ugly collision

* The wheels came of for the A's in the last innings, and the catcher in particular was pretty done in.  he made a bad throw on a dropped K situation, and he and the 1st baseman got into it.  After the game the 1st baseman owned up to his outburst and apologized, saying that he is competitive and just can't stand sloppy play.  That is what we call a left-handed apology.  But I think it was good restorative practices for him to own it.

* Nick W. had a rough time in left, the ball pinging around in the fencing.  He also had to negotiate around an errant walker in the midst of trying to catch a ball.

* I hate to say it, but James had a dropped fly ball that may have proved to be the crucial turn of the game.  He sat brooding/contemplating this in the dugout, and working out possible trajectories of how things may have been different had he caught it. My response to all this theoretical scenarios was, "And if your grandmother had balls, she would be your grandfather."  The original Yiddish is "As di bubbe volt gehat beytsim volt zi gevain mayn zaidah."

* There were a couple of high pop flies that the wind played hell with, but Greg and I both managed to secure the outs.  Another one that I thought was foul by several feet was blown back in for a bloop single.  The batter admitted he thought that there was no way it would be fair.  The walls and the wind are a weird combo.

*The scoreboard guys had to dig up all the numbers again when we staged our last inning rally.

0-2 to start the season, but at least we got a good game this time.

S. Paige

Thursday, May 30, 2019

5/26/19 Cop Field

Driving in I went trhough three downpours that I thought would have ruined any chances of a game.  I kept waiting for my phone to ping with a update that the field was flooded and the game was off.  But it never did.  I got to Balboa and found dry conditions.  The players that still live in SF said it hadn't rained at all.  So I am not sure where those storms were coming from, but apparently not the west.

I made 18, which was nice, and the game was in the bottom of the 1st, since I cannot seem to make it on time for any game.  Nick W. started for the visitors, and Sean for the homers.  We battled a pretty good back and forth for a few innings and there was not any real breakout.  Mike N. came in for the visitors, and Greg, and a New Guy for the homers, during which the game spiraled a bit.  The visitors stacked up a bunch of runs, and that was how it stayed.

The real news of the game was Tony R. who "celebrated" his one year annivaersay from his horrific shoulder injury, on that very field.  And of course, in the latter part of the game, this time playing 2nd base, he almost did the exact same stumbling dive that caused that injury.  He ended up on the ground, and we all held our breath.  When he sat up, shook his head, and looked around at everyone frozen in terror.  He gave the thumbs up when he realized we were all waiting for him to either stand up or pass out and we all sighed with relief.  Tony also took some at bats, which was only the first or second time since returning.

For the first time in a while, I was on the team doing the shellacking, rather than being shellacked.  I had almost forgotten what that was like.  I entered for the 8th and 9th innings, and threw a total of 14 pitches: 6 in the 8th and 8 in the 9th.  It could have been less, but Sean was determined to not let me escape as a two-inning single digit midget.  What was the secret?  Slow strikes, pop ups, and fly balls to Mitch.  Can't go wrong.

Final Score: 13-4?

Highlights:

* The defense for the visitors was pretty strong, and the hits were legit (mostly)

* The homers defense was not as good.

* Gaspar was the Silver Slugger of the game, hitting two RBI doubles into the perfect no-mans land of left field, beating the Gaspar shift!

* Nick W also had a pretty amazing double

* Chris P. was all over the field as usual, sliding to knock down ground balls.

* Nate came out after a long absence and did great with the bat, the glove and behind the dish

* While I don't think he got any hits, it was great to see Tony with bat in hand.

* I waited too long to write this, and things have escaped me, email me with other highlights.

Monday, April 22, 2019

2019 Opening Day- San Quentin A's vs. MBC 4/20/19





A beautiful day for a ball game.  And I got there before Greg did, which staved off the usual jokes concerning how I live my life.  The day was cool-ish but it warmed up considerably, and we had an amazing sunny afternoon.  We fielded 14 players, when the unexpected Phil Snyder joined our ranks, the last documented game I have Phil in with the MBC was 3/11/12 Big Rec!  .

The new coaches showed up, and we dragged ourselves up to the gate once more, and a new process, we didn't had our IDs to the guard, just showed them, then went to the second gate, got a clip-on badge giving us visitor status, signed in, searched, and through the final gate. The garden and sanctuary looked as nice as ever, and we didn't hear any screaming from the Adjustment Center, so that was a benefit.

The field was in tip top shape, chalk lines in place, and we were told that the inmates had started work on it early Sat morning.  It was immaculate.  The players were in the process of donning their uniforms, which I was particularly grateful for, the wait can sometimes be a bear.

Being Opening Day, there was a bit of pomp and circumstance to do, the color guard came in from right field, and an inmate sang an a capella version of the national anthem, which was great.  The 90 year old grandmother of Mike, the baseball director threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and then was followed by the SQ inmate advocate, who also threw out a first pitch, and was given a jersey and hat.

We faced Big Rob on the mound, 2018 Cy Young (SQ) winner, who looked like he had gained about 10 mph on his fastball, and was throwing a sneaky breaking ball as well.  We drew first blood, which never happens, and James (who had a real "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" day) batted home the first two runs with a fielders choice.  We felt pretty good.  For a second.

Satch started for the MBC team, in the new and controversial "opener" pitching position. I didn't feel like I did that badly, but they scored 5 runs in two innings, so it was not great.  We had been warned of their 2nd hitter, for good reason, though he went 0-4 for the day.  He hit a foul ball into his own dugout fence that I think may have killed someone if there was no fence.  I got a 3-0 count on him and decided to walk him my second time seeing him, which mostly worked out.

Sean took over in the 3rd, and had a great first inning, but our team was having a lot of trouble finding the handle on the ball, and our one really bad inning was more like bad latter part of the game.  We did get out of some jams, and Chris Powell in particular had a couple of amazing plays at SS but I think our error rate was about 50%.

Base running also proved to be a ongoing challenge for us, and yes, let's get it over with, James was picked off....twice....once using the hidden ball trick.  None of us were paying attention, including the umpire, so we couldn't say that the pitcher was on or near the mound at the time, which is how SQ likes to run that play (and which is illegal.)  They added a wrinkle this time, and the 2nd baseman had the ball stashed in his pocket.  More on that later.

Sad as it is to report, we had multiple chances to get out of innings unscathed and just could not seal the deal.  The nail in the coffin was a two out, bases-loaded dropped fly ball in left center that James and Mitch convened on, and as James put the glove on the ball, it popped right out again.  The A's only scored one run on that play, since the ball was easily retrieved, but the next batter lasered a pitch to center, up and over the fence for a grand slam to make the score 10-3.  Our will was pretty broken at that point.

A new pitcher came in to relieve Rob, and he was a little more wild, but effective, and we only managed to score one more run.  Sean was pitching his heart out, but not getting much support from us, and he hung them up and Mike N came in to mop up in the 8th.  He fared little better than the rest of us had, and might also have been hampered by wearing an MBC jersey a size and half too small, so it is possible that his general circulation was negatively affected.

Final Score: 16-4.

After the game, Greg was given another signed ball by the inmates, to thank him for his continued support and management of the game.  We had a time for an inmate to share what it means and for the MBC to come into play, and why the A's like playing us (in sum: we're good guys, and we also lose well...a lot).  Greg gave a similar talk on our behalf, acknowledging what a nice group of players the SQ teams always are and voiced that we hoped that through our games that some small amount of joy and respite is taken from the few hours that we are there.  A team prayer followed, and then a group hug.  We filed out, and back to the parking lot.  The day was too perfect to waste, so we headed to the Marin Brewing Company for lunch and discussion of the game.

Highlights:

* Chris Powell had two plays at least, that were top notch, one a sliding on the far side of second base to stop a ball.

* Chris also had the drive of the game, a double to deep center.

* We did turn a double play, the A's turned about 4.

* The umpire wasn't too bad, he seemed to be consistent, but he had the strangest call on a play we made at the plate.  James had a ball get by him, he relayed it to Powell, who got it to Don to get the runner sliding into home.  But the umpire made a double-fisted gesture that none of us recognized.  The scorekeepers in the outfield thought he was safe, it took a while to figure out.

* Brendan Terrell, MVP of the SQ A's last year showed why he earned that award, he robbed us of about 5 sure hits, ranging all over the infield, including my only actual fair hit ball of the day, a hard hit grounder up the middle that had easy single written all over it.

* Juan, last year's Rookie of the Year was the man with the slam.  He came up again later with the bases loaded, but failed to approach a 10+ RBI game.

* Sean deserved a better game than we gave him.

* Don and Greg both did an amazing job behind the dish, blocking a lot of balls in the dirt.

* I got a big swing through on a change up, that was satisfying

* I also hit two batters, though the first one, the batter put him arm in front of a curve ball that was a strike until his arm got in the way.  Sean argued no intent to avoid, but was unsuccessful.  We got to bring in a rule book.  Or JT.

* Juan also made some great plays at 3rd, including a tag the bag throw home double play.

* Phelps almost killed someone with a foul ball

* There must have been a real savage dunk in the basketball game, we heard the clang-clang-clang, and then the whole court erupted with a "OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

* Another home run was hit by the A's, the batter thanked Sean after the game, ouch....

* Mike N. didn't steal on a very passed ball, then tried to make up for it with a ball in the dirt and was thrown out easily at 3rd.  That was a metaphor for our whole game.

* Phil and Greg took turns batting in the last spot, dual Snyder attack

* Duane ran into a runner going up the first baseline, but he managed to not break his arm, Ed.....

* James was pinch running for me both times he was picked off...

* I walked twice, the second time on a full count.  The ball was well outside, but I heard STRIIIIIIIIIKE!  I walked back to the dugout dejected then looked at the umpire and he motioned to first base, and at that point realized that I had been juked by a heckler.

* Another game of lefties that can't hit the ball 260 feet to right....

* The hidden ball trick.  Is it legal to put the ball in a pocket?  We all figured probably not.  The Internet is kind of helpful.  Jose Altuve tried it once, but he didn't wait long enough.  Someone wrote a blog post in which they parsed the rule:

https://www.closecallsports.com/2016/04/case-play-2016-2-ball-in-pocket.html

For those of you who are too lazy to follow the link, here is the writer's conclusion:

The play is not specifically covered by any one particular rule, but we can piece together several points of information to adjudicate this play. Common sense likely dictates calling "Time" and placing the runner back at second base. Forgoing common sense, however, leads us to the issue of whether a fielder can place a live ball in his uniform pocket and subsequently retrieve the ball to tag out a runner. MLB Umpire Manual interpretation "Ball Going Into Player's Uniform" states, "If a batted or thrown ball inadvertently goes inside a player or coach's uniform...the umpire shall call 'Time.' He will, using common sense and fair play, place all runners in such a manner that, in the umpire's judgment, will nullify the action of the ball going out of play. In no case may any outs be recorded on such play."

Although this is decidedly not a case of an "inadvertently" created situation, the ball nonetheless is dead (defined as "a ball out of play") at the moment it goes inside the player's uniform pocket. Accordingly, we take stock of the situation at the moment the ball becomes dead:
The runner is standing on second base not intending to advance; accordingly, the proper call is to place the runner on second base and resume play with one out and one on.

Note that this play does not involve a detached uniform piece or equipment, as in Rule 5.06(b), which means the base awards for a batted or thrown ball do not apply. Nor does this play involve a pitched live ball becoming lodged in catcher paraphernalia, meaning the associated base award does not apply.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

3/24/19 Cop Fi...wait, Swampy

The league guys playing on our field of legal rental were in the fourth inning at game time, so rather than be dicks we took the gear down to Camp Swampy.  Thanks to Sean for sending out the update to everyone, was very helpful in parking on the right side.

Another great turnout, 22 players for the bulk of the game, we were legit at the beginning and had a couple of late arrivals.  Greg started for the homers and Mitch for the visitors, and once again both starting pitchers were great, and both times I came in and screwed it all up. 

Seriously, Mitch threw his heart out, and I think he was even getting a little squeezed by Bob!  There, I said it.  But the runs stayed low on both sides. Greg was throwing excellent inside ball, as usual.  He also hit Mitch, which I don't think is completely kosher, but hey, that is just me. 

I came in, and the first four batters all hit me, real. hard.  Not all of them were hits, but enough were, and they were all done loudly and with authority.  I managed to get through the inning with minimal damage to the score, but as I was walking in, Bob said, " Boy you ain't fooling nobody."  Truer words were rarely spoken.

I settled down in to what I thought was a good groove, but ended up giving up several more runs, punctuated by Elvin taking me 238 feet deep with base runners on for a "stand-up double."  There was no looking back after that.

Sean came in for the homers, and kept us off balance, and I bowed out in turn to Lattig, who was able to stop the bleeding, and who threw a nastiest curveball of the day at one point.  I think Mike N may have come to close the game, but our team, warriors to the last, were half out of their spikes by then.

Our team was woulda, coulda, shoulda all day, and the score ended in 5-1 (2?), homers.

Highlights


* Greg, Mitch, Sean and Lattig all pitched great

* MVP has to go to Elvin, who did it with the bat and the glove, making the plays, especially at 2nd, and having at least 2-3 hits.

* I think our sole run during the early part of the game was on a Elvin dropped ball, this was Elvin's game

* Lattig and I counted at least 3-4 potential foul outs that were ruined by the short roof of the backstop at Swampy

* Brandon had a tough game inn left,  but never gave up

* I believe our stand out hitter was Bob, 3-4, all singles, and all very nice

* Tony was back out, still only defensively but damn good to see him in a uniform again

* Abe made the SS baller's 3rd out move: go for the run-down between 2nd and 3rd, rather than the safe force play at first. And who was the runner who was caught in the pickle you might ask?  Elvin

* Sean and Lattig both made some great scoops at 1st.

* Camp Swampy is not a bad field anymore, of course, it's getting plenty of water at the moment,  but the mound is actually in great shape

Forecast: Rain, Rain, Rain, then Sun, Sun Sun

Thursday, March 21, 2019

3/17/19 Cop Field









Well I didn't screw it up by expressing my hope that the game would happen. It was an amazing day, 74 degrees at game time, and 21 baseballers came out from their rain-soaked dens to bask in the light.

The real news was the triumphant return of four players:

Tony Rojas, out these last several months with major shoulder injury. Well, he's back. Almost. He isn't batting yet, but he played defense, made a nice clean pick at third for an out, and didn't hurt himself the whole game so we'll take that!

And Duane!  Also a casualty of a long term injury and who I will have to look back to see the last time he and I were at a game together, damn, good to see him too, and he was kind enough to send Satch these ol' pictograms, and also, I think there was a boomerang involved....stories vary on that account.

And JMcG!  Consistent throwing arm troubles have limited him-- though he may have been out more recently than the other two.  But there he was, raring to go, taking ground balls at SS, cracking the ball, moving like an Irish lynx.

And Ben!  For whom it has been a long, long time, his uniform jersey is still in pristine condition, that's how long that has been!

Yeah, Carter was there too, with his two adorable kids, and his wonderful wife, but geez man, you're obviously not crippled like the rest of us, so why not show up a little more often.  And yeah, I know, that has GOT to sting getting admonished from me, Mr. Every Six Weeks Or So.

The game started with Sonny for the homers and Sean for the visitors. Both pitched very well, giving up limited hits, and I think only one run?  Sonny with his sneaky fastball all of a sudden, lots more movement and higher velocity.  Sean, still tricky, still on the corners and you off balance.  I took over after four for Sean, and did my four innings with acceptable casualties....namely the Powell run.

You can't really avoid it, he can belt the ball or he can out-run ground balls especially on a slow infield, he can steal bases and we don't have a catcher in the MBC that can throw him out consistently. Tough out.  I threw my best but my best wasn't quite good enough. Nick W. came in to relieve Sonny and he pitched great too, was breaking off some Uncle Charlie's that had some funk to 'em. Our team just couldn't string any hits together.

That is until the ninth. Mike N. came in to relieve Nick, and we finally got something going, scored a run, maybe? We finally had....base runners.

Only one out. Sean up.

We were all pretty excited with the possibilities.

Sean absolutely pisses on one. Screaming line drive up the middle, where Powell is waiting to snatch it from the shoe tops, flip it to first. Game over.

Final: 4-2 [1], homers.

Highlights:

* I thought we would have more luck in the hitting department.

* Thanks to all the catchers for the day: Mike, Greg, Chris, Nick?

* One team had Chris, Mitch, Richie, Abe, that's a lot of team speed aaaand on the other team me, Greg, Bob... Well you get the idea.

* Speaking of Abe, we all felt pretty bad, he was on our team at the beginning, and was tragically traded away.  And then he struck out his first time batting for his new team.  Well, they got the win anyway.  But we missed his camaraderie.

* Sean and Sonny had a hell of a good battle on the mound

* Tony made a real nice clean play, and he also had the good sense not to overdo it, on reaching for a couple of no-worry dying quails.

* Oscar winner Jimmy Lillard made the scene.

* I think there was an inning where I kept the ball in the infield the entire inning, grounders and pop ups, but there was at least one run scored and multiple base runners.  That was my thing...not good, but it was mine

* One HBP: Carter natch.  You're welcome.

* Richie had the devious play play of the game, bunting for the go ahead, while a stove-in old man was on the mound.

* I think Mitch or Sean had the big hit of the game

* I squared up on one the whole game, but I was Mitched of my big hit, deep center, into the tall grass. Could have been my longest single yet....

* Thanks to everyone that showed up, it was great to see you all

Adam's Run Scoring Single (thanks again to Duane).




Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Double Whammy, no Jinx




Unless the very nature of writing this post angers the gods, there will be a MBC game this weekend.

After countless rainy Sundays in January and February the sun has finally returned to the Bay Area. 

As Californians, it is against the law for us to actually complain about the rain, but let me just say that while I appreciate all that the rain does for us, it would be nice to have a (short) break once in a while.


CALIFORNIA RAINFALL SEASON TOTALS

San Francisco Downtown
Normal- 19.56"
Normal to Date (2019)-  21.57"
Percentage of Normal to Date- 110%


So there you have it, we are not wanting for moisture this year, as if you had to be told that.

In any case, there will be a game at Balboa this Sunday at 3pm.  Start stretching now, since it has been a while. 

And let's also learn from the mistakes of 2017 and clear all the excess brush, grass, and tinder that will be growing exponentially due to the increased rain, so we don't burn down the other half of the North Bay later this year.


















Wednesday, January 9, 2019

1/6/19- GGP- No game





No game, just lots of rain.  Lots and lots of rain.  Which I am OK with, since we live in California and are in a perpetual state of drought. 

So the first game of the 2019 season was a bust, but lets hope for the best for this coming weekend.

I hope that it is everyone's firm NY resolution to attend more games.  We have had a significant dip in attendance, some of which can be explained by injuries to stalwarts, rock and/or roll, uncertain employment, raising kids or attending to the next generation of MBCers, etc. but for all of you healthy, employed, local, single/have an understanding spouse, respectable-(ish) players out there, what the hell is your excuse?  When I was coming up in this club, Sunday was the one day of the week that I knew what the hell I was doing, and for a few short hours, stopped thinking about all the other things in life.  It's a great feeling. 

So come on out, bring a friend, get a hit, make a play.

S. Paige.

12/30/18 GGP






The Omega Game as I have started to call it (the last of the year, get it?). It was everything that you would want in a game, if you were on my team. But the weather was perfect, we had 20 players, and thrills and chills.

I started for the visitors and Greg for the homers, and for some reason my stuff was working. I was throwing slow strikes for the most part, quite a few knuckleballs, and had several innings where I was sub-7 pitches. Nice work if you can get it.

We had two Nicaraguan players with us and one of them was the catcher for our team, with little or no English. We had to communicate via the other player, or with our own limited skills. The hardest part was explaining that he was in charge of the balls and strikes and that we all needed to hear the calls. It took awhile to find our groove but William caught a great game and was fully invested by the end.

This week my team was on the scoring side, as opposed to last week when Chris Powell outscored our entire team. I left the bump after six and the score stood at 7-1 and the lead grew from there.  Sonny took over for me and Sean for the homers.  The game was almost an afterthought to the beautiful weather and good camaraderie. 

I remember double plays being turned, and an amazing catch in left field by Nate, which was overshadowed by some fielding errors.... by Nate.  Bob yelling at me to take it easy as I hobbled my way to 2nd on a passed ball (when I run these days I look like Hunter Pence if he was 100 lbs heavier and had legs that were different lengths).

The game went quickly, partly due to my 3-warm up pitches limit, and partly because the home team was not scoring much in the way of runs. Bob had to leave early, which was different.  We had a player in from the Brooklyn Ramblers team, Joaquin, who played when I was there in May.  He fell victim to my patented first ball-knuckleball ruse.  He got his revenge later though.

The final score might have been 12-4, it is a little lost in the time fog at this point, but I know that we were the victors by a large margin.  I also seem to think that there were other pitchers towards the end, but I can't remember who they were.  I just remember it being a really fun game, with a great group of people.  And that is how I want to recall the end of 2018.

Highlights:

* Two double plays for visitors, one double up, one old fashioned round the horn

* William and his cousin told me I needed to learn more Spanish if I was going to play baseball.  Yo halblo espanol, no comprendre mucho...pero yo hablo.

* Nick Smith and Nick W. were on the same team, a team of Nicks!

* Had a great battle with JT, as usual

* Especially after the dropped ball, Nate came to the plate looking like he wanted to hit a 10 run homer

* I think it was Sean who had the drive of the game to left center after the outfielders had been playing him to pull

* I managed to score the first run of the game--somehow-- and it really does put into perspective the differences in base-running.  If I hadn't taken 2nd on the passed ball, I wouldn't have been in scoring position when Nate flubbed a hit to left (sorry, he begged me not to mention the errors too much, so I am getting carried away...) and I figured early in the game, no runs yet, a good chance to score.  True, there was a faction that said I would have been dead to rights if they had tried for the play at home, but they didn't and I scored.  My team recorded the third out after that.  None of that would have happened without that initial move in taking 2nd.  Food for thought, if any of these games actually meant anything.

* Bob didn't get hit, which would have the a sentimental choice, I think.

* On my scoring run, when challenged that I would have been out by a large margin, I suggested that if a play had occurred, I could have just taken out Ed.  A hush fell over the team, and then Ed said,    "Well, I for one, would like to see that!"

* Chris Powell was kept from being the center of the game this time, though his presence was always felt


* Adios 2018, it's been real, and it's been good, but it ain't been real good....

S. Paige


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

12/23/18 Cop field

Sorry for the late post. This was an excellent game, close knit, perfect numbers, perfect weather, I was playing, so I'm not going to complain there either.

This has really had one story, and it's one you've heard before: Chris Powell. He pretty much single-handedly beat us. He scored three runs, made about 11 outs at SS, and pitched the end of the game.

The other team, of which I was a part of, scored two runs the entire game. I don't think we had 11 putouts from anyone.

I submit to you, Powell effect.

For the rest of the game, we had a great time. We played good ball and damn, it's nice to have full squads.

Sonny started for one team, Satch for the other. Sonny was great. I was ok. We both threw great ball. But....

The Powell effect.

Highlights:

* We had a great squad, just couldn't break through.

* There were big hits, just not for us

* Bob had to give John Carey a fatherly talk after he scorched a knuckleball that got caught.

* Abe was strong in bat and glove.

* Adam played first well but I'm all gimped up, so it was a race on ground balls to the right side.

* James hit right-handed almost the whole game. Not an endorsement of our strength

* We had the pleasure of Anna, Nick W.s friend, being on our team. She was just shy of a hit about three times

* The winning team had three double plays. You can't ignore that.

* Gaspar was in the mix, doing exactly what he does

* Just a quality game.

S. Paige

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

12/2/18 Cop Field

I was unable to attend this week's contest, and it sounds like it was a real barn-burner, for another 12 man operation.  Seriously people, let's get those numbers up.  

Grateful to Richie "Thrashin' " Garcia for the short write up of the game.  And a cap tip to Greg, who apparently threw the game of the year!




We had a 6 on 6 match-up. Each team borrowed two fielders and played with two in the outfield. Despite this, both pitchers were lights out for most of the game. 

Nick pitched for the home team and Greg pitched for the visitors. 

Greg was clearly the player of the game, pitching 8 2/3 shutout innings with only two outfielders and driving in two runs with a single to center. 

By the way, the only run Greg gave up was on a bases-loaded walk, not a hit. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

11/25/18 St. Mary's



Oh, MBC, just when I think it's time to ring the death knell, you surprise me.

After a quick death on Sunday when the GGP field and the attendance rate were thought to be untenable, Dave went out to the blessed St. Mary's and gave us the thumbs up for a game, as long as there were enough willing players.  If you follow this blog, you know that we have had a bit of crisis lately in fielding adequate teams, and on a holiday weekend, I will be the first to confess that I was not feeling particularly hopeful.

But one positive response begat another, and Dave wisely chimed in that only responses in the affirmative were needed or asked for, so as not to kill the momentum.  I for one, was in the car, racing like a madman.  I don't know why it is but every time I drive to St, Mary's I always turn the wrong way on Mission.  That convergence of streets, freeways and overpasses just weirds me out.  But I made it there, eventually.  And lo and behold, we had 16 players!  The later additions of Loren and Tim Presley made it all perfect numbers.

Sean started for the homers and it was woefully obvious that we were going to have trouble with his pitching and the winter sun which come directly behind the release point for a lefty.  But let's not blame the sun.  Our team was great on paper, but we were not worth a tinker's damn on delivery.  Through the first 5 innings of the game, I think we had 6 hits.  We had one possible scoring opportunity, but we played it safe thinking we would have many other opportunities.  We did not.

On the other side of the diamond, the homers were stitching together some solid hits, and were helped by an unfortunate number of lost chances on fly balls.  Greg had started for us, but left after 2 innings, cuz he wasn't feeling it.  At that point it was 2-0, and were still confident in our own abilities.  I took the mound for the next 4 innings, and gave up another 2 runs, though those runs ar the subject of debate.

The basics of the scandal.  Pop up behind third, in short left.  Abe races out and tries to make a back handed catch, which he does not do.  The question: Was he in fair territory when he attempted the catch, and then carried the ball into foul territory, therefore making it a fair ball?  Or was it foul and should have resulted in a dead ball?  There were no lines to check.  The catcher Mike N. admitted he had not been able to tell.  The only person that was 100% sure that it was a fair ball was Mike Lattig, the runner on third base.  Not exactly the ideal witness.  Richie was base coaching, but hard to tell which way he was leaning.  So the call was made that it was fair.  Nuts, says I!

We did score a run, only by the grace of Mike N. stealing two bases after a hit, and then coming in.  We tried valiantly to score Sonny on a sacrifice fly to center, but James cut him down with time to spare.  Had to try though....

The game hurried along, light in offense as it was, and by 3:30 it was about concluded.  We decided we could play one more and we tried to mount a comeback, but our spirit was already doused, helped by the steady bullpen pitching and defense of Chris P.  He made two rally killing catches, one a double play just as we were finally feeling good.

Final Score: 6-1

Highlights:

* Great to see all the stalwarts out, enjoying the old game

* Sean and Chris both pitched great

* In the midst of what seemed like a bad defensive game, our infield had a number of good plays, and even turned a 6-4-3 double play!

* That double play came about because James had neglected to follow the Algorithm™, which states that he only hits right handed if his team is behind, which it was not.  He hit a ball so hard to SS, that the out at 2nd was recorded while he was still getting out of the batter's box.

* Thanks to everyone who caught, the sun is brutal for a catcher, Greg was the only one who eschewed sunglasses behind the dish, due to a religious objection.

* Nick had the big hit, a long double, off of me on a knuckleball, which worked wonders the rest of the game

* Abe did not have the best game.  In addition to the controversial defensive play, he also struck out twice, and was picked off at third at a crucial moment at the end.  Hopefully just an aberration in an otherwise solid career.


* Jake won the farthest and possible deadliest foul ball award for the day, hitting it into the houses on Arnold Ave.

* I threw a Dave a really nice slider for one of my two Ks of the day

* Brian P was out with Wes in tow, who took some mean cuts out in right field

* Loren was at about 50%, due to a bad wheel.  He was rehabbing with Kronenbourg 1664

* Sonny hit a rocket off Chris that he snagged as it was going by.  Then the same thing happened 2 innings later.

* A new black hole was almost created when Lattig hit one to the right, then hustled down the line while I was limping to cover first.  Ed got to the ball and threw to me, but it went wide, saving Mike and I from a celestial body collision that may have ripped a hole in space and time

* So James threw out Sonny at home. While he was covering defense later, we got our revenge when he was forced to throw out his own teammate at first base on a ground ball to right

* I had two hits that both felt good and one that sounded real good.  Unfortunately, neither of them occurred when we had runners on.

* We started taking our walks in the 8th inning.  Desperate, yes.  Illegal, no.  Unseemly, well, what can you do?

Thanks again, it was a great day to be out!

S. Paige

PS.

A visual demonstration of our team's offense, as told by Ed Sidawi and Chris Powell (nice catch!)




Friday, November 9, 2018

11/4/18 GGP

Two in a row, how could I be so lucky!  And did we have a great turnout, yes we did!  The final count was 27 players, which is afar cry from what we have had in the last few months.  The day was beautiful, and Johnny Bartlett came out of the woodwork, summoned by Greg to help bolster up the numbers.  A perfect day.  Also our first daylight savings game, at 1pm.

Greg started for the homers and Sean for the visitors, another classic match up.  There was no scoring, and one hit a piece for the teams through the first 3 innings.  I took over in the 4th and continued to keep the scoring low, though I did give up two runs.  We scored one back, and then with my second single of the game, a passed ball, and a double steal(!), we tied it up with a Gaspar hit to the awkward part of the infield and then went ahead for good.

The amazing thing with so many players is that we still have trouble getting nine to the defense, partly because everyone is trying to be considerate and make sure that they are sitting enough to give others playing time.  But it is strange when you have 13 on a squad and you are hollering for a left fielder.  It is also impossible for people who don't sit to hide for too long, since the defense effectively changes every position every inning.  You will be found out and shamed!

A harrowing moment in the later innings, Mitch hit a topper in the infield and raced up the line.  The hurried throw forced Liam to reposition his feet at first and Mitch's lane to the bag was cut off, and he rolled his ankle pretty seriously as he stretched for the corner of the bag.  He got up and walked, but with a pretty severe limp.  He later sent us this picture, nasty sprain, get well soon Mitch!




A watchful reminder that we all need to try and keep it safe on the base paths, our most serious injuries and near misses have been in moments like that (Ed's broken arm, Johnny's broken glasses, Jay's trucking of Will R., Elvin's refusal to slide....).

The game went quick, Chris P took over for me, and then Chris L, then Mike N.  Sonny took over for Sean, and we finally figured out the mystery of hitting Sonny.  Don't know what exactly, but we didn't do as terrible as usual.  Regulation time ended in a 4-2 game, and we played on, given that we had so many reserves.  The visitors kept on trying but couldn't get any closer to to tying up the game, and after 12 innings, we called the game complete.

Highlights:

* So nice to have so many people!

* Great to see Johnny and Richie, back from extended absences.

* New guy roll call, so I can stop calling them new guys: Jake, Jessie, Scott.

* Bob popped up a first ball knuckleball.  That was my highlight.

* Thanks to all that donned the tools of ignorance, through extended innings.

* We had a lot of plays at first that were closer than they needed to be

* Not a horrible defensive game, it's fun when the teams are evenly matched, as reflected in the low score.

* Urano was not the offensive powerhouse that he usually is

* James went to his algorithm, but it failed to pay off, and his innings sitting out were noted in the defense.

* Only for MBC veterans: I am convinced that Gabriel and Casey might actually be the same person.  If he ever puts on the catching gear, that will be the test.

* Thanks to all those who have been carrying the gear, and getting permits, it has been more diverse lately.

Hope for another good showing this week!

S. Paige



Monday, October 29, 2018

10/28/18 GGP

Well, I sent out the email saying I was playing, just like I always do after a long hiatus, and we barely had a game.  But now I have the basis of a empirical research study, so that next time I can send out an email saying that I am not playing and see how that affects the numbers.

It was a very muggy day, there was a huge fog bank sitting on SF, and the sun came through for about 5 minutes over the course of the game.  Mostly it was just humid.  We had 8 people there at 3pm, which increased to 10, then we convinced our new left fielder Andrew to play, as he was was wandering around the park with a glove.  Our kind of player.  Then a few more people showed up and we had 13, which apparently is the new MBC standard.

The game had started with only 10, so I was all-time pitcher and Mitch was all-time catcher, with 2 teams of 4.  I threw 3 innings or 9 outs worth of pitches before the official game started, and then threw the rest of the regular game-- but we only played 7 innings.

The real story is Mike Lattig, who pitched for the other team and managed to throw no-hit ball for 99% of the game.  He gave up a hit to Abe (which was argued as an automatic out while we were playing 2 outfielder/dead field rule) and then retired the next 17 batters in a row.  He had only 2 new counts.  Pretty amazing!  Cap tip to the wily right-hander.  Mitch should get credit too, as I think he called a great game.

I matched the zeroes for the first few, but as all things must eventually pass, the homers scored a run, then another and then they had some hits, and then we had a couple of errors that didn't get us out of the innings and the floodgates opened.  Dave in particular, really took me to the woodshed and had about 6 RBIs for the day.  But everyone was hitting.

In the middle innings, we massaged the score to a 7-0 white lie, but that didn't help, and they just scored more runs.  We couldn't do anything, the reliever for Lattig was good enough to keep us from a big rally, and I am honestly not sure if we scored a run or not, but I think we did not.

Final 12-0?

Highlights:

* For a tragic beginning, the game really turned into a fun affair

* I think there were at least 3-4 double plays, which was awesome.

* Dave killed it twice

* A new guy Scott, had a bunch of family out to watch, too bad they didn't get the real experience

* The grass on the infield was so slow, a laser line drive turned into a lazy groundball

* Lattig changed the rule on opposite side dead fields right before he hit one to left...something malodorous about that.

* Mitch beat out at least 2 routine ground balls and hit one that sizzled

* Redemption play: Dave hit a low liner to Abe at 2nd, tailor-made double play, except Abe muffed it.  He hung his head in shame at the lost opportunity, but the very next batter, same location, same play, he turned it flawlessly and we were out of the inning!

* I am encouraged that my hip issue does not seem to be hindering my pitching. My lack of a challenge fastball on the other hand.

* A portent of doom: JT and I are routinely late to the game, and when we realized that we were both there already, our hope for any other late arrivals was dashed

* Abe made a fantastic cross-body play at SS

* You don't get to sit much with 6-7

* Abe, our defensive wunderkind for the game, also made a great running over the shoulder catch in short left field that rivaled anything that Powell has done.

* John McGrath won the awkward bloops and ground balls award, while playing 2nd 

* While playing defense for the other team at 3rd, I caught a smoked line drive and tripped over the bag, thus doubling off our runner and killing the rally.  I have rarely experienced two such opposite emotions.

* Lattig also complained that we shouldn't have stealing with so few players, and then threw the next pitch to the backstop.

* Thanks to the stalwarts that came out, let's try and get back to stasis with the attendance.  And yes, I recognize that I am part of the problem but I want to be a part of the solution as well.

Huzzahs for:

Abe
Mitch
Lattig
Dave
Nick S.
Don
John M.
Scott
Andrew
JT
Chris L.
New guy on Bike
Satch

Monday, September 17, 2018

9/16/18 Cop Field

After a weekend of lil' Satch's 7th birthday parties, a well-deserved game of baseball.  Seriously, somehow he stretched his birthday into three separate parties.  Nice work if you can get it.

We had 16 players, which was also nice for a change, here's hoping that the summer doldrums are behind us and we don't have to start every game hoping that two more people will magically appear at 3:15.  And yes, I acknowledge that one of those people is usually me.

Classic match up.  Sean and Satch square off.  Toe to toe, mano y mano.

Actually it wasn't as dramatic as all that, but I got there on time this week, so I had the chance to start the game.  The most interesting part was how many new people were there.  Lattig was the elder statesman of the group, followed closely by me, Mitch, Sean, and Powell.  The MBC is changing.

On paper, our team was real strong.  I even felt a twinge of remorse that we had Powell, Mitch, and James on the same team.  That is unfair in most games.  I should have learned by now that nothing is for sure in the MBC.  What we did do was score two runs early in the game, and then not a thing after that.  The amazing part was that we held the other team scoreless for at least 7 innings, a 2-0 shutout for the bulk of the game is very newsworthy.

I felt OK, considering my recent hip-related issues, and for some reason was able to spot the fastball pretty well.  The mound was in pretty poor shape, so there were only a few places you could be on the rubber and not have your landing leg go into a crevasse.  Didn't seem to bother anyone too much though.  Sean was just a good as I was, and after 4 innings, I turned things over to Powell who kept on the same path.  Sean bowed out after 5 and a new guy entered who had not pitched since high school.  Those words were ringing in my ears like a warning sign, as we have seen a lot of guys come out and pitch after a long hiatus, blow out an elbow, and never come back.  This guy didn't do that, but I hope that he also took the time to ice his arm.  I also think we need to remember what happened at the end of last year, when new guy Jimmy pitched great one week, then broke his arm throwing a slider the next week (see write up December 3, 2017- Cop Field)

So the new guy stymied us and our defense finally broke down as Chris L. came in to throw the last innings.  He got away with it for one inning, but the 8th proved to be our Waterloo.  The homers came prepared for aggressive baseball, and helped by some errors, including at least one by yours truly, they pushed 5 runs across the board.  We tried to mount a rally in the 9th, but came up short and the game ended with a 5-2 victory for the homers.

Highlights:

* Again, so nice to have enough players to make it enjoyable rather than continual baseball.

* One of the reasons that we lasted as long as we did was that we completed 3 double plays, only one of which was the traditional 6-4-3.

* Powell and Mitch accounted for about 19 of the defensive outs that we made.

* Brandon made an amazing catch on a line drive from Sean, to deep right, and then had the wherewithal to heave the ball into second to double up Abe.  Abe was on his way home, thinking there was no way that ball could be caught.  No one faulted him for thinking that.

* A pop fly to short left was called fair by our catcher, in a crucial spot in the 8th.  I know it was foul because I was blocking the view of the ball from the catcher, as I stood gape-mouthed from my place at third.  I don't fault James for calling it fair, since I know he probably had no clear view of it, but it was foul.  By about 2 feet.  Oh well.

* Mike, Chris L., James did a fine job of catching

* Abe made two really nice plays in left while he was filling in defensively for the other team.

* I struck out for the first time in quite a while.  New guy was all up in my head

* Elvin is being brought up on charges in the kangaroo court for watching football on his phone during a MBC game.  He may have to represent himself, as I don't know of any other lawyers that would take such a case.

* James and Chris proved to be the only two people on the team who could get on base.  In fact, James went 5 for 5, with the first four hits batting lefty.  The last one he went righty, since his MBC batting algorithm states that if his team is behind that he bats to his strength.

* John McG made some crucial plays at 2nd for his team

* There was a huge crowd of players from the Mexican league positioned just off the field in right.  It was nice to have spectators, and they argued among themselves on a few calls.

* I went 0-3 with the aforementioned strikeout.

* At least twice we had a man on third and couldn't score him

* We also had the amazing luck to shut down the homers who had 2nd and 3rd and no outs, and did not score!

Sidebar- It should be noted that it is generally good sportsmanship to obey the defensive positioning requests of the team on which you are filling in on.  There was verbal dust-up concerning this, and--without going into specifics-- it is easier to just comply.  I know I am no one's first choice to fill in defensively, but I do honestly try to support the other team and make the plays when called upon.  The high percentage of negative outcomes (in my case) can be placed firmly at the feet of my lack of defensive skill, rather than a Machiavellian plot to hurt the opposing team.  That being said, in the same vein, we should all remember that this game is purely for fun, and no one person is ever solely responsible for the outcome of the game.

Friday, August 31, 2018

8/26/18 GGP


Bang Bang play


























Another paltry showing, and other game where I proved to be #14, and yet, this game was actually a lot of fun, lots of twists and turns.  We ended up with 15, after a park father recruited us his son, Azaan, who plays for the Mission HS team.  Needless to say, he was a lot better than all of us.  Here is his MaxPreps line

http://www.maxpreps.com/athlete/azaan-lewis/I2leg9X5EeeT-Oz0u-e-FA/default.htm


Nick W. was on the hill for the homers, and Chris Powell started for the visitors, and both did well through about 4 innings.  Chris had an issue with the first three batters that faced him, they all hit the ball really hard, especially Nate, who set the day's tone for long drives to left field.  But Chris settled down after that.  Nick had his good curveball working and was pretty, pretty, pretty good.

We have had some see-saw battles in our time, but this was a real SEE-SAW battle.  Like every inning, there was one run scored, and the lead would change hands.  pretty exciting stuff, especially since the last game I played in was such a lop-sided snoozefest.

There weren't any particular amazing defensive plays, one thing that we all noted was that when Powell is pitching, that is a big sacrifice you make defensively, same with Mitch.  Powell noticed it too....

We had a lot of pitchers get work, I threw 2, Azaan threw two (at what he claimed was 60%, which was still really good) Chris L threw one, though his effectively wild almost became just wild.  On the other team, Mike and Abe tried to hold the line, but the visitors finally broke out of the tit-for-tat offense, and by the time the 9th inning rolled around, the score was 10-5.  They scored two to close the gap but that was all they got.

Final: 10-7, visitors

Highlights:

* A much more enjoyable game, even though the sun didn't show up again

* There was a yuuuuge crowd for the olde tyme game, it was a all-start thing or something, but they had hot-dog vendors, and press, and we saw Dave, who ditched us in favor of the old guys.

* Don returned, hit one of the deeeeep left bombs, did his thing

* John McG was in the mix, now back to complete right handedness

* Elvin had a nice 2 out hit to score a run

* Elvin's insistence on playing first base, so that our team had to fill in right and center field was pretty aggregious.  When queried on this, his response was " I don't give a fuck what you guys think." Clearly, Elvin, clearly.

* Nate, Don, me, Azaan, and Chris all hit baseballs almost to the hill in left.  Average distance:




* Man, is it nice to have a first baseman that can make the scoops, welcome back Adam P!

* While pitching, a ball was hit wayyyy up in the air in between catcher and third.  I instantly declared, " NOT ME!", which yes, is a little unorthodox.  It also appeared that it was not Don or Chris L. as it dropped between them.  Hey, I took myself out of the play early on, for the first time my laziness has given me an alibi

* For not feeling all that great, I had two doubles and 4 RBIs.

* Unbelievably, Powell dropped a pop fly to SS, that is his bread and butter!

* The homers may have been cheated out of a line drive down the third base line that was actually a fair ball.

* Urano did his best to carry his team, he was doing it all with the bat and glove

* Nick S. was the team dad for the game, thank you for taking the gear, and being the organized one

* Don made a nice running play on a bloop to left

*  There was an excellent relay to get a guy at 2nd, that is why we take the time to make good throws

* Mike pitched well for a guy who was in the hospital not long ago with busted ribs and a punctured lung....

Thanks again for everyone who showed up, get well soon all those who are out on the DL.

S. Paige