Friday, September 4, 2015

8/16/15 West Sunset

Sorry this is so behind, but sometimes you eat the bar and sometimes the bar, well, he eats you....

The game after the SQ win took place on a beautiful day out in the Sunset.  I brought along lil' Satch, who refused to sleep on the way over.  But luckily, Ed's kids were there, and kept him in line and in the game.  We had the best and neatest row of helmets and bats, thanks to Theo, Milo, and T.

Ryan started for the homers, and Greg (?) for the visitors.  Or maybe it was the other way around.  Bad when you try to remember something from three weeks ago.

Ted, from the Brooklyn Ramblers came out and played with us, so he could see first hand what the Club was like.  And he did great holding down second base and had a couple of hits and a RBI.  He did a real nice write up of the SQ game as well, which you can read here.

Satch entered the game in the 4th, and threw 3.  In the midst of those 3 innings we tied up and then lost the the lead.  I remember that part....and it was all my fault, or maybe, to look on it more positively, it was the fault of the great hitting of the other team.

Either way, I bowed out, Josh came in, raring to go, but couldn't find his rhythm, though he didn't give up any runs, and left it at one inning.  Sean entered for the homers and did what he does best.

After that, it gets hazy.

Things I remember:

* Sean played a fine lefty 2nd base

* The other team had a lot of well placed hits

* Finally had an extra base hit, it seems like it has been a long time

* Bob had the go ahead RBI's as retribution for striking out earlier.

* James showed up late, and played in the Cal Academy of Science gear.

* The final score was 5-4, and everyone thought we played 10 innings but I am pretty sure it was just a long 9.

Friday, August 14, 2015

MBC vs. SQ Giants 8/13/15

Two things a Californian is always prepared for.  Shitty traffic and beautiful weather.   

We had both on Thursday as we trotted out the squad for the final SQ game of the season against the SQ Giants.  Greg was the late guy for once, amazing us all, but we managed to get our ID’s and equipment cavity searches done in a good time and first pitch was probably before 6.  The only SQ rookie this time was Ted, a visiting player from the Brooklyn Ramblers squad, out on the West coast scouting out the playing conditions and general vibe of the MBC.

Sean started for the homers, and was contending with what might have been the world’s biggest divot in the mound.  We jumped out to a 2-0 lead, helped by a wild pitcher who had trouble finding the strike zone (he left with a knee injury soon after) and Sonny’s solid line drive double down the third base line.  

Sean felt the need to walk the bases loaded in order to get out of the 2nd, another time tested MBC tradition, but he escaped unsinged.  The word had come down from the skipper that we would be doing 2 innings a piece; throw a lefty—righty—lefty combo at them.  Satch came in for the 3rd and felt good, the warm Marin sun sure helps the body get loose.  It occurred to me last time I played a weekday game, that less warm up, meant more game playing time, so I tried for three warm up pitches and then get on with it.  My reward was I got to throw 4 innings, since we had more time than we usually do.  I was also aided by some excellent defense, especially Sonny, Mitch, and Chris.  

The umpire was one of the better I have experienced in the pen, he didn’t have the usual SQ low ball strike.  The only contention I had was that he gave up on a sweet change-up, same as the batter, and it sailed right over the heart of the strike zone.   Given its slow nature, by the time it got to the plate the ump had stood up and started to call it a ball.

We kept a steady pressure on the new pitcher, Ru (ben), who is usually the catcher.  He was having trouble with the mound as well (Satch’s legs were just long enough to get over the deep part of the hole).  We tallied a 5-0 lead going into 7th, which was our last inning.  Gaston was charged with the duty of protecting the lead and saving the dignity of the MBC.  But no pressure.

The Giants did their best to mount a comeback, but were hindered by the first batter popping up on the first pitch.  That first out is crucial.  A possible double play got the guy at second, but then turned into a play at the plate.  I think Greg got the guy (he landed on Greg’s glove before bouncing on the plate).  The umpire disagreed and the Giants pushed two runs across the board before running out of steam as Gaston got a swinging strikeout to finish.

We shook hands and reveled in a winning-ish record for the first time in our SQ history.  Back through the gates, same old jokes from the guards e.g. we get to leave since we won, etc., and into the parking lot. 

At the post-game meal, we debated on the merits of winning versus losing in SQ.  With a few dissenters, the general thought was that while winning is fun, losing a close game to the Giants is somehow better.  In that situation, we get to play ball, have a worthwhile experience, and leave back to the safety of our lives.  The prisoners get to say they won and— for a few fleeting moments—feel decent about themselves.  Since most of the people reading this are not currently incarcerated, it’s probably hard to fully grasp the weight of that.  Not discounting the (sometime heinous) choices that these guys have made, a little restorative power probably goes a long way in the Q.


* Proud be a part of a strong pitching performance

* We never had the SQ inning where our knees turn to water and every ball is clanked around three times.

* Not a big turn out, too bad more fans couldn’t come out but apparently Thursday is school day, so lots of guys in class

* After Chris walked for the 3rd time, I whispered to him as he passed me that I was going to bunt on the 2nd pitch.  He didn’t hear me, but he broke for second on the 2nd pitch.  I was all excited and laid down a bunt, that would have been a sure fire infield hit without a great play from the pitcher.  Only after did I realize that I probably should have taken that pitch and then bunted him to third.  I forget there are people on the MBC that can easily steal bases; I figured I was helping him out.  If it was me stealing, I would have appreciated (and required) the distraction.

* Greg caught the whole game, with a bad knee.  MBC lifer.

* Ted comported himself with dignity and grace and scorched (see: cue shot) a line drive to second for his first hit on the inside.  

* Gaston was hit with a pitch and looked relieved that he got to take a base.  His nickname has expanded to Low-Hanging Prison Fruit now.

* Sonny tried to score from 2nd on a single to right, which is a lot like saying a single to the second baseman.  He was twelve feet from the plate when he was tagged out.

* If they hadn’t hit so many balls directly at our defense, the game might have been very different.

* Brian sold out the body trying to catch a flare to short left.  It managed to hit him in about three places before dropping.  But it looked good...sort of.

* The wind was playing a lot of tricks, Chris ranged all the way to right field to catch a pop up that started near the mound

* Ke Lam looks like he is getting out soon, hopefully a long range successful rehabilitation story in the making.

* The SQ third baseman made a number of great plays

* In the same vein, the SQ infield turned 2 double plays.

* Mitch didn’t get beaned for the first time in SQ that I can remember.  He is known now as the Prison Bob.

* Thanks to the Giants, Elliot, and SQ for another good year on the Field of Dreams.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

8/2/15 West Sunset

A hell of a game, if your name was Sean. 

Just hell, if you were the team facing Sean. 

Yes, indeed, Sunday’s game proved that one must never get tired of being surprised.  For starters, we had 12 people show up for a game at West Sunset, on a day that was as close to perfect as they come.  Greg was injured, and so he selflessly volunteered to play all time third base.  It was dubbed as the Heads vs. the Squares.  I tell you, I guess there is something to this clean living thing.

Satch started for the homers and was excited to pitch again, an excitement which didn’t last too long.  The other team brought their bloop game, and when only you have two outfielders, bloops turn into doubles.  And then the visitors also hit the crap out of the ball.  So there was that.  And our team forgot how to catch the ball for a while.

Sean started for the visitors, and didn’t really break a sweat until the middle innings.  After we had suffered through a 5 run barrage, he set us down in order with about 8 pitches.  Not fair.

The game went fairly quickly, as you might imagine, and the only person on our team that managed to get a hit in the first 2/3 of the game was Tim.  But none of us could do anything.  Literally.  Gaston finished with a 0-6, as did Dustin.  Between the two of them, they had 7 or 8 strikeouts.  Sombreros abounded like scrambling banditos in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

I bowed out after 7, gave the ball to Gaston and tried to figure out how the score was really 11-0.  Gaston minimized the damage for the rest of the game, but that is a lot like telling the guy who stepped on the landmine that his hat was untouched.

So we get to the 9th, and Sean still hadn’t given up a run.  That was our focus, just break up the shutout, don’t give him the satisfaction.  And to his credit, after a base runner got on, he didn’t hold me on; he went from the windup to improve his pitching, not thinking about letting me have 2nd and 3rd (defensive indifference, as everyone on their team was happy to remind me). 

And we still couldn’t get it done.   I considered if I could make a break for the plate and take out Carter, going in shoulder lowered, but that’s not the way we play….but I considered it.

So down we went.  I am proud that we were part of this game, even if it was embarrassing.  ‘Cuz I was there.


Sean Paul Presley
Complete game.
Score: 13-0
4 hits, ~10 K’s.

* MITCHED!  Mitch managed to steal at least 3 hits from me, by playing me perfectly in the gaps each time, left center, right center.  Ironically, if we had 3 outfielders, those hits would probably have fallen.

* Abe moved up in the AOY 2016 votes by bunting with a 6-0 lead.

* Carter made his own bat with a lathe, and it didn’t break!  And he got a hit with it!

* Tim was our only offensive threat, and he caught the whole game!

* I did manage to strike out Carter, twice, the second time telling him that the same slider was coming.  He didn’t believe me, I guess.  I had resorted to Psy Ops to get outs by that point in the game.

* Bob was hit, as was Carter, our two ball magnets

* We had to fill in at 1st for the other team, to which Abe refused to hold on the runner, increasing his AOY chances

* Sean’s sweat-stained uniform was a thing of beauty by the end of the game

* Thanks to the noble players who braved the beautiful day and lack of traffic to have a game:


Mike L


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Brooklyn Ramblers land MLB'er!

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

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

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

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

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

Hmmm, we should probably discuss this a bit more.

Don't look back.

S. Paige

Thursday, July 16, 2015

7/12/15 Cop Field

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Homers- 12-11 in the 11th.  Poetry.


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

* Adam and Nick both played 1st base with aplomb

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

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

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

* Greg caught all 11 innings!

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

* Abe made a spectacular catch in foul territory.

* Josh played a solid SS with range

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

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

S. Paige

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

6/28/15 West Sunset

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

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

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

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

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


* Noah pitched very well, congrats on the kid!

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

* Josh had a good day at the plate

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

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

* Someone was almost thrown out at first from left field

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

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

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

Friday, June 26, 2015

6/25/15 MBC vs. SQ Giants

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

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

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

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

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


* Chris played a great SS and scored a run

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

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

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

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

* SQ lead off executed a perfect bunt.

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

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

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

* Nick, James, and Gaston first game.

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

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

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

S. Paige

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

5/31/15 Cop Field

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

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

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

S. Paige

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

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

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

Imma guess adam was at first and josh fielded it. 

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

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

Adam was at first, I was at short 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday, May 28, 2015

5/16/15 SQ Giants vs. MBC

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

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

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

That's about it.

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

Final 10-1.  Ouch.

S. Paige

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

4/26/15 Cop Field

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

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

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

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

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

Final score Visitors-13-8?


* The visitors turned a legitimate double play

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

* Liam made a great catch

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

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

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

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

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

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

S. Paige

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

4/23/15 San Quentin Giants vs. MBC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 20, 2015

Eight Things You Gotta Love About Mission Baseball

"Eight Things You Gotta Love About Mission Baseball"

A Short Proclamation by Coney Island James 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

7. No DH. Nothing more to say here.

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

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

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

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

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

And the number one thing you gotta love...

1. No off season. Nothing more to say.