No rain insight, which is bad news for the state, water-wise, but great news for MBC. Cold day, clear, but very breezy and chilly. We had 27 people show up at the ball yard, ready to play. With a rare Sean absence game, Brian Phelps stepped up to the bump to start for the homers. Satch, eager to prove he still had it, and finally rehabbed, was the starter for the visiting 9 (or 14 as it were.).
First inning blues, man, we had them bad. I have never seen so many gonks, dribblers, short flies and drops. The homers ran 5 across the plate in a true 1st inning bloodfest. There were a few good knocks but the rest were tragic, hits, no one will deny that, but tragic. Phelps was cool and calm, and after giving up a double to yours truly and then a mental error which allowed us to get a run across, he kept the lead.
It was a game of chipping away though, and in a nice change of pace, our team settled down, and my shoulder, feeling spry after 2 months off, gave me the options of a real fastball. It all seemed to be working, so I used it all, especially the change-up, which works a lot better when you have a fastball to offset it with. Striking out the side was nice. Cuz we needed it. I think I ended the game with 7 K's in 5 innings, not too bad for a has been/never was.
The homers still had a lot of pop left though and while were mounting our comeback, another to the tally. By the 6th, we were all tied up at 6's, 6-6-6, far out. And then magically, we took the lead, Will had come in for Brian, and Tony had taken the duties over from Satch. Tony looked strong as well, and with Johnny taking on the closer duties, the visiting pitchers had a combined total of probably 12 K's for the day!
Around the 7th or 8th, Will started to struggle, and around the same time, the wheels came off for the homers, and the vistitors lead expanded to 11-7, where it stayed through the end of the day's affair. We played an extra inning, but nothing much happened other than all of us got a little chillier.
* The change up I threw to Phelps was a thing of beauty
* Chad showed up after a year, and brought 2 guys with him. FAIL. He hasn't been around to know about the moratorium.
* The grass in the infield was really thick, making the bounces look like slo-motion
* Lattig was robbed by Chris of a nice line drive
* John McG had a strong drive to right
* Is it a...Golden Sombrero?
* Phelps was Mitched in the classic sense
* Bob was hit with a foul ball well out of the way, he's like a horsehide magnet
* Dennis' testosterone therapy seems to be helping a lot
* I had to make a off balance cross body throw at SS, its been a while....
* Jeff had a good hit on a tough count
* Thanks to Bob, Gaspar, Mitch, Ed and Greg for catching
* The sun again proved to be everyone's nemesis
* Tim showed up late, like old times, and hit and stole bases with aplomb
* True MBC rally: started with errors started for our ground balls and short flies
* Gaspar had a 18? pitch battle with Will, and earned his walk
* We had a couple of runners gunned out at second!
* I survived an Ed at bat with a man on third. Ed is now 58 for 59 in those situations
* All the littluns had helmets on, which I think is an excellent idea
* MBC Tenet- Let's all remember that we are out there to have fun, and its a hard job being a player and an umpire. Questionable calls are a part of the game, and as a pitcher I may disagree with my catcher's calls, but it would be insulting if I forcibly called him out on it (yes, I acknowledge that I give my share of questioning looks, and flustered sounds, and they count too...). Also, we are up there to hit, not to work counts for walks, so if you see a strike, take a hack, 3-2 count, you should be swinging at anything that's a strike or 2 inches on any side of the plate of being a strike. In other words, Why wait for the strike tomorrow, when you can swing at the strike today, to mangle a number of metaphors.
If you disagree with a call, keep the frustration within reason and to yourself, don't worry, you'll get plenty more at-bats. The outcomes of at-bats are not malicious, any catcher who would call a game in that fashion wouldn't be playing with us. If the excitement of working counts and taking walks is important, there are plenty of Pick-up games that hire umpires. They can be found here: http://www.pickupbaseball.org/
And don't look back, something might be gaining on you,