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.

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