Monday, June 13, 2022

6/12/22 GGP






We had all the park to ourselves it seemed, the AIDS quilt-- which Anna reported was the world's largest communal art project--was on display at Robin Williams meadow.  Over 3000 pieces were out, one of the largest showings in history, and it looked very well-attended from what I could see.  Needless to say, it also made parking a little more complicated.  No olde tyme games, so we had the big field, and quite a few spectators over the course of the game.  

13 players this week, another Havana 6+1 affair, with Lattig as all-time first baseman.  That was very kind of him, I don't know if that was him being a gentleman, or hurt, but we appreciated it.  Nick W started for the homers, and Sean for the visitors.  They both were pitching well, and helped by a solid defense, so much so that the score was a paltry 1-0 for the first few frames.  Then we tacked on a few, then the homers roared back, then we scored a few more, then the hoers really roared back and took the lead.  

We had decided to play 7 as usual with these scant attending games, mostly because we don't start until 3:30 usually, and it is a chore to cover both sides through the game.  Going into the 6th, the homers had tied the game at 7, and Sonny had taken the duties from Nick.  Sean handed the ball off to Satch, and we were back to an even game.  Not for long, as the homers scored a go ahead and we headed into the final frame down 8-7. 

Rojas, leading off, tattoos a triple to right field, scores easily on Sean's hit, and then Sean is batted in on a double by Satch that was mostly thanks to the sun in center field.  But, we took the lead, and the homers were unable to get the needed rally going in the 7th.

Final: 8-7, visitors.

Highlights:

* The homers had at least 3 double plays

* We had 1 or 2, including a double off at 1st

* Don made 2 fantastic catches in center field

* All the catchers- Bob, Chris L, Don- did a great job of blocking, which makes a difference at the GGP field, 

* It was a triples kind of day, Powell, Don, Tony, Sean.

* Powell also made an insane over the shoulder catch in left field from the SS position.

* The last play was so smooth, Tony Rojas barehanded a bouncing ball up the middle to throw out the runner at 1st.

* I had a 5 RBI day, somehow.

* The homers strung together 4 extra base hits in a row at one point in their rally.

* The humid weather makes for enjoyable pitching, everyone was dealing

* The fill-in defense was sharp on both sides

* While playing 2nd, I have to do a better job of holding the runner, per Coach Rojas.

* Bob got a blooper hit to right and yelled at me while he was running, since I had frozen in between 1st and 2nd (there were two outs....)

* It would have been a great day for the band to come out, but they are AWOL.

S. Paige

Monday, June 6, 2022

6/5/22 GGP

 




A weird, humid day.  The rain in the morning must have been more than we saw in the East Bay, since there was actual moisture pooled in some areas.  The olde tyme guys were still playing despite the wet, and that seemed to be enough for us to rally a game.  Unfortunately, we only had 12 players show, so another game of Havana 6's, with the updated rules of 2 outfielders and 2 defense fill ins.  The home team was a little stacked, I must say: Powell, Sean, Bob, Mike Lynch, Tony and Satch.  The game was not a runaway though, as we feared it might be, and in fact a nail biter of sorts.  The visitor squad had youth on their side, with Zach, a high schooler, Gaspar, Anna, Adam P, Sonny, and HR.

With a late start and short players, we decided on 7 innings and Satch was set to throw the first 4 an bow out.  However, luck and good pitching weather were on my side and Sean encouraged me to keep throwing, as he had thrown 9 the week before and was not super amped to get in.  I had some very nice sub-10 pitch innings, as well as a few Ks.  The knuckleball in particular was really nasty, helped by the thick and humid air.  Bob was my battery mate, and stalwart behind the dish for the whole game.

Sonny started for the visitors and was also throwing good, but we managed a run early, and held that lead for most of the game.  The visitors got one back, and we added 2 more and that was all the scoring done.  The momentum shift of the game was a bases loaded, no outs situation, that we managed to get out of in about the 4th inning, cap tip to the defense on that one.  Zach came in for the visitors for the final inning and struggled a little with control but got through it.

The game ended early enough for me to get home and be lauded for not being gone too long.  That's a win right there.

Final, Homers 3-1.

Highights:

* It's a good feeling having Tony and Powell as your up the middle duo.

* The knuckler was dancing!

* Greg came out and provided moral support, he is looking good and even picked up a bat, just picked it up, nothing else...

* Sean was thrown out being aggressive taking 2nd, by his own teammate.

* HR is killing me with the right field shots, a reverse Gaspar shift is in order

* I induced about 9 infield pop ups

* Bob missed a foul pop up and then caught the 2nd one, that's what we do.

* Tony with the line drive catch, double off first play.  As he said, you play baseball long enough, and you can make that play in your sleep.

* I think the visitors had at least 2 double plays, I had to start he first one, filling in at SS.  That sucked.

* Gaspar had the worst sounding ping hits of the day, and a really nice catch in center

* Sonny was muscling the ball to the gaps all day, and had some extra umph on his fastball.

* Tony smoked the longest single in recent history, over HRs head in left.

* Powell made a number of amazing plays on the backhand at SS

* Thanks to everyone who made it out!



Monday, May 23, 2022

Late Post Game 5/1/22 and 5/22/22 GGP game

 The May 1st game was kind of a poor excuse for a game.  The energy wasn't there.  We had fun as usual, but not much to report.  I think the final score was 8-2?

--------------------------------------------------------

The May 22 game on the other hand, was an amazing day, bright blue sky, warm, no wind.  Hard to believe that in about a month it will be socked in with fog and cold.  We were low on players due to various things, but we ended up with 15, and we played 2 outfielders so that we were able to sit and relax.  I am starting to think that we are close to a official variation on baseball that is perfectly acceptable with 14 players.

Sean started for the home team and we thought we were in big trouble but he proved to be human-ish.  We tagged him for a few runs early, and took a 4-0 lead into the 3rd.  Nick was throwing good ball, especially in his warm ups, but the other team woke up suddenly and we went from 4-0, to 5-4.  He bowed out, and I bowed in and then the world blew up.  In between some very nice hits by the homers, we had two innings worth of 6-out ball.  It was tragically funny, and we all had a chance to be the goat.  We did manage some good plays, but the amount of drops and misfires was astounding.

The boot on the throat was when Tony filled in left field for our team, and caught and then dropped a fly ball, after being blinded in the sun.  He was arguing that it should have been an out, but ultimately, no one took him up on it.  That extended the lead to 13-10, and that is where it ended up.  We only played 8 since the start was delayed while we waiting for people to show.

Highlights

* Nick, John McG, and Chris did an awesome job catching, there were a lot of scuds thrown, but they blocked them all.

* After a good long stretch, HR fell back into old ways, and had an at bat against Dan that I think went 3-rounds.

* Anna had a great line drive

* Sean came close to snapping after me and the rest of the team refused to honor the unwritten rules on hitting to the outfield where there is no player.

* If we had a center fielder, it would have been a different game.

* I think I may have been 5-5, but in the process I think I have damaged the Tree Trunk.

* Double play by the homers

* Triple error for the visitors

* Adam has returned from the road, great to have him back!

* We have it on good authority that Greg is doing well post-surgery

S. Paige



Monday, April 11, 2022

4/10/22 GGP*




We got to play on the fancy stadium GGP field, since the Olde Tyme Baseballers Club seems to have stopped for the moment.  The band was there for the whole game, and treated us to an extended Take me Out to the Ballgame rendition for the 7th inning stretch.  

We had 16 players, 2 of which were lil S. Paige and lil J. Gibson, out for the first time to play for real.  They both took a lot of convincing that our MBC pitchers were not going to be hurling high velocity fastballs at their heads from the jump.  Not sure where they picked up on that, but they were reassured once the game was underway.  

Lattig started for the homers and Sean for the visitors, and it was a good match up.  Both were getting swings and keeping the pitch counts low.  Lil J, Gibson scored our first run, after legging out a infield hit, stealing 2nd, taking 3rd, and coming home on a hit.  Lil Paige hit a screamer back at Lattig, who was able to snare it, but the swing was strong.

The visitors had Bob as our leadoff man, and he responded getting on base several times, and we were helped by the sure hitting of Urano and Sean.  The homers had a murderer's row of James and Powell back to back.  

We should stop here to mention that Powell hit for the cycle in the game, which I don't know has been done, if it has, probably it was Powell that did it.  His homerun got between Bob and I in right-center, and rolled roughly to Taraval St.  Bob claimed he changed his route to the ball in mid-run, and I said that probably was why we failed to get Powell out by 100 feet instead of 150... In any case, a cap tip to the hitter.*  He hit his triple for the last at bat, and probably could have made it home, but I get it.  He was robbed of another monster hit because we were borrowing James in left and James was playing Powell at about 390ft.

The score was 3-2 for a while, and then it was 5-2, and then Powell hit his homerun, and it was 5-4.  I came in to throw the 7th and 8th, and HR came in after Lattig, and completed the game.  We scored an additional run on a controversial play at first, where Bob legged out a groundball and Greg--the catcher and final say in outs-- called Bob safe.**  Bob came around to score and that run proved pivotal in the 9th inning, when once again Powell hit his triple, and then scored.  

John McG got tapped to close the game, and did well, we stranded the last run and the game was won 6-5.***

Highlights:

* All the pitchers threw well, and HR continues his meteoric rise on the bump.

* Lil J Gibson made an out at 2nd, throwing out a runner at 1st.  Welcome to the majors, kid!

* Anna played an excellent 1st base

* Someone, maybe Sean, had a big hit to right.

* Great to see JT out, after a long break (or maybe he was just playing when I wasn't there...)

* A rare off day for Mike Lynch at the plate

* In true gamer fashion, Mike N came out and rehabbed his elbow with the team.  He said he had to do the exercises anyway, and why not do it while he hung out?  Why not indeed! Get well soon.

* I hit 3 hard grounders, that all were outs, and one flare to right, and one K.  Yeesh

* James had the shortest hit of his career on an Oops ground ball

* McG said it was the first time that someone asked him to pitch, rather than him asking if he could pitch.  He did a great job.

* We made a successful play at home with the bases loaded, that never happens

* I was doubled off at 1st, when Lil S. Paige hit his line drive to Lattig.  It happened so quick, I don't know if I would have gotten back from just a normal lead off distance, but off the bat, it looked like it was a hit all the way.  Bad optics for the kids.

* The homers also fell victim to the double off, at 1st.

* Nick Smith was nimble as a cat around 1st base, as we all took turns making bad throws.

******************* In case anyone wants to know why all the asterisks, hitting for the cycle was not enough for Powell, he needed the win as well, and because of the aforementioned call made at 1st, he wanted it known that the game should have been considered a tie.  It has been noted.*********************


Wednesday, April 6, 2022

3/27/22 GGP

Sorry for the late entry, but this game faded into the week before, and I never got around to cataloging it.  The big news, I would say, is that Noah B. came out to play, after a long hiatus.  I was searching the archives, and found reference to Noah playing in December, 2017, but I was not at the game.  

Before that, it reached back to 2015.  Of course, I searched under his name, not Jamison, so maybe that is the difference... Noah was famous for eating innings as a pitcher, and I hope this appearance was the beginning of another stretch of Noah-ball.  His kids must be old enough to come out too, we need to start grooming the next generation of MBC'rs.

I started again, and HR went for the homers.  He was determined to stick with me, inning to inning, and he almost made it.  HR has improved so much with his pitching, and I am not sure if it is due to MBC suggestions, or just influence. 

Not to toot my own horn, but I kept a shutout going for several innings, helped by some extremely good defense.  It felt good pitching back to back weeks, but I felt it for several days afterwards.  We were missing a few of the stalwarts like Tony, Sean, and Adam, who is apparently is in a "band".

Powell had a scary collision with his center fielder in the middle innings, on a no mans land pop fly.  The irony was that it looked like Powell got the worst of it, but it was actually the center fielder who ended up with the concussion symptoms (I have not heard, but I hope he is alright).

Once I had given up a run, I wrapped up after 7 innings-- or what we were calling 7 innings.  In actuality, we lost a inning in the shuffle and decided it was better to just go on with it.  The homers had also lost 3 players, so they were down to about 5.  Mitch was traded at the beginning of the game to us, and then back to the other team at the end.  It was supposed to rain that day, and the sky was getting dark, but we made it to the end.  I think the final was 5-2.

Highlights: 

* HR pitched a great game

* Don saved the day again, showing up at his usual time.

* John McG is killing the ball right now

* Mitch made some nice plays, and was a good sport about being trade bait.

* Noah was super supportive from left field

* I found myself having to justify my huffing and puffing on close pitches to Greg and the batter.  In most cases, it isn't that Greg called it a ball when it was a strike, it's that I am disappointed that the batter didn't swing at it.  

* Apologies to Mike Lynch, I took his SodaStream bottle last week, and didn't get the email where he requested some fresh water when I returned it....

* Anna played a good game at 1st, and had another hit

* Gaspar pulled a hammy (get well soon), another reminder that despite how we try, we appear to be getting older.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

3/20/22 GGP

 






Beautiful day!  A little hard to park.  I made 14 when I finally got there, having parked Betty White about 12 blocks away.  Elan and HR showed up soon after we started, and we had 16, almost a legit game.

Brian Phillips was on the bump for the homers, and Satch for the visitors.  We bandied back and forth a bit, but we scored a run or two off of BP early, and never looked back.  Brian was throwing well, but our team was hungry for hits, and we also had Sean, Mitch, and Powell, which feels like it might be lopsided.

I have continued to go with what works, and that is batting practice fastballs right down the middle.  Well, to be fair (TO BE FAIIIIIIIIIIIIIR) I was keeping them high and a little inside too.  Several innings went by with pitch counts of 8, 11, 6.  Makes a guy feel like he could pitch forever.  Then I tweaked something in my neck, tracking a foul ball, and that let me know it was time to stop.  Felt good to get some real innings in though!

Chris Powell took over for me, and Sonny took over for Brian.  The defenses were pretty solid, though it was noted that anytime Powell pitches, his team suffers the loss of the SS abilities.  The homers made an honest show of it, but fell short.

We never really had the game get too close, it was about 5-2 when I exited, and I think the final was 9-2. 

Highlights:

* John McG made a couple of great catches at SS, including one for a double play, and then caught the latter part of the game.

* Mike Lynch had a smoking hit down the right field line.

* Mitch may have been the difference, he was playing left and center, and made some crucial outs.

* Greg had a nice line drive

* Got hung up at first, on a fly ball to right that looked like it would be caught, but then dropped so I had to "hustle" to 2nd.  Luckily the throw was off line.

* Powell scored many of the runs we had

* Anna smoked one down the left field line, for a RBI late in the game

* Thanks to Greg, McG, Bob, and Gaspar for catching

* The olde tyme game at the other field was a riotous affair, lots of fans

* I brought out the throwback Big Barrell Easton, but all it did was hurt my hands-- I was on base 3 times but never due to a hit with the metal.

* The 3pm start is nice in that it leaves most of the day to get things done, but Mrs. Paige doesn't like me rolling in at 7pm on Sunday night.  Dare we consider a 2pm start?


Sunday, February 6, 2022

48 Hills Exclusive- For the Love of the Game

 Our baseball club is getting some local press.  Young Master Dillon came out last week and seemed a decent fellow, looked a force to be reckoned with on the diamond, and certainly got the gist of our little game.  It also seemed like he took a lot of pictures, but only used 2 of them, maybe we can get the rest for posterity on the blog?  In any case, enjoy!

https://48hills.org/2022/02/for-the-love-of-the-game/



For the love of the game

How punk rockers and anti-jocks found fun and a love of sports with the Mission Baseball Club.

By DILLON MCNEIL

FEBRUARY 3, 2022

Greg Snyder wasn’t interested in organized sports in the 1990s. A musician living in the Mission District, Snyder and his friends subscribed to a set of countercultural ideologies as inextricably tied to punk rock as abrasive guitar and shouted vocals.

“When you’re a disaffected punk rocker-type, the sports world is alienating,” said Snyder. Organized athletics seemed mainstream and traditional, a clear target for members of a movement that directly resisted such representations of dominant societal structures. 

“It was not a part of the culture,” Snyder said. “It was frowned upon.” 

Despite a personal history of athletics, he had fallen away from sports altogether. In fact, his high school baseball and golf careers had pushed him further from sports: “Coaches were jerks and the teammates were unpleasant… it just sucked the life out of it,” he recalled.

Meanwhile, one member of the musical community in the Mission was countering the counterculture. 

“In the 90s, I was one of three or four people that would just go out and hit a baseball,” said Dani Leone, a former member of the same musical community as Snyder.

Leone and her band, Ed’s Redeeming Qualities, moved to San Francisco from the East Coast in 1991, joining an active and colorful arts scene in the Mission District. A lifelong athlete and lover of sports, Leone and a few other members of the community began meeting at various parks around the city to play baseball. Others took notice, and soon, the original group of three or four began to grow. 

“People would show up, and in true pickup fashion, say, ‘Hey, can I play?’” Leone said. Word spread around the community, and when enough people had joined in, the group began to play full games against one another.

Thus, a sort of sub-subculture emerged in the Mission, a group of, as Leone lovingly described, “poets and punkers and riff-raff” that also happened to share an interest in sports. One of the members of the growing community was Greg Snyder. 

“We were all just a bunch of musicians living in the Mission who had fallen away from sports,” Snyder said. “Then [we] realized, we all still love this.” He found that he was able to reconnect with a part of himself he had lost, in doing so gaining a new perspective on athletics in general. After all, his return to baseball didn’t spawn from a desire to compete or win; he did so because it was fun.

“It takes a while to realize that you don’t have to play it at that [competitive] level to really experience the joy of it,” Snyder mused. “I hadn’t yet learned that you could really be engaged on this more casual level.”

Though they always made sure to keep things light, the group soon to be dubbed the Mission Baseball Club did dip their toes in the world of competitive organized baseball. Having assembled enough baseball-playing members of the Mission musical community, the team entered the Roberto Clemente League, a since-defunct adult baseball organization in the city. The team of “scraggly musicians” (Leone’s description) stood out, not only for their punk-rock attitudes and outfits; they were the only co-ed team in the league, with three women on the roster. “That was not done with the adult leagues,” says Snyder.  “It blew people’s minds.” 

After two or three years in the Clemente League, however, the Mission Baseball Club had seen enough. “It was fun enough,” Snyder says. “But we found that it doesn’t take too many people who take matters too seriously to take the fun out of it.” 

The league cranked the competitiveness a few notches too high for the musicians from the Mission, who didn’t care so much about winning or losing as long as they had a good time playing. Having tested the waters of competitive ball, the group returned to their roots. Since their departure from the Clemente League in the mid-90’s, the Mission Baseball Club has been hosting their own pickup baseball game every Sunday at various public ballparks around San Francisco.

For almost 30 years, the games have drawn players from around the Bay Area, from all walks of life. Though a core group has stayed involved since the beginning or close to it, there has been a lot of turnover in the club – some former regulars have moved away from the Bay, and others away from the game. Still, the Mission Baseball Club has lived on, its ranks often supplemented by a smattering of strangers who happened to walk by the ballfield at the right time and joined in. 

Last Sunday, I was one of those strangers, having ridden my bike to Golden Gate Park to witness this week’s game for myself. Lo and behold, as I coasted up to the Big Rec fields off Pelosi Drive, I found the Mission Baseball Club. I’d been told the game would start at 1pm, and when I arrived at that time, about ten players were still playing catch down the right field line, chatting, and laughing as they warmed up.

With what I already knew about the group’s organization—or lack thereof—I deduced that a soft start time wasn’t unusual, and I took a seat in the rusted bleachers while the players got loose. Soon, I was directed to Greg, playing catch furthest down the right field line.

“Did you bring your glove?” He asked. I hadn’t, though I’d thought about it. That’s okay, Greg said, assuring me that if I wanted to play, I could borrow someone else’s. 

Looking back, I still have no idea how the teams were divided. As the game neared first pitch, the 18-or-so players seemed to separate themselves randomly into two teams, one group grabbing their gloves and trotting out to the field while the others put on helmets and swung bats around to loosen up. I learned that the teams are different every Sunday, mostly due to the variance in who shows up to the games and the club’s efforts to keep the sides even. Some people are there every Sunday, others coming out every once in a while. There’s no sign-up sheet for the Sunday games, only an email list that Snyder keeps updated with the time and location of each game.

“It’s boggled my mind how we’ve managed to have both enough, but not too many,” Snyder said. 

As the game ensued, I took some photos and talked to many of the players, getting a feel for the eclectic group that had assembled at the park on that sunny afternoon. Tony, one of the founding members of the Mission Baseball Club, wore a custom-made uniform, a sleeveless gray button-up jersey with “Mission” stitched across the chest. Just like Greg, he’d played baseball in high school before moving to the Mission in the 1990’s and joining the music scene.

He remembered when some of his friends had first invited him to play. Tony had declined, assuming his friends wanted to play softball. When he learned they’d be playing hard ball, he changed his tune. He’s been playing with the Mission Baseball Club ever since.

When someone had to leave around the 6th inning, I volunteered to fill in, jogging out to right field and playing some catch with my new teammates. Tony had lent me his glove, a bit worn but still in fine shape, and as I examined it, I wondered how many years the faded brown Wilson had scooped ground balls and snatched pop flies on Sundays just like this one. With what Greg had told me about the club’s roots in a countercultural punk-rock ethos, I chuckled a bit when I read the stitched letters labeling the glove model: the Wilson “Conform.” 

I was curious as to how it would feel to play again; the last organized baseball I’d played, in the spring of my junior year of college, had been, from a competitive standpoint, about as far from the Mission Baseball Club as you could get. That season had marked a tipping point in my baseball career, when I realized the game had become something much different from what I’d fallen in love with as a child. What I’d assumed would be a lifelong passion for baseball had faded away; in its place I felt tension, stress, and physical exhaustion. I’ve avoided the game ever since.

As I stood out in right field on Sunday afternoon, however, the joy that I’d lost began to seep back. It was the smell of the grass, the crack of the wood bat, the sun beaming down on the field. It was the smiles, the laughs, and the warmth of a community that had welcomed me with open arms. It was viewing baseball through a new lens, successes and failures melting away in the shadow of the spirit of the game. Nobody showed up that Sunday with a need to win or do well individually. They showed up to play baseball with their friends. 

Greg strapped on the catcher’s gear and caught all nine innings of the game on Sunday, a long time to stay in the squat for even the most competitive ballplayers. I figured he’d trade off with someone at some point—the other team split catching duties half-and-half—but between each inning, as the other team’s catcher took off his chest protector, shin guards, and mask, Greg was next to him putting it all right back on, cracking jokes about the sweat soaking through the chest protector as the game reached the late innings. I marveled at his endurance, figuring he’d be exhausted by the end of the game. 

I’m sure he was tired, but when the final out was recorded, Greg took off the mask to reveal a beaming smile, and I don’t think it was because his team had won—and they had, 7-3. He smiled because he’d spent another Sunday afternoon doing what he loved, playing ball with his friends. As I said goodbye to Greg and the others, I was encouraged to come back. I don’t know how I couldn’t.

Monday, January 31, 2022

1/30/22 GGP

 




What a great time of year for baseball—winter in SF!  It borders on creepy how nice the weather can be.  The warm sun, the smell of the ocean, just fantastic.  We had 17 players out, almost a full squad. We learned later that Marcie had been unable to find parking, bummer!  Nick W. started for the homers, and Satch for the visitors, taking a page from unmentionables and being late, and then inserting himself in as the starter.  At least I didn't get my innings in and then leave.... 

The visitors struck for an early 2-0 lead, and that seemed ample for us through the bulk of the game.  We had a secret weapon, Urano, who was hoovering up the balls at SS, and making the outs.  Our defense was rock solid the whole game, and while we didn't ever complete a double play, we had many opportunities and always got one out.  I will take that any day.

Nick gave way to Sonny and we scored a few more and then a few more after that.  The homers were stymied a bit by the live movement I had on the ball.  I wish I could say how or why, but it was working for me.  Except the knuckleball, which was a disaster.  The curve, when thrown properly, had real bite and the changeup had some late movement as well.  Before I hurt my arm patting myself on the back, I will say that I only had one K, so it was my defense that was doing the hard work.

The homers got into the scoring in the middle innings with several loud hits in a row.  Mike Lynch in particular was hammering the ball, as well as fielding rockets at 3rd.  We managed to stem the tide of scoring, with the bases loaded, but the game was 5-3, which is nowhere near safe in the MBC.

Sean took over for me after 6 innings, and by all accounts, he has been lights out for the last couple of weeks.  This week proved no exception, he threw a first-pitch strike to every batter he faced, and all of his pitches were working.  He sealed the deal with a dominating strikeout to finish the game.  The homers did not have a chance.

Final Score: 7-3

Highlights

* James hit at least 3 line drives to left, one of which Mike caught, and one that would have taken his head off if he wasn't paying attention

* Bob made a nice catch in left, on the move

* Don made a catch in foul territory to get out a batter I really didn't want to face anymore, hooray!

* Urano hit a round tripper—the hard way—and was almost nabbed at the plate. Nick W would say it was not almost....

* Tony Rojas had a long RBI double to right field that James almost tracked down, covering for the other team

* Anna had a couple of hits, an RBI, and played a great 1st base

* New guy Zach is an outstanding fielder and a potent bat.

* Thanks to Bob, Nick W., and Greg for catching

* The try to throw out the runner at first from the outfield gambit failed twice, and both times not instigated by James!  He showed tremendous self control

* Mike Lynch made several showy plays at the hot corner

* Lattig and Zach collided in a weird ground ball play, that sort of looked a bit like this infamous play.  Luckily everyone was alright, and the collision was unintentional...


* Sean's pitching.  Wow.

* I think I had one hit the whole game, but it scored two runs so....

* Lynch with several smoked balls to the right side

* There may be a piece in 48 Hills soon on our little game, so keep your eyes open.






Monday, January 24, 2022

Entry #490- A Revisit/Update of our first player profile


We are nearing 500 posts for his ragtag little blog, and before we go any further, I wanted to correct a issue that many of you may not even realize was an issue.  Back in 2008, when I started this thing, I wrote the first player profile on Greg Snyder, the godfather of the MBC.  It was pointed out to me recently that the profile I wrote was *ahem* rather lean.  

In case you need to refresh your memories, it can be found here:

http://missionbaseball.blogspot.com/2008/11/player-profile-1-greg-snyder.html

Now, I could probably make a good argument that Greg is a no-nonsense, efficient kind of guy, and the original profile write up was sculpted to fit with that personality.  But I don't want to go that route, so instead, I will post this update with a few more of the many positive things that I can say about Greg.

Greg's pitching has become less frequent, but he still catches as much as possible, which I would think would be harder.  He calls a great game, he blocks pitches that any sane person would let go by, and he won't ever forget to remind me that I have to back up 3rd base.

While Greg's never been a power hitter, his line drives have increased recently, I think.  Greg suffers from the same slowness disease that has attacked many of us in the past decade, and as such, he has been a victim of the right field put-out to 1st.  But he refuses to make that play when he is playing right field, because he think that should be a hit and not a punishment for lack of speed, a choice I believe is very honorable.

Games are just better when Greg is there.  He is an awesome teammate, and he knows how to keep it light.  He also can mediate conflict—if it occurs—and no one will challenge it, because they know he's right.  If Bob is our little league team dad, then Greg is the best friend that you were lucky enough to get on the same team as—who makes every game fun.

The pandemic threw a weird wrench into our little game, and there were some who thought that we should challenge the lockdowns, and see what we could get away with.  Greg believes in science, and while he would probably break every law he could just to spite a badge-heavy police officer, he forced us all to look at the bigger picture of why we were in lockdown, and kept us from doing something stupid.  When we came back, Greg sent several emails asking for how people felt about playing, and at what comfort level of protection was needed.  Once again, no one really bucked against his suggestions, because we knew his suggestions were right.  Masks were worn, and no one made it a big deal.

One of the undervalued aspects of Greg's game is his defense, he can play anywhere, and for a guy nearing 60, he glides to the ball with the best of them, and he is always to be counted on to make the outs when they are needed.  He also knows that an out in the hand is worth a double play in the bush, to mix metaphors.

Greg whole-heartedly does not care if his team wins or loses, and I think sometimes is secretly pleased to be on the losing team.  That is the real MBC spirit.

Greg has been hauling the gear, collecting money, and dealing with Parks and Rec (with Bob) on behalf of us for the entirety of our club's existence.  Has anyone ever thought about how much effort and time that is?  Or another way of making that point: who of you is willing to take on all those jobs?

There have been moments in the last 13 years that we have tried to trim our email list and each time, we end up with the same engorged list because Greg doesn't want to cut any ties.  He knows that weekly email means a lot to some guys that haven't played in years.  He's all heart.

If you ever want to be thoroughly confused, ask Greg where he grew up.  Depending on the amount of time that you have, you may hear about Virginia, Maryland, Japan, Lafayette, or other places.  If you name a city, chances are Greg attended school there.

For those of the punk inclination, you may also be surprised to learn that Greg built the stage that is housed at 924 Gilman.  You could say he is responsible for "supporting" the entire Bay Area punk rock movement.

A Bruce Bochy-sized cap tip to our captain, Greg Snyder.

Don't look back, something might be gaining on you.

S. Paige




Saturday, January 8, 2022

1/2/22 The 2022 Alpha Game- GGP

 We eked into 2022 with 15 players; better than it could have been, but not as good as it should have been.  I really hope that we are not losing players to that other game, with the oblong ball and the TV timeouts.  Marcella gets a pass since Sonny feloniously assaulted her on the diamond last game, seriously, get some Kevlar Sonny, cuz you just became the Bob of 2022.

Before I go any further though, I want to take a moment to talk about this guy right here:

It was brought to my attention that I have been somewhat remiss in cataloging the exploits of this fine young man over the last few months.  In looking back through posts, I agree, I have not given the shout outs that Tony probably deserved, and for that I apologize.  It is hard sometimes to remember everything, but that does not excuse that I should be able to call up such instances as 4-4 games, of which there have been a few, as well as the defensive plays.  I think it may be in part because Tony is like the weather -- you don't always notice it, but you know you can count on it to always be there, and be a factor.  If ever you were to question the heart of this particular player, just take a goddamn look at this photo, that is a brand new uniform that Tony crafted from scratch, ordering a blank grey jersey and then fashioning and adhering the star, letters and numbers.  He made the M for the hat by Xeroxing the logo of his other hat and then creating a fabric pattern.  And he manages to make it look professional, instead of a schizophrenic yard sale, which is what mine would have looked like, had I the initiative.  Mea culpa Tony, I promise to do better in 2022.

Our team had a sprinkling of the new, Mike Lynch, but leaned hard in old timer: Greg, Tony, Bob, John McG, Mitch, Lattig, Satch. The visitors had all the new MBC talent, Anna, Chris L, Dan, as well as old timers Nick S, cranky as ever, Don, who saved our bacon from 13s, Nick W. who was throwing rocks, and Chris P, the invariable x-factor.

I started the game, as I have not thrown in several weeks, and the soup bone felt good.  In the last few years, I have made a pretty conscious decision to not throw many warm ups and I feel like that has helped my game longevity.  Plus, it can get disheartening when you waste all these strikes before a batter steps in.  I quickly deduced the weakness of the other team, straight fastballs down the middle.  It started as a challenge and quickly became a vocalized strategy: Everyone got a first pitch fastball, right down the pipe.  They couldn't hit it, even more so when I told them it was coming.  Apologies to Powell, who is hard to pitch to, and got first pitch fastballs that were strike zone height but not over the plate, or over the plate, but 2 feet too high.

Nick started for the visitors, and he had a late break hook that was devastating.  We battled the first few innings, and I think it was 2-1 homers for most of that.  Very close.  Nick gave way to Powell and then to Dan, and somewhere in there our bats woke up, and the wheels came off a bit and our lead widened.  

I stayed on the bump, battling, and after 6 innings, I was ok to stop, but was emboldened by the encouragement of my team, Lynch and Tony in particular.  So I kept throwing, and ended up with 8 solid, with about 5Ks.  Greg, still giddy from the waning effects of the cortisone was able to come in a shut the door for the 9th with a 1-2-3 inning.  

First game of 2022 was in the books, with a solid 8-3 victory, homers.

Highlights:

* TONY!  He was 4-5 I believe and he made some great plays for our team, and some bad plays while covering for the other team.  He really can do it all!

* Thanks to John Mcg for showing up to give us a little breathing room, and for catching the final frames.

* Kudos to the visitors for not giving up, and making some dynamite plays of their own.

* Bob looked shaky in the outfield when we started the game, and then all of a sudden he was Willie Mays out there, long running catches, and resisting the urge to move on a few that were hit right to him.

* Chris Powell scored a Powell run.

* You wanna talk hungry batters, I saw Mitch go after two pitches that had to be a foot and high and outside and he almost crushed both of them

* I put one on Dan's back foot in the first inning, probably the best moving curve ball I had all game.

* That's not true, I threw a slider to Powell that was better.

* I hit a ball that I never did see where it went, I thought it was foul off the bat, but ran somewhat half heartedly and got to first.  I think it was a grounder to right, but the sun blinded me from the beginning.

* Small ball defense won that game, getting the sure outs.

* Aiden came out, but for some reason did not play?

* Chris L. did a great job behind the dish all game, and was blocking like a champ.

* I respect Greg's decision as a fill in outfielder not to opt for the San Quentin right field play to first.  As a fellow slow guy, it is a demoralizing play.

HAPPY 2022!  Let's play 2!

Sunday, December 5, 2021

11/28/21- GGP






It's all feast or famine these days. We had 25 players out this glorious day, the best weather does seem to be the winter in SF.

The breakdown of the teams, I thought, was uneven from the beginning.  However, my suggestions fell on deaf ears, as plenty bought up times when the teams have seemed stacked one way or another, and the outcome has been completely out of the blue.  Not this time though.  If we had a voting block and an organized council, I would probably put forth a proposal that Chris P, Rich, Sean, and Mitch cannot all be on the same team.  That is too much speed and defense together.  We had Rich playing 2nd base, that is the flagrant defensive gluttony.

Sean started for the homers, and HR for the visitors.  It was a remarkably close game for a bit, the defense was the real gem for both teams all game.  Sean was a steady, as always, and HR has blossomed in his last few starts into a real game-time pitcher, with a sharp breaking ball and pinpoint accuracy.  He only went 2 innings though, and then turned the game to Lattig for the middle innings.  Sean stayed on the horse, with me waiting in the wings.  He threw 5, but looked so good that he did one more, and then handed the ball off.  I went the rest of the way, knowing that if I got into trouble, I had Liam as back up to mow down the late innings.  Luckily, I kept the pitch count down and cruised for most of the game.

With so many players, at-bats were a premium, and we ended the game with the homers in a comfortable lead.  The game had gone so quickly we decided to play an extra inning.  What we should have done is just give the visitors another at bat.  The bottom of the 9th turned into a cavalcade of hits, and the light was dying, as was the visitors will to keep playing.  When it finally got to the top of the 10th, they went down in order, and we all felt a little bad.

Final score: 15-3?

Highlights:

* Cap tip to Mike N. who caught the entire game for the visitors.

* Thanks to all those who came out

* Marcella had a hit up the middle and the first RBI for her team!

* Mike Lynch made some more great plays at 3rd, though he also suffered the indignity of the sniper play, fielding the ball and then going facedown on the transfer.

* Don was a late comer, but made a dazzling running catch in center

* Thanks to John McG for catching the later innings, and then a workout for Liam, who was left in the pen.

* Rich started slow, but had a walloping extra base hit in the later innings.

* Nick W. came into pitch and hit Adam about 3 times, not his best outing.

* The visitors had a couple of innings in a row where they failed to hit the ball out of the infield

* We have decided that the Nick Smith shift is a reverse Gaspar

* How about that Nick Smith, what is he 80 now?  And he's still got it!

* People named Mike, Nick, John, and Chris could have fielded a full team, plus reserves.

* John Carey, back from the wilds of Connecticut was resplendent in his old uni, and showing off that he is yet unhampered by age.

* Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

S. Paige

Monday, November 8, 2021

11/7/21 Cop Field







Great game, well staffed, Lattig reported that it was apparently 2 people at 12:40, and 16 people by 12:55.  Beautiful day, warm in the sun, but a brutal sunset for the left side of the field.

Sean and I had warmed up and discussed a head to head match up, but by the time we finished, Powell was on the mound ready to pitch.  Missed that window.  So we changed the plan, placed ourselves on the visitors, Sean started and I relieved.  

I have to say that the pitching was really good for the whole game, especially the homers. Powell kept us to 1 run for the first several innings, Dan came in and was also locked in, and HR has a great outing as the 2 inning closer.  Sean had some trouble keeping the ball down at the beginning of the game, but he worked it out and finished strong.  I was throwing batting practice fast balls that must have been looking like cut fastballs or something, because I was getting a lot of swing-throughs.  The change up was definitely working, and I think I finished the day with 4-5 Ks, much more than I have been averaging.  Short innings was the main goal of the day, as it seemed like the first 2 innings took forever! 

There was an abundance of lefties out, each team had them all bundled too.  Phelps, Dan, Mike Lynch, JT, Elon, and New Nick for the homers, Lattig, Gaspar, Sean for the visitors.  We think that we also had all the Mike's of the MBC.  Two new faces, Carlos and Armando played with the visitors, and were great.

There were two double plays I think, and we noticed that there was an upgrade at SS when Powell stopped pitching.  That being said, Dan did a great job tracking down some hard hits during his stint at SS.  A heads up play from Lattig at first managed to get us the elusive 3-6 "tag" double play, which I cannot remember the last time I saw out at our game. 

Cap tip to Marcie, who played her first game at 2nd base, and did great, including at least 2 put outs, and one hard hit ball that she was able to knock down and keep in front of her.  She also put up with the entire infield at various times trying to explain all the nuances of the position, and why we kept moving her around and why throwing to first (or second) was the right move in this particular situation...

The score was uneven for the first half, 3-1, then 4-1 homers.  Once we knocked Powell out (or he quit pitching) we started the long climb back.  We managed to take the lead 5-4 in the latter part of the game, and then the homers tied it up at 5.  

We finished the 9th that way, and had just enough daylight to squeeze one more in, but the tie remained and we all won.

Final score: 5-5.

Highlights

* A real even game, with solid defense on both sides.

* Catching, in particular, was awesome, Mike N. caught the whole game for homers and Nick W.,  Gaspar, Don for the visitors.

* Anna was back from her calf strain, and played a solid 1st base.

* Gaspar had a textbook Gaspar hit, and scored our first run

* We call shenanigans on Powell after he actually backtracked to impede Tony's view of a groundball at SS.  Tony still made the play.

* Marcie was cheated out of a hit, after Elon fell off the bag fielding a throw at 1st, we all called bullshit.

 * Armando had at least 2 very hart hit balls

* One inning of shadows between mound and plate.

* Don made a couple of nice, and needed catches in center.

* Powell almost broke me in my first inning of pitching, he fouled at least 7 pitches, before flying out to deep center.

* Tony pitched and rolled over first, and we all held our breath for a second.  He was fine.

* Mike N was blocking all day, and also made a great foul out catch on the run

* Mike Lynch was lights out at 3rd

* I think I fielded at least 3-4 comebackers

* No Greg,  he was on a boat.

* Alejandro showed up as we were pulling the bases, bummer.

Great game, thanks everyone who showed up!

S. Paige


Monday, October 18, 2021

10/17/21 Cop Field

Only 12 people,  but a great game.  

Havana 6's. 6 on six, borrow two, only two outfielders.  You would think that would make for a sloppy game, but it was tight through and through.

Nick W. for the visitors,  Satch for the homers.  And that's what it ended with.  I like a clean slate.  Nick had a great curveball working.

The rain was impending,  but it stayed cloudy and windy only for the 2 hours.  The drops started and we decided better to end first.  So the 7th inning became the 9th.

It was constant turnaround, no one sat much, it was cover and bat all day.  I made good plays on defense for other team, including a off balanced throw on the run, and Chris P. was doing the same.  It was close. 

Bob on the other hand.... no,  we all did our best. 

It was 1-0, then 3-0, then 4-1, then 4-3, and then it was tied 4-4, and we all realized it was getting dark and stormy.  We got Tony and HR on and I got a nice drive through the infield and everyone nodded that was probably it once the third out was recorded. It was. 

6-4, final, homers.

Highlights 

* Everyone who showed up, roll call: Greg, Tony, Chris P, Chris L, Adam, Alejandro, Lattig, HR, Nick S, Nick W, Bob, Satch

* A great many pop ups in the infield that I caught with confidence.

* I felt like I got a lot of 2-strike counts to batters but couldn't get that 3rd one in

* It's hard when you can't sit down for 2 hours

* Apologies to HR who wanted to pitch the last inning for us, I wanted to finish what I started, and I also knew that I could be ready to pitch in 15 seconds, no warm ups required.  An important point when the rain is impending.

* I feel like everyone had at least one good hit

* We hammered the right field/2 outfielders advantage pretty hard in one inning

* My stomach dropped in the last inning, after we had gone ahead, when the first batter Bob got to 2nd on a error, but he was stranded at 3rd.

* I don't think any one got hit by a pitch.

* The knuckleball was working in the humid wind

* Tony didn't swing while our runner was stealing, good job!

* Lattig got to chirp about the Dodgers win, however, they are not impressing thus far in the NLCS.

* Fuck the Dodgers.

* We need the rain, so I am torn between hoping for a better turn out next week and a week off to enjoy the wet weather.

S. Paige


Monday, October 4, 2021

10/3/21 Cop Field





What a day for a ballgame.  The warm has entered the City, as it usually does in October.  

Earthquake weather, the old timers will say.  

Non-frigid baseball without fog is an acceptable tradeoff for theoretical increased likelihood of a tremblor, says I.

Unfortunately, our rookie of the year went down with an injury before the game even started, Anna was fielding a throw at 1st during warm ups and felt something in her calf twinge up.  She stayed for the bulk of the game, but never got to the point that she could play.  Get well soon! Ice, Heat, Ibuprofen, Stretch, repeat.

Lattig started for the homers and Nick W for the visitors.  Nick was in the groove, although he kept complaining about how hot it was on the mound.  He controlled the homers well for 4 innings, giving way to Chris P and McG for the final inning.  

We ended up playing only 8 innings because the October light is not very forgiving.  Lattig pitched well for the homers, and kept the game close, and hit Bob in the neck, so a good outing all around.  Satch came in to relieve, and was subject to a brutal inning of dinks and drops, coupled with strong line drives.  By the time I left the game, and HR took over to mop up, it was fairly out of reach, though we did provide some semblance of a comeback.  

Final score, 11-8.

The real news is that we had not one, but two notable first-time occurrences in the pantheon of MBC play (as far as any of us could remember, anyway):

1.  Runner on third, Adam hit a ball right back up the middle, so up the middle in fact that it hit one of the reserve balls behind the mound.  Baseballs go in two different directions.  Chris P picked up one and threw it to Bob at first, where it sailed over his head and into out of bounds territory.  The other ball was picked up by Nick W and thrown home to nab the runner trying to score.  

So either a.) fielders choice 3rd out at home, or b.) run scored, E-6, with an automatic free base.  We decided that the law of do-over was the most reasonable solution.  The next hit gets chopped down third baseline, Adam does not run because he thought it was foul, however, it is called fair and the force out at first negates our team from scoring at all.  

With a history of upwards of four reserve baseballs, rosin bags, sweatshirts, sunglasses, gloves, cigarettes, joints, and other smoking accessories all potentially being behind the mound during a game, this is the first time that anything has ever been an obstruction to a hit ball.

2.  It has long been discussed that a big hit--that would surely be a homerun in any ballpark with a fence-- might be considered an automatic round tripper, enabling the batter to run the bases without fear of being tagged out or of showboating reprisal.  How to do it without a donnybrook erupting was the sticking point.   Well, it happened, and a couple of variables made it an easier decision than expected.  

The hitter: Satch.  

The pitcher: Chris P.  

The hit, well, by all accounts landed here, about 383 feet, bounced and rolled to rest near the pitching mound, which is about 465 feet from home plate:


Things that helped this to happen:

  • A very big bat. 
  • A little league fall ball practice on the other field.  Luckily no kids were injured but the ball bounced into their infield practice.
  • Mike Lattig, a homer, playing replacement left field retrieved the ball and signaled a four bagger, and no one really argued.
  • General consensus of sympathy for Satch, who was already straining to make it to 2nd even on a hit that far, but then took third when it seemed that could be done safely 
I was willing to take a ground rule triple on the deal, but it was decided that it should be homerun, and who was I to argue?

The person I want to acknowledge here is Chris P, who was very decent about the whole thing.  No one wants to be the first MBC pitcher that gave up a no-fence, no-contest homerun.  The really painful part, though, is that Chris has probably hit balls that same distance several times and has never been granted the luxury of a trot.  He deserves it, and I hope that he gets one for himself soon. I will be the first in line to support it.

It was posited that in all those games at Potrero Rec, we never had anyone hit one out, Chris P. of course was one of the few that came close.  For posterity, here is what the middle of the roof past the fence is at that field, a mere 358ft:


Ok, I will stop now.

Highlights:

* Nick pitched a hell of game

* There were a couple of scorched line drives that were caught, Mike Lynch almost lost a hand on one, Adam turned another one into a double play

* We had a sure fire play at home, but the infield grass killed the throw

* I noted in real time that I did not swing while HR was stealing, a pet peeve of mine.

* Thanks to McG, Greg, Gaspar, Chris L for catching

* Thanks to Mike L for making the call and the team for supporting it

* Urano had some big hits, and big plays at SS

* McG came up big with the bat

* HR made some much needed catches in center

* There is no rubber on the mound right now, so it's like the Wild West pitching, its disconcerting.

* Gaspar has gone back to metal

* I got Bob to foul out on a knuckleball, haha.

* I want to acknowledge all the MBC hitters that odds are should have had their turn to trot: Chris, Rich, James, Rick K, Sean, Phelpsie, Dave, Duane, Loren, Carter, Elan, Kyle, Pete S, add your name here.

Beautiful day, great game, thanks everyone.


Monday, September 13, 2021

9/12/21 GGP *SHUTOUT*

 



So much for the end of our GGP run.  Back at the same field, the temperature slightly warmer for the first part of the game, and then the fog really rolled in and it was right back where it has been all summer, cold and miserable.  The game on the other hand, was great, if you were on the visitors team.

Sean Paul completed a 9-0 shutout, full stop.  It was a pleasure to watch a master craftsman at work, even though it was my team. 

We had our chances, and Satch threw 8 innings of decent ball, but it was not to be.  I don't feel like I was serving them up, with a few exceptions, but the runs were steady and regular as milking Bessie.  Sean was just not able to be touched, we went down in order at least 4 of 9 times, and a lot of what got us base runners was errors and hustle.  Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear he eats you.

I will take this moment to highlight that our team turned 5 double plays!  Some the old fashioned way, some on line drives, either way, it is probably the only reason the score was not 16-0.  Cap tip to the homers.

In addition to his pitching performance, Sean also had a deep drive to right center, along with The Big Blue Bomber, and Mitch, who was trading doubles.

We could never really get anything started, our biggest threats were always with 2 outs, and that is no way to rally.  

Final score: 9-0, visitors.

Highlights:

* The battery of Sean and John McG, complete games for both of them, awesome day!

* Thanks to everyone that swung at the knuckelball

* Nick W. almost broke me with foul balls on his at bats

* Don made a long running catch in left that robbed us of a chance

* I had one hit I can be proud of and one that I got on base because the 3rd baseman tripped over the infield grass.

* I counted about 6 dink hits into left that all fell 3 feet in front of Bob, maddening

* Carter was out with Charlie, who I think we should have had pinch hit....

* Urano was our play starter for most of the DPs, and also threw a lights out 9th.

* With a few exceptions, every hard hit ball we had went directly to some one

* JT came within 6 inches of a great 2-out knock

* I almost lost a shin to Mike Lattig come backer, luckily I was able to dodge it

* Scoops from Nick S. and Adam at 1st were on display

Thanks to all that played, it was great to have 19!

S. Paige

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

8/29/21 GGP (Final Game)

 I didn't think there was anyway I was making it to the game.  Kids were equivocal when I asked if they wanted to play, as was Mrs. Paige.  However, there also didn't seem to be anything better to do, and we knew the air would at least be fresh.  And fresh it was, to the point that the family was freezing about 30 minutes after we go there.  Well, that is why you ar supposed to keep moving....

We arrived in the 4th inning, with the score 2-1 visitors, Nick W on the mound, and Lattig for the homers.  It seemed like a split of the old guard and the new guard with a few exceptions for fairness, at least Chris P and Urano were on different teams.

Phelps and I agreed that I would be squeezing if he got to third while I was up.  Well that didn't happen, but I managed to gork a ball to short right and outrun the throw to first (barely) for runners at 1st and 3rd with no outs.  Yes, a great opportunity for the ol' "get picked off and hope that the runner at third can score" play.  Nick did the best he could, but that play is a real bummer for the pitcher, the change in direction has to be perfect.  Brian scored easily, and I got to sit down.  Win-win, scored knotted at 2.

Phelps came into throw and Dan came in for the visitors.  The wheels came off quickly, and we pounced on the errors and new pitching to the tune of 5 runs.  Phelps held the visitors, looking nothing like a guy who hadn't pitched in 2 months.

The play of the day was an almost... Dan hit a monster to right center, and was off to the races.  JT was running it down, and he and Urano got to it, and Urano threw a laser to home on one hop just as Dan was bearing down.  In the park homerun for Dan.  Almost the most amazing MBC defensive play ever.  No one thought it would be close, including Bob who was just trying to stop the ball rather than thinking about applying the tag.  A great hit, a great throw, and an almost great play.

Satch took over in the 8th for a two run "save", almost overturning the boat.  The visitors came back and scored 3 runs before I was able to secure the final out for a 9-5 victory.

Highlights:

* Thanks to everyone that came out and made it a real game, with sitting and everything.

* Lil Satch and lil Josh Gibson were in the mix, playing outfield, and running for JT and Bob who were nice enough to give them a chance.  And Lil Satch scored a run, basecoached by his dad, what a treat!

* Mike Lynch's expensive $198 bat was the casualty.  Let's remember not to use others bats without permission.

* Also that one should never spend more than $50 on a bat (West Coast Sports in San Leandro has a lot of quality $40 bats).

* Someone hit a triple, but I don't remember who it was.

* Thanks to Chris L, John McG, Don, Bob for catching.

* Also a great catch from Chris L on a difficult foul ball behind the dish

* Adam had a whole cheering section out

* No sight of the band, hopefully they have not given up on us

* Our team had the record for left handed infielders in non-1st base positions

* I somehow managed to be 3-3 with a run scored.

* I apologize for any action or great plays that I didn't cover before I got there.

Friday, August 13, 2021

8/8/21 GGP

 




Finally a game with enough players so we weren't running back and forth covering the defense the whole game.  17 players, that is like a plethora of players these days!

I showed up late due to bridge traffic, and they were still in the top of the first, so I hadn't missed much.  Sonny was on the hill, but he wasn't happy about it.  His arm was feeling pretty off, and I promised to take over for him once I had a chance to warm up.  Carter was throwing for the other team, after appearing out of the blue.  He brought one of his kids with him, so hopefully this is a good sign for the future, though we have been fooled by the Rockwell's before.

The game was sort of close for a bit, surprising given that Chris P was on the other team, and he is usually good for a run an inning, as well as some good pitching.  That being said, I don't know if the visitors ever had the lead, but I do know that we tacked on runs at a pretty good clip.  The game wasn't slow, per se, but I think it started late, and we all had a case of the fog drowsies.  

We decided to end the game after 7 innings, Sonny threw 2 and I threw 5.  Catchers were a premium, especially after Chris L took a foul ball in the twig and berries.

What we did have was a lot of new guys, recruited by HR, and Carter: Tyler (?), Eduardo, the Blue Bomber (bedecked in Dodgers gear, and swinging from the heels like a madman), and a bearded guy whose name I didn't get, but who was an interesting final out of the game.  Nick W had taken over for Don behind the dish after a quad injury seized him running to first.  I threw a pretty perfect fastball to the outside corner, and Nick shrugged and called it strike 3.  The batter disagreed, and Nick felt bad for ending it that way, and I figured it wasn't that big of a deal, so we kept going.  Suddenly I couldn't throw strike three (four) and then he hit a double to left to score two runs.  

Mercy is for the weak.  

Soon after, it ended for real, the final score a soft 11-8.

Highlights:

* Thank you to everyone that came out, and for the new blood!

* No band this week, hopefully they have not given up on us

* New guy dove in center for a ball, we explained to him soon after that sort of thing tends to injure more than help, and he would soon lower his standards if he came out more

* Anna had a great rope to left

*Don and I managed to communicate for an entire game with him calling signs for what he thought was sliders and me throwing changeups.

* Adam had some real nice digs at first, but we also had a lot of passed balls at first

* Don kept playing after he hurt himself, thanks for the guts!

* Marcie had a nice situational at bat and netted herself a RBI

* Chris P laid off all the cheese I was serving him, to my surprise.

* Carter ran out of gas on a particularly frustrating inning that his team could not get a out.  He was shotputting the ball by the end.  I promised that I would get that 3rd out, and I did.

* He also played me at 380ft in left to catch my hardest hit of the day

* We successfully made a "check the runner, go one" play.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

7/25/21 GGP

 Well of all our games that was by far the most recent.....

The summer doldrums continue,  though unlike last week there was no saving have of late comers,  and we ended up with 10 players.  10! 

Once again we ask why we have 102 people on the email chain and can't field a game.  I'm part of the problem but dammit I wanted a game.  What we got was 3 batters and 7 fielders,  pitchers and catchers playing 6 outs. It was something. 

I can't say who won,  but Urano and Mike N were the big hitters, but everyone got at least one good smack I think. 

 James made a couple of great running catches after he muffed one.  

JT almost had a great catch and then made up for it later in the inning.  

I caught 3 line drive comebackers that seemed to each be harder than the last. 

HR had the dirtiest opposite field hit, followed by me. 

The score was not outlandish and the defense held up pretty well considering.  The band was out and entertained us.  The 7th inning stretch was whenever they wanted it to be. 

I managed to catch a pop fly in front of the pitchers mound,  barely. 

There was a double play. 

I think we had fun. 

There was an honest discussion as to could you tag a ghost runner to start a double play....

I challenged James with 2 change ups and a slider for my only K of the day. 

Hopefully more will come out soon.