Monday, February 12, 2024

2/11/24 GGP

Why do we deal with the high taxes, the sometimes confusing and overburdensome laws, the overpopulation? Because on February 11th, a month and a 1/2 before the beginning of Spring we can play a baseball game in Golden Gate Park where not only was the sun shining, it was actually warm.

We had 22 players come out for the game before the game and ours proved to be very much like the Super Bowl®. Sean started for the homers and Satch started for the visitors. I had made the request of my teammates beforehand that I not be allowed to pitch more than 4 innings and I mostly held to that, though I did request a fifth inning because I had not planned on the sun being so warm that I actually felt good pitching. 

Sean looked good as well, the sweat started early on him and looking like the Batman logo across his back. Sean lasted a few innings more than I and then Mitch came in after him.  I bowed out after 5 innings and gave the ball over to Dave, And then Chris Powell and then John McGrath for the close. 

We had a couple of new players some from the Mayan organization, Ethan who came with Connor, and one a recruit from Sonny, Javier, who quickly showed us that he knows how to play The Game.  Sure was nice to have an abundance of players, let's hope that continues.

The game was a real back-and-forth battle, we were tied at 2 then we went up to 4, then we went up to 6, then my last inning I gave up a run and some hits/errors and then the homers scored 2 on an unfortunate 2-out clank in right field. We were tied at 6 for a while, and coming down the home stretch bottom of the ninth, 7-7 ball game the homers were able to pull out a victory, thanks to 2 wild pitches and a ground ball from Sean to me at 2nd.  I heaved it to home with all that I had, but not enough, and the homers won, 8-7.

Highlights

* Full ranks, great playing

* Marcie came out with her little gum drop, then left him in the stands, and came in to knock a hard single up the middle, notching the MBC's first post-natal hit statistic (PNH).  I am sure Bill James will include that in the next SABR update.

* Carlos and Reumaldo both had a couple of amazing plays in left field

* John McGrath did a great job with the bat and behind the dish

* The grass makes the hardest ground ball a slow roller

* Some bang-bang plays at 1st!

* At one point, the average height of our outfielders was 5'3

* Don, Javier, Sean, Dave, Alejandro, Powell, McG, all put the muscle on the ball

* Mitch hit a ball one-handed for a single that he had no business even touching

* My last at-bat I finally got into one, loud grunt and all, and I think this is about where it landed.  The shameful part is that I only got a single.  The really shameful part is that I probably have had longer singles....



Monday, November 27, 2023

11/26/23- GGP


I haven't been out in a while, long enough that when I mentioned how nice it was to have 20+ players, Greg told me that the numbers have been good for a while.  Well, whatever gets it done.  We ended up with 25 when it was all said and done, including a new guy named Patrick who came in from the cold, and it was discovered that he was on Sean's fabled Evergreen 0-32 team!  Small world.

It was an absolutely beautiful day, the kind of winter day that we are happy that we live in Northern California.  The teams were divvied up and I saw a small problem with the hitters on the home team.  There were too many of them! Powell, Adam, Phelps, Mitch, Bob, Mike N, Lynch, the kid, it went on.  Not that our team was full of nothing, but that was an extended Murderer's Row. However, some one noted that every time we say one team is over loaded, they end up losing.  

Not this time.

Nick W started for the homers, and was pitching well, though we did hit some square balls, they seemed to be right at some one. No matter, lots of game left, right?  Well, the game kept on going that way, and then they switched to Mike N, and we fared little better, though we did score a run.  Then Sonny came in, and handed us a three inning boot in teeth to finish the game.  

I started for the visitors, and felt good, but could not get my curveball to work to save my life.  My back was also paining me, as a result of pulling a stump earlier that day, so I tried my best but was not full bars.  As a team, we all made our share of miscalculations, dropped balls, and misthrows, and the innings stretched on forever.  I could get 2 strikes on every batter but never the 3rd.  The homers fouled off so many pitches, it was a constant chase into the stands, and one more pitch from the reserves.  

As a result of all this, the score became *ahem* a bit embarrassing.  

I left after 5, and Dave came in to clean up the mess.  Sean came after him, and then John Carey, and then Greg.  Our defense improved slightly, but the damage was done.  I left rather than play an extra inning, so I do not know what the final outcome was, but the end of the game I saw was 13-2, homers.  

Ouch.

Highlights

* The homers won this game, they made the plays when they needed to, and were all tough in the box.

* There were a yuge number of gorks and dinks as well.

* I aaaaaaaaalmost had Phelps on a strike 3, but he got one centimeter of bat on it and laid a perfect swinging bunt

* We visitors could not make the direct out to save our lives, but we made several outs on secondary plays, that is how you stay in the game!

* Sonny threw me a nasty knuckleball that was called strike 3.  I will leave it at that.

* We had a Carey vs. Carey match up, but no plunking.  The younger generation is getting soft.

* Speaking of, John Carey is playing with the Brooklyn Ramblers, or will be when their field thaws, ha ha ha.

* Phelps made a diving catch in center 

* I think in general, our SS's all played way too deep.

* Conor could not buy a lucky chance the whole game

* Nick got me right in the arm, on a pitch I could not get out of the way.  After then walking me, I took my base, rather than get hit again

* JT got a hit, but was thrown out trying for 2, which is kind of the best case scenario for everyone.  I recognized the look in his eyes about halfway to 2nd when he realized the ball was passing him by.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 4, 2023

10/29/23 GGP

 Well, if you weren't there, you can't know how truly nice of a day it was.  The sun was shining, the breeze just enough to tickle the fancy of a late autumn, and crap, we have 10 players again....even the band was one guy, waiting on a miracle.  

Victory often comes to the bold however, and rather than curse our darkness, we decided on a strong recruitment campaign.  There were two guys in the outfield hitting balls into a practice net who inquired if we were playing a game, and they were all in when approached.  Two other guys were leftover from a game that had happened earlier that day and they were in.  A trickle of latecomers from the MBC, and all of a sudden we had 18 players!  Think what we could do if some of the people that we actually rely on made it out!

Just as our fortunes improved, so did the band's numbers, and they were a full tilt delight for the attendees out on that beautiful day.  We remarked that for the random tourist passing through the park, we must have been a real crowd pleaser.  Actual baseball, played on the field, tin pan alley jazz music from the stands, tying it all together in the background.  

The game was decent, Sean was on point, and I was well rested, so we had ourselves a good duel.  Since Sean and Powell were on the same team, we took both the new guys from the hitting net, which proved a good balance.  They could mash, and they could run.  Both things that the MBC has diminished in of late.

The score stayed close, though the visitors threated a few more times than we did.  My curve ball was not working too well, so I stuck with the fastball and the changeup, which were effective enough.  

Defensively we looked pretty good too, it is always nice to have the game not be a shit show.

Sean last most of the game, then came out for Mike N and Powell.  I elected to stay in, as I am wont to do, apologies to my team for my selfish ways.  We threatened in the 9th, but ultimately came up short, and the visitors took it, 6-3.

Highlights

* Marcy came out with the lil'un, she looked tired, but happy, great to see the family!

* Jonathan, who is fast departing from new guy status made a great running catch in left to end a threatening inning and a much needed play at 2nd base.  

* I hit into a double play to squash a rally.  

* A fantastic play at home to get a runner that I didn't think we had a chance at.

* What it came down to in the end was that the visitors were better at scoring chances than we were.  

* A well-positioned bunt from one of the new guy leaguers was a great bit of situational hitting.

* The new guys were all great, hope they come back!

* I did have 3 hits, and a RBI.  And I managed to leg out a single that should have been an easy hit but Powell is gonna Powell.

* I had trouble with location with my challenge fast ball.  I hit Bob, and almost hit Powell.  Sorry fellas!

* The weather was so hot, Sean's shirt turned into a Rorschach blot.

* The only time my challenge fastball worked was on JT, who probably didn't deserve it.

* John Mcg was a steady presence, and had some great blocks behind the dish.

* Greg is hurt, but still catching.  That's the spirit of the MBC right there.

New time, 1pm, see you all out there!


Somewhere in the game we added an inning, it was the 5th inning for 2 innings, so we got to play extra baseball, always a good time.


Monday, October 9, 2023

10/8/23- GGP

The Mission Baseball Club is facing a crisis.  I don't want to sound like Chicken Little, but the numbers we have been putting up for attendance are not acceptable and we are in danger of this thing of ours dying on the vine.  We have had lulls before, but this seems extraordinary.  And fucking ridiculous. 

The last few games that I have been to were paltry, at best, and this week was no different.  12 players, 2 of which were my kids.  

Currently there are 95 email addresses in our list.  Of those, 20% are legacy players that don't live remotely close to the game, but like hearing that it is still going.  

As for the rest of you, what the fuck? 

We hammered out the best we could with what we had.  There were 4 guys in the park playing catch, with a baseball, and I tried to talk them all into joining, but they were real adamant about not playing.  We tried to entice a few of the players from the olde tyme practice to play, but they said only if we moved our game down to their field.  Nah.  So 12 it was.

I started for the visitors and Mitch started for the homers.  That was pretty much how it was all game, with the last inning for us going to Phelps, who looked great, and I bet would have loved to pitch more, did I mention that all you people that aren't showing up are fucking this up?  Am I putting too fine a point on it?

The Lil's, T and C, played great in the meantime.  They got hits, assisted plays, scored runs, stole bases, made outs, got dirty, all things you could have done if you got your lazy asses out there more often.

We were on our feet the whole game, playing defense when we weren't batting, and Anna and Greg got traded back and forth about 3 times, until Greg finally put his foot down and just stopped batting.  

The game was 4-0 for most of the time, our visiting team could not put a run across.  The homers chipped away, and by the time we scored one run, so had they, and it was 5-1 going into the 9th.  Suddenly our bats came alive, and we pushed 3 runs across the board, with runners on 2nd and 3rd.  Alas, it was not to be, and the rally died, as did the game.  

Final: 5-4, homers.

Highlights

* For having 3/5 of a team, we made some good plays

* Several line drives were hit at the heads of people, and all survived

* Sean hit the turd shot of the game, dropping a fly behind 3rd, with two outfielders playing him to pull

* Thanks to the catchers, who did a great job

* Phelps behind the dish!

* Greg was in a semantics argument about location with a AAA driver for the first half of the game

* Phelps also hit two balls down the 1st base line, which made me have to run to 3rd.  

* Being the broken specimen that I am, somehow I was responsible for our first two runs scored.....

Roll Call of the Reliable

Greg

Tony

Anna

Nick W

Mitch

Mike N

Sean 

Conor

Satch

Lil Satch

Lil' Josh Gibson

Brian P


Monday, September 18, 2023

9/17/23- Camp Swampy

It was nice to get back to Camp Swampy.  I don't know when was the last time we played, but it has been a while!  We had 19 brave souls out to play, with a nice visit from the expecting MBCer Marcie.  I had brought the kids out as well, and we had a rando guy show up who said he saw us on the internet, but as far as we know, we don't advertise.  Is there a leak?  My sleuthing led me to a unsecure internet site, but I can't view it.

The game started out pretty good, Nick W was pitching for the visitors and Sean for the homers.  We scored a few, and then they scored a few, but it was all in a reasonable fashion.  Then the homers exploded in the 4th, thanks to some big hits and missed opportunities, and all if a sudden it was 9-2.  Ouch!  We of the visitors had pretty much written off the game, but it goes to show that you can never tell in our game. 

Sean came out, and Tony came in, Nick came out and Mike N came in.  Our fortunes started to shift.  The new guy left, and Lil Satch was traded to the homers.  We got a few hits and enjoyed a little bad defense ourselves.  By the 6th the score was 10-5.  Then we started picking on JT in left field.  When we weren't doing that, we had bases loaded singles 3 times in a row.  And then, Nick W. hammers one down the line, and was off to the races!  First round tripper we have seen in a while, for 3 runs, and with that mighty wallop, we took the lead for the first time, 12-10!

Satch comes in to secure the victory, the homers get one back in the 8th, and the tension is getting high.  HR comes in for the homers to lock us down, and we don't score any more runs.  It will have to be a close one.  

Our half of the 9th is quiet, and its hard to say if we can hold this lead, but in the 9th we are blessed with the amazing glove of Mike Gaspar in left field, who catches the first out coming in towards 2nd, and then for the 3rd out, makes the long run to the left field line, going full out, dives and.....makes the catch!  

12-11, Visitors!

Highlights:

* Great game all around

* The chances were there but we managed to not have anyone take a ball in the face, which is the curse of Camp Swampy

* Lil' Satch and Lil' Josh Gibson both got hits, and made some good plays.

* Bob caught a line drive at 1st that was destined for extra bases

* I had one cheater stick double, and one tree trunk double, a good day, if not only for the fact that I could run to 2nd.

* Greg took one right in the tricep, from Nick.  Hard times getting hit when you got no meat on your bones

* In addition to Gaspar, Sean and Mitch both made great catches in the outfield

* Thanks to everyone that took something off when pitching to my kids, their greatest fear--and mine--is that they are going to get hit in the head.  For those who did not take something off, well, at least you for sure struck out that 12 year old....

* Anna broke a bat, then Nick broke it again over his knee

*It was an extra base hit kind of day, I agree with Mitch's assessment, that you see the ball really well on this field

* Sean tattooed a triple that was almost a home run

* HR was gunned down at 3rd, after a weird play.  I am starting to think baserunning might not be his strong suit....

* Speaking of, I also forgot how many outs there were, and almost got out at 3rd, after I stopped running, thinking that the inning was over.

* Bob was throwing warm ups underhanded with a weird spin at 1st.  I asked him if his arm was hurt.  His response: "No, I am just being a dick."  *Cap tip*

Sunday, September 17, 2023

9/9/23 SQ Giants vs. MBC

 The Saturday games are always so much more enjoyable.  No time limits, more people around, the sun rather than the encroaching fog.  The newly re-formed SQ Giants looked resplendent in their new uniforms, courtesy of Murph, also known as Mike Murphy, the recently retired SF Giants equipment manager.  There are also a lot of new faces on the team, especially in the pitching department, and man oh man, do we miss the days when Kool-Aid when come in and walk in 4 runs.  Every pitcher we face now throws gas, along with a variety of off speed and breaking balls, and throws them all for strikes.  

This game was no different, though it stayed closer than most for a bit.  I got the start, and it is always a pleasure to throw on the SQ mound, it is perfectly manicured, and they got the good dirt.  The same umpire was behind the dish, Ol' Shorty Low Ball.  Seriously, this guy calls low strikes like he is paid to do it.  No one is exempt, including me, who's knees are about 6 inches higher than everyone else.  Not that it mattered too much, the young lefty that we have seen before was on fire.  He hammered us with fastballs for the first 4 innings and then switched to the off speed stuff and hammered us some more.  Then he started mixing in a forkball that was devastating.  

The game got off to a good start, they scored one, and we answered back.  1-1 for a few innings, then 2-1, then 4-1.  Even then, it still felt like we were playing good ball.  Our defense made some great plays, including a play at the plate to get a tagging up runner.  Not surprisingly, the throw was courtesy of Gabriel, a SQ player we borrowed to make up our sub-9 numbers. 

I finished after 6 and handed off to Mike N, who was pitching well, but his strikes were jumped on by the SQ team, and they racked up 6 runs on us.  HR came in for the 8th, and also threw well.  

At least everyone knew that the Giants were going to win, so they could relax, right?  Nope, they put in another gas-throwing lefty to finish us off in the 9th; this guy threw harder than the first.  We folded like a 7-2 off suit in the 9th and that was it.

Final, 11-1, SQ Giants.

Highlights:

* Congrats to the pitcher of the Giants, he has got everything.

* Powell and I combined for 6 strikeouts on the day, but also combined for the only run that our team scored.

* The play at the plate was awesome, the throw, Greg perfectly placed, the tag, it was a thing of beauty.

* There were remarkably few error filled innings

* The tactic of the Giants is that every single will become a triple.  They steal 2nd and 3rd as soon as possible.  We tried pitchouts and still didn't get them.

* Steve, the coach of the Giants, played 1st for us, but opted out of hitting

* Nick W made at least 2 dynamite catches in the outfield, as did HR

* John McG was responsible for at least 5 outs at 2nd, he was the defensive anchor.

* Shorty Low Ball stopped calling low strikes for an inning, and then went back to it

* HR got picked off, after we told him to be careful about getting picked off

* Mike N had the defensive play of the game, catching a line drive that would have taken his head off had he not caught it.

A few more games left in the prison season, hope we can at least score more than 1 run.

S Paige


Monday, September 4, 2023

9/3/23 GGP

Greg sent out the panic email for Labor Day weekend, not knowing if there would be enough people to field a game, after last weeks embarrassment of 10 players game against the Old Tyme guys.  Well, we were treated to the true heart and soul of the MBC, with a 24-player game!  Noice!

Sean started for the visitors and Nick W for the homers, with a wide variety of talent on both teams, and more showing up over the first few frames.  I was lucky enough to be on a team with Sean for once, and we also had John, Arson, and Arson's friend, who were all serious ballers.  I forgot what it looks like when you see 16 year-old baseball players in their ascendency running, and hitting and catching.  It's impressive.  And we also had "Lucky" Luciano, who is 10, and was a serious asset to our team this week. He made 3 putouts, and scored a run!

The homers had a lot of MBC juice, with Greg, Tony, Lattig, Gaspar, HR, Dan, Don.  They decided to throw a potpourri game, with each pitcher going 2 innings.  It made for a fun game, with different stuff about every at bat.

We jumped to a lead in the game, thanks to the aforementioned youngsters, and some other timely hitting and a few well placed errors, and we were out front 4-1.  Sean was dealing his usual filth, and kept the homers from stringing together anything too big.

I came in for the 5th and the long save.  We had expanded out lead to 6-2 by that point, and while I did give up two runs, my pitch count by the inning was: 7, 7, 8, 6.  Yep, 4 innings, 28 pitches.  Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-ficiency.

In addition to an amazing catch in left field in a important situation, Lucky also made two outs at 2nd, and almost made a third but Brian Phelps gave him the juke and avoided the tag.  I thought he may have gone out of the baseline, and said so.  Brian trotted off the field.  Greg and Tony asked me what the fuck I was doing, and why it was my business calling the game from left field.  Brian trotted back on.  

*Shrug*

Homers- 6-4, final.

Highlights:

* Pitchers for the homers: Nick W, HR, Dave,  Tony, Greg

* Dan had a deep drive to left center

* It was great to see Tim out after a long hiatus.  His excuse: he doesn't live in the Bay Area anymore....

* We had the slowest outfield on record at one point: From Left to Right: Satch, Bob, JT

* I successfully caught a ball coming off the mound

* We scored at least a few runs on weird-after-the-play errors

* Bob was a hitting machine.

* My only decent hit off the bat went to deep left, right where the outfielder was....

* Greg predicted a no-force double play that I would hit into, right before I hit in to it!

* No band today, but they deserve the day off

* Thank you to everyone that showed up, it was great to have a real game!

* Thank you to all the Labor unions that fought to get us all the things we take for granted

S. Paige


Friday, August 25, 2023

The end of the summer

 


A hearty congratulations to Liam McGrath on two very successful San Quentin games and one not-so-successful game.  The way she goes, boys.

The game that shall not be named was not anyone's finest moment, but before the game, he got a signed baseball from the inmates in acknowledgement of his previous complete game at SQ, with 12Ks!  A dominating performance.  My sources tell me that his most recent relief appearance was just as good.  

We are proud to have him amongst our ranks, and he has come a long way.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

8/20/23 GGP

The band was out in full force, and we had enough to play a game.  The weather was amazing, so few summer days that actually feel like summer days.  Sonny started for the homers, and Sean for the visitors.  

Two things are certain in a hot summer game: Pitching will be better because the muscles are warm, and Sean's back will look like a Rorschach ink blot after the 2nd inning.

Sonny was dealing, we got to him early for 2 runs, but that was it.  We could not get the ball to find a hole in the defense.  It didn't help that we also hit into 3-4 double plays, which killed every rally we might have had.  Sean pitched his heart out, and kept us in the game, but we just didn't have enough to over come.  Lil Josh came in with me to play, and he did a fine job at 2nd base, managed to get two outs, and stayed down on the grounders.  He also covered 2nd base like a 1st baseman every time there was a runner, regardless of how many times we told him he didn't have to.  It was great to have him out there.

The play that probably broke our spirit was almost great. A long drive to deep right center, and Nick Werthman on his horse.  Not a chance in hell to catch the ball, but he was running.  Then all of a sudden somehow, it was in his range, he was closing in, and it hit his glove.....and dropped out.  A collective "Awwwwww Shit" rose up.  

Our inability to match the opponents double plays, and three more almost-catches that hit us in the gloves sealed our fate.  Nick took over for Sean and HR came in to pitch, as did Mike N, and we fared a little better, bringing the score within one, but ultimately we could not retake the lead.  

We had started a little late, and we lost track of the innings, so it was the 5th about 3 innings in a row.  Even with the fudged innings, we couldn't win.

Final- Homers 5-4.

Highlights:

* Sonny pitched a great game, with his dog as a distraction

* Lots of double plays make for an easy game

*  2 or 3 infield fly rules called

* Mike Lynch was picking on Lil' all day, smashing grounders at him.  He was practicing his post game review as "having that 2nd baseman's number all game."

* Great job behind the dish for Rudy, Greg, Mike, all were blocking the ball well

* Lil' got 2 hits, made 2 outs, and stayed calm while fielding a ground ball to tag out Rudy, who was barreling at him

* Greg hitting in the 2 spot!

* Tony was our most consistent hitter

* There was a new guy out, who seemed good enough

* Carter spanked a ball, and made a couple of great plays, all with kids in tow

* The band sounded really good, they are expanding their tin pan alley repertoire, and getting more eclectic

* The only hit I had was my first at bat, a hit to right, then it was ground ball and pop ups the rest of the game

* HR was caught at 3rd, and it was disputed until his own team member Mitch called him out, you can trust Mitch.

* On the plus side, I am running more like a guy with a rock in his shoe, than a guy with a rock for a leg.  Progress!

* Lil' and I made it half a mile down the road, before our truck blew up, clunking sound, coolant dropped out, white smoke spewing out of the exhaust.  Anyone who wants to buy a 29 year old F250 diesel truck with a blown motor, let me know....

Monday, August 14, 2023

GGP- 8/13/23

Outside lands.  

The mere mention of it strikes fear into the heart of every player who wants to go to Golden Gate Park, but does not want to get mixed up in that mess.  Well, we took a gamble, and it paid off.  I was the stupid one for thinking that the park would be such a mess that I took a parking spot near UCSF and walked over, only to find that the park was deserted and parking was plentiful.  Damn!

We only had 12 by 3:15, and we started with an all-time center fielder, which was a new wrinkle, idea by Gaspar.  Then a few more showed up, and then Don came, and Luciano (Lucky to his friends) and we had 16, almost a real game!  

I won't dwell on the specifics, other than Sean was dealing all game.  Not in an overpowering strike out way, much more degrading, as in getting us to ground out or pop up sort of way.  Literally, we had an infield hit, a dying quail, and a dropped grounder to show for 8 innings.  It was ugly.  The new grass is like hitting a ball into pudding, everything dies.  

I was on the mound for the homers, and rediscovered a fastball with some zip on it by changing my arm angle and release.  I could put a inside fastball anywhere I wanted to, it was crazy.  The Cyborg battery, or Titanium battery (we are still work shopping the name) was in full effect. 

Most of the runs for the visitors were in the first inning, as I goofed a play at first not covering, we had a ground ball mishap, a throwing mishap, a weird pop up mishap, well, you get the idea.  2 runs scored.  We held on for a while, and then the visitors manufactured a run, and then another, and we were still trying to get a runner to 3rd.

I would like to say that we did, but alas, not today.  We finished 9 innings in record time, and played an extra so that Finn could pitch, and I could have my complete game.  Greg asked when I got weird about that stuff, and I am not sure, but I like the idea of throwing complete games whenever possible.  Everyone has to have a thing.

But here was the weird part, the visitors got their ups in the 10th and then pulled the bases and declared the game over.  Wha?  

Final- 4-0 Visitors

* Thank you to everyone who came out, it was looking grim

* Thanks to Finn and his dad! who played for the first time, and did well!

* Long lost MBC player alert!  Elvin came out to play, great to see him, and to hear that he is still playing ball in LA.

* Sean with a dominating day and Mike N with the boot on the throat in the 9th.

* For how lopsided it looked, our defense did a pretty good job

* Speaking of that, we had a interesting double play, which went 4-3-6-5, as you do.

* Bob made a great catch in center field to rob me of a hit

* There were more ground balls to the right side while I was pitching than I have had in awhile.

* The Gaspar Shift paid off again, though the new guy thought we were crazy.

* The knuckle ball was dancing!

* I finally hit one to the outfield for a hit, in the 9th, with 2 outs....better late than never, I guess

* Mike Lynch made an amazing play at third going to his right into foul territory and then firing a bullet to get the runner

* The report from the SQ game was another loss but that Sean pitched great, and it was much better game, including no errors, which may be a new record for us.

Monday, July 17, 2023

7/16/23 GGP

 The park is open again for games, though the grass is now really nice, they didn't do any work on the dirt, the mound, or the outfield.  So maybe that could have been done.t But it wasn't and the infield is a sandbox, the mound is a dust box, and the outfield is a kale salad.  

Seriously, they couldn't have mowed the grass before the grand re-opening?

Our other problem is that the summer time is really hard to get people out.  The last few games have been very light affairs, and I know people are travelling, or whatever, but seriously, we have 94 people on the email chain, we can't get 18 to show up?  That being said, I know that we have some regulars out with injuries and hope they are healthy again soon.  

I made 12 players when I got there at 3:15 after being stuck in traffic and then parking nightmares.  The band had at least 10, so we got showed up by them.  We got two more late comers and a public pick up, but then we lost a player to a gig, so it was 14 for most of the game.  Good nuf'!

Tony started for the homers, and Sean for the visitors.  Our team was stymied by Tony, but the homers had no problem scoring runs.  Tony bowed out, and so did Sean and HR came in for the homers, and was pitching good but we finally got our bats working, thanks to Don who stumbled his way on the field after some music festival in the mountains.  He was our good luck though, and we brought the game back within reach to 6-3.  

I took over for Sean and, not to toot my own horn, was the epitome of efficiency.  Over the next 4 innings, I threw a total of 20 pitches!  While they didn't score anymore runs, we also didn't seem to be catching up.  The attendance being what it was, it was decided that the 8th inning should be the 9th inning, so we entered the 9th down 3 runs.  Then all of a sudden, we scored a run!  Then another, and another!  6-5!  What a game!  But, as with most things, we ran out of gas and HR settled in and got the outs he needed.

Final Score: 6-5, homers

Highlights

* Thanks to everyone who showed up

* Mike N had the drive of the day, with a hit to left that got to the hard grass and rolled and rolled

* Greg volunteered to catch for both teams, thankfully he only had to do one inning.

* Mitch and Powell on the same team?  Seems sus'.

* I discovered that playing left field is easy when you dare the hitters to hit it over your head.  The grass was so thick it won't roll, and you are in the perfect position to catch the line drive over the short stop.

* The band sounded great!

* While it was 102 where I live, it was foggy and 62 degrees during the game...

7/12/23 SQ A's vs MBC

 The only thing I can say about this game is that it is always good to play ball with the SQ A's.

Brandon came in with us for the first time, a year after release, along with some restorative justice people he is working with.

We made about 14 errors, and couldn't hit the ball.

Final Score- 11-0.

Friday, July 7, 2023

7/2/23 Moscone Field

Life is a circle, as has been proven to us time and time again.  Here we were, back at Moscone, the site of the very first MBC doubleheader, and now back for the 20th anniversary.  I think this photo is from the first year, but I could be wrong

They have made some drastic changes to the Moscone field.  First off, the whole thing is fenced off now, I felt more caged there than I do at San Quentin.  

Secondly, they have locked the bathrooms, and trimmed all the big hedges, so peeing is now a exercise in timing and speed.  The only bathroom is now across the park, at the fancy Parks and Rec building.  Hard to do when you don't know if your team is going to make it a rally inning, or a 7 pitch inning.  

Thirdly, the weird pee stairs that used to be in each dugout are gone, and have been replaced with small concrete stages...

We had just enough for full games in each game, which was a little odd, since usually the doubleheader is a massively attended affair.  But hey, we will take what we can get.  Sonny started for the visitors and Satch for the homers.  Sonny was on fire, lights out for most of the game, we could not get a good hit to save our lives.  We scored one run early in the game, and that was it.  We were staffed with some big hitters but no one could put the wood to the ball.  Cap tip to Sonny for a great game.  I pitched ok, but it took me a long time to settle in after a lot of time off, and a road trip under my belt.  I kept throwing, and things started to be better after a few 2nd, and 3rd situations.  The visitors were kept to 1 run as well, partially due to some great defense from our new AOY, but more on that later.

The game went really quick, since no one was scoring any runs, and by 12:45 we were in the 8th inning.  I had stayed in, feeling good, but Powell wanted to pitch before he had to leave, so I gave up the 9th inning in deference to that (and my streak).  Well, it didn't quite turn out the way we wanted it to, the visitors suddenly woke, up and scored 3 runs, after putting at least 3 hits in the same place in left field.  Mike N came in to close the deal for the visitors, and we finally started to wake up the bats too, but in the end we fell short and the final of the first game was visitors, 4-3.

BBQ went well for very little organization.  We had hotdogs, sausages, burgers, chicken, side salads, watermelon, beer and cool drinks.  The shade of the big tree was very nice as well, as it was a scorcher of a day, by SF standards.  Thank you to those who brought out the grills and food, and ice chests.  After a very nice speech by AOY Marciella and a few grumblings from AOY Sonny, the award for 2023 AOY went to a very deserving Mike Lynch.  He has had a hell of a year, but through it all he has been such a great addition to the group: his generosity of spirit and new shirts, his power hitting and amazing 3rd base-ing, and he is just a great person.  We thought no one was more deserving.  

I also have to add that Mike wanted James to have the AOY for deserting us for the Olde Tyme league, which I agree was a good suggestion (maybe next year James!) and showed he has the right mindset for the AOY gang.  

We were also saddened to hear that Bob is considering retirement and moving back to the ranch.  Seems like he has plenty of baseball left in him, but hard to argue.  It has been a hell of a ride, cowboy.  

The band was also there, playing the entire time, and they brought the Rookie of the Year trophy back to bestow on a new ROY and this year Lil' Satch got it!  Ironic, since his brother has been out much more, and been playing a lot more games, but he was gracious in his acceptance, and then got off to a bright new start in the 2nd game with a nice line drive between 1st and 2nd for a legitimate hit!  Way to go, youngster!

2nd Game

Yes, Greg and I were the battery of the day, just a couple of cyborgs trying to wring the last of the juice from the fruit.  We stayed in for the entire 2nd game, bringing our total to 17 innings as pitcher and catcher.  A new record is born!  We kept the teams the same, but shook up the lineups a bit, and the game was very lively.  Sean was pitching for the visitors, and was pitching well, but we were able to put the bat on the ball much more than we usually are with him, and scored some runs.  

Noah and his son Liam were there, and doing baseball right.  Well, Liam was, I had Noah's number all game, 3 changeups in a row for a 1-2-3 K, ouch.  The run scoring was much improved as well, and we had a back and forth game, with some heroics, some well placed hits, some kicked around balls, and a little looser format than the first, aided by the increase in beer in the interim.  But still a fun time.  The game ended up in a 7-7 tie going into the bottom of the 9th, and the new kid came in for the visitors.  I was able to lace a hit to center, and then get a pinch runner.  Stole second, stole third, and then on a tense at bat from Stoner, who got a hit to left to end the game, 8-7 homers.  Hooray!

Highlights

* Great to see all that came out, players, fans, spouses, friends, band members, it was a fantastic day!

* 'Naldo came for the first game, made several great plays in the outfield, and was a major contributor with the bat

* Marcie also came out, played defense only, apparently she thinks I am some sort of monster that would bean her

* It was a rare off day for most of our big hitters

* New guy Conner came with Sean, and was 4-5 in the first game

* Daniel, who has made the doubleheader his once-a-year pilgrimage, had more fire than in years past.  This was evident, though it may have strayed too far in the 2nd game when he rounded 2nd on a play, and was tagged out by a tumbling Noah (on his own team) on the far side of the bag.  Daniel insisted that he beat the throw and there was no force out.  We all agreed, but we also insisted that Noah had tagged him once he was past the bag.  Daniel did not take it well.  Keep your chin up kid, and come out more often.

* Lil' Josh Gibson made a great play at 2nd for a much needed out

* All our first basemen did well on a tough day

* Tony had a case of the dropsies, blamed on a new glove

* I didn't throw a curveball for a strike until well into the 2nd game

* Mike Lynch made some more great plays at 3rd

* I actually caught a pop fly in the infield, on the run!

* Greg and I are really putting the other hitters to shame (that is until we have to run)

* The visitors turned a double play in the 1st game, which was a major rally killer

* The soreness of 17 innings is still in me

* The bummer about pitching 2 games is all the other pitchers that mess up the mound after you get it just the way you like it

* Thank you everyone, congrats to the award winners, and happy birthday America!

Thursday, June 1, 2023

5/28/23 GGP

 Back at the GGP, back to the east field with the better mound in my opinion, back to baseball basics with 16 players and a cold windy, foggy day.  Ah summer!

I decided that with the limited number and the feel good in the ol' soup bone that today would be a good day to try and tie Johnny Bartlett's record of four consecutive complete game starts.  

Now, the purists will argue two things 1.) My consecutive complete games have spanned about 8 months, and 2.) There is a pushback from one Greg Snyder who claims that he has thrown so many consecutive complete games in his 31 years with the MBC that they are legion and the record should never fall.  

To that I say that he is probably right, but did anyone take the time to pay attention or write it down?  I am open to the collection of historical and qualitative data concerning this.  I know I was in attendance for every one of Johnny's starts (and 3 of them were wins, I believe) and that is enough for me to say that I think that stands as the record.  And yes, maybe I am retconning an attainable record to create a buzz, stir the pot, and make myself feel better.  However, a complete game, much less four, is still an accomplishment, and I choose to focus on the positive (and the personal glory).

To the game, Sean started for the visitors and Satch for the homers.  It remained that way for almost the entire game, and Sean was his usual dominating self.  Somehow Greg and I were the only ones to get hits off of him in the beginning of the game, though mine was a hit in the loosest of terms.  The visitors scored first, and we answered back, then they answered back and then the game settled into the middle innings, and our defense made some great plays to keep the rallies from getting away from us.  

We entered the final stretch down 4-2.  I felt good and continued to throw, my pitches were consistently inside, which was maddening when I just wanted to throw strikes, but the changeup finally started working correctly and we got the outs we needed.  A hearty thank you to HR, who really wanted to pitch, and allowed me to keep going in pursuit of my "bullshit accomplishment."

Carter had materialized out of the North bay fog, and he had brought two new guys with him.  They both proved themselves capable in the field, and at the plate.  We also had Dani(!) show up for the first time in a long while, ready to play baseball again (at least once) and showing that she has not lost a step.  She also attempted a bunt, after asking Greg mid-pitch if that was ok to do :)

We froze the visitors in their tracks in the 9th and entered the last gasp inning ready to try.  Sean had handed the ball to Mike N, who was raring to go after a maddeningly long rehab of his arm.  He was throwing hard, and we were ready.  Through some luck we managed to put one run across, and somehow filled the bases with New guy Taylor coming to bat.  Greg and I followed him and we remarked at how great it would be if the new guy got to be the hero, and we also wouldn't have to go to bat in a pressure situation.  The at bat last a long time, Taylor fouled off at least 6 pitches, and then with one mighty swing he tattooed a ball into deep, deep, center.  This hit was massive, and he made it around the bases before the ball reentered the infield.  A walk off grand slam, which was the first that any of us could remember in the MBC history.  This is where it went:

A game to remember, homers snatching victory from the visitors, 7-4.

Highlights:

* Sean pitched a hell of a game

* Sean and Mike Lynch back to back is the lefty Bash Brothers

* Greg caught the whole game

* Mitch hustled down the line every at bat, and kept getting out by a millisecond

* Nick Smith played a great 1st base

* Lynch again manned 3rd with aplomb

* HR had a couple of great hits and great defensive plays

* It was great to see Carter again, and with new guys!

* Mitch bought mangos for everyone!

* For pitching 9 innings, I felt remarkably OK the next day

* I had Don's number for some reason

* The reemergence of Dani!!!

* Both defenses kept it tight

* Mike N did a great job as catcher and pitcher

* Thanks everyone and cap tip to Johnny Bartlett, I wish we could see you again out on the field!

* Mitch's hit, after a frustrating day at the plate







Monday, May 22, 2023

5/21/23 GGP


 Beautiful day!  Bay to Breakers always seems like it is going to be a complete fuck up of the day, but the park is surprisingly empty, probably because everyone avoids it.  Kudos to Greg for warning us ahead of time and assuring that it would be ok.

I brought along Lil' Josh Gibson, who has been wanting to come play for awhile now.  He was super excited to be playing with the MBC'ers and he responded by scoring 3 runs, including one from 2nd base.  He was also instrumental in a late inning double play when we needed it, sacrificing his body to stop a ball going up the middle.  I was very proud.  We also set a new record with father/son combos: Ed and Milo, John and Liam, and Satch and Lil' G.

Greg started on the bump and was looking sharp, he held the visitors to 3 runs in 3 innings.  Liam McGrath started for the visitors, and as an 20 year old ascending star in college baseball, he apparently only threw at 70% for the day.  Thank goodness, cuz it was 3 innings of Ks and lost chances, though Greg and I both got hits, apparently cyborgs are immune to overpowering lefty's.

Once we got away from Liam, the game changed for us.  Chris Leavitt came in, and we started getting hits.  Our defense sharpened up too, mostly because I was put on the mound, where I couldn't sow as much chaos.  The rest of the game moved quickly, the visitors never got the rally they needed to break through, and we kept scoring a run an inning.  Mitch took over from Chris, and I stayed in and finished the game.  The visitors got one run in the 9th, but that was it and we finished with an 8-4 game, homers.

Highlights:

* Double plays!  3 of them, I believe!

* Great pitching from Liam

* The original Satchel Paige showed up to commune with us, great to see you Tim.

* Mike Lynch had the deep drive of the game, towering power!

* Don showed up late, but he drove a crucial run in early

* Lil' G stole a base, for real! 

* Thanks to the catchers: Mike N, and Ed 

* In addition to his double play starter, Lil' G got an out on a ground ball to 2nd, after letting one go through the wickets!  Thank you to all that encouraged him.

* Greg made a fantastic catch in left, in the blinding sun

* Mitch had several hits on the day.

Great to see everyone!

S. Paige


Friday, April 28, 2023

4/16/23- Cop Field







Sorry this is a late post, and a lot of the details are lost to the ether.  

Highlights

* I was on Sean's team, I remember that much.  And he was pitching well.  

* We did not have quite a few of the players, and we had to wait for the game before us to finish, and there was a big party going on afterwards.

* We also had a long-lost MBC player come in from the corn, and he brought a new player with him, his 14 year old son.  Which made it easy to calculate how long it had been since he had played with us, since he didn't have that kid last time.  Nick and Hank were a welcome new/old edition to the game, and it was great to see them out.

* Mitch also pitched again, and did well. He took it on the chin in the latter part though.  

* Marcie and I tried out a new angle on the old game, the 1/2 and 1/2 right fielder.  It worked pretty well, and I don't think it provided any real advantage to our team, and we got to chat a lot while waiting for balls that never came.  We are both nursing our respective temples at the moment, so it seemed fair that we combine our efforts to make one competent right fielder.  And we did.

* There were a lot of caught fly balls, and strike outs on our team.  I came in to pitch later in the game, and managed to eke out a victory when we took the lead late.  I was not feeling my best, but managed to get through.

* Gaspar was having another hot game until he pulled up short with a hammy injury.  Get well soon!

* They mowed the grass finally, so it was more like playing in the wheat than running through the jungle.

* I had a 4-4 day, all singles to left field.  That is my new (hip) sweet spot, I think I have roughly 12 hits to that exact spot in the 4 games I have played so far.

* Marcie had at least one more sweet hit with an RBI.

* Mike Lynch continued to pound the ball

* There is an upcoming SQ game, can the lefties please start hitting to the short porch, like they do in our game????

* There were a few walks taken in this game, it is becoming more of a thing to take the walk after the 2nd count

* We were losing that game, and should have lost that game, but the wheels came off in the eighth inning, and poor Mitch had to watch his beautiful game go up in smoke.  We have not had a inning go that south in a while.

* On the tails of that, there was a strike 3 call that was not called, on Hank.  I guess we took pity on him, being out for the first time, and young, but that one difference had a ripple effect on the shit show inning.  Cap tip to Mitch for keeping it together :)

* Anna had a couple nice plays at 1st

* I don't remember what the final score was.

* It was nice to have a full roster, even with quite a few regulars missing


Don't Look Back

S. Paige



Monday, April 3, 2023

4/2/23 Cop Field


What a glorious game!  Well, anything that isn't a rainout qualifies as a glorious game, but we still had fun.  The ranks were full, even if we were missing quite a few of the regulars.  Greg started for the visitors and Mitch for the homers.  I desperately wanted to pitch but I didn't want to start, since I am chasing the Johnny Bartlett consecutive CG record.  Of course Greg brought up that he remembered a whole lot of CG losses in a row for himself, so now I got to go back to vault and see if I am chasing the right record.  Anyway, we made the deal that he would start and then i could come in without reprisal to my chase.  That worked, and we ended up each throwing 4 innings.  

Mitch was pretty lights out, he kept us to a few runs, and we never had much of a threat going.  Both teams had some great defensive plays, and some not so great.  Our team turned a double play just when things were getting ugly.  I managed to screw up a defensive play in every position that I played, thanks to my hobbled nature. The outfielders did a lot of not knowing where the ball was.  The lack of coverage at 1st was evident a few times.

And in what may be a first in the history of MBC we had a ground rule triple, called after Stoner hit a ball to deep left, that disappeared completely into the muddy salad that was the outfield.  We never found it, up it went, and plop, gone.  Seriously, the outfield was like running in a swamp full of jungle plants.

The homers had the edge in hitting, they were pounding the ball, and at one point there was talk of a reorg to combat the blowout.  But we decided to let it lie.  The crowd had thinned out from its glorious beginning when the Latin league was partying and having fun.  The band showed up for us though, and they kept us entertained the whole time.  I got better as it went on, and finished the 8th with only 5 pitches thrown. Mitch finally gave us a chance, and John Mcg came in with a curious lack of control that eventually yielded us some mercy runs.  We still never really had a chance, and other John slammed the door on us in the 9th.

Final 11-7.

Highlights

* Great game, fun times

* The band sounded amazing

* Neither team had a real SS, which was new

* I somehow had 4 hits, though I could barely run to first

* Gaspar made two catches on foul pop ups behind the plate.

* There was a collision at the plate, with Arson catching, and Mike N coming in.  He should have slid, however the MBC has never ratified the Posey rule either.

* Greg nabbed Mike Lynch at the plate with a great throw from right

* Gaspar was doing it with the bat again, he is peaking in his 50s!

* Bob was not HBP, missed opportunities

* Nick made a couple of catches in left when we really needed them

* Lattig attempted an ole' at first, nope.

* The wind was fierce at times, pop ups got weird and my change up was getting propped up to get tee'd off on

* Thanks to everyone who made it out, welcome back baseball!

Monday, February 13, 2023

2/12/23 GGP

 Wow!  We have always said we get some of our best weather games in the winter and Sunday was no exception.  It bordered on hot in the city, which is always a rarity.  The sun was really nice for warming up those sore muscles and making movement a little easier for some of us.  There was also a really nice turnout of players, I think we had 22 by the end?  The teams were very evenly matched, and the game played out accordingly.  

Sean started for the visitors and Dan for the homers.  We jumped on Dan for 3 runs in the first inning, and then could do no more the rest of the game.  Sean was lights out as usual, cruising through the first few innings.  Mitch took over for Dan in the 4th and finished out the rest of the frames, holding us to a scattering of hits.  Pop ups ruled the first half of the game, and ground balls in the second half.

Defense ruled the day for both teams, with multiple plays to kill rallies or get the first out.  It really does make a huge difference in the game.  I wouldn't ordinarily do it, but he told me to, Tony was not one of those who had a great defensive game.  It bordered on a case of the whim-whams, each time he got a ground ball it would skip off the glove, or hit him in the wrist, or drop on the transfer.  As we all know, when that happens, it gets worse before it gets better, though he did settle down enough to make a few much needed plays.

We entered the 8th, still ahead 3-2.  Sean could have just kept going, but he is a decent sort, and allowed Satch a chance to test out the mechanics of the mound, post-surgery.  I was throwing more like a game of catch, but it felt good, no pain.  I had some trouble finding the dish for the first few pitches, but I ended up only giving up one hit in one inning.  Excited to extend my next rotation.

I had been steadfast that I only wanted to throw one inning, and Tony agreed to close out the game.  We scored no additional runs in the 9th, and so we entered the bottom of the 9th clinging to a 1 run lead.  Tony looked good in warmups and only needed a few with the sun on his shoulders, and all felt good.  Then we let a baserunner get on, and he came all the way around and scored on a Tony wild pitch.  

Tie game.  

Then up came Mitch, hits a ground ball and beats the throw to first with some real hustle.  He waits 2 pitches, then steals 2nd, except it was another wild pitch, and the ball skips and jumps and Mike N. behind the dish has no clue where it went.  He is still searching for it as Mitch takes 3rd, and then races home for an easy score and the end of the game.  

Never had that one happen before in the MBC....

Final- Homers 4-3.

Highlights:

* Anna played an outstanding game at 1st, with stretches, digs, and a tag play

* Mitch played a hell of a game and pitched a long relief game, shut us down

* Gaspar was the hitting machine of the day, including extra base hits!

* Keep your head up Tony, we all have those days.  Maybe its time to quit the cancer sticks again.

* I recorded an out at 2nd, that was right at me, but slowing, and became a footrace to see if I could get to it before the runner got to 1st.

* The return of Ed!  

* Sean made a diving stop off the mound!

* We must have an increase in defensive confidence lately, we have been making the risky but more rewarding defensive out choices e.g., a throw to third to get a lead runner rather than the easy out

* We had many opportunities and close plays, but we did not catch a single pop foul.

* I managed my first hit since October, a clean ball to the left side hole.  I only took 27 seconds to get to first base...

* We had a lot of spectators, ooohing and ahhing our plays

* Nick W made a great play in the outfield

* The return of Mike Lynch.  We were all very saddened to hear of the fire at his business, but glad that he is back up and running at a new location.  Here is the GoFundMe, if you are interested in donating.  He was very grateful and thankful to the MBC for its support.  https://gofund.me/b995e261

* Chris Powell made a fantastic grab on a short fly ball and then a perfect throw to Anna to get the double off.

* A European tourist in the stands caught a foul ball in his crossed arms, completely unaware that a ball was heading his way, it just landed there.  Glad it wasn't about 8 inches higher....

* Brian Phelps came for the last 7 minutes of the game.

* Mike G, Ed, Greg, Mike N all did great behind the dish

Enjoy!

S. Paige


Monday, January 23, 2023

1/22/23 The Alpha Game of 2023

 



It's been a minute.  I bowed out in early November to get my cyborg update, and from all I could gather, there were not many games played between then and now.  The winter holidays fell on consecutive Sundays for the first time in a while, but there was no playing that could have happened anyway.  The rain was constant, relentless, and frankly, unlike anything we have seen before.

It finally dried out this week, but all the parks remained closed in SF, save the big field at GGP.  And even that, we played with a caution tape barrier running the length of the 3rd baseline, protecting some new grass.  But we were playing baseball again, including Satch, excited to be on a field again, and anticipating a pain that gets better each day, rather than worse.  I told Greg to not let me pitch, even if I told him I could.  He agreed, that is a true friend.

Sean was in charge for the homers on the bump, and looked like classic Sean.  Nick W., hobbled by pain was still up for starting the game for the visitors, though his shoulder was acting up before he even started.  He was hoping that pitching would loosen it up.  It did not.  

Somehow we scored two runs off of Sean in the 1st inning, something I don't recall happening too often, and the RBI machine driving those runs in was Greg, the other cyborg.  I remarked that I was elated if that is what I have to look forward to.  The game was a truly a see-saw battle.  WE scored another, and then the homers came back and made it 3-2.  Back and forth it went.  The entire squad had at least one injury, Mitch took over after Nick's arm went kaput, and though he had also said his arm was blasted before the game, he was pitching well.  He even had a sub-10 inning!  I don't know where all these injuries were coming from, since we have not played ball in a month, tough holiday merry making, I suppose.

Meanwhile, the homers stayed with Sean, who had some nasty filth working for him, and they were keeping the bats alive, including Marcie with a RBI shot up the middle, and Chris Powell, who hobbled in the ankle, was still lining balls to the outfield.  Greg followed Mitch, and Brian Phelps closed out the deal for the visitors, while Sean stayed strong until he was ready to hand over the reins to Dave, who was throwing his usual high and tight gas and then for the finale, they brought in HR to slam the door.  

We had the lead, and then lost it, then retaken it, and then the homers tied it up at 7, in the bottom of the 8th inning.  They weren't done though, scoring two more runs to make it 9-7 going into the 9th.  We failed to produce another run rally, and the game ended victorious for the homers.

Highlights:

* Great to see everyone, and be seen.  

* Ice everything people, we look like the walking wounded out there

* Great pitching Sean, including a nasty changeup on a battled 1-2 count, I think I fouled off 4

* Great job behind the dish from Bob, Greg, Mike N, and Mike G

* I caught Bob's line drive to right, only because I did not have to move.  Everything tensed up, and hurt, but I stayed still and caught it.

* Two new guys Carlos and Reynaldo were great in the outfield, including 2 running catches!

* Luciano was out and playing hard

* Adam made an amazing play at 1st, in the very first inning, on a hot drive from Sean, and he made it look easy.

* Greg's bunt late in the game was an unexpected and effective play from the old tactician.

* JT arrived after the start, and promptly put on a hitting clinic

* Phelps and Mike N made a great play at home, to get a runner that was threatening our lead

* Don came out late in his cool guy clothes, and made a gift of a glass bat display to the team

* I tattooed a ball off of HR in the 8th, and only because Sean was playing center, and at about 385 ft, did he track it down.  Greg had no belief that it would be caught off the bat, and was well on to 2nd, by the time he realized what had happened.  He scrambled back but was doubled off, but not before the runner at 3rd had gotten home. The good news is that it became a sac fly, since the out at first was not a expected force play.

* Greg laid out to try and catch a pop up, almost had it!

* Bob got hit twice, a fortuitous start to the year, congrats on your multi-hit game, Bob! :)

* Phelps made a awesome play at SS, no small feat for a lefty

* The homers turned at least 2 double plays

Thanks to all that made it out, it was awesome to see everyone!

Happy 2023.

Monday, October 31, 2022

10/30/22 GGP







What a game!  What a day!  What a foggy mess!  

Yes, Carl (the fog) had his way with the MBC yesterday, and man, it is a weird thing to hit a ball in the air and have it disappear.  This was to be my last game before a 3 month hiatus and hopefully successful surgery.  I wanted to go the full 9 again, make a CG hat trick for my last three games, and my team was nice enough to oblige.  

What was newsworthy was that we had 22 players, instead of 13, so their yielding the mound was actually a big thing, since I did not sit out as I should have.  Thank you all!  Sean started for the homers and he was pretty lights out the entire time.  He had a nasty diving curve ball working, and he kept us to one run over 7 frames.  We had a team of a lot of veteran players, and it quickly became apparent that we did not have the speed in the game.  There were so many plays at 1st that usually would not have to be as bang bang as they were.  Seriously, every time there was a ground ball, the batter was STEAMING up the line, and we had one shot.  Luckily we had Urano at SS, who converted those plays, as did Nick S at 2nd.  Adam was a great 1st baseman, including one short hop scoop that had to be caught.

Hitting-wise, the visitors also had a murderers row and while we kept it in check some of the game, there was a back to back to back extra base hit extravaganza at one point.  John Carey, showing off his youth also got a triple cum little league home run, when our team couldn't seem to find the handle.  Mitch, Powell, Lynch, also displayed big hits.

So we cruised along, making some great defensive plays, including a double play, and then Carl got heavy, and we lost one in the outfield, and then another, and then one in the infield.  The runs piled up, and we just could not get our own offense started.  We left a runner in scoring position most of the innings, and only scored one more run, off of Mitch who came into mop up.

Final Score: 7-2

Highlights

* Thanks to everyone who came out, it was a great way to end my year, with a well-attended friendly game

* Thanks to Greg who caught a great game, and stopped a couple of absolute scuds.  Bob, Don, and Rudy also did great behind the dish

* Anna barreled up on me and had another that was a sure fire hit up the middle if I didn't manage to get a glove on it

* The visitors hammered the left field line all day

* Carl was doing one thing well, and that was helping the knuckleball, man it was dancing and diving all day!

* Dan, Urano, Tony, Adam, Nick S were all great defense.  Except for that one play, Tony.....

* I lost track of my directive, and took a comebacker and spun and threw it to 2nd, because I thought there was still runners on 1st and 2nd.  Turns out it was just 2nd, but I got the runner off base too far and Urano gunned him out at 3rd.  Glad that it worked out, that is not the usual MBC out, we play the safe game.

* The return of the band!  All is forgiven, they explained that they had intentions of playing for both games, but were not able to.  We will be keeping an eye on them, nonetheless.

* I didn't mean to pick on Rudy, but he got the K business.

* I struck out on a ball in the dirt, one of Sean's diving specialties, while protecting the plate.

* JT had a real nice hit

* I hit James with a knuckleball, it was coming so slow I think he never moved

* I may have had 5 Ks on the day, which is more than usual

* Poor Nick W was all over the map in left field

* I am in pursuit of Johnny Bartlett's record of 4 complete games in a row, I can't find it yet, but I think there is a blog post about it somewhere.  I think the record was set at Camp Swampy.

Great game had by all, thank you all who played, there's no where else I would rather be on a Sunday.

Don't look back.

S. Paige