Monday, December 21, 2009

Treasure Island- December 20, 2009

ARRRRRRRRRRRRGH, tis be a field of no uncommon worth, full of dirt and grass tis the likes of which ye have never seen!


Just when you think it might all fall apart, the bonds of the MBC come together and reassure you that we are not going anywhere. Deficit? HA! 26 or 27 brave souls ventured out to Treasure Island in the middle of th bay to play a game of baseball, five days before Christmas. The weather was a balmy 63 degrees when we started, we suffered through a little rain, but all it did was wet down the field and pass along.

And what a field it was! Bob had hooked us up with the little league field that he and John use during league play, and to paraphrase tony, It was a pleasure to play on a field that we didn;t have to worry about stepping a huge divot, or clump or take a bad hop off the dome. Infield and outfield both were in pristine condition, helped by the keys to the Club car that allowed us to drag the dirt before the game.

We decided a rematch of the last game was a fair way to start, with Satch and Sean going head to head. After a uneventful first half of an inning, the homers sent a few men to the plate, and then a few more, and had a 3 run lead. That we lost the very next inning, and the score was tied 3-3. But Sean was not in overpowering form this week (Hopefully your arm is alright! ICE ICE ICE). While Satch waited for the weather to darken to help the travel of the changeup and knuckle, Sean was hurt by the dink, the muff, the sun in the clouds, the gapper, and the error.

After five, we decided it was not fair to keep throwing, as we had too many people sitting out, so we stepped aside and Johnny and Mike Holland came in. Mike faired a little better than Sean, but the score stood 8-4 and it stayed that way until the 8th, when again the pitchers changed, and Ezra, in from NY and Trevor, Zach's friend also in from NY, came to finish the job. Trevor had some trouble finding the dish, and the visitors started a comeback, scoring a few, but in the end, the comeback was not to be, and 9-6 was etched by the final out.

Some of us tried in vain to let the game continue until it was too dark to see, but the rain was on its way again, and we decided it was better to have 9 good innings than risk a bad inning at the end.

Highlights:

* A great game of pitchers, of all sets, calibers and angles.

* Nice defense from Brian Cagle, playing Nick Smith perfectly

* Thanks Bob, for over running my hit

* Thanks everyone for coming out and playing

* The sliding and catching on the pristine diamond was great!

* Nice Scoops, Adam and JT

* Nice vacuuming Tony, Chris, Johnny, Mike and Tim

* Great game John and Emilia, now try not o wander away in the Club Car too often, or at least, don't crash it when you come riding back

* Great drives, Rojas! Sean!

* Way to leg out the infield single, John!

* Way to steal the base, Cagle, Satch, Philips, etc.

* Love the comebackers!

* Can't wait to see the pics from Nick, especially the one of Tony get brickhoused at home by Bob...

* Anthony, we can get you some shades. Thanks for coming out!

See you after the Xmas thing, same time same place:

Happy Solstice everybody,

S. Paige

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December 6th, 2009- Balboa Park

Pitchers' duel
A low-scoring game in which the starting pitchers on both teams allow few hits and at most one or two runs.


So if ever there was a good description of a game this is it, although he way the game started, I wouldn’t have thought it would have been anywhere close. We had 20, by the time the Johnny come lately’s straggled in, and we set our sights on getting one more game before the winter officially descended. Satch started for the homers and promptly game up a leadoff triple to Bob, which was hit with such authority; if I didn’t know better I would have thought he knew I was going to hang a curveball to him. Bob, winded on third, was smiling big. Chris bashed another pitch to left, and made it to second. Sean sent a low hanging line drive that seemed destined for the third extra base hit in a row. But Gaspar, racing in, snatched it just above the turf, and then winged it into second to double off Chris who had scored by the time he realized the ball had been caught. The homers narrowly escaped the inning with only a run against them, 1-0.

However, Sean was dealing all day, and we went down with only one hit/error in our half of the 1st. And thus, the duel began. Sean overpowered us all day, we started to count the strikeouts and once we reached 10, we decided it was easier to just say he was a having a great day and leave it at that. Satch came back with a lot of guile, the knuckleball was hiccupping well in the heavy wet air, and we got out of a lot of tight spots with some clutch plays, including an "infield in" play at the plate. In the third, Tony got on, stole second, went to third on a pass ball, and Satch drove him in with a fielder’s choice up the middle. 1-1.

And it stayed like that. Through rain, hail, wind, and sun again. The outfielders shivering in the wet grass, infielders taking the ball in the painful palm of the glove, but still making the play. Gaspar, who had been traded after the first to the visitor’s team, ended up being the defensive player of the game, with a score of plays at third on hard hit groundballs, which snuffed every chance of rally we could muster. The K’s mounted, neither team willing to give in. We found ourselves facing another man on third, infield in situation, but this time Chris was the runner, and the groundball to Tony seemed tailor-made, the throw got there in time, and Greg got the tag on him. Only one thing was missing, the ball. It sat quietly behind the dish, just mocking us.

A nail biter of a 8th led to the last chance in the 9th, Sean and Satch still battling, neither willing to go until the contest was complete. Bottom of the 9th, Greg and Tony both get on, although only by the grace of God, as Chris had a chance at a perfect double play, the wet ball finally giving us a break. Satch strode the plate, confidence was high. So was the fly ball I hit to short center…. Greg, sensing our chances were becoming slim and few, tagged and raced for third. Stoner, catching the ball, winged it into third. Greg barely beat the throw (and should have been sliding), but then ran over the bag and past the tag, only to be tagged out trying to dive back to the bag. No one seemed to want it to end, but the next storm cloud was well overhead, and it was a carwash by the time we all got home, perhaps the final game of 2009 in the books, a classic contest, a team effort on both sides, and the best way to spend a Sunday.

Highlights:
• Bob, again with the bat, and throws out Cagle at second base, and it’s all on film!

• Sean, amazing performance, completely dominating, and a couple of fierce at bats as well.

• Struck out at least 3 with the knuckleball, perfect weather for it

• Some close plays at 1st, nice work getting the ball, and holding on to it

• Thanks to Nero for coming out with a bum wheel, and playing anyway!

• Satch made a nifty dive and catch on a infield pop up destined for no man’s land, scratched up my arm and leg pretty good too, something to brag about over the holidays

• Greg caught the whole game, nice work! Bob and Adam did a stellar job as well, nice to see Adam behind the dish again.

• Solid knock-it-down defense the whole game, it is great when the defenses are balanced

• Ben, Elvin, Vic, and Anthony, thanks for keeping up the attendance, and Stoner’s new guy, although we were worried his camera was going to get foul tipped

• The mad scramble of cops at 2:30 was weird, never seen a cop move that fast. Some sergeant in the Ingleside took a bullet fragment, and they swarmed. Kid who was arrested just got off a murder rap…

• If anyone buys pine tar over the break, make sure it’s the good stuff that smells like pine tar, not like weird chemicals, that new shit is terrible. And yes, there is a difference.

• New favorite BNB quote, “ I’m not going to talk to you about winning…I’m gonna talk to you about losing…Because if you lose this game…each and every one of you...is going have to live with that…you are about the best team I ever coached.”

Stay loose, stay dry, oil the glove and pray for sun,

S. Paige


The Video's

1. Caught Stealing ( I want everyone to watch where Bob's glove goes on that called strike....hahahahahaha, and well, what can we say Bob, you nailed that fucker! Showoff....



2. Big stick strikes out. Sorry Tony, think of it as a learning tool.




3. Chris takes Satch "deep drive."




4. Shitty Satch popup


5. I walk Sean, and then get him to swing at a knuckleball....I'm a dick....


6. Cagle Slash Bunts! I love it, always loved the slash bunt....the error helps....



7. The Big Stick gets caught leaning too, man...

Monday, November 30, 2009

November 29, 2009: Balboa Park

Heavy in turkey, gravy, liquor and other things of vice, the game was surprisingly quick and sharp...well mostly. 20 solid players, another amazing day, and solid pitching by Dustin and Sean, and a extra inning before the sun set at 4:30 (damn it gets dark early).

Holidays are the great, but man do they take it out of ya, Satch was running on ethanol, stuffing reserves and stale sunflower seeds by the end, but it was a good game. Sean and Dustin both pitched great ball, and the score was close, 1-0, 1-1 through the first couple. Mitch manufactured the first run doing what Mitch does well, which is leg out balls, steal bases and run hard.

A slightly better hitting team and some costly errors brought visitors out front to 3-1 ( or 4, never did resolve that extra run)and then at some point in the 4th or 5th, the wheels came completely off, added insult to injury and by the time anyone could figure it, the score was in the 12-1 range. Sean missed being hit at least three times on comebackers, and we had two groups of three singles that went to the exact same place. The homers could not get a clean play, and the runs just kept coming.

In the visitors corner, we relied on Dustin's hungover magic and TWO nifty pickoff plays at second courtesy of Satch and Dustin. Both killed the runner in scoring position and gave us two outs, and might have been the difference in a closer game.

The game out of bounds, we all loosened up and enjoyed the remaining light, played an extra inning with Greg and Satch coming in for the 10 inning and were headed to the showers before the cold settled in.

Highlights:

* Dustin, great pitching. Hitting, not so much...

* Elias steals home, and damn near beat the ball to the plate, wasn't even close.

* Tony had some nice plays at short, knocked down the tough hops.

* Beautiful double play by the home team

* Tim steals third standing.

* Bob hit and hustled his heart out

* One of our balls is still lodged in the top of fence. No one wanted to climb the 80 foot fence to retrieve it

* Both pitchers and catchers made some nice plays around the dish

* JT made a long run and snagged a good foul ball for a crucial out

* Thanks to everyone who caught, it was a team effort on both sides

* Lattig played center field like a champ, playing each batter right where he should (goddammit....)

* Greg struck out on a knuckleball, Greg struck out on a knuckleball.....

* Even though Tony would argue, I don't think that the home team got hosed on any calls

* Doc got a hit, and scored! ( and almost wrecked coming into third)

Thanks to everyone who came out and made sure that we took advantage of these last days before the monsoon season.

Next week, same place same time

S. Paige

November 22, 2009- Moscone

It was a tough one, at first, and we started the game with 13, doing the Caracas 6, borrow two, two outfielders. And not too bad frankly, then Sean and Zach showed up and made the whole thing legit.
Satch started on the bump, did alright, thanks to a newly crafted infield at Moscone which made a huge difference. No more falling off the mound on the follow through. And talk about true hops, that is one terrific redo.
But the story was not with the field, it was with Greg's arm, which gave up one hit in the first and then settled down and did not give up another until 9th, an amazing pitching performance. It was doubly amazing that Greg has not pitched in a while, and all of sudden he throws this gem.
Backing his play were some great defensive plays, and it was his game all the way. I had to leave in the 7th to go to a sound check (which was a waste of time...)so I missed the exciting conclusion. Once again, Greg was the center of the action, and so it is only fitting that he tell it:

Leading off the 8th Zack hits a ground ball to short that bounces off a sprinkler head then steals second. Next batter hits a
weak nubber that I proceed to throw down the first base line, one run
in. Sac fly for run 2. With the shut out gone, Sean comes in for a
clean save. We tack on a few off Rojas with the standard help from his
defense. Although Sean did launch a long homerun. Final score about
8-2.


So that's how it finished, amazing day.

Highlights:

* Greg gets it all this week. Congratulations

Monday, November 16, 2009

November 15, 2009, West Sunset

Teetering on a birthday hangover cliff but excited because it was the one weekend I couldn't get in trouble for playing ball. That was my feeling as I stepped on to the field for Sunday's game.

Another clear, autumn day, brisk enough for sleeves, sunny enough that no one felt the chill. 20 people showed, and when the teams split, we noticed immediately that something was not going to work in the formula. The home team had all the power, most of the defense, and pitching and catching to spare. But we gave it a shot. And true to our initial fears, after the 1st inning the score was 9-0. The home team was walking around the bases, not legging out triples, and in general no one was having fun. Amazingly, all but two of those first runs came with two outs, it had to be the longest two out rally I have ever been a part of. Noah kept dancing, as one ball fell after another, and Tim's voice got hoarse repeating the phrase "Two outs!".

We brought in the MBC and traded Satch and Greg to the visitors team, for pitching and catching depth as well as some bat power. New guy Edwin and Dennis "white legs" went to the homers. It was still lopsided, but at least it wasn't going to be a massacre. Noah kept hurling for the visitors, and Floppy Pockets kept it up for the homers, only with a 0-0 score.

It see-sawed for a bit, and we had the lead for a bit, but Sean was throwing fire all day, striking out pretty much everybody, and we never could get more than a run at a time. By the time the sun started to be a factor, the game was again getting ugly, as Noah was blinded by the rays, and killed by the gorked ball. There was easily 6 infield hits in one inning, and when it wasn't that, it was doubles off the wall. Tough choices.

Satch came in as long relief, and the defense settled down, but by then the score was 11-4, and Sean showed no sign of letting up. Dusk came early and suddenly, and we capitalized on a pitching change and the lack of good light to score some runs, but in the end it wasn't enough, and the homers took the prize in a final of 11-8.

Highlights


* Bob as a leadoff hitter? And then he never leaned into one....

* Sean was dealing, and throwing the wood around as well

* The pitcher in our league is expected to catch pop flys, he is in the best position, and frankly when its your arm, you want to have only yourself to blame if it gets dropped.

* Same goes for pitcher as the cutoff, and this time it worked, catching Tony off of third, when we really needed an out.

* Lattig was 7-8 at least

* The Gaspar shift worked perfectly when we really needed it to

* I don't really want to point this out, but I think Noah might have given up 19 runs this Sunday, which has to be some sort of record, they were in two games technically, but still, pretty damn amazing, Congrats Noah! Way to battle!

* Ben almost had an amazing double play, but we were happy to get the lead runner!

* A play at the home, with the infield in, haven't seen it actually work in a long time, Elias to Gaspar, to get the sliding Dustin at the dish!

* Dennis has been trying to hit to the opposite field for 6 years apparently, and he did, a double. Congratulations!....

* Nasty knuckleball for a strike. Always nice when that happens.

* Almost had Lattig on a foul tip strike 3. That one will haunt me for a while

* Vic is the new base stealing weapon, not only did he get on base a lot, but he is quick as hell. Too bad none of us could bat him in....

* We sat on the third base side for the first time in a long while. The regular dugout was a swamp, a foreboding sign of winter, error in design, or broken sprinkler? In any case, it was different, and Gaspar almost killer Tony with a foul ball.

* Nero had some clutch plays at third, as did Ben at second

Game next week at Moscone, someone pay attention, I'll be laying down melodies at the Rite Spot.

S. Paige

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November 8, 2009- West Sunset

What a day for a game. With the rain on Friday, the field was watered and ready to go by Sunday, and we had a plethora of players, some 25 raring to get another game in before the impending winter comes for real. The teams were a bit more broken up from last week, but the core of the home squad still had the old guard, of Greg, Tony, Brian, Lattig, and Johnny who started the game on the bump. A rough couple of innings, but Johnny settled down and started getting the outs he was pitching for.

Satch started for the visiting team, and the bowling the night before must have helped to zero in the eye hand coordination, because I was getting the ball just where I wanted. Vitali asked me at one point if I was getting squeezed by the catcher, and I was happy to say No, that I meant to put the ball just off the plate. Relying heavily on the changeup and the occasional fastball/slurve, Satch had some great sub- 9 pitch innings, which is a great feeling. Also I had some solid defense behind me, although with 13 guys, it was a complete crap shoot every inning as to who was where.

The game started off 2-0, progressed to 6-0, (although one of my own teammates apparently broke up my shut out when asked what the score was, saying it was 6-1). Then it was 6-4, on a bases clearing triple (misplayed sun ball…) then it was 8-4. Just when the homers would get a little something going, we would come back with a scorcher and take the lead back. Not too many errors seemed to be the motto of the team that would prevail, and as the sun set in the west, and the glare got bad, we kept the ball out of right, and on the ground.

With so many people, and everyone having a good time, we lost track of the score, and it was debatable whether it was 10-7 or 11-7 (I think it was 11, an rbi single past Greg to score Vitali, and then Noah and myself scored later), but we settled for 10-7. Noah came in for the long relief for the visitors, and did an amazing job with his slow curves and inside out pitches. The homers smelled comeback and sharpened their teeth, and with some well placed hits, we had a 1 run game on our hands.

Bottom of the ninth, the visitors knocked the ball down, got the outs we needed and secured the victory….but wait, it was still light, and we had a surplus of players, so we threw an extra inning in for fun, giving the homers another chance at glory, but home squad victory was not to be, and in the enveloping dark we bade farewell to another glorious baseball game.

Highlights:
• Tracy, a new guy, made an amazing catch in left field to rob Johnny of a sure triple, not bad for his first time out!
• Didn’t kill Greg with the comebacker, that was good
• We did some backing up this week, fundamentals….
• Tony was smooth as silk around the infield, with one bad hop exception
• Lattig taking my changeup deep, thanks god I claimed Mitch on my team early!
• Tony plugging Mitch on a 0-2 pitch, who wore it, then got a hit, stole two bases and then scored. That is what you get for getting Mitch agitated
• Nero had a two run double
• I kept Sean off balance all day, that was a nice feeling
• Zach played a solid right field in the sun, and had a monster hit to left
• Vitali with a ground ball up the middle, caught the ball while standing on second, then on to first for a double play, after hitting a triple in the first
• Vic, Ben and Elvin are quickly becoming reliable additions
• Nick Kinsey out for the first time in a while!
• Almost got Lattig on a tag up play at 2nd
• Elias being honest about not getting a runner at third, it is nice to see that truth above winning is still rampant in the MBC
• Chris had another great catch in short center field, after a long run from SS
* Johnny has a show this weekend with THE BARBARY COASTERS, Friday and Saturday! We also have a birthday show at the Elks lodge, come on by and wish Satch a happy birthday, I am 138 this year!

Stay away rain,

S. Paige

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 1, 2009- Balboa Park




A late inning change during the week due to the Bay Bridge closure brought us to Balboa park and a late start of 3 on the day that time changed. Needless to say we were a little worried about attendance and light for the game, but we were pleasantly surprised by a full squad with a couple of extras, and just enough light to finish a game (well, 8 innings). The mound was redone, with nice clay, which made for a nice change, and the grass while being hard and a little treacherous in the infield, was mushy and slow in the outfield. With the influx of new guys, the teams actually ended up being a pretty even split of the new guard versus the old. The exception being Stoner, who gets one week a month away from daddy duty and the pitching battery of Dustin and Noah who have been old guys for a while, but took the helm of the visiting squad. We traded away our new guy for Nick Smith just to make the teams right and got to work. We worked out a pitching rotation that favored everyone’s sore bodies and ensured that no one had to throw more than they needed to.

Sean, the intrepid lefty began and after his stated two innings of work, he wanted to keep going, since he hadn’t had a workout yet. We let him do it, cautiously though, capping his at 4 innings. The game started out low scoring, 1-0, 2-0, 2-1…. We old home guys (and I know some of you are thinking, Who does this young whippersnapper think he is) were just biding our time, waiting for the right moment to strike. And our moment came in the third, as we tacked on five runs, some through the bat of Chris (who I think had three doubles), some through great situational play like Brian Cagle’s bunt, and some through old fashioned shitty fielding like we have every week. Dustin took it on the chin (and took the Jameson to the gut), and if us veterans hadn’t seen it so many times before we might have had some pity. It’s tough to get the ground ball you want and watch it turn into an RBI double. Fundamentals… that is how you win games.

Noah took over the hurling duties in the 6th and settled into dead ball pitching, his specialty. Satch came in for the 5th, 6th and 7th, feeling better than last week, and used a lot of breaking balls and a few wicked knuckle balls to get out of some jams, the best being a bases loaded, no outs situation. The visitors scored a few more and (I think) so did we, but the decision was made that the score was 7-4, which gave the possibility of excitement and late inning heroics. Greg (our newly anointed bridegroom!) took the mound in the 8th to secure out victory, and while the visitors started to smell the blood in the water, the rally was stopped and ended with a pretty scoop from none other than featured player, Adam Pfhaler. The moon hung in the purple dusk; we gathered the gear, enjoyed the humid Indian summer and left the park, each knowing that few in the City had a better Sunday than us.

Highlights:
• Congratulations to Jen and Greg, I hope you know that marriage is a big commitment, and that you are ready for this:)
• The return of Bob, glad to hear that John won his early game, and made it possible to make an appearance. Bob’s got steaks for sale too, if you are interested, email him.
• Glad no one was injured by the bad hops, of which there were many
• Dustin got two really nasty knuckleballs, if only I could do it on a regular basis.
• All of the new guys that came out, thanks a bunch and keep on coming out!
• Catching foul balls is one of the biggest plays you can make!
• The double play that the homers made to get out of the bases loaded jam
• Tony, complaining about not getting any ground balls, promptly got one and it went right past him (ok, it was a bad hop, and we are glad you are alright)
• Nero, another recent profiled player, making some much needed plays in center field
• Stoner’s over exuberance and competitive spirit were in full effect, remember it still doesn’t matter who wins and loses, as long as we all have a good time….
• We should bunt more, as a rule, use the inside game, it is an important aspect
• We had a lot of loud hits as well as a lot of loud outs.

Enjoy the summer weather, we know it won’t be here for too long.

S. Paige

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Player Profile #14- Adam Pfhaler





Adam is a can do kind of guy. Enthusiasm and positivity are just how the guy operates, his modus operandi if you will. And he is a damn good ball player, he can play first, catcher, anything but pitcher I think. And sure, I might have said that about a lot of guys on this blog, but few do it in such easy style. Adam is one of the better ass savers at first base, I don’t know how many times I have gotten a ground ball, had plenty of time to throw, and then spaghetti armed the thing into the dirt, only to have Adam pluck it like a grape from a ripe bunch.

At bat, Adam can be very deceiving, there are times when you can get him to swing at the most god-awful pitches, and think you are getting away with something, and then he rips a line drive back at your head. Adam prefers the wood bats, and he buys the fancy ones that are guaranteed not to break, which they do anyway. He also is responsible for our fancy real bases, which he thought we needed one day so he got them. That’s what I am talking about when I say can do kind of attitude!

Although he has cooled a bit as of late, Adam used to be one of the more hot tempered competitive players we had. I heard rumors that Adam once won the Worst Sportsman award for the MBC. I don’t know why we don’t do awards ceremonies more often…He and Richard used to break a lot of helmets, I remember that much.

And who can forget that he has the cutest family in the world, who love to come out and cheer him on, or even join in the game from time to time!

We missed Adam for a long time, due to shoulder injuries, which seem to be resolving themselves finally. It must have been all those years beating the skins in the most famous DIY punk band of all time, Electric Light Orchestra….no wait….Jawbreaker. Adam has continued to support those who fancy themselves as musicians, by allowing drunken hillbillies to play his video store from time to time, which we sure do appreciate.

Unfortunately Adam became the object lesson at a San Quentin game this past year, when a prison guard (who apparently is a real asshole) rejected Adam from entering because his driver’s license was expired. Word to the wise, don’t give the guards an opening or they will exploit it (feel free to make as many prison rape jokes as you want here). Major bummer to have him get that close and then be sent back to the parking lot, for him and us.

Anyway, Adam brings a full tool kit to the MBC game, his skills on the diamond aside, he is a genuinely good person, cheerful and competitive, and chock full of movie trivia, including being able to quote Bad News Bears from titles to credits (You don’t believe me, Ask Ogilvie!). And remember you can rent a huge selection of great titles, and hard to find videos at:

Lost Weekend Video, 1034 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, (415) 643-3373.

My boys play clean, hard baseball,

S. Paige

Monday, October 26, 2009

10/25/09- West Sunset

Well, you could not have ordered up a more beautiful day, not a puff of a breeze, no clouds in the sky, the sun bright and clear (too bright some might have said in the outfield). In a curious twist, we had 15 guys out there and no equipment or Greg, which started to worry us, but Greg was just not paying attention, and when he and the gear showed up, we dropped the bases and got the game rolling with 17 sturdy souls.

Sean, back on the hill again started for the visitors, and Satch got the call for the homers. Infields for both sides seemed to have a case of the dropsies and we booted more balls then we caught early on. Runs were scored, it was 2-1, then 3-2, Sean retired and new guy Zach came in to pitch, finding the plate easily and favoring the knuckleball. We were short on catchers and pitchers, thanks to V, Greg, Mitch and Adam for wearing the gear and getting us through. We had a quite a few loud hits over the course of the game, which was good to see, even if most of them were off Satch.

Somewhere along the way, the game busted open and the homers took a strong 8-4 lead, which was then completely demolished and tied up 8-8. Satch was nursing a colossal weekend hangover, and the usual aches and pains, but managed to throw 7, ending strong with a couple of strikeouts to preserve the tie. Meanwhile Mitch and V had their turns on the mound for the visitors. As the sun lowered in the sky, it became impossible for the center and right fielders to see the ball, and we had a lot of loopers. Kudos to everyone who braved the sun and didn’t get knocked in the beezer.

Greg took over the pitching in the 8th and 9th, and did well, inducing the groundballs we needed. In the end, the homers managed to score a couple of runs, and the game ended in a 10-8 victory for the home squad.

Highlights:
• Lots of new faces out there, Zach, Elias, Elvin?, Ben? good to know that we are not completely without new blood to replace the old
• Mike Lattig making one of the most amazing running catches in center that I have ever seen, truly astonishing.
• Satch hit 3 people, Nick Smith, who absorbs the brunt when Bob is gone, Mitch and Elias. They were all knuckleballs, or at least were supposed to be
• Tony for playing with a hip injury
• Chris for proving that he is human after all, not that we don’t like being amazed by your range, but it’s good to know that you can have an off day like the rest of us. Although that being said, he made an amazing basket catch in center field, mysteriously he was playing shortstop at the time….saved my ass!
• Mitch the competitor showed up, flashing a bit of the old ginger
• Zerbes again, hopefully the beginning of a long streak
• There was a very nice play on a foul ball in the 9th inning, but it was probably dumb luck
• Satch had one of the worst base running episodes that has ever been viewed, and was only saved from complete humiliation by performing an intricate sliding maneuver.
• The strains of ‘60s rock that wafted through the air from some Woodstock Anniversary thing in GGP
* Adam had a couple of monster hits, and we all know that it was the Bad News Bears wristband...why do we not all have those?
• New guy Zach hit a ball a very long way, very long.
• Craig looking sharp in his new baseball outfit, and promptly cranking some balls, and playing solid 2nd base (we are starting a collection to buy Sean something new to wear).
• Thanks to everyone who gave money to Nick for the permits, we need to make sure we are up to date on the bills, since Bob and Nick are heading up the Permit shuffle.

See you next week, ice those arms, and oil those gloves, winter will be here eventually.

S. Paige

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Player #13- John Nero



Nero is the one waving:


It has been a long time since I did one of these, but it is because it has been hard to figure who should be next. After a lot of considering, and because it is number 13, I decided only one person was perfect for the “lucky” number, our pal John Nero. John has been playing longer in the MBC than yours truly, and I think we can all safely say that John has not changed one bit in the last 8-9 years. John can be a little gruff on the exterior, and if there is a negative side of a situation that can be pointed out, Nero usually has a handle on it. But that is just his way. One could say that counting on John to be John is close to being a 4th law of thermodynamics.

Hopefully he will see through this gentle ribbing and know that we always enjoy John on the field, he shows when we need him the most, he has the ability to swing wildly at one pitch and then knock the next one into the gap, a frustrating gift. I have lost out on a lot of two strike battles with Nero because I couldn’t get the third strike past him. He can play any position, including catcher, and he has organized the last few seasons of the San Quentin games, which we all appreciate. We were all a little worried when Pete V.S. left for the east coast, but John picked up the mantle with ease and situated himself as the point person for the games, to great success. He is quick to pass out info about a late game, or make sure that we have enough to challenge the Giants (or Pirates).

While he will never be confused with Cool Papa Bell, I can also say that I have seen John make some of the most amazing plays at third, plays that have to be pure instinct and reflexes. Because at the hot corner that is what you have to work with sometimes. I can’t tell you how many rallies I have seen die because Nero picked a line drive out of the air…great if it’s your team, maddening if its not.
John is a bartender, so I have a special place in my heart for him, and he works at two of my favorite spots in the city, The Uptown and Doc’s Clock, which means that not only is he on the cutting edge of hip but he has some street cred too. He is an avid reader of the MBC blog and posts under the handle Unmusical, and he rides his cruiser to the game sometimes.

And here is the amazing part, I got this far into it without mentioning that he is a blue blooded DODGER FAN, with Los Angeles tattooed on his arms. I might not agree with the choice, but I have to admire the dedication. If we have learned anything in the MBC, it’s that we need to accept and embrace our individual differences, having a good time is the only thing that really matters. And I think John always has a good time.

He just doesn’t talk about that side of things….

Thanks for being a good sport and a great teammate, John,!
S. Paige

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday, October 18th- West Sunset

Satch was in Orange county last week, October 11th, missing yet another game, and today tried to get a recap. All I got was that we had enough to play, and Dustin got lit up. So there is that.

Today, I got out there early, or at least tried to, the traffic from the marathon made for slow going through the park, and when I got there at 1:30 and no one was there yet, I started to get nervous. We have had some poor attendance lately, and its not just football dropouts. Tony is laid up with a JFK injury (thanks Johnny), Bob is coaching fall ball, various people have kids, I seem to never be around on Sunday anymore, and Nero I think works now. So we need new blood. And we got it this week, along with some old, grizzled blood. Bill Zerbes, you old so and so, it is great to see Bill out again, a five tool man, worn and scratched tools, but he still got it. Two of the guys, including the mouth injury guy, were there again, and Dustin and Noah brought out there third coach from Urban. Add a really late Tim, and we had 17 for the day, which is damn near a surplus.

Sean started for the visitors, which could also be labed as the new guard of the MBC or nMBC. Us veterans formed a home squad, and fittingly, after the top half of the first inning it was 8-0. Sean, back from tour, was raring to go, and held us in check for most of the game, we finally broke the shutout in the third, and the score was 12-1. Johnny started for the homers, and we tried our best, but there were too many hitters on that team to make it much of a challenge. Also, he angered the baseball gods in the 1st by going out to pitch in his tshirt rather than his jersey. We all should know better.

Satch came in for long relief, and we started to settle down, the knuckleball was working well, and I got the big bats to swing at shitty pitches.

The score kept mounting, peaking at 14-2, before we mounted some kind of comeback. The final was in the neighborhood of 14-6, although that was a kind and blurry 14. Bill came in for the ninth and did well, we entered the 9th with comeback on our lips, but all of a sudden there was a double play and the game was over. Well, a shot behind the ear is sometimes the most humane way to go....

Highlights


* Nice to see the new guys, and that the ball in the mouth didn't take it personally.

* Noah and Dustin had some sort of Saturday night, Noah was sweating brown liquor

* The power lefties of the visiting team were tagging the wall all day.

* Brian Phillips, if you like your teammates, don't steal with a 9 run lead, batters get hit that way.

* Zerbes doing the grizzly Adams thing.

* Gaspar's no lo contendre style of outfielding, hands out, shake the head, "don't know where the fuck it is."

* Chris' play deep in the hole, didn't get the out, but a nice play

* Banana Hands. I guess that's me.

* Although he had a rough day at the plate, it was good to see Vitali too.

* Sean's pitching performance after being gone in Europe, glad you didn't come back in an ascot talking about soccer.

* Our first run that broke up the shutout, its good to feel pride in one's team. Its funny when we actually try to hustle when we need to score that first one.

Thanks to everyone who made it out, we were fearing batting practice, as we do every week these days. If you can, come out, or get the hell off the list! Or you know, what ever, tell your non-asshole friends to come out in your place...

Heal quick, and come back everybody else!

S. Paige

*

*

Late posting- Sunday, September 27th

Mike Gaspar gave me a write out of the game from this week, and it sat in my bag for a few weeks while i did not baseball things. So here it is, one of the few times when we did not play amongst ourselves.

MBC vs. Sunset Brewers

Once again there were not enough people for a real game, and facing the long nose of batting practice caused the MBC to make a command decision. As well, there were league guys on the field who wouldn't get off, and we didn't have the people to challenge them to a fight, so we challenged them to a game instead.

Dustin (Cap'n Whiskey to his friends) started on the hill, we played with walks for once, and the Brewers started off the game getting a couple of runs. In true MBC style, we responded by leaving the bases loaded the next inning, and it started to look grim. Then the Brewers lost some players and a trade was manufactured where Tim and myself (Gaspar) were sent to the other side. This seemed to light the fire of the MBC, and soon the rally had brought the score to 6-4 Sunset. A game was forming! OF course, it was short lived, as the Brewers continued to apply the heat, and the final was in the neighborhood of 14-7.

Apparently only one of the league guys was a dick, so that is nice, far below the usual quotient (sorry to all those league guys who play with us.)

Monday, October 5, 2009

West Sunset 10/4/09

I arrived early, dressed in the parking lot, and waited for someone else to show up. It was little while before they did, and slowly the players trickled in to the field. We have had some major problems getting enough people out lately, the last three weeks have seen batting practice, a game against a league team (see above) and a half assed 10 man game. This Sunday started to shape up the same way, and we were stuck at 13. There were five random guys who had been occupying the field and taking grounders and eventually we asked if they were interested in joining us, they did and for a while we had a surplus of people. Oaks Mike showed up late and it was good to see him after a long absence. Doc came to umpire, and did a great job, especially after taking one off the shoulder.

Having not thrown in a month, Satch was hungry to get on the hill and Noah complied as the hurler for the visiting team. The teams were a little uneven as the random guys all wanted to be on the same team, and as a result we had a pretty deep lineup of regulars. First inning aside though, the visitors settled down and held the game at a 5-2 line for most of the middle innings. But that first inning was a rough one, we had five or six hits in a row, some errors from the Randoms.

Somewhere in the third one of the Randoms hit a ground ball to Adam, who Bucknered it pretty good. Satch was loafing over to cover first, and then suddenly Nick Smith had the ball after backing up Adam, and we had a chance to get the guy. Bad news, we didn’t get the out, worst news, the throw went past me and hit the Random guy in the mouth…not pretty, but he was a remarkably good sport about the whole thing, although he was done playing for the day. He stuck around for a while and then tried to leave but his starter was kaput and he was stranded in the parking lot, bad day all around for that guy. His buddies left with him to get him out of there, and our mighty teams were whittled down to the 14.

Satch threw five and after a month definitely felt the time off, the arm felt good, but everything else was thrashed. Bowing out to save for another day, Rojas came in for the long relief and did well. Noah kept hurling, but we got him into a bases loaded jam and then emptied the bags on him, and that put the game out of reach, Oaks came in to pitch the last, but the damage was done and the final was 9-2 or 3?

Highlights

* The Randoms were all nice guys, even after we pummeled their buddy

* Tim (he of the 5th inning arrival) was on time, brought a friend, and hit the shit out of the ball all day, line drives, line drives…welcome back!

* Noah definitely settled down and kept us on a leash

* The Gaspar- Noah battle, which was at least 16 pitches, foul balls and ended with a hit.

* Bob was missing, but Mitch and Brian got plugged

* The wind was blowing out and Satch got one that carried to the short wall.

* Broke another damn metal bat, that $50 investment didn’t last long

* The visitors turned at least three double plays, including an ugly on with Rojas on 2nd (Tony claimed he couldn’t see the pop flyball, but the shortstop ten feet away apparently could see it…)

* I love that Doc compliments the pitch before he calls it (“That was a good one, strike one!” or “Jesus Christ, Strike.”)



Well the wind was blowing cold, fall might be upon us, the game next week is same place, an hour earlier, 2 pm. Come one come all, I will be in Orange county…again…for a wedding…again.



Enjoy,

S. Paige

Thursday, September 24, 2009

9/13/09 and 9/20/09

Here is the roundup for the past two weeks, sad as they are, thanks to Mike Gaspar, Johnny Bartlett and Jon Spack for the details:

9/13/09
Here are the ugly details.

- ten guys showed up. i guess the THREAT of rain kept people
away.

- there were about eight sprinklers going in the outfield.
thanks to tony for trying to turn them off. we should
get a credit for the permit.

- asshole league guys on the field. it would have been interesting
if we would have had our normal turnout to see how this conflict
would have been resolved. as it was, we were resigned to infield
practice on a little league field. which i skipped but i'm sure
some fine double plays were turned.

- and one last comment. league guys are DICKS. dirt-bags of course
are the exception



BP only. So sad. I hope it wasn't football that kept everyone home.



9/20/09

About 11 people showed - played a nice 6 inning game with Tony and
Johnny both throwing complete games. Away team won by breaking open
a 2-2 tie in the top of the 6th - all beginning with a 2 out 2 rbi
liner up the middle by Greg. I believe the final score was 7-3.



Lets try to bet a little more on the ball here people, we got a tradition to uphold. Speaking of which, are we in season 17, 18, 19, 20???? of MBC?



S. Paige

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

9/6/09 Cop Field Again, Labor Day weekend, Bay Bridge Closed

It turned out to be a great day, on the drive over I was fearing the fog and the wind would be strong elements to bear, but from some reason the fog ran just south of where we were, and it was all sun (well mostly sun) anyways.

We had 20 at one point, and 18 by the end of the game, one injury (Chad the hammy takes time) and Vivek (BBQ, not a good excuse, but what can you do?). Long lost Phil Snyder, of Utah and now Arizona showed up, as did Connor, Bob's young prospect.

Satch threw another complete game, which some might see as hogging of the mound, but it is out of necessity as I can already see that I am going to miss the next month or so of games, and 4 innings of work just won't satisfy the long drought ahead. As a rematch of last week, Johnny Bartlett started for the home squad and did well again, especially for a man who rode BART for an hour to get to the field. The key to Sunday's game was who's defense was less shitty. Not necessarily a slight to those who played, but it seemed we had a lot of players out of their natural positions, and we are not professional enough to be very versatile when it comes to that sort of thing.

The game started out ok, the visitors scored 3 runs in the first, and the home squad answered back, but then the visitors took off the kiddie gloves and before anyone knew what was happening, it was a 10-2 ball game again. Johnny lasted for the 7th and then turned the ball into Greg, who usually doesn't warm up until he has thrown at least 5 innings. Greg pitched well, ignoring the heckling coming from his own family.

Stronger built and mature than last week, the home squad had a bit more fire in the belly (and we all had some long innings) and by the end of the 8th, the score was 10-9, and Satch was feeling the heat coming from the hungry homers. However, padding was applied, thanks to a 5 run ninth, and while the desire was there, the win was not to be the home squads, and the final tally was 15-9.

Highlights

* Bob HBP +1, a back shot, middle up. He threw his bat afterwards, but we all knew he was smiling inside

* A day of home runs and triples, half power, half dry field, half bad fielding, but kudos to Adam, Roy, Bill, Greg, Bob, and anyone else I missed

* John Carey for sticking through a tough at bat (in which his old man called a knuckleball for the third strike and then laughed maniacally at him) and stroked a legit line drive over third in his last at bat

* Satch struck out on a gorgeous change up from Johnny, slow and inside, perfect! Bastard.

* Tony, Fucking Knuckle BALL!

* Some needed outs in the outfield when they were really needed.

* Adam scoops at first, saving some bad throws and getting those outs

* John Carey again with a long run in left field to track down a fly ball

* Emperor of the North, rent it today at Lost Weekend Video!

* On Greg's triple, I stepped off, appealed, and threw to Nick to tag second, it looked like Greg missed it from where I was standing, and I figured he might be honest enough to admit to it...

* Doc playing, rather than officiating, and getting a nice hit!

* Connor using a cheater stick, luckily no one was killed

* Had a lot of battle counts this game, where I thought I was in the driver's seat, only to give up hits, tenacity is a motherfucker.

Well, it's a 1 year anniversary for me next week, so chances are slim, week after than in Tahoe, week after that a 30th birthday party, so someone write down what happens, and remember to lie frequently and colorfully....


S. Paige

Thursday, September 3, 2009

8/30/09 A Foggy yet Muggy yet Humid yet Warm Day






It was a great homecoming, after too many weeks off, Satch was back where he was supposed to be on a Sunday. And luckily enough people showed up to make it a game, although without the Dirtbags, it would have been rough. The Dirtbags, Chris and Brian and New Guy (Mike?) are a couple, few of fellows from the MBC who have moved on to league play, however, I guess the season is over now and we can expect them back soon.

Johnny and Satch squared off in a classic duel, and neither was in top form, but both went the long haul. Defense might have been on Satch's side for the beginning of the game, but we of the visitors squad had our share of dropped flies and booted balls too. Satch threw a lot of changeups, which seemed to stymie the overswingers on the homesquad.

Everyone got a lot of at bats, Mitch legged out a few close one's, Tony got hit in the foot, John Carey got pissed at a called third strike.

The loudest hit of the game was the New Guy Dirtbag, who took Satch to left, and once it got past our borrowed left fielder, there was no slowing down. By that time, it made the score 10-7, which was great, the majority of the game being the less exciting 10-2 variety.

Same time, same place, next week.

Highlights

* Greg catching the whole game.

* Bob's dance to get out of the way of my pitch, robbing us of a Bob HBP game

* The nastiest knuckleball ever thrown to Chris

* Nero had a nice line drive

* Greg had at least 4 caught foul balls

* The Dirtbags, great to see you again

* Satch struck out looking, which is strange because some might have said it wasn't a strike

* Brian's catch at 3rd to rob his own team of a hit

* Adam's digging it out at 1st

* Nick showing off his hitting ability and rubbing it in that he is still faster than us

Thanks for everyone that showed up, see you again

S. Paige

Friday, August 28, 2009

MBC Game for 8/16/09







As Satch was drinking champagne and making small talk about the remoulade on the white bean medley, apparently there was a baseball game in SF a few weeks back. Our own Mike Gaspar was there. Here's his report:

It was a fairly nice day for our weekly game. The sun was shining in Balboa Park, but off in the distance we could see the fog bank edging closer and closer as the game progressed. We had a good turnout, 16 in all, and even though several regulars were MIA, Dustin brought friends and relations in to fill the holes and the game was on.

Dustin and Noah formed a formidable battery, making it a tough home squad. Mike Lattig, he of the .800 batting average was even a swinging victim. Sean, the tough lefty, went to the hill for the visitors, and was more than up to the task. Both sides went down quickly in the early innings, then in the fourth the visitors scraped together a single and a booted sacrifice bunt, and suddenly the door flew open. Before it was closed 5 runs had scored and the visiting squad never looked back. The Home squaders started a few rallies but could never come close to catching up. As the fog enveloped, our surroundings darkening with the close of another Sunday interval , we were all happy to call it a day....until next weeks game. -Gaspar


See you on the field, Satch is loose, relaxed, tan and lovely....


S. Paige

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Close Game, A Sunny Day





For those of you staring at the endless void of fog and wet right now, it is hard to imagine that just three days ago the City was bathed in sunlight, and happiness. Under these conditions did we, the MBC play our weekly game at Balboa Park.

As karma for the two weeks ago that the game ended early, the previous contest ran over into our time, and so when we did get on to the field, there was a lot of hurry and not much planning on who was on what team. AS a result, the home team had a squad that looked invincible, Lattig, Kvoriak, Mitch, Greg, Nero, Johnny, Satch, New guy Steve, Bob and a surprise guest. And as you may have gathered from the preamble, it was not the massacre that we thought it might be.
Satch was back on the hill, after a week in Orange County (don't ask) and felt loose. There were various new guys shuffling around, including east coasters with sons in tow, two brothers who came out to the Sunset once, and then, Brian Girgus? He showed just to "play catch" and ended up of course playing the whole game, in cutoffs, pendleton shirt and tennis shoes. But it was great to see ol 90% mouth, 10% muscle out there, and he seemed to have remembered how to catch a ball!
The collective bane of our hitting existence was pitching for the other team, Dustin, and for five long innings, we could not get anything started. Every time someone would get on base, there would be some sort of fuckup, or fly out, or usually strikeout, and the threat would be over. Stranded baserunners was our forte. The most egregious was a basesloaded, one out occurrence, and while we are all gentleman with various defects, I think most of us (including some of the opposing team) thought Rick was safe at first. Let us say that the umpire can be swayed by exciting action.

3-1. 3-1. 3-1.


This score haunted us through the game, couldn't score a run. Finally, some luck, Dustin had retired and gave it up to Carter, the new young guy. Carter had some trouble with the strike zone, hit Satch (almost twice), and we finally got some luck to go our. way. We go up, 4-3. Then Dustin showed up and hit the first pitch into Siberia, and the game was tied, 4-4.

Satch gave up after the 7th, and handed Johnny the ball to close it out. Johnny did what Johnny do, which was hold tight, and make the pitches. I have always been amazed, expecially at SQ, that Johnny can get the guys that are the hardest for Satch to get. Different strokes they say.

We go to the bottom of the eighth, we got baserunners. We have seen this situation before. 1st and 3rd. Satch lumbers to the plate with the Pete bat, and slaps a comebacker. It bounces off Carters glove, the run scores, Satch running with all of his might to first, makes it. 5-4. Satch steals second, 2nd and 3rd. Girgus is up, promised he would bunt to keep from striking out again. We all wait for it. It doesn't happen. He strikes out again. Got to come out more often, Brian.

We got to the top of the 9th, clinging to a one run lead. Johnny wipes the sweat from his brow, sets his jaw to granite, and sends the visitors down in order, the game is over, the sun shining, the wind tousling everyone's hair....

Highlights

* Oliver and Doc look to be making a comeback, which is great, once we can get used to a umpire.

* Girgus, just because you are in 5 bands doesn't mean there isn't time for baseball

* Dustin, again with a great game, both batting and pitching

* Mitch at shortstop, while the grounders were a little shaky, Mitch easily saved 5 bloopers from becoming hits

* Sorry to the kid I struck out, its hard to throw light and low sometimes, you made a great play at short though!

* Noah's strike zone that shrunk monumentally once Doc stepped in

* The other kid hit my knuckleball. Don't ask why I was throwing knuckleballs at kids.

* Everyone who fought the sun in the outfield

* Blueberries AND Cuties, thanks Sean!

* Sean's catch in the outfield, although I think there may have been a little drama at the end

* New guy Steve belting one!

* The arrival and departure of Carter and Will, have fun on the East Coast

* Turning double plays, disputed or not, is still pretty cool

* My own terrible base running, that somehow was redeemed by inducing a bad throw (you like that?) and scoring the tying run. I know, I know, but it looked like I was dead in the water, from my stampeding point of view.


Have a great game, out at the Cop Field again, usual time. I'll be in Sonoma, half-feigning good cheer and remarking "Of course I am having fun, what else could I possibly be doing at 3pm on a Sunday!????"

Midnighhhhhht Riiiider,

S. Paige

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August 3rd- Golden Gate Park

Satch was dragged and fashed from a Orange County wedding, and really wanted to be there, but it just wasn't gonna happen. Sounded like a good one, and here to relay the day is Mike Gaspar:

It was a nice enough day. A bit overcast. But plenty warm and even a bit of humidity hung in the air. Never the less, as three o'clock came, we still had only thirteen players. Ever hope full we started some infield practice and before too long our fourteenth player showed up and it was game on!

Johnny took the hill for the home team. Resplendent in his A's uniform in honor of Rickey "the greatest" Henderson. J.B. had the good curve working. And had an easy first inning. The visitors sent Noah to the bump and he had the full arsenal going. Especially in the early and middle innings.

Unlike last weeks game this was a tight affair early on. the visiting team scratched out a couple of runs early on, only to see the homers tie then take the lead in the middle innings. The home team then iced it with a barrage of hits and runs in the seventh. The visitors made a comeback try in the ninth. Aided by some shoddy defense on the part of a borrowed player (yours truly) and the fact we decided to take some walks. In the end though the final tally was visitors 7, homers 13. And i dare say fun was had by all !

HIGHLIGHTS:

Brian Cagle: Several hits, including a key two out double that basically put the game out of reach.

Owen: Good day at the plate. Even his outs were "loud".

Johnny: His good pitching kept the visitors in check.

Oliver: Amazing "juggle" catch in right field. Way to keep your eyes on the ball kid.

Noah: Pitched great for five innings. Then lost a little steam but stuck it out the rest of the way.

Doc: Thanks for umping. You did a great job !


See everyone next week, swear to the Maker(s) mark

A

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Game and Then an Exhibition

I don't know if it was the chiropractor, the acupuncture, or the drinking, but somehow Satch put a baseball display on at the cop field on Sunday. 16 solid souls showed up this Sunday, the sun shining and the game before us ended early, so for once we were on the field and warmed up by 3.

Johnny took the mound for the visitors, and was his usual solid self. Unfortunately he had a few hiccups with the defense, and he wasn't helped by the clouting force of the home squad. In hindsight, it was a little unfair balance-wise, but lots of times we have had an all star team set up, that looked unbeatable, and then they never get out of the gate.

Satch was more efficient than usual, and was helped by a great defense. The home squad was knocking down everything that came their way, and before too long, Satch was carrying a perfect game into the fifth inning. The visitors were starting with the bad juju, trying to throw Satch off his game, and eventually Johnny Bartlett (who really deserved a better shake out then he got) stepped up and knocked a gork over second base and the no-no-no was done for. A few batters later, John Nero fought off some fastballs, and waited on a change up (which had been working great up until that point) and laced a line drive to left center. The visitors were on the board. Unfortunately, the score by that point was 11-1, and it didn't improve. By the end of the sixth, it was in the 17-1 range, and the visitors were starting to look gloomy, so Greg (ever the diplomat) offered up a team remix and a three inning exhibition.

The teams were more balanced, Satch kept throwing, and Sean came in for the new visitors, and effectively shut down our offense with one of the nastiest curve balls we have seen out there. It was still 0-0 going into the 3rd, Rojas came in for the home team as relief, with Satch behind the dish (big mistake on the legs). A little trouble finding the plate, a booted ball, a couple of hits, and it was 4-0 with half a inning to go. The home squad managed a run, but in the end, it wasn't enough, and the game(s) came to an end. Nice.

Highlights:

* Not too much to brag about with a lopsided victory but....

* Johnny and Noah were a solid battery, and Noah deserves an extra kudos for a lot of stingers and hardballs in the neck

* Satch had a virtual cycle, at least one of the hits would have been out of park, any park...almost hit a soccer player too

* The diplomat, Greg. Take care of that leg, cuz I can't catch worth a shit

* Gaspar for putting up with Satch, and sticking out behind the dish as long as he could

* Lattig proving that he can hit anywhere

* New guy John, catching and hitting

* Good to see Owen out on a regular basis, welcome home!

Unfortunately the legs are out of wack, even if the rest of me is balanced. Maybe Satch should take a week off (just from pitching of course....)


See you in the fog,

S. Paige

Friday, July 24, 2009

Game Recap (kinda)

Satch was imbibing and debasing himself last week, so when I tried to get the recap, Jon Spack was good enough to provide some tidbits. But he left early, with the game tied, so this may be one lost to the wind. Thanks Jon!

*Sean had a monster home run blast to right field that resulted in a
funny looking no slide/close play at home plate - which brought the
score to 8-1.

*Johnny was cruising early for the home team with a lot of curve balls
and off speed stuff, but then some monster shots from Ryan, Nick
Kinsey, Mike Lattig (and others) tied the game at 8 with a 7 run
barrage. Mike's was a monster home run shot.

*Will started out on the mound for the away team and had some great
heat, but was a bit wild. He settled down nicely in the later
innings.

*Greg was back in action with a sore hammy, and played 2nd and 3rd.
Brian attempted an evil bunt toward Greg at 3rd, but whiffed at the
attempt. Greg had a nice hit up the middle in his first at bat.
Welcome back.

*Nick Kinsey displayed his inner Omar Vizquel, with some consistent
play at shortstop. He had all 3 putouts in one inning

The Lattig Report:

The home team won 11-8. It was an 8-0 game, visitors came back to tie it at 8-8 in the 6th or 7th, and then the home team got it all back.


See you on the bump this Sunday,

S. Paige

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

West Sunset Bliss

Sunday may have been the most beautiful in a series of beautiful Sundays that we have had lately. And I am not just saying that because Bob came with a truck load of steaks to sell. The beauty was added by the fact that we had 20 guys show up, which is a new record for the West Sunset field, I remember a few years ago that we couldn't get 10. Of course, now that I have said that, I am sure we will be screwed next time.

Greg was still healing from the hammy, but he dropped off the gear, which was kind of him, and we had some new guys that I think Sean had brought, they were young, and we were a little afraid ( we being the elder folk) that the young punks might show us up, or at least show off their non-disabled skills. But they were fine, they blended in and made some mistakes, and we were all friends....

Satch started on the mound for the homesquad, doing what was needed. The mound was in such good shape that it was troubling to pitch off of, as the drop was not the customary three feet that usually happens on our mounds. Our team had some early inning jitters to get out of the way and we dropped a few here and there, and the next thing you know it was 3-1 in the 2nd inning. But no mind, it was a nice day. Unfortunately, Dustin was feeling it as well, and he blew through us like wind through swiss cheese, dropping curves and slurves and cliders and drop balls, when he wasn't throwing the hard stuff...and this all without Jameson (as far as we knew). Our team couldn't seem to get anything going, Satch struck out looking, and we hit a lot of pop flys to Mitch, which is never the way to get a rally going.

After 5, I unfortunately had to leave the mound and the game to get to a BBQ, and so I bid the team a fond farewell and headed out. I got the late inning info from Jon Spack and Lattig, who each accounted for the end. AS for me, a great day, I hope we don't get spoiled on this weather, but then again, what better way to be spoiled.
Highlights the first 6:

* Joe who almost got one out of the yard, I was praying that it would, even if I had to give it up, never seen one go out.

* Dustin triple, single, and pitching performance

* The change up I threw Mitch

* Our umpire, Gregg, making it two in a row!

* The double play to end the first inning threat

Lattig:

Sean picked up for your side and had a solid first two innings, keeping the visiting squad down with his array of speeders and curves. The same held true for the visitors though, as Lattig took the hill and through looper after looper to keep the home squad off balance, and off the scoreboard.

The visitors tacked on a fifth run with some clean hits in the 8th, making it 5-1 heading into the bottom half, and that’s when the fireworks erupted. Bullets off the bats of Catcher John and Sean sparked a three run rally that brought the home nine to within one. Those tallies were quickly answered, however, by the visitors, who rallied behind some timely hitting and keystone coppery from the defense to push the cushion back to 4.

Vivek took to the bump in the bottom half of the frame to close it out, but the home 9 would not go quietly. Four consecutive hits had the game at 8-6 with runners on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out, but the new hurler wouldn’t break, getting the final three outs before Oliver could find his way home from 2nd, and sealing a thrilling 8-7 victory.

Highlights (from the 6th on):

* Vivek’s first career save.

* Sean peppering the wall in right field.

* A thrilling 9th inning that once again threatened to push us into extra frames.

Jon Spack Notes:

1) Sean was crushing line drives and deep fly balls to right, one of
which would have cleared the fences if he used a metal bat. He may
have even had an inside the park home run if those inside out sweat
pant pockets didn't slow him down,

2) Mike had some gorgeous line drives and sprayed the entire field with hits. His nickname as a pitcher needs to be Captain Hook. That deuce takes 3 minutes to get to the plate and goes from the eyes to the feet. Had a lot of batters off balance.

3) Our team came back in the last inning on some great back to back
hits - but Vivek closed the game out as I was stranded on 2nd base as the tying run.

4) Aaron's wildly fun-to-catch performance, I would describe it as "If you can't take the heat, the kitchen may still come after you." Aaron threw the kitchen sink at every batter he faced. I didn't know it was possible to throw knucklers in curve ball counts or change ups in knuckler counts...but he did it all day.
Thanks for keeping us in the game.



Thanks everybody for making it out, next week at Camp Swampy, someone pay attention, I will be faded in Lake Tahoe

S. Paige

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fourth of July Double header



What a great tradition, is all I can say. And not just because I woke up on Sunday and didn't have to wait 4 hours to play baseball. Loaded down with bags, I wheeled to the park, threw on the gear, and by 11:30 we were in full swing of the 7th or 8th (?) annual 4th of July doubleheader. the old tyme baseballers had a game in the other field, which was cool to see, but I bet they take their shit way too seriously. The families came out, the food was great as always, and per MBC tradition, we forgot essentials such as salt and pepper, but had 6 plates and 7 buns per person.

Bob provided the fine beef cuts from Brandon natural Beef (they do good work!), Johnny, the boudin sausages, and after a short crisis, Rick went on a beer run that kept us afloat for the two games. It was a great turnout, the stands full of fans, the players just full.

Game #1
A overcast, muggy day in the park, the sun peeked through a few times, but for the most part it stayed gray. Satch started on the bump for the home squad, and Will took on the serving duties for the visitors. It is hard to remember, but I think the game was close for a couple of innings, Satch got lit up to begin with, and then settled down. The knuckle ball served me well, and probably saved my arm. Will threw 4 or 5, but had some long innings. The mound was the bane of all pitchers existences, that is for sure, the hole in the landing spot was not helped by the three pounds of sand that the crew filled in. Another new addition was an old hand, Doc, who celebrity umpired the games for us. Strange to have an official, and we kept veto power intact (and used) to make sure that the game stayed on the level. Nice work Doc, come on out again.

John Carey ( that's not the steal sign) led off for the visitors, and did his job well, in addition to being a fine asset in the outfield. Ameila, likewise had a successful day at the plate, good to see the younger generation out there. As for us elder fellows, the creaks and cracks of the early game wore off, and there might have been a beer or two to lubricate a few stubborn muscles. As the game wore on, and the home squad started to run away with it, helped by some messy fielding. Lattig came in time to watch his defense disintegrate.

With the coals getting ready, and the game wearing on, it was decided to forgo the ninth, and end the contest, with a final of 19-9. Lopsided, but the visitors showed some ginger a few times, that let us know that they were still a force to be reckoned with.

Beer. Burgers. Sausage. Beer. Hot dogs. Potato Salad. Beer.


Game #2

We mixed up the teams, and set Greg and Noah to battle out for the second game. Both are long range hurlers, so the first couple of innings saw a lot of pitches. Another high scoring affair, the score went back and forth, never anyone too far ahead. Mrs. Paige brought her best circa 1902 game out, and added a rbi to the resume. The game was saved a few times by some amazing outfield work, Rojas, Stone, Knight, Carey, all tracked down balls that stymied the big rally. The visitors turned at least one double play. Sean and his buddy had showed up for the second game, and Sean took the managerial role and had whipped his team into a frenzy.

Greg, thinking he was still 28 and prompted by the beer, dashed for third and caught a hammy, ending his play for the day. Rojas came in and did fine but struggled with the mound, so Satch came in to finish off the game on 3 hours rest. Going into the ninth, the visitors scrapped and fought and pulled ahead, 14-12. Last gasps for the home team, and the exhaustion was setting in for the the last stand of the day. However, the home team pulled out the big guns, doubles and liners, and with a timely last at bat by Rob (who's rbi won the first game last year) a poke job to left, and the comeback was a final.

A great day for everyone who came out, we should do it more often. I ain't half as sore as I thought I would be.


Highlights

* A great day with family and friends

* The honesty and fair play of the games, especially when our celebrity official (ahem) got the call wrong

* Tony's catch in the outfield, especially amazing because we know he hates to play outfield

* The new additions, Margo and Cason, for making it out

* John Carey, again, why did we wait so long to get you started?

* Bob HBP +1, a classic shot to the posterior, making the day official

* Some long balls were hit, Lattig, Oliver, Nick, Sean's new guy....

* Fine glovework as well by Alexander, Adam's nephew

* No one was hurt by the bumpy gopher field

* Noah's complete game

* The tequila that helped some of us through

* Satch took second at least twice because no one was covering the bag. Its a learning tool. They learn and I am a tool.

* Let's play three!



A great way to celebrate freedom and good friends,

S. Paige

Monday, June 29, 2009

6/28/09 A great day, a great game


There was a lot of fear about this game due to last weeks debacle, so it was a heavy sigh of relief that went up as we found ourselves with 22 players for the match. It was one of the more beautiful days on record, and the wind was blowing out for a change, not that it helped us any. Satch, back in uniform (well, what passes for his uniform) started on the bump for the home squad. Ugly first inning. Somehow I struck out batters for the three outs, but mixed in between were about five walks, four HBP, three runs, two wild pitches, and one blazed out shortstop (my fault as well).

Our own offense was stymied by the masterful pitching of Sean, who owned us for most of the game. He got ground balls, he got flyballs, he got strikeouts. Satch finally settled down, and started to throw up blanks as well, but the visitors tacked on another run in the third, and we continued to spike ourselves and trip over every scoring opportunity that we got (which wasn't many).

Finally we scored a run, got a little self respect, and the game came to life again. Johnny took over for Sean and did what he does best. Dustin, the Jameson Kid, took over for Satch and continued to keep the game from getting any further away.

Then all at once, we had scoring opportunities, and Brian Phelps stepped up and crushed a ball to wayyyyyyyyyyy deep in center. Sean, chasing after it gave the international "That is way over my fucking head" hand signal, and Brian motored around the bases, add a throwing error, and the game was tied, 4-4. And it stayed that way, through the end of the game. Extra innings! Hard fought battle, but finally, Lattig decided to start hitting, which he did with a beautiful triple to the gap, and then Brian Phelps, once more put a ball in the air, down the right field line for the win. Whew.

Highlights

* There was probably 18 strike outs between the four pitchers, but it never really felt like it

* Sean, a fine pitching performance, keeping us completely buffaloed for the first 6 innings

* A bunch of people were HBP, but Bob wasn't one of them

* The return of Ezra, who played like he hadn't missed a week, and made a perfect throw to third to catch Mitch stealing

* The phantom that is Scot Mills, apparently he works on Sundays now, good to see you out there Scot, you should take more Sundays off....

* Our cheering section of half drunk Latins from the last game, and new mothers, wives, girlfriends, and lil'uns.

* A double play or three...

* Mitch playing shortstop much as he plays center, and not letting a thing through

* A double HBP, with a ricochet, hitting Greg after the batter (sorry, that wasn't too funny).

* Helen's first game, she hit well, she ran the bases, she took out Johnny, has all the makings of a professional MBC player. Is she in a punk band yet?

* Addendum to the above, sorry about the strike out, Paul. I needed it, and it's good for your daughter to know that its alright to not succeed sometimes. Remember, a good hitter still fails 7/10 times.

* Chad, who has had some trouble adjusting at the plate, took me deep for a triple, and played a great game in center field. Thanks for coming out and bringing a friend!

* For some reason, the teams were broken down as 12-10....oh well

* The new Redline seems to have some pop, if you like using it, I am open to a $5 donation.


Next week is our Fourth of July annual double header, in GGP. First game at 11:00, bring the family and the beers.

Tip of the cap,

S. Paige

Friday, June 26, 2009

Marathon shutout by Sacramento-born pitcher is one for the record books





Marathon shutout by Sacramento-born pitcher is one for the record books

By Carlos Alcalá


The record has not been broken – and perhaps cannot be.

One hundred years ago today, a young Sacramentan threw the longest shutout by a single pitcher in professional baseball history: 24 innings.

Clarence Henley's 1-0 victory for the San Francisco Seals was, one San Francisco paper said, "the most spectacular game of baseball ever played on the Pacific Coast."

The modern professional is considered strong if he pitches a complete game.

A Texas college pitcher went 13 innings last month, but critics heaped scorn on his coach for allowing it.

Henley pitched nearly twice as many innings, maintaining enough control to strike out six while giving up nine hits and walking only one of the dozens of Oakland Oaks batters he faced.

Clarence "Cack" Henley was born in Sacramento in 1885 and grew up in a brick house that still stands on 13th Street.

His father, Oscar Henley, was a brick mason and built the Henley home about 1880. It is the oldest brick home in Sacramento.

Clarence Henley entered the Pacific Coast League in 1905. He was so tall and thin that he was immediately nicknamed "Slivers."

He threw so hard that it was said the Seals' catcher kept a piece of beefsteak in his glove to cushion the impact of the ball.

Henley had two 30-win seasons, though the feat was easier then because teams played more than 200 games per season, thanks to balmy West Coast weather. (Today's major league teams play 162 games in a season.)

His control was storied, and over the course of his career, he struck out twice as many men as he walked.

His long shutout, though, was a product of the times.

Back then, "pitchers generally started and finished their games," said Marshall Wright, a Massachusetts historian of the minor leagues. "They were expected to do it, and they did."

For today's hurler, said Alan O'Connor, a Sacramento baseball historian, "a good outing's five innings, six innings. It's different."

The players then didn't have year-round training, nor did they have designer steroids.

"Drinking was the only substance abuse," said Wright, "and it wasn't minor."

Once, a group of gamblers got the idea to fix a Seals game by getting Henley drunk, San Francisco Examiner sportswriter Abe Kemp recalled in a 1953 column.

The plan was to bet big that Henley would lose and ensure it by buying him as much nickel beer as he would drink.

He drank a lot.

The gamblers and Henley boozed all night, downing $10 in beer. He was still standing.

They ferried him to the ballpark, Kemp wrote, and "smiled knowingly as he zig-zagged toward the clubhouse in centerfield." Then they made their bets.

Henley wobbled at the start of the game but grew stronger as the game wore on.

He pitched 12 innings of shutout ball that day, and won when he himself homered.

Sheryl Pinto, Henley's granddaughter, still lives in the brick house in Sacramento's Colonial Heights neighborhood where Clarence and his wife, Emily, lived. Clarence Henley built it, Pinto said.

She has held onto photos and clippings her grandmother saved, including this one about the fabled 24-inning game:

"And Henley," the story reads. "Well, he pitched as he never did before. He twirled as clean and great a game as was ever witnessed anywhere.

"You might think that's romancing a bit. Not on your life. If you think a pitcher, no matter how famous, pitched a better game where bat and ball held sway, then you had better tell it to Sweeney," the writer concluded, emphasizing with that old phrase that he would never believe it.

Oaks pitcher Jim Wiggs also shone. He pitched 23 shutout innings before losing.

"Henley's control was far better," William Slattery wrote in the San Francisco Call newspaper, "the tall San Francisco slabster walking only one man, while Wiggs passed six.

"That was with a hard-to-please umpire, according to the Chronicle. "The ball had to cut the plate in the middle to be called a strike."

The two pitchers scattered 20 hits, with several scoring threats eliminated only by dramatic double plays.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 21- Shitty Batting Practice

I wasn't there, but I hear that it was a real downer at the yard this week. 9 guys showed up, due to the June holidays, and the SQ game the day before (we might want to limit our Saturday games, or just Sat for the Giants....)and then there was another permit snafu, that forced the batters to disband after 4 pm.

No highlights, but i hear Bob got HBP during practice, so it wasn't a total loss of a day (thanks for the steaks, Bob!)

Lets gird up our loins for this weekend and make it a occasion worth remembering.

S. Paige

Monday, June 15, 2009

The philosophy of the MBC game


If there is one certain in life, it is that nothing is certain. I was planning to write an entire entry of circular logic, but I don;t think I have it in me. I will try my best though. The game this week, at West Sunset was a perfect example of how we can be so sure of a game's outcome, that we forget that anything can and always will happen.

We had 18, perfect. We had one of the most beautiful days on record, we had a fan (Stella), and we had a dry but immaculate field. It seemed that a lot of people were hobbled with injuries, knees and hips, and backs and ankles all were twinged with early high vacation living. The way the two teams fell out, it looked like a massacre in the making. If I was a betting man, I might have laid the family fortune on Satch's team. Good thing I only wager on losing poker hands. As a starting lineup, with a one legged Greg on the mound, we had Mitch, Lattig, Satch, Bob, Rick, Adam, Gaspar, Vinay, and the new guy Chad. That is a lot of power, speed and experience to contend with.

This is not to say that Greg's team was not riddled with some talent, but there is no good reason that Lattig, Mitch, and Rick should ever be allowed on the same team. We racked up 4 runs out of the gate, and then we started to slow up for fear of ruining the vibe in the first inning. Big mistake. Satch had missed a week, and started for the visitors, and the arm was feeling good, but Greg's team came right back at me, with a shit load of comebackers (most of which I got a glove on, and ended up screwing up the play) and bloops, and drives, and it was tied up after 1. And I kept making the pitches I wanted to, and to their immense credit, those warriors fought them off and put them in the holes. We had some through the legs and double play potentials that were booted away, which never helps. And a special thanks to Mitch, without whom, I might still be out there pitching, if he hadn't reeled in some long bombs the home squad sent his way.

Back and forth it went through the innings, and when one team had a quick inning, the other did too. 6-4, 8-4, 8-7, flopped 10-8. Then we had that damn 6 out/ 4 error inning that steals all Satch's reserves, and next thing you know it was 14-10. I limped from the field, humbled again, and let Lattig finish the job. Tony had come in for the home squad and shut us down, our once mighty and formidable team shaking their heads in disbelief. And all on a beautiful day.

Shows to go you can't never tell what's gonna happen in between the lines.

Highlights:

* Nick Kinsey, who had at least a couple of extra base hits on the day

* Greg, who managed to pitch through the pain, and lead his team to victory

* Cagle for his pop, and solid defensive infielding

* Tony for timely hitting, pitching and defense

* Vivek, who I got to hit ground balls all day (except for the big fly) and yet continued to get on base somehow

* John, for catching and calling a great game, throwing a man out at 2nd, and with some great hitting

* JT, for a good stretch at first, and some hitting of his own

* Paul, for showing up after being gone for a year or so, hitting and tracking down balls in the sun

* Nick Smith, for the shutter-buggedness, grunts and playing center all day, when we knew he hated it, and still tracked down two of Satch's flies to deep center....

* Mitch.

* Gaspar getting a man of his own at 2nd.

* Bob HBP count, +1, I missed it, but it sounded good. Keep up the good work, Bob!

* We should have paid more attention to how we do our lineup insertions.


A special event of interest, as mentioned, most of us were playing with some sort of malady, which is not uncommon. However, Tony's knee was hurting (although he somehow was ok to pitch two innings later on....) so we allowed a pinch runner. Nick Smith was subbing at 1st base, and so, while commiserating on the bag, the glove was passed, and Tony took the sack, and Nick became the runner. Haven't seen that one before. Score it how you will.


I shouldn't be this sore, but it was a long weekend

S. Paige.


PS:

We can officially start the MBC recruiting drive for Cason Abell Bhatia, he's almost three weeks old now, so I figure less than 8 years until he can be offered a starting position.

Sunday, June 14, 2009