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.

• 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....


* 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?


* 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.


S. Paige