Monday, March 22, 2010

3/21/10- Balboa Park

So great to be back, and just as icing on the cake, the sun came out and stayed out through the game, a little fog aside. 19 came out for a game that ended up being the more amazing back and forth any of us have seen in a while. The teams broke apart in to what seemed like mostly balance teams. The visitors appealed to the power we had on our lineup, and so, Chris, in true egalitarian spirit went to the other side. Little did we know how important that would be.

Satch was itching to get back on the mound, although few would agree that it was a good thing once I was there. I got through the first inning alright, and then all hell broke loose. I couldn't find the dish with anything but a middle of the plate change-up, and if I did get the fast ball over, they hit it just to the right or left of my solid defense. First one run, then another, a double here, singles abounded, especially up the middle, including one from Mike Gaspar just when we thought we had the guy perfectly played. By the time the dust settled, we were down 6-0. That's right, 0.

Facing us was the master of the dipsy doodle dying heavy ball, Noah. And for 6 1/3 innings he used and abused us like a ugly step child. When we swung, we fisted or topped the ball. Noah played a great defense off the mound, and Chris and Vic on the left side of the infield were responsible for at least 11 outs. We got hits, but continually stranded the runners somewhere on the diamond. Lots of jokes about the trade we had made, and after a while we figured that maybe we should try and settle for getting a run. And so we did. But not before we felt the momentum shift, thanks to the craziest double play that I have ever seen. 8-1-2-4-5-4-2. Suddenly there was life in us lifers....And it got us out of the inning, and back to the subject of scoring runs

Satch, finally got a ball to bounce between Vic and Chris, stole second on the first pitch, got to third and finally home on a single to center, the curse was broken and we were on our way. Then 6-2, 6-3 going into the 7th. Johnny came in for the homers, but the visitors sensed the danger and tacked on two more runs. Suddenly all us home guys were hitting, and the visitors were dropping balls that they scooped up two innings earlier. Mitch was in to pitch, and struck out Satch with a couple of nasty change ups. Others fared better, and just in time we raced runs across the plate, and before we knew it we had taken the lead 9-8. Into the 9th, Greg now on the mound, the visitors once more would not go down with a fight, and tied it up, then went one ahead, 10-9. A real barn burner.

Bottom of the ninth, and Rob into pitch for the visitors, a lefty who had tattooed a change up off Satch earlier in the game. But we Homers were persevering, and the next thing we knew we had scored the tying run and then the winning run, and then a few more. But then we decided to play an extra inning, it took some cajoling of the visitors, and we really thank them for playing on. Greg took it into the top of the tenth and we decided if the visitors tied it up or went ahead we would stop and end the game. But they didn't. and it ended there, 13-10.


* The wackiest double play ever

* I tried a slash bunt, didn't work, but I am glad I tried

* Rob's monster hit

* Jayson made a couple of great catches, one diving, and throws in from center

* The two new guys that Stoner brought were welcome additons and played a great game, especially Andrew, who runs like the wind and made some great plays at 2nd.

* Noah pitched an amazing game, and caught the last 2 afterwards!

* Chris made an awesome over the shoulder catch at short

* Thanks to everyone who played, I can't remember too many other things right now, so email me if I forgot something important.


S. Paige

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

3/14/10- Balboa Cop Field

Spring training was a lot of fun, but nothing whets the appetite for playing ball like watching ball! The good news is that I waved at Will Clark, and HE WAVED BACK! Then he gave me the Nuschler point! Man, that was awesome. Here's Jon Spack with a short recap, anybody else who wants to, feel free to write me highlights:

Returned after a few months away (got married + got hurt....not because of marriage though) is what I can muster:

Mike Lattig was throwing mean hooks all game as he led the home team to victory on the mound and at the plate. I do not remember the final score but it was double digits in the teens to single digits and it was not close. The home team played "Oakland A's" baseball early as someone described it as they had some station to station hits off of Noah with runs coming off of singles. Extra base hits were tough due to the high and wet outfield grass - even the hardest hit balls just halted in the gaps. Both Noah and Greg pitched and caught for each team - a yeoman's effort as always by them.

Our very own Babe Ruth (He hits, He pitches, he looks great in Wool), Mike Lattig, wrote this dazzler, worthy of a Pulitzer for Olde Tyme Sports Writing:

A glorious day foretold another monster turn out. But for some reason, perhaps scared off by the scarcity of at bats the previous week, the ballplayers never materialized.
We sat at unlucky 13, and were tempted by an offer to add 7 league guys (on hand for tryouts on an adjoining field) for a full game. But our collective desire for ABs convinced us otherwise, and we forged on 7 x 6, only to become 7x7 thanks to Mitch’s late arrival. (Which was the result of a fabulous new haircut. Looking sharp!)

On the bump were two classic soft ballers. Noah with his dazzling array of late movement for the visitors, and for the home squad none other than the resurgent shoulder of M. Lattig. It’s been a LONG time since he saw a start, but he found the zone early and often, with Greg putting down the fingers to keep the opposing squad guessing: Will it be straight and soft, or looping and soft?

The only run the visitors managed over 6 innings was a 2-out liner up the middle from Gaspar to score lefty Brian. Who had led off with a triple and was still on third because… well, just because apparently. It made no sense, as the score at the time was 6-0 and the home side was clearly ceding the run…

Greg took over and closed out with three scoreless to seal the deal (that fastball must have looked 90 in comparison…), with another shoulder success story – Adam – closing it out behind the dish.

On the other side of things, Noah worked in and out of trouble over the first few innings – including a bases loaded double play ball to end the second. But he couldn’t completely stem the tide, and he departed on the losing end, giving way to Mike Gaspar in the late innings. Yes, you read that right.

Our favorite opposite field hitter changed things up completely and went to the mound, doing a great job of keeping the ball over the plate and the hitters off balance.

As for hitting… Well, I don’t remember many details there. Tony was giving the ball a good whack all day, so much so that he broke Greg’s unbreakable bamboo bat… Nick too was lining them all over the place and I managed to mix in 4 hits. There was a nice clout from Mitch over the left fielder’s head…

But really it was about stringing hits together rather than heroics. The decisive inning, in fact, started with five straight singles. All clean. Might be a Mission baseball record…

Let’s hope the sun keeps shining and we play as clean a 9 this coming week. See you all on the base paths…

Thursday, March 11, 2010

3/7/10- Moscone Field

Some times you just want to go down on your knees and thank God for making you a ball player- Bill Lee

Well, Spaceman couldn't have described my emotions better for the game on Sunday, after many a week off, Ol Satch was back out where he belongs on Sunday, as were half of the MBC list. Definitely the biggest turnout we have had in a long time, so large we had to turn away two wayward league guys who were there before we showed up and were hoping to slide in to our game. If we were short it would have been fine, but as it stood, we were 13 on 13, or there abouts, and as we began they quietly slipped away, dejected. I knew how they felt, probably had to go home and act happy to clean the house and spend quality time with the family. It was decided to play 12 innings, just to make sure that we all had enough at bats, and well, because why not?

Satch's arm was ready to go, as was Sean's and we were dealing from the first pitch. One nice thing about having so many people out there, is that you go alto longer not having to face the big hitters, and thus can conserve a little more. After a boom boom top of the first, including a great snare of a line drive from Johnny Bartlett, we rumbled right over the defense and scored three runs, helped by aggressive running and some key hits, including one of (three?) hits by Mr. Brian Girgus, who we all suspect is on the juice, due to his rapid turnaround at the dish. There the margin held for the next three innings, until we small balled another run across the dish, to give us a 4-0 lead. Damn it felt good, the weather was perfect, sun nice and warm, wind blowing out to left, and spring in the air. The weeks off had helped the arm, but not the legs, and the sprinting and stealing of bases didn't help either, so after a solid six, Satch turned the ball over to Greg to seal the deal for the next 6. Greg held strong, but the visitors started to come alive and before we knew it, the score was 4-3, then an inning later it was all tied up.

Sean had turned the ball over to another lefty, that Bob brought out from little league, Mark? Anyway, he kept it around the dish, and we were unable to score the tie breaker. The Visitors on the other hand were more than capable, and took the lead in the 8th, with some fine running by Mitch (of course). Once again the Mitch factor was in serious contention for the game changer, especially in tracking down the hardest hit ball I have had in a long time, with a wooden bat no less! Something very unsatisfying about only getting on base with gorks and texas leaguers, when the deep drives get caught. Eh, its part of the game.

The visitors griped a little about the continuation of the game, fearing that we would spring back and take the game in the 10th-12th. However, the only real excitement was our outstanding defense in a bases loaded jam to get two outs at the plate, on force plays, both with excellent grabs from Adam behind the dish. Our once strong lineup couldn't get the stick together, and as the sun set, we wrapped the final inning in the enveloping wind and cold, and thanked each and every person that had made it out.


* The re-appearance of Micah, Dani, Nick K, Jayson, Kvoriak, Elvin, Rob...

* Micah said he was in NY and played with the East Coast MBC a few times, apparently the fields they play on really suck. Well, serves them right for moving to NY.

* Let me say for the record, I hate hitting people. We all joke about Bob getting plunked, but it is usually a knuckleball or something that he takes rather then expending the energy to move out of the way. I hit Zach with a fastball, which I wanted up but not in, but that's where it went, and got him in the high ribs. Not intentional (smart pitchers don't hit people with 2 strikes) but still it really sucked and I feel like shit.

* Greg also expected me to be shitty about a.) losing my shutout, and b.) losing the game. Nope. Just happy to be there.

* I AM shitty about Mitch catching that ball though. Fuckin Mitch.

* Stoner wanted to play 1st and we moved him back out to center where he made a great sliding (of course) catch! That's why we play you in the outfield Stoner!

* Chris had a great game at short, a good defense makes all the difference.

* Rob, great bunt! Small ball is always satisfying

* I was able to get most of the big hitters to swing at eeEEphus pitches, that was nice

* Gaspar hit a line drive up the middle, just when you think you know somebody....

* Ben did a admirable job behind the dish, we need to work on that throw back though.

* Saw the first play at the plate when Bob was catching that he did not call the runner out. And it was Brian. And he should have been out for not sliding. But he was safe, if that makes a difference.

* Nice to hear that everyone was completely disinterested in watching the Oscars (except Nick Smith, but at least he works in the business)

* Thanks again for the good times.

Have a good one this Sunday, its Balboa I think? Stay tuned. I'll be down in Scottsdale, trying to get a walk-on tryout with the Giants. Or at least getting drunk in the same place where they hold Giants tryouts.

S. Paige

Monday, March 8, 2010

2/28/10- Balboa Park

A big apology to all those who have missed me out at the yard, its been a hectic February, and add a lot of rain to that factor, and we have the makings of a drought (of baseball that is). In any case, here is the write up for the game two weeks ago, from our very own five tool player (six with his journalistic abilities), Mike Gaspar.

First a big thanks to all who helped fix up the field to make it playable, especially Greg. Also pros to those who played in the outfield. Especially left and center, it was a real swamp out there, as everyone's cleats and half of Brian's uniform can attest to. It was a big turnout, 10 on 11. Greg started for the homers, and Johnny for the visitors. The visitors quickly cranked up a couple of runs, but in a lightening flash, the home team had tied it up.

From there, the home team steadily added a few runs every inning, but the visitors could not muster up the same run support. Sean came in relief for Greg in the 5th or 6th and put the hammer down, at one point striking out 3 of the four batters he faced.

Glen came in relief for Johnny in the 8th and also got 3 quick outs. The visitors rallied for a few more against Tony in the top of the 9th, but fell short, the final being 10-5.

Top Performers:

Nick Kinsey- Good to see you back, with a couple of hits and RBI's

Vinay- Likewise good to see you again, at least two hits and some RBI's.

Glen- Some good defense at first and second

All the pitchers for the home team, Greg, Sean and Tony did a excellent job.

An addendum to the game and a gentle reminder:

Something to consider, as you all know we have no formal batting order, in the MBC. So if you have batted in the top four of the order in the previous few games, think about dropping back in the order from time to time. Especially when there are big turnouts and we have 10th, 11th, 12th place batters, they are going to get cheated in the long runs.

Thanks Mike!

S. Paige

Monday, March 1, 2010

February 24, 2010- New York

For those who don't read the New Yorker, I was pleasantly surprised to see this in the Music and Nightlife section:


Avenue C at 2nd St. (No phone)—Feb. 24: Enablers, formerly based in San Francisco and now scattered across the country, deliver a compelling amalgam of spoken word and indie rock. The group, which got together seven years ago and includes veterans of Swans and June of ’44, performs songs with a loose, rambling feel that sometimes explode with guitar feedback and powerful drumming. What distinguishes Enablers is their lyricist-reader, the underground poet (and current Brooklynite) Pete Simonelli, who guides their musical forays with philosophical, sometimes gloomy, poetic narratives. (For more information, visit

Not bad for a guy who breaks other people's bats....

S. Paige