Monday, December 19, 2011

12/18/11- Moscone

Satch was up in the hills, having some early holiday revelry, sounds like I missed a good one, and also sounds like one of the teams could have used the extra bat....Here with the Recap is our own financial guru and stalwart MBC'er Jonathan (JT) Tiemann:

It was a nearly perfect day.  We had a perfect 18 from start to finish, and the teams initially looked like they were matched pretty well.  The day was cool and overcast, though the sun broke through at times.  The game started with a couple of southpaws working, Brian on the bump for the homers and Sean for the visitors.  Bob, leading the game off, hit a shot to right center, but Jay ran it down for the first out.  That pretty much set the tone for the first part of the game, as Brian shut down the visitors in order, and Sean returned the favor in the bottom of the frame.  The visitors scratched out a run in the second as Sean reached on a solid hit and worked his way around with aggressive baserunning and another hit. 
Sean kept dealing, and Brian worked out of a two-on, no-out jam in the third.  After three, we still stood at 1-0.

The visitors added single runs in the fourth and fifth, and when we went into the field for the bottom of the fifth, the visitors led 3-0 and Sean (with some fine fielding help, especially from Mitch in center and Lattig at second) had yet to allow a baserunner.  But Tony Rojas wore Sean out in an epic at-bat (must've been 25 pitches), finally taking the walk the third time ball four came around.  Some slick baserunning and the home side's first base hit of the game produced their first run.

Then came the sixth.  Duane, who had been complaining about being in a slump, led off by launching a triple over Jay's head, and the visitors' bats came alive.  We batted around, plating five and expanding the lead to 
On the other side, Sean kept mowing them down, finishing with 7 IP, 1 ER, a walk, 6 or 7 strikeouts, and only two hits allowed.  Tony pitched a couple of strong innings for the home side, and Dennis mopped up for them in the ninth (I can't resist saying I smoked a line drive into right against him, but my legs were so dead by then that it only went for a single).  Will and Greg (New Greg, that is, who looks likely to be New Greg for maybe 10 or 15 years) each pitched a frame for the visitors, and once they closed it out, the final tally was 11-3.  It was a little chilly and we're close to the shortest day of the year, so we left it there.


·         * Lattig was a machine at second base, fielding all the grounders, easy and hard, and making two great catches - one on a foul popup behind first and one going back into shallow right.

·        *  Mitch was Mitch in center, but he added a little flair with a fine sliding catch on a sinking line drive in the ninth

·        *  Sean was nearly unhittable, recording the aforementioned two-hit, seven-inning gem.

·       *   I miraculously escaped channeling Juan Uribe and spoiling the into-the-fifth perfecto with an error

·        *  Nick and Duane both sparkled at first, as usual

·         * Duane is officially out of his slump, with a triple and a double

·         * Yes, Bob had his HPB.

·        *  Dennis had a bunt single in the 9th, pushing the ball to Bob, who was playing third.  The only way the play could possibly have developed more slowly would've been if I had been involved.  

*    * Speaking of which, I won't mention my idiotic baserunning mistake.  Nice peg, Johnny.
       * After he finished pitching, Brian went out to center and promptly made a great running over-the-shoulder catch on a ball Sean hit.  I don't think it actually went 450 feet, but it seemed like it.  A very loud out.

Monday, December 12, 2011

12/11/11- Moscone

Well, I didn't play, but I did make it out to the beginning of the game, with Lil' Satch in tow.  We took a tour of the grounds, I gave him his first spin around the bases and explained what one flap down means.

It was a light showing, some thought because of the impending rain, football, holiday parties, or the glut is finally over.  In any case, it was 8-7, I felt bad not being able to even it up, but I would have felt worse if I had been suited up and playing when Mrs. Paige got there, hoping to spend time with her boys....even though I place complete (err..almost) trust in the MBC to successfully tag team babysit the kid.

DJ started for the homers, and was off to a rough start, which may be good in the long run if he wants to continue pitching with the club. His experiences with pitching thus far have been pretty easy gigs, compared with what us veterans would describe as the typical MBC outing.  This game proved to be much more of a MBC classic, 3 runs scored in the first, more than a few errors, tough outs all around.  Johnny Bartlett on the other hand, recognized the defense he had behind him and promptly threw two innings of perfect ball, before finally yielding an infield hit.  That proved to be short-lived success as the defense then turned a tailor made double play to erase the threat.  Ouch.

The visitors tacked on a few more, and Johnny continued to throw shut out ball, helped by a tricky slow curve that was maddening for the home squad.  DJ settled down and the homers hit parade dried up, helped by a couple of really nice plays from Will and Rich.

I had to leave in the 5th inning, with the score 5-0, so here is Johnny Bartlett with a biased review:

I went 7, allowing no runs (and precious few hits, if I may say so) taking full advantage of what appears to be a 36"-high mound that really helped Uncle Charlie. Defense was spectacular (as is needed in a shutout), with the Mitch and Chris flashing quite a bit of leather, but everyone really turned in a solid defensive effort. Nice plays in the outfield kept Rich off the sacks for most of the game.

Brian took it home for a 2 inning save. He also allowed no runs, pitching very effectively. I think his deuce also liked the high mound.

DJ settled down nicely after a shaky start and questionable defense. I think he went 6 innings. Dennis came in and pitch 2 innings, both one, two, three innings (incredible!). So he really had us flummoxed. Will came in in the ninth and put us down one, two, three (I believe) with his heater causing all the trouble.

I think the final was 6-0, visitors. 

Highlights (that I saw):

* Will and Mitch both had a couple of smokers at 3rd

* Visitors pulled a 6-4-3 classic, and a 4-6-3!

* Dj pitched well, handled the frustrations, and had a real loud line drive

* Johnny was all confidence on the tall mound

* Gaspar up the middle, after only one foul ball!

* Chris was not stranded on base, mostly because he wasn't at 3rd.

* Jeff (Number 84) played Rich perfectly to snare a down the line deep fly ball

* Liam had good contact all day

* Chris also had some nice plays at SS

* Johnny showed the true danger of the defense holding on to the ball, even when its the 2nd baseman, he successfully juked Elvin out and scored a run, while Elvin fake pumped over and over again.  Get the ball in, fellows!

* Nick Smith showed off his speed once more

* Dennis pitched 2 perfect innings, with great defense behind him

Brian Phelps had this to say about the game and the practice afterwards:

I relieved Johnny and got out of a jam after Rich scorched one down the line past McGrath and then Jay had a swinging bunt to Chris. Jay stole 2nd with Rich on 3rd and then stole 3rd with Rich on 3rd! PICKLE! But Greg wanted to keep the shutout in place, so graciously let Jay return to 2nd while keeping Rich at 3rd.  I then struck out Will on a called 3rd strike. Back door slider and Greg framed it perfectly!

The next inning 2 come-backers and a routine grounder to 3rd ended the game. Shutout intact.



* Dennis came in for an inning. Jeff lined one right back to Dennis who snagged it. Great play.

* I came up and CRUSHED the first pitch, but we had Mitch filling in right field and he made a HELLUVA catch half way into the infield of the other field. I thought it was over his head, but its Mitch. I tried to tackle him ala Barry Bonds to Torri Hunter in the All-Star game. But Mitch put the shake and bake on me.

* PS, Aiden and Liam saw me flip off Mitch after his catch. Tried to play it off like it was a thumbs up. (AOY... whoops)

* Also, after the game we did sliding drills. This was for John McGrath who seems to always have an awkward slide. So he and his kiddos, along with Greg (new), Elvin and myself did sliding drills for about 10 min.

* Then, to continue practicing since we only played 9 innings. Bob hit fly balls to McGrath and me, while Rich worked further on sliding drills for the kids. Bob's back only allowed for so much and then Rich came in. Holy Fuck Balls he hits a mean fly ball, from the Right Side!

* That all lasted for over 30 minutes. Until on a sliding attempt my calf crapped up from all the running. Thanks Bob and Rich for the extra work. I feel it today.

Here with more on Mitch's defensive amazements, is John McGrath, Esq.
I can accurately state that Johnny Bartlett pitched at least 6 (if not 7) innings of shut-out ball.

Also, of note, Mitch put on two catch-the-uncatchable-ball shows for the ages, in one case robbing Phelps of the hardest/farthest hit ball of his life and in the other case, a ridiculous Mays-style over the shoulder basket catch of a pop up out of play behind 3rd.

Special Note: Since Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, probably a good bet that there will be no game.  The following Sunday will be New Years Day, and we look forward to some real hung over baseball!  Maybe even a rematch of the Hippys vs. Squares?  Thoughts?

S. Paige

Monday, December 5, 2011

12/4/11- Moscone

An amazingly nice day, all week long I was hoping that the weather would hold, and dad-gumb it, it did!  We were overpopulated once more with 25 players, but it seemed to go alright, although we had trouble filling 9 positions, either because people were being overly polite by trying to sit out, or too many people to keep track of.  In any case, we got to play, so who can really complain?

Greg started for the homers and did well in keeping the score close, although the visitors did all their scoring early.  Will started for the visiting team, in a surprising move, and did well, held us to a few runs, and had K's as well, including me, thank you very much....

The score stood 4-2, visitors, for what seemed like a very long time.  Chris once again was left stranded on base, as we fell victim to the rally killing innings.  Will was throwing good ball, but with the numbers we had, he couldn't stay in there forever.  Greg bowed out after 4, so it seemed only fair to not let the other team have only one pitcher.  When Sean came in, we all grumbled a bit, since it didn't seem like our scoring chances were going up by any means.

On this sunny day in the Marina though, Sean proved to be human, or at least vincible.  That's the opposite of invincible, right?  In any case, we started scoring runs.  We took the lead, 6-4.  And the visitors started making errors, and then we scored some more runs, and then the visitors made some more errors.  The marathon inning went on and on, and by the time the smoke had cleared, we were looking at blowout time.  The visitors managed a run more or so, but it was never close again.

At the end of 9, we lost about 6 guys, but no one really noticed since we still had more than enough to play, so we kept on it, and had some extra inning fun.  Tony had thrown lights out in the 7th and 8th, Satch reentered for the 9th, and then New Greg (see highlights for nickname discussion) came in to throw the last couple, and did great.

Sean kept battling and never lost his sense of composure, but it was probably a frustrating day.  A special congrats to all the pitchers who threw off of the mound, which was about 4 feet tall and steep on the sides.

Final score, a soft 12-7?


* Both teams had a number of double plays, of the line out variety.  Another reason not to swing when a guy is stealing....

* Sean was the one who got Mitched this game

* Dennis tried a slash bunt, which I respect

* New Greg said his Japanese name is Daiji (prouniunced Die-jee) but that somewhere along the line in the US someone referred to him as DJ and it stuck.  So I think both are acceptable as of now, but I will wait for confirmation on what he wants.

* Richie brought out a new guy (verboten!) and the new guy hosed Greg at the plate with a spectacular throw (wow!).

* Ed got his RBI, and we answered the question as to whether a man on first is a RBI situation for him (it's not).

* My hitting was all over the place for the day- Dribbler over first, K swinging, solid line drive single, king single of gorks to right, deep drive over center (man that felt good.)

* Gaspar proved again how hard an out he is, he took a walk in the 2nd against Will, after 2 long at bats

* Dennis was almost thrown out at 1st, from left field

* JT might have had an OBP of 1.000

* Thanks to Ed, Bob, Greg, Adam, Gaspar for catching

* John Nero sighting, good to see you out again!

* Richie fell victim to lining it straight back to me (again)

* Adam was the winner of the Dave Johnson lookalike contest

* I made a Brooks Robinson-esque play at third, once I had the ball in my glove I knew I had a chance, but I am not sure I would have bet on me making that play

* Duane made a nice tumbling play on a pop up

* Gaspar also had a great play at home when we needed a run, slid and everything!

* Except for the meltdown inning, the defense on both sides was good

* The lunatic in left was entertaining, he kept reminding us that he was still there, and he had a good eye for balls and strikes

* Bob's hardest hit of the game was a play that the fielder didn't even have to move to make.  I bet you wish you had just been HBP instead?

* Mitch had another Rickey run, which I love.

* I am placing a moratorium on helmet throwing, Greg made a good point that it's the kind of thing that once in a while is mildly acceptable, but shouldn't be encouraged en masse, lest we become a game full of tantruming 2 year olds.  So, from now on, I will hold the helmet and slam it against the fence while whispering obscenities....

* Dee Dee didn't have to be chased off the field once!

Don't know where the game is next week.  I will not be there, next weekend is reserved for spending a much needed weekend out with Mrs. Paige and Lil' Satch.

S. Paige

Monday, November 28, 2011

11/27/11- Treasure Island

You can see the field right in the middle of the island.

Sean wanted to search for pirate booty while we were there, and while we didn't get any of that, Sean did find himself a chest full of K's.  Something in the neighborhood of 9 or so.  Dominating for pretty much the whole game.  Awesome.  But that is only half the story.

We flailed away inning after inning, the only man doing his job was Chris who got on repeatedly, stole bases to put himself in scoring position, repeatedly, and was stranded, repeatedly.  The rest of us couldn't seem to hit our way out of a paper bag, and if we did, it was too little, too late.

So the game went on through the innings, Johnny kept it within reason, and our defense had some much needed plays.  Satch took over for the home team in the 7th and tried to keep it close.  By then the score was 5-0, and Sean was smelling shut out.  The bottom of the 9th came, suddenly we had our epiphany, coupled with 4 straight errors from the visiting team.  Sean watched his gem bleed away, and before he knew what was going on, we had tied it up at 5-5.  Legitimate extra innings!

New Greg (who wants a nickname so he can stop being called New Greg, ideas, suggestions? ) came into pitch for the visitors, The visitors scored a run in the 10th, and we countered with our own to tied it up again.  Then the roof caved in, and the visitors scored 6 runs in the top of the 11.  Woeful, Woeful!

However, being the comeback kids that we were, we somehow managed to rally again, and while we fell one run short in the end, there is no words to describe the ginger in the homers for coming back not once but twice with big innings.

Final score, an impressive 12-11, Sean's shut out just a dim blur in the rearview mirror.  Except for all the strikeouts....

The field was in great condition, and most of us pitched in to rake it back into perfection.


* Sean was lights out all game.

* The visitors had every natural lefty on their team, Phelps, Sean, Lattig, and they all crushed it

* The right fielders for both sides had a tough time with the sun

* We had a great broken leg double play, where in a rare instance we threw it around the infield after a catch in the outfield and did manage to get a runner.

* Chris, in addition to his offensive output, also tracked down some short pop ups, which is his specialty

* Special thanks to Greg, Bob and Mitch for catching the whole affair

* The wind was strangely strong, while never feeling so, we had a lot of pop up plays that went sideways

* Jay had some great catches in right when we needed them

* Duane had a frustrating game, something all of us can relate to

* I am thankful that I got some semblance of glove on the come backer that New Greg hit

* Johnny may have been robbed of an at bat in the later innings

* I broke in my new helmet, got some decent scratches already (Having studied the effects of modeling behavior,  I need to probably let the kids know that throwing gear is not what you are supposed to do.  It sure is a nice outlet though...)

* Mitch was a terror with the bat and the glove, as usual, including a triple that went right past me, about 5 minutes after I got to the game

* Only 17 players, maybe we should play at T.I. more often

* We had a lot of successful plays on base runners, which is unusual

* Thanks to Liam and Aiden who gathered all of our foul balls, when they weren't summiting Mt. Dirtpile

* New Greg's nickname could be Crusher, based on the huge swings he was taking, I haven't seen a ball hit that high since the last time I did it.  It could also be E. Dubs (Effectively Wild), but thanks for hitting me in the 11th, I was debating leaning into one anyway.

* Phelps is mastering 1st now, and managed to catch my first line drive to ruin our early chances at a run.

* I am glad that our team called runners safe in some situations that we could have called them out and gotten away with it, it feels good to be honest.

* Thanks to the visitors for allowing me a pinch runner in the later innings, I strained my quads playing softball on Friday. I don't know what I was thinking, I am fining myself $5, payment to Bob next week.

* Tony is now our resident hoo-doo man, he put the whammy on Sean in the 9th and damned if it didn't work

And now here with a patriotic salute, is our AOY 2011, Brian Phelps:

* Next game Marina, 1 pm.

S. Paige

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

11/20/11- Rainout

Well, I guess it couldn't last forever.

Good thing we play every week.

Hope very one has a happy and safe Thanksgiving.  I know I am thankful to be part of the best underground baseball club in the world.

And if you find yourself in Placerville on Friday, come see the show, Cozmic Cafe, 594 Main Street  Placerville, CA 95667-5610.


S. Paige

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Baseball History Tidbit

Thanks to my brother for giving me the heads up on this story:

"King" Kelly, his antics, history and his association with a certain fraternal organization close to Satch's heart, The Elks Lodge.

King's Ransom: Autograph Of 19th-Century Baseball Icon 'King' Kelly Could Fetch $100K.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

MBC Stats

So far, this is what I have been able to compile:

These are the years, and how many games we played that I recorded in the blog, and what percentage of the Sundays that we played, per 52 week year.  There are probably a few that are lost to the ages, and a few batting practices that I counted as games; probably a + or- 2 games margin of error.

2008- 3 Games- Incomplete Record
2009- 36 games- 69%
2010- 45 games- 87%
2011- 42 games (with 6 Sundays left to go)- 81% with possible higher
2008-2011- 11 games played at San Quentin, that were cataloged, again there are a few that we missed writing up.

Not too shabby, especially 2010, where we missed less than 10 games for the whole year!  I also took a look at the years past, and we have had a bump in attendance around this time each year, so maybe our over-population fears are still a little premature....but that doesn't mean to start bringing 5 of your buddies.

In my limited review, I can say that some of the consistent factors over the last four years are:
  • Sean is still striking lots of people out
  • Bob is still getting HBP, and hitting big drives
  • Satch is still throwing a knuckleball
  • Mitch is still THE deciding defensive factor
  • Johnny still throws a lot of complete games
  • Noah eats a lot of innings
  • Nick Smith still hits the other way, and grunts a lot while doing it
  • Cagle still bunts and has good defensive skills and gets caught stealing
  • The MBC East (Brooklyn Ramblers) are still going strong, Saturday mornings
  • JT can tell you the runs scored, the runners left on, and the total score before most of us comprehend what we are talking about
  • Tony still makes every play look pretty and pitches well in the late innings
  • Greg catches a lot, and seems to be involved in a lot of clutch moments
  • Gaspar is still hitting lots of foul balls and balls the other way, then as soon as you think you got the goods, he hits up the middle
  • Lattig's B.A. is about .890
  • Noah and Dustin still enjoy the Jamison
  • Girgus is still 90% attitude, when he shows up, which is never
  • Phelps has excelled in making himself a power at each position he has taken
  • Ed is an RBI machine
  • Richie is still a frustrating batter to throw to
  • Nero is still agile and nimble at 3rd
  • Stoner makes it out once every five weeks, and still likes sliding for fly balls
  • Chris hits the hell out of the ball and has great range at SS
  • Duane's triple record may never be broken
  • Adam is still a master of the scoop at 1st
  • Nero, Bob, Adam, Greg, Ed, Noah, Rojas, Gaspar, Tim are all still ready and willing to strap on the tools of ignorance
  • Kvoriak still impresses all with the deep drives
  • Infield and short outfield pop ups still plague us as the hardest plays to make
Let me know, if you notice any glaring omissions, it is funny to read some of the names of people who came out for a little while, and then vanished.

In any case, thanks for a great Sunday tradition.

S. Paige

Monday, November 14, 2011

HAPPY 201st Blog Post!

Hard to believe, but its true.  With this weeks write up, we hit the big 200.  I will try and makes some calculations as to how many games that is, versus profiles (which I need to do more of), random posts and intoxicated rants and holiday cheer.

Thanks to everybody who reads, plays, enjoys or sends me spam email about how to improve my length and girth.

S. Paige

11/13/11- Cop Field

Another beautiful day, another overcrowded roster, another see-saw battle.

I was late in arriving, due to my new life, and by the time I got there, it was already 12-12, the warm up alone was pretty impressive, there was about three people at every position in the infield, and another bunch stretching.  For a total difference, I got to be on the same team as Noah and Sean, which I am not sure has ever happened.  We were the visitors, and Greg started on the hill to face us once more.

Sean and Greg battled it out for the first half of the game, both in top form, and it was still 1-1 in the 4th, which amazed us all, considering the lineups.  But we were plagued by some bad base running early on, and while we seemed to have a lot of runners, no runs.  The homers eventually started scoring and it was 4-1 for a good long time, with our batters unable to come up with the right hit at the right time.

Trying to remain within the guidelines for overage days, I talked Greg and Sean into bowing out after 5, so that they could sit and we could all rotate positions.  They seemed ok with it, but I know its tough when you are feeling good.  Satch came in for 2, then Noah in for a few, and then New Greg rounded out our hurlers for the day.  WillorCarter took over for the homers and then gave way to Rojas to close out the deal.

I had to leave before the game was officially over, so I am not sure how the whole thing turned out, but I do know that the visitors took the lead in the later part of the game, somewhere in our post regulation play.  We had been battling back slowly all game, and at one point thought it was 4-3, but it turned out to be 7-3.  Oh well, we made the most of it, and then some.  I would be interested to see if the lead held, or if the homers retook their crown.  Either way, it was a good one!


* At least two double plays were made, and we had a legit shot at an around the horn play, but the safe money was in getting two, which we did.

* My first hit was a rocket that Rich somehow speared

* Rich was once again Mitched.

* Mitch made a number of great plays in the course of the game, a few coming close to dangerous contact

* Loren planned for and invited scorn in a bright Dodgers uniform

* New Greg had a long blast in a serious RBI situation

* Thanks to Ed, Bob, Phelps, Greg, Tim for catching

* The first mention of a crowd reducing sign up roster for games was made, organization and rules continue to creep into our lil' game

* Swinging bunts seemed to be very popular

* Daniel once again had a real great olde tyme look going for him, the short bill hat, the upturned collar, the cocky stride, and he made some much needed catches in the outfield

* Tim stole two or three bases.

* Liam had some great blasts in the pre-inning hitting, and a nice bunt fake steal combo with his dad

* John McG also gave one a serious ride to left

* Tony was sporting some awesome vintage checkerboard specs

* Whoever the guy is that hit the lead off triple to open the 6th, hats off

* It is a much more social game when you have 14 guys sitting on the bench at any given time

* The knuckleball was not working, as evidenced by the one I threw behind Tim (which he tried to catch) and the two I threw to Rich that were as high and outside as you can get

* I was on-base twice, for the two rallies that fizzled for my team

* Another hard part of a large game, is that we all base coach from the bench, and having 12 guys yelling their own opinions of your next move is a little tough to parse out.

* Johnny sent these pictures from NYC, he played in the Brooklyn Ramblers game on Saturday, and from the sounds of it, tore the pitching a new arsehole all day:

Thanks again for the great game, it was nice to have a big jovial bunch, even if we all suffered a little in the at bat department.

S. Paige

Monday, November 7, 2011

11/6/11- Camp Swampy

With the rain we had on Saturday, I never thought we would actually have had a game, but lo and behold, the sun came out, the dry ground sopped up the water and with some work by our pre-game grounds crew, we were on our way.  Or they were anyway, I didn't get there until the top of the 2nd, but whatever.  We were once again over the limit, and a moratorium has been called on bringing any new people to the game until further notice...and yes, that means YOU too.

Greg and the visitors were complaining about lack of bats and thus, claimed me for their own, which was OK  except that I had to take off my MBC jersey, since the game had officially been deemed Mission versus Others.  In hind sight, the MBC team might have needed my bat more, but I digress.  Snyder took the bump for what seemed like the first time in a long while, and he was on cruise control.  Johnny Bartlett started for the homers and threw well, but was less untouchable than Greg, and was hurt by a number of Swampy-esque bad hops.

The game was up for grabs in the early innings, but as it progressed, the hit and runs parade continued for the visitors, while it dried up and blew away for the home squad.  Brian Phelps came into try and stop the bleeding, but was no more successful.  Satch came for the four (five) inning save, and seemed to have a lot of different stuff working.

By the 7th inning, the score had become a bit stretched, but all of a sudden, the homers straightened up and scored some runs, and we were looking at a 10-7 ball game.  But not for long, as we roared back and put it way out in front again.  Daniel rolled in, a victim of the time change, just in time for the 9th inning.  We scored a few more, the homers went quietly, and then we talked them into a 10th, with the hopes that the game might have a big comeback.  Didn't happen.

But we felt bad, since our half of the 10th inning we had sent a bunch of people to the plate, it seemed like we were on the verge of being a bunch of dicks.  So we gave the visitors 6 outs, and then 9 outs.  Unfortunately, half of our team went home after the 9th, since they apparently don't like playing extra innings, so the homers had to field a lot of positions for their own inning.  Everyone got a chance to hit, with the exception of Ed and Phelps, who are owed by everybody for their supreme sacrifice.


* No new guys. Period.

*  Thanks to all that tended to the mud before the game to make it playable, and Jon Mcg for the scouting report

* Duane made a number of nice catches in no mans land

* Mitch was a terror with the glove and the bat all day, and thankfully I was on his team this time

* Greg didn't catch all day, which may be a record

* Bob was HBP, in the shoe again.  Maybe his shoe has a magnet in it

* New guy Rob threw the ball back to Johnny harder than Johnny was pitching

* New guy Rob's kid was the real MVP, for straightening our gear and being an almost overly eager bat boy

* Dustin Skiles handcrafted himself a Golden Sombrero for the day

* Nick made a nice play at 1st.

* We rolled a double play, the old fashioned way.

* I think I actually deked Dustin at SS with the most hacky deke of all time.

* Tony caught a line drive and had about 10 minutes to double the runner off first.  But he hurried the throw and it ended up out of bounds, lets all take our time....

* I realized the specter of a fastball is just as effective as a real fastball.  I threw about 7 real fastballs in 5 innings, and just threw change ups the rest of the time.  The slow curve was my real tool for the day

* Bob and I committed seppuku in the 10th to get the homers their at bat, with a 2 out squeeze play.

* Phelps just barely missed sending a meat pitch a long ways, too much uppercut

* Tip for the Day: Outfielders, remember that the worst thing you can do is hold onto a ball.  It is literally better to to heave the ball in the direction of home plate, with no discernible human target, than it is to hold it and look around.  Get rid of it.

* Jay's foot is healing, and he proved it by feinting and antagonizing the pitchers on base all day, which he says is one of his favorite things to do.

* My first two hits (a professional scorekeeper might disagree, but MBC would log them as such), were to the exact same place and should have been clean through, but Ed knocked both of them down

* Ed also had about 7 more ground balls come to his way in 2 innings

* I made two base running gaffes in one inning, and still scored.  First I didn't score when I should have, and then went home on a ground ball to the 3rd baseman.  Luckily he threw it so hard that it popped out of Adam's glove, and I skated in

* Bob had a big fly, that no one was gonna get

* Gaspar had a nice line drive up the middle, just to skew the whole Gaspar shift notion

* Thanks to Bob, Gaspar, Adam, Rob, Brian Phelps! and Tim for catching

* Dustin recorded two outs against his own team, in right field in the 9th inning.  I would have dropped at least one of them.  Just saying....

* Brian Phelps laid it out, also in pursuit of his own teams hit, that homer squad had some real gentleman on it, I can tell you.

In closing, here's the new guy policy until further notice, as best described by paraphrasing Wentzle Ruml VI in Dogtown and Z boys, "You couldn't just show up with some new guy, grab your board and expect to drop in.  You had to call a meeting, you had to call a meeting and clear that shit with everybody. And guess what, if you didn't, then YOU didn't shit, almost happened to me once."

Not sure where we will be next week, but I can tell you there won't be any more new faces.

S. Paige

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pics from the Game 10/30/11 Cop Field

Thanks to Jay Cellini for providing us with another round of great pictures from Sunday's Game.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

10/30/11 Cop field redux

3 million without power, early snow storm blankets East, record breaking storm set itself apart by dumping snow, measuring as deep as 32 inches....

Well, aren't we glad we were all smart enough to move to San Francisco, and play a baseball game in high 70's sunny weather?  I know I am,  (Special hello to all those MBC'rs who moved to the Midwest and East.) and so were the other 26 people that showed up yesterday, for a game, not a good game per se, but a game.

The scales were a little unbalanced from the onset, when a team has line up that features Rich, Mitch, Lattig, Sean, Adam...(you get the picture) one starts to wonder.  Not that we didn't have our share of hitters on the home team, although you never would have guessed it from the final outcome.  Yes folks, we had ourselves a real laugher,  but it think everyone had a good time. 

Noah started for the homers, and threw with every ounce of heart that he could muster, he was saddled with facing a killer line up and although we did our best, maybe not the best defense.  Mostly it came down to hits, and lots of them.  Sean started for the visitors, and even coming off a stomach bug, he was still dominant enough to keep us from ever getting close to the lead.

The visitors took turns lumping us for five runs at a time, until we got to the point that we lost track of what the real score was.  New Greg took over for Sean and was his usual effectively wild self.  I came in to mop up for the homers, and try to keep the thing from dying on the table.  Had a rough first inning, but then we settled down and had some great defense to keep the game moving. 

By the 8th inning it was hard to see, so we tried to hustle in and out and much as possible, and and we finished just in the nick of time.  Final score, realistically, 19-5?


* For such a wide spread of scores, it didn't seem like the game was particularly fraught with errors

* I had to make the hard, sportsman call, against my own team on a two out play that we really could have used.  And while it was very very close, Gaspar beat that throw.

* I watched Sean free throw a change up on the very first pitch, and I swear I was all over that pitch, until I hit it straight up in the air

* Speaking of, I got Rich to pop up to left center on a change up.  Unfortunately my team was playing him to pull, at 480 feet.

* Chris Powell had a great triple to bring a little spark to our team

* JT picked me up after my second pop up, for an RBI, cheers!

* The visitors managed a double play, the old fashioned way, to crush our rally hopes late in the game

* Thanks to Nick Smith for bringing the gear, and being the team dad for the day, we kids tried to keep it quiet...

* Mike Gaspar tried his best to break a windshield, to the tune of five foul balls into the parking lot

* Noah did a great job of pitching/gutting it out, and then went behind the dish.

* Brian Cagle came out after what seemed like a long an absence!

* Our right fielders, JT and New Greg's guy both made some great catches

* I played second for an inning and froze completely on a dying line drive, which then bounced under my glove.  It looked like a rocket for the first 10th of a second....

* Adam was out on a foul tip that Noah caught in his forearm and thigh.  JT told us after the inning that shouldn't be an out.  Here is the official rule 6.05 (b):

6.05 A batter is out when-

(b) A third strike is legally caught by the catcher; "Legally caught" means in the catcher's glove before the ball touches the ground. It is not legal if the ball lodges in his clothing or paraphernalia; or if it touches the umpire and is caught by the catcher on the rebound. If a foul tip first strikes the catcher's glove and then goes on through and is caught by both hands against his body or protector, before the ball touches the ground, it is a strike, and if third strike, batter is out. If smothered against his body or protector, it is a catch provided the ball struck the catcher's glove or hand first.

So I don't know, it was smothered against his body, but who knows if it hit the back part of his glove first or what?  What I can say for sure is that it definitely was not lodged in his paraphernalia.

* Stoner came out for his monthly game, and made good catches, and was once again frustrated with the change up

* The bad part of a knuckleball is when the batter manages to hit it, it has a bunch of weird english on it still

* Thanks to Loren for being understanding and flexible with the latecomer/26 man rule. 

* Mitch made his usual assortment of robberies

* Ed caught most of the game, and did a great job of blocking the ball

* Jimmy almost had one take off his hand at 3rd

* New Greg's guy also had a very loud hit, impressive!

* Duane got some respectable work in at 1st, but needs to remember to keep that foot on the inside edge of the bag, and not let it creep to the middle of the sack, that's how ankles get broken.  Lesson to all who want to play 1st.

* Mike Gaspar hosed Jon McG at second, and almost had another pick later in the inning, he was spot on all day

Thanks for making it a good one, even without the usuals, Snyder, Rojas, Phelps, Richie, Nero, Johnny, Rick, Bob (maybe he got beaned with an errant throw in Ojai, we'll have to get confirmation...)

NOTE: Next week we switch to 1 pm start time, Camp Swampy

S. Paige

Monday, October 24, 2011

10/23/11- West Sunset

Ahhh, October.

As the rest of the world starts down the road towards winter, we get 80+ degrees and sun.  Almost too much, the outfielders might have said, but hey, who's gonna complain?  We started late due to the league game before us, and Rojas was chirping from the beginning that we weren't giving him time to warm up before game time.  Somehow I got there exactly the same time as Tony, and I was on the mound ready to go, so who knows.

We had a stable 11-10, that became 9-9 by the end of the middle innings.  Satch for the homers, Sean for the visitors.  A little warmer than usual on the diamond, but that is always nice for the arm, which was feeling good. I struck out Richie to open the game, but that seemed to be the high point, as I then gave up a couple of runs.  Then a few more, interspersed with a K here and there, including the hardest fastball I have thrown in a while.  The lesson for today was when you have a good defense, use it.  We managed to score back on Sean to make it a game, and then we had two or three innings of good, lock it down defensive ball.  At least 10 ground balls in the infield over the course of 6 innings.  I'll take it!

Sean had his change up working, but he never threw it to me, I think, because I didn't give him the chance.  I did break out of the slump finally, and was responsible for 2 of the 3 runs our team scored in the first few frames.  The first was a ugly gork to right, but the second was a screaming laser beam over Mitch's head that could have been 3 if I wasn't out of shape and being wary of the legs.

We never could really get a rally going, and I bowed out after giving up a sizable number of runs in the 6th, although the score was 6-4, so that's a decent ERA outing, per MBC.  New Greg came in and threw well, but had some trouble finding the dish, and the game slowed down a bit.  He still was able to strike out a few.  Phelps came in to mop it up and did what he do.

Rojas took over for Sean and was looking real good, had all of his stuff working.  The sun got pretty brutal around the 5th inning, and it became a crap shoot every time the ball was hit in the outfield.  If it got above the bleachers you had a chance of seeing it, but if it stayed low, never see it.  The homers went into the 9th with a deficit of 9-6, but never could get it going and with a K of yours truly, the game was in the bag for the visitors.


* It was a great game, old style MBC, no drama, no problems, just a bunch of folks enjoying the game.

* Rich got Mitched

* I was 3-4, single, two doubles, 2 RBI's, and a swinging strikeout to end the game....oh well, at least I finally hit the ball hard

* Thanks to Bob, Adam, Greg, and new guy for catching

* New guy was McG's kid's baseball coach, but he was a kid himself, compared to the mean age of the MBC, looks like he knows what he is doing too

* Our team had two dropped pop ups in the infield, in the same inning, Elvin's new nickname is "Two Hands".

* Rich had some nice plays at SS, and some real big overthrows to second

* Adam converted some real stinker throws into outs at 1st.  As usual.

* I played SS at the end, and had Richie picked off 2nd by 10 feet, but Brian didn't see me and Nick Smith hit the ball right where I would have been if I had just left it all alone....dammit!

* Mike Lattig played a great 2nd base all day

* I had Tony and Greg's number all day, but no one else

* Dennis came up big with two strikes to spark his team to rally, nice piece of hitting!

* New guy about took my foot off with a line drive

* Jay came out, had a hit, but after field testing, is looking at long term rehab for his foot.  Take your time Jay, it's the only way it will heal. Don't worry, the game isn't going anywhere.

* For the record, Brian Phelps worked at Straw Hat Pizza longer than Aiden has been alive....

* The visitors stole every base they could, that might have made the difference.

* Bob got hit with an overthrow at first, which we all agree still counts.  That happens at West Sunset about 400% more than anywhere else

* Rich got hit in the spine, which we all agree sucks

* Daniel had a nice 2-strike hit

* Richie had a real nice hit as well, on a pitch I was trying to bust him inside on

* I think someone hit a triple

* No broken windows, but a foul ball went into a backyard, and hit something brittle.  Sounded like a dead tree branch snapping.

* New Greg beaned his buddy, always funny when that happens.

Thanks to everyone who made it out, for making it an enjoyable game!

Not sure where we are next week, thanks to all that volunteered to pony up for the windshield, if needs be.  Someday, it will be needed, I am sure.

S. Paige

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

10/16/11 West Sunset

Having a baby is a great thing, richly fulfilling, blah blah blah.  And while it is a great thing, its not the same kind of great thing as having a really solid day at the plate, or being able to put your pitches exactly where you want them, or hosing some runner at the plate from the outfield.  Maybe I just miss playing ball.  In any case, there was a game on Sunday, above the minimum attendance again.  Here with a recap is Mike "Hit Machine" Lattig:

The day started out warm and balmy with some nice cloud cover - which may have contributed to us staying at a reasonable 10-on-10 for the first time in a long time.
Two old-timers took to the bump to get things started, with Greg firing for the home squad and Johnny doing the honors for the visitors. To Greg's dismay, that meant he started against a top 4 of Mitch, Johnny, Rich and Lattig (as I go third person for a minute...). Not the lineup he needed to face coming off the error-induced drubbing he took a few weeks ago. And sure enough, we quickly jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top of the 1st.
Johnny, on the other hand, seemed hell-bent on turning in the first shutout that the MBC has seen in quite some time. The one glitch? In about the 4th inning or so that cloudy sky had morphed into a grayish white glare that threatened even the surest of hands and eyes. Yours truly fell victim with two outs and none on, when Adam hit a little humpbacked liner to second that should have ended things, but instead wove its way in and out of the sun before I made a final, futile last second stab at it once it reappeared to my left.
The homers followed with a few solid knocks, and all the sudden it was a 5-2 ballgame... But that's all Johnny would yield until an inconsequential ninth. Between then he got help from Jason's ability to fend off the sun in center, Rich's ability to glide around at shortstop and fire balls to first, and Mitch's ability to suck up anything  hit his way, including a spectacular sliding catch in center.
And while Johnny was spinning his magic, we kept the runs trickling in. The most impressive knock being Rich's wall banger off of Brian after he looked surprisingly uncomfortable for a few pitches. A fact that Greg ill-advisidly pointed out before Rich launched a 370 foot line drive. The lesson there: Don't poke the bear.
I'm not sure what that made the score, but it was a lot to 2 before another 2 out rally in the 9th led to 3 or 4 runs for the homers. And, as seems custom and since it was a mere 5:20 when the 9th was completed, we moved on to the 10th where both teams got a couple of runs but nothing of consequence occured...
Lesson there: Sometimes 9 is enough. (Ed. note: Some of us would play through to Monday morning if given the opportunity, but I know I may be in the minority here...)
I'm old and tired, so I don't remember many details beyond that. A few for the history books and blooper reels:
* Dennis fell down while backpedalling to catch a pop up, but his achilles was fine.
* There were at least 4 balls hit to right field off of Greg that should have been caught, but were lost in the sun and fell for 'hits'. That seemed to be Rich's gameplan until Brian came in...
* Speaking of Brian, he lasered a couple the other way, proving the value of "Hit it where it's pitched"
* Johnny and I connected for a strange 4-1 putout of Greg on a ball that seemed destined for right field. Which proves the value of the pitcher covering on anything hit to the right side.
* We all made it home safely with another game under our belt. Which proves the value of knowing your limitations...


Dennis "300+pints and counting" Briskin had his own description of his swan dive:

Dennis playing 2B backpedaling for a popup, hitting the grass edge, the ball grazing his glove as he tumbles ass over teakettle. That batter eventually scored. Injured? No, just embarrassed.

AOY 2011 Brian "Lefty Stonez"Phelps had these gems to contribute:

* Greg vs Johnny, Johnny donned a #75 retro Mission jersey and pitched like a retro Zito.

* Once again the sun played its part. I nearly caught a ball, hit by Rich, right near Dennis after he lost it in the sun. I also could have made a play, from the mound, behind 1st base after Dennis and Adam lost a popup in the sun.

* Greg made a Willie Mays catch after taking the fateful first step in.

* I had a 15 pitch battle with Rich. After 14 pitches in, Greg (catcher) says "I've never seen you rattled". After tapping the glass, Greg calls for a fastball and Rich puts one off the wall. Thanks Greg.

* The Homer's defense let this one get away.

* The new Greg murdered the ball. One went over my head, so I went oppo the next time up and put one over his head. Then I pitched to him and he crushed me.

* The Visitors had a murderous lefty lineup. Rich, Lattig, Rojas.

Ed. Note: One final aside to the league players, please remember that this game is the only one that most of get to play for the week, and we would like to be able to play as much as possible.  This game, while not registered in any official capacity, also isn't a league training session.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fourth of July October

Courtesy of Nick Smith, here are the pics from our annual BBQ.