Friday, February 25, 2011

Our Brian

This entry serves to invite all of you to get your haircut and shaving needs with MBC longtimer, shit disturber, and general live wire, Brian Girgus. He is now licensed by the State of California to put a sharp blade to your throat, probably while grandstanding about the Yankees chances.

In any case, go see him!

Mystic Haircuts
14 Haight St, San Francisco
Brian C. Girgus
California barber
Haircuts, straight razor shaves,
barber services

Thurs, Fri, Sat, Mon
10am - 6pm

Sunday, February 20, 2011

2/20/11- St Mary's

Well, 8 strong brave souls faced the beautiful weather and warming sun to play baseball on Sunday. Quite interesting that we had 26 last week, and this week you people couldn't muster up enough gravy to make it out for a beautiful day.

We took a long infield and outfield, I threw 3 outs to each batter for some situational hitting, and then took batting practice, 10 hits, run on the last one.

It was great, too bad you missed it. Here's Bob with a postscipt.

Hope what ever you doing was better than baseball, oh wait, what could that have possibly been? Don't know where we are next week. Maybe you can take the time to see if you really care about playing or not....

Here's your hero lineup:

Bob, Elvin, Tony, Adam, John, Satch, Ed, Nick Smith.

S. Paige

A few (but not all ) of the Tenets of the MBC

So I thought I would scribble some basic rules, nay, guidelines to play, for those who believe that things written down become more permanent. These in no way constitute all or even the majority of the what the collective of the Mission Baseball Club endorses, but only what I believe they would endorse. A game like ours is an ever evolving sort, and if we have learned anything in our time as a loose knit organization, its that we should and are always open to change:

1. Don't be an asshole.- This is the one basic rule of the club. You care about winning and losing? Go join a league. This is sandlot baseball. With talent. Consider us the the team that draws fans every year, and is never close to the pennant. We play for the sheer joy of it. Don't take people out on a slide, that just jeopardizes someone else's chance of playing next week! And yeah, we have suffered a lot of jerks in our time that do care about winning and losing. And you know what? Very few of them still play with us. Cuz they can't turn it off. And some people, I think, are just wired that way. Glad I ain't one of them. So don't argue calls, listen to your teammates and if you get screwed on a call, make it it your mission to get a clean hit, or catch a clean ball, and no one argues with that, do they?

2. Try every position- One thing that always rankled me about the baseball system was that if you looked a certain way, or had a glove on a certain hand, you were relegated to a few positions. What the fuck? Are we in America or not? This is the land of the free, and if you are a left hander, there is no reason that you shouldn't try out at shortstop if you want to.

3. Know your limits- Yes, you were all waiting for it. Left handed shortstop, fine, great, you get the ball to the first baseman .127 seconds slower than usual, not a problem. As long as you can catch ground balls. If you can't, maybe infield isn't your position, regardless of what your Daddy told you. And insisting that you have to play that position is not going to work either. As a pitcher I want guys who can field the ball and make some sort of out 80% of the time. That's not hard, in baseball terms. If you can't do that, maybe your Daddy was wrong about you. It doesn't mean he didn't love you. Unless he didn't. And hey, if that was the case, maybe he sucked at infield too...
You want to pitch, but you need 30 minutes to warm up and them you throw 15 balls in a row, and the strikes you do throw get pulverized to all fields, perhaps your not meant to be on the bump? We are baseball players, not masochists. Your lifelong dream was to play first base for the Giants? Hey, I support that, I would give a kidney to Will Clark too, but if you can't catch a thrown ball on a regular basis, maybe 1st sack isn't where you should insist that you always be.

4. It's a strike, swing- This is one of the hardest things for guys who are new to the club. Because we are all taught to stretch an at bat out for as long as possible, make the pitcher work, etc. And I am all for a good working count. But swing the fucking bat. We are also out here to field hit balls, not watch you lean over the plate, looking at an outside fastball that you could crush to the right field, but you think you might have been a little off balance when you started your swing. If I have learned anything in the 8.4 years I have been playing with the MBC, its that you see that strike, fucking let her rip! As Stan Musial once said to Curt Flood when asked how he hit so consistently, " Well, Curt, [you] get a strike, and you knock the hell out of it."

5. Softball sucks- Do I need to explain this one? I have had a lot fun playing Friday nights with my dad's softball team, and getting drunk in the parking lot afterwards. But compared to baseball....not even close.

6. You fail, you get another chance- I hate video games. I have always told people that instead of being into video games as a youth, I was trying to get the real world. Say what you will about my successes but its true. And our game is dirt on the uni-, hard scrabble ball. And just like the video games that the kids like to play, we do get another life, cuz even if that motherfucker strikes you out with a curveball, you got another at bat to make him pay. Few things in real life give you that.

7. You suck, welcome to the MBC!- Unlike the teams of our Little League youth, lack of talent is not the curse it used to be. Talent or no, the MBC prides itself on being about the person first, and the ability second. Great guy, but can't throw anymore, welcome aboard! You hit the long ball, but you're a douche bag? Well, we all know you're a dick and humor you, so hopefully your personal records are enough, cuz we don't need you.

8. You suck, but you think that you know everything about the game and you want to tell everyone else what they are doing wrong, because you are really a misunderstood baseball genius and if only some one would appreciate you, you could maximize your own potential. But it's totally someone else's fault if you fuck up.- Don't really need to say anything else here, right?

9. Rain- We play year round, and when we get to the rainy seasons, it really wears on some of us. Sure when the rest of the Northern Hemisphere is coated in snow, we do have the occasional 70 degree game. I think it makes it all the worst when we are strangulated from playing for more than one week. Because let me honest. If I had my choice between Sunday as the day before going back to work, where I had a lovely brunch with people I kinda knew and then found parking and then did all the chores that needed doing, talked about my feelings and got my work week in order, OR pitching 2-0 counts where I needed a nasty paint the black strike, crowding the plate, diving to take a hit away on a flare to right, stealing second and then taking third on a sacrifice bunt, fielding a perfect ground ball and feeding it to second, snatch catching a fly ball in center, or brushing the dirt off after a reckless dive into the bag, I can tell you, it wouldn't be any sort of choice at all.

10. Relax- We are all out here having fun. This is church for us. Instead of guilt and redemption, its close plays at 3rd, change ups on fastball counts, Jameson's and shut outs, Maree-wanna play ball, 3 pitch innings, diving catches, in the parker home runs, stirrups and mud, pine tar, scuffed breaking balls, metal cleats, bunts for base hits and hitting Bob in the ass with a knuckleball. And if those things don't make you smile and believe that we are on this planet for a reason, this is not the game for you.

Don't look back.

S. Paige

Sunday, February 13, 2011

2/13/11- West Sunset

The game was live and loud, and shuttered between sunlight and cold clouds, with 26 or so men out for the affair. We were light a few of the regulars, such as Sean and Greg, but we made do with a nice mixture veterans and first and second timers.

Satch started out on the bump, after a nice long rest, (yes I know I was gone last weekend, and no it wasn't a Superbowl thing, it was a housewarming thing.) The arm felt good and loose, helped by the long sleeves I wore the whole day. The change-up was working well, dropping feet at a time, and I got quite a few batters on big 2 strike counts with the fat floater.

Noah started for the visitors, and did what he does best, which is grind out innings, and take charge. Our defenses changed with a brisk interval, some being better than others. The first inning took us a little while to get our heads in the game and the visitors scored 3 quick runs on us. We started our own little rally, and made it back 2-3. From there, we had ourselves a real game. We tied it up the next inning and then the wheels started to come off.

It began with a few singles, and then there was a through the wickets ground ball here and a dropped fly ball there and then it was 6-3. Then it was more. And then a few more after that. By the time we had 10 runs, it was clear that the game was in danger of growing stagnant. We had been talking about the fact that we had never seen a ball go out of West Sunset. I figured it wasn't going to hurt anyone, and leading off the inning was Loren, who I know has home run power. So I threw 2 big batting practice marshmallows, he fouled off the first, and did just what I hoped with the second. It was up, and gone in to the trees, and the score was 10-4. The rally didn't get any further.

I threw 6 and handed the ball over to Johnny who shut down the visitors with his usual brand of lights out slurvy stuff. Dustin took over from Noah, and seemed to missing his usual aura of untouchableness. The hit parade continued. Rich took back his own piece of the day, and put another one over the fence and into the trees for a round tripper.

The first 9 innings seemed to go very quickly, and we kept playing just to enjoy the day and the game. We lost at least 7 guys, but it still seemed like we were 9-9, so nothing really changed except that the weather got a little cooler. The visitors made a great comeback, and by the end of the game it was 15-14 and getting dicey. However, it seemed that it was not in the cards for the visitors and the game ended as the sun buried finally in the cold fog.


* Two home runs in one day, after none for years.

* We had at least 4 or 5 long running fly balls, and all of them were dropped in some fashion. They looked great and they were all valiant efforts. The one that counted came with the bases loaded and 2 outs, and the visitors desperately in need of the end of a inning

* Thanks to Bob, Gaspar, Loren, Tim and Tony for catching

* Gaspar put on a classic showing of the Gaspar bloop, and then was caught later in the game with the same hit. That's the problem with having a reputation.

* Remember that we should try to run out our hits, regardless of whether it seems worth it or not, but also remember that we don't need to steal bases when there is something like a 6 runs lead in the works.

* Tony threw out a runner in the last ining with a great toss from behind the dish.
* Doc showed up after being gone for a few, and put a base hit over second base, hasn't lost a step!

* A lot of runs were scored, and some nice situational hitting and deep drives over the course of the game

* Bob hit the piss out of the ball a few times, and played with a bit more fire than usual

* Nick has taken over equipment managing while Greg was gone, had a couple of good hits, and gave a little pepper to his team, thanks for all of it

* Tony did a great double pump, windup and throw from shortstop to get a third out

* I went up to the plate and was going to try and hit lefty, since we were ahead by a great margin at that point. Bob and Noah decided I was being high-handed and gave me plunking. I'll take a plunking whenever needed, but this one hit me in the elbow, instead of the back where I was planning. Keep those elbows tucked in and away from the pitch is the tip on that one. You can see some nice seam marks in the picture below.

* Nero pulled up with an injury in the early stages of the game. Hope you get better quick. We got the bad news as well that we lost Dennis to a broken ankle at Fantasy Camp, hope it heals quick and clean!

* The strike zone was a little awry, not sure what the deal was, but it seemed to be happening for both sides

* Adam and Tim seemed like they got on base every at bat today, Tim even called his shot! Base hit, right side, boom.

We had a lot of guys out there today, and I recognized a few worried looks that our little game might be growing at a exponentially unsafe rate. I think we will be alright, maybe let's slow down on asking any more people to come out, and we can see what happens.

Also, A note to all league guys as well, remember that if you have already played a game for the current weekend, the rest of us haven't. Be aware and respectful of that, please.

S. Paige

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Player Profile #16- Rick Kvoriak

This should have come sooner, as Rick has been out here long before I have, and I tried to get the veterans out of the way before moving on to you young whipper snappers. The thing is that right around the time that I started playing, Rick had these twin boys, who are really cute, and apparently demand some/and or a lot of his time. So Rick's MBC playtime went from lots to little. But that shouldn't be any excuse for neglecting him on the blog. And for that I am sorry.

Rick is the most dangerous pull hitter I have encountered yet. And I say that in all honesty and with all games in every league I have ever played in. Its riddy-mc-goddamn-diculous. I remember one of the first times I pitched I thought I had him all set up for a breaking ball, and he actually cocked his bat back before he swung, and sent it to the moon. I am always a little frustrated that we don't play at fields with fences, because I think Rick could be hitting a homer a game at least. And its not limited to fly balls, Rick can make the steadiest third sacker cry with the line shots and ground balls he sends to the left side.

In the defense department, Rick can do it all. As a fellow larger fellow, I respect that he can move gracefully and play those infield positions that coaches never let us near since only small quick guys were supposed to be there. I think we have even see him pitch once or twice. But SS, 2nd, third, outfield, it makes no difference, he can do it all. Then he will take a break for an inning and have a cigarette. And fuck you if you don't like it.

Rick is from Ohio originally, as are many of the MBC'ers ( a nice place to leave one of them told me once) and he will be happy to tell you that Ohio is the only state in the union that has a baseball pennant for a state flag. Which is awesome and makes sense since the Cincinnati Reds were the first professional baseball team. You can look it up. (I also have a Seagrams 7 bar sign that has the starting lineup with pictures of that team. And no, you can't have it.)

Rick is a product of the old school of baseball, and he has some fire in his play, which is great. But he also knows we are all out here for fun, and never lets his frustrations affect anyone else's good time. He is also the one of the few people I know who compliments you after a good pitch, even if its one he held off on. Its nice to be appreciated sometimes.

If it wasn't enough, Rick also plays guitar with Johnny Bartlett, in various bands, and is so adept at playing, that he sometimes is noted for watching the TV while the band is playing, since he is so confident in his own abilities to keep up. That's something. I sometimes forget the chords to my own songs. And by sometimes, I mean a lot.

There is another Kvoriak on the email list, but have never met him. Maybe one Kvoriak is all any team is allowed. In any case, I am glad we have the one we have, and can't wait til his kids are old enough to suit up, and play....and then he can sit down and have a smoke.

Sorry for all the change ups Rick, but you're on to everything else.

S. Paige

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Player Profile #15- Jonathan Tiemann

Jonathan, or JT, as we have dubbed him, has been coming out for years. He is an old associate of Bob's, but we don't hold that against him....He plays first primarily, being a tall, left handed drink of water, covers the sack well and has improved with each year that I have known him. But he also has been known to play outfield, and while it may not be his preferred position, he always does it with some class. He's also one of the few that has actually been to Giants Fantasy Camp, which I am very envious of, and he wears his official Giants gear with pride.

JT is one of those frustrating hitters that you think you have figured out, and the next thing you know he is lining opposite field shots off of you. He is also one of those hitters that is unfazed by my knuckle ball. And Yes, I know, some of you may be saying, who is unfazed by that thing anymore, but hey, some one might be, you never know....

One of the best parts about having JT come out is that sometimes he brings his daughter Amelia out with him. I remember the first game she played was a fourth of July BBQ, and since then she has always been there when we needed players. Through the years we have seen her skills develop into a real strong player, and a dynamic left handed power hitter.

JT has contributed multiple times to this blog, and is always helpful in his insight and accurate memory. He wrote a very poignant piece after the Worlds Series this year, which you can find at the end of the 2010 entries.

What few people probably realize, is that Jonathan is also a world class investment guy, with a Ph.D from Yale. Anyone who has been out with the MBC knows that JT is a wizard with numbers. He can compute runs, men left on, and outs, while the rest of us are still trying to figure out who was the last out.

If it wasn't enough, he's just a good guy, honest and hard working, always in a cheerful mood and loves the game. He believes in the tenets of the game, and might be the longest commuter to the games, a testament to his passion for the MBC.

JT, we salute you!

S. Paige

2/6/11- West Sunset

Well, it was Superbowl™ (All rights reserved, here fore after without expressed written and verbal consent of the NFL, it shall be refered to as "the Big Game.") Sunday. Satch was on his way back from a trip to that lovely jewel of the desert, Reno, NV and on my way to a housewarming in Walnut Creek. So after a while on the road I realized that I wouldn't be able to make the game. I tried dammit!

In any case, there was a game, and a doozy from the sounds of it. The day was amazing (Greg told me when I called in my absence, that although we often say it, It really was the most beautiful day ever!!!! Really drove the ol' stake through the heart.) There were plenty of people willing to miss the beginning of the "The Big Game". Great! I love it. From Mike G. and John M. I was able to glean the following highlights:

It was a very fun game, well played and close, 4 to 3. johnny and tony pitched for the homers and noah and sean took the bump for the visitors, no homers, but some well hit balls and some great fielding (as usual) by chris w/ 2 over the shoulder basket catches, one for dbl play.

* Johnny pitched six strong (one not so strong) innings and got out of
several jams thanks to some good d. chris's over the shoulder grab,
ed's strong throw from right keeping mike l. at third (he never made it
home) and john m's stab of bob's line drive.

- tony came in after johnny and got a six out save with a minimum of
pitches thrown.

- bob got hit twice.

- sean had the hit of the day. a right center gapper that almost hit the
wall. He also pitched 4 or 5 innings of shut out ball.

- anthony had an at least 15 pitch at at bat that ended with him bunting
safely for a hit. (d. eckstein would have been proud)

So, we got another weekend of sun ahead, and then the rain may descend again, so lets get a good strong turnout on Sunday, same place, same time.

S. Paige

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mickey Mantle- The All American Boy

Dave Johnson sent this to me last week, I thoguht it was worthy of a blog entry. His phrasing leaves the door open to countless jokes as to whether the bullpen was the location or active particpants in the action....Either way, The Mickster sure epitomized the class of the Yankees....

In 1972, four years after playing his last game for the team, the legendary Mickey Mantle was sent a letter by then-Vice-President of the New York Yankees, Bob Fishel, and asked to contribute to the Yankee Stadium's forthcoming 50th anniversary celebrations. All Mickey had to do was fill in the enclosed survey and share details of his "outstanding experience at Yankee Stadium." Below is the letter, and Mantle's surprising response.


New York Yankees Inc.

Dear Mickey,

As you probably know, 1973 marks the 50th anniversary of Yankees Stadium and we are going to have a season-long Golden Anniversary celebration. We hope to mark the occasion on our Old Timers Day, Saturday, August 11, as well as on individual dates during the season.

We thought it would be interesting to learn from you what you consider your outstanding event at Yankee Stadium. In many cases the answer is obvious, but because we are writing a large number of your former team mates, we are asking you to answer this question for us.

1973 will be the final season at Yankee Stadium as we know it. We will be located at Shea in 1974 and '75 while Yankee Stadium is completely rebuilt to reopen in 1976.

Thanks for your cooperation. We are looking forward to seeing you in 1973 and wish you a happy holiday season.

Very truly yours,

(Signed, 'Bob Fishel')

December 14, 1972/m

Mantle's Response:

I consider the following my outstanding experience at Yankee Stadium:

— I got a blow-job under the right field Bleachers, by the Yankee Bull pen.

This event occurred on or about: (Give as much detail as you can)

— It was about the third or fourth inning. I had a pulled groin and couldn't fuck at the time. She was a very nice girl and asked me what to do with the cum after I came in her mouth. I said don't ask me, I'm no cock-sucker.

Signed: Mickey Mantle, The All-American Boy

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

MBC players make local music scene

Sean and Anthony have gotten some buzz in the Sf Weekly, with a label signing and a new single!

The picture has Girgus in it, who was in the band until recently, but gave up his role in Nodzzz. Nice to see all three of them in the pic though.

Here is a link to the Nodzzz blog, for an update on all their work.

Nice work, gentlemen!

S. Paige