Tuesday, April 26, 2011

4/24/11- Cop Field

I wrote a much more eloquent recap, and it was erased somehow, damn!

Well, all I can say is that Jesus is lucky that we had enough to play a game, otherwise there might have been some real angry people in heaven once we got there! In any case, it was a beautiful day, well, it was a little chilly when we first started, but the clouds blew away and we were left with gorgeous sunshine.

We started with Havana 6's and Jay and Ed showed up a little after the first inning began, and we had ourselves a real game. I forgot how tiring it can be to play with 7's, its nice to be active more, but it is also nice to be able to sit down once in a while.

Greg and I started on the bump and Greg and I finished on the bump. Great to have a complete game from both sides. It was also great that each of us had some real short innings, 5-7 pitch kind of things. The whole game moved really quick and we were finished by 5:15!

We were also graced by the return of John Carey, who looked like he had done some growing since we had seen him last. He promptly announced his return by hitting a triple off me to open the game. The brashness and talent of the youth, eh? I got my revenge, but he still played a hell of a game. He moves out of the way of the knuckleball better than his old man too. Played all over, and even caught the last inning, and showed off a cannon for an arm.

The visitors started off ahead, thanks to said triple, but we clawed back to take the lead. We see-sawed for a few innings, and found ourselves tied 4-4 in the 3rd. Somewhere around the 5th, the homers took the lead, and never looked back. We unloaded for a bunch of runs, and by the end of the game it was 12-5ish. Timely hitting, timely errors and base running seemed to be the differences in the game.


* Thanks to everyone who made it out for the holiday

* Greg pitched inside to everyone and came close to hitting just about every batter. Ironically, the only person who was actually hit was Greg, by me, in the ribs. Sorry. I would have hit you in a spot with more padding, but with Greg, I am not sure where that would be

* Paul had another good defensive game, both for and against his team

* John Nero, with a sore leg, played a good second base, and scored about 3 times.

* JT had some nice plays after getting pulled off the bag at first. One of them was as I was trucking in, and he claimed that he is one of the few people that probably isn't as worried by my massive girth. My worry lies in my basic understanding of physics and how it relates to two large masses colliding

* I threw changeups and knuckleballs to Jay, confounding him, until he managed to rip two of them for solid singles. I love it when we can all teach, and learn and succeed

* Adam was 0-5 in his first at bats, and started to lament not taking the charity single that was offered to him on his first at bat. His last three at bats were better.

* I hit a ball that was generally accepted to have cleared any MLB center field fence. Stoner, where are the cones!!!!!!

* Chris made a number of great stops in the infield, including a sure fire double down the line

* Gaspar threaded a hit through the Gaspar shift again, and almost did it twice. The first time I have seen a center fielder record a pop fly out in short left field.

* We almost had John Carey caught stealing, nice throw Mike.

* Tony had three fielding errors in one inning, almost consecutively. And they were all different kinds of errors. Or maybe he was just giving us a chance.

* The Rojas knuckleball rule was also established, where he must swing at a knuckleball, if it is deemed awesome enough

* Gaspar reported a successful trip to Girgus for hair trimming. No obvious signs of head wounds or trauma, good news!

* Bob hit what looked like a sure fire single to right, and let loose a little trash talk. Prematurely it turned out, as it was caught. Oh well.

* We had a strikeout, pickoff at third to end an inning, not sure what the base runner was doing.

* We ended the game with a double play. That was cool.

* And now, for your viewing pleasure, the most dramatic 10 minutes of Bad News Bears in Breaking Training. Adam and I were discussing the nuances (Win one for the Looper!) and agreed that the fight scene is frightening, because you know that Kelly Leak probably would have killed that kid if they hadn't pulled him off. And then the classic running away scene. And where does he go to drown his sorrows? Pool hall, of course. Probably won some money, got a half a hand job in the bathroom, pulled some smokes out of the cigarette machine. The glorious 70's.

Monday, April 18, 2011

4/17/11- Camp Swampy

For the third week we found ourselves at Camp Swampy, although it was not the same weather that we have had before. As me and Mrs Paige came own from Sacramento, we watched the temperature drop from a balmy 88 degrees, and halfway across the Bay Bridge, the fog was sitting there like a cloud on the land. Camp Swampy was bathed in gray, and yet, as the perfect tease, if you looked east, you could see Oakland and the sunlight streaming in. It didn't stop us from having a great game, and it didn't stop the 30 guys from partying their asses off throughout our game, drinking Corona and having a BBQ. I tell you the Mexican leagues know how to turn any Sunday into a party, and when they go for it, they go for it.

In any case, we had 11-11, by the time everyone showed up, and the teams were evenly split again, making for a great game. Greg Snyder started for the homers, his first start in a while, with Sean plaything but not tempting fate with the injured leg and tweaky arm. Good move. We went down in order in the first, but with Satch on the mound, we were not so lucky to escape unscathed. It was to be the first of a series of scoring innings. 1-0 after the first, 3-0, after the third. However, it was not to be the end, as we visitors pounded back, and took the lead, 4-3. They then came back and tied it up 4-4.

Then round about the 5th or 6th, the wheels came off for the Homers, as we unleashed an orgy of hits. It began with 3 doubles in a row, and didn't stop until the score was 10-4. It began to sprinkle and spit rain, and then the sun would come out for a second, and then it would go back to grey, hot and muggy.

Johnny took over for Greg, and settled the game down, getting a couple of quick innings. I kept throwing, feeling surprisingly spry. The homers brought it back to 10-6, and then we got back in the hitting game, and scored 5 more. Going into the 9th, we thought we were cruising to a easy victory, but the ginger of the homers could not be denied. By the time we got two outs in the inning, they had brought the score to 15-11. However, with a foul chip to the first base side, the game was over.

Well, not quite, we rambled around for two more innings, but the score never changed, and while it was great to play a few extra, we were all pretty cold and exhausted by the end of it. With smiles all around we packed it in, and left the field feeling fulfilled.


* Weather aside, it was a great game

* Tony managed to have three hits that never left the infield, at least two of them on knuckleballs that squirmed away

* Rich and Sean each had some long balls hit to right

* Mike Lattig again showed off the leather in the outfield, making a number of great catches

* Bob showed up in about the 5th, and used a metal bat for the first time that any of us could remember, he promptly popped out to 2nd and stated to never do that again

* I made Sean run the entire game out in center field, no matter how deep he played, I still managed to get it over his head. The trick was the wind was blowing straight out to center, and as long as I hit it high enough, it would carry.

* The change up wasn't working for anyone today, I think it was the wind, which slowed it down too much, and held it up, like it was on a tee

* Defense on both sides was pretty good, no particularly bad plays anyway

* There were many loud hits, and it seemed like a lot more extra base hits than usual

* Elvin fouled off a pitch that was two feet over his head, none of us could quite believe that he actually got a piece of it

* Good to see Nero, Cagle and Edwin back after an absence, and new guys Howie and Dirtbag guy

* Adam tried pitching to few batters, couldn't find the dish, but the arm looked good

* Thanks to Nero, Greg, Ed, Bob for catching

* Lattig came in for the late relief, and looked good except, for once, he might have been sorry he wore shorts

* Paul came through with a solid RBI double when his team needed it

* Paul also got picked off of first. I noticed that he was 8 feet off the bag, while I was not even on the rubber

* We had another pickoff, from Adam, not too many times that has happened

* Rich, who we found out played 7 years in the minors (pretty amazing credentials for the MBC!) manned center field and SS, and took away hits at both positions

* Mitch worked the right side of the field all day, and I think scored at least 5 times

Next week we are at Cop Field. See you there.

S. Paige

Friday, April 15, 2011

Punishment is a bitch

Since my buddy Rob has refused to come out to the game on a regular basis, I am posting this picture. He's the little guy. Dig the hat placed far back so that the bangs can be undisturbed. Speaking of disturbed, the other guy in the photo was. No one has heard from him in a while. Sweet bat though.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

4/10/11- Camp Swampy

Again we had a large number of people show up, which is great, but it makes one all the more frustrated on beautiful days when 10 people show up. But I suppose one should always focus on the positive.

The numbers and people being what they were, the teams were divided as Grey Mission jerseys versus Mission shirts and other jerseys. There was a little grumbling from the others, as it seemed as though the MBC regulars were going to walk away with it. Gaspar in particular seemed to think that the MBC jerseys were too stacked, but hopefully the outcome will be a lesson that one should never be too sure about anything....

William Zerbes, looking trim and relatively clean-shaven walked out of the woods and demanded that he start on the hill. Well, demanded might be a strong term, but certainly we had to remind him that usual protocol does not allow one to show up and get the starting duty. But we were all glad to see him, and no one else on his team was fighting for the position. He had dropped to a three quarters, almost sidearm delivery and had more pop on his fastball than we had seen out of him a few years. After establishing that he still had it, he passed the ball on to Johnny Bartlett, who did what he always does, which is eat the innings, get the outs when they are needed, and in general, play the outside part of the plate like a Stradivarius.

Sean, replete with strong mustache, started for the visitors, and we had decided to platoon the pitching duties for the team, as we were fat in arms. Sean went three, then sent in Satch, tossed three, then we went to the Irish courage of Dustin (D-Sky) to close it up.

Or at least that was the plan, but in a rare instance, we actually had to play extra innings because the score was tied, and not just because some of us will play until its too dark to see. It was a hitters day, no one seemed to have too much dominance on the hill. The ball bounced a bit more, especially in the outfield. The score was all over the place, 3-0 , then flopping to 6-4, and then back again. It was really good game, punctuated with some timely hitting, defensive gems and gaffes, and lots of good opportunities that were actualized or squandered.

We went into the 11th, and with Greg Snyder now on the hill, and the visitors up by a run (scored by the master of the delayed steal home, Tony Rojas), the home team managed to get to their last out, and with two men on base, Loren stepped up and sent a ball deep into right center to secure a win. The final score was somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-14, mostly we knew that it was a close one, and everyone contributed.


* A beautiful day, lots of players

* Adam, our new political ally, made a phone call to the SF parks and Rec, and got them to mow the jungle that was the grass, thus making the game safer and more enjoyable

* Both teams showed some great defense, it was nice to have a game that didn't have too many real weak spots

* Paul made a great catch in right field, fighting the sun and the run

* The sun, proved to be a fierce enemy for the 2nd baseman, and we had a lot of shading and running away from pop flies

* Rich anchored SS for the homers and turned a lot of MBC singles into easy ground outs

* I battled Zerbes for at least 14 pitches in my third at bat, before striking out. Touche, Bill.

* My only hit for the game was my first at bat, when I managed to hit a ball up around my eyes

* Gaspar, bucking the trend, had a sharp grounder to the right side of the infield for a hit, while we all bunched up on the other side, traditional Gaspar shift style.

* Someone had a great sacrafice bunt. Love that.

* Thanks to Greg, Mike, Noah, Adam and Ed for catching

* Johnny hit Adam twice. I guess when Bob isn't around, you got to hit somebody.

* The knuckleball worked well for a few innings, especially when I needed it to. That isn't always the case

* In general, everyone seemed to be better about knocking down ground balls, not always getting the out, but its a good step to keep the ball in the infield.

* Loud hits were registered by John, Loren, Rich, Nick, Zerbes, Ed, Tim, Sean, Lattig, to name a few. If you feel you had a loud hit I missed, let me know....

Let's keep the momentum going, this morning's rain was nice, probably packed the clay, so the fields should be in good shape. Not sure where we are yet.

S. Paige

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

4/3/1- Camp Swampy



By the bottom of the 2nd, I had my uniform on and stepped up and hit a opposite field double. Then I scored. That's what I do for my team. Tony, who was pitching when I hit said double, hit a bunch of our guys, including me. I guess that's what he does for his team.

In any case, it was a real barn burner, Sean threw one pitch, called it a day and brought in Johnny. Johnny did the deed, pitched a hell of a game, and was hindered as we were the whole day with strange defense and deep grass. Tony lasted five or so, gave it over to Loren, who threw 3, and turned it over to Greg for another 4. Satch took over for Johnny in the 8th, and pitched the rest of the frames. The knuckle ball was really working for at least one inning, and the change up had big swing throughs the whole game. Which was nice.

We had 26 at final count, yet there was a lot of tentativeness, about playing. It's important to make sure everyone plays, but there should never be a question about fielding 9 players quickly, when we have 13 to choose from.

The score was forgotten and recalled several times in the course of the game, and if I had gotten there on time, I could have kept score. Or so Tony says.

By the end of regulation play, the homers, also known as Tony's team, eked out a 13-12 game. Kudos to you all. Then we kept playing and finished the game at a very neutral and pleasant 14-14 game. The chill in Camp Swampy was a bit more than everywhere else in the city, which was still blistering at 70 degrees or whatever.


* While the defense paled at times, there were a few plays that got done right by the end of the game. And that's progress!

* We also had some really good plays at first, close plays, runner beating out the throw, that kind of thing. Love a close play.

* Adam, and countless others, had some deep drives to left and right.

* Mike Lattig accounted for all the action in center field, wading through the buckwheat and the dandelions to make some great snatches

* Ugliest baserunning- When deciding to steal a base that you shouldn't be stealing in the first place, don't slow down or stop in the middle of your run, you have made your commitment, stand by it.

Best Heads up play- Loren was on third, after some monster shot, and started talking to the basecoach, and Johnny game me a little head nod from the mound, and then fired it over. He could have rolled it to me as it turns out as Loren was the last person to even know there was a play going on. Atta' kid Johnny, you're keen as mustard! Tough as desert rawhide!

* Bob had a great "fuck you" line drive, complete with witty remark after he hit it

* It was a real twofer kind of day for Bob, +2 HBP. It's like a blue moon.

* Loren played a good game for a guy with a mild concussion....thanks for the spirit!

* Nick Smith had a great snare at first, backhanded, high skip

* Owen came out for the first time in a while, great to see him back in a uni

* Total Hit Batsmen: Had to be at least 7.

* Bob made sure to collect money which is good, and if you didn't give him any, make sure you do next time. This club is cheap but it ain't free.

* Helpful Hint- Make sure you make a good second effort on balls. Just because you don't catch it doesn't mean that you give up, and put your hands on your hips and start thinking about what happened. Pick up the fucking thing and get it in. Many a good putout starts its life as a double.

* The chalk lines on the first base side were wrong, and it really made for confusing running when rounding first.

* Special thanks to Ed, who caught a full inning against his own team in the last part of the final inning, just to speed things up.

* Chris sent a email saying that he was looking for his Black and Silver glove at St. Mary's two weeks ago. If you have it, let him know or bring it to the game.

Thanks to everyone who came out, it was good to have a nice big showing. Great weather, good times, lots of stalwarts who stayed to the end.

S. Paige