Wednesday, August 31, 2011

8/28/11- West Sunset

Well my departure last week was premature as it turned out, the wife was kind enough to let me have one more day in the sun.  And it was a great time, except there wasn't any sun.  Plenty of fog and mugginess though.  We had another big turnout, it was 11-11 this time instead of 17-17 though, so thank god for small miracles.  Satch started for the homers in what may be the last go around for this show pony, well, for a little while anyway.  And to switch things up, I got to face Johnny Bartlett, fresh off of a great game last week, which was erroneously reported.  Apparently, he threw damn near a shut out last week.

The game see-sawed continuously, each team losing the lead, then reclaiming it, sometimes with authority.  By the middle innings, the visitors put up what looked like an insurmountable lead, but somehow, we clawed our way our of a seven run deficit to tie the game.

I felt good, and everything seemed to working well, but I lost so many 2 strike counts that it started to feel like providence.  I would get the first two strikes no problem, and I would throw exactly the pitch I wanted for the third one, and somehow it was get hit, well or dinked enough to fall in.  And dink we did.  Between the two teams there might have been a record number of dying quails.

Not all the hitting was so wussy though, as Rich showed us once again why it was that he played 7 years of professional baseball, while the rest of us were partying.  Two home runs!  That's right I said it.  Off two pitchers.  Amazing.  He also had at least two doubles, so you might say that Rich was a big reason that we kept coming back.

 I think we all enjoyed the action of never being comfortable with the lead we had.  I bowed out after 7, and Johnny did the same, leaving Greg for the homers and Dustin and Brian Phelps for the visitors to mop up the game.  We continued to outscore each other, and we played an extra inning to make up for the excess of players that we had.  In the end, somehow, the homers won the game, which was most surprising to us, seeing how we had been in such a deep hole for a good part of the game.  Final Score: 18-14.


* It was a real honest game, people who were picked off didn't argue about it, when a play was close at first, the defense didn't argue on a safe call.

* There were more triples hit than I care to remember, but I know Duane had at least one, as did both new guys

* Bob was hit twice, once on a fastball, which I felt bad about.  Sorry Bob.

* Paul had the game of his life, he was at least 5-5 and made a spectacular diving catch in the short porch in right

* I am pretty sure that everyone on the other team got a hit off of me.

* Mitch had some great catches, but even more close ones that he safely veered away from as the other outfielder came crashing in.  The new guys don't know that its better to just let him handle it.

* Jay came out again and hit the ball with authority all day, and made a lifesaver catch to end my day on the bump.

* Noah and Dustin played well considering the hangovers they were most likely suffering from

* Bob also hit the longest ball we have ever seen him hit.  It probably helped that he knew I was going to  float one in after hitting him

* The third inning lasted approximately 3 hours.  I was soaked by the time I walked off the mound

* Noah was framing pitches that were a foot out of the strike zone, and even called one a strike.  I guess if you frame it then look at it, of course its a strike.

* Sean was kind enough not to catch my opposite field hit

* Rich and Mike Lattig were the 4th and 5th outfielders for most of the game rather than SS and 2nd.

* There were a number of solid left field line hits as well, and as we know it is treacherous out there on the left line, gets real bumpy and rocky

* Phelps almost had me on the center fielder pick off maneuver.  Luckily I was high enough (also thanks to Brian) to be one with the game and sniff out the complex ruse

* We had our first complainant on a foul ball, who apparently pointed out some minuscule dent on his truck.  Never saw the owner of the car who's roof we sky balled,  setting off the alarm.

* The only person who didn't hit me well was Sean who is usually the guy that hits me all day.  Go figure.  Maybe he has to pitch to hit.  I was so tired after the game, I think I told him that he pitched a great game, even though he never did throw.

* Let's go Stories!....I almost fell off the mound.

* We had a lot of stolen bases from people who shouldn't be stealing bases.  They were all safe too, which is only going to encourage them.

Alright, you are all on reporter detail until I get back out there, so pay attention and send me regular updates.

S. Paige

Monday, August 22, 2011

8/21/11- Cop Field and Camp Swampy

Well it was a first for me, and I have been coming out for going on 8 years.  We ended up with almost 30 players, a real conundrum.  We weighed the idea of a 12 inning game, and let the wheat separate from the chaff as the game wore on, but that didn't seem like fun.  There was a lone duo using Camp Swampy, so we figured, why not just split the squads and play two games?  Why not indeed.  With a few notable exceptions, the games were split along years of service to the MBC, old guys at the Swamp, new guys got the Cop Field.  So we did.  We offered a spot for the two guys who's field we took over, and one of them played the whole game (Vince, nice kid, got a hit) and his dad just left him to play with a bunch of strangers!

I will need to get a proper review from someone at the other game, but I know that Johnny Bartlett and Noah started for the teams, and they seemed to play a much faster game than we old fellers.  They were done and asking about playoffs while we were trying to get out of the 6th inning.

As for our game, it was classic match up with Sean and Satch squaring off, and we battled as usual.  Well, at least on the mound, when it came to hitting, Sean left me in the dust, as he continued to connect with everything I could throw.  At the plate, I contented myself with bloops and opposite field hits and one very ugly strike out.

Luckily, his team was slightly less powerful than he, so I could at least get some outs.  The wind was blowing the ball right back at me, and I figured the fastball wasn't going to be very overpowering, so I relied on the knuckle and change up for most of the game.

We scored 1 run apiece to begin with, and then we visitors got a few runs to take the lead.  It didn't last long though, as the the homers took the bait and bashed us for a few innings, tallying up four runs on some big hits and charitable defense.  We can't really even say that the inning came to a real close, as Nick Smith was called out at home on a play that had definite reasonable doubt.  Sorry Nick.  And you had to slide too.  I was waiting for someone other than me or Nick to make the call, but didn't get any help.

We lingered in the hole for a while, but kept it close until suddenly we figured out Sean and got in the scoring business, put up some serious runs and ultimately holding on to win.  John Carey came into pitch the last frame, with his dad as his battery mate ( a better showing than the last Patri/Fili duo we saw) and I handed the ball off to Rojas to close it down.  The homers took their walks in the 9th, as they should, but could not come up with the big one. Final score, 9-5.


* 30 Fucking people!  Ok, officially stop bringing new guys until this gets under control.

* We had a rare infield showing one inning of Tony, Greg, Brian Cagle and Adam, also known as the Final Four Horsemen of the original MBC (who still play, I hear you barking Simonelli...)

* The infield at Swampy is not any better than Cop Field, maybe even slower

* Daniel came a little late but made a number of great catches in the outfield

* Mitch saved me from the humiliation of giving up yet another home run to Sean, with the best running catch I have seen in a long time.  Of course, Sean also hit a triple off me.

* Bob had some great hits, as did John.

* I struck out the poor kid who came out with Bob, like three times.  Hopefully he can come out again so he doesn't get bitter towards the game

* We almost had a perfect suicide squeeze play

* JT hit a rocket back to the mound that I barely held on to

* A lot of collisions and near collisions at 1st for some reason

* Aiden gets the Free Range award for most distance covered in the day.  We all got to catch up on our parenting skills, keeping an eye on him

* We got Lattig to foul out in a 2nd and 3rd, no out situation.  You remember those, cuz they don't happen too often.

* Adam hit the ball hard, ran hard, blocked a lot of badly thrown balls at 1st

* We had a lot of extra base hits it seemed.

* We had 5 HBP, three of which were Bob and the other two were Nick.  They were all hit by me.  The only one that I was concerned about was the one where I tried an inside corner pitch and hit Nick in the leg. None of the one's I hit Bob with would have a dented a custard pie.

* Greg came though on a bases loaded, two outs, Tony at 3rd situation, the very same one that he flubbed at Swampy three weeks ago.  Way to go Greg!

* Greg also was proudly displaying the wound he received at SQ, result of a over eager tag in the face

* I messed up a play covering third for the other team.  I froze up, not knowing if I should try for the ball, then didn't cover third, as Lattig chose to go to me for the out.  Sorry.  I think it all worked out.

* Glad we all had fun, and made the most of a strange situation.

The Cop Field Game by John McGrath, Esq.

"Game 2" featured a large contingent of first timers on the vistor's squad and a fair number of MBC regs on the homer squad.   Johnny pitched the whole game for the homers and Ed caught.  Johnny pitched great and even struck out the side in the early going.   

Noah pitched for vistors and did a great job with Tim and Nero sharing the catching, but unfortunately for him Rich hit him hard, getting at least 2 triples and there was some generous D behind him.  Chirs Powell also had a timely hit and so did Johnny and Duane.  

Loren-the-birthday-boy, (yes, it was his actual birthday) took over for him in about the 6th and was impressive.  He had about 4 pitches going (fastball, curve, slide and knuckle) and slowed down the homers scoring big time.  He even struck Rich out after a 8 to 10 pitch at bat.  
Johnny kept the homers off the bases for most of the game and along with some pretty good D (there may have been only a 2 or 3 Es by the homers the whole game), pretty much cruised to a win with the homes in front the whole way.  This author does not recall the exact score, but thinks it was something like 7 to 4, or maybe 10 to 6.
As far as new guys (first timers) it seemed like there was as least 4 to 5.  One of them, Will, played with Sean at Evergreen.  They all seemed like real nice guys and were solid players and it was a fun game.
* Liam got a legit single, whacking a knuckler from Loren the opposite way down the 3rd base line well past the 3rd baseman.  (He also hit one over his old man's head, who apparently wasn't giving that 8 year old the respect he deserves.  The little upstart nearly got it to the outfield grass on the fly!)
* Rich's hitting and D 3rd.
* A  4-3 double play, doubling Loren off of first
* A few solid/ and very nearly completed attempts at some double plays by the homers (a 5-4-3 and a 6-4-3)
* Good outfield play by new guy Carter in center (making one run like crazy off the crack of the bat B line to snag a rope)
* Solid outfield play by Paul in right
* Loren's stop-the-scoring (for the most part) pitching
* Duane played a great 1st sack
* Loren's hitting, at least 3 ropes to the outfield
* Just in:  Liam says that the new guy on 1st for the visitors was Loren's dad, who is 70. Could have fooled me.  I would have put him at 60 at the most.  He whacked a few pitches pretty hard (now we know were Loren gets it) and played a solid first with catcher's mitt!
I apologize if I left any other highlights out, but I don't have the same game recall as old Satch.

No apologies necessary, half the time I write out what I think happened, not what I know happened.  

Just don't bring any new guys.

S. Paige

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dig this- The Ogres play baseball and music

Johnny Bartlett and Rick Kvoriak are in the grooviest band this side of Dracula's Castle. Catch them at Blondies next week.

In case you needed more convincing, here is them rocking the Theme from Unknown!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

8/14/11- Cop Field

It was a nice sunny day, a bit on the windy side, but nice.  We had 20 people, the field was in alright shape, except for the infield, but we will get to that in a second.  Sean started for the homers, and pitched a gem, really taking it to us with every pitch.  Satch started for the visitors, and tried my best, but in the end, my best wasn't anywhere near good enough.  We each scored one run in the first inning, and it seemed like maybe it wouldn't be as lopsided as we thought it was going to be.

The second inning was my crucible, we had a rough one, a lot of players out of there natural positions, some hurt, and the rest was the up to the bashers that made up the home squad.  5 runs later, we finally got the 3rd out, and limped off.  From there, we shut down the homers for four innings, with a couple of 6-pitch innings, which was awesome.  We couldn't score a run or even get a base runner to save our lives though.  Sean just kept out team off balance, and had a number of strike outs.  I don't usually try to point out my own exploits too much, but I think the whole game, the visitors had about 7 hits, and I had three of them....

Jason came in to pitch after Sean had to leave to take a friend home, and we thought we might have a chance.   But Jason was too wild and in danger of hurting his arm so he gave the ball up after an inning and handed off to Tony, who took it the rest of the way home.  I kept threw the CG, and had one other inning where the homers jumped on me for 4 runs.  Sean came back and promptly made a long running catch in left to fuck us over some more.

The biggest excitement and scariest moment came when Tony hit a knuckle ball for a dipsy grounder to third.  Mike Gaspar tried to play the hop, it jigged then jagged on him and then hit him square between the eyes.  It sounded terrible, but the main shock was absorbed by his glasses frame.  The damage was minimal, a few skinny cuts and some blood and Mike taped it up with Bob's help, and ended up covering defense for both teams.  Instant Hall of Fame, Mike!  Glad you are alright!

We lost three players in the course of the game, so by the end, I went from batting 6th to 3rd.  We went down with nary a whimper in the 9th, the final score 10-3.


* Glad Gaspar is living to fight another day, we should stock up on a real first aid kit, and maybe start bringing a small ice chest just in case.

* Sean pitched a great game and hit the piss out of two change ups

* Paul made a great catch to snuff out a rally

* The homers made the most of our mistakes, and got some timely hits

* Bob got hit by Jason, who we didn't even tell about the tradition.  We got him back....

* Bob also had a great hit to start the game.

* Earlier, Gaspar had a 13 pitch at bat that ended with him on second!

* Nick, the ex-Dirtbag, had two real nice plays at 3rd

* Lets all remember to get the ball in quickly, it doesn't help anyone to hold on to it in the outfield

* Mitch robbed a couple of batters, doing what he does best, and had a nice wristed hit

* A lot of pop ups, which is good for a pitcher, unfortunately, not all caught, which is bad for a pitcher

* Adam had a long hit, as did Sean, Greg, Duane, Paul, Tony....

* The knuckleball got me some much needed outs, and I could have thrown it for 7 more innings

*  There was another new guy who seemed to know what he was doing, but he left before the end, hopefully he will be back when he can stay longer

* Dennis' ankle flared up, hopefully a small issue, take it slow and steady on the rehab!

* I had two singles, and both times, I was put out at second on ground balls immediately afterwards.  I guess I should start stealing more

* Elvin got thrown out at second, did the splits, and kept his foot on the bag.  We'll keep working on that one.

* Thanks to everyone that showed after a SQ game, glad that we were not short handed for once.

Don't look back.

S. Paige

8/13/11- MBC vs. SQ A's

I wasn't there, and I don't know much other than Brian Phelps hit two home runs!  A solo shot in the first and a three run blast in the fifth.  He was left in the batters circle with the bases loaded in the 9th.

Finally a lefty uses the SQ field to his advantage!

MBC lost, which we don't really take to heart anymore, but I also hear that Red and Johnny Bad Ass made their debuts with the A's.

S. Paige

Friday, August 12, 2011

8/7/11- Camp Swampy

I was late making it out, and by the time I got there,, the game was already in full swing.  Johnny was pitching for the homers, and they were making him regret that decision.  Or that is what it looked like from my perspective.  The homers were populated with some old timers, including Tony Rojas, who made it back after a long stint on the DL.  Good to see him!

Sean, the southpaw samurai was dealing for the visitors, and though he lacked the top end of the mph on his fast ball, he was getting the outs he needed to.  In deference to my lateness and for the love of the game (worst baseball movie ever) I stepped up to the plate, both figuratively and literally, knocked a grounder up the middle, took second on a pass ball, took third, and scored on Richie Garcia's ball to the right side of the infield.  That's how you scrap a run, and win the trust of your teammates.

We went back and forth for a few innings, Sean bowed out to Brian Phelps, who looked good, but was suffering from some residual knee pain.  Mike Lattig then took over to throw the late innings.  Satch took the bump from the capable hands of Johnny in the 6th or so, and threw the rest of the game.  A few bad hops and then some long drives, and the visitors were riding us like a carousel, but we persevered, and at least tried to keep it close.

The score by that point was some where in the neighborhood of 14-8, which is insurmountable to anyone except a MBC'r.  As fate would have it, this game was also Jacob Brisken's last before he returned to Boston for school and Dennis had pleaded with us to let him pitch and Jacob catch.  It's tough to watch an old man beg, so we agreed and out Dennis went, after confirming that Jacob was wearing a cup this time (he took one in the beans a few weeks ago.  Apparently they don't teach that lesson in college these days).

Satch was the first person up to face Dennis, and what does he do, hits me in the arm!  What the hell?  And then he tells me he was going to put it in my ear!  Of all the nerve!  Big man when he's got his hulk of a kid behind me.

So then I got a hit, and then the next guy got a hit, and Dennis is bitching to his kid about how he isn't calling strikes, and we are all trying to tell Dennis that you have to throw strikes for them to be called.  All this time, there was one person who was not happy with the decision, Mitch, who stood out in left field watching victory be bled away from him.  Amazingly, we tie up the game, and with the bases loaded, Tony on 3rd, and the win in our hands....Greg hits a short fly to left, and Mitch does what he does best, which is catch the ball.  Extra innings.  Legit.

Duane bunts the first pitch he sees, and takes second, and then Mitch steps up, fouls off a few, and then lunges for a knuckleball, drives it to center.  Of course it rolls past the center fielder, and Mitch moonwalks home for a 2 run homerun.  Fitting.  All the wind goes out of our sails, and we lose 16-14.


* Not the weather, it was foggy and gross

* The outfield got mowed, did Adam make a call?

* I respect Duane's bunt.  That's baseball.

* Knuckleball was working!

* Sean brought blueberries, which were exquisite.

* Did anyone get Jacob a going away present?  Shit.

* Paul had some nice catches in right

* Bad hops in the infield

* The dirtbag, Nick and his brother Jay came out again, had some frustration at the plate

* Someone hit one real far, maybe even two someone's

* Liam and Aiden each had some good knocks

* John Mcg was the unfortunate recipient of the best curveball I have thrown in 2011

* I liked Dennis' admonition of Jacob on a pitch that was two feet outside, " Jacob, you gotta call that!"  Jacob's response, " I thought I did."

* There were two double plays turned by the visitors!

Cop Field, 3pm.

S. Paige

Monday, August 8, 2011

Late Report- 7/24/11- West Sunset

Satch was working a freelance gig on Sunday, at a vegan non-alcoholic wedding.  Don't ask.  Mike Gaspar made it to the game and he filed this report.

IT was a nice day at the corner of 41st and Quintara.  The field was being used by what looked like another pick up game as we assembled.  Johnny took the hill for the homers, while Dustin started for the visiting squad.  The visiting team had a bit more punch on this particular day.  By the fourth inning it was 5-1.  The homers rallied and in the 5th, had a bases loaded no out situation.  Dustin got out of it unscathed thanks in large part to the defense of Greg and Richie who were "borrowed" right fielders.  Richie made a great catch which turned into a double play when Johnny was tagged out at the plate trying to tag up.

Having snuffed out the rally, the visitors added on more runs.  By the 7th it was 9-2, I came into relieve Dustin and give the other team a chance to smack some balls around.  And then did, in particular, Dennis, Nick and John Mcg.  Two runs were scored.

Greg came into relieve Johnny and gave up a few runs of his own.  Finally Mike Lattig came into pitch the bottom of the 9th.  The homers did not go without a fight and managed to tack on a few more runs.  Final score: 13-6 (more or less).


* Richie made a great stab in the 3rd, robbing Duane of a double.

* Dustin pitched a strong 6 and had everything working

* Jacob had a good day at the plate including a double over his old man's head

Injury: Rick went out on the D.L in the first 10 minutes of the game with a bad hammy (get better big fella!)