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