Monday, February 27, 2012

2/26/12- West Sunset

No rain insight, which is bad news for the state, water-wise, but great news for MBC.  Cold day, clear, but very breezy and chilly.  We had 27 people show up at the ball yard, ready to play.  With a rare Sean absence game, Brian Phelps stepped up to the bump to start for the homers.  Satch, eager to prove he still had it, and finally rehabbed, was the starter for the visiting 9 (or 14 as it were.).

First inning blues, man, we had them bad.  I have never seen so many gonks, dribblers, short flies and drops.  The homers ran 5 across the plate in a true 1st inning bloodfest.  There were a few good knocks but the rest were tragic, hits, no one will deny that, but tragic.  Phelps was cool and calm, and after giving up a double to yours truly and then a mental error which allowed us to get a run across, he kept the lead.

It was a game of chipping away though, and in a nice change of pace, our team settled down, and my shoulder, feeling spry after 2 months off, gave me the options of a real fastball.  It all seemed to be working, so I used it all, especially the change-up, which works a lot better when you have a fastball to offset it with.  Striking out the side was nice.  Cuz we needed it.  I think I ended the game with 7 K's in 5 innings, not too bad for a has been/never was.

The homers still had a lot of pop left though and while were mounting our comeback, another to the tally.  By the 6th, we were all tied up at 6's, 6-6-6, far out.  And then magically, we took the lead, Will had come in for Brian, and Tony had taken the duties over from Satch. Tony looked strong as well, and with Johnny taking on the closer duties, the visiting pitchers had a combined total of probably 12 K's for the day!

Around the 7th or 8th, Will started to struggle, and around the same time, the wheels came off for the homers, and the vistitors lead expanded to 11-7, where it stayed through the end of the day's affair.  We played an extra inning, but nothing much happened other than all of us got a little chillier.


* The change up I threw to Phelps was a thing of beauty

* Chad showed up after a year, and brought 2 guys with him.  FAIL.  He hasn't been around to know about the moratorium.

* The grass in the infield was really thick, making the bounces look like slo-motion

* Lattig was robbed by Chris of a nice line drive

* John McG had a strong drive to right

* Is it a...Golden Sombrero?

* Phelps was Mitched in the classic sense

* Bob was hit with a foul ball well out of the way, he's like a horsehide magnet

* Dennis' testosterone therapy seems to be helping a lot

* I had to make a off balance cross body throw at SS, its been a while....

* Jeff had a good hit on a tough count

* Thanks to Bob, Gaspar, Mitch, Ed and Greg for catching

* The sun again proved to be everyone's nemesis

* Tim showed up late, like old times, and hit and stole bases with aplomb

* True MBC rally: started with errors started for our ground balls and short flies

* Gaspar had a 18? pitch battle with Will, and earned his walk

* We had a couple of runners gunned out at second!

* I survived an Ed at bat with a man on third.  Ed is now 58 for 59 in those situations

* All the littluns had helmets on, which I think is an excellent idea

* MBC Tenet- Let's all remember that we are out there to have fun, and its a hard job being a player and an umpire.  Questionable calls are a part of the game, and as a pitcher I may disagree with my catcher's calls, but it would be insulting if I forcibly called him out on it (yes, I acknowledge that I give my share of questioning looks, and flustered sounds, and they count too...).  Also, we are up there to hit, not to work counts for walks, so if you see a strike, take a hack, 3-2 count, you should be swinging at anything that's a strike or 2 inches on any side of the plate of being a strike.  In other words, Why wait for the strike tomorrow, when you can swing at the strike today, to mangle a number of metaphors.

If you disagree with a call, keep the frustration within reason and to yourself, don't worry, you'll get plenty more at-bats.  The outcomes of at-bats are not malicious, any catcher who would call a game in that fashion wouldn't be playing with us.  If the excitement of working counts and taking walks is important, there are plenty of Pick-up games that hire umpires.  They can be found here:

And don't look back, something might be gaining on you,

S. Paige

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2/19/12 West Sunset

I missed the first couple of innings, and sat in the stands, suited up, waiting for Mrs. Paige to take over watcher duties for Lil' Satch.  

Greg started for the homers, and looked good, considering he hasn't pitched much as of late.  The ball was flying off the bats though, lot of pop in the sunny dry air, maybe.  In any case, the visitors scored first, with the assistance of some questionable outfield plays and gap drives.  Sean was dealing for the visitors, per usual.

The most amazing part of the early innings was two, count them TWO, plays at the plate in one inning, and both of them resulted in outs!  MBC norms are to barely get the ball to the plate, much less have a play....but the homers were trying to get something started, and picked the wrong guys to test.  There was a great relay play to SS, and Tony got nailed after considering what to do with Bob blocking the plate.  He made the right choice.  Then we had another play, Noah was trying to get something more out of his two out muscled up double, this one was a throw on the fly from the outfield, into Bob's capable tagging hands.  Amazing!

Stoner finally provided the speed we needed to get on the board the next inning, but we never were close to the lead, it was 4-1, 4-2, then 6-2, 7-3.  I came into relieve Greg, my first outing since the muscle pull, and it felt good, I tried not to push it too much.  Tony took it home, and struggled a bit to find the dish.  DJ Greg took over for Sean, and also struggled with his accuracy.  His wildness was more effective, my at-bat in point, where he threw three way outside and then one at my head, which in my movement to get out of the way, the ball hit the knob of my bat, rolled fair, and I was thrown out at first before I knew what was happening.  Less than stellar.

I wished we could have played more, but it was getting chilly, and we had lost 3 people in  mid-game to various other things, so after Loren closed up the 9th, we packed it up and headed out for another week.


* At times the outfield made some great plays, at others, no one seemed to know where the ball was.

* Mitch had the best defensive play, hands down, a over the shoulder running catch in short left field, and it was for the third out!

* Some big flies out there, lotta pop.

* Stoner had a nice diving catch

* Mitch also had a couple great plays at third, with tags or runner checks done in rapid succession with getting the play at first

* Dennis' hit parade continued

* Our team really hit a couple of batters solidly, Bob got one in the back and DJ Greg got one in the spine.  Hopefully both were alright, but it was a real 2-2 with hit batsmen.  John McG testified that Bob's HBP sounded like "Rocky hitting the beef slabs."

* Nick Smith made some great digs at first, and also almost killed a number of people with his opposite field foul balls

* Stoner was making the most of his hall pass!

* John McG had to leave early, and was scrambling, looking for Aiden's glove.  30 minutes later Aiden shows up, just walking around.  After a couple of minutes we realize he isn't there anymore.  We looked around, didn't see him.  Hopefully he was there to retrieve his glove and then left....or maybe Aiden just walked the 4 miles from his house cuz he wanted to hang around the park, see what kind of trouble he could get into, both scenarios are valid.....

* Duane made a great play on Tony's hit up the middle, he must have anticipated it, I didn't think there was any way that ball wasn't getting through

* Carter and Will came back, and one of them had a tough in/out play in left on a fly ball.

Stay Loose.

S. Paige


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Satch on the Mound

I got to go to the SFGH charity ball at AT&T park, and managed to get a darkened picture of me on the mound.  Next year I am bringing gloves and a ball, pickle time!

Monday, February 13, 2012

2/12/12 West Sunset

A bit of chilly day, but dry enough and many an eager player was waiting to play.  Satch worked out a deal to get up early and watch Lil' Satch and then get some time off in the afternoon for baseballing.  Nice work if you can get it.

Sean for the visitors and Noah for the homers is how we started, and the score was 1-0 for while.  Noah was getting good work out of his heavy ball, and Sean was his usual self.  We got out some jams, and killed some rallies on the both sides.

Somehow, me, the guy who hasn't played in a while, and is not the fastest runner by a long shot ended up being the only run scored for the homers for the majority if the game.  Good news, I smoked a double off Sean, in my return to the diamond.  Bad news, I had to run, take third on a passed ball, slide, get back up and run home (against the wishes of my team) after the ball went passed third, and then slide again.  I am glad it worked out, as I was almost out at least three times.  My slide into home was more of a collapse on the plate and a reversal of inertia so I wouldn't have a collision with Bob (which Tony states would have shaken the stadium...)

In any case, the visitors had no trouble scoring runs after the first few frames, and the score went, 2-1, 3-1, 4-1 in the middle of the game.  We managed to scrape back a run, and then were stuck again while the visitors sought out some insurance, 6-2.  Noah bowed out in favor of Tony, who felt good, but ran into trouble getting the third out.  DJ Greg and Will finished up the pitching duties for the visitors.

We entered the 9th inning looking beaten already, but Greg, the leader that he is, lasered a hit to the outfield, and we followed his lead by employing every chip, gork, drop and gracious error.  And it kept going.  Suddenly, it was a one run game, and we were looking strong.  Victory was not to be, however, as the Visitors managed to hold off the onslaught long enough for the us to hit into the final out.  We played an extra one for fun, but not much happened and it was getting cold, so we packed it in for another week.


* Some real fine defense at times, and real poor at others.

* A tough day for D. Skiles, keep your chin up, remember baseball is great therapy

* Dennis, hot off of his visit to Fantasy Camp and full of advice from retired pros, had a good game at the plate, and in the field.

* Noah and Sean had some big strikeouts

* Jay made a nice sun-blinded catch in the outfield

* Chris Powell had a rare multi-error game at SS, but still managed to get a number of outs and hits in the game

* Bob gunned Greg at second, saving me from having to make the 3rd out, worked out for everybody (but Greg)

* New guy Hank came out and seemed to be a decent fellow, strong bat, and versatile defense

* John McG seemed to get every awkward fly ball in the infield (he caught the majority of them)

* Adam seemed to have to handle an exorbitant number of overthrows at first.

* Dustin's defensive diving gem at third was awesome, sadly we didn't get the runner, but it was worth it for the show

* Liam and Aiden continued their offensive assault, few more years....

* Duane had a great spear of a line drive to end an inning

* Some real confident line drives

* We had a high percentage of people hitting the cutoff, which is nice

I feel like there are more highlights, but I can't remember them, email me if you see any glaring errors

S. Paige.

Monday, February 6, 2012

2/5/12- West Sunset

Sorry I missed it, I would have loved to be a part of the big F-U to the Stupid Bowl.  On the plus side, it was the best drive home on 80 I have had in a long time.  Here with the exciting recap is Jonathan "Crazy Legs Akimbo" Tiemann.

This week delivered another in a string of perfect winter baseball days out at West Sunset.  The team agreed to try to start at noon, figuring we could finish in time for players to watch the football-game-whose-name-we-can't-mention-because-it's-a-registered-trademark.  When we arrived, though, the outfield was littered with kids' soccer teams, so we took an extended warmup, and finally kicked the soccer players off at about 12:45.  We ended up with 15 players who had their priorities straight. 

Johnny took the hill for the home team, and the visitors jumped on him, combining a leadoff double from Bob, a little dicey fielding, and a long home run from Loren (Johnny let go of the pitch and said, "We're gonna need a new ball") for a five-spot.  DJ Greg started for the visitors, and the home team came back in the bottom of the frame, sparked by doubles by Duane and Mike Gaspar (one of his two, with nifty slides finishing both of them).  Johnny settled down, and DJ held on too, and by the middle innings the score was 6-3.  The visitors added two in the sixth, and the home team came back with one more. By that time Greg took over on the hill for the visitors, and Loren finished it out for the home team.  The homers tacked on one more late insurance run.  We went to the bottom of the ninth at 9-4, and so it ended.  

By that time we were past kickoff, but nobody seemed to mind much.


* Once in a while, MBC produces beautiful plays.  Duane's double in the first qualifies.  He hit a solid shot to left, and the outfield made a strong relay into second base, right on target -- low and just to the first base side to the bag.  I was playing second, took the throw, and made what I thought was a nice tag.  It was on Duane's ankle, though, because his foot had just reached the bag.  A bang-bang play, but clearly safe.

* Liam and Aidan are starting to groove their swings.  It's never to early to groom the next generation.

* Loren's home run hit high in that tree above the right field wall.

* Not long after that, Gaspar beat out a double too, with the aforementioned nifty slide.

* Bob caught the entire game, which probably makes up for the fact that he wasn't hit.

* We had a scary moment on a pop to shallow center.  I went out, and DJ, who moved out there after he was done pitching, came in.  DJ ducked to the ground, and I ended up trying to vault over him.  Trouble was, I caught him in the ribs with my knee.  Just to show he was all right, the next inning he tried to beat out a slow roller by making a belly slide into first base. 

* With runners on first and third and the first-base runner stealing, Bob managed to deke Tony into trying to score from third. But Bob's throw was a feint, and Tony was out in the rundown.

* Then there was that looping line drive.  I ended up on my back, but I was able to hold up the ball, a catch.  Bob described the effort as "Dennis-like."  Thanks.

* Despite the heavy population in the DMZ, none of the infielders nailed anybody there.

* We're starting to see more wood bats.

* The light attendance saw some guys in unusual positions -- Mitch played the whole game at third, and looked at home there.  He made an especially nice play on a short-hop grounder to end an inning.


Here is a short recap from Jon McGrath:

I would call it a "classic" MB game.  A low key, fun vibe.  Some good plays, a fair amount of errors and some good hits.  We had about 15 guys, so lots of ABs.  Johnny & Greg pitched for the homers and Japanese Greg and Loren pitched for the visitors.

Plays of interest from this author's perspective: Duane hit a screaming double to RC, Daniel made a great play at second, in the 3.5 gap, to throw somebody out at first, Loren hit a tree pruner to R, that knocked off a few leaves well above the R field wall, Bob hit a bomb to left.    Liam and Aidan each stroked a couple of good ones too.
Most everyone hit with wood and the final score was in the range of 8-6 or 9- 5, or something like that.

Sounds like a great one- S. Paige