Monday, April 23, 2012

4/22/12- Big Rec

Parking wasn't especially horrible but it as enough to allow for a trickle in effect.  I was late, but not because of parking, just cuz I barely got permission to leave.  Mrs. Paige runs a tight schedule sometimes....

We had 22 by the time the latecomers arrived, and Brian Phelps was on the mound, dealing.  His mother was in the crowd, so I guess we know where that extra 3 mph and tricky movement was coming from.  Hey, who among us doesn't want to impress his mother with his baseball skills?  To her credit, she stayed for the whole game,which was steeped in fog and wind, a classic SF summer day.  Snyder started for the homers and continued his headhunting ways, beaning Carter in the middle of the spine early in the game.

On paper, the homers were a formidable team, but our play lacked cohesiveness.  We started out neck and neck with the visiting squad, trading runs for runs, we were down 3-1, then came back and tied it up, and then, in true MBC style, the roof caved in.  Greg had pitched a brilliant 4 innings, and Tony came in for relief, but was cut short by a knee injury on the slightly embarrassing error on the basepaths (hope it feels better and your Hawaiian surf trip is not affected!).  So in comes Satch, still not quite warm, but ready to go.  And it felt good, the weather was very conducive to the knuckleball, being heavy air and all.

The problem was, with the loss of Tony, the natural flow of our defense was all out of whack.  We had outfielders playing infield, infielders playing other infield positions than their own, and a general lack of confidence in what we were doing.  Cue the pop fly.  We dropped several.  Cue the throw around, we threw several.  Cue the triple.  The visitors had a few.  After celebrating that we finally had gotten an out after about 20 minutes, we started to settle down, and eventually the inning came to an end.  The damage, however, had been done to the tune of 7 runs.  Yikes.

We had come back once, so there was no reason we couldn't do it again, except of course, this time.  Phelps stayed locked in and never let up.  Johnny came in for relief, and then Carter, and we fared no better against them.  I wanted to keep playing, since it was to be my final game as a SF resident, but eventually, everyone just wanted to go home.  So we did.  Final score: 12-3?


* Brian Phelps, big time pitching, big time hitting (moonshots), great game.  Your mom was heckling us the whole time, that's why we lost....

* Richie and Jay had the big hits and started to signal our doom

* Carter is officially the new Bob, having amassed some really impressive HBP's in the last few months.  Congrats!

* Adam had a number of real hard luck pop up attempts but he finally caught one at the end

* Wilson, Bob's new guy, came out and looked like an athletic Brian Girgus.  He seemed to know what he was doing, and how to back up a play (I will preempt the expected peanut gallery commentary and say Yes, I should take lessons)

* Duane made a flub play at short, and then threw the guy out at first with an impressive hurry up throw (hope the arm is ok)

* Twice we bench coached for our base runners to stop, and twice they ignored us and did alright.  Maybe we should reevaluate our decision tree?

* Bob got hosed at the plate, with the help of a great relay from JT, to Tony to Adam, it was a thing of beauty.  I didn't think we had a chance to get him, but got him we did.

* The grass was so thick in the infield, it really threw off the normal ground ball

* Chris Powell played second base, which was a first, his excuse was that he played a double header on Saturday....

* It is decided that Milo needs to start playing baseball ASAP, so he can start falling on something soft like grass and dirt for a change.  Hope he feels better.

* The pink bat got a lot of use and a lot of hits

* The catchers did a good job of blocking the ball, not many passed balls

* The knuckle ball laid waste to a lot of hitters, could be considered a knuckle outing

* Tony had some nasty hops off the lip of the infield

* A case could be made for me loafing to second, however, with Carter's clean fielding of the ground ball at SS, I was pretty sure that if I pushed it, I would have been injured and out, as opposed to just out.  But I hear ya, not my best moment, especially following my one hard hit of the day

Make sure to give Greg some money, he has been funding the permits for the last few weeks.

S. Paige

Monday, April 16, 2012

4/15/12- West Sunset

I will not dwell on the fact of how frustrated I was yesterday, all I wanted to do was get to the game, my first in quite a while.  Bay Bridge, no problem.  Construction diversion at Fremont St, no problem.  Getting the 3.5 miles from my apartment to the field, big problem....Usually the Sunday road closure thing is not an issue, but I guess the once a month when they shut down everything, including the Great Highway, it really cluster fucks everything.

In any case, by the time I got to the game it was the 6th inning, and apparently one of the most defensively strong games of all time.  Sean and Johnny had been battling, trading great innings, the score stood tied 4-4.

I ended up on the home team, and was warming up in the infield while DJ Greg started his warm ups on the mound.  At some point in the tosses, Bob threw one back while Greg was looking elsewhere, and it popped him right in the left eye.  He laid face down for a while, but luckily, it was a glancing blow, and once he took a second to recognize he was alright, we got him resting comfortably.  Always available as the short term solution, I took the mound and did the rest of my warming up there.  The nice part about being gone for a month, is that the arm has a some real fastballs in it for a while, so I took advantage and threw some heat to offset the melted ice cream ball.

Phelps came in for the visitors, and threw well, but we still managed to advance a few and break the tie, we went up 7-4.  We stayed there for the next few innings, and turned away the rally in the 9th to secure the win, that is to say, the win if we were going to stop at 9, which of course we weren't.  The sun was shining, we had extra players, and no where else that we wanted to be.

Regulation Score 7-4, home team.

I think we played 5 extra innings, but I could be wrong.  I know I bowed out after giving up a huge rally to the visitors, who all of sudden were driving my fastball all over the place.  So in theory, I managed to win and lose the game, its always nice to be involved....the defense stayed pretty good for the whole game, although the chaotic in play throw around started to be a little more common.

Greg Snyder came in to escort the homers through the end of the game, and Will pitched for the visitors, both did great at shutting down the hitting, with a few exceptions.  By the 13th?, we were starting to lose more players, so we begged the visitors to give us our finals ups, but not too much came of it, and we ended our day of baseball in the waning light of a sunny, hazy day.

Final Final Score, 13-8, visitors.

Highlights (from the 6th on)

* Bob got hit right after I got there, making it official

* A lot of people in general got hit with the ball, the backstop was sending balls caroming back at hitter and catcher alike

* We had a number of plays that would have been great if the throw was on, or the ball was caught

* Richie rifled one right back at me in the midst of the big rally, scoring two

* Jay had a nice day at the plate, line drives, as well as catching my line drive at 3rd, dammit!  Now if we can just get him to stop cursing his bad luck after he hits a single.

* Rich sent one into the greenery in center field, and after a short debate, was awarded a home run, longest ball I have seen hit in a while

* Adam hit lefty and scorched one, unfortunately, I was in right field, and running blindly towards the shadow I thought was the ball.  It turned out it was and I snared it.

* Jimmy had a good all around game as well, including two short porch grabs running backwards

* Sean had another dazzler play off the mound

* I was happy that my first at bat resulted in a long fly double (that Mitch almost caught....) and not an embarrassing K

* Almost had a legendary play, Bob hit a grounder and hustled his way to first.  The ball was bobbled, but they still had time, the throw was off line, yet, Mitch, who was catching, had been tracking Bob down the line and almost had the ball and the tag!

* Theo and Milo were our fan squad for the whole game, urged on by Ed

* Thanks to Bob, Noah, Ed, Mitch, Adam and Greg for catching the extra long game

* Will struck out Carter (or vice versa.....) in dominant fashion

* Ed was picked off at third, and it was not pretty

* The Homers were playing hazy pretty much the whole game

* Back to back doubles really cemented the visitors rally

* Short porch hits were the key to getting through the defense in the later innings

* Thanks to everyone who made it out and stayed!

S. Paige

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

4/8/12- West Sunset

Well, it looked like a good game, and I sure wish I had been able to play.  I knew the odds were stacked against it, but a guy has to hope, and with the rain and the missed games, I was raring to get whatever I could.  That ended up being me and the lil' guy watching a few innings and then disappointing my team by bailing.  It was the first weekend that Mrs. Paige had left me alone with Kid Satch, we had made plans to meet at the ballpark, but at some point, she came to her senses and realized she didn't want the family reunion to immediately become watching me play baseball after being gone all theory, I can't say I blame theory.

Highlights (that I witnessed):

* Duane made a dandy play at first

* Nick attempted to make a dandy play at first but missed Mitch

* DJ Greg and Sean were pitching

* Scott had a nice rip for a double

* Sean made an amazing falling off the mound play, that got the out, and managed to not hurt himself in the process of falling, landing, twisting and throwing

* Nice to see Elvin, Hank, Scott, Jeff, Richie, Lattig, Daniel (who unfortunately went to Cop Field first) out after a long absence

* Happy Birthday to Nick Smith, who turned 84, 48,  68, 58? this week!  Amazing that he is still faster than all of us!

And then I had to leave.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

4/1/12 St Mary's

The good news is that I now own a house, or at least a mortgage.  The bad news is, now I got to move.  Sorry to have missed the game, but I was putting sealing grout in the patio to keep the rain out of the garage, and don't get me started on the fire break code any case, I was thinking of the game often on Sunday, and here's what happened, recapped by those who were lucky enough to be there:


The Grand Marshall sent the troops to St. Mary's where only some minor field prep was needed for the 16 that made it. Johnny quickly grabbed the mound and was ready to toss a gem. The homers were shut down by Johnny. Phelps started for the visitors and was wild from the get go, but was able to get out of the third down 1-0. Will took the bump in the fourth and dominated the mound with inside heat, keeping the visitors to 3 runs for the 6 inning bullpen win. Greg and Tony came in for relief in a close game but a few runs came in for a 7-4 visitor win.

• Bob didn't get hit, but Dennis and a handful of others did
• Jimmy was a magnet and made a killing at second.
• Johnny was dazzling on the bump
• Rich showed up in the 4th
• 4 ground balls tossed into the dugout by the visitors
• More than usual third out Ks
• Phelps had 2 sac flies with Mitch on 3rd (the wind saved one from being a deep shot)
• Tony tracked down a deep fly
• Mitch Mitched his own team
• Carter had an epic long AB along with an amazing back hand at 3rd
• Scott laid out for a grounder at short. Got the glove on it, but couldn't get a throw off. Way to get dirty.
• Dennis snagged a line drive and doubled off Phelps at 2nd
• Nick manned a mean 1st base
• Did I mention Bob didn't get hit?
• Thanks to Greg, Bob, Ed, Mike for catching
• Johnny also gets Gold Glove for cat-like reflexes on the mound, on two comebackers
• Two close plays at the plate. One out, one safe.
• Mitch hit a deep shot 
• Bob went oppo and got a triple
• The hard wall behind home prevented a lot of free bases on passed balls

* While Bob didn't get hit, Carter did, 3 or 4 times.
* Mcgrath did the field check. even though he couldn't make the game.
* Phelps threw his glove in disgust.

* Please add that, especially equipment throwing. Not tolerated in Mission baseball and we should point out those a-holes that do. Although it should be noted that Phelps did do this in disgust of himself and it was not directed at any other player. 


Early word was Big Rec was a no go. Both Bob and Brian scouted it and saw too many puddles to overcome. John McG took a look at St. Mary’s and gave it a thumbs up and we all headed there instead. 16 of us got there to tend the grounds (moving water off the back of the mound and scraping up home plate.  (If Rich had been to St Mary’s earlier  and not relying on GPS or some such nonsense, he would have been on time too, but he was there by the 4th and we were grateful.)

It was a classic Johnny v Brian match up early on, the homers  getting on and Johnny holding on to that for four innings or so, stranding Bob at third after an oppo triple (yeah, really) and less than 2 outs. The homers added a couple before the visitors struck back for three. It was knotted there for a couple innings until the visitors added one, then four. The homers came back a little and had a miny rally in the 9th, but ultimately came up short final score either 9-4 or 8-4. Greg and Tony relieved for the homers and ill came in to relieve.


*Greg went for it and purchased a new catcher’s glove from Pinkard, it’s pretty cool and I expect it to be broken in by winter.
*Carter was hit 3 times by Greg and Johnny, he also mashed a double with his new bat.
*I thought as the catcher I caught a rebound off Bob’s back, but he said it didn’t hit him. I am not sure I believe him
*Tony threw the best curveball of his life to Bob, which buckled the batter, yet was right down the middle.
*Mitch threw me out at home from left, Bob blocked the plate well.
*Whoever told Adam that he had plenty of room when tracking a popup near the first base dugout was not necessarily lying, just very very wrong. Its for the best anyway, a sore shoulder from running into a fence without slowing is better than trying to make a catch over the razor wire and tearing up your forearm.
*Dennis slowed down a little, be must be between cycles.