Wednesday, May 30, 2012

5/27/12 West Sunset

The spectacular fireworks show to celebrate the 75th anni... Michael Macor / The Chronicle

Happy 75th Anniversary to the Golden Gate!

We were pleasantly surprised to find that the weather predictions were dead wrong, and not only as it clear, it was almost hot out in the Sunset!  The numbers were somewhere in the 10-11 range, and Johnny started for the wily home squad, Satch, raring to go for the visitors.  The arm sure felt good, after a long layoff, but the first inning proved to be an early Waterloo, as the homers ran up a impressive tally of runs, some earned, some not so much.

Richie on the first at bat lined a clean single to center and everyone else followed suit.  Triples were also a popular option.  Johnny once again proved his prowess with a number of shut down innings that gave no succor to the visiting squad.  Defensively, the teams had their moments, some amazing, some lucky, some standard.  Both sides benefited from good scoops and plays at first from Duane and Adam.

Eventually, Satch got his rhythm down and even struck out the side, 3 of 6 K's for the day.  It all was crackling along well, and then I twisted my ankle coming out of the batters box and that was the end of my pitching for the day.  Oh well, I went out on a high note.  Snyder came in for the visiting squad but could not find the dish, and after hitting a few and almost winging a few more, he walked off in the middle of his second inning and handed the ball off to Tony.  Tony took us the rest of the way and got the job done efficiently.

Johnny stayed in, did his job and handed off to Mitch, who had not gotten a chance to do much hurling in the past few months, he did well.  The homers kept tacking on runs, and the visitors kept missing opportunities, eventually the game turned into a laugher, somewhere in the neighborhood of 14-3?  We started a 3 inning exhibition game after the regular 9, as we had gone so quietly through the game that we still had time, but couldn't manage to win that one either.


* Johnny pitched stellar ball all game, getting out unscathed from a bases loaded jam at one point!

* We had the pleasure of Robin for the second week in a row, made a great catch in left and got her first MBC RBI.

* Daniel had the baddest ass headfirst slide into home I have seen in a while, and then ripped his pants on a later home slide....Aiden ribbed him for it for the rest of the game.

* Richie and Tony both made great delayed plays at SS to get the runner just in time

* Jay had some quick snares at 3rd, and hit a double (triple with an error), all the time cursing his rotten luck.  Thanks also for the contribution of new shinguards to the MBC kit.

* Bob was hitting stingers all day, as lead off hitter

* John McG had a big extra base hit

* Loren had a rare off day, striking out twice!  Wish I knew Johnny's secret.

* Satch had several hits, exclusively to the left side infield.

* Loren got caught in a pickle at third, after ignoring the "Nonononononononononono" sign.  He scored eventually on fielder's interference, remember if you don't have the ball, you can't be in the base path.

* Gaspar caught my only well hit fly ball of the day, he was camped out in left like he knew where it was going to go

* Gaspar also had a clean drive up the middle, in defiance of the shift

* Daniel made a full extension diving catch at second, play of the game!

* Mitch hit one left handed to the gap!

* Bob caught several in center and announced that the batter had been Bobbed!

* Let's all remember to be civil, and courteous out there, arguing with strikes and balls and other calls is petty, we are there to hit, play and for EVERYONE to have a good time and enjoy themselves.

* Remember the rules, both written and unwritten.  In case you don't know, I found this.  Obviously, some of them don't apply, but others are very cogent:


1. Never put the tying or go-ahead run on base.
2. Play for the tie at home, go for the victory on the road.
3. Don't hit and run with an 0-2 count.
4. Don't play the infield in early in the game.
5. Never make the first or third out at third.
6. Never steal when you're two or more runs down.
7. Don't steal when you're well ahead.
8. Don't steal third with two outs.
9. Don't bunt for a hit when you need a sacrifice.
10. Never throw behind the runner.
11. Left and right fielders concede everything to center fielder.
12. Never give up a home run on an 0-2 count.
13. Never let the score influence the way you manage.
14. Don't go against the percentages.
15. Take a strike when your club is behind in a ballgame.
16. Leadoff hitter must be a base stealer. Designated hitter must be a power hitter.
17. Never give an intentional walk if first base is occupied.
18. With runners in scoring position and first base open, walk the number eight hitter to get to the pitcher.
19. In rundown situations, always run the runner back toward the base from which he came.
20. If you play for one run, that's all you get.
21. Don't bunt with a power hitter up.
22. Don't take the bat out of your best hitter's hands by sacrificing in front of him.
23. Only use your bullpen stopper in late-inning situations.
24. Don't use your stopper in a tie game—only when you're ahead.
25. Hit behind the runner at first base.
26. If one of your players gets knocked down by a pitch, retaliate.
27. Hit the ball where it's pitched.
28. A manager should remain detached from his players.
29. Never mention a no-hitter while it's in progress.
30. With a right-hander on the mound, don't walk a right-handed hitter to pitch to a left-handed hitter.

31: MBC specific: Don't swing when runner is stealing

Don't look Back,

S. Paige

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

5/20/12- Big Rec

Well, at least I was somewhere in the woods not catching fish this weekend, rather than just slogging through home repairs and dreaming of legging out a double.  Here with the recap are three MBC stalwarts: Mike "The Shift" Gaspar, Mike "Hitting .890" Lattig, and John "Surf to Live, Live to Surf" McGrath.

awesome day to play ball not too hot not too cold.
-plenty of parking despite bay to breakers crowd.
-we started out 7 on 8.  a few more players trickled in and by the
3rd inning we were 10 on 10.
-carter started (and finished) for the visitors.  Greg and tony split
the pitching duties for the homers.
- we had our first female player in a long time.  robin (a friend of
  Daniel’s) played a great game. caught a ball in the outfield, showed
  off a strong arm and got herself an infield hit.
- it was a see-saw affair most of the game and the score stood at 5-3
  visitors in the bottom of the eighth. then the homers sent 11 men
  to the plate and a bunch of them scored.
- the visitors mounted a spirited rally in the top of the ninth but it
  fell short. final 10-7.

- individual highlights:
  mike latting had some loud hits
  mitch fooled the defense and hit a shot down the right field line that
  plated a couple of runs.
  ed caught all eight for the visitors.  gamer.
  jesse, back from a long absence, had a couple of nice hits and played
  a solid infield.
  chris tagged up on caught foul pop.
  tony had a great suicide squeeze that worked brilliantly

'twas a glorious day in Golden Gate park, the field bathed in sun and dotted with Bay to Breakers stragglers. One of those was our very own Daniel, who brought two friends into the fray with him - which put us right at 10 vs. 10. And one of whom represented the first 9-inning MBC game by a woman in the last few years (Ed. Note: Since Dani Leone picked and moved to the Big Easy, and started playing football) and certainly the first one that started barefoot and in a silver-sequined top. Needless to say, she backed up the flash with a strong arm, good glove and solid swing. Even taunting Greg that he needed to throw it harder her second time up....

On to the heart of the matter, where the aforementioned Mr. Snyder, fresh from Paris, took to the bump. No cheese and wine hangover here, as he held the visiting squad (which appeared to be a powerhouse of pull hitters) to a mere three runs over 6 or 7 innings. (my old memory, as I mentioned, often doesn't serve)

I'd like to think we had a solid old-timer defense behind him to help. Adam at the 2, Nick Smith 3, Me 4, Richie 6, Will and Tony switching out 5 and Gaspar patrolling the outfield. We even turned a nice, clean 1-4-3 double play on Dennis to stymie a rally. Oh, and got Chris' friend Elias out about three different times before finally stranding him at third. (ok, maybe he was safe two of the three times... but barely!)

On the other side, Carter carried on the strong pitching legacy of the Rockwell boys (did I get that right?) for the visitors, holding the home side to 2 runs throughout most of the game. One produced on a line drive by yours truly that almost took his arm with it into center field, and got on Mitch so fast that I thought Richie was DOA at the plate. Luckily, the throw was fumbled and the run was scored. And I once again feel like it is possible to hit a ball hard. Nice feeling to have back!

On to the 8th, where Tony picked up where he left off on the mound - tossing an array of pitches and arm angles at the visitors that had them baffled from start to finish. Then, in the bottom half, Carter's dominance waned just as the moon began it's trip across the sun, casting an eerie pall over the field. Seriously - the light got funky! I think that must have been what happened. Because all the sudden a few hard hit and well placed balls, combined with a few errors by the normally flawless SS Chris Powell opened the floodgates - leaving us somewhere in the 12-3 vicinity.

The 9th got a little adventurous, with the bases being loaded and us scrambling to actually figure out when and if it was possible for the tying run to come up. But Tony tightened up in time to buckle down the win. And we all lingered for a little while looking through the pinholes in our caps (and our cups) at the eclipse. My guess is that was the only place in America where a game-used cup was used to cast the shadow of the eclipse. So... we should be proud I guess.
Have fun this weekend folks. I'll be on a little road trip up Oregon way. See you in two weeks!

It was pretty grand outing with the bay to breakers and the eclipse.  Greg could have been the Connecticut Yankee as a few of us were completely in the dark about the forthcoming eclipse.  A friend of Daniel's named Robin played right in a gold sequined top and borrowed spikes from the gear bag.  She was a very good player.  I hope someone got a photo.

Greg, back from Paris, pitched for the homers, and pitched well, mixing in the curve ball with some good fast balls.  Carter took the bump for the visitors and was killing it for the first 7 innings.  In 8th the score was 5-3 in favor of the visitors, then the homers batted around and the ugly inning saw them get about 6 across the dish in classic MBC fashion, some good hits, some dinkers, some bad luck and some bad D.  I don't think Chris Powell could have gotten more bad hops in the same inning. The homers hit it hard that inning and the infield dirt was totally unforgiving.  He must have woken up the next day with about 4 or 5 bruises.

In the final frame, Tony relieved Greg, got the first two outs pretty quickly, but then the homers started making a run at it with a 2 out rally and all of sudden it was getting interesting.  Then yours truly got in the box with Ed's pink bat with runners in scoring position.  Greg who was catching at that point stated that it was "a pink bat moment", but it was Will's moment.  He was too much for the pink bat.  He made a great play at SS to pull down the pink-bat-missile that was sailing toward the OF just to the left of second.  Damn him.  My only hard hit ball on a 0 for 5 day.

Ed caught for the visitors and Adam caught all but one inning for the homers

After the game we monitored the eclipse vis-a-vis a "cup-ology" shadow casting technique pioneered by Greg.  Bob's cup from 1983 seemed to toss the best shadow.  I think I had one of those back in high school.  It sort of looked like the Jason mask from Friday the 13th.  Nick got some photos of the crescent sun.  I hope they end up in the blog.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

5/13/12- West Sunset

I dream in fastballs with movement, inside out sliders and tumbling with the recap so far, is John McG, Esq. and Jay "Shutterbug" Cellini.


Since I did not arrive until the 4th, I can give only a few:

  • 7 on 7, McG made it 7 on 8.
  • Adam, Vic and Loren handled the catching.
  • Johnny, Will, Carter and Tony pitched.
  • Loren got at least 2 very nice opposite field basehits, both liners to the OF.
  • I heard that Lattig got some nice hits too. Lattig complimented Loren on a very nice oppo hit, and Loren said "You were the one putting the clinic."
  • Johnny made a dandy play at SS to get a fast runner.
  • Mitch's centerfield play continued to remind everyone how hard it is to get a hit out of a ball hit to the OF (other than a liner) when he is out there.
  • Duane was in the house.
  • Both Johnny and Tony caught loud and dangerous liners hit right back at them.
  • Carter hit a home run early on and when Will later pitched to him he only threw him breaking stuff and got him out on a weak grounder.  Smart.
  • The ever gentlemanly JT passed out a few Giants tickets to a lucky few to see the Cards game on Weds.  Very nice seats from a very nice guy.


Well the consensus was that everyone was surprised that the day turned out as beautifully as it did.  The sun came out, the air warmed up and it was a beautiful day although there was a hell of a wind blowing up top.  It must have been something in the air but it was a strange day at the baseball diamond.  There were at least four wicked comebackers and I believe three were caught with one knocked down -- credit self-preservation.  What made it stranger still was that night on the news a kid in Petaluma got hit square in the forehead by a comebacker with serious results.  

Batting highlights:  

Duane and Carter hit home runs, Duane going to center and Carter going to left with the ball rolling onto the softball diamond.  JT got his weekly workout chasing that one.  

Hit batsman:

If memory serves correctly there must have been about five hit batsmen, with Jay getting hit squarely on the elbow bone (which hurts like hell), and what made it "funny" was the stitches on the ball tattooed his elbow with seven little spots which are still there on Tuesday.  Grrrr.  From now on, Jay recommends wearing an elbow protector.  


Johnny's team, lost something like 10 to  1.  Tony pitched a good game.  That sidearm pitch takes a little getting used to especially when he throws inside.  Johnny had a hard day on the mound, not his fault, and in spite of his classic 1970 vintage Catfish Hunter uniform, he went seven innings and must have thrown over a hundred pitches.  His patience amazed me.  Will came in for late relief and in spite of some control problems finished off the game.  Kudos to Will, he's definitely working on his pitching and his arm stamina showed it.  Everyone had a good time.

Monday, May 7, 2012

5/6/12 Big Rec

Again I wished I could have been there, especially since it was the hottest nicest day of all time.....thanks to everyone who did play, and to Phelps, Elvin and John McG for cataloging the what have you's for the write up.  Dammit, sounds like it was a epic game!!!!

Tons of regulars missing on one of the best days of the year. We started at 7 on 6 and recruited one of the players from the 1800's league, who promptly showed that he's not used to wearing a glove. Phelps did his Bob impression and hit some infield seeds. Then grabbed the bump for the homers as we only had known 3 arms available for both sides. With Ed behind the dish we were set to go. Lattig started the game off by saying he was going to ground out weakly. Which he did... all day. Perfect first frame and it was the visitors' turn. Will was gassed up and ready to go. He had a perfect three innings and mowed us down all day.
The home team got on the board early and often. Guess a burrito isn't a great game time meal, but it was f-ing good. During one stressful inning, Phelps was sweating more than normal, until the sounds of an organ started playing from the stands. The homers managed to score a couple of runs and the score was 8-2. With no bullpen in sight, Phelps went a career high 7 innings and under the hot sun was fully baked.
For the 8th inning, an unlikely hero stepped up to take over the pitching duties. Jimmy "Watch It" Killard made his rookie debut. He went 1-2-3 and shut down the homers. After that Chris Powell came in to close out the 9th for the visitors, for his sophomore appearance on the bump, and went 1-error-2-3. Carter came in for the visitors to make this blowout official.

* No Bob, Greg, Aaron, Johnny, Tony, Sean, Adam, Jonathan, Dustin, Noah, Jay or Dennis.
* Maybe that's why there were so many errors.
* There was more than one pickle!
* Did I mention we had a fan playing the organ?
* A red tail hawk landed on the backstop fence and stared down Mitch. Mitch must have robbed him a while ago.
* Will bunted twice, the first time successfully, for the first base runner and the first run of the game (Ed. note: Will had to contact me to correct the error that he bunted twice unsuccessfully.  Pay attention PHELPS!)
* The second bunt turned into a web gem by Phelps who dove and caught it near home plate. Will was surprised when he sprinted to 1st and there was no throw. None needed.
* Carter hit a homerun, which got by Oliver and rolled through the other infield.
* Carter hit a triple to deep center
* Nero smoked one. His glove betrayed him, but made a sweet scoop at first. Adam would be proud.
* Jimmy continued to kill it at the plate
* Mitch didn't Mitch anyone, but made every play.
* Lattig had 4 groundouts and a weak pop out. Claiming Phelps owns him. Phelps claims nothing.
* Richie made a bunch of good plays at SS
* Ed was 110% hustle all day
* Thanks to Ed for catching all 9. And to Mike and Mitch for getting the other 9.
* Gaspar pulled a ball for a hit
* Elvin keeps swinging at balls over his head. "I like them" he replied
* Nick once again was the JT Snow of 1st base.
* Gaspar nailed Phelps in the spine on a passed ball throw to third. To my defense, I slowed down b/c I didn't think he'd throw it. He threw it. Last week it was the ear hole.
* Bob didn't get hit and his replacement didn't either.
* Powell coming off a double header the day before, was not his usual self, but was still on base causing havoc.
* Oliver stole 2nd and 3rd.
* Doc was there and recruited a well needed body from the crowd.
* Phelps pitched the entire 7th inning without throwing a fastball... sliders and curves baby!
* John McG made a great catch on a foul ball while filling in at 3rd for the homers
* To anyone I missed, your memories were washed down with several needed beers post game.


* Carter had a two run HR, hard triple, and closed the game. The home run was hit into the infield of the neighboring field. 
* Will pitched a strong 8 innings.
* Jimmy had a hard hit RBI triple and a sliding catch to rob an outfield single.
* Brian Phelps showed some speed when he did a sliding catch to a pop up bunt from Will.
* Oliver had two nice opposite field hitting at the end of the game for singles.  Stealing third to put pressure on the visitors.

John McG

* Big day for the brothers:
Will pitched 8 strong innings, and when not being "Wild Will on the Hill" (which was only some of the time) pitched very, very well.  He badly fooled Chris Powell with a changeup, which either struck him out or helped end the AB with a pop up.  In this author's opinion, fooling Chris Powell like that is an ACHIEVEMENT.    
* Carter, played a great 3rd sack, got at least 4 hits, 3 of em toward a cycle, homer, triple and single, and closed out the game with some fierce fast balls in the 9th.
 * All catchers worked their asses off in the heat, Gaspar, Ed & Mitch.  Not sure if Ed relieved someone or if he was not relieved.
 * John Nero made some "Adam like" digs at first, and one case saved this author from an E-6 throwing error to get the very fleet of foot Richie.
 * Jimmy drilled at least 2 blast off liners to left and made sliding, "Sean like" catch in center.
 * Brian pitched about 7 innings for the visitors, mixing up speeds and spins, then Jimmy pitched a frame (3 up, 3 down) and Chris Powell closed it out.
* Phelps had at least 2 if not 3 extra base hits, all of which were liners, and hit one of the highest pop ups to short that I ever seen at an MBC game, seriously testing this author's ability to stay under it and not have his legs turn into cement as it was dropping, dropping, and dropping.
 * Elvin made a hell of a great play at 2nd on an up the middle ground ball.
 * Lattig made a great full-speed-ahead running forward catch in center.
 * Oliver didn't look so hot at the plate is first 3 ups, but in his 4th up, he got plunked on the forearm by hard throwing Will and then got an opposite field base hit to right side, which he repeated at his next AB.  He also very craftily stole 3rd.
* Doc was watching and enjoying the sun.
 * All in all a solid game, with good hitting, good D and good pitching.

And now, some footage...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

4/29/12 Big Rec

Satch is out with new house-related anxiety issues, not sure when I will be able to make it out again, bu know that my heart is there every Sunday at 3.  Thanks to JT Tiemann, for this weeks write up!

It was a rare perfect day at Big Rec -- like last week, but without the fog.  The throwback teams that had the field before us finished their game in time for us to warm up, and we started eight-on-eight.  Bob and Wilson showed up in the top of the first, so we were a perfect 18.  Greg took the bump for the homers, and Sean twirled for the visitors.  Greg started the game with a bang, bouncing the first pitch off Richie's helmet.  Richie answered with a base hit, and we plated a classic Garcia run, plus one more, to go ahead 2-0 after half an inning. 

Sean started strong, and after about three we were ahead 3-1.  Defense was pretty solid on both sides most of the day, and the visitors inched a little further ahead before the home team rallied back on a line drive just outside my limited reach, followed by a popup just outside that same reach, followed by an E-3 on a throw from Richie at short.  Sean just smiled and dealt, however, and limited the damage to two, with a little help from questionable base running.

Dennis made his appearance around the fifth inning, but that was more or less all right because at least one home team player had to leave around then, so the sides stayed at nine.  About that time one of the spectators started asking about the game, and when Johnny had to leave, he came into the game.  All we know about him is that he might or might not be Dutch, and he showed off a pretty good arm from right field.  In his only at bat, though, Sean jammed him and I was able to redeem myself a little bit by catching his foul popup.  We'll forgive him for playing in plaid shorts, though -- he didn't know he'd be playing, and Lattig wasn't there anyway.

Sean and Greg continued to swap frames, and by the top of the ninth the visitors were ahead, 6-3.  Top 9 was one of THOSE innings, this time for Greg.  We batted around, and the only thing that kept me from making the last out two innings in a row was that I came to bat with only one down.  We sent 10 to the plate, scored five, and left two.  Sean finished his complete game with a flourish, and we ended 11-3.

Highlights -

* Sean and Greg each pitched a complete game

* Both pitchers had a bunch of strikeouts

* Every time I came to bat Greg really needed an out - and he got it

* Pretty solid defense all around, especially in the outfield

* We turned two lineout double plays, one on a catch by Daniel at second and the other on a catch by Wilson in right.

* Thanks to Adam, Bob, Gaspar, and Ed, who caught

* Note to baserunners:  if you're on third with one out and the infield is back, you're scoring on a ground ball to the right side.  You owe Nick an RBI.

* After lobbing rainbows from third during between-innings warmups all afternoon, in live action John Nero picked up a slow roller and fired a perfect strike to me at first to nab a fast runner.

* There were at least two triples, including one by Sean that might've been a repeat of his previous mom-powered performance if we’d have been at West Sunset.

Here with a late addition is Mike "The Shift" Gaspar, thanks Mike!

  It was a great day for baseball at 7th and Lincoln.  The old tyme players were just finishing up when the MBC started trickling in.  Although they were drinking beer from aluminum cans kept cold in plastic coolers. How authentic is that?

  After a quick warm up we were ready to start with eight players aside. Bob and Wilson came after an inning making it a good old 9-9 game till Dennis showed up in the middle innings.  Greg S.  took the hill for the home team and Sean Paul for the visitors.  And that was only hurlers for the day as both went the distance.  How’s that for old school?

  Richie, the first batter, set the tone for the day as he got hit in the head by the very first pitch.  But he shook it off and got a base hit again, how's that for old school?  After yours truly got an infield hit, there were a few more knocks (not sure by whom) and the visitors tallied two runs. 

    Meanwhile Sean, although he did not have his best stuff, managed to keep the homers at bay using his defense (Ed in left, john n. at 3rd) and some timely strikeouts to keep he homers at bay.  The visitors tacked on few more.  And somewhere in the middle innings the score was 5-0. The homers broke through, but Sean and his defense kept them from having a big inning. 

  It was a tight game as both pitchers settled in.  The score was 5-3 going into the top of 8th. Then the visitors erupted for 5 runs, and is often the case a few "harmless" errors led to a big inning with Sean and Brian Phelps providing the big blasts.  Needless to say the homers were deflated and went easy in the bottom frame save greg's two out double.  Final 10-3. 

* Daniel’s collision at home with Adam.   Again, old school!  We’re just as tough as those old tymies.

Same time, same place next week.