Monday, April 30, 2018

4/29/18 Cop Field

Beautiful day, we had 19 people show up, Mrs. Paige and the kids came in with me, and played at the playground for 2.5 hours, it was just an all around good day. 

Except of course, for the problem my team had with scoring runs and catching the ball, other than that though.....  It actually was a great game, and I can't knock my team too much, since they did make a legit double play, helped by Greg's almost complete surrender about 10 feet up the basepath, and then the realization that he had to at least try.  In fact, there were quite a few give up early's and then something happened plays.  That's why we run out every ball people.

Greg started for the homers and Satch for the visitors.  Greg's knee appeared to not bother him much, but for whatever reason, his usual game of bust them inside, became, throw at their head and trunk.  Seriously, for a guy who didn't technically hit anyone all game, he averaged about 3 near misses per batter. 

I was throwing pretty good, had a few Ks, the change up was definitely on point, which always makes it easier to pitch, when your go to is real easy on the arm.  Defensively, we just were out of position some of the time, dropped some balls, didn't get to some balls, and then the homers also hit the crap out of the few balls.  Typical MBC stuff, really.  Mitch came in to mop up in the 8th, and threw a good inning.

The sad thing was that going into the middle innings, we were down 4-0, which is pretty rare to have in a Mission game.  No lead is usually safe, but seriously, not even a run?  Our downfall was hitting the ball to Chris P continuously, which is never a good strategy.  We got a runner into scoring position more than once, but just couldn't capitalize.  When we finally did score a run, I think it was the 6th inning, and I think we were lucky to get it. 

The bats finally came alive in the 9th, but we had idled away too much time, and while we did mount a comeback, we fell short with a final 6-4 loss.


* Greg pitched well, when he wasn't trying to hit anyone

* Chris also did well in relief, and ironically, is the only one who did hit someone.

* The sun in left field was not fun

* In catching news, Ed caught two foul pop flies and Bob hung on to a foul tip for strike three, best defensive catching of the year, I say.

* I got Loren to swing at knuckleballs twice for pop ups

* It got a little convoluted, but I had to make a point of James, Chris, and Mitch not being on the same team. That is three big hitters with guaranteed base stealing ability.

* For all of my bad mouthing, my defense also got a runner at home, on a non-force play, corners in.  It was awesome.

* On the other hand, our defense showed it's lack of understanding went into a serious lefty shift against Lattig, only to be corrected by Lattig that is was not a sound strategy, which is very true, he is capable of hitting to any part of the field

* Mitch had a couple of throws from the outfield that saved more runs from being scored

* John McG came late, and opted to go on to the winning team, although he had his opportunity to join us underdogs

* I was trying to old-school a run by bunting with Mitch on first in the 2nd to try and get on the board, but apparently, you are not supposed to sacrifice outs for potential runs anymore.  What I was supposed to do was hit a long double.  And if a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his ass a'hoppin'.

* I got caught in left trying to catch a hit from Powell, chances are I wouldn't have gotten to it, but my first step was in, and it definitely should have been back

* Urano played a solid game, he needed to exploit his youth a bit more though

* Dennis tried to turn a double play with no one on first, the SS relayed the ball, but the batter was safe at first.  Always know where the runners are, people!

* I caught a infield pop fly, and called off the third baseman by staring into the sky and saying, and I quote,"Oh shit.  I think I got that."

* We almost had a second double play!

* At one point, my best pitch was a fat, straight fastball down the middle.

* Bob tried to cheer up our team by singing the Dr. Demento classic Dead Puppies Aren't much Fun

Dead puppies
Dead puppies
Dead puppies aren't much fun
They don't come when you call
They don't chase squirrels at all
Dead puppies aren't much fun

My puppy died late last fall
He's still rotting in the hall
Dead puppies aren't much fun
Mom says puppy's days are through
She's gonna throw him in the stew
Dead puppies aren't much fun

Dead puppies
Dead puppies
Dead puppies aren't much fun

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

2018 San Quentin Series- Game 1

 It's that time of year again, when the team makes the trip north to SQ to play the inmate team.  It's been happening for a lot of years at this point, and we almost always have a good time.  The problems, when they occur, are usually administrative in nature.  Obviously, we want the prison to function well so that everyone remains safe.  But it can be trying, when all you want to do is play some ball.

Two reports so far on how the game went, the first from Nick W:

It was a doozy. A back and forth nailbiter finally sealed by an 8th inning dropped 3rd strike that scored 2 runs, and bookended by opening day ceremonies with a touching goodbye to Elliot and Phelps having to drive to Novato for a spare set of car keys because he locked his in his trunk.

Final score SQ A's/Giants 11, Mission 8

And this commentary from Sonny:

 Sean threw a runner out at first, with his amazing deceptive leg-kick-looks-like-he’s-
already-pitching-but-throws-to-first move.

Chris made a major league-like out catching a grounder at SS and long throw in air to first.

Mike threw some great pitches in the 9th , almost everything dipping down right at the plate.

I had longest at bat of my life fouling off like 14 balls.

We had three errors on one ball, first Sean missed it, then I missed it then Greg missed it.
So we are 0-1 in the season, with about 4 games to go.  Let's hope for a better outcome in May.  Strangely, two of the three people who contributed to this blog article, are two of the only three MBC players that you can actually identify in the Religion of Sports: Through the Darkness documentary that filmed last year while we were there.  
Here's a screen shot, with Elliot talking, and Chris "Stretch" Rich, the former inmate who returned to give some inspiring words to the players.  As for the third man, well, shoot, everyone knows who he is.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

400th Post! Huzzah!

This serves as a placeholder, I hope to include a longer post when I can, but for now, let's just say, Wow!  Who would have thought that this whole thing would have lasted this long?  Not the MBC game of course, that will go on forever, but I can't believe that I am still reporting on it, even if it is a semi-regular basis.

Hope for the future of this blog:

A new round of player profiles to acknowledge those who started playing after 2003.

More in-depth stories on the things that matter, like how to properly throw a spitball,lean into a pitch, and not be a basic douchebag while playing baseball.

Hopefully more posts on games that I attended, which means that I am attending more games.

An answer once and for all on the most pressing question of our generation- When will Bert Campaneris, Steve Garvey, Will Clark, Jeff Kent, and Fernando Valenzuela make the Hall of Fame?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

4/15/18 Cop Field- Unofficial game

An abbreviated attempt at a game was pursued on Sunday.  I showed up sometime after first pitch with the two lil' guys in tow, mostly to get out of the Missus' hair for a few hours and cuz the boys love playing on the old batting cage structure at Sundberg. 

Unfortunately, the skies grew darker the closer we got to SF, and by the time we reached the field it was lightly misting.  The mist turned into a fine rain, lightened for a second, then got steadily heavier and heavier.  We lasted about an hour, I threw batting practice to the kids for a bit, and then called it a day.  No sooner had we gotten into the car then the skies opened up and a real downpour descended on the game, which I figure probably stopped it for good.

I can't tell you anything about what happened, other than Greg was back from Peru, and was pitching which means his knee can't be that bad, or he has taken the traditional MBC play-through-the-pain route.  Either way, it was good to see him. 

Tony was ready to pack it in as soon as the rain started, but was shouted down.  He then had to make a play on a ground ball that threw up a rooster tail of water as it headed towards him, and then when he threw it to first, it looked more like a shot put. 

It was a great showing for a questionable day, all the usual suspects were out.  Too bad it wasn't a full game. 

We drove home, and the rain stopped just as we pulled in to the driveway.  I guess the wind and the storm must have been stronger than I realized, as I found our EZ Up had blown up and over the safety fence and was upside down at the bottom of the pool.  I donned a mask and spent ten minutes in the semi-frigid water, detaching the canopy and pulling the structure to the side so that we could haul it out.  Not how I pictured the day coming to an end.

Let's hope for a nice Sunday to make up for it!

S. Paige

Monday, April 2, 2018

4/1/18 West Sunset

Easter Sunday and April Fools in the one day, and what a day it was.  Glorious weather, warm but not too hot, the field was in immaculate condition, and we had 20 players show up.  How can you go wrong?

The teams may have been a little lopsided, but on the whole, it was a pretty good split.  Chris Powell started for the visitors and Satch, so hungry to play ball that he could hardly stand it, went for the homers.  We shut down the first inning in about 8 pitches, and then went to town to the tune of 5 runs.  We were feeling pretty good about ourselves, until the visitors roared back and tied it up with their own barrage of runs, making it a 5-5 affair.

We traded zeroes for a few innings, and then the homers struck again for another 5 runs, and never looked back.  Chris had given way to New guy Chris, who was a bit wild.  He was then replaced by Abe, who I think I have only seen throw one other time.  It was a pitching by committee for the visitors, for sure.  Satch ended up throwing a  complete game for the homers, which was very nice to air out the arm for a lot of innings.  Special thanks to Tony for letting me keep going, even though I know he wanted to throw.

We tacked on a few more, the visitors had another mini-barrage, but it was too little too late, and with a ground ball to SS we ended the game in a tidy 2.5 hours.

Final score: 14-8


* What an amazing day, other than the sun which temporarily blinded more than a few fielders.

* Thanks to Bob, Ed, Gaspar, Don, Chris for donning the tools of ignorance

* Adam tried the ol' rufus goofus of leaving early and trying to get picked off of first to give the man on third a chance to run home.  Unfortunately, he didn't realize that there was a runner on second too.  He made it back safely.

* Urano had a great day at SS, making play after play with a smooth precision.

* Derek made a great catch in right field after it was obvious that he could not see it in the sun.  It was headed right for him, so at the last second he saw it enough to catch it.

* Additional thanks to Derek's special lady friend who watched the entire game

* RBI Ed is back!

* Bob was HBP, though he tried so little to get out of the way that it was almost batter's interference.

* Big flies were hit by James, Dave, Chris P., Satch.  Should have had the cones out.

* Nick Smith had no luck at first all day, his infield could not throw him a decent ball for an out, he was jumping, and digging, and pulled off the bag every time.

* Speaking of, we have decided that a ball that hits the wall behind 1st, and bounces back is a live ball.  If it goes past the wall to the fence area it is out of bounds.

* We had a couple of good 2-out rallies

* I think I struck out five for the day, the change up was working really well, as was the curve, with the exception of the second inning, when the visitors were squaring up on everything I threw.

* I think James won the biggest hit, he almost reached the other field, and we all thought Loren was going to catch it Willie Mays style-but it ended up right at the fringe of the infield grass. James got a triple because he isn't a fat bag of slow like me.

* Bob told some new guy on his team to tell me to go fuck myself, but he never did.  So I am owed.

*  I think 5 people got hit by pitches, which is more than usual.  Urano and Tony both took one off the knee but seemed to shake it off.

* The grass on the infield is almost too good, you don't expect that a low ground ball will stay low.

* Thanks to everyone that showed up, I would have been super bummed to have to do...gulp...batting practice.

Here are Ed Sidawi's action photos for the day, as well as a slo-mo of Urano's hit/ error off of Chris Powell:


S. Paige