Thursday, June 21, 2018

6/17/18 Golden Gate Park

Father's Day, one of two days that I get to play baseball without having to sell Mrs. Paige on the idea.  We had just gotten back from a camping trip to Brannan Island, where we were at risk of blowing away in the "Delta Breeze" for two days.  I was able to unpack, clean up, put away, and gear up in time to get to the game before it started.

Nick W. wanted to start the game, which was fine with me, having already pitched in SQ four days prior.  Whatever "it" is, Nick didn't have it on Sunday.  He looked uncomfortable with everything he threw, and he ended up hitting Bob 3 times, twice in the same at-bat if I am not mistaken.

Sonny started for the homers, and he did well, though we had more success than usual against him, at least in the first couple of innings.  Then our offense went quiet, and stayed that way.

The homers on the other hand, were taking every opportunity they could to score, and pile it on.  It wasn't a cavalcade of errors all day, but there were a lot of in-betweeners and short gorks.  However, the strangest thing of the day had nothing to do with a play on the field.

There were several pick up soccer games going on in right field, some before we started, and the people playing were dressed up pretty nice for a recreational park activity.  Making it all the more interesting was that they all appeared to all be Muslim.  Some of the younger kids were in soccer gear, but the grown men were all in sport coats and slacks, and some in all white Perahan tunbans. The women and girls were separated into a different play group, and were playing pick-up Ultimate Frisbee, all of them in hijabs and niquabs.

Large wedding, perhaps?  Sunday party after the end of Ramadan (which was Thursday)? Just a party where everyone dresses up and hangs in the park?  Could have been any of them.  The part that became a little surreal was the number of people, at least 300-350?  That's a lot of people kicking it in right field.  The part where this becomes more than just a mention is that there were a lot of kids in the group.  Little kids.  Real little kids.  And no one appeared to be really monitoring them. So when several 2.5-4 year olds suddenly are wandering around in right field,  open to the dangers of flying baseballs, we became very quickly concerned.  Plus, it was strange that as we attempted to guide them off the field that no one showed up to take custody or responsibility.

Trying my best not to sound like a colonialist, I can imagine there might have been some cultural unawareness in the group as to the dangers of small children being in the midst of a baseball game-- and that is totally understandable.  However, it was strange that as we pleaded with members of the group to watch the kids, and to stay off of the field, ten minutes later, they would be back, still seemingly unmonitored.

While all of this was happening, we would also have groups of teens and adults walking in the midst of the infield and outfield while we were playing, and we would be trying to get them either to walk around or to move quickly.  The adults were at least more responsive.  And eventually one or two of the members of the party started to wrangle the wandering kids into the safety of the party, and kept them from coming back.

The game was distracted, would be the best way to put it.  That and it seemed to be going forever, mostly due to the homers scoring runs and the visitors getting base-runners on, but never actually scoring.

So after a disastrous beginning, where we thought it was the 5th inning(and it was actually the 3rd) we decided to just call it the 8th inning and get it over with.  We took our meager last at bats, tried our best to walk some base runners on with John Carey pitching, and the last two outs were Ks, punctuated by a 3rd strike looking.  Hooray.

Final: 9-3, Homers.


* Our team made some great plays in the sun in left field, most of them while we were filling in defensively for the other team.

* Mitch and Powell did their best to keep us in the game, but we just couldn't make it

* Adam was almost on 3 separate foul balls that just landed out of his grasp

* Sonny ripped a ball for a beack breaking pair of RBIs

* Urano was doing it all day with the bat and glove

* Tim Presley, Sean's brother, came out, played second, got a hit

* Adam and I were debating Loren's switch hitting experiment, and that we didn't need to play all that deep in right.  Big mistake as he cranked a big 2-strike hit for a triple.

* Sonny, Sean, and John Carey combined for a dominant outing on the mound

* Greg caught the whole game, bad knee and all

* Bob stormed over to the big group on two separate occasions to ask them to keep the children off the field.  We think he did it firmly and politely.  We do know he yelled "Get off the fucking field!" to a lone man who wandered into left field, but he wasn't part of the bigger group, just a guy with headphones on.

*  With two outs and a chance to score a run finally, I ended up at 2nd base, with a ground ball hit to Sonny at 3rd.  My thought was that if I took off right away, he would have had me dead to rights, so I hung back, creeping along, waiting for him to throw to first.  Finally, I had to commit and made a mad dash for 3rd.  He wheeled around and tried to intercept me as I slid to the corner of the bag.  I was safe, but Sonny stepped on my hand pretty good.  Been awhile since I have been spiked.  Luckily, all soft tissue damage, but it was a tense moment before I realized that my hand wasn't broken.

* Sean had a real nice opposite field line drive

* Elvin also came through in the clutch with a RBI hit

* There were drones overhead for some of the game, and we all wished that the GGP hawk would take one of them out.  No luck, but he did make an appearance.

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