Tuesday, July 31, 2018

7/29/18 Cop Field

We were there, where were you?

Seriously, I know it's the height of summer and people have other plans, but seriously, 11?  Tt was foggy, and cold, and windy, and miserable, but hey, that's summer in SF. 

Well, no thanks to all you no-showers, we made the most of it playing a bastardized version of Havana 6's.  Greg took one for the team and caught the whole game, with no rest.  Hopefully he got that extra ibuprofen after the game.

I started and threw back to back innings, while we swapped out teams of three.  It felt good, and my leg might be on the verge of mending.  I also seemed to have a preternatural inclination for the inside pitch, no matter where I tried standing on the rubber, it was all going inside.   But I didn't do too bad.  Sean pitched next, then Lattig, then Elvin, and then me and Sean again. Everyone pitched well, given the circumstances.

The real story here was Nick W. who decided to turn in an single-game record of hitting, I think he had 3-4 doubles, and at least 2 triples.  Now it could be argued that two outfielders is going to impact that line, but still the guy was just bashing all day.

We also had the unfortunate honor of at least 4 dropped foul balls.  On a day when we could have used that little bit of defense, it completely escaped us.

It was good to see Nick Smith again, I don't know if it's just cuz I don't come out as much, but it seems like it has been awhile.  I was playing right when he batted and having to shift to the Smith defense every 3rd at bat was hard to explain to the kids.

Urano had one of the the defensive plays of the game, taking a gamble to get the lead runner at third, rather than the easy out at first.  And this game was all about getting the easy outs.  The other defensive play was a double play that we managed to turn to stymie a big hitting rally.  Through out the game, the cry, " Do we even have an out yet?" was heard more than once.

Elvin took the mound, having convinced himself that this time it would be different, and it was!  He threw strikes, mostly, and did just fine.  I hit a triple off him, that was just fine as well.

I had the two boys with me as well, which actually was the one nice thing about an abbreviated game, there was less whining from them on how much more time they had to stay at the game.  In fact, they both got some good at bats, and ran the bases.  I had them at 3rd during Bob's at bat, and when he singled, they raced home, to the cheers of the partying Mexican leaguers in the stands.

Tim, Sean's brother playing left, physically embodied what we are all feeling at one point when yet another fly ball was hit where there was no outfielder.  He stood there and watched it, didn't move a muscle.  As Greg said, Tim decided that was somebody else's fly ball from the start. 

I beat the left-handed third baseman at his own Topsy-turvey game by grounding the ball just inside the foul line.

Hopefully, all you reading this are appropriately ashamed for not showing up, and this kind of thing won't happen again.  But if it does, make sure it happens at Balboa Park, because they have a really nice playground that my kids love playing on.

Gamers List, everyone on this list gets extra credit:
  1. Greg
  2. Bob
  3. Urano
  4. Nick S.
  5. Nick W.
  6. Gabriel
  7. Sean
  8. Tim
  9. Elvin
  10. Lattig
  11. Satch

Friday, July 20, 2018

7/15/2018 GGP

I showed up after having been out at the beach with the family, and figured I would be the Johnny Come Lately.  Instead, I made the lucky 14th player, which makes a game legit.  Thank goodness!  On paper our team was stacked, we had Sean, New Chris, James, Bob, John Carey, I didn't think we could be beat.  But beat, we were.

The game swelled as time went on, so that by the middle innings, instead of subbing in for the defense, we had people sitting each inning.  John McG showed up with Liam and Aiden, which makes 3 new players right there.  Loren was his customary late self.  All in all, it was really nice to play a game that stayed lighthearted the whole time, and had just the right amount of competitiveness.  I have to say that the last few games I have been a part of have all had a tinge of negativity to them.

I started for the visitors, and never quite felt right, though I didn't end up pitching all that bad.  The mound had a lot of new clay on, which ordinarily is a good thing, but tit threw my balance all out of whack.  A good pitcher always blames his mound, right?  They scored a few runs, but by and large, no huge deficits.  After 4 innings, the score was 4-2?  Sean took over, and didn't fare any better, the homers were just hitting the crap out of the ball.

Speaking of hitting, I went a glorious 0-5, with at least 4 of those hits being really hard hit, but directly at someone.  Chris Powell snared a line drive for an out, and then the next time, made a leap to get a high bouncing ground ball, that defied physics.  Seriously, he leapt about 6 feet in the air to get this ball.  Then a hard come-backer to Sonny on the mound who knocked it down, and then a drive to left field that would have been extra bases if Loren hadn't been playing at just the right place.

We made a
great comeback in the middle innings to tie up the game, and then we let the lead slip away again, came back, tied it at 8, in the 8th inning, but were out of chances, and the homers took the opportunity to finish the game in the bottom of the 9th and as Chris Powell scored, the game ended 9-8.


* A really good game

* The rally that we started was the moment when the game took a turn into real enjoyable, I think another thing we have been having lately is real lop sided games, which are not as much fun

* James explained that he hits lefty when the game is tied, or his team is ahead, his take on how to make MBC the most enjoyable

* John McG was back to hitting righty

* Aiden gets the start in the next game, so says Greg, since he did not get a chance to pitch in the 10th.

* The homers had 3 line drives in a row that all went to the same place for hits

* We had to shoulder tap around the park for a an extra guy, Doug, who was hanging with his girlfriend.  He played the whole game, and did a great job.  Hopefully he will come out again

* James made a nice catch on a hit to center, I couldn't watch, for fear that it was going to die before he got to it

* The homers had a nice double up play at first

* I am probably preaching to the choir, but it is really important that people pay Bob and Greg for the permits, it should be about $5 a game, but everyone, especially if you don't come out a lot, should be paying into the community fund

* Gabe, who hasn't been seen in a while, showed up, and proved that it had been a while....

* Chris Powell proved the difference, the Powell run was the decider

* Loren seemed to play at just the right place to make a play, while looking like he had been completely caught off guard.

* We at least solved the mystery of Sonny enough to tie up the game

* Loren's triple was probably the hit of the game

* New Chris scored the majority of our runs in the beginning of the game

* Aiden had a legit hit

* Defensively, the home team was just superior and it made the difference

S. Paige

Friday, July 6, 2018

7/1/18 GGP- Doubleheader

The MBC 2018 Fourth of July BBQ Doubleheader- Photo by John Nero, assistance by Miss Mcgrath.

I missed my window with trying to write this early, when I still remembered a lot of what happened, so pardon my Swiss cheese memory of the games.  I can say that it was a cold, foggy, surreal kind of day.  The yellow ashen sky, a result of the You Only Live Once fire, made driving into the city line something out of an apocalyptic movie.  We certainly did not want for players, there was more than 20 by the time I got there and I think at our high point we were fielding 16-16 teams.

Cold and foggy.  All day.  At one point the sky lightened a little, but never actually saw the sun.  We had a pair of hawks circling the game for the most of the day.  The olde tyme baseballers occupied the other field.

Game I

Sonny started for the visitors, and Mike Lattig for the homers.  The rule was laid down early that no one could pitch more than 4 innings, since all players had to sit every other inning to give people a chance to play.  I am not going to try and remember all the people who pitched, but I know in the first game, that Chris and John Carey came in relief, and I think Chris Powell went for the homers at some point in the game. The visitors tallied a lot of runs in the beginning do the game, and that cushion allowed us to take the first win, though the game was abbreviated by a sudden stop in the 8th inning, as a softball team had reserved the 1-3pm spot.

It was jarring, in the midst of a good game to have it all wash away.  By a softball team practicing.  In clear violation of the No Softball rule stated on the sign.  But Greg, being the level-headed sort that he is, talked us all into being zen about the whole thing, and certainly if the shoe was on the other foot, we would have wanted our permit respected.  Next year, lets cough up the extra permit though.  It will mean 3 people will have to apply, but it would be nice for continuity.  Plus, the homers might have staged a comeback, and you can't put a price on that.


The food was great this year, and just the right amount.  I was a little worried when we had a last minute cancellation by Mike N. who fractured a rib, and punctured his lung.  He emailed us from his hospital bed, which was very nice of him (get well soon!)  We had burgers and dogs, and spicy chicken things, and ribs, and the vegetarians looked like they had some lovely soy-based treats.  Powell came through with several refills of a great green salad, we had a table to place things on, and JT usurped my haphazard camping collection of silverware and plates with a fantastic travel set of platterware, as well as the biggest pan of cornbread I have ever seen, courtesy of Mrs. Tiemann.  BBQ MVP contender!

There is a new AOY year, after a contentious last year where the vote went the way of No Confidence, and players were chastised for too much polite play and lack of bad sportsmanship. This year though, Don really shined and we were happy to open the books and add his name to the growing list of AOYs.  His insistence on wearing random t-shirts, his running banter, his willingness to strap on the tools of ignorance, his support of the Evil Empire, all these things and more.  This year, for the first time, the AOY was forced into a hazing ritual, but singing that old Tex Ritter favorite Rye Whiskey, with AOY veterans providing the chorus.  He was a good sport about it, and to everyone's surprise, he indeed got a bottle of Bulliet Rye to take home, leading all of us degenerates to consider what we have to do to gather a second AOY commendation.... A transcript of Don's acceptance speech: "Thanks.  I should have had this last year, you bastards."

Game II

We swapped sides, so the visitors from the first game, were now the homers. I started for the homers, and Sean for the others, in classic duel.  And it was a great match up, Sean was in rare form, picking off at least 2-3 runners at first.  What really stood out though was the double plays.  We turned one I think.  The visitors turned about 4.

Our offense went into the tank, and if we ever got a runner, they got picked off or doubled up.  Not great.  Don, fresh from his win, hit a triple for us, that was real impressive.  But we couldn't break through.  Chris, Abe, Storm, Greg all came in to throw.  The game went a long at a good clip, but the score just got more and more lopsided.  Loren had the closing duties, and e threw cream puffs for 98% of his pitches, and then uncorked a fastball just to establish that he still had it.  We went down meekly and the Visitors took that game by a large margin, 8-2?


* A great time was had by all, and no one got injured.

* We had two young players, Aiden and Milo, and they both did a fantastic job, Milo got his first hit off of me.

* James and Don had the longest hits of the day

* Brian P. played Jim Abbot style at first base for most of the game, due to a fractured wrist.

* Bob's recommendation on chew: Days 'o' Work plug

* Adam brought some more fancy helmets for everyone

* It was good to see some guys that had not been out in a long time: Danny Chester, who claimed it had been over 8 years!  Daniel D. now living in Monterey, Stoner, who brought his family out, Richie, Jimmy, Duane, great to see them all!

* Doc and Oliver also showed up, Doc umpired for some of the game, Oliver has an awesome mustache now.

* Rich J. came with his son, and fell right back into hitting line drives to the power alleys

*  Special thanks to John Mcg for a great game, and for bringing a table so that we didn't have to serve the BBQ on the ground

* Carter's alternative name for his bat company is Friendly Face Bats.

* The grillers did a fine job with all the meats

* We missed Johnny Bartlett this year, and his wagon.  No word on why he doidn't make it, but his absence was palpable

* Adam, being the nice guy that he is, put a plate together to take to our rehabbing SS, Tony Rojas.  Wasn't the same without him!

* Other Awards:

Best Dressed- In a stunning revelation, Bob Carey was singled out for his always stylish apparel. By last count he has: 2x MBC unis, 1x USC, 1x Giants, 1x Red Sox, 1 x [John's College].  By contrast, I wash my one uniform occasionally.  He will receive his trophy one year from now, due to the time-honored tradition of the delay.

Rookie of the Year- Though not formally announced, Urano gets this award hands down.

MVP- Also Urano.  Some one should tell him, since he probably doesn't follow the blog.

*  I struck out Greg.  That made the day worth it.

* There seems to be a collection of MBCers who are switch hitting and switch fielding now.  Is this a response to injury, or curiosity?

Another great doubleheader in the books.  Thanks to everyone who contributed and special thanks to Bob and Greg for the permits.