Thursday, August 15, 2019

Player Profile(s): Chris Powell and Brian Phelps

Why a two-for-one?  Who doesn't love a good deal?

These guys came out for the MBC at roughly the the same time, they grew up together (Novato, son!), back in the day they played in a Novato pickup league, then a Mexican league where they lost a World Series, and I would say that they represent two sides of the MBC baseball coin.

Powell is right-handed, highest fielding average and most consistent SS that we have, makes the no-man's land pop up look easy, hits for power and average, can throw multiple innings when needed, and steals with no fear.

Phelps is all those things too, except he is left-handed, plays 1st, and probably is a better outfielder.

UPDATE: The MBC history on these two.  Apparently, Chris was playing catch in GGP when he was approached by a MBC player to fill the ranks.  Classic story of how about 75% of our players first started.  He then came out a few times, then told Brian about it.

The first mention of Chris is in the 8th post of the MBC blog, back in 2008.   And surprise-surprise, it was for a home run that he hit off of me:

Not too much has changed in 11 years.  Also, it is said in the write-up that it had happened several times already, so that means that he has been out for more like 13+ years.  That's a career right there.

Brian Phelps is referred to as New Guy Brian, not to be confused with Brian Cagle, who was the Brian back then.  His first mention is in March of 2009.

These two are the kind of guys that you want on your team.  Good people, even-keeled, always good for a laugh, as well as a great play or a much needed run.  Brian is the more natural pitcher, and has had some epic games over the years. He has a tailing movement on his fastball, and when his curve is working, it is a late hard break.  He is also really adept at fielding off of the mound and he plays a great 1st base.

Chris is the go-to SS, can make plays to the left or the right,  as well as diving or sliding stops, and as mentioned before, has perfected the over-the-shoulder pop fly snare that has saved many a MBC inning from complete chaos.  Not a write up goes by that Powell is not mentioned in some way with a rally, or a big play, or a long hit.  It has been wondered aloud at times why Chris continues to play with us, as his skills are consistently at a higher level in all categories than all of us, and whether playing would continue to be any fun.  Hopefully he is there for the camaraderie, as well as the game.

Chris and Brian are also two of the six* people to hit a home run for the MBC in San Quentin (Chris, Brian, Satch, Carter, Nick's kid)--the * is for James' homerun, which was a long blast that cleared the fence in left, but was called foul for some inexplicable reason.  It is generally accepted that he was hosed on that, so we will count it.

Chris's hit was by far the longest. His HR was so epic that Stretch gave him the ball afterwards:

Brian actually hit 2 HRs in SQ in one day, also a MBC record.  I wasn't at that game, so no recap.

Brian has been in the same boat as Satch for the last few years, missing most games to spend more time with family, but still makes it out, along with Wes, part of the MBC next generation.  Chris is the stalwart attendee, always there, always contributing: SQ, as well as Sunday.

Brian also has the distinction of being the first crowned AOY as it is in its current state.  All previous winners being of the dead-ball era Bad Sportsmanship award.

As both are locally grown, there are also avid Giants fans, I don't know if Chris owns a MBC hat yet, after probably 15 years of play, he is still rocking the Giants hat, and I respect that.

Sentimentality dictates that I say Brian and Chris also represent the first of the new guard of MBC players, who bridge the gap between the original players from the 90's who have drifted away, and the new crop of regulars that we have.  I fall in that same category, and--along with Mitch--I would say these two constitute the team core of my formative years in the MBC.

Cap tip to you fellers, hope we have many years still to come playing ball.

S. Paige

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Non-baseball related post

I just found out that our own Abe Z. got hitched just 8 days after the 2019 double header.  He didn't want to mention it since apparently only baseball-related things are supposed to be discussed on Sunday.  So I am mentioning it for him, next time you see him offer your condelenc....I mean...congratulations.

In honor of this news, let me share some real hacky marriage jokes.  All in good fun, please don't take any of these as endorsement of misogyny or misandry (Pro tip: that's the antonym of misogyny):


Doctor: "Your wife's in hospital."
Me: "How is she?"
Doctor: "I'm afraid she's critical."
Me: "Ah, you get used to that..."

Gravely ill, a husband was examined by a doctor while his wife stood by. After the examination the physician motioned for her to meet him in the hallway. "Your husband is very sick," the doctor said. "Still, you can do things to ensure his survival: Fix him three healthy meals a day and give him a stress-free environment and don’t complain about anything." The doctor left and the woman returned to her husband’s room. "What did the doctor say?" he asked. "I’m sorry, dear," she said, "but he said you’re not going to make it."

A couple had just got married. On their way to their  home, the husband said to his new wife “Would you have married me if my father hadn’t left me a fortune?” She replied, “I would have married you no matter who had left you a fortune.”

A husband and wife were golfing when suddenly the wife asked, "Honey, if I died would you get married again?" The husband said, "No sweetie." The woman said, "I'm sure you would." So the man said, "Okay, I would" Then the woman asked, "Would you let her sleep in our bed?" And the man replied, "Ya, I guess so." Then the wife asked, "Would you let her use my golf clubs?" And the husband replied, "No, she's left handed."

In the early 1930's, a farmer and his wife went to a fair. The farmer was fascinated by the airplanes and asked a pilot how much a ride would cost. "$10 for 3 minutes," replied the pilot. "That's too much," said the farmer. The pilot thought for a second and then said, "I'll make you a deal. If you and your wife ride for 3 minutes without uttering a sound, the ride will be free. But if you make a sound, you'll have to pay $10." The farmer and his wife agreed and went for a wild ride. After they landed, the pilot said to the farmer's wife, "I want to congratulate you for not making a sound. You are a brave woman."
"Maybe so," she said, "But I gotta tell ya, I almost screamed when my husband fell out."

A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband. Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen. ‘Careful,’ he said, ‘CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh my gosh! You’re cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter. Oh my gosh! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? They’re going to STICK! Careful. CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL! You NEVER listen to me when you’re cooking! Never! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY? Have you LOST your mind? Don’t forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!’

The wife stared at him. “What in the world is wrong with you? You think I don’t know how to fry a couple of eggs?”
The husband calmly replied, “I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I’m driving.”

And the master of them all, Rodney Dangerfield:

My wife made me join a bridge club. I jump off next Tuesday.

I told my wife the truth. I told her I was seeing a psychiatrist. Then she told me the truth: that she was seeing a psychiatrist, two plumbers, and a bartender.
My wife's a water sign. I'm an earth sign. Together we make mud.

Welcome to the club, Abe, and it's been great knowing you.....

Monday, August 5, 2019

8/4/19 GGP

This was the best 13-player game I have ever been a part of.  Our attendance has once again fallen off, this being the second week in a row with less than 14 players.  But everyone who came out was quality, and that makes up for a lot.  The day was amazingly beautiful, clear skies, 70 degrees.  Lattig started for the visitors and Satch for the homers.  We battled it out on the West diamond of GGP, the mound on that field is a like a cliff, but it has its advantages in making sure your curve ball stays low.

I got hit real hard for the first four innings, giving up an extra base hit at least once in each inning.  We managed to get out of the jams a few time though, including a nifty line drive double off at first base (Abe!) and after the first four, the score was 5-2.  Not insurmountable.

Greg decided to be the hero and took the weight of all-time catcher to speed the game along and also allow us to have a full defense, and that made things a lot easier.  With Mitch back in center field where he belongs, all of a sudden things were looking up.

We had originally decided on an abbreviated 7 inning game, but when we got to that point, it was only about 5pm, so we decided to play all 9.  Once I had a full squad behind me, I settled down, and threw 11 pitches in two innings worth of work.  Abe took over after I had thrown in the towel --and he wants this noted for posterity--he threw two shut out innings. Nice work!

Mike N took over for Lattig and kept us mostly at bay, though we creeped to within a run, 5-4.  Greg, having turned over the mantle of all time catcher to Nick W. came into pitch the 9th, and coughed up the lead with back-to-back doubles from Satch and Powell.   I for one was happy to still be able to hit the ball somewhere other than weakly to SS.   And I made it to second base without using a crutch.
For Powell, it was about his third double of the day.  Alas we had two outs, and were not able to bring Powell home to win the game.

Tie ball game, extra innings????  Not today.

Everyone goes home a winner.

Final Score: 5-5


* Special thanks to everyone that came out: Greg, Tony, Nick W, Powell, Mike N, Mike L, Bob, Abe, Urano, Mitch, Dan, Elvin, Satch

* I started a double play against my own team, didn't want to do it, but felt like I had to.  Also, the ground ball came right to me.  If my hip gets worse, I can just fall over and have a legitimate excuse for not getting those in the future.

* Chris Powell made a classic over the shoulder Powell catch in short center.

* Urano was the defensive player of the game at SS, ranging to left and right, and making multiple charging cross-body barehanded throws.

* Elvin went up and got a pitch that was purposefully throw high and out of the zone, for a hit  Gotta respect that.

* There was a tourist family that stood in the middle of right field and watched the last two innings of the game.  They seemed to enjoy it.

* We need to reinstate the push for cones, Chris hit one here that should have just been called a round-tripper:

* Members of the baseball game that was on the other diamond came and watched ours, they refused our pleas to help with our reduced numbers until the last inning, and then came in for defense.  I think they made 3 put outs in the outfield.  Thanks for the support--eventually.

* First ever official documented BullShit! call was made:

Runner on third, and Elvin was playing left field, he had just gotten out there, and he was playing right handed (which I guess he hasn't done in a long time...sigh.)  Fly ball to him, he makes the catch (Hooray!) then Tony is waving his arms as he is the cutoff trying to get the runner at home.  Elvin spaghetti-arms one about 70 feet to the right of Tony, into no man's land behind 2nd.  Runner scores, but is brought back when Tony calls BullShit!  You can't have your borrowed defense doing that sort of thing.  Elvin pleads physiological complications made him do it, not underhanded play.  Either way, runner send back and DOES NOT SCORE!

This is a video compilation of what kind of throw it was:

* Mike N got a hit off me using my bat.

* Got Bob first two times on first pitch knucklers.

* Bob was also HBPx2

* I hit Nick W. with a slow curve, getting in his head for the rest of the game.

* Frustrating day of hitting for our team, except Powell

* I think Bob had a extra base hit after all the frustration.

* Greg made at least 2 catches in foul territory, killing rallies

* Greg also threw out Powell at third, with Elvin covering for a third out.

* Mike N had the shittiest hit of the game, to an empty right field.

* 7 innings is the most I have pitched in a while, felt good to be able to go deep.

* The picture I took on top was part of an at-bat that I was trying to get video footage of.  I filmed 5 pitches, and each time I started, no swing, no action.  Phone finally stalls, and the one time I don't take a video, Tony laces a single to right.  Oh well, I enjoyed it in real-time.