Sunday, February 28, 2021

2/21/21 The Old game

 What a day. what a game.  

There is a reason that we live in California, and a reason we don't live in well, pretty much everywhere else in the US right now.  But it was 70 degrees and beautiful.  I brought lil' Josh Gibson out with me, and he was telling me on the ride in that he was not sure about baseball and the playing of.  He was willing to give it another try, but he wasn't sure if he could continue to come in with me.  As of this writing, he is at least still willing to join me, though it may be tenuous.

17 brave souls.  The sun baking.  The field overrun with desperate city dwellers just trying to not look at their wall paper for another minute.  And a baseball game.

Sean started for the visitors and Nick W for the homers.  Both were throwing raw, and Nick got the short end of the stick.  We took a early lead, with some timely hitting from the team, and were sitting on a healthy lead finishing the first part of the game.  Sean was dealing, but the homers had a stacked lineup, including Rich who--along with his two munchkins-- looked like he was trying to hit everything over a fence, and Lattig who apparently bought a practice batting tee on whim, and in about 4 days has upped his batting average by 300 points. 

So we bring in Liam, who had been neglecting his team so he could work on his drive line or something, and he threw well.  Then I think Mike N came in and struck out the side.  I know Chris P pitched for a long time for the homers, and was lights out until he wasn't and we took what we thought was a insurmountable lead, but then HR came in for homers, and Mike stayed with it, and Lil Gibson and I had to get home.  

The story as I hear it is that the visitors took the lead in the 9th, but the homers took back the runs plus, and sealed the deal with none other than Chris P taking home on a ball in the dirt to win the game.  Hero. 


* The day.

* The players.

* The camraderie

* There were a lot of strikeouts in this game, a cap tip to the pitchers, as well as the jumpy hitters

* Mike L killed it all day

* Rich hit a very hard ball down the line, and I was grateful to get it 2 bounces in

* I managed a weak groundball up the middle, a hit, a strikeout, and a 2 rbi hooker that Greg got a piece of at 3rd before it rolled into no-man's land

* Gaspar hit a classic gasparian hit

* Chris P struck me out o a high inside pitch, I can't lay off and I can't hit it.

* I think the final was 13-12.  Amazing since I think the score was 8-2 at one point.

* John McG covered for his kid and played solid baseball

* Aiden was the unsung hero--even though he had some tough at bats-- he got us important outs, and managed to get on base

* And in the NO SHIT, I SWEAR HE SAID THIS: Lil Josh G. is mildly disgusted with the blatant giving of bases that is afforded the little kids at the game when they get their swings in the game, and would appreciate it if we--as a team--make our "bobbles" much more believable or just play it straight.  He may be ready to take on an official MBC place, leapfrogging his bookworm brother.... 

Here's a real fine piece of scribbling from a man named Donald Hall 

The old game waits under the white,

Deeper than frozen grass.

Down at the frost line it waits

To return when the birds return.

It starts to wake in the South,

Where it’s never quite stopped.

Where winter is a doze of hibernation,

The game wakes gradually,

Fathering vigor into itself.


As the days lengthen in late February

And grow warmer, old muscles grow limber.

Young arms grow strong and wild,

Clogged vein systems, in veteran oak and left fielders both,

Unstop themselves,

Putting forth leaves and line drives in Florida’s March.

Migrating North with the swallows,

Baseball and the grasses’ first green,

Enter Cleveland , Kansas City, Boston.”

Monday, February 8, 2021

2/7/21 It's A Ballgame!

 Boy, has it been a while, or has it been a while?

It was sure nice to see everyone, and the people came out of the woodwork.  I was especially pleased to see, given that we had 25 players, that everyone maintained distance and masked up the entire time.  Truly great to have such responsible and respectful people.

Sean started for the homers, and Satch for the visitors.  It was plain from the beginning, that we were all a little rusty.  Sean was pitching his heart out, but the hits were dropping in, and the possible outs were just dropping.  I have not seen a consistent defensive drubbing like that in a while.  The visitors jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the early frames.  I couldn't get a curveball in for a strike, and I apologize to Greg for the bruises that he probably has from blocking the attempts.  The fastball sort of worked, and the change up was decent, so I stuck with those.  The knuckle was a disaster.  However, thanks to the layoff, people's timing was also rusty, and I struck out 3 in 3 innings of work, and my defense held down the fort, some due to great placement.

I bowed out on a high note, and gave the ball to Liam, who is in his high school prime, and mowing down batters with a live arm.  He looked great, though it may have been unfair to unleash that on a bunch of people who have not played in 3 months.  His curve was nasty, as was the heater.

Sean stuck with it longer, and for his pain had to witness a heartbreaker of a play at home.  James fired a rocket from center field to nab a force out at home, it was on target, and Mike N...well, the ball clanged off the catcher mitt, and the run scored.  Sean collapsed in the infield.  I felt his pain.

After Liam, Sonny came in for 2, and John McG for the close.  Mitch, HR,  and Mike all threw for the homers.  The agreed upon score at the 9th was 8-5, though none of us knew if it was actually that.  The last stand of the home team was a 1-2-3 inning, with little fanfare.  But the thrill of actual baseball, with good friends was well worth the wait. 


* It was great to see everyone!

* Chris Powell made a tricky pop up play, and also stopped a ground ball to hold the runner

* The sun continues to be a real hinderance, but man was it enjoyable to be in

* I was playing Lattig short in right field, and managed to track down a long fly ball.  I didn't think I had a chance at the crack of the bat

* Marcie made a good play in right, also had a hit, and may have also scored.

* Don in center, and Powell combined to nail Mike at 2nd who was stretching a hit.  The throw and tag were a thing of beauty

* Dan had the long hit of the day, which got past the right fielder, for a triple.

* I struck out Anna, which may have been the first time I have managed to do so.  It was a tense 2-out at bat.

* James had a tough day at the plate, but in his defense, he is up to his eyes in diapers and feeding schedules, and figuring out how to make a 3 month old happy (hint: you can't).

* There were a couple of great foul out catches made

* Anna made a great play on a tricky throw at 1st

* Remember: When there are runners on 1st and 2nd, and there is a sharp comebacker to the mound, go to 3rd for the first out.  You will be happy to get the lead runner, and you are throwing on level terrain, rather than throwing over the mound to 2nd which seems to always ends in tragedy.

Stay healthy, stay 6 feet away, and let's keep the momentum going!

S. Paige