Monday, July 17, 2023

7/16/23 GGP

 The park is open again for games, though the grass is now really nice, they didn't do any work on the dirt, the mound, or the outfield.  So maybe that could have been done.t But it wasn't and the infield is a sandbox, the mound is a dust box, and the outfield is a kale salad.  

Seriously, they couldn't have mowed the grass before the grand re-opening?

Our other problem is that the summer time is really hard to get people out.  The last few games have been very light affairs, and I know people are travelling, or whatever, but seriously, we have 94 people on the email chain, we can't get 18 to show up?  That being said, I know that we have some regulars out with injuries and hope they are healthy again soon.  

I made 12 players when I got there at 3:15 after being stuck in traffic and then parking nightmares.  The band had at least 10, so we got showed up by them.  We got two more late comers and a public pick up, but then we lost a player to a gig, so it was 14 for most of the game.  Good nuf'!

Tony started for the homers, and Sean for the visitors.  Our team was stymied by Tony, but the homers had no problem scoring runs.  Tony bowed out, and so did Sean and HR came in for the homers, and was pitching good but we finally got our bats working, thanks to Don who stumbled his way on the field after some music festival in the mountains.  He was our good luck though, and we brought the game back within reach to 6-3.  

I took over for Sean and, not to toot my own horn, was the epitome of efficiency.  Over the next 4 innings, I threw a total of 20 pitches!  While they didn't score anymore runs, we also didn't seem to be catching up.  The attendance being what it was, it was decided that the 8th inning should be the 9th inning, so we entered the 9th down 3 runs.  Then all of a sudden, we scored a run!  Then another, and another!  6-5!  What a game!  But, as with most things, we ran out of gas and HR settled in and got the outs he needed.

Final Score: 6-5, homers


* Thanks to everyone who showed up

* Mike N had the drive of the day, with a hit to left that got to the hard grass and rolled and rolled

* Greg volunteered to catch for both teams, thankfully he only had to do one inning.

* Mitch and Powell on the same team?  Seems sus'.

* I discovered that playing left field is easy when you dare the hitters to hit it over your head.  The grass was so thick it won't roll, and you are in the perfect position to catch the line drive over the short stop.

* The band sounded great!

* While it was 102 where I live, it was foggy and 62 degrees during the game...

7/12/23 SQ A's vs MBC

 The only thing I can say about this game is that it is always good to play ball with the SQ A's.

Brandon came in with us for the first time, a year after release, along with some restorative justice people he is working with.

We made about 14 errors, and couldn't hit the ball.

Final Score- 11-0.

Friday, July 7, 2023

7/2/23 Moscone Field

Life is a circle, as has been proven to us time and time again.  Here we were, back at Moscone, the site of the very first MBC doubleheader, and now back for the 20th anniversary.  I think this photo is from the first year, but I could be wrong

They have made some drastic changes to the Moscone field.  First off, the whole thing is fenced off now, I felt more caged there than I do at San Quentin.  

Secondly, they have locked the bathrooms, and trimmed all the big hedges, so peeing is now a exercise in timing and speed.  The only bathroom is now across the park, at the fancy Parks and Rec building.  Hard to do when you don't know if your team is going to make it a rally inning, or a 7 pitch inning.  

Thirdly, the weird pee stairs that used to be in each dugout are gone, and have been replaced with small concrete stages...

We had just enough for full games in each game, which was a little odd, since usually the doubleheader is a massively attended affair.  But hey, we will take what we can get.  Sonny started for the visitors and Satch for the homers.  Sonny was on fire, lights out for most of the game, we could not get a good hit to save our lives.  We scored one run early in the game, and that was it.  We were staffed with some big hitters but no one could put the wood to the ball.  Cap tip to Sonny for a great game.  I pitched ok, but it took me a long time to settle in after a lot of time off, and a road trip under my belt.  I kept throwing, and things started to be better after a few 2nd, and 3rd situations.  The visitors were kept to 1 run as well, partially due to some great defense from our new AOY, but more on that later.

The game went really quick, since no one was scoring any runs, and by 12:45 we were in the 8th inning.  I had stayed in, feeling good, but Powell wanted to pitch before he had to leave, so I gave up the 9th inning in deference to that (and my streak).  Well, it didn't quite turn out the way we wanted it to, the visitors suddenly woke, up and scored 3 runs, after putting at least 3 hits in the same place in left field.  Mike N came in to close the deal for the visitors, and we finally started to wake up the bats too, but in the end we fell short and the final of the first game was visitors, 4-3.

BBQ went well for very little organization.  We had hotdogs, sausages, burgers, chicken, side salads, watermelon, beer and cool drinks.  The shade of the big tree was very nice as well, as it was a scorcher of a day, by SF standards.  Thank you to those who brought out the grills and food, and ice chests.  After a very nice speech by AOY Marciella and a few grumblings from AOY Sonny, the award for 2023 AOY went to a very deserving Mike Lynch.  He has had a hell of a year, but through it all he has been such a great addition to the group: his generosity of spirit and new shirts, his power hitting and amazing 3rd base-ing, and he is just a great person.  We thought no one was more deserving.  

I also have to add that Mike wanted James to have the AOY for deserting us for the Olde Tyme league, which I agree was a good suggestion (maybe next year James!) and showed he has the right mindset for the AOY gang.  

We were also saddened to hear that Bob is considering retirement and moving back to the ranch.  Seems like he has plenty of baseball left in him, but hard to argue.  It has been a hell of a ride, cowboy.  

The band was also there, playing the entire time, and they brought the Rookie of the Year trophy back to bestow on a new ROY and this year Lil' Satch got it!  Ironic, since his brother has been out much more, and been playing a lot more games, but he was gracious in his acceptance, and then got off to a bright new start in the 2nd game with a nice line drive between 1st and 2nd for a legitimate hit!  Way to go, youngster!

2nd Game

Yes, Greg and I were the battery of the day, just a couple of cyborgs trying to wring the last of the juice from the fruit.  We stayed in for the entire 2nd game, bringing our total to 17 innings as pitcher and catcher.  A new record is born!  We kept the teams the same, but shook up the lineups a bit, and the game was very lively.  Sean was pitching for the visitors, and was pitching well, but we were able to put the bat on the ball much more than we usually are with him, and scored some runs.  

Noah and his son Liam were there, and doing baseball right.  Well, Liam was, I had Noah's number all game, 3 changeups in a row for a 1-2-3 K, ouch.  The run scoring was much improved as well, and we had a back and forth game, with some heroics, some well placed hits, some kicked around balls, and a little looser format than the first, aided by the increase in beer in the interim.  But still a fun time.  The game ended up in a 7-7 tie going into the bottom of the 9th, and the new kid came in for the visitors.  I was able to lace a hit to center, and then get a pinch runner.  Stole second, stole third, and then on a tense at bat from Stoner, who got a hit to left to end the game, 8-7 homers.  Hooray!


* Great to see all that came out, players, fans, spouses, friends, band members, it was a fantastic day!

* 'Naldo came for the first game, made several great plays in the outfield, and was a major contributor with the bat

* Marcie also came out, played defense only, apparently she thinks I am some sort of monster that would bean her

* It was a rare off day for most of our big hitters

* New guy Conner came with Sean, and was 4-5 in the first game

* Daniel, who has made the doubleheader his once-a-year pilgrimage, had more fire than in years past.  This was evident, though it may have strayed too far in the 2nd game when he rounded 2nd on a play, and was tagged out by a tumbling Noah (on his own team) on the far side of the bag.  Daniel insisted that he beat the throw and there was no force out.  We all agreed, but we also insisted that Noah had tagged him once he was past the bag.  Daniel did not take it well.  Keep your chin up kid, and come out more often.

* Lil' Josh Gibson made a great play at 2nd for a much needed out

* All our first basemen did well on a tough day

* Tony had a case of the dropsies, blamed on a new glove

* I didn't throw a curveball for a strike until well into the 2nd game

* Mike Lynch made some more great plays at 3rd

* I actually caught a pop fly in the infield, on the run!

* Greg and I are really putting the other hitters to shame (that is until we have to run)

* The visitors turned a double play in the 1st game, which was a major rally killer

* The soreness of 17 innings is still in me

* The bummer about pitching 2 games is all the other pitchers that mess up the mound after you get it just the way you like it

* Thank you everyone, congrats to the award winners, and happy birthday America!