Manager: Scott Warren
July 17 - 7:30 - Fab Rats - Loss 14-9
We had 12 show up, tonight. And Scoo showed up at the last instant. So that caused some confusion.
We started out pretty good. He held them to one in the first inning and scored two or three ourselves. Then they opened it up with several punched out of reach on either side of Bruce.
I don't remember any serious strings of defensive blunders. And we did have several good plays. The other team was pushing us hard.
Bruce' first throw was off target and over the fence. Then he turned around and made a double play, I think that same inning. He made a couple of other plays at second on grounders that he coralled right next to the bag.
Toad had a good play. There was a runner at first when he stopped one. He was planning on throwing to second, but he bobbled it just a little before he got a handle on it. He might have made the throw to second in time, but it would have been close. Instead, he threw to first. That was the right choice. Now, he did throw it too soft and pulled Scott off the bag, but Scott managed to make the tag.
Once again, Greg and Rosy argued for a pop fly. It was probably a little more directly at Rosy. I don't remember who ended up with it.
One tall skinny guy on their team, who I think hit weak early in the game, managed to nail a line drive near Greg. It was a really bad angle for Greg and it took a funny hop and got by him. It was too far and got out there too fast for anyone to back him up. Certainly not anybody's fault.
And that's how a lot of their hits were. Nothing super-hard, but a bunch that were uncatchable.
I had a couple of pop fly opportunities. The first was behind first. I felt I had a pretty good angle on it, so I called it early, and caught it. Then just a couple of batters later there was a sorta blooper directly over my head. I haven't had many pop flies recently and I misjudged that one. Once again I called it early but was probably five feet short of where I needed to be. If I had judged it better off the bat I had time to get there. I also had another really hot line drive right at my head that I caught. Plus a grounder right to me that I tossed to Bruce.
I remember our hitting being better than average.
They were playing us with a rover, but they had him poorly placed, directly in the center. We did hit a few to him, but he was more useful cutting off our grounders up the middle. He held a lot of our runners by getting to those balls quickly.
I don't think anyone put one over their heads. We did get a couple of two-baggers when they threw to third or home.
Bruce sent Rosy's ringer to home on a blooper to short left-center. Unfortunately, they managed to get a handle on it quickly and got the throw pretty close to on target, and he got picked off. I was on deck and got chastised for not calling for him to slide. I'm not very good at coaching. I can't judge the timing very well. Scott and I were discussing Bruce' choice and agreed that it was the correct call. With his speed and three people standing around a blooper, the chances were good that they wouldn't get it in as quickly as they did.
With their rover, I pulled my hits to left. One of them I was certain was nicely placed in short left, but somehow the shortstop (someone who used to work with Bruce and subed for us once in the past) turned on his tractor beam and pulled it in.
July 24 - Spice of Life - Win 15-9
Someone heard this team's catcher talking with the ump. The catcher said they had moved down because they wanted to win more games. They looked pretty athletic, so we were expecting to get stomped. For example, their catcher had a sling for one arm. Despite that he hit the ball within about 50 feet of the fence.
We're pretty sure what did it for us was we held them to one run the first inning and managed to score a few ourselves. By getting ahead we got them annoyed and frustrated and they tried to crush the ball every time. So they popped up a lot, especially to left field, where Rosy was playing.
We had another couple of incidents where Rosy and Greg argued for the ball. We need to figure out how they can agree on who gets the ball. One thing is Greg goes after it if he can reach it and doesn't hear anyone call him off. That's good, he should do that. But if he has to range over we need to figure out what Rosy can say that will call Greg off, even if Greg calls first.
In other defense, I think I missed everything that came at me at first base. There was one instance in the last inning or so when I got down on both knees to stop a throw that was in the dirt. Apparently the runner slid into first, or something. After the play was over the ump called the runner out because he had slid into the white bag instead of the orange one.
Our hitting was unusually good. Lots of hits through the gaps for base hits.
Oh, yeah. Mo gets pissy if I don't mention "...the best hitter in the league." So there, you've been mentioned :-)
Rosy had another home run stolen from him. A hit way back that they bobbled. I was coaching third. I sent him home, because I could see that they were going to need two perfect throws to get him. Sure enough, they got two perfect throws. Still, the people in the dugout who could see it thought he was safe. Also, the first baseman was standing in the base path and slowed him up a little. The field ump said that he was far enough out of the way. Scott Warren didn't think so.
Earlier in the game Mo asked the ump to pay attention to the guy standing directly on first base when there was no play. The guy tried to argue, but quickly gave up.
I seem to remember my hitting was okay. I got on a couple of times. I made a couple of unnecessary slides. I was thinking the outfielder had a real throw at me and just assumed that he'd make it.
My last time up they were playing us incredibly short. I was hoping I could punch it over them. Instead I hit it right at the left-center fielder.
July 31 - Little Dragons - Loss 15-8
A very frustrating loss. At one point we had them down 8-2. But unlike last week, this team kept their cool and hit a bunch of uncatchable line drives. Mostly, they weren't trying to smash it. Then we had a string of errors that we haven't had in quite a long time. These guys looked like they were very athletic. I don't know why they lost their one game.
For some reason, most of our outfielders were missing very easy grounders that they normally have no trouble with. I think we had five or six go under people's gloves. In addition, late in the game we had a couple of throws that were in between two people.
Similarly, Scott had some trouble at first. He scooped up one on the ground early in the game for an out, and then missed a few later on. Unfortunately, two of those ricocheted off the cement base of the fence and hopped over.
I had a few plays at second. One relay from the outfield that was on line, but was probably late, so Scott cut it off.
On another, their lefty had hit between me and Scott. So I set up even farther to my left. And he hit a grounder right to me.
Similarly, I saw one of their other hitters setting up to hit to right, so I cheated a step to my left. He hit a sizzling line drive right at me, that I caught.
For the second week in a row we had a player on the other team called out because he touched the white bag on a close play.
When that happened, one of their ringers (he had a taped-on number) started crying, "This isn't a girl's league." He did that several other times during the game, including once when he scraped his knee and the ump sent him to the bench to get it covered. Eventually, the ump called over his coach and I guess told him to stop whining.
Anyway, so they hit really well.
We hit pretty good early on, but then it all dried up.
All except the Millers. They treated us to back-to-back strike-outs.
They had good outfielders. There were a couple of plays at home and they fielded the ball and got it on target I think every time.
Toad got sent home on one. It looked initially like he had plenty of time but they got the ball in quickly and caught him.
I got sent home once. I'm pretty sure I didn't let up, yet the ball got there first. If the pitcher had caught it he probably would have had me.
Jacob had another brain fart. I think it was on Toad's play at home, Jacob ran to second even though Jay was standing there. Jay got confused and came off the bag. Then Jacob ran back to first. Meanwhile the pitcher was running to second with the ball. They ended up tagging Jay out, while Jacob got chased back to first.
I had a decent night at the plate, only because their pitcher was having trouble. I got walked twice. Once I was thrown out at first easily. Another time I bounced one just over the pitcher's glove. Apparently they should have had Andy at second, but they bobbled the ball
August 6 - Coelacanths - Win 17-16
Fans: Amy and Christy
A somewhat satisfying win. These guys came into this game having scored 62 runs in their previous three games. Bruce' name for them was C-League-canths.
Bruce suggested we tank the game. He wanted Toad to pitch 25 foot towering pitches that would just walk them and waste their time and piss them off. Of course, Jay wouldn't go for that. And enough other people wanted to go ahead and play it out, so that's what we did.
Our first two defensive innings sucked nearly as bad as last week. Missed catches and bobbled grounders. Plus, the other team got lucky a few times. On one, Bruce had a bead on one that went over second. The runner at second didn't run for some reason and the ball caromed off his leg.
One throw from left field got past both Bruce and Scoo. I had run to back up home, so there was nobody to get the ball and the guy got all the way around.
I think we only had one throw to first the entire night. The first or second batter hit it to Jay. His throw was just a little off and I came off the bag to make sure I caught it.
We did have a few decent plays early on. Mo had one great shoestring catch. He charged a ball near the right field line. From my vantage point I couldn't tell if he had caught it on the bounce, but he was sure he caught it, and the umps agreed. He held the ball up to show the umps that he still had it. Bruce wanted him to get the ball in to get the out on first, but I don't think he could have made the throw in time even if he had gotten it off right away.
Scott Warren had a couple of good catches in left. Later in the game they were hitting away from him.
They were hitting up the middle and to right a lot. At one point early, Rosy commented that he didn't think they were hitting all that well, and didn't think they could put it past us. But he couldn't hear the line drives as they flew over our heads. A large percentage of them were sizzlers. Far more than a real E league team should be capable of. They were also pretty good at placing the ball.
Later in the game we tightened up.
Scoo missed one or two early on, but as he said, once he makes his first play he relaxes and plays much better after that. Jay threw one from third that Scoo caught for a force at second. Scoo also got a grounder way over toward me that got the runner in time. Plus one of those sizzling line drives.
I managed a single-handed double play. A line drive that I caught just off the ground, back-hand to my right. I literally lost sight of the ball behind my glove as it slammed into my palm. I wasn't quite certain that I had it at first. The runner assumed that I caught it on the bounce and took off to second, so I trotted over to first for the second out.
The last inning of the game, one of their really good hitters was aiming for right. He had hit a couple foul to the right. So I set myself pretty close to the line. He hit a low sizzler that I must have taken my eye off of, because it tipped off my glove. Luckily, Mo or Scoo backed me up and we held him at first. I commented that he should have been out, because I had set myself up right where he hit it. He didn't respond. I think I pissed him off, because at the end of the game he went on about how embarressing it was to lose to us. I said,
"You're right! We suck!"
Our hitting was only average, but what kept us in the game was their pitcher. He sucked. I only hit one pitch (which blooped in.) My other three times up he only pitched one strike. Everything else was a ball. Greg never took a swing and walked four times. And he said he scored all four times. They didn't replace the pitcher until the score was tied. And the replacement pitcher ended up walking a few, also.
Toad had one very good line drive that very nearly punched through the big hole in left field.
We had yet another running mixup. Jay held Mo at third and Bruce continued from second without looking at what Mo did. So we ended up with two runners on third. Jay probably should have sent Mo home, but it's still Bruce' responsibility to look at the runner ahead of him to verify that the base is clear.
My first time on base, Greg walked me to second. The next batter hit just barely out of reach of the second baseman. That gave me a late start off of second, since I wanted to make sure it wasn't caught. Then, Rosy was slow sending me home. Luckily, I was planning on a turn and look, so I still had some speed approaching third. Apparently, the outfielder bobbled the ball, so I made it home fairly easily.
My second time at second, I blew it. A grounder to short. I thought he was going to throw to second, but he was quick enough to tag me. I didn't expect him to do that, so I barely dodged. He barely touched me, so I think I might have gotten away if I had dodged. I was walked in at least one of the other times on base.
So, for the second time this season, we beat a team that we should have lost to. Once again, it's hard to know whether they're the sandbaggers we think they are. It's a little unclear whether we could have stayed with them if we'd had an above average game against a normal pitcher. I kind of think not. Still, it was somewhat satisfying to come back from 15-2 against a team that we believe shouldn't be in E league.
August 13 - K of C - Win 12-8
Fans: Amy and Christy
A really close game. A little back and forth. We batted around the first inning and then started having some trouble getting started each inning. But we pulled out a few runs at the end when we needed them.
But first, I want to make sure to humiliate Greg. Or should I say, Jacob
Rodenroth. He popped one up about six feet from the plate down the third base
line. Neither the pitcher nor the catcher got to it. But the ball did bounce
to the catcher while he was still in play. Greg was just standing there watching,
because he was sure either that the ball would land foul or would
bounce foul. The pitcher figured out quickly enough that the umps hadn't called it foul and threw Greg out at first.
Twice, Mo was on first when someone popped (maybe me :-) up to the short outfield. He was trying to decide how far to lead off while waiting to see if it was caught. He ended up staying a little too close to first and really had to hustle to beat the throw to second. Apparently, when he slides he lands on his shin and really tears it up. He keeps bitching about it, but won't get some sliding pants to protect himself.
One thing that Bruce and Scott noticed was that the third baseman wasn't covering third. One time Scott called for Scoo to continue past second. Another time, Bruce challenged the throw between third and home. If they had made the throw he would have made it back to third, easily. Instead, he made it home easily.
And then there was the time I sent Scott Warren home, and changed my mind after he was halfway there. It looked like they might just get the throw in. Turns out they didn't, which made my coaching even more foolish.
Rosy's friend was our EH, and he ended up pulling his hamstring on his second hit. When he learned we'd have to take an out if he didn't go up to bat he went ahead and took his turn. It turned out he popped out, so luckily he didn't risk further injury. If he had gone up again I probably would have counselled that we go ahead and take the out. It looked like he was pretty stiff.
They were playing us really short, and I seem to remember a couple of people making them pay for that. I managed to crank one over the left-center fielder's head for a triple. My last at-bat I managed to bloop one into short left. It probably should have been caught. I need to get to the cages. I'm having a lot of trouble keeping my eye on the ball, and I'm popping up a lot. I did manage to knock one directly up the center, nearly at the pitcher's feet.
Our fielding was fairly good, as I remember. In the middle of the game they really started hitting a lot of unstoppable base hits. It had me worried for a little while.
They had a couple of people who looked like they might be able to hit. I think they mostly popped up, though they did make our outfielders have to hustle to track them down.
Only a few throws to first, where I was. One was from Toad. He still pulls too much off the throw. The runner was slow, so it wasn't close. But I reminded him to make a real throw. Three were from Bruce. The first was way over my head and hit the fence I think at the top bar. The second was on the ground and I probably should have stopped that one.
The last one was pretty silly. Last inning, third out, as Bruce is fielding the ball I'm headed to first. Somehow, I lost track of the bag and I don't want to take my eye off of Bruce, because he's about to throw the ball. I'm trying to shift my balance so I can search around for first with my foot. He throws and it's on the ground. I get in front of it, lose my balance and end up sitting on the bag as the ball rolls between my legs and into my glove.
Apparently, it looked even more embarressing than it felt.
August 20 - NLCF - Loss 10-6
Well, we held them to few runs. Considering some of their hitters, that's saying something. The previous two games they had racked up 45 runs.
Once again, we hit around the first inning and the popped up over and over after that. That's becoming a very common sequence for us.
I was second in the order, and nobody was coaching either first nor third. I had to look over my shoulder as I approached third to decide on my own if I could continue on home.
We had some more clumsy running. People not leading off enough on short pop flies. I think one person got thrown out at third because they hadn't led off enough.
In one case, Jay was on first when Greg hit one off the tip of the bat. It was a really odd hit. The ball went straight back to the pitcher, but slowly enough that Jay was 1/3 of the way to second before the pitcher caught it. So there was no way Jay could get back in time.
My hitting was mostly bad. I hit one right at the shortstop, who bobbled it. Another I dribbled to third and I think I dribbled one at the pitcher. One of those was on a way short pitch that I shouldn't have gone after. The only decent hit I made nearly made it to the gap, but hung up long enough for the left-center fielder to get to it.
Our fielding wasn't awful. They did put a couple over our outfielder's heads.
We had one particularly good play at the plate. One of the hits to the fence, Scott hit Bruce who made a pretty good relay. The ball was a little to the left of home. Jay yelled, "Make the play!" which I think spurred Andy Rodenroth and Toad on. Andy fielded the ball and Toad was well positioned at the plate. Andy tossed the ball to Toad who went for the tag. It was a really close call, and the ump called him safe. From my vantage point at first it looked like a good call to me. I think the runner's arms made it across the plate just before Toad's glove swept across.
I had about half a dozen throws to me at first, and I only really caught one. On that one I made a stretch forward and managed to scoop it just as it hit the ground. On one other, we had a runner who was slow getting back to first. Bruce made the throw, but it was in the dirt. I got in front of this one and it ended up smacking me on the thigh. Scott Warren said he heard it hit from way out in left-center.
It wasn't as bad as it could have been. We simply need to figure out how to generate some consistent offense after the first inning.
August 28 - CDC - Loss 16-5
That was an annoying group to play against. We haven't seen that blatant trophy hounding in a while. Early in the game most of their team were punching base hit after base hit. After they got up by more than ten they started swinging for the fences. Boy, I wish our team was full of "E league" hitters like that.
We started off with another of Mo's good hits. He's been remarkably consistent with his base raps. I was second up and hit a line drive directly at the short stop. Mo didn't allow for the line drive and got caught off first.
Time for a lesson. If you see a line drive that might possibly be caught, do you immediately dig hard for second, or do hold back and wait to see if it's caught?
I think you hold back. As I see it, there are four possibilities.
One, it gets past the infielder, in which case you have a reasonable amount of time to advance.
Two, the infielder catches it, in which case you need to be pretty close to your starting bag.
Three, the infielder nabs it on the bounce, in which case you probably have no chance to make it to the next bag.
Four, the infielder bobbles the ball. That's the one situation where getting a jump might pay off.
It's a judgment call, but I don't think you can assume the opponent is going to bobble the ball unless he's already done it several times already that game.
Of course, then there are opponents like the second baseman we played this game. Twice he laid out to catch the ball and still made the play. Once to first and once to second. There's not much a real E league team can do against a team full of players like that.
We managed to get several players on base, mostly because they weren't playing us as short as some other teams do. In one inning near the end we blooped three hits in a row to short right-center that they didn't get to.
Scott Warren brought an A league ringer to play with us. He hit his first shot to the fence and burned them badly. The next time he came up the pitcher only gave him trash. They were already up by ten runs and they begrudged us one more run.
Other examples of poor sportsmanship were when one runner on second called for a popup that Rosy was going for. Rosy ended up catching it. In another instance Chad tossed the ball to me at second for a play and the runner screamed, trying to break my concentration. Real mature.
I didn't try for the double play on that one because I assumed the batter would beat me out, easily. It turned out the batter was much slower than I expected and we might have had a play. If I had known that I would have relished throwing through the runner's head to make him duck.
I was generally irritated at the other team the entire game.
|Summer '00||3-4||Scott Warren came so close|
|Spring '00||5-2||I'm the greatest manager this team has ever seen! *|
|Winter/Spring '00||1-6||Scoo's "run-producing clusters" were no match for the sandbaggers|
|Fall '99||3-4||Rosy couldn't match Mo's record|
|Summer/Fall '99||4-3||Our first winning season!|
|Spring/Summer '99||3-4||The Golden Boy debacle|
|Spring '99||2-5||The season of taglines|
|Fall '98||0-7||Toad probably won't manage again|
|Summer '98||1-6||Couldn't put the Sharks away|
* Okay, maybe not
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