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Softball - Whipping Boys - Summer '98

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Taglines:
It's not just a game--it's a beating.
Our plate is your plate.
Why not take two?--We can't stop you.
Rubber neckers extrodinaire.
Ump's Pets.
We have big sticks, they're just not for playing softball.
Think about it.

Whipping Boys Summer '98 schedule

Teams:
Heights Baptist
Whipping Boys (us)
Renegades
Sharks (We should own these guys)

In addition to the games listed, there's one extra game.  1st place vs 2nd place at 6:30 and 3rd place vs 4th place at 7:30.  This extra game will be the week following the last rainout makeup.  There are four weeks of rainout makeups scheduled.   July 20, July 27, August 3, and August 10.

Notice that there are no bye weeks and no holidays to interrupt the season.  It's seven straight weeks.

June
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8 - 6:30
Visitor (3rd)
Heights
Win
9
10
11
12
13
14
15 - 8:30
Home (1st)
Sharks
Loss 8-7
16
17
18
19
20
21
22 - 6:30
Visitor (3rd)
Renegades
Loss 24-10
23
24
25
26
27
28
29 - 9:30
Home (1st)
Heights
Loss 17-2
30
 
 
 
 

 

July
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
 
 
 
1
2
3
4
5
6 - 7:30
Visitor (3rd)
Sharks
Loss 15-0
7
8
9
10
11
12
13 - 8:30
Home (1st)
Renegades
Loss 30-10
14
15
16
17
18
19
20 - 7:30
Home (1st)
Renegades
Loss 16-11
21
22
23
24
25
26
27 - Rainout
28
29
30
31
 

Here's a list of the game dates in a format that's easy to cut and paste:

Date - Time, team, which side
June 8 - 6:30 Heights, 3rd Win
June 15 - 8:30 Sharks, 1st Loss 8-7
June 22 - 6:30 Renegades, 3rd Loss 24-10
June 29 - 9:30 Heights, 1st Loss 17-2 Run-ruled
July 6 - 7:30 Sharks, 3rd Loss 15-0 Run-ruled
July 13 - 8:30 Renegades, 1st Loss 30-10
July 20 - 7:30 Renegades, 1st Loss 16-11
If it's close, take it for a ride!
- Brian Bonney

June 8 - Heights Baptist Win

I wasn't there because I was out of town.  But we won and everyone said we did well.


June 15 - Sharks Loss 8-7

P - Toad; C - Gary; 1 - Mighty; 2 - Scoo; S - Bruce; 3 - Jay; R - Rosy; RC - Mo; LC - Greg; L - Brian

Incredibly low scoring game.  I think we ended two innings with the bases loaded.   We had plenty of opportunities to win this game.  Good fan turnout.

Our defense was okay.  Early in the game we had two incidents where people didn't call for the ball or waited too long.  First was Rosy and Mo.  I couldn't tell if Rosy just misjudged it or if Mo distracted him.  The other was Bruce and Greg.   They both ended up dodging each other and letting the ball fall.  Not long before that, Bruce had an incredible over-the-head catch way out in left-center.   Scoo had one hard line drive just above his head that he snagged.  Greg got lots of work out in left-center.  I think Mo only had one, a grounder that he let under his glove.  Rosy got to chase a coupla fouls, but they were a little too far.

I was on first, which was weird.  Only had two balls thrown at me and I missed one.  Bruce bobbled the ball, made the throw late and put it in the dirt 10 feet in front of me.  I missed it, but fortunately it hit the runner.  It sounded like a really nasty thwack, but apparently it hit the bottom of his shoe.  Still, I'm frustrated that I missed it.  The other was from Jay.  A grounder that he ran to third for the force.  I tried to tell him to hold the ball, but apparently I don't yell loud enough because people are always ignoring me.  Anyway, I snagged that one, and ran it right back across to third to hold the runner at second.

Overall hitting, we had lots of popups.  Plus a quite few line drives and grounders that happened to be right at someone.  Several were decent shots that otherwise would have had a good chance to get through.  They bobbled a few, and both Jay and Gary got on because they hustled.  Mo is sometimes still giving up right after the hit.

My hitting sucked.  I went 0 for 4.  The first was a grounder.  I spent a fraction of a second window shopping, and then it felt like I had extra inertia.  I just couldn't get going.  They got me by about a foot.  I had two popups.   My excuse was that with the curve of the Earth, and me just back from Europe, I was hitting what would be line drives over there :-)  My other hit was with two outs and the bases loaded.  I calmed down and got great concentration on the ball.  Nice line drive to short left-center.  But they were playing me short, and it was right on line to the left-center fielder, so he got it.

The ump was calling pitches a bit shallow, and somewhat inconsistent.  Toad wasn't as consistent as usual.  He walked a couple, including walking one run in during the last inning.  We got a coupla walks on our side.  But the last inning in the field the base ump made a horrible call. A grounder, I think to Scoo.  Throw to Bruce, who made it to the bag at least three feet before the runner.  I could see it from first base.  But the ump called him safe.  I'm pretty sure that was the third out, and I think it was before the walked-in run.  So that was the ball game.

Anyway, we should have put this one away long before that.


June 22 Renegades Loss 24-10

P - Toad; C - Rosy; 1 - Gary; 2 - Mighty; S - Rob (Rosy's ringer); 3 - Jay; R - Mo; RC - Brian; LC - Bruce; L - Greg

Well, this game pretty much sucked all around.

The most important event was when Bruce made a play for home.  The catcher had his leg all the way across home plate.  Bruce stepped on the plate rather than slide.   I think the same thing happened to him as did me a few months ago.  His shin caught the catcher's, causing Bruce's knee to lock and inertia and leverage catapulted him.  It looked like he rolled nicely, but apparently what really happened was he landed straight down on his shoulder.  The impact caused a 3rd degree separation of his collar bone.  Not too painful, apparently, but he's out for at least the rest of the year.

After the injury we ended up with P - Toad; C - Mighty; 1 - Gary; 2 - Scoo; S - Rob (Rosy's ringer); 3 - Jay; R - Rosy; RC - Mo; LC - Greg; L - Brian

As for the rest of the game.  These guys were borderline D, probably C league fielders, but they were definitely B league hitters.  At least half their team were able to put one or more over our outfielders' heads.  The only reason the score stopped where it did is they thought they had satisfied the run rule so their last batter stepped on the plate to force an out.  But that was just the 2nd inning, and the run rule doesn't apply until the 3rd.  Almost all those runs were in the 2nd.

The first inning, they hit deep, but pretty much right at someone.  The 2nd inning, we had a few bobbled balls.  Our outfielders misjudged the wind several times (it was headed to left-center) and ended backpedaling a lot.  I think that caused a coupla misses.  But mostly they hit it way deep and not to anyone.  I remember at least two that went into the creek.  We did have a coupla popups to the infield that we dropped.  One spun out of Jay's glove, and the other was a goofy angle that Toad got to, but was in a bad position to try to catch it.

I think we had two throws to home, where I was playing.  One I missed, but which wouldn't have been in time, anyway.  The other was way late and I just ran it back.   I did get to hear one player on the other team argue with ump about the size of the batters box.  He stood with an exaggerated open stance and tried to put his back foot even with the plate.  The ump moved him out a coupla inches.  I was really worried that he'd clonk me on the head.

Basically, we never had any real shots at a play in the infield.  I think all our outs were popups to the outfield.

Our hitting started out okay.  We batted around in the 2nd inning.  I don't remember many specifics, unfortunately.  I do remember a lot of good line shots.   Including a few that they stole from us.  Oh, and they had serious pitching trouble.  Their first pitcher gave up in the 2nd inning, and it took the second pitcher several batters to get consistent.  They were trash-talking our walks, but most of the balls were unhittable.  Landing in front of the plate and stuff like that.  Toad pitched well.  I think he walked one or two.

I think I went 2 for 4 or 5.  My first up was a funny grounder that snuck between 1st and 2nd.  My second was a line to right-center.  I took my turn and saw him bobble the scoop, so I made it to 2nd pretty easy.  It turns out the hustle was wasted, because I got walked in from there.  Seems to me I popped out at least once.  I think my last at-bat, with the second pitcher, I watched two strikes and then swung at a close one that was maybe a little high.  I think I grounded that one and they got a force on someone else to end the inning.


June 29 Heights Baptist Loss 17-2 Run-ruled

P - Toad; C - Rosy; 1 - Gary; 2 - Mighty; S - Mike; 3 - Jay; R - Paul; RC - Mo; LC - Greg; L - Brian

I wanted to put Paul at catcher, but he said he didn't know the position.  Not that there's much to know.  When the ball is hit, stand in front of the plate.   You'll probably get one, maybe two thrown to you all night.

An ugly, ugly first inning.  We gave up 13 runs.  Really strong winds, and our outfielders misjudged two early on.  Then they settled down, but the other team stopped hitting to anybody for the rest of that inning.  This team has only(!) two players that can smack it 350 feet.  One landed exactly between Greg and Mo.   Six feet to either side and one of them would have gotten it.

Coupla bad throws in from the outfield.  Paul threw one between me and Mike.   Brian threw one to third that was never going to get there in time.  I tried to call it to second to hold the runner at first, but he went for the play.  Other than that, the outfield play was pretty good.  Nothing went under any gloves.

The infield didn't have many opportunities.  Mike bobbled one and then made a wild throw to 1st way over Gary's head.  I don't remember who made a wild throw to home.   Mike did catch a few line drives and one infield popup that really should have been mine, but he called for it immediately.  I likely would have let it spin out of my glove, so it's probably a good thing he wanted it.  He had a good angle on it, anyway.  I had one hot line drive that I kept good concentration on until the last instant.  I caught it, but it wasn't the squeeze it should have been.  I had a medium  hot grounder that I should have charged.  I actually completed a good toss to 2nd, but if I had charged it we had a slight chance of turning two.

Our hitting really wasn't as bad as the score implies.  We had at least a half dozen line drives that the wind carried to the outfield.  And they were playing us incredibly short.  Their right-center bobbled a coupla grounders early on, and that's pretty much what gave us our two runs in the first.  At least, we advanced on the bobbles.  Without the wind, we might have made this a ball game.  Mo popped up his first at-bat, but hustled hard to 1st.  I was happy to see that.  Greg beat another to 1st, which is always nice.

I went 0-2.  My first was time up, I got excited, waited too long to decide, and then had to force the bat around.  Popped out short.  My second at-bat they left an enormous hole in center field.  With my normal hitting, I might have bounced one through.  But my the wind held up my line shot forever and the left-center got to it pretty easily.

I was pretty frustrated at the conclusion of the game.  But looking back on it, it wasn't really that bad.


July 6 Sharks Loss 15-0 run-ruled

P - Toad; C - Paul; 1 - Gary; 2 - Mighty; S - Mike; 3 - Jay; R - Rosy; RC - Mo; LC - Greg; L - Brian; DH - Scoo

The game sucked, our hitting sucked, but most of all, the officiating sucked a lot.

For some reason, the umpire decided to pull a power play.  We had a coupla players (Greg and Paul) run up at the last instant.  That caused a lot of confusion for me filling out the line-up.  (So sue me, I've only done three in the last two years.)   I tried to tell the scorekeeper what I had intended (making Scoo a DH) and he told me to go back and re-do it.  I was handing the line-up to the scorekeeper when the ump decided that we had taken too long and took away our first at-bat.  For some strange reason he decided to get strict that we didn't turn the line-up in ten minutes prior to the game.  It's not like the other team did.  They had a coupla people run up just a minute before ours.

Now, if our team were habitually late, I could see him getting fed up and penalizing us.  But we're not.  If we were in A or B league I could see the umps being more strict.  But we're not.  We caused maybe a 30 second delay and he goes and pulls this on us.  That was completely out of line.

To top all that off, we had zero hits.  Mo got a walk.  Greg had a decent smack, but the shortstop snagged it.  Everything else was a popup.  We got run-ruled, so that means that we only had seven batters.  I didn't even get up to bat.  Partly because the f**king umps felt like giving us a hard time.

We used to play the Sharks about even.  This season they've found a few C/B league hitters.  At least two, and I think three of their batters put it over our outfielders' heads.  Mostly our outfielders were playing pretty well.   Specifically, they were backing each other up and calling flies very well.  Mo did have one pop out of his glove that he should have had.  I think maybe he took his eye off of it at the last second.  He had another semi-spectacular catch (deep hit) and forgot that there were runners tagging up.  Not a big deal considering the rest of the game.  Brian had one hit the heal of his glove, but he was at a dead run at the time, so that was understandable.  Other than that, the other team was hitting a lot to the gaps.

I only had one possible play.  I made a dive and touched it with the tip of my glove.  If I had gotten a good jump on it I might have had it.  I blew one play.   A runner pushed for second and the outfielder got the ball to me just a little off line.  I was concentrating so much on the runner standing at second that I forgot the runner on third.  By the time I realized what the outfielders were yelling at me it was way to late to make the throw.  Also, I ran the ball back towards first once when Mike wanted me to make the throw to first to try to run the guy down.  Mike was moving to cover second, but there wasn't anyone backing him up, so it seems risky to me.  Mike had another overthrow to first.

Enough is enough.  This is supposed to be the couch potato league.  We're all tired of playing in a mislabeled C league and getting humiliated every week.  And the officiating has been getting worse the last few seasons.  So we're researching the Richardson league for next season.

Update July 13: Paul told us the next day that the umpire was chatting amicably with the batters of the opposing team. No big deal, and in fact we all agree that usually makes for better games.  But one exchange he heard was, "Drill one up that fat 3rd base f**ker's ass."  That's way over the top.  Here's the letter that I'm sending to Plano spelling out the problems with officiating and slumming B-league players.


July 13 - Renegades Loss 30-10

P - Toad; C - Gary; 1 - Jeff (Rosy's ringer); 2 - Mighty; S - Mike; 3 - Jay; R - Rosy; RC - Mo; LC - Greg; L - Brian

As the score implies, we're not in their league.  The huge problem being, there isn't a lower league.  These guys were so out of our league that one play their runner on third blatently didn't go home, even though it was another deep hit and he could have walked and still made it.  The first base ump warned their first base coach that he'd call the guy out if he did it again.

Actually, it should have been a much, much closer game.  But our outfield had a horrible game.  At least seven fly balls hit the glove of the outfielder and bounced out.  Now, most of those were difficult catches, where the fielder was at nearly a dead run.  Still, I've never seen us miss that many.  The last inning, Greg did manage to bobble one and still catch it.  Another bounced off of Greg's glove and Brian nearly caught it.  Rosy had one that he was a step too far back on, but still he had it, only to have it bounce off the heal of his glove.  If we had caught even a few of those it would have cut their innings much shorter.  The outfielders also missed their throws to people a couple of times.

Our infield was mediocre, also.  Mike let two right under his glove and had one throw to home that was over Gary's head.  I guess I was most of the rest of the infield play tonight.  I had four hit at me, I think a new record for me.  The first was a hot bouncer.  It wasn't right at me, and the second bounce was only six feet in front of me.  I had my glove three feet off the ground but the ball only came up about half that.  Two others were hot grounders right to me.  I should have charged them, and actually thought about it the second time.  That's an improvement.   I think I took my eye off of both.  Not keeping my glove in front of me.   One was an easy out, and the other I bobbled.  The runner had turned and was off first.  Pretty much out of habit, I made the throw to first, but it was a bad throw, high.  But Jeff was able to stretch and get it.  The runner instinctively expected Jeff to miss and took another step from first.  When Jeff came down with the ball it was an easy tag.  The last was a high popup, straight behind me.  It was far enough to my side that Mike didn't have a good shot at it.  As usual, it's hard to judge those and I ended up one step too far back.  Blew the catch (took my eye off of it, of course.)  I remember one other throw I made to first was in the dirt, so I think both of the throws I made were bad.

Our hitting started out really bad.  I think we had two runs the first two innings.  Though the other pitcher walked several players through the entire game.   The last inning we had several line shots that were uncatchable.  Toad had some heads-up running.  When the other team made a play for home and the catcher missed, Toad came to third.  They threw at him and he had to slide, and the 3rd missed the ball.  So Toad made it home.  Lots of good hustle and heads-up running the entire game.  But the other team was playing us super-short, so if the ball hung up at all it was an out.

I had a popup my first at-bat.  I think maybe that was the one that landed in no-man's land and both 2nd and short went after it.  The pitcher was late covering second, but I don't think it mattered.  By the time they got the ball and were prepared to throw it in I was already about to slide.  My last at-bat we knew we were way down so I decided to go for it.  I did get the outfielder to back up a couple of steps, but that was it.

The plate ump was calling very strict, or maybe a little inconsistent.  Toad walked a few during the game, including one run in.

I spoke with the umpires about the other team's hitting.  I'd say all except maybe two of their players hit it 300+ feet every time.  The first base ump was saying that these guys weren't good enough for C league (I wanted to say it was because C league is jacked way up, too.)  After the game the plate ump agreed that this wasn't D league hitting.  She told us that the new fields that Plano was building were nearly ready, and they will all be fenced.  But it's too late.  We're going to Richardson no matter what.

Name suggestions for next season:
Welcome mat
An Actual D League Team
The Only D League Team
Lookin' for E League
Run-Ruled
Umpire-Fodder
Umps Hate Us

July 20 - Renegades Loss 16-11

P - Toad; C - Paul; 1 - Jeff (Rosy's ringer); 2 - Mighty; S - Scott (Renegade ringer); 3 - Rosy; R - Mo; RC - Mike; LC - Greg; L - Brian

Well, despite being trophy-hounds, the Renegades redeemed themselves a bit tonight.   While their first batter was up, their team manager noticed we only had nine players.  Considering how they pounded us last week, it was obvious that us playing with nine would be a complete waste of everyone's time.  So he offered to play on our team.  That made for a much more interesting game.

The way we ended up with nine, Jay called early in the day to say he couldn't make it.   That's cool, we got Paul to cover for him.  Scoo never bothered to tell me, I found out from Greg.  We managed to get a ringer for him.  Then Gary never showed.

So anyway, Mike asked to play outfield (apparently I got him mixed up with another of Rosy's ringers.)  So we put Scott at short.  The other team howled when they heard that.  He spent the game positioning our outfield.  Despite that, they still put a couple over our heads.  Scott and Mike swapped positions a coupla times.

Our outfield played much better than last week.  Greg made a coupla circus catches, due to a medium strong wind.

Our infield was okay, but not as good as it could have been.  Rosy missed a really tough throw from Scott at short with a runner bearing down on him.  The runner screened the throw a bit, and the throw was low.  Scott threw one home that Paul missed.  The throw was off-line and Paul hadn't had "Ball First" drilled into him hard enough, so it caromed behind the plate for a bit.  Toad got a grounder, a hopper, I think, that he almost threw over Jeff's head.  I think that's the first or second play he's had as pitcher so far.

I had one hot grounder to me, and I actually took a step toward it.  Getting better.  Can't remember if I kept my eye on it.  Prolly not.  Mike was really eager for my toss, but as usual I took too long getting it out of my glove.  We made the play at 2nd, but were way too late for a double play.  Another time, I didn't keep my head in the game.  I set up too far from 2nd.  Scott got a grounder that prolly should have been a double play candidate, but I was way slow getting to 2nd.   Again, we made the one out.

Toad's pitching is getting a little more inconsistent.  He may be getting worse.   He only walked two, I think, but that's mostly because these guys are hitters.

Our hitting was reasonable.  Lots of line shots and hot grounders right up the middle.  Their outfielders bobbled several grounders that cost them a few bags.   One time when I was coaching 1st Paul hit one to the center fielders.  They bobbled it and the lead runner went to 3rd.  Paul had plenty of time to get to 2nd but he wasn't watching for that.  Another time, Jeff pointed out how far the outfielder was standing from the 3rd base line.  He tried to pull it and ended up popping to third.

My hitting sucked.  Grounded into a double play my first up.  The second I think was a popup and Brian tried to tag up and got caught in a rundown between 2nd and 3rd, another double play.  I walked the third time up.  Incidentally, Mike got himself into a rundown between 3rd and home.

So, the final game wasn't nearly so bad as it might have been.  But we've decided for certain that we're going to Richardson next season.  I've already called and gotten the preliminary info for Toad.  But that's not a panacea.  We still need to get our team to the cages.  I'm trying, but I'm not sure I can shame them into going any more often than they are now.  Too many of them have newborn kids, and therefore no time.

More names for next season:
Fowls (not sure why, but it seems funnier when I spell it this way)
Three on the Pond
Infield Flyers
Since half of our team is married we can't call ourselves the Singles
And of course, we could steal the one that Bruce saw in the TI league, Pray for Rain

Useful info:
Softball Mailing List
Current season at Sports Standings
KXAS weather radar
WFAA weather radar
Commentary for previous seasons:
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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