Mighty Drake, Inc.

Softball - Whipping Boys - Spring '00

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Manager: Mighty

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Date Time Team Score
May 7 7:30 Kappa Sig Forfeit
May 15 6:30 REEF Win 15-1
May 22 9:30 SOS Win 9-4
May 29 No game
Jun 5 8:30 ADC Loss 10-9
Jun 12 6:30 Nortel Bombers Rainout
Jun 19 7:30 UTD Sluggers Forfeit
Jun 26 7:30 RPOA Loss 18-6
Jul 3 No game
Jul 10 6:30 Nortel Bombers Forfeit

May 7 - 6:30 - Kappa Sig - Forfeit

Fan turnout:

They only had seven at game time.  We all ended up staying to scrimmage.

Scoo was sick and we got Rosy's ringer.

It's prolly a good thing we didn't play these guys.  They made mistakes, but they would have kicked our butts.  I remember playing them before, but I don't remember how it turned out.  They have one short little round guy with lots of piercings.  That'll help me look this up in the future.

May 15 - 7:30 - Science -  Win 15-1

Practice pitches
4 James Bonney Left-center
16 Ross Miller Right-center
42 Drake Christensen 1st
45 Jay Owens 3rd
1 Todd Miller Pitcher
41 Scott Warren Left
0 Scott O'Neal 2nd
67 Mike Short
9 Andy Laska Right
33 Jacob Wild Catcher
00 Greg Rodenroth DH
Fan turnout:
Amy, Aimee, Bruce, Budreau, Carole, Christy, Hanlon, Jeff's kid, Jenn, other Miller kid, Richard, Sylvia

We had a better than average game.  Also, we had a lot of lucky bounces that usually go against us.

Lots happened.  Where to start?

I guess I should go ahead and highlight the game from the best hitter in the league.  Mo hit two taters.  Nice line drive shots into right-center that rolled to the fence.  Now, the other team was playing us incredibly shallow, but MO made them pay.

Scoo did the same thing his first time up.  He cranked a line drive, also to right center.  I was coaching third and saw the right-center fielder freeze, trying to figure out where it was going.  It was flat, so he kept expecting it to drop.  Scoo turned that into a triple.

Scoo was Mr. Rally Dude.  In addition to that triple, he blooped a popup into short right that fell into no-man's land.  That one was borderline error.  The guy had to charge it.  On a calm day he probably would have gotten it.  But in that wind it was unusually tricky.

They had several errors that the sandbagger teams don't commit.  Bruce thinks that helped us a lot.

Alongside all the good hits, we had some bonehead base running.

Jacob still doesn't understand the situations well enough.  Twice, he held up at a bag on a high fly ball with two outs.  Also, he hesitates when rounding bases.  He'll be approaching second while watching the outfielder field the ball and he'll slow to a stop.  Then, he'll decide to go.  He needs to learn to decide before getting to the bag whether he's going to go or not.  If he decides not, he should only go if the fielder completely misses the ball.

On one single to left, Jacob was starting from second.  The base coach, MO, sent him on home.  If the outfielder had bobbled the ball at all, or if the throw at been six inches farther inside, then Jacob would have made it.  It was an unusually crisp play on their part.

Rosy had his own lesson to learn.  While on first, on two consecutive popups to short center field Rosy tagged up at first.  Andy pointed out to him that there's no way he'll ever beat a throw if the guy catches it, and if the guy drops it there's a good chance he'd get thrown out.  You almost never can tag up from first base.

I think it was Jay who managed to get in under a tag on second.  He didn't slide, but he stretched and made it.

The field ump was particularly good.  There were several close calls, but he was very clear on his calls.  He'd go ahead and give a quick explanation on why he made the call he did.

I didn't get a chance to practice my base running, because I went oh-fer.  My first at-bat was immediately after Rosy's strikeout looking.  I had noticed that the ump appeared to be very lenient on his calls, so I went after a lousy pitch.  It was way inside, and I was so off balance after the hit that I had trouble getting moving.  On my other two at-bats I was salivating at how short the center fielders were playing me.  If I had hit my normal line drive I would have burned them, bad.  But I haven't been to the cages lately, and I can tell.  My timing is off, and I'm not keeping my eye on the ball.  I popped up twice.

We were unusually sharp on defense.

Jacob made one or two tags at home.  He still needs to learn to get down on his tag.  One guy almost slid in under it.

The wind caused trouble for us, too.  At least one dropped in because the outfielder couldn't get there in time.  But MO was able to charge one down and make the catch.

Toad caught in infield fly about eight feet out from the plate.  And he did a good job covering first.  He also got a couple of strikeouts.  One guy didn't realize we started with a 1 and 1 count.  Others were because the ump had a big strike zone.  But overall, Toad's pitching is very consistent.

I had a pretty busy game at first.  I had three grounders to my right that I made it to.  The first I judged well and caught it just before its second bounce.  I got the guy out at second.

A little later I snagged one in nearly the same place with nobody on first.  Toad made it to first in front of the runner, who was fast.  But while turning from the catch I saw Toad and threw at him, trying to lead him.  So I put the ball behind him and he didn't have a good chance to make the catch.

The final grounder was pretty much right to me.  I didn't get down on it well enough and it got under my glove, but luckily hit my foot and stayed in front of me where I could see it.  I turned to make the throw to Toad and once again I put it behind him.  This time, though, we got a lucky bounce.  The ball fell out of Toad's glove, bounced off the ground and right back into his glove, just in time. The field ump started to call the guy safe, but saw that Toad actually did have control and called him out.

After that play Toad was asking if there was something he should be doing differently in order to make that play more consistently.  We all agreed that he's getting to first in plenty of time.  What I should be doing is lobbing the ball to first base and let him run to it.  Just lack of practice.

A few other plays.  Jay snagged a grounder at third and his throw curved off to my right.  I managed to stretch and follow it.  It didn't feel like all that big a stretch to me, but everyone commented on it.  Another throw he made after a making the force at third was a little more wild and I had to come off the bag to stop it.

And finally, one throw from Jeff was way too high.  I jumped up, caught the ball even though I had taken my eye off of it, and came down on first one step ahead of the runner.

May 22 - SOS - Win 9-4

Practice pitches
41 Scott Warren 1st
33 Jacob Wild Catcher
00 Greg Rodenroth Right
4 James Bonney Left-center
16 Ross Miller Left
42 Drake Christensen 2nd
45 Jay Owens 3rd
1 Todd Miller Pitcher
67 Jeff Short
9 Mike Right-center
Fan turnout:
Amy, Bruce, Christy, Deb, Scoo

Bruce is still out with his ankle injury.  And Scoo twisted his ankle mowing his yard.  I asked them to bring the camera, mostly so we could hear their commentary.   I had hoped it would be pretty good, but the wind drowned out most of it.

This was a very fun game.  Very, very low scoring until the fifth or sixth inning.   I think in the fifth the score was 4-3.  This was one of the few games we've played that ran the full seven innings.

I was a little leary of putting Greg in the outfield, but his arm was good enough to throw 30 or 40 feet.  That was far enough to be useful on the two or three that he had to throw in.  We didn't have to try any close plays from that part of the field, just run them in to finish the play.

Mike, Rosy's second ringer, apparently used to play baseball, but it had been seven years.  I think he missed one early on, and his first couple of throws were wild.   But for the most part he did well.

Jeff did very well at short.  He gave us two double plays, both late in the game.   The first one, he caught a line drive and the runner started to go from second.   Jeff was able to go from a dead stop and get to second before the runner could get back.  He made it by a couple of inches.  The other one, I stopped a ground between me and first, made a 3/4 turn to hit Jeff and he made the throw to first.  It was really close, but when we looked at it later on the tape we could see that the throw was there by a beat.

Toad's finally getting enough defensive practice to make good decisions.  He made one throw to second and another to first.  His throw to first was harder than in the past, and it was in time.  But was still a little soft.  It beat the runner only by a step.  Also, on one blooper to shallow right, both Scott and I were going for the ball and Toad wasn't covering first.  That's a situation that hasn't come up before, but now he knows that he needs to be there.  Overall, a very good game for Toad.  Only one walk in very windy conditions.

Jacob had two popup fouls a third of the way up to third base near the fence.  He was thinking he should have had them.  They did hit his glove, but that's a really tough catch.

I had a pretty good game, too.  Early in the game I had a grounder come straight for me.  I didn't charge it, and I took my eye off of it, but managed to get it, anyway.  I made that throw to first.  Just a few batters later another one came to me a little slower.  I did charge this one, but took my eye off of it, again.   This one tipped under my glove.  I think I got three more, including the double play with Jeff, and on all of those I finally got myself to watch the ball into my glove.  I did miss one infield fly, though.  This one should have been a fairly easy one.  It started out pretty much over Jeff, but came my way.  I knew I had a good angle and I called for it.  But at the last second the wind must have died because it ended up falling in front of me.  I nearly caught it with my right hand, but couldn't quite.  I should have had it.

Both teams seemed to be generating a lot of offense, but neither of us could get people across the plate.

Mo continues to hit steadily.  At least one perfect single, a walk, and a blooper that landed in short right.  Jay also had at least one perfect single.

Greg had a good night.  At least one walk, plus a hit to third that he beat out to first.  When we watched the tape we noticed that he got a hell of a jump out of the box.  That was what gave him the extra step he needed.

Similar to Jeff's line drive snag, Rosy's second ringer, Mike, took off on a shot that was caught by the second baseman.  He made the throw to first and the ball got there while Mike was just three inches from the bag.  I was coaching first and had a good view of the play.

I went oh-fer, again.  A couple of weak popups.  I was trying to pull to left because the guy was playing back so far and away from the line.  My last at-bat I finally got a solid hit that direction, but it went straight to the third baseman.

Near the end of the game, Rosy a bouncing grounder got past the outfielders in right.   He had a good head of steam going around and the third base coach sent him on.   The throw was very good and in time.  Rosy said that he could see the play unfolding as he slid and he was sure he slid under the tag.  But the ump had put himself in a bad position, 15 feet up the third base line, and he called Rosy out.   It turned out, Bruce caught that one on tape, too.  And it's pretty clear that the guy made a high tag that didn't touch Rosy's knee until after his foot slid across the plate.

Here's a link to a short video.   Below are some screen grabs from that video:

Frame 1

This first picture shows a clear picture of the plate before Rosy got there

frame1.jpg (7531 bytes) Frame1CloseupStretched.jpg (65229 bytes)

Frame 2

Rosy's foot is about at the edge of the plate.  It's clear the glove is about eight inches above his leg.

frame2.jpg (7408 bytes) Frame2CloseupStretched.jpg (67840 bytes)

Frame 3

Rosy's foot is now clearly at least halfway across the plate.  You can still see a big gap between the glove and Rosy.

frame3.jpg (7324 bytes) Frame3CloseupStretched.jpg (99577 bytes)

Frame 4

Here, the glove may be touching Rosy, and his foot is clearly across the plate

frame4.jpg (7355 bytes) Frame4CloseupStretched.jpg (95819 bytes)

slide.gif (124963 bytes)

June 5 - ADC - Loss 10-9

Practice pitches
45 Jay Owens 3rd
41 Scott Warren Left
4 James Bonney Left-center
9 Jeff Short
33 Jacob Wild Catcher
00 Greg Rodenroth Right
16 Ross Miller Pitcher
42 Drake Christensen 2nd
5 Brian Bonney Right-center
67 Mike Robinson 1st
Amy, Bruce, Christy, Deb, Scoo

Well, we lost a heartbreaker.  Apparently Mo's plan to tank the rest of the season is working.  Knowing Mo, I have to wonder how much the other team is paying him.  IOW, what would it take for us to out-bid them?

Three no-shows, but fortunately all three gave enough warning that we were able to find subs for them.  Thanks, guys.  That does make a big difference.  Bruce and Scoo are both gimpy from their ankle injuries and Toad was handling last-minute details of moving his practice to a new office.

It was a mighty close game most of the way through.  At one point we had them by five runs, but then our hitting dried up.

They weren't as good as they first appeared.  They only had about two or three really good players.  All of the rest made some mistakes on fairly easy plays.  IOW, they were average E league players.  It has been so much fun this season playing with real E league teams.

Among the notable hits on our side was Rosy's triple blast.  A nice line drive that the right-center completely misjudged.

We mostly had smart base running.  On one of Scott's hits to left-center he took his turn and saw that they were slow coming up with the ball.  He went for second and the throw was way off target.  If it had been on it would have been a close play, but it would have had to be exactly on target to get him.

I think it was Jay who slid into third one time.  The throw was on time and on target, but the third baseman dropped the ball.

Jacob did have another brain fart on the bases.  He was on second with Greg behind him on first with two outs.  The hit was to medium deep left and Jacob held at second.  If he had gone he would have made it home easily.  Greg didn't notice that Jacob had held up and almost passed him headed to third.  So we should have had a run scored and Greg on third.  Instead it was Greg on second and Jacob on third.  For some reason, Jacob can't get it through his head, "If there's a force and there are two outs then you're going to the next bag, no matter what."

I made it on base all four times at bat.  One walk, one error, one fielder's choice and one line drive.  They were playing me pretty far back in left field so I was trying to pull them there all night.  I finally did it my last at-bat.

After getting on base one time, the batter after me hit to left-center.  Similar to Scott, I could see that they were very slow to come up with the ball.  2/3 of the way to second I knew I was going to try for third.  The throw was off, but even if it had been on target I would have made it pretty easily.

Our fielding was about like the last couple of game.  Fairly decent for an E league team with a few errors.  But we've managed to avoid the disaster innings we used to have.

One frustrating mistake was due to Brian not playing for a year.  A ball hit to center field started out pretty much between James and Brian.  But the wind kept blowing it towards Brian.  Neither called for it.  Brian should have had it, but he wasn't aggressive enough to it.  Both pulled up and it landed between them.

Their DH fooled us all his first time up.  He was at the bottom of the line-up and didn't look very intimidating.  I looked into the outfield and saw everyone playing him a few steps shallow.  When we discussed it later we figured out that most of us were thinking the same thing.  He ended up cranking a line drive over the outfield.

Our infield did a fairly good job.

Rosy had a good game pitching.  The ump was very inconsistent in calling the pitching.  I think Rosy walked one or two, which was pretty good considering how they were being called.

He had a couple of good fielding plays, but a couple of mistakes, too.

One was mental mistake between he and Jacob.  It was a popup about halfway to the mound.  Jacob called it quickly and Rosy backed off.  It was an over-the-shoulder try and Jacob didn't get it. Rosy should have called Jacob off.  He had the much better angle.

Another was a potentially big play.  Scott handled a line drive into left on one   bounce.  He rifled a shot at home plate trying to pick off the runner.  It looked like it was on target and that Jacob was set up for it.  But Rosy was in no-man's land inside the third base line and he took a stab at the ball.  He should have either been already outside the third base line to back up Jay or he should have been behind the plate to back up Jacob.  On the tape you can see him standing by the mound forever and he didn't start moving until Scott already had the ball.  If the throw had been to third Rosy would not have been in position to stop the ball.

One other play was just a tough play that we haven't gotten down, yet.  Mike stopped a grounder between first and second and tried to toss the ball to Rosy at first, but Rosy bobbled it.

Mike had a good game at first.  I think he caught everything that came his way.  He was using my new glove that's not broken in at all, so he used two hands to catch everything.  It made for some awkward looking catches, but he got them.

I had a fairly good night, again.  In the second inning I caught a grounder, again by luck, because I barely had my eye on it as it hit my glove.  Luckily, I caught it just as it was making its second bounce.

Immediately after that I caught an infield fly.  Both of those hits were nearly right at me.  I almost didn't have to move.

Jeff and I connected for a couple.  On one, Jeff dove for a ball to his right.  From his back, basically in a crunch position he got the ball on target to me at second.

Then, near the end of the game we actually got a double play.  It was against their slowest runner, so we were hoping for that chance.  Jeff tossed it to me and I made a good throw to first.  I think that's the first time I've been the middle man on a double play.  I'm usually much too slow at digging the ball out of my glove.

I keep saying I like the close ones.  But it was still disappointing to drop this one.  I think most of us felt in control most of this game and that we should have won it.

June 12 - Rainout

June 19 - Forfeit

Practice pitches
45 Jay Owens 3rd
41 Scott Warren 1st/2nd/Sub
4 James Bonney Left-center
9 Bruce Allsop Short
33 Jacob Wild Catcher
00 Greg Rodenroth Right-center
16 Ross Miller Left
42 Drake Christensen 2nd/1st
1 Todd Miller Pitcher
67 Andy Laska Right
0 Scott O'Neal Sub/2nd
Amy, Carole, Christy, Deb, Misty

Well, we had an ump with an attitude, apparently.  The other team only had 8 at the beginning of the game.  Their ninth was literally within sight, walking toward us on the sidewalk, and the umpire saw him, and he called the game anyway.  Jerk.

Bruce and Scoo think we would have beaten these guys if it had been a real game.  They both thought we let up more than they did.  I don't agree.  I think we were all pretty relaxed, but that we hit about like we always did, which probably wouldn't have been good enough.

Surprisingly, I think we had our entire team there, plus Andy.  I think that's the first time since the beginning of the season.

I don't remember many spectacular plays.

Scott Warren managed to tag a guy after getting pulled off first to field a throw.  I did the same thing, later.

Bruce got one good hit over the center fielder's head.  There was a big gap on the left and I managed to pull a couple that way.

Scoo was trying to get people to put the ball in the "swamp."  A huge patch of right field that was two inches deep in water.  Nobody managed to do it, though.

At one point Scoo got thrown out on his way to first, so he and I hung out and both coached first.  We played angel/devil.  I told runners to stay and Scoo told them to go.

June 26 - RPOA - Loss 18-6

Well, our first game this season against sandbagging assholes.  As Scoo put it, this was a strange group.  They seemed nice enough, except for this one aspect of their personality.  For some reason, they think it's perfectly sporting to humiliate teams that simply don't have a chance against them.  So far this season I think they've had one fluke game that they lost and all of the others they've run-ruled.

RPOA:  A win isn't a win, unless you've run-ruled the other team.

Well, I just looked it up, and it appears I'm mistaken.  They've only run-ruled about half their games.

They batted around the first inning.  I think they had one or two who couldn't hit it wherever he wanted.  I think two put it over our outfield to center.  Plus, most of them were in shape and could run.

OTOH, we did have a worse game than we've been having, lately.  Several mistakes in the outfield.

Both Mo and Scott let a grounder under their glove.

Greg has a new glove and dropped a ball he normally would have caught.  I did notice that his arm appears to be getting better.  He made a couple of long throws in from the outfield.

Bruce made on uncharacteristic mental mistake.  He snagged a grounder and was running toward me to make the double play.  But he missed touching second base.  He threw right at my glove, which was right through the runner's head.

Jacob had another running blunder.  I got thrown out on third for the second out.  Jacob was running to second.  He made it easily, but seeing me get out, he thought that was three, so he started to walk off the field.  They ended up tagging him out.

They were playing us super short.  I kept hoping Bruce or Scott would burn them by putting one over their heads.

My second time up to bat their rover moved from right-center to left-center, where I had pulled my first time up. Luckily, I was able to poke it over the second baseman.  That felt good.

July 10 - Nortel Bombers - Forfeit

And I pulled it off.  I blew away Mo's first winning season.  I rule!


Okay, so I got a little lucky.

Yet another forfeit.  The other team only had seven at game time.  They even had a few minutes reprieve because the ump was late.  We ended up staying to scrimmage and the rest of their team ended up showing.  Dunno why they couldn't get there on time.

We had to scramble for ringers, ourselves.  Jacob, Scoo and Bruce were all out of town.  We got Andy and Mike Robinson without too much trouble.  But Rosy wasn't able to scrape up a third.  We ended up recruiting Andy's friend Kevin, who was just dropping Andy off.

While we were waiting for the umps I was talking with my mom.  The scorekeepers were saying that there were trophies this season.  We were in a three-way tie for second, but with all our forfeits this season they weren't sure we would earn one.

The scrimmage was pretty relaxed.  It ended up being very low-scoring.  7-5, I think.  They had a couple of infielders who were better than I remember from last season.  It would have been an interesting game if it had been for real.

Mike and I turned one double play.  He tossed it to me and I managed to make the throw.  Later in the game he gave me another easy toss, but I was so intent on the throw that I lost it.  In fact, after that one double play I dropped almost everything that came at me.  Even throws in from the outfield.  I finally started to catch some later in the game.  Including one that was
right at Toad's head.  He ducked aside and it curled right to me.  I also snagged a grounder from a lefty that I didn't even have to move for.

My hitting wasn't very good.  I think I went one for three.  Two popups to infielders and a blooper that dropped in.

I think we all had poor hitting.  I remember Scott saying we should try and get the ball out of the infield.

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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