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Softball - Whipping Boys - Spring/Summer '99

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The managing duty fell to me this season.  I'm holding each player on my team personally responsible.  I tried to change the name to "Pray for Rain" but Rosy didn't like it because it wasn't original and Jay was wildly vocal about keeping the same name because it's on our shirts.  IAC, Bruce called in and changed our name to Not Necessarily the Whipping Boys.

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For all you stat hounds out there, check out the new Stats Page

Useful info

Here's a list of the game dates in a format that's easy to cut and paste:
Date - Time
May 10 - 8:30 - TCB - Rainout, recheduled for June 28
May 17 - 6:30 - Mellow Yellow - Rainout
May 24 - 6:30 - Sandbaggers - Loss 16-8
May 31 - 9:30 - Cates Control Freaks - Rainout
June 7 - 7:30 - Lagers - Loss 12-8
June 14 - 7:30 - Main Street Lquid Co. - Win Forfeit
June 19 - 3:00 - Mellow Yellow - Wrong field
June 19 - 4:00 - Freaks - Win 14-10
June 21 - 9:30 - GMI - Win 14-9
June 28 - 8:30 - TCB - Loss 10-7
Previous seasons:
Spring '99
Fall '98
Summer '98
Mellow Yellow
Not Necessarily the Whipping Boys
Main Street Liquid Co
Cates Control Freaks
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
10 - 8:30
17 - 6:30
Mellow Yellow
24 - 6:30
Loss 16-8
31 - 9:30


Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
7 - 7:30
Loss 12-8
14 - 7:30
Main St
Win Forfeit
19 - 3:00
Mellow Yellow
Wrong field
Win 14-10
21 - 9:30
Win 14-9
28 - 8:30
Loss 10-7

May 24 Leaving Three on the Pond - Loss 16-8

1. 33 Drake Christensen                2nd
2. 4 James Bonney                        1st
3. 16 Ross Miller                           Right-center
4. 99 Bruce Allsop                        Left-center
5. 9 Ken Bonney                           Catcher
6. 1 Todd Miller                            Pitcher
7. 45 Jay Owens                           3rd
8. 0 Jacob Wild                             Right
9. 5 Brian Bonney                          Left
10. 41 Scott Warren                      Short
Fan turnout:
Amy, Beth, Betsy, Carole, Christy, Conner, Jen, Misty, Sylvia.

Maybe we should have practiced a coupla times.  I really think a large part of the rusty play was caused by the month layoff we suffered due to the rainouts.

Man, we played bad.  All kinds of fielding mistakes.  I think they batted around in two separate innings.  Yet, in between those, we held them scoreless one inning.

Let's see, what can I remember.  First, Softball Manager Hell:   No-shows.  Greg let me know a week in advance, so that was cool.  Scoo never did tell me and I found out from Bruce today.  We decicded to ask Ken to DH and I couldn't get ahold of him for hours.  Finally, he checked in and let me know he'd be there.  Brian was out of town until today, I left a message on his voice mail to make sure he had gotten back and he never returned my call.  I finally called him a coupla hours later.  Then, game time rolls around and no Scott or Kevin.  We win the coin toss, so I elect to hit first in case they show up in the next couple of minutes.   Scott shows up two minutes later and they let us re-add him to the lineup.   Kevin didn't show up until 20 minutes into the game.  Apparently Bruce had him listed as a sub, but I didn't catch that.  I didn't think they'd let Kevin in, so he didn't get to play this game.

On to the debacle game itself.  Misses almost everywhere.  The other team's hitting was good but not great.  They had one series of shots between third and short.  But we gave them a lot of extra bases.

Scott booted a few.  One throw to first was high, but within reach, but Mo must have taken his eye off of it.  Mo had a hard line drive hit his glove and go on through.  Toad had a play toward first base, which he bobbled over and over.   Eventually, he was on the base line and could have touched first, or the runner, but he flung it at Mo, either too late or not on target.  Bruce had one bounce on a ridge in the outfield and bounce over his glove.  Another he misjudged off the bat that carried over his head.  Jacob, playing in the field for the first time, let one under his glove.

Rosy had no chances at the ball.

Brian had a very good game.  Charged a couple in front of Bruce and chased another down in foul territory.

The plate umpire was a little inconsistent in his pitch calling, but not awful.  Toad did walk a couple.  Early in the game Jay made a throw to first that was probably two inches late, and the field ump called him out.  Later in the game, I bobbled one and threw to first and got the guy by about two inches that the ump called safe.  So that was a wash.  Mo nearly lost it on that second call.  He yelled and threw the ball into the dirt, but managed to stop at that point.

I had an off-and-on game.  Early in the game was a high popup in no-man's-land.  I had plenty of time to set up, but I misjudged it by a step and a half and missed it on my lunge.  Later in the game I had another high one almost straight to me.  At first I didn't want it to come to me, then when I saw it was mine I set myself a step farther back than I thought I needed to.  I still ended up catching it behind me by a foot.  But I did catch it.  Similarly, halfway through the game Jay threw one to me in plenty of time.  It was off target to my left, but within reach.  I was tracking it, and it felt like it hit the web of my glove, but it slipped on by.  Later in the game, same situation, same placement on the throw and I managed to hang onto it.  In both cases I may have taken my eye off the ball at the last instant.  I had a coupla hot grounders to me.  One I bobbled, but the made the play with a simple toss to Scott.  The other was the throw to Mo that should have been an out.  There was a hot one-hopper that I snagged.  Mo got caught watching the play and was slow and awkward heading to first.  Apparently he thought he was closer than he was.  I held the throw for awhile, and when I finally did throw it he dropped it.  But the runner had given up and we got him.

Our hitting was hot and cold, too.  Several popups into no-man's-land, some they caught and others they missed.  It felt like they were playing us short, and the caught several on the charge.  Their left-center also misjudged a couple that went over his head.  In particular, Bruce got one over him.  Brian hit well, and I believe Toad did, too.  Rosy's last at-bat he thought he had one destined for the fence, yet somehow he whiffed it.  Dunno if it was off the end of his bat, or what.

My first at-bat was a pitch I shouldn't have swung at.  It was too high.  But I managed to punch it through the middle.  My second was off the handle into no-man's-land for a lucky single.  Next was a weak popup.  My last at-bat I hit a solid line drive that I was sure was going to punch through the gap in the outfield.   But I guess it hung just enough for the right-center to run it down.

One interesting tidbit was the plate ump warned I think a couple of their batters about throwing the bat (by accident) towards Ken's shins after they hit.  He told them to be sure to throw it off to the side.  I think he came very close to calling one of them out for that.

Late Breaking News Bulletin!  Golden Boy is Kidnapped!

Jay Owens couldn't find is favorite POS bat prior to game time.  He blamed his popups this game on the unfamiliar grips of the rest of the team's high-quality, high-tech bats.  When he returned to his car after the game he found a note on his windshield from someone claiming responsibility for the crime.  Since the note was printed by a computer, Jay immediately blamed this reporter.  I had not even seen the note prior to his accusation.

Everyone wonders what will happen to Golden Shower and its owner's batting stats.

May 31 Rainout

June 7 Loss 12-8

  1. 4     James Bonney         Left-center/Right
  2. 16   Ross Miller              Right-center
  3. 99   Bruce Allsop            Short
  4. 45   Jay Owens              3rd
  5. 1     Todd Miller             Pitcher
  6. 11   Jacob Wild              Right/Catcher
  7. 41   Scott Warren          1st
  8. 2     Kevin Spaeth           Right/Left
  9. 0     Scott O’Neal           2nd
  10. 33   Ken Bonney             DH/Sub
  11. 00  Greg Rodenroth       Sub/Left-center
  12. 42  Drake Christensen   Catcher/DH
Fan turnout:
Amy, Andy, Betsy, Catherine, Conner, Hanlon, Jen, Max, Sylvia.

Brian had a semi-emergency at home, so Ken filled in for him.  Greg was late, so Ken got to take his place in the lineup to start.

Another practice-starved performance.  The first two innings had a lot of fielding errors.  Apparently Bruce' injury has altered his aim.  When I played first, Bruce always threw it in the dirt.  Now, he's throwing them at the top of the fence behind first.  Three times, I think.  A couple of grounders got past the outfield.  I think maybe there was too big a gap in left-center.  I saw it from catcher, but took too long to adjust them.  Plus a couple of muffed catches.   Several overthrows from the outfield, but most were backed up, usually by Toad.

I did see the effects of the ridge in the outfield a couple of times.   Specifically with Kevin.  He had at least two that he was charging with his glove down that bounced up and hit his chest.  That looks annoying.

Rosy finally got some action in right-center.  He had some problems early on, but caught a few later in the game.

Toad had some problems early in the game with pitching too short.   I tried to give him a target a foot farther back than usual, but it didn't seem to be helping.  He walked two, I think.  Later in the game he got in the groove and pitched well.  The ump was calling a very wide strike zone.  At least three landed outside the plate in the first inning.  I warned the team before our first at-bat.  As I mentioned earlier, Toad had several good back-ups, plus a hot one-hopper that he stabbed and made the throw.

We did get robbed on one call.  A throw to first, I think by Bruce.   No runners on base, so I was following the runner to back up the play.  I looked to me like Scott caught it clean, but the ump said he was juggling it.  That was for a third out.  I can't remember if we held that guy from scoring.

I think I only had one near-play at home.  Bruce threw one in that hit the ground right in front of me.  I let it under my glove, though I don't think we had a real chance, anyway.  I did manage to back up a throw to first that tipped off of Scott's glove.  Even if I hadn't been there, I don't think the runner intended to run.  I did have two pop-up fouls to me.  The first was pretty far down towards third, but the angle was odd and I couldn't get under it.  The second wasn't nearly as high.  After it came off the bat I was looking for it in the field of play.   I guess everyone was looking up, so I looked up.  So I got a late jump on it, but was fortunate to spot it quickly.  It was only a few feet to the first base side of the plate so I was able to get under it quickly and didn't have to attempt another catch on the move.

Our hitting was weak to start, but became presentable later on.  By the third or fourth inning they were up 12-1.  Then we batted nearly around one inning.  Ken had a solid hit.  He asked me later what it looked like to me.   I told him he moved his feet, the first problem we're concentrating on in his batting technique.  Rosy was disappointed in his batting.  He's more confident going to the plate, but apparently still doesn't have the consistency down.  It'll come.  Nobody appeared to get way behind the pitcher this time.  This pitcher wasn't as good as many we've faced recently.

Our running was generally okay, though there were a couple of near-bonehead plays.   On one, Mo was charging to first and the throw was off the mark.  It looked to me like Mo thought about making the turn for second, and then changed his mind and walked back to first.  To me, it looked close to him making the turn.  Apparently the ump mentioned to Jacob that he thought Mo had missed the bag.  The first baseman was slow and wasn't able to tag Mo before he got back to the bag.  Still, Mo probably should have hustled back, just in case the ump had the same read on his intentions that I did.

Another time, Toad got caught window-shopping badly.  He was on first with Bruce coaching first and Scott coaching third.  A deep shot to left-center, I think a line drive that wasn't catchable.  Bruce was yelling at him to go to third and Scott was motioning him to come, but Toad was watching the ball and dithering.  If he had followed the coaches advice he would have made it easily.  As it was, he hesitated long enough that he got stuck at second.  In the end, it didn't matter because he made it in.

I hit one for three.  My first was a fielder's choice.  While on base, someone hit a deep one to left-center.  I went halfway and they caught it.  Made it back to tag up and they threw to third to try to get the guy that tagged up at second, which gave me plenty of time to get to second.  I don't remember my second at-bat at all.  Mo says I knocked someone in.  My third at-bat was fairly deep to the center that hung up too long and they got to it..

One odd thing this team did was learn everyone's name on our team and use it in their taunting when we were at bat.  In my case, they were calling me Dr. Drake Remore, from Friends.  I came back with, "I'm Mighty.  That's all, just... Mighty."  That appeared to confuse them :-)

One thing that really annoyed us was when they were up by eleven runs, and there was a popup in front of their dugout.  They started yelling, "I got it!" trying to call our guys off of it.  We asked the ump about an interference call, but he blew us off.  The next batter hit another popup that direction.  They kept quiet for several seconds, then one guy yelled, "I got it."  We felt that was childish and unsportsmanlike conduct.

Jay Owens Posts Email Plea.  Distributes Missing Bat Flyers.  Another Ransom Note from the Golden Boy Kidnappers

During the past week, Jay Owens, owner of Golden Rod, posted email pleas for the safe return of his bat.  His impassioned email suggested a connection between the bat and a perceived cohesiveness to the team.  Before today's game, he distributed flyers similar to missing children flyers, with a description and the date the bat went missing.   Nearly simultaneously, the perpetrators of the crime left a new ransom note, this time built by pasting magazine headlines onto a sheet of paper.  The perps cited the "...cool note..." as proof of their prowess.

Is the bat still a solid chunk of aluminum?  What might keep Jay's hope alive?

June 14 Win Forfeit

  1. 4     James Bonney         Left
  2. 0     Scott O’Neal          2nd
  3. 16   Ross Miller              Right-center
  4. 99   Bruce Allsop           Short
  5. 45   Jay Owens              3rd
  6. 1     Todd Miller             Pitcher
  7. 11   Jacob Wild              Catcher
  8. 41   Scott Warren          1st
  9. 2     Kevin Spaeth           Right
  10. 00   Greg Rodenroth       Left-center
  11. 5     Brian Bonney            DH
42  Drake Christensen   Sub

Bruce thinks this is the first time we've had a 12-man roster where all 12 on the team showed up.

Overall, a fairly good game for most people.  Rosy got a bit of a workout in right-center.  Caught a couple, dropped one he probably should have had.  He charged one and almost got to it.  With a little more practice he'll be more confident in his charge and get to those.  He had at least one grounder that launched off of the ridge in the outfield.

Bruce' first throw to first was way high.  Scott jumped and got it and almost tagged the runner in time.  Later, Bruce had nearly an entire inning to himself.   A pop fly and a line drive both nearly right at him.

Greg had a couple of towering pop flies which he caught, one of which he nearly bobbled.

Kevin had one grounder that I think the ridge threw at him, one runner on first.   As he came up, he says he heard someone say, "Go!" and thought he was being told to throw home.  So instead of runners at first and third we ended up with them at second and third.  No damage after that, though.  We got the next guy out.

Toad didn't have any plays, but I saw him doing a very good job of watching the plays and putting himself in position to back people up.  One play that should have been thrown to third got bobbled.  Toad was already in position behind third and when he saw the bobble he hustled to home.

When we first batted, I was coaching first and I watched their infield warm up.   It looked like they had guns.  I was calling for our team to hustle to first, but I'm not sure anyone heard me or paying attention to what I was talking about.

Bruce managed to turn an in-the-park homer the first inning.  That gave us two runs and the lead.

Jacob got on base and ran smart.  While on first, Scott hit one deep.  Jacob led off and it went over the outfielder's head.  By the time we knew that, Scott was almost to first already.  Jay was coaching third.  He sent Jacob on and held Scott at third.  Scott was goading Jacob as they rounded second, saying he was going to catch him.  I'm not sure, but I don't think Scott would have made it even if Jacob hadn't been there.

Jay got a base hit and relished pointing out that he used the worst bat of those our team brought.

Toad got a base hit.  As he was coming up on first I was telling him to take his turn.  But he was already looking off into the outfield and slowing before reaching first.

We were churning through inning pretty quickly.  At the bottom of the third we were up 4-2 and on a roll.  Just as Mo was coming up to bat the plate ump threw out the other team's second baseman.  We found out from the scorekeeper that he had been complaining about the pitch calls.  Apparently, he was called the ump a rookie and the ump had had enough.  He threw the second baseman out of the game.  Since they didn't have a sub, that means an automatic forfeit.  That's too bad.  We felt that we had these guys.  They had a hell of an infield, but thus far we hadn't been hitting much to them.  We tried to get them to stick around and scrimmage with us, but too many of them were too pissed off.  We ended up practicing ourselves.

Because of the early finish I never got into the game this week.

Jay Owens Receives Ransom Demands on His Answering Machine

Reportedly, Jay was ordered to purchase a large bottle of a soft drink and a package of adult diapers from a supermarket and deposit them near Renner Rd and Shiloh Rd in Richardson.  No word on whether or not he complied with the demands.

Jay Takes Vengence On One Bat-napper Suspect

On Friday morning Jay shoe-polished Bruce' car.  He put an "I'm Evil" circle on the driver's window, and made him out to be a Buffalo Sabres fan on the rear window.  Quoted from his email:

Ah, Sweet revenge! This is just the beginning. Return the golden rod.

revenge1.jpg (34429 bytes) revenge2.jpg (40503 bytes)

Bat-napper's Quickly Respond and Warn Mr. Owens Off

Quoted from the email:

You don't want to be doing that!  Follow our instructions precisely or there will be...  trouble.

GBBeenTreatedWell.jpg (91899 bytes) GBrecycle.jpg (137822 bytes) GBowowow.jpg (41941 bytes) GBOhshit.jpg (111568 bytes) GBDowhattheysay.jpg (133368 bytes)

Witnesses Report Spotting Golden Hunk of Aluminium at Softball Game

Soon after the game was called, a few witnesses reported seeing a masked man waving the bat from across a field near the ballpark.  After the impromptu practice Jay found an envelope containing pictures of his bat near the Alamo.  Also in the envelope was an audio tape.  We have obtained a copy of the message.   Unfortunately, the early finish to the game apparently disrupted the coordination of the bat-nappers.  Jay did not get to see his beloved bat.

June 19 3:00 - Mellow Yellow - Wrong field

I completely lost track of the time and didn't start getting ready for the game until 1/2 hour before it started.  I ended up walking up right at 3:00.  Turns out it didn't matter.

Another foul-up by the Richardson PARD.  The sheet of paper they handed around telling us of the makeup game had the name of our normal field (Breckenridge) in bold near the times.  It turns out, up at the top of the page, in very small type, it said that all the makeup games were at the Huffhines fields.  Most of the other team showed up, too.  We weren't the only two teams to do that.

4:00 Freaks - Win 14-10

  1. 4     James Bonney         Right
  2. 0     Scott O’Neal          2nd
  3. 16   Ross Miller              Right-center
  4. 99   Bruce Allsop           Short
  5. 45   Jay Owens              3rd
  6. 1     Todd Miller             Pitcher
  7. 33   Ken Bonney             DH
  8. 11   Jacob Wild              Catcher
  9. 00   Greg Rodenroth       Left-center
  10. 5     Brian Bonney           Left
  11. 42   Drake Christensen   1st

Fans: Carole, Christy, Misty.  I think there were a couple more at the first game who didn't follow us for the second.

So much for having fun with the bat.

So we showed up in time for our second game.  I looked up the other teams' records last week.  I found out for our first game the team was 1-1 through the first two weeks (they're very slow to update sportstandings.com) and had scored about the same number of runs as they had scored against them.  This second team had only scored 3 runs grand total in two games and had 32 scored against them.  Despite their obviously weak team we seemed to be trying real hard to give them the game.

Our hitting was mostly pretty good.  We batted nearly around the first two innings.  Bruce managed to nail a tater.

Rosy had one pop-up and then his next two were straight off the bat.  The first of those was right at the short-stop and the other hung up long enough for the outfielder to get to it.  Still, generally solid hitting.

Ken asked me why he's still popping up.  Two main reasons:  He hasn't been going to the cages very long and not very consistently.  And, he's still walking all over the place when the ball is in the air.  It's impossible to be consistent if your swing starts at a different place each time.

We had three near-bonehead running errors.  First, Jacob was thinking of going to third and then decided to go back to second.  The throw was a little off, maybe five feet, so it wasn't close.  But Jacob calmly overran second by a step.  If the other team had been paying attention they could have gotten him.  Someone else overran third a little later.  And once Mo trotted to second and made it with a heartbeat to spare.  He said he knew exactly how much time he had, but my point was that he shouldn't count on the umpire to see it the same as him.

The other team's fielding was really bad.  Their outfielders bobbled several.   Their infielders weren't agressive at all.

I think I hit 2 for 3.  One single, one double.  On my run from first I was coming up on home and nobody was telling me what to do, which led me to believe it might be close.  I saw the catcher starting to move and so I committed to sliding.   Then I heard Bruce telling me to stand up.  The astroturf they put under the batter's box really messes up your slide.  My last at-bat was pathetic.  My second at bat was a sharp one to the short-stop's feet and he flinched from it, not getting his glove within two feet of the ground.  I dribbled it to third or short and gave up on the play.  I expected them to get the runner at second.  After all my bitching I didn't charge through first.  I would have made it.

Our fielding was very inconsistent.  Some on-target throws and some mistakes.

Scoo had a frustrating day.  He had one grounder he probably should have had.   Then he had a couple of bloopers just over his head that there was no way he could get to.  Later, there was a grounder between short and third with runners on first and second.  Bruce got to the ball, but Jay had made a play for it, too, meaning there was nobody on third.  So Bruce turned and threw to second without looking.   Scoo hadn't moved to cover, so the throw went into the outfield.  Second really does take some getting used to.

Our outfielders let at least three under their gloves.  Bruce is going to get Rosy to help start harping on them to get down on one knee.

Toad had a pretty fun day pitching.  I think he walked one, but more important, he had some players who obviously haven't batted much in an awful long time.  Toad got a few strikeouts.

My play was off and on.  Jay had one on-target throw from third.  Seems to me Bruce had at least one, also.  Then, Bruce caught a line drive.  The runner on first took off and was way off base.  If I had moved to first immediately we would have had him.  Instead, I was trying to catch the ball through the runner.   Another case where I gave up on the play too early.  I didn't expect the runner to get that far away.  Finally, I caught one not-too-hot grounder and made the play myself.  I made three mistakes on that one play.  First, I didn't get in front of it.  I caught it outside my right foot.  I think I did watch it to my glove.  Second, I should have tossed it to Toad, just to give him practice.  He was covering first like he should.  Finally, since I did decide to make the play myself I should have called him off.

June 21 - GMI - Win 14-9

  1. 5     Brian Bonney          Left
  2. 4     James Bonney         Right/DH
  3. 0     Scott O’Neal          2nd
  4. 16   Ross Miller              Right-center
  5. 99   Bruce Allsop           Short
  6. 45   Jay Owens              3rd
  7. 1     Todd Miller             Pitcher
  8. 11   Jacob Wild              Catcher
  9. 00   Greg Rodenroth       Left-center
  10.   2   Kevin Spaeth            DH/Right

         42   Drake Christensen    Sub

Fans: Amy, Christy, Debbie

We didn't expect to have a game.  It rained this morning.   During the day it rained south of the field, but apparently missed this area.   When we got to the game there were a couple of drops.  As the game went on it turned into a light but constant drizzle.

Kevin showed up right at 9:30, which really screwed me up.  I had Ken listed as a DH.  Ken and Kevin ended up switching shirts so that Kevin could get in the game.  I'm going to give him a time 1/2 hour early for the rest of the season.   Scoo did a little better, showing up about 10 minutes before the game.

This was an interesting game for me because I was trying out a new scorekeeper program on my geek box.  It integrates with a stats program on the PC.  I haven't processed the data, yet.  I'll add a note at the end telling how I think it worked out.   (I sent an email to the maker of the scorekeeper program earlier today and just received a response.  That's prompt support.)  The drizzle was a pain because I had to work to keep my geek box dry.

In my email last week I pointed out that the team we were playing tonight had only scored two runs in two games vs twenty-six against.  When they updated sportstandings.com today I looked a little more closely.  One of those games was apparently a forfeit.  And the in games since those first two they've evened out their score differential quite a bit.  So they didn't appear to be the pushover that we expected from last week.

They started with nine.  But I'm not sure that hurt them that much.   Their outfielders sucked, and we were hitting a lot of line drives out there.   In particular, their center fielder dropped several and misjudged just as many.   Their infield looked pretty strong, and I think they turned one or two double plays on us.

There was only one ump, and he was a little inconsistent.  He liked really high pitches.  Almost anything that landed right behind the plate was a strike.  He also made a couple of questionable calls at first.  It looked to me like he called a couple of people out who had made it by an inch or two.

Rosy got caught on one of those.  He hit I think a blooper to short right.  He took his turn and seriously considered going for second, taking a couple of steps.  The second baseman got a handle on the ball and Rosy turned back to first.   It looked to me like he got his fingers on the bag in time.  I didn't get a chance to ask him what he thought.

Overall, our hitting was very good.  Lots of line drives.   Several that were hard enough to hit an infielder's glove and still have enough to carry into the outfield.

Bruce hit three taters and Toad got one, too.  On Bruce' first, both Scoo and Rosy were on base.  As Scoo approached third he said Brian was hesitant about sending him on.  So both Rosy and Bruce nearly caught up with him.  Both Rosy and Bruce slid.  There was probably less than fifteen feet between all three runners.  Rosy was joking about never having someone slide on top of him like that before.  On Bruce' second home run only Scoo was on base in front of him.  Brian slowed Bruce at third and Bruce turned and was ten to fifteen feet off the bag when the catcher blew the catch, and Bruce made it in.  Both of those hits were nearly to the fence.

The ump's calls made for some swings at some really awful pitches.   In particular, Mo had to swing at one that was probably at least head-high.   He ended up getting a pretty good whack at it, because it went high and carried to the left fielder.

The other team had some players who could hit, but fortunately they couldn't place the ball.  One hit almost all to the same place by the right-field line.  Another was always to the left field line.  They had one bald guy that could really smack it, and he found our gap.  I think Greg plays a little too close to center, which leave a huge gap to Brian.

Our fielding was mostly above average for us.

We saw some nice backups in the outfield, which saved our asses a few times.  The first guy to the ball was letting them past and the second guy was right there, costing us only a second or two.  Rosy in particular seemed to be in the right place several times.  He's finally getting the practice he needs to get better.   He's still dropping the occasional fly.  With a little more practice he'll get an agressive attitude and nail those.

Bruce had several at him, tonight.  There were a couple in a late innings where they had runners on first and second.  Bruce would bobble a grounder, stick with it, and make the play at third.

Scoo had another frustrating night.  There were a couple that he'll probably be able to get to in the future when he's had more practice and get a jump on the ball.  But for now he's still trying to reach for a fast-moving ball that's moving along the ground while he's at a dead run.  That's hard to do.  He did have a couple of balls thrown to him at second that he hung on to.

The other team pulled one interesting move.  At the end of one inning, Rosy caught a fly from their ninth batter.  That meant that they started their next inning with an out, which made it a two-out inning for us.  When they got up to bat for that inning there was only five minutes left.  After getting maybe one or two runs and an out and down to less than two minutes, they had their hitter bunt the ball for an automatic out.  That gave them another inning.  Given our team's history, that worried us.  But we managed to add a couple more runs ourselves and hold them to one.  When they reached two outs that last inning Mo counted it up and pointed out that they didn't have enough players left before their next automatic out to even tie us.  But we played it out and beat them.

June 28 - TCB - Loss 10-7

  1. 00   Greg Rodenroth       Left-center
  2. 5     Brian Bonney          Left/Sub
  3. 4     James Bonney         Right
  4. 99   Bruce Allsop           Short
  5. 41   Scott Warren          1st
  6. 45   Jay Owens              3rd
  7. 1     Todd Miller             Pitcher
  8.   2   Kevin Spaeth           Right
  9. 16   Ross Miller              Right-center
  10. 42   Drake Christensen    2nd/Sub

             0     Scott O’Neal          Sub/2nd
           11      Jacob Wild              Sub/Catcher

Fans: Christy, Debbie, Ken, Syndey

After trying to put everyone on a guilt trip, I ended up being later than usual.  We were halfway to the field when Bruce realized that his dog didn't have his collar on, so we had to turn back.  Ended up arriving ten minutes before game time.  As it was we still beat about four other people.  Toad and Kevin showed up at the last minute, and Jacob and Scoo showed up after the game started.  I had wanted to score the game on the geek box, but I couldn't because I had to put myself in the lineup.

Our hitting in the first inning was great.  Lots of line shots right up the middle that were uncatchable.  But it died later in the game.  I think we scored five runs that first inning, and then just two more the rest of the game.

We had several running mistakes.  In one case, Greg pushed to third.  If he had slid he would have made it.  But he refused to slide.  If you're not going to slide then don't go if it's at all close.  Another time, Jacob overran second.  He's done that before.  This time they tagged him out.   The last mistake was really a coaching error.  A deep hit to the outfield, and Jacob led off.  It was caught and Brian didn't tell Jacob to tag up.

Toad managed to get in on a broken play.  I was running myself so I didn't see the entire thing.  But there was an overthrow that the other team didn't hustle after.  And then I think another overthrow at third that bounced away from everyone.

I think I was one for two.  My first one was a dribbler towards short.  It was slow enough that I thought I might make it, so I dug hard.   Almost made it, but I was told he made a very clean grab and throw.  My second was off the handle I think between first and second.  That was the one that Toad got in on.  Apparently it took a long time to get to the outfielders.  On that one I went to second when they threw to third.  I was thinking about going to third when they threw for Toad at home, but I couldn't count on the catcher missing the ball.   I'm slow enough that if he had caught it he probably would have thrown me out.

The other team's fielding was surprisingly inconsistent.  When they got a handle on the ball they could gun it to their target.  They made a lot of throws behind our runners, trying to pick off people who made their turns.  They did make a few mental errors.  In one instance Scoo hit one between first and second.   It looked like it was unreachable.  Somehow the second baseman got to it.   But the first baseman and pitcher had given up on the play so there was nobody on first for the throw.

But later in the game, anything that got to the outfield in the air was caught.  They have incredible speed and nothing was going to get by them.

The other team's hitting was just the opposite from ours.  We held them nearly scoreless, and then they opened up.

They had one lefty.  His first time up I stayed near second because there was a runner on first.  He punched it between me and Scott.  His next time up I planted myself about where I thought the ball went last time.  He punched this one in the three-foot gap where neither Scott nor I could get to it.  When Scoo subed in he put himself way over towards first.  So the guy punched it right over second base.

They had one guy that could nearly outrun the ball.  I think he may have been the guy that crushed one to the fence.

Our fielding was about average.  We made it to the seventh inning because the innings were going by so fast.

Jay had one that he said was the fastest grounder he's ever seen.   It got to him so fast that he had forever to make the throw to first.  Bruce had a very good game.  Several catches in short outfield.  Our outfielders missed a couple of grounders.  It looked like most if not all were funny bounces in the outfield.

On one play, Mo caught one for the third out.  Bruce had miscounted and was yelling at Mo to shoot for third.  Mo knew it was the third out, but listened to Bruce and made the throw.  Better to be safe in a situation like that.

I only had two plays.  One was a hot bouncer that took a funny hop over my glove.   I probably should have been able to get in front of it.  The other was a grounder to Bruce.  He made an overhand very weak toss that bounced off the tip of my glove.  I fell on the ball, keeping my feet on the bag.  I managed to pick up the ball before the runner got there.  The ump was behind me, but did see me pick up the ball.  Bruce said the runner overran second.  I should have been thinking about tagging the guy in case the ump didn't think I had control of the ball.

So ends another season.  Officially, we were 3 and 4.  It should have been 3-3-1, due to the make-up snafu.  Hopefully we can get a few practices in, and hopefully we won't have a bunch of rainouts that force a month break before our next game.

The best part for me is that I won't be the manager.  Man, that was a pain this season.

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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