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Softball - Whipping Boys - Winter/Spring '00

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Manager: Scoo

Useful info

Date Time Team Score
Feb 28 8:30 Aligent Technology Loss 19-5
Mar 6 7:30 Science Loss 19-11
Mar 13 6:30 Chargers Loss 27-9
Mar 20 9:30 Kappa Sig Loss 17-12
Mar 27 6:30 Trinity Bible Church Loss 17-16
Apr 3 7:30 Petri Elect Rainout
Apr 10 8:30 Nortel Bombers Win 23-8
Apr 17 8:30 Petri Elect Loss 10-5

February 28 - Aligent Technology - Loss 19-5

Practice pitches
4 James Bonney Right/DH 45
99 Bruce Allsop Short 45
00 Greg Rodenroth Left-center
42 Drake Christensen 1st 200
45 Jay Owens 3rd
1 Todd Miller Pitcher
41 Scott Warren Left
65 Mike (Rosy's friend) Right-center/DH
33 Jacob Wild Right-center/Right
16 Ross Miller Catcher 90
0 Scott O'Neal 2nd 45
Fan turnout:

We started out pretty well, cranking out four quick runs.  Then we had our trademark disaster inning and anemic hitting.  I wonder if we should feel fortunate that they didn't stomp us as badly as they did at the end of last season.

We actually had one practice prior to this season.  I'm not sure it helped me much, but I can tell it will if we can make it regular.  I can see myself making the same few mistakes repeatedly, and if I can get some more repititions I know I can reduce those mistakes.

I think the practice helped Scoo.  Since I was on first I had my back to him during his plays, so I couldn't see what happened.  But he stopped most of what came his way.  Including one infield fly.

The practice was a bit harder on Rosy.  He took one grounder hard onto the tip of his middle finger resulting in a very minor greenstick fracture.  He played catcher this game so that he wouldn't have to aggravate it by hard throws.  But he thinks he'll be ready for the outfield next week.  He did fairly well for not having any recent practice at that position.  There was one throw from Bruce where he was one step out of position.  If he had been nearer the baseline he might have swung his arm around for a lucky tag.

They had some reasonably good hitting streaks.  And they were aggressive and their runners pushed us several times.  A few times we probably should have tried to make the throw on them.  They didn't give us nearly as many pop flys as most E league teams.

Mike had one near-shoestring catch.  He said he had taken a step back on that hitter and that's about how much too deep he was.  Scott did a good job backing him up.  On another, Mike fielded a grounder and the runner was going for third.  He made a great throw and Jay made the catch.  But he wasn't set up for a low tag and the guy slid under the tag.  That would have been a sweet play.

I had a pretty good game at first.  Bruce had several throws to me and I only missed one.  That one was off to my left and pulled me off the bag.  I was hoping to snag it and swing around and tag the runner, but I blew the catch.  I did bobble one other that Bruce put into the dirt.  It tipped off my glove.  On another low throw I had one of my trademark catches on my knees into my stomach with a toe on the bag.  The ump called it right, I did have control.  There were several others that Bruce and Scoo got to me pretty much on target.  There were two or three between me and Scoo that I felt maybe I might have had a chance at if I had been aggressive.  But then again maybe not.  There was one hard line drive over my head that I think I missed by a glove width.  Early in the game one of their runners pushed to third when we made a throw to first.  I went ahead and made the throw, but it was just a bit late.  On target, though.

Their weak hitter tapped a swinging bunt along the first base line.  I couldn't decide if I should charge it or wait for Toad to get it.  We all ended up hesitating for every one else and he got on.

We had a decent number of hits, but we just couldn't string enough of them together.   I got up every other inning, meaning we left a couple on base each inning.

Jacob had one running mistake.  They overthrew first but their catcher had backed up the play.  Jacob didn't notice that and took off for second.  Then he pulled up before actually getting to second.

Bruce very nearly pounded one down the third base line.  It landed about four inches foul.  If it had been fair it would have made it to the fence.  He said that was exactly where he was aiming.

Greg managed to beat one out with hustle.  It was a grounder to short and the throw was a teeny bit high.  The first baseman's foot came off the bag about three inches just as Greg got there.

Mo had some really nice hits.  His first looked like it came off the bat hard enough to get over their heads, but the wind held it back.  One or two others were nice singles.

I hit two for three plus an error.  My first at-bat I swung at one too high.   It went to the second baseman, and apparently he bobbled it.  I was charging so I never saw what happened.  I made it in that time.  My other two hits at-bats I calmed myself down and took nice easy swings.  One was a perfect line drive single.  The other started out looking good, but almost hung up long enough for the outfielder to get under.  I had one tough running incident when the second baseman made a shoestring catch right in front of me.  I was nearly certain he wasn't going to get to it.  I think he got Greg on second.  I bruised my knee pretty good getting back to first.

Our disaster inning didn't feel so completely out of control this time.  Hopefully we can tighten up and improve over the course of the season.

March 6 - 7:30 - Science -  Loss 19-11

Practice pitches
4 James Bonney Right
99 Bruce Allsop Short
00 Greg Rodenroth Left-center
42 Drake Christensen 1st 60
45 Jay Owens 3rd
1 Todd Miller Pitcher
41 Scott Warren Left
0 Scott O'Neal 2nd
16 Ross Miller Catcher 60
33 Brian Bonney Right-center/Right
65 Ron (Rosy's friend) Catcher
Fan turnout:
Amy, Andy, Carole, Christy, Debbie, Misty, Ron's wife

I wonder what percentage of runs against us are scored when the other team has two outs.  I wish we had someone who would run the stats program on the geek box so I could figure that out.

Our hitting was a little better than last game.

JaysPopup.jpg (55572 bytes)  I think Jay had a popup :-)

BrucesHomer.jpg (46221 bytes)  This is Bruce rounding third, I think for his homer.

March 13 - 6:30 - Chargers - Loss 27-9

Practice pitches
4 James Bonney Right
99 Bruce Allsop Short
00 Greg Rodenroth Left-center
42 Drake Christensen 1st 60
45 Jay Owens 3rd
1 Todd Miller Pitcher 60
41 Scott Warren Left
0 Scott O'Neal 2nd
16 Ross Miller Catcher
9 Andy Laska Catcher
Fan turnout:

I got pretty annoyed at this game, which is one reason I didn't type it up immediately.   This was yet another case of a team that doesn't belong in E league.  Yet they think they do.  Early in the game they had about half their team hit it over our outfield.  Later in the game all except one of them place nearly every hit to right field.  None of us mind losing, because we know we suck.  But it's not any fun getting humiliated.

I do remember a few hits coming my way.  I think I only stopped one, and that one I bobbled.  I looked up to toss it to Toad, but he hadn't moved quickly enough.

Don't really remember much else..

March 20 - 9:30 - Kappa Sig - Loss 17-12

Practice pitches
4 James Bonney Right
99 Bruce Allsop Short
00 Greg Rodenroth Left-center
45 Jay Owens 3rd
1 Todd Miller Pitcher
41 Scott Warren Left
0 Scott O'Neal 2nd
42 Drake Christensen 1st
16 Ross Miller Catcher
65 Jacob Catcher
9 Andy Laska DH
Fan turnout:

How refreshing.  A real E league team.  Even though we ended up giving this game away it was exciting and close all the way to the end.  This is what recreational softball is supposed to be about.

Our defense started out really good.  Lots of good stops in the infield and good throws to first.

We had one throw to Bruce midway through where he made the tag.  It was a close call and the field ump got it.  In fact, the field ump made several good close calls during the game.

Their pitcher caught us off guard.  Our outfield was playing him in a little and he ended up pounding one almost to the fence.  Greg hustled hard and very nearly got it, but it was over the shoulder and with the wind it was coming straight down.  A really difficult catch.  He ended up falling on his bad shoulder and dislocating it slightly.  He stayed in the game, but I haven't heard how he's doing since then.   That's the sort of injury that can seem trivial the day it happens and get much worse the next day.

Bruce ended up missing a popup in short left that he normally catches.  That was a big surprise.

We had one throw to Jacob that should have been in plenty of time.  But he backed into the runner's path which broke his concentration.  He ended up getting the guy, but that's only because the guy ran into Jacob's leg and didn't make it to the plate.

Halfway through the game I made a perfect throw to Jacob.  It was on the right side of the plate about half a meter off the ground.  Right where I wanted it.   But once again he was in the running lane and didn't make the catch.  I'm not sure we would have gotten the runner anyway, but I didn't like seeing that.  Late in the game Jay made a wild throw to me that I probably should have had.  The runner on third took off for home and I then made wild throw to Jacob that there was no way he could get to.  I was really annoyed at myself for doing that.  I'm always harping on the outfield to hit their target.

In addition I had one grounder that I should have had.  It hit the ground a couple of feet in front of me and didn't bounce up at all and I let it under my glove.  Just a little more practice I would have had that one.

They had one runner who made it obvious his first time up that he was going to push us every time he ran.  Bruce made one throw at the guy behind the play, but I think I missed that one, too.  Since it was straight from second the ball stayed close so nobody advanced on that.

Our hitting and running was about average.

Jacob still has a problem watching the ball after he hits.  Mo still slows up way too soon and makes the plays much closer than they need to be.  He's going to get called out on a close call sometime soon.  Rosy is still letting perfect first pitches by.  I need to remember to get him psyched up to plan on going after that first pitch, unless the pitcher has been struggling up until then.

Rosy did finally have a couple of his hits drop in.  He's been hitting a lot of very nice line drives for weeks and he keeps on getting robbed.

They were playing me short, but with the wind I didn't think I could put it past them.   I intentionally pulled one, but the wind blew it foul.  That was too bad, because it had a chance of slipping by the left fielder.

Andy was commenting on a series of errors we had one inning.  He contends that we made three in a row that should have been our outs that inning.  They made several runs after that.  I tried to point out to him that this is E league and that we need to expect some errors.  It's very likely that we'll have at least one error in any given inning.

While the field ump was making good calls, the plate ump ended the game with what was apparently a bad call.  I was running to third, so I didn't see it.  But apparently Scoo was headed home and the throw was on target.  But Scoo dodged the tag and the catcher missed him clean.  The ump apparently anticipated the out and called it.  Nobody thought to challenge the call with the other ump.  By the time I learned what had happened both umps had already walked off the field.  If I think a bad call was made I've learned to look quickly to the other ump.  The first ump can't change his call just because you argue with him, and if you pitch a fit then the second ump will uphold it just to spite you.

March 27 - 6:30 - Trinity Bible Church - Loss 17-16

Practice pitches
4 James Bonney Left
99 Bruce Allsop Short
16 Ross Miller Right Center
0 Scott O'Neal 2nd
42 Drake Christensen 1st
45 Jay Owens 3rd
1 Todd Miller Pitcher
41 Scott Warren Left Center
65 Jacob Catcher
9 Andy Laska Right
Fan turnout:
Aimee+1, Greg+1, Jenn+1, Sylvia+1

As I suspected, Greg's shoulder got worse after the game last week, so he sat out this week.  Luckily, Andy's roller hockey practice was late enough that he could fill in for us.  At least, we thought we'd have him to his practice in plenty of time.   It turned out there was something wrong with the lights.  They never came on.   Halfway through the third inning the umps called the game and went to fiddle with the lights.  Eventually they got them on, though of course it takes fifteen minutes for them to fire up.  So we made it another couple of batters into the inning when they went out.  Another wait and they finally got them up for the rest of the game.

Though after the first postponement I was once again nearly ready to walk off the field.  The only reason we were in this game is they were short a man.  In two seperate innings, two of our three outs came from their missing hitter.  A few of our best hits were within a few feet of being caught.  If they had had one more outfielder they likely would have caught those on the fly.  The other team did make a few minor fielding errors, but for the most part we shouldn't have stood a chance against them.  They had at least three hitters hit the fence on one bounce and one guy that hit the fence on the fly.

I was trying to annoy them with religious insults all game, but I'm not very creative at that.  I forgot to use one of Bruce' favorites.  On one of their towering hits I should have told the batter he was going to smoke a turd in hell for playing so far below their league.

As a couple of people pointed out, our offense was above our average this week.   Again, mostly because of the gaps in the outfield.

Before the game I stuck a bat in Rosy's hand and impressed upon him that he was going after the first pitch unless it was awful.  As he went out on deck the first time he said "I'm going after it if it's close." and I corrected him.  "You're going after it unless it's awful."  That's a different mindset.  I think he only let one strike go by tonight, and it was questionable.  None of the perfect pitches he usually hesitates on.  He did make one running mistake, though it was just aggressive running.  A throw was coming in from the outfield that looked to be going home and Rosy went for second.  The pitcher ended up cutting the ball in the middle of the infield and throwing him out easily at second.

Similarly, I continued working with Jacob on beating out the throws to first.  He now notices himself looking at the play.  That's the first step.  We'll teach him to put his head down and listen to the base coaches.

Now Toad, on the other hand.  I think we need to start a rotating shift on him, where once a week one of us takes him to dinner and goes over running and fielding situations.  Tonight, he hit a blooper single with runners on first and second.   The throw went to third, but it wasn't in time.  Unfortunately, Toad didn't listen to Rosy as he rounded first and he went charging to second even though there was someone there.  He made it all the way to second before realizing what was happening and ended up getting thrown out at first by a couple of feet.  Later in the game he hit another single and I guess Rosy told him to take a turn.  He almost took off for second even though the throw would have been in plenty of time.  He ended up getting himself stopped, barely, and held at first.

Mo had two triples.  I know the first one was a nice line drive in one of the gaps.  I can't remember for certain, but I think the second was simply over the center fielder's head because he wasn't respecting Mo.  Unfortunately, the first inning we ended up leaving Mo stranded at third.

Sometime early in the game, there was a hit to the pitcher when Mo was on first.   The second baseman was set up to take the throw, but the shortstop cut him off just as Mo was sliding into second.  From my angle I couldn't see if the shortstop actually touched second or missed it in going around the second baseman.  The ump didn't call Mo out, but Mo started to walk off the field.  Bruce yelled at him to get back and he made it in time.

My hitting was mediocre.  I tied one throw to first.  A grounder to the left side somewhere.  It was one of those where I felt like I couldn't get moving.   Later in the game I tied another throw, but they didn't give it to me.  I think both of those were trash pitches that I should have let go.  Then late in the game I was aiming for a big gap in left-center and ended up pulling it down the left field line.  I was charging hard for first and was about to take my turn when Bruce started yelling to go.  So I got to second pretty much without ever seeing the ball.   Jay was right after me.  I saw the ball come off his bat and I held up for the tag for just a second until I could tell that they weren't going to get to it.  As I charged third Rosy was telling me to go home.  Very good base coaching by those two.   I was able to make my turns at full speed.  I did also get walked once.

Our fielding was okay, considering.  They put four or five over our heads.   Just before they called the game the first time they dinked a couple short.  I don't know why they weren't doing that late in the game when we were playing them back

Mo dropped one sure catch early in the game, but he made up for it later with a Sports Center over-the-shoulder catch.

Scott also had one or two deep catches that he really had to dig for.

Scoo and I had a couple of lefties that were hitting our way, but I think he only had a real chance at one or two.  I had one that took a funny hop and I barely touched it with my glove three feet off the ground.

We only had one or two infield plays to first.  One of the first Bruce' throw pulled me off of first.  I tried to tag the guy on the way by, but missed.   Then, I saw the lead runner heading to third.  Jay wasn't on third.  When he saw me wind up he started moving, but he was already behind the runner.  I shouldn't have made the throw, but was too intent on it.  Of course I put it where Jay couldn't reach it and the runners advanced.  I did catch two infield flies.   One was foul, the other just a little to my right.  Man, I hate those.  I find them really hard to judge.

So, most of this season's E league is made up of sandbagging assholes.  Wonderful.

April 3 - 7:30 - Petri Elect

April 10 - 8:30 - Nortel Bombers - Win 23-8

Practice pitches
42 Drake Christensen 2nd 60
4 James Bonney Left
99 Bruce Allsop Short
16 Ross Miller Right Center
0 Jeff 1st
45 Jay Owens 3rd
9 Andy Laska Right
1 Todd Miller Pitcher
41 Scott Warren Left Center
65 Jacob Catcher
Fan turnout:
None that I remember

It's actually too bad we stomped on these guys so hard.  They may not play next season.  It was quite refreshing to play an actual E league team.

We had a bit of a confusing start to the game.  Scoo threw out his back so he couldn't play.  Unforutnately, he also showed up late so I had to put together the line-up.  Nobody else could be bothered to do it.  Greg is also still out.  We got Andy and Rosy's ringer, Jeff, to fill in for us.

We had a better than average game.  We actually batted around the first inning, and again the third or fourth inning.  We started off the game with several hits right up the middle.  In addition, we had several bloopers that should have been caught, but got dropped.  Their fielding was probably worse than ours.

Lots of aggressive base running.  We had several people stretch a hit into a double by paying attention.

On one hit late in the game I was coaching first when Toad was at bat.  He's doing a much better job of listening.  I believe the hit was to short left and I told him to take his turn and see what they did.  They missed the catch and were slow to come up with it.  In addition, the second baseman was way off second and not ready for a play.  So I didn't call Toad back and he went for it.  The throw got there pretty close to the same time, but it there wasn't really a good chance to make a tag.  Rosy gave me a hard time about sending Toad, but I think it was a good call.

One one play, Jay overran third and got tagged out.  Apparently he was there with plenty of time, but didn't slide.  He said he knew he should slide, but he wasn't going to.  Later in the game he didn slide into second and ended up twisting his ankle slightly.  I'd say he needs a little practice at that.

My hitting was mostly pathetic.  I remember one dribbled past the shortstop.  Another blooped in.  I think I did have one decent grounder.  After one of my singles the hitter blooped one that should have been caught.  I didn't really lead off enough from first and the play at second was close.  I slid in barely in time and the ump did call it correctly.

Our fielding was mostly pretty good.  In the middle of the game they hit what felt like a long string directly over second base.  Eventually I started cheating that way and was in position to make a play on one.  But it ended up caroming off of the front corner of second and got by easily.

Bruce threw one into the dirt that got by Jeff.  That might have been his only throw.  They just weren't hitting many to the infield.

Toad got one.  And he's learned to make a real throw to first, instead of the lob he used to try.

The other team did have one guy that could crank it.  Very flat line drives that carried forever.  They had one or two who were capable of hard hits, but none of them could control it very well.

A first in recreational softball, a guy tried to bunt.  The umps called him out.

To me, the game felt a lot closer than the score indicated.  It was a pretty fun game.

April 10 - 8:30 - Petri Elect - Loss 10-5

Practice pitches
4 James Bonney Right Center
16 Ross Miller Pitcher
41 Scott Warren Left
99 Bruce Allsop Left Center
42 Drake Christensen Right/2nd
0 Kevin 1st
45 Mike Robinson? 3rd
9 Scott O'Neal 2nd/Right
1 Michael Short
65 Jacob Catcher
Fan turnout:
Kevin's kids

Lots of injuries this week.  Greg's shoulder is still messed up.  Jay said his ankle was still sprained from last week.  Scoo's back was still giving him trouble, but he had to play.

The game wasn't anywhere near as close as the score indicates.  Most of the other team pretty obviously had no respect for us whatsoever.

On one play in particular, a guy hit it to the fence.  But, it was to left center where Bruce was.  He got to it quick and got it on target to Michael.  Michael was on target to Jacob.  The guy ran right through his third base coach and the ball got there while he was still a good fifteen feet from home.  Jacob had plenty of time to tag him.  Obviously, he expected one of the throws to be dropped.

Somehow, Toad didn't hear that we had this makeup, so Rosy had to pitch.  He did a good job.  I don't remember any walks.  He did have one grounder back at him that he just couldn't get a handle on.  It took him three tries to pick it up.   That happened to me a few games ago.  It's incredibly frustrating.

Scott Warren had two that everyone was certain were foul that the ump called fair.   Scott in particular was right there to watch it land beyond the line.  That was annoying.

Scoo started out at second, but said his back was making it impossible to get to the grounders.  But it looked to me like they were all tough grounders.  After the first couple of inning he and I switched.  So of course the other team started gunning for him in right.  Fortunately, Scoo got a good jump on one fly to his side and caught a great in-your-face ball.  That was satisfying.

I had an average game.  In the outfield, I don't think I had any flies.  I had only one easy grounder.  After I threw it I realized I hadn't taken enough time to make sure I hit my target.  It turns out I was on target, but that was really just luck.  I also noticed that I wasn't doing a good job of backing up Mo.  He had four or five while I was out there.  I realized later that when I play in the infield, if I don't have an immediate play on the ball then I have a couple of seconds before there's anything else for me to do.  In the outfield, you need to keep moving until the play gets back to the infield.  I was giving up too early.

When I moved to second I had a couple of plays.  I bobbled my first grounder, but got a lucky bounce and managed to make the play at first.  I handled my second grounder pretty well and Michael called for me to toss it.  I put it close to the right spot, just in front of second a bit above waist high.  Michael said that it came right out of the lights and he missed it.  It's really amazing how badly those lights are place.  I also caught one not-so-high infield fly.  I still hate those.

Our hitting was about average.  I don't remember many details.

My hitting was worse than usual.  Out of three at-bats, I think two were fielder's choices and a line drive out.  The one good sharp hit was directly back at the pitcher and he caught it, I think out of self-preservation.

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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