Tuesday, July 31, 2012
For a variety of reasons, I'm not writing about the games I was involved in this weekend. Leave it at bad scores, bad tempers, I acted like a jerk, and I'm sure nobody on my team wants me to rehash it in a public forum. The playoffs begin next week and we will be ready. Cool heads will prevail, and friendships will not only survive but thrive.
Meanwhile, please go to The M Street Softball Website to read my reporting on the first game of the best-of-seven championship series, which began last night. I'll be covering all of the games over there, so if you enjoy my writing, that will be the place to go until next Monday.
(The park itself is the place to go if you want to see truly high-level fast-pitch softball. These teams are good, the company in the stands is convivial [I'm there, so of course it is!], and if you've never been to the park before and the ice cream truck shows up, which it does about two games out of three, I'll treat you to a black-and-white frappe!)
Soon, with more better stuff.
[Photo of the sportswriter came from this wonderful website.]
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
[My inspiration for what follows was a similarly-titled post by The Cranky Old Man. He is very much worth reading, even if you consider that he gave me the impetus to inflict more of my words upon you and you discount that pain. Tell him I sent you. He probably won't curse you out too much.]
[Photo from the website of The Golden Temple, without doubt the best Chinese restaurant in Greater Boston. I have no idea what this appetizer is, but I am absolutely certain it's delicious.]
Chinese food. That generic descriptive, by itself, begins my tummy rumbling with a yearning to be filled to the brim (and perhaps beyond.) And it fairly much matters not a whit what specific dishes may come my way. As long as they have vaguely Asian names, I will eat them and be happy.
This is not to say that all Chinese food is equal. Far from it. Some is exquisite. Some is lackluster and mediocre. I have yet to encounter a Chinese restaurant from whose menu I would not eat, however, and that is why Chinese food is my favorite gustatory guilty pleasure.
It needn't be a "guilty" pleasure, of course, as there are quite a few healthy items on most Chinese menus. My taste, though, runs to the cheap end of the spectrum. I admit it. I delight in the sort of Chinese food that many self-styled gourmets prefer to label "Americanized Chinese". We're talking the MSG-laden and the deep-fried; the sueys and meins, whether chop or chow; the items with animal names actually containing not even a slight morsel of said animal (I'm looking at you, delicious lobster sauce!); and any mystery meat wrapped in crispy dough. I'm drooling on my keyboard even as I type.
My love of Chinese food was slow in developing. I recall being taken to a Chinese restaurant by my paternal grandparents. I might have been five or six at the time. They were taking care of me while my parents enjoyed an evening divested of my particular charm. Anyway, I wouldn't eat anything that was ordered, would barely acknowledge its existence. My Grandfather, reacting as only a very loving (or, perhaps, mellowly drunk) older relative might have, asked the chinaman to bring me a steak sandwich. The kitchen staff cooked up some slices of beef and threw them between two slices of white bread, and I nibbled on that. The other delights on the table sat there unappreciated by my as yet virgin tongue.
(Yes, I realize that "chinaman" is horribly offensive to some. I would never say it now, but that was how we talked back then. By "we", of course I mean white folk. It was hideous how we treated the staff in Chinese restaurants. My childhood friends thought nothing of sitting at a table in a public restaurant and pulling at the corners of their eyes to make them somewhat slanty, then saying something along the lines of, "Ching chow me mau fixy fixy chinky chow" or something equally enlightened. Those waiters must have been the most patient and kind-hearted people ever to walk the earth. I would have had to have gone into the kitchen, gotten a bucket of hot grease, and come back to the table and poured it over us. In our defense, we didn't know any better. Every Chinese person we had ever seen, on TV or in cartoons, was a caricature; subservient, ever-smiling, perhaps full of avuncular wisdom [Charlie Chan], but still somehow a source of humor and just slightly less human. What a retarded world we lived in back then.)
(Yes, I realize that "retarded" isn't spectacularly nice, either, but it's the most apt word I can think of for how we were, so let it stand.)
It wasn't until a couple of years later that my lifelong love affair with Chinese food began. My folks ordered some as take out and... well, My Father's palette was limited when it came to Chinese, and that probably helped make me more susceptible to the blandishments of said food. Once I actually tasted some of what he always ordered (Sweet & Sour Chicken, Egg Rolls, Fried Rice, Pork Strips) I realized it was inoffensive for the most part and, following his lead, I found out that the liberal application of duck sauce pretty much turned any dish into a candy substitute.
(I'm not kidding when I say those four dishes were what he always ordered. Not once, in my entire time on this planet with him, did he ever vary from that order.)
(No, I'm lying, but only slightly. One time, on a trip to London, we made the mistake of going into a Szechuan restaurant and expecting it to be the same as all of the Cantonese/Polynesian/Low Rent restaurants back home. He looked at the odd menu and tried ordering the things he thought would be closest to his favorites, but when the food came, he took about two bites of one dish, grimly considered the other three, and then decided that some Wimpy burgers would be a better dinner.)
(I found the Wimpy burgers delightful, by the way, until they decided to do an encore appearance a couple of hours later back in our hotel room. This is about Chinese food, though, and not the greasiest hamburgers ever served, so I'll skip the details of my technicolor yawn.)
It’s interesting, as a sociological experiment, to ask folks what they order when they get Chinese food. From my experience, even people who aren't My Father tend to order the same things over and over. And they sometimes get very defensive about their choices, too, saying, "It isn’t really Chinese food unless you order [fill in the blank]."
(I occasionally try something new, but My Father's early influence on my tastes runs strong. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've ordered Chinese without including egg rolls in the order. It might take two hands to count the number of times I've skipped the fried rice, perhaps two hands and both feet for the pork strips. I can report with satisfaction that the sweet and sour chicken has been mostly absent from my plate for thirty years, but that's only because I can't find it as we used to get it. It seems to have devolved into a bunch of chicken fingers in a sickly sweet red sauce and nothing whatsoever "sour" to be found. If I still had teeth, they would be dissolving from just thinking about that goop. Yuck.)
Until I was ten years old, I had no idea that any other types of Chinese food existed other than what My Mom and Dad ordered. Then one Saturday, after Stephen Murphy and I had attended a kiddy matinee at our local movie house (The Oriental, coincidentally enough), we found ourselves hungry and Stephen suggested we go to Cathay Village, which was just around the corner and which was also where our respective parents always bought their respective take out. On the way, we discussed what we might afford, as we each had about 75 cents. I figured that would be good enough for an egg roll, at least, but Stephen suggested we might be able to pool our money and get something called a Poo-Poo Platter. Well, of course, I laughed and laughed. Poo-Poo! There couldn’t possibly be something to eat that was named after poop! Stephen swore up and down that there was such a thing. And he was right, although I found out, from looking at the menu, that it was spelled Pu-Pu. I also found out that we couldn’t afford it, so we ended up ordering the "Businessman’s Special", which was Pork Fried Rice and an Egg Roll for 55 cents, and thus my palate was not yet truly expanded as that was basically half of what My Father always ordered. We enjoyed it immensely while making our eyes slanty and speaking in racist tongues.
(MY WIFE reminded me of a funny story concerning the ordering of the same thing every time. She worked with a fellow who always ordered from the ‘dinner specials’ section of the menu; you know, where there are plates containing three or four specific items, and you order by the number assigned to that plate? Well, anyway, without variation, this guy always ordered a number 13 from the Chinese restaurant he frequented.
One day, while out of town on business, he found himself at a local Chinese restaurant with his business associates. Without looking at the menu, he ordered special number 13. When it arrived, he found himself staring at something totally unexpected and foreign to him. It seems he was under the impression that all of the numbered dishes were the same at every Chinese restaurant in the world. He had no idea what he had just been served, either. He had to ask the waiter what it was.)
It wasn’t until I started smoking dope that I tried anything different at a Chinese restaurant. On an excursion into Boston’s Chinatown with my stoned buddies, they all ordered something called Beef & Broccoli. Not wanting to look weird, I ordered it, too. And, when it arrived, I ate it with great gusto and delight. I quickly found out, on various stoned outings to local Chinese eateries, about such treats as Chicken Chow Mein, Lobster Sauce, and Egg Fu Yung (which, for some reason, my pals all laughingly referred to as ‘brains in gravy’, and that’s what I still think of every time I see it.) Ever since those days, I’ve been an avid aficionado - and defender of - the sort of foods that are scoffed at by the cognoscenti.
The toughest one to defend in the face of scorn is, of course, lobster sauce. It contains no lobster, has never been known to adorn a lobster, and there is no way to justify calling it that other than ignorant tradition.
I once ordered from a very high-end Chinese restaurant – The Golden Temple, mentioned at the beginning of this piece - for a get together which included my good friend, Fast Freddy Goodman. The lobster sauce from that place is easily the best I have ever tasted, ambrosia-like for the true lumpy brown sauce connoisseur, and Fred pretty much concurred with that assessment when he tried it. When I informed him that the menu stated the stuff was actually "lobster infused"”, he said – with the same lifetime of knowledge concerning lobster sauce as I have – "Yeah, right. The closest a lobster has been to this is when they held one over the pot and he pissed in it." Quick comeback, and that’s why he’s called Fast Freddy. However, he was probably close to the truth. I suspect they boil lobsters for other purposes and then use some of that water for the prep of the lobster sauce. It is fantastic, in any case.
(As an aside - which this entire piece is, really, so I have no idea why I'm putting this bit in parentheses - the second-best lobster sauce in Boston and environs can be had at Tahiti in Dedham, from which place I purloined the photo of the Pu-Pu Platter. Rich, thick, dark, delightful. I am absolutely jonesing for some at this moment.)
Lobster Sauce and Fried Rice is a partnership made by God in Heaven. Egg Rolls (which, by the way, the test of a good one is generally how much cabbage is in it, with less of that vegetable and more of some sort of meat being preferred) are wonderful because you can kid yourself into thinking they are healthy, what with being comprised of much greenery, but you should ignore the fact that if you have them left over you might have to de-grease them. Spare Ribs, Chicken Wings, and Beef Teriyaki. Chicken Chop Suey. Beef Chow Yoke. Crab Rangoon (which, to my ear, always sounds like a really grouchy Asian wrestler.) General Gau’s Chicken (which I’ve seen listed on other menus as General Zau’s Chicken and General Tsao’s Chicken, so it’s either a bogus name invented to fool Americans or, as I prefer to believe, so delicious that, during some time in ancient Chinese history, three generals actually shed blood for the honor of having the dish named after them.) Won Ton Soup. That stuff that comes with not enough pancakes for you to wrap it up in (what in hell is the name of that? I honestly can't remember.) Peking Ravioli (which, if even one of those things has ever been seen within the city limits of the place whose name they bear, I'll give up Fortune Cookies for life.) Oh My God I Am So Freeeeeeeakin' Hungry Right Now!!! I'm outta here. I'm hitting the nearest joint, no matter how much it looks like the board of health must have the chef on their ten-most-wanted list.
I'll end this by asking what YOUR ‘must-have’ items are when ordering Chinese food. Don’t feel constrained to limit yourself to Cantonese or American Chinese, if that’s not your favorite style. If your taste runs to the more exotic, I’d love to hear about it. And, if the things I’ve talked about are literally foreign to you, please expound about your particular region. I have no idea, for instance, whether some of you have even the slightest notion what I'm jabbering about when I mention Lobster Sauce. If you haven’t ever had any, you’re probably healthier than I am but you are most definitely not happier.
OK, that's it. I'm gone.
Soon, with a bigger belly.
P.S. I just remembered the Seinfeld episode wherein Kramer calls to order Chinese food and instead of asking them to fix his order without MSG, as some folks request, he asks them to add extra MSG to his order. He is my hero.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
OK, I'm back, but it's more softball stuff.
Actually, it's not so much softball stuff as it is baseball stuff, but I know the distinction doesn't matter much to some of you. However, it comes with a large helping of childhood reminiscence, so perhaps that will make it more palatable for those of you who wouldn't ordinarily care for sports writing.
No matter what you eventually think of it, you won't find it here. It's published on the M Street Softball League website. Please go HERE to read it.
(OK, I suppose I should confess. It was originally published in this space, in 2007, in a slightly different form. I've added a few words here, taken out a few there, and removed all references to what was happening in my life in 2007.)
By the way, I think the website itself for M Street is a swell place to poke around and find interesting things aside from my writing. But, then again, I'm a softball junkie, so your mileage may vary. In any case, Mark Senna, the commissioner of the league, does a fine job over there, and it's very much my pleasure to contribute what I can to the effort.
Soon, with more batter stuff.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Snappy title, eh?
BOMBERS - 19 Renegades - 1
BOMBERS - 19 Renegades - 8
We took care of business and positioned ourselves as we needed for the round robin seeding tournament next week. We move to 9 and 5, fourth place, which means we will play the one-two-three teams. Taking two, and having one other thing fall into place, will move us into second place and give us a first-round bye in the playoffs.
The Renegades are always fun to play. Win or lose, they comport themselves with class. They beat us in the playoffs in 2009, but lost a whole bunch of their players the following year, due to many of them having to transfer to another city with their jobs, and have been rebuilding since then. Dwayne Dahlbach, their coach, is an erudite gentleman and plays the game the right way.
We jumped on top with seven runs in the first inning of game one and never looked back. In game two, the Renegades held a 5 - 2 lead going into the third, but the Bombers scored 13 runs in the third and that was that for all intents and purposes.
And that's all for today. Back to work now, and I'll try to give you something more later in the week. It may be softball-related or it may not. You'll just have to take your chances. Sorry!
Soon, but with more better stuff is a crap shoot.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
In my continuing quest to recycle everything I've ever written, I am re-posting this piece which I've re-posted at least once before. It is pertinent because the creatures mentioned herein have, indeed, returned again. And just when I was feeling extraordinarily lazy, too, thus giving me something to post when I didn't feel much like writing anything new, so if I knew of a treat to give them - aside from a cicada - I'd be more than happy to do so as a way of showing my thanks. However, if you still have a problem with this being a re-run, you could at least be thankful it's not about softball. Softball does get mentioned, in an off-hand sort of way, but no statistics or anything else will rear their ugly heads to intimidate the less mathematically inclined.
RETURN OF THE CICADA KILLERS
The firm for which I work, Marketing Messages, is located in Newton, Massachusetts. At our building, we have a fascinating insect population for two months out of each year. Every July, the Cicada Killers come out to play.
If you've never encountered a Cicada Killer, you're missing something big. And I do mean BIG. They are the largest damned wasps I've ever seen. Here is a picture that provides some idea of their size.
And that doesn't really do them justice. When they're alive and flying around, they look bigger. Here's one standing next to a water pipe. The pipe segment is perhaps four inches long and an inch-and-a-half wide.
The thing about them, though, is that they appear dangerous, but are actually completely harmless.
(Unless you're a cicada, of course, in which case they will KILL YOU.)
When visitors to our building encounter these biplanes flying around near our entrance, they're likely to get frightened. You can't blame someone for feeling that way. These things are almost big enough to saddle, and most wasps would just as soon sting you as look at you. However, here is the thought process of your average Cicada Killer:
He flies up to within ten inches of your chest and looks you over.
He says, "Duh! Are you a cicada? Doy! Guess not! Oooooh! Look! I think I see a cicada over there!"
He flies off to inspect a big rock.
A minute or so later, he comes back to within ten inches of your chest. He looks you over again.
He says, "Duh! Are you sure you're not a cicada? Doy! Guess not! Ooooh! Look! I think I see a cicada over there!"
He flies off to look at a Buick.
And so on.
After a while, you realize they won't harm you. So, you walk right through bunches of them hovering about and you say, "Get out of my way, you chowderheads!" And then they do, because they want to see if that passing UPS truck might be a cicada.
Some folks in this building kill them. Why? I suppose because it makes them feel big or something. I can't imagine a less-thrilling sport than hunting these thick-as-a-brick creatures. I mean, they fly right up to within a foot of you, with no more guile or reticence than Paris Hilton. Where's the thrill in bringing your boot down on such a thing as that? Hell, if I took a softball bat out of my trunk at noon, I could swat them all out into the street by the time my lunch hour was over. Big deal.
I like to watch them, actually. They're amazingly industrious. When building a nest, they get down on the ground and dig dirt like a dog, throwing it out with their hind legs in prodigious amounts. For instance, I left work last night, not a sand mound of theirs in sight, and came in this morning and saw this...
That's about 7" x 7", a couple of inches high, and dug by ONE wasp. That's like you or me building a duplex in one night.
Using only our legs.
While taking time off to go up to passing tractor-trailers in hopes that they might be something good to eat.
Oh, one last thing (in case you didn't click on the link above and find this out already.) The Cicada Killer adults don't actually kill the cicadas. The females - since the males have no stinger - paralyze the cicadas and transport them back to their nests. Then they place the still-living-but-paralyzed cicadas in the nest with a new Cicada Killer egg. When the new one hatches, it eats the cicada.
Yuck! I'm mighty glad I'm not a cicada!
(You, too, no doubt.)
The Cicada Killers go away by the end of August, having finally caught cicadas and lain eggs (and whatever else they do during their brief lifespan - perhaps catch a Buffett concert or some other summery activity.) Anyway, if you run into some of them, just say, "Get out of my way, you chowderheads!"
(Unless you actually are a cicada, in which case you'll be toast.)
Soon, with more better stuff.
(Credits: The photo of the cicada came from Animal Planet. I took the photo of the living wasp, while I stole the photo of the dead ones from this website. However, the photo of the dirt mound was taken by my former co-worker Sarah Colvin, who actually got down on the ground next to it and took the shot while the resident Cicada Killer was hovering within inches of her head trying to decide if she was something good to eat. After figuring out that Sarah wasn't a cicada, it then flew off to investigate a jeep.)
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Jon Lord, keyboard player and a founding member of Deep Purple, has passed away following a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 71.
If you've been following me for any considerable length of time, then you know that Deep Purple has been my favorite group since around my 14th birthday. I've seen them in concert numerous times, have most of their recordings (I would gladly say "all of their recordings", but there are loads and loads of them out there, so suffice to say I have everything they recorded in the studio and a very fair representation of their live output), and they were the group that truly awakened in me an affinity for hard rock and heavy metal. It was my great good fortune to stumble upon these most-talented practitioners upon my initial discovery of such stuff existing.
I had no real desire to be a musician prior to hearing their work. After listening to "Highway Star", there was little else I did want. I owe my many thousands of hours of pleasure, playing the bass and the keyboards and the guitar and the drums and singing and whatever else I've dabbled in, to Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Lord, and Paice.
(Not to give short shrift to the other folks who have been part of the Purple line-up at various times, but it was that fivesome who inspired me.)
My first foray into rock, as a musician, came as a keyboard player and vocalist, and that was directly because of how Jon Lord blew me away with his organ soloing on the Machinehead album. To this day, my favorite keyboard solo is his from Highway Star.
(Ritchie Blackmore's guitar solo is always cited when folks start mentioning the best guitar solos in rock, but I contend that Lord's keyboard solo was just as magnificent and groundbreaking in its own way. Lord was utterly unafraid to explore the very edges of his instrument's sonic capabilities. He, like Hendrix for electric guitar, gave the organ an entirely unheard-before palette of sound. To this day, many casual listeners will hear Lord's chording on a Deep Purple recording and mistakenly take it for guitar.)
His virtuosity as a soloist, and as an improviser, was stunning. Watching him trade licks with latter-day DP guitarist Steve Morse was almost transcendental. Morse would reel off something lightning fast, Lord would immediately return it, Morse would come up with something new, and so on. They'd do this for a two minute stretch and it was mindbending stuff.
My musical heart is broken today.
Rest In Peace, Jon.
Monday, July 16, 2012
Front: Josh Lebron, Jim Sullivan, Michael Curradossi, Jason Scarfo
Middle: Nate Spada, Bob Carlson, Leo Evriviades, Mike Briggs, Ryan Caswell
Back: Jesse Carlton, Steven Mills, Adam Feinstein
Not Pictured: Jim Lambert, Todd Weil, Adam Senter, Joel Mendez
Front: Josh Lebron, Jim Sullivan, Michael Curradossi, Jason Scarfo
Middle: Nate Spada, Bob Carlson, Leo Evriviades, Mike Briggs, Ryan Caswell
Back: Jesse Carlton, Steven Mills, Adam Feinstein
Not Pictured: Jim Lambert, Todd Weil, Adam Senter, Joel Mendez
My season is over at M Street. It's a bit disappointing, as any ending to a season by loss in the playoffs usually is.
The Warehouse - 9 QUENCHER - 4
The Warehouse - 12 QUENCHER - 2
We ran into a buzzsaw in the form of a pitcher named Joey Magee. He was outstanding. We led the league in many offensive categories during the regular season, and that included the most important one, runs scored. He limited us to 4 hits in the first game (one was a grand slam by Ryan Caswell, in the first inning, but we only managed a single hit in the six innings that followed.) Meanwhile, his teammates did the job, offensively and defensively, and all we could do was tip our hats to them. They won, they deserved it, they move on, we go home.
The Quencher guys were a kick to play with, in all regards. They're good people with great senses of humor, always gave it their best shot, and never did anything to make me less than proud to be counted as one of them. Good bunch of talented ballplayers. If I end up playing with the team again, or with any of them in some different situation, I'll count it as a blessing.
My most special thanks go to Bob Carlson, the guy who keeps it all together as coach. He offered me the chance to become part of this squad at a time when not too many others were clamoring for my services. He also gave me a role as his co-coach (I hope that's not too strong a term for my contributions) and I very much enjoyed discussing strategy with him, making out line-ups, keeping the book, doing stats, coaching bases, and all of the other stuff that goes into running a team.
I had a few personal highlights that I'll savor. Catching Steve Mills' first shutout of the season was a kick. And, in that game, I had a perfect night at the plate against a pretty tough pitcher (I had a single and was hit by a pitch. Hey, at my age, I'll brag on any perfect night.) I faced my good buddy, and teammate in other leagues, Big Jay Atton, and had a 2 for 3 night against his team. As a matter of fact, I had the only hit Big Jay gave up - a single in the sixth inning (my other friend, Jack Atton, was the starting pitcher.) In other games, I had a couple of plays at the plate that were fun, resulting in outs and getting my uniform dirty.
Well, enough about the end of that season, I guess. Time to let it go. I wrote something else about it, and specifically about my final at-bat, over at the M Street Softball League website, and you can read it HERE. I think some of you will find it entertaining.
Final QUENCHER Stats
Now it's on to the beginning of The Bombers playoff run (I hope.) We entered the weekend at 6 and 4, third place, and it appears we'll make the playoffs unless some sort of absolute calamity takes place. What happens after that? I don't know. This team has the ability to go all the way, but it also has the ability to keep itself entirely frustrated. The talent is there, but sometimes it's not being harnessed, you know? Here's hoping this week we kick some ass and get my mind back in a nicer place after the losses at M Street.
See you after the games.
Dot Rats - 6 BOMBERS - 5
BOMBERS - 17 Dot Rats - 10
With the split, our record goes to 7 and 5. We dropped from third place to fourth.
Our road to the championship became clearer. What I mean to say is that it's clear what we have to do to get there. We need to win our set against The Renegades next Sunday. Then we need to win two games in the round robin tournament that comes at the end of the regular season (top four teams play each other, bottom four play each other, and then everyone is seeded. If you're in the top four, you can't drop out of that bracket because of the results in the round robin, nor can you move up from the lower bracket.) Four wins out of five will get us second place, good for a first-round bye. Then we have to win our two playoff series. Simple as that.
Nicely pitched game by Jack Atton in our opener, but we just couldn't score the runs to back him up. We had four in the first inning, looked like we might romp, but no go. My contribution was to loft a can of corn to right center as a pinch hitter in the seventh. As poetic justice, I was pinch hit for in the fifth inning of the second game after going 0 for 1. So my total day was five innings caught, 0 for 2 at the plate. I am not feeling any better about my skills this morning, but it was nice to get that win in the second game. I just realized, as I was going over the stats for both my teams, that it was the first win for either of them in July.
I'll mention a couple of other folks who deserve mention. Tom Resor had a fine day, with two home runs and 9 RBI. Drew Atton broke out of a hideous slump to crack a two-run double in the late going of game two, after which we broke it open.
(Clutch hit by Drew, but I also want to give some props to my man Ron Johnson. He was going to be inserted as a pinch hitter for Drew, but he convinced Jack to keep on batting Drew, instead, and then Drew came through with his big blow. Nice bit of team by Ron there.)
Joel Kershner had a couple of doubles and a triple, and he also played some fine SS. Big Jay was his usual self at bat, getting four or five hits. Robby Costello threw game two and helped himself with a three-run homer in the sixth. That was the one that put it totally out of reach for the Dot Rats, and he cruised through a one-two-three to end it.
I suppose I should note one cardinal sin I committed yesterday. I was called for catcher's interference when I reached for a pitch and the batter swung through my glove. Dumb. The ring finger on my glove hand was already hurting due to the fastballs I was catching from Steve Mills on Quencher and then Robby, so I go and stick it in a position where someone can smack it with a bat from the other side. Red and swollen this morning. Not broken, but I would have deserved it if it was. That's the second time I've had that called on me in my life. You'd think once would have taught me my lesson, but no...
For those of you who can't help falling down into a disappointed heap when you see that I've written about softball again, I promise something totally devoid of sports in a day or two. Hang in there.
Soon, with more better stuff.
Monday, July 02, 2012
I don't feel much like talking about what happened in softball this weekend. Both of my teams lost their games against the iron of the league.
QUENCHER - 10 Stats/BSB - 2
QUENCHER - 7 Swingers - 0
Shenanigans - 11 QUENCHER - 2
Titans - 16 BOMBERS - 10
Titans - 14 BOMBERS - 10
There will probably be another shot at both of those teams, for both of my teams, somewhere in the playoffs. I know we can beat them, but the games this weekend were not a confidence booster.
Quencher's regular season has been completed (due to an impending field re-sodding, it was a shortened schedule) and we will begin our playoff run on July 10th. Here are the standings as of this morning, July 2nd.
TEAM W L T PTS RS RA Strk
Shennanigans 13 0 0 26 170 27 W13
Sonny's Pirates 13 2 0 26 161 42 W1
George Pratt Club 12 3 0 24 162 73 W1
Quencher Tavern 12 4 0 24 215 88 L1
The Warehouse 10 5 0 20 124 67 L1
Paramount Bucks 10 6 0 20 126 116 W1
Bulldogs 9 6 1 19 145 123 W1
BelowAverageJoes 9 7 0 18 177 176 L1
Telegraph Hill 9 7 0 18 173 138 L1
Stats 8 8 0 16 177 190 W3
Stadium Stingers 8 8 0 16 162 139 L5
The Playwright 6 9 0 12 110 162 L2
Cranberry Café 2 11 1 5 108 195 L6
Stats - BSB 2 13 0 4 99 191 L1
The Swingers 2 13 0 4 123 214 W1
Cornerstone Pub 2 13 0 4 96 258 W1
Clarke's 2 14 0 4 77 206 L10
Top 10 teams make the playoffs, with the top 6 receiving a first-round bye. After teams 7 through 10 play each other and determine the two teams which will advance, there will then be eight teams remaining. We're locked into fourth place, and will face The Warehouse in our opening round, a best 2 of 3. We beat The Warehouse, 9 - 8, in our regular season game. They have a very tough pitcher in Joey Magee, but I believe we're the better team, overall.
The Bombers were beaten, plain and simple. Both games could have been won, but our heads were up our asses. What I mean to say is that we made stupid mistakes, mostly on defense, and if there's one thing the Titans aren't, it's stupid. You give those guys an opening and they ALWAYS take advantage. They play smart, almost without fail, and that's why they've been champions of that league multiple times. You have to beat them; they will never beat themselves.
I'm not sure where the losses leave us in the standings. We're 6 and 4, might be second place, could be third.
I know there were a few things that happened, here and there, that guys said to me, "Hey, Sully, I bet that shows up in the blog!" Sorry to disappoint, but not right now. I just feel like clearing my head of softball for a few days. I don't feel like rehashing the minutiae. Next game is July 10th, when Quencher begins their playoffs. Bombers don't play again until July 15th. Until then, I'm taking a bit of time off from writing. There may be a re-print of something around the 4th, but otherwise I'm taking a short vacation.
I hope everybody (well, every American...) has a wonderful holiday, and I'll be back with fresh writings on the 16th. So...
(not quite) Soon, with more better stuff.