Sunday, August 25, 2013
We did not win the championship.
Titans - 12 BOMBERS - 8
Titans - 21 BOMBERS - 6
I am both heartbroken and happy, basically for the same reason - my teammates.
I'm sad that we lost, of course. I wanted this one. I'm not getting any younger and the ability for me to influence what happens, in any way, is slipping out of my grasp. I'm now officially an old sub. I can't control my own destiny from the bench. That probably won't improve next year, barring some sort of fountain of softball youth being discovered. I only played one inning on the field and had one plate appearance (a base on balls with game two well beyond salvaging.)
(I don't have any bad feelings about being on the bench, by the way. Everybody wants to play, so I do, too, but my manager did what he thought was right and what he thought would give us the best chance to win. I've been a manager myself for way too many seasons to start sulking about a managerial decision. It's a team game, and I trust my teammates and my manager. And Jack, my manager, is a great guy, a fair guy, and a fine judge of talent. No complaints about Jack, ever.)
Anyway, I'm heartbroken FOR my teammates and I'm happy BECAUSE OF my teammates. Lots of them gave me the big handshake or a hug, after the game, and told me they wanted to win it FOR ME, and... Fuck, it makes me misty right now while I'm writing this. I truly believe two or three of these guys wanted to win it for me more than they did themselves. How could I not feel utterly blessed to have teammates like that?
I love you all, guys.
Game one was competitive. The Titans got out to a 4 - 0 lead in the first, but we came back to tie it in the third. After that, they went up 8 - 4, then 10 - 4, we got it back to 10 - 7, then it went to 12 - 7, we scored one in the 7th to make it 12 - 8, had two men on, but couldn't get any more.
Game two was a disaster. We took a 1 - 0 lead in the first inning, on Mark Preziosi's 8th home run of the season. Robbie Costello, who gave us three innings of good relief in game one, started game two, and he felt he was getting squeezed. I tend to agree. There were a few excellent pitches of his, across the batter's knees, that weren't called, leading to 3 walks in the second (sandwiched around a single) that tied it.
Same sort of thing in the third. It looked to me as though he had a definite third strike on a batter, which would have given us two outs, but it was called a ball. Then Robbie tried to be finer and the hitter stroked a three-run homer.
(I really try not to blame things on the umpiring. Hell, we lost 21 - 6. That's not all bad calls. That's bad fielding, dead bats, and everything BUT poor umpiring. But it really did seem Robbie didn't get the breaks. And I consider the guy behind the plate in that game the best ump in the league, and I'm willing to concede maybe we wanted the calls so much we might have seen things in a rosier light. Still, we probably should have had one or two of those calls, and saving one of those innings could have made a difference.)
Nothing else to say about the games. The quicker I forget about them, the better. I've still got a season ongoing at M Street on weeknights, so no time to wallow in self-pity.
Single-season records broken or tied:
Big Jay Atton set a record for W-L% for a pitcher by going 10 and 2 (.833), breaking Robbie Costello's 4 and 1 (.800) from last season. Big Jay also broke the lifetime mark for pitching victories with 38, and took over the lifetime team lead in RBI.
Pat Atton scored 35 runs, tying Scott Sarro's record from 1997.
Both Pat and I broke Mike Martin's record for bases on balls (17, in 2004). I had 18. Pat had an amazing 21.
Final record broken was an obscure one. Tom Resor is currently in a streak of 166 plate appearances without a strikeout. Jay Atton held the record previously with 156.
(I'll give a complete listing of all current Bomber records in a few weeks, after my other season is over.)
Let me say it again: I'm blessed beyond belief to still be playing at my age and to have such great teammates.