BEACONSFIELD TOURNAMENT MUSINGS
June 14, 2010
It was an emotional and wild 4 days for some of DDO’s finest softball players. Playing in the Beaconsfield annual slow-pitch tourney for the first time, our boys had to adjust to a number of new rules and home-scheduling disadvantages. First, it was a slow-pitch high-arc tournament with no maximum height for the pitches, there was a mat, no sliding, and tagging up on all bases. Second, our boys had to win 2 of their 3 preliminary games and strangely enough (not!!!) they were up against the two teams with the pitchers who threw the highest. Game 1 was a readjustment period, and our boys took it on the chins 8-3. Many were speaking to themselves wondering what they had gotten themselves into. After a day of soul-searching and constant emailing, including the art of hitting high-arc slowpitching by Steve Greenspoon, the boys came back ready for blood on day 2. First, was a game against a team who’s pitcher averaged 25 feetoff the ground. The boys managed to win 5-0 and the reward was a date against the defending champions from Valleyfield who boasted “the rainmaker”. Averaging 40 feetin the air per pitch the boys from DDO knew they were the underdogs and had to manufacture some runs. Our boys won 2-1, based on stellar defense and wondrous pitching from tournament MVP Harley “Locks” Schwartz. A date in the semi-finals called. The semi-final game was an extra inning affair that our boys pulled through with some clutch hitting, setting up a rematch with the rainmaker and his buddies from Valleyfield. Our boys brought their A game and destroyed the Valleyfield boys 13-2. Aspecial thanks to all the DDO supporters who made the trip south to Beaconsfield to help cheer our boys to victory!
An Open Letter
June 13, 2010
I wantto thank the league and especially Luciano and Rick for allowing me to see if I could play again. I also want to thank Jeff and Micheal for their best wishes and encouragement to come and try.
To all the other players who wished me good luck, thank you also.
To the umpires, thank you for allowing me all the time I needed to catch my breath.
To the entire league--the above is the reason our league is the best around. No one complained what my rating should be or if I should be allowed to replace this or that person, only best wishes and glad I was out there,were expressed to me.
This is the encouragement and sportsmanship we should all strive to achieve.
Based on the latest ramblings I can only assume that our illustrious ATH author is back from his posting in Siberia. Without exchanging barbs with this individual I will choose to stick to the topic at hand and be the voice of reason.
As many of you have no doubt heard by now, we have selected Super Sunday to adopt a 1 game trial implementation of a pitching mat. It is our belief that having all teams participate we will be able to maximize the feedback from all concerned. Rhetoric aside, at its core our league is all about the game and uniformity and integrity of balls and strikes is an integral component. With this in mind the prevailing theory is that the aforementioned mat will go along way in adhering to this principle.
There has been a lot of “discussion” about this decision. A lot of the so called “experts” are certain this is a bad idea while others are touting the merits. One of the first lessons I learned in life was to try new things. Truth be told to this day I still detest liver, but I did try it. Keeping with this spirit I believe it was Alfred Lord Tennyson that penned… 'Tis better to have tried the matand failedthan never to have tried the matat all…Or something like that.
Prevailing opinions aside, the goal is, was and always will be to implement or at the very least “try” to make changes for the betterment of our league as a whole. Whether or not we move forward with this particular development is ultimately in all our hands.
Around The Horn 16
June 5, 2010
Well, you asked for it and you got it…So here we are again – more lives than a squirrel crossing Lake Rd. A word of note though; this little piece is furthermore being edited for publication by the folks at the Richard M. Nixon Institute. Our new sponsors are Watergate and Deep Throat (That’s the Linda Lovelace movie and not Bob Woodward’s secret informant).
And for those who may have missed this season’s first two insertions, here they are again, albeit, filtered through Tricky Dicky’s dastardly “NYET”….
In its infinite wisdom, our exec has determined that all six games to be played on Super Sunday will feature, on an experimental basis, the much (or not so much) debated home mat. For those of you not up to speed, a 2’ x 3’ prophylactic will replace the traditional home plate. If the pitch don’t hit it on the way down, it ain’t a strike. The pitching height limit does not change. What this does is take away any need for an umpire but moreover, plays into the hands of good hitters who can now zone in on a spot and tee off at will. What it also does is provide another position where you can hide a defensively suspect player or extend the careers of some of our aging veterans. All you ask him to do is toss cookies and duck for cover. It also reduces the effectiveness of many of our league’s starting pitchers. What’s next boys, lift, clean and place? Or should we just put it on a tee? A straw poll taken at the park found that many didn’t understand why the experiment. Home plate’s kinda been in baseball for over 100 years. I know a guy who pitches and writes in his spare time. This brainstorm will make dangerous hitters even more dangerous effectively taking away the breaking balls that cross through the strike zone but don’t land on a mat. That pitcher I know, will NOT be pitching on Experimental Sunday.
Around The Horn 15A
May 26, 2010
So much to say, so little space to say it all, but try we will…The 24-hour time-out rule has passed and a good night’s sleep in an icy cold basement still left me thinkin’ I had to get some things off my chest.
Must be other teams in the league but Canada’s favorite, aptly named, CanadaTire, seem to be at the center of most of the excitement in the past week. Like the DallasCowboys and the New YorkYankees, love ‘em or hate ‘em, you can’t argue their success.
Their up and down week was literally a roller coaster ride with wild scoring swings in each of their last two games. First, they go up against SLF, score 7 runs in the first, only to see that erased by 8 runs by SLF in the 3rd. The over-inflated Tires, roared back yet again with another 9 of their own and you figure this one’s over, especially when SLF “Ace” pitcher Gerry Rotstein takes temporary leave of his senses and gets tossed. That left it up to backup pitcher Marco Azoulay, a victim of the earlier 9 run onslaught, to hold the fort. Well, don’t ya just know that Marco held CT to just 1 miserly run over the last 4 innings, allowing his teammates to come all the way back once again and win going away 24-18. Bravo Marco!!! Captain Larry Shapiro averted the gaze of the exuberant spectators who’d witnessed the game as he wheeled the bats into the storage shed. He had “no comment” on why he wound up spending more than 10 minutes in that shed alone, although we’ve heard two versions; reorganizing the room or throwing up…
BUT, what goes around comes around, every dog has his day, yada-yada-yada and last night, CanadaTire did some roaring back of their own. Facing off against Emmis, the Tires got down early and found themselves in a 10-1 hole before most in attendance had taken their seats. Emmis had one foot on the throat and the “Boy’s” were spinning their tires. But bounce back the radials did and short of a furious two-out bottom of the 9th rally, Emmis succumbed by one, 15-14.
The game featured several close calls, some controversial ones, a nasty hop to the nose of second baseman David Azran
P Jerry Lewis & unidentified opponent
Rory Olson, showed up at the plate for his first inning at bat complaining of stomach issues. Well, he didn’t complain but his stomach sure did all the talking, backing the catcher and umpire out of their positions until “things” settled down. Justa hint Ror, don’t eat before games, AND welcome to the league!!!
Play of the week honor goes to Joe Piedmonte (JAB) who, on a sinking liner ticketed to left center off the bat of Mitch Perlman, dove (I really mean dove folks) to his right out behind 2nd base, came up with a spectacular backhand catch and earned himself a “game” ball from his captains and appreciative teammates! Bravo Joe; Your pitcher Harrod and first baseman Ari appreciate you!
Jason Finney is known more for his good looks than his glove (he is?). But against RBC (Berky/Schwartz) he turned two double plays that were highlight reel worthy. Playing 2nd base, Finney took the feed from rover. Then, with his back to 1st base, he jumped, pivoted and before he even looked at first, fired a laser beam to nab the runner. He then repeated the exact same play later in the game and caught everyone off guard including the ump who had started to signal safe.
Home Run Race
Finney 4 – Krane 3
Bouquets & Brickbats
…To Rick and Looch for resisting the temptation to gloat. It’s early still but Radun’s providing solid “D” and sharp hitting…To Lorne Rubin for having the class to kiss and make up, even BEFORE the game ended (Foghorn take note). I know it musta been the 40*C game-time temp along with the Florida-like humidity that caused his bat to go sailing into the fence. ;-)
…To the Emmis catcher, a generally great guy, for complaining to the plate ump AFTER THE GAME that when David Azran took a wicked hop that caught him squarely on the bridge of his nose, drawing blood and forcing him out of the game, time should NOT have been called while the play was going on…Sheeesh, that’s harsh! Play wasn’t goin’ any further pal…
Around The Horn 14A
May 16, 2010
Fresh ink in the quill, it’s time to put pen to paper, fingers to keys as we raise the curtain on a brand spankin’ new season…A big welcome to our new players, Charlie sends you all a big HOO-HA!!!
On paper, team Klaiman/Gutenplan seem to have drafted a solid team top to bottom with an outfield that’s gonna get to almost anything hit their way. With cagey veteran Tom Theofanis on the mound, they should be a factor all season long. Shapiro/Azran will have their work cut out for them as they field a retooled lineup but who’d ever bet against them? Kosow/Marer (Oops, I musta meant Kosow/Rabinovitch – my bad!) are gonna win their share if they find a short enough leash for their GM. Luciano/Steele are sure to put up some big scores.
The early season upset win goes to Rosie/Waxman for beating Shapiro/Azran in a game where they were without the services of 4 of their top 7 picks including 2nd rounder Anthony Wolfe and 3rd rounder Lorne Schwartz. A wiser, more serene Larry Shapiro, I’m told, slept well after polishing his 3 championship rings before bed but was overheard mumbling as he left the park following the loss, “It’s my dynasty, I’m Blake F*ing Carrington!”.
One of the more intriguing stories arguably will be the looming homerun battle that is bound to shape up between teammates Lorne Krane and Jasson Finney. Surely there can be no greater matchup, aside from perhaps the one waged in 1961 between Yankee teammates Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle for single season homer supremacy while chasing the immortal Bambino’s record of 60 round trippers, than this one. Perfect technique vs. brute strength, this figures to be a good one to watch and if egos remain parked, this battle will have opposing pitchers bringing a change of shorts to their games versus JAB. Do I hear Triple Crown anyone???
So, who struck first blood? The dry air kept 3 balls from going out in JAB’s first game, two by Finney, one of which was caught by Mike Witt with his backside against the fence and the other by LK. Game two versus Emmis was another story. The humid night air saw a mist hanging over the outfield grass and the balls began soaring UP, UP and AWAY!!! The game was close until the middle innings and Krane & Finney then went yard back to back in the 7th. The final was 17-6 JAB and the race is officially on. Krane 2 – Finney 2.
A Friday night post late-game chow down saw 7 leaguers sitting at a table at Chenoy’s and putting matters of the world to rest. Laughs a-plenty and as food was being served, Jasson Finney’s eyes bugged out when he saw the 3 Flintstone sized portions of chocolate cake (with chocolate drizzle no less) set before Nat Goldenberg, Lorne Krane and Isar Klaiman. With one eyebrow raised, as he eyed the chocolate slab on Isar’s plate, Finney shot out, “That’s a diabetic coma waiting to happen!”
The ever svelte Larry Shapiro ordered a delicate fruit cup to match the purse he carries showing one and all what it takes to look so good at his age. Or was it because Krane was treating him???
A word of caution to all – BEWARE Chenoy’s $22 omelet with lox!!!!!!!
Who will win this season’s Home Run Race?
Bouquets & Brickbats
…To Rick and Luciano for putting aside their personal convictions and handling xxxx xxxxxxxx xx a xxxxxx trade with class and at the same time reigniting calls for a “no trade” policy, period…
…For our “system” having put Rick and Lootch in this position to begin with…xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Handshakes signify that the game is over and WE MOVE ON – no excuses xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx