Monday night’s matchup between the Wet Bandits and the Ex-Presidents was a true corker. With big plays, big scores and even bigger collisions, the fans were treated to one of the more exciting games of the 2010 Fall Season.
The mayhem started in the top of the first inning, when Bandits Big and Frey collided spectacularly in the outfield.
A slightly woozy Frey later said, "They say that when you’re about to die, the most important people in your life flash before your eyes. Last night, in the moments before I collided with Big, I had a vision. And that vision was Catie Mills."
“Wait,” said Catie. “Who are you? How’d you get in my house?”
“Also wait,” added Big. “I ran into someone? Is that what that bump was? I really didn’t think anything of it…”
The Ex-Presidents managed to put five runs across in the first inning, but the Bandits began chipping into that lead right away, with a run in the first, when Big managed to push the speedy Yuval across.
The Bandits’ defense then held strong through the rest of the game, only allowing one more run in the fourth inning. Meanwhile, the offense got two more runs back in both the third and fourth innings off of enterprising running by Nancy, Nathan and Asian.
The second collision came in the top of the third at second base when Nathan’s knee met Ex-President Paul’s head. Like half of the NFL quarterbacks this season, it was quickly determined that Paul was concussed and he was led off the field to a round of applause from both sides.
“It was pretty scary,” said Big. “Kickball can sometimes get a bit heavy, but you hate to see anyone get hurt. We hope to see Paul out on the fields next week, if only so that Nathan can buy him a pitcher!”
The Bandits’ Nancy also had a somewhat rocky night as she, first, jammed a finger on a fly ball in the first and later caught it in the face in the third.
“I really had a rough night,” said Nancy. “Apparently two weeks off was too much for me because clearly I wasn't in catching mode. Not only did I sprain my finger in the first inning trying to catch a fly ball, that same ball decided it didn't do enough damage and smacked me in the face in the third.”
The play in the third should make the highlight reel, though, as the high pop-up floated on her, came off her hands, then face and bounced up behind her where Game MVP BK caught it before it hit the ground.
As the plucky Bandits kept the pressure on, the Ex-Presidents’ early lead shrank to one run in the fifth. Some of the chatter got a bit personal.
“You're going down Jen ‘Baseball Pants’ Eaton!!!” cried Phil.
The Presidents were able hold off the Bandits, though, ending the nail-biter in the bottom of the fifth with some solid defense.
The Bandits will be looking to bounce back next week when they face off against Chicks Like It Tickled.
The Wet Bandits improved to 3-0 on the young kickball season with a rousing 7-3 victory over New Kicks on the Block on Monday night.
The back-and-forth battle featured two ties and two lead changes before the Bandits broke it open with a four-run fourth inning. The rally saw the first three kickers -- Helen, Amit and Amanda -- reach base and eventually score, with RKIs from Zach, Phil (who also scored later) and Big.
"They had an awesome pitcher, but at the end of the night, the Bandits proved they had the right stuff," said Big, who went 2-for-2 with 3 RKIs on the night. "Also, judging by the credit cards Asian found in the dirt by second base, we've moved beyond robbing houses and into identity theft!"
NKOTB got off to an early 2-0 lead as Big struggled with his command on the mound, but he helped his own cause in the bottom half of the inning with a single to drive in Amanda. The Bandits tied the game in the bottom of the second as Nancy followed Marshall's embarrassing strikeout with a single that scored Yuval. Frey added an RKI in the third inning to give the Bandits their first lead of the game.
On the defensive side, Kevin made several impressive throws from third base to first base, keeping his arm and shoulder fully attached each time.
But the play of the game came in the fifth inning, when Nancy and Marshall nearly collided on a pop-up to short center field. The ball bounced off Nancy and over her head, where Marshall bobbled it and was forced to make a diving catch. The play earned Marshall game MVP honors and help take some of the sting out of his earlier strikeout.
"Just when I think he couldn't possibly be any dumber, he goes and does something like this ... and TOTALLY REDEEMS HIMSELF!" said FBJ.
The Wet Bandits staged a three-run rally to overcome an early deficit and defeat the Schweaty Balls, 4-1, in Week 2 of WAKA Minuteman Division action.
Just hours before first pitch, there were questions if the game would even take place, thanks to thunderstorms in the greater Somerville area. But the skies cleared, leaving the field just how the Bandits like it: wet.
The Schweaty Balls got off to a 1-0 lead in the second inning and held Los Banditos scoreless through three innings, but the "Triple N" bottom of the order -- Nancy, Nathan and Nick -- got things going in the fourth with three consecutive hits. Amanda added a fourth at the top of the order, and Yuval, Colin and Captain Monkeybutt followed with three consecutive RKI to take the lead for good. Big added an insurance home run in the fifth, and Sierra Navarra made a great stab at first base in the bottom of the inning to seal the deal.
"It was a close fought game out there," said Big. "It was wet. At times it was sassy. But in the end, we licked 'em. We licked those Schweaty Balls!"
The Bandits could have scored more runs in the fourth inning but fell victim to an extremely rare triple play on a low line drive that caused confusion among the baserunners.
"I gotta say, the Schweaty pitcher scooped that ball up within a millimeter of the ground," said Zach. "It was a pretty awesome catch. But the best part was the old-timey banjo hoedown that played in my head while the runners shuffled hilariously back and forth along the basepath."
The wet grass made fielding an adventure, but the Bandits did a great job keeping the ball in front of them and preventing big plays, even when they couldn't make a catch. Nathan, Zach and Spartacus were among the defenders who made big heads-up plays in the field.
"It was great to be back after a seven-week kickball hiatus, albeit at times rough," said Spartacus. "I think I heard people singing circus music around me at one point. But we Won! And that is all that matters."
Yuval's 2-for-2 day at the plate, with an RKI and run scored, earned him game MVP honors as the Bandits improved to 2-0 on the young season. They next take on New Kicks on the Block on Monday night.
It was a muggy evening in Somerville as the Wet Bandits and Playground Legends took the field. Fresh off an undefeated regular season in the Patriot summer division as The Team Your Team Could Smell Like, the Wet Bandits were eager to climb into the panel van and start casing joints.
Their first challenge would be the upstart Playground Legends who are, by far, the loudest and greenest team they’ve played all season.
Despite the Legends’ intimidating place in recess folklore, the Bandits were able to push two quick runs across in the first with RBIs by Asian and the still-injured Brow, acting as DH, scoring Frey and Captain Monkeybutt (who still maintains that Randy Munkay should also count as a run… well, maybe half a run…)
The Bandits then opened the taps in the second, with a six run rally on the strength of RBI doubles by BK and Nancy (her first career two-bagger) and run-scoring singles by Ray, Barry and Tristan.
While the Legends got on the board in the bottom of the second, Big kicked a three run homer in the top of the third to keep them on the ropes. BK then drove in his third RBI on the night in the top of the fourth.
The Legends, however, were not done, as they muscled three runs across in the bottom of the fifth before the Bandits were able to finally shut the door on their first victim of the season.
“It was a fun game,” said Co-Captain Big, who filled in for the absent Captain Colin “Man of” Steele. “They were a great team to play with. Nick’s honesty at second base – though really only serving to confuse things by insisting, himself, that he was out when he should’ve just stood on the bag until a ref told him to leave – was a perfect example of the best kind of kickball sportsmanship.”
Both teams’ defenses benefited from the fresh balls, with accurate throws that made for close calls all over the infield. First baseman BK, returning to Somerville after a three year hiatus was happy with the conditions. “"Somerville has lights, so that's cool. And Samba has beer and flip cup, something I haven't seen in a divisional bar since, well, the last time I played at Samba in Somerville."
Kevin earned the Bandits’ game MVP award (trophy pending) for his efforts in the hot corner, with a couple of seams, an over the shoulder catch in shallow left and holding onto a bullet down the line to end the game. In lieu of a Wet Bandits trophy, Kevin took home (again) the Team Your Team Could Smell Like MVP Clam. “I will be heading to JC Penny over the weekend to take a family portrait with the clam,” he said proudly. “It will hang over my TV for many years to come.” This can only result in more material for AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com.
With a final of 12-4, the two teams repaired to Samba’s where a few of the Bandits made some attempt at proving themselves at the flip cup table. While team newcomers Helen and Barry (traded from the Ballstars in the offseason) flipped like veterans, Tristan struggled to find his form and Big was, literally, embarrassed by his visiting younger sister.
Helen, who was voted the “Hottest Kickballer” during the summer Patriot division, played the game without her trademark suspenders.
"Well, to be honest, I felt naked without my pink polka-dot suspenders,” she said. “They may have to make a comeback next week. There might be some unicorn-shaped pigtails too...perhaps. But the lack of suspenders may not be the most disappointing part of tonight, though. Our victory is no victory unless Tristan can flip a cup in less than 10 tries. Another week, I hope."
After the hurry up and stop of the coming bye week, the Bandits look forward to facing off against the Schweaty Balls when play resumes in two weeks. It's been noted that the Schweaty Balls, like The Team Your Team Could Smell Like were undefeated in their respective previous regular seasons. This should be a monster match-up!
I hope you all had a good sleep and a wholesome breakfast. I trust you all brushed your teeth (including the gold one) and looked both ways before crossing the street.
You did? Good, because 9 out of 10 kickballers agree that a good start to the day is the best way to prepare yourself for the evening's game. (The tenth guy got hit by a plumber's van on his way to take the survey so didn't get to answer).
And, my friends, I want everyone prepared: Prepared to RAWK!
Colin's Coach Boone is unavailable tonight so, as co-captain, I'm filling in as Coach Yoast. While Yoast didn't have a lot of inspiring speeches, he did have, essentially, the title lines. And I tell you tonight, like our namesakes' propensity for leaving the tap running as a calling card, we will make sure to leave our own calling card of excellence so that they remember, forever, the night they played the Wet Bandits!
... I know, I'm mixing and bastardizing movie references... Just go with it, he's rolling...
Remember: Meet on the field at 8 to collect your shirts. Also, be sure to bring something to change into afterwards as Brennan may be collecting shirts so that they may be sent to the screeners and we can get our logo put on.
Above all, come ready to get your kick on! We'll catch 'em unawares! They're going to be on vacation (perhaps in Paris) in their minds and we're going to come in and steal the glory!
Every game is the Silver Tuna, people! Let go out and TAKE it!
Big Wet Bandits
"We will be perfect in every aspect of the game. You drop a pass, [Yuval] runs a mile. You [swing and miss], [Yuval] runs a mile. You fumble the [kick]ball, and I will break my foot off in your John Brown hind parts and then [Yuval] will run a mile. Perfection. Let's go to work"
The Team Your Team Could Smell Like’s playoff run came to a surprisingly early end in the Semifinals on Thursday as the resurgent Balls Deep squad rose to the challenge and sent the top seeds home. It was a tightly played game with strong efforts by both teams. While there were no improbable heroics by the underdogs like a one handed helmet catch to look back on, there will be those that will long question some of the decisions made on the field.
“Yeah, I think there are some sour grapes rolling around,” said Captain Big after the game. “When it comes down to it, though, I’m proud of my guys. They played their hearts out. Asian’s got a concussion, JP may have cracked some ribs, I strained a hip flexor. We left everything out there. We didn’t lose this game for lack of heart, that’s for sure.” “Emotions were very high with all teams but things fell the way they fell,” said Phil. “That's the fun and simultaneous sucking of kickball.”
FBJ took home the Game MVP trophy and will hold onto it until Spartacus returns. Lindsey, despite being missed on the day, was awarded the Spices’ Season MVP Award for lifetime contributions to the team (and for being the one to find what many consider to be the best Munt and Flip Squad MVP trophy of all time). It’s worth noting that an 8-0 regular season record with a +60 Run Differential is no fluke. While this loss stings, the frustration is undoubtedly exacerbated by the novelty of the sensation, this being the team’s first loss all year. Players and fans should remember that they already achieved greatness with their efforts during the regular season and quarterfinals.
Munt and Flip teams have proven themselves to be like fine wines. They improve with time, and it certainly doesn’t look like they’ve reached their peak. They’ll be back next Summer to reclaim their throne and are looking forward to starting the ball rolling this Fall in the Minuteman Division.
All the great ones leave their mark. We are (now) The Wet Bandits!
The Team Your Team Could Smell Like Season Statistics
“He moves in circles of friends who just pretend that they like him
He does the same to them and when you put it all together There's the model of a charmless man” - Blur
“Put this on your blog. Put this on YouTube.”
I can’t say I’m proud of myself for barking a few expletives on my way out of the bar last night. As usual, cooler heads prevail but never in my house.
What I can say is that I’m proud of this team. We ran an amazing season, for sure, sailing a 9-0 record to lose in a tight game with some tight calls.
But what’s most heartening is the way we did it. This kickball thing is about so much more than a handful of at-bats. In those matters, The Team Your Team Could Smell Like has proved itself an able and inspiring leader.
I like this blog. I like our YouTube videos. Big’s weekly updates provide great positive reinforcement and solidify this team as a group. He often takes the time to include other teams and players in the fun. They usually appreciate it.
And say what you will about Brennan’s rants (and I have) but I’ll never dismiss earnest pursuit of the craft of writing. The world’s better for this stuff. History is littered with the corpses of humorless fascists terrified by their failure to comprehend any literature more challenging than a Teddy Ruxpin book.
The editing job on the team video? I know newspaper staffs that couldn’t pull that off. Well done, sir.
I’ve also never heard anyone on this team say anything cruel or condescending during line-up. Thankfully, our meaningful recitation of “Good game” is rarely a struggle. We’ve gained a reputation as a fun team to play, always giving a shout-out to our opponents and buying a pitcher for our refs. We’ve adopted players from teams along the way, like a snowballing foster family of kickball misfits.
The day is rare, then, that we arrive on the field and can’t honestly say we’re lining up against friends. I’m thinking back to the last game I left angry, a rather absurd 2008 match against Gettin’ Cider. These days, I look forward to playing that team both because they are really, really good and because they are our compatriots.
We’ve also shown the utmost respect for the safety of other players (I’m turning a blind eye to Tristan’s pre-season ways) and compassion for the injured ones. A few years ago, after great and reasoned discussion, this team went in favor of the extra-base rule. We’ve suffered significant injuries, going years back to BK’s busted shoulder. I didn’t even know the guy then. That’s how long this has been going on.
This year, we took an especially hard hit when Brow dislocated his shoulder. To watch a friend in that much pain, to know the long-term effects on his body and his pocketbook - and I do believe Brow carries a pocketbook – was a terrible feeling.
Because of these experiences, I can’t imagine anyone on this team ever starting a sentence “I know she’s hurt, but…” and I certainly can’t imagine anyone else on this team standing cowardly in the background using the words “I don’t care.”
I’m also proud of the support this team receives from our former players. Yuval and Rob both made showings last night because they care about this team. And we’ve had countless significant others and family members show up and join in the fun. That says so much about the constitution of our people.
Which brings me to a final word about that banner. Cap worked really hard on that out of a love for this team and the people on it. So forgive me if a lot of my bad attitude last night came out of the mocking of it by a member of the opposing team, complete with a cruel, disgusting and small crotch pump. Where I come from, you don’t speak ill of a person’s family or friends, even unknowingly. Responding to those who have has caused me to fight against reason and act like a grunt on a number of occasions.
So it was last night that I acted out when provoked about the banner on the way out the door. Sorry, but the only person I’m giving that thing to is Seamus, so he can take it to Vegas with him (a few turns of fate and I’ll be there too). “So what if all my heroes are the losing kind?” the phenomenal rock band Lucero once asked. “So what?” I say. “Let’s take the damn thing to Vegas anyway.”
Whatever good reasons for my anger, though, doesn't excuse my decision to drop to a combative level. That Blur quote back at the beginning is directed at myself just as much as anybody who upset me. Maintaining composure can be a challenge for me, so much so that my unofficial New Year’s resolution was to act more like a gentleman (the official and much more fun one was to become an expert on Peter Gabriel – success there, so far). I’ve got a ways to go, but with this team I know I’m in the right company to do that.
The Team Your Team Could Smell Like’s 2010 Playoff Campaign started on a friendly note as the captains exchanged gifts before kick-off. By exchange, that means that Mark gave Big a Bafana Bafana South African soccer scarf straight from the recent World Cup. Thinking quickly, Big gave Mark one of his wristbands… Frankly, and almost-insulting trade…
“I didn’t know we were exchanging gifts!” he later cried.
The Pitches’ captains also presented the Spices with an Old Spice poster they’d apparently ripped off the ground near the Broadway T-stop – something Big would’ve appreciated being told before he made a show of hugging it close to his face…
In the Pre-Game Ceremony, Team Martyr Brennan was also honored for his efforts in the final game of the regular season in which he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. There was an atmosphere of levity and fun as the teams took the field, both ready to make the most of their kickball hijinks as the season’s finale draws nearer.
“It was great to finally play the ‘Pitches since I missed our regular season game for a graduation,” said Bayewitch. “I was actually supposed to play on that team, but they filled up too fast and Steph helped me get adopted by the Spices. Although they didn’t come to the game expecting to win, they had great energy and sportsmanship and were definitely the most fun team we’ve played."
With eyes for Vegas, however, the Spices knew they had a job to do: Score as many runs as possible in order to qualify for this year’s Founders’ Cup. A slow start, however, saw the Spices’ kickers go down in order in the top of the first.
Things got rolling – literally – in the second, however, as Big led off with a bunt that, after a series of plays deserving a Benny Hill soundtrack, would result in the Captain coming all the way home. The Spices then plated four more with a triple by Phil and RBIs by Kevin, Amy and Chris.
The Red team would then score three in the third (RBIs by Squints and Ray) and break the game fully open with an impressive eight run fourth, with a second homerun by Big (this time with the bases loaded), another triple by Phil (this time with an RBI to boot), an RBI double by Kevin and a sacrifice by Brown. For his offensive efforts, Captain Big was awarded the Game MVP trophy.
“I don’t know what to say,” he said. “Kicka-the-ball ‘az alwayz been beddy beddy guud to me.”
Defensively, the Spices were sparkling. Tristan was busy in right field with a number of catches as well as covering throws to first. “I would like to pretend that I'm confident enough in my hand-eye coordination to relax in those situations,” he said after the game. “In reality I just shout in my head ‘CatchitcatchitcatchitcatchitcatchitcaughtitbreathethrowtoBig.’”
As the game progressed, the ever-observant Pitches noticed Captain Big and Umpire Charlie looking parched and insisted on providing refreshments. Both men were driven to a knee with gratitude…
The match finally ended with a bang, as the Pitches kicker lofted a difficult spinning ball into foul territory near the Spices’ bench. First baseman Colin, however, ranged over and made the play, with a little double-touch flair. "As a first baseman, I'm used to just standing there and catching the ball,” said Colin. “So having to run for that foul ball was a new challenge – one that I wasn't particularly up for, considering it involved physical exertion and, quite frankly, it was pretty hot out. When you throw in the fact that it was a foul ball, and I could have just let it land over by our bench harmlessly, it's a minor miracle that play even happened."
With that confidence-builder, both teams repaired to the bar (though, not before returning the ice-cold refreshment favor to the Pitches’ player who had, previously, been so generous) where they heard the Catty Awards results and played around with Tommy Doyles’ thermostat so that it would cool the room, rather than heat it. The Spices are now looking forward to carrying this momentum into the Quarterfinals and, Spaghetti Monster-willing, their third Championship match in as many years, next Thursday. They welcome any and all of their friends and fans to come out and support them in their historic run to Vegas!
A diminished Team Your Team Could Smell Like took the field, Thursday, against the resurgent Blue Steel, looking to put a cap on their perfect season. The Steel, on the other hand, were looking for revenge after the Spices took the series opener in a tense and shortened match back on June 24th.
Though their defense held strong, the Spices’ offense was uncharacteristically quiet on the night. As a result, all of the scoring came in the first inning. First, the Spices plated five runs in the top of the inning, then the Blues pushed two across in the bottom half of the frame.
Spices infielder Bayewitch kicked in two runners, earning her a season high single game RBI-tally. JP went two for two on the day, though he suffered an out of character lapse of judgment on the base paths in the later innings when he was doubled up off a pop fly.
“DOH,” said JP. “My perfect regular season record is ruined!”
JP more than redeemed himself, however, with numerous strong plays in the field, including a key catch in left center after a long run that prevented a Blue Steel rally.
The story of the night, however, went to Brennan, who made his first career start at third base. The Spices were missing all three of their potential third basemen on the day, leading to the late change to the lineup.
Brow performed admirably through the course of the game, coming close on numerous throws to first and not allowing any cheap runs or shots down the third base line.
In the fifth inning, however, fate caught up with him. Charging a roller down the baseline, Brennan scooped up the ball and made a strong heave to first where the runner narrowly beat the ball to the bag.
In the act of throwing, however, Brennan managed to dislodge his arm from its housing. The arm remained dislocated despite the efforts of the on-field medics and required professional attention. Brennan was bussed off the field to a thunderous applause.
“Well, I threw to first, and the entire right side of my body felt like it got punched,” said Brennan (seen below during happier times). “My whole arm went numb so I had it in me to feel my ‘shoulder.’ Judging by the bone jutting out of my back, I was guessing it was dislocated. “Thanks to all the Spices and the Spices’ cheering section (‘Herbs?’) who helped out last night. No sports for four weeks, though, good luck in the playoffs.”
The Spices would hold on in the bottom half of the inning to complete the victory and their perfect 8-0 regular season record, though the celebration was somewhat dampened by the injury. Brennan was posthumously awarded the game MVP trophy.
“I don’t want people to think it was a pity award,” said Captain Big. “We asked a lot of Brennan tonight. We asked him to play a position he’s never played before, to make throws he hasn’t had to throw and to bear pressure he hasn’t been asked to bear before.
“I think he held up admirably... well, until his body literally started to fall apart... then, of course, there was a degree of whimpering and sobbing. But I think he can be forgiven a little bit of whining when his arm isn’t in the place where it should be.”
With the loss of The Brow for the rest of the season, the Spices will need to make some changes to the lineup, but they remain confident that they can carry their regular season momentum through the playoffs and earn an unprecedented third-straight championship.
This author would also like to issue an apology to the Balls Deep player who was mentioned in last week’s recap. No offense was intended and we hope that she can forgive us for the ribbing she received from her teammates when they learned that her exploits had been highlighted in another team’s pages. When the writer ran into the player on the field, he readily offered an apology and asked to confirm her name, in the event a misnomer might also have contributed to the player’s aggravation. The player then proceeded to lie about her identity. This is understandable, the player wishes to remain anonymous. In the interest of meeting the players’ wishes, in any future mention in these pages, the player shall be known as “Fizzie”. We would like to wish Fizzie and her Xena-trill luck in all her future ventures.
The Spices were well-rested as they made their way to the field on Thursday. After a successful Mid-Season party and some therapeutic Old Spice Man ad watching, The Team Your Team Could Smell Like was refreshed and ready to get their kick on.
The upstart Balls Deep fielded a slightly diminished squad but gamely took the field, ready to give the current Division leaders a run for their money. Spices fans, of course, were expecting some fireworks and the Red team eagerly obliged them, pushing six runs across the plate in the first. Included in the impressive rally was a two-run sac fly by Big, scoring both Angela and Asian, who churned her way around from second before the ball could make its way back into the mound.
The first inning was just the tip of the iceberg as the Spices’ offense managed to score a season high 15 points on the game, including two RBIs-each from Zach and BK.
"We played kickball last week?” asked BK when asked for comment. “Who? Balls Deep? Those clowns? I don't even remember them. But my two glorious, perfectly executed hits and RBIs? Yeah, I don't remember them either."
"I'm not saying it was the Reuben pizza and $4 pitchers of PBR that a group of Spices consumed pre-game that accounted for my better-than-usual kicking on Thursday,” said Zach about his efficient kicking. “Seriously, I'm not saying that. That's ludicrous. There's no possible connection between what I had for dinner and how one particular kick turned out." With five doubles in the game, the Spices have clearly found their rhythm this season. It was an instance of Small Ball, however, that threw Asian off during the game against Balls Deep.
“Big bunted!” she said. “He never bunts! I wasn’t ready for that! I barely made it to second!”
Defensively, the Spices, again, proved their strengths, with a trademark swim-move catch by Asian and more quick footwork by Brow.
The play of the day – perhaps of the season – went to Kevin at third (seen here, reenacting the play with his MVP trophy). The Balls Deep kicker laced a rope down the third base line, destined to go foul. However, Kevin made a fantastic (some might say reckless) dive to his right, going completely horizontal to snatch the ball out of the air and make the out.
"When the ball was kicked my way, I thought, 'Nope, not gonna try,’” said Kevin. “Then my instincts took over and I heard myself internally yell, '110%!!!!'."
"Kevin's swan dive catch was the greatest thing I've ever seen,” said Co-Captain Colin. “Except for the gourmet cake that I baked in the kitchen I built for you with my own hands." The award for “Funniest Sound Effects” went to Liz of Balls Deep whose Xena-like trills whenever the ball was pitched to her had everyone either laughing or scratching their heads.
Liz also won the award for “Most-Times-To-Touch-The-Ball-In-One-Pitch” when she logged no less than four touches to the ball (including, possibly, one to the back of the head, though we’re still not sure how that’s physically possible) when she swung at one of Phil’s patented “Swizzlers”.
All in all, it was a solid outing for the Spices and, at the risk of sounding patronizing, an admirable effort by the short-handed Balls Deep who managed, in their three runs, to plate the most kickers allowed by The Team Your Team Could Smell Like all season. The Spices now look forward to their final game of the season and a matchup against perennial rivals Blue Steel.
Vegas is the Valhalla of our sport. You go there if you're a little more than serious about this game. But with the recent hack-and-slash they've done to the invitations that go out, its only fair that regionally, we start picking the cream of the crop. In preparing for the Fall Leagues, I looked and noticed that in Massachusetts there are 15 leagues. At worst they have 8 teams a piece but most are going to at least 12 or 16.
Lets say for the sake of the math they all have only 8. 8 x 15 = 120.
Those are just the teams. There are 26 slots on each roster. That's 3,120 kickball players in this region alone. (for those miserable grouches out there, that [at $65 a pop] $202,800.00 they make in one season in just Eastern Massachusetts).
Logically, there's no way to account for, or balance around, any aberrations in league strength, talent balance amongst the teams. There's also no way to enforce that the three people showing up to ref even know the rules, let alone if they called the game fairly. Life isn't fair, we can't make this perfect but we can refine it.
A Boston Invitation would take, from each league, the playoff winner there and place them in a bracket. No run differentials, no rankings. If you're in, it should be assumed that you could be the best or the worst depending on who showed up to play.
Why Create an Invitational?
There was a point in time where the Final Four in college basketball was just that - final. They all claimed to be Champions, if only in their region, and who of them were actually capable of beating the other 3 was all speculation. I shouldn't need to tell you that this has long ago gone the way of the buffalo. The questions and speculations in this league are only made worse by the pre-season scramble to figure out where C.L.I.T. and Electric Mayhem are playing this seasons so you can figure out where the competitive teams are.
If you don't land in those leagues, Champions are never Champions. Your kickers could never kick as well against Marcello's pitching, and they certainly couldn't get past the defensive wall on C.L.I.T. But says who? The factors are too innumerate to mention but everything is based on the size of the field, the size of the batters box with the Umpire that day and it goes on and on and on.
I can't speak for them, but I'd guess our WAKA overloards are looking to make this business (many of them having full-time jobs devoted to it) about as lucrative as possible. Why not then move to make this sport as "sporty" and as streamlined as possible? You'd have a breeding ground for decent umpires on your way to Vegas, and it would garner some strong attention for this regions players. I think if the future is going to be defined by the rising of Kickball from cultural quirk to legitimate sport, it needs to be done with a cleaner, smarter elimination process and where better to start than in the Cradle of Liberty?
The Common was a dustbowl as The Team Your Team Could Smell Like and Gettin' Cider took the field on Thursday. Neither team complained, though, as they welcomed dry weather after the monsoon that dominated the first half of the season.
The Spices have been carrying momentum since the first week and it showed itself again last night as the Reds pushed six runs across the plate in the first inning with RBIs by Big, Phil, Kevin and Seamus before the Cider were able to stop the bleeding. BK and Colin then drove in Seamus and Squints in the top of the fifth. More impressive than their offense, the Spices continued their season-long defensive clinic. Phil and Kevin were stellar in the infield while Bayewitch and Asian made plays at second to keep the tie-dyed runners honest. Catcher Brennan had a breakout game behind the plate, recording no less than 3.5 outs through heads up play and accurate throwing.
“It was one of those games where you just go out there and you bust your ass,” said Brennan. Grabbing the microphone he continued: “Some times you end up with these 6-0 leads and you think, ‘Is this a syphilitic fever dream or am I doing acid?’ Then you realize that you’re fine and they’re just wearing tie-dye and you happened to not drink enough liquid at lunch.”
“You win some, you lose some and sometimes you’re caught sleeping in the outfield or playing with a dog off-field,” Brennan continued, with a surprisingly strong grip on the recorder. “But at the end of the day you have to brush your shoulders off and swan dive back onto your horse… or your motorcycle… or into the greatest game of your life… You know, whatever.
“I think, when it comes down to it, we’ve played a great season so far and a lot of our fans have really come in support of our attempts. It is a little disappointing LeBron rejected us for Miami. But what can you say to him? Cambridge just doesn’t bring the Yayo… But what were we talking about? Oh yeah, the game.
“Great first inning. Great second inning. Not a bad third. Really nice fifth. I refuse to talk about the fourth inning, but I’m still happy with our performance.”
When asked for a comment on his 2 RBI, 1 Assist and 2 IP MVP performance, Phil took a deep breath: “What? What did I do? It was all Randy Munkay!” In a game that included a couple of laser-beam, cross-the-diamond putouts, another foul out for Big’s tally, shut down catching and great team play in shallow center the story of the game, perhaps undeservedly and eclipsed only by some buffoon in Cleveland, had to be Seamus’ gaff in left field.
In a moonshot pop-up, it appeared that the Party King had a line on it, only to lose the ball’s flight at the last moment. The ball bounced off his hands and behind him, resulting in the first homerun Big has conceded all season.
The press caught up to Seamus after the game. “I think the catch may have gone better had Drinks Captain Ray been at the game to insist that my drink accompany me to the outfield, thus providing me with a half a second delay while putting down my beverage before coming in for the catch, meaning I would have been in perfect position and would have made the catch.”
Captain Big chimed in, “I’ve had a chance to talk to Seamus and, you know, he’s absolutely right. Ray missed today’s game and then didn’t come out to the bar afterwards. He’s totally at fault here. The team will probably fine him and that’ll be end of it. We’ll move on and put this unfortunate incident – which was all Ray’s fault – behind us.”
In off the field news, most of the Spices players will be attending the MA Patriot 2010 Mid Season party this Saturday and will be available for autographs and photos. Don’t miss this chance at getting your hands on a great piece of kickball and historical memorabilia!
Tensions were high as the Spices squared off against the Bootleggers for the fourth straight season, as a few transplants had some more than sporting words for the competition.
The game was a 4-based bloodbath of trench warfare as the Spices, managing to squeak a run across early in the first, were forced to simply maintain the lead for three innings while the Leggers made their way around the diamond.
But something had to give, and the Spices managed to break free from the Bootleggers stranglehold with a 4th inning swan-dive into a six run lead.
The glory of a 6-0 shutout was dashed, however, when the Booties dug deep in the bottom of the 5th to snatch a run from the jaws of scoreless ignomy.
This week's MVP, Angela Frey, had this to say: "I was rounding third and I needed to do something epic. I closed my eyes and prayed as I slid across home. My ass is still store but it's all about trying new things. Thats what she said!"
Its come to our attention that you've upped your parking meters from a 6 pm end time to an 8 pm end time. While I can understand the need to provide more parking this confiscatory legal piracy is not the way to go about it. What you've done amounts to third world tithes, and your secular humanist sect doesn't fit with my general beliefs. Beliefs such as the dollar I put in this parking meter should come with a hot dog and a free soda.
More importantly, you should factor in how much we give your miserable communist berg, and what we receive in return. For one thing, we contribute greatly to Harvards stature. Who are they going to scoff at condeceningly if not for drunks in rugby socks. Think about it.We also provide tremendous amount of economic stimulation well after we pay a dollar for a cramped parking space on your back alley cow paths. Does anyone really like waht you're offering in Harvard Square? We ought to get paid just to prop that dump up. If I wanted to go to a mall full of hippie jackasses I'd move to Denver. The one good burger joint you had mysteriously "burned down" and I'm sure it will conveniently be replaced by a lens Crafters. Also, its fairly evident that Tommy Doyles hasn't been up to code with its plumbing in quite sometime. In fact I'm fairly certain after 9 pm on thursday its bathrooms count as wet lands and should be protected by the Wildlife Federation. You're certainly not allowed to run a business on this Cantabridgian Everglade.
We are constnatly getting ticketed, our homeless fans are routinely harassed by police officers driving onto the commons, and you've done nothing to curb the mosquito population next to, above all things, a playground. if I were a lesser man I'd suggest that your carefree attitude toward EEE is infantaside by apathy.
But we are nothing if not cordial. We are willing to compramise but we do have some demands written into our attonrney-lookedover rider. First of all, we're sick of using that poor excuse for a bathrom you call the Sheraton Commander. We'll need plumbing (good plumbing) on the field in some capacity. We'd also like a scoreboard, especially for the games Cider is reffing. How am I to know what the count is with calls like "too bouncy." And finally, we're sick of this half-hearted space saver you call a parking-policy. The sky is the limit so start making taller parking garages. And we'd like to reserve them on Thursday nights thank you.
I hope that this letter will be found both reasonable and realistic. Our requests are above all else fair and we expect a prompt response in regard to them. If we have not heard from you in 1 weeks time, we are prepared to move forward on our suit proving you had Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage whacked for your own commerical gain. Suck on it.
In prodigious goodwill, The Team Your Team Could Smell Like.
It's Monday and, for perhaps the first time since week one this season, my phone's weather forecaster shows something other than a monsoon for Thursday. As I say that, I'm furiously knocking wood so as not to jinx it, but we'll see!
Time: 6:30 Field: Field 2 (grass) Who: Bootleggers (gray)
Please let me know if you CAN or CANNOT make it out on Thursday! This helps me put together the positions and kicking lineup!
The Bootleggers are a veteran squad, so we need to be on our A game this week. Their captain, normally a really nice guy, was involved in a bit of an incident on the basepaths last week, though, so they may be a bit shaken up going into this week. Let's take advantage and get our kick on!
So, why should you want to beat the Bootleggers? Well, they're gray, first of all. And what have we seen in the skies for half the season so far? Gray! So let's take our frustrations with Mother Nature out on these guys! We all hate New England weather, so I think we can tap into some deep and longstanding ill will!
So, for all that is right and good in the world, for all the sunny weather that's been bullied aside by gray-meanie clouds, and for all those forced to drink sub-par beer because of pillaged stocks, let's take these bums down!
In other, sock-related news, the Tampa Bay Rays recently introduced a new sock to their uniform in hopes of jump-starting their beleaguered offense. It looks like the sock trend continues to spread. Now, it hasn't worked for the slumping Rays which you'd think isn't a great sock motivator. But you'd be wrong. You see, we want the Rays to struggle, so the sock magic is still working in our favor! Wear your reds with pride on Thursday!
Captain Big The Team Your Team Could Smell Like
"They're cheating! Their bags have magnets! Those bags are using magnets!" - Steve Li
The weather gods, again, showed their displeasure with kickball this week, throwing microbursts at Cambridge Commons in an otherwise lovely week. Refusing to let a little moisture get in the way of their kickball, however, the players waited for the sunshine – as well as the equipment – and got underway late. Many of the Spices sported call back socks to seasons past. Raining Sideways, King Hippos, Green Team, Grilled Cheese, Last Ones Picked and Strangers in The Alps were all honored on the day.
The Spices’ offense got off the ground early as Tristan advanced to third on Asian’s single where he arrived safely, but only after taking out the third baseman who was half his size. In his defense, the fielder spent most of her day standing in the basepath. Tristan, however, was apologetic. “Just call me the Kobe Bryant of kickball... I mean in the 'abuses women' way, not in the '5 time world champion' way..."
The Reds then took an early lead with RBIs by Big and a great sacrifice kick by JP, scoring Tristan and Asian, respectively.
The defense held strong in the bottom of the first, but two Blue Steel runs snuck home in the second. Blue Steel’s CF Long (sp?) got home the hard way rounding the bases after narrowly missing being tagged out by Phil and then an even closer call on the third base line when Big watched his tag miss the runner by a hair.
The teams then traded body blows in the third, each scoring a single run. The Spices’ came on a huge sacrifice kick by Seamus that scored Spartacus from third.
You could cut the tension with a knife going into the fourth inning as Bayewitch stepped to the plate. The Blue Steel pitcher, who had some trouble finding the strike zone in the third (even walking a patient Zach), got a bit cute, rolling in a few meatball pitches that still went wide. Thinking quickly, Bayewitch took advantage of the pitcher and catcher’s apparent apathy, acted disinterested until the ball finally broached the kicking box and placed an inch-perfect bunt down the third base line, catching the fielders by surprise. "I think the pitcher thought he could psych me out by pitching another slow ball, but I fooled him,” said Bayewitch (Coriander). “The ball just stopped, I acted confused and then was like, ‘OK catcher, see ya when I round the bases!’” Suiting actions to words, Bayewitch would then take an extra base on the subsequent at bat while the fielders weren’t paying attention to her. This heads up and enterprising play by the plucky second baseman earned her the Game MVP award. As the Blues reacted to Bayewitch’s gall, Asian was then able to take second base for her first double of the season.
As it turned out, Bayewitch’s adventures at the plate and on the basepaths were the spark that the Spices needed to start an impressive six run rally.
While at second base, Asian talked to the Steels’ speedy centerfielder. Big was able to take advantage of this distraction and boot a double to left center while Long wasn’t looking, scoring Bayewitch from third.
JP then launched another sacrifice fly that scored Asian from third for a second time. JP (After Hours), who has the team’s only triple on the season, said “Against my selfish burning desire to kick the ball and chance any double plays, I opted for the team and made sacrifice hits to bring runners home from third.”
The Spices then flashed their kicking quality. Brown singled in a run, Phil got aboard, Colin made up for an earlier baserunning gaff and drove in his fourth RBI of the season, and Kevin finished off the rally with an RBI of his own.
Team fireplug Catie also drove in a run on what could have been a double. She was forced to live with a single, however, when the game officials sent her back to first saying that the ball had been mounded and the play made dead. “Honestly... he was over by third which was why I went... he would have had every right to try to get me out!” said Catie. “She’s right,” said Captain Big. “If this was the playoffs, I would’ve said something. As it was, it was kind’ve funny to see her slink back to first base.” Carrying the momentum into the bottom half of the inning, the Spices took the field against a now desperate Blue Steel offense. BK survived a play at second as the ever-dangerous Long plowed through the bag, overrunning the base. BK, kept his head and tagged the runner out.
On what was to be the final play of the game, First Baseman Ray – in his first game back since his wedding, honeymoon and mattress-shopping obligations – held onto a difficult winding liner down the first base line. Hitting the ground to make the catch, Ray then made double sure of the out by dragging himself along the wet grass to tag the base with the ball ahead of the runner.
“That hilarious play showed how much heart this guy has,” said a tearful Captain Big. “He made that catch, which was impressive enough, but then wormed his way back to the bag so there would be no doubt. I only wish I’d remembered to bring him his jersey today and he wasn’t playing in that stylish button down shirt…”
Due to the late start (partially due to weather and more due to the late arrival of equipment), the TTYTCSL/Steel match was called after only four innings, to the chagrin of both squads, especially hearing that the subsequent match played all five innings.
Ever the sportsmen, the Spices bought the Steel players a pitcher/three PBRs at the Bar. While it was still a win and leaves the Spices undefeated on the season, it was a moderately hollow victory because of the game’s shortened nature. The Spices look forward to facing the Steel again later in the season. Captain Big would also like to thank the Pitches’ Mark for his birthday PBR. “I found your thoughtfulness tasty and refreshing!” said Big.