Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Blues: 19, Columbia Kings: 17

There were times when a win didn't look likely, but patience at bat and determination on the field ultimately propelled the Blues ahead of the Kings last Thursday night in Central Park. Much like last season's win, this victory was another team effort with steady base hits that led to 8 runs in the second inning and 10 more in the third. Ozzi's final home run kept Columbia at bay until the umpire called the game (in Oxford's favor) just before 7p.m.

Andy distinguished himself at the plate and in left field, earning the first Game Ball of 2009, but again, everyone contributed to a contest that resulted in the second highest score put up by the Blues in franchise history. Dayne, Joe J. and Elyse all did their best in spite of extremely poor visibility in right field, Joe C. argued with the ump,
making sure all of our runs were counted, and somehow, the first baseman didn't drop a pop fly that would be the game's final out. Jared (and Tessa) arrived somewhat late but snapped quite a few nice photos as did Ebin and Abigail using my camera.

Deciding to reward themselves with the hospitality of the Bull Moose Saloon, the Blues arrived to discover that karaoke has been moved to Wednesday nights. They managed to calm down with several pitchers of draft beer.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Blues: 9, Fuel: 10

Everybody likes winning streaks. Impressive to behold and quite difficult to maintain, they are something that many teams aspire to and few achieve. Last Thursday night, on Manhattan's Upper West Side... Rae and Wright added two more wins to their beer pong record and doing so, extended a streak that stretches back to last season. The Blues, alas, were toppled by Fuel at the bottom of the seventh inning after rallying to break a 6-6 tie.

The last time these two teams met—back in the spring of 2006—the Blues left the field with heads held high, but it appears as if some rebuilding and favorable draft picks produced a more competitive opponent three years down the road. Their win did not come easily however. The Blues put the first point on the board, fell behind early on, tied the game at the top of the fifth, and took a 9-6 lead in the seventh. Rob went 3 for 4 at the plate (not half bad for a pitcher), Ozzi delivered a pair of RBIs, and Brian demonstrated the fundamentals of excellent baserunning with a textbook slide into third.

In spite of a couple of missed outs, the defense did their part too, holding Fuel to two consecutive scoreless innings. Ebin snagged a shot that came screaming down the first baseline, Dayne made a tough grab at right center, and, in a moment that will surely go down in the annals of softball, Andy and Robert pulled off an exceptional double play to escape a bases-loaded, no outs jam. Certainly a much closer contest than last season's Game Three.

Jake's cheap pitchers proved once again to be the salve that mends all wounds. Click on this handy link to see Rae's photo recap of the night.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Flashbacks and Predictions

Waiting can be an agonizing activity. Often, to spare ourselves mental anguish, we use distractions to help pass the time. So, as we wait for yet another storm front to move across the New York metro area, I thought I'd post a couple of things to take our minds off of rain outs. First, a quick stroll down memory lane, all the way back to August 2008. The setting: Astoria's Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden. The occasion: A Blues Banquet. Because of a medical emergency, Andy couldn't attend last summer's celebration and the following speech had to be delivered in absentia.
Before I say anything else, I’d like to give a shout out to Brooklyn. Secondly, I hope that many good kielbasa jokes are made this evening—I’m disappointed to be missing them. To begin, I’m grateful to receive this award and the public recognition of my tremendous talent as well as the unparalleled contributions I’ve made to the team. But for the sake of next season, I had to go to Nashville for some experimental surgery on my injured wrist.

I was going to wait to tell everyone, but then I thought it was best to inform you all now: I'm getting a Terminator arm. Although the damage didn’t seem serious at first, doctors informed me that I was close to dying. Fortunately for the Blues, the prospect of playing one more season was all the hope I needed to live long enough to become part machine.

I will be donating my award to charity to contribute to this extremely important cause because with enough awards like this one, we'll be able to see an end to broken wrists within our lifetimes. Imagine a world where your grandchild says, “Pop-pop, what's a broken wrist?” and you reply, “What the deuce?!?! No, wait… sorry, that's history.”

Remember, TIME magazine called softball injuries this millennium's bubonic plague; I’m proud to be a spokesperson in the battle against this scourge. And sure, I’m fighting the good fight one-handed at the moment, but I still think that together we can win handily. Also without getting too partisan, everyone should know that if elected to office, John McCain plans on cutting all funding for broken-wrist research. What a bastard. Finally, I’d like to thank myself for my exceptional athleticism. I’d also like to thank my parents for giving me shoddy genes and God, for making my bones so very, very brittle. Oh, and if it weren’t for Ben, I wouldn’t have broken anything in the first place.
Shifting focus to the season ahead of us, I'd like to put to rest a rumor that's been overheard in the locker room on more than one occasion. In spite of any flimsy evidence to the contrary, the Blues Organization does in fact care about the well-being of its players. No, we don't have a team van, a trainer, or even a clubhouse, but I'm very proud to announce that we've nearly secured an official baker. She's an award-winning pastry chef and, as of Monday, the proud owner of a Cuisinart Stand Mixer, complete with 1,000 watts of mixing power! Because frankly, cupcakes (OK, OK and beer) are the only fitting way to commemorate our first win of 2009.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Blues: 5, CSTV Slammers: 13

According to my copy of the Oxford English Reference Dictionary, progress can be defined as noun that means "development towards completion, betterment, etc.; improvement." And so, while I must sadly report of their loss to the CSTV Slammers on the lush lawn of the North Meadow, the Blues nonetheless personified this word last Thursday night in Central Park.

With six players donning jerseys for their first
appearance of the 2009 season and a vacant infield position necessitating a move to shortstop for Hurley, the defense started off a bit shaky on Field #7. The top of the CSTV lineup didn't make things any easier either, rocketing Robert's pitches deep into the outfield, and in one case, clear into Field #8. The Blues weren't about to roll over and play dead however--quick reflexes from Michelle at second, and Ebin (that's his "magical glove" pictured above) in left field kept opposing batters to singles if they even reached a base at all. In fact, the Blues held the Slammers scoreless on multiple innings.

As predicted, the offense came alive in Game 2. Joe C., Michelle, and Ozzi each drove in RBIs to keep the heat on and the score close. Plus, except for an incident that may have involved some obstruction from a certain third baseman, the base coaches made sure that anyone with a chance to cross home plate knew when to run and when to wait. Unfortunately, Jared took the night off and no one in attendance had a functioning camera with them, so Ebin's photos from our last team practice will have to suffice this week.

After the game, a few new spectators joined most of the team at softball's home away from home on Amsterdam Avenue: Jake's Dilemma. The
$10 pitcher of shots was somehow avoided--this time at least--and bleu cheese shooters didn't prove nearly as alluring to the dumb and daring, but in true Blue fashion, one competitor couldn't resist a beer pong challenge from Jake's charming clientele. Finally, let the record show that Rae does not have a bacon cold, and Ninell will drink an entire beer after our next game.