Monday, December 6, 2010

Blues Blotter

Blues Offseason News Blotter: November 06, 2010

Good times.

Blues name new Coaches:

Dan Ozzi and Robert Repino were named the new managers of the Oxford Blues, replacing Ben Keene and Tanya Laplante. When asked about the upcoming season, Ozzi simply screamed “LET THE REIGN OF TERROR BEGIN!!!!!!!!!!”

Former Blues Manager Flees Country:

Erstwhile Blues coach Ben Keene has fled the country for Asia under mysterious circumstances—his rumored destination is Thailand, known for its sex tourism industry (this is purely contextual information—draw your own conclusions).

Jeter tries out with Blues:
Derek Jeter was seen exiting Blues training facility Jake’s Dilemma Saturday night, after a tryout with new team managers Dan Ozzi and Robert Repino. Though the current Yankees captain declined to comment, sources within the Blues Organization say that as of yet, no decision has been reached. Reports had placed Jeter’s potential contract with the Blues in the range of $85 million over four years, plus free drinks after games.
Update: Jeter will not join Blues this season:
Said manager Dan Ozzi: “Unfortunately, Derek failed a portion of our physical exam which required him to eat a minimum of three chili bacon burgers within a half hour. Extra points would have been awarded if he also added fried eggs.” More news to follow.

Update: Jeter re-signs with Yankees, calls it “consolation prize:”

Said Jeter: “It would have been awesome to play beer pong with someone good for a change. A-Rod sucks.” Blues member Andy Fargnoli upon hearing the news: “It’s for the best. Everyone knows Minka Kelly and I had an on-again, off-again thing when I played high school football in Texas, and being on the same team would have just been too much for Derek to handle. There’s just too much history.”

Repino bitten by Radioactive Cliff Lee:

Mild-mannered Blues coach and pitcher Rob “R-Train” Repino was touring a Columbia University laboratory yesterday when a radioactive Cliff Lee which had escaped from its tank bit his hand, raising a suspiciously red, throbbing lump (that’s what she said?). This is probably nothing, but we’ll follow this story as it develops.

Update: Repino gains Super-Human Pitching Abilities:

“The Pocket Rocket” was seen throwing 130 mph softballs through a brick wall this morning. Dr. Curt Connors, a genetic specialist from the science lab Repino visited yesterday, said it probably has something to do with the radioactive Cliff Lee bite.

Update: Repino Vows Revenge on all Blues’ Foes:

After watching his “Uncle Ben”—Repino’s nickname for a former Blues coach (who has since fled the country for sex tourism related reasons and will remain unnamed)—lose a softball game because of Repino’s refusal to pitch after he was unpaid for the previous game, Repino has vowed revenge upon all batters, everywhere. Reportedly, Uncle Ben’s last words in America were: “Rob, with great pitching, comes a better chance to win games. Also, your infield is pretty good, so actually, don’t worry about it that much. But remember what I said about the pitching. Ok, my plane is about to take off.”

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Best of the Best

This week's post was by Dan "And Another Burger for my Friend" Ozzi. —The Editors.
For whatever reason, the Blues have never been invited to play in The Yorkville Sports Association’s All Star Game. Perhaps it’s because there has never before been one. Or perhaps there has been and the Blues’ record was not good enough to qualify. Kind of like when you were 9 and weren't invited to that awesome birthday party at Discovery Zone that all your friends went to. (By the way, if you’re reading this, Eugene Peleshi, I still have not forgiven you!)

But 2010 being the Year of the Blues (and according to the Chinese Zodiac, the Housecat), the All Star game had Oxford representation from 3B Joe C. and 2B Michelle. Under the sage guidance of the EBGBs’ coach, Lipinski and Joe batted back to back in the lineup, going a combined 4 for 4 and touching the plate each time.

Down a few runs in the last inning, Michelle and Joe brought the Blues’ can-drink attitude to their all star team which came back to gain the lead. Not wanting to take any chances on a blown save, this prompted the manager to call in the Mariano Rivera of 3B closers, Joe C., to close out the game at 3rd. With one out to go, a grounder down the line allowed Joe to use his gator-like gatoring to gator the ball and gator it down to first base, ending the game in a win. 

Their team was largely a sea of black and yellow, with players from EBGBs and Debevoise and Plimpton. But the Blues provided a much-needed touch of blue and white. All the league’s favorites were there, including… you know… That Large Guy on EBGBs, um… First Basewoman Repino Has A Crush On, uh… Big Calf Asian Guy. Well ok, we don’t know their names, but by the end of the game they knew ours! Several players even remarked at what an amazing rookie team the Blues are. After learning that we’ve been in the league for six seasons, there were awkward silences… and then fireworks. Maybe.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Brink of History, Part II

To the best softball team in the least competitive co-ed division of the Yorkville Sports League:

I only have one thing to add to Coach Taylor's post. It seems strange five years down the road, but in the spring of 2006, we didn't know if the newly minted Oxford Blues would even return to defend their 1-11 record. Many of the Blues were moving on: team founder Al Cascio and manager-in-waiting Kyle Taylor were moving on to new jobs at new companies. We could always depend on KT to lead us on the field, and Al to send us semi-clad pictures of David Hasselhoff, but we needed someone to send out the emails, carry the team bag, and get everyone to the game on time.

I had a hunch that a couple of other Blues were better suited to the role than I was (a certain under-used utility player and dependable everyday catcher come to mind), but in the meantime, I had one talent to offer: my cubicle was next to Al's. When I finally volunteered for the job, Al pointed at me and hissed, "I f*@&ing knew you'd step up."

So I sent the emails, carried the bag and we got to our first game on time. And in the last inning we rallied for the win, what was then only our second victory ever. The following celebration provided a a worthy edit to the team mantra: have fun and drink beer, but you will always have more fun when you win. I wouldn't change anything about those early seasons (well, maybe one particular fly ball that was lost in the sun), but if we had made it to the playoffs? Wow...

So before you step on the field before tomorrow's historic game for our first-ever playoff berth, I'd like to leave you with the only sentiment I feel appropriate for the occasion: "I f*@&ing knew you'd step up." And I know you will again.

Let's go Blues.

Monday, June 28, 2010

On the Brink of History

Blues Brethren,

You are about to embark on a historic mission. That mission is to take the Blues into their first ever post-season.

With your indulgences, I’d like to use a common quote once said by Will Smith’s
character in the below average romantic-comedy Hitch. The quote is “You can’t always know where you are going until you know where you have been”. I normally cringe at such a cheesy line but in my mind it fits this moment very well . . .


“Don’t worry if you suck. It’s just an excuse to drink beer”

-Al Cascio, 2005 (aka The Godfather, Al Casanova, Skip)

Al Cascio was fond of sports and even more fond of drinking. One day he realized that four or five of his fellow OUPers were also interested in either sports, drinking, or both. So in the Spring of 2005 he went cubicle to cubicle, gathered support, started a petition, received funding, and started the Oxford Blues (named after the 1984 Rob Lowe movie) . The team started out small and consisted of a rag tag bunch of 10 or 12 wildly different characters. Their physical prowess was limited but that didn’t bother Al. His recruiting pitch focused more on the camaraderie and less on the competition. So the new team was established with the mantra: Have fun and Drink Beer.

(Al Cascio discussing team strategy with fellow Blue, Cathy Giffi)


The first season was a competitive disappointment although the Blues did stick to their mission of fun and drinks. On the field, the Blues struggled to field a full team of 10 and were often “mercy ruled” by the fifth inning. They also were forced to play on a dust bowl in Hell’s Kitchen and make shift fields scattered throughout Harlem. However, the team held their heads high and went out for cheap pitchers of beer after every game, no matter the outcome.

Then one summer day in 2005, the Blues managed to earn their first ever victory. It was a nail-biter that ended with the opposing team, WFAN Radio, grounding out with the go-ahead run on base to end the game and give the Blues their lone win of the season by the score of 5-6. In the post game jubilation, the team realized that the Blues had become more than just a team of unathletic drinking buddies. This was something special.

(Winning "scorecard" from the Blues first victory)

From that point on, the team grew closer and closer. By the end of the season the teammates looked for other excuses to congregate and drink and so a Blues tradition was born, the Annual Softball Banquet at the Astoria Beer Garden. At the banquet, season highlights were relived, individual awards were handed out, and of course plenty of Czech beer was consumed.

(First annual Blues Banquet 2005)

During the winter the gang continued to stick together and organized trips to the Cheap Shots bar in the east village, Beer Pong competitions on the Upper East Side, and parties in Brooklyn at the apartment of a rookie catcher named Tanya Laplante.


By the time the second season rolled around, the Blues had established themselves as a fun loving bunch and recruiting came easier. They now were able to consistently field a full team and so they looked to improve on their inaugural effort. They took a small step forward in the win column and earned three legitimate victories and one win via the forfeit. Things were headed in the right direction. Another advancement for the team was moving to the league's midtown division. This allowed the Blues to play closer to home and establish consistent uptown and downtown watering holes (Jake's Dilema and the Bull Moose).

(Blues team photo 2006)


During the Spring of 2007 the word had really spread around OUP that the Blues were on the rise and were welcoming all newcomers just like in years past. However, because of the team’s new popularity the roster grew to over 25 players and coaches Matt Greene, Tanya Laplante, and Kyle Taylor had a bit of a problem. The Blues had always allowed everyone to participate, so for the first two games of the season they tried to stick to that principle by rotating players every two innings to accommodate everyone. This carousel of players didn’t allow anyone to get into a rhythm on offense or defense and resulted in two mercy rule losses and a restructuring of the team.

You see, the coaches realized that in order to accomplish rule #1 (Have Fun) the team had to be able to finish games, and therefore be competitive, and therefore limit the number of players per game. This was a controversial maneuver but the Blues were able to pull off the delicate balance of staying relevant on the field while avoiding the temptation to be ruthless with roster spots in the name of success.

(Blues at the Bull Moose 2007)


The Blues lost a few key players during the off season between the 2007 and 2008. The first few practices in 2008 hosted a bunch of fresh new faces. This new mix of old and new Blues challenged the team to come together quickly, which they did. After a few games the team gelled and had one of their best after-hours seasons since the early days. There was ranch dressing chugging, countless rounds of Goldshlager shots, and an epic night of karaoke at the Bull Moose with the Blues, medical marketing's Team Bussy, and family and friends all the way from Germany. Unfortunately, the karaoke and fun didn’t translate into wins on the field. The team struggled early on and would finish the season with only one win.

(Blues team photo 2008)


I moved away in the fall of 2008 and wasn’t on hand for the 2009 season but I stayed in close touch with the team. From all accounts, the 2008’s 1-11 season had zapped some of the enthusiasm from the four-year veteran players, including coach Laplante and newly promoted coach Ben Keene. Although the newer players were still optimistic and able to shrug off the tough losses, the weight of four years of defeat had worn down the remaining original players. When the team started out 1-7 and took a crushing loss to Telerep, the outlook was bleak. The team was able to party on valiantly but underneath the surface of cheap pitchers, beer pong, and hot wings, for the first time the franchise was in pain.

The next week the Blues earned a victory via the forfeit. After such a rough start to the season, most teams would probably take the cheap win and cancel the trip to the park. They might instead opt to go straight to the bar or maybe even go straight home and enjoy the night off. The Blues had other plans in mind. Even though they were dwelling in the bottom of the league with no chances for the playoffs, they decided to continue on to the scheduled field to practice hitting some balls and have a scrimmage.

Although there is no way of knowing for sure, I like to believe that the Blues spirit and decision to continue on to practice that day set the team on an upward swing from which they have not yet come down. After winning just just two legitimate games in the previous two years, the Blues would go on to finish their remaining four games with two wins (including a 21 to 1 blowout), one loss, and one tie. Most importantly, they would end the season on a positive note and create momentum for 2009.

(Blues team photo 2009)


This year, the team has picked up where they left off in 2009 and they have broken just about every competitive record in franchise history. It has been a year of firsts including the first ever 6-win season, the first ever shutout victory, and the first ever walk off home run. With a 6-5 record and one game remaining, the Blues are also on the verge of their first ever winning season.

(2010 Blues in their B-Boy Stance)


. . . So now that you know where the Blues have been, I hope that you are a little better equipped to take them further than they have ever been before.

I know you’ll go out there and give it all you have, but don’t forget to take a second to enjoy the moment for its place not only in Blues history but in your history.

Because what now seems like a single important softball game, will one day be part of the surreal and beloved time in your life when you played and partied alongside some of your greatest friends, in the greatest park, in the greatest city in the world.

Go Blues.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bombers: 0, Blues: 12

This week's recap was contributed by Taylor "Tater Tot" Pilkington. —The Editors.   

Under the looming skies of Dewitt Clinton Park, the Oxford Blues recorded their third mercy rule and fifth win of the season over the REBAS Bombers by a score of 12-0. Although afternoon rains threatened to turn the infield to quicksand, not even Mother Nature could stand in the way of our intrepid heroes’ quest for victory. A little light landscaping, and the stage was set for athletic domination.

On the mound, The Pocket Rocket pitched a shutout as the Blues moved closer to clinching a playoff spot. Employing a vicious Vulcan changeup, Robtronic mowed down batters like Ozzi eating hamburgers (Jeopardy Category: Things that Happen Fast. Also a correct response: Dave’s lovemaking). Noted a source close to the Blues pitching staff: "The R-Train was making express stops today. All the way downtown, if you know what I mean. No seriously, he pitched really well. I mean, super-good, like the Michael Jordan of baseball, excluding that one time he actually did play baseball."

In truth, the game happened so quickly that it's hard to piece it back together. The Oxford bats were on fire. Dave hit an inside the park home run (aren’t they all really, in this league?) and got the game ball. Ben complained about the sorry state of large, corporate American breweries. Brian sacrificed his body to protect the unspoiled sanctity of left field. Michelle bulldozed through a player who tried to cover the plate without the ball. (Family members say he's resting comfortably at Mount Sinai Hospital; the closed-casket funeral will be held next Tuesday.) And Joe C. wore a new hat, a hot cherry red number to complement his position at the hot corner (Like David Lee Roth, a Blue knows that it’s not just winning, but looking good doing it that matters). 

After the bloodbath was over, the team retired to the Bull Moose where, along with The Best Dressed Man in New York, they made merry for many hours. Amidst the festivities, Elyse solemnly pledged to stay out all night drinking before the end of the season. Plus, Coach Laplante, Oxford's daring leader, had more than one reason to celebrate; not only did she captain the brave Blues to a commanding victory (personally dealing the death blow by scoring the 12th and final run), she also celebrated her 21st birthday and attained the dizzying career heights of Executive Editor. This called for cupcakes! Many, many cupcakes.

Another day, another win for the Blues, and for some, another step closer to Immortality. In the words of Coach Taylor: "Booyah! The team's inspirational emails paid off. Blues are positioned for playoffs! Incredible."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Google: 14, Blues: 8

There's something fishy about a club that turns up wearing the home team's uniform. And yet that's exactly what Google did on June 10th, right before they handed the Blues their fourth loss of the season. So for anyone who thinks that this search engine company is merely interested in "organizing the world's information," here's a little lesson: they like to win, too.

Playing to maintain their place at the top of Division III, Google took an early lead with eight runs after two innings. The Blues never gave up on defense, trying to keep the other team in blue and white from coasting to an easy victory, but their opponents hit hard and ran with speed. They had clearly earned their ranking. Ozzi and Taylor stopped most of the deep shots to center field, and Joe C made a catlike diving grab at third to rob them of another hit, and yet little by little, the run deficit grew as the night wore on.

On offense Brian swung the bat well as an Extra Hitter, and Dave scored off a solo homer to right field.  Even playing a woman down though, Google didn't have many weak spots, and they held the Blues to two runs or less for six innings. Then, in the seventh, encouraged by Ozzi's massive wallop down the third base line, Oxford mounted a comeback. In the end they couldn't make up for a slow start, and left two runners on as time ran out. 

So the fans that turned up to cheer for the Blues didn't see a win, but after a few pitchers of Long Hammer IPA (and at least one of Bud Light) at the Bull Moose, everyone remembered that there were still four games left in 2010.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Slammers: 15, Blues: 16

With the team reporter calling out sick due to a non-sporting event at Radio City Music Hall, Blues fans will have to settle for a second-hand recap of Game Seven. They won't however, have to read about another crushing defeat at the hands of the CSTV Slammers. Coming from behind, Oxford improved their record to 4-3 with a walk-off, three-run home run from Ozzi.

Missing their regular third baseman at the start of the game, the first inning started off rough for the Blues defense
. True to fashion, the Slammers quickly put six runs on the board to take the early lead. Never a team to go quietly though, Oxford responded with five of their own in their first at-bat. According to our embedded correspondent, "the other innings are a bit blurry." In spite of solid, largely error-free defense from the blue and white, CSTV hit really well and continued to score in the innings that followed.

Ozzi delivered his first homer (this time a mere solo shot) midway through the match to keep things interesting. Meanwhile, every batter was patient at the plate—waiting for good pitches and getting hits that resulted in runners and another score for the home team. In fact, the first six hitters in the lineup had an on-base percentage of .929. Not too shabby for the underdogs.

After five innings the Blues were trailing by nine. Then, fighting back with five more runs, they proceeded to hold the Slammers scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings. Going to bat at the bottom of the seventh, Oxford looked confident but remained down by four. Ebin (or should I say "Steady Ebbie") came up first and got on base with a double. One strike out later, Robert sprinted to safety down the first baseline, enabling Ebin slide into third by the skin of his teeth (or cleats). Michelle brought him home with an RBI and advanced Rob to second, who then scored on David's double from the third slot in the lineup. This brought Ozzi to bat with one out and two on and, well... you know how this one ends already. With a fourth Blues victory.

Capping off a big win, the team celebrated with cupcakes and beer pong domination courtesy of Taylor and Dave. Rae's photographs tell the rest.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

RGI: 6, Blues: 18

After playing a polite Game 5 against Fuel in Central Park, allowing their opponents to drop softballs into shallow left field, the Blues got serious last week. Taking the field on Randall's Island with a ten person squad, they fought back from a two run deficit in the first inning to prevail over RGI in six innings. A big thanks to ARTstormer Lucy for her help in right. Besides filling in on short notice, she contributed no less than two runs to the victory.

On defense the Blues got better as the game went on. After giving up four runs early on, they held RGI to just two more for the second half of the contest. Brian, stepping up to cover third base, channeled Ebin's magic glove and snagged a line drive, only to toss it to Taylor for an impressive double play. In center field, Ozzi robbed the team in black of another hit with a sliding grab, and quick thinking from Elyse in right and Michelle at second led to another clutch play when Robert tagged out a runner rounding third.

Once they warmed up at the plate, the Blues also came alive on offense.
Patience at bat led to more baserunners, and errors from RGI turned singles into doubles and doubles into triples. With nearly everyone making contact with the ball, all of those runners had to go somewhere, and most of the time, they were able to get home. Taylor, too, somehow managed to score, in spite of getting caught in a rundown. Eight runs in the fifth inning finally gave Oxford a lead they could hold, and, as luck would have it, a walk in the sixth with the bases loaded resulted in their third win of the 2010 season.

Following the game a few Blues (too few, to be honest) ended up at the Subway Inn, swanky Midtown's finest dive bar. Here, debate raged about Taylor "Pilk" Pilkington's nickname, but the assembled Blues failed to reach a consensus, even after three rounds of beer. Shocking. And although he was spotted at the bar earlier in the evening, celebrations ended before anyone thought to order an 18 year single malt for Eddie Kay Thomas.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Blues: 6, Fuel: 11

Some days are better than others. It's just a fact. Without going into too much detail, suffice it to say that May 11th could have been better for the Blues. The sky was overcast, the temperature unseasonably low, and worst of all, Fuel wasn't in the mood to roll over and hand Oxford it's third win of 2010.

Instead, they dropped the ball into gaps in left and center field, shouted encouragement to speedy baserunners, and then watched the Blues pop out at the plate, one batter after another. Not a pretty picture for fans of the blue and white. No photos were taken at the game on North Meadow, so I've posted an inspirational image from the 2006 Season, when the Blues were an occasional force to be reckoned with. That's former coach Kyle "Crazy Legs" Taylor pictured above, demonstrating a proper swing.

Following the upset, most of the team sauntered down to Jake's for cheap beer and nachos, the typical meal for depressed athletes. Beer pong was played, nicknames for Taylor "T-Bag" Pilkington were debated, and the waitress tried (unsuccessfully) to get Ozzi to drink a sweet tea vodka shot, but in general it was a tame night, even for a Tuesday. One coach left early. Fortunately, more good news will be appearing on this site very soon.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blues: 9, Kings: 14

What a difference an inning makes. After falling to the ING Lions, the Blues were looking to pick up another win on the field where they claimed their first victory of 2010. Unfortunately, DeWitt Clinton and the Kings had other plans. In an otherwise close contest, the fourth inning was the undoing for Oxford.

Several fans turned up to cheer for the away team on a warm Thursday evening, but their encouragement couldn't spark an offense that was quiet at the plate. Michelle crossed home though. And Brian did deliver a two run whopper in the third to give the Blues the lead, only to see that cushion erode as the Kings moved runners around the bases with single after infield single. Needless to say, some help in the form of a Grand Slam or even a couple of pop-ups from Columbia would have been welcome. Instead, both sides went scoreless in the fifth inning and then scored one each in the sixth. On the bright side, Jared did take some great photos, per usual.

Rather than return to the Bull Moose, the would-be Madison Marauders opted for a new watering hole on 50th Street, claiming the backyard patio for several hours. Pints of Dogfish Head and plates of burgers took the sting off another defeat, enabling the conversation to shift to subjects better suited to intellectuals. Like ant attacks. On next week's agenda: more innings.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Remaining Games

RGI @ Oxford Blues 25 May 2010 (Tue) / 06:30 PM Randall's Island - #41
CSTV Slammers @ Oxford Blues 02 Jun 2010 (Wed) / 05:30 PM North Meadow - #11
Google @ Oxford Blues 10 Jun 2010 (Thu) / 07:30 PM Dewitt Clinton Park - #2
REBAS Bombers II @ Oxford Blues 17 Jun 2010 (Thu) / 06:00 PM Dewitt Clinton Park - #1
EBG Bees @ Oxford Blues 22 Jun 2010 (Tue) / 05:30 PM East River - #8
IAC/Diller's Killers @ Oxford Blues 30 Jun 2010 (Wed) / 05:30 PM North Meadow - #8

Friday, May 7, 2010

Blues: 4, Clarion Lions: 15

Britt Daniel knows a thing or two about pithy lyrics (see, for example, "The Underdog"). He and his band Spoon also recovered from a disappointing setback early in their promising musical career. I mention this because Oxford suffered a tough loss in their third game last month. And after a pair of wins to start off the season, they could probably use some inspiration.

Turning up in Central Park without a full roster, the ING Clarion Lions nonetheless pounded out an impressive 15 runs against a defense that had given up less in the previous two games combined. The Lions hit with power, ran with speed, and held the Blues to just four runs in seven innings. Taylor's solo homer offered a brief glimmer of hope
at the top of the third, but as the sun set over the Great Lawn the Oxford bats fell silent for good.

Jake's stepped in to ease their troubles afterwards, even on a Friday night. Although the Blues eventually claimed and held their place at the table, a long line of college kids meant that Jared and Rae had to wait to defend their beer pong title. Rae did her best to school the rookies, but Taylor and Dave held their ground and ended up winning. And winning again. Jared, who many assumed would be the secret weapon in the highly-anticipated doubles match up, was left to paparazzi duty the rest of the night.

Unfortunately for the Blues, Game Three would be the last for Rachael, a veteran catcher and right fielder who had played with more confidence since spring training. Apparently she was powerless against the siren's call of Kansas City. To be fair, it's not easy to think of another urban area with good barbecue and top-notch jazz. We wish her luck and hope to see her at this year's banquet. As for the rest of the team, to quote Mr. Daniel, "it can't all be wedding cake, it can't all be boiled away," but underdogs will survive.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blues: 17, Debevoise & Plimpton: 5

Back to back wins. As feelings go, it's a nice one to have, especially because it doesn't get old quickly. But the Blues, facing off against an old rival, did just that on a recent Wednesday in Morningside Park. In fact, after scoring eleven runs in the first inning, the team from Oxford continued to add to their lead until the umpire called the game early in their favor.

On the defensive side, Ebin made his inaugural appearance of the 2010 season by playing first base like Eddie Murray, while David managed to turn a double play at shortstop. Meanwhile, in the outfield, Elyse, Taylor, Ozzi, Brian, and Andy held big hitters to singles, when they got on base at all. It was a great effort from the whole dugout in spite of bad playing conditions.

As for the offense, it's worth noting that the plucky Blues ended up with one of the highest scoring innings in their relatively short history. Quite an accomplishment given the fact that their opponents have not been reluctant to pile on runs in the past. Taylor ultimately delivered the game-winning RBI—a hit heard round the league. The Blues did learn a valuable lesson that night, however: you can in fact wait too long for your pitch.

After the game most of the team headed to the Village Pourhouse (Uptown) for beer, food, and an enormous fishbowl full of rum. A few people even stuck around to take advantage of the $3 Natty Light can special. It was just like the good old days, only better. Rae kindly documented most of the proceedings, but be warned: some of the images are NSFW.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Blues: 18, Rats: 9

It was bound to happen. After years of battling for respect from the bottom of the league, the Blues won another season opener—the second in franchise history—last Friday night. Playing on the road at a ballpark that hasn't been kind to them in the past, the team came out swinging and never looked back.

Rain threatened to cancel the game initially and the umpire was late to the field, but the Blues wore determined expressions in their dugout, and batted and fielded with resolve under the lights at DeWitt Clinton. With Robert as the leadoff hitter, Oxford brought in five runs in the first inning, five more in the third, and added six runs for good measure in the sixth. Ozzi, Joe C, and rookie David each swatted home runs past the NPG defense.

And the Blues looked good in the field, too, keeping the Rats from scoring more than three runs during any of their at-bats. Newcomer Taylor pulled down a few great catches in right field, Andy continued to play like an MVP in left, and Michelle made an impressive tag at second to stymie a double. NPG also learned an important lesson before the umpire called the game in favor of the visiting team: Nobody takes an extra base on The Gator.

Fittingly, all 14 athletes as well as three devoted fans wandered down to the Bull Moose to celebrate their victory and await the arrival of a missing coach. They arrived too late to order the burger special, but the Blues made the most of the evening anyway, inventing a new drink in honor of their pitcher. Will 2010 bring further success to the Madison Avenue Marauders?

Friday, April 16, 2010

And So It Begins

It arrived without warning or fanfare. The annual trip to the Madison Square Garden of Queens was still fresh in their muscle memory. Talk of spending another night at Sunswick circulated online. The cleats at the bottom of my bag still had last year's mud on them. Practice would come soon enough.

But spring training is a luxury.
Division III Co-Ed Softball doesn't wait for teams to be ready. Division III Co-Ed Softball tells you where to be, and when. Tonight the 2010 season begins for the Oxford Blues, about a week earlier than opening day 2009. And although they lost a few strong players in the off-season, several promising rookies have since joined the roster.

Adjustments have been made to the lineup, strategies have been discussed, and the rules have been reviewed. Now is the time for action. So, with the swine flu scare safely (temporarily?) behind us, and the first game but a few hours away, I will end with a phrase that should be music to the ears of any True Blue: Bring on the beer pong. Check out the schedule below for the first few games. Oh, and don't forget to stock up on Big League Chew.

Oxford Blues @ NPG Rats 16 Apr 2010 (Fri) / 07:00 PM Dewitt Clinton Park - #1
Oxford Blues @ Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 21 Apr 2010 (Wed) / 05:30 PM Morningside Park - #1-Softball
Oxford Blues @ ING Clarion Lions 30 Apr 2010 (Fri) / 07:00 PM Great Lawn - #7

Friday, February 19, 2010

How Blue Can You Get?

Eighteen months ago, a great softball player and one helluva determined coach had some words of wisdom for a team he was about to leave behind. "Run hard to first base," he said, "call out the pop flys, have fun, listen to Tanya, and raise a glass to toast the team whenever possible." For the most part, the scrappy little group of part-time athletes took his advice to heart, and as a result, pulled off some impressive wins in their fifth season for the Yorkville Sports Association. On the whole, we had fun, and yes, there was plenty of glass-raising too, most recently at the banquet.

The details of our evening in Astoria are a little fuzzy this far down the road, but fortunately someone had the good sense to write down last year's awards before distributing them to the appropriate member of the Blues. They appear below as a reminder of our achievements—collective and individual—and to inspire everyone to bring the same effort and attitude back to the softball diamond this summer. Season Six is knocking, and we've got a mediocre record to defend. My advice: get some shoe polish on your cleats, start eating like a champion, and keep listening to Tanya.

Annual Oxford Blues Coed Slow-Pitch Softball Awards
Catherine "Beer Pong" Rae—Best Postgame Performance
Rachael "Tubthumping" Zimmermann—Bench Player of the Year
Michelle "Not to brag, but I'm kind of an expert when it comes to douchebags" Lipinski—Position Player of the Year
Ned "I got digits" Sears—Slide of the Year
Joe "When's the next game?" Cognard—Grand Slam Crown
Brian "I'd rather be reading" Hurley—Utility Player Award
Dan "Where's the damn team van?" Ozzi—Team Player of the Year
Andy "Cal Ripken the 3rd" Fargnoli—MVP
Ebin "Beardo" Sandler—Silver Slugger
Iain "I thought you meant swing at the first pitch" Finlayson—The Al Cascio Memorial Award
Martin "Just call me Mike Piazza" Coleman—Gold Glove
Joe "Guess who didn't lose the bat bag?" Jackson—On Base Award
Elyse "Screw the outfield, I'm joining the circus" Turr—Most Improved Player
Ninelle "Make that a beer" Silberberg—Personal Achievement Award
Dayne "Is it football season yet?" Poshusta—Rookie of the Year
Robert "Laser vision" Repino—True Blue Award
Ben "Obama's speechwriter's got nothing on me" Keene—Heart Bleeds Blue
Tanya "Wait for your pitch" Laplante—Irrepressible Optimist Award