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.