Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Unicorns win 10-2, but lose to 3rd base

The Unicorns got off to a fast start thanks to Habby with his team leading 2nd home run to lead off the game. The advantage was short lived as the Alzheimer's pros tied it in the bottom of the frame thanks to a bad hop grounder that just about guillotined the head of the Unicorn lovable short stop. T-Bear got his head back straight and the men and women in pink stopped the bleeding.

In the second inning the Unicorns welcomed back their home run hitting lefty from the hinterland of Oz Park volleyball. As soon as he got up the Az pros backed way up in the outfield in deference to his home run hitting abilities. Mr. Brady had a plan for this though. He intentionally took a nasty cut on the very bottom of the ball sending it spinning straight to the pitcher. Of course, no human being could harness a ball like that with so much spin and as soon as it hit the pitcher's hand it spun right off her hands into foul territory giving Mr. Brady a swinging bunt double. It is good to have him back.

The game stayed close despite Turk's 2nd home run of the season tying him for team lead. By the way, Mr. Brady leads the team in swinging bunt doubles at 1. Stellar defense was shown all around the diamond except for the Matador defense by Turk on a fly ball. He went running back on the ball and instead of catching it swung a red cape and yelled olay as the ball landed for a double. I had to have a word with Turk and show him the ball was a softball and not a bull and this was not bullfighting and after that he caught the next couple fly outs that came his way.

I was impressed with the smashes that the ladies hit. The biggest one was Ichiro's clutch hit with someone at third with two outs. The South Koreans lost to Japan in the World Baseball Classic because they pitched to Ichiro with two men in scoring position and a base open. When will the rest of the world know that you do not pitch to Ichiro with two a base open and Unicorns in scoring position.

Mr. Clean came in and cleaned up at shortstop. We did not miss a beat defensively, and T-Bear watched from the sidelines and thought he saw his alter ego out there at short albeit less hair. Bauer was an all star at first base as well. Amazingly, we actually threw accurately to her.

The Unicorns then took control of the game thanks to a big bases loaded chop hit by Habby. Habby is quite gifted with the bat. If I did that maneuver I would pop up to the pitcher. On second thought, may be I should try that as I might get a double and tie Mr. Brady for team lead in that category.

The Unicorns would have really creamed the Az pros if not for a break down at third base. First it was Big Red, then Bauer, then Big Red again. I think we are going to meet an hour early next week and practice running into third and stopping there. I think may be the base is trying to get back at us for last year when Squirrel unceremoniously flicked it off. When running into third base only listen to your third base coach. Not the ump, not the other players, not a bird that swoops down and yells "out." If you are confused about what is going on then run to third base and stay there and then ask the coach. Famous last words from Big Red after over running the bag was "I always have had trouble with third base." Insert your own joke here on that one.

I will take some of the blame on the pick off as I should have saw that coming. I was trying to get Katie into foul territory in case she was hit by a grounder or liner by Legend. Although she did not even move from fair territory, so if I would have yelled "get back to the bag they are picking you off," I doubt it would have made a difference. No big deal though as a lesson was learned, we won, and a nickname was born.

It is really not necessary to lead off altogether when the pitcher has the ball. As soon as the ball is released by the pitcher then take a running lead, but not too far where you are vulnerable of getting doubled up on a liner. I stay on the bag until the pitch is thrown and I usually can make it to second on a grounder even if the ball is hit to short.

Pitch wins career win 546. She struck out at least two and I can remember at least one foul out. Pitch also excelled with her patented move of vacuuming any grounder near her and tossing it to Bauer and this time no throws to basketball centers. I think at least three players got out on this play.

The after game turnout was good, but it could have been better. It was fun to celebrate the victory shot gun style, which seems to be the new Unicorn trademark, win or lose. I need to improve my shot gun style as a third of my beer ended all over me. It is all about improvement.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I will not sin again in Richland County

The Friday before Memorial Day I was driving up to join my Dad and a friend on the Wisconsin River to enjoy a canoe camping weekend. I was excited to get out of Chicago and it showed on my speedometer. I actually could not speed on I-90 as it was near gridlock even as far as Janesville. Rockford was particularly crowded through the construction zones. These set backs made me even more anxious to get to my destination.

Once I hit U.S. 14, I was ready to roll, and I was passing cars with reckless abandon. Actually, I was not as I am a safe driver, but I was definitely in more of a hurry than anyone else on the road. I then hit Highway 60 at Gotham and was in the home stretch. I sped down a hill and a car was lolly gagging at the bottom of it. I easily put this pokey car in my rear view window and continued on. It was kind of raining at this point, but this did not deter me as I was almost there.

Suddenly, as I was approaching the turn off to my destination a car came up behind me in my rear view mirror. I was confused because I could not imagine it being the car I just passed. I felt like kind of a jerk because I thought I had passed someone and was now going to be rude and turn left causing the car behind me to have to slow. I hate that when people pass me or cut in front of me and then immediately turn left.

Then the cherries came on behind me, and the mystery of the car behind me was solved. My spirits immediately sank. The policeman identified himself as a member of the Richland County Sheriff's department and informed me I was speeding and I passed in a no passing zone. "Crap," I thought. I am going to get two tickets. Crazy numbers filled my head as I have heard horror stories of getting tickets in Wisconsin.

I meekly gave him my driver's license and merely said, "O.K." I had no excuse. I was just in a hurry for really no reason. After about ten minutes my dread started to increase. He finally returned and announced a figure of $360. It was actually not as bad as I feared although still a substantial amount. He asked if I had it. I fished in my wallet to start counting. He then said, "I don't want your money." I looked at him and he said, "I am giving you a warning. SLOW DOWN." With that he told me to sign the warning ticket, and told me to take my Dad out to dinner with the money I had saved and was gone.

I of course thanked him profusely, but how do you thank a police officer? I was thinking of writing a letter to his superior officer telling his superior how great this cop was and how lucky Richland County was to have him as an officer. Then I thought a letter like that might land him in hot water for letting me off and not gathering funds for Richland County. I of course could not offer any payment or gift of any sort. So, what to do?

It occurred to me that what a policeman wants more than anything else is peace and quiet in his community. Therefore, I will never break the law in any way in Richland County again. In fact, I am so grateful I am going to take this vow further and apply it to moral behavior as well. I will not sin in Richland County. I will not look for loose women (only in Richland County), I will not drink, I will not fart, and I will not swear in Richland County. I will never go to a strip club in Richland County. I will not talk behind people's back in Richland County. I will not make a mean face at anyone in Richland County and I certainly will never give anyone the bird in Richland County. This means that I have a lot of sinning to do in other areas to make up for my church like behaviour in Richland County.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Unicorns win 18-10

There were some snickers and jokes about the quantity of long emails sent by yours truly last night. Well, you have not seen anything yet until you have read the weekly recap. Enjoy!!!!!!!

Mary (aka cy young mary, or pitch) recorded career softball win 545 last night adding on to her already stellar hall of fame softball career. The only bump in the road in this game for Pitch was due to too many emails on my part. She got confused about the new players on the team. She knew there was a new first baseman, and she also knew that I had recruited an Asian girl from the hinterland of northern South Korea that had a nickname borrowed from a famous Asian athlete. She thought that the new Asian girl's nickname was Yao Ming and not Ichiro and thought she was playing first base. My bad on that one. Sometimes I pound you guys with so much information that it is easy to misremember. Thinking that our first baseman was a 7 foot Asian, Mary kept making awesome plays, twirling and throwing the ball 7 feet in the air over poor JIT's head. I finally realized what was going on and yelled at Pitch saying, "for chrissakes Pitch, it is Ichiro not Yao and anyways it is JIT at 1B." Her face cleared like she had just figured out the cure for cancer. Next inning she went out and stabbed two line shots destined for center field and delivered them perfectly to JIT's glove the way we veterans have seen a thousand times.

If we needed proof of how valuable Mary is to the team, the Cobra's showed this in the first inning as their pitcher was the worst excuse for a softball pitcher I have ever seen. Unicorns are not known for their patience at the plate, but these balls were unhittable. There was no pattern to them either. She would deliver one three feet from the plate, then the next would almost hit the umpire, then the next would be on a line drive with absolutely no arc. In fact, the word arc was not in her vocabulary. She was the Rick Ankiel of Grant Park softball. May be after some time in the minors she will emerge as a slugging center fielder. After spotting the Unicorns five runs, they put a guy in who could actually find the strike zone. Five runs and no outs for their starting pitcher = an ERA of infinity.

Speaking of the Cobra's, if Marie did not hate me, I would petition the league for a new name for them. The Garter snakes would be a good one since they are the most impotent of all the snakes in the snake world. The douche bags would also do. They had one jerk on 3rd base that thought he joined a softball/hockey league and kept checking unicorns in the corner rounding 3rd. They also had one really intense dude that almost got thrown out of the game for being such an ass to the ump. In fact, their coach and one of their players apologized for their behavior after the game.

Not only were the Garter snakes impotent at the plate, but their outfield positioning was the worst I have ever seen. Someone said they had some big gaps out there after the game, and I questioned the word gap because gap implies space between two objects. I looked out into right field and saw the Pacific ocean. Too bad Mr. Brady was not at the game to exploit that defense as he would have gone 4-4 with at least three homers.

My favorite play of the game came with me on second and Pitch at the plate. Seeing a weak hitting girl up the defense sauntered all the way into the infield. I thought they might actually hold hands with the infield for a second. The ump told the outfielders that they must all be on the grass. I told the ump that was okay. I said we liked them where they were. Mary cranked one way over their heads clearing the bases with a big multiple RBI double. Later in the inning, Ichiro induced a key walk with two outs that really opened the flood gates. Habby followed by hitting the ball into the ocean in right and ran around the bases twice before one of the fielders got to the ball. This inning broke open a close 9-6 game to an 18-6 affair.

Speaking of home runs, Habby, T-Bear, and Turk all are tied for the team lead in that category with 1 a piece. Too bad Karch Kiraly (aka Mr. Brady) was accumulating to his spike and set total instead of getting an early lead in the home run category for our team. T-Bear was about to take the HR lead in the bottom of the 6th when fate got in his way. Habby, fearing that I was going to over take him in that category, purposely lined the ball as hard as he could into the mitt of the second basewoman. Then on his way back to the sidelines I saw him whisper something to agent Bauer and give her something. I was not sure what was said or given until later. Watching a replay of the game on Youtube I kept rewinding and focusing in on this part of the game until I could clearly see Habby mouth the words "foul out" to Crystal and I also could see him slip her a twenty. This explains why Bauer fouled out as I knew she could not do this on her own accord. These two outs ended the inning and denied your lovable coach a 2nd dinger.

Thank you Nate for filling in at 3rd base. He contributed with a hit and a couple of force outs at third. He also contributed by giving the coach a couple of after game smokes. It is very difficult to come in cold and play 16' softball. Speaking of cold, I really admired the after game stamina displayed by our sub. For some reason, Nate only showed up in a tank top and G-string. I think when I told him our team was the Magical Flying Unicorns and we wear pink that he was subbing for some gay near nudist softball team, so he dressed accordingly. Most players would have gotten the hell out of there with that wardrobe (or lack thereof) ASAP. Not Nate though, as he hung on to the bitter end. It must be his Rocky Mountain upbringing drinking Coors while swimming in mountain lakes that gives him the endurance to the cold.

I was really proud of the after game attendance as once again even without Legend and Mr. Brady we had a decent size contingent to be the last team in Grant Park drinking. The sour apples tried, but being sour apples they only stay ripe for drinking for so long and could not outlast the Unicorns. I was also proud of the play of our new recruits. JIT played great at first base. In fact, she played so well that one of the other players hugged her and squeezed her after being rung up on a grounder that JIT corralled. So full of admiration was this opponent that he could not control himself and he wanted a handful of JIT (JIT stands for Junk In the Trunk for those not aware) and a handful of JIT is what he got. Crash had a nicely placed liner down the line that looked foul, but hit up some chalk. What is encouraging is JIT and T-Bear's Angels (Katie, Paige, and Jackie) will only get better.

Next week we go 2-0. Go Unicorns!!!!!!

Coach T-Bear