Monday, June 30, 2008

Application Questions

I've literally filled out thousands of job applications on-line over the last 6 months in the hopes of obtaining a full time position.

Honestly, it's fucking annoying and a waste of time, but I do it anyway b/c it's a process and no one is going to do it for me.

Being the too much time on my hands fool that I am I couldn't help but pick out and
compare the Top Ten Interview questions that I can relate to softball ....

10. First Name, Middle Initial Last Name
Real World RR
Softball : Mr Top Ten , Alias SBI - softball insider

9. Salary Requirement
Real World : I usually give a range.
They're trying to low ball everyone know.
Honestly, What I really want to write down on an application is
"Right now I'm living off unemployment so anything you pay me is better than nothing"
Softball: Ump Fee $40. I suck to much to ever get paid as player
8. Ethnicity
Real World : This is usually optional.
I type in Hispanic praying that some company has to hire me to meet some stupid quota
Softball: Race is irrelevant. The best part about softball is for the most part no one cares about your ethnicity, they only care if you can make plays.
7. Tell us something you hated about your last position
Real World : Trick question where they want to see if you will shit on your last job or take the high road and turn a negative into a positive - say corny stuff like "I want to learn and grow"
Softball : Tell us something you hated about your last team
Another trick softball question the best politically correct answer is
"It was time" which really means I hate you for benching me
or I think they will suck this year

6. Tell us something you like about your last position
Real World : Again a trick question.
Corny safe answer is that you liked the people and it was a great opportunity to learn
Softball : Tell us something you like about your team - best answer is winning or playing time. Other good choices are location, field quality, game times or drinking after the game.

4. Hobbies
Real World : Never Ever mention softball - say charity, coaching little league, sewing, whatever. Never let them know you leave early to go play.
Softball : Tough call. Business networking is OK I guess. Don't mention hobbies that they will heckle you on like ballroom dancing, opera, or ballet

3. Education
Real World : College, Grad School, Trade School years attended/graduated
Softball : School of Hard Knocks - have you ever won a championship? What leagues have you played in?

2. Message to the Recruiter
Real World : Again politically correct bullshit is required like you want a "challenging position in the financial services field".
Deep down all I want to write is I want to Earn and Learn get me a job motherfucker.
I know it's ghetto but it's to the point and the truth.
Softball: Message to new Manager - I want a chance to compete for a position. I don't want anything guaranteed I just want a chance. I've learned the hard way softball gods don't approve of having anything given to you.

and the Number One Interview questions that I can softball too is
1. When can you start?
Real World: 2 weeks. You need to give proper notice to your employer.
Softball: Let me ask my wife/girl if i can play.
Gotta make sure someone can take care of the kids

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Former Inwood/Bronx NY Softball Enthusiast William Lugo has moved t0 Boston and is looking to do a home and home series between NY-Boston.

The guy is really into it and can be contacted at or 617-364-5073.

You never know you could make a new friend

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

1 Blue Plastic Garbage Bag, 1 Funnel, 3 Empty Boxes of Coors Light and an old Shopping Cart with No Wheels

Nice Title huh?

Yesterday, I was the 1st player to show up at a softball game between Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers at Gateway field in Jersey City (I play for Merrill).

It rained really hard yesterday for about only 15 minutes. But that was enough time to create moderate field damage to the shortstop, 2nd base, and 1st base field positions. On a positive note, Home plate was in excellent condition and it actually a really nice field in a a bad area of Jersey City. Not exactly the Great Lawn in Central Park but a nice field nonetheless.

Being the 1st loser there, I really wanted to play and knew that he field was fixable.

I also knew that no one else would fix the field but me.

Whatever time for my "Bruto Power" ( Raw Ignorant Retard Strength") to Activate

The only problem was I had no equipment.

Time to improvise.

From my trunk I grabbed a Blue Plastic Garbage Bag and a Funnel.

I dragged the blue bag over the mud with my foot and bare hands and used the funnel to drain out as much water as possible.

This helped a little but a sponge was really needed to soak the water out.
So I looked around and low and behold the ghetto neighborhood gave me the natural sponges I needed as in RF 2 empty boxes of Coors Light lay (Ghetto to the fullest).

I opened up the boxes, flattened them out and laid them over the damaged areas to soak the guck away.

A couple of players from the other team arrived - No one helped.

Fuck them. Really on yourself I told myself. The softball gods will pay them back.

With the water mostly gone, I needed something to rake the field.

Again the ghetto gave me the natural tools to get the job done.

Underneath the train tracks ,( Yes this project filled area also has an above ground train, not AMTrack either, rather 1950 style cargo train above ground - call a local real estate agent for a listing) I found an old Shopping Cart with No Wheels.

I thought, that's my rake.

I picked up the shopping cart, flipped it over and used it to rake the field.

Now the mud was gone and we just needed some new dirt.

At this point my manager had showed up and provided me with some tools.

No one helped me from my team either.


From him I obtained a miniature shovel that I used to dig up some dry dirt lying behind 1st base underneath the train tracks.

I needed to carry the dirt to the field so I filled up another empty Coors light box, took the dirt and spread it over the worked on areas and raked the area again.

At that point only 1 other player from the other team helped me rake the field.

All in all only 1 player from the opposition thanked me. So wack


The game was on.

To make matters worse at game time we once had 6 players as 4 guys were stuck in Holland Tunnel traffic.

Most players feel that fixing the field makes you tired and you usually lose when you do so. There is some truth in that I guess, but not today.

Our players showed up and it turned out o be a very good game hat we won 7-3.

As for me, I misjudged and dropped a fly ball in the game, pathetic and unacceptable.
However, I rebounded nicely to get a couple of key Hits/Rbi's late to seal the victory.
So I guess the softball gods give and taketh away.

Was it worth it?

Finacially No.

But a true Softball Warrior always wants to play so Yes

, 2 Empty Boxes of Coors Light and a old Shopping Cart with No Wheels

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


A lot of players and managers place an emphasis on the time
before a game start - The Pre Game

Unlike the NFL, in Softball there is no pregame show with the likes of Howie Long or Terry Bradshaw breaking down the key points to the game.

Rather players have their own unique way of getting ready for a game as sometimes a game is won or lost even before it begins.

Top Ten Softball Pregame Activities

10. Looking for Parking.

At some fields this is irrelevant, but in other venues looking for parking is more stressful than batting with a full count and the bases loaded in the 7th inning with the game on the line. Nothing to get you ready for action after circling for 45 minutes with the game about to begin while trying to understand parking signs, getting correct change for a meter, worrying about parking too close to a fire hydrant, waiting 15 minutes for a spot to open up b/c the person currently sitting there is finishing their coffee or reading the NY times. Whew!!! Now that's pressure. I sweat just thing about it.

9. Cell Phone Calls - I highly discourage.

It's 5 minutes after game time and you only have 4 guys on the field. Time to warm up your fingers and ear by calling a bunch of irresponsible guys who ruin your escape from the Real World by making you call them from the diamond. Once the last phone call is made your probably too stressed out to even play.

8. Taking ground/fly balls, batting practice - This is an individual thing.

It's OK. To me more than five minutes of practice before a game is too much but to each his own

7. Playing catch, Stretching and Running -

Ah I highly recommend these. This gets the muscle's loose and ready to go.

6. Maja - in Spanish it means hitting the ball against the fence.

Earlier I said I didn't recommend batting practice (BP) before a game. The reason for this is that I feel Batting practices before a game is misleading and at times limited. If you hit the ball well in BP and struggle in the game, it can mess with your head. Or if you hit poorly in BP, it can also mess with your head. Whatever, I guess I'm a headcase (obviously if I write this blog) but that's how I feel. Also, in BP the pitcher may just grove it or suck and you might not have enough fielders to swing freely ( kind of ghetto).

I much prefer/recommend "Maja".

It only requires 2 people you can freely swing while hitting the ball into the fence, work on your mechanics, you don't have to chase balls all around (no running), and makes you aggressive.

5. Fighting - highly discourage

Pre game fights with fans, teammates, the opposition, and umpires are ghetto, dangerous, and a major distraction. Please refrain - there is no joy in this

4. Fixing the Field - this is fucking hard work.

In my next Blog I will get into this in more detail. But for example 3 weeks ago, I fixed the Siberia Softball field called 54th street in 99 degree weather and almost fainted.
Only players with true "Bruto" (ignorant) strength need apply

3. Spending time with your kid or significant other -
I highly recommend this. It will keep you loose, relaxed, and makes the family happy. Once the game starts you won't have much time for them so spend quality time with the family while you can.

2. SEX - This is a personal choice again.
I see nothing wrong with it as long as it isn't on the field and your safe about it.
Viewing porn is fine as well.

and the Number One Softball Pregame Activities

1.Smoking Cigarettes/Weed, Drinking Liquor, doing other non FDA approved drugs
This is only for "elite" athletes who need to relax and warm up in their own unique way

Monday, June 23, 2008

Breaking Up

Top Ten Elements that Breaking up with a significant other and
a Softball team folding have in common

10. Money - A lot of relationships tank over financial $$$ reasons.
No money for the mortgage, no job, can't pay juniors private school.
Same thing in softball.
When the guy paying the bills doesn't pay anymore teams fold like a bad hand in poker.
9. Geography -
If it's too inconvenient to get to games. Traffic, gas, parking - guys stop showing up.
Same thing in love.
In Spanish the saying "Amor de lejo es amor de pendejo" - means long distance love is for suckers and no good.
Please note that my wife and I maintained a long distance relationship for 2 1/2 years and made it work.
So if you really love playing in a league, then keep traveling and paying tolls :)))
8. "Take a Break"
Ah those classic words in a relationship that mean you want to fuck someone else.
In both love and softball you literally want to play the field b/c the grass is always greener on the other side.
7. Liquor - after both breaks ups you go on a drinking binge to forget and heal.
6. Hard to Do.
Breaking up with someone you like as a person sucks.
It's one of the hardest things b/c you know you look bad and don't want to hurt them.
Same thing in softball, it's tough leaving longtime friends/teammates b/c you want to play more elsewhere or win.
5. Do both over the phone - I know it's shiesty and cowardly but in both you avoid the awkward face to face tension, tears, and disappointment.
4 Booty Call - After breaking up with your partner you hook up with whatever has a pulse to get them out of your system.
In softball, you move on to the next game as quickly as possible.
3. 1st Time seeing them after Break up.
The 1st time you see an ex after dumping them or getting dumped by them is "weird".
You feel anger, jealousy, betrayal, rejection, and want vengeance.
The same emotions runs though you when you play against a former team - you want to beat them, make them miss you by busting their ass.
2. Arguing over worldly possessions.
When you break up you argue over who owns what - the car, the house, the kids.
In softball the same thing happens - the bases, the bats, the gloves, the permits.

and the #1 Element that Breaking up with a
significant other and a Softball team folding have in common

1. Denial
You hang on way to long in both, when it's obvious it's over.
You keeping calling, email, text messaging, stalking the other b/c if "no one knows them like you know them"
Same thing in softball, you keep calling players, driving around picking up guys to play, reschedule games, but deep down you know it's over. Time to Fold

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The 8 Letter Word

PRESSURE - it's dictionary definition is as follows:

1a: the burden of physical or mental distress
1b: the constraint of circumstance : the weight of social or economic imposition
: the application of force to something by something else in direct contact with it

Forget all that fancy book stuff.

Pressure is the moment of truth!!!!! 'La Verdad'

In any competitive game it is the fire that drives or destroys players
It's do or die.
Fail or succeed.
Win or Lose.

Some players hate pressure or try to avoid it all all costs.

Others love it!!!
Embrace it!!!!
Need it!!!
OMG that almost sounds pornographic.

In softball, pressure reveals the true value/desire of a player

Jay-Z once rapped that "Pressure busts pipes" - that is so true - especially in softball.

You can tell by looking in someone's eyes if they :
(1) Want the ball as a starter/pitcher
(2) Want to hit with the game on the line
(3) Want the ball hit to them in the field.

Rather than create another corny Top Ten I'll let you the reader ask yourself :
Do you love pressure???

Whatever your answer is please read or better yet go ahead and listen to 1982 classic

After listening to this song if you don't want to play - Give up softball - great song - enjoy

1982 classic BILLY JOEL'S song "PRESSURE".

You have to learn to pace yourself
You're just like everybody else
You've only had to run so far
So good
But you will come to a place
Where the only thing you feel
Are loaded guns in your face
And you'll have to deal with
You used to call me paranoid
But even you can not avoid
You turned the tap dance into your crusade
Now here you are with your faith
And your Peter Pan advice
You have no scars on your face
And you cannot handle pressure
All grown up and no place to go
Psych 1, Psych 2
What do you know?
All your life is Channel 13
Sesame Street
What does it mean?

Don't ask for help
You're all alone
You'll have to answer
To your own
I'm sure you'll have some cosmic rationale
But here you are in the ninth
Two men out and three men on
Nowhere to look but inside
Where we all respond to


All your life is Time Magazine
I read it too
What does it mean?
I'm sure you'll have some cosmic rationale
But here you are with your faith
And your Peter Pan advice
You have no scars on your face
And you cannot handle pressure
Pressure, pressure
One, two, three, four

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


On the TV Show The Apprentice demanding, obnoxious, and bad hair Donald Trump

would have fired Willie Randolph

last season after the Mets collapse.

Calling out Willie as a bad manager.

But What if there was an Apprentice TV Show with Softball managers how would they rate?

Let's Top Ten ( List based soley on managers I have played with or against)

Top Ten Softball Managers

10. Drunk Lou from the Cardinals - Trump would FIRE HIM immediately. Great guy, funny guy, nice guy, but reaps the benefit of having a stacked team. Sorry but no drinking allowed on the job.
9. RR -Knockout/Gallagher's - Fired Day one.
Hated by own team mates. Thrown under bus.
8. Butchy Guevares - Clemente Pirates - Trump Would Hire him!!!!!!!
Excellent leader, works in corporate America, a fine player in his own right.
7. Pete Martinez - Merrill Lynch/Wall Street League /Blue Jays - Trump would like Pete's personality and honest tough love methods. Players always play hard for Pete.
Unfortunately, Pete would Get Fired b/c he wouldn't follow company policy - specifically dress code. Pete's is known as the James Brown of Softball.

6. William Jomarron/Frank Degenarro - Merrill Lynch/Long Island.
Fired After 5 minutes! Power tripping conflict with Trump would never last.
5. John Rosenmiller - Choice Parts - Rosenmiller is a very good manager and recruiter.
A master at playing the corporate and softball game.
He would definitely make the finals on Apprentice and would be a heavy favorite to get hired.
4. Bob Morello - Charter Fabric - laid back manager, loyal, good buinessman, looks at situations objectively. Bob would do well on the Apprentice might make the finals as well. Bob may be too nice and low key for Trump to like.
3. John Sheppard - Manager West - excellent championship resume.
What makes John - his loyalty and stubbornness can at times hurt him.
Trump would Hire and Fire him like George Steinbrenner Hired/Fired Billy Martin.
True Love/Hate relationship
2. Dio Jackson - Highlanders/Sox - Ozzie Guillen lookalike

Trump would like his attention to detail, passion, dedication, and resolve.
Dio's controversial non-corporate Ozzie type rants and raves would not go well with Trump -
he would be Fired!!!

and the Number One Top Ten Softball Managers

1. Juan "Blonde" Moreiras - Retired Knockout/Inwood manager - Softball's version of Yoda.
Trump would like Blonde's open mindedness and ability to think outside of the box.
However, he would have FIRED Blonde on the spot the day he wore this Halloween outfit to a playoff game

To quote the great softball philosopher Tom "Shooter" Murphy" -
FRANKENSTEIN???? It's THE PLAYOFFS!??!?!??!?!??!

YOUR FIRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today SBI steps away from softball and looks at the Willie Randolph firing.

At the ridiculous hour of 3:15 ESt, the Mets fired Willie Randolph.
The Mets handled the whole matter in an atrocious matter.
Leaving him out to dry for days on end.
Is their an easy way to fire someone? No Top Ten needed for that - the answer is NO!!
Randolph is a NY guy and for the most part a good guy.
He had a lot of bad luck as a manager - injuries ( Church & Alou) , fluke plays, bullpen failure,
but truth be told he should have been fired after last season's collapse.
He was put in a "Can't Win" position in 2008.
If he got a lead in the division the pressure to not blow it again would have been on him, and if he got off to a slow start he was done.
Well now he's done.
He felt the pressure and his decisions have been horrible for the last few weeks
He's better off getting fired.
Now he looks good because the Mets handled it poorly, he can collect a nice paycheck, and eventually will get a 2nd chance to manage elsewhere.

However, Truth be told he did deserve to get fired.

Top Ten Reasons Randolph Deserves to get Fired

10. The Mets suck - Mangers are hired to be fired.
Don't worry if the Mets still suck under Jerry Manuel, GM Minaya will be gone next.
9. He gets too much of a pass b/c he was a Yankee and as he self proclaims "Is a Winner". judge him on the Mets play - which has been poor.
8. The Collapse - the facts are he was the captain of the Met Titanic ship that sank last year.
7. Under his watch Reyes has regressed. As a former MLB middle infielder Willie was the #1 person in charge of developing Reyes. The defensive regression of Reyes is unbelievable.
6. Manages with no sense of urgency - with his job on the line he takes Johan out with a 4-0 lead while throwing a shutout???? Horrible
5. Handles the bullpen extremely poorly. Wagner 2 inning or 4 out saves? Burns Heilman
4. I hate those horrible subway commercial he did in the past with Joe Torre - embarrassing - take some acting lessons in your spare time Willie
3. "Off the record" Racial comments a few weeks ago - how dumb was that
2. Truth be told at 34-35, The Mets are about to get over 500 and now was the last chance Minaya had an a losing record excuse to fire him. Whatever - this was 9 months too late

and the Number One Reasons Randolph Deserves to get Fired

1. Make goon Met fans happy. The Mets have been getting worse, not better under his watch - Change was needed.
Like Maximus in Gladiator - make the crowd love you.
Win the crowd and ticket sales will continue to be good.

Monday, June 16, 2008


A black hole is a region of space in which the gravitational field is so powerful that nothing, not even light, can escape its pull after having fallen past its event horizon. The term "Black Hole" comes from the fact that, at a certain point, even electromagnetic radiation (e.g. visible light) is unable to break away from the attraction of these massive objects. This renders the hole's interior invisible or, rather, black like the appearance of space itself.

Right now I feel like I have fallen into a Black Hole in the Central Park Big Apple League
- check out their site at

Over the last 2 season, I have managed and played in 2 different teams in this league.

Over the last 21 games that I have played in or managed my win/loss record is 4-17.

I repeat 4-17.


To make matters worse, the teams that I played on last year and this year were not terrible.
Actually we have had good hitters, fielders, pitchers, and managers.

Honestly, Sundays have become like a living nightmare.

This year my team is currently 4-8 (3-7 when I've showed up) fighting for the last playoff spot.

I almost feel like the Mets

Top Ten Reasons My Record is a BLACK HOLE 4-17 in the last 21 Big Apple games

10. I suck a a player - you knew that already so let's make this one #10 so we can get it out of the way and Mr. Anonymous doesn't have to write a stupid misspelled comment about it
9. I suck as a manager - same idea as #9
8. Big apple Umps - actually every team gets bad calls so it's not the umps fault.
But I just felt like dissing the big apple umps anyway.
A Majority of them are clueless power tripping idiots with no knowledge/respect of/for
the game.
7. Cursed/Bad Luck - 4-17 The teams I have been on are not this bad
6. The league has become stronger - true
5. Key players don't show up - you can't consistently win when your big guns don't show
4. Softball gods are punishing me - Payback for a past softball indiscretion
3. I don't have an illegal pitcher on my team - the league is no longer modified
2. All the teams I have played on are/have pressed and make too many mistakes

and the #1 Reasons My Record is a BLACK HOLE 4-17 in the last 21 Big Apple games

1. Whatever.
They say losing doesn't build character that it reveals it.
I will not quit.
I will not jump ship.
I will not die.
I will work harder.
I will play harder!!!
I shall overcome and climb out of this Black Softball Hole!!!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008


I've written, at times at nausea, about the prevalence of illegal pitching in modified softball.But under the radar another issue has quietly cropped over the years -

In most softball leagues, you are allowed to substitute 1 or 2 runners a game with another runner. The person being run for is NOT out of the game, someone else (usually some sucker) simply runs for him. Hence, the term COURTESY RUNNER.
The replacement runner is usually the last batter out.

The legendary maverick Oakland A's owner Charley Finley wanted to institute this idea in MLB back in the 70's, but thankfully it never came to fruition.

However, it is used in softball.

It's good intent is to let older or injured players participate and help keep players safe and healthy. OK, I have no problem with that.

Unfortunately, it is a very abused and manipulated rule - heck I've twisted it to my advantage. Almost every manager has.

As Chris Rock would say That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

Let's look at the cons ( and I don't mean criminals) of this rule

Top Ten Ways The COURTESY RUNNER Rule Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

10. People fake Injuries to get a runner in a key situation.
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!
This is just wrong and deserves punishment from the softball gods.
A future real injury is good payback!!!!!!!

9. Abusive and Over used - I played on a team the other night that had 3 courtesy runners in the lineup.
I was running for everyone at one point.
Only 1 of the guys was really hurt.
What the fuck?
I'm slow and have a bad ankle and I have to do this shit?
Mexican that you pick in front of home depot have more rights than this.
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

8. Changes the dynamic of the game - A team just worked hard to retire a fast runner, then the next guy gets on base and now that speed demon is aboard anyway?
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

7. Promotes Cheating/Lying - see points 8 &9 above.
The rules was put in to give everyone a chance to participate in good competitive spirit. Not to tip the scale in your favor.
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

6. It's Stupid - Use a pinch runner instead. Moreover, how about you get in shape and at least be able to move on the bases I'm very slow, but I run hard and try to keep in decent shape. Injuries and age are inevitable, but once I saw an out of shape 28 year old being run for by a in shape 50 year old named Angel "Q" Quinones.
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!
"Q" said the following and I'll never forget it "They don't make men like they used to"

5. Creates Confusion and stoppages in the game - so ghetto - no one knows who the last batter out is or the actual courtesy runner is in the bathroom and you have to wait. Ironically, speed slows the game.
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

4. Causes team tension/turmoil - Nothing is more annoying than when your teammate tells you
"You better get a hit b/c if not you will have to run for me" - so fucking obnoxious.
No one likes to be reminded that you made an out, especially if you just got robbed.
Also, god forbid if your slow and run funny and then to run for someone else.
Your own team heckles you.
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

3. The Pitcher gets a Runner - OK sometimes this is valid, but more often than not it's an unnecessary privilege especially in younger athletic hurlers so ...
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

2. Lead-off batter gets a Courtesy Runner - If that is not a contradiction then I don't know what is.
I've put good hitters who are slow in the one hole before and then courtesy ran for them.
I mean the idea is to get on base, but your lead-off batter by definition should also be one of you fastest runners. So I'm sorry but this
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

and the #1 way COURTESY RUNNER Rule Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

1. It promotes LAZINESS -
I've seen great hitters who are fast always get a courtesy runner. It leads to people thinking the guy is not fast when in fact he can run, except he is just lazy b/c he's a great hitter.
I've also seen guys who pay for teams do this.
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!
Your best players should not only lead by performance, but should also lead by hustling.
That's called LEADERSHIP!!!!!!!!!!
When you don't need a runner and you get one it sets a bad tone that you are
above everyone else because of ability of financial influence.
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


A huge sports story going on nowadays is the NBA referee scandal.Former corrupt and crooked NBA referee Tom Donaghy(pictured here with NBA commissioner David Stern)

alleges that the 2002 Lakers-Kings Game 6 playoff game was fixed by the officials
- see story on

Since I've been umpiring lately this got me to thinking about softball umpires and personalities that I know and whether or not they would "fix", ""throw", or "rig" games. hmmm let's explore

Top Ten Softball

10. Tie John Sheppard and Tom Murphy - West manager and star pitcher -NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!! - I repeat NEVER!!!!!!!! would throw a game.They would rather die or have a limb cut-off. Come from the old school.

9. Dio Jackson - I would say NEVER also. However, he would give you such a Denzel Washington type guilt speech that you would go to confession afterwards to atone.

8. Me - Honestly it would take some obscene amount of amount for me to be bribed - probably at least $5,000.Odds are that won't happen.I fear retribution for the softball gods to ever accept a bribe.
I also respect the players and love the game too much to ever do it in a competitive game.

7. Looch - Umpire Chelsea/Yorkville/Inwood - bribes aren't Looch's thing - eating pastels and selling clinchers are what he likes to do.

6. OJ - umpire in Central Park and avid reader of - nice guy and active umpire. My gut says he falls into the RR school of bribes - wouldn't want to ruin his reputation, but if a ridiculous offer was made he would take it. It's normal.
5. Camacho Yorkville ump - probably, but would 1st ask the league for a raise union style, then if his demands were not met he would do what he has to do.
4. Issac "Gubi" Delgado - Not an umpire, excellent hitter.
Would throw a game as an umpire (not as a player) if someone paid his monthly car payment or paid a speeding ticket.
If they couldn't pay that, then he would accept a happy meal for his Daughter Evercy
3. Gilbert Gonzalez - not an umpire - stud player.
Gil has a lot of pride and wants to win.
He also wants to "get paid" or as he says "Me van a Mojar".
A bribe for him would represent a conflict.
My guess is that he would NEVER throw a game as a player - too much pride unless he either was blown away with an outrageous offer or really hated his teammates.
2. John Castillo - arguably one of the best softball players around ( not an umpire).
If they game was important and personal to him or his close friends NEVER!!!!!!!!
Otherwise no comment

and the Number One Umpires or Personalities I know and whether or not they would "tamper" with a game umpires - they say a picture says a thousand words - you look at the pictures and decide

P.S. My boy Wimpie on the LHS in the picture above gets a pass.He respects the game and players. Bobby on the other hand hmmmm ....

Freddy Gonzalez - good guy runs the league and head ump - has improved his league

Rest of the crew - you decide

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Walk-Off is a popular term coined to describe the last game winning decisive play of the game.

Yesterday, I hit a Walk-Off sacrifice fly to win a ball game, not the most glamorous type of Walk Off play, but a game winner nonetheless.

The sudden dramatic finality of a Walk-Off play is arguably the most memorable exciting play in all of baseball/softball.

Let's look at the Top Ten Types of Softball Walk-Off plays

10. Bad call - If an Ump blatantly blows a call at the end of the game, the painful/lucky memory will last with you for a long time. Softball gods have either rewarded or punished you. Depending on how ghetto the league is the Ump might have to get walked to his car for safety.
9. Strike Three - Stud hitter at home representing the winning or tying run goes down swing or taking strike three. There is like a moment of dead silence that will stick with you forever. Think Carlos Beltran 2006 NLCS.
8. Ball Four.HBP - You win or lose the game without a play in the field ever happening.
When this play happens I think of meeting a girl at a club.
To the losing team this play is like getting cock teased by a girl all night. You've been bumping and grinding her all night while buying her drinks and at the end of the night she gives a you a fake phone number.
To the winning team, you just met the finest girl in the club whose boyfriend cheated on her last night and is just dying to fuck the next guy she meets. You have to do nothing and you win.
7. Play at the Plate - Game on the line. The throw home. The slide, The tag. The call. It's Softball at its best.
6. Intentional Walk to Face the Next Batter - This play is done by a manager to go after a perceived weaker hitter or set up a double play.
When it works the manager looks great, and when it fails your the goat. Drama and Tension are automatically created
5. Game Winning Base hit - As a hitter you dream about these situations.
It's why you play the game
4. Error - How does Bill Buckner sleep at night? Every fielder's worse nightmare. Even though every good fielder wants the ball hit to him on every play.
When you make a game ending error, your like in outer space - it's cold, dark, and lonely
3. Home Run - Holler!!!!!!!! Softball Orgasmic!!!!!!!!!
Get your pile on at Home Plate!!!!!
2. WALK-OFF Grand Slam Home Run - so rare!!!! Sheer Joy and excitement - Baseball/Softball is the only game that when you celebrate you feel like a
little kid all over again.

and the #1 Top Ten Types of Softball Walk-Off plays

1. Stud Defensive Play - Litterally snatching victory from the jaws of defeat with a Double Play, Diving Play, Tag at home, over the shoulder catch, scoop at first, etc..
Nothing like winning and breaking your opponents heart at the same time.

Friday, June 6, 2008


The Blog about SS rankings led to an excellent and highly debated number of comments from the readers.

In the same spirit today I want to look at Lethal Left handed hitters.

If your a lefty hitter and you suck - we'll to me that's just inexcusable.
We all know that it's a lefty's game.
Lefty swings are so natural and sweet - they are a gift from God.

A wasted lefty swing is wasted talent - and like Robert Deniro says in the movie a Bronx Tale "nothing in life is worse than wasted talent".

OK so without anymore corny Rick talk here is my Short list of some of the most dangerous pure lefty hitters in NYC (switch hitters excluded) that I have seen.

10. Wayne Slater - Cardinals - mini Ryan Howard - Natural power hitter, when he is healthy and his timing is on - has just as much raw power as anyone.
Also, a smart player and very steady Left fielder.
9. Tommy Higgleson Who? - This guy isn't in NY anymore.
He works and lives in Iraq.
When I first started playing lob ball in the Bronx this was one bad ass white boy.
Think of him as a mini athletic version of Jim Thome.
Power, bat control, quickness, pitch recognition.
He played a few games in Inwood last fall with Cajita.
This guy could roll out of bed in the middle of a noreaster snow storm and go 4 for 4.
8. The Big Show (don't know his name) - 1st Class Yorkville/ Red Hook - Power to all Fields, hits slow pitching, arc, modified, sling - whatever.
Just one tough out.
7. Tie - Vic Baccorossa Choice Parts/ Aaron Fernandez Knockout/Dodgers. - Both guys have power, speed, bat control.
Vic can't hit while drinking Hennessy and smoking like Aaron can.
6. Dusty Quinones- another Cardinal - bat control, bat speed, hits to all fields, takes what the pitcher/defense gives him. Plus off the chart speed makes a defense uncomfortable.
5. Weechie - Destroyers/Twins - when his head is right - he absolutely crushes the ball. Hitting mechanics are textbook - excellent rotation.
4. George Colon - West/Highlanders - The biggest little man in softball is just AWESOME. Power to all fields. Explosive short compact swing, excellent extension, great finish to his swing - make shim a threat every time up.
3. Jack Steinman - His nickname is "El judio maravilloso" - The marvelous Jew.
Has played for everyone. Whether you like Jack or not - the man can flat out hit. the only way to play him is straight up or wherever your pitcher is attacking him.
Smokes line drives to all fields due to quick relaxed short stroke.
Has deceptive power as he lets bat fly when the situation presents itself.
2. Elvis - another Cardinal - it's like the have a left monopoly on lefties.
Simply the best CF in all of NY.
Sound hitting mechanics plus bat and foot speed, ability to recognize pitches and make adjustments, makes him a devastating force at the plate at all times.
Also, is one of the nicest guys in softball.

and the #1 Lethal Lefty Bat in all of Softball

1. Lefty (real name unknown) - Phillies/Destroyers
It's not a question if he will get a hit, rather it's a question of whether how complicated he will hit the ball to baffle a defense.
Ridiculous hand eye coordination, can turn on pitches, slap them , drive them, do the hooky poke with them whatever - Amazing.
The guy is a master softball hitter.
To make matters worse no matter how hard or soft the pitcher throws he runs up to hit the ball prior to the pitch - crazy

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

SS RANKINGS - updated

In NYC the most prestigious and arguably the most important position on any team is Shortstop (SS).

It's impossible to rank which SS is the best, but today I feel like giving it a try.

Please note: My rank will only consist of players I have seen.

10. Jose Carrion - Knockout/West - he's not a shortstop anymore, but it's not due to age or lack of ability. In fact with the exception of 1 or 2 guys on this list, Jose has the most overall ability than anyone when you look at his skills - speed, arm, range, quickness, ability to go after pop ups. He's very talented, but lacks focus. He wants to make the ESPN Baseball Tonight web gem play, but ends up botching easy plays. He not only botches them, he makes them worse. It's a shame.
9. Herman - is the opposite of Jose, lacks the pure raw physically talent, don't get me wrong he has good hands and instincts but man is this guy smart.
I call him PBS - because he's boring - he makes all the routine plays and is always in the game. A winner.
8. Sito - Who? Taino shortstop - may one day be #1/2 on this list.
Excellent power, strong accurate arm, good range and nice guy.
Already a winning player with tremendous upside.
7. Kip - doesn't play SS for Choice Parts anymore, but is smart, soft hands, good arm, and is always in the game.
6. Tie John Carter - Diesel/SummerTime - They say wine gets beytter with age, well so does John Carter - smooth hands, good decisons, never quits. Good compact stroke as a hitter.
5. Vic Boccrossa - took over SS from Kip on the Parts years ago and has only improved his play every year. The guy is a human vacuum cleaner and will throw the ball at any time trying to catch base runners napping.
4. -Ralph - Contact. Excellent, Great instincts. Old School. Never takes a play off.
3. Cabezza "Eric Espinal"- all Cabezza does is make the plays, Excellent footwork and infectious winning attitude. A Gamer
2.Hector Hernandez - West/Highlanders- arguably the best all around defensive player in softball. Has heart, hustle, speed and excellent range. As a hitter has been turning on the ball more lately, which only brings his overall game to another level.

and the #1 Ranked SS in NYC

1. Alex Vasquez - Hurricanes/Merrill Lynch one word - PROFESSIONAL!!!! - No one has the combination of Hands, Quickness, Arm, Range, Instincts, and Positioning that this guy has plus he is a mega power hitter - the guy will save you at least 2 to 3 runs a game. True Stud!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


My parents probably took a lot of time and thought into coming up with my name RR ( all parents do).

My dad liked Ricardo and my mom gave me the middle name of Julian after my sugar cane cutting Cuban grandfather.

However, my name changed yesterday.
To numerous strangers for 7 innings I was now being called one of the components of the full spectrum of colors R.O.Y.G.B.I.V. specifically BLUE

Yesterday I started umpiring.
I wear a blue short sleeve banana republic shirt while I ump, so everyone calls me BLUE!!!.
No one says "Your my Boy Blue" like in the cool movie Old Skool

It's now BLUE.
Top Ten Things I was referred to in association with the word Blue
10. Good Call BLUE! - positive reinforcement is nice - might help you get a call later
9. What the score BLUE? - so fucking annoying - Morons lose count
8. We have 2 guys on their way BLUE - translation your in forfeit avoid mode
7. What inning is it BLUE? - so fucking annoying!
There are only 7 innings it can't be so hard to lose track?
At work do you ask such dumb questions?
6. What's the score BLUE? - Really fucking annoying!!! Nothing like a $250,000 a year earning banker that can't add
5. What inning is it BLUE? - you get the point - repetitive
4. YOU SUCK BLUE!!!!!! - OK a couple of those are fair and part of the game
3. Way to get out there BLUE!!! - players appreciate and deserve hustle
2. Way to be consistent BLUE!!! - players appreciate someone that is fair
and the Number One Things I was referred to in association with the word Blue
1. Your earning your money BLUE!!! - that's really want umping is all about really.
You want the game to competitive, fair, move quickly, so you can collect your cash.
It's like the mortgage industry - everyone is in it together for the $$$
In the mortgage industry the real estate agents, lenders/banks, assessor's, investment banks, inspectors, traders, they are all in it together to get paid.
Same in softball, the Commissioner's, parks department (permits), food vendors, umps, and stud teams all want money.
P.S. I hate umping. I would much rather play