Tuesday, June 30, 2009

SB Independence Day No Mas

The July 4th Lob Ball Tournament at Hecksher has been cancelled!!!!! There will be no softball independence on July 4th!! It kind of reminds me of the movie Independence Day
Being the geek that I am back in 1996 I was really excited about the flick and really looking forward to it, but when I went to see it I left slightly disappointed. That's how I feel about this tournament. Disappointed. How could I not be as weeks ago I helped promote this event on this very site http://softballinsider.blogspot.com/2009/05/born-on-4th-of-july-tournament-news.html. I made call after call and asked player after player to play with Knockout in the tourney. We were committed and ready to go.

For weeks and especially the last several days the organizers of this now defunct event, Maja Sports llc, the people who run http://www.centralparksoftball.com, reassured me that "8 teams were confirmed for the tournament". Today the event was cancelled and the founder of Maja sports Steve "The Wizard" Jimenez suggested we play pick up games instead.

Very Wack
and Inconsiderate!!!!!!

Don't get me wrong throwing these events, especially in the summer on a major holiday, is very difficult. However, Maja has now lost softball street credibility for misleading us. I'll forgive you guys and give you a mulligan, but next time get your act together, be more honest/realistic, and stop wasting peoples time. Learn from your mistakes.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Terminator Salvation

No this blog isn't about that wack ass movie Terminator salvation that came out a few weeks ago. Its about Kenny Alicea, AKA the Softball Terminator, one of the best players very few people talk about.

Yesterday Hell's Kitchen was well on their way to a sweep of O'Hanlons in the Big Apple league until the Terminator showed up.

In cold methodical Terminator style, Kenny worked in an out of trouble with his riser to throw 5 innings of shutout relief .. without saying a word of course ..to earn a 3-1 victory

I know he's a little older now but besides being a good solid pitcher the guy is a Monster hitter. In my opinion, he has one of the top ten best right handed swings I've ever seen in softball.

Hell Tidbits
If Kenny shows up O'Hanlons will play spoiler in the 2nd half in the big apple league .... I asked Kenny to pay in Inwood with Knockout and he turned his head slowly at me and machine like said No and walked away ..... Angelo earned the game one victory ... Joe Soto looked good swinging the bat right handed yesterday .. Edgar Jr threw another gem yesterday but the offense failed him again .. Speaking of the offense it has been HK's Achilles heal all year ... Hector Hernandez's return to the lead-off spot yesterday was a bright spot for HK and is something to look forward to in the 2nd half ... HK has gotten more guys to show up but is still hovering around 500 at 8-6 ... Undefeated Choice Parts next

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

SB Vantage Point

Vantage Point was a decent movie,it could have been very good but it fizzled at the end, but it did have an interesting premise. It examines/explores the different points of views of people who experience the same event. While the event may be the same for each person their point of view is unique and insightful. It got me to thinking that in softball there are many different Vantage Points to the same game that are worth examining.

Let's explore Softball Vantage Points

Commissioner Vantage Point
Scenario #1 If the weather is questionable : When do I call the games? If I call the games too early or late people will be mad at me and more importantly I don't want to all games b/c my permit is running out.

Scenario #2 : Good weather : Walk around and look at league and ask Is it competitive & Enthusiastic? Are teams bringing wringers? Are there illegal pitchers? Are my umpires doing a good job? What is my profit? Why am I dealing with this bullshit? pretend to be a dummy (Harte El bobo) when people ask you tough questions. DENY DENY DENY

Umpire Vantage Point - Lets get this game over as smooth/quick as possible so I can get out of dodge with my money ... I hate that asshole b/c he bitches too much I ain't giving him shit ... I run the ship everyone here mAy not like me but they will respect me .. My mom did not name me Blue

Manager Vantage Point - 3 points of view

Scenario #1 Before the game : Who the fuck is here? I better get on the phone

Scenario #2 : During Game : Do everything you can to win the game and be fair to my guys.

Scenario #3 After Game : If you win it's all good, if you lose you hate the world and feel like a sucker who is spending money for nothing.

1st Base Coach Vantage Point

Remind runners how many outs there are, what the the count is, and where the OF's are playing ... yell STAY OR GO!!!!!!.. argue close plays at 1st and work the day dreaming base umpire for a call .... day dream about whether to Oder Chinese or Italian food for dinner .. be awake when Lefty's are up so that you don't get hit .. remind the catcher where the 1st baseman is to avoid pick offs .. think how much you wait coaching and wish you were playing

3rd Base Coach Vantage Point

Use hand signals and be vocal on where to STAY OR GO!!!!!!! yell slide .. talk shit .. know where the OF are and their arm strength, the speed of your runner.. the situation and more importantly don't listen to the bench or fans

Catcher Vantage Point - 3 key points of view (1) Throw it back to the pitcher and be thankful your in the lineup (2) What location to call (3) Catch the ball scrub!!!!!!!

Pitcher Vantage Point : - numerous

Who Is Up? What to throw? Throw quality strikes Do I like the mound? Do I feel comfortable? Do I trust me fielders? This ump sucks.... I love this ump..... Asshole Stud pitcher mentality go right after them..... Scared ask for out..... Diss your team ....Cheer.. ask for money and free shit

Hitter : Vantage point - numerous moving parts

Get your timing on deck.... What is this guy throwing? Be aggressive... Take a pitch, Whats the count? .. Don't choke!!! ....Crush this loser !!!!!! ....Don't strike out!!!! ... You can't hit and think at the same time

1st baseman Vantage Point

Help my infielders .... Play on or off the line .. where is everyone playing.. Come off the bag and get a throw .. back up throws

2nd Baseman Vantage Point

Go get bloopers .... Turn Double plays. Is that runner going to kill me or throw it straight through and make the motherfucker move ... Play to pull? Play the other way? .... Back up 1st ... Go get the Cut-Off ... Who is covering me or the SS? .... Do I trust my Shortstop or Of?

Shortstop Vantage Point

Who is up? Where to play? What is the speed of the runner? Go get the blooper ... Where is my 2nd and 3rd baseman playing? Make plays - smart ones preferred

3rd Baseman Vantage Point

On the line or off the line ... Do I step on 3rd and throw to 1st or 2nd? .. Is the runner fast??? Do I need to rush the throw??? Do I have too much time ? Am I scared to throw it away? Give up your body ... Dive .. No doubles ... Cut-off the throw home .. Hang in there on tough plays

Left Field Vantage Point

Does this guy have power? Shallow or Deep? Does my pitcher throw hard? Where is my cut-off .. Play the count ...Am I getting help from my LCF?

Left Center Fielder Vantage Point

You can see everything - the pitch location, the defense, the batters stance .... Shallow or deep? Which way to shade... Do I nee dto call off my other fielders on a high fly ball Where is my SS, RCF and LF ?

RCF Vantage Point

Same as LCF except work with RF and 2B

RF Vantage Point

Man I'm the worst OF out here... Throw the guy out or hit my cut-off ... Work on your swing between pitches.... Talk to the 2b about bloopers .... tell the RCf about the girl laying out in a bikini near you .... Keep throws low ... What base do i throw to? remember bloopers from righties kick toward the line with plenty of forward spin

Guys on the Bench Vantage Point - key points... Keep your mouth shut and wait your turn .... Man I need a new team ....I'm scared to go out there and fail. I like it here .. My managers a dick who hooks up his boys

Kids watching the game Vantage Point daddy your like Derek Jeter, daddy you suck, daddy I want to play .. daddy I want to go home

Wife or Girlfriend watching the game I hate softball This guy better appreciate this ... I got my eye on him now .. when are we leaving ... Boring.. Where's my cell phone .. heckle the other team .. support him .. damn I wish I was shopping

Heckler Who is the person i can annoy the most .. where's my beer... Why is this guy ignoring me?? I won't be ignored????????????

Friday, June 19, 2009

SB Big Poppa's Day!!!!!!!!

Sunday is Father's Day and I want to give a big shout out to all Big Poppa's out there.
Softball dad's come in many shapes in forms.
You have your classic father and son baseball lovers like Dio and Brandon

and you have your unique Dad's like Blonde and his twinsbut the bottom line is family and Father's Day is the one day a year that daddy gets to to do whatever he wants. Softball dads are easy to shop for so .....

Top Ten Things to get a Softball dad on Father's Day

10. Your Time - phone call, dinner, hang out, whatever it takes

9. New SB apparel - cleats, bats, gloves are all welcome

8. Non Softball Entertainment

uhhh sorry about that this is a family blog, but you understand

7. Liquor - Smokey????

6. Food - Barbecue !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5. A card - Hallmark needs to make their money

4. Money - easier than a thoughtful gift and more ghetto than a gift certificate - dad can be bribed

3. Quiet Time - Just leave dad alone

2. Respect

and the number one thing to get a Softball dad on Father's day

1. Softball of course - At Bats, Innings pitched, just let the man play ball

Monday, June 15, 2009

SB War is Hell

Yesterday Hell's Kitchen (HK) spilt a doubleheader with Working Class (WC) in the Big Apple League.
Game One was no ordinary quiet 11 AM early start half asleep softball affair.
It was an intense SB WAR!!!! and as the saying goes War is Hell!
WC ace Franny Donovan
was on his game both on the mound and at the plate. Franny not only limited HK to 3 runs on the hill but also drove in 2 key runs with long sacrifice flies. However, HK fought back admirably from an early 4-1 deficit to get the tying and winning runs on base in the 6th and 7th, but Fran got the tough outs when he needed to to preserve the victory.

Game Two wasn't a war but rather a minor scurmmage as HK's Jimmy Meyers, who pitched a fine game one, also threw the second end of the double header and was brilliant. Jimmy threw a one hit shutout and gave HK a much needed spilt. The offense in game two was a team wide effort highlighted by a bases clearing triple by HK right center fielder Arron Fernandez.

Hell Tidbits

Edgar Jr. sat out both games with an undisclosed injury but to his credit stayed their all day to support his team, John Sheppard left after game one b/c of sickness, Jimmy Meters return to the rotation bodes well for HK in the 2nd half, HK needed more guys to show up on time for the early 11AM start, everyone loves to see Ricky run it makes even the most grumpiest HK player laugh, Gubi is a clown but he is playing very hard, Dino is playing a solid shortstop and rebounding nicely from a shoulder injury, flying quietly under the radar is Eddie "Chino" Colon who is having a solid season, HK overall has done a better job getting enough guys to show up this year than last but now its time to step it up a notch.

Game 2 was an after thought as all the note worthy action occured in game 1.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Today is my Birthday .. 6 Feet Over

Ok so today isn't my Birthday, it's June 19th and I'll be 40. Wow!!!!!!! I'm an old MotherFucker!!!!!!! I'll be too busy at work and with family that day to blog about it so I'll do it now instead.

It all comes down to Time, that fickle irresistible Frenemy, that we all know and hate. Aging is inevitable as time stops for no man and over the years I've both wasted and took advantage of my time to build a very good life for myself.
I've partied ....

Built a softball league
and married an amazing woman
If your worse problem is your batting average you have a good life.
On your birthday, you can't help but think of all the different cycles and directions you go though in life, but what's important is the way you live and who you become throughout the journey of life.

Deep shit. Too much deep shot for a softball blog.
One of my favorite songs is "6 Feet Under" by Gwen Stefani, I listen to it all the time. I love Gwen

Now I know you thinking "Ricky your not 14 years old so stop posting Gwen Stefani hoochie posters on your wall ". Ok Ok your right but besides being fine Gwen Stefani is almost 40, very talented, weird, freaky, grungy, innovative, and like me does not like wearing sleeves The words to the song "Six Feet Under " are morbid and go like this
"In the morning I wake up And in the night I sleep
Since the day that I was born Repeat, repeat, repeat
Brought to this life Born to this life
Where was I before? Non-existent? not at all? Will I ever know?

Today is my birthday
And I get one every year And some day...Hard to believe
But I’ll be buried six feet underground

Subconsciously motivated natural instinct
Alter nature for the pleasure Orthocycline
Flirt with conception Slow the cycle Will the baby grow?
Social tradition interference Control, control, control

Today is my birthday And I get one every year
And some day...Hard to believe But I’ll be buried six feet underground
I’ll be dead and gone, no longer around

Spinning, spinning Before I can recall
All the unknown chemicals Control the cycle
The successive generations From dust to dust
Burying my grandma Then give birth to my own daughter

Today is my birthday And I get one every year
And some day...Hard to believe
But I’ll be buried six feet underground

Today is my birthday And I get one every year And some day...
Hard to believe But I’ll be buried six feet underground
I’ll be dead and gone, no longer around

I’ll be burried six feet underground. "

That sick song does hit home and I give her credit for having the balls to sing about how we are all walking our own Green Mile
But on my birthday I prefer to think about how good life 6 feet Over the ground is instead and all the wonderful days ahead.

Life is Good.

Thank you for your readership ... Now Play ball!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Softball Spelling Bee

I've been hitting so bad lately that I probably couldn't even spell the word HIT, much less actually hit the ball hard.

More importantly, in the real world Spelling (and thank god spell check) is much more important than hitting so while most softball players don't have the vocabulary that Scripps 2008 National Spelling Bee Champion Kavya Shivashankar has

I can't help but wonder how most softball players I know would do in a spelling competition.

We need a tough softball word to spell. How about a player's name , let's start with the reigning Big Apple MVP and Choice Parts very own Eric Zabarkus.

Top Ten Spelling Bee Softball contest trying to spell and use Eric Zabarkus in a sentence.

10. Vladimir - pro wrestling #1 fan and Diesel pitcher.
Spelling : Z-A-B-A-K-U-S - close but no cigar Sentence : I like Erix ZABAKUS b/c he is not a cheater like Jimmy Bitros.
Judges : Judges disqualify Vlad for wearing horrible skin tight shirt.

9. Rick "Mr Top Ten"
Spelling : K-N-O-C-K-O-U-T
Sentence : Can Eric play on Knockout?
Judges : Throw Ricky out and tell him to hire a batting coach.

8. Alfredo - El Loco pickup player
Spelling : Z-E-B-U-T-H-A - nothing I write can come close to mimicking this guy's deep spanish accent
Sentence : "Eric Z-E-B-U-T-H-A" es una vaca (Alfredo loves the word vaca - which in Spanish means cow)
Judges: Alfredo disqualified on the grounds no one understands him

7. Aaron - Hell Kitchen/Knockout
Spelling : H-E-N-N-E-S-Y
Sentence : Eric is cool but who has my bottle of Hennesy?
Judges : Aaron fails SUI test - Spelling Under Influence test and is eliminated from the competition

6. Issac "Gubi " Delgado
Spelling : Z-A-R-B-K-R-A-S
Sentence : Eric Z-A-R-B-K-R-A-S is a good player but I'm much betta!!!!
Judges : Disqualified for being a clown

5. Charlie - umpire from Pickup
Spelling : Z-a-b-a-r-k-u-s - CORRECT!!!!!!!!!!
Sentence : I don't know why Rosenmiller plays Zabarkus over me! I'm the Rally Man !!!!!!!
Judges : Disqualify him for being disillusional

4. Chelo - groundskeeper Inwood
Spelling : Z
Sentence : Z
Judges : too confused to render judgement

3. Edgar Sr.
Spelling : Z-a-b-a-r-k-u-s - excellent!!!!!!!!
Sentence "I was so much better than that Zebra kid"
Judges " Disqualified for evil heckling

2. Nellie - central park older stud player
Spelling & Sentence - falls asleep during contest, but wakes up in time to single up the middle
Judges : Disqualified for sleeping

and the Number One Spelling Bee Softball contestant trying to spell and use Eric Zabarkus in a sentence.

1, John Rosenmiller
Spelling Z-a-b-a-r-k-u-s
Sentence - "Mickey Peckins and Eric Zabarkus are on my team"
Judges : We have a winner!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Softball GoundHogs Day .... the Sequel 27-24

There must be some voodoo going on at grand street, b/c the late games I get to ump are insane.

It had been a slow softball week with a couple of days off and all the rain but then .....

Not again.



Two weeks ago it was 29-24 http://softballinsider.blogspot.com/2009/05/softball-groundhog-day-on-may-21st.html , last night it was 27-24.

Due to the heavy rains the last few days the dirt portion of the Grand Street fields were water damaged, and, as a result, after obtaining the consent of both teams, I changed the dimensions of the field to make the game playable. The only dirt cut out not damaged was 3rd base so that's were I set up home plate. Unfortunately, this made the right center field fence New Yankee Stadium close
I suggested that a ball hit over the RCF fence be an out, but both teams wanted it to count as a home run and that's were the run scoring fun began.

As the Agent of Chaos the Joker would say
"And Here we Go" and soon Chaos erupted!! .. again
The winning team a squad called Awesome (they were far from awesome) hit four grand slams on the night (yes you read that right 4 GS!!!!), three of which were lazy fly balls over the drawn in RCF fence.
Yankee Stadium style.
Final Score 27-24.

Softball gods why have you forsaken me????????

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hell Hath No Fury

In the real world, Hell Hath No Fury like a woman scorned, well in softball this past weekend, I found out that Hell Hath No Fury like a Former Team scorned.

On Saturday, my former team the Cardinals smoked my current team the WestLanders. We were not competitive and got beat & outplayed that day in every facet of the game.

On Sunday, my former team Gallaghers (now called Saphire) played very well and earned two hard fought victories over my current team Hell's Kitchen.

The softball gods work in mysterious ways.

Hell Tidbit's from Sunday's Game:
(1) I can understand players missing a game, but why do they wait until game time/day to tell you - barring an emergency this is so irresponsible.
(2) Getting swept is very discouraging and inexcusable. It will be very interesting to see where the season goes from here. The league is tight this year and the young teams are hungry. We are better than this.
(3) We blame the umps way too much. We scored 4 runs in 2 games against the same pitcher. Let's look in the mirror. We are not good enough to throw our gloves on the field and win.
(4) Arguing amongst one another on the field is embarrassing.
(5) Gubi hit the ball hard all day but in tough luck. He has the skill set to bat 2nd.
(6) Gubi concentration lapses on the field are beyond comical and a shame for a player of his ability
(7) HK left the bases loaded and had nothing to show for it in the 1st 2 innings of the 3-1 Game One loss
(8) With the bases loaded and two outs in the 2nd it was Gubi turn at bat, he was hanging out on another field and not ready to hit. Needless to say, he did not come through.
(9) Ricky did not throw any bats Sunday.
(10) Losing is miserable