Monday, May 31, 2010

Recognizing the Real MVP on Memorial Day

Many of us enjoy picnics
and softball
on Memorial Day
as we enjoy a long weekend in honor of the soldiers who have given their lives for our country.
Well I also want to give a shout out to the Real MVP's out there, the current servicemen and woman of the United States of America for all they do for us.
Specifically, I want to Recognize my cousin
Phillip A. R
US Marine Corps Lcpl stationed at Twenty nine Palms, Ca.
I'll let the fact that your a Yankee and Giant fan slide this time little cousin, b/c you are appreciated.
Thank You True MVP

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Softball Mount Rushmore

Almost everyone has heard of Mount Rushmore
which pays tribute to 150 years of U.S. presidents. Honoring great American Leaders Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln. Well the new hot team in the Big Apple League, Mayaguez, is on fire with an 8-2 start thanks to the leadership and recruiting efforts of their own Mount Rushmore
Brain Trust of :
Jack O Nellie Alvardo
Rudi Robinson (left below reaching into bag)
and Pipo (not pictured).These guys have successfully recruited talented pitching and players from all over NYC and have somehow convinced Central Park legend Enrqiue Perdomo
to come out of retirement and pitch for them. But possibly the greatest recruitment feather in their cap was the enlisting of Taryn as their new #1 fan

They are not a fluke.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Breaking News : Get Well Soon Bobby "Larry Merchant" Fishman

Breaking News !!!!!
Central Park Softball legend Bobby Fishman
AKA "Larry Mercahnt"
has had serious health issues and will be down for a while. But this story has a good ending as he is now doing well, resting, and recovering at his sister's home. The privilege of competing against and knowing Bobby Fishman over the years has been all mine. He has made Central Park and Inwood a better place to play ball with his unique spirit and skills. Rest up brother can't wait to see you out there driving everyone crazy. Your a Legend

Letter over Spirit... Safe but wrong choice

Recently in the Big Apple Softball League, , a serious knee/leg injury occurred to Nick Ross manager/player of the Brother Jimmy's softball team. The injury occurred on May 2nd at second base while playing against Lucky's (formerly Contact). Lucky's tough competitor, excellent infielder, and scrappy lead off man Mike Trenk slid "aggressively" into second and unfortunately the injury transpired.

Injuries are part of the game. We all accept that risk the second we cross the lines. i am a big propeonent of sliding in hard, clean, and early into any base to avoid a tag or break up a play. it's part of the game. But we also must all adhere to good sportsmanship and overall respect for the game, players, and officials. You can't play alone.

Despite all his success on the field over the years Mike Trenk has rarely exhibited good sportsmanship and respect during a league games. I do not know him personally so it would be unfair for me to comment on his off the field character but here is what I see on the field:

(1) Argues every border line pitch during an at bat with an umpire
(2) Steps out on every pitch to disrupt a pitcher and argues during that time with umpire.
(3) Ducks under pitches during an at bat
(4) Nasty Attitude - yelling, screaming, bullying everyone- no one likes him and its a shame b/c he is a winning player
(5) Three years ago he also slid in late, high, and hard to Nick and knocked Nick out of commission for a while. I witnessed that 1st hand.

To be fair Mike did call Nick immediately after the incident to apologize and see how Nick was doing. In addition, Mike dishes it out and can take it as well, as I and other players, have slid very hard into second base just because he is there and Mike has never wined or complained.

Nick filed a formal grievance with the league stating that Mike exhibited poor sportsmanship and intentionally slid into second to injure him. The league to their credit asked questions and conducted an investigation of players and officials but had no physical proof to rule against Mike.

This is clearly the case of the the Letter of the Law versus the Spirit of the Law. Where there was no physical evidence (video tape, umpire testimony) of poor sportsmanship, but Mr. Trenk's reputation and repeated poor past behavior leads one to question his actions/intentions. The league had a tough call to make and made a fair and safe decision, but ultimately the wrong choice. Trenk should have been suspended for at least 2 weeks, maybe then we will realize that you can't play the game alone and would change his attitude.

Fyi :

(1) Upset at the league decision, Nick has decided to resign as a member of the league's committee effective June 1, 2010.

(2) This repeated poor behavior would not be tolerated in Inwood.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Good Job Blue

There are some jobs that make you a target for hate and scorn. No one likes Meter maids, cops aren't usually too popular, and of course everyone loves to hate umpires. You often hear people yell "Your Horrible Blue", "You Suck Blue", "Your missing a good game Blue", "You have no heart Blue", yada yada yada not lovey dovey stuff and while it is true that some umps deserve these remarks there are actually good umps out there and today I would like to recognize on of the them - Butchy (shown to my right below with the 1970's hairstyle)Butchy is not perfect and makes mistakes, but he respects the game, respects the players, knows the rules, and always gives you 100 %. Whenever he umps my games, I always feel confident we have someone doing our game that knows what he's doing. Great job Butch.

i would be remiss if I didn't add that the one blemish Butchy has to follow is the ridiculous base distance rules given to him by . They play 65 feet bases which is OK, but too bad they measure them off to be more like 75-80 feet. The last game I played in the distance between 1st and 2nd base was 28 steps which is ridiculous. When I asked Butch to fix the distance he couldn't b/c the league had nailed the bases in. You have a good ump now Steve, now please address the base distance issue and your league will be much better off.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

4 8 15 16 23 42

A Bittersweet SoftballInsider salutes the end of the TV Show Lost

The Greatest show of all time.
Thank You for all the years of absolute brilliance. You will be deeply missed

Fuel for Play?

Last week's preview of a May softball game in Central Park fueled (pun intended for Diesel Express) a lot of comments but surprisingly did not disappoint as two time defending champion "Evil Empire"
Choice Parts
played two good games against the remodeled Land of Misfit Toys Diesel Express
Both teams earned a hard fought spilt, but for most of the day it had a similar feel to the subway series which was going on in NYC
Where Little brother

was trying to prove himself to big brother. Moral victory was unacceptable. In the end despite injuries and missing players on both sides, it was good to play in a good old fashion competitive game. Softball energy, enthusiasm and effort like it ought to be... any time of year

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Big Apple Preview: Diesel Express vs. Evil Empire

Did you just read that Blog Title right ?


My team, Diesel Express and defending back to back Champions Choice "Evil Empire" Parts will play this Sunday at Hecksher field #5 at 1pm. Usually that game is just another game on the schedule but let's explore if it is more?

Is it a rivalry game?

Absolutely No!!!!!!

Diesel is rebuilding and competitive now. Choice Parts "CP" knows this, but Diesel hasn't done anything to show they are at the CP level. Not even close. A rivalry is built over time. If anything this is an Imitation Game. They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery and Diesel to some extent is a smaller less accomplished mirror of Choice Parts having gotten younger while adding both position and pitching depthfrom a collection of players that have played on numerous Big Apple teams.

Is it a Must Win statement game?

No and Yes
No- Any team that wins two, losses two, or even splits has plenty of time to forge their identity for the remainder of the season. It is only May after all.
But also

Yes- CP knows they are the hunted and whoever plays them always has something to prove. It comes with the Evil Empire championship thing.

Am I sandbagging the importance of this game?
Of course.
As both team have plenty of friends on each sideCompetitive Pride is always a factor in these games.

As far as a game preview it's pretty simple :

Choice parts has the advantage in all the categories except one:

Forfeit Avoiding

For years, CP had the deepest strongest roster in the entire league. They probably still do, but the old adage of you never have enough guys finally caught up with them as they experienced a lunar eclipse rare type event last week when the had to forfeit two games to Empire. To their credit, they notified the league the night before saving everyone inconvenience, time, and money.

Something tells me they won't forfeit this week, or ever again. The Emperor will not tolerate that anymore.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Misfit Toys Lands on Ellis island

As most of you already know I am a misfit.Every misfit needs a place to gather and spend time. This theme was portrayed in the classic Christmas story Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & the Island of Misfit Toys

Even a misfit need a sense of purpose and a home.

In America ALL people are welcomed to this country by Lady Libertylocated at Ellis Island and her inscription reads

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

Truly inspiring stuff to all newcomers. The message is clear : You have a chance here to build something special, I don't care about your past, I don't care about how you look, I don't care that your imperfect, you deserve a chance.
The softball version of Lady Liberty in 2010 has become Jimmy Bitros manager of Diesel Express. Jimmy likes people who are different and has a thing for misfits

b/c he embraces people who are different. He judges you for who you are, not for how you play or who you look. Don't get me wrong, he wants to win. Last year his team came up short and he's made changes this year by giving softball misfits like myself a chance. He's kept every promises he's made to me and then some by adding other skilled "softball misfits"looking for a home. These and other new "softball misfits" have been added to the remaining Diesel squad and so far we have become competitive. Everyone in the Big Apple League knows this as there are very few secrets in this gossip friendly league, now it's up to us and the softball gods

to take our new softball home and make it a Team. We haven't done anything yet but at least he have a chance thanks to Jimmy Liberty