Thursday, September 30, 2010

Obvious Hidden in Plain Sight JB Factor

A common mistake many people have made over the last 3 years is to think that Choice Parts "CP"was solely John BrownWell that fallacy was clearly been disproved by a classy and talented staple of polished players over the last several season.

Still almost every conversation that involves the Parts inevitably turns to the John Brown Factor which includes the following (which anyone who has ever seen him play can attest to):

Physical Factors

  • Dominant high speed pitching with a heavy ball
  • Filthy Change Up
  • Good Hitter - all fields
  • Smart defender

Intangible Factors

  • Intimidation - depends on the experience/heart of his competition
  • Gamer - Admirable Unmatched Desire to Win. True warrior

These characteristic provide CP with many positives, but one obvious hidden in plain sight advantage it affords them is Leverage in Recruiting.

CP's manager and players work together brilliantly and without hesitation to recruit top players to surround JB. All winning business, organizations, and teams build upon their #1 asset to promote themselves and CP's #1 asset is JB. This is very smart as if you have top starting pitching, then the top players will follow b/c they want to win. Very smart.

Softball recruiting is a ruthless cut throat dirty game where you have to use every edge possible to your advantage to attract and keep top talent. It's really quite simple, if you have a top dependable dominant starting pitcher who happens to be a great guy (fellow Met/Jet fan) like JB, only a fool wouldn't use him as a recruiting chip. Again very smart

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Much more Excellent and not so Evil as CP 3Peats!!!!!!!

The official Big Apple (BASL) results are in
and it is UNDENIABLE that Choice Parts (CP) is quite possibly one of the BEST TEAMS EVER in the BASL.

The low easy road would be to be mean, hateful, and jealous of them but the truth is they are the deserving Champions of the Big Apple League for the 3rd consecutive year and are so much more Excellent
than Evil as they have been portrayed in the past
They are the best team in the league and deserve accolades for their effort.
CP's team motto is "Step on 'em hard and step on 'em early" and with the smart, polished, and talented roster they've assembled they back up their words. They truly have built a phenomenal team that deserves recognition.
This is coming from someone who used to personally hate CP, but that's changed in the last few years. I've actually become a CP fan and sincerely congratulate them on their softball achievement. Well done.
You see people (like me - before my time) forget that CP did their share of playoff losing to Contact during the 90s. They were perpetual "bridesmaid." They had (and still do) the best pitcher in John Brown "JB"
who has more desire to win than anyone else out there. But even he cant do it alone. Something was missing and manager John Rosenmiller knew it and did something about it through shrewd recruitment.
The turning point to reshaping their roster was acquiring Mike P and Eric Z. They brought speed and were singles hitters who got on base and took extra bases. They brought a new energy, conviction, enthusiasm ...not the quiet, white guy professional style that had been the Parts trademark.
Those acquisitions were only the beginning as the rich got richer. Perhaps their greatest moves were adding Lou Gonzalez Jr and Jack Steinman. True gamers. Guys who are calm and focused in the clutch and infect their teammates with the belief that the team is a winner. Its called Championship Swagger. Lou has an ability to energize and inspire a team. He's a great motivator, gets clutch hits, and wants it so bad you can see it in his face. Jack is another breed. He's won 6 of the last 7 BASL championships, that's not a coincidence. He is the ultimate heads-up ballplayer and there are few players, if any, better in the clutch. He has that winning edge. Their will to win and stellar play never allowed CP to rest on their laurels or rely on JB again.
They have play makers all over the field. Guys like Kip, Vic, Doc not to mention Dave Levine, Angelo, Jack, Hector, Lou and Lorenzo are all extremely talented guys who would be stars on other teams batting 2-3-4-5 but accept their particular role on the Parts in order to play on a winning team. Across the board,they have solid players and that is why they win.
Their defense is sick and deep. They have at least 5 shortstops on their roster. When you combine a dominant pitcher with a web gem defense making incredible plays that usually demoralize most opponents and leads to a championship.
Again, congratulations guys you are truly classy champions in every sense of the word.
On an Editor's note I would like to thank Fran and Dick of Lucky's for the photo and Mike P you tube link) Updated

Inwood's website has finally been updated after 3 weeks!!!!!!!! FINALLY!! But this begged lead softball analyst John Sheppard to ask the following questions

Top Ten Reasons it took so long to updated the Citysoftball Website
10. The Computer Makes the Schedule
9. We didn't have enough money to renew the site
8. The Computer Makes the Schedule - competitive balance very imp
7. Too Busy watching the Jets with all our fellow Goon fans

6. The Computer Makes the Schedule - your starting to get it right?
5. Distracted while spanning other websites
oh my bad I forgot this is a "family blog" - back to softball
4. The Computer Makes the Schedule - always stick to this line when you mess up - always
3. Too Busy shopping for the right Halloween costume What Can I say we are weird like that?

2. Gil hadn't shown up to Inwood yet we needed his feedback before updating anything

and the #1 Reason it took so long to updated the Website

1. None. We apologize. Thank you for your patience


Friday, September 24, 2010

Hatin' My SB Refelection

Every morning we all wake up and look in the mirror and decide if we like what we see. Someday you look for more than grey hairs or wrinkles as you look into your soul decide if your living the right way. Some days you like what you see, someday you don't. When you don't, that's when you need the courage to change.

In his new brilliant Recovery album Eminem rapped about these same issues in the song "I'm Going Through Changes"

In softball we all have a reflection and we also have to decide if we like what we see. Lately I've hating my softball reflection for the following reasons :
  1. An old wise Spanish saying says "todo los dias no son dias de fiesta" - it means not everyday is a day for a party. In softball that is so very true, you have to take the good with the bad and try and remember that if your biggest problem is your batting average you have a good life. Yeah whatever. OK in the grand scheme of life that is all good, but fuck that politically correct sesame street good guys finish last double talk. THIS IS SOFTBALL and the majority of hardcore players I know want to hit, make plays, pitch gems, recruit stud players, and most of all win. Lately there has been many team and personal failures where failure shouldn't have happened. It's a very empty feeling when there are more valleys than peaks.
  2. Popping the maximum number of 200 mg of Ibuprofen every time I play to get through the pain. It's a pain killer addiction. Not good when you can't stop with these pills. It's gotta stop. They ain't M&M's
  3. Softball recruitment - it's a ruthless selfish cut throat dirty game. Balancing keeping good people and loyalty is almost impossible and it doesn't make me feel good. It's a cut throat scheming evil world where compromise is almost impossible and if your around long enough you eventually become the bad guy and lose a bit of your soul.
  4. Softball Collections - collecting money from softball deadbeats is a waste of my life force
  5. The Blog. Lately I have received heavy criticism on not being an honest editor/writer b/c I don't criticize my teammates, friends, or teams enough. I will address these issues in a near future blog. More importantly. I've been getting a lot of self centered guest writer or appearance requests with personal agendas for the blog. I deeply appreciate all my readership, but what I want my readers to understand is that I've always taken a Dave Chappele approach to the blog. Chappele was brilliant on the "Dave Chappele Show" but suddenly quit in the 3rd season at the height of his popularity after breaking up with his longtime writing partner, Neal Brennan. You see Dave and Neal always wrote/did the show like no one else was watching they just fed off of each other's creativity and sheer comedy genius resulted. When the networks started demanding that Dave be funny he quit. I always write all my blogs with one softball target in mind, my longtime partner and friend Juan "Blonde " Moreiras (seen below in his Fidel outfit )

he's taught me most of what I know about softball and life and if I can capture his softball attention in a blog then I know everything else will flow. Readers/fans need to understand that all good blogs inspire/provoke thought, laughter, and imagination. Once a blog becomes vindictive, selfish, and demanding then it will suck. Points 1-4 above plus readership demands has given my writer's block lately.

When looking in your softball mirror it's important to remember that none of us are SB bulletproof, and should stand up and man/woman enough to change. I guess I'm too stupid to quit so I will keep on trying

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Not Visigoths

Before a hopeless battle it is somewhat of a military tradition for a captain to tour his ship. In softball terms, I wouldn't call the battle Diesel faced today hopeless, but it was certainly daunting. We had put ourselves in a single elimination game position against O'Hanlos and if victorious would then have to play defending champion Choice Parts immediately thereafter in the finals. Not easy but still a chance.

As everyone knows anything can happen in a single elimination game and anything did happen today as we lost. We had hopes of playing the role of the Visigoths coming over the seventh hill and over throwing the Evil SB Roman Empire, but never made it that far. The only civilisation that ended was our own and now we can only turn the page of softball history.

Maybe a tour wouldn't have been a bad idea as now there is nothing. It's cold out there when you face personal and team failure. Very cold.

P.S. Have fun with this one Mr. Anonymous

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Intercambio A96 - B96

Last year in Puerto Ricoand this past Saturday in Trenton NJGil, Gubi and I took part in a very cool Latin softball tradition called
"El Intercambio" (the Exchange). The Intercambio allows Latins who live in different places to come together for a day and play softball, make new friendships, and of course eat/drink plenty of good food, beer & rum. Its softball at its true social best - very good worthwhile fun stuff.

"El Intercambio" got my politically incorrect mind to thinking that if Latins who live in different locations could get together to play softball and socialize and exchange cultures, then why can't people who live Above 96TH Street (A96) and Below 96th Street (B96) do their own softball InterCambio. I mean it's 2010 it's time to tear down barriers so let's explore this possible exchange of cultures via softball:

(Exchange #1) B96 invites A96 to a Softball InterCambio

  • Location : Hecksher Field 5 Central Park - right in the heart of Manhattan
  • Permit : Yes
  • Time : 12 pm (Noon)
  • Actual Game Start Time : 12 pm (Noon)
  • Music : None
  • Speaker System : None
  • Fans: Tourist from all corners of the world
  • Lineup Card : Mandatory
  • Ball : City Clincher - 2 new balls
  • Pitching Style : Whatever
  • Game Length : Two sharp seven inning games
  • Uniform Requirements : None
  • Bats : ASA approved only
  • Umpires : 2 paid ASA certified of course
  • Obstacles/Hazards : Fans laying out on blankets getting a tan and other players on crossover fields
  • In Game Refreshments : Overpriced Middle Eastern Hot Dog Vendor
  • After Game Meal : Sushi, Croissants, Starbucks Coffee, Hagen Daz, Thai, Bagels with cream cheese, Tofu, Cuban-Asian fusion, prime rib, and pastrami.
  • After Game Beverages : Beer - Domestic and Imported
  • After Game Activities : Weed
  • After Game Hangout Spots : Union Square, Meat Packing District, Lower East Side, 3rd Avenue Bars
  • Length of After Game Hangout : 30-45 Minutes at most
  • Remembrance : All digital pictures posted on Face Book
(Exchange #2) A96 invites B96 to a Softball InterCambio
  • Location : Inwood Hill Park Field 3 - of course A96 people would have to explain to B96 folk that this is located in Manhattan as most B96 people think that this is the Bronx.
  • Permit: No - first come fist serve basis
  • Time : 2 PM
  • Start Time : 3:30 PM
  • Music : Non Stop blaring Bachata and Merengue
  • Speakers System : Yes. At least 20 feet high - lots of base
  • Fans: Chelo, Rick, and a lot of other ruthless drunk hecklers
  • Lineup Card: Card board box if your lucky
  • Ball : 1st game Dudley (or clincher gold) to make it a life threatening experience and in game 2 a regular clincher for peace of mind
  • Pitching Style : Game 1 Modified , Game 2 Lob, Game 3 who cares
  • Game Style : 2 normal seven inning games followed by one 3 or 5 inning game before it gets dark
  • Uniform Requirements : Mandatory and must be matching
  • Bats : Anything short of a pipe is allowed
  • Umpires : One drunk guy who stands behind the pitcher ghetto style
  • Obstacles/Hazards - idiot kids hitting baseballs into your game
  • In Game Refreshments : Delicious chicken, cheese and meat pastilles at bargain basement prices
  • After Game Meal : Rice, beans, yuca, platains, chicken
  • After Game Beverages : Beer - Domestic and Imported. Plus Brugal or Bacardi Rum. In addition, attending Alcholics also can bring premium hard liquor like Hennessey or Johnny Walker. Please note :drinking before and during the games is encouraged.
  • After Game Activities : Weed and dominoes
  • After Game Hangout Spots : Dyckman Street trendy hit spots like
    Mamajuana Cafe
  • Length of After Game Hangout : 6-8 hours - at least 10 pm
  • Remembrance : Polaroid camera pictures

I've played both above and below 96th street - it's a great game anywhere you play

The Circle of Sofball Life "Strategy 11 vs 10 Man Lineup"

It's hard to believe that I've had enough time on my hands to write over 300 softball-life related blogs over the last 3 years (recession alert!!) and one theme that keeps coming up is the "Circle of Life". The "circle of life" in the real world means you are born, you live, (have relationships, friends, family), become grandparents, and then you die. It's in between all this we learn from others and pass the torch on to the next generation and the "circle of life" starts all over again. Life can be hard sometimes, but the path can be made smoother if we are smart enough to learn and grow from our experiences and relationships.

Over 3 years ago I wrote the following blog about a softball lineup and now the circle of softball life has brought me back to it. Specifically Top Ten Item #10 which read as follows :

"10. Rule 10 involves the number 11 - Use 11 hitters only if your not facing a stud pitcher. 11 man lineups generally suck - they are too long but against so so pitching it's OK. Against stud pitching use 10."

I've had many discussions regarding the use of "11 vs. 10 man lineups" and here are the advantages and disadvantages to consider:
  1. Lineup Turnover Factor - advantage 10 man lineup - self evident
  2. Participation Factor - advantage 11 man lineup - more people play
  3. Facing a top pitcher Factor - advantage 10 man lineup - you are getting the top of your lineup up quicker in a game. Closely related to point #1 above
  4. Stud Hitter Factor - If you have an impact hitter who couldn't catch a cold while running naked in a blizzard then you might as well bat 11
  5. "That's the Way it is Factor" - you team style is to always bat 11 b/c that's the way it. While myopic and ignorant to points 1,3,4 above it is actually fine b/c your team is run that way. Your not the manager and this is not fantasy softball, maybe your manager cares more about being loyal to his guys who make personal sacrifices to come to the ballpark and is willing to take the risk of batting 11. - advantage 11 man lineup

Funny how the years go by that this remains a circle of softball life topic. My softball instincts/feelings/experiences tell me that in the playoffs you should generally usually go with a 10 man lineup. In any case, managing is not easy or fun, but if you want to sit in the captains chair you have to make the tough decisions and deal with the consequences.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Softball Legend and Latin Professor X Analyzes Big Apple Playoffs

Great Players come in the many unlikely shapes, sizes, personalities, and ages and no one I know fits that description more than NYC Softball Legend Nelson (Professor X lookalike) Alvardo.
Nelson is like a softball father to many of us and carries the reputation of being one of the greatest softball hitters NYC has ever seen. At age 65 this guy remains in top shape and could wake up in the middle of a snowstorm in January and hit a line drive up the middle.

Like Professor X, , Nelson is very soft spoken and a recruiter. But instead of recruiting people with super powers he recruits softball mutants b/c he knows/loves the game, has an eye for talent, and wants to win at all cost. In other words, he's a closet ruthless/relentless recruiter.

Recently the insider caught up with him in Central Park (where else?) and got his insight as a player and manager (he managed a good Mayaguez team into the 2010 playoffs) regarding the remaining 3 teams in The Big Apple Playoffs.
Enjoy the following analysis from a living legend with softball telekinetic abilities.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Call me Ishmael"

The Classic Novel Moby Dick begins with one of the most recognizable opening lines "Call Me Ishmael" which tells the adventures of the wandering sailor Ishmael, and his voyage on the whale ship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learns that Ahab seeks one specific ferocious whale, Moby Dick. In a previous encounter, the whale destroyed Ahab's boat and bit off his leg. Ahab intends to take Revenge. When he joined the ship, Ishmael didn't know that Ahab was a psycho maniac. Ultimately Ahab's obsession with Revenge would doom himself and the crew of the Pequod (save for Ishmael) to death.

My favorite revenge line in the book is during the final chase where Ahab hurls his final harpoon and yells "to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart's shell upon it."

OK now that we took a walk down 10th grade English class, a good question to ask is : Why am I bringing up "Moby Dick" in softball? Well, in sports REVENGE is a common/classic theme. You want to stick it to an old team, opponent, manager, friend, etc b/c they have done something to you in the past that hurt you. Whether it be losing, getting released, benched, or disrespected you have been wronged and now it's payback time and nothing is sweeter than making a great play, hitting up a storm,or throwing a gem against them and hurting them where it truly hurts the most-on the field!

Well this year I was softball version of Ishmael as I was recruited to play on Bravery in the Broadway show league by Dave "L.D." Bergman. unknown to me, like Ahab, L.D. was on a win at all costs revenge mission against his former team and defending champion RJKHe wanted to beat them bad. Real Bad. But our team started out terribly with an 0-4 and 2-6 record, I honestly thought we wouldn't win a game at one point. But our manager Jack "Bandanna Man" Cutler kept hustling and our top players like Anthony
started showing up and we won 8 in a row and made it all the way to the finals only to lose a heart breaking 4-3 single elimination game in the bottom of the 7th to RJKCongrats RJK well deserved

It should be noted L.D. made a legitimate brilliant diving catch in LCF to keep us in the game and set up 7th inning dramatics via Ralph Serrano clutch two out RBI hit. But it was all for not, as we lost on a walk-off dribbler. Tough loss.

L.D. may have not gotten his revenge, but he got something more - our team's respect for playing his heart out all year. Funny I've played on 4 championship teams this year, but I am so much more proud of this team than all those others combined b/c of the adversity we overcame. It was an honor serving aboard the Pequod with captain Ahab, I uh mean playing on Bravery with L.D. - we have nothing to be ashamed of. Also, remember revenge is a dish best served cold, Dave you will get another chance

Friday, September 10, 2010

Big Apple Playoff Interview #2 Celebrity Analyst

First Charles Bailey broke down the Big apple Playoffs and now its his Working Class teammate Anthony Gonzalez turn. Anthony has a unique/different perspective on the Playoffs as he has earned multiple titles on Contact in the past. People underestimate his knowledge of the game b/c tourist often confuse him Richard Gere in Central Park

The resemblance is uncanny. Enjoy the interview :

P.S Your were great in Internal Affairs

"Miss Thing There is No Guest List Tonight"

The Inwood Softball Club will open for business this Sunday and our Velvet Ropehas an exclusive 14 team list that Ricky "Furio"has approved. So if you were lucky enough to contact Furio on your cell phone
and met our SB qualification then your all set to gain assess/entrance to our action packed spot. Otherwise I'm sorry but as Lil' Louis sang in 90s hit 'Club Lonely' "Miss Thing There is No Guest List Tonight"

Our SB spot
may not have the eye candy
of real world nightclubs, but there is still plenty of action
and entertainment to go around. If you are not on the list perhaps you can still make the best of your softball experience and go to one of our commercial ripoff competitors But I guarantee you it won't be the same, not even close. So I suggest your try and bribe a SB bouncer and try and get into our spot in the backdoor.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


In the real world a monopoly
exists when a specific individual/enterprise has sufficient control over a particular product/service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it. Monopolies (like the phone company or utilities) are thus characterised by a lack of economic competition for the goods/services that they provide and a lack of viable substitute goods. In other words, they are the only ones that have something you desperately need and charge you "up the wazoo" for it b/c quite frankly ....they can.

The #1 key to creating a softball monopoly is obtaining an ugly inexpensive yet precious paper called a PERMIT
Once you have this little legal document it's PERMIT MONOPOLY POWER


As you can create a league to play on a field on specific dates/times and can tell everyone else to go workout elsewhere

if they don't want to pay your league fee and play by your rules. Furthermore, permits are "grandfather'd in" every year meaning if you held it last year and didn't cause any problems you automatically get renewed the following year. This leads to True Permit Monopoly Power!!!! That's why rip-off softball leagues like Yorkoff can charge ridiculous prices b/c they hold every single fall weeknight Manhattan permit and make you pay through the nose to play in their shitty league.

For the record, Inwood deeply values its permit and will NEVER!!!!!!! I REPEAT NEVER let it fall into the hands of unscrupulous softball leagues listed in my classic blog.Fight the Power!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

BIG APPLE FINAL FOUR Analyzed by the Champ

The Big Apple Final Four will take place on Sunday September 12th. Seeing as I will be involved in the match ups I cannot comment on the games so I decided to go out and get a special playoff analyst Charlie "The (self proclaimed) Champ" Bailey who practically lives, breathes, and eats Central Park Softball. Enjoy his breakdown of the series below