Thursday, July 26, 2012


For years
the Robert Trillo Charity Softball game
has been a very cool event in Inwood Hill Park.

This year the fun continued A96 style as friends got to relive their glory days

and enjoy themselves.

CEO and Chief Financial Executive of the event Freddy "Bloomberg" Martinez

led the cause raising over $5,000 in the name of his friend Robert Trillo to be donated in his honor to his Alma Mata Cardinal Spellman, (yes I did play football for Spellman - Al Bundy Ronda).
This year the game had special meaning as a long time participant of the Peter Urquiaga
passed away last winter and was remembered by friends and family alike. This year and every year going forward my team in this event will be named Urquiaga

in Peter's memory. 

He loved this day
Far too often on this site I remember those have passed away, but this was different. While he may have drove me nuts, he didn't deserve this. He was full of life, had a wonderful family.
He died far too young.

 This one bothered me and everyone else very deeply.

We will never forget
Life is fragile and hard sometimes, damn... this one hit home

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Conflict of Interest.. Between a Rock and a Hard Place

I run the Jersey City Softball League and have a team in the league called West NY

I saved this league from dying. One of the key decisions that really worked out well was last year when I brought West NY into the league.  We only had 5 teams, so I left the comfort of the defending champions Pershing, and brought a team into the league at the last minute. We fell short in the playoffs, but the competitive level of the league was raised and that momentum helped increase league membership to 9 teams this year.

This year I was able to obtain a sponsor, picked up new guys, and field a team. We have done well, 6-2, and have had a lot of fun.  But let's be honest, running a league and managing a team in it is a conflict of interest b/c:
  1. I want to win
  2. I run the league
I don't bring illegal pitching, I get all my guys to qualify, I duck no one as I make us play all the best teams twice, but I want to win. I do things that help West NY field a team like schedule all night games. I purposely make as many of our games as late as possible (obvious conflict of interest) because my guys come from all over and 6:30 PM games generally puts us at high forfeit alert. Many teams think I pick a small field called Mary Benson because it favors me, that is not true, its strictly a time thing. In fact, this year I have built my team more on all fields line drive hitting and supposedly more athletic players until injuries hit. If I wanted to build a home run hitting team. I recently would not have given up the small Mary Benson field in August so that the playoffs could occur in a fair open field legitimate home run environment for everyone.

In any case, running a league and having a team puts you in between a rock and a hard place.  That's what happened on Monday. Thanks to all the rain-outs (West NY has had the most games rained out in the league) we had a split doubleheader against two teams on Monday beginning at 6:30pm. At about 3pm until roughly 4:30 it starting thundering and scattered showers all around the tr-state area. I was getting emails and texts from other teams and my players about the status of the game. At 4:45 I cancelled the game for 3 reasons:

(1) Sever thunderstorm warning in union city between 4-5 PM
(2)  50 % chance of thunderstorms between 7-10 pm
(3) Most importantly, I was sick of all the texts, emails, excuses, whining, drama, phone call from my players about showing up.  A lot of them come from far away and I can understand them not wanting to drive to field for nothing, but honestly I didn't want to deal with it anymore. It didn't want to beg people to show up and avoid a forfeit. So I called the games.

Of course at 4:50 pm it became the most beautiful day on earth and I looked shiesty . At 8:25pm it did thunder and pour and I felt a little better, but not vindicated. I feel really bad about this and I will never put myself in this situation again. I have appointed Pershing's manager. Jason Dee, to make all West NY game day rain decisions going forward and next year I will not bring a team to the league. Its just too much on my plate. Luckily, the league membership is growing and West NY will no longer be needed.

I would like to thank my opponents that night, Pershing and Knight, for not giving me a hard time. Unfortunately, I cancelled a separate 7pm game between two other teams and they most likely could have played 6-7 innings. They were pissed. I don't blame them. I've done a lot of good things in Jersey City, but this time I messed up and have to take the criticism.

Sorry I failed you guys and myself. It will never happen again as I vow never to put myself between a rock and hard place.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Being the attention starved only child fool that I am year after year after year after yearwrite a birthday blog. This year I am a little late, but I see no harm in a belated birthday blog especially since I celebrated it like a little kid at a softball field.

but fun. My wife even made a rare softball appearance and order a custom made softball cake.
So spoiled

Over the years, the game hasn't changed much but they people I've met through the game have changed me  for the better.
Softball is good. 
Life is better. 
Thank you all
Play Ball

"Other Side" Reclamation Project Going Strong

Last year I took on a softball reclamation project in Jersey City and a year later I am proud to say that league is progressing nicely. Jersey City Accomplishments include:

  1. Competition - at least 6 championship contenders
  2. Strictly Modified
  3. Increased Membership - league has grown from 3 to 9 teams
  4. Talented Players Like Simon and Bo (left)  have joined, improving the quality of play
  5. Talented and Classy New teams
  6. Strong Friendships 
  7. Outstanding New fields like Lincoln Park West and Caven Point
We have had problems like:
  1. Over 20 rain outs
  2. Misinterpretation of rules
Oh yeah another problem we've had is that the teams are Camera Shy as no ever sends me pictures but I figured out that problem by Top Tenning ...

Top Ten Reasons No Managers in Jersey City ever send me any pictures

10. Ricky you do it. What are we paying you for anyway?
9. Take Pictures. What???? More shit to do. No way I can barely keep the book
8. Not photogenic during games. Tough to get my good side
7. Dude, I don't even read the rules
6. I'm too busy getting my pitcher and best players to show up
5. On the phone trying to get 10 guys to show up. Any guys with pulses.
4. Focus on the game
3. Too busy yelling at the umpires
2. I don't want any proof when I bring wringers to the playoffs that they never showed up.

and the number one reason No Managers in Jersey City Ever Give me any pictures

But overall it has been a success and going in the right direction. Their is good softball beyond New York. Real Good, you have options

SB Obi Won and Anikan

In Star Wars the Master-Padwan (apprentice) relationship between Jedi Knights Obi-Won and Anikan went south when the dark side
consumed consumed young Skywalker. 
Luckily in softball, my Jedi umpire master John Smith and I have an outstanding officiating relationship.While I have my dark side, I've always tried to stay on the good side of the force.
Even though I must admit I look a lot handsomer with the Helmet on. More importantly, working with John is a pleasure as he has taught me many things about good officiating and is always a valuable source of knowledge. May the Softball Force be with you Brother

Better Late Than Never, but Never late is better

The wheels of progress in society turn slowly, softball is no different. As reported by SBI a few weeks ago (and a record number of comments - thank you), an alarming rate of pitchers have been in non compliance with Central Park Big Apple. Well the league's pitching Ombudsman  issued warnings to the following Big Apple hurlers last week
  • Clay
  • Langer
  • Pete DiChiara
  • Ramesh
  • Rocca
  • Terry Calistro
Second infraction will result in 3 weeks of not being allowed to pitch. 3rd infraction banned for season.

Others will be warned, both on and off my team. Better late than never, but never late is better.

It should never have come to this. The league is in danger. The future is elsewhere.

Who's on 1st is Still live!!!!!!

The most clever baseball skit of all time is "Who's on first?" performed in 1954

by the legendary Abbot and Costello. It is widely believed that Costello passed away in 1959, but recent video evidence points to the possibility that he is still around or at the very least one of his decedents is playing softball, as the best bottom of the order hitter is softball, "Siehe" Cardinal player/manager and Lawyertime

bears a striking resemblance to the late comedian. If you look at first in most games the "Who" that is on base is Siehe,

sneaky good player. Love playing with him.

Sb Carlton Fisk

Arguably one of the greatest moments in MLB history was the legendary 1975 World Series Game 6 Carlton Fisk Home Run

recently softball legend Anthony Gonzalez had a Carlton Fisk walk off moment at 54th Street and Dewitt Clinton Park for defending Performing Arts Champions, The Bravery. Luckily, in a rare interview the insider spoke to Anthony after his dramatic walk off blast

Anthony still got it and continued success to him and Bravery in their repeat championship aspirations.

Magical Softball Being .. Video Series #1

Magical Softball Beings Exists, even if they don't know how they do it.

They do have a certain magic that make them special. Bobby "Larry Merchant" Fishman is one of those special people in softball.

He's a classic

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Team Analysis : LT - “Balance Point between Rage and Serenity.”

Team Analysis : Lawyertime

Last season LawyerTime was Dominant!!!. This year unfocused, mediocre, and apathetic for a better part of the season, as our record stands at 6-4.  The team got off to deceivingly good 3-1 start, but that record masked deep underlying problems like players lacking desire, effort, and dedication.That camouflage soon wore off as we forfeited against one of the worst teams in the league and then had only 4-5 players show up at game time versus a talented rival. We did field a team that day but got humiliated, stepped on, and beaten. I left the field that night angry and embarrassed in myself and my team.

They say losing doesn't build character, it reveals it. That's when our leader Lou "22" "Commish" Gonzalez passionately challenged himself

and our team to respond.

We have, but its not all the way there yet. Yet.

Lou has been masterful on the mound and made bold/controversial managerial decisions. I have seen renewed enthusiasm, pride, and effort from everyone. Unfortunately, the results have been mixed as :
  • the offense has been inconsistent
  • the defense improved
  • costly mistakes
  • the hustle re-energized
Nevertheless, since Lou's heart felt tirade the team is 3-1 with an overall record as stated above of 6-4.  Middle of the Pack. Mediocrity and apathy are two of the worst things in life and softball.

Going forward, this team feeds of Lou's play and energy level. But he cannot do it all by himself. I applaud him for taking ownership of the situation and my only suggestion for Lou, myself, and the rest of team is to find our strongest source of power, the “balance point between rage and serenity.” Baseball is unlike football, emotion is important, but it cannot be allowed to overwhelm you as you can easily lose control and try and do too much. Right now everyone is trying hard, which is to be commended, but I sense we are all trying to do a tad bit too much. The talent and desire is there but we can't force it. Little things have a way of turning into big things at crunch time, just do your thing guys. We will recover.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Gone Finishing

After posting a record number of comments on my last posting, the Insider went on a well deserved vacation where I got a chance to recover, regroup, and refocus. On my sabbatical I went fishing

one day to relax and ponder the meaning of life on the open sea

while we didn't catch much

it was nice to get away for a few days. While everyone knows that I am married to the game, for better or worse, I must admit it was nice to do another activity besides softball.

This diversification got me to thinking, at this stage of my life what other sport options are out there for me :

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Sports besides Softball available to me

10. Fishing
Pro - Serenity - ahhhh

Con: Serenity - no goons, no controversy, no drama. Need that adrenaline fix

9. Poker
Pro - Gives you competitive fix.
Con - I've been a sick degenerate once already no reason to go back as I can't afford it.

8. White Water Rafting
Pro - Fun, family time , and exercise

Con - Except for Astrid, I have too many up and down rocky relationships in my life right. Don't need another

8. Jogging
Pro and Con - covered in the classic Ghost Writer Blog years ago

7. Golf
Pro: Swing a bat, Swing a club. Plus you can do it alone and its an excuse to start drinking again
Con: No trash talk. No moving parts. Very frustrating game but come on golf? Really? better off retiring.

6. Bowling
Pro: You throw a ball.
Con: Bowling. Come one I ain't Homer Simpson or Fred Flinstone.

5. Swimming
Pro : Great Workout. Stroke the ball, use the swim stroke. Nice match.
Con: Same as Jogging. Too solo of a thing and more importantly how much can you blog about the butterfly stroke.

4. Volleyball
Pro: Probably the most athletic and sexy women athletes play beach volley ball

Con: Too fucking hard. Serious athletes who are not fucking around.

3. Dominoes

Pro: Very hicksih, mad trash talk,psychological warfare, and strategy
Negative: No exercise and I can't count from 0 to 6 anyway

2. Competitive Eating
Pro : Gross Fat Boy Heaven
Con: Gross Fat Boy Heaven

and the #1 Sports alternative besides Softball

1. None - Like I aid I'm married to the game for better or worse.

You Can Hate Me Now... Breaking News

Polarizing Softball figure Dio Jackson

 released the following statement

" Dio Jackson resign as organizer/manager of Softball Operations at the end of this season. The time has come for me to ffocus on my family and new home. Time doesn't allow for me to give 100% to softball. With that being said I will participate in softball activities but I will no longer be the organizer nor will I manage the team going forward. I will finish off this season and walk away with no regrets. Thank you. I hope to be remembered for his loyalty and respect for the game. Understanding that he was only as good as his team.
 So long Mr. Action Jackson! U will be missed I'd rather just be a forfeit avoider and help, like my role with West NY "

Insider Analysis:

Much like polarizing/controversial sports fires like Ozzie Guillen and George Steinbrenner, on the field Dio is the type that you love to hate. Their is a thin line between love and hate and Dio definitely walks that path. Like the NAS-Puffy song

you can hate Dio now, but deep down you know that no matters where he lives you can't take the game out of him. His love for the game will never stop and he will be back. He lives for this shit.

Excuse Me Sir You Dropped Something

100 Percent Humidity
Both teams short players
Playoff Lives at Stake
12 Innings
Furious Comebacks
Brilliant Pitching
Plays at the plate
The Stands crowded with fans

and it all came down to "With a runner on 1st and two outs in the bottom of the 12th, a base hit went over the second baseman's head. The second baseman threw his glove at the ball". 

The official awarded a Triple. 
Game Over

"Not So " Dead Rabbits 7
Spit Fires 6

my god .... so fucking blog worthy

A semi-shocked, but upbeat Sit Fire manager Michael Peckins had the following to say

Needless to say the game in under protest. Seriously bizarre.