Sunday, January 20, 2013

Season Review : 8 of 10 ... LT - Psycho Email Works

In 2012 I was committed to and played on 11 softball teams. Yes 11 you read that right. This is the eighth of an eleven part season review series that provides a review of their trials and tribulations

Season Review : Lawyertime

Regular Season Record : 15-7 5th place
Final Standing: NY Fast Pitch League Champion 

Insider Analysis: They say there is no I in team, but every team has a soul and the soul of Lawyertime  "LT"  is
 Lou “22” Gonzalez

(ironically the word Lou can be found in the word soul if you re-arrange the letters). 

A team's soul can be many things : kind, evil, good, goonish, social, care free, driven, etc...After a mid-season loss where we played terrible in all phases of the game and even worse got dirt kicked in our faces by a mostly classless NY Knight squad, the soul of LT, specifically Lou 22, became driven.

As most of my readers know I usually hate mass emails , but after that embarrassing loss, Lou sent out a long passionate psycho team email that started it with : 

"I tried to pin point why this team is no longer a Team that cares or even tries . After some more thought I came up with the answer. I am to Blame for the team’s Lack of Dedication and Respect"

That's what I'm fucking talking about. 

This captivated my attention as when your best player and by the most polarizing force on your team takes ownership, then you know there is hope. Whatever Lou wrote after that  didn't matter to me, as I knew all the excuse making and wishy-washy bullshit was over. Lou may be a self admitted cut throat softball bastard, but he's fair and will reward you with good play. I came back from the dead to crawled out of his forfeit avoiding softball dog house years ago and knew changes were coming.

While Lou's play was nothing short of exception the rest of the season as he almost single handily led us to a 6-1 finish, the team was far from perfect as :
  • Personal tragedy struck to a key team member
  • We still struggled to field 9 players. Forget 10. I really mean it 9
  • Lou at times cared almost too much and tried to do too much, especially at plate. He couldn't find that balance point between serenity and rage , then again if caring too much is a crime then arrest him. Like he said in the video above "It was the hardest season ever"
  • The offense struggled to consistently hit. Players with reputations were struggling and legacy players were not consistently hitting. We won a lot of low scoring games.
  • Players quit. Players complained about playing time at playoff time. At times it was an annoying distraction.
As the playoffs approached I knew Lou could not do it alone. He had got us here, but needed help.

Season Highlights: The Entire Post Season

Every series went down to a 3rd and deciding game. Talk about getting your money's worth

Round 1 : Opponent Staten Island Bombers - Very good hard nose team. 

Sloppy play blew game one as we lost 4-3, but little things like backing up bases, bunting, and playing solid defense helped us even up the series and force a game three. Game Three was no picnic as LT faced elimination by being down a run in the top of the seventh before blowing the game open. Whew

Round 2 Opponent Weintraub - An old respected rival. 

Game 1 Lou threw a dominant 5-0 shutout as we had Weintraub on the ropes. 

Game 2 - I was confident we would sweep the series until Weintruab ace Ramon brilliantly shut us down for 9 innings. We would eventually fall 1-0, as Lou pitched with a broken finger. 

Game 3 Perhaps the key point of the whole season came when was we blew a 3-1 lead, thanks to a terrible misplay of a routine fly ball in the outfield. Now trailing 5-3 in the top of the 4th, Lou came in and started slamming bats (showering me with dirt) and seemed to be out of control. 

In that same inning Lou was up with 2 outs and a man on first.  Someone in the dugout mumbled here goes a fly ball as he tries to hit a homer. At that point,  I don't know why Lou decided to bunt for a hit. But he did. Normally a 3 hitter bunting with 2 outs is not the norm, but it worked. I guess he found that balance point I had been spoke about above. 

That unorthodox strategy worked as it keyed a furious two out six run rally highlighted by a grand slam by the same player who blew the fly ball the inning earlier. Lou was now getting help. I knew we were winning.

Round 3 Championship - Opponent Lenox - nice scrappy under the radar team. 

Game 1 : I showed up at game time for the championship and saw we had 12 guys and was asked to sit by co-manager Anthony.

I was unhappy, but understood and kept my mouth shut as I had love and respect for Anthony, who had sat numerous times down the stretch. He deserved a shot, but what I was really upset about was the fact that Lou and Anthony used the dreaded 12 man lineup 


These guys are two of the very best softball minds I know and even they made that made fatal mistake.  I was shocked and it would hurt us as in an extremely well pitched and played game by both sides, we lost 1-0 (again). Afterwards Lou exploded and changed the entire lineup going with his best 10. 

Game 2 - Lenox hit our starter, John Brown, well enough to put up two very solid clean runs and we trailed 2-1 heading to the 4th. That's where Lou got more help as three two out clutch hits in the 4th and 5th innings gave us a 5-2 lead. After 5 innings the game was stopped due to darkness setting the stage for the last day.

Game 2/3 - leading up to this game on Tuesday September 12th 2012, three teams that I had been on all lost on consecutive days : The Rangers, Bravery, and Old School and I ain't going to lie as my superstitious nature knew bad news came in 3's. Now that the bad news was over I could focus on "LT" and we sent a dominant message by tacking on 5 more runs in the 6th inning to set the stage for Game Three.

Game 3 - The score was only 4-0, but he were dominant in all phases: pitching, defense, and hitting. It should be noted that we won a third and deciding game two years in a row at Hecksher, by the same score, with John Brown throwing a one hitter. Crazy.

The softball gods rewarded me for keeping my mouth shut as I finished the series with 5 straight hits and a mock chant of "MVP" turned into reality (I think, not really) as I was rewarded with a cool game ball

(still need your signature on that Lou)

Next Season: Good ending, but this team has definitely jumped the shark and won't be back. However, never say never as rumors have it that Anthony and I will try to bring a team and recapture some of our old Bomber spirit.

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