Empty Pitchers




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Empty Pitchers
2009 Spring Tournament Champions
Congrats!

Below: Seed, Team, Record, (Total Runs Scored - Runs Allowed)                          Semifinal and Championship both played April 19th
#1 Arizona Devils 7-0 (+60)
#8 FR RamRod 2-5 (-23)

#4 Donkey Fire 3-4 (-3)
#5 Black Sox 3-4 (-1)

#1 Arizona Devils
vs
#5 Black Sox


#2 Empty Pitchers
over
#5 Black Sox


#2 Empty Pitchers
vs
#6 Saki Bombers

#2 Empty Pitchers 5-2 (+18)
#7 T.G.F.T.W. 2-5 (-35)

#3 Plan B 4-3 (-7)
#6 Saki Bombers 2-5 (-5)

Additions: Jason
Departures: Jessica, Ryan and Scott (moved to New Orleans)
How could we forget?: Amy, Connie and Ron

Schedule
W 18-8
Plan B
W 13-2
T.G.F.T.W.
W 12-6
Saki Bombers
L 16-5
AZ Devils
L 16-8
Final Round RamRod
W 13-5
Black Sox
W16-14
Donkey Fire
Playoffs
W 18-6
T.G.F.T.W.
W 14-13
Saki Bombers
W 16-4
Black Sox
Regular Season Standings
7-0  (  17 / 9 )     Arizona Devils
5-2  (  12 / 10 )   Empty Pitchers
4-3  (  10 / 11 )   Plan B
3-4  (  12 / 13 )   Donkey Fire
3-4  (  12 / 12 )   Black Sox
2-5  (  11 / 12 )   Saki Bombers
2-5  (  8 / 15  )    T.G.F.T.W.
2-5  (  11 / 15 )   FR RamRod

Season Awards
MVP: Jason
Most Improved Player (must have one full season): Jami
Asst GM Award: Andrew
Most Sensitive Player: Keith
Rookie of the season: Jason
Most Not Named Raoul: Melissa


New Season: New Road to Glory
Quick - name a movie with Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride guy) AND Morgan Freeman? Look away and think for a second. If you at any time mentioned Glory perhaps rereading the header above you are correct. Instead of an 18th century warfield, we play on a ballfield.

Same Ol' Attitude: Take first pitches, heed basecoaches, hit cutoffs, avoid throws which advance baserunners, have fun and empty pitchers.

Season Goals: Boost the fan support. Just need two fans to start bringing hot chocolate for kids and schnapps to mix in for the adults.

Bringing home the Band Aid-Pitcher Trophy will wait 'til next season. In the meantime, we can come up with a better name for it.

Fresh Faces: The team's only new face is Jason Morton, who assumes the pitcher's mound. Scott bolted for the Big Easy.

The team lost one of its original players, Jessica, and ironman Ryan who will be play on different nights closer to home. The team will roll with 10 this season. Perhaps we'll see Tim begin his fulltime return as sub.

Unfamiliar Teams: T.G.F.T.W., Saki Bombers, Black Sox and Donkey Fire. Eyeballing from a couple PDFs of recent seasons, the Black Sox are good for about 8 runs/game. Saki Bombers drop about 13 runs/game.

Measured & Weighed Teams: Plan B, AZ Devils and Final Round RamRod are the returning teams. We went 2-1 against those teams, losing by just 2 runs to Isaac, Lee and the rest of Plan B.

Location: Play continues at Dawson Field on the northwest field, located on Warner & Hardy just east of I-10. You can't miss it with all the bright lights on the north side of the road. If you can't find it, just head to Half Moon Sports Grill at Elliot & Kyrene and we'll meet up with you after the game.


Standings
 (Avg Runs For/Against)

0-0  ( 0 / 0 )     Plan B
0-0  ( 0 / 0 )     T.G.F.T.W.
0-0  ( 0 / 0 )     Empty Pitchers
0-0  ( 0 / 0 )     Saki Bombers
0-0  ( 0 / 0 )     AZ Devils
0-0  ( 0 / 0 )     FR RamRod
0-0  ( 0 / 0 )     Black Sox
0-0  ( 0 / 0 )     Donkey Fire

Last week's results

This week's games

T.G.F.T.W.  vs  Saki Bombers
Donkey Fire  vs  Black Sox
AZ Devils  vs  FR RamRod
Empty Pitchers  vs  Plan B

News, Injuries & Transactions

Offseason Scrimmages
Jan 22nd  - Batting cages and light practice at Kiwanis Park on Sunday 25th at 3:30pm.

Jan 22nd  - Scrimmage vs Band-Aids on Sunday Feb 8th from 4pm-6pm.

Injuries
Jan 22nd  - Andrew continues to rest his shoulder as doctors close in on the root of the problem.

Tim's thumb surgery went well a couple months ago and recently began rehab via hockey and soccer. He hopes to return next season.

Courtney's knees are feeling fantastic - not! Jami's injured thumb hasn't made any noise as of late. Jamie's ankles are now held together by sith body armor.

Ted's Tunes
Jan 22nd  - This Friday (Jan 23rd) at Last Exit. There will be 5 bands, 4 comedians, and two artists. Cover is $5.00 with drink specials all night.

On Deck

Plan B

0-0    9:30pm - Away

AWOL: none

"Because the unexpected happens." Also called "morning after pills" or "day after pills" to prevent a pregnancy, Plan B might work in your case depending on where you are in your monthly menstrual cycle when you use them. But no matter when you take emergency contraception, it will not cause an abortion. Princeton University did a thorough study on the product.

Meanwhile, across the pond... a group in London is backlashing against the World Bank as it uses public funds for oil companies developing non-renewable energy sources. Fight on, PlanB.org!

The best plan yet is stateside in New Orleans, where Scott moved to. Plan B is a community-run bike project that functions as an open workspace for bicycle repair. The workspace makes an array of professional bike tools available for use to the public for free while volunteers offer free help in bike repair.

Last time we drank with these guys, it was post scrimmage. The drinking was about even. The time before, again post scrimmage, the drinking was even. The time prior, it was after our 11-9 loss and they slightly outdrank us.

Plan E - Let's be at the fields by 8:30pm warming up. In addition to throwing to loosen arms, grab bats and take 10-15 practice swings.

Recap: Better Off Ted
Feb 15th,'09 - 5 innings:
Empty Pitchers 18, Plan B 8

For two consecutive seasons, the Empty Pitchers burst from the tap with 18 runs. This season, it was Plan B who couldn't devise a scheme to slow the flow as the pitchers emptied the bases.

Ted, fresh after sitting out our last playoff game due to the GM's roster gaffe, went 4-4 including two clutch 2-out, 2-run doubles.

Ted is already chasing the triple crown (leading the division in hits, rbi's and hr's) with his late-inning bomb but Andrew cracked two homeruns to take the team lead.

While the team misses Scott (especially the ladies evidenced by Courtney carepackaging him a homemade chocolate chip banana bread), the pitcher's mound didn't realize someone different was standing in the periwinkle and white. Jason pitched a monster game walking only one batter. That's right, a "monster" Sunday night coed softball game. D League.

In D-League, follies tend to follow one person each game. Third base provided the bloopers as Jamie fielded and dodged hits down the line. Plan B's Lee, Josh and Isaac can all pull, particularly Josh who rocketed one until it dropped a few feet shy of the fence. The three bent our outfield but Court, Ted, Keith and Ruthie didn't break, holding baserunners at bay.. away from our stockpile of charity bases.

After three seasons with the same beginning to the lineup, Andrew took Scott's top spot responsible for driving in the bottom of the order. The 'Tuso went 3-4 driving in several runs. Cory pitched solid all night but couldn't pitch Melissa, who moved into the second spot and drew two quick walks before crushing a pitch.

In the middle of the order setting Ted up for his big night, the three spots before him went 3-4 (Courtney), 4-4 (Jamie) and 2-4 (Jami). Perhaps what really set Ted up was the Pterodactyl hanging from the dugout. Legend says if you touch his left wing, a single is coming your way. If he's high-fiving his right wing, a high-flying double you'll fling. A beak bump? A triple! And should you smack his ass, it's a guaranteed homerun or out.

Notables: The team didn't get rattled when Plan B grabbed an early lead. Every time Plan B threatened, we went with the easy out and held them to three runs over the final three innings. Jami did a great job hauling in wild throws from almost every infield spot.

Gone/Subs: None

Standings
 (Avg Runs For/Against)

1-0  ( 18 / 8 )   Empty Pitchers
1-0  ( 18 / 17 )   Arizona Devils
1-0  ( 12 / 7  )    T.G.F.T.W.
1-0  ( 12 / 10 )   Donkey Fire
0-1  (  17 / 18 )  FR RamRod
0-1  (  10 / 12 )   Black Sox
0-1  (  7 / 12 )    Saki Bombers
0-1  ( 8 / 18 )     Plan B

Last week's results

Our friends, FR RamRods, nearly pulled off the upset of AZ Devils, but in the bottom of extra innings FR RamRods couldn't score enough runs.

According to non-AP sources, the Devils had 4 homeruns, 3 from their big guy. We'll see them in Week 4.

TGFTW 12, Saki Bombers 7
Donkey Fire 12, Black Sox 10
AZ Devils 18, FR RamRod 17
Empty Pitchers 18, Plan B 8

Bonus scores:
Take It Easy 19, Band-Aids 10
Cytec Patriots 11, Rounders 10
GT Bombers 14, Pseudologic Fantastica 8

This week's games

Donkey Fire  vs  AZ Devils
Plan B  vs  FR RamRod
Black Sox  vs  Saki Bombers
Empty Pitchers  vs  T.G.F.T.W.

News, Injuries & Transactions

Concessions 'R Back!
Feb 19th  - Jumbo dogs and sodas are for sale. Get Sun Chips for a buck! It's softball.. it's not like you're running more than 5% of the game.

On Deck

T.G.F.T.W.

1-0    9:00pm - Away
Previous:
W 12-7 vs Saki Bombers

AWOL: Ruthie (Amy)

Tarantulas Grow Frightening Teeth Whiskers

Toe, Gizzard, Finger Tortilla Wraps

Tribbles. Gungans. Fraks. Tauntans. Wookies.

Titanic Got Far Too Wet

Timmy's Giant Frontal Tenfoot Waterfall

Tall Giraffes Fart Tree Wind

Toot Germs Fulfill Tulip Wishes

Team Goes For The Win

We still don't know much after breaking the team's coded moniker. We must approach this team as if it were the D-League championship and no one besides the umps were watching.

If Melissa is late, we'll have to tweak the lineup. Hopefully it's a rout on the soccer pitch and Melissa can excuse herself before the final whistle. If she makes it in time, the team will reward her by whistling during the duration of her at-bats.

Team Gets Funky Together Waiting - 8:30pm warmup unless you're interested in a dog at 8pm and watching the new teams. Don't forget to grab a bat and take 10-15 practice swings.

Tough Goal For This Weekend - Let's try batting through the entire order in three separate innings!


Recap: Thank God for the Women!
Feb 22nd,'09 - 6 innings:
Empty Pitchers 13, T.G.F.T.W 3

That's the true name of T.G.F.T.W., but it was our women - Connie and Amy - who saved the night subbing for us with clutch fielding and hitting.

Tonight's game was dedicated to Dan Brown, Courtney's best friend since she moved here at age 14, who passed away Friday from brain cancer at the age of 28. Playing baseball was a huge part of Dan's life, so the team honored him tonight by wearing various baseball stickers with his number 5 written on each.

Defensively, this game was a gem. Jason walked just one, the outfield played perfect ball in all four spots and the three balls that weren't converted by Connie, Andrew and Jamie were solid smashes.

Connie converted the first of two double plays catching a popup in shallow RF and gunning the ball to first, which Jami excavated to double up the runner. An inning later, the team turned it's first 1-6-3 double play of the season.

Offensively, the team took advantage of a TGFTW outfield short a person. CF and RF were worked unmercifully, to the point where Ted said "I feel bad hitting out there...".

Andrew (2) and Jamie (1) both turned misplayed balls into four-baggers. Studly hitters included Jami (3-4), Courtney (3-4), Keith (2-3, 2 doubles) and Jason (4-4, 4 runs).

Andrew's post-game thoughts on T.G.F.T.W.'s solid pitcher: "Don't think any of his pitches to me were even close to the middle of the plate, all edges........ He not only threw different pitches (back spin, side spin, knuckle), but he threw them from different places (sometimes on the mound, sometimes in between the mound) so the timing was different. He was a good pitcher. 4 K's, and I don't think he walked anyone, either. "

T.G.F.T.W. is one of Tempe's longest running teams and full of classy players. They will be added to EP's list of teams it enjoys playing.

On a not-so-cheery note...

Jamie found a nemesis in a blue. Early in the game he was called out between 2B & 3B for going out of the baseline, questionnable as he took only 1 sidestep, which couldn't have been more than the allowable 3 feet. In his final at-bat, he reached 1B before the first baseman but was called out. The elderly fielder made a great play and it seems the elderly ump felt for the team down almost a dozen runs. Jamie still made an effort to tell both umps post-game they did a good job.

Notables: Connie's husband, Ron, was kept busy coaching 3B and he got everyone home safely; thanks to Connie for subbing on short notice when Melissa texted earlier in the morning she was sick; big thanks to Keith's bride-to-be, Anna, for all the great photos below; Ted brought two fans as well to increase our fan attendance for this game to 4 (including Ron).

Gone/Subs: Ruthie (Amy) , Melissa (Connie)

Standings
 (Avg Runs For/Against)

2-0  ( 16 / 5 )     EP
2-0  ( 17 / 10 )   AZ Devils
1-1  (  11 / 9 )    Black Sox
1-1  (  8 / 10  )   T.G.F.T.W.
1-1  (  8 / 12 )    Donkey Fire
1-1  (  8 / 13 )    Plan B
0-2  (  12 / 13 )  FR RamRod
0-2  (  7 / 12 )    Saki B's

Last week's results

AZ Devils 15, Donkey Fire 3
Plan B 8, FR RamRod 7
Black Sox 12, Saki Bombers 6
Empty Pitchers 13, T.G.F.T.W. 2

With two outs and bases loaded, Isaac allowed a ball through his legs in the OF, giving up a grand slam. Luckily, 8 runs was enough for Plan B.

Bonus scores
Band-Aids, short 6 regulars, dropped to 0-2 with a 9-6 loss in the last inning. The team that walloped them 19-10 last week was swashbuckled by the Angry Pirates 17-8. The fish keep getting bigger in that division.

This week's games

AZ Devils  vs  Plan B
Empty Pitchers  vs  Saki Bombers
FR RamRod  vs  Black Sox
T.G.F.T.W.  vs  Donkey Fire

News, Injuries & Transactions

Concessions 'R Gone!
Feb 23rd  - Jumbo dogs where did you go? Apparently Sunday is the slowest night for the vendor.

Injuries
Feb 24th  - Andrew's shoulder continues to ail him. We may see him in the outfield this week. Jami still can't sit down after being beaned by the TGFTW pitcher at 2B.

More Pictures of Goggles

Historical Boston Party

On Deck

Saki Bombers

0-2    7:00pm - Home
Previous:
L 12-7 vs TGFTW
L 12-6 vs Black Sox

AWOL: None

You can't make a saki bomber without beer. And if you want to make multiple saki bombers, you'll need to empty a pitcher of beer.

While most people have semi-harmfully experienced beer goggles and, on the other side of the world - saki goggles, few have realized the dangers of saki bomber goggles.

Here are some recommended goggles to don before hitting the bars to avoid waking up next to the wolfman or his sister.

No fog goggles. Keep your vision clear during saki bombing even when under intense saki splashing.

Welding goggles. Feeling intense heat from the saki in your stomach or from the person eyeing you up? Keep sparks from happening.

Shooting dart night vision goggles. If you are a five-year-old in a bar drinking shots of saki drowned in beer, these may be the goggles for you. Warning, these goggles may increase cougar hunger for that adorable youngster that you are.

Onion Goggles ($20). If you decide to foresake protective goggles, at least wear these to minimize crying after realizing what you've done.

Andrew took a picture of Big Papi's champagne and beer goggles at the '07 World Series.

Remembering Dan

Jami, Andrew, Amy and Sarah sporting baseball stickers with the #5 remembering Dan
   


Recap: First 3-0 Start in Team History
March 1st, '09 - 6 innings:
Empty Pitchers 12, Saki Bombers 6

Keith, Sarah, Ted and Ruthie received the reins responsible for getting it rolling tonight as the team reversed its batting order. Everyone reached base twice. When post-game asked why, Skipper J replied "it was time for the matador to dance with the blind shoemaker."

Strong burst then fizzle - the typical saki bomber reaction. The Saki Bombers started the game placing an endless number of runners on-base but somehow managed only two runs. It was probably due to what the Pitchers do best - dousing opponents with sound defense before things can ignite. In the bottom half EP dropped a couple runs in the score bucket and returned to the field for the Bombers' response.

Bomber batters had that post-saki bomber daze as they tried to zero in on Jason's pitches, which crashed like kamikazes onto home plate. Their offense sunk while EP managed to move three runners across home both in the 2nd and 3rd innings.

It was a defensive showdown in the 4th and 5th innings, yet the Saki Bombers cut the lead by several runs. The ump announced "9 minutes" as EP took the field in the 6th clinging to a two run lead. Good Bomber batting would mean EP would have just one turn batting to retake a lost lead. Quick batting for both would mean the Bombers, participants in several championship games, would get a second chance to bat.

Facing the top of the lineup, Jason kept cool continuously pouring pitches onto the plate. The defense sponged up whatever came their way. That included stopping their left-handed supergirl playing 1B who previously worked both sides of Melissa with hard grounders. Returning to the dugout, the team summoned the might of the pterodactyl to begin hammering the proverbial nails into the saki shipping crate.

Melissa led off with a single to start the softball filibuster. If you've watched Legend of the Drunken Master (fun starts 3 minutes in), you'll appreciate Saki's defensive effort on Keith's shot forcing Melissa at 2nd. Fighting the overwhelming stench of saki sweat from the opposing team, the remaining top of the lineup perspired their own porter and pale-ale pitcher pheromones. Sarah and Ted wafted balls into the outfield to load the bases for Ruthie.

With a mountain of D-League Coed softball pressure coming at her from the fans in the stands and her own dream to be the first to sweep all post-season awards, Ruthie took the first pitch and on the second stroked a sweet sailing shot into LC scoring Keith.

Jason, the only batter with more than two hits on the night, stamped and delivered his fourth message of the night to the outfield, knocking in Sarah and Ted. To continue the filibuster and not be the only ones without reaching base twice, Jami and Jamie reached base with correct beginning-of-swing to end-of-swing calculations, scoring Jason.

With Courtney coming to the plate to pad our win margin, the ump called the game on account of time. Saki Bombers are a nice team, smiled and joked around amongst themselves and us. Add them to the list of teams we look forward to playing again.

Notables: Andrew hit his 5th homerun in three games, this time a roller up the middle that got past an outfielder; Andrew, Melissa and Courtney were all 2-3; scoring twice were Sarah, Ted, Jason, Courtney and Andrew; Melissa and Keith provided the other two runs; Jami continues her gold glove performance at 1B; the team almost turned two more doubles plays; Jason walked only one batter - their weakest hitter; we had four fans in the stands tonight and the game day program made its debut, allowing the fans to cheer each EP batter by name as he/she strutted to the plate.

Scouted: The Bomber pitcher is good, likes to pitch inside. He has fielding issues, particularly when distracted by baserunners (Andrew potentially scoring from third, caused a low, outside throw to first base. Congrats to everyone on the team for not getting hit by wild throws... knock on wood). Jason noted "he pitches a few behind the front rubber, meaning pitches take an extra second to arrive which can throw timing off."… The Saki RC outfielder caught a half-dozen balls, misplaying none. Their 1B is a good fielder so hit around or over her... 3B and LF are the strongest parts of their defense. LF flashed the leather twice... The Bombers don't make many extra throws (smartly?) so teams may want to try running bases aggressively against 'em.

Gone/Subs: None

Standings
 (Avg Runs For/Against)

3-0  (  17 / 7 )     Arizona Devils
3-0  (  14 / 5 )     Empty Pitchers
2-1  (  13 / 9 )    Black Sox
2-1  (  7 / 7  )     T.G.F.T.W.
1-2  (  5 / 11 )    Donkey Fire
1-2  (  6 / 14 )    Plan B
0-3  (  11 / 14 )  FR RamRod
0-3  (  6 / 12 )    Saki Bombers

Last week's results

AZ Devils 18, Plan B 2
EP 12, Saki Bombers 6
Black Sox 16, FR RamRod 9
T.G.F.T.W. 7, Donkey Fire 0

FR RamRod loses first game by more than 1 run, Plan B's gameplan went to hell and Saki Bombers gave up 12 runs for the 3rd straight game.

Bonus scores
Band-Aids won their first game while GT Bombers lost scoring only 6 runs.

This week's games

Plan B  vs  Donkey Fire
T.G.F.T.W.  vs  Black Sox
AZ Devils  vs  Empty Pitchers
Saki Bombers  vs  FR RamRod

News, Injuries & Transactions

Team Sponsor Turns 5
Mar 3rd  - On Sunday March 8th, team sponsor Four Peaks Planning, Inc. will begin it's 5th year of business in Arizona and it's second year sponsoring the team.

On Deck

AZ Devils

3-0    8:00pm - Home
Previous:
W 18-7 vs FR RamRod
W 15-3 vs Donkey Fire
W 18-2 vs Plan B

AWOL: Sarah (Amy)

Season 5 game recap - Win 12-11

The AZ Devils are just like Pitchers. Every player is a versatile fielder and able to hit over the infield.

Scouting the guy hitters, the big guy with the 'stache (BGWT'S) has knocked several over the fence in a game. One of their four non-'stached players enjoys driving 'em opposite field to RF. The older guy batting drops bloopers past the infielders with ease though it wouldn't be surprising to see him crank one over cheating outfielders. Our outfields should cheat a couple steps from normal distances, ready to sprint forward every time he swings to make a running grab… other outfielders will back you up.

The Lady Devils, like the Pitcheretts? Emptresses?, I don't know what to call our girls... anyhow, can crack pitches over the infield. Our advantage is our ladies' speed on the basepaths… meaning we can play closer to the edge of the grass and still make long accurate throws for Jami. Ruthie in RF should respond to all grounders by backing up 1B by the fence while Keith and Ted back up 2B at different angles.

The hurler of fiery devil balls is a machine who will make your life hell if you like to take your time between pitches. Step out of the batter's box or wave your hand until you're ready because this guy chucks 'em quick.

Coach Buttertuso remembers:
"AZ Devils played us with a rover in the OF last time.......... or at least a shallow RC."

Scouting from Plan B:
Isaac: "Spread your outfield wide b/c they hit down the lines well. The guy on third base is their best hitter (power and can put the ball anywhere). Center field is the only open area I say, and the girl at second base can't catch or stop the ball. Hit to second base as much as possible."

Pregame: Please be at the field by 7:30pm warming up arms and swinging bats. If your BAC matches the number of Empty Pitcher runs scored, tonight you get to kiss the pterodactyl.


Recap: Devil Fire Evaporates Pitchers
March 8th, '09 - 5 innings:
Arizona Devils 16, Empty Pitchers 5

Author's note: Field of Dreams is playing on Encore as this recap is being written. Mark is interrupting the game to end Ray's fantasy... doesn't see Shoeless Joe or the White Sox. It'll take the act of a young girl choking for Mark to lose focus on -$2200/acre and his sister's impending homelessness.

Players were asked for their recaps of the game and/or season and here's everything we received:

Coach Buttertuso's game analysis:
"They hit em where we weren't, we hit 'em where they were, when they hit em where I was - I bobbled it."
Coach Buttertuso's 1/2 season analysis:
"They are great for this level........we are real good - so we need to play great or near perfect to compete against them...........and we should (and I hope to) be able to play them again in the championship to redeem ourselves if we play up to our capabilities for the rest of the season."

Only one other response was sent.. from Ptack with his view hanging from the dugout.

Ptack's game analysis:
"Since I'm looking for food I'm not always paying attention to what's going on but speaking of food, our ladies were the only ones delivering at the plate. Courtney, Ruthie, Melissa and Jami all had 2 hits. Of guys, only Jamie feasted on bases more than once. Not gonna win like that. Bwaaawwck! "
Ptack's 1/2 season analysis:
"Good job not forgetting me after each game in the dugout. Keep it up. People smacking my behind before batting or fielding perform 49.8% better that inning"

Highlight: Jason gave up only one walk and gave the guys absolutely nothing to crush, boring Courtney in LF and giving me the opportunity to use "boring" as a verb instead of as an adjective or adverb.

Lowlight: Team had at least 6 popups not counting Andrew's long fly outs testing the girls in LF and RF.

Highlight: Jamie played an error free game at 3B but he does need to hug the line more and be ready for throws.

Lowlight: Several catchable shots dropped in the OF. Against most teams not a big deal but against a top team the OF can't be resting on heels when the ball is hit. Every out is crucial.

Highlight x 2: Keith and Ted both made basket catches Willie Mays-style. Keith's may have been more Jami-style bouncing the ball off his forearm into the glove.

Lowlight x 2: Jami, now twice in less than a year, tried catching a throw from Andrew with something other than her glove - this time her forearm. While on the ground for several minutes, parents within 1/4 mile radius were grateful for not needing to cover their childrens' ears. Perhaps her nerve damage is complete.

Highlight x 3: Jami finished the game in the field and collected 2 hits post-injury.

Lowlight x 3: Andrew had an uncharacteristic night with 3 errors at SS, which he characteristically does once every two seasons.

Summary: Just a sloppy game in the field where the Devils reached base about 7-8 times that they shouldn't while Pitcher guys went empty at the plate but that's the nature of team sports. These games will always happen and it's not worth to dwell on. Just poke fun at the game. EP didn't work 2B as planned - only two balls were hit which went directly to her, both of which were fielded cleanly. Devils have no holes in their D.

The Devils were their noisy, laughing selves but their P, who tossed a great game, was friendly coaching 3B and checked on Jami post game.

Notables: Two fans in the stands; Good night, Ray...

Scouted: The longest-haired brunette cracked a shot dead center landing ~15-20 ft beyond the line but she's the only longball threat. Their lefty girl likes to hit down 3B line as does their big power hitter.

Gone/Subs: Sarah (Amy)

Standings
 (Avg Runs For/Against)

4-0  (  17 / 7 )     Arizona Devils
3-1  (  15 / 10 )   Black Sox
3-1  (  12 / 8 )     Empty Pitchers
2-2  (  9 / 10  )    T.G.F.T.W.
2-2  (  8 / 10 )     Donkey Fire
1-3  (  10 / 11 )   Saki Bombers
1-3  (  7 / 15 )     Plan B
0-4  (  10 / 15 )   FR RamRod

This week's games

EP  vs  FR RamRod
AZ Devils  vs  T.G.F.T.W.
Donkey Fire  vs  Saki Bombers
Black Sox  vs  Plan B

Last week's results

Donkey Fire 16, Plan B 9
Black Sox 21, T.G.F.T.W. 13
AZ Devils 16, EP 5
Saki Bombers 19, FR RamRod 8

Black Sox gain another impressive while the Saki Bombers puke runs all inside the ramrod. Disgusting. Donkey Fire makes a statement as all winners score 16+ runs.

Bonus scores
Band-Aids lost to the top team in their division 21-6.

News, Injuries & Transactions

Economic Crisis Forces Team To Seek Revenue
Mar 11th  - In light of the team's 6+ popups this week and numerous popups in previous weeks (when we know grounders lead to errors and not popups), the team will collect $1 from a batter for popping up ending in an out. At the end of the season, collected funds will go to a charity or beer pitchers.

On Deck:
Final Round RamRod

0-4    6:00pm - Away
Previous:
L 18-17 vs AZ Devils
L 8-7 vs Plan B
L 16-9 vs Black Sox
L 19-8 vs Saki Bombers

AWOL: None

Complete Rivalry History (2-0)
Season 4 - Win 13-8
Season 5 - Win 18-11

If you haven't figured it out, this team is named after one of the great comedies of our time. No, not The Jerk... most of you were still in diapers when that came out.

I'm talking about one of the great cop movies of our time. No, not Blazing Saddles... most of us were either an egg or a sperm, not yet a union of both.

I'm not talking about Police Academy either, though Ptack's silver screen hero is Tackleberry (video). Beverly Hills Cop - perhaps, as it was the pinnacle of Judge Rinehold's career.

Check out the trailer here to see which movie I'm talking about.

Scouting:
The team has some pretty good basketball players. Don't give inside position to their bigger guy with the beard. Their other guys have good accuracy beyond the 3-pt arc so keep a hand in their faces. Deny them the ball.

Pregame: If anyone would like extra fielding practice, this is one of two opportunities to use the actual field pregame. The gates open at 5:30pm so if you're interested, get there around 5:10pm-5:15pm and we can warm up arms in the field a few steps across the parking lot.


Recap: Seriously?
March 15th, '09 - 5 innings:
Final Round RamRod 16, Empty Pitchers 8

Cruising along...

7-2 lead...

Jason has struck out four RamRod batters...

Keith makes a nice grab in the OF...

Melissa backs into RF to make a tough catch in RF...

Bottom of the 4th...

20 hits...

Can't stop this...

15 runs...

Just one walk by Jason when his arm was ready to fall off...

Can't do much when balls are hit over the middle...

Didn't do much when balls hit our gloves...

You know what time it is, Pitchers... right?

The positive spin? We apparently aren't peaking... which is good. The playoffs are three weeks away. We know our talent is better than what has happened the past two weeks. Shrug / voodoo it off. Remember to have fun and be patient at the plate and fielding. The pterodactyl loves you no matter what.

Notables: Two fans in the dugout; Courtney with 3 more hits; Jami rips an awesome ball; Ted hits a 3-run dinger. Ruthie and Jason begin the pop-pot each with $1.

Scouted: None of the guys hit the ball far. They all just ripped singles and doubles up the middle. Same with all the girls.

Gone/Subs: None

Standings
 (Avg Runs For/Against)

5-0  (  18 / 7 )     Arizona Devils
3-2  (  13 / 11 )   Black Sox
3-2  (  11 / 10 )     Empty Pitchers
2-3  (  12 / 10 )   Saki Bombers
2-3  (  8 / 13  )    T.G.F.T.W.
2-3  (  8 / 12 )     Donkey Fire
2-3  (  8 / 13 )     Plan B
1-4  (  11 / 14 )   FR RamRod

This week's games

Black Sox  vs  EP
FR RamRod  vs  Donkey Fire
Plan B  vs  T.G.F.T.W.
Saki Bombers  vs  AZ Devils

Lots of teams go to prove themselves this week. How tough are Saki Bombers, Plan B, RamRods and EP?

Last week's results

FR RamRod 16, EP 8
AZ Devils 22, T.G.F.T.W. 8
Saki Bombers 20, Donkey Fire 8
Plan B 15, Black Sox 7

Saki Bombers score 20+ runs for 2nd straight week as Plan B do a number on the Black Sox.

News, Injuries & Transactions

The vast majority of both Republican and Democratic congress critters are crooks. Don't believe any of their rhetoric.

Bush family crime tree

Nancy Pelosi's bad lists

Harry Reid's a dic(k)-tator
Mmmm... tater tots

No wonder we get nowhere. Our elected officials are not elected by us but by powerful campaign financers.

On Deck:
Black Sox

3-2    6:00pm - Home
Previous:
L 12-10 vs Donkey Fire
W 12-6 vs Saki Bombers
W 16-9 vs FR RamRods
W 21-13 vs T.G.F.T.W
L 15-7 vs Plan B

AWOL: None

This game will be a good test of how we should fair in the playoffs.

Win handily, we should get to the championship.

Win close, we should still get to the championship.

Lose close, refer to the voodoo dolls.

Lose big one, we're holding a practice.

The Black Sox Scandal refers to a number of events that took place around and during the play of the 1919 World Series. The name "Black Sox" also refers to the Chicago White Sox team from that year. Eight members of the Chicago franchise were banned for life from baseball for throwing (intentionally losing) games, and essentially giving the series to the Cincinnati Reds.

The conspiracy was the brainchild of White Sox first baseman Arnold "Chick" Gandil, who had longstanding ties to petty underworld figures. He persuaded Joseph "Sport" Sullivan, a friend and professional gambler, that the fix could be pulled off. New York gangster Arnold Rothstein supplied the money through his lieutenant Abe Attell, a former featherweight boxing champion.

Gandil enlisted several of his teammates, motivated by a dislike of penurious club owner Charles Comiskey, to implement the fix. All of them were members of a faction on the team that resented the better-educated and higher-paid players on the team, such as second baseman Eddie Collins, catcher Ray Schalk, and pitcher Red Faber. By most contemporary accounts, the two factions almost never spoke to each other on or off the field, and the only thing they had in common was a resentment of Comiskey.
Read more

Above: Pink sox on a pony

Scouting:
Play good fundamental softball.

Pregame: Practice at 5:15pm for those interested and able. Everyone, including Keith, be there by 5:35pm.


Recap: (1-2-3)^3 + (1-2-3-4) = ?
March 22nd, '09 - 5 innings:
Empty Pitchers 13, Black Sox 5

The answer is below if you deduce the answer without a calculator.

If you answered with a synonym of "victory" and not a number, your answer is acceptable. Remember: an answer you don't sweat for is an answer that didn't require sweat. Making or wearing sweaters can cause sweat. Lastly, dressing in fancy suits can cause sweat, but sweatsuits are the fashion world antonym.

Fred the Weatherman on Friday forecasted strong-like-bull winds for Sunday, shafting our fans of a quality D-league pitcher's duel.

Instead of stroking hits on first pitches during the initial innings, the team took first pitches to get a feel for the pitcher's balls.

The Black Sox must have gotten cocky after scoring four first-inning runs (via two errors) because Jason had their batters on their knees the remainder of the game. They went down 1-2-3 three times and almost a fourth time. He gave up just one walk, showing he could place his balls anywhere he liked, even with a strong wind blowing.

The Pitchers meanwhile knew how to work their lumber and non-wood hardware. Ted started his first game at leadoff with 3-4 hitting and 3 runs. Jamie added 4 hits, crossing home three times. Melissa and Jami added 3 hits while Andrew and Courtney scored twice on hits.

The real balance of the offense came from the bottom of the order as Jason, Ruthie, Keith and Sarah twice loaded the bases for Ted, who deposited a ball in the outfield grass and a buck to the pot.

Coach Buttertuso's game analysis:
"They hit em where we were, we hit 'em where they weren't. We won with singles, Jason's pitching and defense."

After the game, Jamie was asked why he didn't stretch his triple into an easy home run: "I like giving people RBI opportunities if we don't have two outs. I have confidence in all my teammates to knock me in. In this case, Melissa and Andrew would each get a crack. Plus the person coaching 3B was one of the more interesting people on the team but make sure to edit out that last part out because I wouldn't want any of the team to be offended."

Notables: Five fans in the dugout; EP batters struck out three times looking; Ted hits a 3-run dinger. Ruthie and Ted add to the pop-pot, which now totals $4 designated for charity or beer; the entire team was present twenty minutes before the first pitch generating a nice, chill pregame vibe for the first time in weeks.

A few hours before first pitch, Melissa took a soccer ball shot to the head from close distance. She went 3-4 at the plate. Keep your head in the soccer game, Melissa!

The answer to the above mathemetical equation is -72. Were you successful?

Scouted: They have two pitchers - a lefty and righty. Both were decent with the wind. The guys flew out three times to Keith in RC and hit a couple pop-ups to the left side of the OF. 3B was quiet. They had one female who could rip the ball, choosing opposite field.

Gone/Subs: None


What Do You Think?

Could this sweatsuit be our new winter uniform?

Standings
 (Avg Runs For/Against)

6-0  (  18 / 8 )     Arizona Devils
4-2  (  12 / 9 )     Empty Pitchers
3-3  (  12 / 11 )   Black Sox
3-3  (  12 / 13 )   Donkey Fire
3-3  (  9 / 12 )     Plan B
2-4  (  12 / 11 )   Saki Bombers
2-4  (  8 / 15  )    T.G.F.T.W.
1-5  (  11 / 15 )   FR RamRod

This week's games

FR RamRod  vs  T.G.F.T.W.
Saki Bombers  vs  Plan B
EP  vs  Donkey Fire
Black Sox  vs  AZ Devils

Lots of teams go to prove themselves this week. How tough are Saki Bombers, Plan B, RamRods and EP?

Last week's results

EP 13, Black Sox 5
Donkey Fire 21, FR RamRod 10
Plan B 14, T.G.F.T.W. 6
AZ Devils 16, Saki Bombers 14

Plan B wins their second straight with another impressive score.

The Pennant Chase

The regular season ends this Sunday. Playoffs begin the following week, then breaks for Easter and concludes the following weekend.

AZ Devils locked up the #1 seed in the playoffs this week. Empty Pitchers are alone in the #2 spot and will be the #2 seed if we win.

If Donkey Fire wins, they are the #2 and we finish likely no lower than #4.

If Donkey Fire loses they could end up being the #7 seed because five teams could all have 3-4 records!

Good luck City of Tempe sorting this one out but it looks quite probable:

The Saki Bombers (2-4) have scored 20 and 14 runs the past two games which could give Plan B (3-3) fits.

FR RamRod has the firepower to give T.G.F.T.W. (3-3) fits, considering T.G.F.T.W. has given up 21, 22 and 14 their last three games.

The Black Sox (3-3) face the undefeated Devils so they should lose and it's up to us to punch the Donkeys (3-3) into submission.

Win or lose and where ever we get seeded - we have a solid shot at winning everything if we remember to focus on the pressure of coed D-League softball.

On Deck:
Donkey Fire

3-3    8:00pm - Away

First ever meeting

Previous:
W 12-10 vs Black Sox
L 15-3 vs AZ Devils
L 7-0 vs T.G.F.T.W - Forfeit
W 16-9 vs Plan B
L 20-8 vs Saki Bombers
W 21-10 vs FR RamRod

AWOL: Keith, Sarah

From a Chinese Food Snacks website:

"Fire is the hebei district famous donkey is delicious flavor snack. The most famous is the donkey. Old burgers. Come here in hebei must taste delicious food donkey fire."

Great Moments in Donkey History:

Asses were first domesticated around 3000 BCE, approximately the same time as the horse.

In the western United States, a small donkey is sometimes called a burro (from the Spanish word for the animal).

A male donkey or ass is called a jack, a female a jenny, and offspring less than one year old, a foal (male: colt, female filly).

Horse/donkey hybrids are popular for their durability and vigor but they are sterile. A mule is the offspring of a jack (male donkey) and a mare (female horse). The much rarer successful mating of a male horse and a female donkey produces a hinny.

Famous Donkeys:

Eeyore had the voice of a jack and the dressing of a jenny.

Scouting:
Play good fundamental softball. Their girl leading off has power to all OF spots so be on that line ready to jump in or spring back.

Pregame: Be there by 7:35pm warming up and swinging bats. We had many more people swinging bats pregame in addition to warming up arms. Melissa - don't forget your cleats or they'll be kept in the bat bag between games


#1 Arizona Devils 7-0 (+60)
#8 FR RamRod 2-5 (-23)

#4 Donkey Fire 3-4 (-3)
#5 Black Sox 3-4 (-1)

#1/#8 Winner
vs
#4/#5 Winner



Championship Game


#2/#7 Winner
vs
#3/#7 Winner

#2 Empty Pitchers 5-2 (+18)
#7 T.G.F.T.W. 2-5 (-35)

#3 Plan B 4-3 (-7)
#6 Saki Bombers 2-5 (-5)
Donkey Fire
W 12-10 vs; BSox
L  3-15 vs AZDev
L  forft vs TGFTW
W 16-9 vs PlanB
L 8-20 vs Saki
W 21-10 vs FRRR
L 14-16 vs EP
AZ Devils
W  18-17 vs FRRR
W  15-3 vs DnkyF
W 18-2 vs PlanB
W 16-5 vs EP
W 22-8 vs TGFTW
W 16-14 vs Saki
W 15-11 vs Bsox
Plan B
L 8-18 vs EP
W 8-7 vs FRRR
L 2-18 vs PlanB
L 9-16 vs DnkyF
W 15-7 vs BSox
W 14-6 vs TGFTW
W 14-5 vs Saki
Saki B
L 7-12 vs TGFTW
L 6-12 vs BSox
L 6-12 vs EP
W 19-8 vs FRRR
W 20-8 vs DnkyF
L 14-16 vs AZDev
L 5-14 vs Plan B
FR RamRod
L 17-18 vs AZDev
L 7-8 vs FRRR
L 9-16 vs BSox
L 8-19 vs Saki
W 16-8 vs EP
L 10-21 vs DnkyF
W forft vs TGFTW
T.G.F.T.W.
W 7-12 vs Saki
L 2-13 vs EP
W forft vs DnkyF
L 13-21 v BSox
L 8-22 vs AZDev
L 6-14 vs PlanB
L forft vs FRRR
Black Sox
L 10-12 vs DnkyF
W 12-8 vs Saki
W 16-9 vs FRRR
W 21-13 vs TGFTW
L 7-15 vs PlanB
L 5-13 vs EP
L 11-15 vs AZDev

Recap: Science: Singles vs Bombs
March 29th, '09 - 5 innings:
Empty Pitchers 16, Donkey Fire 14

EP:    3   2   7   0   4   = 16
DF:    4   7   0   1   2   = 14

Despite the battle and their bombs, every Empty Pitcher came home. When everyone on our team scores, we win.

Donkey Fire burned our OF numerous times. Courtney was torched once, Ted twice with towering shots landing behind them near the fence. Donkey Fire also squeezed a few bouncers past our OF's to the fence to score most of their runners.

Despite the ball's initial attempts to make monkeys of our OF's, the OF's mastered the ball once it was in their gloves. Courtney had two relays to SS holding runners on forceout bases while Ron had two huge throws to bases in time to tag runners.

Several of their runners reached on gifts from our infield but it was the science of swinging for singles that gave us our first second place ever. Congrats team!

Andrew continues to see some of the toughest shots hit at him in a season yet pulled off the plays when they were needed most.

Jason made several key stops at the mound with his glove and after a couple early walks thru nothing but tasty meat. Yes, it sounds like a giant rump roast landing on a rubber mat when he pitches.

Clinging to a one run lead entering the bottom of the 2nd inning, Donkey Fire exploded with seven runs. From the stands, Plan B's manager Lee cheered for us to keep our spirits up. The Pitchers responded by emptying seven runs of its own, then four more two innings later to stuff the cushion.

Leading the way at the plate were the Jami(e)'s, who combined for 7 hits and 7 runs. Andrew, Connie, Ron and Ted combined for 13 hits while scoring 5 runs.

The donkey drama built as the game progressed. In the top of the 6th with a runner on and down four runs, a jack (a male donkey) jacked a shot past Ron and Ruthie allowing DF to pull within two runs. After Connie and Andrew converted old school defensive plays with Jami, another jack jolted a shot to RC. Thinking Ron's arm was a noodle (he had already thrown out a runner at 3B from RC), the jack jetted towards second base. Repeating history, Ron lasered another ball, this time into Andrew's waiting glove at 2B to make the tag with a second to spare to end the game.

Great comebacks in EP history
Empty Pitchers 15, Rounders 9
Empty Pitchers 12, Arizona Devils 11
Empty Pitchers 17, Churchills Bubbles n Squeak 16
Empty Pitchers 16, Donkey Fire 14

Notables: One fan in the stands; No EP batters struck out after three last week; Ted and Andrew hit base-clearing dingers; Courtney makes her first pop-pot donation, which now totals $5 designated for charity or beer;

Scouted: DF's leadoff girl lofts shots both sides of the OF and several of their guys can hit the ball deep. Not great team speed. No glaring holes defensively. Pitcher throws good pitches, friendly guy

Gone/Subs: Sarah (Amy) , Melissa (Connie) , Keith (Ron)


1 Heel
2 Round - roast, braise, round steaks
3 Rump - roast
4 Oxtail
5 Sirloin Tip - roast
6 Sirloin - roast, sirloin steaks
7 & 8 Porterhouse & T-bone or Strip & Filet (whole filet = tenderloin)
9 Ribs - standing or rolled roast, steaks, delmonico (boned)
10 Chuck - shoulder, arm, English roast, boneless chuck steaks
11 Flank
12 Plate
13 Brisket
14 Shank


Standings
 (Avg Runs For/Against)

7-0  (  17 / 9 )     Arizona Devils
5-2  (  12 / 10 )   Empty Pitchers
4-3  (  10 / 11 )   Plan B
3-4  (  12 / 13 )   Donkey Fire
3-4  (  12 / 12 )   Black Sox
2-5  (  11 / 12 )   Saki Bombers
2-5  (  8 / 15  )    T.G.F.T.W.
2-5  (  11 / 15 )   FR RamRod

This week's games

A rematch from Wk 1, a one run-win for AZ Devils, 18-17:
FR RamRod  vs  AZ Devils

Another Wk 1 rematch which Donkey Fire won by two:
Black Sox  vs  Donkey Fire

Hey, these teams played each other last week!
Saki Bombers  vs  Plan B

Drift your eyes to the right
T.G.F.T.W.  vs  EP

Voting updates

All but one voter has submitted their ballots. The MVP voting has never been this close. Five people within a couple points with the ladies well represented.

Keith, enjoy these next two days as reigning Most Sensitive Player.

Last week's results

FR RamRod 7, T.G.F.T.W. 0
                        (forfeit)
Plan B 14, Saki Bombers 5
EP 16, Donkey Fire 14
AZ Devils 15, Black Sox 11

Who's Peaking / Who's Leaking?

Plan B - won 3 straight
Black Sox - lost 3 straight

On Deck: T.G.F.T.W.

2-5    9 pm - Home

History:
Season 6 - W 13-2

AWOL: Ruthie (Connie),

On February of 2009, Connie stepped in at 2B and converted the first two double-plays of the season. This Sunday, she'll look to double 'em up from RF.

T.G.F.T.W. boasts the most seasoned men players in Tempe D-League. This team is over 20 yrs old and the guys know how to place the ball to all fields.

Unfortunately, they haven't been able to thank the holy one for the women because they've had major XX turnover. Contrast that with the turnover power of a Edo MC12 XX, it's something to behold. We win the championship, we'll rent this thing to parade around town.

Coach Buttertuso had these postgame thoughts on their pitcher:

"Don't think any of his pitches to me were even close to the middle of the plate, all edges........ He not only threw different pitches (back spin, side spin, knuckle), but he threw them from different places (sometimes on the mound, sometimes in between the mound) so the timing was different. He was a good pitcher. 4 K's, and I don't think he walked anyone, either. "

Wrapping up, this is playoffs so use your body and get your glove down to stop all balls. Let nothing by you. If your name begins with the letter A then it's recommended you use your head knock balls down.

Scouting: They play softball... we play softball. Let's play some softball.

Pregame: Arrive 25 minutes before gametime for warming up arms and bats.

Prepregame: Jamie will be watching the entire Plan B - Saki Bomber game before hand, especially if the weather's nice. We play the winner next week.


Playoffs Begin

Below: Seed, Team, Record, (Total Runs Scored - Runs Allowed)                          Semifinal and Championship both played April 19th
#1 Arizona Devils 7-0 (+60)
#8 FR RamRod 2-5 (-23)

#4 Donkey Fire 3-4 (-3)
#5 Black Sox 3-4 (-1)

#1 Arizona Devils
vs
#5 Black Sox



Championship Game


#2 Empty Pitchers
vs
#6 Saki Bombers

#2 Empty Pitchers 5-2 (+18)
#7 T.G.F.T.W. 2-5 (-35)

#3 Plan B 4-3 (-7)
#6 Saki Bombers 2-5 (-5)
AZ Devils
W  18-17 vs FRRR
W  15-3 vs DnkyF
W 18-2 vs PlanB
W 16-5 vs EP
W 22-8 vs TGFTW
W 16-14 vs Saki
W 15-11 vs Bsox
W 19-7 vs FRRR
Black Sox
L 10-12 vs DnkyF
W 12-8 vs Saki
W 16-9 vs FRRR
W 21-13 vs TGFTW
L 7-15 vs PlanB
L 5-13 vs EP
L 11-15 vs AZDev
W 15-10 vs DnkyF
Saki B
L 7-12 vs TGFTW
L 6-12 vs BSox
L 6-12 vs EP
W 19-8 vs FRRR
W 20-8 vs DnkyF
L 14-16 vs AZDev
L 5-14 vs PlanB
W 13-9 vs PlanB
Empty Pitchers
W  18-8 vs PlanB
W  13-2 vs TGFTW
W 12-6 vs Saki
L 5-16 vs AZDev
L 8-16 vs FRRR
W 13-5 vs BSox
W 16-14 vs DnkyF
W 18-6 vs TGFTW

Recap: Sweet Synchronicity
April 5th, '09 - 6 innings:
Empty Pitchers 18, T.G.F.T.W. 6

TG:    0   0   4   0   2   = 6
EP:    7   1   1   4   5   = 18

Another Tempe sports evening
Andrew and Jamie somersault onto the field
We take the field after the din of our Miso soup
We all wait for the ump to say "play ball"
Jamie chants his litany of cheers and jeers
But we all know our MVP won't break
Jason stares into the distance
There's only so much room for strikes for giminy sakes!
Many miles away
Something flies into the sky
Above a dark Scottish lake.

T.G.F.T.W. is a really nice team and they have an excellent pitcher. Those two things didn't carry them to victory and it didn't help they were missing two girls. But having an extra player wouldn't have mattered much.

EP bats were relaxed. Aside from Ted's off-night contributing three bucks to Ptack's pop nest (he's eagerly working to attact a lovely screechy female), everyone dropped at least two hits on T.G.F.T.W. The real heart of this game came from the bottom two-thirds of the lineup which went 19 for 24 and scored 14 runs.

Jinx alert: The Jami(e)'s went 8-8 tonight, scoring 5 runs, which makes them a combined 15-16 over the past two games.

Other notable batting performances include Melissa who went 4-5 yet was held to just one run. Jason, Keith and Sarah each went 3-4 and combined for six runs.

Equalizing our smooth play at the plate, the team played equally smooth in the field. The team turned both a 5-4-3 and a 6-3 doubleplay. After three weeks of manicuring dirt around 3B, Jamie had plenty of action and was the cause of Jami making a great stretching catch at first, holding form just long enough for the out. Jamie also delivered a perfect throw into the opposing dugout. Courtney caught a ball.

Be sure to watch until the baseball reference at 3:30 for possible Raoul explanation:

Notables: Four fans in the stands; during the pregame tradition of guessing who just texted Jamie's phone about being late, Ted guessed Raoul; Andrew had a two-run dinger in the first inning; Ron's 3B coaching was nearly flawless - no runners were thrown out at home but Sarah was tagged out at 3B when she didn't need to run - a great deal of our success has been from smart baserunning & coaching so don't lose focus during the playoffs;

For those wanting more than Ted's description of Courtney's catch it was like an asteroid of biblical proportions launched from a god's t-shirt cannon towards the deepest parts of LF without crossing the other side. Like someone prepared to backflip, she snared the ball with her outstretched bare hand and then backflipped.

Gone/Subs: Ruthie (Connie)

Pop-up Pitcher Pot: So many this game it gets its own line: Ted (3), Melissa (1), Andrew (1), Court (1), Sarah (1), Keith (1)

Behind the Scenes: What inspires Jamie to accurately recap the game? Softball is a complex game with complex imagery so he gets his guidance every week here:


Darkness Dear Boy says: Could we have asked for a better lead-in act to follow?

Read This Week's Action in the middle column before playing this one.


Final Regular
Season Standings
 (Avg Runs For/Against)

7-0  (  17 / 9 )     Arizona Devils
5-2  (  12 / 10 )   Empty Pitchers
4-3  (  10 / 11 )   Plan B
3-4  (  12 / 13 )   Donkey Fire
3-4  (  12 / 12 )   Black Sox
2-5  (  11 / 12 )   Saki Bombers
2-5  (  8 / 15  )    T.G.F.T.W.
2-5  (  11 / 15 )   FR RamRod

Last week's results

AZ Devils 19, FR Ram Rod 7
Black Sox 15, Donkey Fire 10
Saki Bombers 13, Plan B 9
Empty Pitchers 18, T.G.F.T.W. 6

Upcoming games

Black Sox @ Arizona Devils
In the final matchup of the season, the Devils escaped with a 4-run victory.

Saki Bombers @ Empty Pitchers
During midseason, the Bombers held the Pitchers to their lowest winning run total.

Who's Peaking / Who's Leaking?

For the past three weeks, the Empty Pitchers have averaged 16/runs a game and the Devils are averaging 17/runs a game.

Defensively over the same span, EP has given up 25 total runs while the Devils have given up 32.

Black Sox have given up 38 runs and Saki has given up 39 runs.

Injury Report

Jami fielded a throw off the ground using her jaw, which wasn't as effective as she had planned all week long.

Melissa's head will always be playing soccer. She used the inside of her foot to deflect a throw to first base.

She didn't realize reaching first safely would hurt so much. In came Sarah to run for her, but Melissa finished the game on a defensive and offensive vengence.

This Week's Action

The Phoenix New Times did a full page article on Ted's band. It was on the cover of the March 19th music section!

Then the music editor of the New Times asked us to record a video playing a 3 Doors Down song for their website.

Ted's band, Darkness Dear Boy, is playing this Friday at The Stray Cat (on University just east of the 101 fwy) The other bands are: Mergence, Sawcello and Whats Left (all Ted's favorite local bands under one roof!) Show starts at 8:30 and the cover is $5.00. Hope you make it!

No Game This Week

The team's Christians, Hindus, Muslims, agnostics and athiests wish the team's Jews a Happy Pesach.

Moses Is Departing Egypt: A Facebook Haggadah

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On Deck: Saki Bombers

2-5    7 pm - Home

History:
Season 6 - W 12-6

AWOL: ? ( ),

The alcoholic drink made from rice in English is called saki. In Japanese, sake refers to alcoholic drinks in general. The Japanese term for this specific beverage is Nihonshu, meaning "Japanese sake."

Scouting: What do you know? An actual scouting report from our last meeting:

The Bomber pitcher is good, likes to pitch inside. He has fielding issues, particularly when distracted by baserunners (Andrew potentially scoring from third, caused a low, outside throw to first base. Congrats to everyone on the team for not getting hit by wild throws... knock on wood). Jason noted "he pitches a few behind the front rubber, meaning pitches take an extra second to arrive which can throw timing off."…

The Saki RC outfielder caught a half-dozen balls, misplaying none. Their 1B is a good fielder so hit around or over her... 3B and LF are the strongest parts of their defense. LF flashed the leather twice... The Bombers don't make many extra throws (smartly?) so teams may want to try running bases aggressively against 'em.

Gameplan for the drive to the championship game: Play softball and have some fun.

Pregame: Arrive 25 minutes before gametime for warming up arms and bats.

Prepregame: Jamie will be watching the entire first game - especially if the weather is nice at 6pm.

If we win... and the Devils win

History:
Season 5 - W 12-11
Season 5 - L 11-9
Season 6 - L 5-16

Scouted: The longest-haired brunette cracked a shot dead center landing ~15-20 ft beyond the line but she's the only longball threat. Their lefty girl likes to hit down 3B line as does their big power hitter. The AZ Devils are just like Pitchers. Every player is a versatile fielder and able to hit over the infield.

Scouting the guy hitters, the big guy with the 'stache (BGWT'S) has knocked several over the fence in a game. One of their four non-'stached players enjoys driving 'em opposite field to RF. The older guy batting drops bloopers past the infielders with ease though it wouldn't be surprising to see him crank one over cheating outfielders. Our outfields should cheat a couple steps from normal distances, ready to sprint forward every time he swings to make a running grab? other outfielders will back you up.

The Lady Devils, like the Pitcheretts? Emptresses?, I don't know what to call our girls... anyhow, can crack pitches over the infield. Our advantage is our ladies' speed on the basepaths? meaning we can play closer to the edge of the grass and still make long accurate throws for Jami. Ruthie in RF should respond to all grounders by backing up 1B by the fence while Keith and Ted back up 2B at different angles.

The hurler of fiery devil balls is a machine who will make your life hell if you like to take your time between pitches. Step out of the batter's box or wave your hand until you're ready because this guy chucks 'em quick.

Coach Buttertuso remembers:
"AZ Devils played us with a rover in the OF last time.......... or at least a shallow RC."

Scouting from Plan B:
Isaac: "Spread your outfield wide b/c they hit down the lines well. The guy on third base is their best hitter (power and can put the ball anywhere). Center field is the only open area I say, and the girl at second base can't catch or stop the ball. Hit to second base as much as possible."

Gameplan if we make the championship game: Play softball and have some fun. Remember, there's nothing wrong with being a friend of the devil.

Gameplan if we don't make the championship game: Everyone give the most sensitive player on the team a high five if a guy or a hug if you're a girl. Then smile knowing we had one of our best seasons yet and we'll be starting our title run playing the following week in our first game of the summer season.



1st Semifinal: #5 Black Sox vs #1 Arizona Devils
In the early game, the Black Sox took it to the Arizona Devils early. The Lady Sox drilled numerous shots into OF gaps during two separate rally innings. But in the bottom of the last inning, the Black Sox pitcher lost his control and walked a half-dozen batters, allowing the AZ Devils to overcome a 6+ run deficit to come within one tying run. The Black Sox pitcher pulled himself halfway during the rally and the move paid off as the Black Sox knocked off a heavy favorite to reach the championship.


2nd Semifinal: Pitcher Power > Bomber Buzz
April 19th, '09 - 5 innings:
Empty Pitchers 14, Saki Bombers 13

SB:    4   0   2   6   1   = 13
EP:    2   1   1   8   2   = 14

Epilogue
March 1st, 09: "Strong burst then fizzle - the typical saki bomber reaction. The Saki Bombers started the game placing an endless number of runners on-base but somehow managed only two runs. It was probably due to what the Pitchers do best - dousing opponents with sound defense before things can ignite. In the bottom half EP dropped a couple runs in the score bucket and returned to the field for the Bombers' response."

Act I
The Saki bombers busted the game open scoring four of their first five runners. The next two runners reached 2B and 3B before the Empty Pitchers, cool as they always are straight from the tap, snared the final two outs. In the EP half, Melissa drew her first walk of the game, Andrew knocked her in and Courtney knocked Andrew in, but that was all EP could muster before taking the field for the Bombers' response.

Both teams countered so-so hitting with solid defense the next two innings. In the bottom of the 2nd, Jason took advantage of a scouting report that Saki Bombers tended not to make aggressive throws by scoring from 1B off Keith's double into RF.

Sweet and Sour Play of Game 1:
In the top of the 3rd inning with two outs, two runs already scored and a runner at 3B, a grounder rolled under Jamie's glove (sour as an infielder's glove should never let a ball roll underneath) but Andrew had jumped into position backing up Jamie (sweet). With the runner heading home, Andrew lasered his first throw of the season home to Sarah to catch the runner, ending the inning.

The storyline of the game took a huge turn as the Saki Bombers opened the 4th inning scoring six of their first seven batters. With runners on 1st and 2nd with only one out, the Pitchers defensively buckled down to stop the bloodletting before the game became terminal.

Act II - Deja vu
Mar 9, 2009: "The ump announced "9 minutes" as EP took the field in the 6th clinging to a two run lead."

As the Pitchers left the field down 8 runs, the ump announced 9 minutes were left for a new inning. EP needed to sustain a long rally or score a couple quick runs and get back into the field for one more inning. The Pitchers, in grand fashion chose the former.

Time for a reflective montage?
As the team entered the caged nest the GM summoned the team. It was time for a speech but this time no mentioned was made of other great comebacks. The only thing said was these upcoming pitches were the reason we came out to play softball.

Jason stepped out and stepped up to the plate. Riding a tougher than usual night pitching, meaning more 3-1 counts than normal though he gave up few walks, Jason delivered a simple base hit to get the ball rolling.

Flashback
Mar 9, 2009: "With a mountain of D-League Coed softball pressure coming at her from the fans in the stands and her own dream to be the first to sweep all post-season awards, Ruthie took the first pitch and on the second stroked a sweet sailing shot into LC scoring Keith."

With mountains of D-League Coed softball pressure coming at her from the first base coach and her own dream to bat second during a winning rally, Ruthie sent a perfect pitch to the OF.

Keith's only recorded out on the night came during our fateful rally. Sarah and Ted made sure the bus continued to roll by collecting hits, scoring Jason and Ruthie to start the run. Once again, the bottom of the batting order would lift the team.

Melissa drew her 3rd straight walk of the night while Andrew neared hitting the cycle as he reached base, scoring Sarah and Ted to cut the deficit in half.

With one down and two on, Courtney was walked intentionally loading the bases for Jamie, who had been shaking his booty furiously at the plate after forgetting to in his first at-bat which resulted in a popup up. This time he scraped the imaginary inside of the peanut butter jar in a figure eight motion, nearly causing Courtney to faint at 1B, which would have been disastrous because Jamie cracked a shot towards RF, a one-bouncer to the rightfielder. It must have taken one of those funny opposite field bounces because it spun off the tip of her glove behind her.

The bases cleared as Jamie chased Courtney, Andrew and Melissa home with the tying runs. Jami collected her second hit of the night to position herself as the winning run but the two who got the ball rolling were exhausted and the inning ended.

Act III
Extra inning rules place the previous inning's last batter automatically placed on 2B. With Jason recharged, the infield helped him retire the first batter holding the runner at 2B. Now facing the top of the lineup, Jason worked 'em masterfully allowing only one hit, which scored the runner, and leaving an easier job for the offense.

Keith, sensitive to the fact he was the only player not to reach base the previous inning, led off with a single scoring Ruthie, who as the last out the prior inning began on 2B. Keith had executed his duty perfectly. Sarah decided to send him to the dugout by forcing him at 2B with a grounder.

Sarah's spiritual strategy almost backfired when Ted flied out to CF but Melissa, determined to get a chance to swing a bat in her final game as a regular player, reached base to advance Sarah. Last season's MVP then approached the plate and delivered the winning shot to score Sarah.

The Pitchers were on to their first championship game.

Epilogue: Five fans in the stands; Ptack's nest grows thanks to Ted ($2) and Ruthie ($1); more somersaults by the infielders; Ted skipped the pregame miso soup on a 90 degree day in favor of a teriyaki bowl; the blues were treated to two exciting finishes in the semifinals to umpire - would they get an even grander championship match to call?

Melissa 4 runs on 3 walks; Andrew 3-4; Jami, Jamie, Keith, Ruthie and Sarah all 2-3.


Box Scores
vs Saki
vs Sox
Ted
1-4, 1R
2-4, 2R
Melissa
4-4, 4R, 3BB
2-4, 0R 1BB
Andrew
3-4, 2R
4-4, 3R
Court
1-3, 1R, 1BB
2-4, 2R
Jamie
2-3, 1R,
4-4, 2R
Jami
2-3, 0R
4-4, 1R, 1BB
Jason
1-3, 2R
2-4, 0R
Ruthie
2-3, 2R
2-4, 1R, 1BB
Keith
2-3, 0R
4-4, 3R, 2BB
Sarah
2-3, 2R, 1BB
2-3, 2R, 2BB

Walks in softball are the same as a hit in EP's book.

Championship: Pitcher Perfect
April 19th, '09 - 5 innings:
Empty Pitchers 16, Black Sox 4

BS:    2   0   2   0   0   = 4
EP:    2   5   1   1   7   = 16

Without time to rewater the dogs and forgetting to somersault onto the field, the Pitchers raced back onto the field to begin their first championship game. The Black Sox power from last game would need to be matched and hopefully their late game pitching collapse wouldn't doom them in the season's grand finale.

Like a cat plays with a mouse, the Pitchers gave up quick runs to create drama for the three remaining fans. The Pitchers, unable to score Melissa after her walk, countered with two runs to tie the game after one complete. From there the song remained the same:

March 22nd, '09
"The Black Sox must have gotten cocky after scoring four first-inning runs (via two errors) because Jason had their batters on their knees the remainder of the game. They went down 1-2-3 three times and almost a fourth time. He gave up just one walk, showing he could place his balls anywhere he liked, even with a strong wind blowing."

Over the next 4 innings, Jason and his Pitchernauts mowed down the order 1,2,3 on three occasions. Only in the 3rd inning did the Black Sox add to their run total with two runs. None of their batters faced Jason more than twice and their batter in the 12 spot only had a chance to bat once.

The game was called well short of the 70 minute game time (normal games are 50 minutes). League rules end games when a team is down by 12 runs after the 5th inning.

The Pitcher aura at the plate, meanwhile, never shifted from the first game. Ruthie, Keith, Sarah and Ted all led off the 2nd inning with walks before the pitcher caught Melissa with a wicked strikeout. Andrew then drove in a herd of baserunners with his hit. After reaching, Courtney was thrown out at home after trying to score from 1B off Jamie's double and when all was done after the 2nd inning EP had a 7-2 lead.

Adding a run in each the 3rd and 4th innings, the Pitchers delivered one final assault on the Black Sox, who had switched pitchers after giving up 6 early walks. The switch didn't help as three more batters were walked, including Keith and Sarah to lead off the inning.

Keith, Sarah, Ted, Andrew, Courtney and Jamie all crossed home before Sarah came to bat once more and delivered a final shot scoring Jami.

The ump called the game, much to the disappointment of both teams, but by the time the scene cleared and pictures were done it was 9:30pm.

Andrew's take: "Wow. Down 12-4 in semi's in the last inning. Clutch comeback and finished them off in extra innings. Then proceeded to steam roll the Black Sox.

"After we realized we needed to stop hitting fly balls, and also took some walks, our bats (and legs) awoke. Equally important, our defense was very solid all night to keep us in the first game, and keep the Black Sox out of the second game."

"Great job by everyone on the team. Every member played a key roll in our success."

What Ted would have written: "I had my new lady friend in the stands and Jamie kept yelling at me I was batting 1-19 this game. Show a little support, brother!" to which Jamie would have replied " You are right my brother, accept my apologies. "

Notes: Hidden Play of the Night - Game 2's sweet play came on a deep shot just to the right of CF. Keith got a great jump on the ball to knock and slow the ball down. Ted played the backup pursuit angle perfectly rifling the ball in to hold the hitter to a double instead of a homerun which could have ignited a rally by a potent Black Sox team.

At the plate: Andrew (4 runs), Jami (1), Jamie (2) and Keith (3) were all a perfect 4-4 at the plate while Sarah went 3-3 with 2 runs; Jason donates $1 to Ptack's nest..

Refresh: Season Six
By the numbers finished the season strong, outscoring our playoff opponents 38-23 and finishing on a 5-game win streak. Overall, we scored 130 runs and gave up 90. We were 2-0 in close games and won 4 games by more than 10 runs.

On the more important personal side, chemistry was bubblin' over the beaker's rim. We had great subs and we cannot thank Amy enough for being there every game helping us with the numbers and being an emergency sub.

You can't replace a two-time MVP like Scott but Jason imitated him nearly flawlessly. Andrew had nearly three times as many wicked grounders than most shortstop's see in a season yet he remained upbeat despite not always coming up with the ball. Keith's bandana temporarily disappeared and he's become a force at the plate. After a brief experiment with Andrew in leadoff, Ted took rein of the bar and perched himself atop the order.

Checklist - complete at least three
    Avg 15+ runs scored/game
    Avg less than 10 runs allowed/game
X  Beat Plan B
    Break bread / drink pitchers
X  Improve skills a little over last season
    Solve question of Raoul
    Two hrs of team charity work
    Undefeated regular season
    Win Band-Aid Pitcher Trophy
X  Win tournament

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