Briefly

pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball
Pre-Winston Ghostbusters

Exhibition game: Ducks vs. Matadors Saturday 9pm, Moore Park.

While I construct the season in review blog, I’d like to take time to announce I will be coaching a fall ball team. We will, of course, be the “Ghostbusters”. If anyone wants to play sign up at the NABA home page.
Phantoms register at your own risk.

The trade winds are swirling
Ducks may fly south for the winter, but I’ll keep everyone posted while Manager of the Year, TC Jones, and the front office work to assemble our ’09 Team of Destiny in the off-season.
Unless I’m the victim of a very cruel joke, there is a good chance the Ducks will acquire two all-star pitchers before next season.
The rotation would be the best the league has ever seen, unless Rob Cool of the Owlz brings in three guys from the Mexican Winter League, unfortunately this is something we can’t rule out.

The Warriors dominated the Oilers 18-5, to go up 1-0 in the Allegheny finals.
recap here: The Game

It’s interesting the recap is in yellow, what do you think, Fago, calling out the OwlZz perhaps?

Footage of Craig Boley at the post-game press conference.

The umpire says, “PLAY ball”
From 8-16 to 11-9-2. Eight games under to three games over .500. Quite a turnaround.

South Oakland has become a favorable destination for free agents. For the first time in a lwhile, the Ducks have played the game for the sake of enjoying it, and to win while accomplishing both feats.

I’m going to make hunting down Ian Dickman a priority this off-season, and convincing Swanger to move back to the ‘burgh.

Coby, I know you’re reading, the post-season party should be at your house, don’t let the team down.

Quack

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Wild Card Playoff. Imprisioned by the way it could have been, Black Sox 14, Ducks 5

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Better than Joe Cocker’s version.

I write this bruised, achy, bloodstained and sad, the words seem to swell along with my left wrist, and my right knee. Too deep of an attempt at reflection on this season would be a lost cause at this point, but I know for certain the Ducks are on the rise, the rivalry with the Black Sox has been renewed, and we now know what it takes to really make a deep run in the playoffs; a little more than we had this season.
This was the most fun I’ve had playing ball in years, (this is supposed to be fun, right?) I won’t be completely happy with a season that falls short of a championship, but who is? only assholes who only care about stats. I’d say I’m in the 90th percentile of satisfaction with how the season went, but maybe in the zero to three percent range in regards to our last game.

****

The Ducks suffered a severe beating at the hands of the Brookline Black Sox, to the tune of an eleven run third inning from which South Oakland could not recover.

Chris Wojton opened the game for South Oakland with a solo homerun, tying Ben Gwin for the all-time lead in Ducks post-season home runs. After the Black Sox scored two in the bottom inning, the Black Sox challenged the mismatched Duck uniforms, the game would continue under protest.

Down 2-1 in the bottom of the second, the Ducks answered. As best as I can remember, Novak singled, Kolaja reached on an error there was a questionable double play, another single by Homa, then Murphy walked to load the bases for Wojton who doubled in two runs, then Gwin singeld in two more to give the Ducks a 5-2 lead. Then the bottom fell out.

The bottom of the third was a swirling mass of bad pitches, bad sportsmanship, and bad defense. The Black Sox scored eleven runs during an endless inning full of doubles, and snide remarks. and that was it.

They did not however, stop stealing bases, they must have an incentive clause regarding the ten-run rule, up nine in the bottom of the sixth, why not steal?

They beat us senseless. You’d think it’d be enough to roll over a hot wild card team in the playoffs, I know things are said in The Heat of the Moment, but , well I guess I’d have handled it differently.

The umpiring was terrible, but it wasn’t the difference. We could have got every call and still lost.
I’m not a sore loser, I’m just sore…
The Black Sox deserved to win. The Ducks’ staff could not find the strike zone for an inning and the Sox hit it hard and found the gaps.

The Ducks officially support the Warriors.

The Black Sox play the OwlzZ later this week, perhaps their will be a bench clearing brawl and both teams in their entirety will be banned from league play for the rest of the post-season, and the Ducks will take the Monongahela Division by default. I wouldn’t count on it, though.

South Oakland will wrap up the season with two exhibition games; on Saturday and Sunday.
I’ll keep blogging about the rest of the playoffs (probably throughout the off-season, if you’ll keep reading), but my heart won’t be in it until the sting of this loss wanes a bit. I figure I should use the rest of the Ultimate Warrior you tube clips I have stashed away.

ON THE UNIFORM SITUATION

  • Three or four Ducks quit and never returned their jerseys, and we added a few guys throughout the season. For whatever reason we did not order our uni’s from a vendor that is able to make new ones unless we order in bulk, so we have four guys who play in green T-shirts, or yellow “Ducks” shirts. This is not ideal, and we realize this. It’s not like that team who wore shorts one year. I realize it’s a rule, but we had extenuating circumstances. One player had their Jersey stolen somehow.
  • Is it more disrespectful to the game of baseball to steal up nine runs, and yap about nothing or to play in a T-shirt with your team’s name and logo on it?
  • Not all the Black Sox were doing this stuff.
***

BULLET POINTS

  • Balls
  • This was not a fun game to catch.
  • Wojton is a beast.
  • I guess the 2007 Rockies lost eventually anyway.
  • Without Guthrie’s wins over the Black Sox and the Rakers this season, we don’t make the playoffs.
Nick Homa for Pitcher of the Year
TC Jones for Manager of the Year.

There will be a grandiose season recap in the near future.

Next season, it’s bad news for every team in the league other than the Ducks.

Quack.

Rumors of a Blockbuster deal between the Rakers and Ducks are swirling, like cigarette smoke from the Black Sox dugout…

Same venue, different show.

South Oakland Ducks Baseball
Before the Wild Card preview it’s time for….Around the Pittsburgh NABA

Nick Homa for Pitcher of the Year, TC Jones for Manager of the Year.
(these things are won in the press.)

***

A pitcher on the Oilers threw a no-hitter against the Bulldogs, then the Matadors tried to say both teams cheated and that they should be awarded a spot in the Allegheny Championship, because they won the division last year, and have sweet uniforms.

Why not name your team “The Bulls”? Granted, the Matador usually ends up killing the bull, but its not very humane, bullfighting is disgusting, and unfair. I imagine it is sweet to watch live though.
Maybe they just wanted to go with a Carmen theme. Bizet is unreal.

Neither the Rebels nor the Matadors made the playoffs this season, after playing in the 2007 Championship.

The League President should mandate the next expansion team name themselves the
“Ghostbusters or something along those lines. Something, you know, Bill Murray related.

Something you should know about our League President. He dominated me in Dance-Dance-Revolution at the Ultimate Warrior’s bachelor party at Dave and Busters.

Footage of me practicing for the rematch

  • The Oilers will face the Warriors Wednesday night, at Spring View Field in Game 1 of the Allegheny Division Series.

There’s some fierce, bright-yellow smack-hooting on the OwlZzz “My Site News” page. I stumbled over it while I was searching for a pitcher with more strikeouts than Homa. I didn’t find anyone.

Speaking of the regular season Monongahela Division Champs…
The winner of tonight’s Ducks, Black Sox game faces “Team Typo” on Thurzday.
Those kids can play ball, but that yellow writing gives me a headache.

* * *

“Yours is the cloth mine is the hand that sews time…”

The Ducks (11-9-2) will play the Black Sox (14-8) Tuesday night at 8:30pm at John Herb Field.

South Oakland is 5-3 all time in Pittsburgh NABA post-season play; the Ducks went 3-0 in 2003 and won the title. The next season, South Oakland beat the Maulers in the first round, and took the first game of the best-of-three with the Black Sox before losing by forfeit in game two, and losing game three after a rescheduled rain-out left the Ducks playing with seven guys. that was the end of an era.

In 2005, the Red Dawn Ducks lost to Chris Wojton’s Rangers/Phantoms, 14-8 in the first round. It was during that game starting pitcher Matt Swetz took a ground ball to the groin in the fourth inning and continued to pitch three more innings. He wore a cup the next season. Swetz was never the same after that night.

Then it was two seasons of lame duck baseball before TC Jones revitalized the team, leading the South Oakland youth movement into the playoffs for the first time since ’05.

I’ve been here since the beginning. Rick, A.Smith and E.Lee have been here since ’05. Everyone else is in their first or second year on the team. We are as good now as we have ever been.

There’s no use bringing up the ’04 series against the Black Sox, and beating it to death. That time is pertinent only to myself, and a bunch of Ducks who have moved on, and out of Pittsburgh. We did let one slip away, though and it was all down hill from there. I’ll tell you stories if you want to hear ’em.

There is no use in evoking images of a return to glory by the Ducks, nor should I cover this post with wistful reminiscence about 2003, the days when Dickman dominated, or sweet double plays and bench clearing brawls from six years ago. I think that would be self-indulgent, and it won’t help win the game tonight.

But this team, the 2008 Ducks, can win tonight.

Ducks with game winning RBI this season: Moore, Lee, Spagnola, McCray, Gwin, Homa.

***
Fly together.
Leave it all on the field.
Ghostbusters.

Kenesaw Mountain Landis

Bad News for the Black Sox.

Here’s one from The King

pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball
The most tragic King since Duncan.

I like this one so I used it again.

click the link below for a great…
quote from Duck legend, and friend Rob Swanger

another link to a brief history of the Ducks-Black Sox rivalry.

The game is scheduled for tomorrow. There is a chance that could change.
This effects both teams equally.
We will know later tonight.

Whenever we play, it’s going to be bad news for the Black Sox

Game 22:Nick Homa in, The Color of Money. Ducks 2, Rakers 1

pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball
THE DUCKS ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS

Nick Homa struck out 14 Rakers, allowed three hits, and drove in the game winning run as the Ducks earned themselves a date with the Black Sox, in the Monongahela Wild Card game, Teusday Night.

This game was a pitcher’s duel to end all pitcher’s duels. Raker’s starter Ben Sorosky threw a complete game five-hitter of his own, striking out somewhere between seven and ten Ducks. Sorosky also went 2-4 at the plate, and scored the Rakers only run on a wild pitch.

The Ducks scored two runs in the second, when Mark Guthrie walked, stole second and advanced to third on Ryan Novak’s single to right field.

Novak stole second, and the Ducks had runners on second and third with one out. Guthrie scored on a past ball, Novak advanced to third, and Nick Homa singled him in one out later.

On this day, that was all Homa would need.

The Ducks made the plays in the field, first baseman Ben Gwin let a ground ball, get behind him in the 6th, and second baseman Andrew McCray made the play with Homa covering. Later in the inning, Ryan Novak caught a line drive up the middle, which may have brought the tying run to the plate.

Three Stars of the game:

3: Ryan Novak 1 for 3, run
2: Ben Sorosky(L): 7IP, 4h, 8k, 2-4, run
1: Nick Homa(W): 7IP, 4h, 13k, 1-3, GWRBI

I’ll have more on this game and a black sox/playoff preview tomorrow.

Kolaja almost had that one against the fence in left, what an effort.


Game 21: Antietam. Rebels forfeit to Ducks…One game to bind them, one game to rule them all…

pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball
Ken Griffey Kolaja III, comes up big, as always.

I wrote this a while back,
South Oakland(5-8-1) has one game before the July 2nd, All-Star break. Due to a recent slump in which the Ducks have lost four of five, by an average of two runs per game, the team finds itself on the cusp of elimination. With ten games remaining (eight against Monongahela Division teams), South Oakland still has a chance to go on a run and sneak into the post-season.

Since then, South Oakland has gone on a 5-1-1 run.
and we find ourselves on the cusp of the playoffs.


Now it comes down to one game

BATTLE FOR THE WILD CARD


VS.

Ducks vs. Rakers
Sunday, 2:30 Avonworth High School Field.
Win and we’re in.

Batting practice: Noon, Pitt Field. All hands on deck.

***
How the mighty have fallen.

The defending champion, Monroeville Rebels, are suffering through a 4-16-1 season. The South Oakland Ducks take a 7-0 victory, which sets up a do or die match-up with the Cyrilla Landscaping Rakers, Sunday at 2:30 at Avonworth High Shcool Field. Both teams were operating under the assumption the game would be played at noon, but a mix-up with the Pie Traynor Field permit issuers, lead to a last minute time change, moving the game to 9am. General Lee was unable to rally the troops, and the Rebels surrendered rather than suffer further casualties.

General Lee has had a rough season. The Rebels short-comings this season can not all be blamed on their field general, he can’t force his soldiers to arrive to battle on time, and he fights valiantly. No one can take away their championship from 2007. Chances of a repeat, not great. only if four Monongahela Division teams fold.

There are a couple of mercenaries on the Rebels who would look good in green and gold, next season.

The history of the Ducks and .500 baseball, lest we be doomed to repeat it…
South Oakland is over .500 for the first time in almost half a decade. Even the Ducks title campaign of 2003, saw the team finish with a 6-9 regular season record before winning three straight post season games en-route to their coronation as the first Pittsburgh NABA Champions. The Ducks opened the 2004 Campaign 2-0, to put the team at 11-9 overall, but the team finish with around nine wins that season, two or three games under .500.
The Ducks started the ’05 season 3-1. before finishing 10-13.

Change starts at the top. TC “Buttermaker” Jones, Coach of the Year.

Indeed.

Bring the Pain.
(video contains profanity)

Bad News for the Rakers

Take it Easy

pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

*TIME CHANGE: GAME TOMORROW 9 AM PIE TRAYNOR FIELD*

Here is the link to the recap of the last Rebels game
, which the Ducks lost. The week’s worth of posts leading up to this game were fun to write. The game came down to the last at-bat. The Ducks lost.

Ducks vs. Rebels, Saturday, 12pm Pie Traynor Field. Tonight won’t be the last night you have to get insanely drunk, we only have three regular season games left. This is a must-win game.

The Ultimate Warrior destroyed the Eagles, afterwards he took on Phil Collins.
Do you like Phil Collins? How about Genesis?

The Eagles have fallen 1.5 games out of the wild card. Here’s a recap by the Warriors’ Steve Heckman. The Game
Warrior, Doug Ryba, is afraid of Triceratops. Aren’t we all?

More footage of Craig Boley dominating the Eagles...

The Ducks trail the Rakers by a half game. A win over the Rebels will set up a one game playoff for the Wild Card on Sunday.

I think the Eagles are eliminated, unless the Ducks and Rakers lose out, and tie their game on Sunday. The Eagles were much improved this season. Their ace pitcher, Joe Walsh owned me this season, to the tune of 1 for 7 with a K, hbp, and a walk.

Our life is in our hands.

Darth Vader, Jedi: Not a fan of Rebels.

Here’s Neil Young

That might have been a bit much, but does anyone take this stuff seriously?

Why so serious?

The Dark Knight was amazing.
Going to see it tonight would be a good alternative to testing your capacity for alcohol consumption.

Bad news for the Rebels.

Down to the wire

pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

No Games on Thursday or Friday. The Ducks next game is Saturday, 12pm at Pie Traynor Field, vs. the Rebels.

It is likely we will play a double header on Sunday, at Avonworth High School. One of the games will be at 2:30pm vs. The Rakers.

The other game of the double header will be against either the Bulldogs, or Black Sox. As of now, it appears the Rakers will finish with at least one more game than the Ducks, even if we play two on Sunday. Not sure how that will effect playoff seeding.

Wild Card Race
Remaining Schedules:

Rakers (11-10 -yesterday’s Rebels’ game yet to be posted) remaining schedule, Hurricanes, Ducks.

Ducks (9-9-2): Rebels, Rakers, (plus one)

Eagles(9-10) Warriors, Oilers, Phantoms, Black Sox


Sorry if I added to the schedule confusion, Ducks. These have been confusing times.

I was warming up Nick during the bottom of the sixth of our 8-4 victory over the Rakers, and I did not report the order of events correctly. Here’s what actually happened:

Bottom 6 score tied 3-3. McCray doubled, Homa sacrificed, but wound up with an infield hit when their pitcher slipped (I think you have to score that a hit, right?) then they intentionally walked A.Smith to load the bases for KT, who singled through the drawn-in left side of the infield. 4-3 Ducks. Then Spagnola singled up the middle, 5-3 Ducks. Moore came to the plate and drove in a run with an RBI ground-out. 6-3 Ducks. Eric Lee came up with runners on second and third and doubled to left, driving in two runs. 8-3 Ducks, after six.

With three games in two days, it is possible Jesse Smith will give us a couple quality innings this weekend, giving him a chance to lead the team in OBP, SLG, AVG., HR, and ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts per innings pitched. That would be Ruthian. He probably won’t meet the minimum requirements to earn the pitcher of the year award, though. {Segue}

Here is my official, only slightly biased, endorsement of Nick Homa(4-3-1) for Pitcher of the Year. Or maybe MVP, he is hitting .368, with solid power numbers in limited action at the plate.

Homa’s pitching stats, IP: 52 , K: 63, ERA: 3.10, 1 save

Suffered one-run losses to the Bulldogs, and Oilers, the tie was a nine inning, 5-5 game against the Owlz.
Has three more strikeouts than Fago. Quack.

Also, I think the league should have a coach of the year award, and it should go to either Don Henley of the Eagles, Grounds Keeper Willie of the Rakers, or TC “Buttermaker”Jones of the Ducks, which ever team makes sneaks into the last playoff spot. (With consideration to Craig McTavish of the Oilers. )

James Fago, Z-men, has 27 RBI. Friend of the Ducks’ outfielder, Jim Spina, Owlz, has stolen 21 bases. Impressive numbers. Brendan Malone, Warriors, is hitting .767-not too shabby (who’s keeping the book over there, Heckman?).

Ducks Leaders:
Batting Avg. Jesse Smith, .500, Ben Gwin, .440, Chris Wojoton, .375
Doubles: Andrew McCray, Ben Gwin (4) [McCray has hit four doubles in half the at bats it has taken Gwin ] Chris Wojton, Mark Guthrie, (3)
Triples: Speed Demon, Mark Guthrie, 1
HR: J.Smith, Chris Wojton, Ryan Novak, (1)
RBI: Gwin 18, J. Smith 11, McCray 9
OPS: J.Smith 1.389 (sick)
SB: Gwin, 8, Garrett Moore, 5, KT. Murphy, Chris Wojton (3).
HBP: J.Smith, 5, Gwin, 4, Guthrie, McCray (3)

Pitching:
Wins: Homa, 4, Guthrie, 3, A.Smith, TC Jones, (1)
Ties: Guthrie, Homa, (1)
IP: Homa, 52 A.Smith 31, Guthrie, 30
K’s: Homa, 63, A.Smith 21
ERA: Guthrie 2.75, Homa, 3.10
Hit Batsmen: Jones, 1

I wonder if Larry would be so kind as to fill us in on the outcome of the Rebels, Rakers game last night. The Rebels are a tough team if they have all their players, we lost to them once this season, when they had eight players, and we did not take the out in the ninth spot in the order. We also did not hit the ball into the outfield enough to take advantage of their two outfielders. Although if I had to play with only two OF, Stell and Tremmel would be as solid a pairing as any not found on the Ducks. E.Lee and Campbell/Wojton/Kolaja, would be deadly, in fact we might want to consider going to a five infielder format and doing this on purpose.

Abner Doubleday: Union General, Creator of Baseball.
Not a fan of Rebels

SCHEDULE UPDATES*******

pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

Ducks, this is your skipper speeking. I just talked to Prez Joe and he informed me we will not be playing on Friday. There is a possibility of playing tomorrow night (Thursday) at 8:30 at John Herb. He will let me know later, so keep an eye on the blog or your inbox. Finally, we most likely will be playing a double header on sunday.

Rakers Pitcher, Mike Jackson lead Cyrilla Landscaping to an 8-4 victory over Don Henley and the Eagles, Tuesday night at John Herb Field.

Profanity Warning:

General Lee surrenders
(thanks to the Duke, and TheJza for the photoshop inspiration)

I’m not sure who we play tomorrow or if I will be able to make it.

Bad news for the Bulldogs


Bad News for the Black Sox

Quack