Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (Hope Spring’s Eternal)

2009 Ducks Baseball, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball
2009 South Oakland Ducks Preview.

Say what you want about Mr. King, he can tell a story.
He also loves baseball.

(TPB loves referencing this film, I have been ripping-off their style for almost a year.)

***

There has been plenty of pre-season bs about new pitchers, and time spent courting free agents who flaked.
It’s hard to find something else to blog about in the middle of October.

This Duck’s season is not about who we didn’t get;
It’s not about who decided to play for old man Zalewski, who has to spend the summer driving up to Butler to play ball, or who Team Typo courted away from South Oakland.
It’s not about who the Owlz found in the “Who’s Who of Western Pennzylvania College Baseball Players, or the Black Sox improved pitching staff and the return of Matt Slavonic.
It doesn’t matter who Larry thinks he’s going to trot out behind Sorosky during our Saturday 8am game in a few weeks.
It doesn’t matter what The Don Henleys or the confederacy have up their sleeves after pillaging a very deep draft class.

It’s about our team;
who coach Bombay rolls out behind our starting pitcher on opening day.


Would it be gratifying to have added three pitchers who used to pitch in the minors and roll over everyone in the league?
Sure.
But it will be more gratifying to win with the guys we’ve got.
To lament missed opportunities to add players is an insult to the names on our roster.

Bring the Pain.

Our division accounts for five league championships:
Two by the Kenny Powers’, and one apiece by the Owlz, Confederacy, and Ducks respectivly.

This season is all about gearing up for the playoffs, the new format allows everyone to make the post-season. To put ourselves in position to make a run at the title.
The title that the Owlz will not let go of easily, a title the Black Sox think is rightly theirs, and that the rest of the league thinks they have just as much of a shot at as the team with the snarky blog and the gay photoshops.

I have a feeling that the sentiment around the league is that we aren’t as good as we say we are, that we overrate ourselves, that we’re all talk,
that while I’m blogging they’re injecting Winstrol, taking BP, and calling up Jose Canseco.
That’s fine.
We got one line on the league site’s season preview
a blurb about new players or something.
OK.
Maybe we’re not as good as we think.
It’s a possibility.

We can’t start quacking each other off before we take the field.

I do know that to play our team is to play South Oakland;
a part of town that’s dirtier and grittier than the Pitt brochures will ever let on or that most kids have the misfortune of discovering.

The last time I’ll talk about myself all season:

All I ever tried to do when I coached the Ducks was to embody the character of the team.
To lead by example: to refuse to be out-hustled, to initiate contact, to do something to help the team win even when I’m over-matched–especially when I’m over-matched. To be a tough out.

To play hard all the time.

If you can’t play ball that way, go find a hackie sack and a bag of mushrooms.

I write the retired numbers on the brim of my hat.
Those guys wish they could still play on this team.
If they had just one more game to play on the Ducks, how would they approach it?

I’ve never gone into an at-bat thinking I can’t hit the ball hard somewhere, and I’ve never gone into a game expecting to lose.
I’ve never gone into a season without the goal of winning a championship.

Individually, each game this season is winnable.
Some games we may have to be mistake free and get some breaks to win,
but we will not be out-hustled or out-worked.

Some games are won on the strength of big plays, but more games are lost becuase of walks and errors on defense, and by giving away outs on offense. Base running mistakes, bad at-bats, poor fundamentals.

This year’s team fundamentally solid, and has big play potential.

Strong up the middle, power at the corners.

The staff has some depth, (Novak) and they’ll have a defense they can trust.

It’s been great to play alongside some of the top talent in this league during the fall and winter, and I look forward to the Blues tourney in AC. But, for now, it’s all business and all Ducks.
In between the foul lines, when the ump shouts “play ball”, I have no friends who don’t wear green and gold. (power-blue on occasion.)

***

Your 2009 South Oakland Ducks

The Ducks bid a fond farewell to Garrett Moore, who will play in the over 28 league this season.

New players alphabetically:

Tony Casale inf.
Cheese util.
Darren Daulton C.
DB Award Winner, “Mantis”, P
Depo, 1b
Jesse Smith’s friend Matt, util
Mike Watson, inf.

(If I forgot you, you haven’t been at practice, haven’t paid any dues yet, or I’m a joke.)

Out of Retirement

Britton Dickey, inf.

Returning Players

everyone else.

Our backups have backups.
Teams need role players, the playoff format will allow coach Jones to get everyone playing time.
Ultimatly though, we need to find out our best lineup, and get those guys in shape down the stretch for the playoffs.

The competition for PT will make everyone better.

Dave Roberts,

A pinch runner sparked the Red Sox miracle comeback in the ALCS a few years back.

Teams need role players, and we have to trust that Dr. Jones has the team’s best interest in mind.

Easy for me to say, I don’t sit much, but I work hard to get better, to keep up with the influx of talent in the league.

There will not be any cake-walk games this season.
Every team has a chance.

That’s all we can ask for, and it’s all we’re given
a chance to compete this summer.
If we want the championship we have to take it.

“Get busy livin’

(Jesse Smith for MVP, the campaign starts now)
4/20/09


Bad News for the rest of the league

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