After a dramatic, ten-inning walk-off, 7-6 win against the Devils, South Oakland lost 11-2 with a shot at the championship on the line. It was a very frustrating way to go out after the team fought hard to win three straight playoff games. South Oakland finished 16-12 (combined regular season and playoff record).
I messed up the pitching vs. the Grizzlies. I should have gone right to Patton and gotten what innings we could out of him, instead of trying to hold him out until the last 3. The game was out of hand by then, so it didn’t do us any good.
A couple errors and some early base running mistakes when the game was still close, let it get away from us. But as the manager, I take the blame for not making what was a pretty obvious decision. I don’t think anyone expected the relief appearance to go quite as bad as it did for the second pitcher in the game for us, but still, we had Randy on two days rest and I should have just put him in then. It might not have mattered, but still. If we hold Bauerstown to 2 or three that inning, instead of five, the whole feel of it changes, and we are at least more engaged. It was really deflating.
That loss certainly takes the shine off what was an amazing game in the quarter final. That was easily one of the best games in Ducks history. Ten-inning walk off win with like four lead changes. I’ll remember the Devils game for the rest of my life. That may sound corny as fuck, but it was great.
The Oiler’s game was the one we needed, the first round game that we lost 2-1. If we take that one, we can maybe sneak through to the winner’s bracket final and at least not have to play a double header, but who knows. We’re dealing with alternate reality shit now. Maybe we lose our next two if we beat the Oilers in game one.
Three wins in the playoffs is our best season in a while. We finished better than 10 other teams.
This was a really hard year for me in a lot of ways outside of baseball, and then when running the Ducks got to be another source of stress instead of a way to blow off steam and play a game I love with my friends, it really fucked me up. I was very close to quitting a few times this season, and maybe that showed in my play or my decision making, but I tried to give us a chance to win every game, while still getting everyone at bats and some time in the field. That is how I will always run this team. I will always put the long term survival of the team first.
The reason I dropped down from AAA in 2013 was because it wasn’t fun anymore. There were a lot of times it wasn’t fun at all this season. But I’ll keep running the team because I don’t know what I’d do between April and August otherwise. This team has been a part of my life for fifteen seasons, and I think we have another run left in us with this core. The window might be closing, but there’s reason for optimism.