Playoff Gameday 1: Ducks vs Express

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, pittsburgh NABA

(3) South Oakland Ducks of the North Side

vs

(6) Carrick Express

3pm

Moon Park

South Oakland looks to advance to the semifinals with a win over Carrick today in Moon. The winner will play the winner of the Cranberry / Bandidos game at 5pm in game one of the semifinals.

Their game was supposed to be played on Saturday, but was probably rained out. Not sure how that rescheduling effort is gonna work out.

So far the #11 seed Devils have upset the #4 Oilers, the Express eliminated West View with a commanding 11-1 win, and Cranberry knocked out Wexford in a 3-1 thriller. On the other side of the bracket, Bauerstown and D2 were rained out.

This season has been long and full of rain, and weird games. I think we mostly played to our potential this year. A few frustrating losses.

Every off season, I talk with the coaching staff about what we need to do to get better, and how we can take the next step to win a championship while still keeping the core group together and not just cutting off the bottom third of our roster.

For a lot of years, it’s felt like I would make moves and add guys based on what it would’ve taken to win in the previous season, only to see the other teams make bigger moves, and we’ve mostly been one or two guys short.

Our lineup is fine, we have ten guys who hit over .300 this year, 13 with an OBP over .400. Dover is probably the league MVP this year, and any other year it would likely be Lombardi with the numbers he’s put up.

Pitching will be what decides this post season. Will he have the guys there to eat up the innings and throw strikes? Will we make the routine plays on defense, and not run into outs on the base paths?

Carrick is going to have momentum coming into this game and will be playing with a lot of confidence. It would be great to get out to an early lead.

All I can ask for as a player and a manager going into a season is a chance to be in every game, and to have a shot at winning a title. We are right there, we’ve been waiting for the playoffs all season, and we have a great opportunity to advance to the semis. This season has been a lot of fun, we have a great group of guys, and I am not ready for it to end.

Bad News for the Express

 

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Gameday 23: Ducks at Eagles

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, pittsburgh NABA

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side

vs.

South Side Eagles

12pm

Herschel Park

South Oakland looks to win their third straight game today vs. South Side.

This game features the two best hitting teams in the league. This is also a matchup of potential MVP candidates as Dover (24) and Noonan (21) will vie for the RBI title. I know counting stats are somewhat meaningless, but both of those guys are on Hack Wilson-esque paces. Ducks outfielder Mark Lombardi is also in the MVP conversation along with a bunch of other Eagles. I need to start padding our stats more. We also should have league awards.

Here’s a link to a site some guy on Cranberry created. 

It has all the playoff probabilities for each team. I think it’s lagging behind the league site in games played, but it’s pretty great.

This season went fast, like it always does. Let’s play hard and enjoy this one before the playoffs get here and I start chain smoking and pacing in the dugout. Our record against the top four teams isn’t great (2-3-1), and we don’t want to get swept by these guys. A win today would do us some good going into the post-season, even if we are pretty much locked in to the 3 seed.

Bad News for the Eagles

 

Gameday 19: Ducks vs. Eagles

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (11-5-2)

vs

South Side Eagles (12-4-1)

9pm

Springview Field

 

Both teams are rested and ready to go after the holiday weekend. We lost a tough game to the Eagles, 5-4 early in the season, but both teams should be better tonight. I expect another close one. The Bandidos keep winning at the top of the standings, but I feel they are due for a tie in some kind of weather or electrical failure in their last few games.

We can move into second place with a win and keep our hopes for a division title alive. I’ve already written too much about the importance of this game in yesterday’s post. So here’s the Dude:

Bad News for the Eagles

Gameday 17: Ducks vs Bauerstown

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (10-5-1)

vs

Bauerstown Grizzlies (7-7-1)

9pm

Springview Field

A win for the Ducks tonight would pull the team back within a half game of the Eagles (12-4-1) and the Bandidos (13-6). The Grizzlies are trying to stop a three game losing streak and get back over .500.

League-wide, this season has been characterized by a bunch of ties and blackouts. It reminds me of my early twenties, most which I also spent playing for the Ducks. Seven of eleven teams in Double A have a tie, and the new guy at the city can’t keep the lights on. The stretch run this season is going to be interesting.

We’ve already had a tie, a rain-shortened game, a suspended game, and a game in which the lights went out in the bottom of the first inning.

South Oakland’s previous game against Bauerstown was called early due to a thunderstorm with the Ducks leading 8-7 heading into the bottom of the sixth. That game will be made up after the regularly scheduled seven inning game is played, if time permits, and the lights stay on.

The Ducks are coming off a big win against the Express, and should field a more complete lineup than the last meeting between the two teams.

Bad News for the Grizzlies

Gameday 17: Ducks at Express

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (9-5-1)

at

Carrick Express (7-7)

8pm

Volunteer Field

South Oakland of the North Side looks to rebound after a tough loss to Cranberry tonight in Carrick.

We always play like the walking dead against that team at least once a year.

Here’s a quick look at the standings, followed by some expert analysis that someone will undoubtedly take offense to and get me beaned.

Someone once told me good writing contains fractals, the way the narrative breaks apart naturally into threads and those threads move in an arc towards the conclusion.

Will 2 Dirty 2 Birds: Return of the Bandidos have such an arc, continuing to win titles before being forced to move up and break apart and buy new unis every other year? Will the teams with games in hand make them count? Will this blog ever have good writing, aside from Donnie’s guest posts?

Quick info  on the Bandidos motorcycle gang linked below. Interesting for the other team that plays in Bakery Square to be named after these guys.

Big missed opportunity for Eagles Sunday, day game unis

The Eagles stormed out of the gate before hitting a rough 0-4-1 stretch and returned to the pack a little. They have won two straight, I think. They’re still in first and still probably the team to beat. They hit the shit out of the ball.

The Oilers dropped one to Cranberry as well last week, and have likely been struggling to find consistent pitching aside from that lefty. This is all a guess. Perhaps we jumped the gin on their ringers coming in and shutting it down, but I’m sure that have something up their collective sleeve for the stretch run.

Bauerstown is overall pretty solid. We are hopefully going to finish our suspended game before starting our second game against them on Wednesday. That will be a big night for us if we can hold on to the win in the game in which we are up 1 in the bottom of the sixth, and potentially sweep that night. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

West View scuffling along at .500 is probably the biggest surprise of the season. Maybe teams aren’t as intimidated by the atmosphere at John Herb anymore. Who knows. It will be interesting to see if they get a bunch of rain outs rescheduled in time, and how that will effect the standings.

The Cranberry, D2, Wexford, Devils grouping is still good enough to sneak a game here and there form a top team. Should be an exciting stretch run.

The Express are still the Darkhorse to make a deep run this season. With the emotions of this likely being their last year under current management and their future in doubt they have extra motivation. Plus the pitching depth.

But they still have a long way to climb up the standings. Tonight, we can pull within a game of the Eagles, and keep pace the Bakery Square. We always give Carrick a good game. Four of the last five have been decided by one run. We need to hit tonight.

Smoking man seems fitting for this game.

Bad News for the Express

 

Gameday 16: Ducks vs. Cranberry

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (9-4-1)

vs.

Cranberry Crusaders (3-10)

9pm

Springview Field

The South Oakland Ducks of the North Side can move into a tie for first with a win tonight over the Newly Minted Cranberry Crusaders.

Cranberry, at one point a couple years ago, went by the Young Guns. I think I remember this and probably photoshopped some kind of intense Emilio Estevez/Charlie Sheen wild west thing.

Image result for young guns movie images

Like this but with germani photoshopped in there, throwing that 50mph curve ball no one can hit.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/1b/The_Young_Guns_poster.jpg/220px-The_Young_Guns_poster.jpg

Anyway, I’m not surprised that name didn’t stick. There is really only room for one team with a nickname that has connotations to an Emilio Estevez film. Which, come to think of it, D2 is going to have to re-brand. Like the Dirty Bandido Lion Birds or whatever.

Best Emilio Estevev film?

Men at Work.

https://alchetron.com/cdn/Men-at-Work-1990-film-images-308d5ed0-499b-4869-9faf-34703d6606b.jpg

Bad News for the Crusaders

Gameday 14: Ducks at Oilers

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (9-4)

at

Hebrew Oilers™ (6-4)

8:30pm

Moore Park

Game two of the 2nd annual Branden Chartier Memorial Spring Hill Scooter Series will take place at historic Moore Park. This neutral site contest will determine if the Oilers claim the scooter, or if the Ducks retain the trophy and set up a rubber match whenever our rain out from May is rescheduled.

I love playing at Moore Park. Can anyone confirm whether or not it was constructed as park of the New Deal?

Also, Did someone charge the mound in a league game a couple nights ago? My typically inaccurate sources claim there may have been an incident. Feel free to speculate wildly in the comments sections.

A win tonight will go a long way to helping us secure a first round bye. We need to get some separation from the pack. Patten is on the hill for South Oakland in a grudge match against his former team. We are probably going to face some recently DFA’d Pirate.

Bad News for the Oilers

 

 

 

 

Gameday 10: Ducks vs. Bandidos

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (6-3)

vs

Bakery Square Bandidos (5-3)

9PM

Spring View Field

South Oakland looks to regain sole possession of third place with a win tonight vs Bakery Square. The Oilers (6-2) beat the Eagles (8-1) yesterday, setting up a potential log jam at the top of the division.

The Ducks are only two games out of first with two remaining against the Eagles, and two left against BIG OIL, but the rebooted Dirty Birds figure to be in the hunt down the stretch as well.

The Bandidos franchise won the A title in 2014 as the North AAmerican Lions. Then changed names, dropped some players, and won AA title two years ago as the Mon Valley Dirty Birds, then suffered through a dismal regular season in AAA that culminated in a playoff win over Ken Cool’s brother’s team in the playoffs. Then they split with half the team joining Clinton, and the other half starting the Bakery Square team. It would be funny if they won the title this year and had to keep repeating the process.

The Bandidos franchise arc is one that we may see play out again in the current league format that has the AA winners move up into AAA.

In 2014, the Ducks dropped from AA to A. That season the Rebels, Eagles and Devils moved up. They went a combined 19-52 that season, with the Rebels posting the best record at 9-15. South Oakland went 17-6, and that was the most fun I’ve had playing baseball.

The Devils allowed 196 runs that season. The Bulldogs, who finished first in the regular season, allowed 66.

in 2015, we went to three divisions, which allowed the WOLFPACK to skate by without having to play against the AAA teams after winning the A title over the North American Lions after the Beedle Park incident in Jefferson Hills allowed West View to reschedule the semi-final against the Ducks which lead to one of the most frustrating playoff losses in Ducks history. The following season most of AAA dropped down to AA, leaving 5 teams in the top division, and forcing inter-league play, which was pretty shitty.

In 2016 the Dirty Birds moved up and finished 6-18, which brings us back to this season, and the Rebels in AAA, who should stay there so we don’t have to play on that shit field at 6pm on a weekday.

So that’s some stuff that happened in our league over the last few years.

I hope it doesn’t rain tonight.

Bad News for the Dirty Birds

Gameday 7: Ducks at Sorcerers

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, pittsburgh NABA

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (4-2)

at

Wexford Sorcerers (0-0)

12pm

North Allegheny Intermediate High School

South Oakland looks to rebound after a tough loss to the Eagles when they take on Wexford today at noon.

Wexford hasn’t played a game yet, and they’re new to the league this year. Who knows what’s up with this team. I think they’re young. Their coach seems like a decent guy from the league meetings.

If you have the balls to name your team the Sorcerers, you’re either going to go undefeated, or be absolutely terrible. I don’t think there’s much of a middle ground in this regard.

Here’s what comes up when you google sorcerers baseball.

Lots of disney hats and a few girls softball teams. Also a picture of this game:

Who’s still got a Dreamcast? I remember this game for  Sega Genesis. Solid non-EA Sports baseball action. So thank you, Wexford, for allowing me to find this image. Sweet green helmet and batting gloves on that guy, love the two-stripe cleats that don’t violate the Adidas trademark.

Here’s a thirty minute video of this game on youtube:

Bad News for the Sorcerers