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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A Look at the Playoff Bracket and a Holiday Weekend Long-read

2017 South Oakland Ducks

Not a huge difference between finishing 2nd and 3rd. However, the team that wins the regular season has a buy into the semis.

Based on the standings above and a quick look at the schedules, I think only 4 teams control their own destiny at this point. Bandidos, Eagles, Ducks, Oilers. Everyone else needs help, except Cranberry, South Hills and D2 who can’t win the division.

We have five games left in eleven days, plus a floater vs. the Wolfpack that their coach won’t get back to me about rescheduling. Not sure how that one’s gonna work out.

This Wednesday’s game is one of the biggest regular season games in recent memory. Probably not since the Black Sox rivalry days has this much hung in the balance.

If we win it, we can basically punch our ticket to at least the 3rd seed. The Oilers would have to finish 6-2, including a win over us to catch us, plus with a win, we can still catch Bakery Square without help.

If we lose, we need the Eagles and Bandidos to both have what would amount to minor collapses given they current records, and we would face an Oilers team on Friday that would have a chance to pull within a half game and probably that lefty again, and then the Devils on Saturday with a potentially dicey pitching situation on our hands for the third game in four days.

We haven’t won a division ever.

Here is a look at some non-first place finishes:

In 2003, we finished fifth out of six teams and won the title.

in 2004, we finished somewhere around .500 and lost to the Black Sox in the semis

Those years are foggy so I can’t really give a complete account. Though, I think I tallied it at one point.

We were then mediocre in 2005 and Swetz got hit in the sack in the playoffs and ended his pitching career. Earlier that season, Ducks legend Ian Dickman blew out his arm. We didn’t have a shortstop for the next 3 years, really.

We were bad in 2006 and 2007.

Resurgent in 2008 with an 11-9 finish including a playoff clinching win over the Ben Sorosky led Rakers. I went 0-for-3 vs. 55 in that game.

We went 16-8 in 2009, finishing 3rd, 1 game behind Brookline and six games behind Ken Cool’s team that went 20-1 and ended up losing to the TJ Morgan-led Hurricanes.

In 2010, we finished 18-6 and won the championship, but the black sox finished 16-5 and beat us twice and won the regular season.

That year the Ben Sorosky led Militia beat the Fighting’ TJ Morgans in the quarterfinals, before losing to us in the semis. The recap of that Hurricane’s Militia game is the most read blog post in the history of this blog.

We went 19-5 in 2011, with 3 losses to eventual champion Elliot who won our division.

We went 17-6 in 2014 and finished second the the North American Lions > Dirty Birds > Bandidos > Reprise

2015 and 2016 we didn’t finish over .500, but we made a great playoff run last year.

This turned into a history post at some point.

I’m realizing now, I’m already old enough to get nostalgic about my early adult league days (maybe more so than my high school and legion days). I should really be writing something more important than this, but it’s too late. Looking back through fifteen years, brings me back to a lot of the shit I had going on at various points in my life, and how great it has been to have baseball to balance that. Also that it will be great to have a little less bullshit going on at some point, so that baseball can feel less like the cause of some of the bullshit and less like another responsibility. And at times it does feel like that instead of just fun.

I’ve tried many times to find a way to work the Ducks and our league into an essay or a story of some kind for an actual publication, but it’s tough. It always feels like I’m relying too much on the corny Field of Dreams nostalgia, that doesn’t quite get at the pure joy there is to be had, even at 36, from being able to continue to play this game, and how that joy juxtaposed with the struggles in real life can lead to something work reading.

I obviously push and have often exceeded the limits of an acceptable amount of time for a single parent trying to establish a literary career while doing glorified temp work, to put into playing and managing and blogging about adult league baseball. But the more bullshit I have going on with me, the more I need to be able to set aside a few hours to just worry about a game and my teammates and my team, an at-bat.  ]And I think there are guys on our team, and in our league and other’s like it who feel the same way.

I can see it in some of my teammates faces how badly they need to leave shit behind them before they walk down those busted steps into the Duck pond. I just don’t know how to connect that idea to a bigger audience or use it to speak to a bigger truth in a manner that hasn’t already been done.

It is great to write about baseball in this setting, and try to shake off the rust when I haven’t written in a while, and at least form sentences in a low-pressure setting while providing a service for the few of you who read this, whether you hate it or love it. To give back in some way to the league that’s allowed me to play for fifteen years using this medium is great. Even though no one really blogs anymore, I don’t think.

I’m not sure how long I can keep running this team, but if I ever step down it will be with a heavy heart, and a replacement lined up who knows a bunch of pitchers, but will give the current Ducks right of first refusal for roster spots. I also am not going to step down until the Back Sox fold. Which judging by their record, could be at any moment. That’s also a story for another blog post.

Going back I also realized the Eagles have been around since 2004, which is pretty long. I give them a lot of credit for sticking around.

Anyway, right now we sit at 11-5-2, and we are as solid a team as any in Double A. We don’t quit. I don’t think anyone wants to face us with their second or third starter in the playoffs when we have our starting lineup. Except Cranberry.

We haven’t seen the best of the Eagles, but they haven’t seen our best either. On Wednesday, if we give them our best we can win. We can beat anybody. Then it’s back to our day jobs and the shit we left at the top of the busted steps.

quack.

 

Quack Quack. Two Ducks Teams in 2014?

2014 South Oakland Ducks, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball, who names their team the Rebels?

Fuck this winter.

It looks like TJ Morgan is running the AA Ducks, and I’m running the single A Ducks. I’m still trying to find a loophole to allow me to play on both teams, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen.

The split should’ve happened in 2010, but no one on that team was going to step down and play in a lower division. Instead, a bunch of guys quit rather than take reduced roles. And, really, who wants a reduced role in a fucking summer league? No one. I strained some friendships over that mess, and I probably deserve it. Maybe I shouldn’t give as much of a shit four years later, but I’m obsessed with narrative–the story in this mess, and without conflict there’s no story. So I think about it.

This weather is making me sound depressed. Here’s a photoshop to lighten things up. Some of my best work!

2007WorldChamps-Rebels_photo_poop_2 copy

The A Ducks are shaping up pretty well. We have a bunch of guys from the Militia, and a few ghosts of South Oakland past returning. I think it’ll be fun. We will be competitive. If the pitching holds up, we should contend with the other sandbagging teams for a title. I think those are realistic expectations.

Morgan’s Ducks, will be nasty this year, too, if the pitching holds up. The Fightin’ Ducks, is what it looks like since everyone still has Ducks jerseys. Morgan does things the right way, and helped the franchise through a rough patch last season that saw a near folding of the team, and a collapse down the stretch and a ton of games in the middle of nowhere. It sucks to run a team without a pitching staff, and guys who won’t commit.

Teams that left in the offseason: The Militia. Elliot. Maybe one other one. This will be the Ducks 12th season.

If it wasn’t for Elliot, we could conceivably have won two or three titles in the last four years. We’d have won in ’11 maybe ’12. What would have been awesome, is if we played the Cherokee in the finals or semis two years ago. But this is some space time continuum shit. Whatever. Elliot made the league better. Not upset I don’t have to face Barnes again. They beat us 20-3 one game, the year where only divisional games counted towards our record so we punted that one and got slaughtered.

The Militia broke up, the team that was the Orioles, Knights, Gray Bats, and Rebels who left the Black Sox who were the Stampeders.

militia

With Monroeville disbanded, who will defend the league?

Not Captain America.

Guthrie retired. The last holdover from the TC Jones era, Guth beat the Black Sox to win our most recent championship. Guth went 6 1/3 innings on the mound in a 5-3 win in the clinching game then blacked out and split his chin open that night celebrating. Blood and cheap whiskey everywhere. That’s always how it ends.

Goodnight Captain.

Quack.

Game Day 4/5: Ducks at Militia

2012 South Oakland Ducks Baseball, pittsburgh NABA, who names their team the Rebels?

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side

at

Monroeville Militia

Sunday, April 29th

10:00AM & 12:30PM

Woodland Hills High School

(Former Gray Bats mgr. Larry Z.)

The Militia are primarily a combination of two storied PGH NABA Franchises: The Gray Bats, and the Original Rebels – The Rebels formed when the Black Sox split in ’07.

A handful of Militia players also played for the old Knights/Orioles franchise, their Manager, PGH NABA Legend John Tremel played on the Warriors for a season, their best player of all time, Jeremy Barchie, was a Duck for half a season. They also have a Hurricane defector from last season, and a player from the old Phantoms.

Kenny Powers says fuck the Rebels.

  • Aside from the Kenny Power’s Black Sox, and Craig Boley’s Warriors none of those other teams exist anymore – the Gray Bats went out in a flutter after one season.
  • While the Sox and Warriors are two of the Original 3 teams still in existence, they existed in 2003 as the Stampeders and Piranhas – respectively. (The Ducks, Maulers and Arthropods also played in ’03. Yeah, we had a team called the Arthropods in our league, once.)
  • The South Oakland Ducks is the only franchise that’s been around since 2003 with the same name. We just won’t die.
  • We’ve absorbed players from the ’08, and ’09 Championship teams (OwlzZzzz, Hurricanes) and still have a core of hold overs from our Championship team of 2010 (when we beat the Militia to advance to the championship) , and our team that reached the 2011 Finals.
  • The  ’07, ’08 and ’09 Champions have all folded. That’s odd. You’d think winning a title would make a guys want to stay together and build on that success. Additionally the ’06 and ’07 runner ups (Colonials and Matadors) have folded.
  • Gone are the Oilers and Sharks.
  • Guthrie and Fago played on the old Knights at one point, so on Sunday we have multiple grudge matches of former teammates.
  • We should all be proud to wear Green this season (preferably green, but whatever color you have is fine since our uni’s aren’t in yet).
  • Pending weather, the Cherokee, and Black Sox open up today – it’ll be interesting to see how they fare.
  • If I had a choice to have Fago up with the bases loaded, down by 2 runs in the bottom of the seventh every game, I’d take it.
  • Ken Cool and several other Ducks will make their 2012 debut on Sunday
  • No idea how or why this blog post degenerated into this.

Our team is full of players who know how to win.We’re coming together, but we need to go on a run (one game at a time, obviously).

Let’s get two on Sunday and get some momentum going before we get into league play next weekend.

The Michigan Militia and other extremist groups operate under principles formed by the misinterpretation of pieces of our Constitution that have been taken out of context.  They think they know what’s best for our country.

But Captain America knows better, and he’s on our side.

Bad News for the Militia

Gameday [3] Ducks at Hurricanes

2011 Ducks Baseball

Ducks

at

Hurricanes

5:30pm

Pie Traynor Field, North Park

The 2009 and  2010 league champions square off at a neutral site this evening, in the first of three games in five days.

We’re looking to get back into the swing of things here with a victory over a tough opponent.

South Oakland lost the last two meetings to the Hurricanes by a combined 75 runs or something.

Judging by the standings, both teams are limping out of the gate a bit.

Finally some sunshine. Hopefully monsoon season is over.

I’ll miss this one due to graduation.  After tonight, I’ll be a master, so says my degree. This means I’ll be one of the most educated food service workers in the city.

Fago’s running the show tonight.

Guthrie made it out of San Francisco alive.

Bad News for the Hurricanes.

Quack.