Gameday 1: Ducks vs Eagles

2019 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (0-0)

vs

South Side Eagles (0-1)

9pm

Springview Field

South Oakland opens its the season tonight at the Duck Pond vs the winless South Side Eagles. I think there are six teams that have a legit chance to win the title this season, including the Eagles and Ducks. South Oakland will start last year’s workhorse, Randy Patton who earned the victory over the Eagles in the playoffs last year. The Eagles will have their full pitching staff at their disposal after a week off between their opening day loss to BIG OIL. It should be a good game.

It’s the tenth anniversary of the Ducks blog. I’m a novelist and professional writer, and I’ve been giving this content away for a decade. Thank you to the five of you who still read it. I’ll feature some greatest hits from the blog this season.

Historical notes

This will be the Ducks seventeenth season in the Pittsburgh NABA. The Eagles were an early expansion team, starting in 2005 when Whittaker and Jesse Jones starred for them. South Side used to beat us even though they had a lefty shortstop for a while there. South Oakland’s best lefty shortstop was Rob Swanger, who played the position for a few games in the pre-TC Jones era of 2005-06. I wish Rob would’ve been able to stick around for the revival. He wanted to win as much as anyone.

My favorite photoshop of all time. NBD, we just have grey uni’s and are called the Rebels

Above is Ray Finkle and the Rebels winning the ’07 title, lead by Jesse Jones, former Eagle. That Rebels team also had Matt Daulton, the first former minor leaguer in league history, I believe. They were an off-shoot of the Black Sox, one of several Black Sox splinter groups that formed over the years. Ex Sock, Dan Stell, who maybe hates me, played on that team. He left when they folded to join the Militia with Tremel. That Militia team featured a bunch of current Ducks.

Every off season, I look for pitching, and usually I just draft guys. This year we had a bunch of pitchers come our way, and how many of those guys pan out will likely dictate how our season goes. I think they are all high floor high ceiling guys, compared to the one kid who blew his arm out in his first outing in 2015, effectively ending that season and forcing Doc to pitch pretty much every game. That season the Eagles knocked us out of the playoffs. Never turn away pitching.

We also needed to get younger.

So we added a few arms that will hopefully hold up and a couple guys from the Express, another Black Sox off-shoot that folded last season. We will see how it all plays out.

 

Since the end of the first Fago era, I’ve tried to strike a balance between doing as much as I can to make the team better vs. fucking over guys who have been here for years. The best way to strike a balance was to bring back an old friend who played in South Oakland for years, and will make us better. Here’s to the second Fago era in South Oakland.

Bad News for the Eagles

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Long Read: Season Scheduled to Start Week of April 18th and Other News

2015 South Oakland Ducks Baseball, NABA, pittsburgh NABA

Ducks: Uniforms have been ordered. Register on the league site ASAP. Send me money. Make checks payable to Pittsburgh NABA.

I trust you have all been training since August and are ready to dominate.

After a busy offseason, our roster is pretty much set. We will not draft any players this season. We hope to compete for a title, but it will depend on pitching.

The Ducks have acquired several mercenaries who’ve defected from the Militia, added some infield depth via a couple guys we met shooting pool at Uncle Jmmy’s, and won a bidding war with the Oilers for the rights to Ducks 2014 home run leader, Anthony Ciccone, who will return as our Super-Utility player.

saul

one day I will properly photoshop this

For the first time in almost ten years, we will roster an actual South Oakland resident, Grahm Harkins, who may start on opening day and, at worst, will provide bullpen depth.

Garrett Moore is not retiring.

TJ Morgan is returning to South Oakland after a brief stint with the Black Sox.

TJ and TC Jones are both former Ducks managers and will provide veteran leadership. We just need to get Fago back and we will have the whole flock of coaches.

ducks invade

League News and Rumorz

I’m guessing we will go to three divisions this year. If so, we would likely be in the middle division. This means we would get to avenge our season ending loss at the hands of the WOLFPACK!, and we’d also get to renew our rivalry with the Black Sox in the regular season. Another exciting subplot – former Ducks pitchers, Jeremy Barchie and Randy Patton have signed with BIG OIL, in Single A, and we may face one or both of them in the regular season.

The Oilers managed to get a time slot at Mellon Park, but of course it is at 6pm, during the week, and is therefore inconvenient for 80% of the players in the league.

jeremy_scott

The Lions split into two teams. That pitcher who yelled a lot started his own team, I think, and moved up to Double A. Walko is starting another Single A team. Should be an intense game when they play each other. Lots of yelling and fancy stat-keeping devices.

All the teams that moved up to AA last year, got crushed repeatedly, and had a miserable season of baseball, are moving back down to either single A, or to the middle division along with the top teams from single A and maybe the Express. This is why we need a middle division, so we don’t have to keep repeating this process with the top A and bottom AA teams every year.

Speaking of the Express, there were rumors of a Bulldogs-Express merger that never quite materialized.

large_bulldog

The elephant in the room at the league meetings has been the tenuous state of the Bulldogs. I assume they will return with some roster turnover, but their questionable status as late as last month, goes to show how tough it is to keep a team together for over ten years, even when you’re winning games. You do what you have to try to put together a competitive roster and manage all the personalities. It’s challenging.

champz Owlz Clinton Cherokee

Both Jefferson Hills and Clinton are trying to make it seem like all the other teams in the league have just as good of a chance to win a title as anyone. It’s great how those guys are all about competitive balance and fair play. Some pitcher from Pitt jumped ship from the Indians to the Cherokee. Clinton’s coach may or may not have a shrine of old newspaper clippings and yearbook photos of that kid in the secret room in the sub-basement under his garage. Smallpox infested blankets for all.

Rebels Week: Day III

If the Commish would only listen to my idea: Those two teams would play a 23 game series against each other at an all dirt field with no dugouts, in Burgettstown, and then the winner would take on, and probably lose to, the fifth place fed league team in a play-in game for the right to join the Daily News league in 2016. (Hopefully the field for the play-in game isn’t double booked.) I think we need to make this happen.

I swear, I’m proposing radical shift to a two-team division with a playoff format spanning three non-affiliated leagues because I think it’s good for the league and is super fair, not because it is better for just my team and slightly improves our chances of winning.

Back to the Ducks.

I think we are going to rake this year, play more consistent defense thanks to added depth, and if we get pitchers who throw strikes we will win a lot of games. I don’t really know how good a lot of the teams are in our division, but I think we improved. I guess we’ll see. I’ve been told my ability to judge talent has been my downfall as a manager.

quack.

Ducks 11, Black Sox 0

2011 Ducks Baseball, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

Batting in the ninth spot in the order, Rob Cool went 2 for 3 with 2HR and 7RBI, including a walk off grand slam, in one of the most impressive single game offensive performance in the wood bat era for South Oakland.

James Teyssier pitched a 2-hit shutout as the South Oakland Ducks of the North Side played an error-free game and beat the Brookline Black Sox 11-0 at Springview last night.

Baumgartel, Berdine, Fago and Gwin also drove in runs for the Ducks.

This marks the first time South Oakland has won the season series with the Black Sox, the first time the Ducks have ten-runned the Sox, and the first time South Oakland has shutout Brookline in consecutive games, both by Teyssier.

The Ducks wrap up the season series against the Black Sox again, Saturday July 16th at Moore Park.

***

Over the weekend, the Ducks defeated the Devils 3-0 at Pie Traynor.

Brendan Scioscia was 3 for 3 and James Fago drove in the winning run with a 2-run triple.

The Devils have the pitching to play in AA, and probably shouldn’t be playing down.

the Ducks have posted three straight shutouts and have allowed 2 runs in the last five games.

quackquackquack