Everyone Cheats – South Oakland Ducks 2018 Preview

2018 South Oakland Ducks

If you haven’t paid, you need to pay me. Everyone needs to register on the league site before Tuesday. Same deal as every season. For fuck’s sake, register and pay your league dues. Guys who haven’t paid will sit.

No metal spikes on the new field. Get turf shoes, molded cleats or sneakers.

The first week of the schedule is up. We open with back-to-back games.  4/17 at BIG OIL; 4/18 vs WOLFPACK!!!

Tuesday at Mellon Park, 6:45pm. Former Oiler Randy will start in the grudge match, provided we aren’t snowed out.

Wednesday, West Field, 9pm. Starter TBD.

Roster Notes:

We have added a couple guys who can hopefully pitch, and first baseman Eric Tuomisto is back in town.

We lost utility player and closer, John Moore, and there are a couple guys who are up in the air right now. We have essentially the same lineup as last season.

This season marks our fifteenth in existence. With the Black Sox folding, the Warriors are the only other original five franchise still in the league (they were the piranhas in their first season, and we beat them for the our first championship). I started the Ducks when I was 22 and could still run and my back wasn’t all fucked up. Someone please take over for me. I’m old.

The Black Sox were our greatest rival when both teams were winning games, and this league was arguably at its peak. Certainly the blog was at least readable back then. So much has changed. Baseball lends itself to nostalgia. It’s fucking weird to be nostalgic about the early years of an adult league, but probably healthier than being nostalgic about high school or college ball. I’m incredibly grateful and very fortunate to still be able to play baseball and enjoy it. I don’t take our team and the league for granted.

Having said that, I will probably tear my ACL on the turf during warmups before our first home game.

I think Craig Boley and I are the last two players who have been in the league all 15 years of its existence. Boley kept the league running in the sketchy early days, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude for his efforts. I’m trying to get Boley to come play for us this season. I’ll poach the shit out of your players, Newman! Contract talks with Boley are ongoing.

We have a new home field. West Field in Munhall, former home of the Homestead Grays. It was recently renovated, and is now all turf. Pittsburgh NABA’s North American Lions used to play there back in 2014.

Over the years, I’ve put hundreds of hours into getting Spring Hill playable and I’ll never have that time back. Now, with the turf field, we should have fewer rainouts, and I will never have to rake it. It should help our infield play, and reduce the risk of dangerous bad hops. The dugouts are actually big enough to fit our whole team.

We will play two home games at the Duck Pond this season. Spring Hill is never in good shape, but I loved playing there. I might feel differently if I was an infielder. I’ll miss driving up that hill past all the meth addicts out on their stoops. The flying scooters, and how pissed off some teams were that they had to play in Spring Hill.

Ducks, another reminder: Pay me. Register. See you Tuesday.

Let’s win it this year. If our new pitchers work out, we have a great shot at it.

Quack.

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Gameday 6: Ducks vs. Eagles

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

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

vs

South Side Eagles (3-0)

9pm

Spring View Field

The Ducks look to win their fifth straight tonight when they play the undefeated South Side Eagles.

These games are always close. We beat them by 2 in the playoffs last year, like 13-11 or something. I assume tonight’s game will be lower scoring, but also close.

I still remember when the Eagles had a left shortstop who also pitched and had this huge looping curve ball that was pretty good. That was in like 2007. The Eagles franchise has been around for a while. Ducks pitcher Adam Smith defected one year to play for the Eagles in 2008, which intensified the rivalry between the clubs and between him and one time Ducks manager and pitcher, TC Jones.

I don’t know. Since the early days, the eagles haven’t really had much of an identity other than the team that can hit. Ducks and Eagles were in different divisions for a while after the A – AA split, and then again, I think, after the second reshuffling when the Ducks dropped down, the Eagles moved up which has made it hard to develop much of a rivalry.

That guy with the mouth piece sure fucking talks a lot though. However their coach makes sweet bats. Cancels out I guess.

We have a chance to put some distance between us and the middle of the pack and put some pressure on the Oilers and the WOLFPACK! and the Bandidos who are surprisingly 1-3, but I think are going to be good.

55 is on the hill tonight.

Bad news for the Eagles

 

 

Gameday 9: Ducks as Black Sox

2015 South Oakland Ducks Baseball

kennyP

Tonight we write another chapter in the history of a storied Pittsburgh NABA rivalry. There are a lot of guys on our team that haven’t played Brookline, or haven’t played them as Ducks. But I think they’ll learn quick. In 2007, I think, The Sox split and the Rebels were formed. From the Rebels came the Gray Bats and then the Militia. This current group of Ducks has several former Militia players. Last year when we moved down to Single A, several Ducks went to the Black Sox. Former Ducks manager and current outfielder TJ Morgan played on the Sox last year, current Sock, James Fago won a title as a Duck and managed the team for a couple seasons. Skovron was a Duck for two seasons. In 2010, Mark Guthrie shut down the Sox in game three of the finals to capture the Ducks 2nd championship.

razorr_ramon

Arguably the two most successful franchises in league history, the Ducks and Black Sox have been playing each other for nine years. This is likely the last season for the Sox, before they disperse and Rob Cool starts stalking Fago and that lefty they have.

There’s something about playing in Moore Park, with the terrible lights, the cigarette smoke and spilled beer in the the concrete bleachers, trying not to break your ankle in that gully on the first base line that brings out the best in the Ducks.

KellyLeak_cig

Bad News for the Black Sox

around the league

2014 South Oakland Ducks, NABA, pittsburgh NABA

18AA

The single A teams that moved up are getting massacred. The Pirates are surprisingly bad so far, and the Express off to a solid start. Other than that, it’s about as expected. West End apparently won’t play in April. Good luck with the pitching down the stretch when you have 4 games a week.

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Standings as of May 23rd. Look at some of those run differentials. Jesus.

Ashely Shaffer Kia of Northern West Virginia (6-0) is undefeated, and has only played one close game, a 3-2 win over the Black Sox (5-2).

The Cherokee are once again dominating the regular season. I predict a 22-2 record before their annual playoff letdown. At least a bunch of those guys still have a 2010 title to their credit.

cherokee2

Such an odd mix of fonts between the hat, jersey, and lettering on the picture. 

The Bulldogs Blog was off to a decent start, but has been quiet lately. They’ve had Christmas pictures up for the last 3 weeks. I can’t figure out how to link their site in our blogroll, or even where our blogroll is or how to make it visible. Sorry, guys.

18A

Standings as of May 23rd.

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The Warriors are off to a slow start but I expect them to pick it up.

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They were missing some guys when we played them earlier this week. They also have Starting Lineup figures made for their team.

BaseballFuryRedClean-Front

The Senators managed to beat the Bombers 3-2 last week.

The Lions and Monsters, I assume, lack pitching depth given some of the scores of double headers they’ve played in.

The Lions have a sweet website. Lots of photoshop material. Here’s a link to the play by play of the last Ducks vs Lions game.

The Titans score about 5 runs a game and allow just under 7. When we play them, it may look like a football score. They took 3 of 4 from the monsters, but have lost to the senators and warriors. Kerry Collins is my favorite Titan.

Before they were the WOLFPACK!!!

pittsburgh naba

they were the Matadors

 

matadors naba

and the sharks

West Side Story -  The Sharks pittsburgh naba

That one side-arm pitcher was on our team for half a season. Effectively wild.

The Matadors were part of a ridiculous scandal involving an attempt to bribe the Owlz into forfeiting a game so the Bulldogs would miss the playoffs. Matador management was certain the Commish was out to get them, but I don’t think that guy runs the team anymore.

There was some bullshit involving the Sharks one year and some other team, but I forget what it was exactly. Maybe the Hurricanes were involved.

We play them Wednesday at our place. We need to get some Ducks fans in the seats that night. Tell people we have the bathroom key now. That may help.

Green-Duck

Your South Oakland Ducks (7-2) are in first place. The team has come together pretty well. Nothing helps chemistry like winning. If our pitchers keep throwing strikes, we should remain competitive. We will see how we handle a stretch in July when we have like 8 games in two weeks.

Iceberg will give us some innings at some point.

Iceburgh_

I’m still waiting for Culp, Swetz and Faust to be added to the league site so I can get their stats in. So far our stats are pretty good.

Strom has hit six batters in 21 innings pitched.

Also:

This site outlines how to build your own bobble head doll.

I think we should get stirrups.

It was great when people used to leave comments after these posts.

quack

 

Gamday 21: Ducks at Elliot

2013 South Oakland Ducks Baseball

Ducks

at

Elliot

6pm

Herschel Park

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Pittsburgh Standings as of  Sunday afternoon

We play 3 games in two days starting tonight against 2-time defending champion Elliot in Elliot.

We will have a forfeit win for one of our west end games, and play the other tomorrow night in a game that could be huge.

The Pirates have clinched a spot.

Carrick is technically still alive, but barely. (note: Carrick comes up as carsick in spell check)

Cranberry is falling fast.

The Militia went on a nice run as of late, but lost a tough one this morning.

The Black Sox play Carrick tonight, and still have to reschedule a game against the Bulldogs, before they play us tomorrow.

If we win-out we’re in.

Despite our respective records, we played Elliot close early this season, losing 9-7 and leaving a ton of guys on base.

Patten’s on the hill tonight.

Bad News for Elliot

Gameday 20: Ducks at Pour House

2013 South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks (7-12)

at

Pour House Pirates (7-10)

9:30AM

Hershel Park

The last time we played the Pirates we were pulling guys off the street to play, and we still put up 10 runs before an epic collapse in the top of the seventh in which Pour House scored nine unanswered and went on to beat us 14-10.

It would be nice if West End got nine together on Friday to at least force Pour House to use up some pitching. They play three games in four days and are one game ahead of us in the standings. This weekend is huge for playoff implications as we get down to the wire. We have almost all our starters available Saturday morning, so we don’t have any excuses if we can’t hold them under 14 runs.

Jesse Ferko is playing third.

Bad News for the Pirates

Ducks Sweep Bulldogs: 7-5, 10-1

2013 South Oakland Ducks Baseball, Ducks WIn, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

Ducks Pitcher, Mark Guthrie, earned his first victory of the season Saturday going five and a third strong innings, before giving way to James Fago to recorded the 1 and 2/3 inning save.

Matt Johnston had 4 hits to lead the resurgent Ducks’ offense. Stahl and Skovron both hit doubles and had multi-hit games, and there were a lot of singles and walks. Goering drove in a run. 8 Ducks starters recorded hits, and everyone in the lineup reached safely at least once. I wish I could offer more specifics, but i don’t have the book and I was half asleep during the game. We got out to an early lead and held on. The Bulldogs had the winning run at the plate in the bottom of the 7th.

James Fago pitched a complete game for the victory in game 2. South Oakland scored 2 in the top of the first. The Bulldogs answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning. The score remained 2-1 until the top of the fifth or sixth, when South Oakland scored six runs. Skovron and Fago walked, Gwin singled to load the bases and Matt Limbach doubled to make the score 4-1. Then Guthrie, Fetter and Goering singled in succession. Garret Moore drove in a run with an rbi ground out. Fago doubled in the top of the seventh and scored on an rbi ground out by Limbach.

The Bulldogs were 10-2 coming into the double header. With the victories, South Oakland raised it’s record to 6-11, and is a half game behind  Monroeville (5-9) and Carrick (6-10) who sit in 8th and 7th place respectively.

After a 1-9 start, the Ducks have won 5 of  7.

quack, quack.

Standings, Playoff Push, etc

2013 South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland has a tough 3-game stretch coming up in which we play the artists formerly known as Day Toyota, and then a double header against the Bulldogs at John Herb the following weekend.

Standings as of 6/3:

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Upcoming games:

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(click to enlarge or just go to the league site.)

There is some serious separation going on here between the haves and have-nots.

It’s going to be a shit show at the bottom of the bracket. Conceivably we could see the militia, Carrick and pour house drop a few games coming up.

right now, Elliot, Clinton, the Bulldogs and Ashley Shaffer are battling for position in the top four and then it’s everyone else.

Elliot is good.

Cranberry sucks.

that’s my expert analysis.

Unfortunately our team is constructed as such that we can lose 15-1 to teams that suck because we lack pitching depth and infield depth, and sometimes our players don’t show up.

The winable  games we dropped to Carrick, Pour House and Cranberry and the forfeit to the Militia really hurt right now, but at least we’re finally putting up runs and winning games.

We have to steal a couple against teams that are above us in the standings, which is almost everyone.

We might be able to jump in the standings before we play this sunday.

We need all hands on deck Sunday. Jefferson Davis Hills is good. If we have to throw out a patchwork lineup with random single A players we will get embarrassed.

We can give them a game if everyone shows up.

This is most likely the last season of the Ducks as a Double A team, we at least need to make the playoffs and give it one final run.

quack.

Ducks Win

2013 South Oakland Ducks Baseball, Ducks WIn, pittsburgh NABA

South Oakland jumped out to an 8-0 lead after three innings, and held off a late Brookline rally to win 9-5.

James Fago pitched a complete game for the much-needed victory, and added an RBI single.

Ducks right fielder Zach Skowvron literally knocked out the Sox starting pitcher with a line drive to the groin area that went for a bases loaded, rbi single in the third.

I hope that guy isn’t pissing blood. it looked like it really hurt.

The Ducks did a good job of stranding Black Sox runners, and getting timely hits.

For the Ducks, Baumgartel hit a triple, Anthony Ciccone was 2-for-3 with two doubles, Stahl 2-for-4 with a double, Gwin was 2-for-4 with a double and 3 rbi, Skowvron was 2-for-3 with a walk. 8 South Oakland starters recorded a hit, and all nine reached base safely at least once.

The above might not be 100% accurate, I don’t have the book, but we hit well.

For the Sox, Kenny Powers and Goldie hit triples.

Florian hustled.

A win against the Black Sox, in Brookline, is always big.

South Oakland has scored 26 runs in its last 3 games and looks to keep the momentum going throughout the weekend.

South Oakland next plays a double header at Cranberry, Saturday, 1pm.

Quack.