Gameday 6: Ducks vs Grizzlies

2018 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (2-3)


Bauerstown Grizzlies (1-3)


West Field

South Oakland looks to win its third straight game and get back to .500 after a slow start. Bauerstown looks to get back in the win column after two tough losses. These are two evenly matched teams. It should be a good game.

Here’s an old scorebook page:

Ducks vs Rakers? this is from like 2007. One of TC Jones’s first games as a Duck. My cousin Paul pitched for us. He was really good when he was sober. This must have been a night game.

Must be the Rakers. Note their #7 and 9 hitter. Barchie also pitched for the Ducks for a half season. He recorded 15 Ks in one game. I think that’s still a single game record.

We were just about to get really good. After TC came, he brought a bunch of Pitt Club players and we went from terrible to competitive. We started this year like 0-8 and wound up finishing like10-14 and narrowly missing the playoffs.

Bad News for the Grizzlies


Gameday 3: Ducks vs. Express

2017 South Oakland Ducks

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


Carrick Express (1-3)


Springview Field

Last night’s game vs the Oilers was rained out. There was just enough rain at just the wrong time to render the field unplayable.

Tonight the Ducks look to win their second straight vs. the Express who apparently have new uniforms. Curious to see how they’ve re-branded the team after a tenuous offseason. If I ran that team, I would just get t-shirts with Nolan Ryan’s face on them.

Should be a good one tonight. Carrick has always had solid pitching, but they’ve historically found ways to lose games in spite of this. South Oakland typically has won with offense, but I like our rotation this season. We have two former militia members ready to go tonight on full rest thanks to yesterday’s rain out.

Bad News for the Express.

Offseason Update, Misc. Ducks Happenings

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


Send in your league dues. Let your coach know if you need a new hat or jersey. Do this ASAP. We have nine awesome pairs of stirrups still unaccounted for, and guys who have paid their dues get first dibs.


The South Oakland Ducks welcome longtime reader, Larry Z’s favorite player and Gray Bats all time leader in slugging percentage, average, HRs, RBI and ground rule doubles, Mark Lombardi to the team. He joins former Gray Bats, Ben Sorosky and returning catcher Rob Galvanek on the 2017 Ducks. If Lombardi wants stirrups, he can have them as he has paid his dues for the season. This move will sure up the outfield and make up for the loss of Brendan Chartier in the lineup.

Related, the Spring Hill Scooter will be named the Brendan Chartier Memorial Spring Hill Scooter, as Brendan played for the Oilers and Ducks and has now retired. The one-game stint with the Oilers occurred this summer when a few of us joined BIG OIL for an exhibition against Kenyon College in Ohio. That was a fun time. Thanks to Zach Ciccone for the invite and the Oiler’s organization for putting it together. Chartier retires tied for second all time in Ducks post-season home runs (1). (Gwin, 2, McCray, Ken Cool, Scioscia, Koshzow, 1).

A nod to Pat DiPaola who retired after two solid seasons. We always had a chance to win when he pitched. Doc leaves tied for the all time lead in post-season ejections (1).

Pitcher, Randy Patten has given the Ducks a verbal commitment to return to South Oakland after a few seasons with the Black Sox and Oilers.

Ken Cool’s brother is trying to release him so he can come play for us.

DJ Dover looks to return full time after becoming an air traffic controller and missing the last 3/4 of 2016 with work commitments.

Number 55 is in the best shape of his life.

Still no word on our field permit situation.

That’s about it. Not much turn over from last year’s third place team.

So far we’ve won a title every seven years. Unbelievably this is our fifteenth season coming up, so we are due to win it all again.


A Message From The Commish Regarding Player Eligibility and Protests, Some Notes on Bill Franciscus, and a Brief History of the Ducks Cheating

NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

Gentlemen –

Below is my decision and reflections regarding the appeal of James Pasquine.  I appreciate your patience as I reached this conclusion.  As it is not subject to appeal, I wanted to be as thorough as possible in reaching a decision.
You will find below:
A)     The Ruling
B)     Rational behind the ruling
C)     Evidence considered in the ruling
D)    Comments and consideration from the League President
E)     Future Considerations
A) The ruling
James Pasquine has been deemed eligible for playoffs.  The protest is denied and Jefferson Hills will be permitted to continue in the playoffs.
The decision was reached after careful consideration of the available evidence, and a review of our NABA rules.  Prior to reaching this decision, I consulted with a number of managers, umpires, outside parties, and other League Presidents.
B) Rationale for denying the protest:
1)       Insufficient evidence exists to prove that James Pasquine DID NOT APPEAR in the 5 game minimum as dictated by our local rules.
2)      The filing of the protest itself did not meet the league specifications
C) Evidence & rules in support of denying the protest: (#2 – The filing of the protest)
I will start with the second reason (the protest did not meet specifications), because it is simpler to explain.  Protests involving ineligible players must be filed within 24 hours of game start time. I was out of town without my rulebook present when the protest was filed.  While I recommended to the filing manager not to file it, I did not realize then that it actually was not permissible.  Regardless, I did encourage, and will continue to encourage, managers to file game day protests on players they believe to be ineligible.  This is the only way to uphold player eligibility requirements.
In truth, this did not factor heavily into my ultimate decision because it was only brought to my attention after I collected and reviewed evidence.  However, in the future, a protest of this nature would not be permitted.  As such, and due to my own error, the protest fee will be refunded to the manager.
D) Evidence & rules in support of denying the protest (#1 – appearing in 5 games)
In this case, the burden is on the managers to prove that James Pasquine did not appear in the 5 game minimum.  When this rule was added in 2012, it was done so with my permission, and by a vote of the managers.  However, I expressly stated then, and in every managers meeting since, that the enforcement of this policy would come down to individual managers keeping accurate books during the regular season. 
Within 8 hours of the formal protest, I had collected all of the evidence I required.  However, I wanted to have a few independent parties review the evidence and come to the best decision possible knowing the impact it would have on the league either way.
Jefferson Hills has James Pasquine listed as played in 6 games by their official scorebooks.  Three opposing scorebooks corroborate those records completely.  One scorebook differs in that it does not show the substitutions that the Jefferson Hills scorebook does, including the entry of James Pasquine into the lineup.  The opposing managers in the two other games did not keep a scorebook at their games.
  While I can only certify that James Pasquine played in 3 games, I cannot uphold the contention that he didn’t play in the two others where no book was kept by the opposing manager.  Since the burden of proof is on the opposing managers in this case, James Pasquine must be given credit for having played in at least 5 games as indicated by the available evidence.  The 6th game where the books are clearly disputed by the two managers is therefore irrelevant in reaching this conclusion, because the other 5 games are uncontested.
D) Commentary
While I can’t deny there are many inconsistencies in what I found, I cannot prove that James Pasquine did not play in 5 games without the support of managers and their records.  The worst evidence against James Pasquine in this case was Jefferson Hills’ own record keeping.  However, I cannot determine if that was out of negligence, or outright fraud. 
After having multiple conversations, and reviewing the rule book multiple times, it became quite clear to me that punishing an entire team (the penalty would have forfeited the Jefferson Hills club from the postseason) for the possibility of an infraction was not supported by the evidence, and simply not the right thing to do.  Every League President I consulted with, and shared my evidence with expressed this same opinion that this protest must be denied.
Many mangers have brought to my attention inconsistencies, and outright falsified records on Jefferson Hills’ website.  This did not factor into my ultimate decision other than to lay a framework for discussion with Keith Reynolds about his record keeping.  It is my opinion that while Keith’s online records are riddled with errors, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies; that does not prove intent, nor is it evidence against Mr. Pasquine.  In an unofficial review of other teams records (including my own), I also found records that did not add up, or did not completely match the record of the game.
Eteamz is not the host of our official rosters because it is subject to tampering and errors.  As such stats are required to be posted simply to allow a public window into teams.  Since 2012, I have enforced that teams post stats by our annual playoff meeting to ensure managers an opportunity to review player eligibility.  Teams that did not have at least 9 players with at least 5 games played on the site were ruled ineligible for postseason play because opposing managers had no insight into them. 
However, the league has never deemed an individual player eligible or ineligible using the website due to the inherent tampering/errors that could potentially exist while updating the site.  Player playoff eligibility has been determined by my official rosters (waivers); and since 2012, a minimum of 5 games played.  All questions on the use of illegal players should be resolved by a formal protest, and review of game day records.
It should be noted that while Jefferson Hills, and by extension Keith Reynolds, came into this league due to being forced out of another, that in and of itself was not a factor in this determination.  As I have said every year at our managers meetings, if you have an issue with player eligibility, you need to address it at the field. 
Until managers call out ineligible players at their field, and keep quality records for review, any talk about ineligible players is purely speculative.  As such, people can develop reputations merely on the suggestion of fact, rather than fact itself.  Without a doubt, that was a contributing factor in the case here.
The only reliable records I found in any of this were those of Cranberry, who should be commended.  While their conflicting books did not ultimately factor into this decision, it was clear that the consistency of their records was the best of any of the other teams I reviewed, an opinion that was supported by multiple managers.  
Unfortunately, not every team keeps as detailed and consistent records as Cranberry.  For a rule like this to be enforced as it is written, accurate record keeping must occur.
It has been brought to my attention that denying this protest would cause players and managers to possibly lose faith in the rules of this league, and my upholding of them.  My sincere response to that criticism is that I believe this particular rule is flawed.  The spirit of the rule has good intention and is good for the league. 
However, the proof required to enforce such a rule is very difficult to acquire as seen in this case.  While the timing of the protest is unfortunate, I am grateful that the protest has shed light on the inherent flaws in a rule of this type.  The league will be better in 2015 as a result of the discussion that takes place on this ruling.
E)  Future Considerations
            1) The 5 game minimum rule will be revised or eliminated in 2015.  When the 5 game minimum was introduced in 2012, I am on the record as being in support of the spirit and purpose of the rule, yet clear in the difficulty of actually enforcing it.  The national NABA rule is simply to have the player registered by the deadline, which I have always enforced, as it is a very clear cut thing to prove.  If that rule were the only one in place here, the player would be eligible without any question.
            2)  Player protests of this variety will no longer be considered during playoffs.  The idea that a team may advance in the playoffs due to a forfeit sickens me, and most everyone else I spoke with.  Therefore, a rule will be implemented to permit playoff rosters to be verified in advance of the playoffs starting in 2015. In actuality, this rule was in practice from 2003-2011, but the addition of the 5 game minimum opened the door for protests of this variety in 2012. A players’ eligibility will now be determined in advance.  Protests regarding ineligible players can therefore be handled immediately at the field, as a league-approved roster will be available.  Therefore, no research will need to occur after the playoffs have begun and no delays in the playing of playoff games will result.
            3)  Jefferson Hills will be required to send a representative to all offseason meetings in 2015.  While I have consulted with Jefferson Hills regarding rules, it is quite clear to me that they need to be present when rules are discussed with the league as a whole.  In this manner, issues can be addressed face-to-face by managers, and a dialogue can be initiated.  This will also afford Jefferson Hills the opportunity to help shape rules as they see fit, and eliminate any possible omissions I may make in discussing the rules with Jefferson Hills.
            4) Enforce player eligibility, lineup, and scorebook rules on game day during the regular season.  While no manager enjoys asking a player they don’t know for their ID, and then protesting the game if they are ineligible (not registered) during the regular season, this is the only way to ensure our rules are enforced.  Protests can be dropped at any time, so this becoming a more common practice would be welcomed and supported by the league and its affiliates.
Joseph E. Graff Jr.
League President
Pittsburgh NABA


(Joe why are you putting 2 spaces after a period!?!)

I think Joe did the right thing here. I also think the player in question is probably ineligible. Generally, I agree with how Joe runs the league. He’s fair and honest, and I’d never want to put up with the kind of shit he does.

Maybe it’s because I can remember when our league played 3pm double headers at Cornell, and we operated at a loss for six years that I don’t really have an issue with most of the problems we have today. However, I do think there is room for our league to improve, but I’m just happy to be playing and without Joe putting all this time and effort into the League there wouldn’t be a Ducks.

The Ducks might have just been eliminated by a team with an illegal player, but whatever. That’s not why we lost games 2 and 3. We made more mistakes than West View did, and we didn’t capitalize on some opportunities. I will reiterate that I’m not 100% West View had a guy who only played 4 games on their roster, but I didn’t want to bother with the protest and all the bullshit and maybe be wrong. We play in an adult league that is marketed as one for players of all ages and abilities, and if teams feel the need to bring in guys for the playoffs then that’s pretty weak. I know because I’ve done it, and it feels shitty.

In the TC Jones era, we brought Pitt club guys in all the time. It was fun. No one really cared. They were all Bill Franciscus, and we worked within the roster rules to have them eligible for playoffs. Again, against the spirit, but within the letter of the law.

In 2011, TJ Zarewicz played maybe 4 regular season games for us, then played for us in the playoffs legally. He plays on the WOLFPACK now for some reason. In 2012, after the 5 game minimum was created, DeFillippo was on our roster from the start of the season, played for us and in the Daily News league, and only appeared in 4 games as a Duck and then played in the playoffs where he drove in the winning run in a 2-1 win over the Militia. I lied to the Militia manager’s face when called out on this and I feel shitty when I lie to people. I don’t do it much. Tremmel, I’m sorry for lying and cheating in 2012. I’m even sorrier for playing TJ over guys who had been on the Ducks for 4 years and deserved a chance to play in the playoffs that season.

I think the first instance of Zarewicz in 2011 was a worse thing for me to allow as a manager, than the instance with Flip, even though it was legal and the 2012 instance wasn’t. For the sake of the other guys on the team anyway, it caused a rift. I considered Flip a teammate, and TJ as a guy who came in and played catcher for us. Both good guys and good ballplayers.

A big reason why I wanted to drop down to Single A was to avoid feeling pressure to pull shady roster moves at the expense of guys who had been there all year. We were legit this season.

I’d like to open this up for discussion below. I ask that anyone commenting on this identify themselves.


There are a lot of people I’d like to bean, but none of them play baseball.

2014 South Oakland Ducks, Ducks win


Rob “Iceberg” Galvanek pitched a scoreless 7th inning and went 1-for-3 with 2RBI as the Ducks beat the Warriors 14-2 in Etna last Wednesday.
Brian Strom pitched the first two innings on short rest while our attorney was stuck in traffic.

No word how much Warriors management may or may not have paid Ciccone to get stuck in traffic and arrive in the second inning.

Ciccone played an inning at first base, which means he has played all nine positions for South Oakland this year. Then he pitched four innings of one run baseball to earn the win.

This was a solid team win for the Ducks. South Oakland has won 5 straight and is now in first place with a record of 11-3.

The Warriors (2-8) are having a tough season. Newman had a sweet game for them, and Boley played well behind the plate.



Starting with our game on Sunday, South Oakland plays three games in four days (five in seven), and we still have a make-up game against the Senators to reschedule.

Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 10.54.54 AM

Who wants to pitch?

It looks like there’s going to be a three team race between the Ducks (11-3), North America (11-4), and the WOLFPACK!!! (9-4) for the top 2 seeds and the ever-important first round bye in the playoffs. It should be an exciting pennant race. We have a big double header against North America next weekend, and one game left against the WOLFPACK!!!

It was the former head coach of the Matadors, who is no longer in the league, that tried to bribe teams to throw games. For more on bribery, see the previous post.

South Oakland’s next game is this Sunday, 3:30pm vs. the Titans.







A menu of how to bribe an infallible attorney and the legality of a semi-pro amateur baseball league bribe

2014 South Oakland Ducks, pittsburgh NABA

It was recently brought to my esteemed attention that a certain TEAM!!! in the NABA attempted to bribe a previous Ducks regime into throwing games for a measly $50-$100. Because that TEAM!!! is still in the league, I wanted to set forth guidelines for how to bribe Ducks super-utility and leading home run hitter Anthony Ciccone (#2). The following actions will be undertaken at the stated cost below:

$10 – #2 will steal a base if currently on first or second. No determining whether he will be safe or out, but you can hand over a $10 and call a pitch out.

$20 – #2 will take the first two pitches of an at-bat, no questions asked.

$50 – #2 will get drunk for the game. Probably whisky. Alcohol choice subject to change, paying party responsible for all related expenses.

$100 – #2 will initiate a proceeding in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania to have the TEAM!!!’s manager’s criminal record expunged. After filing, the billable rate will jump to $200 an hour.

$150 – #2 will bat right handed for the remainder of the game.

$200 – #2 will fight down a member of the TEAM!!!’s DUI charge to a simple traffic violation/public nudity.

$500 – #2 will get thrown out of the game by arguing with the umps on an out call on a clear force play.

$1000 – #2 will incorporate the TEAM!!! as an LLC or LLP in Pennsylvania and/or Delaware to shield them from personal liability.

Please note that for a contract to be valid, there must be an offer, acceptance and consideration. While this may constitute an offer, and payment may constitute acceptance, the legal consideration of a contract for semi-pro amateur NABA players to throw games is under current debate with Ducks upper management.

Also, Wandy Rodriguez might be signed by the Ducks this week.

Release the Quacken.



Game Six Recap: Dr. Strangeglove or: How I learned to stop worrying and love Brian Strom.

2014 South Oakland Ducks, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

Ducks starter Brian Strom (w, 2-1) scattered 8 hits, walking 3 and beaning 4 batters over six strong innings of 2-run ball Sunday night in Moore Park, helping South Oakland (4-2) diffuse the Allegheny offense en route to an 8-2 Ducks victory.

Playing without the strong-bearded veteran leadership of the Commish, the Bombers (3-1) looked flustered out of the gate.

This guy took the hill for Allegheny*.


He allowed back to back doubles to Gwin and Culp and the Ducks jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. Culp stole third, Strom drew a walk. Matt Swetz collected his unofficial, team-leading 7th RBI of the season with a single to right.

2014-05-04 20.19.58

 one at a time. sometimes two at a time

Sorosky, formerly of the militia has been waiting for a chance to take out the Bombers for three years. He delivered a single to left to put the Ducks up 3-0.

Garrett Moore drove in a run with a single up the middle. 4-0 Ducks.


This is the best exclaimer image I could find.

With one out and runners on first and second, Alex Riley hit a ground ball to the shortstop who got the force at second. Moore sacrificed his pants with a hard slide and forced an arrant throw. Sorosky tried to score from second on the play, but the ball bounced hard off the wall behind first and came right back to the first baseman who blew up Sorosky at the plate. Classic 6-4-3-2 Double play.

communion pants

Who’s laughing now? Those communion pants were durable.

Strom faced 5 batters in the first and stranded runners on second and third after striking out some guy to end the inning.

The Bombers scored 2 in the second, but Strom pitched out of another jam and the Bombers left the bases loaded.

The Bombers third baseman can hit a little.


Meanwhile, the Bombers pitcher had settled in and was in the process of retiring 9 straight Ducks with the help of a 4-6-3 double play. Judging by the Allegheny reaction, it was the first good play their infield ever made.

Fetter singled to lead off the fifth. He actually defused bombs in the military. After a Casale sac bunt, Gwin singled in pinch runner Shawn Dorsek to make the score 5-2 in the fifth.

In the bottom of the fifth, Strom allowed a triple a walk and struck out the side.  The Bombers could not get a big hit.

In the bottom of the sixth, with Bombers on first and second, Tony Casale made a sick diving play in the hole between third and short to get the force at third. Best play by a shortstop made in the game. Two groundouts later, the Bombers again left two men on base with nothing to show for it.

In the top of the seventh, The Ducks scored three runs on five hits to put it out of reach. Strom, Sorosky and Moore had RBI.

Fetter pitched the bottom of the 7th and struck out the Bomber’s 3rd baseman looking, then induced a double play to end the game.



  • Big early season win for the Ducks, missing a handful of regulars.
  • That ump called strikes a foot off the plate.
  • I love playing at Moore Park.
  • I think there will be 3 more good games between the Ducks and Bombers.
  • For a bunch of kids who have no idea how cruel and grim the world after college will be, the Bombers carry themselves well, and are probably laughing at my dated references on some weird, next-level social media platform that I will never understand.
  • I found an orange and gray hoodie someone left after the game.
  • Stanley Kubrick.
  • Don’t google “suicide bomber images.” It will make you sick.

South Oakland’s next game is Wednsday night 8pm at Springview Field vs. the Senators.


Game Day 2: Ducks vs Lions

2014 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side


North American Lions


Springview Field

South Oakland opens at home tonight against the North American Lions. After a 9-4 win over the Wolfpack, the Ducks look to start a winning streak in what will probably be wet conditions.

Follow Michael Brandt @Duckpond2014 for in-game updates while you watch the Pens.

The Lions finished 14-9 last year. I have no idea what to expect, but I love how they claim a whole continent. It’s North America’s first game so we’ll probably face their ace.

Dr. Jones will get some innings on the mound tonight.


Bad News for the Lions


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.


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.


Gamday 21: Ducks at Elliot

2013 South Oakland Ducks Baseball





Herschel Park

Screen Shot 2013-07-13 at 12.35.06 PM

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