OK Not Really but I'll bet it got Vinnie's attention...
Two glorious days of baseball were played in the farthest west stretches of our fair state last weekend as the Rochester Silver Ball Tournament contested 12 teams against each other for the opportunity to win the coveted trophy. Alas- your boys in red and white could only muster 1 win in 4 chances. The recap:
Gothams arrive at the hotel less than 2 hours before game time and barely make it to the field in time to start. On a staging area filled with ruts and rocks and a hilly outfield, Gotham was out-hit and out-played. Nothing of note in this game other than trying to play for the first time by the strange rules used in the hinterlands. Jitters Kid, Game Face, Rugs and Spike each mustered 2 hits and all of them save rugs scored once. Final score 11-4 Live Oak
Played at Silver Bal field- this was one of the highlights of the weekend. A perfectly groomed field harkening back to the late 19th century replete with white washed fence and wooden scoreboard. he home plate area could have used some softening and evening out- but otherwise an absolutely beautiful setting. Unfortunately Gotham still struggled at the plate and while holding the opponents down as well, could not get the bats hot at the right time. Kid Corby stands out again with two doubles in a 3 for 5 day and scoring both Gotham aces. Buster was 4 for 4. Some very good defense in this game as well. Final Score: 5-2 Knickerbockers
This is where things get interesting. After a full day of bal ad comparing notes with other teams and captains it was generally agreed upon that the rules there were poorly designed and even more poorly enforced. It seems most umpires were not consistent with each other or even themselves from game to game. This caused a problem when, after numerous wrong or missed calls The Gotham Captain Lost it! I mean LOST IT! Having been issued a warning early in the game (due to strenuous conversation and the accusation of home town calls regarding the tendency of the opposing Webster Spiders to lift a foot and stride into the ball and not being called back for it- and having our first hitter immediately called for the same action - and a couple of poor calls on plays at first and third- including allowing an opponent to dive back into first after an overrun- saying he was new to the rules) Wilkes Booth channeled the spirit of that great Gotham: John McGraw and re ad the umpire the riot act in the 7th. (It happened on a play where he made the right call- but my frustration was such that at that point I didn't care any more.) Actually- I removed myself from the game before the umpire got the satisfaction of doing it himself. I don't really remember much about the game to give details I was seeing red pretty much from the get go. Gothams give up 6 in the 5th and lose 9-3. (more on this in a moment)
Gotham finally gets the hang of hitting and fielding from stand still positions. Rube, Homer, Trolley and Rugs each record three hits (Rugs with two two-baggers). Booth, Jitters and Buster each record two knocks (Buster doubled as well). In the field Rugs pulled of three miracle plays- throwing out two runners at first and one at second all from right field! Jitter made a tumbling catch in left field going away. Good defense from Booth, Buster and Rube as well Gothams score 7 in the 2nd 3rd and 4th and Chicago the Excelsiors in 6 of 8 at bats. Finals score: 7-2 Gothams
Combined stats for the weekend:
Buster- 9 for 16 (8 1b, 1 2b), 2aces;
Game face- 4 for 13 (4 1b) 1 ace;
Kid- 8 for 16(6 1b, 2 2b) 3 aces;
Jitters-5 for 14 (4 1b, 1 3b) 2 aces;
Spike- 6 for 12 (5 1b, 1 2b) 4 aces;
Booth- 7 for 14( 6 1b, 1 2b) 2 aces;
Rube- 5 for 17 (5 1b) 1 ace;
Trolley- 6 for 11 (6 1b) 1 ace;
Homer- 5 for 11 (5 1b) 2 aces;
Rugs 7 for 14 (5 1b, 2 2b)
All in all - not bad. only one bad game- due to new rules adjustment and one bad inning in another- due to poor umpiring.
OK- Now- Drew's embarrassment: For those of you not present on the trip or at the team meeting on Saturday night in Rubes room: I apologized for embarrassing the team. I did a lot of thinking about this and here's what I came up with: My outbursts seem to stem from two frustrations 1) I really want everything to be "right". Good umpiring- people knowing the rules (players and umpires alike), etc. and I get very frustrated when that doesn't happen. I know how hard it is to umpire having been on that end of many games over the last 12 years. It isn't easy and i should (and will) give more slack for judgment calls- bu there is no excuse for not knowing the rules as an umpire and I can not abide by it! I will however keep my feelings mostly to myself and pull umpires aside quietly and let them know what is up. Maybe an umpire clinic should be in the works for next year if we can't find someone to do it full time.
2) a good deal of my frustration I bring to the field before i get there and a lot of that is based on communication. I send out e-mal requests and information ALWAYS at least a week before the games occur and often I don't get replies until a day or two before the game- and then people are asking when and where the game is, etc. So you are all aware again- all the info for when and where the games are is on our website. And you were all (except the newest guys) given a schedule before the season started. At the moment this team's administrative duties are on my shoulders completely. Some of that is my fault for not giving any of it away - but then again no one else has volunteered- then again I haven't asked for help... Until now...HELP!!!
I have given away the Captain Duties for Elizabeth to Spike and and the Roxbury games I've given to Darius. I will captain the final games against the Mutuals- mostly because I'm the only one at the moment with a relationship with them and I think it's better if I handle it. There are some changes in the works for administrative duties and you'll be informed when they happen.
I appreciate all of your hard work on the field and all of your enthusiasm for the game and history. There isn't one of you I'm not proud to call a friend and fellow Gotham.