HEAT

3 Jul

7/2/2012

Had two games Saturday.  The games were with the Thunder Dogs at Manhattanville College in Westchester.  Nice little field.  Games started at 10.  My fears about taking a week off were right.  I did not feel comfortable in the first game.

We went up early, 2-0.  I walked on 4 pitches in my first at-bat.  Grounded out to third base on a fastball up and in in my second at-bat, and popped-out to second base on my first infield pop-out of the season in my second at-bat, my first O-for (ended the game 0-for-2).   We were winning by a run going into the bottom of the 7th (playing 7 inning games), but they won.  I believe the sequence of events went something like this….

• Lead off hitter – ground ball to short, throwing error, batter/base runner winds up on second base.

• Second hitter is hit by a pitch with 2 strikes.  Runners on 1st and 2nd, no outs.

• Next hitter advances base runners with a bunt.  Runners on 2nd and 3rd, 1 out.

• We intentionally walk-their best hitter to load the bases and set-up a double play.

• Their guy hits a ground ball to short.  Short feeds to 2nd baseman for the first out.  Base runner slides in hard taking our second baseman out.  Our second baseman proceeds to lay on the ground face down while both the runners from 3rd base and 2nd base score.

• Game over.  We lose.

And that folks, is how to blow a lead in the last inning.

I started feeling better in the second half of the first game and made a good play at third in the 6th inning and even felt okay at the plate despite not hitting much.

I took ground balls between games while we waited for the umpires to show up.  It was hot.  By the time we had arrived that morning at 9am, it was 80 something degrees.  By around 1pm, it was around 100 on the field, and we were starting to microwave out there.  I am usually pretty good with the heat.  In Israel in ‘07 we played 40 games in two months in June and July and game times were 3, 5, or 7pm, and it would be well over 100 every day.  But I’m not acclimatized  yet, and two hours into game 2, after a few walks, a few visits to the mound, a few pitching changes, a few errors, and a few bizarre “time-out” calls by the home-plate ump who was clearly a degenerate neo-philistine criminal with the bad habit of calling “time” for no reason right when the pitcher was about to deliver, we were only in the third inning and my mind was slipping – I was losing track of the number of outs and the count.  I was cooked.

We finally got a pitcher in the game who could throw strikes, and we won game 2 by a few runs.  I finished the second game 2-for-4, 2 singles, and finished the day 2-for-6 total with 3 rbi’s.  I am intentionally not keeping track of my exact stats.  I’m gauging my progress on a looser and more accurate scale – how I feel, and if I am having good-at bats, and am driving the ball, and am solid on defense.  If I had to guess, I am right around .333 so far with good rbi , slugging, total bases, and run scored totals which are all good things.  Gotta keep getting better though.  I think the guys we’ll see in Florida in September will be better than the pitching I am seeing now so I need to take any success I am having now with a grain of salt and be ready to crank it up to the next level when I arrive.  Nothing can replicate what the other guys on the team have, and what I am some how trying to recreate for myself with a combination of training and playing, that is… playing every day against really good competition and striving to get to the next level.  Most of the guys reporting in September will be coming straight from their minor league season at AA or AAA.  I, on the other hand, am playing for the A’s and T-Dogs, lifting at Richie’s, taking ground balls and hitting with a group of high-schoolers a couple days a week.

I don’t know who Spain, South Africa, and France are bringing to this tournament.  They do not have access to pro players “eligible” for citizenship the way we do, but they probably have a few good domestic players, and will pluck whoever they can out of the minor leagues, college ball, and various international and independent pro leagues.  International tournaments are always interesting because you really don’t know what the other teams have until you get out on the field and play.  I am sure our staff will get reports on any recognizable names on the other teams’ rosters, but for all we know there’s an 18 year-old 6’ 10’ left handed pitcher throwing a 90 mile per hour slider in a bullpen in France right now.

Talked to Youk after the games Saturday.  He was microwaved too.  Said he was 0-for-3, lined out hard to short-stop, and had a good game defensively.  I hesitate to tell him about my games because it just seems irrelevant.  It would be like a pebble telling a mountain what it’s like to be a rock.  Anyways, we never met up for dinner which sucks because I wanted to talk to him about getting traded and about the Israel Team and it would have been good for the blog!  But what ya gonna do?  They had a Sunday day game and had to be back at the park early and then probably flew at right after the game.

Almost forgot, lot’s of new gold jewels…

new jewels.

3 Responses to “HEAT”

  1. Dr. PainTrain July 17, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Fish, good luck in the WBC. Play hard and keep focused. Love the blog.

    Cheers,
    Josh Doane aka Dr. PainTrain

    • Dr. PainTrain July 25, 2012 at 11:36 am #

      P.S. Who is your gold dealer? Please message me contact info, as I too value a solid piece of gold.

      • kingofjewishbaseball August 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

        Doane, u r an animal. I only rock the finest fake gold jewelry from NYC’s high brow street vendors and vagrants… Great to hear from u. IBL forever! -Fish

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