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Game 11: Mercy Me
HardBallers play a game that was best left forgotten
June 28, 2007

Score Box
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7   R H BB
3 4 0 5 0 5 2   19 X 1
The HardBallers
4 0 3* 0 3 0 2   12 18 1

The coaches of both teams get ready for the next play after John hits a double. (Wolan)

After splitting last week’s double header, the HardBallers will try to hit the 0.500 mark once again as they square off against the 3-4 Guzzlers. Like two of the HardBallers’ past opponents, the Guzzlers find themselves short on the number of female players at game time. And just like these past opponents, the Guzzlers would have to vacant a fielder for every female player they lacked while accepting a “ghost” out for every female batter they lacked in their lineup. Not only that, if the Guzzlers are unable to round-up three players by the third inning, the HardBallers would be awarded a two run bonus.

However, the HardBallers would have to play the game without their team skipper, as Corbett would be out of town on holiday in Vegas. Taking her spot would be John, the team’s unofficial assistant manager. This would be John’s first time at the helm.

And if that wasn’t enough pre-game drama, believe or not the sun would play as a factor in this match-up. With a 6pm start time and an outfield that overlooks the western horizon, today’s batters will have to contend with the setting of the evening sun while at the plate. This scenario should sound familiar to anyone that has visited historic Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, MA and experienced a “sunset delay”. But with no sunset delays in the BWCS leagues, the solar factor alone could be enough to tip the odds to either team.

Game Summary

You would think that an opponent who had to deal with ghost outs, a fielder mismatch, and a 2 run penalty would be no match for the HardBallers? Well, they weren’t.

Taking the mound was A-WOL, who has not started a game since Game 4, which was over a month ago. The Guzzlers took an early 3-0 lead in the first until their rally was cut-short by ghost outs. The HardBallers would respond with 4 runs of their own. Jason capped the inning with a bases-loaded clear 3-RBI triple. The rally might have netted more runs had the HardBallers noticed that the Guzzlers illegally had 10 fielders on the field instead of 8.

While John would not let another oversight slip through the game, it was sadly not the last oversight created by the Guzzlers’ bench. Instead of pre-declaring the “ghost” batters in the line-up, the Guzzlers inserted them when it suited them the best, such as after they had scored a few funs.

In the second inning, John and A-WOL both protested to the umpire in the second inning and demanded that this misunderstanding be clarified. However, the umpire was unhelpful and even tried to pass blame on the HardBallers for not having a copy of the Guzzler’s line-up. In this sportswriter’s opinion, his argument is moot because the Guzzlers’ didn’t even know when their “ghost batters” were in the line-up. After all, they weren’t even declared!

After the dispute, the Guzzlers would slapped together 3 more runs to regain the lead, 7-3. The HardBallers, on the other hand, could not string anything together and ending the second with only a base hit by Adam.

Jonathan cautiously crosses home plate as the Guzzlers' pitcher fields a bad throw. (Wolan)
It had become clear early on that the Guzzlers’ hitters had adapted to the sun while the HardBallers had not. Many batters on the HBs’ bench mentioned difficulty locating the ball at the plate, noting that the ball would get lost in the sun right before it came to the plate. “The only way I was able to hit the ball was to guess at where the ball would be, swing as hard as I could and then run for it” commented A-WOL. For what it’s worth, passing clouds would randomly block out the sun for several minutes at a time, giving which ever team was at bat an advantage.

For the remainder of the game, the HBs’ offense struggled, only scoring six total runs over the last 5 innings of play. Pierre had an ITP homerun foiled in the sixth after he was tagged out at the plate trying to avoid the fielder. “He was blocking the plate. I had to try and run around him just so I could tag the base.” John would get the ITP HR back in the seventh as he caught the Guzzler’s infield off-guard and converted a bloop hit past first base into an ITP HR.

As for the HBs defense, Kenny summed it up best by saying “We need some serious practice on d[efense].” Cut-off men missed on throws from the outfield, numerous plays that could have been made not attempted, a botched pickle at home, etc. These are just some of the fielding problems that HBs experienced during the match-up.

“We just weren’t playing our best” commented A-WOL after the game. “For example, on our first attempt at a play at home, I wasn’t covering the plate. The second time, I was there but the cut-off guy held onto the ball and failed to make an attempt at a play. The third time, we had the runner in a pickle, but I tossed the ball to someone further down the baseline than I should have. Finally, on the fourth attempt, we made the play, but that was after giving them 3 free outs. You can’t win close ball games allowing that many free outs.”

In all, what should have been a game in the HardBallers’ favor swung around 180 degrees in the other direction, as the Guzzlers cruised to an easy 19-12 win. The HBs’ bench agreed that this was one game best forgotten.

Verbal Smackdown

During the seventh inning, a fielder from the Guzzlers was overheard making fun of the league photographer after he commented to John on how be managed to snap some photos of his ITP HR. to snap some photos of John’s ITP. His comments were an undertone rehash of what was said.

In addition, after the game had ended and the HBs were forming a line for the post-game handshake, the coach of the Guzzlers commented “what, they want some kissy-kissy?”

Why these unprovoked responses? Who knows. If M.J. Corbett was here, I’m sure he would have some funny theories and give all of us a laugh. If you ask this sports writer, the Guzzler’s coach should spend more time obeying the rules of the game instead of playing dumb to avoid those rules that don’t favor her team.

If it means anything, not everyone on the Guzzlers’ team is like this. After the game, the pitcher from the Guzzlers allowed the writing staff to use his cell phone in order to make an urgent call back to the office. (Our real job, not the thing we do 9-5 during the week.)

Post-Game Reaction

After the game, A-WOL made some very interesting observations regarding the "slide" rule. You can read what he had to say in this game's commentary.


  • Ian:: 3 for 4 (2B) with 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored.
  • Lauren: 2 for 4 with 1 run scored.
  • Pierre: 3 for 3 (3B, sac) with 3 RBIs and 1 run scored.

  • Jonathan made his pitching debut relieving for A-WOL in the 7th.

  • Webgem: Line-drive snag at the mound by the Guzzler's pitcher. (2nd)
  • Webgem: A runner catch at the crotch by Adam in left field. (3rd)
  • Webgem: John to A-WOL relay to home for the out at home. (6th)

  • Game Photos & Audio Clips | HBs' Player Stats from the Game | Scorebook
    Corbett's Post Game Analysis| Commentary

    * = HardBallers were awarded two addition runs because their opponenet failed to produce at least 3 female players by the third inning.

    Andy Wolan is a reporter and photographer for BWCS. This story was not subject to the approval of the league or its clubs.