Let’s talk rules.
Everybody knows that batting out of order is wrong. The team that does it risks at least one out and the nullification of any runs scored. However, it is an appeal play. If it is not brought to the attention of the umpire, it will not be called.
This week, a team – I won’t name them - apparently batted out of order. Or it may have been a case of the batting team not reporting two added batters to me. What I do know for sure is that the last two batters in the fifth inning (or, at least, the men I was given as the line-up prior to the game) were also the first two batters in the sixth.
There are 22 teams, somewhere in the neighborhood of 350 players on rosters, and I don’t know every player by sight, especially from teams that just signed up this year, so don’t take it for granted that I’ll get your changes on the fly. Please let me know if your batting order has changed. If your team was the one I’m talking about, now you know the reason why your stats may be screwed up. And you did score a run in that inning, so you could have lost that, also.
A rule that did come into play this week was an interesting one. It also involved an appeal play.
One runner on, two outs. Batter gets a hit. Both he and the runner in front of him score. However, upon appeal the batter was ruled out for missing second base. Does the first runner’s score still count? No. Since an appeal play on the bases is always a force out, and it was the third out of the inning, the runner does NOT score. And, since that play happened in the first game played this week, let’s get to the games and see how the play may have affected the outcome.
Tuesday was the first day of play this week, as Monday was a rainout. Opener saw the Loco Pirates beat Harp & Bard, 6 – 3. Top of the first included the “missed base” appeal play I just talked about, and instead of Harp scoring three runs (or possibly more, as the inning would have been ongoing) they only scored one. They carried a 2 – 0 lead into the bottom of the fourth, but the Pirates scored three in that frame and led all the way thereafter. Charlie Connors, in his debut following off-season shoulder surgery, pitched and got the win. Pat Pickup struck the big blow for Loco, a bases-clearing double in the bottom of the sixth that took all the wind out of Harp’s sails. Johnny Brooks had a decent outing on the mound for Harp and also had a solo-shot home run for their early 2 – 0 lead. Second game involved the Pat Simpson Club and for the third straight game involving them, the winners scored 17 runs. This time, though, it wasn’t the Simpson team that scored that number; it was their opposition. Lincoln Tavern remains undefeated via a 17 -5 decision. Marshall Chick was 4-for-4, Adam Feinstein and Taylor Ferguson both 3-for-3, and Jason Clucas had a grand slam. Drew Atton picked up his third win against no defeats (although he did give up his first base on balls of the year.) For Simpson Club, Marky Goodman had a two-run homer. Last game of the night was an 8 – 4 victory for Junction Yard Goats over Colt Recycling. Andrew Frates gets the workmanlike win (3 earned), with help from the Goats’ good double play combo of SS Josh Turini and 2B Chris Santos. Pete Beksha had a home run and Bill Aria drove in two.
Wednesday’s first game was a good one. Elevated Realty gave Southside Tavern all they could handle, but came up just short. Home runs by Sammy Ballgame (MacDonald) and Patsy Dolbeare, in the sixth, provided the winning margin in the 11 – 10 victory for the defending champs. A furious Elevated rally in the final inning saw them score three, and have the winning runs on first and second with two out, but they couldn’t get the one more hit they needed to equalize. Chris Bartlett homered in the losing cause. After forfeiting their first game of the season last week, Village Pizza showed up for the Wednesday nightcap and took care of business against Playwright, 10 – 5. Dylan Beck homered, while Eric Phillips drove in two. Longtime vet Mark “Cheetah” Hindman put one over the fence in left for Playwright.
There were three football games… excuse me, softball games on Thursday. The scores were football-like, though. Opener had Roza Lyons putting the smackdown on Pitches Get Hit, 24 – 9. Everybody in the Roza lineup had at least two hits, an RBI and a run scored. FIVE home runs (Gonzalez, MacPhee, Caggiano, Gravaleese and Richards) were recorded. In game two, the Handdukies missed an extra point and lost to the Kekambas, 17 – 16. No, actually it was a walk-off double by the Kekambas Andrew Moynihan that won the game, after Handdukies had battled back to a tie in the top of the final inning. Moynihan had a home run earlier, as did Cam Armstrong and Will Kiriazidis (4 RBI total). Dukies got three hits apiece from Mike Durant, Brian Walsh, Mike Jay and Chris Burns, with Jay doubling, tripling, and driving in four. Finally, Banshee got six field goals and Team Cookout only got five, so Banshee wins 18 – 15. For Cookout, Ryan McGloin had a home run and five RBI. Brian Besinger homered for Banshee, while Ryan Stoler, Garrett Slyva (3 RBI), Dan Mullan (4 RBI), and Bryan Stanton (5 RBI) all had three hits.
That will do it for this week. See you down the ballpark!
[Jim Sullivan writes for the Boston Herald on a semi-regular basis, and has been published in many other places. Go to the Boston Herald website at bostonherald.com/opinion/op_ed to see his writing there, usually on Wednesday and Sunday.]
A few reminders from your commissioner:
Parking - guys please leave your cars at home as the available parking spaces around the field is VERY limited. Most spaces are Resident only so unless you are a South Boston resident then you will most likely get a $40 ticket that the league cannot cover. Some relief (Thomas Butler Park on First Street will have 1200 parking spaces) is on the way but is still a year away. If possible, car pool, take the T, or bike/walk to the park and save yourself the headache.
Umpire/Scorekeeper fee - please pay the umpire $25 and pay $5 to "Sully" the official scorekeeper BEFORE the game begins.
Forfeits - we don't like forfeits in the M Street Softball League as they cost the league money and waste people's time. With that said, if you know there is a scheduled game that is going to be a problem then let me know ASAP and I will work with you in finding additional players, rescheduling the game, and/or cancelling it all together.
Inclement weather/rain outs - the league will usually make a decision by 5pm on whether or not the game is on or off. Once the decision is made then the league will reach out to the coaches - we will not leave you hanging. The league website (sbsports.com) will also be updated within minutes of a cancellation.
Bats - just a reminder that composite bats are illegal...however, bats that have a composite handle and metal barrel are OK. DeMarini Steel is a very popular bat in our league as is the Anderson RocketTech.
Equipment - the league will provide bases and also has a catcher's mask that your catcher can borrow (ask Sully) on a nightly basis.
Pitching rules - we are using the same rules as we implemented last year...that's strict modified pitching - no sling, no windmill, and no arc. It's pretty much straight back with the arm, a forward step to the plate, and deliver the ball. A great source on the "Classic Style" with videos can be found here 10manmodified.com/pitching-rules/videos-of-modified-styles/
Starting lineups - reminder, we use four outfielders, P, C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS and if you want (optional) you can use a DH and an EH for a total of 12 players. The EH can take the field and substitute for any defensive player while the DH cannot take the field (unless injury).
Playoffs - 16 teams will be eligible for the playoffs.
Playoff eligibility - although the rosters are open there is minimum number of plate appearances or innings pitched (25) a player must meet to qualify for the playoffs.
Stats, news, etc... - please check the league website for all the latest news, standings, stats, and more.
Schedule - we tried to evenly spread out the amount of start times for each team...it's not an easy or exact science. The regular season will run from May to mid August followed by the start of the playoffs.
Wishing you and your players a great season of softball at M Street.
M Street Softball League