Nor'easters on the Road


Nor'easter Hustle

Saturday morning. The time goes by so fast here in Florida. I could tell from the minute the Sun came up and hit our window, that this was going to be the best day, weather-wise, we've had. No early morning Fog, not a cloud in the sky. After a quick breakfast and rehashing some Borat-isms with the Crew (Cheerios? like? much?... Thunder, it's sooo nice to see you this morning...pause...), we were off to the Complex for the last full day of baseball. Driving down Tuttle, we noted the scene of Duse's near arrest at the hands of Barney Fife, and tried to do justice to Duse's side splitting version of the events. Then a left on 10th and past the Reds Baseball Head ... a right on N Euclid and past the cool mini diamond where the high-end Reds players work on infield grounders..and finally a right into the Clubhouse parking lot where the managers can park. It was warm, short sleeve weather already. It was going to be a hot Sarasota day with a blue cloudless sky. A perfect baseball day.

The Smithereens

The Smithereens are a nice bunch of guys who are regulars at the Tournament. They are an OK, but not great, team. Being from the 'All Star' Division, they were divisional contenders, and eventually earned the right to be squashed like Bugs by the Mighty Thunder in the Finals.
But seriously, being on a 3 game skid, we could use a well played game and a Win. The Stadium was BEAUtiful! We warmed up in right field, played some pepper and just soaked it in. Weeks later, when you are back in cold, dark New England, it seems like a dream. At this moment, there was no doubt how lucky I was to be here, at this place, with these guys; how lucky we ALL were.

MonCapitan had managed to score the 1st base dugout, a first for us in 4 tries, so we could expect a little shade. To Floridians this is the dead of Winter, to us the heat and sunshine is still a shock. This morning, MonCapitan, Hammer and 2-Tee will have the mound duties. So with NO further adoo...PLAY BALL!!

MonCapitan looked real good from my perch in right field. He was working quickly and has a little 'pop' on his fastball. He is pretty reliable out there and calmly pitched around a single and an error to retire the Smithereens in the top of the first. With no clouds in the sky and a brilliant sun, the Stadium, and especially the outfield, looked like Montana.

Finally, the 1st base dugout! Hammer worked a walk to open the Nor'easter first, and with 1 out, Duse reached on catcher's interference. "Mike" worked another walk, and then the Nor'easter squall hit.
2-Tee, Supe, Ski and Ice stroked base hits, throw in a Smithereen's error, and we had a Niiiiiiice 6-0 lead. It had been 2 days between leads for the Nor'easter 9!


MonCapitan was breezing. He was pounding the strike zone and retired 5 Smithereens on K's through 3 2/3rd innings. We were breezing along with a 6-0 lead and were already thinking about the bottom of the 4th.
Not so fast....
MonC's right arm gas tank was reading 'E' but we didn't notice in time. And before 'AAA' showed up with Hammer, and we got back on the road, we were down 8-6 and were having Deja-Vu, all over again.

"These Guys are Beatable....."

As we hit in the bottom of the 4th, I was coaching 3rd in front of the Smithereen dugout. As Ice stood in to hit, one of the veteran Smithereens yelled out to his teammates on the field, "These guys are beatable..."
It was a funny moment, really. It was one of those utterances that is really a shorthand for a longer stream of consciousness statement that everybody understood. He was really saying...
"Hey 'Reens, these guys smoked us last year but this year they suck so let's smoke them and laugh about it later but not too much 'cause they really are nice guys but in the clubhouse we'll have fun rubbing it in but not too much..."
I broke out in laughter, I couldn't help it. I looked over at the 'Reen who said it and said, "Oh, you noticed?!" We both laughed like hell. 'Cause he knew that I knew what he was really saying even though he didn't know what he was saying, really, when he said it, but only realized what he was saying after he heard himself say it out loud and had a second to think about it, and then I said what I said and we realized at the same time what we were both laughing at..........

Ski and 2-Tee

I realized that I was on deck and hustled down to the Dugout in time to see Ice walk. I walked on 5 pitches. Joltin' and Nails walked as well, for a run. With 2 outs and 2 runs in (1 scored on an error), the score was tied when Duse got a huge 2-out base hit driving in a run and giving us back the lead 9-8. We stretched the lead in the 5th, 13-8, with ribbi's by Fluff, Joltin' and Nails.
Hammer was cruising.
Hammer was touched for 2 runs in the 6th on 3 singles. I am reminded of this inning every day. Borgmeyer lined a ball off my chest at 2nd base and I still have a lump there. That kind of hurt, to be honest.

Son of a Gun, if the Smithereens didn't take the Frackin' lead again in the 7th! A 7th inning uprising produced 5 more runs and a 15-13 lead. So, in the bottom of the 8th, we had 6 outs left to save ourselves from loss #4, heading into the Brewers Game.

The Nor'easters..... Win!

Facing a possible Black Hole of a losing streak (could the Nor'easters finish 1-6!?) the Nor'easters got to work. Base knocks by Fluff, Nails, Kenny G, "Mike", and Supe plated 7 runs in the bottom of the 8th. When the dust settled, the Home Town 9 had a 20-15 lead. 2-Tee shut the 'Reens down 1-2-3 in the 9th for the win. We had stopped the skid with some decent, if spotty baseball. It's time to play some Nor'easter baseball again.
So off we went to pound the spread (located just outside the Stadium and this time with a 'W' to aid digestion), take a shower and face the vaunted Brewers at field 3.

Some Images the Game

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