Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Few fireworks July 4th

Defeat in the tube-free wilds of Hackney takes our losing streak to 6 and bottom of the League. Gotta change soon... We did make it through the local graveyard to the pub all right (see pic), and that may have been our main achievement on a night when the shorthanded home side weren't taken too close by a Dazzler team with 3 debutants. I could have said 'rookies' but Frank clearly knows what he's doing, as a nice RBI line drive in the 5th, launching another of our not-quite-rallies, showed. Now, the Tecumsehs do have a nice pub, and were very friendly once there; but were sticklers out on the pitch, appealing for an out on debutant Mick's chest-height edge through to the catcher, finding one more run than our scorers noted, and not keen to play on when a dog roamed into the outfield. No problem for Nicole though, who fielded the dog confidently.

'Fraid the rest of our fielding wasn't so hot, and although Lance pitched neatly, a questionable strike zone from the umpire delivered walks 2 or 3 times to their weaker hitters when it might have been 'side away'. Karen took a good catch behind the plate, and Tony held on to a big one in the outfield, but then failed to get a glove on 2 more at LF as the Tecumsehs pulled away with big runscoring swipes in the 5th and 6th....

New captain Amy, having toiled over the roster and her motivational speech, was mighty unlucky to see a series of well-struck fly balls go straight into Tecumseh gloves. Scrambled singles and walks to Dazzlers kept bringing stand-ins Mick (who's pretty at home on a cricket pitch these days) and Steph to the plate in clutch situations. They strove gamely, but couldn't repeat Rob's 2-out bases-loaded hitting that had put us briefly ahead in the first. Jack did have one good hit, Shannon an RBI, but no real fireworks from the Dazzlers this July 4th...

Dazzlers 2 0 0 1 2 1 0 - 6
Tecumsehs 3 0 7 0 4 4 x - 18
[Clissold Park: 4-7-07]

Friday, June 22, 2007

Anyone want fries with that?

Another week, another new Dazzler shirt design, and this time with a flash of yellow bordering the red, giving a fast food-y feel to the logo.

And a new bat from Simon, modelling a Donnie Baseball look for the occasion:

And, Mattingly-like, we were swinging our bats well enough, with some big shots through the order. Here Heather lets fly:

A power night at the plate for Rob brought a home run in 5th, but also a strange running error, a flashback to our early days, as he powered on through third base instead of tagging up back at first. Not swinging worked too as Tony eked out a two-out walk in the 4th, putting Karen on base and bringing up the top of the order, for Isaac to swipe a mighty score-levelling, lip-smackin', thirst-quenchin' Grand Slam.

But it ended in another defeat for the McDazzlers, and this time a
painful one, snatched away from us at the death 17-16 having done the hard work and hauled back a 5-run deficit to draw level again. Lance's huge 2-run shot to LF in the 6th tied the scores, and, with two fine catches at shortstop from Simon holding the Tecumsehs to a single run in the top of the 7th, it only needed one good swing to bring us home. But a Nicole fly unluckily dropping into a fielder's mitt, an only-just-held bootstrap catch off Tim's tieing-run-on-base liner at the death, and a brave final flourish from rookie Clare left us rueing some very tight plays (not to mention the umpiring call that deprived Amy of a surely-there base an inning before...)

Tecumsehs 1 0 8 0 3 4 1 - 17
Dazzlers 5 0 0 4 2 5 0 - 16
[Finsbury Park: 18-6-07]

Thursday, June 14, 2007

No face-painting, but Shelagh Alam stood in for a poorly Nicole, giving us the most Canadian content ever in a Dazzler lineup; what next, a Molsons sponsorship? Our Canucks got us going nicely with a confident catch from Heather at 2B, and two shut-out innings from "Torontonian" Isaac (yeah, right) followed by his hard-run triple putting us 1-0 up after two. And with shorthanded opponents hampered by an automatic out, it should have been home and (Canada?) dry.

But we couldn't build on it: a great play from his knees by the Suede 2B to throw out Tania made clear we were up against a flawless defence; and some, well, flawful Dazzler fielding left us trailing from the third inning on. Big hits from Sam and Jack gave us hope, but not enough. Maybe we should have warmed up and taken all that Batting Practice before the match; or even used those two 'sitting-out' guys, watching from the sidelines...

Talking of sponsors, biggest surprise of the night came after Simon and Tim's latest unrequited wooing of the new landlords at the Finsbury Arms, when a well-sozzled local wandered over to ramble amiably about Dazzler days gone by; are we really so familiar a part of the North London scene that even half-decayed drunkards recognize us? Does a mention in Nick Hornby's next saga of Holloway life beckon...?

Italian Suede 0 0 3 3 3 1 2 - 12
Dazzlers 0 1 0 2 0 2 0 - 5
[Finsbury Park: 11-6-07]

Monday, June 11, 2007

Brew in a teapot

A muted Dazzler showing in South London, against capable and very appealing opponents. Could it be the Private Is' very niceness was what made it so hard for us to get into gear, and challenge them? Whatever: we all gave due attention when they explained which distant hedges would be ground-rule doubles and which remote, barely-visible, features home runs – and then slapped grounder after grounder tamely to 3B/SS, whose sharp throws were held with ease by their superb first basewoman.

Baseball (or softball) is the game where the defence always has the ball; and we did indeed see plenty of it. New pitcher Lance Nelson stuck in there, but the windy Wandsworth night and tight umpiring calls made it hard to throw strikes, so a succession of walks allowed Private Is to get runners on ready for their big hitters. When our defence settled down a bit, fine catches from Heather at short RF, from Karen and Amy at the plate, and Rob steaming in from the deep outfield, kept us within touch. Encouraging too were some tight tags and outs around 2nd base, as Amy, Tania, and Jack worked closely together, showing the benefit of all those training drills.

But, once Tania’s first inning run had been countered, we were always trailing: 10-3 after 3, and increasing. Rob Tona dug deep for a two-out three-run shot in the top of the fifth, and then Lance shut the I’s out in the bottom of that inning (overcoming me bundling into him on the mound as he held on to the ball for the third out) but it wasn’t quite the rally we needed….

Most dazzling moment was undoubtedly captain Tim Jaffier’s single-handed double play in the 4th, when juggling an easy infield blooper to bobble in, out, in again, fumbling, bobbling - then at last, the catch finally held, stretching out to tag a baserunner, who, mesmerised (weren’t we all?) by Tim’s antics, forgot to dart away. Tim also turned the final out in that inning (OK, on a different play, this time), and claimed runs both on a neat sliding double in the third, and after some devil-may-care hustle, breezing straight past the third baseman, and no doubt spurning base-coach warnings, in the 5th. And he was captain for the night. So where was the poor guy’s JD and Coke, when the teapot of beer was served up?

(Not sure why a teapot. Is this a South London thing?)
Finsbury Dazzlers 1 1 1 0 3 0 3 - 9
Private I's 3 3 4 3 0 5 x - 18

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Weird evening: high-score tie

Dazzlers 30
Kamikazes 30
[Regents Park: 22-5-07]

Our captain confesses: it was a weird evening, with ups and
downs, including thinking we had lost the game, but we showed a lot of spirit
and determination to dig out a deserved tie against the Kamikazes.

There were a few errors all around (including from myself) and sometimes we made life harder for ourselves, by not looking at the easiest plays and outs, and having a mad 3rd base coach (Simon!!) waving people round like a crazy man, but I guess it was only our second game of the season and we hadn’t played for 2 weeks. Also the Umpire didn’t help with some funny calls and a very “random” strike zone. But the most important think to take from yesterday was the great team spirit we showed in the last two innings.

Very nice to welcome Heather and Lance to the team, I think they played great and they will be a great addition to our roster. Also great hitting from Amy, the usual “major league” plays from Slammy Sam, and a very safe glove from our first baseman Tania.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The (W)rap-up: Barn Elms '07 tournament

It's the Dazzler RAP
We're where it's AT
We're the team that put Finsbury…
On the MAP!
But last Saturday we headed south-of-the-BORDER
For a full day tournament made to ORDER
It started out with a helluva GAME
Against a team that's always changing its NAME
Are they Common People, or maybe the COMETS?
Or is it Glove Me Tender? Oh damn I wish they'd STOP IT
But whatever they're called it's a fantastic FEUD
Whenever we take the field against Rich and his CREW
In this one we jumped ahead nine to FOUR
For a 60 minute game that's a pretty safe SCORE
But then out at shortstop I lost my BRAIN
Totally forgot how to play this GAME
Four bad errors on four ground BALLS
And before you knew it there's no lead at ALL
And then the umpire said sorry my FRIENDS
But it's one minute 'til no new innings and then this game ENDS
We rushed up to bat hopin' to get LUCKY
And Slammy clouted one halfway to KENTUCKY
So then we wuz clinging and clawing like THIEVES
To a skimpy little sorry-looking one run LEAD
And still no time to chill in this race against the CLOCK
We had to get them out in 7 minutes or we iz in the DOCK
If they stay alive that long then the score will REVERT
And after all that happened such a loss would HURT
Then before you knew it they got the bases FULL
On every bag is one of those Common pee-PUL
With two outs, just seconds left, up stepped their final HITTER
Ohmigawd, I thought, now we're really in the SH***ER
He hit a hard grounder which Sam grabbed at SHORT
Like one of the ones that I shoulda CAUGHT
He tossed it to Jen at third to WIN IT
A glorious nail biting f****r of a FINISH
Isaac said it will go down in the history of the SPORT
But it woulda been impossible if I hadn't sucked at SHORT
After that we lost two one-run GAMES
But we played real hard so we ain't ASHAMED
Then the quarter final against Raiders Gold, Red (or BLUE?)
Which one of their three teams - I never KNEW
We played tough battled hard tried our BEST
Yet we finished down by two in that con-TEST
But you won't believe this one MATE
That meant no trophy but a chance for the PLATE
I know it's hard to fathom but I swear it's TRUE
It's a great system in Chiswick every team goes THROUGH
Makes up for that 'buy back' rule and balls of different SIZE
One for the girls and one for the GUYS
So anyway next I had to PITCH
My man Isaac made the SWITCH
I grooved it in for strike after STRIKE
Do you need one now? I'll throw as many as you LIKE
And 'course we went through to the very next ROUND
Because now we had our ace out on the MOUND
But who did we draw for the Final for that coveted PLATE?
Yup, that very same team that we love to HATE
Glove-Me-Comets of Clapham FAME
The name makes no difference it's all the SAME
It means a tough game a fight to the END
Even if we drive each other round the BEND
And sure enough this one didn't disap-POINT
For 7 tough innings we both rocked the JOINT
Going into the seventh we wuz down by only ONE
But that's when they decided to ruin all the FUN
The floodgates opened for a massive RALLY
I think eight runs was the final TALLY
And when the dust had finally CLEARED
They had confirmed our worst FEARS
We wuz down we wuz clobbered it turned into a ROUT
But they played hard and deserved to pull this one OUT
And we still got medals and a trophy from Tina what a DEAR
Then we went for to the Ship for a couple of BEERS
My hat is off to those Dazzlers, and Dazzler-ETTES
Yo all you guys are simply the BEST
A shout for my Hebrew sista Karen GURVIS
'Carn the Dazzlers!!!' at your SERVICE
Amy Davies snared a line drive ROCKET
A Missile hit by a Comet as hard as he could SOCK IT
Nicole Pocock – she's from Down UNDER
When she pokes that ball it makes the sound of THUNDER
My homey Mikey from my 'HOOD
Catching flies in left like a New York boy SHOULD
Slambo, he loves our medals, with their ribbons blue and RED
Sarah said he wears it in the shower and even to BED
My man Robbo, he is si-CIL-I-AN
So I ain't gonna dis' him, do you know what trouble I'D BE IN??
Isaac is from Canada but nobody's PERFECT
I could say more but I might get my ass KICKED
Timmo is a man who likes a Jack and COKE
He's a very friendly sort of BLOKE
Jen's been off a year but she played like a STAR
Laced a few liners that left our mouths AJAR
Sarah played hard hit the cover off the BALL
You would never know she's hardly played at ALL
And she and Sam brought their cute little PUP
For one day he got to be the team masCOT
And then there is Tania who organised the DAY
Yo girl thanks so much what can I SAY?
We even saw Coombsie and ole Ca-PELL
Aw gee that sure was groovy just really SWELL
Anyway if you was wonderin' why this ain't PROSE
Well here is the story here's how it GOES
After all you losers left for HOME
And me, Isaac and Tania was all ALONE
We wuz chillin' we wuz riffin' we had a real cool TIME
And we started busting out some dazzlin' RHYMES
But now it's Sunday and I'm aching all OVER
Plus my throbbing head's telling me I shoulda stayed SOBER….!

Simon shrugs:
yo guys some of you are gonna think I
have now finally completely and utterly lost it, but here is a
write-up with a bit of a difference.....

and just for your
information, most of this came to me late last nite and I finished it up
just now (don't want none of you thinkin' I spent all day on a lovely
Sunday afternoon like some SADDO sitting composing rhymes for you sorry so
and so's...)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Dazzling Opening Day 2007

A first competitive outing under new team supremo Frodo, and a dazzling performance from everyone, from the first 3 shut-out innings and excellent defence, to the really amazing hitting from everyone which saw us leading 8-0 by the 3rd inning and also the great atmosphere in the team (no bitching no shouting!).

Reports the Portugeezer: I did try and experiment last night, with Tania at first base and myself at second, the reasoning being a strong middle infield will always hold the leading runner, call me crazy for doing it in our first game, especially away from home, but I think it worked.

Tremendous pitching from Isaac “The Canadian Ace” and his amazing fielding who got us some important outs and first and third bases.

Dazzlers 4 2 2 1 3 2 6 - 20
Comets 0 0 0 5 4 3 4 - 16
@ Clapham Common, 30th April 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Yo Bournemouth!

Dazzlers on tour, winning hearts and minds, and, err, 1 game out of 3.

More pics of this happy band at this slideshow...