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