Raging Storm


Retiring An Old Jersey

baseballI once wrote that I like progress, I just don't like change. My slo-pitch team (the comp one, not the beer league one) has worn the same blue jerseys for years. We've done quite well in those old blue shirts, having won our division last season. Still, a few teammates wanted a change so we ditched the old blues for new red jerseys.

The moment we switched, we lost four in a row. We went from a 7-5 record in comp to a 7-9 record. Naturally, I blamed the new jerseys. The Jays haven't won since they ditched their old logo and I remember the Pittsburgh Penguins changing their jerseys after back-to-back cups and they haven't won since. You don't change your jersey following a championship season!

Last night, however, we actually won a game wearing red. It was a hard fought 14-13 victory with a thrilling conclusion and the monkey is off our back. The next step is a return to .500.

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Right Back Atcha

BaseballWe lost our second game of the season 17-0. I believe that's the worst defeat in the history of this team we now call Storm. We sure didn't forget it.

Tonight we had our rematch and we brought it. We mercied them 19-2. Now we're even.

For more on our first slo-pitch season in comp, visit http://www.torontomike.com/softball.html.

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Taking Our Lumps and Hanging In

baseballFor us in Raging Storm, this is our first season playing in the comp division. There are dozens and dozens of slo-pitch teams playing in the RSPA and the comp division is for the best of the best. We got bumped into comp when we won the highest intermediate division last year.

We've played five games thus far, winning two, losing two and getting edged in extra innings once. On the surface that 2-3 record doesn't look horrible, but we've never worked so hard for those wins and we were hammered in a couple of losses. Yes, we're taking our lumps, but we're hanging in there.

The biggest difference between the intermediate divisions and comp is the calibre of the opposing batters. These guys and gals can hit. It no longer matters that we get good pitching and play wicked defense, they just blast the ball where we ain't.

In WKRP fashion, you're left facing the harsh reality. Excelling in this division would require an upgrade of parts, including yours truly, but are we prepared to break up the family. Of course not. Andy wasn't about to boot Herb and Les and we're not about to rip Raging Storm to shreds just so we can play with the big boys.

We'll just take our lumps... and try to hang in there.

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Opening Night Double Header

baseballSummer officially starts Monday when Raging Storm plays their first games of the season. We've got a double header as we test the waters in the Comp division.

I've been playing on this slo-pitch team for years, and since we won the highest intermediate division last year, we've been bumped up to the most competitive division in the RSPA. It might be time for a reality check.

We'll see how we do with a couple of games against Down & Dirty on Monday night. It's time to play ball.

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Male Slo-Pitch Player Wanted, Apply Within

baseballMy slo-pitch team Raging Storm just got word that one of our players can't commit this season because of a 12-8 shift he can't shake. That means we need to fill a roster spot asap.

We play in the RSPA, which means diamonds in Mississauga or Etobicoke, and we play once a week, usually on a Monday or Tuesday night. The guy we're replacing was one of our bats, so if you can hit for a little power and don't mind playing the outfield, we need you.

Contact me if you're interested. $118 will cover you for the entire season plus a tournament and you'll get to part of a passionate slo-pitch team.

Who wants to play for Raging Storm this summer?

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No Condition for Old Ball Players

baseballThat was ridiculous. Whose idea was it to hold a slo-pitch tournament outdoors on March 22?

I've just returned from a day of slo-pitch at Diamond Beach at Centennial Park. They called this a sno-pitch tourney, but they should have named it the ice bowl. The diamonds were covered by a sheet of ice making it rather difficult to get any traction. As I said, it was ridiculous, and I'm just happy I escaped unscathed.

And no, we didn't win the tournament, either. We were eked out in the playoffs by a single run. I'm putting the glove away until the temp hits positive figures.

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The Great Melt

XXXWe've been warned. With 7° temps Thursday and Friday, all this snow is going to melt and that could mean flooding in the streets of Toronto.

I need this big melt. Raging Storm, my champion slo-pitch team, has registered to play a tournament on March 22nd. That gives Mother Nature 11 days to clear this white crap off of the field. A little warmth to thaw the ground might be nice too.

Of course, with the strong possibility Diamond Beach could be one massive pool of water, I might be better off with the snow.

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Angels Laid to Rest

baseballSkyDome was not kind to Boonie's Angels. The fact I'm home writing this tells you we didn't qualify for the playoffs. It was fun and I'm glad we gave it a shot, but we weren't particularly good.

Here's a collection of thoughts...

  • At 4:15am, it took me 8 minutes to get to SkyDome.
  • At 4:15am, it's impossible not to speed. The speed limit on South Kingsway is 50km/h but just try going less than 70 at that time of day.
  • At 4:15am, 102.1 played House of Pain's "Jump Around" and Cypress Hill's "Insane in the Brain" back-to-back. Perfect.
  • Hankering for breakfast at 6am on a Sunday, we walked the streets until we found a 24 hour Golden Griddle.
  • The teams in this tournament were true teams. They clearly play together all summer long. Our team was a mishmash of players, most of whom don't play together. It took us three games to gel and by then it was too late.
  • The dome is cavernous but while playing you totally forget where you are and find yourself totally focused on the game.
  • Michelle and James came out for yesterday's game and had a blast.
  • It's 10am and I've already been up for six hours! I feel like the host of a morning show.

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My SkyDome Debut

baseballTonight, I made my highly anticipated SkyDome debut. I had a perfect day at the plate, going three for three with two runs scored in a 5-4 loss.

I can honestly say that my regular slo-pitch team Raging Storm would have won easily, but this new hybrid struggled at the plate and in the field. I actually thought I scored the tying run and was rather shocked when I saw the ump calling Andge out at first to end the game. That f-bomb heard echoing through the dome belonged to me.

It was a lot of fun playing on the turf under the roof where my Jays play. I was wearing the retro logo in their honour and took some pics. Check out my photoset to see how they stage this thing.

If we want to advance to the playoffs, we have to win tomorrow. Cito's confident we can turn this around. Boonie's Angels ain't dead yet.

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Positions and Lineups for Boonie's Angels

baseballAs you know, my slo-pitch team is participating in the 2008 'Round the Clock Tournament taking place at SkyDome this weekend. We couldn't get enough members of Raging Storm to commit, so this team includes a handful of players I've never even met. We're entered under the name Boonie's Angels.

Our first game is tomorrow night at 9. Another game is taking place Saturday afternoon at 1pm and one is scheduled for 5:00 am Sunday morning. I guess that's the "round the clock" component of this tourney. It's free admission for anyone who wants to crash SkyDome and watch us do our thing.

Fellow members of Boonie's Angels, I've posted the positions and lineups for our first three games over at http://www.torontomike.com/softball.html. If you've got a beef, let Cito know asap.

It might be January, but that doesn't mean we can't play a little baseball.

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