Raging Storm


Awesome Comeback

baseballWe in Raging Storm played a double header tonight and won both games. We killed in the first game and came all the way back from a 13-6 deficit in the second game.

We had one too many players, so I split the second game with Patino. That meant I sat and watched the first three innings in which we surrendered 13 runs. That also meant I played the last four innings in which we surrendered only 1 run while scoring 11. I'm just saying...

It was awesome. I love games like this. Cito is very, very proud tonight.

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Pulling Boners

baseballRaging Storm, listen up. This is Cito talking.

We pulled more than a few boners last night. The fact we were tied in the bottom of the last inning is rather flattering. We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us.

We're the only team that's going to beat us this year. Last night I saw routine fly balls misplayed, throws to first grossly under thrown and wild, playable ground balls missed, and more than a few mental gaffes. If we eliminate these boners, we won't be beat.

  • Be aware of who's where and where you should be
  • Stay focused
  • Don't be afraid of fucking up

If our boners go down, we'll be in fine shape. Lineups and positions for Tuesday night's game are on our page. I'll see you on the field.

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Call Me Cito

ragingstormAnother slo-pitch season is upon us, but this time things are different on Raging Storm. This time, I'm managing the team.

Raging Storm, you know the drill. I'm a Web 2.0 manager. Everything is communicated via email and all pertinent information is shared at http://www.torontomike.com/softball.html. I've made this page easy to find by adding a "Raging Storm" link to the main navigation menu at the top of every page.

Our first exhibition game is this Wednesday night against The Misfits. Kic tells me that former Raging Stormer Greg Fay now plays for The Misfits. Fay was our best player but he quit half way through last season. Our paths, it seems, will cross again. We'll see if FUGF catches on...

Raging Storm, as often as possible, you're going to play the positions you enjoy playing. All I ask is that you show up on time and do your best. If you can't make a game, let me know asap via email. I'll post lineups and positions at least 24 hours in advance on our team page.

See you Wednesday, and please, call me Cito.

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Game 8 Lives In Infamy

RSLate last night, as the clock struck 11pm, we in Raging Storm put the squeeze on the final out in an 11-5 victory. It was our final regular season game and we finished with a 10-5-1 record.

It's been an interesting season to say the least. The Great Stats Debate was followed by the end of my Cal Ripkenesque iron man streak when I actually sat out a game with a bad back. Then, my precious declaration following game #5 marked a turn around in my season. Game 8, which I've never written about until now, wasn't only the mid-point of this regular season, but it was a game which will live in infamy.

Game 8 was against Hollywoods, a team we were 1-1 against. We got off to a horrible start, and before you knew it we were double digits in the hole. Without going into too much detail to protect the guilty, another player started chewing me out for no particularly good reason. As this persisted, ignoring it became an exercise in futility and I let this player know he was out of order and required a chill pill. Meanwhile, with this obvious tension in the air, we started to come back.

I was on third base when the game tying homer was hit. At home plate, we exchanged high fives. This player that had been on my back the entire game also scored on the play, and when I put up my hand for a fiver, he pulled his away. That was the last straw. I got in his face and let him have it. I'm a lover, not a fighter, but I was ready to dish it out if it came to that. He broke the code and enough was enough. Our blow up earned warnings from the ump, a mini blow up from Andge and a sincere threat on my part to quit this team because I don't play ball to fight, I play for fun.

That game ended in a 16-16 tie and it's the last game this unnamed player played for Raging Storm. He quit, I took over short stop again, and I've never batted better. The description on the RSPA site for that game described it as "a heated affair". I see it as the game that shaped this crazy season. He was our best player, both offensively and defensively, and without him we had to adjust. We were 4-2-1 with him and 5-3 without him. Along the way we won the division, built character, bonded as a team and had a helluvalotta fun.

It's playoff time. Storm, I'll see you on the field.

For more on Raging Storm, visit http://www.torontomike.com/softball.html.

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RSPA Int-1 Division Champs

baseballThe regular season isn't over yet, but we in Raging Storm have clinched the Int-1 Division of the RSPA. Here's the standings.

  1. Raging Storm: 9-3-1
  2. Zep (HMV): 6-6
  3. Smoke & Mirrors: 4-9-1
  4. Grinders: 2-13

We'll get an opening round match up against the Grinders. I'm not sure why our division only has four teams while every other division has at least six. Oh well, you play the cards you're dealt and we'll be dealing with these pesky Grinders soon.

For more on our 2006 season, visit http://www.torontomike.com/softball.html.

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A Sweet Sweep

RSAre you interested in a challenge? Try and go the day without using your left thumb. Late in the second game of our double header sweep last night at Diamond Beach, I jammed the thumb in my catching hand into the shoulder of a charging base runner at second base. I figure it just needs some time, but last night I couldn't unbutton my jersey with the hand and today I couldn't open a zip lock bag. You should have seen me trying to change my daughter's diaper this morning. If there are any medical professionals out there, please advise. Do I just wait it out? Could it be broken? Will I ever have the use of my thumb again?

As for the games, it was a unique double header because we faced two different opponents. In game one, we absolutely dominated. It was 18-2 but we could have won by more. In game two, the first three opposing batters to the plate scored, and we knew we were in for a game. Our defense was awesome and some timely hitting bailed us out. A sweet sweep is worth a sore thumb.

For more on Raging Storm, visit http://www.torontomike.com/softball.html.

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The Enemy Is Us

RSLast night we played our first game since my precious declaration. I feared the raw numbers had begun to consume us and the only way I was going to play ball again was if I manually removed the focus on these figures. For what it's worth, I went 3-4 with an RBI triple off the wall in left center field. I was looser at the plate and more focused on the task at hand. I felt good up there, completely liberated. Thus far, I'm quite pleased with my little revolution.

We lost the game 14-11 on a base-running error, which is precisely how we lost last week. We have met the enemy and the enemy is us.

For more on Raging Storm, visit http://www.torontomike.com/softball.html.

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I Am Not A Number, I Am A Ballplayer

baseballI love playing ball. I always have. From the moment I played my first game of tee ball at Lessard Park I was hooked. What I lacked in natural God-given talent I made up for in heart and soul. Baseball has always been my favourite participation sport and I've given 100% in every inning I've played.

I've been playing with Raging Storm for about five years now and we've had quite a bit of success and plenty of good times along the way. We've played in a few different leagues in the GTA, currently climbing the ranks of the RSPA. A few years ago, we started keeping stats.

As a fan of Major League Baseball, I'm obsessed with stats. Ask me who was the first Jay to hit .300, smack 30 homers and drive in 100 RBIs in a season and I have the answers. I can tell you who recorded the first 20 win season, who hit our first all-star game hit and who pitched our first no-hitter, hit for the cycle or won the AL MVP award. Major League Baseball and statistics are a marriage made in heaven. When it comes to your summertime slo-pitch team, I've always been a great deal less sure.

I opened this matter up to debate at the beginning of the year, and the general consensus was that keeping stats was a good thing. Agreeing to satisfy the general will, I've been happily recording our batting statistics on our official page and I'll continue to do so. Following our fifth game of the season, however, I had an epiphany.

We are not professional ball players. In fact, we pay to play in this league. When you pay to play there is only one objective. We're playing to have fun. That's not to say we're not playing to win, we're definitely playing to win as winning enhances the fun, but we're certainly not playing for our stats, or are we? I had myself down as 2-4 in the game but when the official stats came in I was listed as 1-4. The mistake was mine, when I reached base the second time it was recorded as a fielder's choice. Suddenly, the difference between a fielder's choice and a single in a game of slo-pitch on a Monday night meant something more than it ever should. It meant a significant drop in the batting average.

I played Monday in a great deal of pain, playing first for all seven innings because it hurt to move and even calling for a courtesy runner for the first time in my career when I reached base in the last inning. I'm glad I played, because it was a lot of fun, and that's exactly why I play. I play for love of the game. I play to be part of a team, ideally a winning team, and I play because I've loved playing since that first game of tee-ball. I don't play to ensure my batting average stays above .500 and I've removed my stats from our page to ensure I never lose sight of this fact. If other members of Raging Storm wish to follow my lead, I'll gladly remove their stats as well.

It's time to start a revolution. I am not a number. I am a ballplayer.

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The Storm Lose A Game... The Storm Lose A Game

baseballIt was close, but Smoke & Mirrors came up with two runs in the last half of the last inning to squeak by us 8-7. 4-0 out of the gate, it's good to get this first loss out of the way. How's that for positive thinking?

For more on Raging Storm, visit http://www.torontomike.com/softball.html.

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The Cal Ripken of the RSPA

baseballI sat out last night's slo-pitch game with an injury. I pride myself on playing through anything. With the exception of a torn ACL and broken leg I suffered in a game back in 2003, I haven't missed a beat.

They sure didn't need me. We romped Zep 13-3. Kic apparently went ballistic, probably venting pent up rage from this. He hit a grand salami and a three-run blast to lead the charge. I'm hoping to play next week.

For more on Raging Storm, visit http://www.torontomike.com/softball.html.

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