The Playoffs Approach
It's been a strange season for Raging Storm, the slo-pitch team I play for and manage. The regular season has come to an end, and the Raging Storm page shows our record as 8-7-1, but it's not as simple as that. As with The Transformers, there's more than meets the eye.
On the surface, 8-7-1 is the worst record this team has ever had. We finished fourth in a division we used to dominate. We didn't just lose two of our last three games, but we got killed in both, losing by an average of 14.5 runs. It sounds bad, doesn't it? As I said, there's more than meets the eye...
In the RSPL, you can't win without good pitching. If a pitcher shows an inability to throw consistent strikes, teams stop swinging. Every team plays this strategy and it can be awfully successful. Teams will walk themselves to huge innings and if you walk a male batter before facing a female batter, she's automatically offered first base. You can see how control issues will bury you.
We have an effective pitcher who won't give teams an opportunity to play the walking game. When Mofo pitches, teams have to swing away, and our team is blessed with outstanding defense. As a result, we're 8-1-1 when Mofo pitches. That's right, when our regular pitcher plays, we're an unbelievable 8-1-1 and when he doesn't play, we're 0-6. I told you there was more than meets the eye.
I'm not the type of manager who's going to call out a player in this space unless I feel it's necessary, so when I called out Mofo earlier in the year, you can understand why. We need the opposition to swing their bats if we're going to win and we need our pitcher to commit himself to the cause.
The GF Factor
Game 8 in 2006 was the last game GF ever played for this team. He was on our inaugural squad when we were Hooray For Everything and he was our best offensive and defensive player. It wasn't my fight with him that caused him to quit the team, but he did leave and we'd be foolish to think his absence hasn't had some effect on our performance. I know GF's gonna read this and smile large, but we do miss his bat... and I miss his CD collection.
The Best Team Yet
Our record says this is our worst season yet, and we even got mercied for the first time in history, but I'd swear this is the best team we've ever fielded. Sure, it's my first year as team manager, and that guarantees some bias, but look back to that 8-1-1 record with our regular pitcher for proof.
Without a doubt, it's been the most fun season on record. It's a great collection of personalities, and for the first time in this team's history, there's no tension on the diamond. We're out there having fun, and trying to win while we're at it. It's the best team we've ever fielded, regardless of how things go on Monday night.
Raging Storm, I'll see you on the field. I can't wait.
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