Raging Storm

Cito Coaches Team To Round Two Series Sweep

baseballThis subject is just here to get a chuckle out of the boys and girls from Raging Storm. Can you keep a secret? Between you and I, a slo-pitch manager doesn't really have much to do with the outcome. Sure, I put together the lineup and the defensive positions, but after that we just sorta play ball and hope for the best.

We took out The Misfits two games to none and advance to the divisional semi-finals. As I suspected, we were unbeatable with our pitcher on the mound. Game two was a breeze.

Managers may not have much influence over an outcome, but I'm taking full credit for my first two playoff victories.

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No Rain

rainfallIn the past, playoff games in our slo-pitch league have always taken place in September. Tonight's playoff game, on August 20, is by far the earliest date on record. It just seems too early to potentially play our last games, but there's a reason we're already this far in the schedule. There's been no rain.

In a typical season, you're in for two or three rain outs. It's actually not the rain that cancels the game, unless the field is flooded in a torrential downpour, it's the lightning. Aluminum bats and lightning don't mix. This season, for the first time in history, we didn't lose a single game due to rain, thus there was no games to make up at the end of the regular season. The same is true for my other league. Toronto has had a rain-less summer.

A little Googling confirms my suspicions. This summer has been the driest in Toronto in almost 50 years. It's also been exceptionally sunny. Of course, as I type this, light rain is falling.

Damn Murphy.

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The Playoffs Approach

baseballIt'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...

Pitching Issues
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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I Need A Woman

slo-pitchThis entry is for the ladies in the crowd. Guys, you can skip on by. Ladies, I'm talking to you.

I'm actively hunting for female slo-pitch players to play with me next season. You don't have to be awesome, although that helps, you just have to be decent. Ideally, you can pitch, as a female pitcher remains the holy grail of slo-pitch.

We're a good group of people with a great sense of humour and we play in Etobicoke / Mississauga. If you're ready to commit to the cause, please contact me or leave a comment.

Whattyasay, ladies? Interested?

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Call Me Samson

baseballIt was another tidy victory for Raging Storm tonight, but something was missing. For the first time in many seasons, I didn't wear my retro Blue Jays logo cap and wore a Maple Leafs cap instead.

I blame Taryn. Following last Monday's game, I asked her if she'd be able to wash it. She said she would and I haven't seen it since. Tonight, as I prepared for the game, my Jays cap was nowhere to be found. The Leafs cap was an emergency choice.

Samson's strength was tied to his hair and mine is tied to my Jays cap. Now where the hell is it?

Tools of the Trade

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Unique Marketing Opportunity: Sponsor Our Slo-Pitch Team

moneyIf you're a business owner, entrepreneur or just somebody with a little extra disposable income, I have a unique marketing opportunity you may be interested in.

My slo-pitch team is looking for a new name and new uniforms for next season. If someone was willing to pay our registration fee and buy us new jerseys, that someone could choose our new nickname as well as influence the jersey colours and design.

For example, if you owned a grocery store called "Sam's Grocery", we could be Sam's Grocery with the team name on our jerseys. There would be some value to that exposure in a good sized league, but there's an additional benefit I believe is far more valuable. I would write about Sam's Grocery and their generosity on a regular basis, targeting the appropriate keywords and earning a high rank in Google and the like. The SEO juice will far outweigh the expense.

If you're interested in sponsoring us, I'm interested in speaking with you. The registration fee is approximately $1600 and we'd require about 14 jerseys at $40 a pop. In exchange, you will:

  • Name our team
  • Choose our jersey colour and design
  • Reap search marketing benefits with an enhanced web presence

It's first come, first serve. This note's for you.

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Memorable For Being Unnoteworthy

bseballWe in Raging Storm showed up tonight, played great defence and beat the Sharks 6-4. You don't see many 6-4 games in slo-pitch, but this game was memorable for another reason. It was memorable for being completely unnoteworthy.

Let's review our last four games, shall we?

So you see, the past four nights of ball have all included a great deal of controversy. Tonight, however, everyone showed up, we won a tight one and there's nothing noteworthy to report.

It was just a friendly game of ball. Sorry...

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And The Winner Is...

ballWe have a winner in the great re-name the Raging Storm slo-pitch team vote.

Despite my best efforts to sell everyone on "The Zit Remedy", a name I believe would be perfect, the overwhelming favourite amongst my dumb ass teammates is "In The Face".

Let me go on the record in saying "In The Face" is a crappy name, but nobody ever said democracy was flawless. "In The Face" won fair and square.

Maybe I'll just call us The Zit Remedy regardless. Who's going to stop me?

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Pitcher Wanted, Apply Within

baseballThe other day J.P. Ricciardi publicly called out A.J. Burnett. In a similar fashion, I'm calling out our Raging Storm pitcher, M.F.

Mofo, that's three game day cancellations on your part. When a Patino or a Matty bails, it's no biggie. I shuffle the lineup a little and we don't miss a beat. You, however, are our pitcher. It's no secret we don't have an awesome backup, so when you bail on game day we're left scrambling. In the four games you've missed, we're 0-4, mainly because the competition walks their way to a big inning and buries us.

We're 5-5-1 overall, and that fifth loss was the game you were late for, so in games you show up to on time we're undefeated in six. With a reliable pitcher, we're pretty awesome. Without a reliable pitcher, we're a fairly mediocre bunch.

Mofo, what's the deal? Where's the commitment?

To everyone else, if you play slo-pitch and can pitch in games in the Etobicoke / Mississauga neck of the woods, please contact me. If you're a female who can pitch, I already love you. Drop Cito a line...

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The Final, Binding Vote

voteI know we just held this vote for our new slo-pitch team nickname, but some people thought some important names were left off the ballot. This is the final, binding vote for Raging Storm's new name.

Voting is open until the strike stroke of midnight on July 10, 2007. If you don't sign your name, your vote doesn't count. If you voted in the last election, you'll have to re-cast your vote here.

The Baseball Team
The Zit Remedy
Teenage Angst
Captain Strikeout and the Foul Balls
The Zack Attack
Foul Balls
In The Face
The Mikes
Raging Storm

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