Waldheim Report On Softball
Ah yes, another season of controversy is afoot as the Jamaica Bay-oops, sorry! That was last year's version when Diver still ran things, let's start again…
"Pu-re-i bo-o-ru!" Japanese for play ball, that is what they were yelling at
5 a.m. Wednesday morning (7 p.m. Japanese time) when Mike Hampton threw the first pitch of the Major League "Besuboru" 2000 season. Just hours before I had attended another inaugural event much closer to home!
Representatives from 14 teams arrived at Grassy Point Lounge and were debriefed by lone commissioner, Bobby Steiner. Quietly they sat back as Steiner started, "There's a new sheriff in town." Actually, he explained, that this year things will be a wee bit different:
The two-league format will be abolished, revisiting a blueprint used several years back where teams competed in divisions (east and west) in regular season play (all teams will play each other at least once during the season), followed by play-offs and concluding with a championship between the two finalists. Rather than picking teams randomly out of a hat, positioning will be based on last year's standings.
Brother-in-law Den Den suggested a tournament at the close of the season to decide the victor, but was shot down as Bobby retorted in jest, "Why? So bottom-feeders like you (referring to the Orioles) have a shot."
Anyway, I'd hate to be giving thanks at the McEneaney turkey table this November. Wrestlemania (as Jodi reminded me) is this Sunday boys, go find a ring. Also keep in mind that the Annual Monaghan Softball Tournament is the perfect forum for league payback.
It looks like the all-star game will be shelved this year do to poor turnout in 1999. Some of last year's Summer Classic selections never showed and post-game festivities were a bust. Now personally, if you allowed more players from perennial partiers like the Brewers and Orioles to participate in the Big Dance, low attendance would not be a problem (just schedule it for late afternoon). Reverse selection by only allowing the Mudsharks and Muggers, perpetual top seeds, one guy and
bottom "dwellers" four to five guys.
One guy offered an idea to have the after party at the field so it could be more family oriented for the kids and wives. I second that motion!
Healy's Old Timers, no joke that was the official name placed on the sign-in sheet, led by bubbly Bob Regan, were taken off life support and survived for another season. Undaunted by the allowance of only two courtesy runners, they have other worries. Vinny Grogin and Jimmy Healy have been sidelined by
injuries. Healy, disabled by torn rotor cuff surgery (kidding) is said to
have actually acquired the injury while lifting prices.
Bryan's Auto was coaxed back to the league. The team (currently short a few players) has logged its sixth year with out a sponsoring bar, owing a debt of gratitude to auto shop owner Bryan and his sister/partner. I wouldn't mind dusting off the college cleats and pitching in (1st, 2nd or outfield, hint hint) but fear there may be a revolt. Not to mention a few token women have graced the Jamaica Bay fields in past years (Backhouse '97, Grassy II '97, Publicans '98).
Other teams competing this year include the Roundballs, Cardinals, Rockies, Big Dogs, Freakshow, Misfits, Bombers and Daggers. Tentative rosters must be in by the first week with a final due by the fourth week, when all teams must be uniformed. Umpires will be expected to dress in appropriate garb as well.
A few teams have yet to acquire a sponsor, so if any bars are looking to make a few extra bucks on a slow Sunday please contact the league. Originally scheduled for Tuesday but pushed back by the Yankees home opener and dart night on Wednesday, the next league meeting will be held at Healy's on Thursday, April 13 at 8 p.m. League play will begin no later than Sunday, May 7. Please check out the league's homepage atwww.eteamz.com/jamaicabay and e-mail news and gossip to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.