Thursday, November 6, 2008

Raining Sideways Stage Late Season Push: Qualify for Playoffs

A rejuvenated Raining Sideways squad took the field Wednesday against the lengthy-named A Swift Kick In the Grass with one thing in mind: “Thank God it’s not as cold this week as it was last week.”

Also, they were thinking about what it meant to them to finish the season with a winning record. Going into Wednesday’s match up 3-3-1, the Ollies were fighting to stay above .500.

Perhaps still chilled from last week’s loss, the Ollies started slowly, only managing a single hit in the first inning. However, the defense remained resolute in the bottom of the inning despite a 1st-kicker walk perpetrated by Big. Ashley made the first of a pair of big centerfield catches to blank the Kicks.

The Ollie’s offense finally got started in the second inning with a two run kick by Pete on which Big scored easily from second with Wayne charging all the way from first and beating a close play at home that had some of home fans grumbling. Raining Sideways took the run, however, and were able to add another in the third on a shot from Spartacus, who kicked in her first RKI of the season, scoring Seamus.

Kick In the Grass were never far from breaking a big rally, however, as they had runners on almost every inning. Only another strong catch by Ashley in shallow centerfield, calling off Asian coming over from shortstop prevented further damage with bases loaded. Great defense held the Grass to two runs through the fourth inning.

Leading 3-2 going into the fifth inning, the Ollies were looking for some insurance runs and quickly put runners on. With the bases stuffed and two outs, Big stepped up and was able to find a hole in the outfield, kicking his first homerun of the season and his first career grand slam.

“I just swung away and hoped for good things,” Big said in the dugout. “I was looking for that pitch away and was able to put it in the opposite field. I’m just happy to help the team.”

The Ollies took the five run lead into the bottom of the fifth. The Grass found were charged, however, and staged a rally that had many Ollies fans wondering if their beloved team would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Raining Sideways held on, however, allowing only three runs in the inning and securing their winning record.

Raining Sideways ends finishes the 2008 MA Recess Fall Season with a record for four wins, three losses and one tie. They have a +4 run differential on the season.

“I’m looking forward to playoffs and the season standings,” said Eric on Thursday. “I’d like to know where we sit.”

Wherever they stand, the Ollies will most likely be without star third baseman Wayne, who suffered two hair line fractures during Wednesday’s game. Doctors say he may be off the foot for a few weeks, effectively ending his season. However, he should be back for the Spring Season.

Returning next week will be reliable and productive utility player BK, who suffered a crippling back injury in the tie against Where My Pitches At and missed the following three games. He will be a welcome addition to the Ollies’ lineup and fielding squad.

“I’m at 97.3% right now,” BK told reporter this afternoon. “I’ll be at 110% next week. I’ll be ready to go.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ollies Give Kids Their Wish

The Ollies' offensive woes continued in the frozen tundra of East Cambridge on Wednesday, as Raining Sideways dropped a 5-2 loss to Sports 4 Kids.

"They're bigger! They're stronger! They're faster! They've got more facial hair!" sobbed Brennan

Despite only scoring a brace of runs, however, the Raining Sideways defense held strong in the last four innings, sources suggesting that the 5 runs allowed in the first were more down to the under-inflated ball (Captain Big insisted on adding air to the ball after the 1st inning was completed).

"I've gotta say I'm not too bothered by the scoreline," said Captain Big, eyebrows raised. "We goose-egged them for four innings, and that's a strong team over there. If we'd gotten our boots going, this game would've been much tighter. I look forward to seeing them in the playoffs!"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Conditions contribute to tough defensive outing for Ollies

Raining Sideways’ normally solid infield struggled with wet grass, a slippery ball and an injury early in the game on Wednesday. The result was a tie that, ultimately, the Ollies’ offense had to fight for down to the bottom of the fifth inning.

The Ollies had a strong start, blanking Where My Pitches at in the first inning while plating three runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame with a season first RBI by Asian and two runners kicked in by Kevin. Kevin continues to lead the Ollies offensively this season. He went 2 for 2 on the night with 2 RBIs and one run. He’s currently kicking for an .889 average.

The wheels appeared to fall off the bus in the top of the second inning. Third Baseman BK was subbed out in the inning with an apparent back injury. Doctors report it could be a slipped disk and amputation maybe on the list of possible treatments. We’ll hope for an update early next week, though sources were unsure if BK will be ready for Wednesday’s game against Sports 4 Kids.

The slippery ball first hurt the Ollies on a seemingly routine play on the infield when Big fielded a bunt near the first base line. His throw to first baseman Heat was wide of the target, allowing the runner to reach easily.

“I don’t know man,” Big sobs. “The ball just seemed to take a left turn out of my hands. There was nothing Heat could do. My fault entirely.”

The wet woes continued for the Ollies, however, as the ball seemed to squirt around the field as if filled with Flubber ™. When the mist settled, the Pitches had managed to plate for runs, taking a one run lead.

The Ollies battled back in the bottom half of the frame, however, as Tania kicked in her first and second RBIs of the season, scoring Pete and Heat (rhyming RBIs FTW!).

A run in the third and three more in the fourth for the Pitches, to which Raining Sideways could only must a single runner in the fourth, gave the red team a two run lead going into the fifth.

After the defense managed to blank the Pitches in the top of the fifth, the Ollies’ offense were on the march. The rally caps came out and seemed to have an immediate affect aas the first three kickers reached. Kevin and Kern both scored on Pete’s double, tying the game. However, sure hands by the Pitches infield stopped the bleeding, despite valiant attempts by Tania, Ashley and Heat to reach and push across that winning run.

The teams were left with a tie, however, to the Ollies, it felt worth more than the one point.

“The Ollies’ undefeated streak is reborn, my friends,” glowed Pete. “Hope the rest of the league’s ready, ‘cuz HERE COME THE RAIN!”

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ollies suffer first loss of season at the hands of the French

Wednesday saw Raining Sideways’ white-hot streak smothered as Natixis managed to squeak out a victory that left the Ollies surprised, but eager for their next meeting.

Despite the long-delayed start, the game was quick out of the gate as both teams managed to plate runs in the first inning.

Both teams immediately recognized the other as probably the first true competition either had yet faced this season and were cagey as the game progressed.

Captain Big, who felt the oncoming symptoms of a compound migraine before the first inning, played through a numbed left hand and compromised peripheral vision, pitching well through the first three innings. He held the Texas Orange team to only one run through those innings, but not without the help of a strong defense behind him.

A strong play between Third Baseman Thumper to First Baseman BK was classic Ollies kickball. Wayne’s seamed throw to beat a quick runner at first silenced the home team’s bench for a rare moment while drawing the excited (and somewhat manic) cheers from the Raining Sideways dugout.

The Ollies finally reclaimed the lead in the fourth inning when Yuval kicked in his second RBI of the season in the form of a sprinting Erin.

Big, however, could not hold the lead and let in three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, giving the Natixites a seemingly insurmountable two-run lead.

The meat of the Ollies order was due up however. Big, kicking through the migraine’s fog, munted for the second time this season. Asian then advanced him to third with a well-placed bunt of her own. BK brought Big home with a single and, with only one out and runners on and the deficit cut in half, the Ollies’ bench achieved in greater volume in support of their offense.

Ashley stepped to the plate and advanced to BK to second but was unable to beat out the throw at first, leaving two outs for Wayne.

However, with a stoney glint in his eye, Thumper lived up to his name and brought BK home while sliding headfirst into first to break up the play.

The game tied, Raining Sideways were euphoric as they took the field. A great bunt put a runner on first for Natixis. The next kick seemed playable to second, however, Big’s throw to second was just out of Asian’s reach, who was then knocked to the ground by the oncoming runner, who then advanced to their on the mis-throw.

From then it was a foregone conclusion, sadly, as Natixis were able to bring home the winning run to end the game.

Despite suffering their first loss of the season, the Ollies took the defeat with class.

“It was a tough one,” admitted Captain Big. “But you know what? I still like our chances. We weren’t at full strength tonight, missing a number of players. I can’t wait to play these guys again. They beat us fair this time, but I think we can take these guys if given a second chance. I have full confidence in my squad.”

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rainin' Sideways: God's Team

Sarah Palin, the Republican VPILF, has said that both the Iraq War and an Alaskan pipeline are the will of God. But she has so far missed another clear sign from the Almighty: Rainin' Sideways is a team of destiny.

You may be thinking right now, "Come on, God really couldn't care less about a stupid kickball team." Well, one, you're going to Hell, you nonbeliever, and two, consider these facts:
  1. Since the Rainin' Sideways season began, two hurricanes have made landfall in the United States. One of the defining characteristics of a hurricane is sideways rain.
  2. The second of those two said hurricanes, Hurricane Kyle, struck the state of Maine, which used to be part of Massachusetts. According to a meteorologist who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Kyle was jealous that Rainin' Sideways gets to strike Massachusetts on a weekly basis.
  3. Despite all this rain, East Cambridge has been rain-free every game night this season. This is God's way of telling the other teams, "You're already getting all the rain you can handle."
Does the destiny of Rainin' Sideways mean that the team won't have to practice as hard, focus as much or drink as heavily to continue its success? No, for practice, focus and drinking are all virtues that aid kickballers not only on the field, but in everyday life.

But it's nice to know that Rainin' Sideways always has a fan looking down from above, holding a sign that says "make it rain," adorned with a picture of an African-American cartoon weatherman offering a dog up for adoption.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ollies Bring the Rain to ALKA

Raining Sideways continued their winning ways on Thursday against the upstart A Little Kick Action (ALKA). The Ollies’ fans enjoyed a slugfest as both teams came with the desire to win.

The scoring started early as each club managed to plate a pair of runs in the first inning. Kevin booted his second homerun of the young season, a two run blast that brought the crowd to their feet.

The Ollies’ defense struggled in the second inning, though, allowing four runs to give A Little Kick Action a comfortable lead.

However, Raining Sideways’ offense turned on in the second inning, scoring five runs to capture a slim lead they would build off of for the rest of the game.

The rest of the offense would come in the next inning when Pete clubbed a three run homer, his first of the season.

“It felt good coming off my toes,” Pete said. “I knew I had a chance before I even made it to first base.”

“It’s a beautiful thing when you get production from all corners of your lineup,” gushed Captain Big. “With this kind of performance, we can’t help feeling strong right now.”

Despite its early inning struggles, the Ollies’ defense also had a number of bright moments.

BK and Kevin each had overhead snags that dropped jaws. Big made a diving catch on the infield. Ashley brought down a hard hit linedrive and winged it to first for the out. And finally, Jaimie made her first out of her young kickball career with an impressive catch out in right field.

“As great as it is to have a high-scoring offense, the defense still needs to come to play,” said BK. “They also need to be able to stay focused in the face of adversity. They did that today and I’m damn proud of them!”

The final score of ten to six was misleading, however, as both teams played strong throughout the game. The post-game flip cup was equally competitive as the green and gray teams got their drink on.

“It was a good night,” slurred Big. “Allez Ollies!”

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ollies Slide Past Third Basers

Raining Sideways came from behind on Thursday to pull past the underrated Third Base is Overrated to take their second victory of the young Fall 2008 MA Recess season.

The Ollies once again had a strong showing on their sideline where they rocked their moustaches proudly.

The Ollies gave themselves some work to do in the top of the first when they allowed three Third Base runs to cross the plate before they could retire the side. However, Raining Sideways never let up as the offense immediately took a run back in the bottom of the inning.

Settled in, the Raining Sideways defense hunkered down and frustrated the Third Base offense in the second inning with a near six-four-three double play and heads up play by everyone.

The defense’s efforts were rewarded in the bottom of the second inning as the middle of the order combined for five runs to take the lead. The rally was sparked by game MVP Kevin who kicked the Ollies’ first homerun of the season. Ashley, Catie and Amy then recorded another four RBIs to put their own stamps on the stat book

The third inning saw the defense put up another goose egg with key plays by Kevin in the outfield and Kern at second base, managing to punish runners who overran second base.

Third Base didn’t give up, however, as they blanked the Ollies in the fourth inning. They then gave the Raining Sideways boosters something to worry about in the top of the fifth as they managed to put runners on. However, a diving stop by Eric and a fantastic eyes-closed catch by right-fielder Catie staunched the bleeding before any runs could score.

The bottom of the fourth inning saw another offensive breakthrough as BK, Kevin and Kern all added to the Ollies’ lead, bringing the team’s total up to 10 runs.

“We feel strong,” coughed Captain Big as he continued trying to clear his trachea of errant mustache. “We’ve adapted well to the league’s great fields. And I’m seeing good things from both ends of our lineup. I can’t wait for next week!”

The mustachioed kickballers were exultant after another strong performance. Morale is high as Raining Sideways continues its campaign for WAKA glory.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Raining Sideways issue a letter of intent

Raining Sideways, the new kids on the block in the MA Recess division, started off their season right with a tight victory over the incumbent Ball Monitors on Wednesday.

Scoring a quick three runs in the first inning, the Ollies surprised their opponents with smart at-bats, opportunistic base running and an incredibly loud bench.

On his team’s volume, Captain Big was jubilant. “I love my team. If we’re known for one thing around the league, I want it to be our enthusiasm and straight-up excitement to be out there playing kickball fer cryin’ out loud!”

Solid defense in the bottom half of the first inning on the over-sized field and another run by Kevin (kicked in by Ashley) gave the Ollies a 4-nil lead after one and a half.

Big struggled with the meat of the Monitors’ lineup in the bottom of the second, however, allowing three runs that made Raining Sideways’ lead a little less comfortable.

The third inning, however, saw the Ollies tack on another run that also came with a scare when two Raining Sideways runners collided at home plate, sending Chris ass over teakettle* into foul territory, but safe. For surviving the impact and having the presence of mind not to crack his head on the light pole, Chris was awarded the inaugural Raining Sideways Game MVP Cup ™.

Despite an unfortunate misunderstanding over one of WAKA kickball’s most basic rules, the rest game went smoothly and without (physical) injury.

The fifth inning saw the Monitors make a spirited comeback with runners on and a run in after Big confused the number of outs remaining. However, the Ollies’ defense was able to eventually able to put the Monitors to bed and make the trek to the bar.

“What kind of soup, Ollies!?” co-captain Asian was heard shouting from a teammate's car. The resounding answer is one that will, for now, also represent Raining Sideways intentions for this fall season:


* "ass over teakettle"(tm) used courtesy of BK

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Raining Sideways Fall 2008 Schedule

Click to enlarge.

NOTE: Week 4's rained-out game will be tacked on at the end of the regular season, likely pushing back the playoffs a week.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The WAKA Strike Zone

The more you know... And knowing is half the battle

Extra Base Rule

The Summer Patriot Division is officially instituting the "Extra Base" rule in order to prevent any (further) injuries as players run for first base. The rule is laid out below. Along with a lovely Paint picture made by me.

WAKA Official Rule Revision 1/2008

1.06 - Optional Extra Base
a. Fielders trying to make an out on first base must touch the base to the inside of the cone (first base). Runners hindered by a fielder touching the Extra Base will be safe.

b. Runners not attempting to advance to second base and touching the first base will be out.

c. If no fielder is on first base, and/or the runner is attempting to advance to second base, the runner may touch first base.

d. The Extra Base is only available for runners traveling from home plate.

e. Once a runner has reached first base safely the runner may not stand on or touch the Extra Base. Any runner doing so will be out.

f. No additional base may be used at any other base.

The Reason for the Season