Greene Invitational Softball (2015 Season, Game 3) – 7/22/15

22 Jul

Week 1 was postponed since we didn’t have enough guys.

Weeks 2 and 3 were played with 4 vs. 5 or 5 vs. 5 and modified fielding and batting rules.  We just didn’t have enough guys to field full teams on both sides.

Finally tonight in Week 4 we had 18 guys and an actual 9 vs. 9 softball game.  All in good fun though with only a few 40+ year-old pulled hamstrings and unavoidable lame injuries.

The Greene Invitational is the Who’s Who of Longmeadow and Western Mass.  We’re all guys daydreaming of our glory days back in the 80’s or 90’s.  Yours truly hasn’t played competitive ball since freshman year club baseball at Syracuse University in the Fall of ’90.  Longmeadow’s Dave Pandolfi could be seen stretching for 20+ minutes prior to tonight’s game to make sure there was no embarrassment (or injury) with his 17-year-old son Nolan playing as well.  Gary Rome played a sold first base tonight and added some quality base hits while our other Gary, Longmeadow’s Veratti of Party Boss Limo fame, was the good guys’ ringer and lofted a couple home runs.  Not to mention he could also be heard cursing up and down the dugout bench when he just got under it and flied out to left field.

Good news is that the injuries this evening were limited.  Brian Weinberg pulled up lame at second base following a key double and needed a pinch runner with a possible slight hamstring pull.  Greene was on first base following a weak single to left field in the bottom of the 9th and slightly tweaked his hammy running from 1st to 3rd on the final play of the game.  Mike Calvanese, on the softball field for the first time in several years, pulled something on the first fly ball to right field early in the game and favored the “injury” for the rest of the game.

In the end it was a softball game of epic proportions.  Greene’s Good Guys triumphed over Brian Zippin’s Bad Guys 17-16.  It was a walk off win for the Good Guys in the bottom of the 9th.  Even Arnie Horowitz, on the DL recovering from neck surgery 3 years ago, landed a couple key putouts behind the plate as automatic catcher.

We’re back at it next Wednesday night July 29th at Turner Field in Longmeadow.  We’ll actually be trying out the Chicago-based “cabbage ball” for the very first time – a 16″ ball softer than a traditional softball that’s played with no gloves in the field.  The ball does not travel as far off the bat – unless of course you have the uncanny abilities of Veratti or Pandolfi.

Next Wednesday night will definitely be a sight to see as we use Chicago’s cabbage ball for the first time ever.  Most of tonight’s warriors will be on hand for the on-field battle next week as well.

Good Guys:
Scott Greene
Gary Veratti
Patrick Sullivan
Bryan Connery
Jeff Evans
Joshua Weiss
Nolan Pandolfi
Mike Calvanese
Ralph Hardaker

Bad Guys:
Arnie Horowitz
Tim Bannon
Gary Rome
Dave Pandolfi
Adam Peck
Brian Zippin
Brian Weinberg
Bruce Winer
Rob Ravosa

I’d also like to call out senors Brian Wall and John Walczak for being team players and showing up AFTER the game was over.  Supposedly with actual league softball games of their own tonight, that was the story told and had to be accepted when liquid refreshments accompanied them post-game.

Some nice 2015 baseball card pulls

24 Jun

Figured I’d post a couple of these hits as I continue on with my 37-year love affair of the hobby.

From one Bowman Jumbo pack:
#RedSox Matt Barnes chrome RC auto

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From 2015 Topps Archives Hobby box:
1990 #1 Draft Pick Mike Trout auto, Gold #23/50

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Marquis Grissom Fan Favorites auto (next to Trout in this pic)

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Another sweet 2015 Bowman:
Kyle Schwarber refractor #/199

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Hopefully more to be posted soon!

Aquanett – Club Meadows 5/15/15

17 May

For those 80’s/90’s hard rock, heavy metal, power ballad fans, Aquanett is a must-see!  Check out this setlist from the other night.  If anyone has any idea what Iron Maiden song was played in the last set, please let me know.  That was the only song I didn’t know and I have to say never being an Iron Maiden fan, I wouldn’t know any of their songs anyway.

SET 1:
Talk Dirty To Me – Poison
Round and Round – RATT
Another Thing Coming – Judas Priest
Workin for the Weekend – Loverboy
Lick It Up – KISS
18 & Life – Skid Row
Rock of Ages – Def Leppard
Shot In the Dark – Ozzy Ozbourne
Heartbreaker – Heart
You Give Love A Bad Name – Bon Jovi
Separate Ways – Journey

SET 2:
Unchain the Night – Dokken
Cum on Feel the Noize – Quiet Riot
Panama – Van Halen
Rocket Queen – Guns N Roses
Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi
I Hate Myself for Loving You – Joan Jett
Still of the Night – Whitesnake (requested by ME)
Stone In Love (Summer nights) – Journey
Alone – Heart
Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams
Enter Sandman – Metallica

SET 3:
Modern Day Cowboy – Tesla
Heaven’s on Fire – KISS
Iron Maiden – ??? Don’t know the song
No One Like You – Scorpions
Monkey Business – Skid Row
Hot For Teacher – Van Halen

My WRESTLEMANIA 31 predictions

29 Mar

It’s been a while since my last blog post, but no better time than Wrestlemania day!!  Heck, two Sundays in a row should be national holidays!  Today with the Granddaddy Of Them All, Wrestlemania 31, and next Sunday night – MLB Opening Night. (although many will consider Monday, April 6 the  true Opening Day)

Tonight (err this afternoon in Santa Clara) is WWE’s grandest stage, their Super Bowl.  The Showcase of the Immortals!  On paper it does look to be a good card.  One thing I’m very curious to see is how they decide to book and layout the main card matches.  Now with two matches on the Pre-Show, we’re looking at only 7 matches on the main card to fill just under 4 hours.  That’s an average of almost 35 minutes per match, which is not going to happen.  This tells me we’re going to see some extended segments, elaborate ring entrances, and maybe a few surprises.  OK, I do this every year, and my Wrestlemania predictions in recent years have been fairly sub par, but my boys keep asking me what they are for this year.  So here goes…

Kickoff Pre-Show:
Fatal 4-Way for WWE Tag Team Championship – Champions Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs. The Usos vs. The New Day vs. Los Matadores
I said this on Twitter a few weeks ago when it was apparent the lame New Day gimmick and the Matadors were being squeezed into the tag title picture and I predicted this match would be on the Pre-Show.  It’s a shame that the once prestigious tag titles have been relegated to the kickoff now two years in a row.  Some of these guys deserve better.  We the WWE Universe paying $9.99 a month for the WWE Network deserve better.  Whatever happened to the history of classic Wrestlemania tag title bouts like British Bulldogs vs. Beefcake/Valentine and Hardys/Edge & Christian/Dudley Boyz?  This just doesn’t rank, especially if it can’t even be on the main card.  Let me put it simply. Anything other than Kidd/Cesaro successfully defending the titles will be a disappointment.  FACT!  I’ll go with them to somehow eek out a win retain.
Winners: Kidd/Cesaro

2nd Annual Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Last year’s event was decent and one would think Cesaro’s win was that impetus in taking him to that next level, possibly leading to a singles championship.  That didn’t happen.  He was essentially buried over the course of the next several months and then Vince told everyone he just didn’t have that “it” factor on the Stone Cold podcast.  I was actually very happy to see Cesaro paired with Kidd and marked out when they won the titles a short time ago.  So I’m hoping the same fate doesn’t happen to this year’s winner.  I see two possible outcomes.  Sandow finally snaps and ousts The Miz to win, OR the returning (for the last 2 months) Sheamus comes back and takes the crown.  If Sheamus isn’t part of the Battle Royal then he’s going to leave some sort of mark on the IC Ladder Match.
Winner: Sheamus, alternate outcome Sandow

Main Wrestlemania 31 card
Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match – Champion Wade “Bad News” Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler vs.Daniel Bryan vs. Stardust vs. R-Truth vs. Luke Harper vs. Dean Ambrose
One thing is for sure, and it’s a damn shame.  Ziggler isn’t winning this one since he’s scored two pinfalls over Bryan in the last week or so.  One finished the Gauntlet match on Smackdown and the other was a clean win in a decent but short match on RAW this past Monday.  I’m also pretty confident in saying that Barrett won’t successfully retain the belt.  I think he’s jobbed out to just about everyone on the roster over the last month.  Dean Ambrose is a big fan favorite and could be a popular choice here, but I’m not seeing them go in that direction.  I could envision a Shield reunion before Ambrose gets an IC Title run.  Harper, Stardust and R-Truth are non-factors.  That leaves the only outcome that really makes sense.  Daniel Bryan gets another Wrestlemania moment and hopefully brings some honor and main event status back to the once prestigious Intercontinental Title – a la WWE Class of 2015 Hall of Famer Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Honky Tonk Man, Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig, Bret “Hitman” Hart, Owen Hart and the list goes on and on.
Winner: Bryan

Paige/A.J. Lee vs. Nikki and Brie Bella:
Jeez, this one is being telegraphed a million miles away.  Haven’t we already seen the “frenemies” falling out?  Paige and A.J. will not gel for the entire match.  Blood is thicker than water.  Keep those cliches coming!  Too bad Nikki’s not defending the Divas Championship tonight, but really, until NXT’s outstanding Charlotte and Sasha Banks get promoted to the main roster, there really isn’t anyone worth challenging for the title.
Winner: Bella Twins

Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins
Don’t really have a lot to say about this match.  Seems as though they need to keep Orton in some type of quasi-main event role even though he’s not THE main event anymore.  Rollins IS the future.  His performance in the Royal Rumble triple threat match was truly amazing.  Mr. Money In The Bank is going to successfully cash in for the World title, it’s just a matter of when.  Orton exacted some revenge on RAW a couple weeks ago and that should continue tonight in what should be a very good match.  How about a missed Curb Stomp into an RKO outta nowhere sequence?  A loss here doesn’t necessarily hurt Rollins as he still holds the all-important briefcase.
Winner: Orton

U.S. Championship match – Champion Rusev vs. John Cena
Rusev has had an impressive year.  He has not submitted or been pinned during his time in WWE.  That ends tonight.  Cenation will chant “Let’s Go Cena” while the other half chants “Cena sucks.”  Rusev put a pretty good beatdown on Cena at the last pay-per-view (err Special Event) Fast Lane.  Tonight will be the soon-to-be Springfield College Athletics Hall of Famer John Cena’s night.  Not sure if he’ll pin Rusev after an Attitude Adjustment, or if he’ll make him tap out to the STF.  Either way, Rusev loses on the big stage.
Winner: Cena

Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker
Many are surprised we’re actually getting The Deadman in the ring tonight at #WM31.  We’ve heard nothing from him and not seen Taker once since Brock Lesnar shockingly ended The Streak last year.  Wyatt has done a tremendous job on the mic in his promos to build the match all by himself.  This is one great opportunity for The Eater of Worlds and the so-called New Face of Fear to share that big stage with The Phenom, one of the greatest of all time.  I only hope that Taker can go and make this a decent match.  It doesn’t have to be a 4 or 5* classic.  The big question is will his retirement match be next year at #WM32 in Arlington, TX in front of 100,000+ in attendance?  Or is this it?  I can’t see him losing two years in a row, and maybe he does lose in Texas last year, just like Flair did to Michaels in Orlando in Naitch’s retirement match.  Let’s go with that scenario.  Wyatt puts on a great show for us tonight but winds up resting in peace.
Winner: Undertaker

HHH vs. Sting
This is awesome!  Of all tonight’s matches, this is the one I’m probably most excited about, and likely more so for the entrances than what we might actually get in the ring.  What can HHH do to best his entrance with his harem of three from last year?  Does Sting come down from the rafters?  Wait a minute.  Are there even rafter at Levi’s Stadium?  Maybe we descends from the upper deck or even flies in on a giant crow.  Whatever we see it’s going to be a potential once-in-a-lifetime WWE ring entrance for the Stinger.  I expect both of these guys (45 and 55 years old) to be in tremendous shape and can only assume they’ve been planning this match out for quite some time.  It could easily close the show but I don’t think that’s going to happen tonight.  This is probably the toughest match for me to predict as I can easily see it going either way.  If it’s Sting’s only WWE match, he has to win.  If HHH and The Authority are still going to wield their power, there’s no reason why The Cerebral Assassin can’t go over.  Since I’m looking at one outcome in the main event, I have to go with the “face” in this one.
Winner: Sting

WWE World Heavyweight Championship match – Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
WIth Lesnar’s recent announcement that’s he’s re-signed with WWE and won’t be returning to the Octagon, we now have so many possible outcomes for this match – so many moreso than if we all knew he was out the door after tonight/tomorrow.  That’s one way to look at this.  Another way to look at this match is to remember that tomorrow night’s Monday Night Raw could almost be called Wrestlemania 31 1/2.  Annually it’s the best RAW of the year and big things happen.  If we don’t see a Rollins cash-in on Lesnar or Reigns tonight, then it very well, and very likely, could happen tomorrow night.  As for Lesnar vs. Reigns, I’m not saying it’s going to be an excellent match but it will be exciting.  One thing I’m learning is to never doubt with Paul Heyman preaches.  Lesnar is a beast and he will put a pounding on Reigns.  Does he suplex him 16 times into oblivion like he did Cena at SummerSlam?  I don’t think so.  Reigns will likely land his Superman punch and deliver a spear or two, but I just don’t see Lesnar being pinned by those.  Heck, he could kick out after 1 like he did after a Cena AA.  Another factor to consider here is Reigns’ cousin The Rock.  We saw him “help” and embrace Reigns at the Rumble in January and he very well could make an appearance tonight.  Does it help or hurt Reigns remains to be seen.  There’s a lot of chatter about a double turn with Lesnar going babyface after a double-cross by Heyman/Reigns.  I’m not buying into that, at least not tonight.  Could I be wrong?  Of course, and I usually am at Wrestlemania.  I just honestly feel that Lesnar is too big an attraction to take the belt off him right now.  His commitment to remain with WWE for the next however long his contract is just gives me too many reasons to doubt that the Championship goes to Reigns tonight, even if only for a minute or two prior to a Rollins cash-in.
Winner: Lesnar

I certainly am excited for tonight and can’t wait to watch the big event with my boys.  To everyone who is in attendance tonight, take it all in and enjoy Wrestlemania for the celebration of pro wrestling that it is!  I will one day get there myself.

#WWE Hell In A Cell predictions #HIAC

26 Oct

Quick predictions here right before the card begins…

AJ Lee def. Paige to retain Divas Championship

Nikki Bella def. Brie Bella

The Miz def. Sheamus (Miz wins U.S. Title)

Cesaro def. Dolph Ziggler in 2 out of 3 falls match (Cesaro wins I.C. Title)

Rusev def. Big Show

Goldust/Stardust def. Usos and retain Tag Team titles

Dean Ambrose def. Seth Rollins in HIAC match

John Cena def. Randy Orton in HIAC match

I actually hope I’m wrong on both HIAC matches and the IC Title match.

My two teams in 2014 MLB Fantasy Baseball Playoffs Parlay

30 Sep

SGreene1
C Salvador Perez KC
1B Miguel Cabrera DET
2B Dee Gordon LAD
3B Josh Donaldson OAK
SS Ian Desmond WAS
IF Kolten Wong STL
OF Mike Trout LAA
OF Adam Jones BAL
OF Starling Marte PIT
DH Buster Posey SF
P Clayton Kershaw LAD
P Gio Gonzalez WAS
P Zach Britton BAL
P Jon Lester OAK
P Edinson Volquez PIT
P Max Scherzer DET
P Trevor Rosenthal STL
P Madison Bumgarner SF
P James Shields KC
P Huston Street LAA
Tiebreaker – Dodgers over Tigers in 7

SGreene2
C Buster Posey SF
1B Eric Hosmer KC
2B Anthony Rendon WAS
3B Josh Harrison PIT
SS Jhonny Peralta STL
IF Victor Martinez DET
OF Yasiel Puig LAD
OF Mike Trout LAA
OF Josh Reddick OAK
DH Nelson Cruz BAL
P Sonny Gray OAK
P Greg Holland KC
P Santiago Casilla SF
P Francisco Liriano PIT
P Chris Tillman BAL
P Jordan Zimmermann WAS
P Adam Wainwright STL
P Clayton Kershaw LAD
P David Price DET
P Huston Street LAA
Tiebreaker – Nationals over A’s in 5

2014 MLB Fantasy Baseball Playoff Parlay – All the details you need!

26 Sep

It’s time once again for Fantasy Baseball Playoffs! This is the 7th annual parlay!  It makes watching all the playoff games so much more fun!  We had 31 teams in the Parlay last year and my goal is to hit 50 this year.
Please feel free to pass this on to anyone you know, and if somebody you know does want in, just make sure they let me know you referred them.  I’m going to post this on some fantasy message boards and on Twitter, so it’ll be out there.

Here’s how it works. Cost to participate is only $10 per team. One owner may have a maximum of two (2) team entries.

RULES: Choose one (1) batter AND one (1) pitcher from each of the 10 playoff teams to fill out positions of a roster with your 20 players. You must have ONLY 2 players from each playoff team; one hitter and one pitcher – no more, no less.

You must fill these positions with one hitter and one pitcher from each playoff team:

C
1B
2B
3B
SS
IF (any infield position)
OF
OF
OF
DH (can be a batter from any position)

10 pitchers (can be either a starting pitcher or relief pitcher). May be any combination of SP’s and RP’s but must meet a minimum of 15 innings pitched combined for all pitchers in the Wild Card/Division Series round, then a minimum of 10 innings pitched in the Championship Series round. This is to prevent any team from picking only relief pitchers.

P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
***and Tiebreaker – see below

YOU are responsible for submitting a legal team. I will do my best to catch any errors, but if your team is illegal and is caught at ANY TIME, you will be eliminated and refunded your money.

*PLAYER POSITION ELIGIBILITY – An offensive player needs to have played a minimum of 20 games this year at a position to be eligible at that position. If an offensive player has not played a total of 20 games, then the position he’s played for the majority of games will be his eligible position. Pitcher eligibility is determined by the majority of games played. If you are picking a player that is only eligible at DH, then that player must occupy the DH spot.  Otherwise the DH spot may be a player from any offensive position.

Your roster will be 20 players to begin with, and as teams are eliminated, those players won’t accumulate any more stats for you. Any roster can have any player from any team, as long as you don’t have more than one hitter and one pitcher from a team. For example, in a year when Philly made the playoffs, if one entrant’s roster has Philly’s catcher Carlos Ruiz, that doesn’t mean any other entrant can’t have him, but you couldn’t have Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard on the same team. Pick whomever you’d like. Odds are there won’t be any exact rosters with all the possible combinations, but we have a Tiebreaker just in case.
***Tiebreaker – Pick the two (2) World Series teams, the winner, and in how many games.
The categories that we’ll use are the traditional 5×5 fantasy baseball categories – AVG, HR and RBI, Runs, and SB for hitters, Wins, Saves, ERA, WHIP and K’s for pitchers.

Scoring will be done Rotisserie style, meaning….
However many teams are in the parlay, that number will be the most points available in each category. The leader in each category will get that number of points for the category, the 2nd place team in a category will get 1 point less than the max, and so on down to 1 point for the last place team in a category.

For example, if there are 10 teams in the Parlay, the AVG leader gets 10 points, 2nd place team gets 9 points, 3rd place gets 8 points, and so on down to the last place AVG team getting 1 point. Maximum number of points in this scenario would be 100 (10×10). If there are 18 teams, then 1st place in HRs gets 18, second place would get 17, and so on down to 1. Maximum number of points in this scenario would be 180 (18×10).

Stats will be cumulative, and the total stats after the completion of the World Series will determine the winner(s).

PAYOUTS (changed from previous years):

  • The leader after the Wild Card/ALDS/NLDS wins 10% of the overall pot
  • Winner of the ALCS/NLCS round wins 10% of the overall pot
  • Remaining 80% of the pot will be split up to go to the 3 overall leaders after the World Series – 1st place (65%), runner-up (25%), and 3rd place (10%).

The 10 playoff teams are:

  • Baltimore Orioles
  • Detroit Tigers
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  • Kansas City Royals
  • Oakland A’s
  • Washington Nationals
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • San Francisco Giants

Sample team:
C – Andrew Susac SF
1B – C.J. Cron LAA
2B – Omar Infante KC
3B – Kelly Johnson BAL
SS – Nick Punto OAK
IF – Juan Uribe LAD
OF – John Jay STL
OF – Jose Tabata PIT
OF – Nate Schierholtz WAS
DH – Don Kelly DET

P – Buck Farmer DET
P – Ross Detwiler WAS
P – Joe Smith LAA
P – Jason Vargas KC
P – Jason Motte STL
P – Charlie Morton PIT
P – Ubaldo Jimenez BAL
P – Brian Wilson LAD
P – Tim Lincecum SF
P – Scott Kazmir OAK
Tiebreaker – Pirates over Angels in 4

Team rosters are due by this Tuesday, September 30th, 8:00pm EST, prior to the first Wild Card playoff game.
If you can, get your team(s) to me as soon as possible so I have ample time for data entry.
 Please forward this on to anyone you think might be interested.

I ask that all entree fees be sent by Friday, October 10th. Please make this easy on my part and submit payment on time. If you’re mailing a check, please email me for the mailing address.  Or you can PayPal from bank checking accounts only please to me at teachhr8992@comcast.net.  If you want to send payment via PayPal (from a PayPal balance or bank account only please), make sure you use the option to “Send Money to a Friend.”  When you enter the amount it will show you the fees:
$0.00 USD fee if you use your PayPal balance and/or a bank account.
$0.59 USD fee if you pay using your credit or debit card (for $10).  If you do 2 teams (for $20) the fee is $0.88.  This is why I ask to use only a PayPal balance or bank account so there’s no fee taken out on either end.  Please do not use this option as I won’t receive the full $10 or $20 from you.
**Teams with fees not received by 10/10 will be subject to disqualification from the parlay.

If you have any questions, please email me at scotty.ballgame@comcast.net. If you think there’s anything I missed, or anything that could improve/enhance this Parlay, please let me know ASAP. Otherwise, put together a team or two you think will do well and send it over. Keep in mind, there’s a decent amount of strategy involved.  I will email a spreadsheet with all teams’ rosters as soon as all of the data is entered, and detailed updates will be sent after LDS, LCS and World Series rounds.
Follow me on Twitter at @Scotty_Ballgame as I’ll also tweet Parlay updates over the next month.

Good luck!

Scott

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