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Fighting Cocks softball!

Things were looking bad for the MCP Fighting Cocks.  We were losing to teams that weren't as good as we were.  We were letting ourselves get behind in games and then struggling to rally.  It was a hard knock life.  I was at work one day, in the back cutting paper, and HoosierNation hands me a piece of paper.  On it were four statistics: batting average, runs batted in, doubles and triples.  With those four statistics I had to compile a line up for our squad.  We discovered some things.


This young lady, Miss Constantini, is an outfielder for Seton Hall.  I would like to congratulate her on her 2007 Big East Academic All Star award.  I would also like to congratulate her on being attractive.

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Our leadoff hitter, Speedy D, has been our leadoff hitter for every season we have fielded a team.  The ugly truth is that, while he is having a decent season in terms of average, chronic leg problems and a lingering back issue have slowed him down.  He can't swipe the extra base and he can't drive the ball as well with a bum back.  His RBIs and extra base hits are way down and he is popping out for the first time.  Our three hole hitter has pop and speed but doesn't have Img_8918.jpgthe average to hang onto the spot.  Our most consistent hitter is our clean up guy, our pitcher Crockett, but he is 45, and while he is an excellent baserunner, he doesn't have the pop we need in the three hole, the speed we need on the basepaths, and is a constant threat to keel over dead in the midst of some beer induced, Hairbanger's Ball flashback.  Our five hole guy can uncork one at any time, but is up and down.  The six hole is Bruce Paine, and while he is in the bottom half in terms of average (it was a rough start to the year coming in from Minnesota), he is third on the team in RBIs.  Old Man Paine always said, "You might get on base more if you didn't hit the ball at people."  Shortround, who seemed to be having a good year, turned out to be at the bottom of the average pile.  Hot Tub, dormant when he had a woman in his life, has exploded into the lead with 4 for 5s and 4 for 4s since he broke off his relationship.  We had no idea what we were doing.

So old HoosierNation spent the day compiling our softball team's stats instead of cooking the books for MCP.  In the end, he came up with a strategy.  HoosierNations line up was unconventional.  Our middle-aged pitcher was leading off, our cleanup hitter was our old lead off guy.  Our three holer went to 5 and our commuter valve got switched with our grubberlyplank.  Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... MASS HYSTERIA!!!  You get the idea. 

Anyway, the result was a pasting.  We beat the monkey shit out of the other team.  It was over in the second inning.  It was like watching a train run over a Volkswagen full of pacifists.  They never stood a chance.  But now the questions becomes, "Can we Maintain?"  Was it just a reaction to a novelty or was their some sort of substance to it?  What happens if it works for a bit and then falls apart the week before the state regional?        

Cobra said

There are so many things I want to talk about here that I don't know where to start.....

1. Kudos to HoosierNation for looking at the stats and realizing something had to be done. I don't know if this takes you into the sabermetrics world or not, but sometimes guys are placed in the lineup based on what they are remembered for producing, not for what they are actually producing. Even Lou Piniella does this so don't give yourselves too much grief.

2. Every player in softball, just like in every other sport, only needs to do what they can do and it is up to the manager/coach/etc. to put them in a position to succeed. We talked about this a little last week in the Ted Williams post but as a player, don't go outside of your abilities to try to be something you aren't. You are just hurting the team that way. If you are a singles hitting player, hit singles, get on base and allow the manager to put you in a spot where your value becomes greatest. The easiest way to become a better team is to strengthen up your fundamentals.....hitting the cut-off men, running the bases better, extending innings, etc. Either that or get a stud pitcher.

3.You guys are keeping stats now? Who is in charge of that?

4. Paine and HoosierNation.....I'm going to say this as nicely as possible and then go back to work. Just swing the bat as hard as you can and let the results happen. Don't try to hit it to the right side, don't try to drop one in over the shortstops head....just hit the ball as fucking hard as you fucking can. You will get more hits that way.
The less you think the better off you are going to be. Sometimes you are too smart for your own good. Your hands know what to do, just swing as hard as you can and hit it with authority. If all else fails, try to hit it off the pitchers head.

5. The first post-college softball tournament I played in was with your current pitcher. Small world. It was a co-ed tourney in a very small town and they didn't know me and had the 'everyone gets equal playing time' strategy going. I think I went from LF to SS and he went from SS to P after we lost our first game and we won a few games. Pretty good guy, very frustrating tourney.

6.What does MCP stand for? Give that biz some pub!

7.Throw the stats up on the site....pride will make players do interesting things. Maybe have a Paine-o-Meter in the right side bar?

Hoosiernation said

MCP stands for Midwest Color Printing which is the fully digital print shop that I own. I would like to see a mental and physical Paine-o-Meter. Reason I say this is the mental meter would have blown its top during a co-ed game we had. Paine - you have some things mixed up. Our 3 hole hitter had our highest avg. and most extra base hits. Our 5 hole has been coming on strong but not having the extra base hits as he did early on (he's a great athlete as well). So we moved the 5 spot up to 3 and the 3 spot guy to clean up. Our leadoff hitter was maintaining a decent avg. but not great so he went down to 5. He still has some speed to come around the bases when Hot Tub steps up at the 6 spot. I maintained myself at the 2. As you know Cobra, I'm like Theriot either put me at the 2 or at the bottom. Paine's job is to continue to bring those guys around. My wife keeps the book and does a good job. She got a T-shirt for this dedication. We put a name and number on the back for her as well. Cobra great point about swinging as hard as you can. I remember you telling me that a couple years back. I was struggling a bit because I'm a opposite field hitter. Well, I was having a patience issue and all of a sudden couldn't do anything but grounders up the middle which may or may not get me on base. The last couple of games I've been hitting hard shots while pulling the ball. Feels a lot better. I just need to work on my patience and stay back for my opposite field shots. You will see our P in the tourney. He does a very good job and is very patience at the plate. Surprisingly he is aggresive on the base paths. If anyone can send me a video on how to field a grounder that would be much appreciated. My infield skills lasted one year and unfortunately that was last year. I can't field much at all and am thinking that it's time to go back to the OF.

Bruce Paine said

I think I have only gone the other way (intentionally) once this year, it was in this game and on a two strike pitch to the outside part. I think it was one of my triples. The better half of HoosierNation keeps the book. Don't rock with HN's world, he leads the squad in average and total bases.

Midwest Color Printing! Your one stop shop for all your printing needs (as long as HN is there and not out making deliveries. I have no idea what is going on).

Our biggest problem with out squad right now is, in my humble opinion, injuries and fatigue. We have had a lot of rainouts and a lot of guys play on other teams. Combine that with Speedy's injuries and my own lingering back issue and HoosierNation being a nancy about his arm and we just have a hard time putting it together and being consistent.

Crockett is a good pitcher. He can throw a strike whenever he wants. He can throw steep pitches for strikes which is a real advantage, and he can work both sides. When he led off he was 3 for 3 with a BB and he scored 4 runs. Not much more that we can ask for really. Greene County boy. The more beer he has before the game the better he plays.

Cobra said

I get into trouble when I start talking about lineups and strategies so let me just say this.....swing as hard as you can and try to either hit it through the chest of the ss/2b or knock down the fence. No need for anything hit above 15 ft. in the air in that league.

I think the Grenades showed that defense wins championships, too. Even in softball.

Hoosiernation said

You can tell how good of a game Crockett will have by the decibels of his voice. The louder he is the more he drank and the better he will play. He cracks me up when he turns around on the mound tells me to watch this shit. Then he drops in a high rainbow on the inside corner that has the hitter wondering what the hell that was. I am a nancy about my arm but the damn thing doesn't stop hurting after a throw. For you Paine, I will suck it up and make the throws in a motion other than submarine.

Cobra said

Please tell me your catchers name is Tubbs.

Hoosiernation said

So I just updated the stats. I couple of stats cannot be explained. Bruce Paine himself is leading the team in triples with 3. That is not the part I'm confused with but that he has no doubles. We'll discuss later today at work. Another player has only 13 hits but yet has 10 runs. The part that is confusing about that is that the guys hitting behind him do not have that many RBI's. He must be one heck of a manufacturer on the base paths.

Cobra said

The reader of this blog, me, demands that those stats be put in the public domain!!

I think Paine must be slipping the stat gal some twenties to help out his stats. In order to get a triple he would have to hit the ball over the head of the outfielders, right?

13 hits but only 10 runs....lots of homers?

Hoosiernation said

I think we'll provide the stats for you but first we must find a proper identity for the players names. That 10 runs with 13 hits stat doesn't seem so bad now that I checked out mine. I have 17 runs with 20 hits. I rarely have walked this year as well. Paine slipping her twenties may explain the extra pair of shoes the other week. Paine has split the gap a few times this year. It's nice to watch a man in his pajama pants sprint around the bases.

Cobra said

I looked up my stats while waiting for the ASG to start. Yes, I have them on my computer. 2006 - 63 hits and 55 runs, 2007 - 68 hits, 66 runs (Whitey was really driving me in there). So, it doesn't seem out of whack really.

It also looks like I have a 43 game hitting streak still intact.

Brcue Paine said

Bruce Paine is a line drive hitter. He often has the misfortune of hitting well struck balls right at the fielder. When he does not, the world is his oyster. He isn't going to hit many doubles because he does not get out of the box well, is not particularly quick, and does not split the defense with a ball that bounces before it splits them. If he gets them he gets them with a ball in the air and so it is more of a triple hit than a double hit. Bruce Paine would also like to add that his batting average is several points low because the stat matron has not been keeping track of sacrifices flies, which should not count as an at bat, but just a plate appearance. He would also like to note that he is third in RBIs which means he ahs hit many sacrifice flies.

Kelper said

What is Hot Tub's average up to? Surely over .600 now after last week's 3 for 3 right? If only that turd could run....

Hoosiernation said

Bruce has a point that I forgot to check yesterday. The Sac Fly. Bruce did have some nice shots last night. Plus his defense was steller. Hot Tub is up to .563. Cobra: were those for summer and fall? We'll have the stats up today, I think.


I will have to add that I've seen your three hole hitter play for a while now and he is not only one of the best outfielders in the game he is just as good of a slugger!! He is soooooo fast outta that box that even on routine balls hit to the outfield he is standing on second base about the time the ball is thrown in. He's also a pretty great guy and loves animals.

Cobra said

Yes, Summer and Fall.

Bruce Paine said

If our 3 hole guy was so damn good how come he fouls off strike three? How come after driving a triple he switches to lefty? If you weren't so good looking you'd be fired!

The GM said

I think I led the Grenades in most awkward catches on routine fly balls....damn depth perception! But, I think I also led in diving/leaping/rolling/rumbling/tumbling/full sprint catches as well.

I also would like to see a Paine-O-Meter. Maybe a picture of your face with a volcano erupting through the top if it???

I'll see if I can work on that for you.

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