This is what we do, blog Sunday beer league softball, it’s what we’ve been relegated to since none of you farts would read anything I did regarding a full advanced statistical breakdown of the Tigers or anything else MLB related. So here it goes… I may have missed week one due to a lack of success in the summer that led to unbelievable widespread depression, but don’t hold it against me pretty please.
The Angry Beavers are at it again after a subpar summer season that saw an under .500 record and missing the playoffs, coming into the fall season with a revamped lineup and a vigor about them.
The lineup as it currently stands looks like this: (Keep in mind, this was used in week 1 and does not include three players who missed the first week or Coach Joe who sat out but will be playing from now on)
1st – Robert “Bobo” O’Malley – Pitcher
2nd – Garrett “Aunt Julie” Knappe – 3rd Base
3rd – Trev “Silver Slugger” Raleigh – Left Center/2B
4th – Michael “Frids/MVP” Fridline – Shortstop
5th – Brooke “Peepers” Davis – 1st Base/OF
6th – Richard “Rich” Woods – 1st/2nd/3rd Base
7th – Gregg “Knappe” Knappe – Catcher/2nd Base/OF
8th – Rico “Reeks” Marson – Right Field/Right Center
9th – Travis “Wheeeeeelz” Schultz – Catcher/Right Field
10th – Ryan “Ry” Zelinski – Sub on the team
The missing pieces from week 1:
Joseph “Kinda Coach” Harrington – Outfield/Catcher
David “Lamar” Morin – Catcher/Pitcher
Scott “Scooter” Gladki – Left Field/Shortstop
Derek “Not Gonna Make it Guys” Girton – Outfield
Returning as per usual are the lifelong Beavs – Joey, Trev, Michael, Rich, Bobo, Scott and Girton
A couple Beavs who’ve been on the team before are also returning this season – Brooke, Dave and Travis
New comers to the squad – Rico, Gregg and Garrett
Hmm.. I could end it there but I got ridiculed at our first game on Sunday for not doing this before the weekend started, therefore I guess I should do some player breakdowns.
Robert “Bobo” O’Malley. The Beavs pitcher from day 1 and the man who has held down the leadoff spot for most of his tenure with the squad. Bobo is the spark plug of the team, Captain Intensity, who expects the same out of the rest of the guys. Despite a severe case of asthma (get the puffer), there’s no stopping Bobo at full steam around the bases. While the aggressiveness occasionally could be considered dangerous, more often than not, it results in a run and plenty of excitement, and nobody is going to ask the kid to change his way.
Gare Bear Knappe. One of the three new players to the Beavs squad, a long time admirer of the team from afar finally gets his shot to lace it up for the Orange and Blue. Garrett will take over 3rd base on most occasions and provide plenty of power at the top of the lineup. With a HR to opposite field already in the first week, the team will look at Garrett to be a run producer and to play solid defense at 3rd, even if he refuses to protect the McNuggets. Some would call Garrett the softie of the team for his uncanny ability to remain appropriate with his language even in the most intense moments, but what he lacks in a “potty mouth”, he more than makes up for in his good-spirited g*y jokes.
Trev *Me* Raleigh. (Forgive me for referring to myself in the first person but I want to keep it consistent) The leading hitter from last season returns to the top of the lineup for the 4th straight year and will be counted on to drive in runs and get on base for the big bats behind him. In the first week, he got off to an incredibly slow start at the dish and has some definite work to do for the rest of the season. Despite a tendency to sometimes focus more on having fun with the guys rather than focusing on the win, Trev is one of the vocal leaders on the squad and has been for quite some time. Another apparent “softie”, he has a Sportsmanship award reputation to uphold from last fall.
Michael “The Usual MVP” Fridline. Not only Trev’s little brother who learned everything he knows from his older kin, but the leading power hitter from the summer, leading the team in doubles, triples and homeruns while coming in at third in average. Frids brings more than just a power bat, he also brings stellar defense at short, for which he is constantly recognized by teammates and opponents alike. The quiet assassin would be a good term for the kid, not normally one to say a ton on the field or to get under the skin of the other team, but he’s always a single error or a subpar at bat away from a potential meltdown.
Brooke “Brookie” Davis. One of the big free agent signings in the offseason makes a return to the Beavers in the fall after playing in the summer with Michigan Hearing. We don’t like to talk about it, but it was hard for the GMs to turn him down the way he came crawling back to the team begging to be a part of #DamNation. Brooke will play basically wherever you put him, including pitcher, 1st and anywhere in the outfield, while he puts up numbers in the box and instantly becomes one of the teams best offensive threats at any spot in the lineup. The Beavs leaders will be working on Brooke’s attitude and friendliness towards the opponents, and they’ll try to turn him into the softball version of Rambo, just dropping bombs on kids even if they’re in his top 8 on Myspace.
Richard “Rich” Woods. Another Beaver stalwart, a permanent member of the Beavs since day 1. Richie is the ultimate in infield versatility, having the ability to literally play any of the four positions around the horn. In summer ball this season, Rich found his stroke and frequently ripped liners all over the field. A happy-go-lucky cat with a good attitude and an above average baseball/softball IQ, Rich is a huge member of the team and an important contributor in the middle third of the lineup.
Gregg “Greggy G-Knappe” Knappe. The older brother of Gare Bear, Gregg is another one of the more silent members of the Beavs. Another of the 3 free agents picked up in the offseason, Gregg is currently in his first stint with the team but will immediately have an impact. An injury hampered him in week 1 but there’s no questioning the power in his bat and his ability to play most positions on the softball field. The Beavs will be looking to rest Gregg as much as possible and conserve the leg for a postseason run, so he’ll likely play a lot of catcher and 2nd base for the time being while he recovers. The slicked back hair says it all, Gregg is all business on the field and rumor has it he may have actually killed a guy in the past, so don’t get on his bad side.
Rico Marson. The third (brand new) free agent signed in the offseason, a flashy player who fits right in with the seemingly endless number of former hockey goalies who play on the team. In week one, there was a fly ball that couldn’t have been more routine and he chose to make a half butterfly catch in right center field, just to cheer up Gare who was having a rough inning. Could you ask for a better teammate than that? I submit that you could not. Just look out into the outfield for the Beavs on any given Sunday and you won’t miss him with his bright red and white glove, unless you’re blind of course. A not so typical one-handed follow through works wonders for Rico in the batters box and liners up the gap are a constant.
Trav “Beerman” Schultz. Wheelz, wheels, wheels-for-days, there are not many players in the league who can get down the first base line faster than Trav who benefits from his slap style hitting and is usually about 3 steps down the line when he makes contact with the ball. More often than not, regardless of where the ball is hit off the bat, you can find Trav on first base, whether or not the guy who was on first will be standing on second is another question. Trav started the season in right field and despite having not played out there since a serious shoulder injury, camped under a ball like a pro and made it look easy. With the injuries on the squad, we could see a lot of Trav out in the field instead of behind the plate.
Derek Girton. Don’t worry, he won’t be there most weeks. I believe the quote goes like this; “I don’t think I found two weeks on the schedule where I’ll be able to make it this season.” But hey, he paid.
Scott “Swift Mitt” Gladki. On most Beaver softball Sundays you’ll find Scott in LF for the Beavers, and there aren’t many gloves in the league that you’d rely on more to make the catch. The Beavers second leading hitter from the summer and the team leader in runs scored and singles returns to the top of a congested lineup and will undoubtedly be on base to be driven on by the players who hit behind him. If you’re lucky you catch a breeze from him as he cranks up the windmill as the third base coach and gets the guys home like a young MC, if you don’t know who MC is, then you’re not a good person. A third left handed bat who will make his season debut in week 2, Scott is a lifelong Beav and always will be.
Davie “Lamar” Morin. Davie Softball as the kids are calling him these days. The Beavs backup pitcher, a catcher and a 2nd base fill-in when called upon, Dave is one half of what some consider the best pitcher-combination in the league as we know it. Dave is a former one-time Beaver making a return for the fall season in 2014, since his previous stint with the team, Dave has added pitching to his repertoire as well as a more consistent bat. An absolute refusal to drive the ball to the opposite field has caused teams to play a bit of a shift that DMo consistently finds a way to beat. A talker, to say the least, Dave keeps the team loose on the bench and makes sure guys aren’t too hard on themselves, except for Gare, because everybody picks on Gare.
Joey “Beaver Bags” Harrington. The summer season was a bit of a disappointment for Joe as he was relegated to coaching the squad, and a bit of a disappointment to the team as Coach Joe was frequently seen fraternizing with the other team and not exactly in an ideal place to “Manage” the team. Joe makes his return to the outfield in week 2 after being medically cleared this week from the knee injury that kept him sidelined. Speed isn’t the name of this giraffe’s game but a strong swing and the ability to take the right routes to balls in the outfield makes him a valuable member of the team. One half of the team’s founding fathers (along with Trev), Joe is a lifelong Beav and will bleed #DamNation till the day he dies. Don’t get on his bad side, he’ll yell at you with all the ferocity of an angry mother lion and if you’re within about 6 feet, you might actually be able to hear what he’s yelling.
That’s the team… that’s what the fans have been clamoring for. Come watch us play Sundays at Clintonwood Park.
Week 1 was a bit of a bummer as we found a way to only win 1 game but as was discussed on the bench, there’s no reason we can’t win the whole thing. The season will be exciting, so stay tuned, ladies and gents!