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13  June 20, 2020                 

A BUMMER SUMMER       

The 2020 season is done.   Anyone for snowball?


The RA Centre has been closed since March 15, 2020 and they have laid off most of their staff.  There are also no Provincial, Municipal or Federal regulations expected in the short term that would open the facility for any kind of season.  



For those of you who are holding out for a later “COVID Classic Series”, please note that most of us sweat when playing with the same ball and bats.


RULE CHANGES     

In the off season the Executive made some rule changes, but not before making some organizational changes to facilitate the process.


They first disbanded the Rules Committee so all of you who volunteered for that Committee (like myself) were victims of the streamlining process.  In a related move, Dick Dinelle was fired as Rule Committee Chairman by E mail.


The Executive then went on to change the purpose of the Frank Licari trophy from Home Run Champ to the 60+ version of the Lady Byng Trophy.  I played many years with and against Frank Licari in a number of leagues.  Believe me, Frank would not be happy with any of these decisions. He was a real competitor who loved to hit those dingers, sometimes yelling “Showtime!” as he hit them out. 


I am at a  loss to explain why the League Executive is down on home runs.  They no longer record them and now limit them.  Two years ago when there was a move to limit home runs, I analyzed what possible effects multi home runs could have on game outcome. 

I determined, after looking at League statistics (which were available then) that games featuring multi home runs by a player may have affected the outcome in about 2.5 percent of games.  This is an insignificant occurrence and it merits NO consideration of change.


Notice I wrote  “may have affected”.  There were many other factors at play.  I played on a club that year that hit more home runs than any other club but ended up in last place with just two wins.  Not only did we hit more home runs than anyone, our team equaled the home run output of the top three teams.  Last place was still our fate. 


The main reason, among others, that we ended up where we did, was errors.  We would usually commit about 7 errors per game which gave the opposition 4 outs per inning.  No output of home runs could overcome this and never can.  The perceived significance of home runs in our game is simply not backed up with any credible evidence. 


A more fundamental aspect of our game that bears more scrutiny is the use of your own pitcher.  Think of it!  Everybody gets a maximum of four “grooved” pitches, even home run hitters.  Not only that, every batter can take multi steps both in and outside of the batters box to step into the ball.  In practice, players can use any bat they wish because none are checked.  If you are looking for a reason to limit home runs, or any hard hit ball, you might start with this aspect of our game.  

A reminder to pitchers when play resumes,  to please wear your face masks because what comes back off a grooved pitch is much more lethal than an arched ball pitched by somebody  who wants to get you out.



Six Little Known Facts About the League      

  1. Brian Sallie, who grew up in Montreal, bought his first mitt at the Hudson Bay Company.  What’s special about that you ask?  It was the Trading Post, not the store. First team? The Hochelaga Habs.


  1. Susan Kehoe drives a school bus on game days which she discreetly parks near the Rideau River.  She is the only player in the League that plays games during her coffee breaks.


  1. Mike Fish was looking forward to this season because he has been on a bit of a roll.  Earlier this year, Mike won “The Pat Fish Lookalike Contest”  narrowly beating out Dave Cooper for the top prize.  The narrowness of the victory is explained by the fact that the competition was held at the Carleton Tavern. 


  1. Al Best, Ed Emond, Shawn Argue, Bill Healy, Greg Potts, Michael Benedict and Dave Tripp - seven fast guys who could really pick up your team or you could have anyone of them lead the charge out of a Market Bar during the wee hours to avoid a big bar tab. 


  1. The chefs at the RA Fieldhouse Bar and Grill are known for their biblically inspired culinary feats.  Most of us have tasted their city renown salsa creation wherein they manage to produce 36 servings out of just two tomatoes .


  1. The infamous trench across left field at Diamond 4 has been there long enough to merit historical landmark designation by the City.  A committee has been formed and the name “Billings Trench” will be proposed.  The name reflects the ultimate direction of the undulation.


Thank you Dick Dinelle       

Dick Dinelle has resigned from the League in protest over moves by the League Executive, previously documented in this column.  Dick has been a player, organizer and President (twice) during his time in the League and has contributed in so many ways.  He was instrumental in improving the fortunes of The Selects in The Friendship Tournament  that culminated with three  straight victories  (2013-2015) and Rochester’s ultimate resignation from the Tournament. The resignation took place in Gerri and Dick’s backyard in July 2015 over roast beef and all the trimmings, including the liquid variety. 

Gerri and Dick knew how to do things up right and they both have an excellent sense of occasion. 

A passionate man about all things in life. Whether you agreed or disagreed with him, I know we  are all going to miss him…a lot. 


From Left Field

                      

   

  READ PAST EDITIONS HERE:

           #1 March 21, 2019
           #2 May 7, 2019
           #3 June 1, 2019
           #4 June 16, 2019
           #5 July 14, 2019
           #6 August 3, 2019
           #7 August 20, 2019
           #8 September 9, 2019
           #9 September 24, 2019
           #10 January 8, 2020
           #11 March 10, 2020
           #12 April 3, 2020