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C'MON BLUE 2016 - Tuesday, May 3, 2016

 

Praise the Lord,

Softball season is here.

Rainy one day

Blue sky Sunday. 

Played Spokane's DBA.

They were nice

As they politely beat us twice.   

 

We fiinished in fourth place. Lost to twice to DBA out of Spokane. They went on to win the tourney. Those results surprised me.Salvo and Kaos finished second and third, respectively.  We played as good a ball as could have been expected for our first time out. Played hard, got sore, dirty, and more sore,' slid, took extra bases, turned double plays, hit homers and key RBI singles. it was fun. Interestingly.....it also seemed to be enough. When it was done, that was okay for today.

 

 

 

 

 
2016 State Tournament sites and dates - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

 

The 2016 State ASA Tournaments:

 

Girls JO Fastpitch: Kalispell   July 8-10

Mens Fastpitch:  Missoula  August 5-7

Mens C and E: Bozeman  August 12-14

Mens D: Butte   August 12-14

Womens C and D: Helena  August 5-7

Co-Rec C and D: Great Falls  August 19-21

Co-Rec E: Anaconda  August 19-21

Men's Masters/Senior +40-50-60 Missoula July 23-24

 
2015 +40 State Tournament, Anaconda MT - Saturday, August 15, 2015

 

 

MONTANA STATE CHAMPIONS, +40, 2015

 

 

 

2015 MONTANA STATE +40 TOURNAMENT:  

 

We shall remain eternally grateful to the Softball Gods, for the 2015 Montana + 40 State Championship Tournament they attended with us last weekend in Anaconda MT.  They encouraged us to play to the limits of our God-Given abilities, and like well-mannered guests, we took them up their kind offer.

It is fun to wonder if the Coin Toss Angels got into the action by providing the divine intervention that allowed us to be Home Team in every game of the tournament. Thank you to any and all who were a part of this good fortune. I suspect the Lords of Luck were controlling the rotations of the Umpires Coin, and like a late breaking curve ball, adding an extra half-rotation somewhere mid-flight, to ensure a head or a tail, depending on the call of the coin-toss.

Perhaps had the team we were playing on Sunday, been drinking Church Wine Saturday night, rather than Moonshine, and perhaps had they heard my Grandmother’s wise words, “It is the sleep you get before midnight that counts the most,’”  Sunday morning may have been a bit more of a welcome awakening to a blessed day. The Hangover Hours begin at midnight. Sunday morning knows a Saturday night partier and Sunday mornings can be so very judgmental.

Hey now!! That’s not a lecture, it is just a little good natured humor with some friends, and there is no sin in that. I do recall being on the receiving end of some good-natured banter from their dugout as I crossed the line of demarcation, approached their dugout to ask for the lineup.  Even though I am half-deaf, the language I can hear clearly is body language, mischievous smiles, and fading friendly taunts as I retreated to our dugout.

The goal, as always is to stay out of the loser’s bracket as long as possible. We accomplished this by winning our first two games Saturday; against The Depot and then Old Chicago from Billings.

These wins provided the peace of mind that comes with an undefeated Saturday.  Conversly, Old Chicago, after losing to us, had to take the field for two more elimination games Saturday afternoon, just to get into Sunday. Kudos to the Billings crew for getting that done.  Had we lost to Old Chicago, it would have been us playing those additional games. 

Teams were playing good ball. We were playing our best ball of the season. Our defense was as good as any defense I have seen on a softball field. I would say that out loud.  The unofficial “Double-Play’s-we-turned,” count is 14. Nothing helps a coaches’ sore old back like watching the infield play like meat-eating-carnivores. There were no plant eaters in the infield this weekend. Ground balls and line drive were snared like prey in a prehistoric feeding ground. That’s right, no exaggeration, our infielders were in a fielding frenzy.

I was asked to keep the “Official Game Book” for both teams, so I was unable to make my usual notes, reminders, pink marks, etc. in our scorebook.  For instance I do not have all the home runs circled, pink violations documented, etc.  So, in keeping with team tradition, If/when I don’t know what the details were, I will make up something humble, and possibly t your expense. You know, truth-based revisionist Senior Softball history.  Mixed with a sprinkle of early-mentia.

 

 

1ST game vs The Depot: We won 18-6:

1st game at State 40 was against “The Depot,” a good group of Butte ballplayers.  Geritol and The Depot drew each other in our Thompson/Corr Senior Games, this past June. They are a fun team to play. Good spirits and always competitive.  

This morning, the Depot’s bats were sleepy and our defense was on alert. A lot of hard hits ended up in the web of a fielder’s glove. In seven innings, The Depot sent 26 batters to the plate.  That is fewer than 4 batters per inning. The Double Play Parade began in this game and remained in full force the length of the tournament.

Every infielder was in on a double play.  Alex turned them both ways, from third to first and from third to second to first. Tracy and Michael Fuchs made it look easy and they turned a very high number of not only double plays, but inning-ending, rally-killing double plays. Then we threw in “Hands” Thompson. Hands, Fuchsie, and Alex rotated, each playing two innings,and sitting one. It worked great. We used this exact rotation when we won the St Regis Tournament, July 3-4. Teammates, team players, team wins and team  losses.

Now, all of these ramblings are my ramblings, you each get to have your own ramblings. You get to write your own story. I suspect our stories would differ yet mirror one another.  Our team story and what has led us to Barnstorm to Anaconda for a State Tournament is as personal to us as individuals and it is personal to us as a team and as teammates.

(on an aside…I just realized I like the word teammates to be one word. I want it to reflect us.

I have seen it hypen-ated,

I have seen is as two    words. Separated                of sorts.

TeamGeritol  is oneword. United.

Man, this tournament really has me writing some corny stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                  I wish I had more details, here is what I know:

David Thompson earned the Pink Hat….maybe.

This game ended under very different circumstances but identical

score as the Championship game,18-6.

The team was 27-43, which is a fine .627 team batting average.

It also shows that we had one more hit in the game, than The Depot, had, “At Bats,” in this game.

David T. earned a pink shirt to give him a striking pink shirt and hat ensemble.  David made two outs in our 8 run second inning. He made the first and the third outs of the inning.

Alex earned a pink shirt by hitting a strike three foul ball. Being the team player Alex is, he wanted to make sure we documented David T’s feat of two out pinkness.

Everyone on the team got a hit.

Patrick had two home runs in the game

It took a little while for us to adjust to the 1-1 count. We did not use it during the season. James paid of a long-simmering, getcha-gotcha debt, by telling everyone on the team, except Alex about the 1-1 count. I amsure many of you remember the State Tournament in Butte, where James earned his first pink poodle-kisser shirt by showing up at the Sunday morning game in the wrong color jersey. His excuse echoed Alex’s lament, in that Alex says James did not tell him. James openly agrees that he had made the announcement when Alex was away. James had his game face on. No concessions, take no prisoners, settle old scores, and punk him if you have the opportunity.  One more old debt paid off. Clint Eastwood-Stokes carves another notch in the composite bat.

 

SECOND GAME: VS OLD CHICAGO:

We won 17-12.

Tough game. Old Chicago scored 6 runs in the top of the first.              We scored 6 runs in the bottom of the first.

Old Chicago scored 3 in the second and we came back with five runs to take an 11-9 lead, which we held onto for a 17-12 win that felt like a upset win to us in that this was the first time we have beaten Old Chicago. They are an excellent and seasoned team. Any tournament they enter, you expect them to be playing late Sunday afternoon.

They beat us two years go in Bozeman; aided by a series of bizarre events in the final inning that left me feeling like the Softball Gods were sitting in Old Chicago’s dugout.  

Patrick and Alex hit home runs in this game.  The book also says that David T. earned the pink hat again this game. Not sure if that is true but it makes for good press, and if I post this on the internet, it will magically become the truth. Just ask Mike Fuchs about his top secret hernia surgery.  The truth is hard to hide. Especially if you can make it up.

In this game, we were 26-44 for a team batting average of .591. Again everyone in our lineup got at least one hit in this game.

By this game, we were gaining momentum which would carry over to tomorrow’s games.

Our defense was in synch. The execution was nearly flawless. Playing a full season in league paid huge dividends.   It was a Williamsport win for us. We were a very happy bunch of grown up kids.

Defense can win games in softball as well as football. 

Halftime……I need a break,

More to come……

I will also post some team photos from the tourney

 

 

 

 

 

 
Rhino Rumble 2015 Begins - Sunday, May 10, 2015

 Hey guys....very well done. 

First action of the 2015 season and we play in the Championship game of the Rhino Rumble. Our Friends from Red's were the better team today.

First Game, vs. BrewJays. Lose 19-12:

BrewJays opened up an early lead and hung onto it to win the opening game of the Rhino Rumble. James earned the inagural Pink Cat Hat of the year.   

 

 

 
Pre-season chatter, hey batterbatter - Monday, May 4, 2015

 

 

There are a number of changes and new rules awaiting us in the Senior League.

They include, a strike mat at home plate.

      *The strike mat is appx. 17"x36"

      * if the pitched ball hits the strike mat, the pitch is a strike. 

      *The area that used to be home plate, is now a part of the strike zone.

There is a "scoring plate"  It is on the 3rd base side of Home Plate. It is equi-distant from 3rd base to both of the plates. 

        *Runners must run to and touch the scoring plate. 

        *All outs at home plate are "force outs" that occur when the defensive player touches home plate.

              *There re no "Tag-outs after the runner has crossed the Committment Line> 

         *If the catcher/defensive player, has the ball and tags a runner who is trying to score from 3rd base; that runner not out. The catcher/defense must make all their outs at home plate. 

We have a committment line, . It is placed 20 feet from the scoring plate and will be evident as a chalked line.

          *If the runner crosses this line, he must continue running to the scoring plate. 

          *If a runner touches home plate, rather than the scoring plate, he is out.

A 5 run rule that says we may only score 5 runs per inning, unless we are behind; and then we may score until we have a 5 run lead. Each team will get an  "Open inning", which says in each teams' final at bat, they may score as many runs as possible.

No more "Mercy Rule." All games will go to their natural finish, or until the time limit comes into play.

The "Halo Rule." Any ball hit "dead red", directly over the pitching rubber, will result in being a "Dead ball out." It does not matter where the pitcher is standing or whether or not the pitcher is struck by the ball. Plain and simple, if you hit the ball back over the pitching rubber (it is 24" wide) you are out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Team Geritol turns 40 - Saturday, March 28, 2015

 We had no league team in 2014 and we missed it dearly. It came back to haunt us as the season wore on. Our tournament performance mirrored our lack of playing time. The opening tournament of the 2014 season we took 1st place. The second tourney of the season, we earned 2nd place. The 3rd tourney of the year we got 3rd place. By the time the State Tournament rolled around, we were circling the drain. As they say in Francais' and Espanol. "El stinko la flusho'.

Flash back to the famous lines from the movie "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," "Bats..Bats..We ain't got no stinking bats. We don't need no stinking bats" And then to the famous line from Clint Eastwood, in "Dirty Harry." "Go ahead, make my day." and by golly we did. We stood by and let a couple of teams pull the trigger on us. We made their day.

 Under the recommendation of our team counselor, we are back in league this year. True to our team name we will be playing in the newly formed +40 division of the Missoula Senior Softball League.

The Missoula Senior league has a total of 16 teams. Ten teams will play in the +50 division and six in the +40. We will play a 20 game season, with a guaranteed league tournament at the end of the season. We will play on tuesday's and thursdays at McCormick and The Northside.

McCormick is great venue to play and hang out afterwards on the "Williamsport PA-like" hillside and watch your buddies. McCormick does have the problem of field one, which rhymes with sun. We will do our best to share the misery of playing on this field during the 7:15 game time. At the most no team should have more than a couple of games on that field at that time. I wonder about an honor system, for the "sun game," wherein hitters, agree to leave the 3rd baseman alone, go for the 5/6 hole, either side of the pitcher,  or to the right side; we would hate for anyone to get hurt by a ball he could not see.  

The Northside is unapologetically vintage Missoula softball. You are hitting home runs that bounce into peoples front yards or foul balls at cars driving by oon Northside streets that line two of the four sides of the field. How does it get any better than that? It is the Missoula version of Waveland Avenue at Wrigley field. We have become grownup kids. All caught up in the opportunity to have to hit or retrieve a ball that bounced high off the street, over the fence, into the yard, of an unknown neighbor. We did that when we were kids...retrieve the ball we'd just hit onto the grumpy neighbors property. No denying a heart beats faster as the boddy climbs over the fence or goes through the gate to grb a softball tht is lying there like the last, lost Easter Egg. Crap!!Does he have a dog. (The Pink Panther) " Does his dog bite?"

Northside also provides parking lot thrills as all foul balls  have a chance to dent the hood of a car parked in Rookie Row; or better yet, hit a moving object. These are all intimate moments of softball. All eyes are on the trajectory of the softball as it travels though the air like one of the cowpie bombs we used to lob at the kids skating into our territory on the Irish Ditch We have carried these memories with us since childhood. They return, unaffected by age and time at Northside. 

Then, just to remind us that we are not still kids, Northside is bordered by a well-cared for cemetary, sitting on a hillside, which quietly overlooks up and coming ball players. Perhaps a bit unnerving scenario for an age group of guys who have transitioned from sprained ankles and pulled muscles, to colonostopies and prostate exams. We almost had enough guys to form a "No Prostate League." But we came up a little bit short. We were also concerned about how stiff the competition would be. 

Well, what else need be said? Great times await.

If you are a softball player of a certain age, you are fortunate to live in Missoula. We are blessed to have the Senior League. I am not aware of another town in all of Montana that has a Senior League. Ours is growing and has remained strong for the past 20 years. It has grown  fron 10 teams to 16, in the past 3 years. 

In addition to our fine Senior League, I think we also have the best concessions to be found. Meals on Wheels does a bang up job for us. They bring the oatmeal and prune juice right down into our dugouts. They also accept Medicare. Boy....we are swinging in the ol' hammock.

 

 
Spokane Senior Softball Tournament - Friday, February 27, 2015

 

 Please check out this wonderful website www.spokaneparks.org/sports/softball.  

This will be a great tournament. Spokane is promoting our Thompson/Corr Tournament and we arehelping promote theirs. 

Spokane is one of our favorite places to play softball an dwe have enjoyed theh Spokane player's participation in our tournaments.

 

 
2014 TOURNAMENT POSSIBILITIES - Thursday, March 13, 2014

 

Here is a listing of 2014 tournament dates for Team Geritol:

C'mon Blue;....................... May 3/4

Rhino Rumble:................... May 17/18

MSA: .................................May 31-June 1

Zoo Town: .......................(Money Tourney) June 21/22

Thompson/Corr:.....+40-50-55-60-65-70-75, June 28/29

St Regis:......................... July 5-6...our year to win it!!!

Mens D & E Districts..........July 26/27

State +40/+50:................August 1-3,  Butte MT

State D: August:...............8-10, Helena MT

 

 

 
2014 Softball pre-season info. - Monday, January 27, 2014

Parks and Rec, along with Missoula Softball Association, are in the process of making arrangements to have new infield dirt placed on all of the softball fields. We did this several years back and it was a great improvement. Time has come to replenish our infields and the partnership with Parks and Rec has been encouraging.

 
Hey!! We won a tournament.. - Saturday, June 15, 2013

Well Praise The Lord!! Merci beacoup to the Softball Gods!! Team Geritol won the Grateful Red Tournament on June 8/9.

Richard Nixon was still in office the last time we won a tourney. We had not yet landed on the moon and wild poodles roamed the earth. Gas was 39 cents a gallon and gay meant happy. Okay, perhaps I am exaggerating, but it has been a couple of years.

Here are some of the details about our return to the winners circle.

Saturday was round robin play. We won 1 game and lost 2. Yikes, an inauspicious beginning. We played 3 tough teams, Avalon from Spokane, Rhino and Slumpbusters from Missoula.

We lost to Avalon 18-17

Lost to Slumpbusters 24-9

Beat Rhino 21-19.

This earned us the 6th seed in a 7 team tournament.

Sunday we:

Beat Avalon 24-23

Beat Rhino 22-10

Beat Slumpbusters 22-1 in the Championship game??? Go figure. You graciously accept the good games and try to develop a handy case of intentional amnesia for the bad ones. Well, we do try to learn something from our losses, and throw the rest away. A softball version of the "Catch and Release" philosophy. Kind of like James Stokes  picking all the M&M's out of the Trail Mix, while munging the raisins and nuts he leaves for the rest of us. We know where his hands have been and it gives us practice blocking out bad thoughts...and buying M&M-free Trail Mix.

Sunday was an anomoly in that we started hitting early in each of our games and continued to hit throughout all three. Our first game of the day, against Avalon,was a one run victory in a high scoring game, against a team we had not beaten in our 3 or 4 previous contests.  One of those milestones/developmental steps forward.  You know, one of those wins that takes you to your "happy place."

Our second game Sunday was against a very good Rhino team. Once again we were home team and and started off hot and stayed hot. We had a 10 run 1st inning and an 8 run 2nd inning. The Softball Gods were smiling on us for whatever the reason. They liked the colors orange and pink that day.

The Championship game was against Slumpbusters and our record against them is similar to our record against Avalon. These guys won State C two years ago and have flat out, had our number. I feel safe in saying what happened in this game, will not happen again. While it was a great win for us, it was also a freak win, in that we won this game 22-1 in 3 innings and uhm.....that is a bit like When Monty the Griz mascot makes one of those half court, one handed, back to the basket, trick shots. It is possible, but not very dang likely. Needless to say, we will be wearing orange and pink on Sundays for awhile.    

Playing with Geritol this weekend were David, Meet the Felkers, Patrick Hiller, Andrew Wisconsin, Ambu-Lance Horner, Alex Keffler, Tracy Elam, Blake HoneyMoon, Brandon and Mitch Thompson, Zilla Dimmitt, and James Stinky-Stokes. They all played great team ball. Guys played hurt. Patrick broke his thumb, in the semi-final game, making a diving catch in the outfield and continued to play. No more outfield for Patrick. Tracy pulled a groin, David made a successful return from a long stay on the disabled list, Alex earned an All-Star shirt for his play at 3rd base, with his floppy old Rawlings glove with the Mizuno web. Mitch Thompson played outfield on Saturday and flawless 2nd base on Sunday, earning an All Star shirt for his all around play. Blake HoneyMoon and Patrick earned the other two All Star awards. While these four players were very deserving; we could easily have passed out 11 All Star shirts as they all starred this weekend.  Andrew led the team in hitting with a 20-25 performance.  Thanks to the team for how well they played and for the positive mindset despite Saturday's struggles. Thanks to Von Richter, Rod Jackson, and Kenny Miotke for putting on a great tourney....and I'm not saying that just because we won.

 

 
MSA..First tourney of 2013 - Monday, April 29, 2013

We finished in third place with a 5-2 record. Much fun, many sore muscles. More home runs than I have seen in awhile. The ball was carrrying. We had an inning in which all three of our outs, were home runs over the limit. Not only is that a first for us, it is the first time I recall seeing it happen.

We are blessed with two wonderful pitchers on our roster. We also have our bet depth ever at middle infield. The Softball Scouting/Recruiting Gods have smiled on us. We are gracious. Not only are we the recepient of talented players, more importantly, they are really nice guys.

Playing in this tournament were: James Stokes, Alex Keffler, Mike Dimmitt, Patrick Hiller, Blake Honey, Tracy Elam, Chip Serna, Tommy Thomas, Shawn Hollenback,  Alan Fox, Brodie Ellis, Lance Horner, and Casey De"Mall. David Felker was on the DL and coached first base for us. Eight of these fine ballplayers wore pink by the tourney's end. We have a strict confidentiality policy on Geritol that forbids finger pointing. So with that in mind I will only say that Zilla, Alan, Shawn, Casey, and Blake were not guys who wore pink.

Batters starting with a 1-1 count. Hittters coming to the plate ready to swing. Less pitches being taken. Less walks happening and the games moving at a faster clip.  

 

1st Game Saturday morning 9:AM vs Pitch Slappers: Win 20-6

This was a 6 inning game. We scored in every inning except the 4th. Tommy, Zilla, Lance, and Alan hit home runs. Our defense was solid. As a team we were 26-40 for a team average of .650. James earned the pink hat by making the only out in the 6th and final inning. We scored 8 runs with 1 out, to end the game on the 12 run rule. Alan led off the final inning with a solo home run. For what it is worth, Alan hit the ball twice as far as he weighs.  

 

2nd Game, Saturday morning 10:10 vs Slumpbusters: Lost 20-8

 Well dang, there goes our 1 game tournament winning streak. We scored 5 in the  bottom of the 1st and led 7-2 after 3 innings. Slumpbusters then scored 15 runs in the top of the 4th to ruin a perfectly good game. We never recovered and were mercy ruled, 20-8 after 5 innings. Blake, Patrick, Lance, and Alan hit home runs. Tracy earned the pink hat this game. As a team we were a woeful 12-27 for a team average of .444.  

The general consensus is that we lost this game because of noxious fumes eminating from the southern hemisphere of our self-proclaimed All Star catcher. The Shelby fumigator claims another innocent victim. James claims that pink gives him gas. The team's theory is that James is an alien from a distant planet and he was sent here to destroy Earth one fart at a time.  

 

3rd Game Saturday, vs Pepsi: Won 25-11.

The bats came to life again and we scored in every inning. We scored 17 of our runs in the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings.

Blake, Patrick, and Alan hit home runs in this game.

Tommy, Brodie, and Stinky Stokes, each struck out and had to wear Poodle Smoocher shirts. Interestingly, Tommy's back went out at the end of this game and he was done for the weekend. The Poodle shirt will take a good man down. WE wish Tommy a speedy recovery. His Doctor at Missoula Veternarian Clinic, expects him to miss 2 doggie days, which is 14 people days. We should have Tiommy back in a couple of weeks.  Please take a look in the Photo Album section to see a  Kodachrome of these 3 Big Dogs. These boys look like they have been eating poodles, not kissing them.

As a team we were 35-55 for an average of .636. Nice job guys and doggies.

 

4th Game Saturday, vs Wolfpack: Won 10-9.

Long day for us in our first tournament of the year. Our first game of the day as a play-in game and it has us playing our 4th game while most other teams are playing their third.

Patrick, Alex, and Lance struck out for us. This was Lance's first pink ever, and it was about time.  Alex and Lance hit 2 stike fould balls, while Patrick gave Hammer the opportunity to ring him up on a close strike two pitch. Patrick has a very good eye at the plate. Our buddy's only mistake was giving Hammer the chance to throw him overbboard. Patrick walked the plank, courtesy of Captain Hook. Patrick did come back and hit a big home run for us in the 6th inning.

This was an elimination game and we were trailing 9-7 in the bottom of the 7th. Lance, Alan, and Chip, our first 3 batters came through in the clutch, getting hits and scoring the 3 runs we needed to win the game. We diid this without recording an out. 

We were 22-40 for a team average of .550. A long and fun day comes to an end and we are into Sunday morning. It sure feels good to be playing softball again. Thank you to the Softball Gods.

SUNDAY'S GAMES:

 

 1st game Sunday: 9:AM vs Lithia/Paul Wilson Painting: Won 20-7.

We hit the ball all day Sunday. Three very nice games for us. In this game we scored 5 runs in the 1st inning on our way to a 5 inning game. Our good buddy Tracy earned the pink hat for making the final out of the game. Blake and Smoochie hit Home runs for us that counted. Zilla hhit one for an out. We can forgive him because despite batting cleanup, by his turn to bat, the homers had already been hit. A nice predicament to have. Mikey asked to bat lead-off...sorry buddy.

Shawn-na-na of "Hollenback Poodle Farms" and Casey joined us for the first two games on Sunday. Their fresh legs in the outfield were a welcome addition. Four games on Saturday makes for a stiff Sunday morning.  Thanks guys, you were a big help.

 

2nd game Sunday, vs The Fish (Kalispell) Won 29-23:

Fun game and not just because we won, altho winning certainly does add to the enjoyment factor. We scored in every inning and there were four lead changes in the first four innings. We also had a "First Ever" this game, when Patrick, Zilla, and Casey each hit home runs in the fourth inning...and all three of these home runs were outs. They can thank Blake, Brodie and Patrick for using them up by the fourth. Patrick hit three this game, two that counted. Blake hit two, and the rest of the team just got on base for them. 

Our good buddy Alex, "Don't call me Poodle-Boy" Keffler, earned the pink hat by making the final out of the game. Grrrrrrrrr. 

We were 36-56 for a team average of .642.  Fun game against some nice guys.  

 

 3rd game Sunday, vs 8 Ball (Great Falls). Lost 24-23...Dang!

Another great back and forth game. We trailed the first two innings, tied the score in the 3rd, took the lead in the 5th. lost the lead by one in the 6th, tied the game in the top of the 7th, and lost the game in the bottom of the 7th. Holy Cow! What fun. Blake, patrick, Lance, and even Zilla hit home runs that counted. Everyone on the team hit well. We had a tournament high 39 hits this game. That is an average of 5+ hits per inning. Every player had at least 2 hits, and 7 of our guys had 4 or 5 hits in this game. 

 

As a team we were 39-57 for a tournament high fame average of .684. We had a ton of hits, we also left a lot of guys on base in this game. The scorebook said 15 runers LOB, not sure just how exact that is, but it is close. 

 

TOURNAMENT RECAP:

We finished up 5-2 and 3rd place. Lots of games. Lots of home runs, hits, fine defensive plays, and of course quite a bit of pink. Most of all lots of fun. Great group of guys. Three new additions to our roster and it felt seamless. 

On Saturday we scored 63 runs in 4 games for an average of 16 runs per game.

Sunday we scored 72 runs in 3 games for an average of 24 runs per game.

I will add more stats as I get time. Thanks for a great weekend guys. I think 2013 looks very promising. Makes me feel happy and most fortunate to be a part of it. 

 

 

 

 
2013 Mens D - Tuesday, April 16, 2013

 

 1. Lithia/Paul Wilson Painting.........Paul Wilson

2. Elbow Room.............................Tony Davis

3. Team Geritol.............................James Stokes

4. Reds Bar.......................................Jake Ginn

5. Msla Power Equipment/Deanos......Matt Meinke

6. Jones Bros./Gomers Diesel.............Kyle Richie

7. Lucky Strike..................................Lee Sidel

8. Rhino Bar......................................Fritz Neighbor

9. Pepsi.............................................John Larsen 

10. Triple Crown.................................Brett Ferris

11. Cotter Law....................................Joseph Caye

12. Claim Jumper/Wolfpack.................Brady Sullivan

13. Charlie B's.....................................John Sommer

14. Pitch Slappers/Rustic Hut...............Mike Sherwood

15. Shock and Awe.............................Mike Rogers

 
Tournament Dates for us to consider. - Tuesday, April 16, 2013


April 27/28........MSA

May 4/5.........................C'mon Blue

June8/9.(?).........................Reds

June 22/23........................Elbow Room

June 28/29........................Thompson/Corr, +40-50-55-60-65-70-75

July 6/7.............................St Regis

July 27/28..........................Men's D and E Districts/ Missoula

August 3/4..........................Men's +40-+50 State..Bozeman 

August 9-11........................Mens State D..Missoula

August 9-11........................Men's State E..Helena

August 9-11.......................Men's State C..Billings

 

 
2013 LEAGUE SCHEDULE - Monday, April 15, 2013

 

4/22/13..7:25..MC2..Colter Law         

4/24/13..7:25..MC2..Pitch Slappers/Rustic

 

5/01/13..9:45..MC1..Lithia Toyota/PWP

 

5/06/13..9:45..MC1..Claim Jumper/Wolfpack                                            

5/08/13..7:25..MC2..Jones Brothers/Gomers

 

5/13/13..7:25..MC2..Colter Law

5/15/13..6:15..FORT 2..Elbow Room

 

5/20/13..9:45..MC2..Lucky Strike

 

5/29/13..6:15..MC2..Lithia Toyota/PWP 

 

6/03/13..7:25..FORT 4..Rhino

6/05/13..7:25..MC1..Pepsi

 

6/10/13..7:25 Fort 4..PitchSlappers/Rustic

6/12/13..6:15..Fort 2..Claim Jumpers/Wolfpack

 

6/17/13..6:15..MC1..Charlie B's

 

6/24/13..6:15..Fort 4..Shock and Awe

6/26/13..8:35..MC1..Pepsi

 

7/01/13..9:45..MC2..Reds Bar..

 

7/8/13..6:15..Fort 2...Triple Crown

7/10/13..7:25..MC1..Shock and Awe

 

7/22/13..8:35..MC1..Missoula Power

 

 

 
Pre-season injury updates - Friday, March 29, 2013

 

Well..we are living up to our Team Geritol name, in that we have already had a rash of injuries and the season is a month away. Here are updates:

Jon Riley..had knee replacement surgery last week. As we all know this is a major surgery and we wish Jon well. Please feel free to give him a call or text. Early speculation is that a major contributor to Jon's knee condition was having to play outfield next to Speedbump Ellis. Speedbump's proclivity for cramping up and going down in a heap meant someone else had to chase all those balls that kept on rolling after The King of the Crampers went down. Jon, for this we apologize and promise that when you return to the lineup, we will find a safer position for you to play.

Mike Fuchs is having surgery to repair a hernia. Yes, Mike is a CPA, yes Mike works in an office and yes Mike rarely lifts anything heavier than a  pencil, none the less, Fuchsie ended up with a hernia. The golfing grapevine has it that Mike suffered this injury using one of his best clubs on a round of golf. He had a difficult lie, in some deep grass and gave it his best swing with his foot-wedge.  Unfortunately he miscalculated the resistance and difficulty of this well-practiced shot...and..as his foot wedge struck the ground, he caught a cleat, and something had to give. Ufortunately the weak spot was that area right next to his cheese and crackers.  We wish Mike well with this surgery. This surgery of course meant it cost yours truly, more money to get my taxes prepared this year. True to his Republican roots, the trickle own theory is alive and well. Mike asked that this be confidential so please keep it to yourself and your closest circle of friends.

Smoochie Hollenback, re-aggravated an old shoulder  injury when he was bucked off one of his poodles. As many of you know, Smoochie raises bucking poodles for the "P.P.R.C." (Professional Poodle Rodeo Circuit).  Shawn tried to ride of of his more rank doggies, "Ol' Yipper" and Yippper came out of the chute bucking high and hard, then spun counter clockwise, sending Smoochie to the ground. The Smoocha' tried to break his fall, (it is a long ways down from the back of a bucking poodle) and his shoulder was not able to absorb the hard landing. Good news is it is not his throwing arm. Bad news is he doesn't have a throwing arm. No word from the Doctor on Smoochie's return date. Hopefully soon, we miss him. It is the price we pay for having a risk taker like Smoochie on the roster. He works hard, he plays hard, and he rides  hard.

We will miss all three of our comrades. They are great guys and wonderful ball players.

 

 

 

 

 

 
TEAM GERITOL 2013 NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS - Monday, December 31, 2012

 

Following is a list of 2013 Team Geritol New Year’s Resolutions as submitted to me by the players themselves. I appreciate the teams’ willingness to participate in this project and certainly wish each of you the very best with your resolutions. I may have re-worded a few of them so they read better, you know…a little poetic license.
Patrick..To perform random acts of kindness towards umpires throughout the season.  To not golf on game day. To invent a new superstition, such as wearing a pair of his wife's underwear for games that fall on odd numbered days of the month.  
Tracy…To stop eating uncooked meat. To live by the meat eater’s motto, “If it’s still red, it ain’t dead.” The only red on Tracy’s steak in 2013 will be Ketchup.  Raw meat makes a man act primitive. To give umpires at least one complement per game.  This will be made easier by the eating of burnt food.
James..To help the infielders by adjusting their cups when they are out of place. To abide by and not violate the standards set forth in the 2008 “Clean Air Act.” If James wontingly violates the clean air act, in the dugout, he will be given a fine that shall be determined by a "Team Vote." To not pay the fine is to wear pink.
Shawn….To bring one of his show poodles to a league or tournament  game. To remember to take his meds before the game. To be Happy Smoochie, even in pink.
Alan……To have a collision-free season in the outfield. To not sleep with James again this year…and if you do, to wear your cup…actually, better wear two cups.
Brodie…To buy orange spandex and a membership at “Curves” so he can touch his toes at least once this season.  If he cramps up on a crucial play in the outfield, and goes down in a middle-aged heap, and it costs us the game, the outfielder who had to go chase the ball gets to taze him.
David….To not laugh at/reinforce  any of James’s pee-pee, poo-poo, fart jokes. To wear less pink, to not dive for any balls he cannot possibly get to. And if he does, then James gets to Steamroll him.
Zilla…To not listen to any Cult Leaders who say they will take him to the Promise Land. If Zilla grunts and hits into a doubleplay, it is steamroller time baby.
Mike Fuchs..To do more pro bono tax returns. To hide Shawn’s poodle in James’s bat bag. To camp with us at St. Regis Campground and to drink a bunch of that “Wine-in-a-box,” with the grumpy Campground Hostess, helping her see what nice guys we are, thereby improving our camping experience. Kind of like in a romantic spy-gigolo novel.   
Casey…To wear pink in 2013.   To get us a team discount at the Mall. To pull James’s finger in a small, locked, unventilated porta-potty.
Will..To wear less pink in 2013. To not let James undo the years of solid parenting you have received. To get to the game early and with all your gear. To quit being forgetful like your Mom.
Alex…To stop trying to catch line drives with his bare pitching hand, or with his foot. To wear an out-of-place cup. James will be making lots of trips out to the mound, thereby improving his cardio-vascular conditioning. No swearing.
Chip…To let James give him a Brazilian wax job if he earns the pink shirt. Cup is optional.
Trey..To stop the family cycle of grunting abuse. To wear Father and Son pink. 
Jon Riley…To join Curves with Brodie and buy matching orange spandex. To give James a private demonstration on how well you can touch your toes.  
Tommy Thomas..To give Patrick a wedgie and some of Smoochie’s meds if he starts sinking.  To wear pink at least once this season. 
 
State +40 Tournament - Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Team Geritol finished in 3rd place in this 9'team tourney.
We played good ball to position ourselves to be playing against the eventual State Champs ( Gashouse Gorillas) the opportunity to advance to the championship game.

We lost our first two games, 16-15 
The season has begun - Tuesday, May 1, 2012

 80+ degrees for the first league game. and it hasn't been that warm since. 

This year's schedule is fantastic. Abe did a great job. We have all double headers and nearly all are on Wednesdays. We have been able to escape the  9:45 games we suffered through last season. 

We are playing in the16 team, "C" Division this year and after 8 games we are 4-4. It has been fun playing new teams. 

We picked up two new players this year, Casey and Garrett and they have done a great job for us. Garrett with his pitching and Casey with his wonderful shortstop play. Many of our rostered players have kids who are playing Mavericks ball, little league, soccer, or some other sport that has made it difficult for them to make it to the league games. We knew this would be the case coming in to the season. Family comes first. 

We played in two tournaments this year, C'mon Blue and MSA. We finished 3rd in C'mon Blue and were eliminated our first game Sunday morning in the MSA. We are ok, we lost to good teams, we also beat some very good teams. One game in particular, defeating lasts years State C Champions, Slumpbusters, 27-26 in the bottom of the 7th. We have had great games with them over the years and this game was as good as any.

Tracy  continues his shoulder rehab. This week he was able to play some 2nd base. Nice to see #8 back on the field. We are still putting pieces back in place and regaining our sense of team and chemistry. I think last year took a toll on us. League was dismal and we went 0-2 at State, finishing in a tie for the Booby prize. The good news is that everyone came back and we have added a couple strong new players. We just need more time together. May has been a little tough on us, June will warm up and we will be hot in July.

Not sure what the end of the season will bring. We have the option of playing State "C"  in billings, or State "D" here in Missoula. That is a decision That I suspect will become more clear as the 2012 season unfolds. We want to play State. Billings is a fine place to play ball, but a long way to go for a 10-10 team. It is not near the drive if we have been able to regain our 2008-2010  form. We were a solid "C" team during those years. Right now we are not that team. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the year plays out. We have several tournaments ahead of us and they are the best guage. Either way, what a fun team to be a part of.....and we have nice new uniforms, however we seem to be doing our best to disprove the old adage , "If you look good, you play good." It appears the orange Softball Gods have not been pleased with our new white uiniforms. 

 

 
2012 MSA league numbers - Thursday, April 5, 2012

Here are the team and league numbers as presented at the MSA Board meeting last night:

Mens "C" ...16 teams

Men's "D-1"..16 teams

Men's "D-2"...11 teams

Mens +45..9 teams

Women's "C"..6 teams

Women's  "D"...6 teams

 Friday Co-Rec "C"..11 teams

Friday Co-Rec "D"..12 teams

Sunday Co-Rec "C"...6 teams

Sunday Co-Rec "D" 11 teams

McCormick Co-Rec.."D" 12 teams

This is a total of 116 teams. In 2011 we had 131 teams. Part of the decline in numbers comes from not having a "B" league in 2012. Men's "D" also has less teams this year than in 2011.

 
Tournament and league calendar link - Thursday, April 5, 2012

I have added a Tournament and league calendar link to the website. It is in the left hand column, in red ink and listed under "Links." I will update it when the league schedule is available. I will also post tournaments of interest.  

2012 Tournament dates - Thursday, March 15, 2012

 

April 28/29...MSA Tournament

May 5/6 C'mon Blue Tournament

May 19/20 Rhino Rumble Tourney

June 9/10 or 16/17 (not yet announced. Grateful Red Tourney

June 23/24 Elbow Room Tourney

June 30/July 1  Keith
Thompson/Ron Corr MT Senior Tournament..+40-50-55-60-65-70

July 7/8  St. Regis Tournament

District Tournament is yet to be announced

August 3-4-5. State +40 +50..Missoula. YES!!! Thank you to all ASA Directors.

August 10-11-12..State C...Billings.

I was informed at the MSA meeting that we finished 29th at State C last year and therefore have the option of playing State D this year.

August 10-11-12..State D....Missoula

August 10-11-12...State B....Bozeman..

I have also been told that is is expected that State C will be in Missoula in 2013.

 

 

 
Pre-Season news - Monday, March 12, 2012

Ambu-Lance Horner has asked for a year sabatical. Lance wants to come back and play again in 2013, however he feels it would be best to not play this season and focus more time on other exciting things that are going on in his life right now. That is a bummer for us, but to show our support for Mr. Ambu-lANCE WE WILL RETIRE #12 for the 2012 season.  While we will miss Lance this year, we also know it is for all good reasons and we will look forward to his return next year.  Who knows...the Softball Gods may even speak to me and encourage me to call for a tournament if we are short??? 

In other news, we have an addition to the team. Garrett Aikens will be joining Geritol this year. In addition to playing infield and outfield, Garrett is also a pitcher. This will help much when our number 1 man on the mound, Alex, "AK" Keffler, is attending one of his kids ballgames.  It will also take a load off our brave and dear friend Brodie, Speedbump, Ellis. Brodie has been our backup pitcher, which all of us have greatly appreciated. Brodie will now be able to focus more on his outfielding duties as well as his part time job of getting Patrick off the golf course in time for the softball game. 

Garrett is 2 years older than I am and comes to us from West Point Georgia. He is a true softball rat, rumors have it that he once skipped his ACT test in order to play in a softball tournament. We like a man who has his priorities in order. Garrett is currently completing his Pharmacy Residency at Community Hospital. For those of you with pharmacological needs, Garrett accepts third party payments. so, we welcome him aboard. okay.....he is not really 2 years older than I am.

 
News from the State ASA meeting in Butte, 2/4/2012 - Monday, February 6, 2012

 

STATE TOURNAMENT DATES AND SITES:

Mens +40 Masters & +50 Seniors...August 3-5, Missoula..

State B...Bozeman...August 10-12. (Tourney was scheduled to be in Great Falls, however a town must a a team in that division in order to host the tournament and apparently Great Falls does not have a State B team this year)  

State C...Billings.August 10-12. .Long ways..Missoula gets to host next year.

State D...Missoula...August 10-12

Women's C...Billings..August 3-5

Women's D...Billings...August 3-5

Co-ed B...Helena...August 17-19

Co-ed C...Helena...August 17-19

Co-ed D...Butte?....August 17-19

RULE CHANGES FOR 2012:

We will continue to use the same compression/core ball, .375/44 core, throughout the 2012 and 2013 season. The word is that in 2014, we will move to a lower compression ball.

The basepaths will remain at 65 feet for all league and local/state tournament play. If teams advance to Regionals or Nationals, the bases will be played at 70.' This is being done to "Bring the defense back into the game." The hotter bats have had infielders playing deeper and the move to 70' bases is a move to level the playing field.

Base-stealing Rule: If a batter strikes out, a baserunner may only advance/steal a base, if the defense makes a play on another baserunner. Such as trying to pick him off, or double him up. Otherwise a runner may not steal a base after a batter has struck out.

In the State ASA Seniors (+50) Tournament, Seniors may use Senior league bats. This can only happen in Senior Tournaments.

State +40 is considered "Masters" rather than "Seniors" and +40 players will abide by the normal set of ASA rules and guidelines, re: bat use, scoring plate, and strike mat. i.e. +40 will play by the same rules Men's ASA uses.

MSA will have a "C"..."D"..and "E" league this season.

Men's :"C" Home run rule is not yet determined. It may end up either being 3 home runs or 3+1 home runs.

Men's "D" league will be allowed 1 home run in MSA league play.

Men's "E" league, will also be known as the "No-Home-Run-League." and as the name says, there will be no home runs allowed in this league. Ifg we do not have enough teams sign up to play in the "E" league, (we would need at least 8), we would then place those teams in the "D" league.  

 

 

 
2012 league - Saturday, January 7, 2012

 

We will be playing "c" league in 2012. At this point it appears there will be no "B" league. it appears most everyone will be back on the team.

We will ordering new jerseys this year. I sent a group text to request sizes and numbers.

The Bubbas will be held in late March or
April.
League play will begin the week of April 23.
The MSA tourney will be the weekend of April 28/29
The C'mon Blue tourney will be May 5/6.
I will be attending the State ASA Meeting in Butte on February 4/5.
sites of the State Tournaments will be determined at this meeting.
We hope to be the host site for several State Tournaments. 
2011 Good News/Bad News - Saturday, December 24, 2011

Good News...Snookie Stokes is not moving to Havre. Yes! James turned down a lucrative job offer to move to the Hi-line. You never want to lose the guy on your team who has the most nicknames, even if most of them have to do with passing gas in a crowded dugout.

Bad News: Brock Lesnar got whupped bad last night on UFC and James took it hard. Ever since Butterbean retired  from boxing, James has not had a hero to identify with. Then Brock the farm-boy Lesnar, (who James claims was born in Shelby MT) entered to UFC world and James had a new hero. Heroes come and go. James is now talking about his strong bonds with Fuchsie, the singing CPA and Bonesy Fox, the slip of bacon that James slept with at the State Tournament in Bozeman...and uhm..that could be bad news for Misters' Fox and Fuchs. 

Bad News: Tracy's shoulder finally fell completely off and he was forced to go see a surgeon to have it put back on.

Good News: Now we will have Robo-Cop at shortstop.The shoulder and arm have been completely reattached. Tracy is drinking Belt Beer and eating Belt deer left-handed, but just for the time being.

 
FYI...etc. - Thursday, June 16, 2011

 At this point in the season, we have played in three tournaments.

C'mon Blue...we were 6-1 and won the tournament.

MSA...we were 0-3 and won the boobie prize.

Reds...we were 3-2 and finished in the middle of the pack.

That gives us a tournament record of 9-6.

Here are the scores for the 6 tournament games we have lost:

18-14 loss to Line Drive in the C'mon Blue

12-11 loss to Team Hype in the MSA

8-7 loss to good Missoula team  in MSA

30-25 loss to Reds in MSA

11-10 loss to Rhino in Reds Tourney

13-11 loss to Gilleys in Reds Tourney

In our 30-25 loss to Gilleys, we led 19-18 going into the top of the 7th. They put their beers down, drank some Geritol and scored 12 runs in the 7th. All of a sudden it goes from up 1 run (19-18) to trailing by 11 (30-19). No more Geritol for them. 

We gotta score more runs. In previous years, we won games when we held teams to the scores (18/12/8/11/13) in 5 of our 6 losses.

The 2011 Softball Gods are watching to see how we handle this challenge. I expect we will respond with character and tighten up, rather than unravel.

 
Gratefull Red Tournament...3-2 - Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This was our third tournament of the year. This was a Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western type of weekend. There was some good..some bad..and some ugly. There was also some Mickey Mouse Club stuff, with Smoochie Hollenback dressed in an Annette Funicello pink poodle skirt...and that wasn't even the ugly. The ugly was the team having the coin toss 15 minutes before the scheduled game time and then taking an ugly vote and having me put on the pink poodle shirt. That was a ugly thing to do. We won the game tho, so that was good. Snooki Stokes is not to be trusted..E' tu Snookie? 

Playing with us this weekend were, Snooki Stokes, A pitcher formerly named Alex, Governor Hiller, Fed-Ex Elam, NASA Thompson, Smoochie Hollenback, Bonsey Fox, Ambu-Lance Horner, David, Meet-the-Felkers, Pastor Ellis, and Travis from the High-line, picked up with us and did a great job at 2nd base.

First Game: Lose 11-10

 We played Rhino of Missoula.  They beat us in a close game and went on to win the tournament in the second championship game against Ryan Cook's team. Congratulations to both of these teams, they played well.

This was a low scoring contest. We sent 42 battters to the plate. 22 of them got on base, and 10 of the 22 scored. Yikes! Our team batting average for this game was .524...and that is after I rounded up the percentage. We actually had a 1 run lead going into the bottom half of the 7th, however each of the first 5 batters Rhino sent to the plate got on base and they scored the tieing and winning runs with no outs. On to the next game.

2nd Game..Won..14-8 vs Ryan Cook's team.

We scored 6 runs in the first inning and held on for a nice win over Ryan's team. Once again we were not home team. Perhaps Mr. Funny Boy Stokes should play a few less tricks on his teammates and spend a bit more time connecting with the coin toss spirits.  He appears to have fallen out of favor with them. As a team we were 27-43, for a game average of .628. Alex's pitching and solid team defense played a big part in the low scores put up by our first two opponents. T%his game felt food. WE had lost to Ryan's team the last couple of times we played..so yea and thank you!!

3rd Game: We won 20-8 in 5 innings.

 We scored in every inning. Allen Fox hit 2 balls right outta the park and Brandon Thompson also launched 2 balls into orbit. We expect it of Brandon "NASA" Thompson. However it was equally impressive to see Allen "Beep-Beep, The Road-Runner" rocket a couple balls over the fence. As a team we were 28-41, for a game average of .683.  We averaged 8 batters at the plate per innings in this game.

4th Game of the day: vs Slumpbusters Won 28-24?? or something like that.

This was our best game of the tournament. Slumpbusters are a dang good team. They have a solid defense and score lots of runs. They have far too many guys on their team who can hit the ball over the fence. They have also had our number this season, so it was nice to finally give them a call. Good guys, fun games, win or lose.

Most unfortunately I do not have the scorebook for this game. Due to technical difficulties beyond our, whatever that word is, we had to use their scorebook.  I do not need a score book to help me remember how well we hit and how awake and fired up the team was. It was as tho we had taken our daily dose of Geritol. We never let up the whole game and it was important becasue Slumpbusters was once again hometeam...grrr.Snooki..and they kept scoring right up till the end. Allen Fox and Pastor Ellis, both made home-run robbing catches, that were huge momentum stoppers and rally-killers. This was the best ball we have played since the C'mon Blue Tourney that we won, the first weekend of the season.

5th Game: Sunday morning..Lost to Gilley's 13-11.

Well..high priced gas and overcooked hot dogs.....dang..dang..dang. That gets me. Gilleys is a good team but I think all of us left this game feeling like we did not play as well as we could have. Gilley's employed a 5 man infield on us and it was very effective. We were hitting high fly balls to the outfield or ground balls to the infielders. The frustration was in our inablility to take advantage of the gaps in the outfield. Slumpbusters used a 5 man infield against us in our win against them Saturday night and we were hitting the gaps so well, they had to abandon it. No such luck today. It weren't for lack of effort..it were for lack of execution. As a team, we were 23-42 for a .586 game average. We put 23 runners on base and scored 11 of them. In last nights game, we put 28 runners on base and scored 20 of them.

Softball keeps us humble and it keeps us coming back. Saturday night's ability to take advantage of the 5 man infield was a huge, feel-good. Sunday mornings inability to take advantage that same defensive scheme, was equally frustrating. We tried hard like we always do. Despite the disappointment, I was proud of our demeanor and composure. We shook hands, mumbled to ourselves, treated each other like friends, and went back to our homes and families.  The lawn always seems to need mowing on Sunday..it is easier and more fun to mow when we are filled with winning memories rather than with, woulda',coulda', should'a, thoughts. But whether we won or lost, the lawn always looks like a winner after we have mowed it. And that is our job, to take care of ourselves. To mow away the frustration and bad memories. They are weeds and bad seeds. We each have so much to be thankful for in our lives. We start Monday off with a nice looking lawn and fond memories of our families, our teammates, the game we share, and what is truely important in life.. We are indeed fortunate folks. 

 
2011 MSA Tournament...Sacrifice to the Softball Gods - Sunday, June 5, 2011

Woe is me...0 and 3...and out are we.

 

 
2011 C'mon Blue "C" Champs - Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Great job guys. What a fun weekend and way to start the new season. We were able to post a 6-1 record on our way to winning the inaguaral tournament of the 2011 softball season.

It went something like this:

7:AM Saturday morning..temperature hovering in the 30's. Oh yeah..we are there, taking some BP. Chris "Baywatch" Jones, the California ex-life guard showed up in layers.  Mike "Tree-Hugger" Fuchs, was wearing his stocking-cap and looking like he had just spent the night at a base camp on the north slope of Mount Softball.  Allen Fox was shivering so James put him in his pocket. Patrick still had his pajamas on and Brodie had already been to church and said a prayer for us.  David and Henry were in mid-season form and raring to go. Lance showed up with shorts, no hat, and fit as a fiddle. Tracy came in mumbling about some premonition he had about getting nailed by a line drive, while coaching 1st base. Chip, one of our new players just minded his own business, Ryan Cook, our #1 pickup, came to play even though he was not feeling good. Our coach..was clear headed as usual.

FIRST GAME: 

We played Octane, a Great Falls team who moved up to "C" division, after being crowned 2010 State Champions in the "D" division. To their credit, they had to drive from Great Falls on terrible roads, due to a blizzard on Rogers Pass. They had an 8:AM game, they also had but 8 players. Pretty tough start. They did not score in their 1st at bat. We came to the plate and put up 14 runs in the bottom of the 1st. 

Snookie Stokes, Miss Shelby 2011, wearing the pink skirt, made the 1st out of the year. That skirt will take a good man down.  The Snooksta' came up again in the 1st inning, with pressure on him to not make 2 outs in one inning...and he came through with a single. Atta boy Snooks. 

Chris "Baywatch" Jones, hit a home run in his 1st at bat. Govenor Hiller, Ambu-Lance, and Fish Bait Elam also went yard in this game, which we won in 5 innings, 18-5.  

 

 
2011 Team Geritol League Schedule - Thursday, April 7, 2011

 
Early worm gets the bird.....I'll try to explain...well sort of - Tuesday, March 22, 2011

 

James is in a dress...and he not happy about it..no, not at all...and while we can understand James's unhappiness...Still there shall be Team-Geritol-Joy in Mudville . E.G. "Hey, look..James is wearing  THE PINK POODLE SKIRT."  Speaking for myself, I just cannot say that sentence and be sad. It is a happy sentence. It is nine words that are worth 1000 pictures. It will be the same as when Smoochie..aka "Skirt-Boy"  wears THE PINK POODLE  SKIRT  (See Photo Album Team Geritol 2010) for the 2nd game of the season..it will bring us happiness.  Yikes!! I hope James wears underwear.  FYI this will be Skirt-Boys' 2nd appearance in the Poodle dress.,

James is not unhappy just because he has to wear the the THE PINK POODLE SKIRT..  James is unhappy because he feels he was "Smooched' by the wrong end of the pooch." James made this bet with clear head and a niave level of trust. He knew full well he could end up dressed in the PINK ............you know..POODLE SKIRT.  James is feeling  shall we say....taken advantage of. Used. Set up on a  New Jersey Shore blind date with Shawn, "The Situation" Hollenback. Well nobody cheats on Snooki Stokes and gets away with it. She, I mean he is not taking this lieing down. Snooks is betrayed and scorned. He will be wearing  that PINK POODLE SKIRT..  with revenge. No stronger draw is there than the magnetism of the Love-Hate relationship.

This is a brief rundown of what happened...Shawn's son and James's nephew were playing against each other in a local basketball tournament. James's nephew is from Shelby and Shawn's son Jacob plays for Loyola/St. Joe's. Shawn wanted to bet the pink skirt. Misery loves company, and Shawn came out of the cross-dressing closet last year, and wanted to invite James to enjoy the experience. James was skeptical. He has long since withdrawn all funds from his trust account with the Smoocha'.  I can empathize with James as I have made skirt-wearing bets with Shawn, two years in a row, and have been fortunate enough to win both bets. May I be strong enough to never bet the skirt again.

James agreed to make the bet. Shawn cheated. James lost. There you have it.

It turns out that not only was Shawn's son playing on the St. Joe's team, Shawn was the coach of the St. Joe's team. Shelby brought 13 players and played them all. Shawn, had 8 players and played 7.  St. Joe's opened up a 25-3 lead on Shelby. Shelby closed the gap to within 1 point with a minute on the clock. Shawn ordered his team to go into a stall, fake some injuries, and as it turned out, the timekeeper, was Shawn's Uncle Louie. Well, needless to say.....the clock expired just before Shelby's game winning shot went through the basket.  Whatta you do?

You grin and wear it..that's what you do. There may be some slappin' and yappin' going on this season...call it a hunch. We'll do our best to help bury this bone, but...this time Shawn "The Situation" Hollenback may have gone too far.  

Snookie....The Snooksta..Snook...Snooks...just thinking out loud.

    

               

 
2010/2011 Bubbas/Potluck - Tuesday, March 22, 2011

 

Saturday, April 2, 6:PM till whenever:PM, at our house, 1180 Vicki Drive. We will try to put up the POODLE DRIVE Street sign the Smoocha' had made for me and that Mike, The Bookie" Fuchs hung on our street corner. 

It will be a potluck. Jan and I will cook a main course..if it is burned, I cooked , if it is not burned, Jan cooked. Please feel free bring a side dish of something you like.

We will sign the roster and it would be a fine time to bring money for our league fee. It is $700 this year. $40 each would be great.

We have 3 new players this season, replacing the 3 we lost from last season. Speedbump Ellis, recruited a friend, Russ.  I recruited a guy who works at the Good Food Store and makes great iced lattes. His name is Giovanni (Gio). I also picked up another infielder and backup pitcher whose name is Chip. Hopefully they will all be able to attend the Bubbas. I have not seen any of them play ball, but I do know they will be great guys, who respect the game and the team environment...everything else is lipstick on the poodle.

Speaking of new players.....as has ALWAYS BEEN OUR TRADITION, rookies have to wear the pink shirt for the 1st seven innings of the season. It is a long standing tradition and baseball is a game of traditions, superstitions, kangaroo courts, and nicknames. It is spiritually akin to David Caradine the Kung Fu guy who had to pick up the boiling hot kettle of boiling hot stuff, thereby forever branding on his forearms the sign of the Shar-Lin Monk Master Dudes. We do pink shirts. Hurts less, and still meets our criteria for a Rite of Passage.   We will have brand new pink Poodle Kisser shirts this season. Welcome aboard guys.

 
Practice...1st tournament...and league start-up dates - Tuesday, March 22, 2011

 

We will get out and practice when the weather is 55+ degrees.

Our 1st tournament is C'mon Pink, I mean Blue, April 30-May 1. I am going to request we play in the "C" Division. We are willing to play "B" league to help out, but my concern is that if we start signing up for "B" Division in the tournaments, it will make it harder to play in other "C" tourneys. The team feedback at this point has strongly been to play "B" league, but to play "C" tournaments, including State in Bozeman. 

Our league play will not start until Tuesday May 17. All of our games will be on Tuesday evenings. All will be played at 7:30 and 8:45. All will be played at McCormick. 

I will post updates as they emerge. Thanks.  

 
2011... - Monday, February 14, 2011

Well who knows what 2011 will bring? Good things I do imagine.

Personnel...Some changes in our roster..a couple of  new addtions to the team. Not certain yet who they will be as we are trying to recruit for positions. Our focus is on pitching and infield, as Jeff Weaver and Benedict-Zilla have left us. HEY..!!! Who said that?? I cannot tell a lie, David did. Anyway, a guy has to expect a little guff, for up and leaving Geritol for a "More competetive team."

Alex Keffler has signed on to pitch for us and we feel fortunate to have him. Alex has played with us many times and looks just as proud in pink as the rest of us. We have feelers out for another pitcher, as Alex will miss some games to watch his sons play ball

Bats:  We will have all the bats we had last year and a couple of new ones to try out. I believe we have added an Easton Salvo, a Brett Helmer SRV3, a Louisville Z1000, and a Demarini Phenix to our inventory.

It looks like we have enough guys to play league again this year. I do not know if there will be enough teams to have a "B" Division. We need to have 6 teams in order to do that. We will play upper C, again if there is no B.

.

 

 

 
Hack Weaver heads for the border..Sad day for Geritol - Sunday, January 23, 2011

 You have probably heard by now. Jeff and Julie are pulling up roots and heading south. Jeff has accepted a programming job and will be paid 3 million dollars a year. He is hosting an open bar, good-bye party, at Katie O'Keefes, Saturday January 29, at 7:PM......Come drown your sorrows and bid adieu to our good and generous friends Jeff and Julie.

Jeff is one of the founding cornerstones of Team Geritol. He and James were a bit like Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. They flew kites chopped down trees. Okay...they were also instumental in moving Team Geritol forward, especially in the early years when our core roster was not yet established  Fortunately, we are now  blessed with a roster of loyal citizens, who will help the team continue the family fun, softball traditions we have enjoyed over the years.  

Thanks for all the memories Jeff. You sure did look great in pink. Julie, thannks to you too for keeping a watchful and protective eye on your man. He is lucky to have you.

 
New Photos.. - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

 I have posted new pictures on our website. Some are under the Team Geritol 2010 tab and some are under the Senior Games tab. Hope you enjoy.

I played with Yeager's Blue, at the World Senior Games, in St. George Utah, Oct. 4-8. We were placed in the Major Division of the +60 age group. We played good ball and ended up winning the Gold Medal, defeating Fire One, of Seattle Washington. We competed in a best two out of three format, winning the first game 32-28 and the second game 19-18. It was most exciting.  I know this will be hard to believe, but I hit a home run, over the fence, in the second game vs. Fire One. I told them my teammates back in Missoula were not gonna believe it. The Softball Gods are still alive and well; and clearly capable of still making miracles happen.

 
2010 State Tournament thoughts - Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Interest dynamic..as we set our sights/expectations higher..how our definition of a "good tourney," changes. We did well at State. competed against some strong teams and had a chance to win every single game we played. We could just as easily have been 6-0 as 4-2.

Also interesting that as disappointed as we are, we still did well; and as well as we did, we know we did not do as well as we could have. Each of us has a play or two that we wish we had a chance to do over. A bad pitch we swung at, a defensive play we did not make, a moment of hesitation or over-enthusiasm we wish we could do-over. Likewise, I hope each of us has been able to deposit a good play or two in the memory bank.

The toughest part of the tournament for me was the ASA rule that forced us to sit 2 or 3 players each game. No matter how good a team player you are, no-one likes to sit.  It is a "Hold-over from the past" rule, that I believe has out lived it's usefullness. In fact I believe it is not in the best interests of softball, especially in these days of waning participation. We need be encouraging participation. Driving 100+miles, paying for motel rooms and having to sit on the bench for a game or two, does not make any sense and is not in softball's best interests. I believe teams should be given the choice of batting 10 players or 13 players. There is certainly no advantage to batting extra players. It does not slow up the game. It does not distort the defensive scheme. All it does is empower teams to decide what their lineup looks like.  

I believe the Softball Gods have even more rewards waiting for us. They are feeding us on a season by season schedule. They have already given us amazing memories and continued success. They are helping us grow and develop. So where is our team chronologically? I know where I am, chronologically..my best days are behind me...but hopefully, Softball Gods willing, there is still much softball ahead of me. The team is not my age. The team is not Allen's age. I think our team is....about 30. I say that partly because I have heard players play their best ball in their mid-thirties...and I think our best team ball is still ahead of us.

The evolution of our team has been fun to watch. This was our 4th year at State. The 1st year, at Anaconda, Mike Fuchs spent as much time driving on I-90 as he did playing in the infield. We were not there very long. The next year at State, we knew we would do better. We had won several local tournaments and our self confidence was much higher. We finished 5th/6th, and it was a big step forward. The 3rd year at State, we were in the "B" Division. Even though we knew it would be tough, we had defeated Boomers several times and felt we had a chance to play well. We finished 1-3. Interestingly we were eliminated from the tourney by the team (for the most part) we eliminated from this year's State Tourney. This year, for the first year, I saw us going to State, thinking and believing we had a  chance to win or place in the top three. Well.....it did not happen but baby oh baby..it was right there for us. So..it in my mind it is clear we are continuing to improve. 

Every team has a life-span. Teams come and go. Each of us have played on many teams before playing together on Geritol. I do not know how long a life span Team Geritol will have. Part of me wants to Geritol around long enough for us to make a name for ourselves. Leave some strong footprints on the local and state softball field. I know that does not sound very humble..but..I suppose it is human nature.  

I don't know what brought all of us together..but I do know what keeps us together. I think it has to do with respect. Respectful for our families, our teammates, our opponents, and respectful of the game of softball as an individual and as a team sport. It is not who has the best players. It is who has the best team.  We have had the same players for several years now...and we continue to improve as a team.  Some teams try to improve by getting new players..perhaps for talent reasons..perhaps because of team chemistry. There is no right or wrong way to do it. It is a personal philosophy. Teams get to choose what they want and how they want to make that happen. It would be easy for this to sound condescending and I really don't want that. It is just my way of telling you guys how much our team means to me, how proud of you as individuals and as a teammates I am.  I am glad we do softball the way we do softball. I know our team will not last forever, life is about change. Life is also about having something to show for your efforts..and about being a part of something special...and about building relationships.

So..softball is not just about softball then...is it?  If it was....just about softball...we might not still be together as a team...we might not have still never said a mean word to each other on the field, in the heat of the moment..after a tough loss..we might not have continued to improve as a team. We might not..know each other's kids as well as we do..we might not have nicknames..Nicknames are a time-honored tradition in baseball. The key words there are "Time-Honored."....We might not have been so happy when Patrick flew out at State in Butte and had to wear pink...we might not have held Smoochie sideways like a mermaid in a pink skirt for one of my favorite team pictures ever.  There might not even be a guy named Smoochie..or Meet the Felkers..or Hack Weaver or Sled Dog (built for power and speed) Stokes or  Zilla...or Da Govna' or Cramper/Speedbump/Sidewall Ellis...Liver-Eating Tofu Elam...or ..Bonsey Fox..or Ambu-Lance..or Hands Thompson..Deano the Dog-Father Thompson..Do-Right Jones..or Mike, the Bookie/Sunshine/ Singing CPA Fuchs...and wouldn't that be sad??  These nicknames are not just catchy little words out of the dictionary. These are performance and personality-based nicknames...Oh..a new one..Jon Riley has been tough..can't just make one up..it has to come to you..how about "Dragnet." (Just the facts, Ma'am") I know I am dating myself on that one. Dragnet Riley..has a ring to it. ...I might not...have been given all the great team help for the Senior Games Tournament each year...the tournament would not work without that help. You all might not ....have come to my Surprize 60th birthday party..and I might not...you know..have gotten the chance to dress up like a scarecrow and yell :"Surprize!!" at you as you came to the front door....By the way..Chris Jones made the most scared look of anybody. Oh for a camera....You might not have been willing to put on those pointy party hats and blow into noise makers..as we made some good-natured fun of each other and accepted prestigious, Cinnamon Bear/toothpick/paper cup Bubbas...and...our pink Poodle Kisser shirts might not be so faded from being worn and washed so frequently...and wouldn't that be sad? To not have all those things. Now that is what softball is all about..who would have thought those are the things that would help make a team play better and win all the games we have?  Who'da thought it?

 

 

 

 
Stats for the State "C" Tourney - Monday, August 16, 2010

Let's do the stats first. "Just the facts, Ma'am." I won't get them all done before I have to go, so hang in there with me....like you have all season long...you are good guys.

We were 4-2

Runs per game:

Team Geritol

Sat..43 runs...Sunday..53 runs. Total of 96 runs...Equals 16. RPG Ave.

Opponents:

Sat...31 runs...Sunday...37 runs. Total of 68 runs. Equals 11.3 RPG Ave.

We outscored our opponents by 28 runs over 6 games.

In our 4 victories, we scored a total of 73 runs. An ave. of 18+ RPG.

In our 2 losses, we scored a total of 23 runs. An ave. of 11+ RPG.

Our lowest scoring game was 9 runs, vs Tie Dye of Kalispell.

Our highest scoring game was 21, vs ZooTown of Missoula.

We scored 20+ runs in only one game.

We scored 14 or more in 5 games.

Our highest scoring inning was a 12 run 6th inning vs. Slumpbusters of Missoula. It was sweet. Big inning and a big win.

Team batting averages:

1st game..21-40 =.525 team ave.

2nd game..29-49 = .591 team ave.

3rd game...19-38 = .500 team ave.

4th game...27-42 = .642 team ave.

5th game...27-49 = .551 team ave.

6th game...21-42 = .500 team ave.

All Games total...144-260 = .552 Team ave. 

 
State "C" in Kalispell - Tuesday, August 10, 2010

According to the MSA Office, we have earned the #1 seed, out of Missoula. Hopefully this will allow Sled Dog Stokes and Hack Weaver to go to the horse races and still get to Kalispell on timeSaturday morning. They will have lost all of their discretionary income which will most likely place a financial burden on the rest of us. It is fine, we are a team. We have carried them before. Sunshine Fuchs says they are tax deductible.

On the bad news side of things, Jon Riley called today, with news that he cut his hand at work, needed stitches and was told by the Doctor that he cannot play with us this weekend. Our sympathies to Jon. We will miss him and that smart-alec score-keeping kid named Taylor, he brings to the game. It has been a rough year for left fielders and lead-off hitters. Smoochie has indicated he may make a guest appearance at Kalispell. It would be great to have him. James has challenged him to a foot race. Even with the cast, my money is on Smoochie.

At this point we have 13 players going to Kalispell. ASA rules are that only 11 can bat. The plan is to let players play a full game. We will take turns sitting. Softball Gods willing, everyone will get lots of ball, especially if we play up to our potential. Our roster willl include: Chief-Lost My Money-Stokes, Zilla, The Governor, Sunshine Fuchs, Tofu Elam, Hack Weaver, Bones Fox, Cramper Ellis, Meet The Felkers, AmbuLance Horner, Don "Ponzi" Chery, aka, "The Ponz,"... "Big Hands" Thompson, and myself.

Early rumors are that Missoula will send about 7 teams. I am guessing they may include: Slump Busters, Lawns of Montana, Elbow Room, Paradise Falls, Rocky Mountain Eye, and Team Hype. Not sure if the Maulers or Reds are going.

 

 
2nd Place, State +40 - Monday, August 9, 2010

 

We did well. Earned the right to play in the championship game. Some good teams finished lower than we did. Cactus Creek from Billings had our number, actually everyone's number this weekend and went through the tourney undefeated, to earn the State +40 Title.

We helped ourselves immensely by winning both games on Saturday. Had we lost on Saturday, we would have had to play at least two more games, possibly 3, to get back to the championship game.

First Game..vs. Team Viagra, Bozeman..we won 23-7. They were stiff competition for the first 3 innings. Viagra was up 5-4 after the 1st inning. After 3 innings we had a 9-7 lead. A 10 run 4th inning made them go limp. Our defense said NO! to them, holding them scoreless in the 4th and 5th and we ended the game in 5 innings with 23-7 victory.  Geritol was  30-42 for a team average of .714. Solid performance guys.

2nd game...vs ?Steele ? of Billings...we won 17-14. Fun game that went down to the final out. Chris "Do-Right" Jones. Mike "Sunshine" Fuchs, and Rich "Da' Pink Hamma". teamed up for a key double play in the bottom of the 7th, that was a huge rally killer. Sunshine Fuchs, Do-Right Jones and Darrell Hellman each hit a ball into the Berkley Pit. This game began at 8:PM.  The wind was blowing and the lights at Stodden Park made for interesting plays. We were treated to several fine views of the back side of Roger Wilhite's, Team Geritol jersey. This was a big win because it put us into the undefeated game Sunday morning and guaranteed top 3 finish. We were 29-48 for a team average of .604. 

3rd game: Sunday morning 10:AM..vs Cactus Creek/Billings Lost 23-3. It was one of those "What do you do?" kind of games. Just hang in there, stay composed and wait for it to get over with. They were unconscious, we have all been there. Sure is fun when it is your team. Remember Forrest Gump's famous saying, "_hit happens." They scored 5 in the 1st, 11 in the 2nd , and 7 in the 3rd to put us out of our misery early. We had 4 at bats. The bottom 5 hitters in our lineupd, had one at bat each. We were 6-17 for a team average of .352.Yikes! 

4th game: vs. Coors Light/BrewHaus, Helena. We won 14-2. We opened up with with a big 12 run 1st inning. Rich, Da' Pink Hamma' made the 1st and the 2nd outs of the inning.  Oh Happy Day!! The team we were playing, had just eliminated Hayloft of Missoula. Apparently last night, Da' Pink Hamma', had been talking a little trash talk with the Hayloft team about being in the loser's bracket. Well it came back to haunt him, as the boisterous Hayloft team, pulled out their lawn chairs and coolers and stayed to watch our game. Rich sure gave them something to cheer about. They must really like Rich, cause they were sure happy for him. We hit the ball well this game, going 25-34 for a team average of .735.

1st and only Championship Game vs. Cactus Creek..We lost 9-4...Dang!  Much closer than our first game with them, but the same results. We were only able to score 4 runs. We left 11 men on base while Cactus Creek had 5 runners left on base..In the 4th inning, our 1st two hitters got on and scored, then with one out, we loaded the bases........and were not able to push any of those runners acrossthe plate.. Doug "Bird" Kikkert pitched a great game and our defense was solid, holding Cactus Creek to 9 runs.  In fact, Cactus Creek did not score after the 3rd inning. They went 3 up, 3 down, in the 4th and 5th, and sent only 4 batters tto the plate in the 6th. The opportunities were there. Cactus Creek went  through the tourney undefeated. We'll get them next time.  Of note in this game is that Chris "Do-Right" Jones, Steve "Noodle-Arm" Jones and David "Meet The Felkers," each kissed the pink poodle on the lips on this game. In the very 1st inning, Do-Right hit a strike 3 ball foul down the right field line.  "Noodle-Arm", earned his pink shirt by hitting a strike 3 foul ball down the left-field line. Meet The Felkers, smooched the pooch, by re-living his "Chicken Little" days of "Run-Run-the sky is falling." David then (2 innings later) cemented his first pink of the year by getting called out at home for leaving 3rd base too early. Maybe he did leave too early...maybe he didn't....maybe he left soon enough to leave it open for an appeal. David was a most enthusiastic runner all weekend. Even Kyle Busch wrecks from time to time.

 
Zilla bids Adieu... - Friday, August 6, 2010

Zilla has chosen to play ball with The "Off The Wall" team beginning next year (2011).  I am putting this on our board because I want to be clear that I support Mike's choice. I am glad for him. It is more than okay. This is America, land of liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Zilla has been an incredible pitcher, teammate, and friend. He has kept his cool on and off the field and conducted himself in ways that have made us proud to be his teammate. Mike talked with me about his decision. It was weighing heavy on him and he wanted to know how it felt to me and the rest of the team. He talked about it rather than allowing it to become a negative situation.  Of course I/we will miss him on the team, but we will be fine. We will be different, but we will be fine.  Mike is not leaving us for any negative reasons. It is all positive, Zilla wants to play with a team that shares his vision of competing at a different level.  That does not mean we are not good enough, or that Mike thinks he is better than we are. It is not that at all. If we are truely good teammates to Mike..we will offer him our support, encouragement...and of course give him some "good-natured" grief.  But most importantly, we will thank Zilla for the years and games he has played with us. He has left some fine footprints.. I say, let's send Zilla (and ourselves) off with a  great State Tournament. We are a team with the  insight, seasoning, and moxie to handle this situation in a positive manner. This is an opportunity guys. Let's do it. No drama. We've got ball to play and fun to have.

 
State +40 info - Friday, August 6, 2010

We are off to Butte America this weekend to play in the reborn State +40 Tournament. It had died a slow death in Great Falls and we thank Butte for picking it up. The games will be played at Stodden Park.

Our first game is against...believe it or not...Team Viagra, from Bozeman. The punch lines run amok. There are 10 teams signed up for the weekend. This exceeded everone's expectations.  Bob Rowlings has taken the stance that it will be a pure +40 tourney. If there are enough teams for a +35 tournament, they will put it on. The tournaments will not be combined. Team Geritol has +35 players we would have loved to brought with us, but did not because we were told it was strictly +40. If they combine them, there will be trouble, as James, Zilla, and Allen Fox are all over 35. 

 


 

 
Shawn Hollenback broke his ankle - Friday, August 6, 2010

What in the world is going on?? I am deeply sorrowful for not posting this before now. I am just not a bad news kind of guy. I am only able to post it now, because The Smoocha' has said he is going to try to come to Kalispell for our State "C" Tournament, August 13/14.  I was able to get him to come, by offering him the 3rd base coaching job...and the opportunity to send ol' Sled Dog Stokes round third to the finish line at home plate. I tell you, I felt Smoochie bite the hook on that little bit of bait. The bobber plum disappeared. James is built for power and speed, that is why they call him Sled Dog Stokes. The man can run, he has a few trust issues, particularily with the Smoocha'...so being the counselor I am...I see a great opportunity for growth and team buillding....oughta be interesting.   

 
2010 league ends... - Friday, July 30, 2010

 We ended the 2010 regular season with a 14-6 record.  The Slumpbusters also finished 14-6. We defeated them in regular season play, so the early "unofficial" decision is that we will earn the #1 seed from Missoula for the State C Tourney in Kalispell.,

 
Thompson/Corr Senior Games..Thank you's - Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thank you guys for all your help this weekend with the Senior Games. It would not have happened without you.  David, Daphne, and Henry, James, Jeff, Mike Fuchs, Brodie and Erin, Tracy, Blue-Zilla,...You guys are the best!!  If I have left anyone out..which is highly likely, I apologize and will make it right.  

The theme of the compliments was "How well run the tournament was and how nicely the players were treated." I could not imagine better ambassadors than you guys. These senior softballers have played in countless tournaments and have an appreciation for hospitality and respect. Your kindness came through loud and clear. Merci beacoup.

 
"No Mas" Jones??? - Saturday, May 1, 2010

Can it be?? It is unheard of.. Who'da thunk it?? The pink shirt will take a vain man down...Chris "Do-Right"Jones smooched the pooch in the second game of our league double-header. It was a Poodle of the "strike three foul ball" variety. The big guy didn't have much to say. He sort of blamed it on the new hats, one of which he was wearing. During the inning and a half that Chris wore this particular new hat, he struck out, he had a bad hop on a ground ball, and a short hop on the cut-off throw back from the outfield. It was just a bit more than Do-Right could bear..he walked into the dugout, and traded that cursed new hat for a different new hat. Can't argue with that logic. Except that it shouldn't have stopped there. There was another particular bit of clothing that need be changed into....a well-worn 2XL pink Poodle-Kisser blouse. Chris just could not quite bring himself to put it on. Lord knows we offered him support. We have always been clear, it is not our job to make someone put on the pink shirt. It is the job of whoever smooched the pooch, to put that puppy on. Greg Kessler has an unpaid Poodle-Smooching bill. How will Chris handle it?? Gotta face your demons sometime. Roberto Duran never came out for the next round with Sugar Ray Leonard..and it dogged him for the rest of his career...The next round is Wednesday, 6PM at McCormick...this is your cornerman speaking. I know that Poodle looks like a Pit Bull right now, but I believe in you.

 
New Hats and tags.. - Saturday, May 1, 2010

Our new Team Geritol hats are in. Several players have them. These hats come with two dangley tags attached. Just like some packages say, "Do not open until Christmas," these hat tags say, "may not be removed until you get a clean hit."  That's right guys, the tags stay in until you get a hit. This is a long standing baseball/softball tradition..we started it with our first batch of new hats. Rites of passage are essential components in all societies. Small opportunities to celebrate our sense of team.   

 
Ist Tourney of 2010..The MSA - Sunday, April 25, 2010

We finished 4th out of 10 teams. Winning 3 and losing 2. Fun games, close games.

1st game vs. Lawns of Montana win, 14-9

2nd game vs Average Joe's of Whitfish, Win 26-23 

3rd game vs Team Hype, Lose 19-18

4th game vs Average Joe's, Whitefish, Win 21-20

5th game vs. ? Helena/Red's Bar..Lose 18-17 

1st game vs. Lawns of Montana.. A 14-9 win. 

Smoochie Hollenback, the feared and masculine lead-off hitter for Team Geritol, steps to the plate, he instinctively goes through his well-established at-bat routine, he taps the plate with his hitting stick, he knocks the dirt out of his size 5 cleats, he stares a steely stare at the opposing pitcher, he adjusts his pink poodle-skirt, and then, and only then, he steps into the batter's box, just purty as purty can be.

2010 has begun, our bet-making, poodle-skirt wearing, lead-off hitting, left fielder, grounds out 6-3, and the show has begun. We have got to give it to him, The Smoocha' wore that skirt like a man. He hit like a girl, but he was all man in that skirt.

Now a  bit about the other 12 of us. Lance UPS'd 2 packages over the fence and Patrick lobbed one over the outfield net. Tracy earned a Lolly-gagging Bubba for getting picked off 1st base after hitting a single. He lolly-gagged back to the base  and got himself throwed out. He shoulda had to put on pink. James and Henry won the 1st coin toss of the year and we were fortunate enough to not have to bat in the bottom of the 7th. We are off to a good start and Smoochie asks if he wear the dress for another game. We tell him no.

Our lineup for this tournament was Smoochie, Governor Hiller, Lolly-Gagger Elam, Zilla, Sled-Dog Stokes, Mark Backhoe Pennack, Ambu-lance Horner, Hack Weaver, Bonsey Fox, Sunshine Fuchs, Sidewall Ellis, David Meet the Felkers. Chris, Dudley Do-Right Jones, joined us on Sunday.

 Game 2 vs. Average Joes of Whitefish..Won 26-23..

Their team name may be Average Joe's, but these guys were good ball players and very nice guys. Fun games with them, each team complimenting the other for nice plays.  We we visitor (ahem..) and managed to score in all 7 innings. 16 of our runs came in our final 4 at bats. 18 of Ave. Joe's runs, came in their final 4 at bats.  We used all 4 of our home runs. Patrick, Brodie, Allen (that's right) and Lance went yard. All were wind aided except Allen's. Everyone in the lineup contributed at least 2 hits. Solid team effort. We were 37-58 for a tourney high team ave. of .637.  

The defensive highlight of this game came in the bottom of the 7th. Ave. Joe's had scored 7 runs to cut our lead to 26-23. They had 1 out and runners on 1st and 2nd, the tie run was at the plate. He hit a sharp ground ball that Tracy snagged just in time to tag the runner leaving 2nd base, and then toss to 1st in time to double up the batter, ending the game. Sweet play, quick thinking, the bell rings, school is over, Tracy is back on task.

Game 3, vs Team Hype..Lose 19-18..

This was a good game. Hype played well. Anyone's game. We were behind 17-13 in the top of the 7th..(visitors again)..and had a nice rally, scoring 5 runs to give us an 18-17 lead. Hype went right to work, scoring 2 runs without any outs, to win the game.

Ambu-lance hit his 5th and 6th home runs of the day. Bones Canseco hit his 2nd of the day and Patrick took a few pitches before depositing his 3rd dinger of  the day. Smoochie hit his 2nd long  cotton dress over the fence...each of which counted for outs. He had a run in his nylons, his slip was showing, and in both instances we had used up our quota.  

Game 4 Sunday Morning..Average Joe's, Win 21-20 :

The rematch was an even closer game than our 1st meeting. In this game we scored the winning run in the bottom of the 7th, with 2 outs, on an RBI single by Governor Hiller. Hack Weaver started the inning with a single, Speedbump Ellis, and Meet the Felkers each hit clutch singles, scoring The Hackster. So we have 2 outs, the winning run, Speedbump, is at 2nd, and The Govna' makes an executive decision, by pulling his Campaign manager, (Speedbump), for a pinch runner. Speedbump, a consumate team player, starts to call BS, but swallows his pride and Allen, Wrong-Way, Fox  goes in to run. Enter The Smoocha', who hits a well-placed opposite field line drive,  that Ave. Joe's right center fielder makes a great catch on. Bonsey, gets a severe case of base-runners braincramp.  He starts to tag, he decides to go, he screeches to a halt and has to come back to 2nd, the cut-off throw is now in the infield and they have Bonsey dead to rights, somehow the Softball Gods take mercy upon the clean living lad and allow him to scramble safely back to 2nd base. It is too late to put Speedbump back in the game. The Impeachment Papers begin circulating. The pressure is on the Govna" and he comes through, delivering a solid hit that clears up all baserunning confusion on Allen's part. A fine win.

Patrick hit 2 home runs this game, Lance hit 1 and Brodie also went deep. Let's see???something else of note happened..hmm? What was that? Oh yeah, Mike Sunshine Fuchs managed to make the 1st and the 3rd outs in the 6th inning. Oh-oh..here comes a little pink cloud.

We were 30-60 for a team average of .600.

5th and final game..vs. Ernies/Reds? (Helena guys I think)..Lose 18-17:

Dang..Dang Dang..They earned it, but I think we all felt this was a game we let get away from us. We were ahead 16-4 after 4 innings and scored just 1 run in our final 3 at bats, while our opponents scored 14 in their final 3 at bats...Most uncharacteristic for us...Not much to say, game over, tourney over, team still tight and looking forward to a chance to get back on the winning track.

Patrick, Zilla, Lance, and Chris hit the ball outta da' park for us.  

Tournament stats:

 

Tracy was wielding the hot bat this weekend, going 17-20, for a tournament average of .850... Great job Mr. Elam. Zilla, Patrick and Lance were each one hit away from batting.800.  As a team we were 145-243 for a .596 batting average. In 2009 we finished in 3rd place with a 4-2 record, however our batting ave. was .580.  In 2010 we averaged 19+ runs per game. In 2009 we averaged 14.5 runs per game. Not sure if the lower arc was a factor? A big difference was that in 2009 we hit 6 home runs in this tourney. In 2010 we hit 20. Lance hit 8, Patrick 6, Brodie 2, Bones Canseco 2, Zilla and Chris hit 1 each. Smoochie also hit 2 illegitimate puppies over the fence, both counting for outs. So..all in all a respectable showing. Our expectations are higher, our sense of team is as strong as ever. Good things are  coming our way. 2010 is gonna be fun. Thank you to the Softball Gods for the opportunity to play this weekend. Thank you for noone getting hurt. Thank you for several pinks and Bubbas. Thank you for helping me not get anyone thrown out at the plate. There was one potential opportunity, I sent Speedbump Ellis home, but he lowered the blade on his grader and pulled up at 3rd. Divine intervention.

 
2010 League Schedule - Tuesday, April 20, 2010

 

 
2010 Team Geritol league schedule - Monday, April 19, 2010

Hey guys. Our league schedule is posted in the  "photo album" tab, under "2010 league schedule. I'll get it on this page ASAP. The schedule looks great. Onlyh 2 Monday games.

CLICK ON THE PHOTO TWICE AND IT WILL ENLARGE.

 
2010 Team Geritol Bubba Photos - Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Some of the photos from our 7th Annual, 4th ever, Bubba Awards Ceremony have been posted. Check the "photo album" tab. Thanks much for a fun evening. We truely did miss those of you who were not able to attend. We honored you in your absence. Unfortunately, the dog ate your Bubbas.   Just kidding, the only ones he licked, were the ones I gace to Smoochie. Hmmm? Which tastes best Smooch, Beagle lips or Poodle lips? Thanks for being such good sports.  

 
The Bubba's..Saturday, April 10, 5:PM...Potluck if you bring something, Notluck if you don't - Monday, April 5, 2010

Hey!! Make it if you can. Awards!! Prizes!! Nanook of the North will be here. Also known as Sled-Dog Stokes...Everyone wins a Bubba... Noone goes home empty handed.

You know the old expression, "There are no free lunches'" Well....the Bubbas would also be a fine time to bring your league dues. We will have 15 guys for league, so $40 each would be great. League dues have been paid. They did not go up this year. They were $670.  I have also ordered some very nice hats. If you pitched in $10 per hat. it would be great. They were $16 each. I have also  bought some new bats for us to use, and am glad to do that. I believe that being a self-sponsored team is a fine way to go.We each pitch in for the tournament. We don't have an obligation to patronize some establishment  to show our thanks for their support. It is good...We are our own team.

Thanks you guys. Please call or email with questions or if you will not be able to make it to the Bubbas.

 
2010 Pre-season league updates - Thursday, April 1, 2010

The MSA Board met March 31, to organize the leagues for the upcoming season. At this point it appears we have 126 teams registered to play. This is the exact number we had for 2009. There are however, a number of new team names, and significant roster changes.

Men's "C" league will have 14 teams.

Men's "D" has 35 teams.

There will be an "Upper D" division, with 19 teams. They will play each other.

There will be a "Lower D" Division with 16 teams. They will play each other.

Placement of teams was based on their 2009 league record and their finish at State.

Three teams who played "C" ball in 2009 will drop to the 19 team "Upper D" league.

Three teams who finished 16-4 in "D" league last year, will move up to play "C" league.

The goal of the MSA Board was to create a system wherein the top and bottom finishers in each league will be "circulated" in order to either reward/consequence them, (depending on your point of view)  for a successful season. This will allow the teams who finished at the bottom of their division to move down 1 division to help them have more competetive league games.

By having an upper and lower "D", we hope to create a tier system, allowing teams who  are moved, to only move one step. The idea is that a Lower "D" team, would move to the upper "D" division, before having to move to the "C" League.  

As always there will be discontentment. It sure is fun to win and it sucks to have to move up when you don't really want to. But this is softball tradition. Team Geritol experienced it last year.  We moved up to "B" and paid our dues. Now we are back in "C". Next year we may be back up in "B". And so it goes.

I do not have the stats for the Women's and co-rec leagues, but will post them when I do.

There are 4 Men's teams requesting doubleheaders. Two of them have said they can only play on Wednesday. This creates a scheduling conflict, as no-one wants to play a doubleheader, the Monday after a tournament. I have provided Abe with our tournament schedule, hoping he could schedule us for Wed. doubleheaders on the weeks following a tourney; adding that we would be happy to help out by playing Monday doubleheaders when there has not been a tourney.  Hopefully some of the other teams will be able to help out with the scheduling logistics by providing their tourney schedules to Abe, allowing for some give and take amongst the 4 teams requesting doubleheaders.

Will keep you updated.

 
team practices - Friday, March 26, 2010

Saturday's at noon, at the Fort every week unless we change it. I will update any practice date changes. Thanks guys.  Let me know if you are playing in the MSA Tournament, the last weekend in April. 

 
Tournaments... - Saturday, March 20, 2010

PLEASE CHECK THE "TOURNAMENTS" TAB TO VIEW THE 2010 SCHEDULE.

 
Hibernation completed..Emerging from off-season cave....Scent of Bubba's in the air. - Monday, March 15, 2010

 Where have all you guys been?  Where have all the flowers gone?? Oh, wrong song.. Hey!! softball is in the air..like one of Rich  "Hammer" Hoffman's infield fly-rule, pop-ups...Take that buster.

We are planning on playing league this year. Doubleheaders hopefully. We will be in the "C" league. Due to our finish at State B last year, we have been re-classified as C on a state-wide basis...altho we have the option to play "B", if we choose. Hmmm??  Sounds like it is time for a team vote.

State "C" is in Kalispell..Yahoo!! State "B" is in Tulsa Oklahoma, and they don't pay mileage.

Rosters are due Friday, March 26. I am going to ask Abe if I can pay our league fees on the 26th, and turn in the completed roster following our Bubbas,.

So the Bubbas will be more than just the Bubba's. They would also be the roster signing gala, and an opportunity to part with some of your heard earned money..as the league fees are $670..so if we each pitch in $40... we should be just fine. I know not everyone can/chooses (ahem..Patrick) to make the Bubba's.. As long as you get the roster signed before I turn it in on Monday, April 5th, you are ok. If you don't get it signed..you are still ok..it will however be a Pink shirt fine, as was the case last year, when all but two of our players signed the roster..Deano  "The Dogfather" Thompson and Don "Bailout" Chery. Yes, he is a banker and he owes me money from a tournament 5 years ago.

TIME...DATE & THE HONEST REASON FOR THE BUBBA'S BEING SO LATE THIS YEAR:

Saturday, April 10, 5:PM...Potluck style get together..Please call with any questions. Please bring family.  We moved it back a week because the previous date (April 3), is the day before Easter...and many of our players will be busy laying funny colored eggs on that day.

REASON :

This is Chief Jame's first open weekend since the end of the 2009 softball season. James had comittments the previous years, on Bubba weekends, so I promised him we would not have this year's Bubbas until he was able to join us. Well Praise the Lord!!! That weekend has arrived. Chief Hits to Right Field, told me it was ok to write that he is going to share with us some very personal and confidential information about his buddy, Web Weaver. James is mad at Web, so out come the good-buddy, secrets. Chief Spread No Rumors, already told me what it is and it is unbelievable, except that I want it to be true, so I  believe it.  Be there to hear all about it. I have journalistic integrity and will not disclose The Chief's secret on the website. Whooeee!! James must really be mad at the Webmeister. Can't say I blame him.

 
2009 Recap - Monday, January 25, 2010

Here are a few Team Geritol numbers from the tournaments of the 2009 softball season

4-2...Second Place...MSA Tournament.

5-1...Champs...Rhino Rumble.

5-1...Champs...Elbow Room Tournament!!! Whoa Baby..We won a "B" Tournament.

4-2...Champs...C Division...Thompson/Corr.. 

6-2...Second Place...St. Regis

2-1...DNP...Superior (Rich Hoffman earns pink shirt for blatant home-boy bracketing 

1-2...DNP....State "B" 

2-2...DNP....Travis Holzwoth "Bulldog" Tournament. 

2009 we played in 8 tournaments..and were 29-13 for a .690 win/lose percentage 

2008 we played in 9 tournaments. We were 47-13, for a  .783 win/lose percentage.

2009 we won 3 tournaments...2008 we won 5 tournaments

2009 we finished 2nd in one tourney....2008 we finished 2nd in 2 tourneys.

2009 we placed 3rd in 2 tourneys...2008 we finished 3rd in 1 tourney.

2009 we played at "B" State and were 1-2...2008 at "C" State we were 5-2.

The highlight of our year was winning the Elbow Room tournament. We were able to beat some very good softball teams....and here they are: 

We beat The Gamecocks of Helena ..17-15 and they were home team.

We also defeated Fatt Boys of Kalispell 23-22. They too were home team.

We defeated The Bluesox 33-25..very tough team for us to beat.

\We defeated Boomers 20-1..they were also home team but must have gone out with James on Sat. Night.

For the Championship, we defeated Mathews Solo Cam. of the Bitterroot Valley  19-17 and they were home team.

These wins were a season's worth of upsets all in one weekend. Thank you, thank you to the Softball Gods and Goddesses.  Also thannk you to the helping hand from Brandon Thompson. The young man played good ball. We hit .639 as a team, for the weekend.  We also averaged 19.8 runs per game.

The Long Ball Gods were in our dugout. We hit 24 over the fence.

We moved up to "B" league this year and it went well, even though we did not do well at State. The competition at State was tough and we just did not play well enough to win more than the one game we did win. It was however, an encouraging season.

 

 
2009 Senior Softball recap. - Monday, January 25, 2010

2009 was my second year playing with Yeager's Sporting Goods. They are a  +60 team from Bellingham Washington. In 2009 I had the opportunity to play in four tournaments with them.

In June, we played in the Montana Senior Games, here in Missoula and were 4-1, winning a silver medal. We lost to The JAXX, a team out of Layton Utah. in the Gold Medal game.

In August, Yeager's traveled to San Francisco to participate in the National Senior Games Association, Softball Tournament. This is a tournament that teams must qualify for, in order to play. It is held every two years. It was played  in Louisville Kentucky in 2007., and will be in Houston Texas, in 2011.

We were able to win this week-long National Tournament, with a 6-1 record.. We defeated  the Minnesota Masters for the Gold Medal. This was the highlight of the Senior Softball Season.  This was a "ring tournament" and as such, each of the Yeager's players,  have  nice "National Championship"" rings coming our way. Like little boys, never to old to win a prize. 

I also participated with Yeager's in Mesquite Nevada. Playing the Can-Am, Tournament. Yeagers won this tournament, going 5-0 for the 3 days.  It was my first opportunity to play on artificial turf. I liked it..once you adjust to the extra hop on the ball, it is great. Smooth as a pool table.

Our final Senior Tournament of the season was The Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George Utah. This is also a week long affair. Yeager's was placed in the AAA Division and won the silver  medal, losing to Handiland Flooring out of Milwaukee Wisconsin in the Gold Medal game. ..A most amazing and fortunate season. 

 

 
Smoochie wears a tu-tu..opening game 2010...OR...Captain Tu-Tu Causes Loyola To lose Playoff Game - Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Well, Well, Well...It seems, Little Miss Karma has taken a bite out of Smoochie's hind leg once again. The Smoocha' has had chronic hind leg issues for several years now.
Some folks have an achilles heel, some folks have the hind leg of a poodle. I feel bad for Mr. Smoochie, he is a bit like the pup (poodle-pup perhaps) who keeps trying to bite the porcupine..or chase the skunk. It is certainly smelly, bristley business he has been up to.
 

Here is what happened.
The Townsend Bulldogs had played the Loyola Rams earlier this football season and Smooch and I made a bet on the game. We decided the loser would have to wear the pink shirt. Fair enough. Townsend won. Smooch dealt with it.

About a month later, the Class B playoffs began. Townsend and Loyola had the possibility of a rematch...if they each were to win their opening round games...Well lo and behold, Townsend and Loyola do win, and the rematch is on. Once again the game is being played at Loyola's home field. Smoochie calls me and says, "Let's bet on this game." I say ok, what would you like to bet. The Smoocha says he will think about it and call me back. He calls me back on Thursday, two days before the game. He has this strange sense of barely concealed cockiness. Like a rookie poker player who has 4 aces. The Smoocher was so eager to bet that I am thinking something must be up. Smoochie tells me that nothing is up, he just want to bet on the game.  He has the  genuiness of breast implants.. He says we should bet that the loser has to wear the entire pink outfit..PLUS..one item of the the winners choosing. Whoa!!! what's up with that? I am taken aback by the boldness of this bet...Smoochie mocks and belittles me, (you only hit singles, you are older than Jeff and James put together..stuff like that) challenging me to take a chance, have some fun with it...so I reluctantly agree to go ahead with the all-out bet. It seems to me I have way more to lose than TheSmoocher, but...I do it anyway.

Saturday morning I open up the Missoulian..and begin reading a very nice-sized write-up for the Townsend-Loyola game. I get about one sentence in to this write up and read, "Townsend was missing 9 players due to injury and illness. Their starting running back is on crutches and gone for the season." I swallow hard. I've been SMOOCHIED.
I call the Smoocha and of course he answers the phone on the first ring...and he is walking on air, a euphoric, cheerful..kind of, "I know something you don't know", happy boy, proud to be a poodle-lover." He's like a millionaire ordering pizza.. Mr. Big Shot!!Oh what a surprise", he says, completely unable to contain his giggling and laughing. Smoochie knew, Smoochie had got the Catholic School scouting report. It seems that if you are big enough financial supporter...certain perks come with that support..eg. scouting reports. So Smoochie starts talking about me in a tu-tu..and wouldn't I look good in a pink tu-tu...In the back of my head, I hear the Softball/Football Gods speaking to me...they are saying...Be Calm Mike..it's going to be okay...Smoochie just cost Loyola the victory. Loyola was going to win the game until Smoochie tried to cheat you on this bet. Now Loyola is going to have to lose, in order to make the world right again. The Sports Gods could not/would not allow this kind of smug, self-serving, injustice to go unpunished. And so I felt at peace with myself. I trusted the Gods would do the right thing. And as always, they came through...Townsend beat Loyola,  20-19, on an unexplainable decision (divine intervention) to go for two, rather than tie the game, late, late, in the 4th quarter. Loyola was playing at home and had all the momentum. Everyone knew..if this game goes to overtime..Loyola wins it..I tell you it made no sense...no sense at all..unless.. Hmmm?? Or does it make sense?? To a clear thinking, clean living, God fearing soul...it made perfect sense. The Sports Gods came through one more time, dashing the evil plans of the dastardly Snidley "The Smoocher" Whiplash...What a special, yet sad moment, as the timeclock of justice ticked off it's final seconds at Loyola Ram's football field. So many innocent young victims..niave to the twisted plot they had unwittingly, unwillingly been dragged into..All in the name of a middle-aged, ex-lead-off hitter, who plays right field, and has got a thing  for pink. So....as sure as the sun sets in the west..and as sure as the smell of burnt toast and bacon wafts across the breakfast tables of rural Montana...and as sure as the cost of tuition at St. Joe's will go up next year for Mr. and Mrs. Smoochie's children...The Smoocha' will be wearing pink. 14 innings of pink. Perhaps only 7 innings of Tu-Tu, but 14 of pinkness.  Only this time.....and thank you for the idea by the way....Captain Tu-Tu will go where no Poodle Kisser has gone before. Oh Happy Day!!! I am asking Santa for a new video camera for Christmas...Hey Jeff...does this website have the capablilty to view videos...???

 
1st Annual Travis Holzworth "Bulldog Classic" - Friday, August 28, 2009

We were 2-2...which is better than most people would expect a team of Poodle Kissers to do in a Bulldog Classic.

We were honored to participate in this event.  It is great to see the softball community take care of its' own. Travis is a softball lover and an example of how people who love the game continue to be an important part of it. 

1st Game..vs. Edge/Game Cocks..Helena..Lose 17-5..  

These boys had a tough squad put together...and amazingly they were on the opposite side of the bracker of Rich, "The Bracket-Master" Hoffman's team. Rich's team sure has had good luck the last few tournaments when it comes to the brackets...he must be living a good life...He will sure look great in that pink shirt the next time he plays with us.  

We led this game 2-0 after 1 inning and it was all down hill from there. Chris Jones did his best to help us, hitting 3 home runs in 3 at bats. Chris is swinging a new 26 oz. Juggernaut, that is being very very good to him. David pitched in with a little pink of the called strike three variety. David is making a serious run at Smoochie Von Hollenback's season record of pink put-ons. There was a time when Smoochie's record was considered untouchable..David needs 3 more pinks in this tournament and he will surpass Puppy-lips Hollenback as the all time single season record holder.  As a team, we were 13-32 for a game average of .406..Yikes!! 

2nd game vs. Boomers: Won 19-15:

Boomers was home team.  James claimed he got robbed on the coin toss..Not sure how that could happen? Both teams started off slowly. at the end of 2 innings, the score was 3-1 them guys. In the top of the  3rd, we scored 11 runs, highlighted by Mike Fuchs home run. This  put us up 12-3. Boomers stayed quiet until the 4th inning when they began hitting the ball the way we expect them to. They chipped away at our lead and after 6 innings, it was a tie game 15-15..(our favor).  In the top of the 7th David Thompson got a hit, Brandon also hit safely, and Patrick came through big time with a 3 run homer. Chris Jones also scored in this inning, with some good base running and we led 19-15 going into the bottom of the 7th.  Their 2-3, and 4 hitters were coming to bat, but the Softball Gods were smiling on us and we were able to get them out without giving up any runs. Anice win for us. We have to win one more game today to get into Sunday.

3rd game..vs Reds..Win 16-9:

Oh Good God!!!I thought Barney the Purplel Dinosaur was a sight to see..Zilla the Pink Gorilla, was a head shaker.  Atta boy Mikey, put em on and wear them with pride. Something Smoochie was never able to do. When ol'Smoochie wore the pink, his tail was between his legs.

Ok. we are having fun...but wwe also know we need win this game to get into Sunday. It became clear fairly early on that we were winning and having more fun. Reds had a nice combination of players from 2 generations. Jeff Hibbert and his son Derek were playing together. It is always a cool thing to see fathers and sons' together on a team.

Brandon hit 2 home runs for us this game. David Felker was 3-3 atta boy David. We'll have to dress Zilla up in pink more often. As a team we had our best game of the tourney, hitting 28-44, for a team average of .636. 

4th game...vs. Paradise Falls Blue Sox: Lose 25-14:

Sunday morning. Here we go again playing the Blue Sox. Dang their miscolored souls. They have had our number for most of the year. We beat them in the Elbow Room on our way to winning that tourney; howeever they eliminated us at State...and today they eliminated us from this tourney. WE started off scoring 4 in the 1st, compliments of a home run by Chris Jones. The Blue Sox were  hitting the ball very well today and at the end of 3, they led 11-5. At the end of 4, they led 18-11. At the end of 5 they led 21-12, and at the end of f6 they were up 25-14. They scored almosot every inning and we did not. Brandon hit 2 home runs for us this game and Chris hit one. Chief "He who pops up to the infield" did just that and celebrated with an impromptu Snow Angel on the 1st base line 

  

 
2009 State "B" Tournament...Helena - Thursday, August 6, 2009

Interesting feelings..I was more nervous last year, driving to the State "C" tourney, than to this year's "B" State. It has been a good year for us. The move to "B" and the reactions from local teams, considering us a ":B" team, and not wanting us to play in local "C" tournaments, has built our confidence.  More on that later.

1st Game..vs Old Chicago..Billings..Lose 26-14, in 6 innings.

This was a good team. They are a long standing "B" team, as well as one of the premier +35 teams in the State. Even  though they 12 runned us, I believe they beat us in one inning, with 2 outs. After 3 innings, the score was 10-9 Team Geritol. Old Chicago came to bat in the top of the 4th and scored 14 runs on us. They had scored 4 and had 2 outs on them....and then went on an incredible, back breaking 10 run., 2 out rally.  Take away that inning and we whupped them....hmmm..okay so that's lame.  It was notthat we did not belong..it was that this is "B" State and  good teams have good innings..That is the nature of  softball at this level. We have been beaten by the big inning a number of times this year...more than usual it seems. ...

We had 10 runs after 2 innings...and then scored only 4 more runs in our next 4 at bats. Can't do that. Old Chicago beat us on clean, hard hits. Our defense was solid..

 Brandon continued his tape measure home run display, by hitting over the left field fence, over the top of the driving net on the golf course, through the woods and to Grandmother's house in his first at bat. I am guessing that it went about 2 1/2 miles....ok...I said a million times I will quit exaggerating. It was a monster shot. Brandon hit a total of 3 home runs for us in this game. Interesting fact is that as a team we were 21-37, for a team game average of .567. This was our highest game average in the tourrnament. It was also our biggest loss.  other newworthy items in this game were: James and Henry winning the coin toss...Jeff, hurting  his knee on the very first play of the game and Julie blaming it on me for dumping his beer at the start of a game in St. Regis, 5 years ago.

2nd game..vs. Superman..Kalispell..Win 11-3....

Let's see...Smoochie was 3-4 in our 1st game and we lost...he was 0-4 in this game and we win...hmm?? I only mention this in a philosophical context. This was a slow starting game. The score after 5 innings was 4-3 Geritol. We scored 5 in the 6th, 2 in the 7th, and won 11-3.  Brandon hit another ball over the fence, across the street, into the yard, far far away. Their pitcher commented that it was the longest home run he has ever given up.   

Zilla also hit one out of Jurrasic Park for us...and added meaning to his nickname by bare handing a line drive, much like that big monkey on the Empire State building, swatting at airplanes and bullets in the movies. Except that he had left his pretty blonde honey back in Missoula. As a team we were 20-41 for a game average of .478.

3rd game..vs. Blue Sox..Missoula..Lose 11-10...

Here we go again...Blue Sox revisited..We have a good rivalry with these guys. We have bummed them out and they have bummed us out. Unfortunately it was their turn to do the bumming out. The bums.

The Blue Sox scored the tieing and winning runs in the bottom of the 7th with two outs. Tough loss..Big fish got away. Woulda, coulda, shoulda, darn, dang, shoot, phooey, rats, cats, and pink poodle dogs. Solemnness after the game. Lots of disappointment, but even more respect for each other. The true cololrs of a team show in moments like this. We have nice colors...other than pink. Never, not even once, has anyone said anything negative to anyone on this team. Win as a team, lose as a team. We just did not play to our potential, despite really really wanting to win this game.  10 runs is a good inning, as Oldl Chicago showed us. Everyone wanted to make it to Sunday and what hurt  most is that it was right there for us. the Softball Gods played no favorites. It was ours to earn against a tough team and it just did not happen.  Fortunately sad goes away and blends into the season long collage of memories.

Patrick hit 2 home runs and Brandon hit one in this game. As a team we were 19-39 for a game average of .487. This is the same average as our previous game. We had a 10-8 lead after five innings and were not able to score in the 6th or 7th.

I will write more later. I will be gone for a week. but will enter some season stats and thought on return. We still have a possible tournament or two remaining. I won't say goodbye to the season yet. Thanks guys. This has been my favorite team ever to play with.

 

 
Poodle Creek...up Hollenback Gulch..on Smoochie Mountain - Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Come August in Montana, many of the little tributaries and mountain streams dry up. Cease to flow. Slow to a trickle, disappear until the following spring. However there is a certain creek around these parts, that runs a different course. Odd, sort of senseless little creek. No fish, can't drink the pinkish-tinted water. It will give a grown man the bug-eyed yips, and a terrible bad itchin'..been known to make a lead-off hitter scoot around on his hind end  in the left field grass. Known as Poodle Creek, its' source is somewhere up Hollenback Gulch, just below Smoochie Mountain, on Shawn and Julie flats. The dang thing never seems to dry up. It slows to a piddle from time to time, but just when you think it might go away....it bubbles back to life. 

The wayward critter  wandered its' way to my front porch this past weekend. Washed up some bad poodle poetry, some pink poster board, and  four or five family pictures from the Hollenback photo albums. There it all was, taped to the wood chair on my front porch. Only thing it didn't wash up was accountibility. Even though everyone knows Poodle Creek flows out of Hollenback Gulch. Most up-right folks get down-right ornery about claiming their water rights. Unless of course he or she has been going upstream with their Poodle to piddle.. Yep...I had me a front porch full of pink Poodle piddle. Had Hollenback Gulch written all over it. Pink as the dickens. ......So...just as sure as there are Smoochie scootchie marks in the left field grass...and as sure as Poodle Creek flows in both directions...we'll have to wait and see what the backwash brings to Hollenback Gulch. Justice is a thirsty soul.

 
Superior Tournament....R.I.P. - Thursday, July 23, 2009

That Smoochie Hollenback sure comes from good stock. His parents are gracious, humble, well mannered, they hold still and talk with you, they don't call you funny names. All I can figure is that Da'Smoocha was the youngest child, the last puppy, a pink little baby poodle boy. We want to thank Mr. and Mrs Hollenback for hosting us at their home between games, feeding us, and letting everyone except James use their restroom. They are kind and wise people. We wish our stay at Superior had been longer. An anonymous source, whose cover name is Mrs. H. told me that her son met his little league coach at the Superior tournament. They talked awhile and soon the conversation turned to Shawn's little league days. His coach had a nickname for him that our confidential informant thought was website material. Who am I to argue. If a confidential source gives you some inside info, you just have to use it, else your source may dry up...and that would be terrible. 'Weenie-arm Hollenback" Can you believe that. I mean the guy has a cannon. Oh well, who am I to argue with a confidential source?
Darn..I have more to write, but I just got a call from the Governor and need give him some help on legislative matters, something about concealed jousters in National Parks.
Okay, I am back. I think we got that concealed jouster bill defeated.
 

Superior Tourney Prose

Smoochie and David

Whatta ya' think?

Don't those two

Look great in pink?


Okay, Here are some stats for our weekend in Superior.

We were 2-1 for the weekend and we finished in the top 39. Which is not bad considering there were 600 teams.


First game vs. unamed team from Idaho. Win 11-10
We started off slowly, but in typical Geritol fashion, rallied with 5 runs in the 7th inning to take our first lead of the game, 11-9. The Idaho team had the hammer and made a run at us in the bottom of the 7th, scoring one run and having the tieing and winning runs on base when we finally got them out. As a team we were 17-37 for a game average of  .459....Lower than our usual winning game average, but good enough to squeak out this win. Brandon Thompson hit a home run  for us in the second. 

Second game vs. unnamed team from Washington/Idaho.  Win 14-6. 

We played this game at the city park, which is where we played several years back, winning the 1-pitch tournament. Brandon's friend, "Maui" hit 2 home runs for us. The second of his Hula Homers came in an 8 run 3rd inning. Maui also played excellent defense, taking away several fly balls from Shawn. Shawn's arm is probably a little stronger than Maui's. At least that is what I overheard Shawn saying to his kids.

As a team, we were 21-36 for a game average of .583. This game provided several highlights...and delights...David struck out twice, which brought his 2 game total to 3 foul ball strikeouts. The man was pinker than a second grade girl's birthday party.  Smoochie also managed to hit a strike three pitch way foul, I mean..parking lot foul, earning his second degree pink belt....therein lies the delight. I hope Shawn has had his rabies shots, because the boy was mad enough to bite himself. I got a picture of it, but Jeff didn't post it because...I think he is scared to. He thinks Shawn might bite him too. Softball!!! What a great game.. 

Third game vs Boomers..Lose 12-4....well .......crap!

Dang the dang  luck. We have played these guys well in the past. They ended up winning the tournament, which did not surprise anybody, however I think all of us believed we had a good chance of winning this game if we hit well...We didn't and we didn't. Jeeze..for me it was like going to Disneyland and only getting to get on one or two rides. For Jeff and James it was like going to Freds and there being no dancers.  That is why Jeff didn't play. As we were leaving the field, eliminated from the tourney, other teams were just getting there, not even having played yet. I had flashbacks and they were creepy. Playing with Geritol has spoiled me. I am used to waving goodbye to people as they leave on Sunday. Oh the Softball Gods...along with a little help from our ex-friend and bracket-master, Rich Hoffman, did not smile on us this  weekend. He set us up with the great start time (noon) on Saturday..and  then gave us 2 easy games. He then  rewarded us with...Oh my! Boomers..We've got a 2XL pink shirt  waiting for Richie boy...We'll do a team vote to make sure it is fair. They call him...the Pink Hammer.  You know, in hindsight, we eliminated Rich's team from St. Regis...we eliminated his team from the Elbow Room Tourney.....Hmmm???

The team was 16-35 for a game average of .457....okay, maybe that had a llittle bit to do with the outcome of the game..Boomers played a 5 man infield  and we provided them with positive reinforcement for that decision. Call it a hunch, the next time we play them, there is a good chance we will again see that defense. We have made them get out of that defense in the past, by hitting the outfield gaps. Today, we just were not able to get it done.

Playing with us in Superior this weekend were: James, Chief Troublemaker, Stokes, Zilla Dimmitt, Mike The Bookie Fuchs, Don Cherry Wine, Jerry Jerky Stroot, Brandon Bearhug Thompson, Shawn The weenie armed smoocher Hollenback, Jerod Maui, friend of Brandon, Lance What can Brown do for you, Horner, Jon Smiley Riley, David Pinkie Felker, and plain old me.

We will have to let this one sink in. We have State B to look forward to. I think it will be fun. We have nothing to lose...really...2009 has taught us that we can beat B teams. We are not imposters in the B Division. When we play well and have our whole team there, we can give most teams a run for their money. I look forward to that at State.

 

 

 

 
Website updates - Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I have been taking some grief from a a certain faction of lads who were likely weaned too early. Apparently I have not been keeping the website updated. I am not one to make excuses, however I feel for the sake of a clearer understanding of the big picture, I should offer some insights into why the wesite has not been operating like a daily newspaper, arriving fresh at your doorstep, morning after morning, just as sure as the smell of burnt toast and bacon wafts across the breakfast tables of western Montana...

Roundabout malufuntion...ever heard of it? If you haven't..you soon will. It i s coming to Missoula big time. You know roundabouts? Those $600,000, circley things they put in busy intersections to help clear up traffic confusion. These roundabouts are from England and they come over here on a boat. When they put them in, they have to be careful to make sure that they put them in correctly. English drive on the other side of the road because that is how they did it back in the days of jousting. There are no left-handed jousters, and there is no jousting at all in Montana. It has been outlawed. Chief Stokes claims that Sheep jousting under a full moon, is a popular family reunion sport in Shelby, and it may well be. However the last of the known cattle jousters passed away in the early 1900's.
There has recently been a proposal to allow people to carry concealed jousters in our National Parks. I sure hope this does not pass. .....So there you have it. 
Elbow Room Champions..Thank you to the Softball Gods - Sunday, June 21, 2009

 Well this was a weekend for the memory book....and if I don't get the website updated, I will have to give James the administrative password. Yikes!! I will do the books tonight and enter the stats tomorrow. 

What is more important than the stats, however, is that we were fortunate enough to turn a big challenge into a great opportunity.  We did not give up our right to win. Every team has the right  to win, some teams haven't learned to believe it yet. Over the past few years, we have learned how to win and this weekend, that knowledge and experience served us well. You stay humble, stay calm, be good to each other, invite the kids into the dugout,  keep James away from the younger, more impressionable players, pay homage to the Softball Gods, and there is a good chance things will turn out well.

It also did not hurt that we picked up a direct descendant of Paul Bunyan, the Mythological Lumberjack and Monster Home Run Hitter.  Brandon is the son of a first generation Team Geritol player, David Thompson. What a nice thought, that there is another generation of Team Geritol players growing up. When we get older, it will be fun to watch them.

Thanks for a great, great,  weekend guys. Playing with Team Geritol this weekend were: James, Zilla, Patrick, Mike and Mark Fuchs, Chris, Travar, Brandon, Brodie, Lance, David, Mike P. and three stalwart pickups, Ryan Cook, Tommy Thompson, and Ryan Jeter..Derek's younger cousin.  

1st Game vs Gamecocks/ Helena..Win 17-15:

This opening game draw, seemed llike starting out in the deep end of the pool, as the Gamecocks have been a mainstay in the "B" ranks for several years. That, and the fact they speak a couple of different stripey pants languages, can be a bit intimidating.  Both teams started slowly. We helped ourselves by scoring 8 runs in the 4th inning. This gave us a 14-4 lead. The Gamecocks never were able to have a big inning. We scored just  enough runs to give us a 17-12 lead going into the bottom of the 7th. The Gamecocks scored 3 runs, to close the game to 17-15.  The good news is that we had 2 outs on them. the bad news was that their #3 hitter, Izzy, was up to bat. This guy seems so automatic that I feel safe in saying, he was giving all of us the creeps. We knew the game was 2 swings away from being tied. Somehow Zilla, who pitched a masterful tournament, was able to get Izzy to pop up to end the game.  Oh baby!! There was some really cool, quiet eye contact amongst our team, as we came off the field, knowing we had just  pulled off a sweet upset. 

We played excellent defense this game. Our team battting average was okay, not great, but good enough to win. We were 24-44 for a team batting average of .545. We were assisted by two absolute monster home runs by Brandon. The first of which landed in the middle of the infield on field 5, and according to various accounts, one-hopped to the 1st base coach. Other reports have the trajectory of the ball being spotted on airport radars as far away as Boise Idaho. Either way, it was a very exciting home run to watch, made only that much more special by the fact that it was hit by someone on our team. It was also one that I suyspect will get longer and longer as time and stories go by.

2nd game..vs. Young Guns..Kalispell..Lose 8-4:

Well, I don't know. We picked the right time to have a poor game. The first two tourney games were our guarantee games. Bracket play begins after this game. Not much to say. Brandon did hit two more "no-doubters" out of the park for us. The team was 13-31 for an average of .419. Uhm..How about that first game vs. the Gamecocks...wasn't that fun??

Game 3..vs. Fat Boys, Kalispell...Win 23-22..

Well, well. If the Fatboys were watching our game vs the Young Guns, we had them fooled, as we came out and scored 14 runs in the top of the first inning. Brandon and Patrick each hit 2, count-em two, home runs in the first inning. Brodie contributed to the long ball parade with a three run shot of his own. All in all, we hit 5 dingers in the first inning.  Speaking of fame and glory, James and Mike Fuchs each had chances to make two outs in this prolific inning, but came through with clutch hits. Mike with a line shot, James with an opposite field, two strike, seeing eye, off the end of the bat blooper.

The Fatboys stayed with us the whole game. It was 16-10 after 2 innings. Brodie hit another three run shot for us in the 4th to put us up 21-14. The Fatboys outscored us 8-2 in the final three innings, to make for an exciting finish. We led by 1 run, 23-22 going into the bottom of the 7th. Their 8-9&10 hitters were up. Their first hitter singled. Thier second hitter went out. Their third hitter, flew out, which advanced the runner from 1st to 2nd.  Zilla appealed the runner leaving the base early and the umpire upheld Mikey's appeal, ending the game. It is good this happened because, Fatboy's number 1 and 2 hitters were up next. Between the two of them, they were 10-10, with 2 home runs. A fun game..and a disappointing loss for the Sadboys.  

This gave us 2 wins for the day. One by 2 runs, the other by 1 run. As a team, we were 34-54, for an average of .629. It was a fun game against a very good team.

4th game: vs Paradise Falls/Blue Sox..Win 33-25..:

Our old buddies, the BlueSox. We have a history of back and forth games with them. This was the only contest of the tournament in which James was at peace with the Coin  Toss Gods. We have had lots of battles with the Blue Sox. It seems that when they beat us, they often do it with the helpof a big inning . With the exception of our championship game victory over them in the Rhino Rumble, we have had to put a lot of runs on the board to beat them. Well...today we put a lot of runs on the board..33 in fact. They put up 25, which will win most games, but not today.

We scored runs in every inning of this game. Averaging over 5  per inning, as we did not bat in the bottom of the 7th. Lance, Patrick, and Brandon each  hit 2 home runs for us. Not to be outdone, the Blue Sox not only hit their 6 home runs, they also hit 2 more that were called outs. Our defense was very solid. Infield as well as outfield. We hit great from top of the line up to the bottom. Aargh!! Our team was 41-58 for a tournament high, team average of .706.  Praise the Lord, thanks be to the Softball Gods and a great Team Geritol gene pool. We are in the undefeated game Sunday morning versus Boomers. May they go to the Luau with James. James is the Mata Hari of our team. He lures the unsuspecting opposition into trouble, using his gregarious, seemingly innocent Shelby farm boy, shennagins. James has won many a Sunday morning game for us...on Saturday night.  Almost as many as he has cost us.

5th game..vs Boomers..Win 20-3..in 5 innings...pinch me, am I dreaming?

Who'd a thunk it? Surely not Boomers. We scored 5 in the top of the first. Brandon hit the first pitch he saw, far, far over the fence. This was the 1st of 3 home runs for him in this game. In the 2nd inning, Patrick hit the first of his two home runs in this game. In our 11 run, 4th inning, Ryan Cook hit a wonderful grand slam, to help us open up a 20-1 lead after 4 innings. Boomers managed 2 runs in the bottom of the 5th, but it was too little, too late, as the game was called on the 12 run rule. 

Boomers must have gone out with James. They are just too good of a team to have this kind of a game. Mike Dimmitt pitched a great game and deserves his share of the credit. Boomers sent only 23 batters to the plate in 5 innings. That is just over 4 plate appearances and 1 hit per inning.  As a reference point, we sent 41 batters to the plate. an average of just over 8 at bats and 5 hits per innings. As a team we were 26-41 for an average of .634. Another one for the memory books guys.

6th game: Championship vs Mathews/Solocam/One Way Out, Hamilton..Won 19-17:

Mathews started off slowly, not scoring until the 4th inning, in which they tallied 8 runs, to close the game to a 13-8 lead for us. Patrick continued his display of power by hitting two more long balls, giving him a total of 8 home runs for the weekend. Ryan Cook hit his second homer of the day. Our other two pickups, Ryan, the smooth fielding shortstop, and Tommy Thompson, batting leadoff, also hit the ball out of the park. Tommy was 8-8 and Ryan was 6-7 on sunday. The Recruitment Gods took over where the Coin Toss Gods left off. We are most thankful for that.

This game had a lot of suspense.Although we continued to score, Solocam's bats were heating up, and they were home team. In the top of the 7th, we scored 3 big runs, highlighted by Ryan Cooks homer. This gave us a percarious 19-15 lead. In the bottom of the 7th, Solocam scored 2 runs, bring the score to 19-17, they had the bases load3ed and 2 outs, with our friend, Rich Hoffman at the plate. The wind was blowing out. Rich had hit a 3 run homer earlier in the game, and the winning runs were on base. A hard single would have tied the game. Mikey Dimmitt did everything he could do to increase the chances of a victory, pitching 3 straight balls. None of which were hittable. On the 3-0 count, with everyone thinking Mike might just walk Rich, Zilla pitched a borderline strike, that would have been hard to hit, but prevented the walk. The next pitch was key, Rich was probably thinking, maybe Mike wasn't going to walk him, and prepared himself to hit. Zilla pitched what would have been ball four, but Rich had prepared himself to hit and popped it up, ending the game. Rich handled it well, trusting the softball Gods will give him his turn next time, and helping himself fell better by raising the entry fee of the Superiour Tournament to $350 for us.

Unbelievable tournament for us. Huge deposit in the "feel good account." Lord knows every team needs money in that account, as the Softball Gods make random withdrawals, from all who play the game.

Here are a few tourney stats:

Team batting average: 165/258 = .639 team batting average for 6 games.

Home runs..Brandon ..11

Patrick..8

Brodie 2

Lance ..2

Ryan Cook..2

Ryan and Tommy..1 each.

This gives us a total of 27 home runs for 6 games...just a wee bit above our average.

Patrick and Brandon led the team in hitting, with identical stats of: 20/26 for.769 averages. We awarded the tourney MVP to Brandon, not just because of his stats, but the fact that he put both James and Patrick in bearhugs and roughed them up a little. It was a  comforting, karma-like, sight to see. James has been talking trash in Brandon's absence. For some reason, when I visualize that, I keep seeing Yogi and Booboo Bear. Brandon and James, Yogi and Booboo. Which one is Yogi? Which one is Booboo? I think I know. Heeeyyy Chief Booboo.

Thanks guys for an incredible weekend. 2008 was magical, it looks like 2009 may have some magic of it's own. Thank you to our wives and families for letting us play ball on Father's Day weekend. We are indeed lucky souls.

 

 

 

 

 
MSA Tournament..2009 Softball has begun - Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hooray!! The season is officially underway. Here are stats from the Miissoula Softball Association Tournament..

We finished in 3rd place, with a 4-2 record.

1st game vs. Octane of Great Falls:

We lost this game 15-14, and it was Chief Heads I Lose, Tails You Win, who cost us the game, by losing yet another coin toss. We started off strong, going up 5-0 in the 1st inning. In fact we led the entire game until Octane's cleanup hitter, who was 0-3 at that point in the game, hit a 2 out, 3 run, walk-off homer, to give them the win. Geritol had a 14-9 lead going into the bottom of the 7th. It was an impressive comeback by Octane, as two of their first 3 batters that inning went out. They went on to score four runs, with two outs, a Geritolian type comeback, except that is was done to us, rather than by us.

As a team we were 25-43 for a game ave. of .581. We hit no homers this game. Travar wore pink to pay his fine for not signing the roster. Travar manned up....unlike Shawn Hollenback who also did not sign the roster, but who skanked out of his responsibility and did not wear the pink. Shawn is claiming the roster signing, pink penalty was only imposed for the first game of the season, so he does not have to wear the pink shirt. Some bizarre form of rationalization that gives outfielders a bad name. This will be our first team vote. We will conduct the vote when old Slinky Hollenback manages to get himself to the game. The Pink Poodle Kissing shirt will take a good man down. It can  make a weak man sneaky, as evidenced by Smoochie Hollenback's behaviors. It can also make a healthy man ill, as evidenced by Travar's McLead's no show on Sunday. While the world today is preparing for the Swine Flu, last weekend Travar was striken ill by the Poodle Smooching Flu. That boy was up all night yipping and yapping. Audrey says Travar got all shivvery and bug-eyed. At one point in our final game on Saturday, I looked into the dugout and saw Travar wrapped in blamkets like a soccer mom. I look back now and realize this was one the symptoms of the Poodlle Smooching Flu. We wish you well Travar and hope for a full recovery. Smoochie bought up all the available vaccine for this strain of the flu. Maybe if you talk nice to him, he will share some with you.

2nd Game, vs Buzzcocks of Missoula:

Well, Chief He Who Bats First, did it again. Despite James' best efforts to dig us a hole, we managed to win this game 17-12.  We trailed until the 6th inning, when we scored 6 runs to tie the game at 11-11. We then scored 6 more in the top of the 7th, holding the Buzzcocks to 1 run in their final at bat, resulting in the 17--12 final score. 

Geritol was 27-46 for a team ave. of .587. this was a typical hitting game for us. In the entire tourney, we hit over .600, in but 1 of our 6 games. Patrick and Lance went deep for us. Both solo but both important.

3rd Game vs. Silver $ Missoula:

We won this game 22-20. The Chief won the coin toss and it turned out to be a huge at bat for us. Atta boy Chief. We knew you would make peace with the coin toss Gods sooner or later. Over the years we have had great games with these guys and this game was no exception. The inning by inning tally went like this 5/5...6/6...9/7...10/13...11/15...15/16...20/22.  This was our best game as a team, going 37-56 for a .660 ave. The Governor, Schweitzered 3 home runs over the fence, the final one, a game winning grand salomi in the bottom of the 7th. Silver $ had scored 4 runs in the top of the 7th to take a 20-16 lead going into our final at bat. Their first out of that inning was a home run that put them over the limit. We had a strong 7th inning, sending 9 batters to the plate, with an unnamed, switch hitting, computer hacker, making the only out. Great game  guys. We'd have been out of this tourney, had we lost. That would have given all of us the Poodle floodle.

Some of the Silver $ team may have caught a bit of Travar's flu as they were experiencing symptoms of profound confusion. They somehow were accidentally using an illegal 100 MPH bat that noone on the team seemed to know anything about. Man, I tell you that Poodle Flu will cloud up a bright man's thinking. Those guys have been playing softball for a long time. I hope they get their keen sense of awareness back. No fun to go through a season confused and unaware..  

Sunday morning; vs Unleaded Octane:

Oh the Octane boys from Great Falls, got fueled up last night. They stayed at the pump a little too long. Their engines were not burning very clean, come game time Sunday morning. Both teams started off slowly. At the end of the 4th, the score was 2-2.  Chief One For Four, lost another coin toss. Even though we ended up winning this game 12-10,  the memories of yesterday's final at bat loss to these guys, was fresh in everyone's mind.  Brodie provided some much needed power with a 3 run Obama in the 5th inning. The score going into the 7th was 10/8, us. We scored 2 in the top of the 7th giving us the same 4 run lead we had yesterday in the same final at bat. In fact, in the first game come from behind loss to Octane, their 9th hitter in the lineup, "JB" started off their inning. In this game, down 4 in the bottom of the 7th, #9 JB also led of the inning. Yikes!!  JB and their sore-footed pitcher, (compliments of Chief Hit It Up The Middle), scored on a 2 run homer. We retired three of their next four batters, to win the game and advance to the next round. We were 23-43 for a team ave of .534

5th Game vs Team Hype Bitterroot Valley:

We won this game 14-9. The Chief uttered those seldom heard words, "Take the field boys" and we were on our way. At the end of 4 innings, we were up 12-2 and did not score much after that. Team Hype had defeated Gilley's 24-5 or something near that score, in their 1st game of the day, but their bats did not make it to this contest. It was a fun game.  Lots of new faces for them. Kurt said he only had 3 returning players. We will look forward to more games with them, as they have some good young talent and will likely improve as they get more time together. Who knows, they may even be a B team next year. The team was 23-41 for an ave of .561.

6th Game vs. Paradise Falls/Blue Sox, Missoula:

Dang the luck. This is the 3rd loss in a row to these guys. They 12 runned us in 6, winning 23-8. Not much to say. They earned it and the softball Gods seemed to be wearing blue, not orange, especially during an 11 run 6th inning for them.  They hit at least 4 home runs. We did not hit any. For this game, we were 17-33, for a tourney low, .515. 

Here are a few more stats. 

Tournament batting ave....152-262.... .580 team average. 

Runs scored by Geritol ....87..for an ave of 14.5 RPG

Runs scored by opponents...88...for an ave. of 14.6 RPG.

Interesting that we were outscored in this tourney by one run and we finished in 3rd place with a 4-2 record. There was one blow out and several close games. 

James and Patrick tied for hitting honors, each hitting .750. Excellent job guys.   

 
League updates.... - Sunday, April 19, 2009

 This is early information, not yet set in stone. But here is what we have at this point:

We will be playing in  a 12 team "C" league.

At this point Abe has us scheduled for Wednesday eve. doubleheaders, 16 of our 20 games. The remaining four games will not be doubleheaders. Abe has worked hard to get this done and it is much appreciated.

Men's C/D will also have 12 teams

Men's D will have 20 teams.

We have a total of 126 teams this year. This is an increase of 13 teams.

 The following is an unofficial list of teams playing in the "C" Division with us:

Rausch Wood....

Silver $/Hoagieville...

Paradise Falls Blue Sox

Maulers

Silver Slipper/Gilleys

Red's Bar

Boomer's/1st Choice

The Loggers

Team Rhino

Zoo Town Brewers

League "D" Nuts

Geritol

Again, this is not official. We will make corrections if needed.

 

 

 

 
2009 Pre-Season Poodle Smoochers' List - Saturday, April 11, 2009

Well Lordy Lordy...Our Team Geritol's, 1st Annual, Love and Logic Parenting, Pre-Season Poodle Smooching list has turned up with the names of four (4)  Team Geritol players. 

Don "Lend Me your Money" Chery

Deano "The DogFather" Thompson

Travar "Maybe" McLeod

Shawn "Doctor Poodle Smoocher" Hollenback.

Each of these fine athletes has earned 7 innings of pink by failing to get the roster signed. 16 other players were able to find time in their busy lives to get it done.    

 
The MaZilla Batting Cages - Friday, April 3, 2009

That's right ...Zilla and his fine family are the new owners of the Missoula Batting Cages....They have renamed them, the MaZilla Batting Cages. Look out now sports fans....  

Let's get down there and support Zilla and his family. As is always the case with the Dimmitts' this will be a family endeavor. We wish them the best. Please spread the word and help make this a success... 

 
Friends, Romans, and Roster Signing Poodle-Smoochers - Monday, March 30, 2009

Roster Deadline (April 10th) approacheth... We have 11 signatures on the roster... 8 left to sign. 4 in town players and 4 out of town players. I am hoping no more sign before the 10th and there is a waiting list in the Poodle-Kisser shirt-wearing  line. 

Because we are all about equality and not wanting to cheat anyone of their opportunity for personal growth and responsibility...The Board of Bubbas has issued a decree to the 4 out of town players on the Team Geritol roster. They are:

Roger (Yuppie Harley Biker Boy) Wilhite,

David (Chainsaw) Thompson,

Dean (Grumpy) Thompson and

Don (The Whiner) Chery.

Each of these players has a Team Geritol jersey. Each of them also live  outside of town. So, in the name of fairness and equal treatment, we recognize it would be unreasonable to expect these  four teammates to travel to Missoula to sign the roster like the local players must do, to avoid  wearing  the  pink poodle kisser shirt, their first 7 innings of the season. However...we recognize to have no expectations would also be unreasonable...So...The Board of Bubbas (Chief Big Buddah) has decided that each of these players need send an card/paper with their legal signature, birthdate, phone number, email address..to:

Team Geritol Headquarters

1180 Vicki Drive

Missoula MT. 59804

If these roster-legal signatures are received by April 10, the Missoula Softball Association, due date, the players will be added to the roster without any penalty. However..just like each and every Team Geritol player in the 2009 season. If we have to forge your signature...pink you shall wear,  the first 7 innings you play. Oh  Happy Day!! Can you say, "Pink Biker Yuppie Harley Boy" 10 times real fast....it's hard, but it has a sweet ring to it.

 
Jeff The "UniHacker" Weaver...cyber-terrorist..strikes again. - Sunday, March 22, 2009

 

In this world there are a few "You just don't do it," kind of things

Lick your finger and stick in your buddies ear...after the age of 12...You just don't do it.

Blow your nose and not look at it....You just don't do it..

Let a really stinky poozer around your buddies, and not be proud....You just don't do it...

Promise God you'll be really good if he will just help you with this one thing...but not really mean it...You just don't do it...You have to mean it..even if you do fall back to your heathen ways. 

Tell your wife you would rather she not come to your class reunion with you...You just don't do it..

Tell Grandma her Thankgiving dinner was...ok.....You just don't do it...

Get on a friend's computer and hack pictures...You just don't do it...oh wait..Jeff The Unihacker, did that to me.

Moon people at a family reunion..You just don't do it....Oh wait..Chief Many Moons,  did that...Sorry Chief, didn't mean to bring that up. Jeff's bad.

Create a webiste for the enjoyment of your buddies, then go techno and rig the election...I mean the website....giving the Republicans a bad name...You just don't do it....The UniHacker put some bizarre backwoods virus onto the website that allowed him absolute control of the content...A total Big Brother move...You just don't do it...The Softball Gods are watching you, Mr. UniHacker...The Poodle Gods are also watching you, Mr. UniSmoocher....  

 

 
2009 Team Geritol tournament possibilites - Saturday, March 14, 2009

This is a list of tournament possibilities. I have listed the tourneys we entered in 2008. I also included several other tournaments we may consider.

April 25-26.......Missoula Softball Association

May 2-3...........C'mon Blue

May 9-10.........OPEN

May 16-17.......Rhino Rumble

May 23-24.......OPEN

May 30-31.......OPEN

June 6-7...........OPEN

June 13-14........Grateful Reds (We did not play in this last year)

June 20-21........Elbow Room

June 27-28........6th Annual Keith Thompson/Ron Corr +35

                   ......4th Annual MT. Senior Softball Games +50-55-60-65-70

July 4-5............St Regis

July 11-12........OPEN...(Gooses' Gone Wild in Anaconda)

July 18-19.........Hot Box Bozeman..(We did not play in this last year)

July 18-19........Superior...Another possibility for this weekend.

July 25-26........."B" Districts. (Not yet confirmed if they will be held)

August 1-2.........OPEN

August 8-9........State "B" Helena.

August 15-16.....OPEN

August 22-23......State +40 Great Falls

August 30-31......OPEN

 

 

      

 
Keith Thompson/Ron Corr & Montana Senior Games, sponsored by Team Geritol - Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I want to ask a favor of the team. The +35 Thompson/Corr and the Montana Senior Softball Games will be held the last weekend in June (26-27-28). Both tourneys have been successful and continue to grow.  I really need some help with running these tourneys. In the past, Jeff and James have been great help and have manned the shirt sales, filled in brackets, helped with the fields. Don Chery helped with the fields last year. David has pitched in. Sorry if I am forgetting anyone. I know several players have kindly offered their help. The problem is that even with their great help, I get overwhelmed and have a hard time keeping up.

My dream would be that the Team Geritol members could be the hosts/ambassodors of the tourney. That as many of us as possible could be there, wearing our conspicious orange Team Geritol jerseys, and working the tourney. The Montana Senior Games requires a bit  more work that the Thompson/Corr.  This year we need to have a sign-in table for the Senior Games, with player and team packets to give to the participants. Each of the teams and players need have signed a waiver of liability prior to playing. If we could have 4 or 5 players sitting at this sign-in table it would be great.  This would be at the start of the tourney.  There are the $4.50 balls hit over the fence to be returned and reused. Teams are here from out of town, out of state, and even out of country, (Canada). They are here to have fun and they have questions to ask. re: directions, placed to eat, drink,etc.  We provide bread and fruit baskets for each dugout, each game. Then collect the baskets after each game and refill them.We have shirts to sell. Shirts to award winners in the Thompson/Corr. Medals to pass out in the Senior Games. Pictures to be taken. Fields to be maintained, Brackets to be filled in...etc. etc.With the growing success of the tourneys has come increased responsibilities.  Each are wonderful tourneys that I am very proud of. I am also very proud of our Team Geritol success and what we have achieved in our short time together. I cannot think of a better group of guys and wives to be spokespersons/ambassadors for this tourney than the folks on our team. We could do this in shifts, divide it up amongst the team. In the past James and Jeff have put  in long weekends. The first year, Jeff and James came the morning after Jeff's bachelor party. Now there is some dedication.  I will provide more details, I just wanted to get out early notice of this, to plant the thought in your heads. Thanks for any consideration you are able to give to helping out with these fun tourneys.  

 
2009 Roster Signing/Personnel Issues & Concerns - Thursday, February 19, 2009

MSA will hold the 1st Captain's Meeting 6:30, Monday, March 2, at the Public Library.  Team rosters will be handed out.

Completed rosters are due Friday, April 10. They are to be turned in to the MSA office, which is located in the back of Bob Ward Sporting Goods.

With this in mind, It is time for our first Team Geritol meeting of the 2009 season. We can get the rosters signed, discuss team business, tourney possibilities, league details, etc. Let's meet at my house. 1180 Poodle Drive,  7:PM Friday, March 13. (Thanks Smoochie and Elvis Fuchs).

I'll put out the excellent street sign that Baron Von Poodleback made for me.

PLEASE  READ THE ENTRIES AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POSTING REGARDING NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR PERSONAL GROWTH......YES, IT INVOLVES PINK. 

PRE-SEASON UPDATES/PERSONNEL ISSUES/CONCERNS TO BE ADDRESSED:

*Chief Stoke's 2008, season long fall from grace with the Coin Toss Gods. Our Team Chief and Spiritual Leader sinned with uncharacteristic boastfullness. Not remaining humble. Forgetting  to to give thanks to the "Home Team Gods", for their guidance. Chief Big Noggin's spirit is currently lost in the Republican Underworld and is searching for a Democratic resolution. Call "Tails" James, just call tails and keep the faith. The gods are waiting for you. They are forgiving. Just think  O.  O Great Spirits. O just has a nice sound/feel to it. The Chief is well grounded, he wore his pink like a true warrior...he'll be back..and  once again be barking out that sweet "post-coin toss" phrase, "Take the field boys, we're home team".  Atta boy Chief. Hmmm, interesting that Chief Big Noggin would be calling tails. Just another irony of the game I suppose.

*Hack Weaver's continued distancing  behaviors. The Geritol, Clinical Diagnostic Team, feels these behaviors are a misguided cry for help. Jeff needs us. We know The Hackster  struggles with guy issues and feelings. He is great with dogs. And like the rest of us on this team, he was wise enough to marry up. But when it comes to group committment,  Jeff is repressed, in layman's terms..plugged up. A classic example is his well documented behavior when drinking at Fred's.  At Fred's, Jeff is well known for randomly hugging the people around him and yelling "I love you", out loud. The Hackster becomes The Hugster.
From Hacker to Hugger. Classic symptoms of repressed feelings unleashed by the demon suds. The Chief wanted me to ask Huggy if he has been sleeping on the couch lately?  Oh yeah, Huggy also mentioned that he will be asking the team for permission to bat left-handed this season.  That is actually quite a coincidence, because I have had several  Geritol team members talk with me about suggesting to Huggy that he consider hitting from the left side.  Cool how things just seem to work out.   I am thinking that what would prbably help Huggy Weaver the most would be a great big TEAM  HUG at our first game.  In our earlier years it was a team dogpile. Now that we have matured a bit..tho none of us are yet fully formed...we have evolved from the dogpile to the team hug. We can take a team vote on it.

*Zilla's new Team Geritol tatoo. It is a beauty. Mike says he can get us a team discount if 5 or more player/wifes are interested in getting one.  Zilla re-enlisted as point man on the defense and we are glad to have him back. Last season, Zilla was tatoo'ing the ball, this season it'll be a tatooed-tatoo'ing of the ball.                           

*The Governor's hogging of the media  spotlight.  Coach Hiller this, Coach Hiller that...The Governor got more air time than Jill Valley...and not once did we hear mention of Team Geritol....Oh Grasshopper....don't let the bright lights blind you.  Hopefully  Dan Patrick ESPN Hiller will be able to blend in with us common folks. We will see  what the Softball, Press-Conference Gods have in store for the good Gov'na.   

*Smoochie has been playing a lot of basketball in the off-season. He asked me not to tell, so I won't. Oh maybe I will, Shawn borrowed, and has been wearing the team's pink shorts. He said they just feel very good. Julie won't let him wear her shorts any more, so The Smoocha, asked to confidentially borrow our poodle kissing pants.  The Pink Point guard.                                                                

 *Mike The Boogie'ing Bookie's Band, "Auditor's For Anarchy" played at this year's  Testicle Festival. Elvis
Fuchs said he has a newly found  respect for the Biker culture.  In fact,  Mike was so impacted by his Testicle  Festival experience that he purchased a sweet Harley Davidson with his share of the band's profits. "There is nothing like it", Mike said, "After a hard day of crunching numbers, putting on my leathers, starting up my Harley, riding down the highway, no helmet, wind blowing through my hairs".  1040 EZ by day and  EZ Rider by night.  We have a "One Biker limit" on our team, so Mike will fit right in. Last season Elvis seemed to have a cockleburr under his saddle, his bubble wasn't quite between the lines. I am thinking that this season, with the new singing gig, the Harely..we will have our quiet, "lead by example" teammate back,  providing us with more great softball memories. Arrgh! A man has got to find an outlet for his creativity and his gnarliness. 

*Bones Fox's first year as a full time teacher. Alan may need some group support   from us. We have several trained and certified "De-programmers" on the team roster. A little time in the dugout with his mentors, a few pats on the butt from The Chief, and Bonesy will be fine. Nine months of being prim, proper, and politically correct can stifle a good person. We'll help take care of that. You are on your own tho, once school starts up again in August.

 *Liver Eating Elam has offered to pitch in on the game time snacks. He told me he has some great Grizzly Bear, Mountain Lion, and Wolf  jerky that he will bring. Apparently, Aneska wants it out of the house. "It scares the dogs", she says.  "And Tracy acts wierd when he is eating it, he holds it real close to his chest with both hands, glances sideways at the kids and me, and makes growling sounds...it's just kind of creepy she says.   

*Louie Felker has hired a lawyer. He is filing a protest against the Women's Softball Leagues. Louie has one night of the week when he is not playing ball. It is the night the women play. He is claiming discrimination because they have denied him the right to play with them. He said he would sign the roster as Darlene, bat left-handed, and wear pink...but the answer was still no.  We will stay tuned as this is sure to hit the press any time. Watch out for ESPN Hiller, David, as he is drawn to press  conferences.  He'll butt right in.                 

*Little Jack Horner, is coming out of his corner...That 's right...Lance Horner  has been given conditional clearance for take-off. He has passed his 2 year long kidney stone and if all goes well, he will be back on the softball field this season. Ken Griffey Jr. returns to the Mariners.  Lance, Little Jack, Horner returns to Team Geritol, and the sun is shining outside...things are looking good in Softball Land. If you need transition into the outfield, 1st base and catcher are up for grabs.
 
   
 
   
 
  Edit Announcements
       

*Chris Jones has been out of touch. No reports on the big guy. We are hoping he will be back. Unbeknownst to Chris, The guys pitched in on a Magillla Gorilla bat insurance policy. Just in case Magilla Jones, decides to use one of our bats and the dang thing fails to hit the ball in the sweet spot like it is supposed to...and well, you know the rest of the story.  It is good to have coverage.  Hey...Zilla and Magilla.....Cool.  Please don't beat me up, cause I think that name could stick. You just keep shopping around until you find one that fits.  That is my kind of shopping.,

Deano, The Dogfather, is doing well. Deano was recently asked by a local theatrical group in Libby to participate in a play. They told him he was a natural for the part. Seems they are going to present Walt Disney's classic Snow White and The Seven Dwarves. They needed someone to play the art of one of the Dwarves, uhm.. let's see, which one was it..Sleepy?? No,...Uhm..Dopey??..No...Uhm..Grumpy...that's it. It was Grumpy. Well I think we can all support that job of casting. The Dogfather is a natural for that role. I just loved that movie when I was a kid. Atta boy Dean...Grumpy Thompson..has kind of a ring to it.

Travar, "Maybe" McLeod, claims to be working in the Mall at a new Hockey store. The store is there, but I have never seen Travar.....kind of like the 2008 softball season huh? Hey!! James told me to say that. Well, "Maybe" McLeod is going to play ball with us again this year....uhm, maybe, he is. I hope he is, Great guy to have on the team, no maybe's about it. It is just that Mr. Maybe, missed just enough games last season to not have to wear the pink shirt...and that gets us.   

Brodie "Cramps" Ellis, is going  to play some league ball with us and pitch in on tournaments whenever possible. Brodie earned this name by virtue of his penchant for spontaneous full body cramps. It will be great to havew the Crampster on the team. He is also a pitcher, and beings as The Chief has hung up his 2XLcup and shin guards, we've been looking for another backup. Grumpy also pitches, but is not here for league games. Cramps provides a calming effect on his buddy, ESPN Hiller. Kind of like James does for Jeff and I do for Don Chery.

Speaking of Don Chery...oh my Lord..The  man is a mess. He is the 8th Dwarf in the Snow White fairy tale. You don't hear  much about him because they gave him the boot. His name is Whiney. Poor ol' Grumpy Thompson had to listen Whiney Chery all the way from Great Falls to Kalispell, after last year's +40 State Tournament.  Whining about someone putting pink shoelaces in his softball shoes...and worst of all, not returning his original black shoelaces. We would never give Brother Whiney the boot, he serves a very usefull purpose.  It is good to always have at least one fish in the pond that you can count on catching. That boy just can't resist a little bait.  he still owes me $15 from an St. Regis tournament 8 years ago.  Played and never paid.

Tournaments

Talk about tournaments...reinforce to Jeff and James that Goosetown is not an option. Mike Fuchs has mentioned going to the Hotbox Tourney in Bozeman. We have our title to defend in St. Regis. Shawn's hometown of Superior puts on a fine tourney.  I will try to have dates for the different tourneys. Please feel free (everyone except Huggy and Chief Noggin) to offer any other suggestions. It will be up to the tournament directors, whethere we can play in the local tourneys that do not offer a B division.

The early report from our Commissioner "Dico" is that we will have a 6 team "B" league in Missoula. Dico said we will have to have 6 teams to make it a go. If we can't get 2 teams out of the Bitterroot, we probably won't have a "B" league and will return to last season's format with an   "upper and a lower C" league. My guess is that latter is the more likely. Either way, we have a request in for doubleheaders. No guarantees tho that it will happen.

READ CLOSELY.

This year we have instituted a team fine for all signatures that must be forged. Any/all players not signing the roster by the roster due date, will be given 3 strikes...and we all know what 3 strikes means, that's right...they will have to wear the pink poodle kissing shirt the first 7 innings of the season. In doing this I have freed myself of the responsibility to get our wonderful players to sign the roster. I have given that responsibility to the players. I will gladly forge signatures..the forgery fee, is strike three...hey, that rhymes. Now if players don't get it done on time...I am happy. No problems. Life is good, lookin' good in pink. We will start the season off with a smile. Isn't it special to play on a team that believes each player is responsible and functional. Roster signing will be a perfect opportunity. We will think the world of you if you get it done...and we will think the world of you if you decide to kiss Baron Von Smoochie's Poodle on the lips, the first 7 innings of  the season.

Team Geritol shirts have arrived. The cost for them is $25. It would be much appreciated if you brought $$ with you to pay for them. I will get new hats for us, your help with the shirts is much appreciated.

 

 
2009 STATE TOURNAMENT SITES AND DATES - Monday, February 9, 2009

Masters +36...................August 1-2.......Billings

Men's Slow Pitch..B.......August 1-2.......Helena

Men's Slow Pitch..C.......August 8-9......Billings.

Men's Slow Pitch..D.......August 8-9......Missoula

Women's Slow Pitch C...August 8-9......Kalispell

Women's Slow Pitch..D...Ausust 8-9.....Kalispell

Co-Ed Slow Pitch B........Ausust 15-16.Kalispell

Co-Ed Slow Pitch C.......August 15-16..Great Falls

Co-Ed Slow Pitch D.......Ausust 15-16...Helena

Masters has moved to +36 this year. You must turn 36 in the 2009 calendar year (By December 31 2009) to  be eligible to play in the 2009 Master's Tournament. Also, in Masters +36, all players on your roster must be from within your district. No out of district players. Home Run Limits are the same as last year. The run ahead rule is 20 after 4 and 12 after 5. 

 
Clinically Depressed Poodle Mauls Team Geritol Lead-Off Hitter. - Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fox News Channel/ Fox News Radio@ Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, exagerated or redistributed.

NEWS

Team Geritol's lead-off batter, Shawn, (Baron Von Smoochie), Hollenback,  was rushed to a local Animal Clinic after being mauled by one of his pet poodles, who is being treated for Clinical Canine Depression, (CCD). This dramatic incident left the Baron's wife Julie,  The first Lady of Poodleness, extremely rattled.

 Baron Von Smoochie's wife Julie was quoted as saying that the couple's pink purebreed poodle, named "Prancing Shawn", has a history of frenzied fits and has become increasingly prone to making "viscious unprovoked attacks" despite receiving  treatment with heavy duty, German Shepard, strength, anti-depressants.

"If you only knew! I had a harrowing day yesterday,"  she told the Poodle Weekly Magazine reporters.  "Pink Prancing Shawn", aka. the "Pink Prancer", bit my husband."

Mrs. Hollenback, many years younger than her 40+ year old husband, did not directly reveal where the Poddle Baron was bitten, except to say that "It was good that Smoochie was wearing his cup."

She went on to say,  "We were aware Prancing Shawn was unpredictable, he is being treated with pills for depression. My husband was bitten quite badly but he will make a full recovery.... and we were done having kids anyway."

The Smoocha was taken to a local vet, who helped remove Prancing Shawn from Dancing Shawn. "That dog has a grip like a pit bull," Mr. Hollenback was quoted as saying.

It remains to be seen if Smoochie will continue in his role as lead-off hitter. After a traumatic event like this, he may find more solace and less pressure, in the comfort of the bottom half of the line-up.

It is noted, this incident comes on the heels of a vicious attack by a deer on this very same poodle, (Prancing Shawn) at the Baron Von Smoochie's exclusive Poodle Refuge, "Pink Acres." It appears all is not well in Poodle-Ville.

 

 
2008 post-season team player update...where are they now and how are they doing? - Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I had a nice talk with Mike Dimmitt. He called me to check in and to say how much fun he had this season. Zilla asked if I knew how the guys on the team were doing, so I made some calls and was able to get these first-hand updates from the players. Interesting lives our team leads.  

Smoochie made the news recently (see "Softball Talk" on our Team Geritol website).According to the Missoulian article, "Mr. Shawn Hollenback, of Lolo MT. recently had a harrowing experience with a small furry girl deer. The doe was apparently so fed up with the non-stop yipping-yapping poodle sounds that came from the Hollenback's 5 acre Poodle Farm, (Pink Acres) that the deer "snapped," and attacked one of Mr. Hollenback's pink poodles. Mr. Hollenback reported hearing terrible  high pitched, shivering,  bug-eyed cries of pain from his yard. He ran outside and saw the highly-agitated female deer head butting, kicking, and trying to forever silence, the small, pink, rodent-like family pet. Mr. Hollenback, a self-described Poodle Baron, reportedly grabbed one of the  many  heavy  metal street signs from his nearby workshop. Apparently Mr. Hollenback married into a well-to-do Traffic Control Business. Anyway,  Baron Von Poodle began hitting the doe in the head with one of these often misused street signs. (see The Bubba's in the Team Photos category),  Reportedly Baron Von Smoochie was able to make solid contact with his swings, (which according to his softball team-mates is unusual). The deer, realizing she was up against a hardcore poodle lover, gave up her poodle mercy killing mission, and retreated to the safetyof the nearby woods.State Fish, Wildlife and Game animal profilers, have theorized that Mr Hollenback's blows to the head, probably  brought the deer back to her senses, and she realized that no poodle was worth dieing for. The Lee Newsaper's article concluded that "Clearly, Mr. Hollenback holds his poodles in high regard." So, as you can see, things are pretty much same-old, same-old, for our left-fielder and last year's lead-off hitter. Your poodles need you Smoochie.

Mike, The Bookie, Fuchs, MIA..AWOL..IRS..TAX...No Mike Fuchs sightings until after April 15, 2009.  He has gone Osama on us...hunkered down in a secluded tax shelter somewhere. Mike did tell me that he has decided to fulfill a longtime dream by joining a musical group, you know, like a band. They are all accountants, each of them with individual musical talents. Mike is lead vocalist. I don't think that will come as a surprise to any of his teammates. Mike is constantly singing.....in the dugout, singing while he warms up, humming a little tune to himself on his way on and off the field between innings. It makes us happy. When a person has a song in their heart, they may as well let it out. Mike is going to get us a schedule of their upcoming gigs. I asked about some of Mike's favorite songs and he mentioned a couple. Tunes like, "The Yellow Rose of Taxes," and  "The H and R Block Boogie," His  favorite Christmas songs are, " Rudolph The Red Nosed, Refund," and "I Saw Mommy Kissing our CPA." Mike also likes old rock and roll tunes, like the Rolling Stones, classic, "I Can't Get No, Tax Deductions."  This is neat stuff. I think we all liked it when Mike sang in the dugout. We could tell he had talent.  Mike works hard, and this is a great move to help alleviate some of that stress. He told me his singing style is a composite of Elvis Presley and Tom Jones. I can picture it. Oh yeah... Mike also said the group is unsettled on the name of their band. Some of the names they are tossing around are: "Auditors For Anarchy,"  or ' The Rocking Refunders," 'The Swinging CPA's." to name a few. they will get it worked out. On a different note, (so to speak), I would like to add that it is that time of the year again and the Bookie, also know as the Puxtawney Phil of  Team Geritol, will be underground until Accountant's Day, April 16th. 2009. According to legend,  Mike will emerge from his tax shelter on that day, and if he sees the shadow of an auditor, it means there will be 6 more weeks of tax season. If so, Mike will go back into his shelter and not emerge again until the Saturday morning of our first softball tournament.  It will be nice to see him again and to hear his tunes floating through the dugout.  

James Stokes..aka The Chief, has many monikers. He seems to inspire them,. James did tell me that the nickname, "The Chief," is fitting, because he actually is a Chief. James is from the Coyotey Tribe on the Shelby Reservation. James said he is a direct descendent of Chief Plenty Big Noggin. Who am I to argue? Just being around James is a spiritual experience. James reports to be wintering well and says he is in serious training for the 2009 season. He continues to claim that had he not injured himself , playing competitive shuffleboard and beer pong, with Peggy and her parents, we would have won the State Tournament in Butte. James is still grumbling about having to wear the pink skirt..I mean pink shirt. Says his team-mates had to resort to made up rules, to make it happen. Something about pink with an asterisk. Chief Big Noggin is also claiming that Justin from Gilleys, broke the "no false start" treaty they had signed prior to their legendary footrace back in June of 08. The Chief has bestowed upon Justin, the honorary Native American name, "He who sells bad gas." 

Jeff, the Hacker, Weaver... is nesting. Nesting like a Yuppie. Settling down, domesticated, upper middle-class. Jeff is at risk of quitting the team. All the signs are there. He has a boat, he has a camper, he has dogs with pedigrees, he and Julie are raking in the big bucks, he is growing a home-boy gut.  Jeff bailed on us at St. Regis last year...probably just as well. as Hack has historically struggled at this tourney..with the free beer, Fred's dancing girls, unconditioned, computer geek hamstrings, ready to go "twang" on him at any moment...smoking cigarettes in the dugout with Squeak. I think all of us have noticed the distancing behaviors on Hacks behalf. Slowly setting us up to start his sentences with, "Uhm, I might not play this year." Don't do it Jeff, you need us, you are not fully formed yet, you are still evolving. Take the team boating or camping with you, have a party at your new house, let us get on your computer, take us to Fred's with you, C'mon on brother, it's time to make a deposit in the relationship account.   

Patrick, Da Gov'na Hiller, has been busy being quoted in the local newpapers. Patrick is still searching for a season defining voctory with his Sentinel High School girl's volleyball team. Patrick and the girls are having a very successful season. We wish them well at State. We are however a bit disappointed that Da Gov'na has not yet given Team Geritol any press or mention during one of his many high profile press conferences. After all we have done for for the quoteable left-winger. The life lessons, the sense of team, the permission to believe in yourself even though you are wearing pink in an alpha based setting. Many deposits have been made into Patrick's "feel good'" account by Team Geritol...and do we hear even one little single mention of thanks or acknowledgement.......Nooooooooo...well that just might be a mistake that comes back and bites the Gov'na  right in the caucaus...politically speaking of course. One of your team-mates who shall remain anonymous, (JEFF WEAVER) has expressed big time position envy about you playing 1st base and batting in the #2 spot...Just one quick little.."I'd like to thank my team-mates on Team Geritol."..That is all it would take.

Tracy Elam has grown a full beard, is living Kaczyinski-like somewhere deep in the mountains, near the Montana-Idaho border. He is living off the internal organs of back-country animals. Why??? Because Tracy is a Montana born, meat eating shortstop. He has a strong hankering for bad hops and undercooked, difficult to digest wild meat. Tracy likes that plugged-up feeling, he says it gets him in touch with his inner-ancestor. Mostly though, he is trying to erase all traces and remnants of the large amounts of pink poodle he wore during the softball season of 08. Lord knows the boy was purty in pink. Liver-eating Elam. He shaves on Fridays, comes home on weekends,acts civilized, is a good daddy and husband for two days, returns to the mountains Sunday nights, wakes up with a full beard Monday morning, and is roasting critter innards on a whittled stick, over a solitary campfire, under a moon-lit, star-kissed, Tuesday night sky.  The wolves detour, the coyotes howl on weekends only, the pumas tiptoe, the grizzlies whisper his name, vultures circle cautiously overhead, concerned that swooping for left-overs, could turn them into appetizers on the gruesome menu of Liver- Eating Elam. Arrgh!!! It's going to be a gnarly 2009 softball season. 

Mike Dimmitt has opened a daycare. It is called, "Runts and Grunts." Mikey loves kids and kids love Mikey. It has been a perfect fit and a great outlet for Zilla's inexhaustible supply of Jurrassic-like energy. Trina reports that Zilla is sleeping well at night, knowing that he is helping raise the next generation of grunters. Each of us gets to decide which footprints we will leave in the sands of time.. well done Zilla. Softball needs nice guy grunters.

David Felker has joined a Buddhist Monastery. He is spending the off-season focusing all his energies on an effort to somehow reverse the pee..poop..fart..boogers and burps..influence that the Chief has had on his son Henry. We wish David well. Every parent has their demons to face. The barnyard spell, cast by James, is like quicksand..slowly sucking in the niave and curious....Ooooohhhmmmm...."Hey Henry, pull my finger," one innocent, fleeting moment of unguarded parenthood,  and is has been all downhill from there.

Allen, Bones, Fox went back to college and has been playing wide reciever for the Montana State Bobcats. Allen has made several spectacular one-handed grabs this season. The coaches just can't Bones'y to use two hands. They are perplexed. the Big Sky scouting report on Allen is unusual. It say's, "Great speed and great hand." Allen is in graduate school doing indepth research work on the art of making consistent solid contact with a long skinny object and a small round object dropping from a 12' arc. Intruguing and worthy field of study. May Allen bring his findings to the 2009 softball season to share with the rest of us. We could all use some a little help in this area. Bobcat or not, we welcome Allen back.

Chris Jones has been co-coaching Sentinel's volleyball tean with Patrick Hiller. Chris' daughter is a star player for Sentinel and has accepted a scholarship to Cal Poly. Chris figures this might be his ticket to an early retirement. Chris wants to make sure Patrick doesn't screw it up. Chris has Patrick's cell phone number. Patrick never told me not to give it to Chris, well..not until it was too late, he didn't.  Chris also knows where Patrick lives. Chris knows what time Patrick and Nancy eat dinner. Chris is a good eater. Big appetite and many large muscle groups to feed. Chris's daughter is a senior this year. Patrick is thankful for the small things in life. He says he also misses having leftovers in the fridge. Maybe next season Patrick.  Although James is looking for another part-time job...  

There are Maulers and Mallers and Travar is both. He supports the Missoula Maulers  from his new hockey store in the Missoula Mall. Travar is working hard to make this a success. We know Travar is a solid guy and the store is in great hands....However...Travar is another  guy, like Jeff Weaver, who has been doing some distancing from the team. Travar, like Jeff, bailed on the St. Regis Tourney. now both of them may want to play because we were fortunate enough to win it last year.  Sounds like Travar and Jeff have some deposits to make in the ol' Team Account.  In 2008 Travar missed just enough games to not have to wear the pink shirt. How distancey can a guy get? Travar has been a bit skitterish too, you know, kind of flinchy,. a bit like Baron Von Hollenback's traumatized poodle. Then you add to it the fact that he is an infielder...and there goes all predictability.  We have some of our "Team Geritol People" keeping an unseen eye on Travar. They've been into his store, they've asked leading  questions, we are compiling a running risk assessment. We are there, because we care.  

Dean Thompson and his lovely wife Lynn just had their 16th child. He was a 26 pound, middle-linebacking, baby boy. Dean wants to name their son, either Deano the 8th, or George Foreman. Lynn wasn't real excited about either.  Lynn told me she is getting Dean, a Dick Cheney-Donald Rumsfield Shock and Awe, vasectomy for Christmas. If  for some reason it does not work, Lynn has made arrangements to contract Dean the fertile-turtle, out to a nearby Hutterite Colony that has expressed interest in starting up their own short, stocky, occcassionally moody football team. We certainly wish them well. Dean was not home when I called, I had a great talk with Lynn. She says to say hi to everyone from Dean.

Don Chery, former child prodigy Bank President has been busy bankrupting America. Yes, Donny and his cronies are partially responsible for the Bazillion dollar bailout that we are paying for. His new job is Kalispell went broke and Donny recieved a 3.5 million dollar severance package. Donny is think about splurging on a new batting glove for the 2009 season. He is negotiating a price on it with local Wal-Mart. Donny has applied for  some of the bailout money. If the funds come through, Donny asked me to tell the team that the Pop-Tarts and O'Douls are on him. I am not implying that Donny is frugal or cheap, He does donate $50 each year to the family of the unknown soldier. His son Brian, a fine lad who is a sophomore at Glacier High, has shared with me that it just  does not seem right to him that he has to wear those old Lone Ranger and Rin Tin Tin boxer shorts that Donny still has from when he was in high school.  We feel your pain Brian, we feel your pain.

Jon Riley has left Home Depot and is now working for Lowes. It was time for a change he said. Jon claims it has nothing to do with the pictures of him wearing the pink poodle kissing shirt, that his  fine sons emailed to the Home Depot headquarters; who subsequently enlarged and plastered them in Home Depot stores all across the Northwest, as an example of Home Depot's employees being "open-minded." Jon said he is proud to have smooched the pooch. He said he is well-adjusted, calm and supportive of the friendly banter that has come with the incorporation of the pink, poodle-kissing shirt, into our Team Geritol lore.  Jon's son's where-abouts are unknown, as they remain in the Witness Protection Program and are reportedly attending school somewhere in New Joisey. We hope to have them back for the 2009 softball season.

That is all I have for now. there are still more team-mates to check in with. I will try to get it done soonly. I'd hate to have to just fake it and make some of this stuff up. Fair and accurate reporting is our motto. I am proud of all you guys and your families. Stay solid. We'll be in touch. 

 
2008 Bubbas....the street sign boys...and several Griz fans of little faith - Sunday, September 7, 2008

Please check "Geritol Moments/Bubbas" section for a listing of the 2008 Bubbas. We'll make a few entries re: last night's fine awards ceremony, potluck,  fib-fest, end of the season get-together.

Attending the bubbas were, Mike and Trina Dimmit and their daughters who had hiked 5 1/2 miles earlier that day, David and Daphne Felker and son Henry, the super-glue expert. Brodie and Erin Ellis and two children, to whom I apologize for our dog's behavior, Aneska and Tracy Elam and their kids, Ethan and Colter, were there. Thank you to Tracy for bring the case of Home Town Beltian Brew to the party.  Allen, Baby Powder, Fox,  Smoochie "Hind Leg" Hollenback, Mike, Blue-Collar Fuchs,  Jeff the faithless fan Weaver, Jon, I'm going to leave before you give me Bubbas for striking out 2 times this year,  Riley  stopped by...and then long after whatever party Jeff went to was over, James stopped by and graced us with his presence and humor.

Clearly. I was not the only person  making pre-party plans.  Smoochie's little sign shop has been working overtime. I also believe that the Smoocha' recruited Mike "The Bookie" Fuchs to co-conspire in his little street sign caper. The signs were up early...Mike Fuchs was the first to arrive and he came in like a cat with feathers in his mouth. As a "reader of body language, The Bookie had the muscle movements of a man who was saying, "I am guilty and proud of it." This of course would make two years in a row that Smoochie has gone to bizarre extremes, in the sign making category..last year he hauled an electronic signboard to the State Tournament in Anaconda, and recruited weak-willed Yogi Beera, to help write sign language that was at my expense. This year, Pee-Wee Hollenback, recruited Galusha, Galusha, and Signboard Fuchs to do his dirty work for him.  Of course both of them were ethically unable to own up to their actions. They pled the fifth..and then they drank it.

I am struck by the realization that our team is suffering from significant increase in moral decline. It is a great thing to be a part of. There is a definite sense of pulling a prank on someone..and never, ever, under any circumstances.be honest about it. Except for me of course. We are gaining momentum. This is the kind of comraderie the Softball Gods can appreciate.  Practical jokes have had a chair at the table of baseball history since the beginnings of the game. If you can't trick your buddies, who can you trick....I am going someplace with this...I am going to the State  +40 Tournament in Great Falls, where someone replaced Don Chery's (apparently very precious)shoe laces with pink shoe laces. They must have been family laces or something, because he harped on me asll weekend to "at least give me back my shoelaces." Hard to do when you don't have them. The prankster knew Donny Paranoid was going to suspect and blame yours truely. And he did. Ranting and raving like a banker who loaned people money at too low of an interest rate. Oh my Lord, he squawked like an indulged child getting sent to bed early. He squawked on Saturday, he squawked on Sunday, and Dean Thompson told me, he squawked all the way back to Kalispell.. 

So...who pulled the pink shoelace caper on Dandy Don Chery? I realize we will probably never know.. I have to guess who pulled the street sign prank on me..I know Shawn and Mike will never tell. I also know Jeff Weaver will never come clean about emailing pictures of Dean Thompson to his school secretary in Libby...I also don't expect Butterbean and Hack Weaver to come clean about the original poodle-posting about Shawn and his poodle, Muffin, on the Team Geritol website...Even tho crack detective work by "Book-em Deano," busted that case wide open, exposing Ding and Dong as the culprits.  I doubt that the sign-making Smoocha, will come clean about the pink shoelaces in Great Falls. Who was Don Chery rooming with? Who has a history of pranks and dishonesty???

Enough of that..the other revelation that came to light during The Bubbas, was the shocking lack of faith in our own Grizzly football fans. Most noticeable were Jeff,  "push the women and children aside" Weaver.....Mike, "the stastistics/numbers say Cal Poly is favored" Fuchs,...Allen, "I'm not tenured yet" Fox....and Shawn, "Don't make me tell the truth" Hollenback. Bad boys. The rest of us believed. The rest of us helped the Griz to a 2 point victory. Hmmm...these are troubling signs for our team next year. We've already written about having faith. Looks like we need some off-season counseling sessions.

 
2008 record and stats. - Sunday, August 31, 2008

I have to go do some work, but wanted to get this entry started.

Team Geritol played in 9 tournaments this year..and what a fine year it was.

Champs in 5 tournaments

  • MSA..4-1
  • C'mon Blue...6-1
  • Rhino Rumble..5-1
  • Thompson/Corr..6-1
  • St. Regis...6-1

2nd Place in 2 tournaments

  • Elbow Room... 4-2
  • Missoula Districts...6-2

3rd Place in 1 tourney

  • State +40 ...5-2....Great Falls

5th/6th Place in 1 tourney

  • State "C" Tournament...5-2...(Butte Montana/America)

Our 2008 Tournament Record was 47-13 for a winning percentage of .783.

In Missoula..on our home fields, we were 31-8..in  6 tournaments..This is a winning percentage of .794

On the road, we were 16-5...in 3 tournaments. This is a  winning percentage of .762...

Nice consistency. Even in the tournaments we did not win this year, we were strong, managing to never lose more than two games. Cool huh?

In all humbleness and in wanting to give thanks to the Geritol Gods in the sky, I would like to make mention that I was fortunate enough to play in 3 Senior Tournaments: Wenatchee WA...Calgary CA..and the Montana Senior Olympics here in Missoula. Not only are the young guys I play with..darn good players..the old guys I play with also did well, winning gold medals in each of the three tourneys. It was a very special feeling playing ball with guys who fought in the war along-side Ulysses S. Grant. They all said Honest Abe could hit the ball a country mile.

 

 

 

 
THE BUBBAS ARE COMING..THE BUBBAS ARE COMING - Sunday, August 31, 2008

WHERE 

  • 1180 Vicki Drive..off Spurgin Road..off Reserve Street..1st street after Tower Street..across the street from the Westside Little league fields.

WHEN

  • Saturday, September 6th... 4pm..and as long as you would like to stay.

WHAT TO BRING:

  • Your favorite potluck dish, or treat, or bag of chips, or beverage..or just yourself. 

WHO SHOULD COME?

  • Team Geritol players and their family..

WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT?

  • Honor, recognition, the basking in glory of athletic achievement, pink prizes.

AGENDA:

  • Greetings and salutations
  • Special, "Welcome-To-the-Bubbas".. gift/trinket/girly-things for the Team Geritol Ladies.
  • Unstructured, milling around.
  •  Food and beverages of ALL sorts. James and Jeff I have bought you the beer I owe you.
  • BIG SURPRISE AND SPECIAL TREAT FROM TRACY.
  • Crying from some of the children, happens every year.
  • Presentation of the Bubbas...
  • Some moaning and groaning and useless protesting..fron the adults..happens every year.
  • I forget what comes next.
  • More Bubbas
  • More food and beverage..
  • The Griz Cal Poly Game starts at 7:PM...We have 728 Flat screen, plasmatic, digitalized, HD-R2-D2-AC-DC-TV's in our house. Each with thier own set of individualized rabbit ears that can be pointed in lucky directions should the Griz be losing.
  • More food and beverages.
  • More laughing and crying..
  • Butterbean and Sugar-Ray  Hollenback, starting to talk trash with each other...
  • Me getting them the boxing gloves so they can finish what they started at our pre-season roster signing get together.
  • A fire in the fire-thing out back.
  • James and Jeff asking if they can chop down some of the trees in our backyard so they can get the fire going better.
  • The hiding of all sharp objects.
  • Stories..all of which are loosely based on shreds of rumored truth.
  • So please come, it will be a fun time.

I am sure I have left important things out..so please call with any questions. 239-2717.

 

 
State +40 Great Falls..our annual end of the year tourney.. - Sunday, August 31, 2008

Well darn the dang  luck. I have to admit, that of all the tourneys Team Geritol entered thhis season..I truely thought the State +40, was the one we had the best chances of winning.....hmmm??? I mean no disrespect to any of the other fine teams in the tourney. We were defending champs..we were taking a very strong team..It is a good thing that you don't have to win a tournament to have fun with your buddies. Although I admit that some of the fun and satisfying taste does get filtered out  when you have to add two scoops of losses to teams who had never beaten you before, as you are brewing up your first pot of post-tournament coffee memories the next morning.

In looking at the positive side of this tournament, I  need go back to our thoughts following the State C tournament, where we did just well enough to qualify us to play in the B Division next season. Next year we will be playing teams with more talent than the teams we played for much of this season. At Great Falls, State +40, I do not think the team with the most talent won the tourney. Perhaps the Softball Gods were saying to us, "See guys, no tournament is a given. Any team can beat any other team. In reality, we were the B team at State +40..and the other teams were..probably wondering how they were going to keep us from winning the tournament again. The Softball Gods were giving us a message that next year, we have the right to do what two teams did  to us at State +40 this year...hang in the game, keep trying, hope for some breaks, don't give away the belief you have in your right to win any game, to get a hit in any at bat, and that every single game we play in, there is the possibility of an upset. 

That is the philosophical take on the tournament, the statistical take on the tourney is that we played good ball on Saturday and not as good of ball on Sunday. It was a Tale of Two Different Teams. Saturday we were 4-0, defeating all 4 teams in the 5 team tournament. On Sun. we were 1-2, losing to the teams that finished 1st and 2nd. Each of whom were teams that had not beaten us in the years we have faced each other. To their credit, each of them, Old Dirty Dogs of Great Falls and KT/Hayloft of Missoula, played hard and did their best to win the games. They did not roll over or concede anything.

Saturday we averaged 17+ runs per game

 Sunday we averaged 12 RPG.

Saturday we gave up 24 runs in 4 games, an ave. of 6 RPG 

Sunday we gave up 10 RPG.

The ave. game score on Sat. was 17-6.

On Sunday, the average game score was 12-10 us. 

For the tourney the average game score was 15-8 us.

Saturday we hit .612 as a team for 4 games.

Sunday we hit .516 as a team for 3 games.

Our tourney team average was .572.

I have more stats and will enter them later.  It really was fun guys. Next year, we'll go back with the same team, but with a different memory of what  happened the preceeding year. Calibration of preparedness is a matter of degrees. At this tournament next year, we may not look any different on the outside, but on the inside, there will a recalibration that I expect will have noticeable results.  

 
2008 Bubbas and Potluck..and Tracy's Special Surprize!!!!!! - Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It looks like Saturday, September 6th is the best date for the most players. My sincere apologies to those of you for whom it is not a good date. As we bring our wonderful season to a cclse, the Griz will be opening their 2008 Football season at Cal Poly. The game is televised beginning at 6:PM. Hopefully we can combine two sports. Our wives will love that. We need time to present the Bubbas, so we need get that started prior to the game. How does 4:PM sound? As you can imagine, we have lots of Bubbas this year. James has graciously agreed to co-host the presentations with me. As with all Team Geritol gatherings, this is a family affair. Wives, parents, children, etc. are encouraged to attend.

This years, to save you from eating my burned hamburgers, let's have a potluck. Being a stickler for detail, let's just let people bring whatever they like to bring to potlucks. It will be an adventure. Cool! Please call with questions, suggestions.

 

 
2008 Season Stats - Tuesday, August 19, 2008
There is one tournament left for Team Geritol. The State +40 Championship. It is this weekend in Great Falls. When it is over I will post the team stats for the season. In honor of the Softball Gods, I feel it would be at least a venial sin to post them prior to the end of the season.  Thanks for you patience.  
Some softball thoughts... - Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Give a guy a website and see what happens....Had some thoughts I wanted to share with you.

 

Having faith, is knowing enough to know there are things beyond our control. Faith recognizes there are importances, and difference makers, that need be respected and acknowledged. Even though we surely cannot know exactly what they are. Humility can be the co-pilot of our pride. Acceptance and composure are most compatible with, and in fact, bring out the best in our intensity and competitiveness.  Defeat can foster self-improvement, if we allow, just as success can strengthen or crack, the foundation of self-confidence if we are not careful. Getting to know those around us, and allowing them to get to know us,  will facilitate self-awarenes. I also believe that the stronger the team, the better the individual, rather than the better the individual, the stronger the team. And last but not least, change, can teach us how to remain the same (in a good way) and keep our course.

 

 

Okay, what is all that about?  Why, it is about softball and life and us, and family, and team, and team chemistry, and success, and next year, and what is going to happen, and all of that.

 

We seem to have a team philosophy, it not just one person’s philosophy, it is a shared belief system. We beat some teams this year because we believed they did not have “THE INHERANT RIGHT TO BEAT US” Boomers is a great example. Boomers did not change this year..we did.  Our trust in ourselves, our increased knowledge of each other and of who we were as a team, allowed us to play them on an even field, without the self-imposed, self-limiting thoughts, that Boomers had the right to beat us. Collectively, and unspokenly, we believed we had just as much right to win that game as they did. That is a subtle shift with incredible results.

 

My wife and I just celebrated our 24th Anniversary. Thank you to the Good Decision Gods, for guiding me to be on my best behavior when I met and courted my wife Jan. After 24 years, we are stronger, more trusting, more accepting of ourselves, and each other than ever. My eyes have been opened and my mind has been calmed in a manner I never imagined. We believe we have the right to solve our problems in a respectful manner. We try to control what we are responsible for, and join forces to accept and make the best of what we cannot control or wish had not happened. This relationship mirrors the relationships I see on Team Geritol.

 

Lots of thoughts. We did so well this year. And in wanting to understand it and learn about it, wrap my mind around it, I realize the season is a piece of a larger puzzle we are assembling. Tho we joke about it, I do believe in the Softball Gods, the Coin Flip Gods, the Good Hop, Bad Hop Gods. There is spirituality to life that often gets lost in our pursuit of success. Life without faith is life without freedom of choice. Faith allows us to not always have to know the right answer or make the correct choice. Faith also allows us to not have to defend our wrong choices. We tried, that is enough. Defending wrong choices will not allow us to learn from them. Trusting our teammates/partners allows us to hear from them, the information we need to learn and grow. We believe they genuinely care about us, have our best interests in mind, and are not just trying to control us.  That requires faith. So….believing in the Softball Gods, is a form of softball faith. Believing in the Softballl Gods allows us to be kind to our teammates, to be humble winners, gracious losers,  and to celebrate other people’s victories with them. It takes pressure off us. Faith allows us to understand that we have as much right to win a game or tournament as any other team we are playing. 

 

 

When I close my eyes and envision our team, I see, players, wives, children, parents..I see family, I see relationships, I see faith. This seems a reflection of our understanding that softball is not just about us or just about winning.  We have not separated it from life, (although I understand our families make huge sacrifices to allow us to play softball). The greater degree we are able to have our softball experiences join forces with the truly important relationships in our lives..the better able we will be to bring the successes of those healthy and strong relationships into our softball world. That is why we are doing as well as we are. That is what I have been trying to say. Our relationship with softball will be no better than our relationships with life.  We aren’t shopping for talent. We are investing in relationship and faith.

 

As we succeed, we have gained outside notice. People have asked if they can be a part of what we have. Good people. People who share our beliefs. We have greatly benefited from that support system. The challenge becomes a version of planned parenthood. We do not cut players.(And not just because I’d have to be the first to go). Talent does not trump relationship. If it does, we have sinned against the Softball Gods.  I see this as one of the challenges of the years to come. I don’t know all the answers. We’ll handle it with respect and honesty, and trust the outcome will be as good as it can be.

 

The other challenge I see is the harvest we have reaped from the crops we planted this season. Our garden has never looked this good. We won a lot of blue ribbons at the county fair. One of the fruits of our success is the honor of moving up to stiffer competition next year. We are going from the County Fair to the State Fair. Oh my gosh,!! Ma and Pa, I feel like a little old country boy again. Going to the city for the first time.  So how well have we learned our lessons?  Do we have to start all over again? Remember when we were pleased to still be playing on Sunday?  Just as some Sunday morning 8:AM games are lost, at the bar on the Saturday night before.  We may lost some of our games in 2009, because of what we believe going into the season. I hope we don’t give away our right to win.  That is a version of giving up our faith. Let’s don’t allow this year’s success to put a crack in the foundation of our hard earned and well-deserved self-confidence. We can do damage control. It is bound to occur on some level. That is only natural. But to understand it, accept it as a growing and learning experience that will make us better, is to have faith. Next year’s challenges in softball will mirror the challenges ahead that life has in store for us. Hopefully we will be able to not try to control our instinctive urge to keep all those challenges from even happening.  When we do that, we are at risk of feeling we have failed, when the challenge begins. Ideally, we will be able to tap into the relationships we already have, the support we have, the faith we have, understanding that scary situations, do not have to have fore drawn conclusions. We  give it our best by not thinking self-limiting thoughts.  We can defeat teams with more talent, when we maximize our talents by believing in ourselves. Losing a game is one thing, expecting to lose a game is another. What is the best we can play next year??? I think we don’t know the answer to that, but I smile when I think of what the possibilities of that answer could be. At the conclusion of next year’s season, regardless of our win-loss record, if we do this right, if we keep our faith, we have the potential to be the best we have ever been. Just as in life, we are still growing, we are not fully formed, we are evolving. Playing in the “B” division will challenge our faith. We will be in a philosophical battle with the forces of natural selection. I look forward to it.  
2008 State "C" Tournament, Butte America..5-2..5th/6th place out of 43 teams.. - Monday, August 11, 2008

Well...the stats are done..but it doesn't seem right to start with them. A few thoughts first. Mixed feelings..Growing pains..moving away from from home for the first time..the training wheels off our bike..the deep end of the pool..speaking in public..turning 18 and having to register for the draft board..turning 50 and getting your AARP card in the mail the next day..your teenager getting his first driver's license, just a few of the things that are coming to mind.  A job promotion that you are not sure you wanted. Possibly some of the feelings my wife experienced just after she said "I do" to the priest who married us. Hitchhiking, back to your hometown from Missoula, being halfway there, standing by the roadside, the evening darkness starting to settle in, an older model station wagon rumbling up and pulling over, a large limbed, institutional-looking, shaved-headed driver, with hands that dwarfed the steering wheel, offering you a ride, you get in,  relieved to be on your way again. The hulking, large foreheaded  driver, is travelling unusually slow, so you ask him if he has been driving very long (thinking he must be tired) the driver pauses, then responds, one-word-at -a-time, saying, "About-3-months,-but-I-can-do-it." (a true story) Yikes!! Stop the car and let me out. What have I gotten myself into? . Team Geritol is in the car, went hitch-hiking and got picked up by the big boys in the "B" Division. Unknown events lie ahead. What have we gotten ourselves into? We have enlisted for at least one year in Batallion B, of the Slow-Pitch Softball Army.  Yes Sir!! Nice Alpha-Male stripey pants, Sir!! We are Team Geritol, Sir! Requesting permission to run out our home runs, and have fun, Sir! Yes, our lead-off hitter wears pink, is named Smoochie, and is a Poodle-Kisser, Sir!

Interesting that these thoughts are forefront.  Important to put them into perspective. Do not want them to define or temper what we accomplished as a team this season. I was fortunate enough to win a State Racquetball Championship one year. It meant I had to move to the top division. I really struggled with it. Even had thoughts of wishing I hadn't won. Easier and safer to level off, stop improving. Just get good enough to stay where you are at. Oh, if only we hadn't had that great 7th inning comeback in the 6th game, vs. the top seeded team out of Bozeman... Rocky Mountain Eye Disease..Doing well but just well enough to be rewarded with a steeper cliff than you have ever climbed. If we were going to lose the next game, we shouldn't have made the comeback. Does 6th place feel worse to us than 8th place would have??

On some level, the honest answer is probably, YES.  If we'd have taken one of our very special team votes, and everyone would be completely honest; we would probably have voted to finish 8th rather than 6th. Now, 1st, 2nd or 3rd, rather than 6th, might be a different matter, but 6th...is a little bit like the booby prize. Who in their right mind would want to give up what we have had this year? I'd take this every year. Winning sure is fun. So there you have it. I could be off base about this. Wouldn't be the first..or last time. I wanted to talk about it, get it out of me, so it doesn't bury any of the accomplishements of what has by far been the most successful and most fun softball season I have ever had.  These feelings/thoughts are normal. It is okay to say it and talk about it.  We just moved up a weight division. That's a bit unnerving. If we are not careful, we could lose the momentum we have gained. We could give away the confidence we have earned, and worst of all, we could end up not looking forward to playing softball next season, and be at jeopardy of not having as much fun. I think we have to re-understand next season a little bit. We are going to get to where we are going...We've got a plastic softball Jesus on the dashboard of the Geritol-mobile. You don't always need to know the directions. There will be friendly places along the way. We are going exploring in new territory. Off the old map. Reminds me of a favorite old poem.

Two roads diverged in a yellow softball wood

And sorry we could not travel both

And be one team, we understood

We rallied late and won the game

Next year’s path would not be the same.

 

We’ll be telling this story with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence

Two roads diverged in a softball wood, and we,

Tried our hardest and did our best

And that has made all the difference.

 

Apologies to Robert Frost.  Compliments to the team. Good job not holding anything back. The price tag of not trying your hardest, is not knowing how good you can be. We are still learning. We'd talked about this being a learning weekend. I do like what we learned about ourselves in Butte.

We made huge growth this season. Had we been a company with stocks, we'd have been a great investtment. Let's don't sell out now. We'll stick together, talk as a team about what we want to have happen next season. Just like we talked about not letting the State tournament happen to us, let's us happen to the State Tournament. So let's not have next season happen to us, let's look forward to it, try to happen to it, and see what is the best we can make it be. I know we are one of those teams who is capable of over-achieving.  I have seen it. Synergistic evolution is another phrase for it. I also refuse to believe we are as good as we are ever going to be. A team does not make the improvements we have made this year, and suddenly level off...unless they go mental and quit believing in themselves. We are just not going to do that. There was a time, not so long ago, that noone in Missoula really knew who Team Geritol was. Now they do. There was also a time when teams around the state certainly had never heard of Team Geritol..now they have. I hear people say good things about us. Look what we have done in a very short amount of time. It makes me smile. Very proud accomplishments.

Okay..enough said. I will get the stats entered this afternoon. Great job this weekend guys and thanks for a season I will remember forever...even if I get Alzhiemers.  Oh, and by the way, that ride I hitchiked home..although it was a bit  nervous, especially when he pulled off at the senic lookout of the Helena side of McDonald Pass, and wordlessly turned off the car and the headlights. We sat silently for about 5 minutes (during which time I had a grip on the door handle) He started up the car and continued driving. I got home safe and sound. Nice guy, took me right to my house. Thanks for the ride. No more hitchhiking for me.

Game 1.vs Corner Bar, Belgrade..Win 20-8 in 5 innings: Stodden Park#2 8:AM: Very nice start..Scored in every inning. 4 in the 1st, 5 in the 2nd, 2 in the 3rd, 5 in the 4th and ended the game with our 4th run in the 5th . Patrick's first swing of the tourney was a home run. Excellent defense and strong hitting from top to bottom. Lots of games the bottom of the line up has to carry the team..but this game the top of the line up held their own. David, Allen, and Deano told me to say that. We were 32-41 for a tournament high of .780.  This is our new tournament high. It gives us something to shoot for next year. Everyone on the team had at least 2 hits in this game.

Game 2 vs Kaos/Helena #1 seed: Copper Mountain, 10:40 AM: Win 14-13 in 9 innings... Whoa baby!! What a game. We were visitors..and this is the kind of game the home team wins. But not this time. We scored 3 in the 1st, they scored 4. At the end of 5 innings, we trailed 10-6. we scored 4 in the 6th, they scored 2 to go up 12-10, and us with our final inning at bat. We scored 1 run in the 7th, had 2 outs on us, Zilla, the speedster was at 1st base..James Stokes worked his 1st of 2 back to back walks..nice eye James! Jeff, Travar and Deano each followed with 2 out hits, driving in 2 more runs to give us a 13-12 lead going into the bottom of the 7th. Great slide at home plate with the tieing run by James. Kaos scored the tieing run when their #8 hitter just crushed a shot deep to right center. A home run in most fields. We got out of the inning without allowing any other baserunners. We did not score in the 8th..which was a bit nerve-wracking. Kaos led off the 8th inning with their #11 batter. He flew out. Their lead-off hitter, who was 5-5 this game, hit a double. We decided to intentionally walk the #2 hitter. So we've got a tie game, bottom of the 8th, probably a base hit away from losing. Their #3 hitter flew out, advancing their lead-off hitter to 3rd base.  Yikes! Their clean-up hitter is at the plate..but Zilla is on the mound and was able to get Mighty Casey to fly out. Stranding the winning run at 3rd. Great job guys. Zilla led off the 9th with a single and scored the go-ahead run on hits by James and Travar..In the bottom of the 9th, we got the first batter out. Getting the 1st batter of the inning out in a game like this always seems huge. The scorebook is a bit sketchy here. Kaos did get 2 men on base this inning, but neither, reached 2nd base. We were able to end the game by getting out the batter who had scored the tieing run in their bottom of the 7th. What a game to win. We were 27-53 for a team average of .509.  Very deep fences on this field. Probably 310'. It made playing the outfield kind of uncharted territory.  Fun game to win. Especially without being home team. Kaos had to have been very disappointed. We would be..we would also be good sports about it and they were. The entire weekend, the sportsmanship was excellent!   It is fun to play ball without having to get caught up in the emotions that come with trash talking and bad attitudes.

Game 3: Saturday 6:40 vs Harvest/Billings..Win 20-6: We did not let the alpha-males stripey pants beat us. This team had some very snappy looking uniforms. I did like the Texas orange stripes and shirts. We started off strong, scoring 4 in the 1st. Led by Patrick's 2 home runs, the first one came in the opening inning, the next came in the 2nd inning.  The Smoocha' also hit one over the fence in the 2nd inning. Since James and Jeff are off the steroids, we have not had back to back homers very often this year.  Harvest did all of their scoring in the first 2 innings. We scored in all 5 innings. The team was 28-42 for a solid .667 game average. Well we did it..we made it through Saturday undefeated. In our 2nd game we won an extra-inning contest that would have been very easy to lose. Composure, team chemistry, great pitching and defense, helped us stay out of the loser's bracket on Saturday. Thank you to the Softball Gods and the Virgin Mary who presides over Butte from atop an overlooking mountain.

There were a few in-between game shenanigans that were pulled by you know who..Hack and Butterbean. I'll address them in the summary. Ongoing issues, continued chinks in the team armour. What is the old saying..one boy has a full brain, two boys together have a half of a brain, three boys together..you get the gist. James and Jeff, Dumb and Dumber were trying to lead the Geritol flock astray. The Mother Mary on the mountaintop spoke to me and told me to throw that beer away. So I did..and then the Devil, the Satin of the suds, told those boys to steal my baseball shoe..so of course they did. A classic battle..good against evil...team interests vs. individuals weaknesses...but not even the devil could pull us apart. Through thick and thin, through beer and pizza, we stick together. Like clients and counselors, we are forged.

4th Game Sunday morning 8:AM: vs Paradise Falls/Blue Sox: Lose..15-10..What in the Wide, Wide World of Sports is a'going on? They have beat us 3 out of the last 4 times we have played. I guess it is about time we started viewing our games with them a bit differently. I always think we are going to beat them. Nothing personal meant by that. I just have that sense of confidence against them. In  our first lose to them (14-7) at Districts, it was a close game until the 7th inning. They pushed across 5 runs in that inning. In this loss at State, we led 5-4 after 5 innings. They led 10-8 after 6 innings, and they scored 5 runs again in the 7th, all with 2 outs,  to open up a lead we could not overcome. They just beat us. No other way to put it, they earned it. We were 21-40 for a team average of .525.  This game was a bummer. I think we all felt it was a good draw for the undefeated game Sunday morning. Whatever the reason, I have a hunch we will learn from it.  The other loss that hurt even more that losing the game to the Blue Sox, was losing James for the remainder of the tournament, to a foot injury. The big guy played great all day Saturday. In fact James led the team in hitting. In our 3 games on Saturday, James was 3-4, 4-5, and 4-4. This adds up to a 11-13 day for an average of .846. More about James later. Well, what the heck how about more about James right now. It turns out, that an unnamed player on our team, (Smoochie) noticed James hadn't wore team colors for our loss vs. Paradis Falls. Yes, James was out of uniform!! There was nothing else for us to do but take a team vote and determine if this was a poodle-kissing offense. Much to everyone's surprise, the team voted to have James wear pink. It was a really close vote.  All the Democrats voted to give James a break. All the Republicans on the team, put down the hammer. No rescues. Let the prisoner wear pink, they cried in unison.  Deano, The Dogfather, and Patrick the Governor tried to sway the right wingers, but to no avail. Just a hunch, but I am guessing it was the trash talking James was doing. The sort of talk that other teammates can take a bit personal. It was not politically correct smack talk. At a time when all of your teammates have worn the pink and they hear you saying it ain't gonna happen to you...no way..I'm just saying, perhaps a bit of humbleness and acknowledgement to the Softball gods for them having spared you the pink, may have been in order. Shelby is as Shelby does. Water down the field and food poison the opponents...pink is probably coming your way.

 Game 5, vs. Sidney..10:40 AM, Copper Mountain 1..Win..21-1...And Patrick, The Governor, broke into the First Lady's wardrobe and came out wearing pink. Interesting game. We watched these guy play the game prior, they played well. We know how fickle the Softball Gods can be. The Eagles from Sidney lost some of their tailfeathers, and sent only 20 men to the plate in a 5 inning 21-1 loss. that is an average of 4 per inning. Yikes!! Each of their 10 players, batted twice. We did most of our damage in a 10 run 5th. Highlighted by Patrick double-faulting twice in the inning. He made the 1st and the 3rd outs. On the 2nd out, the team came forth with a united, bi-partisan, both sides of the dugout consensus team vote. We stood in unison at the dugout screen, cheering for  Patrick to pucker up and smoochie that poochie. He did too, a line drive right on the lips to the right center fielder. We cheered, we were happy. The team hit strongly, going 32-42 for a game average of .761. Check out the legs on the Poodle-Kissers section of the website. Looks a little bit like a pink Carl Lewis. Again, the team we played, were excellent sportsmen. Our hats off to them for travelling this far to play softball. I noticed a couple of Geritolians on their team. Nice to see.

Game 6: vs #1 seed out of Bozeman Win 15-14: Great 6 run, 7th inning comeback. Oh Lord what have we done? I think we just picked a fight for next year with somebody's big brother. Very interesting game. We scored 9 runs in the 3rd inning. Highlighted by Smoochie's, 3 run,  inside the park, hamstring pulling, get out the old guy goo, home run. We scored all of our runs in this game in 2 innings. 9 in the 3rd and 6 in the 7th. Bozeman, also benefited from a big inning, 8 runs in the bottom of the 6th, to apparently give them the momentum and a 13-9 lead going into the top of the 7th. But oh no!!! We 6 big runs in our final at bat to take a 2 run lead. It really was a memorable comeback against a very good team. This team had just 12 runned' Kaos, from Helena, to put them out of the tourney. In their final at bat, they led off with their 2, 3, & 4 hitters.  We got the 1st 2 batters out, the #4 hitter hit a single, then we forced out him out at 2nd on the next play, to end the game.  You play to win..and we played to win. It is just that way. Any other way and it would stain the season we have had. We were 26-45 for a team ave. of .578.  Smoochie was hurting, pulled muscle in his hind leg. James was out. Zilla had popped a T-Rex disc out of place, warming up for game #5 vs. Sidney.

Game 7 vs. Speiker Sprinkler Helena..Lose 17-11..   I do believe this is back to back years the Sprinkler boys have Rain-Jetted us out of the State Tournament. Well Holy Lawn Fertilizer Batman!! This has got to stop. I think we were just fine. No real reason to lose this game. At this point in the tournament all the teams are strong and capable of playing well enough to win any game. We just did not play that well. We had our lowest batting average of the tourney, going 18-38 for a .473 team ave. Zilla did manage to hit 2 home runs and a sommersault in his final two at bats. We had 5 runs after 4 innings and  the game was still close, 8-5. Speiker then scored 9 runs in their final two at bats to distance themselves from us and earn the victory.

TOURNAMENT SUMMARY AND STATS:  

Runs scored: interesting stats here:

Saturday we scored 54 in 3 games & our oppenents scored 26..for an average game score of 18-9, in our favor.  

Sunday we scored 55 runs in 4 games & our opponents scored 46..for an average game score of appx. 13-11., in our favor

For the tournament we scored 109 runs in 7 games & our opponents scored 72 for an average game score of 15-10  us.  

BATTING AVERAGE:

Saturday the team hit .640 in 3 games.

Sunday we were .588 in 4 games.

For both days we were 181-301 for a tournament average of .601. I will go back and compare this to other tournaments. I'll also find last years State stats and compare. Definite signs of improvement.

High game was .780 in our first game. Next was .761 vs Sidney. Our low games was .473 vs. Speiker.

Saturday we had 87 hits in 19 innings (3 games) for an average of 4.5 hits per inning.

Sunday we had 97 hits in 26 (4 games) for an average of 3.7 hits per inning.

For the tournament we had 184 hits in 45 innings, for an average of 4 hits per inning. The 184 hits came in 7 games for an average of 26 hits per game.

The most hits we had in a game was 32, and we did that twice, The least hits we had in a game was 18 vs Speiker. Fairly consistent stats.

We are careful to be team-oriented in our website entries. We do however give print to special weekends and efforts. As I mentioned earlier, James was 11-13 for a tourney average of .846.  Another weekend of note of Zilla's 23-29 weekend for a tourney ave. of .793. We know Mike had to suck it up and play through a hurt back. Excellent work Zilla. 

There will be more to come. We are lookin forward to the Bubbas. Can't seem to find a weekend that works for everyone. Please forgive me if the weekend we choose is not the best.

 
District Tournament 2008..8 games and 2nd place. - Thursday, July 31, 2008

8 games this weekend..now we are talking! Anyone can do things the easy way, no sense in that. It was a fun, fun weekend, and I think, as long as noone got hurt, it was just what we needed. A whole bunch of games together, to get us connected and primed for State. Players participating in Districts were: James Stokes, Mike Dimmitt, Patrick Hiller, Mike Fuchs, Tracy Elam, Jeff Weaver, Shawn Hollenback, Alan Fox, David Felker, Jon Riley, Mike Perry, and Deano Thompson joined us. Thanks guys.  Here is a run-down of the weekend.

1st game: vs Charlie B's, Field 4: Won 20-8 in 6 innings:  A quiet 1st inning and then we got the bats going. Charlie B's was a lower C team. They made some nice defensive plays, but their bats were sleepy for this 9:AM game. The Governor hit one over Capitol Hill for us and the team hit well, from top to bottom of the lineup. We were 29-45 for a team ave. of .644. Those 29 hits came in the final 5 innings, for an average of almost 6 hits per inning.  David Felker was 4-4 and on his way to a 9-10 Saturday. Someone on our team (Jeff) tried to curse him in batting practice Sunday morning, by mentioning it.

2nd game: vs Koala Care..Field 5..11:30: Won 24-2 in 3 1/2 innings:  James over-heard our opponents talking before the game. They had received a scouting report that we were a bunch of older guys who could hit the ball hard, but did not play good defense: We promptly made 2 or 3 errors in the 1st innings, playing very un-Geritol-like softball, giving them their only 2 runs of the game. They sent 8 men to the plate in the 1st, leaving the bases loaded with 1 out, as we finally turned a double play to end their early uprising. We were home team this game...living proof that even tho the Coin Flip Gods don't take kindly to trash talking (James), they do know when it would be best to only let us bat 3 times, and show some mercy on a young team that we hope will continue playing. We've all been there. Their best days are still ahead of them. As our ours..of course...they may just have used up less of their life calendar is all I'm saying. Young bucks, as in Class of 2008 and 2009. Go Spartans!! We were 30-39 for a tournament high team ave. of .769. This eclipsed our previous game high team ave. of  .750, in a 33-44 game vs. Jagermeister/Softballers of Helena in the C'mon Blue Tourney.  Patrick, The Governor, veto'd 3 pitches over the fence in this game.

3rd game: vs Paradise Falls/Blue Sox: 3:30...OOPS! I mean 3:15, Field 4: Lose 14-7.  Well..darn #* shoot #@* heck*#..& phooey. Congrat's to Paradise Falls, they earned the game. Pink to the Team Counselor, he earned the shorts.  We were home team but it didn't matter. It was a 9-7 game in the top of the 7th and they scored 5 runs. We just did not seem to have it offensively. Won't win many games scoring 7....Maybe you can get away with it in the 8th game of the weekend, late Sunday afternoon, but not the 3rd game of the tournament, Saturday afternoon. Being an optomist..a floater not a sinker, I think this was the best thing for us. Had we won the tourney undefeated, it would have been fine, but I think in regards to being prepared for the State Tournament, playing 8 games, 5 of which were loser out, was exactly what we needed. We know we can win tournaments. We have learned that this year. Dealing with the moments of team disappointment, how well do we do with this? We did  good. Here are the stats for the Paradise Falls game. We were 15-35..for a team ave. of .428. Yikes!! Enough said. Next game please.

4th game: Sunday morning 9:AM. Field 3, vs Silver $/Hoagieville. Win 10-6:     Silver $ scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 1st. to take a 4-0 lead. We scored 2 in the 2nd and 7 in the 3rd to go ahead 9-6. It was a game that was played hard, but it was a subdued kind of hard. They really miss Alex. Haven't seen much of our good buddy, since he helped us out that night at league, after drinking about 5 Sparks, and fouled off strike 3 in his first at bat, to earn the pinnk shirt. Poochie Smoochie..Man, that poodle swears like a drunken sailor.  Our 7 run 3rd, along with our typical great defense, is what won the game for us. The team Counselor looked like a Hollenback (only faster) in his 2nd degree pink belt, outfit. Gray hair and pink shorts, sounds like a mid-life crisis. David O'Henry Felker, out of compassion, fouled off a 3rd strike to earn his 2nd degree pink belt. David chose to wear the pink knee high socks rather than wait for the pinks shorts. There will be 2 pairs of pink shorts available at State.We were 17-33 for a .515 team average. The Governor lobbied his 5th home run of the tournament out of the park, in this game. Them Democrats sure can hit. James and Mike Fuchs told me to say that. 

5th game: vs, Gilleys, 10:15..Field 3..Won 19-12..  Justin McKay..is fast!! If there is anything, anyone in the league knows about Justin McKay, it is that he is fast. Sprinter speed. Our good friend Butterbean is always challenging people to a race. No one ever wants to race him. Shawn "The Smoocha'" wants nothing to do with James' speed, Hack Weaver won't even consider racing his good buddy James. Allen  Bones Fox.."No Mas!!" when it comes to racing James. I guess James is the 2nd fastest guy in the league, because Justin put the hoofs to him. James even false started but still didn't break the tape 1st. The team appreciated the show of spirit and competetion. Way to get our team fired up James. Gilleys had played very well Saturday morning, having a tough draw in the bracket, but defeating Silver Dollar/Hoagieville and Silver Dollar/Advanced Imaging in their 1st two games. The brackets were lopsided. It doesn't really matter in the end, but it does make for some uneven early round games. We hit well this game and it was good we did. We opened up an 11-4 lead after 2. Allen Fox had 2 hits in our 8 run 2nd. We went scoreless in the 3rd-and 4th. Gilleys climbed back, scoring 6 runs, making it an 11-10 game after 4. Mike "The Bookie" Fuchs CPA'd a big 2 run homer in the 6th. Gilleys gave us a tough game. They never went away. It was a good win. We were 31-51, for a  team ave of.607. The 51 at bats and the 31 hits in the game were both tournament highs for us. We thank James for sacrificing his "Fastest guy in the league" title, to the Softball Gods for us. It was a noble and unselfish move. The ground shook. What's that song? "I feel the earth..move..under my feet, I'm racing.. Gilleys..and I'm getting beat."

6th game: vs Paradise Falls/Blue Sox..11:30 Field 4: Win 14-8: It's rematch time. The Thrilla in Manilla..dibs on being Ali.  Evil Knievel returns to Ceasar's Palace..dibs on being Ceasar's Palace. The Griz vs. the Cats..dibs on being the Griz..Democrats vs. Republicans..dibs on..oh never mind..we are a team. A fun team who plays great bi-partisan ball. Another game with solid defense. I am going to have to start keeping track of double plays our infield turns. With Jeff guarding the hot corner, highlighted by a play where he charged a slow roller (the kind you can never get the batter out on), picked it barehanded, and threw the runner out at 1st. Mike Fuchs played the keystone sack, made sweet scoops and perfect feeds to Tracy, to start many a double play. Patrick, put those long legs and arms to great use at first. What a fun infield to watch. Jeff, the Hacker, was especially impressive, considering he has spent most of the season playing outfield for us, due to his versatility.  Double plays are a thing of beauty. Exciting to watch and a huge momentum builders for us and killers for the opponents.  This was a close game through 5 innings. We were up 9-8 at that point. We scored 5 in the 6th and held them scoreless in their final 2 at bats. The team was 21-40 for a game ave. of .525. Tracy was 4-4 this game..and just about every game this weekend, as he was absolutely on fire at the plate. Tracy was 9-11 on Saturday and 17-20 on Sunday for a total of 26-31 for a team high tournament average of .838.  If only he played hard. Good Lord. Excellent weekend Tracy. Now don't do anything riskier than playing pinochle until after State.

7th game..1st Championship game..vs.Rausch Wood/Team Fuel..12:45..Field 4..Win 11-3:   It was a good start. Zilla Dimmitt pitched a 5 hit shutout through 6 innings. In the bottom of the 7th, Rausch  broke though with 3 runs, as Rich, The Hammer hit the nail on the head and pounded a 3 run homer to knock in Troy and Donnie . Even though Rausch lost this game, scoring some runs in their final at bat and not getting shut out was probably an important momentum builder for them. Rausch played very well this weekend, going undefeated until this game. They made some excellent plays, infield as well as outfield.  Both teams brought excellent defenses into this game and will take them to the State Tourney in two weeks. We look forward to more games with Rausch. We also look forward to games with them that are without the hot-headed behavior that occured during the two Championship games... There is no reason to taint a good, clean, hard played game against two teams filled with nice guys. Not meaning to offend, or cause trouble..it just left a sour taste that merits mention, with the sole purpose of hoping that these were isolated incidents. Everyone is entitled a "heat of the moment"  meltdown. That is a part of competing hard. But when it continues through two games, it hurts both teams, and if you are not composed, it can change the focus of the game.  We were 19-40 for a team average of .475.  The Governor got handcuffed by an inside pitch and responded by Schweitzering it over the fence for his 6th homer of the tourney.  It was an odd looking home run that showed what kind of power Patrick has. Not many players will hit one out of the park on a swing like that.  A note of sportsmanship is that after this game most of Rausch's team came out and shook hands with us, that was great, most of the time the team who loses the 1st championship game does not extend that gesture. Thanks guys. We had hoped James would challenge Heather to a race, but Butterbean, in a damage control mode, cut his losses and decided to just lose the coin flip rather than the coin flip and a foot race. I can understand James' thinking. That one would take a while to live down...After the tournaments was over..out in the parking lot, I did overhear James challenging his wife Peggy to a race. Peggy declined, even though James promised not to leave early.

8th game..2nd Championship game..2PM..Field 4..Lose..6-5.. Well..Rausch was home team again...James..James..James..James..put on something pink..do something to get on the right side of the Softball and Coin Flip Gods. Oh well...maybe you are just saving them up for the State Tourney..Good thinking buddy. Okay, here we go..we've worked hard, had our back against the wall all day, it is our 5th consecutive game of the day. These are the days and tourneys you remember the most. They are the stories you tell on down the road. "Remember in Districts, back in 2008, when we lost our last game Saturday and had to play 5 loser out games, in a row, on Sunday, to get to the 2nd Championship game vs Rausch..that was fun."  This game was fun. The final game Sunday at District Tournament is beginning to have a familiar feel..and outcome. Remember last year, vs Rocky Mountain Eye. Another low scoring, 1 run loss? Another story to tell. We scored 2 in the 1st, leaving 2 men on base. We ended up stranding 14 men on base this game, an average of 2 per inning. Big Stat here..we had 18 hits and were able to score only 5 of those 18 runners. In our 1st Championship Game with Rausch, we had 19 hits and were able to score 11 of them. It happens, Rausch helped the cause with some more excellent defensive plays. Again, I did not keep track of double plays. It would be interesting to know how many each team turned.  Rausch scored 3 runs in their 1st inning when Troy team-fueled one of Zill'a pitches over the fence, despite the wind being at the batters disadvantage. That wind combined with fatigue, was a player in this game. Both pitchers, both Mikes, were able to throw strikes and flash way more thigh and tummy than anyone but them wanted to see. Something about those pitchers, even when their wifes are in attendance. It must be some sort of venting response to having batters hitting shots at them all weekend, In softball, pitchers are the 2nd Lieutenants of Viet Nam. They are  the Little League team coaches, sitting on the plank above the dunking booth, with the kids on their team, lining up for a shot at dunking them. They are the burcellosis Buffalo at Yellowstone Park, just a' wandering towards the Park boundaries, Rangers packing high-tech, 98 MPH composite rifles, taking aim at them. They are..well..you get the idea. Just trying to find some rationale for their sometimes unusual behavior. Both Mikes pitched excellent games. 

We scored 2 in the 1st, 1 in the 2nd, 3 in the 3rd, and not a dang thing after that. Rausch scored 3 in the 1st, 1 in the 4th, and 2 in the 6th. They were home team and had the final at bat, but did not need it as we were unable to score in the 7th. Patrick was on 2nd base, Tracy was on 1st base and Mike D. hit a nice shot up the middle that their 2nd baseman made a great play on. Had this hit gone through, we'd have tied the game and had a chance to score a few more runs. That  is softball though, nice clutch shot by Zilla and a nice clutch play by their 2nd baseman. Fun game. Looking forward to State. We were 18-37 for a team ave of .486. And..oh Jon Riley is a good Daddy..hitting that 3rd strike foul so his 3 boys could hoot and holler and email pictures of Dad the Poodle-Kisser, home to Mom on the cell phone. They are such nice boys. Proud of their Daddy. Thanks Jon.

Tournament Summary: For the tournament we were 166-318 for a team tournament average of .522. If we left out the final 2 games vs. Rausch (just for statistical fun) we were 129-241..for a 535 average. Not that different. On Saturday, in 3 games, we hit 613. On Sunday..in 5 games,against tougher competition, we hit 521.  In the 8 tournament games, we hit in the .700's 1 game...... in the .600's, 2 games..... in the 500's, 2 games....and in the 400's 3 games. 

The weekend was good batting and fielding practice for us. It was also good, "deal with adversity time" for us. Despite losing our 3rd game on Saturday, our team kept it's perfect record alive by not having one single word of anger or criticism said by anyone on our team towards any teammate. That is what I am proudest of. In our years together as Team Geritol, there has never been one single time when a teammate berated another teammate. We were disappointed after the 3rd game, we just sucked it up and went home. Sure James challenged Peggy to a foot race, but other than that we were fairly well adjusted. Thank you guys for being that way. We can turn around and look backwards at how far we have come from the early years as Team Geritol. Calling guys, trying to get a team together. Always feeling fortunate to be able to pick up good ball players with great attitudes. Chemistry  came before talent. Some of the team had played with each other, some had not, but boy we sure jelled. No matter how State goes this year, it has been a year to remember. I won't put down any numbers until the year is over. Too superstitious for that. Most accidents happen within several miles of home. We are rounding 3rd base and heading towards the home plate of this wonderful 2008 softball season. Before we leave for State, we'll fill the Geritol-Mobile with high octane, smooth fielding, extra base hitting, non-poodle-smooching, fuel; buckle up, check our rear view mirrors, keep our eyes on the road ahead, use our turn signals, rent or buy a GPS JEFF and JULIE, listen to our 3rd base coach....PATRICK. Win a coin toss or two for us James, and we are set. State will be what State will be. I feel no undue pressure about it. How good  a team we are, is already taken care of. Place high at State..win State..frosting on the cake of an incredible season. Finish in the middle of the pack or make an early exit..C'est la vie.  We are on a really great ride. State is not a destination or ending point. It is an exciting place to visit on our Team Geritol drive through Softball Land.. How long a shared drive we get to take together, I don't know. I just know it has been the most enjoyable softball drive of my life.  Last year we kind of let State "happen to us". This year I think we will be more able to "happen to State." I don't mean going to Butte and blowing people away. I just mean that we don't go down there and be awed or puckered up or driven inside our individual heads and disconnected as a team, by the pressure we put on ourselves to do well at the big show. It is a team experience, it is a chapter in our team story.  I expect us to be Team Geritol,  to have fire in our bellys and composure in our heads. I think we will be less likely to be taken out of our game by a strong team or a team with poor sportsmanship. That happened to us last year. Remember what we have accomplished this season, remember we win as a team and lose as a team. Forget how good or alpha-male'ish our opponent looks, and remember how well we have played all season long. Forget about bad calls, they will eventually go both ways. Think about what you want this tournament to be like, and try your best to make it happen. But whatever the outcome, enjoy the process. Read the "Tao of Pooh." State will be as good to us as we are ready to let it be. We will learn a little bit more about ourselves on this weekend.  I am excited about that. I really like what we have learned about ourselves already. Great stuff guys. May James, Patrick, and Travar, give one up for the team and go pink...and most importantly, may James seek some clinical help for his newly developed butt-patting fetish. What is up with that? Poor Allen Fox. Bad boy James.

 

 
St. Regis Tourney..Camping and softball..oh yeah! - Friday, July 25, 2008

What a fun weekend. We were fortunate to be able to have most of our Team Geritol crew play this weekend. This was the first year for several of the guys. It is a nice family weekend and hopefully we can put it on or schedule again next year. Great campgrounds, some excellent and intense softball, campfires surrounded by kids and grownups, lawnchairs, food, ghost stories about things that really happened..true ghost stories, kids actng like they aren't scared...edging closer and closer to their parents...a swimming pool, a shower facility, a laundry room, tents and RV's..oh yeah..now we're roughing it...oh yeah and kids getting sick in the middle of the night..Brodie being taken to the ground Saturday night by a major league, full body, charlie horse. Mike Dimmit losing his bearings Saturday afternoon and blurting out something about "Owning the Softball Gods" or having them wrapped around his little finger..I just had to cover my ears and leave..because I knew what was coming. Sure enough, very next day, the Softball Gods took a big ol' bite outta Zilla. Bit him right in the hamstring. Down went Zilla, it was a different kind of grunt this time. It was the grunt of prey rather than predator. It was also a bit of a poodle grunt as the Softball Gods showed Zilla no mercy..they waited until strike 3 to bite him. He pulled the ball foul and crumpled to the ground like a poodlle with shock collar on.  He limped back to the sidelines and manned up..said "where is the shirt?" Put it on and began the healing process, a much wiser man. May James keep this in mind.

1st Game vs. St. Regis Travelers: Win 20-6: Off to a good start, we hit the ball well and played the strong defense that would carry us through tight games that lie ahead. It was a special treat to have 2 generations of family playing. David Thompson and his son Brandon played with us. Brandon has been at this tournament with his family ever since he was a little guy...and it's been a while since Brandon was a little guy. The kid can play baseball..he hit some shots that were amazing, highlighted by a line drive home run that went over the shortstop's head and just kept on going till it cleared the fence. Unbelievable hit. Fun to watch. As a team we were 30-48 in this game for a team ave. of .625.

2nd Game vs. I don't remember: Win 16-11.  This was a close game through 6 innings. We led by 1 run 10-9 in the top of the7th. We were able to score 6 in this at bat and hold them to 2 runs in the bottom of the inning to end the game a 16-11 winner. We were25-41 for a .560 team average.

3rd Game vs. the beginning of a rivalry, camo guys from Idaho. Win 13-10: Mike Fuchs came to our rescue in this game. David and Brandon had to leave for a Baptism ceremony for their daughter and we were short a player. How many teams are lucky enough to be able to call up a guy like Mike and have him say, "Sure I'll drive down and help you guys." Mike was great help, he played 3rd base, made several key plays highlighted by a heads up double play, where he tagged the runner going to 3rd and flipped the ball with his glove to Don chery covering 2nd base. This got us out of a jam and robbed them of momentum. Mike was also 4-4 this game. We told him if he would stay, we'd cut Don Chery from the team but Mike packed up his bags after the game and drove him. At least this time the drive hom on the same day was following a victory, unlike last years' 2 State tournaments. We were home team and did not need our final at bat. We were 21-38 for a .552 batting average.  Our defense was very strong. Tracy was voted by the umpires in the tournament as the Gold Glove winner. He made outstanding plays every game, as did the rest of the defense. So we got out of Saturday undefeated. That feels good.

 

 
Smoochie's poodle ate my homework & James challenged the Softball Gods to a game of "Chicken" - Thursday, July 24, 2008

It is a good thing school is out for the summer, else I'd be staying inside for recess because I didn't get my homework done. Sorry to be so far behind, especially when what I haven't been able to write has been all good news.

We have District Tournament this weekend. Our start time is 9:AM Saturday Field 4. We will meet at 8:AM at the Rugby Fields to take some swings, loosen up and enjoy the pre-tournament comraderie that is one of the special aspects of team sports. Butterbean, Zilla, and Smoochie may take the opportunity to burn off their excess testerone with an impromptu scrum.

This brings us to the next matter at hand.  James has openly challenged the Softball Gods to a game of "Chicken."  Ever since he used his forearm to give a young gal in the co-rec league, the infamous Shelby Shiver, he's been a little full of himself...talking big guy talk, Red Rover-Red Rover, send Bronco Nagurski right over. I am refering of course to James saying that now that he has made it through league play without eaning the pink shirt, he is home free. As if the end of league play was like crossing over the Mexican Border. Perhaps the Softball Gods are saving James' reward for a bigger arena. Pink shirt at Districts..pink shorts at State...oh yeah!! We will see. I think most of us are just hoping James will get on the good side of the coin flip Gods. It would be nice to be home team every now and then. Henry has done a fine job in James' absence.

 

 
Tournament updates..and major thank-you's to the Softball Gods. - Thursday, July 24, 2008

Holy Checkered Flag, Batman!!! Our enchanted season continues:

2nd Place..Elbow Room Tourney...

Champs..+35 Thompson/Corr Tourney..

Champs..St. Regis Tourney..

Big steps forward this year. The team has continued to improve. It seems a classic example of talent, chemistry, and the benefits of several seasons together. It has been a season unlike any I have experienced. Great stuff guys!

ELBOW ROOM TOURNEY:

Yikes! We lost our 1st game, then won our next 4 to get to the championship game. We lost this game to a team from Idaho. Ran out of gas, but it was still an exciting tourney. The highlight of the tourney was a fun win over Boomers, in the losers out, semi-final contest, to  move into the the 1st championship game.  More about that in a bit.

1st Game: Lose 13-12 to Gilleys..The price of gas and hot dogs just went up. Gilley's led 7-0 after 2 innings. We worked our way back to make it close, but the reality is that Gilleys was home team and did not have to bat in the bottom of the 7th. The other reality is that our good buddy, Mike "The Bookie" Fuchs, became a 1st degree pink belt in his 1st at bat of the game, hitting a 3rd strike foul...hmmmm..can you say grumpy. Funny how that puts a smile on everyone elses face. A quiet smile at first, but a smile that knows when to emerge from hiding and give their buddy a little good natured support. Mike did not stay grumpy as long as Deano "The Dogfather"  Thompson did, we'll give him that. Geritol was 22-40 in this game for a team ave. of .550. Zilla Dimmit, T-Rex'd 2 out of the park.

2nd Game: Win 13-5 vs. Jackson Construction: This was a team of young guys, from the Thompson Falls area. Nice kids. The highlight of this game was our 11 run 5th inning, with Donny, "Uncle Scrooge" Chery, making the 1st and 3rd outs of the inning. Pink Chery, sounds the Shirley Temple of slowpitch softball. The wonderful "carry-over" rule came into effect with Donny owing 3 innings of pink in the next game. Donny embraced his pinkness, like a true Republican. (James told me to say that). Geritol was 20-39 for a .512 team average. Chris "Dudley Dooright" Jones hit one over the Canadian border for us. 

3rd Game: Win 16-4 vs Gilleys.. It was our turn to win. Also it was the 1st game Sunday morning...can you say...it's 2:AM boys....closing time. This was a 5 inning, 12 run game. Chris Jones, with the great Dudley Dooright chin, hit 2 homers off Justin, aka. Snidley Whiplash, the nefarious owner of Gilleys.  Mike Fuchs came through with the game ending hit, which seemed to somehow  make him a little bit grumpy again. We were 25-35 for a tournament high .714.

4th Game: Win 12-6 vs Paradise Falls/Black Sox: This was a 1 run game till the 5th , when we scored 6 runs to go up 11-4. Patrick, "The Governor" went deep for us in the 3rd. We were 19-39 for a .487 ave. Our defense was strong, praise the Lord. We won't win many games hitting under .500. This win put us into the semi-final game vs. Boomers/Elbow Room...Can you say...drumroll please..

5th Game: Big Win!! 17-14 vs Boomers/Elbow Room/Gologoski/Sonny's Wyoming/Yankees/Red Sox: OK, so I got a little carried away...but it was a signature win for us. This is a very good team we were fortunate enough to beat. It is a team you don't get a bite out of very  often, and when you do..oh boy does it taste good. They were good sports about it and we didn't run around like teenage boys who'd just seen their first Playboy magazine.  This game was close from the get-go. James was golfing with his Father in a Shelby Tournament...so we won the coin toss and were home team. Thanks buddy. James contributes in many strange and wonderous ways. We would also like to thanks James' Dad for responsing to our phone calls..oops..that was  confidential. Anyway.. Zilla hit one out of Jurassic Park in the 1st and another out in the 5th. A couple of prehistoric grunts and a 4-4 game for Mikey. This is a team that hits the ball hard and hits the ball back up the middle. Zilla was devouring  line shots. He also took a very hard  and hurtfull hit off his orange shin pad, recovered in time to throw the batter out at 1st base (interestingly it was Boomer's pitcher).  Zilla kept his composure, (unlike some opposing pitchers we have seen this year) and the team was able to keep our focus on winning a tight game. Lots of rallying points in a game, lots of events that can turn the direction of a game. When a pitcher loses his focus, or control of his emotions, the shopping cart gets a wobbly wheel, the instrument panel in the cockpit quits working and the team loses some of it's direction.   We were behind 13-10 going into the bottom of the 6th, we had the bases loaded with no outs and 1 run in, when up to the plate steps our esteemed shortstop, Tracy..notice it rhymes with Casey..as in "Casey At Bat." Tracy plays hard, makes amazing plays at short, hits shots to the gap, takes the extra base, great slides into home. Overall, you would charachterize him as a team player...that is what is so amazing about what unfolded in his at bat in the bottom of the 6th. Tracy was already a 1st degree pink belt..so were about 8 other guys on the team. He got 2 strikes on him, much to his disapproval, as he thought the umpires strike zone was kind of Poodley. Perhaps this affected his decision to swing at the next pitch which to me (coaching 1st base) appeared to be short and inside.. a tough pitch to hit..as Casey, I mean Tracy proved when he swung and hit the top of the ball, off the skinniest part of the bat handle, straight down into the ground, narrowly missing his foot. Tracy, aghast in horror, much like when Smoochie hit his pink pitch foul, tore out of the batters box, sprinting for 1st base. like Shawn's Poodle sprinting for his Daddy's arms.. Alas! The umpire barked "Foul Ball, batter is out." Tracy is a man of few words. He saves them up for situations such as these. Cause he was a'talking, talking with feeling and passion..and..what was that? What is Tracy saying?? Tracy is trying to talk the umpire into callling it a fair ball..and calling it a double play for those guys..and then Tracy would not have struck out and become our 1st 2nd degree pink belt..Can this be true?? Mr. team player is sacrificing our 6th inning rally to the Pink, Poodle Shirt and Shorts Ensemble Gods?? Unbelievable. That's a Bubba, brother. Fortunately, the ump stuck to his guns and called Tracy out on strikes. There are times when discretionary discipline is called for. This was such a time. There was that yellow, crime scene, stay away ribbon, invisibly wrapped around Tracy. Not a time to pass the pink shorts and shirt to our poodle smooching buddy... no..no..didn't have to be a counselor to figure that out. You don't go inside the Nuclear Reactor just after it melts down. You give it a little time. You wait for the fallout to clear.  To Tracy's credit he kept his focus on playing the great defense we have become accustomed to. We went on to score 7 runs in the bottom of the 6th to go up 17-13. We were able to hold Boomers to 1 run in their  7th inning at bat and win 17-14.  What a game!!! Very proud of us.  Oh thank you thank you to the Softball Gods.We were 29-45 for a team ave. of .644.  

6th Game: vs A good team out of Idaho: Lose 15-5..Oh well.. We just did not have it this game. Won't win any games scoring 5 runs. They had some guys who really hit the ball hard. One great big guy who hit it out every swing he took, until we walked him. Another left-handed guy who absolutely crushed the ball to the opposite field. He hit one of the hardest line drives to left field I have ever seen hit. WE played hard but were not able to give them the kind of game we wanted. They were gracious winners and hopefully we will get another chance to play them and make it more of a game.  We were 17-36 for a team ave. of .472.

Fun, fun tourney guys. A boost to our ego's. Deposits in our team account. Pink on a few more of our teammates. Ah! The softball Gods are smiling on us.

 
Black Belt..Brown Belt..Pink Belt??? - Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Team Geritol, "Idea Box" is always open and waiting for suggestions. The latest idea/suggestion comes from Smoochie Hollenback...and it is an intrigueing one. I spoke with the members of the Board of Bubbas and it recieved enough support to be moved to the next  stage before officially becoming a permanent clause in the Team Geritol Constitution. If approved, It will begin our next league game, Monday, June 9th, @ 9:45 PM. This is incidently the same time of the evening that the Smoocha earned his first pink shirt of the 2008 season. It is only fitting that it would be Smoochie who came up with the  following idea. He felt strongly and verbalized that he would not have another moment of pinkness this year. He said, "I'm done with wearing pink for this year." Personally I thought this statement met most of the criteria for a profound thinking error, but who am I to say? We'll see if the Poodle-Kissing Gods were listening??

Anyways..here is Smoochies idea....he feels there are different degrees of pinkness. The 1st DEGREE PINK BELT , is symbolized by the donning of the pink Poodle-Kissing shirt. Shawn goes on to say, that if a player were to earn the pink shirt a second time..that it should be celebrated in a way that honors it's uniqueness. It deserves it's own symbol of achievment. Smoochie suggested a pair of pink shorts would be an appropriate symbol to honor a player's earning of the  2nd DEGREE PINK BELT. Butterbean, sitting on the Board of Bubbas, gave the stamp of approval to Smoochie's pink shorts suggestion. Butterbean was so inspired by Smoochie's'  idea, that he suggested the recognition of a  3rd DEGREE  PINK BELT POODLE-WARRIOR ...Pink, knee high socks, worn outside the baseball pants like a proud Dude's jeans, tucked into his new cowboy boots. Yeehaw!! Let's go find us some Poodles to smooch!!. These socks would provide clear and undeniable honor to a Team Geritol player who has gone where no poodle-kisser has gone before, kissing the poodle on the lips three times in a season. A menage' poodle..if you will. (Never thought I'd get a chance to write that sentence). Rites of passage are time honored traditions. Every culture has them. In our case, even sub-cultures have them. Boys to men, men to poodles, poodles to shirts, shirts to shorts, shorts to knee high socks. That would be the Triple Crown of Softball.  Were a player to smooch the Poodle an unthinkable four times in a season, he would become a  4th DEGREE  PINK BELT ...we would be left with no choice but to top that achievement off with a beautiful pink hat.  What an ensemble of pinkness and glory that would be..Pink shirt, pink shorts, pink knee high socks, topped off with a stunning pink baseball hat. Only to be worn  for 7 innings of course. You have to give them back.

Oh Lord, I'll be good, I promise. I won't do anything wrong, just please, please, don't make me wear them pink shorts, those pink socks, or that pink hat. I'm not sure I could take it. Now I'll you what though..we do have some guys who look mighty fine in pink..and  some of them are well on their way to trying on those shorts. Remember Lord, what Shawn said..about being done wearing pink..James said it too and so did Jeff...and Roger Wilhite is coming  up from Butte, on his Harley Davidson to play with us in the Thompson/Corr Tournament  and he said it..and he even swore when he said it....Yes, Roger used the Poddle-Kissing, Softball God's name in vain. For his pennance it would  be fine to make that Butte boy wear something Poodle-pink. A small piece of Humble Poodle Pie.

So...it looks like I may be doing some shopping this weekend. Shopping in sections of the department store where I don't usually go.  I'll be sure to get sizes for everyone. Just so there is no confusion, the Board of Bubba's has stated that each time a person kisses the poodle on the lips, he adds a piece of clothing to his attire. For example, were Shawn to smooch the pooch again, he would wear the pink shirt, to designate his 1st degree pink belt...and he would also wear the pink shorts, to celebrate his passage/transition into the society of 2nd degree pink belt Poodle Warriors. Kind of like strip poodle-poker in reverse.   Any questions, appeals, etc. please call James @ 273-0874.  

Shawn and James have made these proposals and I have entered them on their behalf. It seems to me that in the true democratic spirit of Team Geritol, a move such as this..calls for a team vote. Please feel free to log on to our softball talk forum and let us know how you feel. Otherwise we will vote prior to Monday evening's 9:45 game.  Please see the forum for Jame's  vision of a hat that Ol' Smochie would look fine prancing around in. It is a 4 Poodle Hat

 
The rest of the 2008 season - Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Three tourneys down and not enough to go. Here is a quick look at what we have left: The unofficial and informal  majority feeling has been that we will not play an out of town tournament this year..because we are playing in league.  Rumor has it that Jeff and James are going to Goosetown with the O'fers, from Idaho.

May 24/25..Open..........................................

May 31/June1..Open...............................

June 7/8...Open......................................

June 14/15..REDS:...(Father's Day) I won't be here but will get you guys in the tourney if you are interested.

June 21/22..ELBOW ROOM: This is essentially the last of the local tourneys.

June 28/28..+35 Thompson/Corr..I can't wait for you young guys to get older. This is a fun one. This will beJames' first year.

July 5/6..St. Regis..Fun tourney. A number of Geritol guys have played in this one. Let us know if you are interested. Fun weekend of camping and softball. Nice campgrounds with a pool. Close to Missoula.

July 12/13..Open................................

July 19/20..Superior.Home of Smoochie Hollenback. Tough tourney. Lots of teams. House party at Shawn's parent's home,as they are gone for the weekend. Shawn puts a team together.

July 26/27...Men's District Tournament, Missoula. This is a fun one too. Hopefully playing in league will keep us sharp through the end of the season.

August 2/3...Open............................

August 8/9/10...Men's C State..Butte America...We should talk about booking rooms. Butte or Fairmont..Maybe Shawn can  get that Team Suite again...actually,we should pitch in on it. It is nice to have a gathering place.

August 23/24..State+40 Championships..Great Falls. We truely are Team Geritol down there. The older you get, the more softball there is to play.

Thus far in league play, the Softball Gods have smiled on us. I also am most thankful to you guys for taking timeout of schedule and coming down to play. We have been fine each  of our games. We've been able to pick up a player or two when needed. I appreciate it when you guys let me know if you can/can't be there.  WE have played 5 league games. that means we are 1/4 the way through the league season. Yikes!! It goes fast.

 
Dean Thompson and Libby Loggers..State Class A Champs!!! - Monday, May 26, 2008

Congratulations to our good friend and Geritol teammate, Deano Thompson for guiding his Libby Loggers to the State A High School Championship this past weekend, in Butte and Anaconda. Atta boy Deano!! Libby was able to cruise through the tournament undefeated. Dean has had a couple of 2nd place finishes at State with his girls, but this is his first State Championship. We are hoping for a picture of Dean and the girls so we can post it. Lord knows there have been enough posts of Deano lately. It will be interesting to see what he looks like when he is not wearing pink.

 
Rhino Rumble Champs!! Thank you to the "extra-innng, if-game," Softball Gods - Sunday, May 18, 2008

Today, I caught a bit of good-natured grief (Jeff and James) for not keeping the website updated after our fine win, two weeks ago..at the C'mon Blue Tourney,  I told them,  I just hadn't the time to sit down and get it done. That excuse, fell on dead ears of course. So, I will do my best to get this week's tournament update done on Sunday evening, before the work week and the Little League week takes over. Knowing that Jeff, will do his best to promptly post the pictues of him wearing the Poodle-Smooching shirt, for his first at bat Sunday morning.

 Holy Double-Plays and Diving Catches, Batman!!! There is more than one way to win a game and a tournament. You can do it with your bats, with your gloves, smart base running, strong and accurate arms, but you won't do it any of these ways for very long if you don't have team chemistry, determination, and composure. All of which paid off nicely this weekend, especially on Sunday.

 I am sure the guys on our team, who with us two years ago,remember our season long battles with Team Hype. We had great games with them,  but lost more than we won. The past two seasons, we have had those same kind of games with Silver Dollar. For whatever the reason, we are winning the majority of them. We are evenly matched teams and it has made for memorable games. Today in the Rhino Rumble, second Championship game, we beat our friends on Silver Dollar, 5-3 in 8 innings, to claim the tournament title.

First, some thoughts about the championship game. It was influenced by man, nature, and industry.

The industry portion..was the softball. The Worth Gold Dot. All sports have sounds specific to them. Basketball, football, baseball..softball, they all have their own sounds that tell you how well the game is being played. In softball, the sound of a good swing hitting the ball solidly, is integral to the game. It is like a swish in basketball or pads hitting pads in football. Remember the backyard basketball rim that had no net? It just wasn't the same. A swisher is not a swisher without the net. That reassuring sound of softball was missing this weekend. It was replaced by a nerf-like, dead-ball sound.The sound of a dead ball is the sound of disappointment. It offers no reinforcement for a well-timed swing and solid contact.It can make you feel like you have lost your pop, it is a withdrawal  from the "I am a good hitter," account.  It was fair, because it was the same for every team, but I do not think teams on any level of play, like the dead-ball sound. We are not talking about home runs flying out of the ballpark, or souped up, high-tech bats. We are talking about the sound of solid contact, ingrained in us since little league. Wooden bats have it, metal bats and composite bats have it. When we were kids and didn't have a ball or anyone to play with, the sound of rocks coming off our Dad's old wooden baseball bats had it.. We looked for things to hit that sounded good. Golf balls and super balls were the best. Dirt clods, crab apples, green apples were even okay. They did not go as far or sound quite as good, but at least they did something, they exploded, and that was cool. We hit lots of things with ourbaseball bats when we were growing up....but one thing we never hit...was marshmallows...that would make no sense. Hitting marshmallows would make you feel like a weenie...and who wants to feel like a weenie? No one I know.  Well, this weekend we were hitting some marshmallows..and it tells me that MSA's decision to discontinue using the Worth Gold Dots was right on. The Dudley Thunders have at least sounded solid. Even if it is crabapple solid.

The nature was the wind. It blew hard, it blew sideways, it blew in the batters faces. When the wind blows in the batters face, it also blows in the batter's mind. It messes with you. Pitches move, balls don't carry,  holes in the infield and outfield close up. Ground balls become double plays. lines drives hang in the air and are caught. If  hitters are not careful, they begin doubting themselves. Batters change what works for them. They try things that are hard to do on a calm day. Technique is abandoned, pitch selection becomes compromised. The wind was a major factor this weekend. It was good mental practice for us. Wind, combined with a dead ball, superior pitching, and great defensewill make for 5-3 Championship games. We hung tight. That is good. There will be more windy days.

The human component was two teams wanting to win with all their might. This was a blue collar game. It seemed to me to unfold batter by batter, out by out and inning by inning,  The scoreboard was used and it was great. Everyone knew the score, the inning, and the stakes. A small rally would have won it. An error could have lost it. Silver Dollar had defeated us in the first Championship game, to force the "if-game." Iit was a boost to their moral. They had come up short against us the past two years. Close games that always seemed to go our way. Eventually that starts to creep into a player's and team's mind. We have all been on both sides of that dynamic. (It was a huge boost for us to beat Boomers last week in league). Mike Dimmitt and Alex Kefler pitched great games. Wind can take a good pitcher down. Mike and Alex are good enough to use it to their advantage. The other human component was the great defensive plays from both teams. Infield, outfield, didn't matter, with the glove and with the arms. There were outstanding and clutch defensive plays that changed the course of the game.  It was as fun a game as I have had to watch from the sidelines, with a pulled muscle, in a long time...and I've watched many.  

Kudos to both teams. Excellent sportsmanship. Thanks to Kelly for his hard work putting together the tourney. It is not an easy job. Stats to follow, there is a lawn to mow and a sprinkler system to turn on.  

1st game..vs. Anaconda, Rocky Mtn. Brewing Co. Win...18-9:  Our shortstop wore pink and made some sweet plays...Arf..Arf.. I believe a few of the Anaconda boys had been supporting their sponsor on the way to the game or the night before. Good athletes, but they said it was their first game of the season, league begins Thursday for them.  Their catcher yelled at our batters as we began to swing...not many people do that..enough said.  We scored in every inning and ended the game via the 10 run rule after 6 innings. Our biggest inning was a 7 run 2nd. We were 30-47 for a team ave of .638. Chris Jones hit a 3 run homer for us.

2nd game...vs. $ilver Dollar/Advanced Imaging..Win 15-10...Tight game for 6 innings. . This is a good team that plays us well. Great guys on the team who help us out during times in league when we are short. The score in this game was 11-10, us in the bottom of the 6th inning. Zilla Dimmit came to bat with the bases loaded and his wife Trina's video camera recording..what do you think is going to happen?? A great big grunt and a towering grand slam down the left field line. It turned the tide of the game and we won 15-10. This was a good win. We  were 23-41 for a .561 team ave.   

3rd game..vs..Hayloft..Win 20-1: A 7 run 1st inning. We had some help from them, in the form of an error or two. It was much appreciated.  We scored 8 runs in the 4th to end the game early. Lots of good friends on this team. Hayloft is the top +45 League in Missoula. It is good to see them get in the local tournaments. They traveled to St. George Utah last year and played very weell in the World Senior Games. We were 27-37 for a .730 team average. This was our final game of the day.

4th game..vs.$ilver Dollar/Huggieville: Win 15-5 in 6 innings: Here we go again. What a fun rivalry..especially because we have been winning. We were home team for a change (James is not yet at peace with the coin flip Gods) and scored 5 in the 1st, and 5 in the 2nd, for a 10-1 lead after 2. The $ never did get their bats going in this game. What did happen however was that Jeff Weaver got his lawn planted just in time to come help us play on Sunday. Man oh man does this guy ever look good in pink..wowee! Please check "The Bubbas" for more the rest of the story.

OH-OH!!! I THINK THE SOFTBALL GODS WERE LISTENING.. Something subtle but significant, happened in between the 4th game and the 5th game. As we sat in the shade, on the hillside, between games, waiting to see who we would play for the championship, a couple of our players whose identities are protected, (Travar and Patrick) engaged in a conversation that may well have come back to haunt us. Superstition has a room in the house of softball. 

First off, it should be said that the sitting and watching to see who you will play for the tournament championship is a luxury, a priviledge, and an honor bestowed on one team, and one team only, in each tournament. It is a time of humble status. I was in my late 30's or 40's before being given the honor of watching from the sidelines, in the shade of victory, as two opponents battled it out to earn the right to play us for the tournament title. It is a time to be giving thanks to the Softball Gods. Do it openly, do it quietly, but get 'er done.. The Softball Gods share our victories with us. They are also a bit like parking meters. You have to keep making deposits in them. You don't get to park with the Softballs God's without letting them know you are willing to pay homage to them to be there. Your time will run out. You will be ticketed...and perhaps towed away. They need be fed. They need be thanked. If you eat their glory and success, or take it for granted, they will offer it no more.They also abide by a strict code of conduct. It is a code that has fit our team make-up nicely. We have reaped bountiful rewards for our on, and off the field conduct. These Softball Gods also happen to be running buddies with the "Wind Gods", the "Rain Gods",  the "Good Hop, Bad Hop Gods". the "Bats Gone Dead, Gods," the "Coin Flip Gods," (James) lots of Gods, many many Gods exist in softball.   It would appear a conference call was made from the Softball Gods to the Wind Gods, the Bats Gone Dead Gods, and the Coin Toss Gods".

  Both  of these unnamed players are humble and down to earth guys, however they slipped up and started talking about some stuff that caused the Softball Gods to sit up and take notice. It wasn't blatant or obnoxious, not at all. To use a baseball analogy, it was a bit like mentioning to the starting pitcher, in the 6th inning, that he has a no-hitter going, or maybe even just asking him if he was getting nervous. Our good buddies were two moths flying around the lightbulb that illuminates the Room of Softball Taboos ...what they were talking about was our won-loss record, how many tournaments in a row we had won, and something about a certain team, who we were about to play, not being able to beat us over the past two years..I am not sure exactly what they were saying because I got scared and my brain shut down in a desperate attempt to make it all go away, and not be true. It would be like Shawn saying that he will never wear the Poodle-Smooching shirt again. Smoochie would never say that..he knows better. Anyways...even though other Team Geritol players, immediately notified these players of their softball faux-pas. They kind of chuckled, yuck-yucked, yeah-yeah, and joked about having just cursed Team Geritol. Well..off  we went to play SilverDollar in the 1st Championship game. Uhmmm......needless to say, we kissed that 2 year winning streak goodbye.  Now it may have  been coincidence...that is for each person to decide. I know what I believe.  What was reassuring, however, was to hear these two fine gentlemen and ball players, come to their senses after the loss in the 1st championship game and mention to each other (as they were standing on the sidelines, injured...hmm?) "Oh-oh, maybe we shouldn't have been talking that way. The tall left-handed one, who plays 1st base, started chanting. He actually did. It was a nice little Native American, speak-to-the-spirits, kind of a song-chant. The other one, (another infielder...sheesh!) got solemn .. 'eh.  It was good to see and hear. A chant and solemness were in order. They apologized to the Softball Gods and said out loud, "That is the last time we'll do that. We've learned our lesson."  The Softball Gods, apparently appeased, rewarded us with a most memorable and hard fought victory in the 2nd championship game. Thanks guys, we wouldn't have won, if you hadn't of meant it. Many game changing events happen during the course of a tournament. Not all of them on the playing field.

5th game (1st Championship Game)..vs $ilver Dollar..Oopsie..Lose..11-5....       The Team Geritol Batmobile ran out of gas. $ilver Dollar finally cashes in. Our turn to pay the tab. The parking meter ran out of time...or perhaps, as earlier mentioned, the Softball Gods meted out consequences.  It's okay, even the Bobcats eventually win a game or two vs. the Griz. Oops, I'd better be careful, just my Griz loyalty coming up with an analogy. Anyways, The $ played well and deserved to win this game. They were home team and the score was 7-5 after 4 innings. We did not score again in our final 3 at bats. An interesting side-note is that the $ scored 11 runs and won the game even though their first 4 hitters never scored a run the whole game. They were 21-37, for a team ave. of .568. We hit 13-33, for a tourney low of .394. I don't remember if we have ever hit in the .300's as a team. I don't think I will look it up either.   

6th game.(2nd Championship Game)..vs. $ilver Dollar. Win..5-3 in 8 innings. What a game this was. I wrote about the spirit of this game at the beginning of this post, so here are some of the details. $ilver Dollar was once again home team. That didn't feel good. I thinnk everyone felt this game would come down to the final at bat...and did it ever. The score was 0-0 after 1, 0-0 after 2, 0-0 after 3. We scored 1  in the top of the 4th. They scored 2 in the bottom of the 4th (2-1 them). We scored 1, to tie it, 2-2 in the top of the 5th, they did not score in the bottom of the 5th. It was 2-2 after 5, 2-2 after 6, We scored 1 in the top of the 7th to go up 3-2. They scored 1 in the bottom of the 7th to tie it at 3-3. In the 8th, our 11 & 12 hitters were up. Travis led off the 8th inning with a single. That 1st guy up in the inning is so important. Great job Travis. Patrick, who was sitting and hitting because of injuries was up next. Normally Patrick hits 2nd. Today he was batting 12th, and he was the right guy at the right time. Alex gave him an outside pitch and Patrick crushed it into the gap between left and left-center. It had to be perfectly placed and it was. The dead ball and the wind  had joined forces to lose up all outfield gaps. Patrick's double scored Travis, who then came back in and ran for ol' Hopalong Casuality. Travis moved to 3rd, on Travar's at bat and then scored on Jeff's sacrifice fly. We were up 5-3 going into the bottom of the 8th. Their # 11 hitter was up, went out. Then their lead-off hitter made the 2nd out.  Their next two hitters each smacked singles, and the winning run, also their clean-up hitter came to the plate for the Dollar. He hit a sharp grounder to Chris Jones at 3rd base. Chris made the clutch play, tossed the ball toMike Fuchs at 2nd to win the game and earn the tournament title. Thank you to the Softball Gods. What a great game!! This was our 3rd tournament title this year and the 2nd year in a row we have been fortunate enough to win the Rhino Rumble. It is a year like I have never had. Great memories that will last forever.

We cannot write about this game without mentioning at least two defensive plays. Jeff made as clutch a diving catch in the bottom of the 6th, with the bases loaded and 2 outs, as you will ever see. It brought everybody to their feet. I didn't think he had a chance at it, some folks thought he dove too soon and wouldn't be able to reach it. It was an all out dive and a total rob-job on our good friend Alex. Alex hits line drives, they are not soft easy balls to catch. Jeff''s catch was one of the plays that allowed us to eventually win this game. The other play that needs mention is the double play that Tracy pulled off in the 7th inning, to end a rally the Dollar had going. In the bottom of the 7th, $ilver Dollar's 1st 3 hitters got on base. Randy Peak scored on the 3rd of these hits, to tie the game. So, $ilver Dollar had runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs and the game tied. Their next hitter smacked a hot shot to Tracy (our tournament MVP), who tagged the runner on 2nd base, who tried his best to ruin the double play, flipped the ball to Mike Fuchs, who made a great turn and narrowly missed getting the runner going to 1st, for a triple play. We got the next batter out to end the inning. It was a huge lift to us. It truely felt like a second chance at winning the game to have escaped this inning. This play was a back breaker,and I think it may have made some more deposits into the "What do we have to do to beat these guys?" account that we have going with Silver Dollar. This is an account we want to keep open. Thank you to the Extra-inning Gods.

There were certainly many other fine defensive plays. James made some key plays on pop-ups behind the plate. Nice glove on the Big Cat. David Felker was 3-3 the final game...atta-guy. Greg Kessler, playing in his 1st games of the 2008 season, did a nice job out in left-field with his glove and had a great peg to Jamie McHugh at 3rd base to nail a runner. He also provided us with a bizarre, middle-aged, pale white man, booby dance, all in the name of inspiration. Dosey-Doe, it's Flashin' Joe. Greg, Jamie and Travis all filled in, and fit in very nicely. Jamie did a nice job at both corners. Travis played like a gold glover in right field. Our thanks to them for helping us do as well as we did.  I know I am forgetting something..of course I don't remember what. My apologies if I have left anyone out. Everyone did great.

 
League play update..Tracy goes pink..Team vote coming up. - Thursday, May 15, 2008

Nice win last night. Got a bite out of Boomers. 17-15. Don't get that very often.  Tasted good. They were a player short and only had 3 outfielders. They are still the toughest team in town to beat. The Softball Gods smiled on Team Geritol and we thank them mightily. Kudos to Mike Dimmitt for fielding some hard shots. Zilla did a great job for us.

Also Tracy Elam went pink last night. Fouled off the 3rd strike. Tracy will  be modeling the XL, Pink,  Poodle-Smooching casual-wear ensemble, in the first game of the Rhino Rumble Tournament this weekend.  Jamie McHugh played a nice game for us. Jamie showed up after the coin toss. OH-OH!! Sure, Jamie is new to the team and sure no-one has explained the Team Geritol Poodle-Kissing Rules to Jamie, but showing up on time is standard softball knowledge. It is however  true that Jamie was being very helpful by making some last hour phone calls to try and find an extra player for us. Perhaps these are mitigating circumstances??  It appears there is only one thing left to do. TEAM VOTE.... We'll take a vote before the 1st game Saturday to see if Jamie should wear pink.  Who knows, it could go either way.  I have a hunch which way Tracy, Alan Fox and David Felker will be voting. Each of them will be wearing the pink shirt. David and Allen have several innings of pinkness remaining. James and Jeff said they have 5 innings left to fulfill their 7 innings of Poodle'dom. Oh my gosh!! If the team votes for Jamie to wear the shirt, it will mean that all 4 of our Poodle-Kissing shirts will be prancing around the softball diamond at the same time...I better bring my video camera for that.  Yipes! I mean Yikes.

 
C'mon Blue Champs 2008 - Tuesday, May 6, 2008

In sports, in life, whatever it is..at the end of the day or the weekend you are left with the memories of how well you did or did not do. You get to play each tournament  but once a year. This year's C'mon Blue made some nice deposits, into the good memory account..  Great job guys and many, many thanks to the Softball Gods. They continue to smile on us in tough situations. We are most grateful. 

This was an interesting tournament. Several new teams. Back to the ASA, rule of batting 11. A brutal Saturday bracket that would eliminate all but 3 teams from the tournament. No concession stands. Out of town opponents, with low blood sugar and no fuel left in their tanks, accepting small handouts of Geritol Jerky, as I crossed the mound between innings, on the hike back to our dugout,  from a trip to the provisions cache in the Geritol supply wagon that was hitched up in the Fort Missoula parking lot. We lost our 2nd game of the day and had to play 2 more just to make it into Sunday. We won 2 games by 1 run. We beat a team that brought in some late inning players with those alpha-male stripey pants, big "B" muscles, and a pony tail. We survived a team that scored 19 runs in 2 innings, was home team, and only needed 1 run to tie and 2 to win in the bottom of the 7th. We had 3 different players wear the poodle-kissing shirt, and last but not least, we had to beat the undefeated team two times to claim the title. Interesting that we have won 2 touornaments this year and both have gone to the "if game" in the Championship.  Sportsmanship was great. Umpires were doing a fine job. Weather was beautiful. Wives and kids were there. Shawn, David and Allen look great in pink. We are indeed living a charmed existence.

We will get some game stats up as soon as possible. Been a little busy.

Here are some game stats. I will getmore in as time allows. Little league baseball every night this week.

The team batting average was...186-290..a .641 tournament ave. Very nice.We scored  122 runs in 7 games for a 17.4 runs/game ave. and 3.05 runs per inning. We played a total of 40 innings, for an ave. of 5.7 innings/at bats per game. We averaged 26 hits per game for an ave. of 4.56 hits per inning. More to follow.

 

 

 
Nicknames - Thursday, May 1, 2008

Nicknames are a time-honored tradition  in sports and in no other sport have nicknames been as pervasive as in baseball. Especially in old-time baseball. Nicknames such as Preacher Roe, Icebox Chamberlin, Chief Bender, Cool-Papa Bell, Dizzy and Daffy Dean, Sliding Billy Hamilton, Gabby Harnett, Rajah Hornsby, Catfish Hunter, Highpockets Kelly, Yogi Berra, and Ducky Medwick are just a few of the examples .Wonderful, colorful nicknames that celebrated both special and  less than special moments. Healthy humor, fun and relationship should always be the end result of a good nickname. So with all this in mind, it is hard for me to resist what seems to be a natural inclination to want to hang a nickname on a good buddy. I am sure it is just my strong interest in sports history that is behind it. At any rate, here are some of the nicknames that you will see in the new Team Geritol poll.  These are also names that will make their way into the scorebook. The cool thing about nicknames is that as the softball season unfolds, nickname creating events are sure to happen. Here are some early season offerings:

Shawn  Smoochie Hollenback..What else could it be? He is a poodle-smooching machine. Every year he has led the team in pooch-smooching. Yip!Yip! Yip! Remember that old Walt Disney movie about the Shaggy Dog? Wasn't there a cute little kid in there named Moochie. I think so. Well Moochie has grown up and he still loves doggies. Moochie, now Smoochie, has traded in his shaggy dog for a cute little furry pink, yippy, yappy, poodle puppy. It all has sort of a Disney-like feel to it.  

James Butterbean Stokes..enough said. He's a loveable tough guy with a shaved head. He hits really hard and has a pugalistic bakground. I don't know what his boxing record is but he sure has a winning record with Team Geritol.

Dean Muffin Thompson..He is the George Washington of Poodle Kissers. He was the first pink shirt wearing President of the Poodle Kissers of America. Forefather of the Poodle Nation. DNA testing has also proved him to be the biological father of Muffin.  He is...and always will be...Muffin the 1st.

Mike Gruntzilla Dimmit..Every team needs at least one grunter..and at most one grunter. We have a natural born grunter. Combining Mike's great grunt with his Godzilla-like approach to facing opposing batters, devouring the bullets,  missles and hot shots that are rocketed back up the middle at him, make the name Gruntzilla, or Zilla for short, a natural. Every team needs a Zilla on the mound. We are lucky. We have a Zilla and a Muffin.

Patrick The Governor Hiller...Dapper, always looking good, living life right, a fine role model. Perpetually running for office, the Governor has an interesting voting record. He voted to pardon Muffin from the natural consequences of missing the coin flip. He again voted to pardon the Smoocha, when he hit a 3rd strike foul. The Governor's voting record leads  us to believe he may be doing some campaigning and lobbying to drum up some kickback  pardon votes when and if  he gets caught in a pink scandal of his own. Put all of these factors together, shake it up and a nickname like "The Governor" comes out.  We know the whole team would vote for a Democratic Governor. The Governor is also struggling a bit with the concept of term limits at 1st base. Please offer him some support, as this year he may have to step out of office for an inning or two. 

Mike "The Bookie" Fuchs...A natural. He is a numbers man. He plays the odds and makes calculated risks, except when it involves his brother Mark playing shortstop, or me coaching 3rd base. My bad.  Mike's Bookie appearance and demeanor defy his athletic ability and competiveness. This is one bookie who always gives solid returns.   

Tracy Fishbait Elam..The guy catches fish and plays in the water for a living. No wonder he is always so calm and laid back. As we have all seen, fish are not the only thing Tracy is really good at catching.

Jeff The Hacker Weaver..Hack for short. The King of cut and paste. Do not let this man sit at your computer. It was his hacking (along with Smoochie and Butterbean) that started this whole poodle thing, and we thank you for that. Do not let Hack's peaceful demeanor fool you. He is a running buddy of Butterbeans. He starts fights and Butterbean finishes them. 

Allan Bones Fox....Those bones can really fly and they are lethal. Last year Bones took out The Smoocha with a well placed knee to the thigh. The Smoocha was sniffing around the boneyard in left-centerfield and paid the price.

David O'Henry Felker...O'Henry's son Henry is a part of the team.Very special to see the next generation of Team Geritol ballplayers growing up and being a part of our team. The dugout is like extended family.

Mark Shiner Fuchs..Darn those older brothers. It was a great shiner Mark had last year. We are all pulling  for Shiner to have an injury free season and begin a Lou Gehrig-like streak of onsecutive games played. Great to have Shiner back. We've revoked his brother's position coaching license. 

Travar Zamboni-Rambo McLeod..Zambo for short...Zambo comes to us from the hockey leagues. If you have watched him play, diving, sliding, getting dirty, you know he is a Rambo softball player. When Rambo and Zamboni got married...their son was named Zambo. There are alternative names such as Zambini, Zam, Bozo..no that's not right.

The Counselor...What else could it be??  All of the dugout therapy that I do. Trying to keep you guys' bubbles between the lines, so to speak. I am glad to do it. I have seen growth and movement. The softball field and the dugout offer so many clinical opportunities. We have slowly been patching the holes in our teammate's buckets. Somebody has to do it.  You can look around you at the teams that do not have a counselor...how well are they doing?

 
The Pink Poodle Kisser shirt MUST BE VISIBLE When worn...Shawn. - Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Call it a hunch..or call it an observation of patterned behavior, either way I have a feeling that Ol' Smoochie Hollenback will attempt to hide the poodle shirt he won on Monday evening, by wearing his orange sweatshirt over the top of his pink shirt....That is his choice...however..the Board of Bubba's has decreed that the Pink Poodle Kisser shirt must be worn and be clearly visible for 7 innings. 7 innings under a sweatshirt are 7 innings of unfullfilled pinkness.  After all, this is the man who was going to tear the game page out of the scorebook, chew it up and swallow it. Be strong Smoochie, your kids and your teammates will be watching... 
Shawn, Poodle-Boy, Smoochie Hollenback, Smooches the Pooch in League Play - Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Poodle-Boy rides again!!! Ol' Smoochie Hollenback puckered up at the plate in the opening night of league play. It was a beautiful evening game that began at 9:45 PM. Smoochie was at the plate, with 2 strikes on him. No one from the bench was really paying enough attention to the situation to be putting any undue poodle pressure on the Smoochster. There were no taunts, there were no voices from the dugout making mention of the impending poodle kissing moment. There was only one voice...and that was the voice inside Poodle-Boy's head, mumbling statements of insecurity to himself. We are so glad Smoochie listened to those internal voices. As Smoochie, wearing brand new contact lenses, and swinging a brand new high powered composite bat,  made just enough contact with the ball to send it squirting six feet out in front of homeplate. The tremendous spin put on the ball by Smoochie's two strike, swing of desperation, sent the ball gyrating towards the first base foul line, Smoochie, like a proud male poodle suddenly realizing he is about to be neutered, sprinted in horror out of the batters box. As Smooch and the ball converged on the first baseline, each going in different directions, the voice inside his head that made him pucker up, the voice he foolishly listened to just moments earlier, spoke up again, this time it was giving Smoochie valuable information, the voice was saying, "Smoochie, kick that ball, it is going foul, if it goes foul, it will be strike three, you will have to put on the pink poodle kisser shirt, you don't want to do that."  For some inexplicable reason, (clinically speaking, I think Smoochie was engulfed in the terror of what was unfolding right in front of his very eyes, a softball version of PTSD. Smoochie was reliving past experiences of poodle-kissing trauma. A poodle-kissing flashback is a frightening, emotional experience and not to be taken lightly.) Anyway, Smoochie chose not to listen to the internal voice, as he sprinted past the ball that was headed like a pink-poodle-shirt-seeking-missle towards foul territory, he knew his one brief, fleeting split-second chance to change his fate, was gone. He'd smooched the pooch. The umpire barked, "Foul ball, the batter is out." Smoochie had this truely special look of disbelief on his face. That look that says, "Oh please God, let this not be true."  "Oh God, my kids go to Loyola and I am giving you lots of money, please make this go away."  Suddenly there was a sense of awareness amongst Smoochie's teammates of what had just happened. Oh  happy day!! Smooch has just kissed the poodle again. The boy looks in great shape to defend his title as the poodle-kissingest poodle-kisser on Team Geritol. Hmmm...let's see,we've got  Smoochie Hollenback, Muffin or Muffy Thompson, Gruntzilla (Zilla)  Dimmit, Hack (short for Hacker) Weaver and Butterbean Stokes. It's got a ring to it.  All memorable teams are made up of characters...we certainly have our share.  Smoochie also chose to wait until this weekend's C'mon Blue Tournament to wear the Pooodle Kissing shirt. We support that decision, This is America, we are all about choices. Oh, one last note, we caught Smooch trying to tear the page out of the scorebook, he said he was going to chew it up and swallow it. Leaving no proof that the events I have described, actually happened. There is something about that pink poodle-kissing shirt that will take a weak man down. The clinical, therapeutic, personal growth benefits, of the poodle-smooching shirt are beginning to evidence themselves. We are having a great time, we are building character and a strong sense of team, and isn't that what softball is all about.  Oh yeah, almost forgot, we won this game.

 
MSA Champs!!! - Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Great job guys!! What a fun start to the year. Here is a breakdown of the tourney.

1st game...Team Hype. We won 18-6 in 6 innings.  This was a good  opening game draw. We have had some great games with them. It was our turn to win this one.We came out swinging, scoring 12 runs in our 1st at bat. This seemed to set the tone for the game. Jeff came through in the clutch, as he made an out in his 1st at bat and came to bat again in the 1st with the incredible opportunity, to earn the poodle shirt in the 1st inning of the 1st game of the year...oh that would be a dream come true. Jeff disappointed all of us by hitting a geeky blooper just over the slow 2nd baseman's head. Dang! Travis, Tracy,and Patrick turned our 1st double play of the year and one of a whole bunch forthe weekend, by doubling up the seond batter of the game after their leadoff man had singled. Two up..two down. The team was 32-45 for a tourney high average of .711

2nd Game...Silver Dollar/Huggieville...We won12-6. Another good draw. This is a strong team. We did not score a lot of runs, but we did score in every inning except the 7th.  Our defense was so much fun to watch. Infield..outfield..pitcher..catcher..oh yeah, except that Randy Peak did manage to steal home on Jeff Weaver and Mike Dimmit. Those guys have got to start paying more attention. The team was 27-44 for a team average of .613.

3rd Game..Silver $/Advanced Imaging...We won 17-5. This was another good team. We were home team, (James was gone to Jackpot), and we put it to good use by scoring 7 runs in the bottom of the 6th with 2 outs to end the game via the 12 run rule. Mike Dimmit provided the game ending hit with a sweet 3 run homer and a very nice grunt. Hmmm? Could that be a new nickname?? Grunt...Dagrunta..The Grunster, He's a Bounty Grunter..no wait...Gruntzilla, that's it, Gruntzilla...Zilla  for short. Mikey does have sort of a "Zilla" aura about himself.  The team was 27-42 for an average of .643.

4th game...Rausch Wood..Also the 1st Championship game.  Oh-Oh..Time for the coin flip and Deano is nowhere to be found. Yikes, I mean Yipes! We have a Poodle-Kisser in the building and his name is Deano. Oh, he was not very happy about it. We're sorry. Anyways, back to the game. We lost this game 14-12. It wasn't really that close because they were home team and still had an at bat. Deano being late was not the only event to earn a pink mark. Shawn also got caught by 3 steps trying to steal home in the 5th inning. He and Patrick seemed to have some wierd and highly ineffective plan in place. Patrick sort of faked a steal to 2nd and Shawn broke for home...didn't work, wasn't close, in all our years together, we have never tried this before. Who knows?  The team was 24-43 for a .553 average.

5th game..Rausch Wood... for all the marbles. It was interesting. There was a total sense of calmness on our team. I don't think anyone was worried that we weren't going to win the next game. Everyone was cool. We did win this game 9-2. It was not high scoring,but it seemed we were okay . Neither team hit well. We were 17-35 for a tournament low of .486..Rausch Wood was 7-28 for a .250 team average. They averaged 4 batters to the plate each inning. Again, our defense was incredible. Lots of double plays, lots of nice catches in the outfield..and of course Zilla is always tough up the middle. Great job guys! What a fun weekend. Couldn't ask for a better bunch of guys to play ball with.   

For the tournament we were 127-209 for a .609 team tournament batting average.  Everyone hit well except Mike Perry who is still o-fer for the year.  We'll be rooting for him next tournament.

I want to thank Tracy, Travar, Mike Dimmit (Zilla), and James (Butterbean) for helping with the field prep. It was  most appreciated. May you not earn the pink shirt all year.

 
Deano (Muffin Sr.) gives birth to Muffin Thompson Jr. - Monday, April 28, 2008

You'd a' thought the old boy was passing a kidney stone..or giving middle-aged man birth to a 10 pound baby poodle...putting on that pink poodle smooching shirt almost took more oompha than ol' Deano could muster up. He went through three innings of hard labor and defiant denial before he could unpucker himself enough to deliver, go through this rite of passage, and get on with life. Muffin, I mean Dean, even exhibited a few early warning signs of an oncoming mood swing, but Deano is stuffed with good stuff and was able to make a fine decision. His teammates, like the true friends they are, offered support by assuring Deano that we would like him no matter what choice he made. We also told him that putting on the pink pooch was his choice. Finally in the 4th inning Dean had worked through enough of the stages of grief to accept his fate, perhaps even celebrate it, by passing that kidney stone, and giving birth to a brand new pink baby  poodle girl. Yes, Muffin Thompson Jr. was born to Daddy Dean (Muffin Sr.) and welcomed into the Team Geritol family at approximately 12:15 PM, in the 4th inning of the first championship game of the 2008 MSA Tournament.  Muffin Jr. looked absolutely stunning, content, and securely attached, as she lay there on Daddy Dean's chest. She is a gorgeous yipping, yapping, hot-lipped, pink baby, showdog, princess poodle girl, who just adores her Daddy, Dean Muffin Thompson Sr.  How many teams have players named Muffin, or Muffy, Butterbean, and Poodle-Boy on their rosters??  I suspect not many.   Oh, just one other little thing...When all of this happened and the team realized there was a possibility that Deano was about to become pregnant with the papoose of  a pink poodle-child  Deano's democratic teammates took a vote on whether or not Deano had truely earned the right to forever go down in Team Geritol history as the biological Father of Muffin, thereby earning the Team Geritol nickname of Muffin the 1st... or Muffy for short. The vote was 12 yes's, 11 teammates and the home plate umpire, all voted in favor of Deano entering the Poodle Daddy Hall of Fame. Patrick, voting as a fellow member of the Brotherhood of coaches, was the lone dissenting voter. If our good friend Patrick really wanted to make a show of support for Deano, he could have joined him in pinkness and put on a poodle shirt of his own.  We'd support that. With this historical team vote: let it hereby be known, that from this day forward, "The Softball Player Formerly Known as Deano" will  be forever-more entered in the Team Geritol scorebook, refered to on the website, in team newsletters, and on the backs of any Team Geritol shirts that are to be printed, as MUFFIN.  The team has asked that I communicate to Muffin that they realize there are new Team Geritol shirts being ordered. It is their sincere hope that the name MUFFIN be printed on the back of the shirt of "The Softball Player Formerly Known as Deano."  Let us celebrate this victory with you. You have made us all proud.

Baby pictures were taken of  this blessed event. They are being developed and will soon be posted on the website for all the world to see. More writeups to follow. 

"Muffo" kind of like "Deano" is on paternity leave for 2 weeks. He will not be playing with us this weekend, in the C'mon Blue. The Muffster is planning on playing with us in the Rhino Rumble the weekend of May 17-18. Oh boy, the possibilites with the name Muffin are endless, The Muffarooster, Muffy the Tuffy, McMuffin the Crime Dog, Eggs McMuffin, The Muffalo Bills,  Muffy the Vampire Slayer, Muff the Magic Dragon, Coach Muffy, Hmmm? Wonder if we could get word of this to the girls on Coach Muffy's Libby Logger's softball team? I believe that last year when he won MVP,  Muffy wore that shirt to the next day's practice and let his girls celebrate that victory with him. I am certain they would love to celebrate this special moment with you too. We'll put James on that assignment, beings as he has already hacked his way into the Libby School District's computer system. To think the season has just begun. It is going to be a fun year. 

 
Team Geritol is playing "Upper C" in league this year. - Thursday, April 10, 2008

For the first time ever, we will have a Team Geritol crew playing in the men's league. We are fortunate to be able to play double headers on Wednesdays. It seemed the only way to make it work was to be able to play one night a week and the MSA Board was kind enough to agree to make this happen for us. There are 20 teams in the C division this year. The league will be divided into two 10 team divisions for league play. We will be playing in the upper C division. There will be strong competition.

In essence, we will have two Team Geritol teams. One will play league and the other tournaments. Many of the guys are on both rosters, but because not everyone on our Geritol tournament team has been able to commit to playing league, we have been fortunate enough to add some very nice guys and good ball players to our league team ranks. These are guys who will help us out for league whenever they can and will be available to play in tournaments when we are needing another player. We are most appreciative to these players. They include, Jon Riley, Greg Kessler, Chris Jones, Dane Oliver, Steve Jones, Jon Umbright, Andy who owns the Missoula Batting Cages, and Brodie has also offered to help out if we are short and his team is not playing. 

This year we will have enough players on our tournament roster to absorb family vacations, injuries, honey-do's, anniversaries, birthdays, or whatever else may arise. Of course we want everyone to be able to make every tourney, but we also know it just doesn't always work that way. So, we have a bigger roster and some great guys on our league team ready to help out. The softball Gods have indeed been smiling on us.

 There are also 20 teams in the Men's D division. This number is up from last year. There is no +35 league in 2008. It had dwindled to 4 teams. The +35  teams will be in C and D this year. The + 45 league has 8 teams. Down from 9 in 2007 and 10 in 2006. Hopefully it will hold steady. Some of the Paradise Falls players are joining teams in the C league and the +45 league. It will be great to have them. Every league need new blood. Most of these guys are life-long ball players. 

Overall this year, numbers are down a bit. Last year we had 123 teams, this year we have 114. The toughest nights of the week for scheduling are Mondays, Wednesdays. Monday and Wednesday are Men's league and we have 40 teams to schedule. This is 20 games. We only have 3 of the fields at the Fort. Parks and Rec has the other 3 for their league. We also have McCormick and Northside. We can play 6 games/night on the 3 Fort fields. 8 games/night on McCormick's 2 fields, and 4 games/night at Northside. This adds up to 18 games, leaving us without fields for games 19 and 20. It means we will probably have to go to an 11 week schedule to give each of the 40 teams their 20 games. We also have to schedule in openings for rainouts.

 
New Batting Rule for League play: Everyone bats. - Thursday, April 10, 2008

The MSA Board has adopted a new rule for league play re: how many players can bat in the line-up. Teams will now be allowed to bat as many of their own players as they wish. Previously, a team could bat 10 or 11, and had to substitute any remaining players into the game. The goal of this change is to get everyone some playing time. Even though you can only play 10 guys on defense, you will now have the option of batting 12 if you have 12 or 13 if you have 13. The Senior Leagues have used this rule for many years and it is a good one. High School is over, let's let everyone play. Here are the  guidelines for this new rule:

Women’s and men’s league play only. This rule does not apply for co-rec league play.                                                                                                                    Old Rule:  A team may bat no more than 11 players

New Rule:

**A team  may bat more than 11 players.

**This is optional. A team may continue to bat 10 or 11 players.

A team will now have the option of batting as many of their rostered players as are at the game.

 **A team must use their own rostered players if they are available.

 **A team may not add a non-rostered player to their batting line up if they have 10 of their own players.

 **If a team bats all of their players, the batting order must remain the same, the entire game.

 **If a team has a pick-up player filling in for one of their players, the team must immediately substitute their player for the pick-up player, when/if their player(s) arrives. The pick-up may not continue to play.

 **All pick-up players must bat last in the batting order.

**A team must finish the game with the same number of batters as they had at the start of the game, except in the case of an injury, ejection, or a player being unable to continue. In these cases, if a team still has 10 players available, the injured, ejected player may be scratched from the lineup without penalty. However the batting order may not be altered. 

 **A team shall consist of no fewer than nine (9) players. A team shall not be allowed to start or continue a game with fewer than nine (9) players. If a 10th player is added after the game has begun, the tenth (10th) player must bat in the tenth (10th) position in the lineup. A team that begins play with nine (9) players shall not be penalized with an automatic “out” in its lineup. This type of addition is only allowed if a team begins with 9 players. If a team begins with 10 or more players, and a player arrives after the last batter in the line-up has batted, they can only be used as a substitute. A team that begins play with ten (10) players may end the game with nine (9) players, but the missing player becomes an automatic “out” in its team lineup, unless said player was removed for an injury.

 

**If a team begins with 10 players and loses a player due to ejection, (leaving them with only 9 players), and does not have an available substitute on the bench, that team may continue to play; however, the team will be assessed an out every time the ejected player comes up in the batting order. If they have no substitute, and it drops them below 9 players, then the game is a forfeit due to not enough players. If the team loses a player due to injury, the team may scratch that player from the line-up, and continue without penalty of an out, unless that drops the team below 9 players. Then the game is forfeited due to not enough players.

 

**A team may keep a substitute(s) on the bench in case of an injury, ejection or just to substitute into the game in later innings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Practice..Saturday April 12th and 19th. JEFF!! - Friday, March 28, 2008

Dang!! Another Montana spring.. We had hoped for practices on the 4 Saturdays leading up to the MSA tourney. It was too cold on the first two Saturday's so we are down to two practices before the MSA.  Forecast is for a beautiful day this coming Saturday, April 12th., Warm enough even to get Jeff Weaver out of hiding. He is a snowbird wanna-be. Fort Missoula fields..12:Noon-2:PM'ish. Should be fun.   

 
2008 Rule Changes. - Wednesday, March 19, 2008

In Missoula league play and in local tournaments unless otherwise specified, the home run limit this year will be 3 for B and C, and 1 for D. After the home run limit is reached, the next home run will be an out.  The State ASA rule for D this year is 0 home runs and the inning is over if/when a homerun is hit. This was the same rule the D division had last year. It will be used at the District and State Tournaments.

All home runs this year will be "walk-off" home runs. Apparently this is being done to conserve time. I guess they have not seen Mike Fuchs' faster than a speeding bullet home run sprint..I mean trot.

Tournament play mercy rule, will be 20 runs after 3, 15 runs after 4 and 12 after 5. League play will remain 12 runs after 5. All league games will go at least 5 innings.

We (the Missoula Softball Association) are going to use a different ball this year. We have used the Worth Gold Dot in the past and it just has not held up. We had hoped to be able to use a higher compression ball, than the 44 core, 375 compression ball we've used in the past. We were told that ASA mandates the 375 compression ball. We could use a higher compression, say the 425, 500, or 525  compression, but if someone were injured using this higher compression ball, the ASA insurance we have, would not cover any injuries that involved a higher compression ball than the 375. So.......after lots of checking around, we are going to give the Dudley Thunder a try. We know there are other good balls out there, the Miken, the Baden Lexum, etc. However we have recieved nice feedback about the Dudley ball. Lets hope there is a noticeable difference.

 

 
Practice schedule, that's right..it's time. - Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The first tourney of the year is April 26-27. The second one is the  following weekend. That is 5 weeks away. So how about we practice on the following Saturdays, at 12:00 noon, at The Fort

Saturday, March 29, April 5, 12,and 19th. That will give us 4 practices to get ready. We'll make some phone calls.   

 
Team Gerber...Our Farm System - Sunday, March 16, 2008

We have some announcements to make. Team Geritol's farm system, Team Gerber, is alive and well.

Dean and Lynn Thompson welcomed Teague Ellis Thompson to Team Gerber. Opening Day was October 11, 2007. Game time was 9:56 PM, Height 20 3/4" Weight 8lb. 40z. Teague crossed homeplate after a 13 day rain delay.Teague joins his teammates Trey and Taryn in the Thompson family line up.

Tracy and Aneska Elam welcomed Colter Edward Elam to Team Gerber on March 2, 2008. Game time was 8:31 PM. Colter's game day weight was 6 lb. 15 oz. He was 20" tall. His teammate at home is Ethan Elam.

Mark Fuchs and his wife are expecting an addition to their starting line up any day now. We will update as soon as contract negotiations have been settled.

As Dean and Lynn Thompson put it on their baseball card announcement...each of these new players have guaranteed lifetime contracts with their new teams. I borrowed the baseball language for these announcements from Teague's Rookie of the Year baseball card that Dean and Lynn sent to me.

 
James "Butterbean" Stokes & Shawn "Sugar Ray, No Mas" Hollenback - Sunday, March 16, 2008

It was a nice turnout for the team roster signing hootenanny. We are mild mannered reporters, everyone was on their way home by 9:30. It was good food,  (thanks Jan)good company, and good entertainment. Much of the entertainment was provided by James "Butterbean" Stokes and Shawn "Sugar Ray" Hollenback as they put on the boxing gloves after talking a little tough guy trash with each other. Each of them have boxed in smokers in their younger days, each of them have also been knocked into Palookaville by an opponent who knew what he was doing.  Last year they had a wrestling match between games in one of the local tournaments. Each of them ended up with stiff necks the next day. Both claimed to have whupped the other. Butterbean and Sugar Ray have had a running battle for some time. Shawn's high school football career ended in James' hometown, Shelby. James said the final score was 46-0. Shawn says it was 6-0 and Shelby watered down the field, let it freeze overnight and then food poisoned their quarterback. Shelby also won the State Class B basketball championship this year, coupled with the fact that Shawn's nephew Adam, was also playing in the State Tournament for Loyola...which of course means that James won the State tournament and Shawn didn't. I found them a pair of oversized, well padded, antique boxing gloves..and they...well... Sugar Ray and Butterbean..what else can I say. I just can't tell the rest of the story. What happens at Team Geritol parties, stays at Team Geritol parties. Suffice it to say, the next Team Geriotol party we have, they each have to pay a damage deposit

We will have 16 players on our roster. In Poodle Kissing, Bubba earning order, they are:  

 Shawn Hollenback, James Stokes, Jeff Weaver, Mike Fuchs, Tracy Elam, Dean  Thompson, Don Chery, Patrick Hiller, Mike Dimmitt, Allen Fox, David Felker, Lance Horner, Mark Fuchs, Travar McLeod, David Thompson and  Mike Perry.......                                                            

 

 
Tournament Schedule - Sunday, March 16, 2008

April 26-27....MSA

May 3-4.........C'mon Blue

May 17/18.....Rhino Rumble

June 14-15.....Grateful Red

June 21-22.....Elbow Room

June 28-29.....+35 Keith Thompson/Ron Corr

July 12-13......Hotbox (In Bozeman)

July 26-27......C District Tourney, Missoula

August 8-10....State Tournament, (Butte)

 

 
The Rise and Fall of Goosetown - Sunday, March 16, 2008
Goosetown went down. Unfortunately Kalispell also went by the wayside., Mike Fuchs proved to have a clear eye for detail by noticing that the Kalispell tournament, which was a runaway winner over Goosetown, was being held the same weekend as our Men's "C" District tournament here in Missoula. That was disappointing. The decision was made to consider the Hotbox Torunament in Bozeman. It is the same weekend as Goosetown. It is 2 weeks before Districts, and State is 2 weeks after Districts. That seems like good spacing for us.  The majority vote was to try to go to Hotbox. Very sorry to Dean Thompson and Don Chery who live in that neck of the woods and were hoping to be able to play there. Very much ha-ha to James and Jeff who were hoping to create some Woodstock type memories at Goosetown. We told James we would play Goosetown if he would pitch.  
2008 roster signing/pre-season get together - Sunday, February 24, 2008

 

Saturday March 15, 6:PM, or 7:PM  or whenever it works for you.              

1180 Vicki Drive. My house. Home of the Bubbas. My wife is cooking some Grizzly Chili. Like all of our Team Geritol gatherings, this is a family affair. Bring your crew with you. We will contact everyone by phone. If you can't make it, James and Jeff will forge your signatures. Just kidding Bob Rowlings.

We will have a team roster for players to sign. Rosters are due the following Friday, March 28. We should talk about the State "C" tournament in Butte. It is close to Missoula. About a half-hour drive for Jeff and Julie.  Do we want to go?  I think we would all like a chance to improve on last year's performance. Discuss participation in an out of town tournament.  Perform an intervention on James re: his compulsive voting disorder. Try on the poodle-kisser shirts, so you will know which size fits you best, before the season starts, because when you earn it during a game, it may throw you into a state of cognitive dissonance, or just plain grumpiness, like it did to Dean Thompson, rendering you unable to think clearly. It is good to plan ahead.  We can take a look at this year's local tournament schedule. There is some business to take care of, but mostly it will be good to get together. The MSA tournament is a month after our meeting. We can talk about some times to loosen up our arms, shag some fly balls, take some grounders if the fields are okay, get in some batting practice, and for Shawn to let his poodle get out and run. Hopefully we can also welcome back Mark Fuchs and Lance Horner from the injured reserve list.

 
2008 State Tournaments - Wednesday, February 13, 2008

All State Tournaments are August 8-10                                      

 Billlings.....All Women's Divisions

Billings.......Men's D

Helena........Men's +35

Kalispell......Men's B

Butte............Men's C

A controversial decision has been made to hold all tournaments the same weekend. (I do not know when or where Co-Rec State is being played).

Proponents of this move say it will open up the +35 State Tournament to more teams by forcing the top tier  teams who are old enough and good enough to compete in both +35 B and Men's B, to choose which one State Tournament they will play in.  Their thought is that the best +35 B teams will choose Men's B and the +35 B division will then open up to more teams who will be willing to play with the "top dogs" gone to Men's B.  

 My worry is that softball is on the decline and placing restrictions to establish some sort of parity will backfire. I am concerned that neither the +35 nor the Men's B divisions are deep enough to survive restrictions. I understand the frustration of the +35 B teams who can't compete with the Men's B teams who also dominate the +35 B division, like Sonny's did last year. Being sacrificed to the Big Dogs is not a fun experience. Perhaps the  +35 B division should be smaller?

Not that I support it but if the true goal is to divide Men's B and Men's +35, then just these two tournaments could be held the same weekend....I know many folks who play Men's C and D who also play +35. With this new ruling, they will be unable to participate in both tournaments. My concern is this will hurt the +35 C Division.

Having all men's and women's tournaments the same weekend will also prohibit softball playing couples from supporting each other.

Time will tell if this was a good move. If it is, let's support it. If it isn't, let's go back to the drawing board and refigure what is in the best interests of the majority of softball players.

 
Other 2008 ASA Softball news - Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I have been told of two other decisions made for the upcoming 2008 ASA softball season:

1. Montana teams will be allowed to drop down one division when they compete in regional and national tournaments. A, "B Division" Montana team may play in the "C Division" in Regionals and Nationals. A, "C Montana" team may drop down to "D"..etc. etc.

2. Apparently the +35 division is going to begin to move to a +40 division. The +35 leagues will remain +35 this year, next year they will move to +36, the following year to +37..until they are at +40. This will align us with much of the country that currently competes in a +40 division.

This is all second-hand information. I think it is relieable. If I find it is not. I will correct it. If anyone knows of other news or of corrections that need be made, please let us know.

 
2008 Missoula Softball Association News - Thursday, February 7, 2008

Bob Wards Sporting Goods has generously offered the Missoula Softball Association (MSA) office space for the upcoming season. Thank you  to Bob Wards. The MSA offices will be in the back of the store. Please be sure to thank them for their kind gesture. We also want to thank Justin at Gilley's Gas for the use of his upstairs office last year. It was very much appreciated.

Here are some dates of importance for the 2008 year:

March 5..MSA office opens.

March 10..1st Captains Meeting and Tournament Directors meeting.  Downstairs at public library at 6:30. Captains pick up roster forms for 2008 year.

March 22...3rd Annual MSA .Recruitment/Try-out day at McCormick Park..10:AM-2:PM. Players wanting to get on a team and team managers looking for new/additional players are encouraged to come. We have had 100+ players attend and participate each of the past two years.  Players get a chance to field, throw, and take some swings. There is always some very nice talent and enthusiasm out there. See Missoula Softball Association website for more info.    

March 28..Rosters and softball fees due at MSA office.

April 22...2nd Captains Meeting. Pick up Schedules.Public Library at 6:30. (downstairs)

 April 25...League play begins.

Please check "Tournaments" section for 2008 tourney dates.

 
Out of Town Tournament poll - Wednesday, February 6, 2008

We have a new team poll re: participating in an out of town tournament.  This came about after last years' disappointing State "C" Tournament in Anaconda. We thought that perhaps it would benefit us to play in at least one out-of town  tournament to sort of expand our comfort zone a bit. The majority of our local tournaments are over with by June. State is not until August, so we ended up a bit rusty, come State Tournament  time. The 3  tourneys we have listed in the poll are each in July. If anyone knows of another tourney they would to have considered, please let us know.

Jeff came up with the idea for the team poll.   Initially this sounded like a great idea. Jeff and James are really pulling for Goosetown and I am beginning to smell something fishy in Denmark. As of this entry, there are 9 votes, 6 of which are for Goosetown, again...something smells fishy.  Me thinks the ballot box is being stuffed. BY JEFF AND JAMES!!!  When am I going to learn? Please feel free to vote. You just need log in/register to vote. It looks like we will have to have an actual  team meeting to get a true count.  

Kalispell, The 14th Annual Great Northwest Showdown..for B-C-D teams is tenatively scheduled for July 26-27.

Hotbox in Bozeman. This is a fun tournament that Mike Fuchs' has gone to for a number of years. It is the same weekend as Goosetwon. July 12-13.

Goosetown... In Anaconda, Butte, Walkerville, and Rocker, is July 12-13.  

 

 
Guidelines for the wearing of the Poodle Kisser shirt. Revised: 01/25/2008 - Monday, September 24, 2007

In the first meeting of the 2008 softball season, the Team Geritol awards committee established the following honor system guidelines for the wearing of the "Poodle-Kisser" shirt. We use the term "honor system" intentionally. The understanding is.."When in Rome, do as the Romans do"...It is not the teams job to make anyone wear the Poodle-kisser shirt..it is the job of the player who has just earned the Poodle-kisser shirt, to walk back to the dugout and to put that pink puppy on. We have four sizes of pink to choose from.

The following scenarios were deemed as "Poodle-Kissing" moments:

1. Any player making  or causing 2 (at bat) outs in one inning...gets to wear the shirt. The Official Scorer shall settle any disputes. Example of a possible dispute scenario: I won't mention any names but at the 2007 State +40 tournament in Great Falls, Terry Souhrada forced John, (I shouldn't have stopped at 1st base), Riley, out at second base, twice in the same inning. This is a poodle-kissing moment...despite Terry's protests. 

2. Any player striking out..either by swinging and missing... being called out on strikes...going down looking/taking strike three...or fouling off the third strike....is a poodle-kisser.

3. Any player showing up late for the game...earns the honor of  wearing the shirt. Late is ...getting to the game..after the coin flip. If you are at the game but have to use the facilities..that is different. If you pull a Jeff and James and go to the Elbow Room between games for your free pitcher of beer and get back to the game late...poodle-kissing moment. If you pull a  Roger Wilhite and don't show up on time Sunday morning....pucker up and put on the pink shirt.

4. Any player who gets ejected from a game...earns the distinguished honor of wearing the poodle-kisser shirt for the remainder of the tournament.  We can't really imagine this ever happening, but in the name of preventative medicine, we thought we should have it just in case.

5. A player who earns the shirt, should just put that puppy on and wear it with pride. Let your teamnmates have a little bit of fun with you. that is a part of what softball is all about. The shirt should be worn for 7 innings.  If 7 innings takes two games...so be it. If it takes two tournaments...so be it too.  We'll have some more good stories to tell at the end of the year.

6. Because we are all about choices and team work..please feel free to offer any suggestions.  All input is highly valued.  

 
The 2007 Bubba's and end of the year Team Geritol BBQ. - Monday, September 17, 2007

Saturday evening the team got together for an end of the year BBQ and the presenting of the Bubba's.  It was a nice turnout. Lots of players and lots of family, just the way it should be. We had players from our Team Geritol "C" team as well as players from the +35 and +40 Geritol teams. Mike Fuchs, Shawn Hollenbeck, David Felker, Mike Dimmitt, Tracy Elam, Jeff, The Hacker, Weaver, Rich Hoffman, Chris Jones and Mike Perry were there. 

The most prestigous Bubba of the evening was earned by 5 players. It is the "I KISSED SHAWN'S POODLE ON THE LIPS TWICE IN ONE INNING," BUBBA.  To earn this Bubba, a player must  make two outs in one inning. Players eaning this Bubba were, Shawn Hollenbeck (a rare two time winner), Mike Fuchs, Tracy Elam, Rich Hoffman, and Jon Riley.  Shawn, Mike, Tracy and Rich good naturedly posed for a picture wearing their new Team Geritol pink "Poodle-Kisser" skirts...I mean shirts.  Hopefully, Jeff  will get it together and choose to post this picture. This shirt honors a new tradition on our team....beginning next year any player who makes two outs in one  inning gets to wear the Poodle-Kisser shirt...They either wear it for the rest of that game or for the next game...it is a choice. Here at Team Geritol, we are all about choices. Up for discussion and team vote is whether or not the shirt should be worn  by a player who strikes out. This year, 2 of our teammates (James Stokes and Dean, I get grumpy when I strikeout, Thompson) earned Roger Wilhite Strikeout Bubbas for striking out.....I think all of us would agree that both James and Deano would look marvelous in a pink poodle-kisser shirt. Because we have an eye for fashion...the poodle kisser shirt comes in 3 sizes...Large..like for Shawn or Allen...XL for most of the rest of us..and 2XL for James, Mike D, Rich, Chris...or anyone else who feels comfortable in that size shirt.   

More to come....it is time to leave for work. 

 
State +40 Champions!! - Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Nice job Team Geritol. We were able to go 6-0 and win the Championship of the State +40 Tournament in Great Falls. What a nice way to end the softball season. Team members (and batting order) were: Don Chery, David Thompson, Chris Jones, Mike Fuchs, Rich Hoffman, Dean Thompson, John Riley, Terry Souhrada, Lee Baerlocher, Sam Baerlocher, and Mike Perry.  The final game ended about 5:PM on Sunday. Thank the Lord we didn't have to go to a second championship game.  The tournament format was a 3 game round robin for seeding on Saturday, and double elimination on Sunday. It was a nice setup. Everyone played at least 5 games.  Congratulations also go to Mr. C's of Missoula who had a fine tourney, playing  5 games in a row on Sunday, to earn a 3rd place finish. An interesting sidelight was that one of the tourney favorites, Cactus Creek of Billings, ended up losing their 1st two games on Sunday and made a very unexpected early exit from the tourney. A classic example of the old "on any given Sunday" sports expression. Cactus Creek won the State +35 "C" Championship here in Missoula several years back and earned an impressive 3rd place finish at this years +35 "B" State Tournament. They are a good team.

Here are some stats:

1st game Saturday, we defeated the Legion Club of Bozeman, 23-3 in 4 innings. as a team we were 30-42 for a .714 team batting average. Rich Hoffman earned the "Jeff Weaver, arrive at the game in the bottom of the 2nd, with a tatoo of your honey on your behind," Bubba. See the Bubbas for further details. 

2nd game, vs Great Falls +40: We won this game 21-2. They just were not hitting and we were. This game went 5 innings. Terry Souhrada put a new twist on the  Shawn Hollenbeck, Kiss your poodle on the lips twice in one inning Bubba.   In this game, we scored in every inning except the inning that Don Chery hit into a double play...barely beating out the throw to 1st that would have made it a triple play. Don of course wanted credit for a base hit, because he was safe at 1st. Typical banker...spend your money and then send you a bill. You make the deposits...he makes the withdrawals. The team was 30-43 for a .697 team average.

3rd game vs Old Dogs..We won this game 21-9 in 5 innings. We had a monster 15 run 4th inning in this game. Yours truely made the 1st out of the inning and had the opportunity to kiss Shawn's poodle on the lips twice in the same inning, but came through with a solid base hit. It was a little disappointing  to hear several of my teammates wishing ill on me. That poodle kissing Bubba will take a weak man down. My thanks to the Softball gods for being there for me at a time when several of my teammates were siding with Shawn's demon poodle. The team was 26-39 for a .666 team average.

Our 1st game Sunday was vs Mr. C's of Missoula and it was a close one. We ended up winning 12-8. We scored 9 runs in the 1st and only 3 after that. As was the case the entire weekend, our defense was outstanding. The infield combination of David Thompson at 3rd, Mike Fuchs at short, Chris Jones at 2nd, Sam Baerlocher and Rich Hoffman rotating at 1st, turned a whole bunch of sweet double plays. It was fun to watch. In this game we were 18-34 for a team average of .529.

Undefeated game on Sunday vs Old Dogs. We won this game 27-14. We scored 9 in the 1st and they scored 9 in the 2nd. The Old dogs were ahead 13-9  after 3. We came back  by scoring 18 runs in our final two at bats.  ( 8  in the 5th, and 10 in the 6th). The team was 31-47 for a .659 batting average.

Championship game vs Old Dogs. The old Dogs defeated Mr. C's to earn their way back to this game.  We won this game 15-12. We were home team but were able to end this game without needing our last at bat. It was a fun game with very nice sportsmanship. The thing about playing in tournaments like this is that the teams have come to know each other and it has been good. The expression that "familiarity breeds comtempt"..did not fit here.  In this case, familiarity built friendships.  It was an excellent weekend. The softball players were having fun....being  good losers and gracious winners. It was an excellent atmosphere. It was certainly one that Tim Barbour, (for whom the tournament was named), would have approved of. In this game we were 25-43 for a .581 team average.

Tournament stats: We scored 118 runs in 6 games for a 19.8 runs per game average. The Softball Gods were smiling on our bats this weekend as we scored enough runs in each game to never have to hit in the 7th inning the entire weekend. In fact we hit in a total of 32 innings in the 6 games we played. This averages out to each game lasting 5.3 innings. It also averages out to us scoring 3.68 runs every inning of the tournament. Our oppenents scored 48 runs in the 6 games for an average of 8 runs per game.  As a team, we were 160-247 for a tournament team batting average of .647. Very nice..Many thanks to the Softball Gods who have been most kind to us this season but who have also made take some steps to periodically keep us humble. As is our custom, we give individual ink to any player hitting .800 or better for the tournament. John Riley earns that honor this weekend for his fine performance at the plate. John was 18-22 for a very solid .818 tournament average. Great job John!!

 

 

 
State "C" Tournament Anaconda - Monday, August 13, 2007

Holy bats gone dead Batman!! Who woulda thunk it? 1-2 and the Geritol boys, who have had such a fine year, make an early exit at State.  I think the Softball Gods have something really special in store for us and they are bringing us along one step at a time. It has been a great year for us..our best ever.  With that success has come hopes and high expectations.  I remember us hoping we would be there on Sunday afternoon in the local tournaments. We don't just hope that anymore, we believe we will be there. This year we went to State hoping to have a good tournament and believing  we had the potential to be in the thick of things....and we did....as evidenced by Canyons/Westwood's 2nd place finish and Rocky Mountain Eye placing 5th.  These are two teams we have been neck and neck with, all season.  I think we were trying so hard that we were not able to relax and just let the hits and plays happen. We got beat by two good teams but we did not get beat by two teams who were better than we are. One of the things we talked about while sitting around in Shawn and Julie's room, was playing in some out of town tournaments. It would give us the chance to play outside of our local comfort zone.  It would let us play against some new teams and on out of town fields.  All of these experiences would serve us well as we head for next year's State Tournament. To play a tournament in Kalispell, or Hot Box in Bozeman, or one in Helena, or Great Falls. Spokane and Coeur D'Alene also have nice tournaments.  Even one out of town tournament would give us help in a way that playing in the local Missoula tournaments can't do...getting outside our local comfort zone and seeing some new teams.  No James...Goosetown is not the medicine that would cure what ails us.  Something for us to talk about. Here are the stats for the tourney.

 

1st Game...vs. Missoula surgical/Home Interior

We played like we had confidence. This is a team that was 15-5 in the regular season. We won this game 18-4 in 5 innings. We had an 11 run 5th inning to put the game away.  We were 22-38 for a .579 batting average.

 Our 2nd game was vs a Helena team..Kaos.

We lost this game 16-10. We had defeated this team in a local tournament several years back.  I remember they were not happy about it. This game felt flat from the beginning. Poor old David, hitting in the #11 spot did not get his first at bat until the 4th inning.  Yikes!! Not a good sign. We came on in the later innings, scoring 9 runs in our final four at bats,  but it was not enough to win. We were a woeful 17-41 for a season low .415 batting average.

3rd game vs. Spooky Sprinklers..Helena.

Well this was an interesting exercise in playing softball while having a knot in your gut and something stuck in your craw. We lost 10-9.  On the way to this loss, we encountered the worst sportsmanship we'd seen all year. These were not easy guys to lose to, they had a couple of trouble-makers on their team who left a real bad taste in our mouths. It happens, but not very often. I want to add that there were also some nice guys on this team that I had  pleasant talks with.  Interesting how one or two negative guys can stand out so much, and create such intense feelings. I  don't want to give them much ink, or focus on the negatives, so I will leave it at that...oh and just one little goodbye curse I'd like to request from the Softball Gods...may the couple of above-mentioned players on this team,  suffer a sudden and unexplained case of the coughing up of poodle hairballs. May this choking and coughing up of poodle hairballs last until these players have an epiphany and see the error of their ways. Thank you Softball Gods. I feel all better now. In this game we were 16-36 for a team .444 batting average. We won't win many games hitting below .500. We have only ourselves to look at re: how well we played.

Please check the Bubbas..as this week not only did several players win Bubbas...so did their partners. 

 

 

 

 
State "C" Results - Monday, August 13, 2007

1. Fattboys..Kalispell

2. Canyons/Westwood Construction..Hamilton

3. Gamecocks/Center Stage....Helena

4. Sting.....Great Falls

5. Rocky Mountain Eye....Bitterroot Valley

Congratulations to Westwood and Rocky Mountain Eye for their nice finishes at State.  Good job representing Missoula area  softball.  We always want teams from our area to do well.  

 
Team Geritol BBQ/Potluck September 15 - Monday, August 13, 2007

 

Team Geritol BBQ/Potluck:

It would be nice to have a final get together to celebrate the fun year we have had.  Saturday, September 15 is the first open weekend I can see.  All of the other weekends are filled with Griz games. We can do a survey to see how the 15th is for families. If it does not work we can try it on a weekend the Griz are on the road. We have Griz vision at our house. We'll provide burgers and hot dogs. Please feel free to bring chicken, fish or anything else you would like to BBQ. We've also got some beer and pop. We can talk about the details like salads. deserts, etc. in the  coming weeks. I would like to have it while the weather is still good.   Of course this is a family get together. Please bring your loved ones and your tatoo's of your loved ones with you.

 James has got a big announcement to make.

 
"C" Districts Final Results - Thursday, August 2, 2007

Here is a breakdown of last weekends District Tournament:

TEAM.............................Ranking..........League Record......District Record

Rocky Mountain Eye..............10.................NA.......................5-1

Team Geritol.........................8.................NA.......................5-2

Silver$/Silver Slipper...............2..................16-4....................3-2

Maulers..............................1...................16-4....................2-2

DPI/Elobow Rm/MT Bolt...........4...................15-5....................2-2

Msla Surgical/H Interiors...........5...................15-5....................2-2

Cordial PT............................7...................13-7....................2-2

Whispering Pines/SG Long.........6...................14-6....................1-2

Doc Mitko's Orosh...................12...................11-8-1.................1-2

Boomers/JGC.........................3....................16-4.....................0-2

Westwood Const/Canyons.........9.....................NA.....................0-2

Boomers/HMFIC's....................12....................11-9...................0-2 

The current word is that Missoula has 10 berths for State C. Unlikely that many teams will go. It sure would be nice to see some of our Missoula softball friends in Anaconda. Teams to cheer for.  No word yet on when we will play or how many teams will be participating.

The Missoula Softball Association voted to provide money rather than trophies for the district Tournament. The money will be applied to the $200 State entry fee. 1st place gets $200, 2nd and 3rd place teams will recieve $100 each. Thank you to the MSA Board.

 
"C" District Tournament - Tuesday, July 31, 2007

 It seems that ever since we made a team decision in May to play in the State Tournament in Anaconda, we have been subconsciously gearing towards this District tourney, hoping and believing we would do well in it; which would then put us in good shape for the State Tournament.  While we may not have imagined it playing out the way it did, it still played out pretty darn nicely. 2nd place out of 12 teams is a solid performance.  Rather than looking at our 2nd place finish as a disappointment, my sense is that our team is looking  at it as reaffirmation of what a solid team we are and how much confidence we deserve to be taking with us to the State Tourney. There is no doubt in  anyones mind that the number 1 seed could just have easily have been ours.  The fact is that Rocky Mountain Eye earned it, it is theirs to be proud of. We have some things to be very proud of as well. High expectations and close losses will test the chemistry of any team. We had both and we responded with a chemistry that was strong and positive going in to the tournament and is even stronger after it. That is one of the reasons our team just keeps getting better. One of the players from a team we played made the remark to me that what their team needed to do to start winning more was to mature and find the chemistry that he sees us having. It was an insightful and much appreciated compliment. 

 Many thanks to Paul Marron for agreeing to come out of summer retirement to help us out. It is always nice when Paul plays with us. He made some nice plays in the outfield and a sweet tag out at home plate. He was also hanging with Jeff and James after our Saturday games..we were all pleasantly surprised when Paul showed up on time Sunday morning.   Hereare some stats for the tourney:

1st game vs. Canyons. Yikes! It seemed we were starting off with a darn tough draw. Canyons had beaten us earlier this year in the Championship game of the MSA Tournament. Well...that was then and this was now. They scored 4 in the bottom of the 1st and nothing after that.  We won this game 12-4.  Deano and Sha-na-na the poodle kissing boy, went deep for us. (See the Bubbas for the Superior Tournament for more details). The team was 24-40 for a .600 batting average.

2nd game vs. Boomers: James called tails and we were home team. We started strong, scoring 8 in the 1st, on our way to a 5 inning 15-2 victory.  Patrick hit one into the cheap seats for us. The team was 20-30 for a .666 batting average.  Boomers had earned a 1st round bye based on their solid regular season record.

3rd game vs $ilver Slipper:  This was the last game of the day. We started off strong again, scoring 11 runs in the  first two innings. We won this game 17-4 in 5 innings.   Although the book does not show it, I think Mike Fuchs hit a round tripper for us in this game.  We were 27-40 for a .675 team average.  A very nice first day. The team gathered in the shade after the game and felt good together about how the day had gone.  James chose to take this time to rob David's 5 year old son Henry of some of his innocence by asking Henry to pull on his finger...of course Henry did...and of course James made some barnyard sounds and smells come out of his shorts. James is Henry's new hero. Yikes!

4th game vs. Rocky Mountain Eye (undefeated game); It was around this time that James fell and bonked his head on the way to the coin flip. (See the Bubbas for more details). We were visitors and started off strong scoring 5 in the top of the 1st. The game was close right up to the end. Rocky Mountain Eye ended up winning 14-13.  Patrick hit a 2 run dinger in the 1st inning for us.  This was the 1st of 3 games with RME today, and as with all 1 run games, it could have gone either way. This time it was their turn.  There were lots of wonderful defensive plays. This game/loss was interesting in that I saw us tap into our character, put the game behind, us and shift our focus to the task at hand...winning our next game so we could get another crack at RME. I also saw and heard not one discouraging word. How we feel and treat each other is always more important than whether we win or lose. Our team chemistry gets an A+ for how we responded to a disappointing loss. Great job guys.

5th game, vs $ilver Slipper: $ilver Slipper beat The Maulers to earn their way into this game. If it was a football game it would have been The Orange Bowl. As I take a look at our team pictures over the years...it is like a citrus-based virus creeping its way onto our team. Of course it started with Jeff, James and Shawn..three guys who have always been on the cutting edge of how to dress on the softball field. Suddenly there is a whole lotta orange on our team. Uhm...we were visitors again. We started off strong, scoring 6 in the 1st on our way to a 7 inning 17-5 win. The softball gods have smiled on us when playing Silver Slipper this year. They are a good team who has had a lot of success. For whatever the reason, we really come to play ball against them. The team was 31-43 for a tournament high .720 team batting average. This win put us into the Championship game vs. RME.

6th game vs. RME (1st championship game): Visitors again..The 100 degree heat and long weekend was beginning to take it's toll on both teams. We took an early 4-0 lead in the 1st inning. We scored 1 more run in the 3rd and did not score again in the 4th-5th-6th-or 7th, yet managed to hang on for a 5-4 victory.  there were some great defensive plays in this game. Yahoo! Rocky Mountain Eye insisted on going back up the middle and Mike Dimmitt, Tracy and Mike Fuchs made them pay for it. We had forced a second championship game and despite the heat, were felling pretty darn good about it. We were 15-34 for a .441 team average. RME was 14-33 for a .424 team average.

7th game, (2nd championship game):  Alright James!!...his head is clear again, he calls tails and we win and are home team for the 2nd time this weekend. Oh Lord what a game. Both teams working really hard..It was so hot..it reminded me of that movie "Hidalgo," where the Cowboy signs himself and his horse up for some crazy  race across the desert. By the end of the race he is parched and hurting and seeing mirages. This game kept going and going. First it looked like they were going to win, then it looked like we were going to win...then they did finally win 6-4 in two extra innings.  I don't think the players were the only ones suffering from the heat and seeing mirages as the strike zone, the batters box, and the legal arc kept getting smaller and smaller, like a water hole drying up in the hot desert sun. It sure was a good time tho. Despite not winning it all, the really good feelings far outweighed the disappointment and frustration.  The team was 19-45 for a .422 team average. RME was 15-42 for a .357 average. 

For the tournament we were 158-272 for a .580 team batting average. Against teams not named Rocky Mountain Eye were were 102-153  for a .666 team average. In our 3 games vs RME we were 56-119 for a .470 average.  On Saturday we scored 44 runs in 3 games for a 14.6 RPG average. On Sunday we scored 39 runs in 4 games for 9.75 average.  For the tournament were scored 83 runs in 7 games for an 11.8 RPG average.  Our opponents scored 39 runs in 7 games for a 5.5 RPG average. Great pitching and defense guys.

So we are off to State. Our friend David Thompson will be joining us. Again we thank Paul Marron for his much appreciated help this weekend. The injury report is still out. Patrick is recouperating from a nasty water skiing accident and threw himself around just like the doctor, his wife, and his parents told him not to do.  Hopefully the two weeks off between tournaments will be enough for Patrick to recover and be even stronger than he was this weekend. Patrick's gutsy play was much appreciated.  Shawn is all scraped up as usual, making his sliding catches in the outfield takes a toll on his boney old knees. Shawn said he would wear some neoprene knee sleeves if  they were orange...hmmm, we'll see if he is a man of his word. Dean Thompson found some on the internet, they've been ordered and will be here the week before State. I spoke with Shawn today and he told me that he popped something in his wrist playing in a double-header on Monday. We will keep our fingers crossed that he will be okay for State. Last but not least in our injury report is the unfortunate player who was struck with a serious and untimely case of Ultimate Fighter's Elbow (known  in sports injury circles as Octogon Elbow), he  should also be ready to go. I think everyone else came out of the tourney in fairly good shape. Mike Fuchs is off to Butte this weekend to play in the State +35 tournament. We wish Michael well...

 Everybody played great. Mike Dimmitt was incredible on the mound, throwing strikes all weekend and taking away hit after hit from players who were trying to go back up the middle. Patrick and Jeff were throwing themselves around, making stellar plays on the corners, Mike and Tracy were a sweet double play combination...I think Tracy has some kind of stick-um in his glove..amazing snags of hot shots. Shawn made his typical handfull of base-hit-robbing, diving catches in left field, Allen made his patented sliding catches and continued to not listen to his little league coach by catching everything in sight with just one hand. Deano, David and Paul caught every ball that was hit to them..and James of course continued to cement his reputation as the best catcher in the State....and our 3rd base coach only got two guys thrown out at the plate..not bad huh?  Great stuff guys. What a fun team to be a part of.

 

 

 
Superior Montana Tournament - Monday, July 30, 2007

Kuddos to Shawn Hollenbeck for doing a great job of putting together a team for this highly competetive, small town, softball tournament. I believe there were 28 men's teams competing this weekend. Just how tough was the competition? Boomers of Missoula had just won the "B" Division of Goostown's huge tournament. A wonderful feather in their cap. They went to Superior and lost their 1st game. I don't know how they finished but I don't think they were one of the final 3 teams playing...

We lost our first two games. The first was to the bi-lingual Helena team that had beaten us earlier this year  in the Elbow Room Tournament. The second loss was to Silver City of Idaho. We have beaten them before, but our bats were on strike or something.   After this loss, we were placed in the 1-pitch, don't bitch division. It was a blast,  partly because we won our 3 games to be the champs of this division, but also because it was just get up there and swing the bat. Who needs to take the first pitch anyway? We hit the ball well. It was a fun time. We are the proud owners of nice new "One Pitch Champions" t-shirts.

Shawn was a great host. His parents were out of town, so just like  when he was in high-school he decided to have a house party.  He cooked up some softball burgers and gave the team a chance to get out of the sun and cool down.  It worked wonders as the team won the game that evening and the next two on Sunday.  Thanks to Shawn for a fun weekend and a really nice tune up for the upcoming district tournament in Missoula.  Thanks to Rich Hoffman who did a nice job organizing the tournament. Rich also umpired our last two games. We also want to thank Rich for keeping us humble by placing us in the upper division.   

 
4th Annual Keith thompson/Ron corr +35 Tournament. - Friday, July 6, 2007

Repeat Champs! 6-0 record. Wonderful job guys. It sure was a lot of fun. There was nice competition in the tournament and the team played very consistently. One of the trademarks of this tourney was that we had a big inning nearly every game.

1st game vs. Calgary Fatboys..We won 21-7 in 6 innings. Team Geritol was 32-42, for a team batting average of .762. An 11 run 6th inning sealed the game for us. Please check the Bubbas for some highlights of this game. Sorry Mike.

2nd Game vs. City Bar of Great Falls..Team Geritol won 29-16, again in 6 innings. This game was interesting in that City Bar tied up the score at 16-16 in theiir top half of the 6th inning. Team Geritol then scored 12 runs in the bottom of the 6th to end the game on the 12 run rule. We scored the final 11 of those runs with 2 outs on us. The team was 38-53 for a .716 batting average.

3rd game vs. Old Dirty Dogs of Great Falls...We won 22-2 in 4 innings. A 14 run 2nd inning was the key to this victory. All 11 players in our lineup scored before we had any outs on us. For this game, we hit 29-39 for a .743 batting average. Thank you to the Softball Gods. they were smiling on us today. Based on our play, Team Geritol earned the #1 seed for the day.  We were the only undefeated team left in the tourney.

Sunday, double elminiation..1st game vs..Mr. C's of Missoula. We won this game 20-7. An 11 run 4th inning helped us gain an advantage.  We were 29-43 for a .674 team average. Check the Bubbas for a little Team Geritol welcome to Rich Hoffman during this game.

Semi-final game vs Calgary Fatboys, we won 16-4 in 5 innings. A 10 run 3rd inning helped provide some distance. We were 25-37 for a .676 team average.

Championship game vs The Sting of Great Falls. the Sting was the #2 seed after Saturday's play. The hit first and scored 7 runs in the top of the 1st. We returned the favor by scoring 7 in the bottom of the 1st. The Sting was ahead 12-9 after 4 innings. We scored 7 in the 5th and 7 again in the 6th to forge a 23 -13 lead after 6. In their  final at bat The Sting made things interesting by scoring 6 runs before we finally got them out. the game ended with a 23-19 score. We were 36-50 for a .720 team average. For the 6 game tournament, Team Geritol was 189-264 for a team average of .715. Very nice weekend guys.

 It was a fine team effort. The members of the +35 Team Geritol crew were, Mike Fuchs, David Felker, Mike Dimmitt, Alex Keffeler, Rich Hoffman, Don Chery, Dean Thompson, David Thompson and Mike Perry. Roger Wilhite did a great job of helping us out as we were missing some of our regulars. Roger played with us and recruited two of his Butte friends, J.P. Gallagher and Scott Ferguson. both were nice guys and played excellent ball for us. Finally a reason to give our friend Roger some positive press. As is our custom, individual ink goes to anyone who hits .800 or better for the tournament. David Thompson earned that honor by going 24-28 for an .857 tournament batting average. Nice job David, especially for your first outing of the season. 

Special thanks go to James Stokes and Jeff Weaver for volunteering their time to sell shirts, hats, team photographs, and basically man the tournament command center. We couldn't have done it without their help. Thanks a million guys. 

 
Elbow Room Tournament - Friday, June 22, 2007

Uhm...I seem to have lost the stats for this tournament. I'll be darned. Maybe I will find them in time to offer a little write up for the newsletter. Enough said...Onwards and upwards. Good things are waiting for us. Districts and State will be a blast.

 
C'mon Blue Tournament - Friday, June 1, 2007

Nice tournament guys! Champs in back to back tournaments. What a fun feeling. Here are some of the tourney stats: 

1st Game vs O'fers of Coeur D'Alene, we won 19-7. We were 28-47 for a .595 team batting average. 2nd game was against the Missoula Maulers. We won this game 9-3. The highlight of this game was Alan's amazing, over the fence catch, to rob the Mauler batterof a sure home run. Alan also doubled up the runner who left early from second base. It was the turning point in the game. Oh, to be young and flexible. The team was19-38 for a .500 batting ave. 3rd game was Sunday AM vs. Boomers. We won this game 13-10. We were  27-46 for a team ave. of .586.  See the Bubbas for more info on this game. The Championship game was interesting. We again played Boomers, they had some new players because some of their other players were playing in the co-rec games. James won his 1st coin flip of the tourney and Boomers responded by scoring 13 runs in the top of the 1st. Darryl hit two out in that inning for Boomers. Our team stayed calm and poised. I think everyone on the team still expected to win the game. You could feel the calm. We did win, 16-15. finally taking the lead in the bottom of the 5th. We were 27-41 for a .658 batting ave.  For the tournament we were 101-172 for a team tourney ave of .587. We scored a total of 57 runs in 4 games. Our opponents scored 45. This averages out to a 14-11 game. Tim Yoder, led the team in hitting and was named CO-MVP along with Alan Fox. Nice tourney guys. 

C'mon Blue Bubbas - Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Please check the Bubba's section to see who earned a Bubba for last weekend in the C'mon Blue Tourney.

 
Rhino Rumble Champs May 19-20 - Friday, May 18, 2007

RHINO RUMBLE CHAMPS!! Nice job guys. Here are some tourney stats: Record 5-0.  Game #1, was 20-2, our team was 25-41  for a .610 ave. Game #2 was 20-0, we were 31-43 for a .720 ave. Game #3 was 28-3. We were 36-45 for an .800 team ave. On Sunday we played Silver Dollar twice, winning 10-6 and 20-7. In the first game we were 19-36 for a .528 average. In the championship game we were 28-44 for a .636 team average. For the tournament our team batting average was .670.  Patrick gets individual ink for breaking the.800 mark. He was 16-20 for an .800 ave. We scored an even 100 runs in the 5 games we played.  We held the opposition to 18 runs. This was a result of Dean's excellent pitching and some outstanding defensive play. Dean was voted team MVP for his efforts on the mound. Great job Deano, well-earned. Our defense has always been strong, and this weekend it was absolutely wonderful. The infield turned a number of sweet double plays. Jeff started some at third, Mike and Tracy took turns making them at 2nd and short. Patrick as always, completed the play. The outfield was as solid as ever. Even with two new faces out there. Billy's basket catches made everyone pucker up. Allen showed nice range and a strong arm. Shawn and David  made important catches and of course, behind the plate, nobody stole a base on James. Thanks for a fun weekend guys.  Even more important than how well we played this weekend was the healthy atmosphere around our team. Our dugout is wife and kid friendly. Our language is clean, our humor is safe, we have respect for the game and each other. Not all dugouts are that way. Now, if we could just get James and Jeff to own up to the "Poodle-Boy" posting, our team would be burning clean. Fess up boys 

C'mon Blue Tournament - Friday, May 18, 2007

This tourney has been rescheduled for June 2-3. We are playing. As always our lineup changes a bit each tournament. It looks like we will have another strong crew for the  C'mon Blue.   

 
MSA Tournament, 2nd place. April 28-29 - Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Nice Tournament guys! It was our first outing of the year and second place out of 12 teams, is nothing to complain about. It was a nice effort and a solid accomplishment.

James has been pushing me hard to post some MSA Tournament stats. He thinks he out-hit Jeff and he wants it in print big time. James knows better than that. I'll never tell. James and Jeff can work that one out between themselves.

As a team, we were 4-2 for the tournament. We were 133-235 for a team batting average of .565. We scored 84 runs in 5 games for an average of 16.8 runs per game. Our opponents scored 69 runs in those 5 games for an average of 13.8 RPG. That seems right as we didn't really blow anyone out and we lost our two games, 12-6 and 12-9. 

To provide some perspective, In 2005 we were 0-3 in this tournament, Yikes! Last year (2006) we were 5-2 and finished in second place. In 2006, we averaged  24.7 RPG and hit .685 as a team. While the hitting numbers are down this year, it was the first tournament of the year and I have no doubt our hitting will continue to improve. We have solid hitters from top to bottom.  I also think the  move to 4 home runs per game is going to help us. We showed nice power. Our defense was good this tournament. Infield and outfield both made some great plays. Behind the plate, was also tough..nobody stole a base on James.  

As far as out-hitting Jeff, sorry James, you'll just have to settle for knowing you were the best number 10 hitter in the tournament.

 

 
Team Geritol photos - Thursday, March 22, 2007

We would love to post as many Team Geritol photos as possible. If any of you have a team photo that is not posted, we would scan it and get it back to you promptly. Thanks.

 
 
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