The Triangle of Triumph

For those who don’t remember me, my name is Shaun Keay, and I am one of the most powerful men in the National Capital Baseball League.  And when I say powerful I’m talking both metaphorically and physically, I once lifted a hundred pounds over my head without even realizing it!

Sometimes though I forget just how far my influence reaches, which can upset some people; like when a bunch of the Braves’ great-grandchildren started to believe that their great-grandparents were really that old and slow.  We kid!  We kid!  No more letters please.

While I, Shaun Keay, think I’m hilarious; someone with even more power than I does not.  The SweatSox Authority Cory Bond, a two-time Rodney Walsh Sportsmanship & Ability winner, was not at all impressed by my lyrical assault of the Braves.  To be fair though I had no idea they had the technology to be able to see it (you know, because they’re old).  I also didn’t think that someone they knew would see it and send it to them by a more familiar method of communication, like:

  • Printing the article off and faxing it
  • Morse code
  • Smoke signals
  • Carrier pigeons
  • Etch it in stone
  • We kid! We kid!  No more letters please.

After receiving the Open Letter from iJose nearly two months ago, The Authority informed me that for conduct detrimental to the reputation of the SweatSox, I, Shaun Keay, was suspended from updating the SweatSite for the rest of the season, including playoffs, and a two full days after that.  I could’ve protested this suspension under the non-censorship bylaw outlined in the SweatSox-Panthers Alliance Agreement, but I have so much respect for our great leader, that I accepted this punishment and was thankful he didn’t outright cut me from the team.

This past Sunday night, the SweatSox were eliminated from the playoffs, which meant it was finally time for me to dust off the old keyboard and get to work.

Our first games after the iJose incident was a doubleheader in Cornwall.  We lost the first game, which was highlighted by a 714-foot homerun by Jay Flannigan, but we won the 2nd, highlighted by a slightly less travelled homerun by I, Shaun Keay.

Final SweatSox vs Cornwall Notes/Thoughts:

  • It had been so long since I last hit a HR, that I sort of forgot what to do when I got to second.  Apparently you’re supposed to keep going, and not stop to take a breather.
  • In the same half inning, Kent Johnston (CF) robbed a HR, Cory Bond (2B) turned a double play, and Chris Lidstone went to the bathroom (#2)
  • Eric White learned that tripping on home plate does NOT count as touching home plate
  • Mark Stinson doesn’t quite know the difference between a men and women’s bathroom
  • The SweatSox are 4-0 in games vs Cornwall that Cory Bond pitches.

Later that week, we played and defeated Pat & Dick’s Cardinals 12-2 at the Sportsplex. I don’t remember much about the actual game, and the stats are equally unremarkable; but I do remember Jordan Kritsch getting hit by a line drive and then a pitch or two later falling in a hole between the mound and home plate. That was also the exact moment we met the low calling joke stealer, not to be confused with the pipe smoking beer stealer.

Final SweatSox vs Cardinals Notes/Thoughts:

  • When Kritsch comes in to pitch he’s not a new pitcher because we all know him
  • Kent Johnston finally came to see what the Summerhays fuss was all about.  Next-morning Kent was not that impressed.
  • If a waitress spills a soft drink, even if it’s just a drop or two, “THAT SHOULD BE FREE”
  • The Après Baseball Hyjinx changed forever with the first (and second, and fourteenth) order of sour cream

With just 3 games left on the regular season, we still had to play the Expos twice, and the first of these matchups happened the night after the Cardinals game, at Trillium.  It didn’t go well, we lost 4-0, but it did give us our first look of 2015 at Dave Barnes, knowledge & experience that could be (it wasn’t at all) useful in a playoff series against the Expos.

Final SweatSox vs Expos Notes/Thoughts:

  • OMS started the game, pitched to 1 batter, and qualified for the playoffs.  He didn’t pitch in a suit and tie as we hoped though.
  • Mark Bond arrived at the game only to realize he lost his glove and jersey.
  • Hot Tub Reunion!

At one point in July, the Winchester Sox held a 14-5 record and were on track to face the likes of the Panthers, Nepean Brewers, and Kingston Ponies next year.  The rest of us were playing for 2nd place; but a late season slump opened the door for us to claim our first ever Tier 2 pennant, all we had to do was win our final two games.

Our penultimate regular season game was against Marc Sports, who were looking to improve their playoff position with a season sweep over the SweatSox.  They were on the right track, jumping out to a 6-1 lead, putting the SweatSox in an extremely uncomfortable position: down 5.

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Being #down5 was one of the most disgusting, sickening, frightening feelings ever, and even thought we managed to pull out a win on a walkoff Eric White bases loaded single, the SweatSox vowed never to put themselves in that situation again.

Final SweatSox vs Marc Sports Notes/Thoughts:

  • The loss by Gabriel Gervais was his one and only loss of the season (7-1)
  • Gabriel Gervais’ lifetime record against the SweatSox dropped to 4-1
  • Even Armando Navarro agrees you don’t walk Armando Navarro to pitch to Eric White

The Tier 2 regular season finale between the SweatSox and Expos had major implications not only on the playoff seedings, but the 2016 Tier 1 structure.  Depending on the outcome of this game either the SweatSox, Expos, or Winchester would finish the year in first place.

After making a pitch to stay in Tier 2 last offseason, it made perfect sense that the SweatSox win the pennant and be put in a situation where we’d have to make yet another pitch to stay in the tier, should we so choose.  Cory Bond threw his first regular season 7-inning complete game since June 15, 2008, a game vs the Acadiens that both Bill Freeman and Bryan Fenn were in uniform for; and Mark Bond hit a 1st inning 3-run homerun to give the SweatSox a lead we never blew.

Final SweatSox vs Expos Notes/Thoughts:

  • After 10 consecutive seasons in Tier 2, the SweatSox are off to Tier 1.

In the first round of the Tier 2 playoffs, the iShaunKeay SweatSox (1) faced the iJose Braves (8).  The Braves won game 1, the SweatSox won the next two.

Final SweatSox vs Braves Series Notes/Thoughts:

  • iJose went 5/5 in game 1, almost as if he was extra motivated
  • Mark Dorrington won game 2, then saved game 3
  • Ross Hughes broke his arm during game 3
  • Ross Hughes did not sub out of game 3, despite a broken arm

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In the second round of the Tier 2 playoffs, the SweatSox (1) faced the Metcalfe Mudd (5).  The SweatSox won game 1, the Mudd won game 2, and the SweatSox won game 3.

Final SweatSox vs Metcalfe Mudd Series Notes/Thoughts:

  • John Groves won both games for the SweatSox
  • Attempting to steal third base while #DOWN5 will upset Craig Cornell, and also #JESUS.

The Tier 2 “Triangle of Triumph” is a formula that has withstood the test of time and should never be messed with.  The ToT states that at least 69% of the time: The SweatSox shall defeat Winchester, whilst Winchester defeats the Expos, and the Expos doth defeat the SweatSox.

It was fitting that the last 3 teams left in the playoffs were from the ToT.  The SweatSox clinched a spot in the finals, while Winchester and the Expos were still negotiating an extension to their series thanks to a game 1 tie and some rain that may or may not have affected the Winchester field.

While we waited, the ToT math said Winchester should ultimately defeat the Expos, and then we’d be in the drivers seat for our 2nd Tier 2 Championship in 3 years.  Even though I, Shaun Keay, graduated from Carleton Engineering sometime in the 2000’s, I don’t fully trust mathematics, so I wasn’t surprised that the Expos successfully “Barnes’d” Winchester in 3 games.

And then there were two: the SweatSox (1) and Expos (3) for the Tier 2 Championship.  The SweatSox won game 1 after coming back from #down5, backed by a complete game performance from our MVP Eric White.

In game 2, Mark Dorrington started but left the game due to a leg injury with the SweatSox up 9-4 in the 6th inning.  We couldn’t hold it, and the Expos gave us a taste of our own #down5 medicine and came away victorious.

It was a ‘regular season finale’ rematch in game 3, as once again Cory Bond took on Landon Moore at the Sportsplex; but this time it was the Expos who walked away as 6-3 winners, and with a 2-1 series lead.

Dave Barnes pitched the Expos to the Tier 2 championship in game 4, throwing a complete game three hit shutout; ending a SweatSox season we all can be proud of.

Final SweatSox vs Expos Series Notes/Thoughts:

  • The SweatSox played a franchise high 42 games this year (regular season, playoffs, tournaments)
  • The 2015 Expos became the first team since the 2011 Outlaws to eliminate the SweatSox from the playoffs
  • Dave Barnes finished the 2015 playoffs with what we believe is a 5-0 record, possibly 6-0.
  • If you leave a sand wedge behind at a hole, it wasn’t stolen, you lost it
  • Did we have sports today?
  • Cop counts calories
  • Josh Ramage is still whipped
  • When they turn all the TV’s off, they want you to GTFO, not to be confused with #GDFR

NEXT UP: The 2015 SweatSox Awards

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BONUS COVERAGE: Interested in seeing how the 2015 Fall Ball season is going? Click here.

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