HERITAGE– The 2019 SweatSox season officially kicked off last night in Orleans, where we opened against the Cubans; real Cubans, not the cigars.
City of Ottawa Project Manager of Business Support Services in the Recreational, Cultural and Facilities Services Department Craig Cornell wasn’t quite sure how the SweatSox would play, given that the fields had only been open for 2 full days, so we obviously weren’t able to have any practices on city owned fields. Doing so could not only ruin the fields or get somebody hurt, but NCBL permits could be rescinded, and at least one person’s job at 100 Constellation Drive could be lost. No thanks.
If the lack of practice wasn’t enough, the SweatSox nearly started the season off one big, powerful, sexy man down, when Chris Lidstone got to the park and realized his most recent trip to the bathroom just before he left didn’t quite take. The public washrooms were locked, and there weren’t enough leaves on the trees in the woods to properly camouflage this most dangerous of missions (or to provide the necessary… cleaner). The Pipelayer’s only option was to find a more suitable and sanitary facility, which turned out to be the nearest gas station. Would he be able to make it back in time for first pitch though? Yes; since he got to the park at 7pm, 1.5 hours early, after a terrible miscalculation about travel time from Barrhaven on a Sunday night.
After all that, we did end up being one starting second baseman short after Ross Hughes showed up to the field without his cleats. We still don’t have confirmation that he’s found them yet, although it’s quite possible he left them at ComicCon on Saturday, where he was cosplaying as a fat, alcoholic, baseball player from Asgard.
OK – So we didn’t practice, we don’t have a sponsor from Pepto Bismol, we didn’t bring enough spikes, oh and Mark Bond bailed on bringing beer an hour before the game once he realized The Beer Store was closed (finally a veteran move by Cop), what else could possibly go wrong? Well, as the dugouts cleared from the game before us, a game in which former SweatSox Brian Yabsley led an epic Duke comeback, NCBL Registrar Joe Beelen maliciously attacked our bench with an unprovoked verbal assault. How dare he openly root for the opposing Team Cuba, instead of the team with the NCBL Treasurer, Secretary, and Director of Tier 3 Social Media. What did I, Shaun Keay, ever do to you Joe?
No practice, no TP, no cleats, no beer, and vocally mugged by the 2016 NCBL Volunteer of the Year (who was also the 1999 Tier 1 Sportsman), that had to be the lowest we’d feel all night, right?
We can add the top of the first inning to the list above. Team Cuba took an immediate 3-0 lead, after 3 SweatSox errors led to 2 unearned runs. It was the first ever Cuban lead over the SweatSox, a streak that lasted 3 full games and 17 total innings.
FUN FACT: The first ever Cuban run against the SweatSox happened in the 2015 Heritage Classic, when Craig Cornell gave up a 5th inning unearned run. It was unearned thanks to a very rare Kent Johnston E8. There was no shutout.
The SweatSox got to work in the bottom half of the first, getting one of those runs back when the reigning (and final) Panthers batting champion Eric White scored on a Dillon Lowry sacrifice fly. Chris Lidstone nearly ruined it by almost getting doubled off at second; he was a bit slow getting back to the base because, you know, the poops.
White found his rhythm in the second, facing a total of 10 batters over the next 3 innings, allowing the SweatSox offense to get back to work quickly every time.
The bottom of the 2nd saw “Sexy Eyes” Craig Cornell with a prime opportunity to push a couple runs into scoring position, but his swing was feeling great after a long winter playing with himself in his garage, so he swung for the fences… The at bat didn’t go as planned (K). The SweatSox would still score 3 runs in the inning, taking our first lead of the game, and the season.
We’d get shutout in the 3rd, but just like a former Subway Sandwich Artist (or Golden Arches Crew Member) in the shower 364 days a year, we’d blow things wide open in the 4th, scoring 8 runs on 6 hits. This breakout inning was also the coming out party for SweatSox rookie Jaspreet Sanghra, who was making his NCBL debut. Princess Jasmine started the game being DH’d for, ran for me after I, Shaun Keay, crushed a leadoff double off the fence, and then with the base-running recklessness of Armando Navarro circa 2005-2017, somehow safely made it home to score his first career run. The SweatSox batted around in the 4th, meaning Bollywood got his first career AB that inning too. OBL made the most of it, knocking a two-strike double to right field. Welcome to the SweatSox, Croissant!
Needing 1 run to end the game in the 5th, Jason Klein led off with his first hit of the year, made it to 2nd on a rare SweatSox hit and run (you see we’re more of a hit it and quit it kind of team), and then scored on a walk-off pinch hit by Mark Bond. SweatSox win 13-3.
HISTORY: A bit of NCBL (perhaps even baseball as a whole) history was made during last night’s SweatSox-Cuba game, when the first ever use of the newly introduced Intentional Strikeout was made. Although the Intentional Strikeout was intended for use when a team was up by a lot and looking to speed up the game, James Britz of Team Cuba found a loophole where he could use the rule half way through his at bat that he must’ve felt wasn’t going to end well for him. At least, that’s what we think happened. Why else would someone with 2 strikes just walk away? To be fair though, Britz may still have been blinded by the glare of the “sun” a half inning earlier (at exactly 9:28pm, in early May) that forced him well into the baseline at 1B, only to be run over by the Director of Green, Captain of Gout, Commander of Crow Hop, our Angry Center Fielder: Kent Johnston.
Final SweatSox vs Team Cuba Notes and Thoughts:
- We finally got to the bottom of who cut Brian Yabsley back in 2007. It was Marc Lett!
- Marc Lett probably cut Ian Stewart too.
- Lowry couldn’t possibly have scored the buzzer beater, he’s pitching right now!
- If you leave your phone on the bench, you’ll need to sweat a bit before you get it back.
- The CODE: ORANGE was thankfully averted by Eric, who managed to quickly find an open grocery store that still served beer.
- Ross will never be more excited all year than he was at the real possibility of a BMS-esk cinnamon Oreo race.
- ComicCon on portabellos and shiitakes is apparently the best.
- “After a day in the pool, you’re perfectly lubed.”
- “Am I allowed to pound it after a single?”
- “He’s riding bitch!”
- High school Ramage and high school employee Hughes would’ve gotten along really well.
- A red light is only red, if you believe it.
- I, Shaun Keay, didn’t drive straight home after the game. Where did I go? A&W? Wendy’s? Gas station? Find out next time.
- For the first time in like 4 years, everyone showed up to the game. We had to take a team photo:
Have you weighed in on the Arsonist’s Kelly vs Kimberly puberty poll?
Next up for the SweatSox is our first matchup with the Coyotes since 2004, this Thursday at the Sportsplex.
Shaun Robert Keay
Tier 3 Director of Social Media
2nd All Time in NCBL Strikeouts
#1 In Your Hearts