Friday, May 27, 2011

I can name that tune in 3 notes!

Herd 9, South Fork 6
The Crew 10, Herd 5

Herd vs. South Fork OR Motlee Crew, 8:30 WP #4
Missing: Heather (anyone else?)

Oh yes.  5:15ish at Foothills.

"What a feelin', bein's belieeeevin', I can have it all, now I'm dancing for my life" (Flashdance, Irene Cara).  On a hot, dank evening at Washington Park, I think these lyrics sum up what could only been described by those in attendance as a true return to Glory Days (Bruce Springsteen) for the Mighty Purps.  The evening started off with a lightly attended, but as always spectacular, PGF.  Dave "superfan #1, now that he's attended 2 games but this title is up for grabs for all you other closet Herd fans out there" Allred not only anchored PGF, but showed his extreme dedication the Herd by hiking 7.24 miles from the car to the field to keep the book.  Kudos, Dave.

The first game pitted the Purps against our friends at South Fork.  Looking to avenge their last outing, South Fork jumped out to an early lead and put the Herd into a spot of bother from the start.  Never ones to shy away from adversity, the Herd would not crack Under Pressure (Queen).  Scott "Get it in! Get it in! Get it in!" Walkush dialed in his accuracy from the mound and cooled off scalding hot bats of South Fork.  And what about Ashley "A-Dub" Perdue?  She hits, she fields, she catches balls with her arm.  Then she hits some more.  Amazing.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Herd was a bit slow to start, but finally clicked.  And when I say clicked, I mean everybody locked, loaded and hit the ball hard.  J-Mill "just a smidge to the right, please" Miller continued her relentless onslaught on the third baseline like a honey badger hunting a cobra.  Shannon "Award Winner" Craft made a hot mess of the opposing pitching with a fierceness at the plate that is admired by the likes of Babe Ruth and Christian Siriano.  The late pressure applied by the Herd would be a bit much for South Fork, and the victory would cement a match up against the dreaded Crew.

In between games the following nuggets of knowledge were revealed:
1.  Ashley did, in fact, know about the second game
2.  John Spivey is, in fact, on Facebook
3.  The love of 80s pop music is, in fact, widespread amongst the Herd
4.  The members of the Crew are, allegedly, all family and won't play next season

After a spirited attempt to secure a victory via paper, rock, scissors by Heather "you always play paper" Miller was shot down by the leader/brother/father/cousin of the Crew, the Herd knew it was time to settle in to what may be a long game.  The swirling winds blew not only clouds, but magic into the air of field #3.  Bryan "anything but doubles" Timmons started the charge and superb 1st inning hitting plated two runs, giving the Herd the lead and the feeling that (I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight (Cutting Crew).

Solid work in the field from Chad "aka Biggie, aka Trip Zs, aka Brick Wall at third" White, and a snag of a searing line drive by John "did that hurt?  did you pee a little?" Spivey kept things close, while Herd Management's return to his beloved team was marked by pristine play in RC and a 17 - 17 night at the plate.  HM, your on-field contributions pale in comparison to the intangibles that just command that the Herd Don't Stop Believin' (Journey).  While the Herd wouldn't be able to Hold On (Wilson Phillips) for the win, there was something far more important that happened.

Erin "Cooleyhighharmony" Haneline.  Yes, she can hit.  Yes, she can field.  Yes, she can...sing?  Indeed.  For this author, the inter-inning renditions of 80s classics brought the fun back to the Herd More Than Words (Extreme) can describe.  Let's keep that up next week, shall we?


The Shannon Craft Award for being Shannon Craft award goes to...John Spivey!  Nice attempt to take out their behemoth third baseman with your laser beam shots down the line.

The Redding/Haneline award for most gut-wrenching slide goes to...Scott Walkush!  Your return to first base left the Herd bench speechless.  Mostly because of the sheer volume of dirt in our lungs.

The Herd Management's Sabbatical Spirit award goes to...Herd Management!  Welcome back, Coach!  Things just feel "right" when you're with us.  Don't leave again, mmmkay?

Random Herd Facts:

The Herd CAN believe it's not butter.

There are only two types of people in the world. Those who divide people into two groups, and the Herd.

The Herd eats black holes as light hors d'oeuvres at PGF.

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but the Herd's glare will liquefy your kidneys.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Groomingdale's 14, Herd (?) 1

Herd vs. South Fork, 6:30 WP #3
After we win, Herd vs. The Crew, 8:30 WP #3
Missing: C-Nix, James (anyone else?)

After last night's performance, an abbreviated PGF will return.  5:05ish, location TBD

Game Notes:
A wise man once told me:
"That's what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we've changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning."

Then some other dude said:
"You must never be satisfied with losing. You must get angry, terribly angry, about losing. But the mark of the good loser is that he takes his anger out on himself."

And finally, perhaps the most brain-bendingest quote of all:
"What the heck just happened to us and who cares about some lame-o quotes?"

Wow.  In the deepest darkness, there is always a light.  After last night's lifeless and very un-Herdlike performance, one would have to dig quite deep to find said light.  The evening's contest started out promisingly enough, with two new Herd season records - total number of fans (2) and number of canine fans (1).  A huge thanks to Ginger "hey, did you get to catch up with your old friend from the bleachers?" Nixon andLeroyfor coming out to support the Herd.

The Herd would get on the board early after a quick hit from Bryan "sniffles" Timmons, but shockingly that would be the only run the Herd would score all night long.  Yes, you read that right - the Mighty Herd would score only once in the evening's battle.  Scott "El Generalisimo" Walkush pitched a gem, but the Groomings of Dale were able to spray hits away from Herd fielders all night.  A lot of hits and a few untimely errors were more than the Herd could overcome on this dreadful night.

But enough about that, let's get back to that elusive light.  Brilliant work and a cannon-like arm in the field from John "cartwheel" Spivey limited the damage.  And while we didn't score runs, Shannon Craft Award continued to slap the ball like a certain Governator was likely slapped after the news of the last week, and Ashley "staredown" Perdue continued to cripple the Herd bench with her unadulterated focus at the plate.  Thanks for wearing sunglasses, I think they kept my lip from its quivering normally shown during your at bats.

James "the bookie" Haire had likely the hardest job of the evening, as he had to keep tally of the massacre in real time for the official score book.  Fantasy Haneline extended her streak of games with a freakishly wild bat sling WITHOUT injuring players on either team.  Kudos to you on that giant accomplishment, my friend.  Biggie/Trip Zs/Gazelle White kept the Herd alive by taking up the duties normally reserved for Herd Management (you know, sending emails, lugging equipment, bleeding purple).  And speaking of keeping the Herd alive, how about J-Mill "whirling dervish" Miller?  We all know that you can kill a ball, but what great range and flair for the dramatic at second base!  Your Top Plays-worthy spin at second base gave everyone something to cheer about.  And while normally newsworthy on the field, Christopher "spit take" Nixon saved the action for post-game and after a nod to The Office, tried to demonstrate how to use a Neti Pot whilst drinking water.  Without a Neti Pot.  Advice well received, C-Nix.

And let us not forget the most dedicated performance of the night.  Heather "ice cream" Miller finally lived up to her namesake and while the Herd was at its most bleak, summoned a real, live ice cream truck to Washington Park (do you have a secret dog whistle or conch shell for that?).  The sweet sounds of The Entertainer and thoughts of tasty treats (rocket ship for me, please!) brought the Herd back from the brink and nearly to the parking lot to make a purchase during the 5th inning.  Let's face it, we should have gotten the ice cream.

The playoffs start next week and I, for one, believe that we have this league right where we want them.  No one will expect ANYTHING from us!  Let's go ahead and get back into that championship form we all remember, OK?

Random Herd Facts:

The Herd is the only person to ever defeat a brick wall in a game of tennis.

Some kids pee their name in snow. The Herd pees its name in concrete.

When the Herd donates blood, it declines the syringe and instead requests a bucket and a handgun.

The Herd is what Willis was talking 'bout.

Friday, May 6, 2011

We're going to Party, Karamu, Fiesta, Forever, C'mon and Herd Along!

Matted Fur 11, Herd 10
Herd 22, Good peoples at South Fork 2

Herd vs. The Crew, 7:30 WP #1
Missing: Heather, Erin, James, J-Mill, (anyone else?)

They're back!  5:15ish, location TBD

Game Notes: Si (haha) what I did there with the Spanish?  For the Mighty Herd, it was a roller coaster of emotion on a Mexican holiday that is celebrated almost exclusively in Mexican restaurants in the US and A (aka, Cinco de Mayo).  As late as 3:00, it looked as if the Herd, under duress from a number of vacationing members, would have to do the unthinkable - a double forfeit (which isn't nearly as awesome as a double rainbow).  In typical fashion, the Herd moved mountains, crossed streams and recruited suitable replacements to round out the roster on a chilly evening at Washington Park.  A special thanks goes to Biggie "ugh, my guts" White for fighting off a nasty virus long enough to deliver our equipment and keep the book for the first game.  Here's hoping you kept that little bug to yourself.

Game one saw the Herd line up against league rival Puppy Salon, er, Groomingdale's.  Ending the one last bit of drama on the evening, We$ By Gosh Frickin' Miller can pitch too, seriously what can't this guy do?!? made his triumphant return to glory and took to the mound.  We$ pitched like a pro and hasn't lost an ounce of the power that makes mere mortals tremor and yellow softballs disappear into the woods beyond left field.  The Herd would jump out to an early lead behind mediocre hitting by Bryan "make 'em throw you out" Timmons and much more impressive at-bats from Christopher "ping! goes the top of the fence" Nixon and James "the machine" Haire.

Solid play in the field along with an inning loaded with not one, but two home runs (thanks to C-Nix and We$) would set the Herd up for the win, but unfortunately the curse of the visitor's side was once again too much to overcome, as the dastardly Groomingdales would argue/complain/chain smoke their way to a walk-off single in the bottom of the 7th.  Really, how many times can that happen to one super lovable purple team?

After a brief session of meditation and a video pep talk with Herd Management (and Mia Shea!) to shake off the loss, the nightcap would be a different story entirely.  Led by, well, pretty much every single person on the team, the Herd quickly dismantled our friends at South Fork Electric with a mercy rule win.  The victory sure would have been more sweet if they weren't the only other decent human beings in the Thursday Co-ed league.  Dave "Kool-Aid" Allred quickly graduated from spectator to scorekeeper and kept perhaps the cleanest book ever kept by a rookie scorekeeper.  Ever.  Legacy Herd superstar and sister of C-Nix, Kendra Woo-Ten Clan ain't nothin' to mess with returned from a seven year hiatus spent raising members of Herd 4.0 and wasted no time flashing the brilliance that runs through the Nixon genes.  A 3 - 3 performance at the plate filled with hit after blistering hit was just another easy day at the park for K-Woo.

Also called up from the Herd's extensive farm system would be Inch "oh, your last name is Inch?" Inch and Amanda "youngin'" Able, who both turned in stellar and remarkably Herdworthy performances.  Erin "Fantasy" Haneline showed her pure, unadulterated will to win by holding down a solid left field and taking any residual frustration from last week's throat shot out on the opposing pitching.  J-Mill "c'mon did that girl really scare you when she screamed at you on first base, you can tell us?" Miller turned in another astounding performance.  She approaches the game with the ferocity of one of those Navy SEAL dogs with the titanium fangs.  And let's not forget Ice Cream Miller, whose power and grace on the field and at the plate could only be matched 2011 Kentucky Derby favorite Dialed In.

The Shannon Craft Award for being Shannon Craft award goes to...Kendra Wooten!  Way to step in and play like you never left.

The Redding/Haneline award for most gut-wrenching slide goes to...James Haire!  As was noted last night, your knee is probably gonna bleed through your pants today.

The Herd Management's Sabbatical Spirit award goes to...We$ BGF Miller!  Who knew this guy could pitch?  Thanks for coming back to us.  And thanks for throwing strikes and hitting home runs.

Random Herd Facts:

The Herd CAN order Chick-Fil-A on Sunday.

The Herd once got into a staring contest with its bathroom mirror. The mirror backed down after only three days.

The Herd once bought an old used car.  It immediately turned itself into a mythical Pegasus.

In the back of the Guiness Book of World Records, it says "All records are held by the Herd. The names listed are all in second place".