Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Epic loss

Simply stated, this was one of the most exciting games in Spirit history but also one of the most heartbreaking losses. Campanelli Stadium has always been an awful place for the Spirit and that trend continued with a crushing 4-3 loss at the hands of the Rox in 13 innings.

With the score 1-1 in the 10th inning, Darren Blakely hit a 1 out triple off of Ryan Bernard. Then, Adam Balkan brought him home with a sac fly to give the Spirit the 2-1 advantage.

But in the bottom of the frame, Donny Langdon, brought in to start the 10th, was clearly rattled by the pressure.

He walked de La Cruz on 4 pitches and then gave up an RBI double to Gonzalez, tying the score at 2. A Houdini act by Jamie Baker kept the game alive. With the bases loaded and 1 out, Joe Hough popped out to first and Fransisco LeBron popped out to right field to end the inning.

Baker continued to pitch magnificently and kept the game tied into the 13th. In the 13th frame, Gary Roche made a successful squeeze bunt to score Blakely and put the Spirit on top for the 3rd time on the night.

But again, the lead would not be held. With 1 out, Fransisco LeBron popped one up near the stands on the first base side but Josue Lopez had it pop out of his glove....... UGH HE IS SO USELESS... and LeBron went on to single. Then Guye Senjem walked and Jason Radwan singled, chasing Baker who pitched tremendously but wound up with the hard luck loss.

Shawn McNamara came in and threw a grand total of one pitch to De La Cruz, who knocked a 2RBI single to give the Rox an incredible win.

Joey Siak and John Kelly had outstanding starting pitching efforts. Siak went 7 innings giving up 1 run and John Kelly tossed 9 innings giving up just the 1 run. Derek Drage came in and bridged the gap for the Spirit until the 10th.

We really missed Dennis Robinson tonight.

At the end of the game Vic Davilla got into a furious screaming match with the umpires over ball and strike calls made during the decisive 13th inning. He was certainly inconsistent as he suddenly started squeezing Baker, but it was stupid to just go off on them like that at the end of the game. It looked really dumb. I also saw Vic conferencing with N.L. a few times during the game. What's up with that?

I was as happy as anyone about getting rid of Kennedy but it's starting to look like he was shipped off not to bring in a better baseball guy but to cut costs and have a Loyal Soldier of the Spirit Staff run the ship. Vic definitely has potential but maybe he wasn't ready to manage just yet.

Quite honestly, we really need his bat in the lineup. He stepped in in two games and got three hits and led the Spirit to two wins.

We could have used his bat tonight, and we could have used his glove at first base..... Lopez is awful.

Come back Vic?

Three (four, five, six?) cheers for Joey Siak, and three more for old friend John Kelly, who was absolutely masterful tonight.

Three more cheers for Jamie Baker, tonight's player of the game. He deserved a better fate, but we just plain ran out of guys to go to.

I had a lot of fun tonight... Fun Is Good after all. With the exception of a few nutters in the 13th I had great interaction with all the Brockton fans tonight and even made some friends with our three signs:


This was probably the most fun I've had at a game all year -- the place was electric and supportive and the atmosphere was fun. Maybe it's because my previous experiences in Brockton have been on a Friday or Saturday night which must obviously attract the drunk crowd. Tonight's crowd was great.

Fun is good.

Losing is bad.


DaveCo said...

Agreed. This was a real pticher's duel and the bullpens did a good job in keeping the game close.

I also had a blast agt this game. Despite losing,it was the best game I've been to all year. I hope we can plan on having that much fun on

One problem I do have with team is I don't think it's Vic's time to manage at all. He's inexperienced and I don't think he should be conferencing with the owner a few times during a game.....unless it's major.

Another is Lopez. Defense is bad and offense isn't any better. I think that we should get a manger with some more experience and put Vic at first,we know he wants to play. I for one think that'd make the team better. But who knows,maybe some people dont want that...

DaveCo said...

Wow......the only team that prob lost more epicly then us last night might have been the Yankees.

Walkoff walk for the Orioles! XD

Anonymous said...

Remember the roster rules (see Vic's brief return to the team was only because one of the 4 "veteran" slots freed up. Apart from that, I agree, Vic needs to be in the lineup and Lopez needs to be at the glue factory.

Fun is good and the Rox are fun. South Shore traffic is not fun. I've penciled in two Rox games so far and have not been able to pull the trigger anticipating Route 24 anarchy, even holing up for an hour at Ikea.

Jamie Baker (once a Pride, always a Pride!) started out with mop-up but has been put in more and more key roles. He took a giant step backward vs Quebec in the game where no one brought their tools, but it's good to see he's still trusted.

Was disappointed not to find the brawl video here or on YouTube. I'd like to see the whole thing in slow motion and form an informed opinion.

I concur with Joe G's comments elsewhere on God Bless America. Religious hymns don't belong at a ballpark; it's offensive to be asked to treat it like the National Anthem, and to be given the choice between conforming or dissing the performer. You will thus always find me taking a stretch stroll behind the grandstand, and never bringing toys (cowbells) to Fraser I'd have to leave in the stands.

If you've really soured on the Spirit, Slim-Slow will be behind the plate tonight (Wednesday) for the Worcester @ Pride. After that walk-off wild pitch in New Haven, we had a boring game (listless offense a la Spirit), a dangerous top of the 9th, but a walk-off double by Bryan Duplissie. Junior Guerrero (complete-game loss) muffed a bunt during this sequence but the error didn't affect the result. Steve Palazzolo (6'10 with hat on, 7'2 with hat off) was in the right place for the win and goes to 4-0.

Women's baseball 1-Jul at Nashua is cancelled. It was always odd that this DH was scheduled the weekend the best players are in a tournament in Detroit; injuries have required the call-up of so many more players that it's not possible to field teams with who's left.


Anonymous said...

I don't believe I have ever heard God Bless America referred to as a "religious hymn"; how absurd.
I will agree that in Lynn at least, they do go over the top if they want you to remove your hat; past that, way too much is made of it.

"In God we trust" is on our currency, Is that religious money?. Further, someone, anyone show me where in our Constitution or Bill of rights is there anything WRITTEN providing for a clear and distinct separation of church and state; know what?, there isn't. Polisci majors weigh in.
Simply, it provides for a 40 sec. "moment" to remember and be grateful for
how fortunate we are to live in America, religious affiliations notwithstanding.


Anonymous said...

God Bless us every one.


Anonymous said...

Gentlemen - first let me state that I thoroughly enjoy reading this blog when I get the chance. I might not always agree with everything said, but that's what blogs are about. It's interesting to see everyone's take on the Spirit happenings. I've been a fan of the Sprit since their inception and I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree that Vic needs to get back in the lineup. The best hitter on the team becomes the Manager? I've had multiple conversations regarding this with other Spirit fans and we all feel that Nick put Vic in the Skipper spot so Nick could have a puppet in the driver's seat. If memory serves, John Kennedy mentioned that in the newspaper months ago. It saddens me to watch one of the best teams in the league suddenly turn into a team that the Saugus Americans could beat.

I've never felt the need to post a comment here before (and I know you're not fans of anonymous posters) but I'm so disheartened by the season so far that I just couldn't help myself.

Keep up the good work everyone!

wooden said...

Sparky - You're right those exact words do not appear in the Constitution. But then again, neither does it compel the "right to a free trial" - only that it's "speedy", "public," and in front of an "impartial jury," etc. The absence of specific words in the Constitution does not mean the absence of specific ideas.

In fact, that's what Constitutional scholarship is all about: studying the ideas, concepts and intents of the authors of the original document and its amendments. If you've studied any of this at all, you'd know that one of the principal persons associated with that term "separation of church and state" is Thomas Jefferson who also wrote in Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which reads:

" man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities."

In fact, Jefferson felt so strongly about his authorship of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom that it was one of only three things he instructed to be on his epitaph.

Just some musings from a guy with a B.A. in History; PoliSci was too easy for me.

DaveCo said...

First off,thank you anon.

Now.....I will try to get a fight video up on youtube with both regular and slow motion takes. There is an ad I put up with the fight on it alrady,it's url is

I think Vic should be out as manager,in at first, and we should get a manager with experience.....who's with me?

And lastly, agreed with Spraky--I've never heard of it as a "religious hymn",but agree with Spike that it shoudln't be treated as the national anthem. I also think it shouldn't be played EVERY game,only sundays and holidays or not as often (but i think they're doing better this year with that)

Anonymous said...

The only problem I have with all of this is that not too long ago I recall people calling for John Kennedy's firing. Well that happened and Vic got put in his place. And now that the Spirit are struggling, people are saying Vic needs to get back to playing and not managing. I think we all can agree on why Lopardo fired Kennedy and hired he can have control.

But bottom line is that the Spirit won baseball games when JK was manager. Should the Yankees fire Joe Torre because they haven't won the World Series in a couple of years? Should the Braves fire Bobby Cox because they only won 1 World Series in 14 years of Division Titles. The answer to both is a resounding NO.

The grass isn't always greener on the other side and the Spirit are finding this out the hard way this year.

"A Spirit Fan"

Anonymous said...

the posts about Nick and Vic and JK are right on. We were at Brockton last night and we saw Davilla consult with Lopardo 3 or 4 times DURING the game( Nick was sitting right next to the dugout). Who is managing the game?
It's not a good thing having the owner's binky in the dugout. It was an issue for some of the players that are no longer here and I'm sure that it is an issue now.

DaveCo said...

Well I wasn't that big a fan of JK. I will admit,he did a good job.....but he made some bad or careless deccisions that cost us a few times. HOWEVER,I have NEVER been a fan of Vic being manager. I think he has potential...but in the future,after being under someone and learning. Now is not the time to put a guy in charge of a team that only one game in as a coach last year decided "Hey,this is stupid.....I wanna play again." You need to wait.

i think having JK back wouldn't be so bad after THIS. I'd love to pluck him from Stop & Shop now. However,since Nick has a man-crush on Vic-that won't happen.

Nick,you need to do a few things:
1) Stop singling out the regulars for stuff they didn't/won't do. To treat your most dedicated customers like crap but still let parents allow their children to run amock on sugar highs is beyond me,and PROBABLY bad for do know what business is,right Nick?
2) Stop bringing in people that did good against the Spirit or are crap (EX: Lopez). Before bringing in a guy have someone do research on them,that's why you're paying them.
3) Let the manager do his job. You need to distance yourself a little from both the manager and team. The manager can't be going to you mid-game for a talk unless it's urgent. And how do you think a player can play knowign the owner is sitting mere feet away from you?
4) FUN IS GOOD......not FUN IS GOOD if we say so

Anonymous said...

Thanks for exactly making my point.
Had I lived in the late 18th, or early 19th century, I would have been proud to be condidered a Jeffersonian.
Again, Thanks for reiterating my position that this is a political and patriotic position and not a religious one.


wooden said...

Sparky - NP, but what I have never understood about "God Bless America" is IT'S NOT A VERY GOOD SONG. Period. Irving Berlin no doubt wrote it in about as much time as it takes to perform it. It's about as complex and deep as a Fox News personality.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more...
It's a TERRIBLE song.
I'd rather hear the ENTIRE version of take me out to the ballgame..
what we commonly hear is only the chorus.
Fox news types are infinitely more intersesting.

What about gettin' Vic back in the lineup?. Depending on when Brian Morse is raedy to go, we may be better off dropping another veteran player. Seems clear Lopez's sorely lacking; Brad Rea would be a better alternative without a doubt as he seems to get the DH nod anyways.

wooden said...

I would love to see Vic back in the lineup... can't really say that he's been a bad manager thus far -- Morse, Trezza, Fischer, Bicondoa; they've all been underperforming. The team just isn't hitting, it's slow, and can't field.

Anonymous said...

It's not often you see a player move directly into the management role. I know a rotten fish when I smell one and this situation smells like Quincy Market in August. I know some of you bloggers didn't care for JK but the Spirit was a CHAMPIONSHIP team while he was their Manager. I read a few blogs commenting about Nick sitting right next to the dugout at last night's Brockton game. Have you ever noticed at home games how many times he comes out of the dugout and looks up at the Owner's box? Could you make it a little more obvious?

On to another subject that I can't seem to let go of. Does anyone else find it insane that the Spirit's player procurement guy is coaching 1st base sometimes? Maybe he should use his time more productively and find GOOD players that can WIN games. Hell, why don't they just have a drawing before each game where Spirit fans can sign up to coach first while they're at it?

Joe Grav said...

Yeah, it's obvious that they are doing things on the cheap this year when we have a different first base coach du jour.