Tonight's game was great in every respect: It was played at a crisp 2.5 hour pace, Joey Siak pitched a complete game, Butch "Drunken old fart" Hobson had a hilarious blowup that ranks among some of the best I've ever seen, I actually won a jersey auction for once, and the Spirit scored a 5-2 victory to maintain their lead in the 2nd half standings.
But all of that kind of took a backseat to the devastating news that Vic Davilla's wrist injury is worse than we thought - he requires surgery which will be performed some time next week and will keep him out of the lineup for 4-6 weeks. What that basically means is that if he comes back at all, he'll be coming back just in time for the playoffs --- the Spirit will have to hang on to a playoff spot without him in the meantime.
Aside from that news taking the wind out of our sails, we were treated to a great game tonight. BJ Weed scored the first run of the ballgame without the benefit of a hit in the first inning. He walked to start the game, reached 2nd on a groundout, tagged up to reach 3rd on a flyout, and scored on a wild pitch by Nashua starter [and losing pitcher] Lance Stevens.
In the 3rd, the Spirit added 2 more to make it 3-0, but the real story in the 3rd was what happened to crazy old fart Butch Hobson. Namely, he blew a gasket over a COMPLETELY CORRECT CALL.
Now, I know that I am a Spirit homer.
But trust me - there is video evidence to back this up - the call in question was COMPLETELY CORRECT.
Allen Mottram grounded the ball to short and used his blazing wheels (AKA De Vries esque hustle) down the line. The throw from short barely got there before Mottram did, and it clearly pulled Nashua's first baseman off the bag by a good 2, 3 feet. Mottram was obviously safe despite moving down the first base line at Willy Tenney speed.
But the first base umpire, in an obvious mistake, called Mottram out. Vic Davilla came out to argue the call and asked the first base ump to consult with the home plate ump, who apparently had a better angle on the play because he overturned the call and ruled Mottram safe.
Out from the dugout came Hobson - no surprise, I figured he'd want an explanation.
But he went BATSHIT INSANE, screaming at the ump over the correct call. Finally, after holding up the game needlessly for a good 5 minutes, he was tossed by the ump, who was sick of his crap.
Then he really went haywire, pointing to the bag multiple times before picking it up. Then he did something I've never seen before. He picked up first base and just started walking with it, walking straight into Section A. He nonchalantly made his way up the stairs and gave the base to a young child in the stands. Then he stomped back down the steps, in to the dugout, and out toward the clubhouse. It was truly astounding and extremely unprofessional.
The game was needlessly held up even longer while the staff went out to retrieve first base from the excited young fan, who got a team signed bat and hat for his troubles.
I'm guessing "NEVER GO INTO THE CROWD" isn't just an unwritten rule - it's probably a WRITTEN rule.
If Hobson doesn't get suspended over this, it's probably because he's a ~*celebrity*~ name who brings people to the ballpark because of his Red Sox ties. Of course, just like Oil Can, people neglect to point out the fact that he was shunned from the big boys because he was a raging cokehead. But that's OK, because he used to be on the Red Sox! So he's obviously amazing! All hail! It was pretty sickening to hear people cheering so loudly for an opponent.
Hobson not only ran into the stands, he bumped the first base umpire. He's probably due for at least a 5 game suspension, easily.
Later in the game, another Pride player and coach were chucked for arguing a call at first. I didn't see this incident because I was down in the concourse protecting my bid on my beloved #16 Jon de Vries memorial Allen Mottram camoflauge jersey.
Meanwhile, Joey Siak was cruising on the mound. He pitched a solid complete game, yielding 2 runs in total - one in the 4th and one in the 9th. He never appeared to be in deep trouble at any point during the game.
BJ Weed added to his stellar night with an RBI single in the bottom of the 4th. He was a force at the top of the lineup tonight.
The Spirit will need guys like Weed, Roche, Lopez, Lopez, Lopez, Lopez, Lopez, and Jerson Perez to step it up if they are going to keep producing in Vic's absence.
The team is strong with or without Vic, but we all saw the first half, and the dramatic difference Vic has made in the lineup.
Cross your fingers, folks.