by Dr. Rug
Howdy folks and welcome back to another episode of Dr. Rug’s insightful views into the world of YK Fastball. As I’m sure you all know, the year end tourney is fast approaching and before you know it the fastballs will be flying, the bats will be swinging and the beers will be flowing. It took a while to recover from our dominating Slo-Pitch Territorial Championship which resulted in a late start on this here article. That means time is short, and this article will also have to be… so let’s get right into it.
As you’ve seen in the past, my predictions are seldom correct and often miles from what actually happens. That being said, I officially predict a Slades over Pirates tournament final. Congrats Slades on your upcoming title!!!
Then again, this being a YK Fastball League tournament, anything can happen and most likely will. Therefore, despite my complete and utter confidence in the above prediction, let’s take a look into what each team in the league needs to do to win the title…
And for those of you who aren’t so good with written words, I’ve asked my assistant to find me a video clip that helps encapsulate each team’s season…
6th Place: Nexum/Carl’s Red Sox
The Red Sox are peaking at exactly the right time, they were riding a season long win-streak into the playoffs until the little hiccup last night against Slades. Despite the best play of their season and improvements across the board, the stars may have to align perfectly for the Red Sox to pull out a tournament win. Two factors are working for the Red Sox this tournament:
i) They may only have to win 1 game in the round robin to make the playoffs.
ii) They may be the only team not hung over on Sunday.
For the Sox to win it all this weekend they need to keep their hot streak going, pull off an upset somewhere in the round robin, and make it to the playoffs, where anything can happen.
This video perfectly captures the fatherly feelings that the team’s oldtimers felt for the up and coming prospects. Whether it was Steve O sticking up for his youngsters on the forum or Robbie J refusing to trade them, the old guys on this team were like a mother hen, watching over her chicks.
5th Place: Sub-Arctic Surveyors
After starting the season relatively well, the Surveyors have struggled the last month of the year. In fact, they almost allowed the Red Sox to catch them in the standings. Not a strong year for the Sub-Arctic boys. That being said, their formula for success this weekend remains the same as it’s always been.
1. Win enough games to qualify for the playoffs.
2. Get all the other teams as wasted as they are on Saturday night.
3. Play better hung over ball than the opposition on Sunday.
The formula has proven to be successful against Slades this year and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work against everyone else. You know what you need to do Surveyors, it’s now up to you to make it work.
The Surveyors “are who we thought they were”. The one analysis/prediction that I actually got right this year was that the Surveyors would be the exact same team they’ve always been: win some games, lose some games, own the beer gardens.
4th Place: Slo-Pokes
With Paul being away for the playoffs, the Slo-Pokes have already instituted their best possible plan to acquire a league title. They’ve split the team up and put players on several other teams in an effort to increase the chances that at least one Pokes member ends the season with a title. Smart move.
“Playoffs??? You talkin’ about Playoffs?” For a team that fell apart on the eve of the tourney, this video seemed appropriate.
3rd Place: F.E.D. Tile/Fire Prevention Pirates
Perhaps the Pirates peaked a tad too early this year. They started the season 3-0, finished June with a 5-1 record, won the early season Pirates tournament, and were on top of the world. Since that 5-1 start they’ve gone 4-7, lost to the Red Sox in the Territorial playoffs, lost to a Home Building Center team that they’d beaten 7 straight times, and limped to the finish line. Things are only getting worse for the playoffs as the Pirates will be without Kirk, Andy, Chad, Thiel and Terry. With four of their top six hitters out of the line-up, a Pirates 2012 title would be even more impressive than their 2011 upset victory. To do so they’ll need to recapture some of their early season mojo. More specifically, they’ll need their pitchers to be throwing strikes, their fielders to be error free, and the hitters they do have left to come through when they get runners on base. It may be tough, but as we’ve learned in the past, never underestimate this Pirates team.
“For all you non-believers.” Does anything sum up the Pirates attitude and performance since last year’s finals better than that?
2nd Place: Home Building Center Diamondbacks
The D-backs locked down 2nd place last night with an impressive performance on the sticks against the Surveyors. The HBC bats are going to need to continue that hot swinging if they hope to improve on their string of second place performances (Pirates, Territorials, League). For the Diamondbacks to win this weekend they need everything to come together for the full Sunday, instead of just the first half of it. If they get solid pitching, solid hitting, and limited mistakes from their fielders, HBC should have a shot at glory.
“I’m a F****n soldier!!” This clip is dedicated to everyone’s favourite HBC player. Despite being constantly cut down by the Strain brothers, Rusty has overcome the adversity and turned himself into a solid 3rd baseman and an integral part of the HBC attack. Batting in the 9-hole, all he does is score runs. He’s been on base 25 times this season and scored on 19 of those occasions for a 76% scoring rate. That is impressive. Asked about this extraordinary stat, Russ cryptically referred to some sort of training device that he has created to improve his game but refused to elaborate further until the season is over. Stay tuned next week for an insight into this brilliant device that could revolutionize fastball practices.
BONUS YOUTUBE CLIP!!!!
HBC also gets a bonus clip after their pathetic display of arguing during last week’s Slades game when Rhino’s long foul ball allegedly stayed fair.
This is how they should have reacted:
1st Place: Slades Expos
The Expos are clicking on all cylinders and have yet to lose a game since their pathetic performance at the Pirate tourney. Was it the change in leadership? Was it the warmer weather? Was it the fact that I called them out in my “Fall of the Mighty” article? Whatever the reason, the fact remains that Slades have been a step above the rest of the league for most of the season. Even their ridiculous experiments involving Andy Stewart and Ryan Strain on the mound have worked out for them with both players getting Wins this season. For them to win this weekend they need to keep doing what they’re doing and hope that the loss of Territorial MVP Ryan Heslep doesn’t hurt them too much. The title is theirs to lose.
“You play to win the game!!!” That’s why the boys on Slades play, and this weekend they’ll have a chance to prove it once again.
Thanks to everyone for a wonderful year here on ykfastball.ca and I hope everyone gets out and enjoys the last weekend of ball for the 2012 season. Good luck to everyone!!
I’ll be back after the tournament with my final column and a rundown of the awards. Until then, if you have any questions, I can always be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
 Let’s ignore for a second that this is also their very first win streak of the season. Although I suppose if we’re only talking regular season then Slades has only had one win streak this season as well and they’re in first.
 Or for half of them, the team with the most experience playing hung over.
 Or possibly more, I lost track of how many wins in a row they had over us. I’m sure Darcy could tell you.
 Combined they batted 22 for 36 with 22 runs scored.
 With the exception of the Rhino and Andy pitching experiment.