Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bandits - winners of the endurance award!

Wow, that was one heck of a long hard set of games!

Through roasting heat, through a well deserved victory and a tough game, we kept on playing ...

I'm proud to have been an HGRA 2008 Bandit (click Sue Peterson's team picture to go to our album):

HGRA Bandits 2008

Among the memorable performances in our long hot games were Michael's great on base average, great pitching in game 1, big runs from Chris and Make, an RBI from Eli and Mike, a Chris grand slam, great defensive plays, Luke and Mac throwing stealers out.

In addition to our album Sue has one too, I'm going to put 'em together soon. You can download the full res image there or order prints from either album.

In the player picture Sue took we have:

Front row: Joey, Tim, John, Charlie, Eli, Mac
Back row: John, Gregg, Ezra, Neil, Michael, Chris, Luke MT, Colin, Miles, Luke P, Marty and Ryan

If anyone has additional photos to share please point me to a photo site, email them to me at, or (often easiest) mail a CD to:

1660 Stanford Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55105

If I get more photos I'll send out an updated notice, they'll go to the same Picasa album as today's.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A good day to play

It's the last day of Bandits 2008, many thanks to the players and parents who made this a great season and especially to our parent scorekeepers.

We had some excellent plays in our last game. Joey, Michael, Chris and Mac had excellent hits. Luke MT was a wiz as catcher, combining with Neil for some picture perfect plays. Chris pitched superbly, and Tim had a good start before he hurt his arm.

Sue Peterson has sent me her team pictures. They look great! I'll have them up this weekend and will send an email with links.

Today's rotation is available. We're at Homecroft east for 11am, and if we win same place at 1pm. Sunscreen, fluids and lunch are a good idea. Coach John and Gregg are bringing snacks, Mac might have some too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

HGRA 2008 Majors Tournament: standings and games

We’ve got our games and standings for the 2008 Majors.
If I’m reading the tournament schedule correctly, this Thursday we play the Bees at 6:30 pm Riverside 1 (see schedule for field location). We beat the Bees 16-10 on June 26th, when Luke MT was disabled.

Here's my interpreation of how things play out for the Bandits, but check the tournament link for the official summary: I'll ask Marty, Peter and Gregg to confirm I have this right:

We play Thur and either ...
Win -> Play 8:30 am at Homecroft East then either
Win -> Play 1:30 pm at Homecroft West (Championship)
Lose -> Play 11:00 am at Homecroft West (3rd place)
Lose -> Play 11:00 am at Homecroft East
Win -> Play 1:00 pm at Homecroft East (Consolation champion)
Lose -> Enjoy extra treats!
So if we win Thur we will have two games on Saturday. If we lose on Thur we may have 1 or 2 games on Saturday.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

We were good, Spiders were better

We played well tonight, especially on defense and pitching. Our one problem is we couldn't hit the Spiders pitchers. The final score was 6-1.

We saw several great plays at first and pitching from Colin, Neil, Chris and Tim. Colin had an unassisted double play! Ezra stole two bases and got our one run. Special thanks to Michael for coming in to get the last out.

We also discovered we weren't following HGRA rules correctly ...
HGRA BaseBall Rules

...No pitcher may pitch more than two innings per game. The pitched innings must be consecutive. No player may play more than two innings at any one defensive position, except catcher if no other player wishes to catch...
The pitcher innings rule is a bit odd, as we've also been told by the Commissioner that it's not two innings, it's six consecutive outs. The Spiders were ok with that though, the problem is we had Colin on 1st four times.

The rule isn't hard to follow really, so we'll stick to it next time.

Tuesday is our Bandits-family game. We know Luke will miss the Tuesday practice; Ezra will be at practice but will miss the Thursday game. Please let us know of other absences.

Sue Peterson took a team picture, I'll post a scan once I get a copy. Thanks Sue!

Last regular season game, parents practice, treats and more

It's the last game of the regular season tonight. Next Thursday's game is a playoff game, then Saturday 7/26 is a our last day (see note on playoffs). It may be stormy today, but there's a good chance it will clear by this evening.

We're tied with about four teams for third at the moment. The Spiders are a strong team, but with Luke MT back in the lineup we have new firepower. We may surprise them.

We'll be distributing our strongest hitters throughout the lineup, so the batting order will change.

If anyone can't attend tonight please email me or phone me at 651-336-5548 so we can correct the rotation. Joey O'Connor is bringing treats tonight.

Next Tuesday's practice will be parents vs. Bandits. Grandparents welcome too. The non-Bandits will bat with Bandit bats and will hit on their non-preferred side (ex. righties bat left).

I think Luke MT, Michael and Tim have not yet brought snacks. Let me know if this isn't right. We can cover the Saturday games.

We're going to try to get a team picture in uniform before the 7/26 game. I did do an informal picture before the last practice (Charlie was not there). I'll do another informal picture at next practice.

Let's hope for clear skies tonight!

Monday, July 14, 2008

HGRA Major League 2008 - Tournament and Standings

Our indefatigable commissioner has published the HGRA Majors 2008 Tournament brackets and League Standings:
The Bandits and the Buckeyes both have a 4-4 record, so I'd say we're tied for fourth place ahead of the Seals, Redhawks and Greys. We're competitive with the Bees who are 5 and 3. The Mustangs are undefeated, and the Spiders are 6 and 1.

My goal is to finish at least in the middle and retain our players, so we're doing pretty good by my standards.

The Tournament starts on Thursday 7/24. The next game is Saturday 7/26 at 8:30 am.

There other potential game times (depending on outcomes) on Saturday 7/26 are:
  • 11:00 am: For 3rd place and for pre-consolation champion game
  • 1:00 pm: Consolation champion.
  • 1:30 pm: Champions.
So it can be a long day. Don't forget water and snacks and/or lunch.

Commissioner Merley also wrote:
Note that the Mustangs clinch 1st via the tie breaker (head to head) and the Spiders get 2nd...

... In the case of rain this Thursday, the tournament seedings will be based on current standings regardless of make-up games that are played, if any. Teams should not lose a seeding spot just because they couldn't get a make-up game scheduled.

... remind your kids of the following three critical fielding issues:

1. When fielding a grounder at first, run through the bag (don't stop unless absolutely necessary). [In other words, don't block 1st base!]

2. When awaiting a throw at home or any other base, do not stand in front of the base. A fielder may never "block the base" until they have the ball in their glove.

3. Runners must be allowed to round the base. Fielders awaiting a possible throw must not take a position beside or behind a base that will impede the ordinary path of the base runner.
I'll see everyone at practice tomorrow!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bandits 3, Redhawks 0

While I was away, the Bandits got a lot better.

Really, great play from both teams.

Ezra wins the sportsmanship award as well as doing a good job getting on base. Luke and Neil combined for a great out on a steal. Win sealing base hit from Joey. Tim did a great job pitching, especially shutting down the Redhawks in the bottom of the 6th. Excellent defensive play from everybody, including great positional sense. I was especially impressed to see everyone looking alert and in the ready position.

I was happy to see good swings, any of them might have connected for big hits.

Weather tonight: 8/10/08 - DRESS WARMLY

Looks stormy as of noon, forecase is "Variable clouds with strong thunderstorms, especially early. Storms may produce large hail and strong winds.". I'll update the blog if we get a cancellation from the commissioner and will send an email notice. I know it's July, but wet and windy can be cold. I recommend a windbreaker and a long sleeved shirt option for everyone. Players will wear their jersey over a windbreaker. Update: looks good at 5pm

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Coach John is back, catch up, snacks, positions, etc

Tim and I are back and catching up. I've heard some great stories about Bandit play and I was impressed with the gloves at practice today.

Coach Marty tells me players are now more settled in positions. I've added them to the Position spreadsheet. If anyone would like to play a position other than what I have listed please email me at I got the list quickly from Coach Marty and I'm sure it's not complete. Marty and Gregg tell me Luke, Chris and Mac have been strong in center field.

I'll work on the rotation for next game, we only have 3 games left, and one is a playoff! We are a good team and I am looking forward to our playoffs.  Remember 7/24 is a playoff game and Sat 7/26 is the Majors Tournament, so try to be around.

Ezra's family is bring a snack tomorrow.

If anyone will miss the game this Thursday please let me know so I can adjust the schedule. It's hard to do that at the last minute.

Gregg and Marty will both miss this Thursday's game. I'm hoping Peter will be able to help out again and I have a score-keeper book I need to rememer to get to him. Steve Warner promised to help out too so I think we'll be ok.

See everyone at the game!

Coach John