Saturday, April 18, 2009

"People should know when they are conquered"

In the the shockingly YouTube-clipless movie "Brewster's Millions" the character of Monty Brewster says he can beet any team, even the New York Yankees, for 3 innings. So he spends part of his initial inheritance of 30 million dollars to set up a game with the Yankees in Hackensack New Jersey. All this is so he can win the larger inheritance of 300 million which, in 1985, was supposed to be an amount so large that it was unfathomable. Now, 300 million is about what the Yankee payroll is. Not that all that money helped them today mind you, but I'm getting off track.

I mention Monty Brewster's dream of playing the big boys as a way of setting the scene for what went down in my town today. A group of local boys who played ball in high school, college and even a few in the pros banded together to take on the York Revolution. Ok, so it's not the Hackensack Bulls v the New York Yankees, but to some of the people in my town, it was bigger.

See, the York team is a professional team, but they are not affiliated with Major League Baseball, so many around here see them as worthless. Adding to that perception is the fact that before the Revolution came to York in 2006 we already had two leagues that were big time around here. At least in the minds of the locals. The Central and Susquehanna Leagues are filled with guys who were always the best player on their team, until they weren't anymore.

Some were big time in high school and then didn't make it in college. Others were good enough to be big time in college but never went pro. Those who did go pro, either out of high school or college, didn't make it to the show. So they came home and got regular jobs like the rest of us, but still had to scratch that baseball itch each spring. So they play in the Central and the Susquehanna. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, as long as you keep it in perspective.

Perspective is not something that people around these parts seem to be too good at, however. Since the Rev's began playing in '06 I have had countless discussions with people who wanted to tell me that the quality of ball being played by the Rev's wasn't any better than that being played in the Central or Susquehanna. In some cases, people even told me it was worse. No matter how I tried to explain it, these people couldn't be told that their local boys weren't as good as these out of towners who came to play in York each summer.

For me, that was the point of today's Brewster's type game. For the naysayers to see first hand what would happen when a team of has-beens takes on a team of never-will-bes, even if they are local never-will-bes. The-beens used 6 runs in the 4th and 9 in the 8th to earn a convincing 18-1 victory. Well, convincing to some of us. I overheard some of the more ardent townball supporters bitching at the end of the game. They said that it would have been different if they had left Shawn Hedrick in for the whole game. The Red Lion star pitched two hitless innings, striking out 4* and walking one. No matter how good he was for two innings, he wasn't going to no-hit a pro team for 9 and he wasn't going to hold them to a run or less.

I honestly didn't think the local boys would even score one run. Chalk that up to apathy on the Rev's side. I also heard one local boy tell his friends as he warmed up in the bullpen that "They let us know that they really didn't want to play this game." Yeah, no shit. And now, I bet all those Yorkers who touted the supremacy of townball over the Revs wish they hadn't played either. Sometimes it's better to not know, ya know?

*In other news related to today's game, York Leadoff hitter Dave Flood struck out in his first AB. Why is that significant? Well Flood has the all time smallest strike zone in baseball history. At three foot two, Flood is the Rev's version of Bill Veeck's experiment with Eddie Gaedel who was a little person who drew a walk with the Indians in '51. How Flood didn't do the same today is still a mystery to me as Hedrick struck him out on a 3-2 pitch to start the game. I have no doubt that all 6 pitches were balls and the umpire was just fed up with the charade.

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