life in and around NYC is insane

Monday, September 26, 2016

September baseball

So...with a week to go in the season, the Mets (last year's National League champs) are chasing after a wild card spot.  Yesterday they played a real laugher against the Phillies -- final score 17-0. 

Tonight they play the Miami Marlins.  The mood in Miami will be somber -- yesterday the Marlins' ace, Jose Fernandez, was killed in a boating accident.    Fernandez was supposed to pitch against the Braves yesterday, but the manager decided to give him an extra day of rest and allow him to pitch against the Mets instead.  If he'd been expected to pitch Sunday afternoon, he would not have gone boating Saturday night/Sunday morning.  What a twist of fate...

But on the local about them Ducks?

Because the Atlantic League is so small -- only 8 teams --how the playoffs and championship are decided is a bit different than in Major League Baseball.

The league is divided into two divisions, Liberty and Freedom.  The Ducks play in the Liberty Division.

Atlantic League divides its season into halves.  Whoever is in first place  at the All Star Break (yes, there is an Atlantic League All Star game) is the "first half champion" of their division. Winner of the first half  meets the winner of the second half in a "best of five" to win the division.  then the division winners meet in a "best of five" to determine the league championship.

The Ducks easily won the first half, securing a place in the playoffs, but played abysmally in the second half.    The first two playoff games would be "away" games, but games 3, 4 and 5 would be played on Long Island.   Drew was very skeptical they could succeed in the playoffs. We decided to buy tickets for game 3 anyhow, it would be a fun way to spend a Friday night.

So the first two games against the Somerset Patriots did not go well for the Ducks.  They returned home with an 0-2 deficit.  When we got to the ballpark Friday night, each of us was handed a "rally towel", which Drew quipped would likely become a "crying towel" by the end of the evening.

He was so wrong.

My rally towel got quite a workout.

The Ducks beat the Patriots by a score of 7-1.

On the way out of the ballpark, Drew said to me "If they win tomorrow night, would you want to see Game 5 on Sunday?" 

Of course I said yes.

They won Saturday night, score was 2-0.

We headed to the ballpark Sunday night for Game 5.

I now have a matched set of rally towels.

Attendance was low -- only about 2200 fans in a ballpark that can seat about 6,000 -- but those of us who were there are very devoted fans.

Starting in the bottom of the 1st, and continuing throughout the game, you could hear drumming from the Ducks' dugout.  One of the coaches was using an empty water jug as a war drum...instead of "Drums Along the Mohawk", we had "Drums Along the Great South Bay".

The Ducks scored early in the game, and never let go of the lead.  Going into the top of the 9th, the score was 5-1, and I said the champagne was going to flow in a little while.

Drew said "They're not going to be drinking champagne....they're going to drink Cold Duck."


The Ducks now face the Sugarland Skeeters in a "best of five" for the league championship.  First two games are in Texas, with games 3, 4 and 5 here on Long Island Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

We have tickets for Friday night.

They have to win the title  Friday or Saturday, I can't go to game 5 -- Sunday night is the first night of Rosh Hashanah.



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