Monday, August 02, 2010

'Rakers conclude memorable '10 Summer League

CONCORD -- It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the Contra Costa Times. Fourscore and seven years ago. The lazy brown fox jumped over the wacky log. To be, or forsooth, to be not. That be the question.

Literary classics, more or less, one and all. Whether the Golden State Muckrakers' 2010 Summer League campaign will go down as one of the all-time classics of the genre remains to be seen, although the 3-9 final record might be a bit of a tipoff. Still, what the season that contained five bye weeks lacked in victories, it more than made up in moments that the 'Rakers will carry with them for a long, long time. Seasons are like that.

It was the year of the Near-Perfecto. It was the year of the Bob Brindley cameos. It was the year of the Mat Petersen sighting. It was the year of Luke Abbott home-cooked hospitality. It was the year of the Luke Abbott blue cleats. It was the year of the Roover. It was the year Matt Knauff made catches here, there and everywhere. It was the year of Mike Wolcott at first base. It was the year of the Gift That Is Rice Krispies. It was the year the 'Rakers had three home brewers in the lineup. It was the year of the furthering Pig'N'Whistle Connection.

And we could go on and on, but then this blog would begin to resemble "War and Peace" and then this whole literary classics theme would go beyond the stretching point, and -- ouch! -- you know how painful that can be. And, you know, you can't have "classic" without the "ass." It's true, so true.

And speaking of -- OK, in this aside we note we weren't really speaking of anything, just kind of wingin' it until something better came along -- the Mighty, Mighty Muckrakers lowered the curtain on SL '10 with a 13-6 loss at the hands of Scared Hitless on July 22. The self-same 'Rakers were determined to head out on a high note, and indeed came out of the blocks with three runs in the first inning (there was Knauff's sac fly, a double from Randy Striegel, and a two-RBI single by Ben Enos.

But the Men of Muck struggled with offensive continuity after that, scoring three more times over the next five frames. Striegel, Dave Alcorn and Rick Browning all contributed two-hit games in an average-raising finale.

When it was all said and done it was time to repair to the parking lot to award the 'Rakers' MVP Award -- well-deserved Mr. Knauff! -- and enjoy that fabled 'Raker hospitality. A classic time was had by all.

And let us not sign off for the season without mentioning the continuing fine work by Manager Chris Wagnon. It's not easy riding herd on a free-ranging band of outside-the-box thinkers and doers, but Wagnon continues to make it look easy. A sign of a true master.

See you at Rocco's.

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