This Week in Milford

June 19, 2019

Is Tanking in the Playdowns TCFS?

Filed under: actual action, anatomically implausible, exposition comics, Gil Thorp — teenchy @ 6:25 am


Friday is the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, so Rubin has four days to wrap this stinker up. How best to do it? By having the Lady Mudlarks lose in the opening round of the playdowns to a supposedly inferior opponent, apparently. That Black Sox analogy from a couple of weeks ago doesn’t seem so far off now.

The Milford ladies’ undoing begins in the form of a botched double play, or at least it looks like a botched double play. We have to assume that Linda threw the ball on to Carla, otherwise how would Carla muff a flip to Linda? I guess it’s better to muff a throw than to throw a, uh, never mind.

It’s been so long since Whigham has had to draw actual action that it seems he’s forgotten the finer points. For instance, when Molly’s that far into her release, shouldn’t the ball be much farther away from her? Having a player flex on an opponent’s error is bad form, too. If #7 comes back up to bat again, she should get one thrown behind her ear, just sayin’.

No matter. The die has been cast and Gil is mixing up the Long Island iced tea pitcher on the deck as I write.


  1. I’m pretty sure Milford hasn’t won a playdown game since the football state championship…

    Comment by billytheskink — June 19, 2019 @ 7:37 am

  2. Also, in response to yesterday’s brief discussion of the phrase “rock and fire”… I’m sorry, but yes, that is a thing that is said to softball pitchers. My sister played softball for a travelling team for several years in her mid-teens and “rock and fire” was shouted at pitchers incessantly by parents/fans, teammates, and coaches. It got old real fast, especially after I figured out the phrase wasn’t “rocket fire”…

    Comment by billytheskink — June 19, 2019 @ 7:48 am

  3. Well, will the sometimes ill-tempered Linda blow a gasket at Carla, causing the team to fall apart? Or will they pull out the “hippopotamus”, “feel the flab”, and get their shit together and win in the bottom of the 7th? I doubt it because good hitting, fielding, and coaching wins games, not good luck charms. Mimi is indeed jonesin’ for one of those long-island iced teas and is dreamin’ about getting away from this obnoxious group of girls once and for all, so don’t expect any Maddon/Francona/Thomas/LaRussa/Stengel-type managing from her.

    Comment by franku2016 — June 19, 2019 @ 9:19 am

  4. What are playoffs? Rock and fire are new to me but I guess it’s a thing. Remember “Hum Babe!”? That meant throw hard. Atlanta Braves talk has come up on these air waves before and I think that’s where I heard it while watching Braves telecasts in early 80’s.

    Comment by Jive Turkey — June 19, 2019 @ 9:34 am

  5. Supposedly, it was Humm-baby, and Roger Craig used it when he was managing the Giants. It meant whatever he meant, usually something good.

    Comment by Downpuppy (@Downpuppy) — June 19, 2019 @ 11:53 am

  6. Thanks for the clarification Billy. This must have kept the research department busy coming up with that one. Looks like the Mudlarks are coming up one “rock” short. Or maybe they failed to “fire”.

    Comment by Bobby Joe — June 19, 2019 @ 12:14 pm

  7. Thanks downpuppy. My recollection a little off. I do remember it being associated with Roger Craig now that you unearthed that article.

    Comment by Jive Turkey — June 19, 2019 @ 6:08 pm

  8. teenchy – not necesarily. A flip to second could be made underhand with the palm down and the ball coming out just like its shown. Its one of the better panels we’ve seen. Put a ball in your hand and turn your palm down and flip it forward. Your index finger will look a lot like the diagram.
    (Point taken. I’ve been trying to do that with a tennis ball but Uncle Arthur won’t let me extend my index finger quite so far. – t)

    Comment by robmize2013 — June 19, 2019 @ 9:16 pm

  9. Baseball and softball metaphors change with the time. I remember “That’s a rocket to right center!” In the early years of the game, the 1870s and 80s, people would yell “Red hot!” in that situation, invoking the technology of the time, the forge.

    Some time ago, there were two preservations leagues on Long Island. Don’t know if either operates. One used the rules from the 1870s, another from the 90s. The earlier rules were great to watch– four strikes and five balls, the plate was a literal plate, the umpire stood behind the pitcher, and the catcher stood well back, handling the pitch on a bounce. Oh, and no gloves…

    I love the anonymous quatrain about the first professional team:


    We wore no mattress on our hand,
    No cage upon our face.
    We stood straight up and caught the ball
    With courage and with grace.

    The rules inevitably evolved. One of the early changes was the requirement that the runner touch the bases in order. This was inspired by the legendary Mike Kelly of Boston, who used to steal third by running straight across from first. He was the subject of a favorite tavern song, “Slide, Kelly, Slide!”

    I am a casual student of the game, and was thrilled a few years ago to find that the earliest written reference to baseball appeared in a 1791 ordinance in PIttsfield, Massachusetts. It seems that the meeting house had recently added windows of real glass rather than oiled parchment. This led to the prohibition of playing base ball within 100 yards of the building…

    Comment by vaganova — June 20, 2019 @ 12:50 pm

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