8/20 Lakers held their postseason party in one of those suite-boxes in the metrodome. The event was a success in that just about everyone (in-town) showed up for it - more than typical showing for a regular season game. Speaking of showing up, Marty showed up late with all entry tickets causing Bistro to break out in sweat. Kimble arrived with a multiple drink headstart and kept going. Kier backed up his internet tales with artifacts from his journeys.
The service was lousy but the incompetence did produce extra beer. Solty fired his usual witty one-liners including a challenge issued to Ted to complete a sentence. the Lakers hung out as long as they could after the game and were kicked out before anyone caused any trouble. In doing this the Lakers did win the stupid-outlast-the-others tradition by outlasting every other suite party in the Dome. No awards were handed out so props such as batting-title leader, mvp, rookie of the year or any equivalent distinction in shame will just have to remain unproclaimed.
All in all, a good time was had by players families and friends to close out the season. The Manager thanks fans and the iron few who stuck it out game in and out. Lakers now will regroup and reassess for the future. We'll see what happens in 2008.
8/7 Tuesdy Aug 7 is the all star game vs Riverview at Veteran's Field in Mtka. 7:05. Mike Merrill and Sam Bunnett represent the Lakers. Bistro is also going to be in the home run contest.
8/1 LAKERS LOSE PLAYOFF SERIES TO HOMIES
In game 1, John Simkins pitched well for the Lakers but was out-dueled by Dustin Carlson of the Homies who recorded 16Ks enroute to a 4-1 win. In game 2, the the Lakers fell behind early as the Homies scored quite a few runs in the first and kept going. Final score was 8-0.
Lakers congratulate Wessely Homes and wish them and all other Park National teams that advance well in state. This brings to a close, a mediocre season of play for the Lakers that saw heavy roster attrition across the board. The manager thanks those iron 9 or 10 that stuck it out day in and out showing up to play.
There is one game remaining as the Lakers will cobble together what is left of the roster for a match with the Minnetonka Millers on Friday Aug 3, 7:30 at Veterans Field in Minnetonka.
Other notes: Congratulations to Laker all-stars Mike Merrill and Sam Bunnett. The game between Park National and Riverview will be held at Veteran's field at 7:05 PM, Tuesday Aug 7 at Veteran's field.
7/29 LAKERS BEAT SOUTH, BOMBERS. HEAD TO 2/3s vs HOMIES!!
7/27 LAKERS PLAYOFF PREVIEW
In the few preceding years, the Lakers flaunted a strong regular season squad heading into the playoffs. Pitching depth, defense, numbers: it was all there. 2007 marks a change as roster attrition has contributed to, well, a crappy season. Nonetheless, the Lakers managed to play above average ball and now head into the playoffs without a bye and faced with having to play not one, but two single elim games just to get into the 2/3s.
Having said all that, there is recent precedence in Park National for the 7-9 seed to win a couple of games and in some cases to make the run all the way to state. Merchants and Pub were some recent teams to accomplish that feat. The Lakers will try to do the same by winning a couple of games against South and then the Bombers.
For South, yes, they are 2-12 but they have some athletes on that team and are probably better than their record - certainly as good as 9, 10, or 11 seeded teams. They've played the Lakers tough and we expect a battle.
The Bombers and Lakers go a ways back as not only rivals in Park National from the days of Dinkytown and Birdtown, but also when we used to play exhibition against Joe Lavin's boys at Donaldson and also at state in 1999. Smalls once referred to the series as a rivalry, to which Paul responded "you guys have to beat us first to make it a rivalry". Well the Bombers have done just that and have joined the ranks of teams to be reckoned with in Park National as well as winning some games against the Lakers.
Bottom line is that for either game, with top pitchers throwing, anything can happen in seven innings. The Lakers have been known as the strong regular-season squad that faded in the playoffs. They hope to turn tables this year and make a run as underdogs. The pitching rotation is set (a closely guarded secret). Bring it all on. It begins Sunday 2:00PM at Fort vs. South. If we win, we take on the Bombers at 5:00PM.
7/23-74 LAKERS DROP A PAIR OF TUNEUP GAMES
On Monday night, the Lakers went down to Burnsville for a tuneup vs the Bobcats and came out 7-4 losers. Bistro hit two bombs in the game, first one being an opposite field shot while the second one is still in orbit. Billy pitched fine in tuneup. Erickson finished up. Jared did nothing in front of the home crowd.
On Tuesday night, the Lakers had a rematch to resolve their tie with Hopkins from 8 days earlier. Hopkins won easily. Adam Kent made a bunch of fantastic, athletic, unbelievable diving stops. He also made a few errors. Dickie started the game. Reichert finished. There was much discussion in the dugout about the science of hitting. Are you a linear hitter or rotational? The Lakers have a few days to ponder that in the batting cages as they rest up for 2 single elimination games on Sunday.
7/19 LAKERS TRIUMPH OVER EVIL
Why is it that every good team in Park National beats the Devils, Souths, Riverrats of the league by huge lopsided margins, but the Lakers always manage to play these teams close? The game started late because every Devil originally went to NEAF thinking the game was supposed to be played there. When the game finally started, according to reports, the Devils jumped out to a 4-0 lead. The Lakers fought back and tied the game on a bases loaded walk in the seventh. Marty then celebrated his Bday with the GWBRI. Celebration continued with a post game BBQ. The game scheduled for Friday night vs EP was cancelled.
7/18 LAKERS BULLDOGS RAINED OUT
7/16 LAKERS DON'T LOSE BY A RUN
Instead the Lakers kissed their sisters as they tied the Hopkins Berries 2-2 at the 3-million-dollar Veteran's Field in Minnetonka. As 100+ fans watched on at the sparkling new facility, Sam Erickson was up to his usual business of being a "good thumber" in Troy Mattern form. For those that don't know, Troy Mattern was the greatest thumber ever in the history of Lakers baseball and more. Changeups, curves, slow and slower had Berries hitters befuddled. Bistro hit a solo bomb and then emulated Kirk Gibson around the bases. Merrill was his fun-to-watch self with hard hit balls, bunt singles, stolen bases, and a throwout of a runner trying to advance on a deep fly to right center. In the ninth, Erickson got into trouble loading the bases before escaping trouble with a flareout and K. In the 10th with time limit looming, Alex was put in the unenviable position of saving a tie. he proceeded to get into trouble by walking the leadoff batter, but then with bases loaded and one out, and infield in, Alex was able to "induce" a lineout double play to Bistro to salvage the tie. Plans are in works for a rematch tuneup next week. Lakers continue their Riverview tour vs Bloomington Bulldogs 8:00PM on Wednesday. Thursday back to league vs Devils (BBQ after game). EP game Friday is cancelled.
7/15 LAKERS LOSE PITCHING DUEL 1-0 to HOMIES
Crap!!! Wrote a long recap but computer crashed - not going to do it again. Bottom line: Billy pitched well as he and Christian Blank battle 0-0 through 7 innings (giving us just a couple of hits each). In the 8th, with Dickie in relief, blue gives a bogus walk (our opinion) to Papalia. Homies bunt him into scoring position and he later scores the winning run on a Nuke hard hit ball off the shortstop. Good pitching outing for Billy in his season of surgery rehab, but the Lakers end up short again. Hopkins is next at the 3 million dollar Veteran's Field.
7/13 LAKERS FIND LITTLE LUCK IN HASTINGS
On a perfect evening at Veterans field in Hastings, the Lakers jumped out to a 4-1 lead against the host Raiders. Apparently the Lakers were hitting well, playing well, and getting good ump calls, and Goersh was cruising. When yours truly manager/webmaster showed up in the fourth, he apparently brought Friday-13th luck with him as things took a turn south very quickly. The errors mounted one by one and by game's end, the although scoreboard showed 4 errors, the true talley felt much higher than that. Misplays, failure to make plays, interesting ump calls, all contributed to the downward spiral. For example at a key moment in the 6th, Marty had apparently salvaged a misplayed seemingly routine fly ball with a great diving catch but it was ruled a no catch (tough call for one ump). Side comment: Why are all our outfielders playing on the warning track? In another instance of misfortune, a shot to deep right by Case bounced over the fence for a ground rule double which held the Lakers' tying run at third. The game ended when Adam Kent was ruled third-strike on a check swing that did not appear that close. The 7-6 loss marks yet another close loss for the Lakers in a season that just plain feels icky.
Homies are next. Rumors are that the Homies may dust off Fleet for a playoff run and we'll see him on Sunday. Throwback unis were planned, but there may not be enough for the game.
7/11 LAKERS BEAT BLUESOX 7-1
After seeing red the night before, the Lakers rebound against the Bluesox for a 7-1 victory. Since the other webmasters who were present won't post an update, the manager will give his best shot: Erickson started for the Lakers. He was slow (as usual) but effective with 9Ks and a complete game. The Bluesox pitcher was slow but not effective. KPK and Mountain struck out. Merrill hit the ball well and hard (3 hits). Sammy hit a popup wind-carried homerun. Someone brought beer. There was a lot of post-game talk about rebuilding for the future. Mike and Tess Hall had a baby - 7lb, 5oz, Audra Ann Hall.
7/10 LAKERS LOSE TO ROCKS
The Lakers' 2007 slide continues in a 14-4 drubbing at the hands of the Rocks. Going into the season things looked promising for another strong season of contention for the Lakers in Park National. We had a full returning squad of veterans with numerous prospects turned away due to numbers. The bottom has fallen out as one by one, the players fell to jobs, grad school, injuries, old, moving away, babies, kiboshes, flakedome, whatever. It started with Weddie, Hall, Servais, Kimble, Midland Lutherans, etc. The Cousins brothers were part of the defection and they were attendance as their new team easily downed the Lakers to complete the season sweep.
In game one, Nate Cousins requested and was granted opportunity to face his old squad. In that game, the Lakers had the offensive upperhand but could not capitalize leaving many runners in scoring position at critical times. Last night, wasn't as close. Dickie started the game and seemingly hit his spots but could not get the out pitch. The Rocks took advantage of pitches up in the zone and basically hit the ball pretty well. This was not helped by Laker defensive miscues which led to multiple-run innings for the Rocks.
Offensively, the Lakers had some hits but could not string anything together. Brian Johnson did pitch well. The Lakers are now pretty much down to the "iron" 10 or 11 guys day in and out. BlueSox next.
7/9 LAKERS FALL TO UST 5-4
Close game with the Tommies getting up early 4-1 after 2 innings. Lakers fight back but come up just short. More to come.
6/30 LAKERS BEAT ANGELS SOMETHING LIKE 7-5
OK. Based on second hand accounts it wentsomething like this: Ted Kimble started and pitching was not the greatest. Somehow he battled - gave up a 3 run homer but not too much more. For the Lakers part, Bistro was not toilet and hit a 3 run homer. Lakers go up by a few. Goersh comes in is also toilet. With the Angels threatening and tieing run on second, Adam Kent comes up with a great diving stop type of play at third to retire the side and end the game.
This marks the second consecutive league win where the starter has pitched not so great but the Lakers win (Burdine's win vs the Bombers was the other one). Apparently the Lakers squandered opportunities vs the Pub and Angles earlier in the week in non-support of Diaz and Dickie. Reports say that we left all kinds of runners on base in those games including hitting into a triple play when Jared Mountain, intending to order up a bunt but instead thinks he is coaching Southwest High and dials up a hit and run. Speaking of Jared, I heard that Case had him pinch run for Solty in a key situation - What? A post game race resolved this deal with Jared winning the race-off, although I heard he cheated in Kier-style. Nonetheless, Jared ran himself into contention for finally making Lakers fall football team (GPS) which he has been trying to join for 20 years.
Lakers now have a nice break for July 4 week. Have a good one all....
6/27 PUB 5, LAKERS 3
6/26 ANGELS 3, LAKERS 2
6/24 LAKERS WIN STOCKMEN'S TOURNEY
The Minneaoplis Lakers down the tournament host Irish 2-1 in 8 innings to win the Stockkmen's tourney. With many team members taking a break, 9 or 10 guys stuck it out in the hot weekend sun and brought home a win in national league style. Both runs were were manufactured - in the fifth with the Lakers trailing by one, a hit, stolen base, bunt, sac fly evened things up. Then in the eighted, after a double and a bunt to move the runner over, Devin English singled in the winning run on a very cheap flare to right. Other notes:
- After the game, the Lakers had some warm beer and used last year's second place Prior Lake trophy to crush empty beer cans.
- With the Lakers' 3-0 tourney record, all four Samanant boys capped off a weekend consisting of 11 games where they were all in action with their respective teams enroute to 10-1 W/L mark.
- Thanks to the Irish for hosting a well run tournament.
- John Simkins did not pitch as he is resting up for key midweek league matchups.
6/23 LAKERS WIN FIRST 2 OF STOCKMEN'S TOURNEY
Lakers make quick work of the hogs in the first game winning 10-0 in 5 innings. 9 runs in the botom of the first helped the cause as Diaz(starting pitcher) shows up at 1:50 for a 2 o'clock game. The game lasted 1 hour and 5 minutes so the Lakers had to sit in the shade of the adjacent park for an hour waiting to warm up for the night cap. Erickson through well in the night cap against the Saints. Merrill had a hot day in the hot weather going 7 for 7 with 3 doubles, 5 RBI and 4 stolen bases.
-John is doing well and will be working off of Dayton and Oxford in Saint Paul. He will be gardening there.
6/22 LAKERS HOLD OFF THE BOMBERS 6-4
Mike Burdine showed up for one of his starts and made the most of it. He gave up 2 in the first but settled down and threw all 7 for the victory. The defense kinda let him down but 3 of the errors were by Burdine, not helping himself out. Merril is fast and couldn't decide if he wanted the inside the park homerun. After thinking about it for a while he decided to go and came up about a foot short on his slide. Bistro kept swinging the bat well besides the sore back. Postgame talk was about the low numbers and pitching for the weekend tourney in south saint paul. Clark might go for the all 9 positions in one game but that means he will have to dominate on the hill for at least one batter.
Stockmen's tourney this weekend
6/20 LAKERS LOSE TO HOMIES 6-4
The depleted lakers limped into Nieman to face a red hot hitting Homie squad and for the most part, the Homies showed why they are #1 and the Lakers showed why they are merely above average. Homie hit Simkins pretty well and hard for most of the afternoon. The Lakers defense did nothing to help the cause as miscues and failure to make plays contributed to a mounting defeicit. The offense was equally lifeless as Christian Blanck pitched well to hold up the Homie end of the anticipated pitching duel.
Down 6-0 in the seventh, the Lakers string together some hits to make things interesting. Could the impossible happen? Can a team as down and dead come back that late in the game? The Lakers plate 4 and with Case onboard, tying run at the plate and Bistro on deck, the would-be drama of a Bistro/Blanck rematch of the 2006 homerun never materialized as Kier grounded out to end the game. Rematch with the Bombers next.
6/18 LAKERS REPEL THE RIVER RAT ATTACK
Either some of the bottom league teams are getting better or the Lakers are down a little this year. It's probably a little of both as the Lakers work to hold off the RiverRats 4-2 to complete the season sweep. In the first innning, the Riverrats moved out to a 1-0 lead on an unearned run. Led by Mike Merrill's aggressive baserunning, the Lakers charged back to a 3-1 lead and then later added a run enroute to a 4-2 win. Star of the game was Laker starter Ted Kimble who struck out 12 batters. The third base dugout was a dangerous place as foul ball after foul ball from Riverrat bats continued to pepper the back concrete. Better there than "between the lines" to steal a phrase from the opposing coach. Joe had a triple. Solty had some nice hits including a double. Adam Kent made a nice throw.
Next up for the Lakers is the always fun matchup with the Homies. Probable matchup: Simkins vs Blanck at Nieman. Be there or be Weddie.
6/17 LAKERS HOLD OFF MALLARDS FOR 6-5 WIN-
Lakers jump out to a 5-0 lead after 1 inning and hold off the comeback attempt by the south team. Billy threw well and only had one ball hit hard off of him all day. But the south team used dinks and dunks to scratch 5 accross. Lakers play the riverrats monday night.
6/15 LAKERS FALL TO THE PUB 7-4-
The Lakers fall behind 7-0 early to the pub, but come back and have their chances to win. Erickson starts on the hill and struggles a little early but settles down and throws all 7 not allowing a run after the 3rd inning. The hole was just a little to deep as Merrill gets the lakers first hit in th 4th and scores later in the inning after he picks up another SB. So it is 7-1 after 4. Lakers get a few more in the 5th and 6th to make the final 7-4. There were opportunities as Clark and Dickie got picked off first by the pubs left handed catcher to end 2 separate threats the Lakers had going. Oh well we have to have a short memory and come back on fathers day against South. The game will be the return of KPK but he is unsure if he will be playing as he just ran Grandma's Half Marathon.
6/14 LAKERS ESCAPE WITH A WIN OVER THE MALLARDS-
WOW is all anyone could say after the long game. Lakers fall behind early 6-4. Then give up some more runs in the 4th to fall behind 10-5. Lakers scrape some runs across to only be behind 10-8 after the 5th. Then in the bottom of the 6th the lakers take advantage of some walks and wild pitches to score 5 for the final score of 13-10. Sam Bunnett swung the bat well a HR short of the cycle after getting his first triple of the season. Merrill added 2 SB's while Solty got his first of the year. Case came in to pitch the last 3 innings to get the win. Next game is Friday at 8:30 as a make up game against the pub.