(Written by our friend and former HA'er, Jordan Lee)
Not since the “Glory Days” of the Orange HA Uniforms, has the sheer dominance of the entire league been the standard measure for success. Even as his upper management duties have made him an absentee Manager, Skipper Hilburn has put his team in the driver’s seat to take the title. He has been able to ensure the roster is stacked with the top talent of the day with a sprinkling of wily veterans.
On Tuesday, the Swingers faced the Big Fish Sticks for the second time this year and improved on the previous 21-1 drubbing handed out in Week 3. Hilburn pitched a complete game shutout and the offense put up 23 runs.
The rookies stood out this week delivering key hits even while fending off nagging injuries. Emma Hunsaker, starting catcher has really been getting inside the opposing batter’s heads while they are in the box. Manipulating the umpire’s calls with her downhome dustbowl humor and charm, has provided an edge that cannot be put into a multi-year contract or on any stat sheet.
With the win, Swingers improve their record to 6-0 for the season and looked to complete the regular season undefeated. Unfortunately, their next opponent Cask and Trotter, had some last minute personnel problems and could not meet the roster requirements. In order to not squander the opportunity to gets some reps in before the playoffs, Swingers’ assistant management staff agreed to a one game contract option for Emma “Mouth” Hunsaker.
Unfortunately for the Swingers, Hunsaker forgot where her bread was buttered and really turned it up a notch batting for C & T. Her trash-talking presence at the plate was felt by the Swingers bats, as they barely mustered to get 4 runs on the board. It’s obvious that this one game contract option will not be repeated. The Swingers suffered their first defeat of the season losing 9-4. The bright spot is that this game does not count due the roster violation. As a result, the Swingers do close out the regular season 7-0.
The game drew quite the crowd from the HA faithful, and they were treated to surprise performance from the Cask and Trotter Ace P.J. Carlesimo making his first start on the mound for the year. Carlesimo, the NBA Coaching veteran and former Seattle Sonics coach, stifled the Swingers offense. Rumor has it, he is looking keep himself connected to the league – to what end, we are not certain. It may be that he will be working with Univision to begin an International Broadcast for the league, just in case his current analyst positions at TNT don’t work out.
The Swingers definitely need to regain their composure and start channeling Muhammad Ali before the first round of playoffs. Hopefully, they will have their full squad available, and Hilburn may make a few call-ups from the farm system in Marysville. Get your Vuvuzelas ready because the playoffs are here and the Swingers are hell bent on bringing home “The Hardware” for the case!