Mirrors embarrassed by Townhouse Thirteen; Cleary appalled with the effort
By: Keith Connors
FAIRFIELD, Conn. — The ball trickled slowly, creeping inch by inch beyond home plate. The catcher picked up the ball and fired it to first for the out.
In retrospect, centerfielder Keith Connors feeble attempt at a base hit on the first at-bat of the season was a micro chasm for the Fairfield Mirrors disastrous, mercy-rule 11-1 loss to Townhouse 13: they just weren’t that good.
“It’s an absolute disgrace,” manager Tom Cleary yelled at reporters following the game. “We work our butts off all off-season and then have this happen. I’m at a loss of words, to be honest. I’m doing the best I can with what I’m given.”
“Today it was boys versus men out there,” he added.
Despite the lopsided result, the first inning was competitive. Starting pitcher Anthony Nardo worked into and out of a bases loaded jam that ended with two consecutive fly outs – a pop out to catcher Jacqueline Stanley and a can of corn to centerfield.
The scoreless first inning, however, was as close as the Mirrors would come. TH13 opened the second inning with consecutive hits to the outfield, capped by a line drive passed shortstop Chris Simmons that inexplicably found the hole in leftfielder Joe’s mitt and rolled all the way to the wall.
“I’m not sure what was going on,” Joe said. “I guess it comes from too many years watching Hideki Matsui. I knew I should’ve had a catch before this game.”
Simmons left the clubhouse without speaking to reporters after the game.
That miscue was only a sign of things to come. The Mirrors misplayed several balls in play to lead to unearned runs. Most notably, Connors and second baseman Tom Cleary both lost fly balls in the sun that ultimately resulted in big innings. Connors had further troubles on mid-height line drives that showed both teams his abject fear of diving headfirst.
“Those were hard plays, give me a break,” Connors said. “I’m out here hustling my (expletive) off every play while (right fielder Chris) Haliskoe is over in right telling me that my girlfriend has better hands. It’s absurd. That is not in our business plan – I can tell you that much.”
Offensively, the Mirrors were lead by third baseman Mikaela Tierney, who reached base in all three plate appearances. However, the ‘Boys of Spring’ left the bases loaded thrice – first, on a pop fly to the pitcher off the bat of Haliskoe; again on a base running mistake by Simmons caused by third base coach Keith Connors; and a third time when Tom Cleary refused to test Rory Bernier’s arm and did not tag up for the mercy-breaking run.
“Tom’s typically the first to go in that situation,” Cleary said. “You know Tom. Tom looks at himself as a hybrid between Rickey (Henderson) and Pedro Cerrano. But it’d be naive of Tom to test someone’s arm with the game on the line. You can’t take the bat out of (Michelle) Morrison’s hands.”
The Mirrors, which likely face potential postseason elimination next weekend, return to the field next Saturday at Barlow Field. Check local listings for time and channel.