For the past month and a half or so I have had an internship with the Danbury Westerners, as the team broadcaster. I have been able to travel with the team and have seen all of their games. That is all of their games up to July 9.
The Danbury Westerners are one of 12 teams in the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL). The NECBL is a wooden bat summer league (similar to Cape Cod just not as prestigious) which takes top tier draft prospects and gives them more experience and tutelage to help bring their baseball careers to the next level. Joe Nathan and Alfredo Amezaga are amongst the alumni of the NECBL.
Earlier I said up to July 9 because at approximately 10 AM on that day I boarded a plane for Australia. Well, not exactly Australia, first to Los Angeles, then to Tokyo, then to Sydney.
When I left the team they were 4-18 and had next to zero percent chance at making the playoffs and never thought that this team would be able to turn things around. The Westerner’s had the highest team era in the NECBL and only two hitters batting over .300, not to mention several fielders with 5+ errors in the first 21 games of the season.
Although I was able to access the internet during the two weeks I was in SydneyI opted not to check up on the Westerners or the NECBL. The one time I checked my e-mail I did notice two e-mails from the General Manager of Westerners.
One saying that three Westerners made the Southern Division All- Star team they were Michael Olt, Kyle Mahoney and Michael Oskandy respectfully.
The other saying that I was not going to be the broadcaster representing the Southern division. Two of my friends that went with me to Sydney, Auximatas and Jules, assured me that I would have been chosen if the game was not taking place while we were in Australia. I doubt I would have, but it was still nice of them to say.
At about 11pm July 22 I finally returned home after an amazing trip to Sydney. After an hour or so of catching up with my family I went on the Internet to check e-mails, creep on Facebook, and of course see how my fantasy baseball teams were doing.
Amongst my catching back up with home life I went to NECBL.com to check on the Westerners, expecting to see them with six or seven wins and all but officially knocked out of the playoff picture.
Instead I found them to be 10-23 which made them respectfully bad in their division and only four games out of the final playoff spot. Although there are only about 10 games left crazier things have happened in baseball.
They went 6-5 in the 11 games I missed while I was in Australia. More than doubled their wins!
Also, the Westerners showed success during the NECBL All- Star game. Olt won the Home Run Derby prior to the game. Then the Southern division won 5-2 and Olt hit a 3- run homer and Oskandy threw a scoreless inning in relief.
Now here is my problem and reason for writing this piece. Am I “The Mush” for the Westerners?
I know it is ridiculous to think that whether or not I am in the press box has something to do with how the team plays, but baseball is all about superstitions.
Everyone is familiar with Wade Boggs eating fried chicken at certain times before the game and players not washing their socks or shaving during hitting streaks and hundreds of other things that would seem silly to people who do not know baseball.
However, people around the sport live and die by these acts with every game played.
So, now I ask of you to answer the following multiple choice question, and remember no answer is wrong it is all opinionated.
Should I return to the Westerners?
A) Yes, who really cares if they win or lose?
B) Yes, them winning is purely coincidental.
C) No, give them a shot to make the playoffs.