"Hey, Curry Pajcic! Lighten Up! You won!"
(This month s sports column is being written by Robert Devine. Co-writer Dan Bean has opted out of the column for the past couple of months because he is too “big-time” for such pursuits because he is busy being Alan Wachs personal assistant.)
I had to say it.
The current Pajcic & Pajcic attorney and future democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2018 was told this after the Pajcics claimed the law league softball championship with a 21-17 victory over the Strikebreakers. The message was conveyed because Curry, and his brother, Kurt, had apparently taken a vow of silence with respect to conversing with opposing players, starting a new league tradition of anti-fellowship during play. Whether it’s barristering, publishing slick magazines on their firm s court victories and confidential settlements, or playing amateur law league sports, the Pajcic boys play for keeps. Hats off to them, because it worked.
I liked their strategy so much that I think I am going to stop talking next season to see if it helps me. What am I saying?!? Getting me, or Bean for that matter, to shut up would take an amendment of the Jax Bar by-laws and some use of the mask used on Hannibal Lechter in “Silence of the Lambs.”
It was a stunning victory for the Pajcics, who came to the playoffs with a revamped team that had just three weeks earlier suffered a 21-0 shellacking at the hands of the Strikebreakers during the regular season finale. The Pajcics resurgence in the playoffs was just the final twist of a playoffs that can only be described as bizarre given the meltdown of the upper-echelon teams. Among the teams that wilted like a Dairy Queen cone on an August day: Third-seeded Hit & Run, Better Tritt, and to a lesser extent Akerman Senterfitt. After a breakthrough year, Hit & Run was dumped from the playoffs on the opening day in suffering a shocking loss at the hands of the JAG Corps, who had failed to win a game the entire season. Further, second-seeded Better Tritt, undefeated for nearly five years straight and four-time defending champions, was upended in the quarterfinal by Bedell Dittmar 8-5, in perhaps the largest upset in Law League history other than David Otero’s decision to step down from batting leadoff for one game. Finally, top-seeded Akerman Senterfitt, bowed out in the semifinals against Pajcic. That left the underperforming Strikebreakers as the sixth seed and the Pajcics to battle for the trophy, which may have left the jurisdiction with Better Tritt team owner Arnold Tritt.
Some random items to put in epilogue on this season:
• Dan Bean was thought to be the biggest free agent acquisition of the offseason. Little did the Strikebreakers know that when they signed him up, he also signed a deal to play for Holland & Knight. What did the Strikebreakers get? A man that made more gaffes at shortstop than he did with my nominating speech for Board of Governors at last summer’s Annual Meeting (now known as the Debacle at Deerwood).
• Pajcic’s George Fallis made some noise this season. But it came in the form of a sound effect when he hit the ball. Depending on his mood, he either would yell “boo-yah!” or “boom!” upon making contact. I wonder if he knew that it had the striking similarity to the ear as gastric distress. Halfway through the playoffs, players were wondering if spending a couple of hours with him in a locked room without proper ventilation would constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
• Rogers Towers’ Troy Smith was seriously challenged for the “Pretty Boy Playboy” of the season for the first time in three years. Newcomer and Justin Timberlake look-alike Rick Sichta of the Strikebreakers was judged to be the hunk of the future by the three-member panel of Regina Young, Cheryl Miede and Brad Markey. Smith won the day when he showed up for the playoffs in a silk robe borrowed from Hugh Hefner. The panel also took notice of former pretty boy perennial winner Bob Riegel, who did not play this season, but he did show up for the championship game wearing Cole Haan’s without socks and a nice Tommy Bahama ensemble, which had many of the players’ wives focusing more on him than the action on the field. The panel was impressed when all of the female associates at Riegel s firm sent in a letter of support. Troy Smith has vowed to go on a Jenny Craig diet next season after the panel downgraded him for being a little “roomy” during the season.
• Don’t let Better Tritt’s Joe Camerlengo place any bets for you. During the fifth inning of Better Tritt’s quarterfinal game against Bedell and resting on a nice 5-1 lead, Camerlengo asked whom Better Tritt would be playing in the semifinals. As soon as the words came out of his mouth, Bedell went on a seven-run tear, capped by Patrick Coll’s game-winning hit on a seriously bum ankle.
• The Most Valuable Player award goes to Clemente Inclan of Pajcic. Inclan was a very good third baseman and swung a nice bat throughout the year. The vote to put him in the MVP spot was sealed as he is one of the noted nice guys in the league and took over managership of the Pajcic team after Curry and Kurt Pajcic gave up the reins when they learned that being a manager would require that they actually COMMUNICATE with the opposing team before the game. The Pajcic boys determined that such conduct would “screw up their Chi.”
• Frank Miller of Bedell makes the All-Star team at catcher and it s based on one play. On a play where the batter fouled off the ball, Miller broke back to the fence with the cat-like dexterity of Foster Brooks during the late stages of a Dean Martin roast. Once he reached the descending ball, Miller staggered into the fence and managed to catch the ball. Let s all have a drink on Miller, since it appears he had one or more before making that play.
• George Fallis makes a compelling case for All-Star honors at first base. But then again, if he were given the nod, then we would have to experience the Muhammad Ali “I must be the Greatest,” another time. Once a century is enough. Did you know that Alan Pickert runs marathons and can eat four large cookies after a full lunch? All that and he weighs 37 pounds. Akerman s Alan Pickert gets the nod.
• I would be remiss if I did not make Strikebreakers Tysen “The Diva” Duva the All-Star rep at second base. He has a supercharged bat, runs like a penguin, and sings the theme song to the Brady Bunch when he s at the plate. Honorable mention goes to Pajcic’s Chris Karpinski, another noted nice guy, and Bedell’s John Metcalf, who taught my six-and five-year-old daughters a swear word during a game. Tears of pride stream down my face every time I hear those cute little girls respond, “that’s bull——!”
• Shortstop is always the toughest to name because all the best talent plays there. Better Tritt’s Russ Brown is clearly the best, but since he is not a lawyer, he cannot be considered. The award goes jointly to Smith Hulsey’s Troy Smith (not the one from Rogers Towers because Smith Hulsey’s version has less hair, does not dye it blonde, and has not seen 200 pounds since high school), Bedell’s Doug Oberdorfer, who would have won it outright if he did not remind people of Winnie the Pooh s Ee-Ore, and Hit & Run’s Joby Burr. Smith has declared himself a free agent and will be signing with the Strikebreakers later this month.
• Better Tritt’s Brooks “Nurse Ratchett” Rathet is the All-Star third baseman despite the fact he has kept his nose so clean there is no dirt to throw on him in this column, other than making fun of his name.
• The All-Star outfield is D.R. Repass of Akerman, Aaron Metcalf of Bedell and Mike Marino of Akerman. Repass is short on range but hits the long ball. Metcalf is very steady and is pushed over the top because he is openly-critical of teammate Don Mairs, who makes me wear “He Hate Me” jersies to games against Bedell because, Mairs, well, He Hate Me. Marino, even though over 40, still has the best arm in the game, has a 1970s haircut, and would write a scathing letter to the Florida Bar seeking my suspension if he did not make the team.
• Pitcher is easy. It s still Better Tritt’s J. Richard Moore. He throws the high ball for strikes and throws down high balls after the game.
I find I write better columns when I wear only eye black to shield the glare from the computer. Oh, and shower shoes, too. Go figure. Next month, flag football starts and Judge Emmett Ferguson will give his “Top 10 Favorite Players to Give Unsportsmanlike Conduct Penalties On” based on his one year sentence last season as a Law League referee.