Wednesday, September 07, 2005


What's that bitter taste? Must be...

We're talkin'...Fermiball.
From coasts right to left.
Experiments D0 and CDF('t).

I think it was said best in an e-mail I received regarding the playoffs:

Evil will always triumph over good, because good is dumb.

And let me tell you this, my friends, there is nothing more evil than abusing the sacred tradition of Fermiball.


Not even Nazis.

(Okay, maybe Nazis. But nothing else, dammit!)

I mean, just think of the children. Won't someone please think of the children?!?

What are we going to tell little Suzy and Johnny McInnocent playing sandlot Fermiball, fighting over who gets to be the Experimental Particle Physicist and who has to be the Theorist. Are we going to tell them that Fermiball is a tainted game? Would you want to be the one to tell them that? Hmmm?? Yes Virginia, there was a Santa Claus, but I killed him and peed on his bloated corpse?

I would like to think not. I would like to think that Fermiball remains the last pure sport. A game that lives and dies on skill and skill alone, a gentleman's game. Some, however, have no problem befouling the deceased. To each their own, I guess.

It seems that nothing should be simpler. There are 6 teams and a double elimination tournament. Each team fields a team of ten players, but to be eligible for the playoffs, one has to play at least 2 games during the season. This is to prevent teams loading up during the playoffs to claim the coveted championship.

Turns out, this is easy enough to circumvent. Final Force, your 2005 Fermiball Champions, found that it is easy enough to abuse the spirit of the rules as long as you adhere to the letter. Their "goons" all managed to fit in two games during the season to qualify for the playoffs, but had to miss the other 8. So Final Force ended up forfeiting many of their games for lack of players, ending up with the same record as the d0nuts. But believe you me, their playoff team was not the same caliber as the d0nuts (they were better, in case that wasn't clear).

But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. Why exactly could half their team not make the regular season games? Maybe it's because they were too busy with their professional softball and semi-pro baseball leagues!! Final Force stacked their team with ringers. In Fermiball!!! Seriously!

And believe me, I have no problem with having semi-pro players on your team. All the better teams have one or two. Hell, the d0nuts' third baseman/shortstop also plays semi-pro baseball and one of the Boomers is a very good pitcher on a semi-pro team. But I have no problem with this because they play every game. Hence, they are not ringers and the sanctity
of Fermiball is preserved (as well as common decency).

The game itself was a complete travesty. Their pitcher was throwing a gem of a game. In my first AB, I managed to make very solid contact, but I lined it right to the shortstop. After that, there was nothing good coming from the general vicinity of my bat, and really nothing good coming from the batters box at all when the d0nuts were at the plate. On the other end, however, Final Force was having few problems picking us apart. They had little trouble making contact and we helped them out plenty by throwing the ball around whenever we got the chance. I was at third and one could say I had a rough day defensively. The Wife was over at second and was getting eaten up by line drive after line drive (not to mention players sliding into her at second with a 15 run lead). I'm still not sure if all her bruises have gone away.

How bad was it? After 5 innings, we were trying to argue that the game should be over by the mercy rule. But no, true to character, Final Force showed no mercy. They were the Cobra Kai to our Daniel San, and they wanted to keep on wailin'. It seems there is no mercy rule in the playoffs. The only rule is:

Strike first, Strike hard, Show no mercy!

In case you were wondering about my views regarding Euthanasia? Let me just say, if I didn't support it then, I sure do now. Dr. Kevorkian, you're all right!

So the season didn't end well. That was our first loss of the double-elimination playoffs, but the second quickly followed two days later as we dropped our game to the Isotopes. I wasn't able to make that game, but somehow I doubt I would have been the difference-maker.

Looking at the positives, we started the season 1-4 and finished 5-5. It could be best described as a meteoric rise to mediocrity. I cemented my reputation as an all-hit, no field player although my lack of power saps some of my value. I'm sort of the Wade Boggs of Fermiball (including my many stints at third) except that I don't fancy myself the Great White Hunter. I have killed neither Hippopotamuses nor Lions and odds are I never will. Plus I can't grow a decent moustache.

In the end, we ended up third behind the Isotopes and Final Force. Final Force takes home the Championship. Congratulations, Final Force, you have won the Fermiball title. I'm glad a bunch of semi-pro players were able to beat a team of physicists at softball. Really and truly an accomplishment of which they can be proud.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a Science Fair to win. I'm going to kick some 7th grade ass.

Yes, We're talkin'...Fermiball.
Softball by the Ring.
Hitting and Fielding for the Championship Bling


The dastardly dastards.
Whatever is "Fermiball"?!
Well, since you asked so politely, I've posted the Fermiball table of contents directly below.

Fermiball is an ongoing series detailing the adventures of a bunch of physicists playing softball. Fermilab is a particle accelerator near chicago. The official description of Fermiball:

Fermiball is an exercise in optimizing limited physical resources in an attempt to minimize the ultimately inevitable humilation that occurs when physicists attempt to play softball.
Cool! ...So I guess you are a physicist? Do you have to have a doctorate to do that? And here I mistakenly thaught that most Cubs bloggers were either (including me) redneck or blue collar.
I guess you could loosely call me a physicist. I'm in the 4th year of my phd work, so I am still a student. I'm not sure when the physicist definition comes into play.

I can't speak for the other cub bloggers out there, but I don't consider myself redneck.

lots of liberal guilt over on this blog.
If you plan to continue the humiliation next year, I would suggest that all players be required to solve a quadratic equation before each at bat. That should weed out those no-necked ringers.

(If there is such a thing as a quadratic equation? Did I spell "equation" right? That's what I get for dabbling in science.)

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