And yes, it’s supposed to be all for fun.
But nobody likes losing, especially over and over again, all season long.
That was the story of the Wing n’ It Curling Marlins last year in the Corner Brook Molson Senior Baseball League. The team went 0-20 during the regular season, before dropping its lone playoff game which mercifully ended its inaugural campaign as an expansion club in the long-running league.
But this year, things have changed. The Marlins have three wins in eight games played and are competitive in pretty much every contest.
“It’s definitely a completely different atmosphere this year,” said 21-year-old Tyler Wells, one of a group of fastpitch softball players who decided last year to enter a team into the baseball league with no real previous experience in the sport.
With the addition through the annual draft of talented players like Travis Taylor and Daniel McCarthy, and the natural progression of those who hadn’t played the sport much before last year, if at all, things are certainly looking up.
“I think a lot of it comes from how everyone wants to come to the field to play now,” said Wells. “It’s more fun and that carries over into your game.”
It would almost be unheard of for last year’s edition of the Marlins to compete in the annual Molson Senior Club Provincial Baseball Championship, but this group will be there for the 2015 edition this weekend in St. John’s and Mount Pearl. All four Corner Brook senior league teams are going, competing against all six St. John’s senior league teams.
While Wells said the Marlins are still somewhat of a work in progress — he acknowledged a few of them are still having more curveball issues than Pedro Cerrano — the defence has improved drastically and they have guys who can pitch.
He believes they can be in any ball game and, with a base hit here or an error there, they could probably beat any team. The main goal, though, is to have fun — there’s that word again — and hopefully be competitive.
After all, even if they go 0-3, they’ll still come out of it wiser for the time.
“Playing against higher-calibre ball players, like some of those St. John’s guys, can only make you better,” said Wells.
Tournament play for the four west coast teams begins today, with action wrapping up on Sunday.