Rainy River win tourney by default

According to the ageless Homer Simpson, the two greatest words in the English language are “de-fault.”
That’s what Simpson said after beating his friend, Barney Gumble, for the opportunity to head into space after Gumble went back on the booze and disqualified himself from the competition.
But when Rainy River won its own fastball tournament—the first time they have done so in its four-year existence—this past Sunday afternoon after Sight & Sound declared they could not play, it wasn’t a laughable situation like Simpson’s.
You see, the reason why Sight & Sound had to forfeit the championship game was because their lineup resembled a hallway in a triage unit.
Gary Noga reaggravated a groin muscle injury that was originally sustained playing hockey a few years back. Then there was Kirk Woods that “jammed up his hip” and could barely walk—and Duane Carlson, who popped his shoulder on Saturday after making a throw—and “Beeker” Watson was in hospital after being “sucker-punched” the night before.
Couple the injuries with the absence of four all-stars (Harvey Flamand, Grant Swire, Ed Vold, and Paul Visser) and it was hardly unexpected when Sight & Sound manager, Derek McKinnon, went over to Donnie Gall after Sight & Sound had barely edged Big Island 15-14 in the semi-final game, and broke the news to Gall.
“We’re running out of guys,” said McKinnon. “No sense in making the injuries worse.”
And Gall, who organized the tournament and is a long-time player for Rainy River, was understanding of the decision.
“You don’t want to get them guys anymore hurt. It’s unfortunate that they can’t play, because the fans came to see some baseball,” said Gall.
Rainy River went undefeated in three games to give them a birth in the final and would’ve been hard to beat considering they essentially had their full-team intact—a team that went undefeated in the Rainy River District Fastball League regular season—and a team that was boosted with the acquisitions of Guy Arpin and Leland Indian.
And playing Sight & Sound, who also were undefeated in three games in the seven-team tournament, was something Rainy River were hoping for, especially after losing to Sight & Sound a few weeks ago in the league’s championship final and giving Sight & Sound their third straight RRDFL crown.
“I love playing the game and I wanted to get out their and beat them and get a little revenge to,” said Rainy River starting pitcher, Murray Armstrong.
But if the game had went on “they would’ve bombed us,” McKinnon said.
Rainy River were awarded $1,100 for the win, while Sight & Sound took home a cheque for $600, and in place of a championship baseball game was a homerun derby that was won—in dramatic fashion—by Indian.
“Whenever there’s a homerun contest I like going into them. They’re a lot of fun,” said Indian after his win where he went seven for 11 and narrowly edged Jeff Miash for the win.

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