David Moloney
  • Hey mate how's it going? Just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks for all your work on and off the ground at my one and only team Preston. I never had the chance to before you left. I retired last season due to the body and family, but when i watched you play i knew i had to be out there. The guts and tenacity you play with is not taught and only some have it. I thougharly enjoyed being back out there playing div 1 again albiet a few years too late. I cant thank you enough.Regards, Dave.

Dear Edward

Re: Baseball Victoria Summer League Annual Awards Dinner

Baseball Victoria would be delighted if you would attend, as part of your club delegation to the 2011/12 Victorian Baseball Awards Dinner. This year’s event is being held at the prestigious Members Dining Room at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in which we hope will make for a memorable experience for all.

Please note that this personalised letter regarding the dinner is based on your exceptional performance throughout the 2011/12 season which has put you in contention to receive an award at this dinner.

Date Friday 4th May, 2012

More Televised Winter Baseball, Please  

Grant Brisbee - Editor

Follow @sbnbaseball on Twitter, and LikeBaseball Nation on Facebook.

Feb 14, 2012 - Without the foresight and benevolence of the MLB Network this weekend, your options for televised sporting events would have been college basketball or college basketball. Arrowpoint State against Marnol. UC Stockton vs. Jumping Tech. There was a chance that you would have succumbed. You wouldn't feel good about yourself right now.

Instead, we had the option of watching baseball. If you so choosed, you could have watched Bubbie Buzachero pitch a fantastic relief outing that wasn't quite fantastic enough. Bubbie Buzachero pitched eight innings of relief. Bubbie Buzachero almost pitched the Melbourne Aces to a championship. Bubbie Buzachero.

The Australian Baseball League had their Championship Series over the weekend, and the Perth Heat took the Claxton Shield. The deciding third game of the series came down to a wild pitch in the 13th inning -- it was just as goofy and thrilling as it sounds. Bubbie Buzachero pitched, too. The best part: It was televised on the MLB Network.

It was tape-delayed, probably because Australia is so far in the future that it's not even winter there, but it was still baseball. Pitchers hunching over, checking for signs. Batters cocking their bats, looking for pitches on the outside corner. Runners taking a lead, then scampering back to the bag on a pickoff throw. It was a bright, sunny day in Australia, and they were playing baseball. That it ended with a thrilling, extra-innings outcome was just a bonus. It was baseball. On TV. In February.

The MLB Network has all of the stuff you'd expect from a league-run network -- they have talking heads debating the moves of the offseason; they have shows debating the best catchers of all-time. They also have Clubhouse Confidential, an analytically focused program that always has amazing guests!!!! You might quibble with the particulars of the programming, but at any point in the day, you can turn to a station and have something baseball-related on. That's not a small thing for a baseball junkie needing a winter fix.

What the ABL Championship showed, though, was that there is room for a lot more winter-league baseball on TV. I have absolutely zero idea of the logistics it would take to televise Dominican or Venezuelan games, so that might be where the discussion ends. And considering the cost-to-viewer ratio, it would probably be a money sinkhole for MLB Network to produce the telecasts themselves.

But if there's a way for games to get on TV any possible way they can -- at 3:00 a.m., with the original Spanish-language broadcasters, even -- it would make the offseason that much more bearable. Maybe it could be something that starts small, like televising the Venezuelan home-run derby:

That's Pablo Sandoval ceding his spot to a 47-year-old Andres Galarraga, and while the Big Cat didn't exactly make a case that an MLB team should pick him up, it was a spectacular moment. The huge crowd was into it. There was a dinger. It was glorious. And even in the years where a Venezuelan legend doesn't make a surprise appearance, televising the Venezuelan home-run derby would still be a couple of scraps of methadone for the long offseason.

Hopefully the dramatic finish to the ABL championship drew more interest than the network execs might have expected. Maybe there's a unexpected buzz around Australian baseball that isn't just coming from the Justin Huber fanatics on the Internet this time. With any luck, we'll get to watchall sorts of things from the right-sidebar here next winter. I'll even chip in a couple of bucks and pass the hat. There's only so much talking about baseball that a person can read or watch. They actually play the stuff in the winter, too. Here's hoping we can watch more of it.

Bubbie Buzachero.

continued........With a lead-off single by Brenden Webb in the bottom of the 5th, Phil Dale calls on his “Ace in the hole,” removing Jamnik in favor of his mullet contest adversary…yes, that’s right…Bubbie Buzachero is back!!Until now, the pitching in this series of unusually great pitching has been surprisingly not unusually great. Bubbie allows Webb to score on a line drive to left center by Mitch Graham (charged to Jamnik) and allows one more run in the inning on a SAC fly by James McOwen, scoring de San Miguel…this 2nd run ties the game at 5 apiece.

From this point forward, Buzachero is literally inhuman. Bubbie confuses the Heat deliberately with his amazing curve (occasionally a curve-slider and/or curve disguised as an elevated fastball) and devastating changeup, and his sneak-attack fastball worked in between. Watching his work inning-by-inning was a truly gripping affair. 

Still tied after the 9th, the game goes into extras again and for the second day in a row, I’m in Baseball Heaven.

If Buzachero’s performance yesterday was brilliant, today it was phenomenal. During the 11th, Jon Deeble playfully cheers “It’s the 11th inning, and he gets better as the night goes on!!!” Truth! In the 10th, Buzachero retires the side on 2 flyouts and a strikeout, throwing 6 pitches total. In the 11th, Buzachero hits Mychal Givens after retiring 2 batters, but retires Brenden Webb on a pop out…all in 11 pitches. 

Buzachero regains his focus after hitting Givens…the look on his face is priceless, (right hand column pic)as I wrote in my 
Game 2 post, Bubbie bears more than a functional resemblance to the wonderful Mitch Williams…this gaze, this countenance screams Mitch Williams.In this brilliant sequence, (right hand column pic)I provide an example as evidence that as the night went on, Buzachero was certainly channeling his own “inner Mitch Williams” as he works against Webb…Buzachero held his own against Fastballer Brendan Wise (9th inning) and Jack Frawley, who lives “almost exclusively on the slider.” After the 12th, Bubbie has thrown 113 pitches, 74 for strikes, has stuck out 7, walked one, and allowed one run on 4 hits. In the bottom of the 13th, Bubbie surprisingly takes the mound again…maybe not such a surprise, as by this point he is a certified pitching monster. Then the unbelievable happens…

Buzachero hits James McOwen on his first pitch of the inning. Just like that, Phil Dale is on the field and Buzachero reluctantly hands him the ball.

This isn’t the time or the place for a vexed discourse on the fallacy of earned runs and how earned runs, along with the traditional W-L record, really add a bit of bitter pudding to the long-standing historical picture of a pitcher’s true performance in a game, as a pitcher, and not as a toy of defense, offense, and otherwise independent factors. If you want to read more of this, start with the fantastic book 
Baseball Between the Numbers, primarily the chapter “When Does a Pitcher Earn an Earned Run?” and go from there. From my standpoint, Buzachero’s mark in the box score of this game, from this point forward, is more than a clear example of what could be wrong with the stickiness of these outdated, non-illustrative, situation-disregarding numbers and what they really mean (or don’t mean).

Of course, if you’ve been reading this series, you may consider me a “Bubbie Buzachero Apologist” after what I’m about to write…you need to know, I don’t have a problem with this whatsoever. Bubbie was totally and unequivocally fantastic tonight…where his line score ends up at the conclusion of this game is fundamentally unfair in regards to his performance today, and that’s really the bottom line.

Every great pitcher has these moments…I’ve mentioned Mitch Williams quite a bit, especially in my admiration of Buzachero as an homage (not a comp) to Williams. This happened to him. This happened to Goose Gossage. This happened to Dennis Eckersley. Tonight it happened to Bubbie Buzachero, that’s reality.

In relief, side-armer Andrew Russell retires Perth PH Dylan Jones on a SAC bunt on one pitch, McOwen advances to second. He retires Perth 1B Matt Kennelly on a full-count grounder to short, McOwen advances to second. Russell is on his way to closing the inning and stranding McOwen to continue the game and salvage Buzachero’s antiquated linescore heritage. After two pitches, both away from the zone, Russell delivers a wild pitch and in a scene reminiscent (but not as glorious) of an extra-innings game I saw on the second BIL Tour on 8/26/2010, McOwen crosses home plate while Kevin David scurries to retrieve the ball, and just like that…the Perth Heat win, and are recipients of the Claxton Shield for the second consecutive year.Russell was that damn close to getting the Aces out of this inning and extending the game, but as he lost control of his slider, even during Kennelly’s AB, he pretty much blew the chances of that, pitch by pitch. Again, my point is sure, Buzachero owned the runner on base, but where in the linescore will it record, accurately, that it was indeed Andrew Russell, whose errant throw was wild enough to preclude any other outcome, who gave up the game? And if this is so, then why will Buzachero walk away with an “L” in the linescore and even take credit for that scored run?

The Look

Channeling Mitch Williams

Heat Claxton Shield Champs

This is perhaps why Buzachero is a hero and a legend to Australian baseball fans, despite the fact that he’s a guy from Tennessee, a competitor who does things differently than the grain on the bat runs. Think what you want about that “L” in this most important game, but Bubbie won a great deal more. He won the collective hearts of a nation of baseball fans, and even more hearts around the world, those who couldn’t have enjoyed his work more than they ever thought possible…this fan certainly included. 

Mitch Williams. Goose Gossage. Dennis Eckersley. The moments they are infamous for are decidedly much more humbling yet in hindsight, never tarnished their respective reputations. They dealt with it, Bubbie deals with it, and for fans like me, we all know what really happened. Bubbie was amazing, did the heavy lifting for the Aces in staying in this game, and was intrinsically no more responsible for the loss than McOwen was in scoring the winning run.

The game was called by Warren Smith and Australian National Baseball Team Manager Jon Deeble for Fox Australia, their accents are really growing on me now…so much that I fear I may campaign MLB Network for Australian SAP on their broadcasts!! Besides their glowing amazement at Buzachero’s performance, they kept a thread of discussion around catcher framing going on throughout the game. Catcher framing is so damn important in this game, it’s nice to hear these blokes discuss the reality and validity of catcher framing, where dorks like Joe Morgan would rather talk about their career!! If you haven’t read Mike Fast’s gospel on Catcher Framing (
”Spinning Yarn” on Baseball Prospectus, one of the most outrageous and wonderful writings of 2011) then you really, really should! 
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Thank you Bubbie!

When I started my current job, it was only meant to be for 12 months. My plan was to then return to London and continue my working holiday. Five years later, I'm still working for the same company, in a monotonous routine and not envisaging much of change any time soon. Then I met you. Your passion for life and determination to continue following your dreams is so inspiring. The motivation you display to achieve and experience as much as possible with your career and personal life is remarkable. It was the trigger for me waking up and remembering what I had once set out to achieve but stopped chasing. Even when I realised what I wanted to be doing, I was uncertain it would be possible - "I can't leave my job mid-project, I can't leave my apartment, I can't get my Italian passport to be able to work in Europe, I can't get another UK working holiday visa"...then you said to me so casually,  "Don't say that word, I don't believe in CAN'T...find another way"

Those words had an impact and I stopped thinking and started actively searching for alternatives. I knew what I really wanted - to return to Europe and continue my travels and, if possible, work somewhere in Europe. I decided it's going to happen between June and December this year and started searching for potential employment opportunities. With my visa options limited, I had to broaden the google searches! A few of my friends had worked at summer camps in America so I thought of searching for summer camps in Europe. I came across a recruitment website advertising for native English speakers to work at a camp in France. The advertisement was not very detailed but I decided to express my interest anyway. A few days later I received an e-mail from the camp requesting I submit an application. Today I received an e-mail requesting a telephone interview. If successful, I will be a counselor at their Commonwealth Camp. This is a camp where campers (aged between 12 and 15 from all over France) experience total immersion in the English language with counselors who come from a handful of commonwealth countries. So if successful, I could be singing "we're happy little vegemites" with a group of French teenagers! how crazy! and so very far from my project management career.

Regardless of the outcome of the interview, I will still travel throughout Europe, experiencing as much as I can.

Without even being aware of it, you have motivated me to get out of my comfort zone and get what I want to out of life. So thank you for being you, Mr Buzachero!

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    April 2012
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