Birth of the Rockland Boulders


Now, I’m sure you read the papers, or at least accidentally spot the occasional sports headline while cruising the internet for drugs.

You’ve undoubtedly heard by now how the Rockland Boulders’ open tryouts I spoke about last week went down.  Instead of no one, they found six players to add to their roster, which will eventually be trimmed down to 22 by the end of spring training:  Justin Ottman, who once played near Rickey Henderson; Justin Fry, a former player of Professional French Baseball; John Minacone, who is lefthanded; two other guys, and Jose Reyes.

I know, I know.  “TELL ME SOME NEW INFORMATION,” you’re screaming like an animal as you flail your arms in the air.  Obviously you’ve been following this story since I brought it to your attention.  But what you don’t know is how it all went down.

"“The Boulders are the greatest thing ever to happen in Rockland County.”–George Wargo III, resident"

The name “Rockland” comes from the English term “rocky land,” which, loosely translated, means “Ow, shit, this land full of rocks.  Let’s not settle here.”  It dangles off the bottom right corner of New York, baiting people to forget that it exists as the second smallest county in the state.

During the American Revolution, Benedict Arnold used a small part of Rockland County to betray America.  George Washington counteracted this despicable bit of Rockland history three years later by inviting the British over to discuss how bitchily they would be surrendering to the U.S.

Afterward, Rockland became known for its masonry exports, which is a slightly less interesting way of saying “Rockland became known for rocks.”

And then, for a long time, people just stood around looking at each other, waiting for somebody to start an expansion baseball team in the Can-Am League.

So, going toe-to-toe with the beginning of America, it may be more accurate to say the Boulders are the second greatest thing to ever happen in Rockland County.  But I don’t know how highly Mr. Wargo thinks of America.  Or how much he likes baseball.  Probably a lot.

If there’s anything the Northeastern United States needs, its another semi-pro baseball team, hidden underneath layers of obscurity, yet endlessly beloved by the local populace.  And we know so, so much about the baseball teams that get all the time on Sportscenter.

ESPN spent an embarrassing amount of their budgeted time on the “SO WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH JORGE POSADA AMIRITE BOOYA” storyline.  But the Rockland Boulders, like the inception of America before them, are being talked about in Rockland County, NY–and the only way they’ll get any air time is if one of their players does something wild enough to get a nod on the Top Ten, or something horrifically incompetent enough to find a spot on the Not Top Ten.  And nothing helps gloss over a catastrophic brain fart like suit-and-tied clowns on national television with catch phrases on their business cards snorting and giggling over it.

Now, in the country’s biggest Jewish population per capita, the Rockland Boulders are the news.  The tryouts resulted in the team getting a little bigger; big enough that they will very soon be living in people’s homes.  After months of filling detention ponds with dirt and being illegal, the new stadium is now named after a bank and promising jobs with “numerous hats.”  Very soon, the brain child of John Flaherty, Michael Aglialoro, and Stephen Mulvey will be giving the Brockton Rox and the Quebec Capitales a run for their money.

Or whatever it is independent franchises make.