Articles by "Chris Gallaway"

6 Innings with Matt Gagnon

Our last six innings of the season is going to surprise some of you, nauseate others, and cause five of you to hoot, holler and high five. We sit down with Matt Gagnon the manager of the Moose Knuckles, the current #1 seeds heading into the postseason.

As most of you know who have eyes, ears, a twitter account, or have talked to anyone who’s played, the Moose Knuckles and their manager are a little “intense” and have earned a little bit of a reputation in the league for being disliked. No matter, they’re not playing to win friends, they’re playing to in hopes that getting grass and dirt stains will dim the neon yellow color of those obnoxious jerseys.

Matt Gagnon
[ player profile page]

Nickname: THE
Age: 25
Hometown: Born in Methuen Massachusetts. Grew up in Leesburg, Va
Resides: Gaithersburg, MD
Employer: Global Facility Solutions
Bats: Barely
Throws: Junk
How did you find the PWL: The Moose Knuckles were actually first formed in college when we played in a tournament that the Wiffleball Club of Virginia Tech put on every semester. After I graduated and wiffleball was no longer a part of my life, I battled some pretty serious withdrawals. I was giving handies behind bars in DC in exchange for throwing me a few soft tosses. My life was spinning out of control until a friend of mine sent me a link to this league. We were so excited about playing again, I think we signed up our team the day Chris opened up registration for Spring 2012, and the rest is history.

Spring 2012 Awards: Voting Now Open!

It’s time to start selecting the 2012 Spring Season Award Winners.

We give out four awards for full season play, an award for Manager of the Year, and a New Team of the Year award. Unlike Player of the Week awards, these winners are kept secret and announced at our annual Champions Dinner hosted by the World Series Champions at the end of each season.

Instead of the nominees being chosen by the Commissioner, all official roster players will get to vote to determine the nominees. That’s right, YOU pick the nominees.


Those nominees chosen by the players…

Commish's Playoff Predictions

With just a week left to go there is a lot of talk from the sub-500 teams who haven’t been eliminated yet that they may still be playoff bound if they can win out. We’d like to just shoot them and put them out of their misery now.

If you’ve played 12 games and you’ve only won 5, go ahead and book that weekend trip to the car wash for next weekend because you’re not going to the playoffs. Sure, it’s mathmatically possible, but a .500 team hasn’t been in the playoffs since the Spring of 2009 when we had 8 teams and 4 of them (that’s half for those teams who haven’t won half, so don’t know that) made it to postseason.

Yes, the expansion of the playoffs to 8 teams up from 6, puts us at 40% of the teams making it to the postseason. Not exactly the cream of the crop, but it’s going to take a little better than .500, or it should.

Road Closures Sunday / Metro Delays Too

As usual there is Metro crap going on and we also have road closures for some race that doesn’t involve cars.

The Army 10-Miler will be held on Sunday, moving from Arlington into the District and back again.

Runners will be taking the following roads over the course of the race. These roads will intermittently close along the route beginning at 7:30 a.m. and concluding by noon. (Remember, unexpected delays could cause street closures to linger.) If you prefer a visual guide, here’s a course map.

— Across the Arlington Memorial Bridge around Lincoln Circle to Henry Bacon Drive

Forfeiting the Triple Crown

Forfeits this weekend could possibly affect the outcome of the playoffs but are also making the Batting Triple Crown race more interesting.

Joe Thaman led in the three categories almost all season but a stand out performance from rookie William McNally of Suns Out Guns put Joe trailing by 70 points in Batting Average heading into the final week. McNally has no games this weekend, with both being forfeit wins. Thaman has one game, with one forfeit win for Wheelchair.

The Wheelchair game is against playoff hopefuls Sex Panthers. Thaman has been averaging 5.5 at bats per game this season. To raise his .541 to tie McNally’s .611, he’d need to go 11-for-11, and 12-for-12 for the outright lead. Both of those scenarios are unlikely with a single game, even if it went extra innings.

However, not all hope is lost for Thaman. McNally, who won’t get another at-bat, is sitting at 36 at-bats. The minimum to qualify for the regular season records is 3.1 AB’s per game, times the “forfeit factor”. Assuming we have no more forfeits besides the four we’ve already put on the books this weekend, we’ll end up playing 95 of the 112 scheduled games this season. That means to qualify for the stats this season, McNally would need to have 36.8 at-bats, which would round to 37.


Don't forget to arrive early for wiffleball this Sunday so your team doesn't have to forfeit.

In addition to a possible terrorist attack in the DC area, the Nations's Triathlon, (which is really a biathlon), and has something to do with running, is happening just north of our fields and cutting off a lot of routes from DC/MD to the field.

In addition, Metro has all kinds of crap going on. If you're on the shame train Sunday, the Red, Blue, Orange and Green lines (isn't that all of them?) are all single tracking. Sounds bad. Check out the website here for more info:


Read the full article for the street closings.

PWL Archives: Washington Post Feature

Monday night’s game at Nationals Park was a semi-reunion of sorts for some PWL alums. Catching the game with the Commissioner were Tony Cani, the career leader in strikeouts (not the good kind as a pitcher), and the more well liked O’Grady, Kyle’s brother, Colin.

After the game the Commissioner bumped into Les Carpenter ( @lescarpenter ) who wrote the feature in the Post about the PWL in 2009.

Les left the Post shortly after the story (not as a result, we don’t think) and now works at YahooSports. He mostly writes about football, but also covered the Roger Clemens trial, and was at Nats Park working on a feature about Diamondback’s Manager Kirk Gibson.

That got us reminiscing of the Ft. Reno days when Les joined us for a few weekends and somehow turned it into a full two page spread in the Sunday paper.

He was in disbelief that Tony Ragano quit the league. After reading the story, you might be too.

PWL Website – 7/18/2009

Les Carpenter (2-5, 1 R, 2 RBI) of the Washington Post spent a few weeks hanging out with the Potomac Wiffleball League during our Spring 2009 season. (I guess that’s what NFL reporters do in June and July.)

A feature story, video, and photos ran Sunday, July 19.

Part III: ‘Just’ Wiffle Ball? Not a Chance
Tony Ragano Lets His Competitive Fire Burn on the Fields at Fort Reno Park

By Les Carpenter
Washington Post Staff
Saturday, July 18, 2009 1:57 PM

On a gentle Sunday morning, with the sandstone castle towers of Fort Reno Park rising behind him, the most competitive player in the adult, co-ed, slow-pitch Potomac Wiffleball League tugs on a Camel Light and swears.

Tony Ragano loves statistics. But more than statistics he loves his strikeouts, which he gets in great abundance in Wiffle ball thanks to his two favorite pitches: a knuckle ball that dances as if it has been unleashed in a hurricane and a slider he deems to be “unhittable.”

More News Coverage: Wiffleball Rules (double entendre on "rules")

The Wall Street Journal did a story on the company that makes our bats and balls on June 18th.

Today, in advance of the 4th of July weekend, they did another story on the rules for your Independence Day game.

While those may fly for a pick-up game with the family, clearly they won’t stand for the PWL.

The best part, they pulled an image of Tony Ragano from the Washington Post feature on us in 2009.

Happy 4th of July everyone!

June 30, 2011

The Fourth of July weekend is almost here, when we gather together and celebrate the invention of the outdoor grill by Founding Fathers Ben Franklin and Ryan Seacrest.

I’m not schmancy enough to dispense culinary advice—though you may want to flip over that steak, or sausage, or locavore unicorn, or whatever it is—but it’s important to have a Fourth of July game, too. And that game is not drunk-on-rum Scrabble. It’s Wiffle ball—the reason plastic and beer were invented. Here are the rules of Fourth of July Wiffle ball:

Wall Street Wiffle

The Wall Street Journal did a story on the company that makes our bats and balls and started this whole mess.

June 18, 2011

SHELTON, Conn.—The complete tour of Wiffle Ball Inc.‘s one and only factory takes about 20 minutes. And that is with all the technical details left in.

The top floor of the two-story cinderblock building off Connecticut’s Route 8 is devoted to packing and storage. The ground floor has an aging wood-paneled office with five desks. And in the next room lies the heart of the 15-employee operation, where two injection-molding machines hum along to produce thousands of Wiffle Balls every day.

Postseason Predictions

We’re down to the wire with most teams having just two games left in the regular season. We’ll then be setup for the first ever playoffs featuring six teams. It seems an appropriate place for me to take off my official Commish hat and make some predictions.

We know who the four division champions are and we mostly know their final seeding. (One possible set of shenanigans is described below which could change that). The Wild Card race still has eight teams fighting for two spots, but that’s only technically.


First things first, Eamon Murray and the Most Interesting Men…

Gravelly Point Field CLOSED (kinda, maybe)

For those of you not following the live play-by-play from the @potomacwiffle twitter feed, here is what’s going on.

On Saturday, April 16, the metro area experienced what I would describe as a “massive downpour”. It caused flooding issues for several days after. It was so steady and consistent that the Nationals even cancelled their game several hours before first pitch. They didn’t even try to get it in. On that day, some group, in the middle of a massive downpour, played on the field at Gravelly Point. Not surprisingly, they tore it up. Grass is gone, holes are worse, etc.

(NOTE: For the purposes of this article, I’m going to use the term “field” to mean the official playing area, between and immediately around the goal posts, traditionally used for soccer, rugby, football, and even…kickball. “Field” does NOT refer to the area where the PWL sets up three fields and plays wiffleball.)

On Sunday, April 17, when the Commissioner arrived at 8 AM to survey the area there was still standing water in the grass, in addition to the batters and pitchers areas. PWL games were postponed; much to the bitching of the league, since it turned out to be a beautiful sunny and warm day. Perfect in every way for wiffleball with the exception of the water and mud pit mess we would have been playing in.

NPS Soap Opera Continues at Gravelly

Over the years I have received a few letters and emails from the National Park Service that I found incredulous. Today’s one line email from legendary Park Ranger (and Douchebag of the Week Runner Up) Deborah Deas is one of the best.

”All organized sports at Gravelly Point are cancelled due to turf damage until further notice.”

You Make the Call: Home Run or Out?

The PWL Managers were convened for the first time in league history this week to resolve a protested game. They came to a conclusion, now you get to weigh in.

The dispute centered around what the term “over the home run fence” means.

Since it was not a judgment call, but rather a question on the application of the rules, it was reviewed by the league. Of course, in the last two years we’ve had umpires for every game except for five…and this was one of the five.

BREAKING NEWS: Mechanical Engineer Explains the Secrets of the Wiffle Ball

Leave it to Wired Magazine to find a female scientist who studies wiffleball. Nick DiCrosta is currently rooting through her garbage.

Mechanical Engineer Explains the Secrets of the Wiffle Ball

Wiffle balls are very poorly behaved. They curve wildly, practically bouncing around in midair. No surprise, given the eight holes molded into one side. But to learn how the little plastic balls twist and spin through space, the go-to researcher is Jenn Rossmann, a mechanical engineer at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, who specializes in how fluids, especially blood, circulate. In 2003, she started thinking that Wiffle balls might be more interesting for her students to study than the baseballs she’d been discussing in class. “It’s all about trying to trick them to do fluid mechanics, which I think is the most fascinating thing ever,” Rossmann says.

So over the past eight years, she and her students have built the world’s most advanced Wiffle-ology lab, using wind tunnels and computer models to measure aerodynamics. The key to the ball’s unpredictability? Air flowing over the perforated side of the ball is more turbulent…

Roads Closed Sunday for Stupid Events

Please be aware that there is some kind of “sports” event going on this Sunday that will cause roads to be closed that may affect your transportation to Week 5 of wiffleball.

It clearly involves swimming and the tour mobile.

The full advisory is below:


Road Closures for Nation’s Triathlon
Event Scheduled This Weekend Could Impact Traffic

(Washington, D.C.) The Nation’s Triathlon is scheduled to be held in the District this weekend…

London: Field Photos and Dimensions

Field layout information for the 2010 London Wiffleball Tournament.

Follow @londonwiffle for “unofficial” updates and live scoring from the tournament provided by the PWL.

Bases have not been measured and placed yet. The distances were based on the assumptions that bases would be placed at the proper distances according to the rules, and that second base would be lined up directly centered between the foul lines. Some distances, H to 1, 3 to H, H to 2, are specified in the rules. The other distances vary because the width of the fields vary.

  • Field: Official MLB Foul Lines
  • Width (1st/3rd): 67
  • Angle of Foul Lines: 90
  • Home to 1st: 50
  • 1st to 2nd: 48
  • 2nd to 3rd: 48
  • 3rd to Home: 45
  • Home to 2nd: 68

These are the dimensions using the official baseball…

PWL Alumnus Runs and Runs

Most of the accomplishments made by PWL players and alumni happen on the field. Hitting a homer, legging out a double, or striking out a batter looking are basically the highlights in the lives of most of the players in the league. Cherish these times, people, it’s all downhill from here.

However, every once in a while, a player makes news off the field. We’re happy to bring you the story of Jeff Le, (Career .129 AVG, 3 Seasons) featured in a recent issue of Runner’s World. Jeff lost 130 pounds, ran 3:10 (this is apparently some kind of running stat, we’re guessing similar to GWRBI or WHIP) and his own mom didn’t recognize him.

The print layout features a photo from Jeff’s Rossi Posse days in the PWL.

Runners’ Weight Loss Stories
He lost 130 pounds, ran 3:10, and his own mom didn’t recognize him.

By Mike Wise
From the June 2010 issue of Runner’s World

Of all the misery Jeff Le had to deal with in March 2008—a breakup, being pick-pocketed in his Washington, D.C., neighborhood, and the death of a close family friend—suffering a relapse of malaria felt almost darkly comical. “Like, what’s next?” Le says. As the fever and chills…

The Spring Fall Classic

The World Series is always called the fall classic. Does it matter that for this season it’s in Spring, not fall, or even dangerously close to Summer? We don’t think so. But, since we have two seasons a year, we probably ought to get around to thinking of something better to call the pinnacle of the post-season that’s a little easier to understand than the Spring Fall Classic.

Regardless of what we call it, only two teams are going to be in it. And, only four are even going to get a shot at it when the dust settles on Week 7. Most likely, the four teams moving on to the post season are already set.

Let’s break down where we are, and what’s likely to happen.

  • Brosephorous Rex is sitting at the #1 overall seed right now…

All Star Game, Where Art Thou?

Our very first video of a full game was the Spring 2006 All Star Game. [ 2006 Spring All Star Game Video ] That Summer, our second mid-summer classic was held, and this time we also filmed the Home Run Contest and even made a totally crappy video editing it together with music which we certainly didn’t have the rights to. [ 2006 Summer Home Run Contest ]

We only had two Divisions then, and the East played the West, with the East winning both games. The managers were the previous season’s World Series managers. Each team got to pick…

Return of the All Star Game
We must do it, just like you laid it out
We must do it, let's talk format though
I won't be in it, so I don't care
Who cares about an All Star Game when there is oil on our beaches?
total_votes: 39

...I Did it with a Wiffleball Bat

Woman charged with using knife, Wiffle Ball bat in assault
Dick gets hit with yellow stick

(Burlington, NC) – A Burlington woman was charged Tuesday afternoon with assaulting a man with a knife and a plastic Wiffle Ball bat during a domestic dispute.

Burlington police responded to 1129 Chandler Avenue in Burlington shortly before 3 p.m. after a reported stabbing, according to police scanner communications.

Arrest warrants allege 20-year-old Amelia Cheyenne Burke, of that address, stabbed Brandon Antonio Dick, 21, of Lanier Court, Burlington, in the upper left arm with a Walmart kitchen knife. She was also accused of hitting him with a Wiffle Ball bat.

Career Stats and Leaders

As we prepare for our 10th Season, we’re looking back as the previous nine seasons. From now through Opening Day we’ll keep posting new files and break-downs for you to review.

Updated 3/26 – 7:00 PM

  • Complete Player Grouping Added, Merging Regular, Post, and ASG
  • Fielding Stats Added
  • New Sort of Players Grouped by Team

New Rules: Unrelated to the Strike Zone

Believe it or not, there are some issues to deal with that have nothing to do with the strike zone. Here are a few issues the Commissioner will be presenting to the managers…

Location, Location, Location

They say it’s everything in real estate, and nothing is more real than the real estate problems that continue to face the Potomac Wiffleball League since we were unceremoniously evicted from our birthplace along the Potomac River in early 2008.

For those of you new to the saga, a quick refresher.

From 2005 to 2007 the first five season of the PWL were played at Gravelly Point, the recreation area just north of National Airport. In fact, we were right in the landing pattern and planes would come right over our heads and some players even claimed the jet wash affected the ball. The first year at Gravelly we were totally cloak-and-dagger and operated without a permit. For the next four seasons though, we were legit. The National Park Service (NPS), specifically the George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) park division, welcomed us to the banks of the river where we watched the planes and entertained the Duck Tourists as they exited the river. Then…things totally crashed and burned.

The NPS GWMP notified us that “athletic events” on the “athletic fields” at Gravelly Point would be limited to the hours of 6 AM to 9 AM on weekends. Not a type-o. The “athletic fields”…

Complete Game Videos (Su09): World Series

Complete game videos from the 2009 Summer World Series featuring the Canvassers and Flaglove. The World Series was played at night, under temporary lighting for the first time in league history. The home plate camera angle was filmed in HD, and a seperate commentary track by Brian Ford (formerly of Scared Hitless) will be posted with the batter/pitcher camera angle.

Bracketology: London Style

Let me start by saying I love the London Wiffleball Tournament and I’m going to keep bringing teams as long as I’m able to do so. I like Brian Wheeler and the guys on the Reds, and I know they do a tremendous amount of work with very little support to put on the tournament every year and I’m glad they do.

I don’t want to be one of those guys that complains about things but doesn’t do anything to help fix them. I’ve been on the receiving end of those kinds of complaints too many times to not appreciate that position. That being said, I think that constructive criticism is a good thing, and people who really love things should be able to give the people who run the things they love ideas to help make it better or correct problems that they see.

Predictions: The Commish Calls 'Em

It’s been a few seasons since I’ve taken off the Commissioner’s hat and made some predictions. Sure, we’re over half way done with the Summer Season and it might seem a little late. But for the first time, over half of our teams were completely new this year. That left a lot of unanswered questions…until now. Now that I’ve had a chance to see ‘em, I’m ready to call ‘em.

If you disagree…by all means, use the Color Commentary. Be careful though, you still have six games worth of decisions on hits or errors to live through.

Washington Post: The Story

Les Carpenter (2-5, 1 R, 2 RBI) of the Washington Post spent a few weeks hanging out with the Potomac Wiffleball League during our Spring 2009 season. (I guess that’s what NFL reporters do in June and July.)

A feature story, video and photos ran Sunday, July 19.

Part III: ‘Just’ Wiffle Ball? Not a Chance
Tony Ragano Lets His Competitive Fire Burn on the Fields at Fort Reno Park

By Les Carpenter
Washington Post Staff
Saturday, July 18, 2009 1:57 PM

On a gentle Sunday morning, with the sandstone castle towers of Fort Reno Park rising behind him, the most competitive player in the adult, co-ed, slow-pitch Potomac Wiffleball League tugs on a Camel Light and swears.

"Wait For Your Pitch"

“Wait for your pitch.” I remember it like it was yesterday. My little league coach, pulling double duty as third base coach, would yell to me and most of my teammates. “Wait for your pitch.”

I guess I should clarify something before we continue. In Dwight, Kansas (population 350) we didn’t actually play “Little League” (all rights reserved, etc, etc, etc). We were part of the Flint Hills Baseball Association, and my age division at the time, the first in which we pitched to ourselves instead of our dads pitching to us, 10-12 year olds, was called “Juniors”. (A significant step up from the 7-9 year old division which was called “Biscuits”.) So, I use the term little league generically, to indicate all levels and types of youth baseball, and not to mean the gestapo like jackass organization with which I have a love/hate relationship, Little League Baseball, Incorporated.

Were They Perfect?

The newest addition to the PWL, the Blandford Barnburners, played a one inning run rule game against the The Gnats during week 1, beating them 14-0. In fact, only two of the three batters from the The Gnats made it up to the plate, and both got out.

Blandsford Barnburners at The Gnats
Score By Innings 1 R H E
Blandsford Barnburners 14 14 15 0
The Gnats 0 0 0 1

The question is, with a shortened, run rule game, does it count as a perfect game?

First Pitch of 2007

The first pitch of the Spring 2007 Potomac Wiffleball League will be Sunday, April 1, at 11:35 AM.

League Meeting Tuesday...

Tuesday night the Managers of the 12 league teams will meet to finalize the schedule, re-align the divisions, and consider proposals for rules changes for the 2007 season.

PWL Version 3.0

We’re almost ready to launch the third revamp of our website. (potomacwiffleball.org) We’ve come a long way since 2005 when the website was automatically generated by Microsoft Excel. The new version that’s almost completed couldn’t have been done without the work of Tony Cani (Canvassers).

Can you play ball?

Is the chilly winter weather doubting your previous belief in Global Warming? Do you long for Spring and the return of hard plastic action?

World Series: Fall Classic Is Set

The Summer 2006 Potomac Wiffleball World Series, a best of three game series, will be held Sunday, October 15, 2006, on Field 1 at Gravelly Point.

The Commish: Predictions - Summer 2006

Cocunut Cowboy – A great start for the yellow-shirted rooks, beating two teams which should have .500 or better seasons. Were they lucky, catching them off-guard and un-prepared on opening day? Or is their scoring and playing ability for real? Their manager, who by far and away had the best Week 1 performance, but was robbed of the POTW because only 2 of his team members voted, already has as many home runs as were hit in the entire last season by the home run champ. And only half of those came on Field 2 with the wind. They will fight with the Hot Sundaes, and stay tuned Week 3 when those two teams first tango, it will be a preview of the Division Championship Series. My money is that these rookies hang on, and win the division by a game. However, as the old Conway Twitty song goes, “don’t call him a cowboy, until you’ve seen him ride.” (1st place – 8 wins/2 losses)

The Commish: Predictions - Spring 2006

Hot Sundaes – largely a new team, but with some promise. Kevin Hyde is a solid player, if by solid, I mean, slightly below average. With only 5 extra base hits in ’05 Kevin knows you don’t have to hit the long ball to play this game. Look for the Hot Sundaes to middle-of-the-pack-it with Gabello’s Team and fight for second place in the division to make it to post-season. I think they’re going to want it more than Gabello’s Team, and in this game, sometimes heart will get you that extra run even though talent wouldn’t. (5 wins / 5 losses)

Wiffleball Returns to the Banks of the Potomac...

The grapefruit leagues are going strong, we’re a month away from the Nationals home opener, and baseball is in the air in DC. But it’s not just baseball…Wiffleball is in the air too.

Remember the days when plastic bats and balls dominated your summer?

Remember when building stadiums didn’t cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but instead meant finding flattened boxes to represent bases in your back yard, or on the street in front of your house?

Do you remember Wiffleball? Do you long for Wiffleball? Are you at least willing to consider playing Wiffleball?

The Potomac Wiffleball League is returning for a second season.