Articles by "TWIF"
3/27/2013 – Current Teams and Players
- Roster signings have been slow the last couple of weeks but are expected to pick up as we enter the home stretch. Nine teams have officially filled the minimum five players needed. With contraction talks in the air, more roster spots should get filled soon.
- In what is being described as an even exchange by no one, the Janitors have replaced the lost Kevin Higman with former Have Fun manager Scott Abrahams.
- Todd Ogg joined Superman’s Wheelchair to help in their offensive pop department. But, didn’t they really need a backup pitcher?
Finally a profile of someone with some fresh blood who might be younger than 40.
The rookie Gumballers are owning the Eastern Division this season and Nitto’s pitching is a major factor for them. He leads the league in shutouts, is tied for Wins (though we all agree that’s a meaningless pitching stat, right?) and tops the leader board in most pitching categories. He also had a perfect game, but those are given out like candy this season thanks to the Have Fun Out Theres.
The first season is traditionally tough on rookie teams, but it looks like the Gumballers are playoff bound and with weak rosters on traditional powerhouse teams might have a shot at playing for the title.
[ player profile page ]
Nickname: Nitto, Nitro, Ankle Braces
Hometown: Albany, NY
Resides: Arlington, VA
Employer: Department of Energy
How did you find the PWL: Captain of our team Brennan Reif found it online and I knew I had to get in on the action.
Career Batting Avg: .469
Awards: Player of the Week SU 2012 WK4
Zach Carter continues our series of old, if not good, players in the PWL who have somehow escaped a 6 innings profile from us in the past.
The Master Batters haven’t been a good team since their ace pitcher moved away a few seasons ago. Carter himself isn’t that great at playing, but he excels at being a total stat-whore. For example, he might be the career leader in saves (we really need to get the old pitching stats into the database) because he basically only shows up each week hoping to get into the game in a save situation.
The guy has a knack for building up stats while watching all the other teams beat him. It’s also possible he’s never been pictured on the website with his eyes open.
[ player profile page ]
Nickname: The Closer (because I am the closer)
Hometown: Omaha, NE and Kansas City, KS and St. Louis, MO and Detroit, MI…
Resides: Washington, DC
Employer: A DC area High School (But don’t tell anyone because I’m really embarassed by my team name)
Throws: Slightly less well
How did you find the PWL: When I found myself with yet another jobless summer stretching out in front of me I was lucky enough to stumble across a Washington Post article on the beauty of PWL.
Career Batting Avg: .363
Awards: Player of the Week SP 2010 WK3, Gold Glove Award – Catcher SU 2010, Nominated for Rookie of the Year SU 2009
Obviously we haven’t opened the PWL Hall of Fame yet, but despite the desires of most everyone who’s ever met him, Nicholas DiCrosta is an automatic, no questions asked, first ballot member. He’s as unlikable off the field as he is on, but you can’t argue with his success. He’ll beat you most of the game on the mound and the whole game in the batters box.
You’d almost feel sorry for a player of his caliber spending his entire career playing for a team that always comes so close, and yet never wins a championship. Take solace in the fact that DiCrosta does have a World Series ring though. The one season, out of his nine, that he left Scared Hitless and was a free agent he did win the World Series. Would probably have been the MVP of that series if we gave out such honors. Take even more solace in the that he was a Canvasser that one season when he did it, we know the Commissioner does.
[ player profile page ]
Nickname: Chirp Back (As in, when I chirp shorty…)
Age: Starting to get gray hairs but I’m not like, Ragano old yet
Hometown: Harrington Park, NJ
Resides: Hoodley Park, DC
Employer: National Institutes of Health
How did you find the PWL: Facebook ad, of all places. I thought it was a joke. This marks the first and last time Facebook advertising worked.
Career Batting Avg: .452
PWL Career Leader: Games Played, Doubles, Sac Flies (tied)
Awards: 4 Player of the Week Wins, 18 Nominations, Most Valuable Player (Sp10), Nominated for MVP and Cy Young five times, Rookie of the Year once.
We’re probably long past due to feature Kris Garcia for Six Questions for Six Innings. A PWL lifer, Garcia has been around for 12 of our 15 seasons. He caused a little bit of a stir this off season listing himself as a free agent (never hurts to hear offers) before returning to his third franchise the Canvassers.
He has also represented the PWL in London, Ohio, as part of the all star team travelling to the London Tournament. He missed this year’s tournament though because his wife wouldn’t let him go.
[ player profile page ]
Nickname: k-gar, circle k, special k, or anything with the word “little” in it.
Age: an achy and creaky 34
Hometown: Taft, the friendliest cotton pickin’ town in Texas!
Resides: Thug Town, VA
Employer: National Education Association
How did you find the PWL: 6 years ago someone told me that a bunch of unathletic beltway insiders were getting together at the airport to play a kids game organized by a professional political organizer. I knew it had to be something special.
Career Batting Avg: .440
PWL Career Leader: Plate Appearances, Fly Outs
Awards: 4 Player of the Week Wins, 12 Nominations, Gold Glove Award – Pitcher (Su09), Nominated for MVP twice and Cy Young once.
It’s been ages since we profiled a player for 6 Innings. But the announcement this week of the pending retirement of the current record holder for consecutive games played, the Cal Ripken, if you will, of the PWL, caused us to return the fan favorite.
The Commissioner once said something to the effect of if you’re waiting for a 6 Innings profile of Felix Fernandez, don’t hold your breath. But today, that is exactly what’s happening.
Fernandez, who walked away from perennial playoff contender Clubber Lang a few seasons ago to form his own perennial playoff contender NWO, is well known, if not well liked, among the PWL faithful. More like Ty Cobb than Cal Ripken, his intensity on the field is seldom matched, and his persona driven by that intensity is often scary.
This is a guy who brings a tee to the field to practice hitting wiffleballs off it. This is a guy who once took over 60 pitches (before the K-board was added) to wait for a mistake pitch so he could homer to win a game, and he did. This a guy who has repeatedly stolen bases even though stealing is not legal. This is a guy who wore a glove while pitching and playing the field. This is a guy who pays players to be on his team.
No fewer than three PWL rules were created as a direct result of his actions. Of no one else in the league can that be said.
Hate him or only kinda hate him, you cannot say that Felix Fernandez has not been important in the brief history of the PWL. Will he be missed? That is another story entirely.
Since the addition of the strike board, even with the speed limit, pitchers have slowly started to gain the upper hand in the league. The Managers have adopted rules changes to try to curb the advantage, including moving the mound back three feet.
However, the imbalance still exists, especially for the “ace” of each team’s pitching staff. Throughout 2011 a discussion was had about limiting the number of innings that a pitcher could pitch. Many other leagues do this, to force a required rotation. In addition to increasing offense a little bit, it would add some additional strategy to the game and help emulate real baseball where you don’t get the ace every game.
Before the Summer 2011 season a rule for this almost passed. Rule changes require a 2/3 vote of the managers, and this rule failed by one vote, with one manager missing the call. (IE – 60% of the league supported it.)
4/4/2012 10:00 PM – Current Teams and Players Signed Up
- As of now we have 17 official teams, and 3 teams that are returning but need to fill their rosters. (Barnburners, NWO, Natty Brohs) Looks like it will be 20 for sure for the season, rumors are that the Commissioner has submitted the draft schedule to the Managers to review before next week’s call to finalize.
- You WILL Have Brian Ford to Kick Around Again – The on-again off-again soap opera at Scared Hitless reached a peak this week as it was confirmed that Brian Ford is returning to the PWL this Spring with Hitless. A former Cy Young Winner, Ford has struggled in recent seasons, especially in critical playoff spots. Nicknamed the “Pez Dispenser”, (he pulls back his arm to pitch and runs come out) Ford has retired at least three times, quit on a couple of other occasions and sometimes misses games to go to Phish concerts. Despite drunken midnight phone calls to the Commissioner’s Office, he’s still welcome, as of now, in the PWL. Most especially by opposing batters. Slim just shot None in the head.
Greg Hudson is the manager of the DC Twits. A .500 team in their rookie season, they are a playoff bubble team this summer in large part due to Hudson’s bat. Like any “good” manager, Hudson leaves himself on the pitcher’s mound too long, and his batting orders sometimes baffle onlookers. If you’re not sure who the Twits are, think back to a game where it looked like a team of umpires were playing. The Twits uniforms, and we use that term loosely, are just plain powder blue shirts which sometimes cause confusion with the arbiters of the game.
August 1 – 10:45 AM – Current Teams and Players Signed Up
- NWO re-signs Craig Mann, so apparently there is at least one person who can stand Alex for more than one season.
- The Nick West sweepstakes is over, and despite his desire to make his choice into an hour long TV special, he informed his fans over Facebook. He’s a Canvasser.
July 31 – 11:45 PM – Current Teams and Players Signed Up
- Someone named Eamon Murray signed a contract with Scared Hitless, but there are rumors it’s not a real deal, or maybe even the real person. In other news, Matt “Big Cat” Dreyfus becomes the third Hitless manager in three seasons, and a groin pull is going to keep Tony Ragano out for this season.
- NWO finally has a second player, Brian Burrell of the Natty Brohs who are out for the summer signed a one-season deal. Expect Brohs broh Lois Goodman (David Bransfield) to possibly join him, but no official word other than Bransfield has been cleared to play.
- New Canvassers manager Tony Morin hasn’t re-signed top Rookie of the Year Nominee (but not final winner) Danny Bessette yet, but is expected to soon. Morin also thinks he’s in the mix and has almost finalized a deal for the top free agent get Nick West.
- Other players not on the Free Agent list from teams that aren’t coming back for Summer, unclear if any are available, who were over the PWL’s Mendoza line (.300) are: James Lenihan (.333/.513/0), Andrew Martin (.500/.1.333/3), Matthew Cunningham (.375/.500/0) and the Barnburners.
Eamon Murray is often overlooked when you think of the stars of the PWL. He’s on a team that’s never made the playoffs, he’s kind of a dick, and while he has moments of greatness, he’s basically in the bottom of the top third of players in the league…also known as just better than the middle. That being said, when it comes to intensity and base running he’s the Ty Cobb of the league. If you’re in an online vote for Player of the Week against him, he’ll beat you at the last second with thousands of votes. If you’re not paying attention in the field your pitcher will be holding the ball waiting on the safe call at first base while Eamon is sliding into third. Smarter and more aggressive than Filides on the basepaths, it hasn’t mattered without a team behind him. This season, the Gnats changed their name to the Most Interesting Men in the World. Even though they’re not, they are suddenly playoff contenders.
It’s been nine years since Joe Thaman played in his first World Series. His team didn’t win and he had the misfortune to be the last out to end the final game that sent them home, a strike out.
Most of you know that the PWL has only been around since 2005, and Thaman’s franchise, Superman’s Wheelchair has only been in the league since 2010. The World Series we’re talking about here isn’t the one the 15 PWL teams left in contention are fighting for.
This was the College World Series, a tournament annually featuring the eight best teams in NCAA baseball. And Thaman’s team wasn’t the Wheelchair, it was a small private university just north of South Bend, Indiana, called Notre Dame.
The victory he couldn’t deliver for his alma mater in Omaha, he would deliver eight years later for his friends at Gravelly Point.
This week we talk to Jim Shannon. In case you haven’t figured it out, the Shannon brothers are well, twins. We’re not sure if Jim is younger or older, and in fact, we can’t even really tell them apart when they’re not wearing their respective baseball hats. They make up a good chunk of the Blandsford Barnburners who are in the hunt for their third World Championship this season. They previously won in Spring 2009 and Spring 2010. They’re better in the cooler weather.
This week we’re talking to Player of the Week nominee and possible rookie of the year prospect Alfred Breuer of the Garbage Plates. He’s a free agent pickup for a new team, but he’s leading the league in homers and RBI. He might even be able to pitch too, though clearly we don’t care about that.
- 9 TEAMS (Less than a day left)
- New Teams: Flea Bitten Varmits, NWO
- Non-Returning Teams: Alcoholics Anonymous, Blandsford Barnburners, Brosephorous Rex, On the Fence, Rossi Posse
- Filides finally gets his shit together and will have a team…sorta.
Tempers are rising in the ongoing battle of Scared Hitless vs. Scared Hitless. Another shot was fired by the Kalamazoo Wiffle League’s Scared Hitless.
In an effort to bring peace to the wiffleball world, Commissioner Gallaway sent an open letter to the Commissioner of the Kalamazoo Wiffle League this evening. [ read the full letter ]
Archive of Posts to Date
- KWL’s Initial Shot
- NWLA Coverage of the Controversy
- PWL’s Response by Nick DiCrosta
- KWL’s Response to the Response
Despite it being a valiant effort, league officials predict that it is unlikely that Commissioner Gallaway’s letter will stop either Scared Hitless from continuing to escalate this issue.
Open Letter from Commissioner Gallaway of the Potomac Wiffleball League
May 29, 2010
Kalamzoo Wiffle League
As part of the international wiffleball community, we as Commissioners have a responsibility to ensure the best interests and highest integrity of the game…
It’s official…inanimate objects are more interesting this season than the players. (Don’t hold your breath for that Alex Filides soul searching interview, it isn’t coming.) So, for the second week in a row, we’re doing something different. Mr. Party is the mascot of his namesake team “Mr. Party’s Waddle”. A “waddle” is a group of penguins. Get it? Mr. Party’s Waddle. Nevermind. Anyway, we sat down with the bird, er, mammal…no, definitely a flightless bird, to talk about the team he represents. To be honest, he’s a bit of a prick.
This week’s profile is with the Super Striper. The Striper is the league’s best utility player. Lining three fields each week, and recently her responsibilities have grown from just foul lines and the arc to include batters’ boxes. This is the rookie season for a brand new Striper. Our previous chief painter had been with the Commissioner since before there was even a league in DC, getting her start in 2003 in the Lawrence, Kansas league. She was finally forced into retirement by a bad handle at the end of the last season. The company that makes the Striper offers a lifetime guarantee, and would have replaced the device for free, but it would have meant shipping the old one back. We just couldn’t do that, so we sent the previous one to the Hall of Fame, and got a fresh start with the new one.
This week’s profile is with Jesse Contario. Fresh off a Rookie of the Year Award and a World Series appearance last year with Flaglove, with a new team name and a new, tougher division, Contario is trying to avoid a sophomore slump. The opening week of the season was rough on him, but week 2 was even worse. He left his team and skipped out to drive to Vermont to attend a Justin Bieber concert. He needs to get back on track if the Bros have any chance of making it back to the Spring Fall Classic.
This week’s profile is with Andrew Martin. Since he’s so fun on the field, we thought he might be fun to talk to. Boy were we wrong. Martin is the competitively tempered pitcher of the Alcoholics Anonymous. And, despite the team name, he’s a better pitcher, and human being, when he’s 2/3 into a six pack of PBR. He pitches hard, and hardly bats. Despite non-stop abuse from the rest of the league, he keeps coming back, and that makes us happy.
Week 1 is behind us, the stats have been crunched, the videos reviewed. Some teams under-performed. Some over-performed. The standings after just 14% of the games have been played can be misleading. However, that’s more than enough time for the Commish to pass judgment on what the season is shaping up to look like. They say that Branch Rickey, who revolutionized baseball, twice, was better than anyone else at putting a dollar sign on the muscle. In the PWL, Commissioner Gallaway knows how to pick winners, having won the World Series five out of the nine times it has been contested.
We’re bringing back a fan favorite this week, our 6 Questions for 6 Innings profile of a current league player. We’ll try to keep up and do one each week of the regular season so you get to know some of the characters in the league better.
This week, it’s Matt Dreyfus. Fresh off a World Series Championship with the Canvassers, but now back with his old team Scared Hitless, Dreyfus is one of the premier hitters in the league. He opens up about his priorities and his history, but we forgot to ask him about his socks.
4/6 – 4:30 PM – Current Official Team and Player List
- NEW TEAM REGISTRATION IS CLOSED. Individuals may still sign-up to join an existing team, or as a free agent. But no new teams.
4/5 – 5:00 PM
- 12, 12, 12. Done and done. On the Fence becomes the 12th team of the season to sign up.
The Canvassers today announced a new team emblem to kick-off the 2010 season.
The emblem was chosen in a worldwide competition. Nine designers from six countries submitted 66 entries in the competition. A Mongolian designer, known only by the handle “tsengunee” won the competition.
“We are excited that the new roster of players on our team is now matched by the fresh look of our emblem”, Canvassers manager Chris Gallaway said at the unveiling press conference. “Our World Championship team has changed a lot, we lost two great players, but we have great new faces to fill our uniforms featuring our bold new design.”
The emblem will appear in green on the Canvassers home uniforms, which are ash grey. On the forest green away uniforms the emblem will be in white.
The new emblem symbolizes…
Commissioner Gallaway hosted the first of what is expected to be several demonstrations and conversations of possible strike zone technology this past Sunday at Ft. Reno. The ground was still snow covered, but seven players representing five teams from last season participated in the summit.
The group, dominated mostly by pitchers, were in full agreement on a strike board, possibly one as large as three feet wide and eight feet tall. Commissioner Gallaway steered conversations closer to the 20 inch wide by 30 inch tall board that was used during Weeks 1 and 2 of the Summer 2009 Season.
The main focus of the tests was to determine an appropriate speed limit on pitchers if the new board is in place. It is widely agreed…
The guest this week is another rookie, Jake Tomko. In just three weeks, Tomko has two POTW nominations under his belt. If only his teammates had voted for him, he might even have hardware. He’s part of the league’s shiny new object, the Blandsford Barnburners. Where is Blandsford? Why are they burning down barns? You won’t find answers to these questions here, but if you offer to buy them beer, or introduce them to a girl, they might tell you. Tomko’s streak of 20 perfect innings, the only 20 he’s thrown, is the longest in league history. Is he the best pitcher in the PWL, and if so, do we really care? The streak may end soon, but the first guy who has a real shot at the Pitching Triple Crown will hopefully be around for a while.
We’re bringing back a fan favorite this week by sitting down with Michael Kirby for Six Questions in Six Innings. Kirby was named as the league photographer by Commissioner Gallaway this week, becoming the second person in history to hold the job. The last photographer, Chris Kennedy, did great work, but disappeared shortly after his appointment. We’re hoping Kirby sticks around longer. He took a record 99 photos during Week 2. If only his batting average was that high.
We’re bringing back a fan favorite this week by sitting down with Brian Clapp for Six Questions in Six Innings. Clapp begins his third season in the PWL managing a team that seems more likely to fit in at an Amnesty International rally than a wiffleball field. Sporting pirate uniforms and a traveling with a posse that can’t be counted on two hands they make the chatty Masterbatters look like Calvin Coolidge. Their come from behind victory over the Mud Puppies during week one showed they are for real, and their leader also ripped his first career homer while putting on an impressive offensive performance. Sure, it was his 4 errors in the field that helped get them run-ruled in the second game, but don’t count them out or you’ll be walking the plank.
David Gross sits down with us this week for 6 Innings. As the 3rd or 4th man on the dream team, two-time World Champion Canvassers, David was often out of the spotlight. Now, managing his own team, named after his fiesty player and business partner, Mary’s Mad Dogs, he’s coming into his own. Will his team, that started off to a 4-0 start be able to hold on and make the playoffs? Only time will tell.
Fresh off her birthday before Week 4, which was celebrated with cupcakes in between games, we’re sitting down with Lindsay Fincher of the DC Wifflehouse. Whether it’s being featured on the front page of the Examiner (Read Here) during practice, or traveling the world, Lindsay is part of the new generation of players that will help define Wiffleball for years to come. Sure, Ryan Hughes is the head of the Ballers…er…the Wifflehouse, but Fincher is the heart. A 6 Innings profile can’t do her justice, so check out Lindsay’s blog at lindsayfincher.com.
This week, we’re chatting with Dan Dondero, manager of the Masterbatters. In addition to giving the MB’s their clever name, Dan’s got something to say about everything. His witty remarks, someone once said, have their own witty remarks. He stance, like his personality is long and narrow. He kind of looks like a long-neck beer bottle, and he’s not unfamiliar with it’s contents.
This week, we’re chatting with Mindie Reule, player for the Borg. Some people think she’s the best female player in the league, which is kind of like being the first runner up in the sheep category at the county fair. She dives for catches, hits the ball hard, and isn’t afraid to run over a player on the basepaths if they get in her way. If she had a good nickname, we’d almost say she was a ball player.
This week, we’re chatting with Ross Duenas, Manager of the Coconut Cowboys. It takes a real man to wear yellow, does this rookie season Triple Crown winner have what it takes to become one of the greatest players in PWL history?
Each week we’ll sit down wtih a player and ask 6 questions in 6 innings. First up, the Deputy Commissioner Stephen Zigmund. He’s been called cute by some, a disappointment by others, we’ll leave this call in your hands.