News

Division Championship Series #2 Preview (Sp13): It's Not a Rivalry

Written by - Posted 2013-06-06 15:56 in News


This series is a rematch of the first round Division Championship Series from last Summer, as well as the 2011 Summer World Series. Last summer, playing without ace Nicholas DiCrosta, Hitless managed to force a third game before being sent home by Wheelchair. In a season in which Wheelchair has played better, and Hitless has played much worse, it will take more than DiCrosta showing up, which isn’t a guarantee by any means, or Thaman having another baby and not showing up, for an upset here.

Defending World Series Champions Superman’s Wheelchair became just the fourth team to post an undefeated season, shortly before the Barnburners followed as the fifth. Wheelchair has the distinction of being the only team to do it twice though, posting the same mark in Summer 2011. After a couple of seasons with mixed bag rosters trying to fill the gaps left by Mark Nicholson and Pat Hook, Wheelchair solidified this season, signing Kyle Halvordson, a previous season mid-year call up, and free agent Todd Ogg to full season deals. The lineup consistency and slight offensive upgrade has paid off. It also doesn’t hurt them that Joe Thaman, still in disbelief he didn’t win his 5th consecutive Cy Young Award last summer, hasn’t been ejected from the mound once this season. Obviously, Wheelchair needs a backup pitcher, and still doesn’t have one, a lesson they should have learned in the 6th inning of Game 3 of the Spring 2012 World Series when the Barnburners came back from 4 runs down to take the title from them. If it hurts them, it hurts them in the second round, or the World Series more than this matchup. And, Thaman did pitch over 50 innings in a single day over six games in the Summer 2012 DCS before facing an ejection.

At this point, the annual talk of Scared Hitless coming up short in the World Series is starting to feel like picking on the slow kid in class. It used to be fair, they were good teams, had great seasons, and always just blew the World Series in the end. But now, they aren’t good, certainly not great, and almost missed the playoffs after seven consecutive appearances, the current record. We’re not sure how it’s possible, but this team is significantly worth less than the sum of its parts. In a game that can involve as few as three players, Scared Hitless has three first ballot, no questions asked, hall of famers. That’s more than the Barnburners’ two, or Wheelchair’s one. And yet, they struggled to win all season, and had they not gotten lucky on a pitcher ejection forfeit game Week 4, they’d be playing cornhole this Sunday at Brian Ford’s house instead of showing up to take their lashings from Wheelchair at Gravelly. Is it possible rookie Nick Vanderhye is a cancer eating away their talent? What else could explain Joey Davis, a career 331 hitter coming into this season hitting 188? DiCrosta and Filides also had the worst, or next to worst, seasons in their long careers. Manager Matt Dreyfus is a league favorite, a sacred cow for the organization, and played solid this season, but maybe it’s time for a shakeup in the manager’s spot in the off season, which should start for Hitless about 3:15 PM on Sunday.

These teams have met eleven times. We’d call it a rivalry, but in a rivalry, both teams should have some possibility of winning. In five regular season games, Superman’s Wheelchair is undefeated, running up a run differential in those games of 11 runs. They met during Week 1 this season, with Wheelchair taking a 1-0 decision in seven innings. They’ve met twice in postseason series, with Wheelchair winning both series, but Hitless forcing the full three games, winning Game 2 of both the Summer 2011 World Series, and the 2012 Summer DCS 1st Round.

Sunday, June 9

1:30 PM – Game 1 (Green)
Scared Hitless at Superman’s Wheelchair

Nicholas DiCrosta
Joseph Thaman
 
(6-2) 0.91 ERA
(12-0) 0.83 ERA
 

2:30 PM – Game 2 (Blue)
Superman’s Wheelchair at Scared Hitless

Christopher Keeven
Nicholas DiCrosta
 
(1-0) 0.00 ERA
(6-2) 0.91 ERA
 

3:30 PM – Game 3 (Green)
Scared Hitless at Superman’s Wheelchair
(if necessary)

The official scorer will be Andrew Martin. Joevon Stennent will handle public address responsibilities. The umpires will be Mark Dineen and Bill Healey.

Division Championship Series #1 Preview (Sp13): Attack of the Shannons

Written by - Posted 2013-06-06 13:40 in News


The first Division Championship Series featuring the top seeded Blandsford Barnburners (14-0) and the worst seeded 7th Linning Stretch (8-6) has all the makings of blowout that a run rule can’t contain. The Blandsford Barnburners have never lost a postseason series, sporting a 9-0 series record, winning 18 games and only losing 3. 7th Linning Stretch has never been in the postseason before.

Most observers, and even the Barnburners themselves, will admit that the kids from Manassas (who grew up and now all live together in Ballston) had a cakewalk this season, playing in a weak division, and not having to face four of the other seven teams who made the playoffs. That schedule let them become the fifth team in history to go unbeaten, and set a new record for run differential, beating opponents by 88 runs this season. Regardless of the schedule, the Barnburners have returned for their fifth season with something of a rededication to dominating weekly in the stats, and overall in the league on their way to a record-tying 5th World Championship. They’ve never played a season they didn’t win the World Series, but they’ve also had a cavalier attitude the past several seasons, knowing they’d make the playoffs regardless, and just kind of phoning in the regular season. Not this time. Playing each week like a team on a mission, they reclaimed their #1 national ranking, dominated the leader boards (all of them, even the two crappy ones) and set lineups and rotated pitchers like a team planning for Game 3 of the World Series from Week 1 of the Season. Have the kids really grown up? Did Colin Gannon go to manager school in the off season? We’re not sure what sparked the change, but the lucky teams are on the other side of the bracket this postseason.

7th Linning Stretch makes their first postseason in their second season. Like the Barnburners, they played the Spring season but skipped the Summer season in 2012. Unlike the Barnburners, they struggle in most aspects of the game of wiffleball. Nick West, a veteran of seven seasons and three teams, gets credit for taking a team that was 5-9 last Spring, and sneaking into the playoffs with an 8-6 record. However, they made the playoffs by shitting the bed the least amount of all the teams that shit the bed this season. They didn’t beat a single other playoff team they faced this season, and lost the last two games of the season to almost miss a chance for the playoffs. Luckily for them, nobody else wanted the last seed, and Dupont and Nasty Boys literally gave away their chance to make the playoffs during Week 7. This two man team of West and rookie Joel Brunk desperately needs a third hitter. So far, none of their other players have stepped up, and continually make costly rally killing outs. They’ll need career performances from everyone, including their bench, to force this series to three games.

The two teams have never played each other. They were scheduled to in the Spring 2012 season, but 7th Linning forfeited.

Sunday, June 9

1:30 PM – Game 1 (Blue)
7th Linning Stretch at Blandsford Barnburners

Joel Brunk
Jack Shannon
 
(2-1) 0.22 ERA
(5-0) 0.22 ERA
 

2:30 PM – Game 2 (Green)
Blandsford Barnburners at 7th Linning Stretch

Colin Gannon
Joel Brunk
 
(1-0) 0.00 ERA
(2-1) 0.22 ERA
 

3:30 PM – Game 3 (Blue)
7th Linning Stretch at Blandsford Barnburners
(if necessary)

The official scorer will be Kevin Wall. Tony Ragano will have the public address responsibilities. Umpires will be Jim Kroll and Sim Walker.

Awards Nomination Voting Open (Sp13)

Written by - Posted 2013-06-04 16:19 in News

It’s time to start selecting the 2013 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.

VOTES FOR NOMINEES ARE DUE FRIDAY, JUNE 7 AT 12:00 PM. (Noon)

Those nominees chosen by the players will then be put up for a final vote to determine the winner.

Each player in the league has been emailed instructions on completing their ballot, which is being hosted by BallotBin. Emails were sent to the address used when the player paid their registration fee. If you did not receive your email notification contact the Commissioner.

Voting for the nominees is being done by ranked pairs voting.

VOTES FOR NOMINEES ARE DUE FRIDAY, JUNE 7 AT 12:00 PM. (Noon)

The awards to be voted on, as well as the number of nominees that league players will select are:

  • Most Valuable Player – Wiffleball is an offensive sport, and the five nominees for this award are determined largely by offensive power, though voters should consider overall performance in making their selections. (5 nominees)
  • Rookie of the Year – This award is for the Rookie player (defined as a player not eligible for nomination in any prior year’s stats) who had the most impact on the PWL. (3 nominees)
  • Cy Young Award – The Cy Young Award honors the finest pitching performance for the season. (5 nominees)
  • Gold Glove Award – This award honors performances in the field. There is one award per position, Pitcher, Catcher and Fielder. (3 nominees per position)
  • Manager of the Year – This award honors the best manager of the year. (3 nominees)
  • New Team of the Year – This award will honor the best new team of the year. You can use whatever criteria you wish. Best record, best uniforms, best logo, best fans, etc. (3 nominees)

Every player in the league who qualified for the minimum number of appearances is on the ballot to choose the nominees. Ballots are initially sorted based on a single stat performance. MVP and Roookie of the Year by SLG. Cy Young by OBA. Gold Glove by RF. Manager and New Team are randomized by the system.

Player of the Week: Week 7 Nominees (Sp13)

Written by - Posted 2013-06-04 13:30 in POTW

It was a great last week for PWL – wind was blowing out on most of the fields so we had some fun games. Also, this is a great week for POTW, we have some fresh names on here so get to voting for your favorites. And if you didn’t make it to the postseason this year, you’re more than welcome to come out and enjoy the games and weather with us this weekend!

  • While Porkchop Sandwiches didn’t make the playoffs in their first year, they certainly had some high points — one is Craig Miller (first POTW nomination). Not only does Craig pitch (1.00 ERA for the season), but he hits pretty well too (.321 avg). This week, Craig had an OPS of 2.000, 4 homeruns, and 5 RBIs – not bad.
  • Brian Burrell is up for his first nomination since 2011 (with NWO, remember them?). In week 7, Brian and the Natty Brohs had 3 games (which they lost all 3), but Brian hit pretty good. With an OPS of 1.700, Brian hit 2 homeruns and at least gave the Natty Brohs a fighting chance in all 3 games.
  • John Dondero is up for his first POTW nomination, and while he was only in the Sex Panthers’ lineup for 4 weeks of play, every time he showed up, he came to hit. In week 7, John went off – an OPS of 1.923, batting .535, 3 homeruns, and 6 RBIs. One of those homeruns also sent the Dupont Circle Jerks packing.
  • Anthony Morin of the Canvassers (4th nomination, no wins) had himself quite the day at the plate – basically if he was up, he was getting on base, as his OPS of 2.111 shows. Morin was also able to hit a homerun and drive in 2 – ending the season as the Canvassers best hitter (.429 avg).
  • William McNally (4th nomination, 1 win) has helped Suns Out Guns Out finish the season on 9 game winning streak (yeah, 9 games). This past week, Will went perfect in game 1 (3 for 3), including 2 homeruns and 4 RBIs. For the day, Will ended with an OPS of 2.429.

VOTING CLOSES AT NOON FRIDAY

The public vote counts for 50% of the overall total, and the league managers vote counts for the remaining 50%.


POTW: Week 7 (Sp13)
Craig Miller
5%
Brian Burrell
7%
John Dondero
59%
Anthony Morin
5%
William McNally
24%
total_votes: 58

About POTW: Each week five nominess will be announced for Player of the Week. The league, fans, and press will vote for the winner. Winners receive a very limited edition wiffleball keychain. For a history of the award, check out Player of the Week History.

Complete DCS Round 1 Playoff Schedule

Written by - Posted 2013-06-02 17:12 in News

Division Championship Series – Round 1
Sunday, June 9

DCS 1

  • 1:30 PM – 7th Linning Stretch at Blandsford Barnburners (Blue)
  • 2:30 PM – Blandsford Barnburners at 7th Linning Stretch (Green)
  • 3:30 PM – 7th Linning Stretch at Blandsford Barnburners (Blue)

All Time Series: 1-0 RD 0Blandsford Barnburners
Umpires: TBA
Scorekeeper: Kevin Wall
Public Address Announcer: Tony Ragano
Color Commentary: TBA

DCS 2

  • 1:30 PM – Scared Hitless at Superman’s Wheelchair (Green)
  • 2:30 PM – Superman’s Wheelchair at Scared Hitless (Blue)
  • 3:30 PM – Scared Hitless at Superman’s Wheelchair (Green)

All Time Series: 9-2 RD 15Superman’s Wheelchair
Umpires: TBA
Scorekeeper: Andrew Martin
Public Address Announcer: Joevon Stennent
Color Commentary: TBA

DCS 3

  • 10:30 AM – Moose Knuckles at Ha’chi Mountaineers (Blue)
  • 11:30 AM – Ha’chi Mountaineers at Moose Knuckles (Green)
  • 12:30 PM – Moose Knuckles at Ha’chi Mountaineers (Blue)

All Time Series: 1-0 RD 2Moose Knuckles
Umpires: TBA
Scorekeeper: Kevin Wall
Public Address Announcer: Tony Ragano
Color Commentary: TBA

DCS 4

  • 10:30 AM – Gumballers at Suns Out Guns Out (Green)
  • 11:30 AM – Suns Out Guns Out at Gumballers (Blue)
  • 12:30 PM – Gumballers at Suns Out Guns Out (Green)

All Time Series: 1-1 RD 6 GumballersTied
Umpires: TBA
Scorekeeper: Andrew Martin
Public Address Announcer: Joevon Stennent
Color Commentary: TBA

WEEK 7 PREVIEW: GLORY DAYS (SP13)

Written by - Posted 2013-05-30 22:32 in News

Just one more week left of the Spring season and much is still to be decided for the eight teams who will move on to the postseason.

The possibilities are too numerous to mention, but the nightmare scenario involves six teams tied at nine wins for five playoff spots. That would require two tie breaker games to be held to settle division champions first, and then a four team double elimination tournament among the four non-division winners to see which three make the wild card spots. Yeah, so eight to nine tiebreaker games before we start the playoffs. The non-nightmare scenario is we have no tie-breakers. In fifteen previous seasons, we’ve had a one game tie-breaker five times, and never had more than two teams tied.

For those who play for the glory of your individual stats, and not the standings of your team, the wind may once again cooperate to help assist your warning track power. Wind is supposed to be stiff from the south-southwest, so basically out on most fields, a little across on green. It’s going to be a muggy one though, the high predicted to be 90 degrees, with scattered thunderstorms, so even if we stay dry (which we surely will) it’s going to be sticky. This is why we don’t play in July.

We’ll keep our eyes on whether or not Joe Thaman can set the single season record for W’s in a season, and Jack Shannon can hold on to the single season pitching records for OBA and HIP. It’s unlikely Shannon’s going to be able to pick up either a pitching or batting Triple Crown but he’s in the hunt.

Watch your inboxes early next week for the season ending survey to tell us how you feel about the league, and for all roster players, the ballot for nominations for season ending awards like Most Valuable Player, Cy Young Award, and Rookie of the Year.

Details on our season ending awards presentation social event, known at the Champions’ Dinner will be announced shortly after the World Series concludes.

To start the media tour for the upcoming postseason, Commissioner Gallaway tossed out the first pitch at the Nationals/Orioles game this week. Despite using a real baseball, instead of a wiffleball, you can check it out here, or if you’ve got more time, an 18 minute behind the scenes video of the entire first pitch experience is here.

6 Innings with Jack Rems

Written by - Posted 2013-05-29 21:15 in Six Innings

Our goal this season was to profile the three freshmen leading the charge for Rookie of the Year, statistically anyway, if not popularity wise. Jack Rems was supposed to be the third of those, but with the revelation that Ty Fletcher is still a rookie, makes him our fourth.

Rems probably has the best hitting numbers of the rookies that will qualify, matched with decent numbers from the mound, but has a lot fewer IP’s than Cohn and Brunk. Wiffleball is all about hitting right? The pitchers have their own award, and separate restrooms. The other problem with Rems is he’s stuck on a team that’s awful. So he doesn’t get much exposure, or a chance to drive in runs. The Brohs traditionally have only played the Spring season, which means Rems could be a highly sought after free agent for the summer.



Jack Rems
[ player profile page ]


Nickname: The Mexican
Age: Veintitrés
Hometown: Metuchen, NJ
Resides: Washington, DC
Employer: Clark Construction
Bats: L
Throws: Only when I have to
How did you find the PWL: The first time I heard about the league was from David Bransfield, (aka Lois Goodman). He told me about the league and how the Natty Brohs had a rough season but that they were determined to come back with a vengence. I helped him keep his skills up during the offseason. It first started as just a few simple rounds of BP, but after hearing one great thing after the next, I began to realize that I was destined to join the Broh’s. As luck would have it, two years later I was granted an opportunity to work in the DMV area and I seized the opportunity.


Seasons: .86
Career Batting Avg: .509
Awards: Two player of the week nominations, no wins.


TWIF: What is your favorite baseball team and who is your favorite baseball player of all time?
JR: For as long as I can remember Ken Griffey Jr has been my main man. He won Gold gloves, home run derbies, MVP awards, and even had his own video game where he would hit a home run every at bat (as long as you entered the code correctly [Left, Left, Right, Right, Right, Left, Left]). Unfortunately, with one of the greatest players of all time comes one of the worst franchises, the Seattle Mariners. Upon my arrival to DC, I immediately jumped on the Nats bandwagon.

TWIF: What is your favorite thing about wiffleball?
JR: I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that my favorite thing about wiffleball is pretending to be all of my favorite players. Prime example: video.

TWIF: Brohs or hoes?
JR: Brohs fo sho. Unless we’re talking about Lois Goodman, in which case I’d have to say hoes.

TWIF: Have you ever used a wiffleball bat for other than its intended purpose?
JR: Only if you consider it to be an unintended purpose of a wiffleball bat to chug a beer through it, spin around repeatedly, and inevitably fall on your butt while attempting to hit the crushed beer can with the wiffleball bat. Because I sure don’t.

TWIF: If you could drown one player in the Potomac river, who would it be and why?
JR: It would have to be that guy on the Moose Knuckles who keeps throwing his bat. What’d the bat ever do to you, man?

TWIF: As a rookie you’re hitting over .500. You played in the third longest game in league history, 28 innings. You broke the single game record for hits and singles in that game, including having 4 doubles. You have scored 8 times, and hit 4 home runs in your short career. Why, oh why, did you somehow lose the ability to find home plate in that game, and what are you doing to make sure it doesn’t happen again?
JR: Yes, the game was long and probably could have ended sooner, especially if Brian Burrell would have taken one for the team and dove head first into home. And yes, it was miserable to watch. Matt Gagnon of the Moose Knuckles even had this to tweet during the game, “3 hours without a run. Give them both a loss and move on @potomacwiffle #pathetic.” I feel your pain Matt. There were even jokes (more like plots) between the Brohs and the Circle Jerks about ending the game any way possible. Looking back there were only two ways to remedy the situation: 1) “accidentally” drop the next fly ball to me allowing the winning run to score or 2) put me in to pitch because I can’t throw strikes and will just get ejected a few batters later. Unfortunately for our playoff chances, we opted for the latter.

TENTATIVE PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

Written by - Posted 2013-05-27 20:19 in News

The Spring 2013 season wraps up this Sunday, and while the final playoff picture isn’t set yet, the League has released the tentative schedule for the postseason.

All series during the postseason will be a best-of-three game series. The best seed in each series gets to choose which field the first game, and if necessary, the third game is played on.

The first round of the Division Championship series will feature eight teams, playing in four series on Sunday, June 9th.

The Blandsford Barnburners and Superman’s Wheelchair have clinched the top two seeds, and both teams have chosen to play the afternoon games in the first round of the DCS. They will face the #7 and #8 seeds from the Wild Card teams. Those series will start at 1:30 PM or 2:30 PM, with the television network determining starting time.

That means the #3 through #6 seeds will play at 10:30 AM or 11:30 AM when the first round kicks off. The #3 seed will face the #6 seed, and the #4 seed will face the #5 seed, unless they’re in them same division, then they would swap.

The winners from the first round will advance to the second round of the Division Championship Series which will be played Saturday, June 15th. The four teams will be re-seeded to determine matchups based on which teams advance. One series will start at 10:30 AM, with the second series at 1:30 PM. The better overall seed gets to pick the early or late series, much to the disappointment of the network.

The World Series will then complete the season the following day, Sunday, June 16th. Starting time for the World Series will be announced following the second round of the DCS.

There is a possibility of multiple teams being in a tie for the final playoff spots. If more than two teams are tied, a double elimination tournament is played to settle the final seeding. If just two teams are tied, a one game tie-breaker is played. All tiebreaker games are considered regular season games for stats, and are not considered playoff games.

If a double elimination tournament is needed, it will be played Saturday, June 8th. Games will start every hour at 10:30 AM and go until finished. A three team tournament would take up to five games, all on one field. A four team tournament would take up to seven games, with two fields used for the first two rounds.

If a single game tiebreaker is needed, it will be played Sunday, June 9th at 10:30 AM, prior to the first round of the DCS. If necessary, the DCS games might have their start time pushed back in this event, but depending on the fields scheduled, this might not be necessary.

6 Innings with Colin Gannon

Written by - Posted 2013-05-25 12:19 in Six Innings

If you know him at all, you know him as the manager of the Blandsford Barnburners. Much like Art Howe in a Billy Bean GM’d club, Gannon’s role is largely ceremonial. The Shannons have given him advice on how to “look” like he’s the manager; how to fill out the line up card, how to pretend to be “managing”, to have thoughtful expressions on his face while sitting on the bench after making an out even though his mind is far from the game.

For a time, he was the starting pitcher who replaced Jacob Tomko on the bump when Tomko was designated for assignment. But, in the new all-Shannon, only-Shannon Barnburners rotation, he and teammate Ty Fletcher serve a different role, a third warm body so they don’t have to forfeit. Make no mistake, if the rules allowed this to be a two person team, they would not have a catcher and just play two. Despite not being good at wiffleball, or apparently employable, Gannon is kind of like-able, and a few of his lady friends have visited the fields over the years. So, he’s got that going for him.



Colin Gannon
[ player profile page ]


Nickname: Lefty
Age: 22
Hometown: Manassas, Virginia
Resides: Arlington, Virginia
Employer: Bad Time to Ask :(
Bats: Yes
Throws: Yes
How did you find the PWL: Stumbled out of the woods and ended up at Ft. Reno.


Seasons: 5
Career Batting Avg: .390
Awards: Gold Glove – Fielder (Sp09), Manager of the Year (Sp11), NWLA 2nd Team Pitchers (2012)


TWIF: What is your favorite baseball team and who is your favorite baseball player of all time?
CG: Boston Red Sox/“Spaceman” Lee. I modeled my entire pitching repertoire after the Leephus.

TWIF: What is your favorite thing about wiffleball?
CG: Replaying the videos of my World Series walk-off homers when Pornhub gets a little mundane.

TWIF: Travel to Ohio or sleep in on your couch all weekend?
CG: Definitely travel to Ohio. Anyone willing to spend their 21st birthday at a Dublin, Ohio, Hooters is clearly a dedicated asset to the group, don’t you agree?
TWIF: Not when that person hits .295 in underhanded slow pitch wiffleball.

TWIF: Have you ever used a wiffleball bat for other than its intended purpose?
CG: I spent the entire first half of my career using a wiffleball bat for other than its intended purpose.

TWIF: If you could drown one player in the Potomac river, who would it be and why?
CG: Easy. Uncle Rico.

TWIF: You’re the second Barnburner manager after Jack fizzled out. It must be hard to manage, if that’s what you call what you do, a team with so many egos, who have literally known and played together since you were all kids. How do you do it, and what advice do you have for rookie managers out there after four rings?
CG: We knew Jack wasn’t going to last when he tried to bench Jim after the first game of our first season, despite Jim hitting for the cycle in the first inning. To answer your question, its not what I call what I do, but my advice to the rookie managers out there after winning four rings would be obviously to find an ultimate frisbee league or get used to annual disappointment in the form of multiple Twin dingers.

Player of the Week: Week 6 (Sp13)

Written by - Posted 2013-05-24 12:21 in POTW

Jon Gagnon of the Moose Knuckles won Player of the Week for Week 6.

Gagnon won the public vote and was second in the managers vote.