News

Week 2: Power Outage (Sp13)

Written by - Posted 2013-04-22 11:04 in News

Another strong week to start the Spring Season with every game played, and most of them on time. The weather cooperated again, with light wind which did make it brisk for the early and late games.

The wind coming in, even slightly, the first two weeks has put a damper on the long ball, and teams that live and die by the home run are struggling to manufacture runs. The league is batting .263, almost 40 points lower than the last Spring Season, and 64 points lower than the summer.

The power drop is more dramatic, historically the league averages a home run every 17.6 AB’s. After two weeks this season the number is sitting at 78.3 AB’s per HR.

Early indicators show that the teams you’d expect in the playoff picture based on past seasons are there with a couple of exceptions. Though, as a reminder, there is still a lot of wiffleball to be played.

The Master Batters are off to a strong start, but their strength of schedule has been pretty weak. Next week is a huge test for them, and there are a couple of certain losses on their schedule that remain, but 9-5 will almost certainly get them into the playoffs. The wide open Western Division could easily be a three team race with DC Twits and Ha’chi Mountaineers down to the wire. Expect two of these teams to go forward, a Division Champion, and likely one wild card. But, at this point, which two are up in the air.

7th Linning Stretch has also started strong, but is a long shot to be in postseason. A great win opening day over the Twits will help them, but expect them to end up 7-7 unless lightning strikes. Like the Janitors last summer, they’ll disappear quickly and quietly.

The Canvassers round out the teams in the picture now that will have a tough road ahead. Five very tough games left on the schedule could make their extra innings loss to rookie Porkchop Sandwiches this week come back to bite them in the ass when it comes to the wild card race. Though, if Tony Morin can steal a few more strikes from Alex Filides, and the bats figure out the tougher pitching, they could play meaningful wiffleball Weeks 6 and 7.

Scared Hitless, despite new uniforms (same design, but definitely cleaner than the old ones) is off to a 1 and 3 to start the season. Their two losses aren’t unexpected though, to Superman’s Wheelchair, and a rough loss to the Gumballers who were without their ace. They’ll obviously be in the hunt, and while they won’t likely reclaim the Eastern Division from the Gumballers, they’re almost a lock for a wildcard spot.

The Nasty Boys made the playoffs last season, and a wild card is still a glimmer of hope in their future. They’ll probably need to upset Wheelchair or Hitless or run the table in their other games, and much danger awaits them. It’s hard to tell if they’ll ever solve their problem of scoring runs, and they have a strong enough schedule that if they don’t, they’ll be in trouble.

Player of the Week: Week 1 (Sp13)

Written by - Posted 2013-04-19 17:40 in POTW

Jeffrey Nitto of the Gumballers won Player of the Week for Week 1.

Week 2 Preview (Sp13)

Written by - Posted 2013-04-19 09:49 in News

After a strong start we’re ready to get back to business for Week 2 of the Spring Season.

The weather looks to be a bit colder at 60 degrees, but still very spring-like. Wind is projected to be a little bit stronger and blowing in on Blue, but it’s still early to guess that.

Games to watch in the morning include the Gumballers facing both Scared Hitless and Superman’s Wheelchair as they begin their sophomore season with the toughest strength of schedule in the league, facing playoff teams in their first four games.

In the afternoon, two new teams will clash, meaning one of them will get their first victory, as Oedipus and Besley meet.

A Dupont Circle Jerks fan, (yes, there is 1), took 832 photos on Opening Day. While there is a lot of the Jerks, there are a lot of the rest of the league too, so check them out.

Web Gems: Week 1 (Sp13)

Written by - Posted 2013-04-18 16:25 in Web Gems

VOTING CLOSES AT 10 AM SUNDAY

1) Darryl Wilson Robs Greg Hudson – On a ball hit deep to left curving with the wind, Janitor’s outfielder Darryl Wilson makes a bobbling catch — while falling into the outfield fence — to rob Greg Hudson of an extra base hit.

2) McClintock’s Handy Play – Back to back outs for our next two nominees — Mooseknuckles vs the Gumballers. This is the first out in the 6th inning. Almost bare handing it, pitcher Don McClintock is able to sprint to the ball and pick it up just before Zarobila can reach first.

3) Nitto Saves the Day – Again, from our game of the week, the game on the line, Mooseknuckles’ hitter Andrew Flowers crushes a ball to deep center. Jeffrey Nitto of the Gumballers races back and makes an over the shoulder catch at the fence to save the game (and end it) at 1-0 Gumballers. Make sure to watch for Gagnon’s reaction on the side.

4) Gagnon Lays Out – From the other side of this game, we have pitcher Matt Gagnon displaying how crucial every out can be in a tight game like this. Laying out down the first base line, Gagnon makes the out (and saves a run in the process).

5) Crawford Gets Robbed – In a game where any hit was critical (#TwitsBall), Twits star Stephen Crawford hits a line drive (that MAYBE would go out?) – but is instead robbed by the Dupont Circle Jerks Andrew Hill.


Web Gems: Week 1 (Sp13)
1) Darryl Wilson Robs Greg Hudson
31%
2) McClintock's Handy Play
13%
3) Nitto Saves the Day
19%
4) Gagnon Lays Out
23%
5) Crawford Gets Robbed
15%
total_votes: 62

About Web Gems: Nominations can be made by anyone, manager, player, fan, rival wiffleball league, and are due by NOON each Thursday. The league office will review all nominees and submit up to five of them to be voted on by the public. Voting will be open from Friday until 10 AM on Sunday. Submissions can be made by sending an email to webgem@potomacwiffleball.org, and MUST include the youtube link to the game, as well as the time (minutes and seconds) where the play occurs.

Player of the Week: Week 1 Nominees (Sp13)

Written by - Posted 2013-04-17 21:11 in POTW

Cycles and Perfect Games this week…all automatic nominations…we don’t even have decisions to make.

Four pitchers get nominated this week after four perfect games to kick off the season. The wind was coming in for the early games, and almost non-existent late, including for the three 4:30 games which were all perfect. So…the hitters really can’t blame the wind for hitting .275 opening week.

  • Andrew Flowers of the Moose Knuckles hits for the cycle, 21st in league history, to kick off his Spring season. He is also leading the league in Total Bases in the early going, and although his game tying home run was robbed by fellow nominee Nitto, he helped keep the Moose Knuckles at a .500 start. Flowers has one nomination, but no wins.
  • Nicholas DiCrosta no hit the Canvassers on a red field with some wind blowing out. He escaped a couple of warning track shots early, then dominated from the mound, and managed to keep Alex Filides from getting ejected from the game. DiCrosta has 19 nominations and 4 wins. He’s the all time career leader in nominations, and with a fifth win would be tied for second in wins with Tony Ragano.
  • Jeffrey Nitto continued his Cy Young winning rookie season with a perfect sophomore start, helping his team beat the rival Moose Knuckles by tossing four scoreless innings and keeping the game tying home run in the ballpark, despite not getting a decision, then getting the perfecto against the offensively bi-polar Nasty Boys. Nitto has one career nomination and win.
  • Matt Gagnon was perfect against the Natty Brohs as the Moose Knuckles took advantage and fully padded their stats against the team returning after a season off. Gagnon has three nominations and managed one win before the league got to know him.
  • Stephen Crawford shut down the Janitors in his third game, as both he and the Twits posted a 2-1 start to their season defending their #3 seed from last season. Crawford has three career nominations, but has never claimed a keychain.

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 1 (Sp13)
Andrew Flowers
16%
Nicholas DiCrosta
12%
Matt Gagnon
35%
Stephen Crawford
12%
Jeffrey Nitto
24%
total_votes: 74

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.

Week 1: Perfect Start (Sp13)

Written by - Posted 2013-04-15 08:45 in News

The early games featured a little wind blowing in which caused some players to realize their real power at the plate, but the weather, teams, and even the parking (kinda) all contributed to a perfect start for the Spring season.

Four perfect games were tossed, one in the morning, and then three finishing within minutes of each other all at the 4:30 time slot.

A lot of low scoring affairs and a couple of extra inning games welcomed our three new teams, and seventeen returning squads and set the pace for the season to come.

Stats, standings, leaders and box scores are posted from the first 21 games. Game videos are posted throughout the week as they take a little more time to get cut and uploaded.

SCORING CORRECTIONS: If there are any corrections needed for the scoring, please contact the Commissioner. Corrections must be made by the Saturday following the games at 11:59 PM. (In the MLB, the official scorer has one day to correct, in the PWL, it’s one week.) Please note, we definitely want to get corrections (wrong players, incorrect coding, etc), but if you complain about things that are judgment calls, like a hit or an error, it will still be reviewed, but you will be mocked on the website.

Check back later this week for our traditional Player of the Week voting. Each week five nominees will be voted on by the public and the managers to receive a keychain award.

A new feature this season will be submitting and voting on Web Gems. Players will submit nominees by sharing a link to the video and then we’ll vote on them like Player of the Week. More information will be announced later this week after videos are completed. So, remember the good plays, and then send us a note once the video is up.

Updated headshots were also posted following our traditional Opening Day picture day. Any requests for retakes will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

PLAY BALL: Spring Season Starts Sunday

Written by - Posted 2013-04-10 19:19 in News

The Managers of the PWL participated in a conference call Wednesday night to finalize the schedule and divisions for the Spring season and also to consider rules changes.

This is our second season with 20 teams, the most in league history.

A proposal from the Moose Knuckles to change the order in which teams get to pick schedule spots was considered. By tradition, teams with the worst record from the previous season pick first, then new teams.

Only 8 teams voted for the proposal, which failed. It was suggested in future seasons that any teams with forfeits be put at the bottom of the pick order automatically, and Commissioner Gallaway indicated that will be proposed for next seasons draft.

Schedule spots also drove team divisions. We have five divisions this season, with the Division Champs advancing to the playoffs, as well as three overall wild card teams.

After the schedules were set, rules changes were considered.

Alex Filides of Scared Hitless proposed that if a team loses all their pitchers, instead of a forfeit, the opposing team be able to pick their pitcher for the rest of the game. The proposal failed by three votes.

Tony Morin of the Canvassers, in what is probably the 5th league rule change specifically because of something Alex Filides has done, proposed a rule that any guest player must be declared in the lineup card before the game in order to be eligible to play in that game. That change passed without objection.

Two remaining free agents were assigned to teams.

PARKING AT GRAVELLY: On nice weekends, parking is a premium at Gravelly Point. We expect a larger presence of Park Service Rangers as well as Park Police this season. You cannot park on the grass anywhere at Gravelly. If the lot is full, you need to wait for a spot to open up. If the lot gets really overcrowded, it’s possible that the entrance will be closed, or metered, to allow cars to come in as other cars leave. Make sure you arrive early enough for your game that if it takes time to park you will not have to forfeit for being late.

FINAL TEAM SIGNS UP - FIELD OF 20 SET

Written by - Posted 2013-04-07 23:16 in News

Oedipus and the Mama’s Boys becomes the 20th and final team to sign up for the Spring 2013 Seasons.

Two PWL “veterans” of the Have Fun Out Theres John Schwickert and Michael Green are expected to anchor the Boys along with three rookies.

We are still looking for individual players to fill in missing spots on existing team rosters. Groups of friends that want to play together can be placed together in groups of 1 to 3 people.

Spring Training; Parking Practice

Written by - Posted 2013-04-07 15:53 in News

The largest Spring Training in league history took place a week before first pitch of the Spring Season was slated to begin. While it was sunny and in the high 60’s, the wind was really bad, blowing strongly north, which is generally out to the fences on all fields.

Three fields were full of players taking batting practice before playing scrimmage games. While neither stats nor video were kept, we have it on good authority Matt Gagnon gave up a home run to a girl.

The nice weather brought out lots of non-wiffleball people to Gravelly, as it always does the first few nice weekends of the year. Parking was very difficult as the lot was close to full. At one point a park ranger actually metered cars entering Gravelly Point, waiting for cars to leave before allowing new cars in. Though, at that same time, Commissioner Gallaway took photos of 7-10 empty spots in the lot, as the ranger backed up traffic in the middle of the George Washington Memorial Parkway to the airport.

On nice days, particularly after noon, parking becomes a premium at Gravelly. Make sure you arrive a little early for your games in case you have to wait for a parking spot. The five minute forfeit rule is in effect whether you can park or not.

Gravelly appears to be in similar condition as past seasons. The Airport Authority did some major tree trimming in the off season, because who needs shade, but other than that no majors changes. In 2012 it took a couple of weeks to find all the previous sockets for bases, fences, pitchers rubbers and the strike boards, due to long and thick grass, but this season league officials were able to quickly locate everything.

Some significant tire marks are on the red field close to the right field foul line. They are mostly in foul territory, but could causes problems for fielders chasing foul balls or runners rounding first. The situation will be addressed with the NPS, who will ignore it, and then we’ll take matters into our own hands.

New Pope, New Website: #1 Ranking or Bust

Written by - Posted 2013-04-02 20:01 in News

The PWL officially launched a redesigned website this week in advance of the upcoming 16th Season which kicks off April 14th.

The website is the third design in league history. For the inaugural season in 2005 the site was generated using Microsoft Excel, which was extra crappy. The second design, which had a blog feel, was launched in 2006 and was used for the next 14 seasons. The old website, crappy as it was, was nationally ranked as the 10th best wiffleball website in the country.

“As the premier league in Washington, DC, and probably in the country, if not planet Earth, it was important that the PWL website reflect that, and represent us well,” Commissioner Gallaway said at the announcement.

“We needed a site that felt more like a league website, less like a blog, and showcased the content people care about in a manner that’s easy to find. I think we’ve achieved that goal.”

Since early 2012, Commissioner Gallaway has been overseeing a restructuring of the content on the website as it relates to stats and results driven information. The old stats tables, standings and leaders were generated manually by the office, and were hard to sort, group and compare, rather than being dynamically served and linked to league databases. It took over a year for all the coding (SQL/PHP) to get in place to generate the content in the proper manner. This includes not only the stats, leaders, and standings, but also player and team profile pages for all league participants.

“We had to get the back-end of the website in place first. People always came because of the content, because of the data and videos. We had all this great information and we weren’t making it easy to access. We needed to solve that problem, so that the content could be generated dynamically, and live updated. There were a lot of off the shelf products that just didn’t work perfectly for us. So, I knew we needed to build it custom, exactly how we wanted it. It took over a year, we got some stuff done right away, but the final touches on the stats pages really just came online at the end of the 2012. Once we got done with that, it was time for a facelift to make it look pretty,” Gallaway said.

The new website is also responsive, and should be much more friendly for mobile devices in addition to web browsers. This should allow players to more easily pull up their stats on their smartphones from barstool when all other pickup lines are rejected.

There are still more improvements coming over the next few weeks and into the Spring Season now that the main redesign has been launched.

The new site also has an upgraded commenting system, and built in links to share news stories on social media networks. Please take a moment to do that now and help spread the word about the new potomacwiffleball.org.