Monthly Archives: April 2010

SLW Front Office Explores Trophy Options


Shangri La’ Wiffleball is currently researching options for a tournament championship trophy.

“We are long overdue on having something tangible to present to the winners following the tournament,” Jaime Hixson remarked. “I think our loyal wifflers deserve the chance to hoist something in the air after winning this storied event.”

2009 Champion James Morton agreed. “After winning last year, all I could think about was how great our team was and how much I love a good trophy. All we got was a terrible, thrown together picture in front of the backstop after all of the banners were removed. We need more fanfare for the champions.”

Many trophy options are being explored including the one pictured here.

This could be the first ever SLW Classic Championship Trophy.

“The perfect situation would be to have all of the tournament champions engraved on the trophy,” Hixson continued. “Unfortunately, that is not realistic from a cost and logistical standpoint. We will most likely keep this trophy at the cabin and break it out for the presentation and photo shoot at the conclusion of the championship. I sincerely hope I will be able to present it to myself in 2010.”

Hall of Famer Matt Endsley added, “We know how the Hixson’s like to give themselves awards. This is just another example.”

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Podcast Four Now Available


Podcast four is now available on iTunes which you can access from the Podcasts page here.

Spencer Hasler made his inaugural appearance along with Jason Morgan, Geoff & Jaime Hixson.  After a request by Kevin Walsh earlier in the day, the show was lengthened by 15 minutes.

We are in need of questions for next week’s show. The SLW Podcast producers are working on securing Jeff Cain for his first appearance since 2007. The other guest slot is still being finalized. Please send your questions you would like covered to slwiffleball23@gmail.com.

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Sip Returns to the U.S., Outlasts Eyjafjallajokull


It turns out an armless Sip could take down the mighty volcano Eyjafjallajokull. Sip arrived back in the United States Saturday after nearly a week of trying to get home (as first reported last week in Sip Versus the Volcano). Sipich was in Europe for reasons unknown to the SLW Front Office.

Jason Morgan was camped out at Chicago-O’Hare and greeted Sip upon his arrival. “He has a full beard, long hair and lost 100 pounds, but he’s alive,” Dude remarked.

A key member and captain of the 2010 runner-up Meltdown Muchachos, Sip was relieved to be back in the motherland. “I got home Saturday after 2 flight cancellations, a rebooking to a different airline and a refund on a return flight,” Sip stated.

The airline he flew could not be confirmed, but due to the multitude of problems he experienced, it was undoubtedly United.

Sip continued, “I finally got on only one day before my work visa was to be approved as a Dublin tour guide. Despite the travel difficulties, probably my biggest regret of the trip was that I almost bought a beret on top of the Eiffel Tower just to take a bad picture, but didn’t. Other than that, I’m now pretty good at drinking whiskey on the rocks…so I have that going for me.”

Dave Cain, who coordinates the alcohol purchase for the annual event, is already making changes to the order. “We will purchase only the finest whiskey for Sip. I’ve placed an order for two cases of Black Velvet.”

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In Our Defense


by Seph Lietz

In my previous column, I was pretty tough on my Bement brethren for their lack of commitment when it comes to SLW activities. Also, for one of them being a cheap bastard who, a full week later, unbelievably still owes me $1200. So, I think it’s only fair that I spend some time this week defending my compadres.

The truth is, we’ve had a good number of slanderous comments thrown our way over the years. For example, everyone has heard the claim by some that we drink 1 beer and are in bed by 9:30 the night before the tourney. I think it’s been brought up in every podcast. But I’m not going to waste my time today on hearsay.

One of my many, important responsibilities as SLW Chief Scientist is to rigorously research the vast repository of SLW data and use that information to discover innovative approaches that might possibly be employed in order to better our beloved tournament. To that end, I have compiled some telling statistics, encompassing the last 4 years (2006-2009), the only time such detailed information is available. And as it turns out, the Bement contingent dominates the wiffle diamond.

Let’s start with defense. Our teams have given up a combined 233 runs over 49 games, for an average of 4.76 runs/game. There is only one wiffler who put up better defensive numbers than that (Hasler: 76 runs, 19 games, 4 runs/game). Nobody else is particularly close.

That stellar defense has helped lead to an equally stellar run differential for our teams of +101, for an average of +2.06/game. Only two wifflers have done better (Gentry: +28, 4.67; Hasler: +56, 2.95). The next closest are James Morton (+1.05) and Chris Shoemaker (+0.86). (Or was it Brian? Even on paper I can’t tell the two apart.) Everybody else has a +0.15 or worse.

[4.66666666666667], [2.94736842105263], [2.5], [2.375], [1.05], [0.857142857142857], [0.15], [0.142857142857143], [0.05], [0.0], [0.0], [0.0], [-0.142857142857143], [-0.25], [-0.272727272727273], [-0.318181818181818], [-0.583333333333333], [-0.91304347826087], [-1.23809523809524], [-1.38888888888889], [-1.66666666666667], [-2.2], [-2.75], [-2.80952380952381], [-4.77777777777778]

Who is the mystery wiffler at the far bottom right with the worst run differential?

Naturally, as should be expected with a run differential like that, we have won a lot, compiling 34 team wins for a .694 win percentage. Again, only Gentry (6-0, 1.000) and Hasler (15-4, .789) have better individual numbers.

But really, does all of this mean anything? No. I think every wiffler comes to win championships. And nobody has done it better than us.

Going back 6 years (perhaps more, but I don’t think so), every single SLW Champion has had at least one of us on their team. And out of the 18 slots (6 years * 3-wiffler teams), 9 have been filled by us.

[2004: 3], [2005: 2], [2006: 1], [2007: 1], [2008: 1], [2009: 1]

Can a Bement-less team win a championship anymore?

Let’s just consider the last 4 championships (again, when the only detailed records are available). What are the odds of those happening randomly? 1.33%, or 75:1 for you gamblers out there. I estimate the odds for us winning 6 in a row to be roughly 300:1.

Imagine if we actually showed up every year?

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Sip Versus the Volcano


The SLW front office has learned former Rookie of the Year Sip is one of the thousands stuck in Europe thanks to the ash produced from the volcano Eyjafjallajokull.

SLWAA President Geoff Hixson had this to say. “It is unclear what the purpose of his European travels were, but at this point our only concern is getting him home before the 17th Annual SLW Classic. Sip is a key part of this weekend and I can’t imagine having a tournament without him. With all of that ash, I bet it looks like the inside of Endsley’s old car over there.”

Fellow Chicagoan and the voice of SLW Jason Morgan added, “Sip’s been married for less than a year and traveling with his wife. He’s stuck in an airport in a foreign country, flying standby for over 48 hours, his condo is for sale, he’s missing work, he’s dealing with a lot sh*t right now. I saw on Bodog.com where they listed a Sipich divorce in the next week at 15:1, as his former roommate and lifetime buddy, I saw some serious value for a $100 investment. Not that I’m rooting for such a thing, but hey my kids gotta eat too”.

“I heard they were awarded the trip after winning the Family Feud knock-off ‘Pig In A Poke’,” Commissioner Hixson added.

Check back to the Shangri La’ Website for ongoing updates to this harrowing story.

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Podcast Three Now Available


Podcast three is now available on iTunes which you can access from the Podcasts page here.

Jed Pope made his first appearance of the year along with James Morton, Geoff & Jaime Hixson.

We are in need of questions for next week’s show that will feature HOF Wiffler Spencer Hasler for the first time ever.  The other guest slot is still being finalized.  Please send your questions you would like covered to slwiffleball23@gmail.com.

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