Monthly Archives: April 2011

SLW Podcast Four Released


Another podcast, another infrequent guest. Derek Mayfield made his first appearance since right before the 17th Annual Classic last year. Matt Endsley carved out time for his second appearance this season along with anchors Geoff & Jaime.

Podcast four is now on iTunes or you can stream from the website here.

The dress code has been impelemented with penalties for non-compliance outlined on the show. The entry fee will be raised to cover the cost of your customized Shangri La’ jersey with numbers and names.

The public has spoken and a stats committee, headed up by Derek Mayfield, has been formed. Send any ideas about what stats to keep and how the process should be modified for wiffleball to slwiffleball23@gmail.com.

Questions are needed for the next podcast. Please send whatever you may have to slwiffleball23@gmail.com.

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2010 Tournament Recap


by Seph Lietz

Hello wifflenerds! I am fully refreshed and ready to fulfill all of your wettest analytical dreams after emerging from my annual medically-induced winter hibernation in my hermetically-sealed osmosis-cocoon.

First things first. You might recall that, as part of the run-up to the 2010 festivities, last year’s championship odds were calculated using my patented Wiffleball Champion Prediction Model. Let’s see how those numbers held up.

Chance of winning in blue; actual winning percentage in orange

You don’t exactly have to be a Chief Scientist to see that the predictions ended up being, in technical terms, pretty damn close. I’m told that SLW Alumni Association President Geoff Hixson has submitted a proposal to the Commissioner’s office that, if approved, would end the need to play future games, as the winner would simply be calculated and announced, simultaneously increasing both the time allotted for beer drinking and the chances that he might someday actually win a tournament. Please direct any questions or concerns to the Commissioner’s office.

Call it strong pitching or weak hitting; the result is the same. 2010 was the lowest scoring in at least the last five tournaments. Just under 10 runs per game were scored on average, down from just under 14 runs per game in 2008 and 2009.

The “bottom 3” (Yellow Bat Fury, Tollbooth Willies, and Crystal Seph Heads) teams proved to be particularly futile. They combined to average just barely more runs per game than Vagazzle did alone, and they each rank in the bottom five in runs scored over the last five years. Yellow Bat Fury wins the award for most anemic team ever by averaging 2 runs scored per game in their 4 games, including the “Greatest Pitcher’s Duel Ever” opposite the Crystal Seph Heads, an extra-inning affair (was it 8 or 9 innings?) in which Yellow Bat Fury only managed a single run in a heartbreaking 3-1 loss.

On the other side of the coin, Vagazzle and Crystal Seph Heads proved to be particularly stingy in allowing 3 (best in statistical era) and 3.833 (4th best) runs per game, respectively.

Next time, I’ll uncover some frightening trends and provide a solution for evening out the SLW playing field. Stay tuned.

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Podcast Three Now Available


Fresh Guest Year continued tonight as the SLW Podcast Series welcomed first-time caller Shane Gentry to the third edition of this year’s show. James Morton was back for his second appearance this season along with staples Geoff & Jaime.

Podcast three is now on iTunes or you can stream from the website here.

Shocking news of an impending SLW re-brand & subsequent logo change was the most notable item discussed.

Questions are needed for the next podcast. Please send whatever you may have to slwiffleball23@gmail.com. Also, please answer the poll question below.

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Commissioner Hixson Family Research Uncovers Long Line of Baseball Royalty


By Kevin Walsh:

The sound of the push mower revving up, the taste of mosquito repellent adding that extra buzz to our beers and the morning smell of fresh baked orgasmic breakfast sandwiches (yes, they are that good) have all been well-known staples of the Shangri La’ Wiffleball history and lore. The family behind the experience though, is not quite as well known as they would like us to believe.

Recently uncovered documents recovered after the Shangri La’ flood of 2001 show that SLW history has been shaped by familial ties to some of baseball’s most controversial commissioners. Papers have indicated that Hixson blood ran deep in the veins of MLB commissioner’s Kenesaw Mountain Landis and A. Bart Giamatti. Coincidences in the two leagues histories can no longer be written off as happenstance.

As baseball’s first commissioner, Landis is best known, not for his banning of ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson following the 1919 Black Sox scandal, but instead for his ruling in a fledgling central Illinois wifflleball league. At that time Landis was known east of Champaign, IL as ‘that little Hixson boy’, a reference to his family ancestry in the land. At the time the wiffleball league was just establishing itself as the premiere wiffleball league in Middle America, when the talented, but quick trigger Landis, not pleased with the outcome of the 1917 classic, banned Series MVP Dane Gentry for an unsubstantiated, but widely circulated rumor of throwing games. While the charges were never proven, the Gentry family received a lifetime ban from the wiffleball field and Hall of Fame.

The ban remained until 1994? when Gentry’s great-grandson, playing under the alias, Shane Gentry, was approved for league play. His tenure lasted until 1996 when it was discovered he was an heir to the Series MVP and subsequently re-banned. After 12 years of under-the-table negotiations, Shane Gentry was allowed to rejoin the league, but forced to bat left-handed and, regardless of championships and towering home runs not allowed the join the most hallowed Hall in the land – the SLW Hall of Fame.

Followers, fans and supporters of SLW were appalled to learn of the first connection to a dirty MLB commish, but in 1998 the loyalists were floored when it was learned that A. Bartlett Giamatti, who was responsible for banning the ‘Hit King’ Pete Rose in 1989, was also posthumously involved in the banning and shaming of another legend, Cousin TA. TA, best known for his uncanny rally-killing ability at the plate and buzz-killing ability off the diamond, was forced into elimination from the tournament by young Jaime Hixson in his first act as commissioner.

Shortly after taking office, Hixson learned the ‘A.’ in A. Bartlett stood for Alblingler and that Giamatti, after seeing TA at the bat as a youngster in 1984 deemed his spawn as unworthy of ever stepping foot on the sacred Shangri La’ ball field, thus robbing the crowds of years of entertaining at-bats and awkward conversations.

Luckily, after a full review of the Hixson/Alblingler/and wherever else they come from-family tree has proven to have no connection to Bud Selig – they are Catholic after all. The SLW leadership should be in capable hands for years to come providing Jaime, Geoff or Jed ever produce a male heir, if not it’ll be a wiffleball version Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell and Geena Davis and we will all be shamed into coming back and pretending we enjoy women’s athletics.

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