Monthly Archives: February 2013

Moneyball 2: Nerds In Paradise

Last year’s edition of Moneyball introduced four sabermetric-style statistics and identified the wifflers with the best and worst numbers for each. The SLW’s Office of Wiffle Science has raised the bar yet again this year with 9 new metrics (4 offensive, 3 pitching, and 2 which apply to both). In the words of SLW Commissioner James R. Hixson, who was recently named the 32nd greatest Wiffleball Commissioner by the NWLA, “You can not stop progress. Also, the Chief Scientist is a genius.”

As a reminder, all of this information and more, including awards and records, can be found by exploring the SLW stats site.


This should settle the “race around the bases” debate for good. Speed Score attempts to measure speed using a combination of doubles, triples and runs scored other than by home runs. The minimum and maximum scores are 0 and 10.

Statistics show Endsley would lose the race around the bases against Greg Presson.

Statistics show Endsley would lose the race around the bases against Greg Presson.


Secondary Average is a natural complement to Batting Average; Batting Average tells you how often a batter gets a hit while SecA tells you how often a batter gains extra bases and walks. A high frequency of walks and/or extra base hits will result in a high SecA.

Sip at bat at


Weighted On-base Average measures overall offensive value by giving increasing weights to singles, doubles, triples, and home runs. wOBA accounts for the probabilities that each type of hit will eventually result in a run scored.



Others Batted In Percentage is a measure of a hitter’s performance with runners on base; it is the percentage of runners on base that the hitter caused to score. Even with the obvious risk of being punished with an immediate lifetime ban, the Chief Scientist believes this is almost entirely due to luck.



Groundball outs divided by flyball outs. The higher the number, the more often a pitcher/batter induces/hits balls on the ground. For a pitcher, an extreme Go/Fo (in either direction) tends to be a good sign. For a batter, it is a bad sign. The reason for this is that if you induce or hit a lot of line drives (i.e., make solid contact), your Go/Fo would tend to be toward the average.



  • Highest: Dave Cain (5.50)
  • SLW Average: 1.06
  • Lowest: Sip (0.44)



Percentage of fly balls that end up as home runs. An extreme HR/F, for a pitcher especially, may indicate some amount of luck. A pitcher with a high HR/F was probably unlucky, while a low HR/F probably indicates some amount of good luck. For a batter, it is the opposite.



  • Highest/lucky: Dave Cain (71%)
  • SLW Average: 31%
  • Lowest/unlucky: Sip (6%)



Left On Base Percentage is the percentage of baserunners allowed by a pitcher that were not allowed to score (i.e., percentage of runners stranded). LOB% is another statistic that may be susceptible to luck, especially over the short-term. Over the long-term however, good pitchers will tend to have high LOB%.



Fielding Independent Pitching measures how well a pitcher pitched independent of his team’s fielding by taking into account home run, walk, and strikeout rates and ignoring balls hit in play (singles, double, triples, groundouts, and flyouts).



This is the best way to evaluate a pitcher’s performance and is an improvement over FIP. Expected Fielding Independent Pitching is the same as FIP except, instead of using raw home run rate, the league-average HR/F is used to estimate how many home runs the pitcher should have allowed. This helps to account for the fact that some part of home runs given up is purely luck.



Filed under SLW News

double Nickel Productions Unveils 2013 SLW BJA Classic Trailer 1

In conjunction with the Oscars tonight, Mr. Cain serves up the following as Wifflegeddon nears.

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Sneak Peek at SLW 20 Project

For those of you that are unclear as to what we need submitted videos to look like, see the teaser below.


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Calling All Wifflers – League Office Announces New Project


The Front Office, in a partnership with double Nickel Productions, have begun work on the largest and most ambitious project in league history.  Jeff Cain is spearheading a 20-year retrospective of SLW in the style of ESPN’s 30 for 30 and Sports Century series.  The premier will be Thursday, June 20th, 2013 on the eve of the 20th (and final) B.J.A. Shangri La’ Wiffleball Classic.

A large part of the raw material for this project still needs to be compiled.  All wifflers that have the ability to film HD quality footage (or make it to the Philo or Colorado Springs studios) are asked to participate.  A variety of topics will be covered as we endeavor to capture the essence of SLW which has gone from a casual summer hobby to an annual event that is as anticipated as anything in the calendar year.

If you are interested in contributing, here is what we are looking for:

  • Recorded HD quality footage of you in your SLW gear in front a camera/iPhone/Flip/etc. sharing your thoughts about topics provided.
  • Once completed, we ask that you label the individual clips as instructed by SLW front office personnel.
  • Upload to Dropbox.

“Shangri La’ Wiffleball is a sum of its parts,” Commissioner Jaime Hixson stated.  “The reason this has become such a phenomenal tradition is because of the people that make up SLW.  We want to hear from everyone that has been a part of the Classic.  I’m certain the end product will be a project you will be proud of being a part of.”

If you have been involved with SLW in any capacity and are interested being involved, please reach out via phone or email ( in the coming weeks.  More specifics will be provided at that time.  The goal is to make a keepsake from Wifflegedden to keep the  memories fresh of a tradition dating back to 1994 at the magical Shangri La’ Club.

SLW right field black and white 2010.

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2013 Podcast Two Now Available

SLW Podcast Series Studio ShotShane Gentry, James Morton and Seth Tjaden joined Geoff and Jaime Hixson on the second edition of the 2013 SLW Podcast.  

James Morton made his first in-studio appearance of 2013 while Seth Tjaden made his podcast debut in advance of being the last-ever SLW rookie.  Wifflers are reminded that an extra day has been added to the weekend.  Suggested arrival is Thursday, June 21.

Questions for the next podcast can be emailed to


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Happy Groundhog Day!

Geoff Hixson delivers this holiday message.


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