Tag Archives: jamesmorton

Wifflegeddon Recap Podcast Now Available


After a long hiatus, James Morton joined Geoff and Jaime Hixson on the fifth edition of the 2013 SLW Podcast.  

The group discussed all aspects of the historic Wifflegeddon weekend in detail along with the possibilities of Wiffleball 21.

Podcast are available via iTunes or the Podcast section of the SLW website.  Questions for the next (and possibly final) podcast can be emailed to slwiffleball23@gmail.com.

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Thanks for the Memories…


IMG_5106From the Desk of the Commissioner:

Hard to believe that after 20 years of Shangri La’ Wiffleball, we have concluded the final chapter.  This is meant to be an epilogue after the last-ever SLW Classic on Bernard J. Alblinger Field.

With Wifflegeddon (a.k.a. SLW 20) in the books, it is very strange to think that our group will never descend on Lakefront Stadium again.  Sadly, “The Mayor” wasn’t able to see the grand finale.  No doubt his spirit was present throughout and as we wrapped up on June 23, 2013.

Some quick-hitters on Wifflegeddon:

  • The tournament format has seen multiple iterations, but none better than the winner-take-all post-season event that we debuted this year (thanks Jed).
  • Thursday night’s screening of Twenty Weekends at Lakefront was better live with the entire group than I think Tank or I could have ever imagined.  A still evening, great sound system and a top-notch viewing experience next to the lake was a perfect crescendo leading into the curtain call for the Shangri La’ Classic.2013-06-20 21.50.55
  • The farewell effort by Tenacious E Friday night was absolutely magical on several levels.  While Wanted Dead or Alive was the pinnacle of the performance, Stu’s Song, Fall to Pieces, Tribute, The Gambler and even Call Me Maybe provided some entertainment variety not previously experienced by wifflers.  IMG_5083
  • The camaraderie in 2013 left me reflecting on all the previous years of late nights, amazing stories, long-lasting phrases and inside jokes we’ve created more than ever.
  • The effort by the family and wifflers on-site (and leading up to the event) for one final time was incredible.

Many have experienced SLW over the lengthy history of the event.  We’ve had one-timers along side twenty-year veterans, friends who have become family and a core group that have had experiences that will never be forgotten.  Although the memories are countless, the lore created on the hallowed ground of Shangri La’ will no doubt live on forever.

I was fortunate to have take the reigns of a very unique tradition started by Geoff Hixson & Spence Hasler in 1998.  The pieces were in place to build SLW into something that, I believe, has become bigger than anyone ever expected.  With the guidance of my brother and along with the support of Dee Dee, Jim and Char, we worked to bring in as many people who wanted to be involved “under the tent” to share ideas, create new avenues of communication, contribute unique talents  and get to where we ultimately ended up.  No one will dispute that the advances allowed for renewed or expanded interest in the annual Shangri La’ Classic.

The entire event has been well documented and rehashed on multiple occasions.  We have all come a long way since the inaugural tournament in 1994.  Years have passed and we’ve grown from kids to young adults to family men.  Things have changed, but the core group of SLW has not.

For all of the memories this event produced, here is a snapshot of the ones I will miss the most:

  • Driving in the first night from the airport and seeing the family for the first time.
  • The “record scratch” feeling when our large and loud crew rolls into the Little Nugget.
  • Anticipation for the true start of the event after the annual Old/Young Game when Home Run Derby begins.
  • The stillness of the evenings every night at SL in the moments where we break from the nonsense.
  • Friends and family around for every waking moment all in one place for a couple of days.
  • Overly serious conversations intermingled with fantastically absurd exchanges.
  • The smell, the sounds and the ambiance of the land around Cabin 12 at Shangri La’.
  • The willingness to help out by all involved when needed.
  • The stories and dynamite drop-ins.
  • The sadness when we reach the latter part of the final day and the end is near.

Seemingly so much hyperbole in the text I’ve written above.  That being said, I sincerely mean ALL of it to the degree which I expressed it in print.

Although not as clean as the Green Day version of “Good Riddance” so appropriately performed by Tenacious E on Friday night, I most definitely hope you all did not have a bad time.  In fact, I trust you had a superb time.

We could not have done this without you.  Alexander Graham Bell was the one who said “When one door closes, another opens.”  I hope that quote means something when I say stay tuned for the next generation of Shangri La’ Wiffleball in the coming years.

Until then and from the bottom of my heart, thanks to all SLW contributors for all you have done from 1994 until the end.

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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.

SPD

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.

SecA

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

wOBA

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.

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OBI%

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.

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Go/Fo

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.

Pitcher

Batter

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

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HR/F

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.

Pitcher

Batter

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

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LOB%

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%.

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FIP

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).

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xFIP

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.

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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 slwiffleball23@gmail.com.

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2012 SLW Podcast Number Four


The Dude media blitz week continued with Jason Morgan appearing on his first podcast since June of 2011.  James Morton sat in studio with Geoff & Jaime Hixson for episode four of the 2012 podcast series.

Invites have been distributed and are due to the league office on Wednesday, May 23.  AS A REMINDER, at your earliest opportunity, email your jersey size, number and name requested to slwiffleball23@gmail.com so that order can be finalized as soon as possible.

This podcast is available through iTunes and streaming is available from the podcast page

Questions for future podcasts can be submitted to slwiffleball23@gmail.com or via the SLW social network pages (facebook & Twitter).

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“First Pitch” Edition of 2012 SLW Podcast Series Now Available


James Morton joined Geoff & Jaime Hixson for the “first pitch” episode of the 2012 podcast series.  Despite the initial plan of iTunes exclusivity, we had an uprising of half of the listenership (two people) and have added the Windows Media File to the podcast page.

Topics covered include 2012 team selection, Tank’s upcoming trailer, umpire plan for the event & Kim Jong Il.

Questions for future podcasts can be submitted to slwiffleball23@gmail.com or via the SLW social network pages (facebook & Twitter).

As a reminder, the 19th Annual Shangri La’ Classic is scheduled for Saturday, June 23rd.  Mark your calendars accordingly.


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