7/8 7/12 7/13 7/13 7/13 7/13 7/13 7/27 7/27 7/27 7/27 7/27 8/2 8/3 8/3 8/9 8/9 8/16 8/23
FS 3|3 FS 0|0 HB 0|2 BW 0|4 EL 1|1 ON 0|0 IS 0|13 EL 1|1 IS 0|0 WW 0|0 ON 3|0 KF 6|3 KF 0|1|0 FS 0 BW 1|2 EL 1|2 R★ 2 BW 0 The
WW 0|0 WA 1|1 KF 1|3 KF 1|10 HB 0|0 WA 3|3 WO 11|8 WA 0|2 WA 3|3 ON 3|3 WW 1|1 WO 0|0 EL 4|0|1 BW 2 WA 0|1 BW 0|0 G★ 0 EL 2 Thrill

2012 Wiffy Award Winners

The NWLA announced the 2012 Wiffy Awards this morning, and WSEM took home some impressive hardware - four outright Wiffies and one as a collective.

National Columnist of the Year
Our first Wiffy Award is "National Columnist of the Year", won by Brandon Corbett. You know him for his Your Junk my Happy Zone column, but he also moonlights over at Wiffle Logos in Words.

Corbett put out a press release saying the following: "I'd like to thank insanity, rum, and whiskey for helping me get to a place where I could earn this honor. Not only for WSEM, but mostly for my own ego."

Our second Wiffy Award is National Podcast of the Year, won by our most recent podcast, 'Brian Meyers Can Put on Show'. You can check out the podcast here: http://wiffleinsemi.podbean.com/

On behalf of the podcast crew, I, Carl Coffee, want to thank the following: Thank you to John Hill for helping get our podcasts started way back in April of 2011. Also, thank you to Alex Shore for his help putting our podcasts more on the map with his addition to our NWLA preview podcast. Of course, I want to thank Brandon Corbett for his co-host duties, and being the brains behind the scenes and putting the podcasts together and on the web. Lastly, I want to thank Brian Meyers who did an incredible job as our first guest in our first interview. Also, I love you, Mom!

National Team Logo of the Year
Our third Wiffy Award is "National Team Logo of the Year", won by the Whiteford Wicked Aces. When Joel Crozier and Austin Bischoff joined the league, they wanted to keep the W.W.A name which stood for "Whiteford Wiffleball Association." After trying out a few different names, they chose the Whiteford Wicked Aces and designed a very creative logo to represent the team.

Update: Joel has now done an interview about the Wiffy winning design with the Wiffle Logos website. Check it out here: http://wifflelogoscolumn.blogspot.com/

Our fourth Wiffy Award is "National Team Nickname of the Year", won by King Friday. WSEM has now won this award for two straight years! The Belgian Wiffles took this award in 2011. Here is King Friday's team page.

Richard Hurd had a King Friday fascination well before joining WSEM, so it was an easy choice to call his team that. King Friday always had a great attitude on the field, and I am thrilled to see them return in 2013. Also, King Friday had a Cinderella run in the Dangerfield Tournament, getting all the way to the Finals as an 8 seed.

Lastly, WSEM was also a part of the "National Wiffleball Event of the Year", which was the NWLA Tournament in Ohio that consisted of eight different leagues - GBL, KWL, OCWA, PWL, SWBL, TBWL, WSEM, and WWL. Huge props to Chris Gallaway for all he did to put this event together.

Congrats to all the winners!

2012 NWLA National Teams Player Cards

The NWLA announced the 2012 National Teams on Sunday. First, second, and third team pitchers, hitters, fielders, and rookies are selected from all of the NWLA leagues. 12 WSEM players made the cut, with Evan Bortmas and Sam Hatt both earning two nods. Check out the cards below to see who got the honors this year. Relevant stats are listed, and videos are linked to see some of their great performances.

55 IP,   0.27 ERA,   138 K,   10 W
Video:  7/8 - 13 K, 2 H shutout

50 IP,   0.70 ERA,   136 K,   10 W
Video:  5/20 - 12 K, 2 H shutout

33 IP,   0.00 ERA,   70 K,   4 W
Video:  7/25 - 1 H, 1 BB shutout

45 IP,   0.56 ERA,   79 K,   7 W
Video:  5/6 - shutout vs. Ducks

51.1 IP,   0.49 ERA,   141 K,   7 W
Video:  8/5 - shutout, 14 Ks

49 IP,   1.12 ERA,   128 K,   6 W
Video:  5/27 - 7 inning shutout, 21 K

64 IP,   0.94 ERA,   93 K,   7 W
Video:  8/2 - 9 K, 2 H shutout

.389 AVG,   56 H,   20 HR,   55 RBI
Video:  (1) HR,  (2) long RBI single

.339 AVG,   43 H,   20 HR,   64 RBI
Video:  (1) Grand Slam

.346 AVG,   45 H,   6 HR,   20 RBI
Video:  (1) 1st Rd. HR

Video:  (1) jumping snag/DP,  (2) range

Video:  (1) diving plays,  (2) leaping grab

Video:  (1) HR rob,  (2) HR rob

2012-13 Offseason Veteran Player Acquisitions So Far: a Visual Representation

Eight of nine teams have been involved in moving veterans around. Impressive, and that is not touching on the new crop of rookies we are likely to see in the ranks of the Warriors, Belgian, and the Islanders. Big movers in the veterans swap: 1) Squirrels - send three players to three different teams (Ducks, Belgian, El Diablos), and bring in four from two teams (Mattseals, Donkeys). 2) Belgian Wiffles - send four players to three teams (Ducks, El Diablos, Holy Balls), and bring in two (one from both King Friday and the Squirrels). Big winners? Remains to be seen, but the Ducks bringing in Constanti and Castle looks turn an already strong pitching staff into an absolute gauntlet. Of course, the same can be said for the Aces pick up of the 2012 MVP, Bortmas, as well.

NWLA Tournaments *** FINALS UPDATE

*** Finals Update: Well, it was an impressive run, but it ended for all three Saturday 11/3. King Friday finding their way late in the season finally caught up with them in the Dangerfield Tournament, as they lost out to the 0-10 Pirates of SWBL. Freaky Franchise (OCWA) is the favorite to win the Large League Tourney, so their defeat of our Punchouts was expected. Bad Meets Evil (BWBLPA) versus the Wicked Aces was more up in the air, as their league is lesser known. Bad Meets Evil's 20-0 record was enough to keep their charge going, though, and now we see the two 20-0 juggernauts face off for the championship. Franchise has a lot of backing to be sure, but I think many voters will go with to the "underdog" "undersung" Evil as a push back against all the hype around Franchise. Either way it goes, it is already a win for BWLBPA. This appearance is bringing a lot of new attention to BWBLPA - formerly known only for recently building this beautiful field - and has already brought a few of their players onto the boards, getting their league more involved NWLA.

No championships for WSEM, but many across the NWLA are impressed with two WSEM teams reaching the Large League Final Four, while no teams from perennial power houses like KWL, HRL, or CCWA were able to. Good season, boys! ***

*** 2nd Update: The Punchouts and Wicked Aces are both representing WSEM in the Final Four! They are on opposite sides of the bracket; the Punchouts face Freaky Franchise (OCWA), champions from the NWLA Tournament in July, and the Aces are lined up against Bad Meets Evil (BWBLPA). Both Franchise and Bad Meets Evil both went 20-0 on their seasons, so our Punchouts will have to pull off an upset for the first time this tournament, while it's business as usual for the Aces - having pulled off three straight upsets to get to this position. Carl has put together a piece about the reasons why voters should get behind the Punchouts and Aces; you can listen to that here.

Not to be outdone, King Friday has also advanced to the Dangerfield championship! It seems the universe was well aware of their forfeit-inflated win column and did not punish them for that at all this tournament. Now, that will be tested again though against a no-win team, the 0-10 Pirates from SWBL.

Regardless of performance from here out WSEM has shown very well this year! Having two teams reach the final four in the Large League Tournament is an incredible feat, and tack on another team in the championship of the Dangerfield... Fantastic! Now, someone bring home an e-championship! ***

*** Update: All three teams have advanced. The Punchouts now face the Rough Riders of the WATL in the Riser Region championship. The Wicked Aces upset the two-seed Captains and now play in the Fastball Region championship against the Quackers of the WWL; Real-life anecdote: Austin Bischoff played against Quackers players Regis Pollard and Jordan Shelton at the NWLA Tournament in July. Moving to the Dangerfield Tournament, King Friday finds themselves in the Final Four playing against yet another instate rival, J.A.W.S. of the KWL! ***

The NWLA's annual tournaments are again underway. WSEM is represented in the 64-team Large League Tournament (leagues with 6+ teams), as well as the venerable Dangerfield Tournament to decide the nation's worst team. King Friday carries the banner as an 8-seed in the latter, and has advanced to the second round with a rousing upset of the top-seeded Bakios Ballers from the Mick Fenway Wiffleball League. They now face the Highland Yankees, the fourth seed, from the Hudson Valley Wiffleball League. The winner will move on to play for the Knuckleball Region championship in the "Elite" 8.

In the Large League bracket the Manchester Punchouts and Whiteford Wicked Aces continue the charge in the sweet 16. Most recently the duo dispatched a pair of interstate rivals from the Kalamazoo Wiffleball League in the Round of 32. The sixth seeded Aces garnered respect and dropped Scared Hitless, the 3 seed, in the Fastball Region, and the one-seed Punchouts defeated the storied Friars. To quote Commissioner Coffee, "East side of the state proves we are best!" The Aces also have a win over an Home Run League (Twin Cities) franchise, the Phillies, notched into their belt from the first round. The Punchouts first-round victory in the Riser Region came over the Pirates from the Oatka Wiffle League.

The Thunder Ducks and Flying Squirrels also gained entry to the tournament as a 12 and 15 seed, respectively, in the Curve Region. Both were eliminated in the first round.

Free Agency Fires off a Fast Start

It's October. In the Midwest that means awesomeness, in the MLB that means heroics, in the NFL that means an overdose of pink, and in WSEM that means it is free agency season! The Podcast announced this first round of roster moves over the weekend, but if you prefer your information laid out in front of you, we have put it all together for you below. There have been some big shake-ups already involving the Flying Squirrels, Holy Balls, Ducks, and former Seals. Will this set the tone for the rest of the offseason with some big names still out there?

Another push for this free agency fever is the new roster policy for 2013: each team will have at most six players featured on their team page at the April 14th deadline. These are the players you expect to play most days. You may of course still use alternates or part-time guys who come out a few times (consider them call ups), but only the six players featured on the roster will be considered for awards, such as the weekly Munsons or All-Star voting, and inclusion in articles or other media.

  Flying Squirrels

 [From Mattseals]
   Adam Cosby  P/OF  *new captain
   Jason Hewlett  P/OF  *new assistant captain
   Mike Myers  OF

 [From Donkeys]
   Matt Murtha  OF/P

This is the biggest shake-up yet in WSEM. Deserved or not, the Squirrels are one of WSEM's Marquee franchises. So, this change in leadership is a huge deal. Carl had grown tired of the ins-and-outs of running a team and the league when he was contacted by Cosby about starting a team. Perfect timing, he took the job with the Squirrels. Hewlett and Cosby also fill well the holes left in the Squirrels' pitching staff with both 2012 starters having left, and Murtha's return adds much needed depth. Myers also brings a consistent bat as a place-setter to boost a notoriously challenged Squirrels offense. Their outfield will be patrolled well with Nick Coffee and Bullard, both diamond digit caliber defenders. One issue Cosby will have to face early in his new job, though, is that the Squirrels are sitting at seven players. Adam will have to decide which player to send down to part-time status.

  Holy Balls

 [From Mattseals]
   Greg Franzen  OF  *captain
   Chris Paquin  P/OF  * assistant captain

 [From Thunder Ducks]
   Nick Braden  OF
   Chris Lewis  P/OF

 [From Belgian Wiffles]
   Brandon Corbett  P/SS

The Holy Balls were what got the ball rolling [sorry, there was no other way to say that]. This group played together as the Mattseals in August at the For the Thrill, and winning that championship pretty much solidified them playing together in 2013. As the rumor spread it sparked the Squirrels' moves. As huge as that is, though, the biggest impact of the Balls' formation is the taking Nick Braden and Lewis from the Ducks. It leaves the Ducks with three full-time players, and opens the door for another big move in the future. The Ball's lineup is solid, deep on pitching and has a capable offense, but what they lack is a true ace, a shutdown pitcher. Corbett's 2012 numbers would put him in that role, however, he is a contact pitcher and gets many ground ball outs; not the dominance you'd like in big games.

  Belle Islanders

 [From Campus Commandos]
   Alex Linebrink  P/OF  *captain
   Andrew Mott  OF/P
   Daniel Egan  P/OF

Another big shake-up, one that has been long rumored. It loses some of the impact with the Commandos no longer slated to return, but it still brings a whole new look and expectation to heading downtown. Generally, teams went into Detroit expecting to drive away with a sweep; that should no longer be the case. Linebrink's captaincy is expected to stabilize his roster, as well as bring in new talent to enhance an already solid foundation for a team in Egan and Mott. Word is that Chris Roszell, known for his defense and occasional power at the plate with the Commandos, may also make the move cross-town to the Islanders.

  King Friday

   Jason Matt  OF/P
   Joe Markos  OF

Friday's moves are not exactly offseason moves, but are still worth noting. Jason Matt was picked up by King Friday at the end of the regular season, and may take the mound in 2013. Markos is a strange case: he was traded to the Squirrels in July, but never played a game for the team. Therefore, that is being ignored, and this is simply being considered a resigning worth mentioning. Markos was one of Friday's best offensive performers, so at least they will have him to lean on as they go forward. Biggest news yet out of the Friday Camp: they will have a home field in Livonia for 2013. Bring on that home cooking!

With all of those moves there are still quite a few names out there without a team. The biggest is probably pitcher Mike Constanti (0.56 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 3.79 K/BB in 2012), having cutting ties with the Squirrels. Craig Skinner is another great arm on the market (0.45 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, 5.06 K/BB in 2012), but the prevailing thought is he will return to the roster with the Southgate crew. Other available names include Ryan Alexia (.377 OBP, 12 R in 2012), who brings defensive intensity at short-stop *** UPDATE: Alexia has signed with the Belgian Wiffles ***; and Adam Grant (.388 OBP, 32 BB), who is always a Texas Ranger candidate; Eric Pfefferle (.451 SLG, .356 OBP) will likely be packaged along with Grant as a fantastic plus-one.
  Evan Bortmas
  Manchester Punchouts
   Batting:  .329 AVG,  .524 OBP,  .861 SLG,  56 H,  20 HR,  8 2B,  55 RBI,  55 R
   Pitching:  0.70 ERA,  0.94 WHIP,  10 W,  136 K,  4.0 K/BB,  2.76 KPI

Clown Shu
  Austin Bischoff
  Whiteford Wicked Aces
   0.49 ERA,  0.68 WHIP,  141 K,  5.22 K/BB,  2.75 KPI,  7 W,  51.1 IP

Rookie of the Year
  Kyle Tomlinson
  Belgian Wiffles
   .346 AVG,  .426 OBP,  .515 SLG,  45 H,  6 HR,  4 2B,  20 RBI,  16 R

Most Improved Player
  Alex Linebrink
  Campus Commandos
   2012 Batting: .260 AVG,  .388 OBP,  .427 SLG,  5 HR,  16 RBI,  11 R
   2011 Batting:  .223 AVG,  .391 OBP,  .289 SLG,  1 HR,  14 RBI

   2012 Pitching: 6.02 ERA,  2.49 WHIP,  84 K,  1.18 K/BB
   2011 Pitching:  8.78 ERA,  3.51 WHIP,  57 K,  0.89 K/BB

Batting Champion
  Evan Bortmas
  Manchester Punchouts
   .389 AVG

Home Run Kings
  Evan Bortmas  and  Dakota LaDouceur
  Manchester Punchouts
   20 HR

Diamond Digits
  Ryan Bullard   Joe Seto
  Flying Squirrels   Donkeys
  Greg Franzen   Sam Hatt
  Mattseals   Manchester Punchouts