Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I was googling myself and came across this gem of a column from a young mikey morocco. Note that the solo homer was in decline even then:


Point - Counterpoint with Mac and Ben

The two highest averages in the league go toe to toe in a game where they are forced to disagree…

1) Pj and the Ladies is the most surprising number one seed ever.

Mac’s Point: I’d sure like to be able to check the website for previous years (thanks Ben Smith), but I’m pretty sure I can say with certainty that they are. They needed the bye to the finals more than anyone and you have to like their chances now that it’s only two wins away.

Ben's Counterpoint: The past number one seeds (since the current playoff format began in 2004) include the Serbian Jew Double Bluffs in 04 (almost a forgone conclusion before the start of the year), PJ & the Ladies in 05 (not surprising), Wet Dream Team in 06 (not surprising) and the Laser Cats last year (almost a forgone conclusion before the start of the year). That leaves us with Hot Fuzz in 07. Why were they more surprising? Because they are the only top seed other than the Wet Dream Team with only one hall of famer on its roster and unlike Wet Dream, Hot Fuzz didn't feature 3 .600 hitters.

2) We will see the same style of play next year, solo homers first and anything else only when necessary.

Ben's Point: Unfortunately, this will be the case next year. The new blood seems content to take homers and make 35% of their shots rather than move inside and make 50%. As someone who used to shoot a lot of solo dingers himself, I will admit that the coolness is past its expiration date. It's gotten so stale that I can't even shoot solo homers anymore.

Mac’s Counterpoint: ***shakes head*** yeah I have no counterpoint. Where is Pat Lackey when we need him?!

3) Queenie Mentrek is the hottest team in the league right now and has to
be considered the favorite going in to the playoffs.

Mac’s Point: I think they have to be after what they did in their
final couple of weeks. Nate and Ben are probably the two hottest
players in the game right now. You have to like their chances.

Ben's Counterpoint: As much as I hate to go against my own team, you can't consider Queenie Mentrek the favorites when: A. They lost to Opie and the E Street Band two out of three times in the regular season and B. Ben Smith will be in South Caorlina August 8. That's not to say Nate, Katie and Jeanne can't win four games without him, but they will miss him in the lineup. And if Nate can't be there either for some reason, this team is toast.

4) Terry Shernisky will win POTY.

Ben's Point: While he won't win by a landslide as we would have thought a month ago, he still wins. It's hard to ignore the 88 homers even in a year where it seems as if homers are all that anybody shoots.

Mac’s Counterpoint: Hmmm, this is sort of a no brainer, but there is an argument to be made that if Terry hadn’t gone MIA for a couple weeks midseason, that his team would be downing beers until the finals. You also have to consider that homers to Terry are like singles to Ben Smith. If you’re looking for a darkhorse, you need look no further than Billy Weisburg.

5) Opie and the E-Street Band and star Terry Shernisky choked in the
final game of the regular season.

Mac’s Point: There’s no doubt that Opie and company didn’t do
themselves any favors the first 7 innings of the game, but you have to
give the ladies their props. They shat the bed in their first two
games yet somehow got the job done when they had to. They shot the
daylights out of the ball and seemed to make a double play every
inning. They won the game as much as the Estreets lost it.

Ben's Counterpoint: They most certainly did choke. While some credit should be given to PJ & the Ladies, the top seed was Opie's to lose. Mac, Terry and Opie played like studs in previous games Sunday afternoon and then played like duds against the Ladies.

6) The league should go with only 6 teams next year.

Ben's Point: With dwindling attendence, it should be considered. There has been at least one team who had to forfeit its games almost every week because of only one person showing up. There are still enough people to have a league and downsizing the number of teams is the best way to handle the flaky attendence. If, by some random act of God, a team has more than 4 people show up, there 's always Jukebox.

Mac’s Counterpoint: I actually like it with seven teams. You have to think that somebody else is going to be running the show next year. With younger leadership, my guess is that that person will want to bring in a few more of their friends as well. Of course, if nobody wants to take over, I can see a one weekend summer tournament in place of a full season. If that is the case, attendance will be through the roof.

7) With Nate Tomko announcing that he can’t see himself running the
league next year, the SBL is history after this summer.

Mac’s Point: Sadly, it wouldn’t surprise me at all. Frankly I thought
it was all over after the dismal turnout for last year’s final week.
I’ve had a lot of fun this year, so here’s hoping that one of the
younger folks can step up and put their own spin on the league.

Ben's Counterpoint: Let's be positive, Mac. Isn't the future of the league always in question at this time every year? This league has come too far to not continue for at least 3 or 4 more years. We have a new website coming that will not only look nicer but will make updating it a breeze. We have a younger cast of characters who seem to actually care about the league and should be able to step up when and if they're needed. The SBL doesn't necessarily need one person to do everything like Nate has done for years. If multiple people can handle doing one job each and we lower our expectations just a little, there is no reason why the league can't carry on.

8) Honest Abe's Truth Brigade stands the best chance of any of the lower seeded teams to make a deep playoff run.

Ben's Point: The Millivanillisecods made a case for themselves, but Honest Abe has the potential to be a scary team. PJ O'Connor has put up huge numbers despite playing most games with only one free hand. Billy D is a streaky shooter, but if he's on, this team can give anyone fits. With that said, watch them get 15-runned twice this week.

Mac’s Counterpoint: Not as long as Walker Told Me I have Aids is actually getting into the playoffs. Rumor has it that we’re playing at Frankoviches and that it will be the entire playoffs. Bfrank is definitely going to be there and they have what some might call an easier route to get there. This team is one Terry Hall or Mike Frankovich sighting away from making some serious noise.

9) All-Star voting is all but unanimous on facebook. The biggest snub so far is…

Mac’s Point: Actually now that I look at the stats really closely, a
lot of people (myself included) have little basis on the Spohn over
Billy Deforest vote. Deforest is ahead of Bob in almost every category
that isn’t double play related…and Billy always fields a team. Sorry
Billy D.

Ben's Counterpoint: Since I can't go with Billy D, I have to go with Opie. He shows up every week, puts up decent numbers, is entertaining to watch and doesn't take the game too seriously. What more could you want? (Note from Mac: I’d want him to be a Steelers fan)

10) Neither Bryan Frankovich nor Mikeey Moroco, both fixtures in the all-star game for years, will represent the World.

Ben's Point: Looking at the numbers, neither have shown up as much or played as well as we've been accustomed to. Based on the voting so far, it looks like only one will get in. I do think that will be the case, and it will almost certainly be Frankovich. Bill Deforest will take the other reserve spot leaving Mike on the outside looking in.

Mac’s Counterpoint: Sorry, Ben, but you’ve missed the mark on this one. I’m with you that Mikey wont be making it, but I don’t think Bryan has much of an argument either. Chris Errett is ahead of or right there with him in all the major categories…and you think the league brass will give Bryan Frankovich the benefit of the doubt. HAHAHAHA.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Directions to my house


188 Maple Grove Road
West Middlesex, PA

...for all you non-mapquesters:

(from Sharon/Hermitage)

following Route 18 into the heart of West Middlesex. At the only traffic light in town, make a right. You'll cross a bridge over a river. Go about another mile until you see the municipal building on your left. Make the left turn onto Jackson road. Then in about a quarter mile make the first left onto Maple Grove Road. I'm the third house on the right. There are two stone pillars sitting out by the road.

Mac's Power Rankings Week 8

1) Opie and the E-street Band
The E-street band rocks its way back to the top of the charts this week due to a 4-0 record the last two weeks and an impressive performance against the Ladies with both teams missing their premier player. McClelland has been torrid of late and Kippy appears to be on the right track after an unkippylike first half of the season. This week they will meet the Ladies once more to determine which team will gain the all important bye to the finals. E-street looks to get back Terry Shernisky, while the ladies will once again have to work without jewish stalwart Billy Weisburg. I see them rocking Honest Abe and rolling the ladies.

2) PJ and the Ladies
The ladies had been Maguivering their way to being the best team in the league most of the season but have come back to earth with Billy Weisburg on one of his many vacations. Even without Billy I am not ready to put them behind Queenie. The ladies have made a season of winning the close ones…which is what playoff baseketball is all about. Unfortunately, I see them dropping another to the E-street band and losing a heartbreaker to the Truth Brigade. They will somehow pull it together and defeat Tomko in the rivalry game.

3) Queenie Mentrek
Queenie looked very impressive last week with Clayton continuing to play well and Tomko returning to his Player of the Year form. Ben Smith also appears to have acquired Goodpastorlike abilities as a leadoff hitter. Maybe they didn’t need Katie Kelly after all. The only thing stopping me from crowning Queenie is that they dominated an embarrassing bad Millivanilli squad in both of their contests…and Ben Smith isn’t going to get six assists against a more qual….actually, against any opponent other than the Millivanilliseconds. I look for them to beat up on walker and jukebox…only to let their guard down and be besting by the 2nd place ladies.

4) Jukebox Hero
Only in the era of the solo homerun would a disorganized scrapbook of a team be competitive each and every week. Luckily, the stat padding teams below are every bit as random as the worst Jukebox squad. Keep shooting the long ball rest of the teams. I’m sure jacking solo homers will erase the four run deficit in no time.

5) Walker Told Me I Have Aids
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I want to rank this team as the fifth best in the league….

6) The Millivanilliseconds
…but after the epically bad performance of the ‘seconds I have no choice. Three damp towels could do a better job of boxing out. Luckily for them…

7) Honest Abes Truth Brigade
…we have Honest Abe, who hasn’t won anything since Michael Jackson was still moonwalking and popping pills.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mac's Mailbag 7-14-2009

1. Who, if anyone, from the 22 and younger crowd do you see stepping up to help the league off the court?

I’m not really enthusiastic that any of them will step up too much. I’d give Billy Deforest and outside chance. He seems to really enjoy the league and might be able to contribute some creativeness in the article department.

2. Give us your top three for the following:
a. Player of the Year: 1) Terry 2)Billy Wesiburg 3) Nate
b. Rookie of the Year: 1) Erret 2)Adam from PJ and L 3) That 15 year old girl
c. Most Improved Player: 1) Deforest 2) Ben Smith 3) Tim Martin
d. Least Valuable Player: 1) Gavin 2) Mikey (if he doesn’t come back) 3)Bryan Frankovich

3. Is it a coincidence that Mikey Moroco hasn't shown up the past couple of weeks or is he legitimately steamed over the Katie Kelly trade?
I don’t think any reasonable person could think that it’s a coincidence. Mikey’s distaste for Offut is well known.

4. Why haven't you done a "Mac's Power Rankings" article yet?
Mostly cause I rely heavily on an updated website to write such articles. By the time the standings and scores are updated on Friday, it’s been two days since I’ve had the itch to write a power rankings article.

5. Is there a bigger disappointment than Bob Spohn's team? Is there a more pleasant surprise than PJ & the Ladies sans Gavin St. John?

No and no.

6. Looking back at the draft, which picks made their captains look like geniuses? Which picks make their captains look like morons?

I think the baseketball braintrust had a lot of correct assumptions in our draft breakdowns this year. Opie’s picks are being proven correct…and Jon Offut clearly could have done a better job. The only curveballs would be that PJ and the Ladies have had different results with the exact same roster as in prior years….and that Bob Spohn’s team can never be in the same place on the same Sunday.

7. How is Jukebox having such a good year?

I think it’s a combination of there being some really bad teams, some teams that can’t field a full team, and a shortage of bystanders that aren’t sbl vets.

8. How do you feel about the obscene amount of solo homers being shot?

The awesomeness of the solo homer has definitely jumped the shark. I remember the days when solo homer aficionados like Lee Nespor, Pat Lackey and Rando would bring the crowd to its feet with a solo homer. Solo homers definitely aren’t special anymore.

9. Where has ____________________ disappeared to?
a. Kip Corbett-
b. Dennis Lackey
c. Greg Lackey
d. Aryn Christman
e. the Biddle/Ben/Dank trio

The sad thing is that I think all of these players are around and just have moved on to find other things to do. I’m especially upset that I haven’t gotten to see any Lackey this year.

10. What have you enjoyed most about the 2009 season?

I’ve enjoyed the laid back nature of the league this year…and the laid back team that I play for.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Oh no! How will Katie Kelly keep track of her stats now?

I also added a new picture to the blog.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mac's Mailbag April 9th, 2009

How do you feel about B.Frank going before both Terry and Nate?

Like everyone I was shocked that anyone went before Terry and Nate…much less two people. I still think there was some sort of wheeling and dealing going on with the first few captains.

What are your thoughts on your new team? Are you excited for this season?

I think Opie had the first or second best draft. As Terry told me shortly after…it just feels like all the players on the team are laid back…and will play well together. And yes, I’m very excited for this season.

Are PJ and the Ladies building themselves to compete or to cause mayhem?

A little of both. I don’t think there will ever be a ladies team quite like the one that played my first two seasons in the league...the main cast has grown up. I also think they would like to win a title in a different way than the one in 2005. That said, we’re bound to see a few new antics with the cast of characters they have accumulated.

Is there a lot more parity in the league now that the SBL went back to a draft?

There certainly isn’t a team that is as stacked as the Laser Cats last year…but I do think that two or three of the teams didn’t have particularly good drafts.

How disgusting is the height of Bob Spohn’s team?

Yeah, it is a little ridiculous. My only beef is that he might have wanted one more reliable player to go with the three studs at the top.

Aside from the top five picks being in surprising order, what was the biggest shock about the SBL draft?

To me it was how low the Nespors went. Does Pat Nespor do anything but play in SBL title games?

Which teams have a realistic shot at the championship this season?

When is the last time that a team won an SBL title without having one of the three best players in the league (at that time)? Allow me…never. That said, I’d be shocked if a team that didn’t have Nate, Terry or Frankovich on it won it all this year.

Will the reunion of Shelley and Nate pay off with a championship for Queenie Mentrek?

If she and Mike come with regularity, I think they have to be the favorites. Still, they have to be a little worried that Shelley didn’t come the last few weeks last year.

Which player do you think could move into that upper echelon of players this year? Who do you think will see a dramatic decrease in production this season?

If I had to pick one that could join that elite group it would be PJ O’Conner. He’s probably the best defensive player in the league and will get a chance to be the man for his team on offense as well. As far as a drop, I’m going to leave out players who will drop off due to reliability issues. I think the most likely candidate for that kind of drop statistically will be Opie Neff. Now that he’s a big whig in the league, there is no way that he plays in 27 games like last year. Also, he is sharing the shots with another prolific homerun threat. Clearly it seems that Opie is willing to give up homers for championship contention.

Who in your opinion was the steal of the draft? And who went way too early?

I thought the steal of the draft was Terry Shernisky. To get him at the 4th pick is absolutely ludicrous. Pat Nespor also went way below his talent level. I thought someone who went way too early was Jon Olsavsky. Yes, he is one of the all time greats. But, Jon Offutt really needed to get someone ultra reliable with that pick…and Olsavsky has been ranked high in that category the past few seasons.