Sunday, February 10, 2013

Season Review 10 of 11 .. Old School Inwood Fall Ball - "More than One Way to Win a Championship"

In 2012 I was committed to and played on 11 softball teams. Yes 11. You read that right. This is the tenth of an eleven part season review series that provides a review of their trials and tribulations (yeah I skipped number 10 yesterday as it deserved it's own championship day)
Season Review: Old School - Fall Ball 

Record : 16-3
Final Standings : Inwood Morning League Champion

Insider Analysis: I wanted to bring a team back to Inwood this season, but I need someone to run the team. I needed a manager with the following skills on his resume:
  • Organized - emails, lineups, knew how to do book, order shirts
  • Dedication and prompt - he had to be committed every week till the end
  • Warrior - good player who you wanted to play for and could play himself 
  • Winner - no substitute for that experience 
  • Confident - if you don't believe in yourself in this game, then find something else to do. 
  • Softball Smart - knew the X's and O's
  • Interpersonal skills - someone that could manage egos and characters - this isn't fantasy baseball
  • Recruiter - knows how to get good players that will show up
  • Had played above 96th street
I picked a guy that met all those qualifications Michael Peckins
He got the job done on the field as a player, recruiter, and manager as we dominated the so called "Inwood B League".

What I didn't expect from Mike was his managing style which was different and in some ways better than mine in the following areas:
  • He doesn't change things unless broken. If the team is winning he makes very few if any changes on both sides of the ball regardless of performance. 
  • Accounts for egos and personalities more in his decisions  He knows which guys motivate themselves and which guy needed coddling. "I like my players happy" was his quote even though he couldn't make everyone happy. No one can
  • He places more emphasis on statistics, but not at the expense of the points I mentioned above.
  • Longer leash on his starting pitchers. 
While at times I didn't understand or agree with some of his decisions, I did respected them and him. It was time for me to swallow my ego/pride. I reminded myself that "maybe I don't know it all. It's his team and maybe there is more than one way to win a championship." I also reminded myself that the name of our team was Old School and There is No School like the Old School. Old Schoolers don't wine, bitch, and make excuses. We play. And play we did, as in end his style, produced a winning formula.

I definitely hired the right guy


Best Line of the Season : In a game Mike was getting hit hard and I went out and told him "Mike maybe it's not your day" and he responded "I'm pitching well they are just hitting me hard". Funny. I laughed, said "OK", and went back to my position. Gotta give him credit, the man has confidence. That's what makes him successful. To his credit he then settled down and we would have won, if the defense would have made some routine plays.

Best Dramatic Moment of the Season: In a late season match up against one of the leagues better teams, Hell's Kitchen "HK", we were down by one with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Mike reached base and then Christians blooped a single  Not only did Mike score to tie the game, but Christian miraculously came all the way around the bases as HK wildly threw the ball.

Last Word: The team will be back to defend with Mike at the helm. The insider salutes Mike who knows how to live life both on and off the field.


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