Tuesday, December 8, 2015

My Most Personally Unfullfilling Softball Accomplishment

People ask me questions like:
  • "How do you beat Choice Parts?" 
  • "What's You Secret?" 
  • "How Did a 1st year team do it?"

Ironically, three months later winning the BASL 2015 Championship with 100% certainty I must say that it was probably my
most personally Unfullfilling Softball accomplishment.

I'll get to that shortly, but first let me get the How I beat Choice Parts blog out of my system before the year closes out.

Top Ten Reason I Beat Choice Parts

10. I didn't play.

Now I know the anonymous goon comment crowd out there will say "this should be number one"... lol.... , but in the bigger picture I knew the team needed me to manage, not play.

It hurt not playing, but I did it b/c:

  • The Team needed to see my unselfishness and see my resolve to winning. To their credit the guys did. I had minimal problems. Team Chemistry was very good
  • I needed people to keep coming. It cleared up spots, especially for package deal guys.
  • I'm stupid, crazy, and a sucker
  • Sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.
Honestly, being named Manager of the Year means little to me, I would rather do it on the field.

9. As a manager, I took everything I learned from my Mount Rushmore Managers and used it:
  • Blonde - Pacienca y Fe plus ignore ignore ignore all goons. Never panic. Never.
  • Bob - Pretended to be a bobo but care about winning
  • Dio - Relentless recruiting, deep roster, and be creative. Everyone played, except me.
  • John "Championship Manager" Shepard - Tenacity and Resolve. Only thing I couldn't copy from him was his immaculate hand writing and raspy voice.
I took all of that and trusted my gut, my instinct, my experience, my insanity,  I knew my roster better than they knew themselves.

One more thing, I reminded myself to trust my instincts not my impulses. Instinct was a feel on right and wrong, impulse was a risky knee jerk reaction. Instinct > Impulse

8. To Beat Choice Parts I had to become Choice Parts - Initiation is the Greatest form of Flattery
  • Applied Mickey Peckinms incredible preparation skills to my pre-game routine.
  • Applied Rosenmiller's Recruiting instincts/ethics and political skills. Rosenmiller inspired me to recruit and forge an alliance with Mike Trenk.  I asked myself "Would Rosenmiller do it? And if the answer was yes. I did it"
  • Made sure to use the grandfather rule and get Sito to qualify. proved crucial when Cabessa went down at SS. No Mercy. The Choice Parts way.
7. No John Brown. 

Once the League was modified I knew the playing field was now level.

6. Luck
  • As a manager - Almost every good move I made worked. Almost every bad move I made worked. I was lucky
  • As a team - when you score the tying run in the deciding championship game on a throw that hits the ump in the head/back it's your year. The Softball gods are with you.
5. Checked Ego, Leadership and Alliance
  • I completely checked my Ego (signed Gil) and refused to panic
  • Butchy was my #1 priority in off season. I knew half the team wouldn't listen to me, so I needed someone they would listen to. - That was Butchy. Born Leader. Winner. A team needs an on the field leader and that was him. I learned a lot from him. He never challenged my authority, he only helped. Winner,
  • Alliance - As mentioned above, reaching out my hand to Trenk was brave and bold. We needed someone who rarely makes defense mistakes, competitive, and is self motivated. It showed everyone that I was willing to do anything to win. He had an amazing year in lead off role and I am happy to have made a new friend (make that 2 friends as his brother Larry is awesome as well).
4. Losing

Starting 1-5 was key. It made me see our weaknesses, see our needs, I was determined to not use any pitcher that threw a straight fastball. Needed risers, knuckleballs, change ups. Swallowed my pride and signed Gil. My pitching staff gave up 2 homers all year. Freddy never lost. In modified that is unreal.

P.S Fuck all those no class bastards who tried stealing our players when we were 1-5. The softball gods paid you back.

3. No Legacy Issues.

While our name was Old School our advantage was that we were a new team.
  • No one had batted 3rd for 10 years.
  • No one had been the shortstop 10 years, 
  • No one had pitched for years.

Playing time had to be earned with performance, execution, hustle, and loyalty.

I always knew the Championship would go through Parts, but early on the league didn't know it would also go through us, we kind of snow balled and snuck up on everyone.

2. Identity

The name of the Team was Old School, Not New School - I put all the young players except Gil Jr and Max at the bottom of the order, leaned on my vets at the top. They all bought in Helped Forged an identity.

and the number one Reason I Beat Choice Parts

1. I had Central Park players. 

What does that mean?
  • All Fields line drive hitters
  • Players who lived close to Field
  • Versatile players. Dino a godsend.
  • Depth - Role Players were awesome - Ray, Eric Wu, Anthony, Zach
  • Players you liked playing there
  • Players who were motivated to beat the Parts
That How I Beat Choice Parts.

That's it.


It's over.

Maybe Old School winning helps the league,  Maybe winning destroys the league.

I don't know. In the end, while I was happy to win. I gave those guys everything I had and they gave me everything they had.

I am retiring from managing the team on top and will get back to playing.More importantly, I will work very hard to build the league up this winter as I do care about it's long term health.

Miss Softball and you all.


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