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Game of the Week



Week 1 - Sunday, March 18, 2018

Alford's Iron Pigs @ Garber's Grasshoppers

Field 5 @ 9:10 am

As the 44th year of the Temple Shalom Softball League begins, Alford's Iron Pigs end their Opening Week, as they defend their 2017 crown, against Garber's Grasshoppers.  Crafty Grasshoppers' hurler Jon Banta will try to shutdown the potent Iron Pig's lineup that features two sets of brothers - the Alfords and Kravitzes.  The Grasshoppers counter with Brian Ortega and Andrew Williams (no, not that Andrew Williams) leading the attack against Iron Pigs' pitcher Mark Fishkind.  Should be a real barnburner.




Week 13 - Sunday, July 24

Field 1 – 5:00 pm

Weinfeld’s Pirates @ Schnitzer’s Cubs


And then there were two… games left in the regular season.


The Pirates against the Cubs.


Weinfeld, Weinfeld, Weinfeld… It’s all anyone talks about nowadays.

Weinfeld’s Pirates are on a season long hot streak. All year long they’ve beaten the teams you’re supposed to beat (which is whoever you playing against). After starting off 10-1, the Pirates have cooled off to a 10-3 mark in their last 13 games. With a downward trend as evident as this, they will struggle to compete by the time Elvis Andrus is out of a Rangers uniform. Mark my words.

Monthly Record:

March: 2-0

April: 6-1

May: 3-2

June: 8-0

July: 1-1


Schnitzer’s Cubs enter play on 07/24 with a 15-9 record:  2 games ahead of the Angels and Yankees for the 5 seed. After a pedestrian 1-3 start, they won their next 7 games. But the next 11 games saw the Cubs have a 5-6 record. This streaky Cubs squad is coming off a sweep two weeks ago. It appears they have begun the playoff push.

Monthly Record:

March: 0-2

April: 6-1

May: 3-2

June: 4-4

July: 2-0


When these two teams played in Week 2, the Pirates beat the Cubs by a score of 19-8. I expect this game to be a playoff preview with a playoff atmosphere.






Silverman’s Rangers @ Conn’s Tigers


12:00ish on Field 8

Game of the Week - Week 11


Silverman’s Rangers boast the second best record in the league.  A 14-6 mark that led their captain to claim that they have only played 14 games.  They have scored 39 more runs than anyone else but they are in the upper half of teams for runs allowed as well.  Usually a lot of runs are scored when the Rangers are on the field.  For a Q and A with Captain Silverman, here is Scott Lawrence.


1.  You sit in sole possession of 2nd place with 6 games left in the schedule.  Give me your overall assessment of your club.

Silverman: We are a very strong offensive club with a lot of fire power....we have a great group of guys who love to win and are very competitive.  I would like to see our defense be a bit more cohesive/consistent...but at 14-6, we are positioned well and ready to tune up for the big dance.


2.  The Tigers took your squad out to the woodshed the last time you played them with a thorough and decisive 14-5 defeat, only 1 of your 3 losses in your last 10.  Singular bad game for your squad that day or are the Tigers really that much better than your group?

Silverman: We played badly and give credit to the Tigers-they played well....I think our team is better, but the Tigers are a formidable opponent-we have to play well to beat them and we will.


3.  Your squad has won 7 out of its last 10 with a tough one coming to the hands of the surging Iron Pigs in game 2 last Sunday.  What are you looking to see from your team heading into this weekend and more specifically the game against the Tigers?

Silverman: Better all around play, especially on defense....make sure we have a positive and upbeat attitude....just make the plays and let our natural talent rise up.


4.  What scares you about facing the Tigers?

Silverman: They have a lot of strong hitters and good athletes....Alexander, Gilhang, and Matt Rakofsky are having monster seasons...Phares and Shiller have heated up and were on my team last year...great guys and players.  Their pitching and defense look solid...it all scares me!!! 


5.  If there was a contest between you and Scott Sulzer on who gets paid for every word they speak with a time limit of 5 minutes, who would win and why?

Silverman: If it's about articulation and rational thought, I win hands down. If we are talking BS, he's in a league of his own!!!




6.  Give me a prediction on the outcome of the GoTW, other than the team with the most runs will win the game.  Who wins and what's the score says the Scholck?

Silverman: We will win a close one at 16-11


7.  Lastly, in one word describe what BDS.....never mind, you can't describe anything in one word....ever! 

Silverman: You're right but here is 3 words....Big Dude Superstar



Conn’s Tigers sit in third place after 20 games.  Their 260 runs scored is second only to their Game of the Week opponent; however, unlike Silverman’s squad, the Tigers can claim one of the best defenses in the league.  Their 173 runs allowed is second only to the untouchable Pirates.  Here is a Q and A between Captain Conn and Scott Lawrence.


1.  You come into the weekend in a tie with the Williams-less Mariners with a record of 13-7 facing Silverman's Rangers who are 7-3 in their last 10.  In your only meeting with them you handed them one of their 6 losses, 14-5.  Depending on how the first game goes for each team, this could be for sole possession of 2nd place.What will be your message to your team going into the Game of the Week?

Conn: My message has always been just fun out there. Its one game at a time.


2.  The Tigers are second in the league in fewest runs allowed.  What, or who do you attribute this success?

Conn: The players on this team.  As I've stated earlier we have the ability as a team to interchange our players at almost every position and  not loose a step. 


3.  In the previous game against the Rangers, you smoked them 14-5.  This sets up for a seemingly easy one for your squad based on the last meeting, no?

Conn: NOOOOOO!!!! - In this league any team can beat any other team on a Sunday and thats why we play the game. 


4.  Aside from you missing this week, anyone else you are expecting to miss?

Conn: I believe we're missing two this week but we should be fine. <Scott or Paul can give you the names>


5.  Anything worry about facing the Rangers or just another walk in the park this week?

Conn: I think the Rangers have a great line up and  a well seasoned manager in Larry Silverman and I would be a fool not to worry about that.  We'll  just play the  game and see what happens 


6.  Who would win a talking contest if they got paid by the word, Scott Sulzer or Larry Silverman?

Conn: Well thats a hard choice. I believe Larry would probably win if it was just speed and  Scott would win with his  expansive vocabulary, which might go over Larry  head.  


7.  How is your health?  Will we see you back on the field again this Spring?

Conn: Thats a very hard question to answer now, I hope so and I'm working everyday to make it happen.  Let me  at this time thank  everyone in this league( and especially my team)  for there warm wishes and wanting help me and my family.  It meant a lot to me. 


8.  Final question, give us your prediction on the outcome of the game, other than the team that scores the most runs will win, be more specific than you were the last time this was asked when you played the Mets in the GoTW.

Conn: This is going to be a hard one to call.  The Rangers have a lot of power in their line up and we're playing on a short field. If  we can keep the Ranger's under 10 runs the Tigers will win.


In conclusion I think i tis reasonable to expect a high scoring affair between two of the best teams in the league.  It can be said that if anyone can hit with the Rangers, it’s the Tigers.  Judging on the fact that the Tigers have a better defensive record, they are my pick to win this game.  Either way this game plays out the results will have great impact on the leader board.  And I’m sure many of the top ranking teams are interested in the outcome.


Shaw’s Mets at Weinfield’s Pirates

Week 10

Game of the Week


Happy Father’s Day to 90% of the league.


Captain David Shaw has overseen an interesting season.  One that started with him acquiring first round pick Brian Ortega despite not having a top 10 pick.  One that has seen a team once thought a lock for the minies catapult itself into a possibly bye.  So here they are at .500 having played every team in the league once.  A win over the Pirates could certainly be the start to the finish this team wants. Here’s a Q and A with Mets skipper Mr. Shaw.


Q: Your team sits at .500, but your record has been getting better as the season progresses. What do you point to as the reason(s) for this turnaround?

Shaw: Much better pitching & defense. Our offense has been terrific all season and Once our defense caught up we have been the team I thought we would be.


Q: Father's Day. Evening games. Multiple families well represented in this Game of the Week, including yours. How special is this day?

Shaw: Very. I do not take this for granted and getting a chance to play on the same team as my dad is very special, even more so now that I am a father myself. Hopefully there are more Father's Day games in the Shaw family future.


Q: How will you spend your Father's Day morning, knowing that you don't have softball until the evening?

Shaw: My sister had twins about 2 months ago. So we are going to visit them in the morning before the games.


Q: This week's Game of the Week is before the standard double-header. Are you concerned that your team may get too hyped for the GotW and then too flat in the hour off before game 2?

Shaw: Not worried about getting too hyped. We played both teams just a few weeks back and beat both of them. The hour off has me worried because the sun will be in the hitters eyes at the 7pm hour on field 2.


Q: With 8 games left and a 9-9 record today, predict the Mets' 26 game record.


Shaw: In a perfect world 17-9. Hard to predict what will happen over the next 8 games but as long as my team has one of the top 8 spots that's all that matters to me.


Mr. Bob Weinfeld Sir has led his troops to the league’s best record.  The Pirates can no longer be a surprise now that everybody has played them.  They seem to have a firm hold of a two game lead over the powerhouse Rangers, which should probably tell us something about this Pirates team.  With the fewest runs allowed, this defense is no joke.  Also, less than half the teams in the league have scored 200 runs.  These Bucco’s are one of them.  Here’s a Q and A with undoubtedly proud skipper Bob.


Q: The Pirates keep on rolling! You sit atop the standings with a 15-3 record, and you have allowed the fewest runs allowed in the league. What has been the key to your success so far?

Weinfeld: 1 - Consistent hitting from top to bottom in the lineup. At this point, we have 4 men batting

     .500 or over, 6 men batting between .400 and 499, and 2 men from .300 to 399.

2 - Good defense by all 4 outfielders and all 4 infielders.

3 - Excellent pitching by Mark Fishkind, who has issued few walks all season. When he has been

    present for 13 of the 18 games played, we are 13 and zero and the opposition has averaged

    a little less than 7 runs per game.


Q: Father's Day. Evening games. Multiple families well represented in this Game of the Week. How special is this day?

    Weinfeld: Very special. I hope to have all members of my family there.


Q:How will you spend your Father's Day morning, knowing that you don't have softball until the evening?

    Weinfeld: Planning our team's strategy for the 2 evening games, and catching up on all my other activities.


Q: This week's Game of the Week is before the standard double-header. Are you concerned about your team being too hyped for game 1 and then too flat for game 2?

         Weinfeld: Not concerned at all - all our guys would play a triple-header if we needed to.


Q: With 8 games left and a 15-3 record today, predict the Pirates' 26-game record.

         Weinfeld: I can see us going 23 and 3, but I would also be happy with 22 and 4.


I expect an intense match between these two good teams both led by good captains and fathers.







Spring 2016 - Week 9


11:00ish on Field 1

Garber's Blue Jays @ Samsel's Storm Chasers


This week signals the conclusion of the initial round robin draw. After this double-header, everybody in the league will have played each other. Nobody should sneak up on anyone in the second half/playoffs. There are no longer any surprise teams. Has the season gone as you thought it would?


Let's start with the visiting Blue Jays. This is a team that I'm sure had higher hopes than the returns they've seen. Garber's Blue Jays got off to a torrid 4-2 start. After 3 weeks, they were just 1 game behind the Pirates for the best record in the league. But the Blue Jays lost their next 9 games: an unprecedented losing streak for a team that started so hot. But the Blue Jays won their last game. So they sit at 5-11 with the most runs allowed in the league. Here's a Q&A with the Blue Jays skipper Mr. Abbey Garber.


Garber: I see how it is. Have Samsel's kindergarten buddy buddy write the hit piece on me before the big game. This league is one big conspiracy.


Q: How long have you been in the league, and how many of those years have been as a captain?

Garber: I have been in the league since '88 or '89; I always check the records at the December breakfast but then quickly forget. For many years, I refused to be a captain, saying, "I don't mind coaching 8 year olds; I just don't want to coast 38 year olds who act like 8 year olds." I relented four years ago when most of the kids I coached graduated. My first team was the Fall 2012 Champion Riverdogs.


Q: You are facing off against your apprentice! Last fall he drafted a lot of the same guys that you did last spring, but with vastly different results. Samsel called you GM of the Year, but claims you just needed the right manager at the helm (him) to spur the guys to victory. How did you react to 2015?

Garber: History is replete with plenty of bandwagon jumpers who are ready to claim credit after the hard work is done. To be fair to Tyny, he did show me one coaching move I had not tried before and it is starting to pay off - bench Garber.


Q: At the draft, many people joked that you would have the XX-largest team in the league. To this point, the Blue Jays have the most Runs Allowed in the league. Is there a correlation here?

Garber: Of course not. I'm not one of those SABR geeks who analyzes every little thing, but it is probably the fault of the schedule maker. Ask Scott Greenberg if he is looking forward to pitching to Two Tons of Fun. He may want to take this week off.


Q: Your team started 4-2, but lost 9 consecutive games before winning your most recent game against Miller. What needs to happen to get this team back on track?

Garber: This team is back on track, riding the sixth longest active winning streak in the league. While he never admitted it, my hero, the greatest coach ever, Tom Landry, regularly let his teams hit a mid-season lull, so they would peak heading into the playoffs. You can examine my record the last few years and draw your own conclusions.


Q: What happened to Mike Baker? What is the plan moving forward?

Garber: Superman sat out this week while on another of his humanitarian missions. I know there are some rumors going around but they are just that. It is certainly not because we heard there was going to be testing at the fields. Who knew they were talking about bats?!


Q: Predict the Gotw…?

Garber: I have always said in a close game, put the result on the coaches. Son of Samsel has played on field 1 twice this season and both were decided by one run. Get your popcorn ready!


Garber P.S.: … if you try to interview me during the game, I will Popovich all over you.


The Storm Chasers currently sit in the fragile 8th spot in the league. In the 4-way tie at .500, the Storm Chasers hold the tie-breaker over the other 3 teams. The Storm Chasers have been consistently inconsistent in 2016. They take a couple steps forward, and then take a couple steps back. They explode for 20 runs, then struggle to score 5. But make no mistake about it, this is a dangerous team that can play with anyone. I'm just not sure that they believe it. Here's a Q&A with my buddy Tyler.


Q: How long have you been in the league, and how many of those years as a captain?

Samsel: This is my third year in the league and first as a captain.


Q: Your team has yet to finish a weekend with a sub .500 record. But every time you guys take a step forward, you take a step right back. Is this the weekend the Storm Chasers break out and set the tone for the rest of the season?

Samsel: I hope we start trending upwards. This is the time of year to get going heading into the playoffs so we can make a run at a championship.


Q: Even with the roller coaster nature of the season, if the season ended today you would be the 8th seed. Are you the most dangerous team without a winning record?

Samsel: I believe we are dangerous. We have underperformed at times and had a lot of close losses that could have easily gone our way. We have to find a way to make one that one extra play a game.


Q: How has Mr. Chernov filled in getting called in full-time for Cowart?

Samsel: Allan has been a great addition to the team. He fit right in immediately and has had some big hits to continue rallies for the top of the order.


Q: You boast the no-fly-zone. Explain.

Samsel: I believe we have the best outfield in the league. We have youth, speed, and confidence that nothing will fall between Steve Shiller, Ryan Greenberg, Garreth Johnson, and myself. Steve is as solid as they come. He gets great reads on the ball and understands hitters' tendencies. Ryan has the speed to run down balls and the ability to make some great sliding catches running in. Garreth is very underrated and is more than capable of handling right field, and he can lock down left field as well.


Q: This is your first spring season as a captain, and you're wrapping up a calendar year at the helm. What, in your mind, are the benefits and drawbacks of being a captain?

Samsel: The biggest benefit that comes to mind is getting to put together my own team that I feel can play well together and play hard. A major drawback is having the responsibility of the team's success. If I'm going to get the credit for winning games, then I have to take the blame for being unsuccessful.


Q: You got to play SS last weekend. Now is the time! Sell yourself as a SS to any prospective captains who may see this.

Samsel: Well, if I captain for years to come then I only have to convince myself to put me there. Most people have only seen me in the outfield because that was my position growing up and I have the speed to run down balls in the gap. But I feel I have a natural ability to play anywhere when needed. Playing shortstop still requires range in the holes that I am able to get to with a quick first step. I believe that in our league more than any other league the shortstop is involved in more plays than any other position. Overall I am more than capable of playing shortstop at a high rate. Maybe I will play short in the fall to show my versatility.


If nothing else, Samsel is confident. And I don't blame him. Samsel has known nothing but success as a captain. His fall team in 2015 had the best regular season record, and you could make the case that this Storm Chasers squad is better than their 8-8 record would suggest.


This should be a competitive game between two teams with different styles. The Blue Jays have power, and a lot of it. The Storm Chasers have depth and pesky on-base potential. We'll see what wins!



Spring 2016 - Week 8


Conn's Tigers @ Shaw's Mets

Field 4, 12:00ish


Before we begin, I must take a moment to talk briefly about Brian Conn. I know very little about what happened, but I know enough to be thankful that we can still poke fun at him. I got to play for him last year, and you'd be hard pressed to find a better person in the league. He's always thinking of others, and so it's time we think of him. Get well soon, Brian!


Without further adieu…


Conn has lucked his way to a 9-5 record so far, which puts them in a tie for fourth place with Schnitzer's Cubs. The Tigers have scored 183 runs, good for second most in the league, and their +50 run differential is third best in the league. Make no mistake about it, this Tigers team is for real. Two tough games this week on the schedule, however: Samsel's Storm Chasers (8-6) and Shaw's Mets (7-7). This Sunday could either be a huge stepping stone up the standings, or a setback for Conn. Here's Scotty's Q&A with the Tigers captain.


1.  How many years have you been a participant in the league?  How many as a player?  How many as a captain?  How many championships have you won in that time span?

Conn:  I've been in the league for 16 years. 13 years as a player, 3 as a captain and I have no championships


2.  You sit in a tie for third place with the Cubbies both of you carrying a 9-5 record into the weekend.  After a torrid start you've been seesawing over your last 7 with a 4-3 record.  What do you guys need to do to get over the hump to build some momentum going into the playoffs?

Conn:  I don't believe I had a torrid start since I beat John Unell's one of the greatest captain's the league has produced. As for getting over the hump, I don't believe I have to do anything.  My team is built for the playoffs. I have four pitchers and am able to interchange player at any position as needed without losing anything. Take me for example,  I've been out from my car accident and Scott Sulzer stepped in and doing a great job.


3.  What has been your biggest challenge this year?

Conn:  the biggest challenge this year is subs -  With the 19 teams its become a little challenging. 


4.  What has been your biggest surprise this year?

Conn:  My biggest surprise is that with as many teams as we have is the amount of talent that each team brings on Sunday. There seems to be great players on every team.


5.  Kelly Alexander and Matt Rakofsky are having career years in terms of batting average....who will finish with the highest average this year?

Conn:  I can't answer that question. They are both great players. I think its a toss up.


6.  You are tasked this week with facing the "on the rise" Mets.  The Mets have a host of heavy hitters.  Perennial All-Star and MVP candidate Brian Ortega leads their offensive charge.  What is your plan of attack on El Jefe, Brian Ortega this week?

Conn:  My  plan of attack?   Bribes,  late night calls, giving two for 1 drink specials at his favorite watering hole during our game.   My plan of attack would be to minimize the runners on base in front of him.  


7.  Give me a prediction on the final score of this week's Game of the Week and who wins?

Conn:  My prediction of the winner will be the team with the higher score.   My prediction will be Tigers 12 Shaw 8. 


 Brian Conn expects a Tigers' win, and the numbers suggest that he's right. But if I learned anything from when we played Shaw's team and lost in 9 innings (and backed up the entire schedule - please don't let that happen this Sunday… we only have 4 fields), it's that they are a resilient bunch and they don't quit.


With that said, Shaw's team is hard to figure out. The Mets enter June with a .500 record. They have plated 174 runs - third most in the league - but have allowed 166 runs - fifth most in the league. After a slow 2-5 start, the Mets have won 5 of their last 7. It also seems like they have figured out the defensive issues a little. In their most recent 5 wins, they have only allowed a total of 31 runs. Another potential big swing weekend is here for the Mets: first game against Alford's surging Iron Pigs, second game against Conn in the GAME OF THE WEEK. Here's Mr. Lawrence's Q&A with Mr. Shaw.


1.  How many years have you been a participant in this league?  How many as a player?  How many as a captain?  How many championships have you won in that time span? 

Shaw: I have been apart of the league since the early 90s when I was a bat boy on teams my dad played on and then when he became a manager as well. I started playing in the league in the Spring of 2012 and became a captain in the fall of 2014 and have managed the last 2 spring sessions. The only championship I have been apart of was as a bat boy on Dennis Shaw's 1995 White Sox.



2.  The Mets got off to a bit of a slow start but have appeared to have found something righting the ship to go 5-2 over the last 7.  What's been the difference in the first 7 games versus the last 7 games?

Shaw: We had lost several really close games and I swapped several defensive positions around and the team has responded.


3.  The Mets are 3rd in the league in scoring, 1st in the league in Home Runs, 2nd in the league in team Batting Average and second in the league in Team Slugging percentage.  There is no question, the offensive firepower is there.  Being as it is you're 5-2 over the last 7, have the defense and pitching woes worked themselves out from the first 7 games?

Shaw: I sure as hell hope so! Rick Halperin has been excellent since taking over as Pitcher. The biggest key to winning in this league is not walking people and/or not giving extra outs. The new defensive alignment has been very good and it also helps that Ortega has made some incredible plays at short stop. 


4.  What has been your biggest disappointment through 14 games?

Shaw: Getting walked off 3 times especially in extra innings after making incredible comebacks. An incredible amount of walks and errors led to the other losses. 


5.  What has been your biggest challenge?

Shaw: I think every captain will agree that its finding subs. This week especially with 5 guys missing is punishing. Also its very tough to lose close games and remain positive but the team has not wavered and we have gotten off the matt from 3-6 to now 7-7. 


6.  What has been your biggest surprise?

Shaw: Tim Meyer. I had subbed for Rick Leon's team in Frisco a handful of times and I had seen Tim play prior to him joining the league but never knew he was the hitting machine he has been this season.


7.  If you were going to compare Brian Ortega to any major leaguer right now, who would it be and why?

Shaw: Carlos Correa. The total package of speed/power/defensive ability.


8.  The Tigers can be a fiesty bunch led by the hot hitting of Alexander and Rakofsky.  They can also play some defense boasting a plus 50 run differential this year.  What is your plan of attack this weekend against them?

Shaw: Need to get to Paul Rakofsky early because when gets going he is one of the few pitchers that gets really high arc and can be tough to hit. It will be tough with 4 subs this week but as long as we dont give them any extra outs we should be fine.



9.  Vegas has set this line at the Tigers minus 2.  Let's say you're a betting man and had a free $1000, where would your money go on this game.  Final score?

Shaw: I will take my team vs anyone so taking the runs is a no brainer with the Mets +2. Final Score Mets 12 Tigers 8


David Shaw's team is riding high recently, and he expects that momentum to carry them through the GAME OF THE WEEK. I can't blame him, I was surprised to see their team start so slowly. But they seem to have righted the ship. But will it be enough to take down the high flying Tigers?









Spring 2016 - Week 7

11:30ish A.M. on Field 1

Schnitzer's Cubs @ Williams's Mariners


I know the Mariners have been in half of the GAME OF THE WEEKs. Trust me. I mentioned it to Wayne and he gave it the thumbs up. So here we are again.


This GAME OF THE WEEK features two of the league's top 5 records.


The Cubs are hotter than Brumley right now. Seven consecutive victories is an impressive streak for any team, except for maybe the Golden State Warriors. It almost seems expected of them. But I digress… the Cubs sit alone in second place with an 8-3 record coming into the second triple header of the year. Their scheduled opponents for this coming Sunday are Roth's Indians (5-6), Apligian's Rays (6-5), and Williams's Mariners (7-4) in the GAME OF THE WEEK. The 3 teams that beat the Cubs are Hauf's Astros (4-7), Miller's Dodgers (6-5), and Weinfeld's Pirates (10-1). But the Cubs have destroyed their fair share of Leonardo DiCaprios along the way. To gain some possible insight into the North Side's success, here's Q&A aficionado Scott Lawrence with Larry Schnitzer.


Q: How many years have you been a participant in this league?  How many as a player?  How many as a captain?  How many championships have you won over that time span.

Schnitzer: I have played in the league since 1991.  I have been a captain since 2007 and took one year off (2015).  I have won one Fall Championship as a Captain.  As a player, I have played on two Spring Championship (Goldstein, H. Weinstein) teams and three Fall Championship teams (Schnitzer, Garber, Hurst).


Q: You sit alone in second place over the first 11 games, looking up only to the Pirates.  What do you attribute your torrid start to?

Schnitzer: This year’s Cubs squad has very good team chemistry.  We have players who are all “team guys” and are willing to help the team in whatever role asked of them.  We play hard all game long and even under adversity, we do not quit.  Our rookies Shulman, Kazda and the younger better-looking Davis all have been major contributors.  Veterans Greeley and the elder Davis along with Buhrow, Berg, Dlott, Slack, Zimmerman and Valenti all have played as advertised!


Q: You are riding high with a 7 game winning streak and during that streak have beat the likes of the Storm Chasers, Rangers and Tigers who are all close behind you.  Is it feasible for you to win the remainder of your games putting you at a 22 game winning streak?

Schnitzer: Feasible, yes.   Realistic? Only time will tell!


Q: You have a difficult task at hand this week in the game of the week facing the Mighty Mariners led by Captain Kid Williams and his young scrappy bunch.  Field 1 can be a daunting task when facing a young athletic team who can cover a lot of ground.  How do you feel you match up against the Mariners?

Schnitzer: I like to think that our outfield is young and athletic and can cover a lot of ground!  If the Cubbies play our game, we match up well with anyone in the league.  We have been very good at closing out close games this season and expect to do the same against the Mariners.


Q: Who has a higher probability of winning a championship this year, the Chicago Cubs or the Schnitzer's Cubs?

Schnitzer: Since I believe we can beat the Chicago Cubs, I would have go with Schnitzer’s Cubs on this one.


Q: Captain Kid Williams is the youngest captain in the league.  What are your thoughts on his science project he did for the Science Fair this year?

Schnitzer: I think his potato root grown in the mayonnaise jar was both on point and at grade level for his 2016 project.


Q: Is David Buhrow really a 136th cousin of Jesus?   Is that why his nickname is Baby J?

Schnitzer: As a Jewish player in the league, I can’t really trace his lineage back to Jesus.


Q: You have a mostly veteran team with an average age I'm guessing in the upper 30's, playing the third leg of a triple header against possibly the youngest team in the league, are you worried about having enough gas in the tank Sunday by game 3?

Schnitzer: I think triple-headers at any age are a challenge.  In preparation for this week’s daunting task against a younger squad, we are having a team dinner at 5 PM at Luby’s so we can get the senior discounted rate and the team has an 8:00 PM curfew.


Q: Vegas lines have you all a 1.5 run favorite although you're the visitors.  What do you see as the final score in this game and who comes out on top?

Schnitzer: Who can argue with Vegas?  The final score will be 14.5 Cubs, Mariners 13………….


The Mariners are no strangers to the GAME OF THE WEEK. They have seen the highs and the lows. After a 2-0 start in week 1, the Mariners are 5-4 in their last 9 games with a loss in each week. With a 7-4 record, the Mariners are in a tie for third place with Silverman's Rangers (who own the tiebreaker over the Mariners) and Conn's Tigers (have not played the Mariners yet). These navy blue wearing softballers have shown heart and grit in the past weeks, proving that they can compete with some of the top competition. This coming Sunday, the Mariners will play Lewin's White Sox (5-6), Garber's Blue Jays (4-7), and Schnitzer's Cubs (8-3). Even though you probably got your fix on a Mariners Q&A last week, here's another one conducted by Scott Lawrence with Andrew Williams.


Q: Since this is now your third rodeo with the game of the week and the second in as many weeks, do you feel the league looks at the Mariners as the marquee team that everyone should be paying attention to as a form of foreshadowing or is it the league is trying to market one of the, if not THE marquee player in the league in your left centerfielder?

Williams: I guess it boils down to luck of the draw or something like that. Are we the marquee team? That's not for me to decide. I feel like we play a competitive brand of softball that can be exciting to watch. Our GotW against the Pirates was tied heading into the seventh inning (told ya not to take the Mariners minus 3.5 runs by the way). Am I the marquee player? Each game we take the field as a team to earn that W.


Q: Some compare your left centerfielder to Mike Trout.  Hits for power, hits for average, can run, defensively, balls that go out there generally don't land safely and for gosh sake's don't run on that arm.  Is the Mike Trout a fair comparison?  If not, who is?  Don't give me this line of "it's not my place to judge" BS either.

Williams: It's flattering to see my name in the same sentence as Trout. I understand the comparison. I'm younger than most and have been playing better than most, and I don't think it's arrogant to understand my position in the draft and in the league. I also know that every game is unique, and I have to bring it every time I step out on that field. But if I was Mike Trout, I wouldn't be playing softball.


Q: Your team comes in seesawing in your last 7 with a 4-3 record over those 7 games.  You have three games this week against the White Sox, Jays and Cubbies.  One could certainly see where your squad may be 2-0 headed into the game of the week.  Game three could be a real momentum swing for the M's, what's the message you will give your team prior to game 3?

Williams: What I say is going to depend on how we play in the first two games of the day. We do get an hour off before the GotW, so I will have a lot of time to fill with words. The message will probably be something along the lines of, "Just play our game. Strong defense and timely hitting." We have a good team. I don't think a big message is necessary.


Q: After a much hyped GoTW last week against the streaking Pirates, you now have the Cubbies that will come into the weekend riding a 7 game streak themselves.  Do you see yourselves as decided underdogs?

Williams: Everyone who plays the Cubs is an underdog right now. They're on a 7 game winning streak and we are 4-3 in our last 7. So yeah, I see them as the bigger fish in the pond.


Q: Who would win a dunking contest between Larry Schnitzer and Zac Aron if the goal was set at 6 feet high?

Williams: Zac Aron


Q: Will you have a full squad this week or back into the sub pool for some help?

Williams: It's early, so it's hard to tell right now. I haven't heard from anyone saying they can't play, but we have yet to play with a full squad yet. I assume we'll be missing someone somewhere.


Q: Give me your full, honest evaluation on the Cubbies.  I won't tell anyone you said they're really really old.  I'll just keep that between the two of us.  Outside of them being old, really old, now tell me what you think about them in a very NON PC answer.  It's just us you can feel free to really tell me how you feel.

Williams: I haven't seen them play, so I don't have an evaluation. I was surprised when Schnitzer drafted pitchers back-to-back in the second and third rounds, but it seems to be working out quite well for them.


Q: Who has a better chance of winning a championship this year, the Chicago Cubs or the Scnitzer's Cubs?  Who has a better chance of winning a championship this year, the Seattle Mariners or the Captain Kid Williams Mariners?

Williams: Only 19 teams in the Shalom League, so better odds for the Sunday squads. The Cubs look untouchable right now, so I'll give them the edge.


Q: In less than one word, give me your thoughts on Sean Greeley.

Williams: Incredibl. <You did say "less than one word".>


Can I sum up this article in less than one word? Perfec.











Spring 2016 - Week 6

11:00ish A.M. on Field 1

Weinfeld's Pirates @ Williams's Mariners


By first pitch Sunday it will have been almost 21 full days since the last Shalom games took place.


The Pirates boast 8 wins to only 1 loss thus far. They have the best record in the league by two full games, and they have allowed the fewest runs of any team (67). The Pirates have too many wins to mention, but their only loss comes to Apligian's Rays (5-3). A confident Pirates bunch will play Unell's Angels (4-5) on Field 1 before staying put to visit Williams's Mariners (6-3) in the GAME OF THE WEEK. Here's a Q&A between Scott Lawrence (picking up the slack for me) and Skipper Bob.


Q: How long have you been in the league: how many years as a player, how many years as a captain?  How many Championships have you won over the years?

Weinfeld: I've been in the league 42 years. 42 as a coach and 20 as player.


Q: 8-1 record, fewest runs allowed in the league. What is your reaction to the Pirates' hot start?

Weinfeld: I'm very excited about the Pirates start. I can hardly sleep. always looking forward to the next week of games. The guys are a pleasure to coach.


Q: In the only loss of the year, you surrendered 16 runs. In the 8 wins only 51 runs allowed, just over 6 runs per game. How good is this Pirates Defense?

Weinfeld: well, we pride ourselves on pitching and defense. we have had guys make unbelievable plays and Mark Fishkind has found his groove on the mound. we look at the sabermetrics of the opposing teams and learn the hitters tendencies. also, the shifting has been a big plus for us. watching videos, advance scouting all comes into play.


Q: Both games on Field 1 this week. Do you think the wind blowing out helps or hurts your team?

Weinfeld: well, it probably hurts. we don't have the sluggers like the Mariners and our bloop singles may carry to the outfielders. we really are hoping for a blue norther to come in Sunday morning and change the wind direction. A little rain might also help.


Q: What kind of game do you expect from Williams's Mariners in the Game of the Week?

Weinfeld: the Mariners are tough. Andrew and Cade could have a home run derby against us. those guys are awesome. great for the league. I would love to have an Andrew Williams play on the Pirates. Such are great young talent. and his mother keeps a great score book. <--- she really does though…


Q: Is it a fair comparison when people say Andy Goodman, your 5-tool outfielder, is comparable to Mickey Mantle?

Weinfeld: well, Andy isn't the switch hitter the Mick was, but he has been a productive lead off hitter. great range in the outfield. He is having his gall bladder removed Tuesday. We are hooping for a quick full recovery or he will be greatly missed.


Q: You seemingly have a fan advantage in every game you play.  Have you put an advertisement up at the JCC for people to come cheer you on?  Have you had to pay them for their patronage?  Talk about your fans.

Weinfeld: Our fans have been awesome. it kind of reminds me of the WE ARE FAMILY 79 PIRATES. the support we have been getting in the community has elevated our play. We have parents, wives, children and dogs coming out to watch us, which brings back memories of the way the LEAGUE had been in the past. We welcome other teams to follow suit and bring out their own spectators. You know the 1979 PIRATES did win the World Series. May be it's the yellow jerseys. But for what ever reason, we do feel like a family.


Q: If your Pirates win the championship this year, will this be your Peyton Manning/John Elway swan song riding off with a championship or can we expect that you will be back next year to give it another go at a championship ring?

Weinfeld: LOL. well, I have won 6 championships, this year would make 7. I don't think I would want to stop. 8,9, or 10, to kind of quote LeBron. Let's keep them coming.


Q: Since you are going up against the youngest Captain in the league this weekend, when you hand him your line up before the game, will you jokingly hand him a pack of Huggies diapers and tell him, "here, you're going to need these"?

Weinfeld: No, I would never do that to Andrew. I have so much respect for him. He is a great player and a wonderful ambassador for our league.


Q: Does it frighten you when Michael Barth grunts every time he connects with a ball?  Will you provide earplugs for your team to use defensively when his time in the order comes up so it does not frighten them into making an error when he connect bat to ball?

Weinfeld: no, it doesn't frighten us. Michael Sharapova Barth's grunts are kind of funny. All that for a ground ball to 2nd base. may be he is trying to evoke women's tennis on us. But he is one good pitcher. In fact, I think Nolan Ryan used to grunt when he let a fastball go. May be he should try grunting when he pitches. I believe the mask is more intimidating.


The Pirates expect a hot-hitting Mariners squad on Field 1. But with a suffocating defense like they have, I'm not sure they have to be too worried… as long as they can keep the ball in the park.


The Mariners sit at 6-3 along with 4 other teams. They lost by a combined 6 runs in their three losses. The Mariners currently claim the biggest run differential in the league, and they have given up the second fewest runs allowed (second only to their GAME OF THE WEEK opponent). This Sunday the Mariners play against the Pirates (8-1) and the Rays (5-3). Two tough games on the schedule. Let's check in with the Mariners captain with another Q&A conducted by Scott Lawrence.


Q: How long have you, the Captain, been in the league? Were you fully potty trained when you participated in your first game?

Williams: I joined the league in the Fall of 2011. As for whether or not I was fully potty trained at the time, I guess you'd have to ask my mom. I'm sure she would know.


Q: What has been your biggest surprise this year? What has been your biggest challenge?

Williams: What has most surprised me is that we have had a chance to win every single game we have played so far. You know how softball goes. Sometimes, other teams are just finding every hole and there isn't a thing you can do to stop it. But we fight, and if we can keep it close enough we have a chance to take it at the end.

My biggest challenge to this point has been finding subs. I haven't crunched the numbers, but I think we lead the league in games missed (total from all players on the team). It has been a strong start to a rocky season for us, and I think that our record reflects the resilience of everyone on this team.


Q: This game of the week pits the youngest captain versus the most senior captain in the league. This is a bit reminiscent of A.J. Hinch going up against Terry Collins. Who has the managerial advantage in this match up?

Williams: Without a doubt, Mr. Bob Weinfeld Sir (as he requested I call him) has the managerial advantage. I just hope I don't get coached straight off the field.


Q: Some compare the Pirates success to that of Leicester City in the EPL, a team out of no where that no one expected much of and now they are atop the standings with only one loss having given up the fewest runs in the league. Is this an early season aberration for the Pirates in your opinion or will the other 18 teams be chasing the men in gold through the summer?

Williams: I don't think there is a comparison to Leicester City anywhere in sports. The Pirates may have been picked to be cellar dwellers, but they've gone out and earned the league's best record and a 2-game lead. 9 games is too large a sample size for their success to be considered an aberration. I think the Pirates are atop the standings for a reason, and I hope we bring our A game. If not, we'll be sent packing.


Q: In every game the Men in Gold have played this year, they have had the distinct fan advantage as their games have been standing room only. Pundits say the fan advantage accounts for at least a 4 run differential. How to you attempt to combat this as the skipper?

Williams: Well, I guess we'll have to win by 5.


Q: Do you think Skipper Weinfeld will have a hard time getting up for this game or do you think he's had you and the Mariners circled on his calendar?

Williams: I'm not sure if Weinfeld is worried about us specifically, or anyone else for that matter. But this is a GotW, so he'll be ready to go and so will we.


Q: How do you plan on stopping the 5-tool outfielder, Andy Goodman?

Is there any stopping him? If there is, I wouldn't know. Skipper Mr. Bob Weinfeld Sir probably knows, but as we discussed earlier he had the managerial advantage.


Q: This will be the maiden voyage for both the Pirates and Mariners on Field 1, who has the advantage with the seemingly larger field playing on the launching pad of Field 1?

Williams: The wind blowing out helps everyone offensively. Equal advantage given to both teams. People may be inclined to hit more fly balls and use the wind to their advantage, so look for outfield defense to be a game changer.


Q: Any advice for the gamblers in the league that want to put money on this game? The latest line seems to have the Mariners favored by 3.5 runs probably due to being the home team. If you were to go all Pete Rose and place a bet on a game you were playing/coaching in and you had an extra $1000 laying around to do so, would you take Mariners minus 3.5?

Williams: I am not a betting man myself. If you're asking me if I think we're going to win by at least 3.5 runs, I would say no. If we do pull out a win, I expect it to be a thriller right to the end. Maybe we will use being home team to our advantage in the seventh.


Q: Through 9 games this year, have you as the captain heard/seen Michael Barth swing, hit a ball with medium exit speed velocity, forget to grunt only to hear him grunt 3 steps out of the box?

Williams: Lachman would have the Statcast numbers, although Barth didn't play when we faced the Royals. The grunt isn't something one forgets to do. The intimidation effect it has on the fielder: "How fast is this ball really going?" is invaluable.


I expect a close, hard fought game between these two defensive squads.






Spring 2016 - Week 5


Silverman's Rangers @ Roth's Indians


Last week we got rained out, which leads us into the first triple-header of the 2016 season! Hold your applause. We will do what we can to make up week 4's GAME OF THE WEEK matchup between Apligian and Alford (the true battle for alphabetic supremacy) at a later date. But for this week, we have an explosive matchup between the Rangers and Indians.


The Rangers come into Week 5 (or Week 4, or whatever week it is) with a 4-2 record. They have looked very impressive thus far. Their 84 runs scored is tops in the league and helps them to an impressive +24 run differential. Silverman successfully slithered his way through the draft to grab what certainly seems to stack up as a scary squad. Their wins are over the Mets (2-4), the Dodgers (3-3), the Royals (3-3), and the Astros (3-3). Their losses are to the Pirates (5-1) and the Yankees (2-4). This Shalom league season looks to be the most competitively balanced yet, and these Rangers seem to be ahead of the curve. Here's a quick Q&A with the Skipper.


Q: How long have you been in the league, and how many of those years have been as a captain?

Silverman: Started in 1975-41 years-either Commish or Captain all but 6 years-let's say 32 as Captain not including Fall


Q: 4-2 start, tied for second. What's your reaction to the Rangers' strong start?

Silverman: Not surprised but concerned about inconsistent play so far-in games we lost, we were terrible....I expect a strong season with more consistency


Q: How hot is Brumley?

Silverman: Like a Witches Titty in a hot caldron


Q: You chose to have the first overall pick, and then you traded it. What were the details of that trade?

Silverman: Goodness-wanted more depth in early rounds and willing to give up some talent for that-Got my guy at 11 after it was all done and got an extra 2nd rounder for my 4-Shaw took my pick at #8 and was able to trade him my 1 (Brian Ortega) for his 8 and move up in two other rounds-very convoluted but happy with results


Q: Cubs, Mariners, and Indians on the schedule for this week. How does your team stack up against the competition?

Silverman: All good squads-we will have to play our best to come out on top-if we play well, I like our chances in all 3-hopefully we will not see Mr Jekyll this week


Q: What kind of game are you expecting from the Indians in the GotW?

Silverman: They have a great Pitcher a strong offense-they are athletic-we will have to out score them on a very offensive field


Q: Will you have any subs this Sunday?

Silverman: Nope-not definite yet


Silverman's squad will be ready to go come first pitch. I have not yet seen them play in person, but I have heard nothing but positive things about this bunch. I suspect we will not see "Mr Jekyll" this week, Schlock.


Roth's Indians have acquired a 3-3 record in the most .500 of fashions. Each weekend they have split. But a +10 run differential and a difficult strength of schedule suggest that maybe we don't know the whole story. The Indians' wins have been tallied over the Tigers (4-2), the Astros (3-3), and the Blue Jays (4-2). The Indians' losses have been to the Royals (3-3), the Pirates (5-1), and the Dodgers (3-3). As you can see, every opponent of the Indians so far this season has a .500 record or better. And they have gone neck and neck with some of the best competition in the league. With that said, their schedule doesn't get any easier this week. Here's a short Q&A with the Captain.


Q: How long have you been in the league, and how many of those years have been as captain?

Roth: I have been in this league as a player for 12 years. This is my 5th season as a captain. I remember watching the league and my dad play when I was a young kid. I remember my dad playing and my brother and I coming out every Sunday to support him and heckle other players. It was a lot of fun when I was 7 years old.


Q: 3-3 record thus far with a +10 run differential; what's your reaction to the Indians' start?

Roth: Our record does not reflect the way our team has played. 2 of our 3 losses have been in the last innings in either walkoffs or the tribe just coming up short. Only 1 loss (against John Miller) did we really get beat. The way I look at it is we have been very competitive this season and the league hasn't seen what the Indians are capable of yet. Watch out.


Q: 3 tough games this Sunday. Defending champs (Iron Pigs) at 8, only team to beat the Pirates (Rays) around 10:20, and Silverman in the game of the week around 11:30. How do you think your team stacks up against the competition?

Roth: This league is stacked from top to bottom so anytime we play the defending champs we will bring our "A" game. The Rays will also be a tough matchup as well but I have a ton of confidence in my ace John Banta and our defense as well as very timely hitting.  As far as the game of the week goes it's always fun to shine in the spotlight and it makes it even better that we get to compete against a high caliber team like Silverman's Rangers as his professional record in this league is insane and definitely something that I strive toward as a captain. One day I'll get there. Till then I'm just happy to show what we can do against 3 very good teams.


Q: This is really for my own personal enrichment, but what is the balance like between coordinating/approving subs for other teams and trying to possibly find your own?

Roth: Finding subs for your own team is definitely something that causes much stress on a weekly basis. Add 18 other teams in the mix and my entire week most weeks is filled with helping my fellow captains with any questions or actually finding someone for them. It's a fun balance that keeps me updated on what's happening throughout the league in a weekly basis.


Q; No Daniel this year. How has that affected the chemistry of the Roth/Swank clan?

Roth: This is the first year that since my brother joined the league he has not played. Every week playing with my dad and brother made it very special not only for me but also my brother, dad, mother and entire Roth family. Jay is like a brother to me so at least having one brother out there is still very special.


Q: Will you have any subs this weekend?

Roth: I am gonna hold off on answering this question as to not give anything away to my fellow captains! Maybe I'll have a sub or 2, maybe I won't.


Q: Finally, what kind of game are you expecting from the Rangers in the GotW?

Roth: I'm expecting one of the hardest games of the season against the Rangers. Not only is it game of the week, but it's a Larry Silverman squad that is always prepared and is always stacked from top to bottom. It's going to be a ton of fun under the bright lights. Really looking forward to it.


Roth has drafted a fantastic squad highlighted by the MBB's (my buddy Brandon/Banta). Usually, nothing in this life is guaranteed, but I just found something that is. After 3 weeks of splits, I will guarantee you the Indians will not split and be .500 after this weekend.


Actually, not a single one of the 7 teams currently sitting at 3-3 will be .500 after this weekend. This Sunday will set the foundation for the rest of the season for a lot of teams. Some teams may make a move, others may take a step back, but the triple-header guarantees us to see a lot of leader board movement. Enjoy your week, everyone! I'll see you at the GAME OF THE WEEK!



                 Image result for storm chasers logo               




Kyle Casper's Red Sox @ Tyler Samsel's Storm Chasers

Field 1 - 11:00ish a.m.


Casper's Red Sox come in to week three with a 2-2 record. After being swept in the first week by Garber's Blue Jays (3-1) and Williams's Mariners (3-1), they bounced back to sweep the second week with wins over Goldstein's Nationals (2-2) and Lewin's White Sox (2-2). No Red Sox opponent has had a losing record, and that trend continues in week 3. In their first game in week 3 the Red Sox will play host to Conn's Tigers (3-1) on Field 8 at 10:00ish a.m. They then go to Field 1 for the GAME OF THE WEEK where they will play as visitors to Samsel's Storm Chasers (3-1). The Red Sox roller coaster could continue this week with the continuation of the league's toughest schedule, but Casper has the whole squad coming out for two wins. Here's a quick Q&A with the Red Sox captain.


Q: How long have you been in the league, and how many of those years have been as a captain?

Casper: I've been in the league for 11 years, been a captain for 6.


Q: 2-2 record through 2 weeks. What is your reaction to how your team has started the season?

Casper: While the 2-2 start is relatively disappointing, the team is not. We will be fine this year.


Q: Your team is riddled with rookies all the way through the lineup. Who are they, where do they hit in the order, and where do they play in the field?

Casper: Rookies! We've got 6 of them! Leonardo Cova is our 1st baseman; he's a nice big target and a pleasant surprise in our lineup. Mitch Johnson is our 3rd baseman; he is a solid fielder and hits the ball hard. Andy Mabry is our SS; he has been excellent and taken part of many double plays already, and he can hit the ball anywhere. Danny Banaszek is in LCF; he basically glides to the ball and is a dangerous hitter. Rohit Gulhati is in RCF; he's quick, leads off, and gets on base. Last but not least, Matt Casey is in RF; he shows no regard for his personal safety when it comes to diving/sliding/rolling for the ball in the outfield, but has had some bad luck at the plate so far. He'll come online soon enough.


Q: What kind of game do you expect against the Storm Chasers?

Casper: I expect, based on it being field 1 and the direction of the wind, for our game with the Storm Chasers to be a shootout. I think both of our teams are very strong defensively, but when you're hitting the ball over the fence, that matters a lot less.


Q:Will you have any subs this weekend?

Casper: No subs, all 12 of us will be there on Sunday.


It would seem that Casper predicts a home run derby of sorts for this matchup. Having played against them in week 1, I can vouch for his team's power at the plate. I think Casper has a very capable squad that will win more than its fair share of games this season. With that being said, the Red Sox have two very tough games scheduled this week. Playoff seeding could already be on the line in week 3!


Samsel's Storm Chasers lost their first game of the year to Farin's Yankees (1-3), but since have run off three consecutive victories over Lachman's Royals (1-3), Shaw's Mets (2-2), and Miller's Dodgers (1-3) respectively. And they've looked good doing it. With an impressive +25 run differential, the most recent Power Poll places the Storm Chasers in a tie for second best in the league, only behind the unstoppable force of the Pirates. Speaking of the Pirates, Weinfeld's Pirates will host the Storm Chasers on Field 8 at 9:00ish a.m. Then the Storm Chasers will have their second consecutive split schedule and wait an hour before hosting Casper's Red Sox for the GAME OF THE WEEK. This could be considered a real "measuring stick" type of week for Samsel's squad. Here's a quick Q&A with the top Storm Chaser.


Q: How long have you been in the league, and how many of those years have been as a captain?

Samsel: This is my third year in the league, my first as a captain.


Q: Split the first week, sweep the second week… you sit at 3-1, and the Power Poll has you tied for second best. What's your reaction to the Storm Chasers' good start?

Samsel: It's encouraging and optimistic. I feel as if we have a really solid team who doesn't rely on the same people to come through. Each game someone different steps up and gets the big hit. There is a new hero every game. 


Q: For those who may not know: what happened to George Cowart, and what is the plan moving forward?

Samsel: George needed immediate knee surgery and will miss the 2016 season. Allan Chernov is going to replace George permanently as the newest member of the team.


Q: This will be your second split schedule in as many weeks. Last week, your team played well after the break. What's the approach to the split?

Samsel: The goal is to play hard the first game. But during the break the key is to relax and not over think having a split. It does help the team bond with conversation, and it helps me scout the opposing team we are about to play.


Q: So in your mind, has your team benefited from the unlucky schedule?

Samsel: So far yes because we won both games. But it may have to do with having a good mindset, not thinking about it too much, and just playing ball when the clock starts.


Q: What kind of game are you expecting against the Red Sox?

Samsel: I'm expecting them to put up some runs with the power they have in the middle of that lineup. We are going to have to be on our toes defensively. Also, they have a fantastic defense up the middle that we may have to try and work around.


Q: Will you have any subs this Sunday?

Samsel: No subs as of now, [Thursday].


Both captains expect offense to drive this matchup, and with the wind predicted to blow out of the south, who can blame them? I have had the opportunity to see Samsel's squad in action, and in the one game I saw them play they looked like world-beaters. They coupled a suffocating defense with timely hitting all the way through the lineup and power in the middle. As we all know, a team that can flip the lineup is dangerous. I consider week 3 to be the Storm Chasers' biggest test yet.












Spring 2016 - Week 1            


Williams's Mariners @ Casper's Red Sox


The Spring 2016 Temple Shalom Brotherhood Softball season is underway! In a week that began with us preparing to only use 5 fields, then expanding our use to all 9 fields, we caught our first glimpse of what a normal Sunday schedule will look like. One team gets a split, one team sleeps in, and the other seventeen play the standard morning double-header. But this page will focus on the two teams with the special schedules. Here, we focus on the teams that meet in the Game of the Week!


On the first Sunday of the Shalom season, the two teams that met in the Game of the Week (or Premier Game) were Williams's Mariners and Casper's Red Sox. Since we don't yet have much track record to refer to, we will look at draft reaction and preseason predictions for game context.


Let's start with our focus on the Home team. Kyle Casper drafted quite a few rookies this season, including the high-profile first round selection of Danny Banaszek. I think I speak for us all when I say that we are very interested to watch how Banaszek's season progresses. Anyway, the Red Sox got to sleep in on Sunday, playing their first game at 9:45 on Field 7 against Garber's "Big" Blue Jays. The game was a tightly contested affair, ending with a 19-18 Red Sox loss. At the conclusion of this one, they then had to trek all the way across the complex to get to their next game. How would this tough loss affect the Red Sox going into the Game of the Week?


Let's check in on the Visitors. Andrew Williams drafted a squad he is confident in, highlighted by a second-round trade with Brian Conn to acquire best friend Cade McDougald. At this point, Williams can only hope that he did not give up too much for the chance to play with his friend, but only time will tell the story of that trade. To the action: Williams's Mariners began very bright and early on Field 5 against Miller's Dodgers. Both teams were seeing stars (get it?) instead of pitches in this low-scoring game that ended with an 11-0 Mariners victory. The Mariners then had well over an hour to sit and freeze before the chance to play again. Could the time off affect their performance in the Game of the Week?


Casper and Williams exchange lineups and the Red Sox take the field! Richie O'Connor warms up on the mound with Steve Hankin behind the plate. First baseman Mark Rappaport rolls grounders to second baseman Steve "Cuddles" Haas, third baseman rookie Mitch Johnson, and shortstop rookie Andy Mabry. The captain, Kyle Casper patrols left, rookie Danny Banaszek ranges in LCF beside rookie Rohit Gulhati in RCF, and Matt Casey anchors right. Rookie Zac Aron is set to lead off for the Mariners and steps up to the plate.


The first pitch from O'Connor is singled to center by Z. Aron. Andrew Williams then blasts the first pitch he sees out to center for a two run shot, but the game would settle down with a fantastic running catch by Danny Banaszek to rob Cade McDougald of extra bases. After a Jason Naranjo groundout Jeff Radanof, Steve Enda, Michael Barth, and Ralph Iuliano each singled to plate another run. The 3-run top of the first ended with a fielder's choice off the bat of Tony Lowery.


Michael Barth strolled out to his stomping grounds at the mound to toss some warm up pitches to substitute catcher Larry Williams. Jeff Radanof at first base rolled grounders to second baseman Tony Lowery, third baseman rookie Ralph Iuliano, and shortstop Cade McDougald. Left field would be locked down by Zac Aron, LCF is the captain Andrew Williams, in RCF would be Jason Naranjo, and the veteran Steve Enda plays right. Rookie Rohit Gulhati steps into the left-handed batter's box to start the bottom of the first.


Gulhati flies out to right, but Banaszek picks him up with a single to left. After a walk from Andy Mabry, "Cuddles" knocks in Banaszek with a single to right. But with an O'Connor fly out to RCF and a 6-4 fielder's choice from Mitch Johnson, the first inning ends with a 3-1 Mariners lead.


Larry Williams leads off the second inning for the Mariners with a deep drive to left field that is caught by a running Kyle Casper over the shoulder. Zac Aron grounds out to third base. With two outs, Andrew Williams hits a solo-home run to center. Cade works a walk and Naranjo singles to left, but the inning would end with a Radanof pop up to second base. The solo shot from A. Williams makes it a 4-1 Mariners lead going into the bottom of the second inning.


Mark Rappaport shoots one back up the middle that deflects off the glove of pitcher Michael Barth in the direction of shortstop Cade McDougald who stays with the play and records the out at first. Kyle Casper singles to LCF, but Matt Casey and Leonardo Cova both pop out in the infield to end the second inning.


Enda, Barth, Iuliano, and Lowery each single to start the top of the third. With the bases loaded and one run already in, Larry Williams lines the ball back to the pitcher, but O'Connor knocks it down and throws home to force out Barth at the plate. With one out and the bases still loaded, Zac Aron hits a hard grounder to short. Mabry takes it to the bag himself but overthrows first with the prompting of good hustle from Z. Aron. Iuliano scored from third on the play. With runners at the corners and two outs, O'Connor pitches around Andrew Williams who takes the walk to load the bases for Cade McDougald's first pitch grand slam. Naranjo and Radanof try to keep the rally going, but the 6-run inning ends on a high fly-out off the bat of Enda. 10-1 Mariners lead going into the bottom of the third


Steve Hankin leads of the bottom of the frame by popping out to shortstop. David Babmerger hits a comebacker that Barth fields and flips to first for the second out. Gulhati then flies out to LCF to end the inning.


Barth leads off the top of the fourth with a single to left field. Iuliano doubles over Gulhati’s head in RCF. Lowery doubles down the left field line to drive in both baserunners. L. Williams flies out high and deep to LCF. Z. Aron grounds out to Mabry at shortstop. With two outs, A. Williams hits a 2-run homer to left-centerfield followed by a solo shot from Cade McDougal. Naranjo doubles into the LCF gap to set up a Radanof homer off the top of the fence in right field. Enda works a walk and Barth, Iuliano, and Lowery each get their second hit of the inning and drive in two. The 9-run inning endswith a L. Williams fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop. 19-1 Mariners lead after the top of the fourth.


Banaszek leads off the bottom of the fourth for the Red Sox with an impressive solo home run to left field. Mabry follows him with a single to RCF and scores immediately on Haas’s 2-run homer to left. O’Connor keeps the rally going with an infield single, but the Mariners record their first out of the inning when Johnson pops out to shortstop. Rappaport singles to RCF, but back to back fly outs to LCF from Casper and Casey end the 3-run fourth. 19-4 Mariners lead after 4 innings.


Z. Aron leads off the fifth with a pop out to second base, but A. Williams picks him up with a solo home run to LCF. Cade starts the rally up again with a double to RCF. Naranjo, Radanof, and Enda each single and drive in two runs combined. Barth draws a walk before Iuliano pops out to first and Lowery flies out to right field to end the inning. 22-4 Mariners lead going into the bottom of the fifth.


Leonardo Cova leads off the bottom of the fifth with a solo home run to left-center! The ball just never came down! Hankin lines out to third base before Bamberger paints the left field line for a single. Gulhati singles to right to put two men on base, but Banaszek and Mabry both fly out to end the game.


Final score: 22-5. 5th inning 15-run rule in effect.


Just for my own personal enrichment, teams with a split schedule start off the year 1-0! Good luck to Samsel’s Storm Chasers in Week 2, as they have drawn the short straw.


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