Friday, September 10, 2010

The Jose Canseco award for Best Body

This was a tough one. There were a lot of hard bodies running around the diamond this year, and after much deliberation we've been able to pick the top four and this year's winner.

4th Place--Justin Pugliese

Adhering to a strict diet of animal fries, Red Man chaw, and Riptide Rush, it's no wonder why this 97 pound McHenry native is probably the most cut athlete in the league. He has somehow managed to not change in any way physically since his twelfth birthday party. And for that, Justin, we say congrats on winning this award!

Bronze--Drew Gripentrog

The league leader in GTL-ing, Drew has always been naturally ripped. Unfortunately his remarkable physique doesn't convert into bat-speed or hand eye coordination (Drew: "I hit better than YOU!!"). He is so unfamiliar with the gym he calls it James! (Drew: You stole that from Shaquille O'Neal!) So bat another eyelash Drew, your looks have done it for you again. Congrats on winning this prestigious award.

Silver--Lawson Dees

This silver medal decision was all about exposure. In this case, Lawson's body's exposure to the sun, and to the hungry eyes of the fans in the stands. The Bronze medal may have been more appropriate for this brazilian complexioned outfielder, but second place is what he deserves. Well done, Lawson.

Gold--Eric Rife

Eric's the one in the khakis.

Eric is a combination of all of the best attributes of the three prior athletes mentioned. Probably the only player in the league except Poon who can bench press his batting average, and squat his OPS. Keep it up Eric, and congrats on taking home the gold!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Tonights award is for the biggest surprise of the season. There are four players who were up for the award. Coming in 4th place:
Ben Dees- Although Ben was not able to be here on a consistent basis, he made his presence felt when he was able to come. With only 34 at bats, Ben was able to hit three homeruns in critical parts of the series. Ben is always consistent on the mound, but you just never knew what you were going to get from him in the box. This year Ben was very consistent in the batters box, and showed surprising power. Biggest strength: Timely hitting. Ben seemed to also pick the perfect time to hit a bomb over the monster in left. He only hit 3 of them, but all three were in huge situations when his team needed a big hit. Ben also played SS for a series and did not commit an error and also made the hard play look routine. Weakness: Not enough trips to Tamarack Circle. Because of where Ben lives, he is not able to be here as much as we all would like. Even though he was not here very much, Ben still was able to come in 4th place for this award.

3rd place: Justin Daniel Pugliese- Justin has never been a huge threat when he is in the batters box, but for a couple of series in the middle of the season he really came alive batting over .350 for 2 or 3 series. Justin was the emotional leader of whichever team he played on. When he played for Team Pony for a brief stint, he quickly took over as the vocal leader of the team. Biggest strength: Getting in the head of the opposing team. What he lacks in ability at the plate, he makes up for in chatter at the other team. Justin does a great job at getting under the skin of the other team. He was also a very pleasant surprise when he played SS for a double-header one saturday afternoon. He ate balls up like a vacuum and always seemed to be in the right position. Weakness: Has the ability to go long stretches without a hit. If Poon wants to compete for the major hitting categories, he is going to have to pick it up in the batters box.

2nd place: Justin Idstein- What a great surprise Id has been for the league. He was not even on the draft radar when we decided teams in early May. Once Justin stepped on the field, he was an instant success. He hit .427 with 110 plate appearances which puts him in 3rd place for the whole league in BA. Justin also is a great centerfielder. He leads the league in web gems and never let any ball drop around him. Biggest strength: Multi-tooled player. Great hitter and great in the field. Idstein doesn't have a hole in his game. He had 32 singles which made him a great lead-off man for either team. Weakness: Not enough HR's. He always hits the ball square, but for some reason he just doesn't get under it enough to lift the ball out of the park. Justin was a great surprise for the league and we look forward to having him around for years to come.

1st place: William Rinn IV-Where did this kid come from? Billy has been a member of the league since we first put the bases in the ground, but this year he really caught fire and was a huge player for Team Under Armour. Billy was an everyday player playing in almost 45 games. He also hit .397 with 11 HR's and 32 RBI. In his previous 4 years he didn't hit 11 HR's, so this year was definitely a breakout year for Billy. He was also a magician on the mound. He does a great job of keeping hitters off balance, which was why he was a finalist for the Cy Young. Biggest strength: This year it was POWER! Billy surprised everyone by hitting many towering shots over the green monster. In years past, Billy was a slap hitter that would occasionally hit a ball in the gap, but this year he crushed the ball to all fields. Weakness: Sometimes he would revert back to his old ways and try to spray the ball. Billy needs to use his new found power and quit trying to go back to a couple of years ago. Billy was a huge surprise for Team Under Armour this year and has been a staple of the league from the beginning. Good work Billy.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Newcomer of the Year

This was a very tough decision because there are many deserving candidates. Coming in 4th place:
Skyler Ence- Skyler was here for one weekend, but he really left his mark. He batted .515 with 7 HR's and 13 RBI. It is too bad that he was not here for longer because he would have contended for many awards. Skyler also made his presence felt in the outfield on defense by robbing many hits and throwing out runners at bases. Biggest strength: His bat. He had a lot of pop and was able to hit the ball in the gaps and over the fence. Weakness: Doesn't have enough at bats with only 33, it is tough to gage what he would have done over a full season, for this reason he finishes in 4th place.
3rd Place- Elizabeth Stuart Pugmire Thompson. What a surprise she was! Coming from the same high school where high school musical was filmed, there was not much expected from this girl. However, Liz batted .263 with 3 RBI and 38 Plate appearances. Liz had one game winning hit and was a force to be reckoned with. Biggest strength: Hitting. Liz did a great job all year of hitting the ball to all parts of the field. One time, Poon was talking trash to her in the outfield and she laced one over his head for a double. Weakness: Attitude and defense. She was not the best at judging a fly ball and also did not demonstrate the best arm for team Under Armour. She also complained about batting down in the lineup and could have been better in the clubhouse.
2nd Place- Brad Schuster. Brad has been a great addition to the league. Brad batted .350 with 20 RBI and 7 HR's. He was an everyday player for team Under Armour and a great teammate. Brad was a late addition to the roster, but once he came on the scene he was an instant staple for the team. Biggest strength: Versatility. Brad was the best court player and one of the best centerfielders. He could also bat anywhere in the lineup for UA and his power numbers really went up towards the end of the season. He was always very aggressive on the base paths earning him 5 stolen bases. Weakness: Late start. This really isn't his fault, but Brad was introduced to TBB about halfway through the season so his numbers are down a little bit. If he would have been here from the beginning, he would have had higher numbers. He had many 1st place votes for the award, but fell just short of the winner.
1st Place- Mike Obermeier. It is hard to find something wrong with Mike. He is one of the best outfielders and also the only power hitter consistently for team Pony. Mike had a brief stint with the league before we kept stats back in 2006, but this is his first full season. Strength: Where do I begin? A great outfielder. Mike has robbed numerous hits off the bats of team UA. Hitting, Mike hit .411 with 5 HR's and 20 RBI. He seems to always square the ball up at the plate. Even when he gets out, he hits the ball hard. His batting average moved him ahead of Schuster and that is why he is the 2010 Newcomer of the year.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cy Young

The first award handed out for the 2010 backyard baseball season is the Cy Young. There were three finalists for this years award, and all three of them are very deserving. Coming in 3rd place is:
Layne Thompson (Papi)- Improved a lot from last season, Papi was much better at holding runners and keeping hitters off balance. Biggest strength: The fish ball. Papi seemed to know exactly when to throw the fish ball in order to prevent the hit and run. He threw out many runners because of a well-timed fish ball. Weakness: Didn't field his position very well. Because of his age, Papi is not very agile and this lead to a lot of hits that would have been taken away from a more athletic pitcher. Papi also has the leagues first ever perfect game which can be added to his resume.
2nd place:
Billy Rinn-UA's main pitcher. Billy did a great job of keeping Under Armour in most every game. As the season went on, Billy learned to hold runners and prevent the hit and run. Biggest strength: Fielding his position. Billy was very quick on the mound and was able to take away many hits up the middle and catch many fly balls that would have landed in the outfield. Weakness: Gave up the big HR towards the end of games. Sometimes Billy would tire of putting a lot of effort towards pitching and as a result, Team Pony would take advantage of him. Billy did receive some first place votes, but fell just short.
1st place:
Andy Thompson-Pony's main starter. Andy became the starter halfway through the year after multiple Pony pitchers were not able to get the job done. Biggest strength: Andy had the ability to keep UA's hitters off balance constantly. He hid the ball very well and the hitters were unable to tell when the ball would shoot through the machine. Weakness: Played for a losing team. Despite Andy's best efforts, team Pony usually came up a little short in the wins column. As mentioned before this was a very close race, but Andy's consistency put him over the top.

Stay tuned tomorrow as another award will be revealed for the 2010 season.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

TBB Awards

Andy and I have met to discuss the past season and we have voted on awards. This week I will be putting all the awards on the blog so make sure to check back.
Judd TBB Commissioner

Saturday, June 27, 2009

UA Takes Set Two!

UA gets timely hitting to take the deciding series 2-0. Adam Rife, once again, was great on the mound and kept Pony off balance all afternoon. Chirs Berens won the series for UA with a walk off single of the monster in left field after Judd Thompson led off the inning with a triple. "I couldn't be happier for my guys." Judd said, "Chris had a couple of huge hits when we needed them, and Adam played his heart out. After a disappointing season last year, We really needed to prove something this year and I think that we did it." The two team managers will meet this weekend to discuss what to do with the remaining week of the season. 

Friday, June 26, 2009

UA gets huge win to set up a game 7

UA got the bats started right away on Friday night. They started off with five consecutive hits and 4 runs to put Pony in a big hole right from the beginning. Game 2 was scoreless going into the 3rd inning until UA broke the tie with 2 runs. Pony came right back with a solo homerun by Shane Thompson. Clay Thompson and Drew Gripentrog lined out to end the game and the series for Pony, and the two teams will meet tomorrow at 11 am to decide the winner of set number two. "Tomorrow will be huge." Judd Said, "We scored just enough tonight, and we set up for a big series tomorrow. Chris Berens had some timely hitting and Adam Rife did a great job of keeping them off balance all night." Andy Thompson and Drew Gripentrog only had one hit a piece for Pony, they have been the spark plugs for the team for the past couple of games. If they do not find their bats, then tomorrow might be another long day for Pony.