PLAYOFF FORMAT 2020
The playoff format for the 2020 season will look a little different this season. I have posted an explanation below. All games will be held at Spirit Park in Allen.
MINI Playoffs (Oct. 11th)
The "mini" playoffs is a single elimination tournament that is a play-in for the playoffs. The lowest 5 teams in each division will be placed into a bracket and seeded by overall division ranking. For example, the 5th place team in a Division will be the #1 seed in the mini playoffs. Seeds 2 and 3 will play each other with the winner advancing to the playoffs. Seeds 4 and 5 will play with the winner facing the 1 seed to advance to the playoffs. Two teams advance to the playoffs as seeds 5 and 6.
Playoffs Round 1 (Oct 18)
In the Playoffs, the top 2 seeds in each division will get a Bye into round 2 and not play on the first weekend. Seed 3 will play Seed 6 and Seed 4 will play Seed 5 in a best of three series.
Round 2 (Oct 25)
In round 2, the 1 seed will play the lowest seed that advances from round 1 and the 2 seed will play the higher seed in a best of three series.
Division Championship Series (Nov 1)
The 2 teams that advance from Round 2 will face off in a best of three series to determine who will play for the league championship.
League Championship Series (Nov 8)
The winners of their respective division championship series will face off in a best of three series to determine the league champion.
The following message is an update from our commissioner Scott Lawrence.
Your Spring 2021 Teams are as follows:
Casper's Red Sox
Hauf's Sea Dogs
Muck's Rubber Ducks
Eusay's Astros (Bringin back the rainbows)
Alford's Iron Pigs
Brooke's (Prim) Brewers
The budget for the 2021 season should hopefully be finalized this week which will mean you should have a final total on what the Spring and Fall sessions will both cost. I hope to have the number by next Monday. As was stated previously, there will be an increase in cost and that is simply because the plan is to enhance the experience in both the Spring and the Fall. From the Captain's think tank, there have been some outstanding ideas on how to enhance your experience. The first idea came from Leo Cova who put together a "TSSL Awards Proposal". Included in this there are some awards that will stay the same like MVP, Captain of the Year, Mr. Softball and Rookie of the Year. New awards that will be handed out will include the CY Young to the best pitcher of each division, Gold Glove awards, 10 per division, per position, Silver Slugger Awards, 10 per position (Best offensive player per position for the entire league, not based on division), the Brotherhood Player of the Year, the Most Improved Player of the Year and the Championship Series MVP. Custom-designed shirts for the Championship winners (Spring and Fall) will happen as well.
We are going to have a "traveling trophy" created for the Champions of both the Spring and the Fall. This trophy will be substantial in size and have enough room on it to include the past 45 winners with their own plate on the trophy and room for at least 40 more winners to be added to it. The Fall will have one as well. Once the trophy is created, it will first be handed off to the Prim's. They will have the trophy for one year and then it will be handed off to the winners of the 2021 season in the same fashion the green jacket is handed over at The Masters. Schedule a party around the trophy with your team, this should make for a cool tradition I would think. All of the Individual Awards will be named after a Hall of Famer who came before us. I think it's important for the Hall of Famers who built the foundation of this League should be properly recognized from here on out. The traveling trophy for the Spring will be called the Bob Weinfeld _________ (suggestions are welcome). The name of the Fall traveling trophy is yet to be determined.
Lastly, the subs for 2021. We will have a total of 16 teams this year which should mean that our less than optimal sub situation should in theory be less problematic for 2021. In order to clean up the sub list this year, we are going to be charging the subs $40 to sign up as subs. Within the $40 charge, they will be guaranteed a uniform with the same logo that is used on the hoodies that JJ put together. The uniform cost is $25/person so, in essence, the cost to play would be $15 after the uniform cost. Kyle Kravitz gets credit for this one, thank you, sir! This should make it easier for the Captains to choose from and the Sub Chairman to choose from when acquiring the subs for the regular season and the playoffs.
That's all for now. Everyone have a great Thanksgiving.
The Hall of Fame Committee is pleased to announce it's Class of 2020 inductees. These gentlemen have been an integral part in the success and growth of the league. Congratulations to you all.
2020 Season Award Winners
Handsome Captains Division
Player of the Year- Justin Reed (Hauf's Astros)
Rookie of the Year- Dalton Fallaw (Haas' Bulls)
Gold Glove- Greg "Badger" Hurst (Haas' Bulls)
Captain of the Year- Brian Strull (Pirates)
Goofball Captains Division
Player of the Year - Darius Wu (Unell's Dash)
Rookie of the Year- Ryan Richardson (Kravitz's Rangers)
Gold Glove- Tanner Gandy (Nutt's/McDonald's Cubs)
Captain of the Year- Brooke Prim (Muckdogs)
Batting Champion: Ryan Richardson .785 BA
HR Champion: Darius Wu 28 HR
RBI Champion: Darius Wu 86 RBI
Mr. Softball: Darius Wu (Unell's Dash)
Commissioner award: Scott Lawrence (Alford's Iron Pigs)
Fan of the Year: Jan Unell (Dash)
Congratulations to Prim's Muckdogs for defeating Samsel's Yard Goats to claim the 2020 Shalom Softball League Championship. The Dogs fought through some moist weather conditions and multiple key injuries, but persevered to come out on top in three games. The Goats saw their share of crippling injuries as well and showed some grit, pushing the series to a full three games. Kudos to both teams on a fabulous season and a great championship series.
We also saw the 2nd annual HR Derby take place with many a bomb being dropped by the leagues premier power hitters. The finals featured Ryan Richardson and Andrew Williams, who went toe to toe with Andrew coming up one point shy of a victory. It was the 300 foot homer from Richardson that hit the top of the fence and bounced over that would prove the difference. Congrats to Ryan on being the 2020 HR king. The competition was sponsored by Apligian Real Estate this so thanks to Tommy for helping out this year. Most importantly, through donations as well as entry fee's into the competition, we were able to raise $1k that will be presented to umpire Mario Reyes to help offset the costs of his medicals bills following his accident. We all wish Mario a speedy recovery and glad the league stepped up and helped out a key piece to our success over the years.
So now what????
There are many exciting things on the horizon so stayed tuned to the site for coming announcements. Elections were held last week, and Scott Lawrence will be the new League Commissioner. Scott has been in the league since 2011 and has been very influential in the growth of the league as well as working with the former commissioner behind the scenes. He has a clear direction for our league that I believe will provide some excitement to our players and will also work to emphasize the Brotherhood element that the league was built on. Jon Banta will serve as the Vice Commissioner and will work alongside Scott to provide valuable veteran input along the way. These two will do great things for our league no doubt.
There are many things being discussed and voted on by captains for the 2021 season and when something is decided it will be posted here. Registration will be early in December, so prepare to get in early as spaces are sure to fill quickly. An announcement will be made when a date is set to open.
There will be no awards banquet this year, however something is being worked on to possibly happen prior to next season starting. Stay tuned for more info.
I want to wish everyone a safe off-season and holiday season. Enjoy your family time, heal and get ready for what will be an amazing 2021 season. Thank you all for working together to make 2020 a fun season.
2020 League Championship Series
Samsel’s Yard Goats vs. Prim’s Muckdogs
Spirit Park-Allen Field 1 (Temps in low 70’s at game time wind 20 mph out of SE)
(Wind will be blowing across the field from right to left carrying most balls to the left side out. Tough sledding to RF/RCF)
Season Series: Muckdogs won 10-3
The wacky 2020 Spring Shalom season is coming to it’s exciting conclusion as the Championship Series takes place Sunday. I have gone 8-2 on my playoff predictions of the winners advancing each week, but this one will be a challenge. Both of these teams look primed to win it all, displayed by their unbeaten run through the playoffs. One team will walk away the winner and be etched in Shalom League history while the other will have their great run to reflect on. Regardless, congrats to both teams for making it to this point and my advice would be to enjoy the moment because you don’t know when or if you will be back at this point again. So now to the game itself.
These two teams met back on August 16 in Allen on Field 2 where the Muckdogs earned a convincing 10-3 victory. In this contest, the Muckdogs held the dangerous combos of Tyler Samsel and Air Loiben to just one hit. The Goats were without Tony Martin and Zak Edgerton but sub Matt Martinez was solid in driving in 2 of the 3 runs they scored on two hits. The Dogs, on the other hand, got bombs from Donald Prim and Miguel Duron to power them to victory. Duron is on a tear in the playoffs, sporting a .857 avg with an eye popping 9 homers in just six games. When breaking this one down, I first looked at who exactly the teams beat on their journey through the playoffs. The Goats defeated the bottom seeded Lugnuts easily, then upset the second seeded Pirates in two and capped it off with taking care of the red hot Bulls in two. The Muckdogs took care of the fifth seeded Royals with half the team made up of subs, then knocked off the two seed Rangers in easy fashion and finished by taking care of the top seeded Iron Pigs in just two games. As far as seedings, the Muckdogs run was more impressive, however I feel the teams the Goats beat were paying much hotter softball when they played them. The Dogs have scored a whopping 115 runs in six games, averaging out to 19 runs per game! Couple that will only allowing just over 11 runs per game. Although Prim and Duron are doing the heavy lifting, do not look past the other steady hitters all through this lineup. The Goats, on the other hand, have scored 86 runs in 6 games which averages to just over 14 runs per. They have allowed just 48 for an average of 8 runs per. Two very similar teams that win in almost identical ways defensively and opposite ways offensively. The Dogs will rely on the long ball more but can also base hit you to death while the Goats will use their speed to stress your defense into mistakes and take advantage. They manufacture runs and back it up with solid defense. Something has to give here as neither have list a game and faced elimination. Will the team that loses game one be able to handle the stress of having their backs against the wall? This will be a fun one to watch. What a great way to finish an amazing season.
Keys to Victory:
Goats: The key here is their top two hitters in the lineup. They MUST get on base and create havoc. They will need to take risks early on the bases and get the Muckdogs frustrated and make them chase. Put pressure on their hitters to keep up and you have a shot. They can’t allow the Dogs to get a big lead and play catch-up. They aren’t built for that and it will be playing into the opponent’s hands. Their pitcher MUST find a way to keep Duron and Prim in the park and to play base to base. Their bottom has been solid all playoffs but you have to make them beat you.
Muckdogs: They MUST resist the urge to swing for the bombs because those will come. If they can get up by five or so early, it plays to their strength. We beat them once this year and ONLY because we scored 16 in our first at bat. THAT is what they have to avoid. You CANNOT chase their speed on the bases and make the smart play. Don’t turn singles and doubles into doubles and triples. They won’t hurt you with the long ball so much so make them earn every run.
My Pick: I honestly went back and forth all week on this one. At the end of the day I have to go with my gut. Having played the Muckdogs twice, I know how hard it is to beat them once, much less twice. Although the Goats have played tremendous and are a legit contender, I just feel like the Muckdogs are built for this. Credit Larry Goldstein for putting the core together and to Brooke Prim for fine tuning it and managing it through the season and playoffs. I think they take this one and not even give the Goats hope. MUCKDOGS IN 2.
The 2nd Annual HR Derby sponsored by Apligian Real Estate will take place immediately following the Championship Game. All proceed will go to the family of Plano umpire Mario Reyes who was injured in a car accident with his wife. Mario will also throw out the first pitch of the Championship series. It would be awesome to have as many people out there as possible to say hi to Mario.
Congrats to Samsel's Yard Goats for taking the Handsome Captains Division title by defeating Haas' Bulls in two tightly contested games. Great season for the Bulls and awesome playoff run. The Goats will face off with Prim's Muckdogs, as they defeated the top seeded Alford's Iron Pigs in two games. Neither team has lost a playoff game, so this will be a fun one to watch next week. Kudos to the Pigs for their great season. Game 1 of the League Championship Series will begin at 8 am at Spirit Park in Allen on Field 1. Best of Luck to both teams.
Congrats also to the Handsome Captains All Star team for taking this years All-Star game. It was awesome to see everyone having fun and competing today.
Iron Pigs in 3
Bulls in 3
Last Week: 4-6
I have finally come out of mourning the season ending loss for my beloved Tigers squad to give everyone a preview of the Division Finals games Sunday. Let’s first congratulate the Muckdogs, Iron Pigs, Yard Goats and Bulls on being the last 4 teams standing. Best of luck this weekend.
*REMINDER- The All-Star Game will immediately follow the conclusion of the two games.
Handsome Captains Division Final
Spirit Park Allen- Field 1 8 AM (Game time temp upper 40’s/low 50’s Wind out of North at 15 MPH)
(4) Haas’s Bulls vs. (3) Samsel’s Yard Goats
Season Series: 1-1 (13-10 Bulls, 15-7 Goats)
Wind will be blowing in from LF/LCF
These two teams met in the first and last games of the season in Allen and split the series. With the colder temps and wind conditions in the forecast Sunday, this will shape up as a completely different type of game. The Bulls earned their spot by winning two series, all taking the full three games. They have had their backs against the wall twice and found a way to advance. The Goats also overcame some adversity by having to start the playoffs without their captain. Nevertheless, they earned they spot here by sweeping both their series without really being stressed. Something has to give here as two red hot teams will battle for a spot in the 2020 Finals.
The Bulls have ridden their young star Dalton Fallaw through the playoffs both offensively and defensively and their role players have done an amazing job in support. I would give you post season stats, but Bulls captain Cuddles is still celebrating his teams wins along with the Dodgers World Series victory. This could have a hangover effect on he and Craig Dyer. Something to keep an eye on. In all seriousness, the Bulls have found ways to win close games. They have gotten big hits throughout their lineup and huge late game defensive plays by a number of guys. Kendal Anthony has made some circus catches late in games that have proven to be deciding factors. Greg Hurst at SS and John Burke pitching makes them really strong up the middle and they are surrounding with very solid defenders elsewhere. Cuddles has done a fantastic job putting this team together and navigating the season and the playoffs to get them here. I have yet to pick against them in the playoffs, so lets see what happens here.
The Goats are one of those teams you look at on paper and think they look solid but not overwhelming. After losing Ben Enlow for a season ending injury, everyone thought they were toast. Captain Tyler Samsel has done a good job of holding that team together and adding pieces like last year’s rookie of the year Ari Loiben (One of my favorite teammates). If he did as good of a job putting in post season stats, I could back up his team’s performance with numbers but instead I will just use the eye test. With Tyler and Ari at the top of the order, you have two lefties with a TON of speed and hustle to stress a defense. Then you follow up with Daryl Drake who can hurt you with the long ball or drive those two guys in with singles. Solid Shalom vets like Tony Martin, Roy White and Matt Myers bring experience and high softball IQ that makes this squad even more dangerous. Nick Croce has been smashing the ball this season, probably from all of his ropes work in the gym (see his facebook page and navigate around the Trump posts and you will see the beast training mode). Losing Keith Dlott hurts but Tyler has plugged in solid subs. David Greer and Zak Edgerton have been killers in the middle of that lineup as well. We will see if they can keep it rolling.
Keys to Victory
Goats- Get those two speedsters on base and make the machine run. Stress out that defense and make the outfielders start being overly aggressive chasing runners. That will cause mistakes resulting in extra bases. Their strength is speed and they need to use it to create havoc. The MUST be smart against Burke and wait for their pitches and not hit his pitches. The wind will force the ball to be hit down and they have to use this to their advantage to keep their big bats in the park.
Bulls- With the wind conditions how they look to be, they will HAVE to tailor their approach to this. They have some good oppo hitters and will have to use that and keep the ball down. Burke will need to force their hitters to hit the ball up into that wind and out of the gaps. Outfielders have to stay discipline and hit cutoffs and not chase runners. Try to minimize the doubles and triples by playing them in and making them burn you into that wind. Make them play base to base and that increases your chances drastically. In playing the Goats this season, the one spot we were able to exploit them a little was pitching. It can get a little erratic, so make them pitch to you as the wind will make it a challenge.
My Pick: (Last week 2-2) This one will be really really tight. The wind changes the complexion of this game in my eyes. The Bulls has more pull hitters with power that it will affect than the Goats. However, Burke knows how to pitch in this situation and will minimize the damage. I think the Goats have too much speed and are built for conditions like this. I do not think they will cruise like weeks before, but I think they win. Goats in 3.
Goofball Captains Division Final
Spirit Park Allen- Field 2 8 AM (Wind blowing in from RF/RCF @ 15 MPH)
(4) Prim’s Muckdogs vs (1) Alford’s Iron Pigs
Season Series 1-1 (10-9 Muckdogs, 14-10 Iron Pigs)
These two split their season series with very tight games both played in Allen but in different weather conditions. The Muckdogs earned their way here with two rather quick easy victories over the Royals and Rangers and 3 of their 4 wins in run rule fashion. They have outscored opponents in the playoffs 74-42 and haven’t been tested or had their backs against the wall. Somewhat similar to the Goats path. They will be tested this week. The Pigs come in only having to win one series against the #6 seed Tigers and battling through three games for the win. They were pushed to the limit after seemingly on their way to an easy sweep after an 11-1 run rule in game one. Only to see the Tigers battle back and return the favor 15-5. They seized control of game 3 early and hung on to advance. This will be a battle with two of the top defenses in the league on what should be a defensive field. This will be a fun one.
Muckdogs Captain Brooke Prim (Yes Don she is the REAL captain) has done a phenomenal job keeping her team focused and playing together through the season and the playoffs. The first female captain in the league trying to make even more history by taking her team to the finals. It will be curious to see how she handles the pressure this week after being relatively stress free in the first two rounds. Let’s just hope she lets Donald sleep in the bed the night prior. I think there is an under the table deal that if they win it all, Don gets unlimited Call of Duty time. Just a hunch. Seriously though, I have picked this team to win each week because of how they are built. You have to give former captain Larry Goldstein some props, but Brooke has steered the ship through not so calm waters. That defense is stout as you can see from their run differential and they have proven they can score in bunches and win in all field conditions. There are a primed machine running on all cylinders right now. In four playoff games, Miguel Duron has been lights out, batting .857 with 6 bombs, while Donald is not far behind at .769 with 3 homers. Although Aaron Holmes is only hitting .500 in the playoffs, he is a huge threat at the top of that order setting the table. I also remember in 2010, when I played for the Rangers and we had lost one game the entire year, we met Larry Taub in the finals. We absolutely could not get the guy out and they beat us game 1 because of his performance. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury and changed that series that we ultimately won. This guys is a vet and can perform in these situations. They lose Weissman but pick up Joe Machado, who just last week went 6 for 8 with a HR against the Pigs so he will add more to that lineup. Another of my all time favorite teammates, Rick Halperin is huge at the bottom of the lineup getting it flipped. Pretty sure I won a shalom tournament with that guy as my leadoff hitter.
Although the Pigs won and advanced last week, they suffered what I feel is a major loss with Leo Cova going down to injury. Absolutely hate to see that happen to such an amazing guy and teammate. They picked up Derek Muck who is solid but will need to find a way to replace the offensive production Leo gave them along with his first base defense. Last week they wore us out at the top in games one and three turning singles into doubles and triples. They have very smart and opportunistic baserunners so you have to stay on your toes. They are rock solid everywhere defensively so you have to earn your runs against them. Captain Ryno is someone I have tremendous respect for, and I know he will have his guys focused and ready to go. Lots of experience on this team and a tight knit group.
Keys to Victory:
Muckdogs- Continue the torrid hitting and put up runs early. The first inning was what drove us against the Pigs last week. In the two losses, we allowed 4 and 6 in inning one. You have to limit them early and make the defensive plays on the routine outs they give you. They WILL make extra outs hurt so you can’t give them that. We were able to work 7 walks over 3 games so be patient and wait for your pitch. Be smart on the bases and always know who is taking the cut from the outfield before you send runners. Score early and lean on that defense to take you home.
Pigs: Close to the same recipe as last week against the Tigers. They have to weather the storm early and pitch them to their weaknesses. Force them to make defensive plays and stay relentless with that bottom. Stay focused and don’t scoreboard watch or worry about outscoring them. Remain steady and play seven full innings. Make their pitchers work and you will get some great pitches to hit and have to make them pay. You HAVE to keep them to singles and make them a station to station team. The long ball will hurt you so you have to navigate that. Most of the homers the Tigers hit were solo shots. This is what they have to do here.
My Pick: When I look at games like this, I have to go to the numbers. Not season numbers, but recent numbers. The ball should still fly to LF and LCF and the way the Muckdogs are clicking on offense they will put lots of pressure on the Pigs. Big difference is the Pigs have been pushed to the edge and responded as a group. They took a huge punch in the face by the Tigers and bounced right back. How will the Muckdogs face adversity? Will Miguel stay hot? When he is hot, he is one of the best hitters in the league. This is a tough one for me and I have gone back and forth. The experience factor wants me to take the Pigs, but the numbers direct me the other way. I have to go with my gut here. Too much offense on an offensive friendly field and a team smashing the ball right now. Muckdogs in 3.
Bonus Pick: All Star Game
This depends a lot on who actually plays and who is out. With the rosters as they were picked, I will pick Goofball Captains.
In case you saw some of the guys out at the fields Sunday wearing those awesome Shalom Softball hoodies and thought, "man how do I get one of those bad boys?", I have your answer!!!!
I will be placing an order on Friday evening. If you would like to order one, you can Venmo or PayPal me the money with your size and if you want name and number on the back. They run a size small so order accordingly. Pricing is as follows:
PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org (Send as Friends and Family)
Pigs in 3
Rangers in 3
Baby Jays in 2
Pirates in 3
Last Week: 6-3; YTD: 144-104