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be complete without an awards writeup? Since 2006, the Knights of Beaverdam/Panthers/Cougar Bait franchise has recognized the outstanding individual efforts of team members both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Over the years the trophy cases have grown considerably and have recently expanded to include such individual merits as Rookie of the Year, Silver Glove, Bronze Glove, Playoff MVP, and the highly touted FACE and HEEL of the Year plaques. Of course, since the team’s inception the Rich Meyer MVP, Joe Fitt Most Improved Player Award, and Gold Glove Award have been staples, handed out on a yearly basis to the most outstanding candidates and are the highest individual honors this organization offers. If we take a look at history, six different players have won the Most Valuable Player honors and no single player has ever won the award outright in back-to-back seasons. On the defensive side, well, Bobby Bonett is clearly the most decorated member of the Gold Glove class, having earned the honors in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2012. Pete Greis has won the award twice (2009, 2010) and Pete Azzarone took home the honors in 2011. As far as the Joe Fitt Most Improved Player trophy goes, there have been seven different winners, many of whom are now retired, and is the only individual award with no repeat winners. For years, the Cougar Bait franchise has slugged and defended its way to 5 softball championships encompassing two counties and countless fields. From the beginning stages at William T. Rogers in Kings Park to our new home in Uniondale, the purple and black has seen its share of ups and downs. The time is now for you to be a part of Cougar Bait history. You and your 2013 teammates have the unique experience of voting for your desired choices of said awards, forever cementing them in Cougar Bait lore. The Hall of Fame committee of Cougar Bait takes these awards and voting processes extremely seriously and they urge you to be cautious, precise, and forthright in your decision making. The choices you make now will live forever in the hearts and minds of the players and fans that hold this team so dear to their hearts. Without further adieu, I present to you the leading candidates for the Cougar Bait 2013 awards. Remember, the choice is yours and yours alone. If you feel a candidate is deserving besides the ones listed in this writeup, feel free to voice your opinion by voting for them. There will be a maximum of five leading candidates described per award. The voting works on a Borda Count points system, which will be awarded to players who receive first, second, and third place votes. A minimum of 45 at bats, including playoffs, is required to qualify for each category. As
always, the winners will be announced immediately after the voting concludes and the awards presentation will take place on opening day 2014. Good luck to all. The expansion of the Cougar Bait legacy starts now.
The Richard F. Meyer Most Valuable Player Award (alphabetized)
red marker indicates new single season record Pete Azzarone (MVP 2012) .684/.687/1.969 78 hits, 57 R, 60 RBI, 14 HR, 4 3B, 17 2B, 5 BB, 4 K Azzarone set numerous records this season including batting average, on base percentage, total hits, runs, and fell just short of Bobby’s 2009 mark for OPS. For most of 2013, Azzarone was hitting well above .700 and essentially clinched the batting average title about 2/3 through the season. If it wasn’t for Catania’s torrid pace this season out of the #5 hole, Azz would have also eclipsed the all-time marks for RBI and HR. Simply put, his season at the plate was incredible and featured a series of moonshot HRs that even bedazzled the opposing teams. Azzarone was the rock of the lineup and played a large role in helping this team earn another chip. Azzarone played half of 2013 at the SS position and then switched over platooning between LF and RCF. Whatever the call of duty, Azz delivered with the highest intensity and also gunned out 3-4 runners on the base paths, including a momentum shifting OFA in the Championship series. Azzarone is the reigning MVP from 2012 and makes a very strong case to becoming to first ever back-to-back outright winner of the Most Valuable Player Award.
Bobby Bonett .525/.551/1.501 63 hits, 44 R, 42 RBI, 10 HR, 3 3B, 15 2B, 7 BB, K Bobby quietly had one of his most productive seasons of his career in 2013, and mainly flew under the radar from the leadoff position. Bobby is perhaps the most well-rounded member of Cougar Bait providing a unique combination of average, power, speed, defense, arm strength, and consistency. He is one of five players this season to eclipse both 40R and 40 RBI and played some really solid defense on top of that. Bobby was also 4th on the team in total hits, 2nd in doubles, and 3rd in HR. The key to championship softball is outfield defense. It ’s hard to imagine where this team would be without the A+ glove we take for granted out there in LCF. Bobby’s wins above replacement is invaluable and his role on this team is second to none.
Alex Catania .605/.605/1.877 69 hits, 55 R, 77 RBI, 18 HR, 5 3B, 12 2B, K
Catania’s offensive output from 2013 is one for the ages. Many of the records he set this season will in all likelihood remain for years to come. In 2013, Catania became the new HR king as he slugged his way to 18 HR, including the postseason, which destroyed the old mark set by Bobby (12) in 2009. Likewise, Catania’s RBI total of 77 cruised past the old mark set by Azzarone (51) in 2011. Catania had his breakout season in 2013, showing his true potential at the plate and was a consistent RBI man all season from the middle of the Cougar Bait lineup. Catania’s mark of 20 RBI in the playoffs is a new team record as well, including 4 HR to his season total. Catania spent a great deal of his time on defense platooning between RCF/2B and even some RF action during the playoffs.
Pete Greis .653/.660/1.690 66 hits, 54 R, 44 RBI, 8 HR, 3 3B, 8 2B, 2 BB Pete is a two-time winner of the Rich Meyer MVP Award (2008,2011). Pete surpassed his personal best this season in batting average, on base percentage, hits, and runs. The advantage Greis has over some other candidates is his ability to do well in all areas of offensive output as well as play some of the best defense on the team. Greis is a cerebral assassin both at the plate and in the field, and never other throws cutoff men, throws to the wrong base, or lets ball get by him. This season, Greis ranked 2nd in average, 2nd in OBP, 3rd in OPS, 3rd in SLG, 3rd in R, 4th in RBI, and 4th in HR. Greis was consistently well-above average in all categories and solidified LF and 2B all season long. Greis is an annual mainstay for the MVP award and this year is no different.
Justin Schimmenti .617/.644/1.644 58 hits, 47 R, 44 RBI, 5 HR, 3 3B, 15 2B, 7 BB, 5 K For nearly half of the 2013 season Justin Schimmenti’s batting average hung around the .800 mark, as he showed absolutely no signs of slowing down heading into the 4th of July break. His lineout/strikeout pace from season’s past had all but evaporated and he outright earned the #5 spot in the lineup, collecting line drive hits and RBIs on command. Schimmenti finished the 2013 season .133 pts above his career batting average and once again filled the role of a formidable utility player, seeing action in the outfield, infield, and even picked up a save on the mound. Although the crew from Commack were the talk-of-the-town in 2013 Schimmenti did have a large role in carrying the team, especially in the earlier stages of the season. Justin continued his hot hitting into the playoffs, crushing a clutch grand slam HR in the Semi-Finals
against Los Goonies and smacking 7 more hits, including 4 doubles in the Championship against the MudDogs. Justin kept pace with Azzarone’s monster season and became only the 7th player ever to record a season of .600 or better. Schimmenti placed 2 nd on the team in BB and 2B, 3rd in RBI, and 4th in runs scored.
The Gold Glove Award
**Note: The Silver and Bronze Glove Awards will be awarded to the candidates who place second and third respectively in the voting process. PJ McKenna- P (Bronze Glove 2012) Mike Barrett- C Justin O’Connor- 1B/C Prince Panicker-1B/C/RF Alex Catania-2B/OF Jason Reis-3B Pete Azzarone-SS/OF Hashim Naveed-SS Pete Greis-LF/2B (Silver Glove 2012) Bobby Bonett-LCF (Gold Glove 2012) Justin Schimmenti-RCF/RF
Joe Fitt Most Improved Player Award (alphabetized)
Pete Azzarone Career: .595/.610/1.715 182 hits, 132 R, 157 RBI, 30 2B, 12 3B, 34 HR, 12 BB 2012: .588/.604/ 1.712 60 hits, 37 R, 50 RBI, 10 2B, 5 3B, 11 HR, 4 BB 2013: .684/.687/1.969 78 hits, 57 R, 60 RBI, 14 HR, 4 3B, 17 2B, 5 BB, 4 K Noticeable increases: 89 pt jump in career batting average, 20 more runs than 2012, 10 more RBI than 2012, 7 more doubles than 2012 (won the MVp)
Alex Catania Career: .560/.562/1.666 140 hits, 99 runs, 115 RBI, 23 2B, 13 3B, 29 HR, BB 2012: .510/.510/ 1.337 50 hits, 28 R, 25 RBI, 8 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR 2013: .605/.605/1.877 69 hits, 55 R, 77 RBI, 18 HR, 5 3B, 12 2B, K Noticeable increases: 95 pt average jump from 2012, 19 more hits than 2012, 52 more RBI than 2012, 13 more HR than 2012, new HR king, new RBI King
Prince Panicker Career: .438/.489/1.083 110 hits, 41 R, 56 RBI, 16 2B, 7 3B, 3 HR, 25 BB 2012: .409/.447/.966 34 hits, 8 R, 17 RBI, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 4 BB 2013: .510/.534/1.279 50 hits, 27 R, 26 RBI, 2 HR, 4 3B, 9 2B, 5 BB, 9K Noticeable increases: over 100 pt swing from last year’s batting average, 19 more runs, 9 more RBI, 6 more doubles
Justin Schimmenti (Most Improved Player 2012) Career: .479/.507/1.247 184 hits, 139 R, 118 RBI, 34 2B, 9 3B, 16 HR, 22 BB 2012: .449/.479/ 1.190 31 hits, 14 R, 15 RBI, 5 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 4 BB
2013: .617/.644/1.644 58 hits, 47 R, 44 RBI, 5 HR, 3 3B, 15 2B, 7 BB, 5 K Noticeable increases: 133 pt jump in career batting average, 27 more hits than 2012, 29 more runs, 29 more rbi, 10 more doubles, 3 more BB
Playoff MVP (alphabetized)
Pete Azzarone (Playoff MVP 2012): 15-25, 3 HR, 13 R, 12 RBI, OFA, E The big series for Azz came in the Semi Finals against the Goonies were he did most of his offensive damage for the postseason, collecting 9 hits and driving in 7 runs with two monster HR shots. Azz also collected an OFA in the Championship series, which proved to be a tremendous momentum shift for the reigning champs, gunning out a runner at 3B from RCF. Although Azz started 1-6 in the Finals he finished extrememly strong, eventually going 6-13 with 5 XBH, and scoring 8 runs in the process. Bobby Bonett: 15-28, 3 HR, 12 R, 9 RBI Collecting 9 RBI from the leadoff position over a period of 6 games is no easy task. Bobby cleared the fence twice in the Semi Finals on the first pitch of the game and never looked back, crossing the plate an average of twice per game over the course of the playoffs. Bob’s 15 hits also tie him for 3rd most by any player in the postseason. Aside from that, Bobby also played flawless defense, per usual. Alex Catania: 18-24, 4 HR, 15 R, 20 RBI, 4 3B, 4 2B, 2E Simply put, Catania raked all playoffs. His stats are jaw dropping and he only recorded 6 total outs in the entirety of the playoffs. His 20 RBI, 15 R, and 12 XBH were the most by any player on the roster. Aside from that, Catania, as he always does, spent a great deal of time patrolling different parts of the field and played a relatively clean defense against both Los Goonies and MudDogs. Pete Greis: 17-25, 14 R, 6 RBI, “ The Catch”, E Greis’ consistency and clutch hitting were apparent throughout the playoffs as he collected 17 total hits, consistently crossed the plate at will, played a solid outfield, and made the one of the most important catches in Cougar Bait history, which essentially sealed the deal as repeat champs. Greis sprayed the ball all over the field and took every opportunity against the opposing defenses by advancing every base possible. PJ McKenna: 14-21, 11 RBI, 4 Wins In the championship series PJ reached base 10/11 times, knocked in 6 runs, and more importantly, came in as relief after CB trailed 21-9 after 3 innings of play in Game #1. Before PJ pitched the MudDogs were teeing off on the defense and looked like a runaway train on the offensive side of the ball. After, the MudDogs could only muster 19 total runs over the next 2.5 games while Cougar Bait went on to score 64 in the series. Whether premature or right on
time, PJ’s entrance onto the mound was the spark the team needed and quickly quieted the big bats of the MudDogs, paving the way towards another title belt. Justin Schimmenti: 12-22, 12 R, 15 RBI, HR (Grand Slam), 8 2B, 3 E Schimmenti’s 8 doubles out of the #7 hole could match any 3 hitter in the rest of the division. Aside from Cement’s immense pop, including a Grand Slam HR in the Semi Finals, he knocked in 15 RBI which trailed only Catania for the team high during the postseason. Schiment did lead the team with 3 postseason errors, however. But, once against Schimmenti filled the “Swiss Army Knife” roll playing multiple positions in the two series’.
Rookie of the Year (alphabetized)
Pavy Badwal 3-7, 2 R, RBI, 2 W Paul Brophy 3-7, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR, W Johnson Geevarghese 12-20, 8 R, 7 RBI, 3 2B, 20 IP (21 R, 4 W, 4 CG, 6.67 ERA) Ryan Halegua 9-19, 7 R, 6 RBI Dex Luther 5-6, 5 R, 5 RBI, 2 2B Sony Singh 2-6, R Nick Yip 11-15, 10 R, 17 RBI, 4 HR, 3B, 2B
FACE OF THE YEAR (alphabetized)
Barrett- without even being at the series Barrett’s presence was requested by the Goonies catcher immediately after they were eliminated from playoff contention. He claimed he was moving to Costa Rica and wished, as a last second wish, that he could have seen Barrett just one more time. Catania- breaks the HR record, receives HR souvenir, tells PJ that he recorded “one too many HR” on the statistics sheet for him Ed Mangano- can’t initially seal the deal for the Coliseum-leaving the Islanders bolting for Brooklyn- but has enough time in the day to plaster his name all over Cougar Bait’s championship gear. Greis- first player in team history to reach 300 hits Hashim- calls the MudDogs catcher a “pussy” after he told the umpire about some bush -league rule which was later enforced during the championship series Jason Reis- literally got “faced” by a line drive and wore a mouth guard the rest of the season as a result Jackie McKenna- PJ gets smashed in head with ball running to 1B- 110 pound girl looks to beat up 240 pound man who did it Jenn Bonett- first fan to show up for the season, camera work, team Mom Mr. Greis (FACE OF THE YEAR 2012)- another push at perfect attendance , telling PJ “it’s about fucking time” he gets his Face of the Year trophy from 2012 PJ-shows up to games in boot and cast 36 hours before wedding, 1:45 am softball essays, pays extra umpire fees, buys new team bat, 27 page awards writeups, made sure we never played The Zoo ever again. Rizzo- for posting every single week without fail whether or not he will be attending that week’s series.
HEEL OF THE YEAR (alphabetized)
Azz- receives MVP award on opening day-immediately follows team felation by striking out looking, for retracting his steps following a mammoth 330 foot HR, telling Catania the night he is crowned HR king that the award was given out too soon because he is going to break it later that season Barrett (HEEL OF THE YEAR 2012)- too soon jokes, things I would rather be doing than watching a Mets game jokes, getting in the middle of umpire/opposing captain conversations, counting the steps to 1B, tagging runners out on called third strikes, Cougar Bait has as many wins as Prince has strikeouts jokes Bobby- heel mustache during playoffs, ignoring high fives after hitting solo shots in the semifinals, walking off the bases after his 2nd playoff HR, telling Catania that his record is bullshit and he is the true Cougar Bait HR king Greis- buys Despicable Me 2 tickets before a rainout is posted, has ball hit over his head in LFstops dead in his tracks and gives up getting it, argues with umpires Jackie McKenna- leaves championship series early and brings the camera with her Jason Reis- does a raindance before a series so that he can go bowling PJ- fabricates a steak dinner story to get the team playing their best, registers a completely illegal team from day one, wears title belt all year, forges county documents, tattoo sleeve, neon cleats OC- screaming “put him in the hall!” after Justin Schimmenti hit a garbage time routine single in a blowout game in week 4 of the regular season, yelling “score!” to a runner at 1B who should have gotten to 2B comfortably on a lob single, shows up to Bah Social late, panders own stats, felates himself for Gold Glove votes, almost killed Azzarone in the dugout after a HR, still to this day says on a weekly basis he should have won MVP in 2010 despite hitting .495 Prince- undermines PJ’s lineup on opening day, self felates his “cycle” which took place over the course of two games, had a Javy Vazquez Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS pitching outing during the championship series Ron Schimmenti- shows up to one series and automatically puts his son in a hitting slump Ryan Halegua- pays in full, quits 10 days later
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