This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
to our regularly scheduled lives. The regular season for ’12 was, let’s say, a wee bit of a let-down. After coming off back-to back- to back (Emansky 91) Class A Major Sports Championships, including a 16-6 campaign in the 2011 season, the Panthers seemed primed for a spectacular run in the dog days of 2012. Needless to say, whether it was due to increased parity or not the regular season was a weekly grind. The 2K12 team finished with a 12-12 regular season record, scathing by the worst team win percentage since the inaugural season in 2006 when the “Knights of Beaverdam” tripped to th e finish line with a 2-22 mark. The playoffs culminated with a “First Round” beat down of the “Top Seed” Silver Bullets. The Panther season would eventually come to an “end” after a Semi -Finals loss to the #2 seed Zoo. Luckily, Mike chose to have a “losers” bracket an d sponsored a Bronze Medal game in which the Panthers completely dominated the B class with a 2 game, 25-3 smackdown of Brentwood Liqours. In the end, although bitter sweet, the Panthers franchise technically captured its fourth championship in as many years. However, the end of every Panther’s season, whether ending in jubilation or utter disgust, brings about a feeling equivalent to Christmas morning as a pre-pubescent child. Yes folks, you guessed it, it’s time to hand out the end of season awards for 2012. As a team, we experienced a lot this year; Rizzo’s departure, Bobby/Greis/PJ joining the legendary 200-hit club, having records broken, welcoming Jason Reis to the team, experimenting with new uniforms (again), and playing our guts out with every 18mph lob. We had our ups. We had our downs. But, with every passing year, legends are made and newcomers make their mark in illustrious Panthers history. And this time, we have it on video (courtesy of Cannon). The race for The Richard F. Meyer MVP, Gold Glove, MIP, and the Joe Fitt Playoff MVP should all come down to the wire. After finishing 2nd in MVP voting in 2011, behind Pete Greis, Pete Azzarone responded with a tremendous offensive season at the plate. Winning the MVP would make Azzarone the 3rd player to win both an MVP award and a Gold Glove award (Greis/Bonett). Also, as a newcomer to Major, Jason Reis needed no learning curve as he hit a cool .600+ from start to finish and flashed the leather at the hot corner on a seemingly weekly basis. PJ pitched his best, racked up the strikeouts, and solidified the mound of defense. Schimmenti showed great improvement as the season progressed. Maz raised his average by over .100 points. Prince played some really nice 1B and recorded the second ever Panthers playoff shutout. Barrett played catcher with extreme authority. Catania was called upon to play three different positions when the season was on the line. Yes, 2012 was a great year for many players. OC, not so much. It comes down to this. It is up to you, the players, to cement your teammates in the lure of Panther greats. Can Bobby take home his 4th Gold Glove? Can Azzarone become the 6th different player to win the Richard F. Meyer MVP award? Can Barrett really win Most Improved from the Catcher position? Is PJ a deserving Gold Glover from the Pitcher’s mound? Who will be the first ever Joe Fitt Playoff MVP Award winner? Does this jersey make me look fat? The choice is entirely up to you. So, without further adieu, I present to you the candidates for the 2012 end of season awards. Good luck to all.
The Richard F. Meyer MVP Award Most Valuable Player or “MVP” (N. noun): “the man or woman judged to be the outstanding player in a sport during a particular season or championship ”. It seems like the definition of “most valuable player” is equally as vague as the phrase itself. Since the dawn of the game, baseball writers have had the privilege of voting year in and year out for the most “outstanding” player in the sport. However, there has always been a tremendous debate surrounding the interpretation of what it takes to be an MVP. Of course, baseball (and softball), are games driven primarily by numbers. A player’s offensive “value” can be derived from a variety of statistics including AVG,XBH, runs, rbi, OBP, OPS, BB, and so forth. However, while a player gets 3-4 at bats per game they take the field and play defense literally every inning. Defense has just as much, if not more importance to a team, than offensive output. Therefore, the actual definition and interpretation of the highest valued player is completely subjective by nature. History has proven that batting average and the long ball are the most appealing offensive statistics that these writers turn to when determining their picks. However, the subjectivity of the game, and the voting process itself, leaves a very wide gap between one person’s definition of “valuable” and another’s. For instance, in the 2003 MLB season Alex Rodriguez won the American League MVP while a member of the Texas Rangers. That year, A-Rod hit 47 hr and knocked in 118 RBI from the SS position. However, A-Rod’s batting average was below .300 and he played for a last place team. Again, the subjectivity of the award rears its ugly head. Should a player on a losing club even be considered for the award? In some cases, the answer is yes, in others, no. Conversely, in 2001, Ichiro Suzuki, the Rookie RF for the Seattle Mariners ran away with the AL MVP award. That season Ichiro hit only 8 hr and knocked in 69 RBI while playing for a 116 win, record setting, Seattle Mariner ballclub. The bulk of Ichiro’s writer support came from his incredible ability to play the outfield, his arm strength, his speed, and his ability to get on base. Ichiro’s presence on defense and his game changing speed brought a dynamic to the game that Alex Rodriguez, also an MVP, did not possess. Ichiro was a singles hitter. Unlike A-Rod, Ichiro did not rely on the long ball. However, the “value” he brought to the AL that season was unmatched. Likewise, in the 2011 MLB season, Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers won the MVP while not being an everyday position player. Verlander was clearly the best pitcher in the league and put together a season for the ages. However, many believed that the Cy Young was already set aside for the highest valued pitcher. Some argued Verlander had no place in the discussion being as that he took the field once every fifth day. You see where this is going….the “most valuable player” award voting process is a subjective way at looking at the collective seasons of a group of guys, both on offense and defense. One cannot simply look at HR totals, pitcher strikeouts, or outfield assists. However, the interpretation is obviously entirely up to you. So here’s the question to consider…In your opinion, which player gave the 2012 Panthers the most “value?”
You can obviously vote for whoever you want, at any position, at any time. But, for brevity’s sake I will list a few deserving members and try to sum up the good and bad of each player in order to gain a better grasp of the season and be as open minded and fair as possible. As this is the single most coveted individual award the Panthers hold it is your responsibility as a team member to take your time in the voting process and fully gage the importance of the award. The winner will be cemented in Panther history until the Earth spins off its axis and propels itself into the Sun. Good luck to everyone from Azz to maZ.
MVP (In alphabetical order)
Please choose any three (3) players and rank them accordingly. The MVP is based on an overall points system.
_____________________________________________________________________________________ Pete Azzarone
Season Highlights: .588 avg/.604 obp/1.108 slg/1.712 ops 60 hits, 11 HR, 5 3B, 10 2B, 4 BB, K, 37 R, 50 RBI, 11 E6, OFA Where to start? Azzarone had a torrid season at the plate for the Panthers. Azz lead the way in SLG, OPS, Hits, HR, 3B (tied), 2B (tied), RBI, and was 2nd in Runs and Batting Average. Simply put, Pete stood at 1st or 2nd in virtually every offensive category. Azzarone also holds the record for RBI in a season, 51, which he set in the 2011 season. Simply put, Azz was a consistent extra base threat the entire season batting out of the cleanup spot. While the overall power numbers for the team dipped in 2012, Azz remained one of the few remaining reliable power bats in the middle of the lineup. On top of that, Azz turned numerous double plays from the SS position, especially when Alex Catania made the switch from RCF to 2B. In terms of being clutch, Azz fits the bill. As an example, Azzarone, in a regular season matchup against Nightmare, tied the game on two separate occasions when the team was down by three runs. One, a monster 3-run homer, cleared the outfielder’s heads and the other was a bases clearing triple. Likewise, Azz’s clutch hitting didn’t disappear come playoff time as Pete belted 4 dingers and collected 15 RBI en route to a Playoff MVP nomination for 2012. At the plate, Azzarone finds himself
in the loins of Panthers lore, putting together one of the best overall offensive seasons in all of the team’s seven year history. Just for argument’s sake, take a look at Bobby’s 12 homer MVP 2009 season and compare. Pretty….pretty….pretty…pretty good. The downside: You have to search really deep to find any flaws in Azzarone’s game. Power, high batting average, consistency, great bat speed, clutch hitting, and extra base knocks all proved to be Azz’s strong suites throughout the season. HOWEVA (Stephen A. Smith ), despite the numerous double play balls Azz induced with PJ and Catania he also recorded double digit errors (11) on the season from the SS position, a team high. To be fair, the high volume of errors could be due in large part to the frequency at which balls were hit to the shortstop. Still, Azzarone would be the first player in team history to win an MVP award while suffering double digit errors in the field. In fact, in recent years Greis, Bobby, and PJ all had fewer than 2 errors apiece en route to the award. By comparison Pete Greis, another 2012 MVP candidate, didn’t record a single error in LF all season. Azzarone would become the 2nd SS in team history, next to Joe Fitt in 2007, to win the award. Is Azzarone’s monster year at the plate enough to compensate for the, at times, shaky defense? Mike Barrett
Season Highlights: .488 avg/.500 obp/.613 slg/1.113 ops 39 hits, 10 2B, 21 R, 19 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 E2 Barrett showed tremendous improvements this year, especially in the earlier parts of the season. While the Panthers were winning consistently, Barrett was one of a handful of guys, and perhaps the #1 guy, that carried the team on his back. Throughout the first month of the season, Barrett was hitting over .700 from the #2 hole. Apart from that, Barrett flashed the leather from the catcher position. You may ask yourself, why the fuck would I care about a catcher’s influence in a recreational slow -pitch softball game? The fact of the matter is that Barrett single handedly saved our team runs this year and has perhaps solidified victories. That shit kray, but it’s true. Barrett tagged out over five batters attempting to cross home plate, cut off every outfield throw effectively, and blocked the plate all season with textbook like execution. It may sound crazy, but Barrett is a really good catcher and has had considerable influence on games from the position. In fact, Barrett successfully applied the tag to two runners at home plate, aiding Alex Catania and Pete Azzarone to earn Outfield Assists in the 2012 Playoffs. Also, Barrett’s base running improved greatly this season as he did not get thrown out at a
single base, a far cry from his 2011 campaign. Having Bobby hit in front of him allowed Barrett to collect a ton of doubles. Barrett was a force for the Panthers. Despite a decline in numbers as the season progressed, mainly due to an incurable shoulder injury, Barrett earned and retained the right to bat at the top of the lineup for the first time in his career. The downside: Barrett got off to a sizzling (if there is a better adjective than sizzling please replace it here) start to the 2012 season. For the first month of the season Barrett was unstoppable. Literally, he was unstoppable. At one point I thought to myself, “Has Barrett gotten out at all this season?” Although the overall stats are impressive Barrett’s 2012 is the tale of two seasons. His first half was remarkable. His second half was pedestrian. Can a player be awarded the MVP while suffering a 4-5 week slump? To be fair, injury played a large part in Barrett’s demise. Still, perception is reality and numbers never lie. Could this be the last we see of Barrett in a Panther uniform? It doesn’t help that he is asking for a 3year $89 million contract. What a fuckin’ heel.
Season Highlights: .520 avg/.556 obp/.787 slg/1.342 ops 39 hits, 3 HR, 3B, 9 2B, 28 R, 21 RBI, 6 BB, K, OFA, 2 E8 What’s an MVP discussion without Bobby Bones Jones in it? Yea, we get it, Bobby is a freak athlete and perhaps the greatest Panther of all time. When it’s all said and done, there will be a 12 foot marble statue of Bobby swinging a bat constructed in the center of the East Islip Public Library. While the talk of the town lies in the laps of Azzarone and Reis, Bobby quietly put together another season for the ages. Batting mainly leadoff, Bobby racked up the extra base hits (13), proved to be one of the only homerun threats remaining on the team (3), hit above .500 the entire season, and had an OPS of nearly 1.400, placing him 3rd on the list. The other teams in the division tested Bobby’s arm and learned quickly to hold their horses when it came to running the base paths. Bobby single handedly (PUN INTENDED!) stopped runners from advancing simply because of his cannon arm. Did I mention the insane range he also possesses? I can’t express it enough but Bobby’s presence in LCF gives our team a dynamic that most other teams do not have. Simply put, he’s a black hole. It’s amazing that Bobby’s overall batting
stats are the best in team history yet his greatest asset to the team is his defense. The importance of Bobby’s presence, especially in the field, was apparent in the playoffs as the team searched high and low for numerous ringers to fill his shoes. To no avail, the task was deemed impossible. Five tool? You bet your sweet ass. Diving catches, great hitting, consistency, and speed has not only put Bobby in yet another Gold Glove conversation but also puts him in the line to become the first ever 3 – time MVP in team history (2009,2010) The downside: Take a look at Bobby’s prior seasons, especially from his MVP year in 2009. Although his overall stats are very good, Bobby still wasn’t at his best in 2012 and missed a considerable amount of playing time. This includes an 0-7 performance against the Zoo in August. Also, missing 2/3 of the playoffs including the entire A-bracket doesn’t help. I mean seriously, who gets married? What a heel. Perhaps we expect way too much from our leadoff hitter. Can Bobby win his third MVP while taking a slight dive in certain statistical categories?
Season Highlights: .510 avg/.510 obp/.827 slg/1.337 ops 50 hits, 5 HR, 4 3B, 8 2B, 28 R, 25 RBI, K, 5 E4, OFA Catania was a solid run producer for the Panthers in 2012. Batting mainly out of the 5-spot, Catania did a solid job contributing with 5 HR, 3 of which occurred in the postseason. Catania stepped it up big time in the championship game knocking in 2 huge RCF home runs to pretty much seal the deal for the Panther’s against the overwhelmed Brentwood Liquor club. Aside from that, Catania was the human Swiss-Army-Knife (courtesy of Prince Panicker). Catania played LCF, RCF, and 2 nd base with remarkable ease and confidence, accumulating only 5 total errors at 3 different positions. Catania earned himself 2 outfield assists and also recorded numerous double plays in the IF. What other Panther can say that? When we were missing men the “Big Cat” came up big with both the bat and the glove.
The downside: We all remember that Fall 2010 “Shot heard round the world” when Alex blasted it to the opposing field’s shortstop at Hidden Pond. As we stared in awe, we all J’ed ourselve s at the possibility of that happening again in the Summer Season. Surprisingly, Catania only manufactured 3 regular season dingers, a far cry from the projections he was creating for himself in his limited 2011 campaign. Here are the numbers from 2011: 22 AB, 14 hits, 11 Runs, 16 RBI, 5 HR, and a .636 average. Extrapolate that and you have a monster .636 20 HR, 44 Runs, 56 RBI season projected for the 2012 season. Needless to say, that Barry Bonds-esque season did not occur. Many of the blasts we were so accustomed to seeing turned into RCF pop-ups at his own admission. Catania turned it up at the end of the season but saw a midseason slump bring down his overall average and season ending power numbers. Catania has still yet to reach his softball ceiling. However, does his 2012 versatility make him the “most valuable”?
Season Highlights: .505 avg/ .530 obp/ .798slg/ 1.329 ops 55 hits, 5 HR, 5 3B, 7 2B, 38 R, 30 RBI, 6 BB, 0 K, 2 OFA The 2008 and 2011 MVP makes yet another appearance in the year end discussion. After Greis’ breakout year in 2011, one could hardly imagine that Greis would duplicate the performance. Well, the average dipped over 100 pts but the HR totals went up. Although the average dipped, Greis still finished 4th on the team in overall average and was a consistent on base threat batting 2-5. What’s even more impressive is that Greis started off the season slow and rapidly picked up the pace, helping catapult the Panthers into the A Division playoffs. Greis is a very good hitter for average, is the all-time leader in doubles and triples, and has sneaky pop which clears the RF’s head a few times a season. Greis also put together another fantastic year in the OF, grabbing catches in the gap, over his shoulder, diving for liners, and throwing to the proper cut-off man. In the end, Greis put together a really solid season on both ends of the ball and, most importantly, played his best softball when it mattered most. Greis was 2nd on the team in postseason hits, lead the team with 13 postseason runs, and lead the way with a total of 9xbh. Greis saw action in LF and SS and declared his candidacy for the 2013 Panther SS. Watch out Azz.
The downside: Although Greis finished with a really nice .500+ average he had to climb his way out of Greis mediocrity through the first month of the season. Halfway through, Greis was hitting nearly .415 and had only 1 HR, which he belted on opening day against the arch rival Silver Bullets (Douchebag First baseman). Is Douchebag one word? Just like Barrett, it was a tale of two seasons. To be fair, Greis really picked up the pace and truly looked like his old 2011 self for the rest of the way, including the postseason. Could Greis’ postseason performance, especially with the absence of Bobby, give Greis his 3rd MVP award? PJ McKenna
Season Highlights: .485 avg/.514 obp/.566 slg/1.080 ops 48 hits, 8 2B, 22 R, 22 RBI, 6 BB, 2K 196 IP, 7.38 ERA, 13 W, 26 CG PJ’s greatest value to the Panther family of course comes from the pitcher’s mound. While flirting with personal records including wins in a season, PJ also chased the all-time season ERA record, BB record, and has already set the strikeouts record. In fact, PJ possesses a K/BB ration of nearly 1:1. By comparison, PJ’s recreational softball pitching stats are better than AJ Burnett, Oliver Perez, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Carl Pavano, Josh Beckett (Fuck you, Reis) and Hideki Irabu’s MLB lines. On top of that, PJ improved his defense considerably at the pitcher’s position snagging liners, cutting off throws from the OF, getting opponents in countless run downs ( I mean seriously, how many run downs did we have this season?), and helped facilitate numerous double play combinations with Azz and Cat. From a pitching perspective, PJ had perhaps his best overall season as a Panther pitching and backing it up with cat-like reflexes on D. In a league this good where offense is king, the pitching can go a long way. As an example, in an early season game against the Misfits PJ only threw 7 balls in the entire game. On the offensive end, PJ flirted with the .500 mark all season but also saw a slight dip in his season-to-season power numbers, including a total of 8 XBH. PJ eclipsed over 45 hits, had over 20 RBI and Runs, and reached base consistently for most of the season. PJ is a nice piece in the middle of the Panther lineup. The question remains, does PJ’s “value” stack up with the power bats of the boys in Green?
The downside: The D is there. The pitching is there. The OBP is there. But, PJ suffered a power outage in 2012 as well as a considerable drop in his walks total. PJ kept the average respectable but failed to reach base weekly via the walk, his signature, thus taking him out of the leadoff spot. PJ is a very important cog in the wheel. Does he match up against the remarkable offensive seasons of Azzarone and Reis?
Season Highlights: .637 avg/.641 obp/.747 slg/1.389 ops 58 hits, HR, 3 3B, 2B, 25 R, 27 RBI, BB, K, OFA, 8 E5 Who thought a rookie that replaced Mike Rizzo, our legendary scrappy utility infielder, would step in immediately and contest with some of the Panther’s all -time marks. In his 1st year in green Reis hit .637 and broke the all-time single season batting average record held by Bobby since 2009 (.618). Congratulations Jason. Aside from hitting 600+ the entire season, Reis was an RBI machine, came up HUGE in the clutch including numerous walk-off hits, and played arguably the best defensive 3B our team has ever seen (sorry Riz). Simply put, Reis hit like Ichiro and played 3rd like Brosius. In 2012, Reis showed some serious leather, arm strength, and accuracy from the hot corner. Since day one, Reis stepped in and, no matter the spot in the order, produced big time. However, could a rookie really compete with some of the Panther’s finest? The vote is up to you. The downside: Reis thinks he’s too cool for school. While the rest of us are up here getting swept by The Zoo, Reis is livin’ it up in the dirty South buying property and campaigning as the 2016 Republican Presidential nominee. As a result, Reis had 18 less at bats than other qualified candidates. A .630+ average is nothing to joke about BUT a few at bats here and a few at bats there could potentially plummet his average. OK, we get it, Reis came up big when called upon. However, Pete Greis, another MVP candidate had 20 more at bats than Reis. Something to consider…Also, Reis’ flashy leather showed chinks in the armor come playoff time. Reis had a few big blunders, including a throw behind his back to 2nd base. What the fuck was that about? The glove, although really great at times, wasn’t at its best during the 3 playoff series.
Gold Glove Please choose any three (3) players and rank them accordingly. The Gold Glove is based on an overall points system. PJ McKenna- P Mike Barrett- C Justin O’Connor-1B Prince Panicker-1B Alex Catania-2B/RCF Jason Reis-3B Pete Azzarone-SS Pete Greis-LF Bobby Bonett-LCF Justin Schimmenti-RCF/RF Michael Masiar-RF/RCF/2B
Most Improved Player Please choose any three (3) players and rank them accordingly. The Most Improved Player is based on an overall points system. PJ McKenna- P Mike Barrett- C Justin O’Connor-1B Prince Panicker-1B Alex Catania-2B/RCF Jason Reis-3B Pete Azzarone-SS Pete Greis-LF Bobby Bonett-LCF Justin Schimmenti-RCF/RF Michael Masiar-RF/RCF/2B
Joe Fitt 2012 Playoff MVP Please choose any three (3) players and rank them accordingly. The Joe Fitt 2012 Playoff MVP is based on an overall points system. *Note: defensive influence, apart from Outfield Assists, not indicated Mike Barrett………….. 2-6, R, RBI, 2B, 2 BB Pete Greis……………… 17-31, 13R, 8 RBI, 2 HR, 3B, 4 2B Jason Reis……………… 20-31, 7R, 7 RBI, 3B, 3 E5 Pete Azzarone………. 13-27, 9R, 15 RBI, 4 HR, 3B, 2B, 2 BB, 2 SAC, OFA Alex Catania………….. 13-29, 8R, 9 RBI, 3 HR, 5 2B, 2 SAC, OFA Bobby Bonett………… 4-9, 2R, RBI, E8 Justin Schimmenti…. 13-28, 5 R, 7 RBI, 3B, 4 2B, BB, 2K PJ McKenna…………… 15-27, 8R, 9 RBI, 2 2B, 2 BB 49 IP, 4 W, 3L, 12 BB, 5 K Justin O Connor…….. 10-16, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 2B, 2 BB, SAC, K Prince Panicker……… 7-20, 2R, 5 RBI, 2B, BB, 2K 6 IP, 1 W, K, 0BB Mike Masiar………….. 7-16, 3R, 3 RBI, SAC
HEEL of the Year (other suggestions apply) Michael Luther Lynch: weekly regular season scheduling conflicts, changing field times, locations, opponents, calling rainouts 45 minutes before game time, making the schedule on the fly, playing us against the same 5 teams whose combined win percentage flirted with the .700 mark Justin O’Connor: losing his glove in the shrubs at the Marina 28 times, striking out 3 times in a game, cursing in front of women and children, hitting below the Rizzo line, admitting Broadway is his guilty pleasure, running to the bleacher after a potential RCF triple. Mike Barrett tagging out every batter on a called strike three, arguing with the umpire from the catcher position, demanding to stay in the game, getting runners thrown out by 10 feet coaching 3rd base, continuously forgetting the battery to the digital camera,-> forcing McKenna to go out and purchase a new camera, making Sandusky jokes, commenting on the Aurora shootings in a joking manner 24 hours after being committed. Jason Reis: gets walk off hit-> as a celebration; he gets sushi and asks for 6 separate checks at 11:37pm. Bobby Bonett gets married. Misses playoffs (see below)
FACE of the Year Jason Reis broke the Jew barrier Chris Masiar played one series and wore a throwback jersey and mustache 5 weeks after mustache week. Ump Richard after getting swept by the zoo, Rich came over and complimented us for being “good sports.” PJ McKenna has come a long way since the days of blazers, entrance music, vuvuzelas, bananas, cigars, arm pads, and American cheese slices Pete Azzarone quietly goes about his business, doesn’t argue blown calls, slowed down his homerun trot per request Prince Panicker because he’s Prince Mr. Greis attended every game Bobby Bonett gets married (see above)
What is your favorite weekly feature? Face/Heel of the Week Meme of the Week Series Recaps Player Videos Player Interviews Any improvements you can suggest to weekly features of the website? Should we switch back to Cougar Bait? Should we try out new uniforms again? Should we consider a league besides Major?
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.