The Drop Podcast Episode #3: WILL Waves

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Prior to the MAW Canonsburg Classic on August 18th, The Drop chatted with members of the NWLA Tournament champion WILL Waves - Austin Berger, Jake Davey, and Steve Keelon. In this fast moving one hour discussion, the Waves dive into the finer points of their title run including how the team was put together, what they felt their keys to sucess were, and their motivation to improve on their 13th place finish from a year ago. Austin, Jake, and Steve also discuss their ongoing learning process with cut balls, the benefits of various forms of wiffleball rules, and which players impressed them the most in Michigan. 

00:00 – Introduction
01:15 – Berger on pitching in a high walk rate environment.
02:45 – Keelon on the Waves playing with a chip on their shoulders.
03:30 – The unique challenges of managing an NWLA Tournament roster; Nate Morris’ unexpected big tournament; the challenges of putting together a fast pitch all-star team in a slow to medium pitch league; practicing for the NWLA tournament; what were the differences team/roster wise between this year and last that allowed the Waves to be so successful?
14:20 – The differences in style of play between the Wiff is Life League, NWLA Tournament, and MAW; adapting to cut balls for the first time; major differences and challenges between slow/medium pitch and fast pitch.
20:45 – Paul asks the Waves for the opinions on several players re: Drop Player of the Year award (Caleb Jonkman, Chris Roeder, Ryan Bush, Jordan Castelli, K-Von, Soup); thoughts on Griffleball & OCWA NWLA teams as a whole; the types of pitches most seen at the NWLA tournament; how can the walks come down at the NWLA Tournament?
35:10 – Do the Waves feel added pressure going into next year as the reigning NWLA tournament champions?; how they feel about being called fluke champions; the Waves walk through the pivotal moments of their tournament; games against HRL and OCWA.
41:45 – Plans for the future in terms of playing in other organizations, traveling, etc.; the advantage of being able to face different types of pitchers in their practices; future additions to the Waves.
49:40 – Future plans for Wiff is Life League; possible fast pitch league; how the league has grown over time.

Organizations:  Wiff is Life League, NWLA, MAW, Fast Plastic

Teams: WILL Waves, OCWA Freaky Franchise, AWAA Blue Kamikazes, HRL All-Stars, GBL Legends, Ridley Park Longballs

Players: Austin Berger, Jake Davey, Steven Keelon, Jordan Castelli, Nate Morris, Mike Graziani, Tim Marra, Rob Licht, Caleb Jonkman, Chris Roeder, Ryan Bush, K-Von, Connor Young.

The Drop Podcast Episode #2: Blake Hoffman

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Paul (with Tim dropping in from time to time) is joined by My Name is ERL's rookie southpaw, Blake Hoffman, for an extensive interview on his brief but promising competitive Wiffle Ball career. Blake discusses how he discovered he game on YouTube and his foray into the world of "YouTube Wiffle Ball". We talk to Blake about his multiple year journey from throwing in his backyard to his competitive tournament debut, including what he was waiting for and how he knew he was ready. The Ohio native talks about playing in his first tournament alongside Sean Steffy, joining My Name is ERL, and traveling to New Jersey and Pennsylvania this year to compete in Mid Atlantic Wiffle. This episode delivers quality insight into the art of Wiffle Ball pitching and a look into Blake's unique journey into the Wiffle Ball world.

00:00:00 – Blake's journey into competitive Wiffle Ball - discovering the game on YouTube; interacting with players on YouTube; honing his skills in the backyard; scuffed vs. non-scuffed pitching; and how experimenting in bullpen sessions helped him develop as a pitcher.
00:18:00 – Blake's tournament debut playing with Sean Steffy in the Twinsburg World Series; how Connor Young got him to join ERL; his MAW debut at February's Winter Classic; and his ups and downs this year in Mid Atlantic.
00:35:45 – Blake self-assesses his current biggest weakness; how he feels being a top lefty pitcher in a scene where that is rare; who he enjoys watching pitch the most.

Tournaments & Organizations: MAW, Twinsburg, Winter Classic

Teams: My Name is ERL

People: Blake Hoffman, Sean Steffy, Connor Young, Jordan Robles

The Drop Podcast Episode #1: Connor Young, Tim Cooke

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On the jam-packed debut edition of The Drop Podcast, Paul is joined by Connor “Soup” Young and Tim Cooke for an hour of fast moving and wide ranging Wiffs talk.

On this episode, we preview MAW’s Backyard Brawl tournament on 8/4, Paul gets Tim’s and Soup’s opinions on some fringe “Player of the Year” candidates, and the trio discusses and debates what it takes to be called “best player in Wiffle Ball”. In addition, we go in depth on the recent NWLA Tournament (what might a MAW NWLA team look like?), the National Wiffle Tournament (how exactly did this tournament work?), and the debut of the all-star caliber Soup’s Kitchen at a recent tournament in New Jersey (has Soup ever seen Jordan Robles as angry as he was after losing in the finals?).

00:00:30 – MAW Backyard Brawl preview
00:11:30 – Player of the Year Discussion (bubble candidates; what it takes to be considered the best player in the game; top all-time veteran pitchers)
00:36:00 – NWLA Tournament (general tournament thoughts; the challenge in throwing a clean ball; what an MAW NWLA Tournament team might look like)
00:47:30 – National Wiffle Tournament
00:56:30 – The debut of Soup’s Kitchen in Sandy Hook, NJ

Tournaments & Organizations: MAW, Palisades, Wiff is Life League, Ridley Park Wiffleball League, NWLA, National Wiffle, Sandy Hook Tournament, Fast Plastic

Teams: My Name is ERL, York Yaks, Stompers, Barrel Bruisers, Jersey Lemon Heads, The Revolution, Ridley Park Longballs, WILL Waves, GCM, Golden Sticks, Freaky Franchise

People: Tommy Loftus, Ray Lutick, Dave Wegerzn, Tim Trenary, Danny Lanigan, Lou Worthington, Ben Stant, Jake Davey, Kyle Von Schleusingen, Jordan Robles, Adam Milsted, Tim Stewart, David Wood