He’s our GUY and a League Defensive All-Star!

The World Series defensive All-Stars were chosen and for the 3rd year in a row a Boston Renegade was on the list.  Guy Zuccarello was named to the team for the 2nd time in the past 2 years.  Here are the Players named to the team in 2013

  1. Tim Chappell – Columbus Stars 6.50 stops per game
  2. Dave Benney – Indy Thunder  5.88 stops per game
  3. Guy Zuccarello – Boston Renegades  5.13 stops per game
  4. Andrew Greene – Southwest Slammers  5.00 stops per game
  5. Ching-Kai Chen – Taiwan Homerun 4.88 stops per game
  6. Eric Mazariegos – Austin Blackhawks 4.86 stops per game

    Bryan Grillo makes a call on a ball hit toward Guy (Photo by John Lykowski Jr)

Seeing him on this list may not be shocking after his MVP season in 2012 in Iowa but this season was not easy for him.  To start the season, Guy was unable to travel with the team to Chicago and saw his first tournament action in Long Island.  In his first game of the year he struggled badly against Carolina and was unable to make a put out in 3 stops.  In fact, through his first three games he had made just two stops in 10 chances.  Something was off.  A pep talk helped him regain some confidence and he was able to close the day with 6 stops against the PA Wolfpack.  Few defenders in this league work as hard as he does at practice and he was determined to figure out what he did wrong and why he struggled to stop just 47% of the balls hit at him.  The Renegade defense would be one of the stronger units it has had in years and would get stronger as the dance got deeper into the week.  But it started with Guy finding his way back.  After playing every inning of every game in 2012, He found himself getting some rest in the first game of the day.  He would make 2 stops against Tyler in 2 chances and then would follow this up with 7 stops against the Atlanta Eclipse in 8 chances.  This was significant for guy because it equaled his most stops in a game (he had 7 in a game against the Colorado Storm in 2012) though this was his most stops in a team win..and for Guy, that is what matters most.  Guy would Shine for the week and have one of the best defensive weeks any player could have against some of the top offenses in the league.  He made 41 stops in the field in 49 chances which equates to 84% success rate.  This stat is something only tracked by the Renegades since 2009 and the team record for a World Series is held by Justen Cantan at 85% in 2011.  These are the only two players to surpass 70% for the series!  Game by game here is how Guy performed at the World Series:

  1. Against Tyler (16th in batting avg at .180)- 2 stops in 2 chances (tied for the team lead in stops for the Renegades)
  2. Against Atlanta (13th in batting avg at .205)- 7 stops in 8 chances (led Renegades in stops in this match)
  3. Against Chicago (5th in batting avg at .388)- 5 stops in 7 chances (tied for the team lead in stops for the Renegades)
  4. Against the Southwest Slammers (12th in batting avg at .209)- 5 stops in 6 chances (led Renegades in stops in this match)
  5. Against the Taiwan Home run (2nd in batting avg at .497)- 6 stops in 8 chances in just 4 innings (led Renegades in stops in this match)
  6. Against the RHI Extreme (4th in batting avg at .418)- 5 stops in 7 chances (led Renegades in stops in this match)
  7. Against the Long Island Bombers (11th in batting avg at .212)- 6 stops in 6 chances (led Renegades in stops in this match)
  8. Against the Southwest Slammers (12th in batting avg at .209)- 5 stops in 5 chances (led Renegades in stops in this match)

Guy did more than field this year.  He actually worked hard to improve his swing and was able to score 11 runs for Boston and hit .367.  This ranked as the 2nd most runs on the team behind Larry Haile and Shayne Cantan who scored a dozen each.  Guy is one of the smallest players in the league but his love for the sport, his team and the size of his heart on the field is second to none.  We joke, but this is true…pound for pound he may be the greatest player in the league and we are proud he is one of our Guys!

 

Guy and Bryan Grillo prepare for a pitch and get ready to move (Picture by Sarah Cochran)

In Renegade history, the following players have been named to All Star teams at the World Series

  • 2003 Darren Black – 2nd place on defensive all- stars 6.2 stops per game
  • 2006 Darren Black – 6th place defensive all- stars 3.71 stops per game
  • 2007 Luis Marquez – 5th place Offensive all stars .600 batting avg
  • 2011 Justen Cantan – 3rd place defensive all- stars 5.57 stops per game
  • 2012 Guy Zuccarello – MVP defensive all- stars 5.14 stops per game
  • 2013 Guy Zuccarello -3rd place defensive all- stars 5.13 stops per game

 

World Series Day 3 & 4 wrap ups

Game #6 RHI is Extreme in first 2 innings and Bury the Renegades 10-7

RHI and Boston pose for a picture for NFB after the game

RHI and Boston pose for a picture for NFB after the game

This was the big game everyone was waiting for on the Renegades.  The first 5 games of the tournament had gone exactly as the team had planned.  This was different.  RHI was not supposed to be in this game.  They were upset by the Carolina Warriors in a 16-14 extra inning contest in the rain the day before.  Boston was expecting the Warriors in this match and instead got the team that finished 6th in the 2012 World Series.  The last time the Gades played RHI was in 2011 and Boston lost 7-1 as RHI has a very good defense.  The team met the night before and was hyped up for this game.  the starters were rested as many of them had the game off against Taiwan.  The RHI roster was full of many familiar faces we have played against for years as part of the Indy Thunder.  Boston’s Joe McCormick led the game off with a bomb into left field and scored.  In fact this was the only game he led off with a hit as he was 0-6 in leading off tournament games at the world Series.  Fired up, he ran back to the bench.  That fire would be a problem for the team.  RHI would plate 5 runs in the bottom of the first and another 5 runs in the bottom of the second and after two full innings, RHI led 10-2.  The Boston defense would settle down.  Despite the fact RHI would strike out just once, the Boston Defense would set the final 11 batters down (one by strike-out) and the offense would slowly regain its form.  the offense took longer to settle down as some of the guys were too jacked and hyped up that their timing and swings were off.  Down six runs in the 6th inning Boston would go back-to back with Shayne Cantan and Guy Zuccarello and the team came alive.  Joe Quintanilla would also plate a run but it was too little and too late.  RHI would hold on to win the game.  Boston did not play a complete game.  In the final 4 innings they out scored RHI 4-0.  The team would be eliminated from the tournament and could not finish higher than 9th place.  RHI would go on to finish 4th in the World Series.   Boston learned a valuable lesson about maintaining composure through the game.  Coach Weissman’s fire did them in on this game.  A lesson was learned and the team knows it is close to becoming a top tier team in the league.

 

Game #7 Boston Limps against Long Island but comes back to win 7-4

Joe Quintanilla makes a huge defensive stop in the 4th inning on a deep shot from Jose Dejesus

Joe Quintanilla makes a huge defensive stop in the 4th inning on a deep shot from Jose Dejesus

22 times these teams have faced off but they had not played each other in a World Series since 2008 when Long Island massacred the Renegades 23-5 in Houston.  The Bombers limped into this game banged up with a few injuries and some regular names missing from the line-up.  The winner of this game would play for 9th place and the loser would play for 11th.  The Southwest Slammers and Tyler Tigers were the other teams in the bracket.  Matt Puvogel was banged up and playing.  Braulio Thorne was injured and out of the game.  Jim Hughes was struggling to hear and was the DF.  Jose Dejesus had an injured leg as well.  Three new players were in the starting line-up and they would become part of the Boston/New York rivalry from the start of the game.  In this game, Boston would win the coin toss for the first time and only time of the world Series.  Boston was reeling from the loss to RHI and the sluggish feeling took its toll at the plate.  The air was further let out when Joe McCormick was put out on a deep shot into left field by Megahn Fink.  She did it to him again in the 3rd inning.  After three frames, Boston was down 3-2.  In the bottom of the 4th, Boston had one of its best innings of the tournament and plated five runs by five different players.  It would also be the only time all week that the 1-2-3 hitters would score in consecutive at-bats.  They would embrace in a group hug to celebrate it after Shayne Cantan plated his run in the inning.  In the end, Boston’s desire was stronger than Long Island’s bench.  Despite the Bombers hitting the ball better, Boston only struck out twice and was more consistent.  Guy Zuccarello was the star of this game with 6 defensive stops and a pair of runs while Joe Quintanilla made the stop of the game on a blast of the bat of Jose Dejesus in the 4th inning.  The Win would send the Renegades to play the Southwest Slammers who defeated the Tyler Tigers 6-2.  The win over Long Island would give Boston a 12-11 lifetime record against the Bombers.

 

Game #8 Boston Slides by the Slammers 6-2

Aqil Sajjad and Larry Haile each scored a pair of runs in the 5th and 6th innings to help lead a come from behind victory

Aqil Sajjad and Larry Haile each scored a pair of runs in the 5th and 6th innings to help lead a come from behind victory

9th place was not what the Renegades had in mind.  In fact, the Slammers probably had their sights higher as they finished 8th in the 2012 World Series. Southwest had a tough time since the two teams last played.  They lost one of their players, Kevin Lowe, to a knee injury that would shelf him for the contest while Pete Trejo was treated for heat issues the day before.  On top of that the Slammer pitcher, Daniel Greene seemed to be fighting off an illness and it was rumored he was playing while coughing up blood.  It just had a feeling of a game nobody wanted to be playing.  The league gave us some of the worst bases and may not have been the legal size and we had just one volunteer to help umpire the game with no base umps.  The Boston coaching staff wanted to get up big early in the game and let everyone play but the Slammers would not allow that.  In fact, the Slammers held a 2-0 lead in this game through the first 4 innings.  Boston looked tired and it appeared the Slammers may have wanted the game more.  All they needed to do was hold on.  Joe McCormick would lead off the 5th inning looking for revenge as he cost the team a run on a missed base in his previous at-bat.  This time he was able to dive and make contact with the base.  Larry Haile would score on a deep drive to left center to tie up the game.  With two out, Aqil Sajjad would score the go ahead run on a weak ground ball that would be a foot race between him and an eventual defensive all-star, Andrew Greene.  Sajjad may have run his best base of the year and plowed through the base giving the Renegades a lead for the first time in the contest. In the bottom of the 5th,the Slammers would go down 1-2-3 tallying 9 consecutive outs since the 3rd inning two of them would be by the way of a strike out.  Larry Haile and Aqil would each plate their second runs of the game as Boston would plate three more in the 6th.  Guy Zuccarello would make two defensive stops and Shayne Cantan would make the final out of the game as Boston would come from behind to win 6-2.  The 2nd come from behind victory the Renegades would have in their past 3 games would be exciting but it prevented the Renegade bench from getting into the game.

World Series Day #2 round up

Game #4 Renegades Slam the door on the Slammers 13-1

Guy Zuccarello would have his 2nd career 4 run game and would make 5 stops on defense to pace the Gades

Guy Zuccarello would have his 2nd career 4 run game and would make 5 stops on defense to pace the Gades

Two teams that had never seen each other would square off on the first game of double elimination.  The winner would likely face Taiwan.  The Slammers finished slightly ahead of the Renegades in the 2012 World Series and both teams entered this match with hopes of winning.  The Slammers finished 2-1 on their first day of play with wins over Wichita and Columbus and came into this game ranked 8th to the Renegades 9 seed.  One key on this day was video analysis that Coach Rob did before the games started and a talk with Guy Zuccarello about making a fix to his mechanics.  Another coin toss was lost by the Renegades and both teams started slow as there was 4 strike outs between the two teams in the first inning.  In the 2nd inning Guy Zuccarello would score on a hard grounder down the 3rd baseline in the wet grass.  Joe Quintanilla would step to the plate. Early in the count, Q would lose the bat and it would fly out of his hands and hit his catcher, Rob Weissman in the arm.  This was the first time in 11 years a bat had flown out of a Renegades hands and hit someone in a game.  A scary moment was followed by Weissman putting on a mask and all players using liquid grip for the remainder of the game.  By the time the Slammers plated their first run of the game Boston was ahead 5-0.  In fact, this run was somewhat controversial because the front line Boston defense called dead ball and the second line quit on it…only to find there was still a beep in it.  That would be it for the Slammers.  Shayne Cantan and Guy Zuccarello would each score 4 times in this match (Only the 2nd time in Guy’s career he would match this feat) while Larry Haile would plate a hat trick to account for 10 of the 13 runs scored.  Boston would 12 run the Slammers after 5 innings.  In the 6th inning, with the Renegades in the field, the heavy rain started to fall and Weissman made a mistake.  The scorekeeper ordered Sengil Inkiala off the field because he was not officially entered on the scorecard.  Despite this mistake, the Renegades had their only 12 run victory in the tournament and their 5th in team history.  Guy would have his best day off the tournament plating four runs and making 5 stops on defense.

 

 

 

Game #5 Taiwan Home run take 4 innings to 12 run the Renegade bench 13-1

Photo of Taiwan and Boston after the game

Photo of Taiwan and Boston after the game

After the thunder storms had cleared, Boston had decided that the priority was to make sure the Renegades were well rested after the long day of play on Day #1.  Boston would trot out a line up like no other game in 2013 that would have Damon Graff starting at first, Joe O’Neill at Rover, Rob Thayer at third base, Joe Quintanilla at mid field, Guy Zuccarello at Left shorty and Tim Syphers getting his first ever start at DH with Sengil Inkiala playing the right side shorty as the defensive fielder.  Taiwan would score four times in the first and then struggle to plate runs as they could only manage a pair in the 2nd and a pair in the 3rd innings.  Guy Zuccarello would rack up 6 defensive outs in just 4 innings of play against Taiwan.  The bats were silent and the defense struggled outside of Guy and Inky (who made 2 stops).  Damon, O’Neill and Rob Thayer all had multiple chances to make plays and came up empty.  Joe O’Neill had a ball hit right at him that he pretty much ran out of the way on.  Rob Thayer came inches away from making his 2nd put out ever.  Experience was what this team needed and they got plenty of practice as the speedy Taiwan team  would put them away in 4 innings.  This was the 17th time the Renegades have been mercy ruled in their career and the 2nd time by Taiwan.  Other than the spectacular play of Zuccarello, the highlight was rookie Tim Syphers proving that he has a future in this game when he gets healthy.  With two outs in the game, he smashed a line drive down the 3rd base line by all the defenders to plate a run on the Home Run defense.  This would be Sypher’s second run of the tournament against the top ranked defense.

Day #1 of the World Series – Round Robin Results

The 2013 World Series would be held in Columbus, Georgia and the Renegades would enter as the 9 seed in the dance based on last years finish.  There would be twenty teams in the tournament which is the most teams since the Renegades have been in existence. Boston would have high hopes as it would bring its best offensive line up and one of its better defensive teams.  The goal for the Gades was to move up and shoot for 5th place with a stretch goal of 4th.  With this many teams, Boston was gearing up to play at least eight games with the possibility of ten.  With two weeks to go before the series, Rookie Pam Love would injure her knee and we would have roster concerns to deal with for the second straight year.

Lary Haile scored three runs against Tyler and Rob Thayer made his first ever defensive stop

Lary Haile scored three runs against Tyler and Rob Thayer made his first ever defensive stop

Game #1: Boston Tames the Tigers 10-1


Boston had beaten Tyler four straight time since their last loss in 2003.  This was a game the Renegades were favored to win but the Tyler team had a roster of many new faces.  When the line up cards came out, 4 of the 6 players were never scouted by the Renegades.  Boston would lose the coin toss for the first time all year after Pam Love had won 8 straight. Boston’s goal was get up early and get everyone into the game.  It did not start as planned as Joe McCormick and Shyane Cantan would  sandwich two whiffs between Larry Haile’s run scoring hit.  Things would settle down as Tyler would strike out in the same manner and go down 1-2-3 in the first. After three innings, Boston would hold an 8-1 lead and every starter had scored a run with “L-Train” Haile pacing the way with three runs.  The Gades were in control of this game and the drama would unfold in the fourth inning.  In the top of the fourth with a 9-1 lead, Cantan would step to the plate and hit a dribbler he thought would not travel the 40 feet.  He was wrong and was caught standing in the batters box.  Coach Weissman would lose it and would be heard screaming through many of the fields in anger at the play.  The Renegade hitters are taught not to think and to run everything out.  That passion is what drives the Renegades and the mental approach of Boston would be a theme for the dance.  In the Bottom of the fourth, Tyler would send John Ingram to the plate and he would loft a fly ball toward first base where Rob Thayer would be playing.  Big Rob hit the ground and made his first ever defensive stop of his three year career.  As the team trotted off the field the smiles, hugs and cheers far outweighed the score of the game.  A player who works so hard every practice had a smile as big as his giant arms.  Boston would win10-1 as Tyler would strike out 13 times.

 

 

Guy Zuccarello paced the defense with 7 defensive stops in this game and Shayne had 3 runs to lead the offense

Guy Zuccarello paced the defense with 7 defensive stops in this game and Shayne had 3 runs to lead the offense

Game # 2: Boston Welcomes Atlanta to the league with an 11-2 win

Atlanta was playing in their first ever World Series as a team.  and due to the time of this game, the media was out in swarms recording bits of the game.   The Eclipse would bring in a few Cleveland Scrappers to help fill out their line up and in this game three of them were on the field including their pitcher Kevin Barrett.  This would make this new team more dangerous than most new teams as Barrett will put the ball into play.  Boston would jump to an early 3-0 lead in the first and never look back.  Guy Zuccarello would make outs on the first four batters of the game.  In fact, the shorties would make 11 of the 12 defensive stops in this game.  Zuccarello would end the game with 7 stops on defense to tie his career high set in 2012 against the Colorado Storm. For the Eclipse, the only batters to score would be from two of the Cleveland Scrappers team, Wilbert Turner and Christian Keeley.    All 11 Renegades would get into this game for the second game in a row which was the plan.  Coach Weissman told the team if it could take care of business in the first two games, they would take a run at Chicago.  Two games under their belt and a combined score of 21-3 would then put the Renegades against the Comets for the third time in 2013.

 

 

Tim Syphers scored his first ever run and Joe O'Neill almost lost his pants running down the 3rd base line

Tim Syphers scored his first ever run and Joe O’Neill almost lost his pants running down the 3rd base line

 

Game #3: Comets stay undefeated against Renegades winning 11-4

No team has beaten Boston more consecutive times than the Chicago Comets.  The Gades were hoping to stop an 8 game losing streak. For the 3rd consecutive game, Boston lost the coin toss and was the away team.  A bad trend would start for Boston in this game.   The vaunted 1-2-3 hitters of Joe McCormick, Larry Haile and Shayne Cantan would go down on weak hits to the shorty –  strike out and weak hit to the shorty.  Chicago would pounce on Boston plating 7 runs in the first two innings.  The defense was in a bit of shock as their second line of defense had seen just three balls in the first two games.  They  had 8 chances in the first two innings of this match. Chicago came out hitting and Boston came out limping.  Boston struck out 8 times in this match for a game high in 2013 highlighted by a silver enchilada (3 Strike outs) by the Machine, Aqil Sajjad.  The good news was in the second half of the game, Boston would stay in check and hold the Comets to just 4 runs.  Shayne Cantan played some good defense at the middle of the filed making 5 stops which equaled the output at that position in the entire 2012 World Series.  The defense got some work in this game and it also got some confidence.  In the 6th inning of this game, Rookie Tim Syphers who had been injured all year would get an at bat and hit a hard grounder down the first base line on the first pitch thrown to him and would score his first run of his career.  This excitement would be followed by Joe o’Neill putting a ball into play and having his pants fall down while he was running to third.  These two moments were symbolic of what would be to come…a team with hope that would stumble the rest of the World Series.