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Week 3/4 Wrap-Up

Alright then, as is our custom, Forum updates begin here at the conclusion of week 4… wrap-up, look forward, discuss league issues when appropriate… as always, if you’re receiving auto-notifications when posts are made to this Forum and you’d like those to stop… simply send the email address that’s receiving them to <> and I’ll remove it… that said, current Captains don’t have this option and must stay on the list.

So the first double-header Thursday came a week earlier this year, the consequence of moving opening day up a week this season… as it turned out, an absolutely beautiful evening on Lower Hutchinson where by all appearances, some good softball got played… a handful of 1-run games, a handful of blow-outs and the rest somewhere in between. Perkins & Will beat Ruder Group in their early game on a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 7th… Three of the late games went only 6 innings, while Skender and Thornton-Tomasetti went to extras and needed 8 innings to determine a winner.

After 4 weeks, 3 unbeaten teams are all that remain… and one of them will fall this coming Thursday when Clune Construction meet the Reservoir Dogz in the late game on Diamond 11, a re-match of last years Championship Game as well… so that should be a good one. Also next week in the late game, our only remaining winless teams meet as SOM faces VOA… so something’s gonna give there as well… should be a good week overall.

A reminder and a couple general notes;

• This coming Saturday, June 6th will be our 2nd Annual Triple-Header Saturday on Lower Hutchinson following regular Thursday games on June 4th… You’ll want to have your teams out on the diamonds no later than 8:30 warming up ahead of a 9 AM start time. Horn will sound at 8:55… Immediately following your first game you will need to corral your entire squad and line them up in the queue to get your Team and Captain’s pictures taken… the location will quickly become obvious by where I’m set up with the camera on a trip-pod… the goal here is to keep the line organized and moving, we want to get pictures taken as quickly as possible. Once complete, the second horn of the day will sound for the start of game 2, approximately and hour and five minutes after that, the 3rd horn for the final game of the day… all normal regular season rules will apply… you’ll get another reminder email from me for this following Thursdays games, but now is the time to make sure you line up as many of your players as possible.

• For those that are not yet aware… a new rule, Rule A14 has been added to the Design League Rules. It deals with diminishing daylight for the late games…

• Everyone should be aware the discussions remain ongoing with Union Park… my desire is to hopefully move our Tournament to the weekend of August 8th to disconnect it from Lollapalooza as I’m aware that some of you may have roster problems caused by teammates with tickets to that event… nothing at all is guaranteed at this point, but I’m doing my best… everything in the scheduling arena comes down to availability, permitting and cost… I’ll let you know more once I know more…

Thanks all, 5 games to play over the next week… good luck to all.

Week 8/9 Wrap-Up

As mentioned previously, from my perspective, this years format is working out smashingly… having had a few conversations over these past weeks where some of you have mentioned missing Upper Hutchinson and our 4 diamond home up there for so many years… know that if the day were to ever come where lights were installed on Upper, I’ve been promised that Thursday nights would revert back to us up there… that’s the dream… but in the meantime, we need 8 diamonds to make our format work and that’s only possible on Lower…

The primary issue this years format is probably causing most of you… is one of individual team attendance… for instance, we have a guy that went on vacation Wednesday before last and returned today… instead of having missed 2 games as would have been the case in all previous seasons… he missed a whopping 6 games, more than a third of the season… makes things tricky… if you’re missing a good player on triple-header Saturday, you’re missing him/her for 3 games instead of just 1… something to perhaps Captain differently in seasons to come or even moving forward this season… I’m considering adding a 14th player to the Dogz roster for instance where we’ve always carried no more than 13, gives me a better chance of staying out of the lurch…

On the diamonds last night in the Design League’s first ever double-header night in Grant Park… we saw 5 of 16 teams sweep… meeting the Reservoir Dogz in a battle for the 1-seed, Clune emerged with the 8-7 win on a walk-off in the bottom of 7 with a neon ball and no light to speak of… Clune off to the 7-0 start… Old Stylin’ showed that they once again have some meddle this season sweeping their 2 games as they flip-flopped with 1-1 Perkins & Will into the 3 seed and into a records tie with the Dogz… and they’ll get to play the Dogz next Thursday with a chance to climb yet another rung up the ladder…

Ruder Group bounced back from a disappointing Triple-Header Saturday to take both of their games yesterday as well jumping all the way back up to the 5 seed… as did VOA with wins over P&W and SOM to move into the 6th seed… and last but never least, SCB… another team I feel capable of big things bounced back from dropping 3 as well last Saturday to take both of their games over theBuzz and Thornton-Tomasetti

Also wanted everyone to know that I noticed all the late games playing into darkness and I also noticed that no games played on our 8 diamonds prior to our 6:30 start… I’ve got an email in to CPD asking whether we can expect the same situation moving forward… if so, we might slide starting times back to 6 or 6:15… if not, we’re going to have to focus harder on starting those earlier games more promptly… while I need to do a better job of blowing the horn on time… as we need to get those second games started sooner. By my perception 8:40 last night seemed to be the cut-off line… a work in progress though, so we’ll work together to improve that…

All for now… same deal next Thursday… and please remember to start fleshing out your rosters for the July 19th Tournament as well as the July 20th rain date… both scheduled for Upper Hutchinson…

Have great weekends…

Week 5/6/7 Wrap-Up

For my money, I have not one single complaint about how the Design League’s 1st Annual Triple-Header Saturday unfolded… it transformed a sputtering May into a month where we got 5 games in the books before the calendar rolled to June… if anything, I kick myself for not having happened upon the idea 2 years ago… before all that pain… but all credit goes to Ed Mirkavic of theBuzz for suggesting the idea… and the additional potential I saw in Ed’s idea to use the day to capture ALL team pictures at one time… has literally turned 10 hours of tedious work into just a couple hours of enjoyable editing…

Most special thanks to our Park District Rep Marie who has always been a great partner, without her this format we’re taking out for a spin this season would not have been possible… her offer of the 4 additional diamonds as they became available to her truly allowed the day to breath and made all games much more stress-free and fun to play… at least that’s what I saw around the diamonds… if you had a different experience, please feel encouraged to put it to words in the comments section of this post…

Now that the day has come and gone and I’ve tallied the results, it would appear some further nuance has been introduced to our Design League traditions… mainly, you need to have a good roster turnout for Triple-Header Saturday… if you don’t, it affects 3 games instead of just one as it would have in past seasons… this caused major stumbles for a handful of teams while more unlikely suspects appeared to benefit… one way or another, the Leaderboard feels different than it has in the past after 5 game weeks… and we move now to the double-header portion of our season where the same dynamic is in effect, albeit over only 2 games any given Thursday… but all the same, Captains need to focus more closely on making sure they’re covered for players… I saw more teams taking automatic outs for the lack of 2 girls than is typical at all… that just another observation…

One of my favorite aspects of the day was not having to stick to a rigid clock… playing games all the way to their conclusion regardless was nice and relaxed. Three games went to extra-innings, one went 8, another 9 and the very last game to finish Saturday was an epic battle for the ages where SOM eventually bested Thornton-Tomasetti 11-9 after a full 11 innings…

The second to last game to finish was Old Stylin’ scoring 6 runs after 2 outs in the top 7th to tie the game against Dobbins Group… and then later in the bottom of the 9th, after scoring 1 to take the lead, thwarted Dobbins final push ending the game with a double-play where out 1 was a 4-throw rundown between home and 3rd.. and out 2 was a quick sidearm throw to 3rd to get the trail runner who was trying to advance there while the rundown was happening… absolutely amazing finish to that one that I was lucky enough to witness live.

The day saw 6 games decided by one run… any of you have a game summary for an interesting game you were a part of that everyone might like… please, please post it to the comments.

Please start readying your rosters now for our first of at least 5 double-header Thursdays which will commence later this week on the 5th… games will return to the rigid clock, I’m going to go with exactly an hour for the first games this week at 6:30 and then monitor how the light situation feels at 8:30 near the ends of the second games… we’ll adjust from there moving forward.

Also, and an email will be going out to Captains soon specifically regarding the fact that this years Tournament is scheduled for a Saturday (07/19) and the Tournament Rain Date is scheduled for the very next day on a Sunday (07/20)… there’s a reason for this which I will explain… but I’m including it here now so that you can alert your players with as much notice as possible.

Last but not least, sincere thanks to all of you for making Triple-Header Saturday the success that it was. Everyone showed up close to on-time… you all queued up for pictures perfectly… we didn’t have nary the argument, that I heard about anyway… an all around great day… thanks to one and all.



Week 13 Update

Well… for as down as I was leaving Lincoln Park a couple weeks ago… last night on Lower lifted me back up… the diamonds were beautiful… nice bases again… comfortable weather and blue skies… a really nice night in my opinion.

Our Grant Park rep stopped by and we had a nice conversation… she seems willing to look the other way on the fact that we’re out of money… which is a good thing… so here’s how the situation stands in regards to our finishing out the regular season;

Best possible scenario is that (4) more diamonds are released sometime by next Tuesday… if that happens we’ll be playing all (8) games next week at 6 PM spread over (8) diamonds… and then most likely we’d be making up the Week 5 rainout the same way on the 26th.

Second best (but not so good) scenario is that no more diamonds are released and we split Week 15 over the next two Thursdays… (4) games on the 19th, (4) games on the 26th… what can go wrong in this scenario is that a rainout on either date would make both dates moot…

And finally, we could be done as of right now… but the feeling I have is that that won’t be the case… all of you should know that it’s always my top priority to get ALL (15) games played… right now we’re at 13 and if we ended up playing all (15)… that would be a herculean accomplishment considering the road blocks that have been thrown up this year.

So that means what I’m telling all of you… would be to be prepared to play on the 19th, the 26th, or both… we’ll know more by next Tuesday… sorry all this needs to be such a mystery… I’m a big fan of giving everyone as much notice as possible or things… but it is what it is.

As far as the Leaderboard goes following yesterdays games… we’re sitting with a glut of teams in the middle of the field all with 7-6 records… this translates to the Tournament’s seeding brackets being very volatile. Teams in the 10-16 seeds showed no movement whatsoever yesterday… but there was a lot of movement in the middle… up at the top, a Ruder Group loss yesterday pushed them a little further off the lead although they maintained the 4 seed courtesy of a VOA loss… while Clune eeking one out over Power coupled with an Old Stylin’ tie against Perkins&Will allowed Clune to leapfrog Old Stylin’ into the #2 seed… so whatever games we get in to conclude the regular season should have some interesting consequences on Tournament seeding… looking forward to seeing how it works out.

All for now, everyone have great weekends and stay tuned early next week for an update as soon as I have information to pass along.

Week 11 Update

So once all the dust settled and we actually reached the Lollapalooza break… the League is in pretty good shape with just the one Week 5 rain out to make up… that leaves us 2/3 of the way through our season with 5 games still to play starting about a month from now.

This week we had game days on Tuesday as well as Thursday and many great games got played… The Reservoir Dogz maintained their streak and hit the break winners of 9 in a row… Clune Construction held serve as well remaining just 1 game back of the 1 seed… Power Construction, Old Stylin’ and Cannon Design all also won a couple this week moving themselves upward on the Leaderboard… As it stands the Leaderboard is pretty well-spaced offering many possibilities for teams to move up or down once we resume… interestingly, pretty much 1/3 of the field is at .500 and poised to rise or fall, however it may turn out.

Moving forward, let me tell you what I know… there’s two possible scenarios… the one we all hope for is that Upper Hutchinson emerges from Lollapalooza unscathed, the Park District releases it back to public use sooner rather than later and we finish out our remaining schedule right where we started it. The second scenario is that like last year we move to South Field at Lincoln Park for at least a pair of double-header nights and that becomes how the season is concluded. As far as what the dates would be for those games, that’s still up in the air as we have to wait until the Summer Leagues already playing in Lincoln Park conclude. If they end up not losing many dates to rain, then they will finish earlier and we could be on as early as August 15th… but if the move to LP becomes a reality, I would push for those dates to happen as late as possible so that the span of time between our last regular season game and our 09/28 Tournament Day was as short as possible. That would probably work out as 08/29 and 09/05… beyond that, Fall Leagues start at LP so there would no longer be diamonds for us.

Many of you have inquired as well about the scheduling of those double-header nights as to what the chances are that games could be as close together as possible… be aware that the scheduling as it now appears on the web has NOT been worked on yet… so I would definitely be going over those trying to get as many of you back-to-back games as possible… although I’ll say now that it won’t always be possible just due to the specific match-ups that are left to be played, but I’ll do my best on that front…

So all for now… feel free to shoot me an email if there’s a question I haven’t answered here… have a great break and we’ll see you on the other side.


Week 10 Update

I don’t think that anyone would argue that weather and atmosphere-wise, yesterday was our best day of Design League softball yet this season… The Taste adds to the congestion a bit, but it’s always fun to play that Thursday as Upper Hutchinson feels a lot like a softball oasis.

On the fields it was an eventful day with a lot of movement on the Leaderboard… the day started with three 6-1 teams, but finished with just one 7-1 team as the Dogz were able to knock off Cannon Design 9-4 in a game that was tight until the 6th when the Dogz broke it open… VOA dropped a tight one to Power Construction 6-5 while Clune Construction came back full force to route the Ruder Group 13-3 and vault themselves into the 2nd seed.

In other games, SCB showed what they’re capable of beating the Dobbins Group in a tight 8-7 win… interestingly, 4 of Dobbins Group’s last 5 games have been 1-run decisions… tough on the nerves… JC Anderson ended their short losing streak while continuing Old Stylin’s with an 8-3 victory there… and Skender Construction needed extra innings but got the job done with an 8-7 victory over theBuzz in 8… The leagues most prolific offense is currently VOA with 105 runs scored…. while the leagues stingiest defense is the Reservoir Dogz having only allowed 24 to cross the plate with the season now halfway through.

Believe it or not… ALL pictures have been taken and posted with still two games to go before the Lollapalooza break… this is easily an all-time record and I thank ALL of you for your cooperation… if you’re unhappy with the turnout you had on your picture day… there’s more than enough time to get a re-take done… just let me know you’re interested in doing that.

And last, next week is a busy week for the Design League as we have games on both Tuesday, 07/16 on Lower Hutchinson as well as our usual game day on Thursday, 06/18… this will be a bit tricky for some of your teams I’m sure… but let’s roll with the punches and get these games in the books without forfeits… we’ve done great with the lack of forfeits so far this season and I’d love to keep it that way as we cruise into the Lollapalooza break… assuming no weather issues next week, that’ll leave us with just Week 5 still to get made up after the break and that should be no problem at all… which is great, ’cause it was looking dicey there for a while…

The post-Lolla schedule at either Lincoln Park or if we get lucky, Grant Park… is a work in progress. Lincoln Park is unable to firmly commit to much yet as they won’t know the exact situation until they see how many rain outs they have that’ll need to be made up… but the dates we’ll probably have for sure are 08/29 and 09/05… with the strong possibility that we could start as soon as 08/15 or 08/22… and of course I’m still holding out hope that a Lollapalooza that’s rain-free would allow us to finish up our season on Upper Hutchinson and skip Lincoln Park entirely as I know we’d all like to do… we’ll see.. just know that it’s being monitored and worked on.

All for now, have great weekends.

Week 8 Update.

Interesting game day yesterday scores-wise… A few lop-sided games, a few tight games and a shutout… but our game of the week which was Dobbins Group @ Old Stylin’ was fittingly a 1-run affair where Dobbins headed into the bottom of the 7th with a 3-run lead, but finished just 1 up with an Old Styler in scoring position… so a great game, as expected… unfortunately for Old Stylin’, the loss dropped them into a 5-way tie with other 5-1 teams which led to their 48 runs allowed placing them at the bottom of that pack in the 5-seed… but still plenty of season to play.

Clune Construction with their 13-7 win over Skender Construction and Ruder Group with their 4-0 shutout of Power Construction both moved up a seed into the 2 & 3 positions respectively. Gettys Group with their tight 7-6 win over Perkins&Will leap-frogged JC Anderson and SCB who both lost… Other than that, all other teams stayed exactly where they were on the Leaderboard last week.

Looking at the schedule for next week, my pick for the game of the week would be a match-up between two of our 5-1 team with Old Stylin’ @ Ruder Group on Diamond 3 in an early game… another great match-up would be a strong 4-2 Cannon Design team @ VOA, also 5-1…

One more Game Day next week before the 4th of July Bye and the weather has been treating us well of late… and I’m down to two team pictures left to do including my own team… so I’m well ahead of schedule in that regard and I thank all of you who have cooperated perfectly in making it happen… special thanks to Skender Construction who came across Upper Hutchinson the long way yesterday to get their pictures done.

Have great weekends.

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