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     2011 Stats       2011 Review      2012 Outlook      2012 Championship

                                                    The Artists Formerly Known as

                     The Gookie Dawkins Experience

                                                                 2012 COWL Preview


                                         Dave Page, Eric Lewis, Blake Lansing, Andy Russell



                                                               Inside the Numbers

  2011 Season:

  League and Place:                              National - 2nd Place

  Post Season Record:                          Defeated PVB 2-1 in round 1

                                                               Bowed out to PVB because of college starting

  Win/Loss Record:                               20-8 (18-7 Regular season)(2nd best overall)

*Pythagorean Record:                          20-8

  Win/Loss vs. teams above .500:           8-5    (2nd)

  Win/Loss vs. teams below .500:          12-3   (2nd)

  Win/Loss games decided by < 5 runs   7-3

  Win/Loss in last 10 games :                  8-2

  Avg. Runs scored in games won:        15.5   

  Avg. Runs scored in games lost:         13.0  

  Avg. Runs scored in all games:           14.4   (2nd)

  Avg. Runs allowed in all games:         10.5    (4th)

  Homerun Total:                                    157

  Avg. Homeruns per game:                   6.5     (2nd)

  Runs For/Against:                                389/283

  Homerun Leader:                                 Eric Lewis (50)           (4th)

  RBI Leader:                                         Eric Lewis (115)         (3rd)

  Wins Leader:                                       Dave Page (8)             (3rd)

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                                                             2011 Season Recap


              In 2011, The Gookie Dawkins Experience (GDE) came into the season looking poised to

  take home a league championship.  They were fresh off an American League title, and a hard-fought,

  shortened, World Series campaign that left them just short of claiming a COWL title.   GDE employed

  arguably the league’s best leadoff hitter in south-paw Blake Lansing.   In addition, Andy Russell,

  widely considered a top three player in the league in most circles; Eric Lewis, a powerful pull-hitter

  and stellar defender, and Dave Page, a consistent 40 HR hitter, top five pitcher, and one of the most

  baseball savvy players around.


             Opening night in 2011 paired GDE with former American league foe, The U.   In what would be

  one of the more surprising results of the year, the U would overcome GDE in a tight three game series

  2-1.   Gookie Dawkins would go on to be winners in eight of their next nine games leading into a

  mid season series with the Legends.

              The series was a mirror of years prior with runs and homeruns in bunches.   GDE would lose the

  series 2-1 overall, though it is worth mentioning that Andy Russell wasn’t present, forcing GDE to play

  with just three players.

              In the second half of the season, GDE would blaze into the playoffs, again winning eight of their

  last nine.   This closed the regular season with Gookie Dawkins sitting at 18-7, and a second seed in the

  National League Divisional Series.  The divisional round of the playoffs pitted GDE with a familiar foe

  in the Pleasant Valley Boys, who Gookie Dawkins had swept in the regular season.

              Despite losing game one, and being without Dave Page or Andy Russell, GDE managed to dig

  deep and overcome the Pleasant Valley Boys in the three game set.   However, due to a scheduling

  conflict Gookie Dawkins elected to forfeit their spot in the NLCS to the PVB effectively ending their season.

              It is worth mentioning that throughout much of the 2011 season, Gookie Dawkins was without

  MVP candidate Andy Russell (conflicting work schedule), and were often forced to play with only three

  players.   This alone makes the 20-8 record they were able to collect impressive.


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                                                         2012 Season Preview

              Within this preview I will establish what I believe to be the strengths and keys to a GDE

  Championship in 2012.



  • They Are Who We Thought They Were”- Immortal words of Dennis Green following a Monday

             night loss to the Chicago Bears. Look, Gookie Dawkins isn’t going to surprise anyone at this point.

             From the moment they shocked the state ranked and London champion Colt 45’s in our first-ever

             tournament, it was clear that GDE would be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.   It’s really

             not easy to list all of their strengths, because there isn’t really one area of their game that lacks. 

             Base-running, hitting for contact, hitting for power, fielding, pitching, and knowledge of the game are

             all areas where this team tends to excel.

  • New Beginnings- The Gookie Dawkins Experience has undergone a slight face lift in the offseason.

           With the changes they have decided to change the franchise name, so, they will no longer be “The Gookie

           Dawkins Experience.”  I just want to take some time to reflect on what they  have managed to accomplish

           in their time as GDE:


44-14 Overall Record

27-4 League Record

Key wins vs. Colt 45’s (State ranked & London Champion) & Legends (League Champion)

718 Runs For Vs. 440 Runs Against

327 All-Time Homeruns

COWL League Runner-up

American League Champion

League record 18 consecutive wins

  • The Backbone- Heading into 2012, GDE is ripe with experience with Dave Page and Eric Lewis both

           entering their third seasons in the COWL.   In two years, Page has managed to collect 91 HRs, 197 RBIs,

           and 14 career wins on the mound.   This makes Dave one of only three players (Jerry Driggs, Andy Russell)

           to collect 90+ HRs, 190+ RBIs, and 10+ pitching wins over the last two years.   If there was a most-improved

           player award, you would be hard pressed to find a more deserving player than Eric Lewis.   Eric sustained a

           significant production increase in every facet of his game.   50 HRs (vs. 29 in 2010), 115 RBIs (vs. 78 in

           2010), and 5 wins from the mound.   In addition, Eric is one of the most under-rated defenders in our entire

           league.   Seemingly every game features a play where Eric robs a blooper that looks destined to dribble

           into a gap.  Teammate Dave Page on Eric Lewis’s 2011 season,

    “Eric Lewis has always been a great fielder who isn't afraid to do the dirty work, but in 2011 he saw a huge increase

  in offensive production.   With Russell missing most of the 2011 season due to work, Lewis stepped up and helped

  replace the run production Russell left vacant.”


           Lastly, it would be a disservice to neglect to mention Andy Russell’s contribution to this team.  In only a

           year and a half (missed much of 2011 due to work), Andy has accumulated one of the most impressive stat

           sheets in the league with 105 HRs, 206 RBIs, and 11 pitching victories.   There’s no question that this guy

           is in an elite class, as one of the top 3 players in our league.

  • The Hard Truth - Just as in baseball, Wiffle ball is very much a numbers oriented game.   In 2011,

          Gookie Dawkins accumulated a 12-3 record against opponents with records below .500.   It’s been said

          many times before, but I believe the mark of a good team is how they handle the opponents they should

          beat, making this stat stand out.  Likewise, good teams can win tight games.   In games decided by 5 runs

          or less, GDE had a 7-3 record. Lastly (and maybe most importantly), the record in the final ten games

          statistic is essential.  This tells how a team performed down the stretch, and into the playoffs.  The Gookie

          Dawkins Experience won eight of their final ten games, and if it hadn’t have been for their forfeit, who

          knows how the season would have ended.

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                                             Essentials for a GDE Championship

  • Introducing to the Stage - John Bruce. With Blake Lansing likely gone for the summer, this

           team will turn to a rookie to brunt some of the load. John Bruce, a 03’ Unioto graduate, enters the league

           highly qualified as an SVC honorable mention in croquet...er... baseball, actually. Bruce comes in with

           an athletic background and high expectations. It has been mentioned that Mr. Bruce’s power could rival

           that of teammate Andy Russell. Dave Page on their newest acquisition,

           "John Bruce should add even more pop into our lineup. While we aren't sure what to expect from Bruce in the

             field, we expect his bat to be every bit as good as Andy Russell's. Bruce can consistently hit the ball square

            and I would almost guarantee he will finish in the top 10 in home runs.”


  • Turning the Page - With a new franchise name, and the departure of Blake Lansing, the 2012 season

           will offer a step into the unknown.   Last season the difference between Gookie Dawkins runs scored in

           wins vs runs scored in losses (slow-pitch games) was 2.3 (15.3 vs. 13).   On top of that, only three times in

           GDE’s 18 slow-pitch wins did they score less than ten runs.   That is remarkable consistency.   However,

           will these guys be able to retain their consistency ?   The lack of a proven leadoff hitter will be an

           interesting subplot also, as the GDE franchise shifts to a more power-oriented lineup.

  • Coming of Age - Maybe the biggest question (other than how I managed to rhyme the last three

           headings) will be if this team can finally take the next step and claim a COWL title.   Can the returning

           players match their production from last year ?  Can they overcome the two-time defending champion

           and National league foe Legends squad ?   And maybe most importantly, will Andy Russell be available

           for the playoffs ?   These are all questions that will needed to be answered in order for these guys to be

           in the winner’s circle come August.

       Over the last two seasons scheduling conflicts have cut GDE’s season short; however, with the change in

  format this should no longer be an issue as playoffs should be over by the early August.   In the 20 game

  regular season format, I would be surprised if these guys didn’t win at least 15 games, assuming Andy is

  present for the big games.   Even without Andy, I would expect this to be one of the top teams in this league

  like years prior.  

      The fact remains, this team is a winner, and a big-time contender every year.   If Dave Page’s expectations

  of this teams’ offensive production proves true, then we will likely be looking at a new COWL champion in 2012.


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