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Post Info TOPIC: Anatomy of a Champion.


Hall of Famer

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Anatomy of a Champion.


As I was looking through the Albany Cubs' scorebook from this past week's Roy Hobbs tournament, I realized that
the stats painted a vivid picture of this team's success, but left out a very important part. Yes, this team was dominant in
every game they played except one, and that game was meaningless; but the real story of why this team was so dominant
was the cohesive nature of this specific group. That cohesiveness was not a coincidence. It was the result of a masterful job by
CDMSBL Hall of Fame Manager, Jim McQuade. So many times managers, when putting together their rosters for these tournaments,
just top load the roster with as much talent as they can find, and ignore chemistry. Not "Gentleman Jim" McQuade. He constructed
a roster that had plenty of talent, but also had role players and fill-ins for those times when you were resting your top talent for the
4 games in two days (of 85 degree heat and humidity) that is the playoffs in these tournaments. That proved to be the difference in this
tournament, as it was quite obvious in the final weekend that the Cubs were the team with the most left in the tank. He was even smart
enough to save energy of key players during day one of the playoffs, and even the semi-finals, so that we would play our best game of the
week in the final. Sheer genius!

Now, even a genius like that needs his players to come through for him, and that is what Jim got every time he called on a player to play a supporting role
or fill-in for a resting starter. Let's start with the pitching staff. Game one starter was Ron Massaroni, and after 4 innings the Cubs were up 15-4. McQuade
decided to sit Massaroni and save some of his bullets for later in the week. He called on John Weber to throw strikes and hold the lead. Well, Weber did
that and more. He gave up just 2 runs in the last 5 innings of the game, and the Cubs walked off with a 15-6 victory, and only used 4 innings of one of their
top 4 starters. Mr. Weber was called on again, in the same manner, in game 4, when The Cubs were leading 6-0, entering the bottom of the 4th with Mike
Girard pitching the first 3 innings. Weber was again called upon to eat innings and hold the lead. He was even better this time, as he threw 4 shutout
innings, and the Cubs mercy ruled the Richmond Red Dogs 14-0. The 4 innings he saved for another top-4 starter was huge later in the tournament.

Pete Geanellis was used in a similar way in game 2 and game 5. After 5 strong innings from Steve Lounello in game 2, Dr. Pete was called on to eat innings.
He threw two scoreless innings enroute to 11-7 win for the Good Guys. In game 5, the Cubs were in saving mode again, as they were matched up in their
stadium game against the undefeated Baltimore Orioles. Jim McQuade started John Cortese, who gave him 4 innings, surrendering just one run to a very good
hitting team. When John started to tire in the 5th, he gave up 2 more runs and was in a bases loaded jam, again Pete was called on to put out the fire, and he did so
while keeping the score tied. He then pitched two more innings, saving more innings for the 4 playoff starters. Well done Dr. Pete!

Jim Konstantakis "pitched in" as well, in game 3. Bob Bolt was pitching game 3, and had a twinge of pain in his back, and Jimmy K jumped into action hurling 3
strong innings in another mercy rule win for the Cubs. Mr. Bolt was allowed to rest the back, and was terrific later in the week, in his playoff appearance.

These efforts had the 4 starting pitchers entering the playoffs having thrown just 4-2/3 innings; 5 innings; 2 innings; and 6 innings. As we all now know,
that set them up for success in their playoff starts:
Ron Massaroni threw 7 strong innings in the first playoff game, giving up just 4 earned runs, in a 16-5 win.
Mike Girard was also able to get 7 innings in, while surrendering just 2 earned runs in the 19-5 quarterfinal win.
A rested Bob Bolt was ridiculous, throwing 7 shut out innings in the 13-0 win over Chicago Bay Warriors, who had scored 19 runs in their quarterfinal game the night before.
Steve Lounello threw 5 hitless innings against the undefeated Aurora Islanders in the final, before yielding to Girard who had enough left to finish the game.
All of this was due to McQuade's managing of the pitching staff, and the outstanding the effort that each guy provided, when called upon.

Even the best of pitching plans cannot be executed without the proper run support. In that regard, this Cubs team was historic. They put up crooked numbers in the
first inning, in all of the first 3 games, including 10 runs in game 3. They recorded 2 or more runs (lots more, most of the time) in an amazing 28 innings of the 63 innings
that they batted. WOW! That kind of offense does not come from just the middle of the order. Everyone contributed on this team, even Jimmy K, who had only 1 at bat;
and you guessed it, he was 1 for 1. Two batters hit over .600; four more hitters batted .500 or better; three more hitters batted .400 or better; and another five hitters
batted .300 or better. Again: WOW!!!

The Tournament MVP, Shawn Martin, hit .645, with 20 hits, including 3 doubles and a triple. He drove in 10 runs and scored 15 runs, walked 5 times, and stole a base.
Pete Geanellis hit .625, with 15 hits, including 2 doubles. Pete drove in 7 runs and scored 6 times
Mike Girard was next with a .567 average, with 17 hits; driving in 9, and scoring 6 times. He walked once and was hit 3 times. He was 7 for 9 in the semi as and final.
Dave Mitchell pounded the ball to the tune of a .563 average with 18 hits, including two monster doubles. Dave drove in 10 runs and scored 8 times. He also led the
tournament with at least 3 head first dives offensively and 1 defensively. Nobody gives greater effort than this big guy!
Tim Brown hit a solid .500, with 8 hits. He made those 8 hits count, as he drove in 7 runs and scored 10 times.
John Cortese also made the most of his opportunities, getting 4 hits in just 8 at bats, with 3 RBI's and 3 runs. He added 3 walks and 3 stolen bases.
Ron Massaroni checked in with a .440 average, driving in 6 and scoring 5, with 3 walks and 4 stolen bases.
Bob Bolt stroked a .421 average with 5 RBI's and 7 runs in just 6 games.
Switch hitter Steve Lounello hit .400, with 3 RBI's and 5 runs, while giving two great performances on the mound.
Jerry Rosen was a monster behind the plate, throwing out runners and handling a pitching staff, while hitting .394, recording 13 hits, including 6 doubles and a triple.
That is 7 extra base hits and 6 singles. Those 21 total bases were responsible for driving in a team high 13 runs and scoring 12 runs.
Pat Martone was huge, saving innings for starting catcher Jerry Rosen, while batting .385 in a regular role in the order, with 6 RBI's and 6 runs scored.
Jim McQuade hit .385, with 4 RBI's and 5 runs scored, while managing the entire operation, and keeping himself out of the line-up to make sure that others got their fair share.
Paul Cerone had very limited action, but was able to stay sharp enough to hit .364 with only 11 at bats in 9 games. He ran the bases for the regulars and played solid
defense when called upon in the outfield. It was a great rookie experience for Paul. Great teammate!
Tony Nardacci hit .261 while scoring 10 runs, and playing a solid second base and third base all week, making big defensive plays in key moments all week.
Kevin Carpenter hit .294, with 1 RBI and 4 runs in only 17 at bats all week. He was another key sub, playing solid outfield defense under very tough conditions.
The Florida sun is no fun for outfielders.
Ralph Caputo again was solid as a rock defensively and at the plate, in a supporting role. Ralph will be playing more of a starring role this week as he pitches and plays
infield for a 65+ team. He is a mainstay on all of our tournament teams.

Every single person on this 18 man roster had a hand in this historic championship.
Albany won their first ever AAA championship in the Roy Hobbs World Series, in a manner that won't likely be seen again.
The overall record was 8-1, with a total composite score of 127-40. When the play was at its highest level, in the playoffs,
The total composite score was 62-12. A most dominating performance, for a team that was made up 100% of local players, with no recruits from anywhere else.
With all of the teams that we played, who recruit from all over the country, this says a lot about our brand of baseball here in the Capital District!
I could not possibly be more proud of our group! This group of guys will always be bound together by this experience. Baseball Brothers forever!

Here's to another trip in 2024! God willing!







__________________
Michael J. Girard


Veteran Member

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Posts: 63
Date:

Nice write up Mike, I have one last observation, We won 4 games in the playoffs on route to the AAA title on Veterans Day weekend, Both Saturday and Sunday Veterans were asked to step forward prior to the games and be recognized. It was a nice gesture. With 4 veterans (Bob Bolt, Dave Mitchell, John Cortese and Myself) on our Albany Cubs team we were well represented in that matter too.



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Veteran Member

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Congratulations Albany Cubs on a terrific and dominating Hobb's World Series Championship! Great summary Mike of the accomplishments, camaraderie and game summaries. Fun to read. The CDMSBL has a tremendous amount of talent at all levels. Great to see it displayed on the big stage for all of Hobbs to see.

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Stefan K. Arachnids 62 / Twins 55 / PFRS All-Stars 45


Hall of Famer

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There were 57 teams, from all over the USA and a couple from Canada, that were competing for the AAA title.
The 8 AAAA were assigned before play started, so we could not win that division.
With the way we played all week, and especially in the playoffs, I would like to have seen how we stacked up with those
8 sponsored teams.

Just curious.

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Michael J. Girard


Veteran Member

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Date:

Quite an accomplishment to finish on top of all 57 teams that participated. Congratulations!

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Stefan K. Arachnids 62 / Twins 55 / PFRS All-Stars 45


Hall of Famer

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Posts: 1894
Date:

Thanks, buddy!


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Michael J. Girard


Senior Member

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Posts: 155
Date:

Awesome week of baseball as we rolled over teams from Chicago, Maryland, Michigan, Virginia, Canada, Illinois, Atlanta, etc. on our way to the AAA Championship! With the Capitals winning Championships in 2020 and 2021, Lex's Yankees at the MSBL in 2022 and now us in 2023, I'm sure the Roy Hobbs and MSBL organizations and all the teams from around the country who play, know all about the talent that we bring to these tournaments from Albany, NY. It is a testament to our league and the individuals who run it, and I would venture to say we certainly have one of the best Men's Senior Baseball Leagues in the country in terms of sheer talent and the breadth of baseball we offer on so many levels and so many age groups.

-- Edited by jmcquade on Sunday 19th of November 2023 09:30:31 AM

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Guru

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A singular achievement, Cubs; a terrific job managing, Jim; and a fine, thoughtful write-up, Mike.

Well done, y'all!


-Mike

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Senior Member

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Date:

The stars aligned that week for the Cubs: literally and figuratively.
Forever Florida memories to help get through the cold northeast winter ahead.

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Guru

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Watched a couple games. Well played/organized/managed. Good job by all. Congrats!!

>Brad B


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