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The Hot Seat XXII - Pavan Rajwani of PSR PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 10 June 2011
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Image 1) Pavan Rajwani, are you ready for the Hot Seat???

I've been waiting for the past 3 years

Image 2) Most people know that you as the pitcher on PSR. But before that you were on Dynasty. Talk about how you started with them.

I joined Dynasty through a referral from Rishi and Sunny who played in the league the year before I joined. It somehow happened to be that Amit Bhasin was looking for players at the time. Amit and I go WAYYY back. I'm talking 15 years ago. So when I had the opportunity to join ANOTHER softball league, I jumped on it.

Image 3) What ultimately led to you forming PSR.

Playing on Dynasty was a great experience. It introduced me to the league and I made a lot of new friends. When the rest of our crew, also known as PSR, heard that Rishi, Sunny and me were all playing on the same team, they wanted to get involved. However, bringing another 8-10 guys onto Dynasty was out of the question. AJ decided to start his own team. Once he received approval from the league, and PSR was in the works, we had to move teams. I know losing me, Rishi, Sunny, and Avi was a big blow to Dynasty but I also realized that this league was built on teams branching out in order to expand and grow. Here was our opportunity and I was asked to be captain.
Playing on Dynasty was great, the guys were great, we actually had a decent season that year. But there were a few things I would have handled differently. And given the opportunity to run my own team, I could not turn it down.

Image 4) How did the name PSR come about? Why does the logo spelled Playazayaz?

PSR stands for Playa Squad Revolution. And if look close enough, you will see the PSR license plates are on the way. Ammad knows about that.

Image 5) Does anyone on PSR look like the two players in the logo?

Well I did predict that Matt Verity will be HR champ this year. He is definitely one of the guys on our logo. Interestingly enough, Kyd designed the logo for us.

Image 6) Last year PSR was one of the breakout teams in the league. With great defense and timely hitting you guys put together a solid regular season. Many feel you made a statement in the playoffs by blowing past the eagles and taking Xmen to the limit. What were you thoughts on last season's performance?

Our season last year was unbelievable. We started off slow, but went on a winning streak which really helped a lot of the players' confidence. We had a lot of rookies last year who were new to league but performed when they were called upon. Attendance was not as much of an issue as it is this year. We had a solid core of 4 or 5 players that each hit over .600. Our OF defense last year, as it is this year, was also impeccable. With Rishi and Sahil tracking down every fly ball, it was very difficult to get extra base hits against us. In the playoffs, we got past the Eagles fairly easily and IMO should have beat the X-Men but fell short in the last at bat. I think we would have gotten past SWAT as well.

Image 7) With the success from last season, many looked at PSR as a contender and possible dark horse to win the championship this year. Obviously things haven't gone smoothly for your team. Why has PSR underachieved this season?

Mainly attendance issues. Also we have battled in quite a few close games that could have gone either way. If you look at the games we've lost so far, 7 out of 9 of them have been by either 1 or 2 runs. That means we are not finishing like we used to last year. Our record could have easily swung the other direction and we could have been 8-2.

Image 8) Issues like attendance and not being able to close out games generally fall on the shoulders of a team's leaders. What adjustments have you and AJ made for the team going forward?

Well the attendance issue cannot be solved at this stage of the game, we can't add/drop anymore. In terms of leading the team, I will have to take the full weight myself. AJ is the General Manager and deals with the overall ownership of the team, while I handle the players on the field. I have to say that I have a very talented group of guys. The only difference this year is the lack of timely hitting. Guys have been coming up in big spots and not coming through. I may have to look into making some lineup changes to shake things up a bit

Image 9) PSR has played against some tough teams so far and has been close in many games as you said. With the remaining games against some lower seeded teams, do you think PSR still has a chance to turn things around this year?

Definitely. We played in the shoe in game last year, so we have the experience. If we are even able to pull a 7-10 seed, we will be ok. I have the utmost faith in my team. The talent level is there. Maybe we needed to go on this losing streak as a learning experience. What I've learned in this league is that no team should be taken for granted. Last year, we were one of the "weaker" teams but ended as one of the strongest. That being said, it won't be easy, but I am confident that we will turn things around.

Image 10) One of PSR's best players Pavy Badwal has barely played at all this year. Last year he had just enough at bats to play in the postseason. One has to think that if Pavy made all your games, your record might be much different.

I agree. The same goes for Avi. Those are our top 2 run producers. We have had to manage without them for most of this season. Between some injuries and other Sunday leagues, their attendance has dropped significantly. However, other guys have really stepped up and will continue to do so. Matt and Mondo continue to produce great at bats. Binny and Roy are rising stars. And our veterans, Sahil, Sunny, Rishi continue to play hard week in and week out.

Image 11) One of the games Pavy did play in was week 1 against Pitchslap. When he came to the plate, the umpire stopped play and checked his bat informing him it was illegal. The umpires generally check all bats before the game. Why did Pavy use an illegal bat?

He showed up in the middle of the first game, coming from his earlier game in Queens. The bat he used was his Demarini which we all use in our other Queens leagues and it is always legal. There was no illegal intent, he showed up, took his bat out of the bag, and came up to bat

Image 12) You mentioned your time with Dynasty. We recently had Kyd on the Hot Seat and he spoke passionately about keep one of the original teams in the league. Dynasty has in the playoff hunt as well and you play them in the final week. It's possible that you'll both be playing for something at that point. Is Dynasty PSR's biggest rival just b/c of the friendships?

Dynasty is one of our biggest rivals because it has grown to become that. There's obviously a history there but at the end of the day we are all boys. We have nothing but love for Amit and Kyd. They brought us into the league and we're grateful for that. That being said, I would love to play them in a meaningful game, especially in the playoffs.

Image 13) Is Dynasty your team's biggest rival though? If not them then is there another team that you would considered the biggest and why? Any bad blood with any teams?

There are teams out there that like to take little jabs here and there, but I've always believed in doing the s*** talking with our bats and gloves. Too many class acts in this league to have any bad blood. Mo on the Eagles, Pragnesh on the Titans, Ammad on SWAT, Amit Patel on Grays. I have to say though , some of the guys on Empire are a little feisty, and we might have to put a red circle around our next meeting with them! J/K Faisal - had to throw that out there.

Image 14) Who do you think is the most overrated team in the league?

Great, here's the question that's going to get me in trouble, but I will answer it. And I base this strictly on games we have played this year. I think the Wolfpack have some great players, between Saad PJ and of course Bones, but I think that on any given day, they are very beatable. I think they have been doing what we have not been able to...and that's finishing games strong. Again, no disrespect to them but we felt like we had a solid shot to take 2 games from them.

Image 15) Who do you think is the most underrated team in the league?

I can't really tell who is underrated because we have yet to play Force, Dreamteam, Titans and Dynasty. But after this week's results, it looks like Force may be this year's sleeper

Image 16) Who's the best player on PSR and how does he stack up against the best in this league?

Matt Verity is the best player on PSR and top 5 in the league. Easily one of the best softball swings I have ever come across, and I play a lot of softball. On defense, I think Rishi is a top 5 OF.

Image 17) Should Matt Verity get rookie of the year?

I believe Matt IS the rookie of the year...and if stays on pace, and we find a way to get into the playoffs, then he has my nomination for MVP.

Image 18) True or False: Pavan Rajwani is the best pitcher in the SASL?


Image 19) Who is the best pitcher then in your opinion?

Haha...I only say that because I am a natural OF, however I am getting old and am learning how to pitch

Image 20) Historically pitchers just don't seem to get the same respect as other positions. As someone who used to play the outfield how has the transition to pitcher gone and do you think pitchers don't get enough credit?

I think Sekander really pitches well...he knows how to control his pitches.

Image 21) Do you think pitchers don't get enough credit? Are they almost treated like field goal kickers? Never get enough praise but get the criticism in a split second?

Not really. I think the point of pitchers is to throw strikes and let your fielders make the plays. I usually pitch with the attitude that my defense will make the plays (maybe that's why I have one of the highest ERAs!) A pitcher only gets criticized when he walks too many batters...otherwise, he is doing his job.

Image 22) What are your thoughts on the leagues' rules both regarding on the field and off? If you could change one rule what would it be?

I think the league does a great job doing what they can. I don't think anyone works on SASL as their full time job. This is strictly a volunteered effort and I commend that. I play in various other leagues and I realize how difficult it is to put everything together. Rules are rules, both teams need to play by them. So as long as no team has an unfair advantage, then there's no need to whine about them. In a perfect world though, I would love to see the 3 non-south Asian rule changed. I realize it is in place to maintain a sense of community, but look at some of the non south Asians in the league and what they have contributed so far. Again, I respect the rules and the decision made but you asked so I answered!

Image 23) You said you play allot of softball, how does this league compare to others?

Yes I currently play in 2 other leagues but have played in many more in my career. I think in terms of competition, SASL has a few more years until it becomes an elite league. But that's okay. It's nice that it provides an opportunity to those who are not as skilled but still want to learn the game and develop their abilities and overall baseball IQ. The SASL website and community is definitely what distinguishes this league apart from others. It has made the game a little more enjoyable.

Image 24) Why do you play in this league?

I play in this league for 2 reasons - I love softball and I enjoy playing on a team with all of my closest friends. This league offers both to me.

Image 25) What do you do in your free time when you're not playing softball?

What do I do during my free time while not playing softball?? Hmm, let's see, I'm entering stats, making predictions, reading the message boards, trying to make sure I have enough players for the upcoming week, or trying to sneak out of work to make it in time for my other softball games! I also play in another basketball rec league, play football in the winter, try to be a good husband, and go to Vegas every year with the Squad.

Image 26) Pavan Rajwani, you are not off the Hot Seat.

Don't sleep on PSR...the season turns around now.

Last Updated ( Friday, 10 June 2011 )
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