The Curious Case of Benjamin Brown and NYOL
This is the fifth part of a six part series highlighting each team in the OCWA and their season. In this installment, we cover the fifth place team in the OCWA, No Your Other Left.
Ben Brown was a manager or co-manager for four years in the OCWA. During that time, he played on some of the best teams in the OCWA and some of the worst teams in the OCWA. Brown always had an interesting managerial style. He is known as one of the founders of the “walk on water” strategy. His last year as a manager proved to be as interesting as the rest of them.
In the 2011 season, Brown paired up with longtime teammate Alex “Bacon” Barber to form the Carols. That team finished 7-13, and in the offseason, Bacon split from Brown to form his own team. Coming into the draft, Brown knew what he wanted. He drafted an all-around player in Aaron Kelley, and filled in the cracks with role players like Ben Montreuil and Darin Carter. Unfortunately for Brown, Kelley decided to stay in California, Montreuil joined the Army, and Carter didn’t pan out as he would’ve liked. Brown considered folding his team, giving up the managerial game for good.
As the Opening Day Tourney approached, Brown seemed like he would be playing as a one-man show. Then, he signed rookies Dylan Frankel, Ari Knill, and Jordan Benzing. These players would prove to be a key part of the team’s success moving forward.
The Opening Day Tourney did not go well for NYOL. They received a first round bye, but were flattened by the Freaky Franchise in the semifinals. The team seemed to be going through growing pains, and this loss did not help their confidence.
The ODT went so poorly that Brown did not show up for his team’s first two games. Under interim manager Dylan Frankel, NYOL split a series with Take A Wiff Of This. Things seemed to be looking up, but when Brown returned, the team dropped four out of their next six. Brown then left again, and the team dropped four straight. Brown noticed that his team was 1-5 without him, and he did not miss another game. In their last eight games, they picked up three wins and five losses, finishing the season at 6-14. Brown had another All-Star caliber year, but his team struggled mightily.
The 6-14 record gave them the 5th seed in the OCWA Playoffs, and they faced a tough first round challenge in the Tampa Bay Turtles. NYOL came out with fire, taking a 14-5 victory in their first game. Then, they fell apart, losing 22-10 and 12-1, ending their playoff run.
After the season came to a close, Ben Brown removed himself from managerial status. His four year run as a manager had come to a close. He was picked up in the 2012 Draft by Chris Roeder’s team, reuniting with former teammate Bacon. No Your Other Left did not play well, but they gave rise to three rookies and a new manager in Dylan Frankel. Frankel is captaining Pavlov’s Dawgs this year, with fellow teammates Ari Knill and Jordan Benzing, and Rookie of the Year candidate Dave DiLoreto. With this new team forming, and Ben Brown retiring from the managerial position, we will never see another team quite like No Your Other Left.