Definitive, Pointless Power Ranking – Week Eight

Well,

Let me just say that this was not an easy list to put together. Despite pool play providing much better information about how teams stack up within pools, and how the divisions stack up against each other (Hint: John Brown OP). I also found that it tended to convolute and contradict what I thought I knew about teams when trying to compare teams from different pools.

Take this case for example:

Consider the Ghosts, 0-3 in the 3 pool and being outscored by an average of 8 runs a game by the likes of the Woost, Sacred Sword, and Chalmersiz.

On the other hand, Los Matadores are 2-1 in the 4 pool and scoring almost 3 runs for each they give up. They’ve played the Harpies (W), Rats (W), and Corksuckers (L).

So, which team would you rank higher?

Keep in mind, the Ghosts are losing to better competition than Los Mats are beating. Furthermore, back in week 4, the Ghosts beat the Matadores 9-7 in a head to head match. so it stands to reason that if the Ghosts were in the 4 pool instead of the 3 pool, then they might be cleaning house right now. That said, teams develop throughout the year, players get added, they improve, get injured,  etc. Perhaps, then, that week four game isn’t as telling as one might first think. So, how much more heavily do you weigh recent games to games over a month ago?

I don’t have the answer.

I just point this out to show you the contradictory, pseudoscience, eye test, crap that is going into this behind the scenes. No method is perfect, or “right”. In the end, my goal is just to put together the best ranking I can based on 2 parts resume, and 1 part subjective opinion on who I think would win if the two teams played today.

Here’s what I came up with through 8 weeks of play. All stats from pool play.


#1 Kansas Tree Care | ↑3 | 2-1 | Points For: 18 | Points Against: 16 | WK 1 Rank: 2|


#2 Channel 6 | — | 2-1 | Points For: 19 | Points Against: 18 |WK 1 Rank: 3 |


#3 Wildman Attack Force | 2-1 | 3-0 | Points For: 16 | Points Against: 15 |WK 1 Rank: 4 |


#4 Muddy Waters | ↑7 | 2-1 | Points For: 29 | Points Against: 18 |WK 1 Rank: 10 |


#5 Happy Shirt | ↓4 | 1-2 | Points For: 21 | Points Against: 23 |WK 1 Rank: 1 |


#6 Red Legs | ↑6 | 3-0 | Points For: 33 | Points Against: 18 |WK 1 Rank: 13 |


#7 Love Garden | ↑3 | 2-1 | Points For: 31| Points Against: 26 |WK 1 Rank: 7 |


#8 Chalmersiz | — | 3-0 | Points For: 38 | Points Against: 12 |WK 1 Rank: 6 |


#9 Free State | ↓3 | 0-3 | Points For: 16 | Points Against: 29 |WK 1 Rank: 11 |


#10 Hurtz Donut D-Holes | ↓5 | 1-2 | Points For: 22 | Points Against: 27 |WK 1 Rank: 8 |


#11 Red Lyon | ↓4 | 2-1 | Points For: 40 | Points Against: 38 |WK 1 Rank: 5 |


#12 Goats | ↓3 | 1-2 | Points For: 24 | Points Against: 25 | WK 1 Rank: 14 |


#13 Merchants of Death | ↑2 | 3-0 | Points For: 38 | Points Against: 15 | WK 1 Rank: 16 |


#14 Rockets | — | 0-3 | Points For: 23 | Points Against: 35 | WK 1 Rank: 18 |


#15 Das Boot | ↓2 | 1-2 | Points For: 27 | Points Against: 20 | WK 1 Rank: 9 |


#16 Pawsh Wash | ↑4 | 3-0 | Points For: 13 | Points Against: 9 | WK 1 Rank: 17 |


#17 Corksuckers | ↑2 | 2-1 | Points For: 24 | Points Against: 20 | WK 1 Rank: 15 |


#18 Woost | ↓1 | 1-2 | Points For: 20 | Points Against: 31 | WK 1 Rank: 12 |


#19 Los Matadores | ↑2 | 2-1 | Points For: 43 | Points Against: 16 | WK 1 Rank: 19 |


#20 Sacred Sword | ↓4 | 1-2 | Points For: 24 | Points Against: 45 | WK 1 Rank: 29 |


#21 Rats | ↑1 | 2-1 | Points For: 22 | Points Against: 12 | WK 1 Rank: 20 |


#22 Ghosts | ↓4 | 0-3 | Points For: 27 | Points Against: 51 | WK 1 Rank: 23 |


#23 Leeway Franks | ↑7 | 2-1 | Points For: 42 | Points Against: 19 | WK 1 Rank: 24 |


#24 Where’s My Pitches | ↑1 | 2-1 | Points For: 38 | Points Against: 28 |WK 1 Rank: 21 |


#25 Jazzhaus | ↑3 | 0-3 | Points For: 8 | Points Against: 17 | WK 1 Rank: 28 |


#26 AsteroidHEAD | ↑3 | 3-0 | Points For: 68 | Points Against: 19 | WK 1 Rank: 27 |


#27 Screamers | ↓4 | 1-2 | Points For: 14 | Points Against: 16 | WK 1 Rank: 26 |


#28 Harpies | ↓4 | 0-3 | Points For: 7 | Points Against: 43 | WK 1 Rank: 32 |


#29 Brewballers | ↓2 | 1-2 | Points For: 28 | Points Against: 33 | WK 1 Rank: 34 |


#30 Bad News Bagels | ↑3 | 2-1 | Points For: 36 | Points Against: 49 | WK 1 Rank: 30 |


#31 Johnny’s Tavern | ↑1 | 3-0 | Points For: 44 | Points Against: 19 | WK 1 Rank: 22 |


#32 Late Fees | ↓4 | 1-2 | Points For: 9| Points Against: 24 | WK 1 Rank: 25 |


#33 Repetition Coffee |↑1 | 1-2 | Points For: 26 | Points Against: 49 | WK 1 Rank: 35 |


#34 Nick Lerner’s Homies | ↓3 | 1-2 | Points For: 49 | Points Against: 32 | WK 1 Rank: 31 |


#35 Grandstand Glasskickers | ↑1 | 1-2| Points For: 16 | Points Against: 31 |WK 1 Rank: 33 |


#36 Leafy Greens | ↓1 | 0-3 | Points For: 8 | Points Against: 61 | WK 1 Rank: 35 |


Couple of things worth pointing out…

The three teams that exceeded expectations the most:

 

3. Muddy Waters

They are sitting at 4th on the power ranking, 6 places above their initial ranking. I knew this team would be good going into the season, but over the past couple years this squad seemed to come up just short, failing to find that big win to put themselves on the map. Not the case this year. See week 7: Muddy Waters 10 – Happy Shirt 8

Say what you will about Muddy Waters deserving to be in 1 pool, and I’d probably agree that we need a more comprehensive tie-breaker, but they have taken the opportunity presented to them and used it as a spring board to the upper echelon of KVKL teams.

2. Red Legs

At 6 on the power ranking, the Red Legs have shot up 7 places from their initial placement. I didn’t quite buy into the hype about this team heading into the season, and that was a mistake. They are the real deal, and run aggressively enough to give even the most experienced infields problems.

1. Sacred Sword

Going into the season I heard grumblings about whether or not the once power house team would even get a roster together. After their week 1 22-2 schalacking by (9) Free State, I thought they might just pack it up and slapped them with a week 1 ranking of 29th. Clearly I went overboard, as Sacred Sword fought back finding their way into the 3 pool, and even after falling a few places after a 1-2 pool play start, they sit 9 places above their initial ranking.

 

Three teams I thought would be better:

 

3. Woost/Red Lyon

Both of these teams tie with a 6 spot drop from the week 1 rankings. Red Lyon came into the season off of a second place in the tournament last year, and their results so far have been good, 4-1 in ranked play and 2-1 in pool thus far. The results just haven’t been good enough to keep them in the top 5 where they started. Of course Red Lyon wouldn’t be Red Lyon if they weren’t going to be underrated heading into the playoffs.

Woost for their part seems to just be struggling to find their identity. At the beginning of the year their problem seemed to be on the defensive side of things, but thus far in pool play they have struggled to find their footing offensively, scoring a combined four points against the top of the 3 pool, (13) Merchants of Death and (8) Chalmersiz. They’ll need a solid showing against Das Boot and Sacred Sword for the sake of tournament seeding.

2. Late Fees

Late Fees has fallen 7 spots from their initial ranking of 25. I think this is more of case of myself just not knowing much about them in week 1, and giving them points for experience than anything else. As it stands now, however, their two wins are a 1 run victory over (36) Leafy greens, and a 2 run victory over (27) Screamers. The latter of which, I reffed, and if they played like they did in that game every week, then I they’d still be hovering around their initial ranking.

1. Johnny’s Tavern

Johnny’s Tavern is just a victim of hype and circumstance. I believe I recall some of the folks on the pre-season podcast talking about Johnny’s as threat to win the John Brown. This blogs own Seth Sanchez predicted Johnny’s to tie with Love Garden at a 3-2 record in the division. The problem was Johnny’s wasn’t as good as people thought they’d be, and the John Brown division was really, really good. On top of this, their most winable game came in week 1 against the Screamers. Not a good recipe for a mostly, brand new team.

Now Johnny’s finds themselves ranked 31, a 10 spot drop from week 1. I’m just going to go on record to say that their is no way, they are 5th worst team in the league, but it’s hard to justify moving them up too much when their three wins have come against the 36, 34, and 33 ranked teams. Their big test will come this week against Asteroid Head, which will be huge for tournament seeding purposes, and as metric of how good Johnny’s really is at the end of their first season.

Three times I nailed it:

 

Bad News Bagels, Los Matadores, and Love Garden are currently the only three teams sitting at the same line they started on. Hey, I guess I do know something about my own team.

Best Division:

 

Like I have been saying every week, the John Brown has at least thus far shown to be a cut above the rest of the divisions. Through 3 weeks of pool play, the John Brown is a collective 14-4, with three of the six teams at 3-0 in their pool (Merchants of Death, Pawsh Wash, and Johnny’s Tavern.) The average ranking of teams from the John Brown is 15.8.

By comparison, the second best division in pool play thus far is the Wilt Chamberlain at 10-8, with an average team ranking of 16.8.

 

Worst Divison:

 

Whereas the John Brown has been good, the Danny Manning has been (almost) equally as bad at a collective 5-13. The average ranking of teams in the Danny Manning: 21. Oof.

 

One time the  commissioners nailed it (kind of):

 

Ironically, the division that was most problematic in ranked play (thanks to Muddy Waters, Goats, and Chalmersiz being placed in the same division), is performing with remarkable parity in pool play. The Amelia Earhart is a perfect 9-9, thus far with an average team ranking of 18.2. That is almost right on the nose of 18.5, which would be the average of every division if they were all exactly equal. Interesting!


Anyway,

that’s all I have time for this week. I’ll try and make time for a more comprehensive breakdown of each team before the tournament next week*.

*Or the week after. God damn rain every Sunday. I’ll tell you what…

Here’s a spreadsheet for you nerds! 

KVKL Power Rankings and Divisional Strength

Top Ten Run Scorers of 2016 (Weeks 7 & 8)

Weekly Standings (Week 7)

Women

1. Michelle – 4 (Leeway Franks)
2.Kamaria – 3 (Where’s My Pitches)
T-3.Emily – 2 (Brewballers)
T-3.Katie M- 2 (Homies)
T-3.Deja – 2 (Leeway Franks)
T-3.Emily L – 2 (Red Lyon)
T-3.Laura -2 (Sacred Sword)
T-8.Any other lady that scored this week

Men

1.Dana – 6 (Homies)
T-2.Jeff – 5 (Homies)
T-2.Matt – 5 (Homies)
T-2.Sean – 5 (Where’s My Pitches)
T-5.Bickel – 4 (D-Holes)
T-5.Brian – 4 (Ghosts)
T-5.Nick – 4 (Where’s My Pitches)
T-5.John- 4 (Leeway Franks)
T-5.Ben – 4 (Leeway Franks)
T-10. 11 guys who scored 3 runs

Weekly Standings (Week 8)

Women

1.Laura – 3 (Merchants)
T-2.Kaitlin – 2 (Das Boot)
T-2.Erin – 2 (Los Matadores)
T-2.Claire – 2 (Muddy Waters)
T-2.Laura – 2 (Repetition)
T-2.Molly – 2 (Repetition)
T-2.Kirsten – 2 (Asteroid Head)
T-2.Caitlin – 2 (Asteroid Head)
T-2.Codi – 2 (Asteroid Head)
T-2.Caly – 2 (Red Legs)

Men

T-1.Justin – 5 (Asteroid Head)
T-1.Colin – 5 (Asteroid Head)
T-3.Shawn – 4 (Where’s My Pitches)
T-3.Mark – 4 (Asteroid Head)
T-5. 17 guys who scored 3 runs.

Season Standings

Women

1.Angela – 19 (Ch. 6)
2.Cheyenne – 13 (Ch. 6)
3.Jeni – 12 (Goats)
T-4.Kaitlin – 9 (Das Boot)
T-4.Kamari – 9 (Where’s My Pitches)
T-6.Erin – 7 (Los Matadores)
T-6.Emily – 7 (Brewballers)
T-6.Megan – 7 (Wildman)
T-6. Emily L. – 7 (Red Lyon
T-10.Sarah W. – 6 (Red Lyon)
T-10.Elizabeth – 6 (Das Boot)
T-10.Audrey – 6 (Goats)
T-10.Danielle – 6 (Bagels)
T-10.Madeline – 6 (Free State)

Men

1.CJ – 20 (Wildman)
T-2.Paul – 19 (Los Matadores)
T-2.Colin – 19 (Wildman)
T-4.Seth – 18 (Free State)
T-4.Isaac – 18 (Ch. 6)
T-6.Ben – 17 (Corksuckers)
T-6.Ariel – 17 (D-Holes)
T-8.James – 16 (Red Legs)
T-8.Jon M – 16 (Ghosts)
T-8.Chris – 16 (Happy Shirt)
T-8.Sam – 16 (Ch. 6)
T-8.Bickel – 16 (D-Holes)

 

Top 10 Run Scorers of 2016 (Week 6)

Weekly Standings 

Women:

T-1. Angela – 3 (Channel 6)
T-1. Amber – 3 (Los Matadores)
T-1. Marissa – 3 (Los Matadores)
T-4. Danielle – 2 (Bagels)
T-4. Jackie – 2 (Woost)
T-4. Nyasha – 2 (Grandstand)
T-4. Amanda – 2 (Merchants)
T-4. Dottie – 2 (Merchants)
T-9. Any other lady that scored this week

Men: 

T-1.Paul -4 (Los Matadores)
T-1.Sean – 4 (Woost)
T-1.Blake – 4 (Rockets)
T-1.Mark – 4 (AsteroidHEAD)
T-1.Cody – 4 (Johnny’s)
T-1. Josh – 4 (Merchants)
T-7. 25 guys who scored 3 runs

Season Standings 

Women:

1. Angela – 19 (Channel 6)
2. Cheyenne – 12 (Channel 6)
3. Jeni – 10 (Goats)
4. Kaitlin – 7 (Das Boot)
T-5. Danielle – 6 (Bagels)
T-5. Madeline – 6 (Free State)
T-5. Kamari – 6 (Where’s My Pitches)
T-5. Megan – 6 (Wildman)
T-9. Nine ladies tied at 5

Men:

T-1. Seth – 17 (Free State)
T-1. Colin – 17 (Wildman)
T-3. Paul – 16 (Los Matadores)
T-3. Isaac – 16 (Channel 6)
T-3. C.J – 16 (Wildman)
6. Sam – 15 (Ch. 6)
T-7. Sean – 14 (Woost)
T-7. Ariel – 14 (D-Holes)
T-7. Aaron – 14 (Free State)
T-10. 5 guys tied at 13

Power Ranking Update – Week 5

Hello KVKL,

I didn’t have as much time this week to write something about each team, but I still wanted to update my power ranking as we head into the first week of pool play. I thought it would be interesting to break the teams up into groups of 6 to see where this ranking agrees with where teams actually ended up, and where it differs. For example, it would have been impossible for three teams from the Amelia Earhart to end up in the 2 pool, but maybe they should have?

Take a look at which pool your team should have landed in below, and remember this is just for fun!

As always, best of luck to all teams this week besides the one playing mine!

–Jake


 

Warning! 

If you are likely to get triggered by your teams placement on this list, turn back now!

 

Ones


#1 Happy Shirt | — | 5-0 | Points For: 75 | Points Against: 19 | Run Ratio: 3.95|


#2 Channel 6 | — | 5-0 | Points For: 132 | Points Against: 24| Runs Differential: 5.5 |


#3 Wildman Attack Force | — | 5-0 | Points For: 116 | Points Against: 11 |Run Ratio: 10.55 |


#4 Kansas Tree Care | — | 5-0 | Points For: 62 | Points Against: 15| Run Ratio: 4.13 |


#5 Free State | — | 5-0 | Points For: 107 | Points Against: 18 | Runs Ratio: 5.94 |


#6 Dholes | ↑1 | 4-1 | Points For: 72 | Points Against: 18 | Run Ratio: 4.0 |


Twos


#7 Red Lyon | ↓2 | 4-1 | Points For: 53| Points Against: 24 | Run Ratio: 2.21 |


#8 Chalmersiz | — | 4-1 | Points For: 48 | Points Against: 18 | Run Ratio: 2.67 |


#9 Goats | ↑1 | 4-1 | Points For: 72 | Points Against: 17 | Run Ratio: 4.24 |


#10 Love Garden | ↓4 | 4-1 | Points For: 53 | Points Against: 20 | Run Ratio: 2.65 |


#11 Muddy Waters | ↑2 | 4-1 | Points For: 50 | Points Against: 25 | Run Ratio: 2.0 |


#12 Red Legs | ↓1 | 4-1 | Points For: 49 | Points Against: 38 | Run Ratio: 1.29 |


Threes


#13 Das Boot | ↓1 | 3-2 | Points For: 66 | Points Against: 30 | Run Ratio: 2.2 |


#14 Rockets | — | 4-1 | Points For: 60 | Points Against: 40 | Run Ratio: 1.5 |


#15 Merchants of Death | ↑1 | 3-2 | Points For: 30 | Points Against: 25 | Run Ratio: 1.2 |


#16 Sacred Sword | ↑6 | 3-2 | Points For: 66 | Points Against: 40 | Run Ratio: 1.65 |


#17 The Woost | ↓2 | 3-2 | Points For: 66 | Points Against: 57 | Run Ratio: 1.16 |


#18 Ghosts | ↑2 | 3-2 | Points For: 43 | Points Against: 41 | Run Ratio: 1.05|


Fours

#19 Corksuckers | ↑1 | 2-3 | Points For: 53 | Points Against: 38 | Run Ratio: 1.39 |


#20 Pawsh Wash | ↓3 | 2-3 | Points For: 33 | Points Against: 41 | Run Ratio: 0.8 |


#21 Los Matadores | ↓2 | 2-3 | Points For: 48 | Points Against: 51 | Run Ratio: 0.94 |


#22 Rats | ↓1 | 2-3 | Points For: 47 | Points Against: 68 | Run Ratio: 0.69 |


#23 Screamers | ↑2 | 1-4 | Points For: 27 | Points Against: 49 | Run Ratio: 0.55 |


#24 Harpies | ↑2 | 2-3 | Points For: 25 | Points Against: 62 | Run Ratio: 0.4 |


Fives


#25 Where’s My Pitches | ↓1 | 1-4 | Points For: 42 | Points Against: 80 | Run Ratio: 0.53 |


#26 AsteroidHEAD | ↑4 | 1-4 | Points For: 31 | Points Against: 78 | Run Ratio: 0.4 |


#27 Liberty Hall Late Fees | — | 1-4 | Points For: 31 | Points Against: 62 | Run Ratio: 0.5 |


#28 Jazzhaus | ↓5 | 1-4 | Points For: 21 | Points Against: 73 | Run Ratio: 0.29 |


#29 Brewballers | ↑4 | 1-4 | Points For: 18 | Points Against: 63 | Run Ratio: 0.29 |


#30 Leeway Franks | ↓2 | 1-4 | Points For: 27 | Points Against: 64 | Run Ratio: 0.42 |


Sixes


#31 Nick Lerner’s Homies | ↑1 | 0-5 | Points For: 24 | Points Against: 79 | Run Ratio: 0.3 |


#32 Johnny’s Tavern |↓3 | 0-5 | Points For: 18| Points Against: 73 | Run Ratio: 0.25 |


#33 Bad News Bagels | ↓2 | 1-4 | Points For: 44 | Points Against: 113 | Run Ratio: 0.39 |


#34 Repetition Coffee | ↑2 | 0-5 | Points For: 18 | Points Against: 100 | Run Ratio: 0.18 |


#35 Leafy Greens | ↑1 | 0-35| Points For: 16 | Points Against: 109 | Run Ratio: 0.15 |


#36 Glasskickers  | ↓2 | 0-5 | Points For: 7 | Points Against: 120 | Run Ratio: 0.06 |


 

 

Bonus: Divisional Strength

It will be really interesting to watch how things shake out as we start getting some more comparative data from interdivisional play.

Here is where the divisions stack up as we enter pool play.

John Brown — Average Team Rank: 17.33
Wilt Chamberlain — AVT: 17.5
Clyde Tombaugh — AVT: 18.67
Amelia Earhart — AVT:  18.83
Deron Belt — AVT: 19
Danny Manning — AVT: 19.67

Right now, the parity in divisions is pretty insane. In a perfect world, each division would have an AVT of 18.5, so it is hard to imagine things getting more even than right now, when less than 2.5 points separates the strongest division from the weakest.

That said, it’s worth pointing out that the round robin divisional play is going to push towards parity because each division will have the same number of wins. The same is not true in pool play, so I expect that by the next PR (week 7), we will see a division or two already rising to the top.

Here is the spread sheet.

Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 10.44.19 AM

KVKL Rank Play Mega Preview

Listed with predicted pool play record in parentheses

#6 Pool

1. Asteroid Head (4-1)
The only team entering the #6 pool with a win, A-Head is the prohibitive favorite to come out on top.  They tend to have a pretty fluid roster, but when their key players show up and get the majority of at-bats, they can be a tough team. It’s tempting to put them down for a 5-0 record, but reeling off five straight wins can be tough for a team that isn’t accustomed to closing out opponents.  Regardless, they have a fun next five weeks in front of them.

2. Repetition Coffee (4-1)
Repetition is quickly improving, and has a bushel full of talented players on the team who are getting comfortable with the rules and nuances of KVKL.  They didn’t get the GOTW that Jake and Co. were clamoring for, but they should enjoy the #6’s regardless.  I would fully expect them to jump into the #5 pool in 2017 with a year of experience under their belt.

3. Tech Savvy Realtor Nick Lerner’s Homies (3-2)
The Homies have had some better results lately, and an 11-5 loss to Chalmersiz is nothing to hang your head about, so they should be confident heading into pool play.  If they pull out a win against Johnny’s this week they could potentially be 3-0 heading into the doubleheader week against A-head and Repetition, at which point they might just win the whole damn thing.  Shoutout to my former Growlers Rashad and Tony for holding it down on the Homies!

4. Johnny’s Tavern (2-3)
Johnny’s came into the season with big expectations and has fallen flat, failing to score over five runs in any contest thus far this season.  Thetheme in the #6’s is learning how to win, and this team should get a bit of practice in that department.

5. Grandstand Glasskickers (1-4)
Grandstand is going to get a win this year, I can feel it! Their second game of the double header is against Leafy Greens at 8:00 on YSC 5, and that’s going to be the most fun game of the season, hands down.

6. Leafy Greens (1-4)
Leafy Greens are putting in the work, showing up to practices regularly and I really want to see it pay off in the form of a win.  That Grandstand game is going to be a matchup for the ages.

#5 Pool 

1. Brewballers (5-0)
I reffed the Brewballers game this weekend and have to give a huge shoutout to Adrian for his honesty.  Calling yourself out at home in a close game, that’s some damn good sportsmanship <clapping emoji>. The Brewballers hung tough with the Woost in that game, and it might just be recency bias, but if they play the way they did on Sunday they should have no problem sweeping the #5’s.

2. Where’s My Pitches (4-1)
WMP’s had some high hopes at the start of division play but a one run loss to Red Legs in Week 2 derailed their season.  The loss to Jazzhaus was unexpected, but nonetheless, they should get back on track in the #5’s.

3. Screamers (3-2)
I haven’t seen the Screamers play yet this year so I don’t know much about them (except they post dank memes every time they win), but they’ve faced plenty of good competition and have held their own in every game.  GOTW against WMP’s will have big implications for how the #5’s will end up shaking out.

4. Liberty Hall Late Fees (2-3)
The Fee’s lone win was against Leafy Greens by a single run, which isn’t the most inspiring performance, but they kept it tight against the Ghosts and Los Mats so they clearly have potential.  Their veteran savvy ought to net them at least a couple of wins here.

5. Leeway Franks (1-4)
Leeway has yet to break double digits runs scored in a game yet this year, so the offense clearly needs a little work, but the defense hasn’t been too bad. They held Chamlersiz to 10 runs and nearly shutout Nick Lerner’sHomies, so as long as they can play that caliber of defense in the #5’s they won’t go winless.

6. Bad News Bagels (0-5)
The Bagels are going through a major rebuild and they are probably bettersuited for the #6’s, but props to them for getting that win against Repetition.  They’ve been giving up a metric shit ton of runs, and that’s going to have to improve if they want to avoid getting skunked in pool play.

#4 Pool 

1. Pawsh Wash (4-1)
The Filthy Animals are a consistent, veteran KVKL team that plays solid defense and effectively utilizes small ball to get their runners on, over, and in.  The John Brown division was one of the toughest divisions to play in, and Pawsh Wash kept it close against the elite teams they faced.  These guys are looking like at strong contender for the Princess Di plate if they can keep their cool when they face adversity.  The game against  Los Matadores on 8/7 at 6:30 could decide the #4’s.

2.Los Matadores (4-1)
The reigning Princess Di plate winners are again looking to achieve that glory.  Santos, Marcus, and Erin have been the constants on what is a vastly different team than the one they fielded last year, and those three have done a majority of the run scoring for Los Mats, so the formula to beat them is fairly simple, shut them down and make everyone else beat you. Their game against Ladybird this weekend should be a good one, the establishment Matadores vs. the upstart Harpies.

3. Ladybird Harpies (3-2)
Ladybird fell flat against the Goats this week, only mustering four runs late in the game, but that shouldn’t detract from how successful their run through division play was.  Now they enter the #4’s with expectations of finishing at least over .500, and aspirations of winning the pool. I’m excited to see how they do.

4. Corksuckers (2-3)
The Corksuckers have beaten who they were supposed to (Repetition and Bagels) and lost to superior foes (Free State, Red Lyon, and Sword), so they’re exactly who we thought they were preseason. They have good talent (Austin, Clint, Cole) but sometimes it doesn’t seem to come together as well as it should. The top teams in the #4’s need to be wary, Corksuckers can spring an upset at anytime, but they’re just not consistent enough to break into the top half.

5. The Rats (2-3)
The Rats need to get off to a hot start against Jazzhaus this week and get some positive momentum rolling before they take on some of the better teams in the pool.  A GOTW win over Brewballers showed that when they field their full team the Rats can play some good kickball, but it sounds like that doesn’t happen often enough.

6. Jazzhaus (0-5)
Jazzhaus is going to be good, they just need another season of experience.  They have allowed 8 runs per game, which coming from a division that features Das Boot, Red Legs, and Happy Shirt is nothing to hang your head about.  Scoring runs has been a bit of a problem, but they should face some less defensively inclined units in the #4’s.  They lost the tiebreaker lottery because their defense has been so good, and if they were in the #5’s or 6”s they would be favored in plenty of games.

#3 Pool

1. The Salvador Pereziz presents The Mario Chalmersiz (5-0)
They lost one game, on grass, by four runs and ended up in the #3’s.  I still think they were the best team in the Amelia Earhart division, but tiebreakers are in place for a reason. Now they get to score some runs, make sure everyone is healthy, and focus on the tournament.  If they lose a game in this pool it will be a major upset.

2. Das Boot (4-1)
The only team I can see taking down Chalmersiz is Das Boot and they play this weekend, but because of weather/scheduling conflicts this is their first game since 6/26, so I expect them to be a little bit rusty out of the gates.  Boot had some trouble scoring runs against top tier opponents in division play, and Chalmersiz is known for their defense, so scratching some runs across early by any means necessary ought to be a priority.

3. Merchants (2-3)
The #3’s are top heavy, with Chalmersiz and Das Boot clearly ahead of the rest of the pack.  I would anticipate those two to cruise, while the remaining four teams will beat each other up all season long.  It’s the same old story with Merchant’s, solid defense and an offense that is lacking punch, scoring only 6 runs per game, and only breaking double digits against winless Johnny’s Tavern.  That being said, the Princess Di trophy is definitely in play for the MOD squad.

4. Ghosts (2-3)
The Ghosts started the season off on the right foot, pulling out a walkoff over the Fee’s and have kept that positive momentum rolling through division play.  They get to face a Dan-less Woost this week, so they should get off to a good start again.  Princess Di is definitely in play for these Ghosts.

5.Woost (1-4)
“The Woost can mash” – Cougar on every podcast this year.  It’s true, but what he also says is their defense, particularly their defensive alignment can leave you scratching your head.  They move Dan all over the field, including Rover, which doesn’t seem like the best use of his talents.  If they figure out a spot for him and let him make plays, ideally SS or 3B, then they can win a few more games than I’m predicting here.

6.Sacred Sword (1-4)
I have no idea what to make of Sacred Sword.  They got smashed in week one by Free State, kept it close against Red Lyon in week two, and then cruised the rest of the way to the three seed.  Their game this weekend against MOD has the potential to be very low scoring, and whoever wins it controls their fate the finish third or higher in the #3’s.  I’m going with Merchants.

#2 Pool (by far the hardest pool to predict)

1. Hurtz Donut D-Holes (4-1)
The D-Holes are the epitome of a solid KVKL team.  They have veteran players at every spot in the lineup, they know what to do when runners get on, and they make you string together base hits to score runs. They won’t give you an inch.  Their lone loss was to Channel 6 by a measly two runs, so they’re clearly an elite team in the league.  They have championship aspirations, and winning the #2’s will help them secure a high enough seed to avoid the top teams, at least through the first weekend.

2. Love Garden Squids (4-1)
The Squids didn’t play their best on Sunday vs. KTC, making a few uncharacteristic mistakes on defense, and against a team like Tree Care that will absolutely kill you.  All that aside, Love Garden feels like they should be recognized as a top five team in the league, and they’ll need to win this division for that to become a reality.  D-Holes vs Squids, 7/31 at 7:00, that’s must see kickball folks.

3. Goats (3-2)
The Goats were a 1-0 loss away from the #1 pool, and while that reality stings, they’ve got to be happy to be back into the top 10 in the league after some slippage in recent years.  With Shaher setting the tone at the top of the lineup they’ve regained a bit of their swagger, and the D has been tight, allowing only 3.5 runs per game.  If they can sneak by Love Garden this week, they have to feel good about their chances of finishing top two in the #2’s.

4. Red Lyon (2-3)
Lyon is hurting right now, with both Todd and Chris N. nursing fairly serious injuries.  However, this is the same Red Lyon team that has been to back-to-back championship games, so count them out at your own peril.  Shoutout to Sara W for the hero throw to get Mookie on the foot rounding third last week, that was pretty damn impressive.

5. Red Legs (1-4)
Predicting a team this good to go 1-4 just feels wrong, but that’s why the #2’s are going to be so much fun, good teams have to lose games.  Red Legs, though made up of talented veteran players, is still learning how to play with one another.  Next season I fully expect them to break into the #1’s, but they’re going to take some lumps in 2015.

6. Rockets (1-4)
The doubleheader gods were not kind to the Rockets, playing D-Holes and Squids back to back sounds like a long and frustrating day of kickball, but they do get a GOTW against Red Legs on 7/31 so don’t feel too bad for them.  The Rockets handled everyone they were supposed to handle in division play, but the 19-2 loss to Widman shows that they’re not quite ready for prime time.

#1 Pool

1. Happy Shirt (5-0)
They haven’t lost in the regular season since 2012, and the additions of Chris Ford and Joel Kelly over the last two seasons have kept Happy Shirt humming right along.  Yes, five games in the #1 pool is a tough slog, but these kickball savants will find their way to yet another undefeated record.  They get everyone’s best shot every week and still figure out a way to get it done.  Incredibly impressive stuff.

2. Wildman (4-1)
Wildman continues their march towards one of the most statistically impressive seasons in KVKL history, having won every game by double digits thus far.  Their doubleheader week is no joke, playing Happy Shirt and Channel 6.  They’ll need to sweep that day to win the #1’s, and that’s too tall of a task, even for a great team like Wildman.

3. Channel 6 (3-2)
The rise of Channel 6 was put on hold last season due to a technicality, and you just get the sense they’ve been chomping at the bit to play these teams in the #1’s again since the day the board disqualified them in 2015.  They’ve been on cruise control for the most of the first half of the season, but obviously things pick up big time from here on out.  Happy Shirt vs. Channel 6 at 7:00, 7/31 from Hobbs Park has the potential to be the game of the year.

4. Kansas Tree Care (2-3)
KTC played well last week against Love Garden at Hobbs, falling behind early before showing off their superior athleticism and winning going away.  Some less than inspiring scores against lower tier teams early in the season were concerning, but they seem to have righted the ship just in time.  Their doubleheader day is best case scenario, facing Free State and Muddy Waters, KTC just needs to make sure and win a game or two (or three!) before that day to ensure a top three seed in the tournament.

5. Free State Growlers (1-4)
Free State is coming off one of their biggest wins (maybe the biggest?) in team history, besting long time nemesis Red Lyon to get into the #1’s.  Their reward? Facing the four consensus best teams in the league in a four week stretch, including a doubleheader against KTC and Happy Shirt.  Ouch.  The game to watch here is 7/31 vs. Muddy Waters, the winner of that probably assures themselves a top 5 seed in the playoffs.  Free State is playing well and has a solid core of KVKL veterans, so they’re apt to keep it close against the top four teams.

6. Muddy Waters (0-5)
Muddy Waters won the tiebreaker in the Amelia Earhart division on the strength of their rock solid defense, and they’re going to have to bring that level of intensity to every game in the #1’s. The offense broke out last week, scoring 15 runs, and if they can translate some of that run scoring ability to their next five games, then this prediction could end up looking awful.

Top 10 Run Scorers of 2016 (Week 5)

Weekly Standings 

Women:

1. Angela – 6 (Ch.6)
2. Cheyenne- 5 (Ch.6)
3. Jeni- 4 (Goats)
T-4. Jill – 3 (Corksuckers)
T-4. Erin – 3 (Los Mats)
T-6. Arie – 2 (D-Holes)
T-6. Kaitlin S. – 2 (Das Boot)
T-6. Elizabeth – 2 (Das Boot)
T-6. Tori – 2 (Jazzhaus)
T-6. Jessie C. – 2 (KTC)
T-6. Megan – 2 (Wildman)
T-6. Laura – 2 (Sacred Sword)

Men:

1. Sam – 7 (Ch.6)
T-2. Aaron – 6 (Ch.6)
T-2. Jay – 6 (Ch.6)
T-2. Jeff – 6 (Ch.6)
T-5. Austin – 5 (Corksuckers)
T-5. Justin – 5 (Rockets)
T-5. Bobby – 5 (Corksuckers)
T-5. Alex – 5 (Sacred Sword)
T-5 Chris – 5 (Sacred Sword)
10. 10 Players tied with 4

Season Standings

Women:

1. Angela – 16 (Ch.6)
2. Cheyenne – 12 (Ch.6)
3. Jeni – 10 (Goats)
T-4. Kaitlin S. – 6 (Das Boot)
T-4. Megan – 6 (Wildman)
T-4. Kamari – 6 (Where’s My Pitches)
T-4. Madeline – 6 (Free State)
T-8. Elizabeth – 5 (Das Boot)
T-8. Audrey – 5 (Goats)
T-8. Betsy – 5 (Wildman)
T-8. Lindsey – 5 (Free State)
T-8. Sarah R – 5 (Red Lyon)
T-8. Manda – 5 (Woost)

Men:

1. Colin – 17 (Wildman)
2. C.J – 16 (Wildman)
3. Sam – 15 (Ch.6)
T-4. Isaac – 14 (Ch.6)
T-4. Aaron – 14 (Free State)
T-4. Ariel – 14 (D-Holes)
T-4. Seth – 14 (Free State)
T-8. Charlie – 13 (Free State)
T-8. Chris – 13 (Happy Shirt)
T-8. Josh – 13 (Wildman)

How Kickball Saved My Life

Friday June 17, 2016, after their Friday night city league kickball game, Arie Auxter and Megan Hawman of the D-Holes came over to begin making three hundred “breakfast” themed Jell-O shots. It was 10pm and the two women I would ultimately be competing against in Game of the Week were at my house working together to add an element of surprise and fun for our game under the lights.

Five summers ago I was going through a divorce, dealing with a failed business and was very over weight. Pretty much all around one big lump of unhappy. Sure I had my inner circle of music friends and family, but little did I know that in five years time my circle would be filled with dozens of strong, loving, there for you always women in my daily life. These are the women of the KVKL, aka the Laideez, a crew from Kaw Valley Kickball who literally without them knowing it, saved my life.

For the past five years, this is the week in Kaw Valley Kickball that has a strong female edge to it. We have the girl on girl clinic and the ladies podcast, these are events created and dominated by women but always welcome the whole league to join (even you cougar). You may know some of these KVKL-ers already, many play a huge part in the league,  but here’s how I know and love them:

Since I mentioned them already in my introduction, let me tell you a little more about two D-Holes, Arianna Auxter and Megan Hawmen. Arie (like the star sign) is one of the greatest organizers around. She gets you the balls and makes sure we continue to strive to get better each year at the Girl On Girl Action Clinic. Megan Hawmen helped bring our annual Charity Auction to next level heights. She created a database of hundred of businesses that are down to donate to the KVKL annually. The reason we raise thousands of dollars is thanks to her time in getting it off the ground years ago. Both of these women play infield for the D-Holes and they are clutch kickers when it comes to winning for their team.

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gotweek 3 jello-shots

From the most fuckable team, Salvador Perez’, Mario Chalmersiz I introduce Ms. Rachna Patel. With one tilt of her trucker hat and her bright white smile, you know you’ve got a friend. She is always the first one to welcome new players, her team were some of the first to drop it like it’s hot on the replay patio, and even though she couldn’t play last season do to back surgery she willingly reffed almost every game. So good to have you back on the field this season Ms. Patel.IMG_8709

Do any of you know the name of the other most winning member in the KVKL (besides Deron belt)? Her name is Brianne Koester. She currently plays for Happy Shirt and has managed to play in a championship team all but one season of her career since 2008. We probably should just rename the championship trophy, the Koester Cup. She also happens to be entering year three of dental school and plans to work in public health. A new addition to the Happy Shirt team this year is long time player and full time contributor to the league Amber Lord Owens. All I can say about this woman besides the fact she dominates equally in kicking and defense, is if there is anything you need last minute she is the one you can count on. We forgot something at the shed, she will go grab, we short a person for the scoreboard, count her in, she’s been a super active part of the ladies podcast and girl on girl every year, we couldn’t do it without moo (wink wink).

She’s been a commissioner on the board and one of the originators of the podcasts, shout outs to Erin Adams, of Pawsh Wash. Yes she is also the one who reminds us to not bring glass to Hobbs, the one to make sure you are paying league dues on time, but Erin is always there when it comes to the KVKL. I actually have time to write this piece today because she is cleaning and organizing the shed for me today. Thanks for all you do Erin, here’s to another championship ladies podcast on Wednesday.

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wearing our will there be games boots

There are a lot of women on the Goats who help out the KVKL behind the scenes. One of those women is Lauren Gall. Five years ago on a slow night at harbor when we realized a day dedicated to pushing the women in the league to learn from some of the top players in the league for one day a season could be fun. And that is how the Girl on Girl Clinic began. Another amazing goat lady (since I shouldn’t talk about all six ladies on the goats who all rule) is the one and only Sara Rock. For those who don’t know, Sara is the other half of Scott Stewart, full time KVKL organizer. She opens their home to our board at all hours of the day, and night for us to meet, and discuss for hours all things kick ball. She is very active in local charities and from what I saw yesterday has gotten good at catching balls in the outfield too!

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sara rock(in) it

That deep statistical voice of the podcast the past few years is the one and only Cathe Decena. Her career began on Mad Greek (check out the all star game YouTube posted this past week) and now plays for one of this weeks GOTW teams, Kansas Tree Care. When she isn’t predicting run differentials more successfully than CJ, Cathe is kicking ass and taking names in her career for the City of Lawrence.

Where do I begin with the women of the Red Lyon? Statistically the gals of the Lyon are some of the most winning members of the league (next to Brianne and Kayla of happy shirt). Shawna is right up near the top competing in five championship games for Los Luchadores, First Blood and now the Lyon over the years. Emily and the Sarah’s (Riley and Weisel) have played in back to back championship games if ever you want to watch women dominate, just challenge any of these women to do anything and they will top whatever the challenge was.IMG_9197

There have only been two women who have been writers for Sundays in the Park. One is myself, and the other is Liz Shafer. This year she has joined the Rockets and has become one of the integral kickers for their team. She also is a mainstay on the ladies podcast, the woman who adds the humor to all those stats and helped name Thor our podcast mascot.

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liz shafer knows how to hold the bag

The Ladybird Harpies are helping to bring the next generation to Kaw Valley Kickball. This neighborhood team where scoring a run was a victory, is now finding the sweet taste of success in 2016 guaranteeing them not a six seed in rank play. Shout outs to Christine Kosirog, another half of board member Matt Pryor, for also opening up your home for a few years of podcasts, and to “summer” Staci Taylor-Ahlvers, who missed her first Girl on Girl so her son youngest son could compete in Zones in diving. I love my moms in the league!

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laideez pod cast 2013

My last laideez team highlights are with the Ghosts. Prior to our scoreboard, there was Katie Keating. The lady who held up the dry erase board in the stands every summer so we would know the score and how much time we had before singing take me out to the ball game with Cougar. This season she is the lady with the go-pro, filming segments of games and fanfare each week. She is also a badass camerawoman as a career, which means she can’t always make it to our kickball, games because soccer, or basketball or baseball requires her time. 2016 saw the selection of the first ever two time Commissioner, Ghosts player Diana Garcia. She is the leagues voice of reason, that person who can listen to all sides and seemingly find a way to keep us moving forward. She also is one gonna run you down pitcher for her team. Never underestimate a ghost, like their namesake, the Eldridge Hotel, Ghosts don’t burn down.

I could go on for paragraphs about all the extraordinary women in the league who do more than just show up and play. This is just a small spattering of the talent and commitment that comes from the women who play in the KVKL off the field. Most teams only play with three of us each week on the field and I give mad love and thanks for all of the women who push hard at being the best 3 outta 10 on the field each week, youre all inspirations.

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girl on girl 2016

 

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