Week 1 Predictions

I promise to write more in the following weeks after actually seeing the new looks of some of these teams. I will also review this season’s jerseys, because that’s what I care most about in kickball nowadays.

Happy Shirt > AsteroidHEAD
Pawsh Wash > Liberty Hall
Woost > Double Meat
Johnny’s > Repetition
Rockets > Leafy Greens
Muddy Waters > Jazzhaus
Ghosts > Homies
Where’s My Pitches > Rats
Channel 6 > Leeway Frank’s
Harpies > Screamers
KTC > Corksuckers
Goats > Sacred Sword
Mario Chalmersiz > Red Lyon
Love Garden > Hurtz
Los Matadores > Brewballers
Free State > Flying Hellfish


Dear KVKL; or, I Don’t Know What I’m Doing

Dear KVKL,

It’s been awhile. Haven’t really opened this in awhile so when I did I thought, Hey I should write something. It doesn’t really matter what because this is just for you and me, but, well, I have to write something!!! So here I am, watching TV, pouring over my schedule, and realizing, Wow tomorrow is the first day of kickball!!! That’s so very.

I wonder what I should wear? I wonder what other people are going to wear? Will they all have cool jerseys and I’ll be the only one who doesn’t? That would be an epic bummer. . . .

Okay, enough of that. I haven’t done this in a couple years but was asked to do it again—so, here I am—and I don’t exactly know where I’m going with it. So fair warning: It might get a little weird at times throughout. A little nontraditional. Maybe even a little real. But that’s the fun part.

As far as the league is concerned, this feels like a wildly different season than in years past. Sure, Happy Shirt did what Happy Shirt do and won its third straight title. Red Lyon nearly made it to its third straight title game. Chalmersiz struggled against its tournament nemesis, Happy Shirt. And Channel 6 couldn’t make its first Final Four appearance.

Yet for everything we’ve come to expect, this may very well be an unusual season.

A lot of familiar faces have moved on, retired, or simply left for another team. Long-time winner Chris Ford is looking to relegate his role. Wildman’s CJ is moving from 3B to 1B, for some weird reason. Chalmersiz’s Colin has joined Red Lyon. And the entirety of Das Boot, save myself, has retired.

Maybe, then, it just feels different for me. It’s certainly a change going from an established squad to a group of almost nothing but newcomers. But, hell—I’m up for a season in which I don’t have to worry, in the slightest, about preconceived expectations. Sure, it might be (re: will be) frustrating at times, like it can be for all teams—kinda like the Bagels early last year—but, hey, I’ve won more championships than Chalmersiz, Red Lyon, Channel 6, Muddy Waters, Hurtz D-Holes, and a loooooooot of other teams combined. I’ve earned a year of Fuck it let’s just see what happens.

Welcome back, asshatsᶰ! Love you all.

ᶰ : my colleague told me to write that.

The Top Run Scorers of 2016

Final Regular Season Standings 


1.Angela – 20 (Ch. 6)
2.Jeni – 14 (Goats)
3.Cheyenne – 13 (Ch. 6)
4.Kamari – 12 (Where’s My Pitches)
5.Danielle – 11 (Bagels)
6.Kaitlin – 9 (Das Boot)
7.Elise – 8 (Squids)
T-8.Emily – 7 (Brewballers)
T-8.Elizabeth – 7 (Das Boot)
T-8.Katie -7 (Homies)
T-8.Erin -7 (Los Mats)
T-8.Emily -7 (Red Lyon)
T-8.Megan -7 (Wildman)


T-1.Isaac – 22 (Ch. 6)
T-1.Ariel – 22 (D-Holes)
3.Ben – 21 (Corksuckers)
T-4.CJ – 20 (Wildman)
T-4.Paul – 20 (Los Mats)
T-4.Colin – 20 (Wildman)
T-7.Jeff – 19 (Homies)
T-7.James – 19 (Red Legs)
T-9.Seth – 18 (Free State)
T-9.Chris – 18 (Happy Shirt)

Lady Stats by Alex Hawman

Based on some discussions that I’ve had this season, I thought it would be nice to finally compile some lady stats from around the league so that they can be showcased like the rock stars that they are. Many teams that I’ve talked to over the last several years have given lip service to the ladies. They say things like “Oh, our ladies are awesome!” or “We have the best ladies in the league!”, but yet no one wanted to show any quantitative data for it. Also, Cougar has his list of the “Top 10 ladies” in the league which never changes unless a lady retires. I wanted to show the league that there are excellent ladies that don’t get talked about and don’t show up on his list, since he’s “The Voice” of the league… or something.

Please note, this is all done off of scanned score sheets (which aren’t always 100% legible), in the span of about 8 hours of typing & mindless key tapping. I removed anyone who didn’t have at least 15 at bats from the summaries, which should fall between 4 and 5 games of kicking on average. Also, unless it was otherwise noted, split kickers I treated as 50/50, because I’m not omniscient. This is based solely upon On Base Percentage (OBP), which is one of the few things we can figure out correctly from all score sheets. I’d LOVE to have RKI’s, but we can’t seem to get the refs to check an extra box on the score sheet on a regular basis. Maybe next year, so we can show the true, overall value of the ladies in this league! Good luck this weekend to you all! See you on the fields.Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 14.08.39Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 14.07.41

The Must See Matchups of the Playoffs (Day 1)

The tournament is upon us and here are some of the most eagerly anticipated matchups.  (Round 2 are projected games)

Round 1:

(20) Los Matadores vs. (13) Merchants
Los Matadores played in this game last year as the 13 seed and were upset by the Rats, which started Santos & Co. on their path to the Princess Di plate.  The tables are turned this year as they enter this matchup as the underdog to the surprising Merchants of Death.  Merchants has turned in a very solid 7-3 campaign and finished second in the #3 pool with their only loss coming at the hands of Chalmersiz. They are looking to make some noise in the Awesome Bracket and enter as one of the hottest teams in the league as winners of seven of their past eight.  Winner has a tough matchup against Ch. 6, while the loser has to be a favorite for the Princess Di plate.

Merchants – 7
Los Mats – 5

(18) Corksuckers vs. (15) Das Boot
Both teams finished the season 6-4, but they’ve been good lately and that’s what matters. Das Boot is on a three game winning streak, having allowed one (yes, one) run in that span. That’s some championship caliber defense, I don’t care who you’re facing. Corksuckers have won five of their past six, with their only loss coming by a single run to Pawsh Wash in week six, so their about as hot as a team can be entering the tourney.  Expect this to be a clash of Cork’s offense vs. Boot’s defense, and in the playoffs I’ll take defense every time.

Das Boot – 6
Corksuckers – 4

(19) Ghosts vs. (14) Rockets
These teams are both on a skid entering the playoffs, each of them going 0-5 in rank play.  The good news is one of them will get their mojo back by winning this game, the bad news is they would turn around and immediately have to play two time defending champs Happy Shirt.  Regardless, a finish in top half of the league would be a huge step forward for the Ghosts, and if they do fall to the Rockets then they’re very strong contenders for the Princess Di plate.  The Rockets made a Final Four run last year as the 11 seed, so an upset or two isn’t out of the realm, but they need to regain their early season form.  This is a rematch of a week 2 game that Rockets took 9-1.

Rockets – 7
Ghosts – 3

Round 2:

(9) Red Lyon vs. (8) Free State
When these two teams played in week 5 it was one of the most contentious games of the season that ultimately ended with Free State on top 11-5.  That was the last time The Growlers won a game, finishing 0-5 in the #1 pool despite a few close losses (by one to both Ch. 6 & Wildman).  Red Lyon on the other hand went 3-2 in the #2 pool and got their signature win of the season just last week against Red Legs.  Neither of these teams is shy about drinking during games, and remember this will be the second game of the day for both, so brace yourselves, its gonna get intense (Sorry in advance refs!) Winner will probably take on KTC, while the loser has to feel good about winning the Twain Bust.

Free State -10
Red Lyon – 9

(11) Chalmersiz vs. (6) Red Legs
Probably the game of the day, Chalmersiz has been a sleeping giant in the #3 pool, just grinding out wins and somewhat staying off everyone’s radar, but certainly lurking.  Their win against Muddy Waters just looks better and better every week, especially now that Muddy clinched the #2 overall seed.  Red Legs have to be happy with a #6 seed in their first season in the league, but Findley and crew want a rematch with Happy Shirt and they’re going to need to go through Chalmersiz to do it.  Total coin flip game, but I’m going to to with the team that has been challenged week in and week out for the past five weeks.  Loser is the prohibitive favorite for the Twain Bust.

Red Legs – 6
Chalmersiz – 5

(12) D-Holes vs. (5) Wildman
D-Holes have proven they can beat teams they are even with athletically, it’s when they matchup with the truly superior athletes in the league (Red Legs, Channel 6, Love Garden) that they have some trouble.  Wildman is certainly one of the more athletic teams in the league, and that combined with their veteran savvy ought to help them advance to the second weekend despite an untimely injury to CJ.  This just shows the incredible depth of the league, that Wildman, who has a respectable 7-3 record, fell all the way to a #5 seed.

Wildman – 11
D-Holes – 5

A few more predictions:
The Eight Champion – Nick Lerner’s Homies
The Plate Champion – Corksuckers
The Twain Champion – Chalmersiz
The Cup Champion – Channel 6 (This was my preseason prediction and I’m sticking with it)

Definitive, Pointless Power Ranking – Week Eight


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!


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)


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


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)


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)


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


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)


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)


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