It’s been a few seasons since I’ve taken off the Commissioner’s hat and made some predictions. Sure, we’re over half way done with the Summer Season and it might seem a little late. But for the first time, over half of our teams were completely new this year. That left a lot of unanswered questions…until now. Now that I’ve had a chance to see ‘em, I’m ready to call ‘em.
If you disagree…by all means, use the Color Commentary. Be careful though, you still have six games worth of decisions on hits or errors to live through.
- Canvassers – Currently sitting on top of the Eastern Division and with a shrewd off season merger with former division rivals Scared Hitless appear to have returned to their winning ways. Though, they’ve been lucky in a few games and could be upset by a non-playoff bound team with a one run decision, or get easily beat by a team they’ll face in October. Their power has been inconsistent, much like their new roster, and they’ll need to ramp it up to win it all. They’ll finish 13-1 to have the best record in the league, but won’t become the second team to go undefeated in league history.
- Joe Buck Yourself – This team of rookies (half free agents) have started surprisingly strong and look pretty good. They have a solid hitter in Lemaire, a solid pitcher in Brown, and 2-3 other guys who on a given day can either do great things or not so great things. When they fire on all cylinders, they’ll be hard to beat. If their whole team shows up, and plays well for four weeks plus the playoffs, they could go all the way. More likely, they’ll be late for a game, or oversleep after a rough Saturday night and get knocked out in the first round of post-season after finishing the regular season 11-3.
- Flea Bitten Varmits – Despite two forfeits, the Varmits are a better than .500 team. Not a lot better, but better. We saw two of these guys, Sherene and Mann in 2008, and they are slightly better in this year’s edition, and they certainly have snappier uniforms. The rest of their schedule is tough though, and unless they can pull off a couple of upsets, expect them to be 6-8 and miss the postseason.
- Flaglove – The other “F” team that is underachieving and happens to have two forfeit losses. Like the Varmits, these guys are better than their record indicates, and have potential to upset a top tier team. It’s unclear if their POTW winner Jesse Contario will ever return from exile in some country without internet access to give Flaglove some much needed home runs. If he doesn’t, they don’t have a chance. They’ve already dug themselves a hole they can’t get out of, and will miss the playoffs at 6-8.
- Rough Riders – If they hadn’t changed their name, fired their second best (and most annoying) player, and lost to the Rossi Posse, you wouldn’t have any problem seeing that these guys won the World Series LESS THAN A YEAR AGO. Manager Kris Garcia has been on fire this year, but the rest of his team has not. A fresh influx of players has certainly increased attendance at their games, but no matter how much you like DJ Harper, you kind of miss their winning days with Brett Beyerlin. One more win this season over three weeks will feel like a beating to them, but that’s all they’ll get and end up 4-10…way out of the playoff picture.
- Clubber Lang – If Tony Ragano struck out every batter he ever faced, his team would still lose two games this year by a fluke error or dropped third strike home run. They don’t have the Barnburners in their way this year, and with only one game against the Canvassers due to the unbalanced schedule, their real enemy is themselves. They’ll probably deal the Canvassers their only loss of the season, but get caught sleeping and lose to a Joe Buck Yourself. Despite that, they’ll be back in the World Series trying to avenge their two and out loss last season. A 12-2 record will make them the #2 seed in postseason, a position they know well, having been there twice before.
- Alcoholics Anonymous – Sometimes you like them, sometimes you hate them, sometimes it rains. The Alcoholics have definitely announced their presence with authority in the PWL. Unfortunately mostly it’s with their mouths and not with their play. They’re not as good as Flaglove or Flea Bitten Varmits, but they have been more lucky. Andrew Martin is a good pitcher, but we have girls in the league hitting better than .095. Or, we would if we had any girls. Their other regulars are decent guys playing slightly above the league averages, and to be fair, they have faced the toughest teams in the league. The rest of their schedule is weak, and they’ll end up 9-5 claiming the 4th playoff spot. We’d encourage them to get Scott Tomasello back, but none of us can stand him.
- Mr. Party’s Waddle – In case you didn’t know, Mr. Party isn’t only their namesake, he’s their mascot. A life sized plastic penguin with a name tag. His appearance last week got some new life into a squad that’s a .300 team with .500 record. The worst is ahead of them though, and they’ll have to scrape and fight to win two more games. Though, if lightening strikes, they could go 4-2 and at least make it competitive for the final spot in post season. That lightening could come from their manager, Dan Sullivan, who is well on his way to locking up Player of Week honors for Week 4. He apparently pitches and hits…we call that two tool. However, it’s a little late, and their luck came early. They’ll finish 6-8 and won’t be playing in October.
- Holey Balls! – Holy Shit! (It’s the exclamation point that makes all the difference.) I really don’t understand why this team has only won a single game. You’d think on the back of the Carter brothers’ bats alone they’d have three wins. If they had just one other player who was hitting over a buck fifty or who just happened to be on base on error to get driven in, they’d be in much better shape. The good news is they won’t end up with the worst record in the league. They’ll beat the Rossi Posse the last week to double up in the W column, going 2-12. Maybe it’s time to change the name again?
- Rossi Posse – The Posse has dwindled, both in size, and in expected victories. No one picked them for post-season, but the last three seasons they’ve at least had three wins each year. This year, they’ll have to be satisfied with their lone victory over the Rough Riders thanks in large part to the guest play of Juliana Pearson’s father who was visiting town. He’ll be gone the next three weeks, and so will their chances of winning. The Posse will end up with the second worst record in league history, 1-13, but as always, it won’t bother them. They’re happy to be the league punching bags, and every once in a while embarrass Chris Coger.
Division Championship Series
The DCS’s will feature Alcoholics Anonymous at the Canvassers and Joe Buck Yourself at Clubber Lang. The Alcoholics will force a game three, but the Canvassers will prevail and head to their seventh World Series. Joe Buck Yourself will fall apart and Clubber Lang will roll into their second World Series looking very much like the favorite for the trophy.
The Canvassers will have the home field advantage, but Clubber Lang will have the momentum heading in to the World Series. Expect a three game series, and don’t be surprised by one run games or extra innings. Without the media spotlight following them around this time, Clubber might be able to focus a little more on winning. The Canvassers aren’t the same team that’s been here six times before, not even close. They’re untested in tough situations, and that’s not going to help. If Clubber Lang keeps their cool, it’s their series to lose. If Tony start’s yelling, the Canvassers pick up their fifth trophy.