By Nightmare (and Vlade, sort of)

Vlade hates my weekly power rankings. … but why?  At first I thought that it was just carryover hate from my time with the Reds, but I did some digging and found that is probably only part of it.  You see, power ranking the HRL was actually Vlade’s idea.  Way back in 2012, before half the league could drive or see PG-13 movies, Vlade published the HRL’s first power rankings (I did no research to see if that is true).  You can check them out if you want, or you can just believe me when I tell you that they are not nearly as good as mine are.  I admit, he had some great insights, but man, what a dull read.  You’re all very lucky I picked up the mantel and didn’t leave it to him…  Anyways, in order to get Vlade to stop complaining (as if that is possible) I allowed him to co-write this week’s power rankings… and by that I mean I am just plugging in quotes from his article with little or no context whatsoever. 

So, that being said, I dedicate this week’s rankings to Vlade.  Without whom all of this would be possible… but there’d be far less complaining about it afterwards.

  1. The Rays (8-0, 1st Bunny's) are literally the least interesting thing to me in the HRL right now… aside from Vlade.  They play the Mmmmets next and I hope they lose so that I can stop ranking them number one every week.  (Previous Rank: 1)
  1. I'd rank the Dodgers (10-0, 1st Lone Oak) number one, but they aren’t the 2-time defending champs.  Psych is playing on another level right now.  The total opposite of Vlade, who's playing pretty "meh" right now.  They're going fishing this week and I'm not looking forward to it.  (PR: 3)
  1. The Mets (9-1, 1st LTD) lost to a bunch of stinking kids… but they beat the Reds.  That must have been a tough night.  That was not the result I predicted, but no team is perfect… but I still think the Mets are pretty close.  Unlike Vlade, who called JC a #3 starter…  They play the Biscuits next in what should be a World Series preview... but won't be, because, you know, rules.  (PR: 2)
  1. I wonder if the Yankees (7-1, 1st Yankee Tavern) got fired up a little bit after seeing the Ducks' twitter last week…  I'd like to think so.  They keep doing what it takes to rack up W's and every guy on the roster contributing.  Including Torpedo, who Vlade described as a "perennial mound menace…" and he was right, at the time.  I’m not sure if he still is, but I wonder if he can rekindle enough of that magic to step into the #2 spot in the Yanks' rotation...  Also, Rocky is having the great year I predicted he would.  Lugnuts are next...  Please, have mercy on them.  (PR: 6)
  1. The Americans (9-1, 1st LTD) took care of business in Eagan last week in their normal workaday fashion.  I'd be bored talking about these guys if I wasn’t so impressed by their ability to get the job done every week (and not be asses, like Vlade, about it).  RubberDucks are next.  (PR: 4)
  1. Rough night in Hopkins for the Reds (7-2, 1st Wildcats).  Unlike Vlade, the Reds aren't used to nights like this.  They don't lose 2 in a row often (last time, 2017), and it's even less often they lose those two in a single night (2016).  I expect them to rebound, aggressively, this week against the Kardinals (Mon) and Whalers (Thur).  (PR: 5)
  1. A couple HRLers tried to convince me otherwise, but the homerun dances the RubberDucks (6-2, 2nd Bunny's) keep posting are... annoying.  I'm bored of them.  Even at my douchiest I've never done anything like that… and I've been a pretty big ass in my day.  I dunno, is this sort of stuff cool now?  Is THIS what’s hot in the streets now?  Or, maybe act like you've been there before…?  Oh boy.  I sound crabby, just like old man Vlade.  Anyways, aside from homerun dancing, keep doing what you’re doing.  RoughRiders (Mon) and Americans (Thur).  (PR: 7)
  1. Vlade loves the Marlins (5-3, 2nd Yankee Tavern) right now... well, in 2012 he did, he just didn’t know it back then...  Last week, even without "switch hitting power threat" TT (aka Thrill), the Marlins swept the Pirates behind Box and Rex "the leadership of a team deep with offensive talent."  Nightmare contributed with his pitching, that some say could elevate a pitching staff to "one of the best in HRL history.”  Also Fedawg was there to provide "improving offense."  Vlade, you were a lot smarter in 2012...  Dodgers are next...  (PR: 9)
  1. The Kardinals (4-4, 3rd Yankee Tavern) swept the Pigs.  Aside from being mad Tootin' let me down (only hit 3 of the 5 HRs I predicted), I've been surprised by the Kardinals pitching this year.  Also, Vlade said that Cobra Kai is one of the most talented all-around players (in Hopkins, in 2012).  I had to check and see.  Sanchez saaaays... Vlade was right, but Cobra’s attendance now... where you at Cobra Kai?  You and Zabka off sweeping the leg?  Excited Curious Waiting to see how they perform versus the Reds (Mon) and Bears (Thurs).  (PR: 11)
  1. The Athletics (4-5, 2nd Wildcats) have fallen on hard times.  After a hot start, they have cooled off, but it still seems like they're putting up a good fight.  Time to see how Kong's kids deal with adversity.  Will they step up?  Or just start to whine (like Vlade) and fizzle away... (Side note: I’m not implying the A's whine, but I needed it for the bit).  Bears (Mon) and Pirates (Thurs).  (PR: 8)
  1. The Pirates (3-5, 2nd Lone Oak) are another team that started hot and have cooled off.  They got swept last week by the Fish, but I saw a couple things that keep me confident the Rats can finish in the top half of the league.  First, Milton is just a couple baby steps from being a pretty darn good pitcher.  I think with some practice and some success, he’ll make the leap, this year or next.  Second, sober Pork Buoy can hit a little bit.  Granted, we don't see him sober all that often...  Athletics are up next.  While Kong's kids are certainly no joke (like Vlade's current batting average), these are games the Pirates could use to get back on track.  (PR: 10)
  1. The Giants (3-6, 4th LTD) are struggling, dropping 6 of the last 7, including two to the lowly Mariners.  They need to visit a hitting coach about as badly as Vlade… or do something to get the offense up to speed with the pitching.  Braves are next, and not the team I'd pick to try and get my offense back on track.  (PR: 12)
  1. The Braves (3-3, 3rd Bunny's) beat the Whalers and A's last week.  In doing so, Vlade improved his batting average considerably, so keep in mind his average was much worse when I started writing and made the jokes about his hitting.  Also remember, he was like hitter of the year or whatever back in like, 1927…  Back at 3-3, I hope the Braves (with the exception of Vlade) continue to have success... because I predicted they'd be a top 10 team.  At least in part because they boast (one of) "the strongest offense[s] of any team in the HRL, lead by 2 time MVP, Chops" (and DJ and Daubs).  Giants next.  (PR: 13)
  1. The Twins (3-5, 3rd LTD) didn’t lose last week, and probably won't this week against the Chihuahuas….unless they “pull a Vlade."  (PR: 14)
  1. Who would have thought the winless Roughriders (1-5, 4th Bunny's) would beat the Reds last week?  Not me… but I forgot about Hjal, who at times, is possibly "the most dominant pitcher in the HRL."  They play the RubberDucks (Mon) and Mariners (Thur) this week.  (PR: 15)
  1. The Whalers (4-6, 4th Yankee Tavern) scored almost as many against the Lugnuts (34) as the Yankees scored on them (38) week one.  Like Vlade's face...  I don't know how I feel about that.  They also dropped two to Hopkins.  I don't have any snarky comments about those games... oh, wait, yes I do.  They lost to Vlade and let him go 4 for 7...  not cool Whalers.  They play the Reds next. 
  1. The Bears (1-5, 3rd Lone Oak).  Beets.  Battlestar Gallactica.  Like Vlade, I'm out of clever things to say.  Athletics and Kardinals coming up this week.  (PR: 17)
  1. The red hot Mariners (3-8, 5th LTD) have now won 3 of their last 5… ugh, I don't know.  This is getting harder than listening to Vlade complain about… everything... zing?... Blechhh.  The Seamen play against Roughriders this week.  (PR: 19)
  1. The Orioles (2-8, 3rd Wildcats) … I spent all my spare time thinking about Vlade zingers.  Iron Pigs are next, should be a real snoozefest an epic battle of teams.  (PR: 20)
  1. The Iron Pigs (0-6, 4th Lone Oak) are… a team… that doesn't have Vlade… and play the Orioles this week.  (PR: 18)
  1. Vlade sucks.  Now that that's out of the way…  The Chihuahuas (0-6, 5th Bunny's) are pretty cool dudes.  I don't know them, at all, but I found they have a twitter account… maybe you guys have already seen it... but it's pretty enjoyable.  The main guy, who does all the talking, with his mouth…  At least I think he's in charge, I like him and hope these guys stay in the league... just for the twittering.  Oh, they got swept by the Ducks and play the Twins who will also probably sweep them.  They are much better at social media than they are at wiffleball.  (PR: 21)
  1. The Lugnuts (0-everything, 4th Wildcats) … are the Lugnuts.  Let's see if they can keep the Yankees under… 40 runs this week.  (PR: 22)


Thanks to my co-writer, Vlade, for his inspiration and expertise.  It really made this a more enjoyable experience and allowed me to bump my “HRL Teams as my Favorite All-Time Albums” rankings back a week.

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