Nightmare's HRL Power Rankings – Week 1 - 2020
Is this really happening?
I’ll admit that even now, noon on opening day… I’m still not 100% sure it’ll happen.  A lot like when Hardball says he’s on his way to the bar… you never really know until he gets there.  Aww man… you guys remember bars?  Those were fun.
So, I’ve gotten a lot of texts asking if the Power Rankings were going to happen this year.  I responded to every single one, “Hell yes they’re happening.  NOTHING could stop me!”
Well, I was wrong.  Laziness could, and very nearly did, stop me.  I guess until I hit ‘send’ in a bit, it could still stop me… so let’s just get to it before that happens.
15.  What the heck is a Rumble Ponies and what happened to the Orioles.  Are they the same thing?  Or is this really just a bunch of random dudes who chose to join a bunch of other random dudes (and gals) playing wiffleball in the midst of a pandemic… Anyways, good for them, I guess.  I feel bad for them.  Both because they’re choosing this year to start, and also because they’ll never make the same splash the Lugnuts did last year.  Man, those guys were cool.  I already miss Franklin.  Anyways, do we thinking the Ponies will be this year’s Lugnuts?  Or Chihuahuas? 
14. Bish Please.  Ugh, I’d bet cash money that name was Neut’s idea…Anyways, a fish and a bear walk into a bar… I don’t know how to finish that.  Bish are the first of many combo teams in 2020… I’ll never judge anyone for putting their health, or health of loved ones ahead of wiffleball, but I will miss the Bears and Fish who decided to take this season off (if you are not a Bear or Marlin taking the year off, I will not miss you).  As for the Bishes… Bish Pleases… whatever the plural of “Bish Please” is, who will show up “every” week, the reason I have you at #14 is pitching.  Professor can hold it down with anyone, but I’m curious about their #2 (and 3, and 4…).  Shipwreck would have been my choice to step up, but word on the street is he’s going to be preoccupied with his league record fifth kid!  Take that Webby!  Or are you two tied now?   I don’t know…
13.  Pirates.  The exact same roster as last year… only one of a handful of teams to return “as is” from 2019.  Good for them.  They certainly had some good moments last year, and now a couple of their newer guys come back with a bit more experience.  I bet these guys go at least .500, but I’m really struggling with my predictions so I’ll leave it at that for now.
12.  Twins + Giants – Kmart = Saints.  Hmm… I don’t know… I want to hate this team, because Vlade… but I can’t…  Is this the year Bliss Jr. finally gets some run support?  I mean, not from former batting champion Vlade, but from all the talented players on the squad?  Man, I hope so.
11.  Well, my original joke was going to be something along the lines of, “If you don’t got Groot, I don’t care.” And just move on to the next team… but now it’s showing the Chihuahuas will have their big man?  Nice.  I also want to say they “upgraded” by adding Clark, but “upgrade” seems like a bad word choice because these guys were already pretty good.  They definitely improve with his addition though.  After an 0-10 start, these guys won like 14 of their last 20 and made a pretty impressive run in ‘Palooza… I mean, a year of experience under their belts and the addition of Clark… I’m sure I’ve ranked them too low… but refuse to change it because: LAZINESS.
10.  Hjal and H8R are bringing the RoughRiders to the superior HRL city for 2020.  That was a pretty wise decision.  I don’t think I really know anyone else on that squad… looks like they brought in a couple newbies…  I dunno, a team with those two guys is bound to be pretty decent.  Hmmm.  Maybe they should be 11 and the Chihuahuas 10… But nope, lazy.
9.  I don’t think I’ve ever ranked the Yankees outside my top 10… it may happen this year.. but not yet… Z-Dog turned out to be a pretty good #2 for the Yanks last year, but can he be a #1?  He’s certainly no Old Yeller… This will be a solid line up for sure, especially adding journeyman MacGruber and the young Neutron, but I don’t know if it’ll be enough.  A lot of talent combined this year and it’s going to be crazy.  The Yankees’ usual solid-ness across the board might not be enough to win their usual 25 games... 
8.  Kardinals.  I guess another team stayed intact for 2020.  I see Fish, constantly.  Just roaming my neighborhood.  That has nothing to do with anything, but I thought I’d mention it.  Last year I think I criticized the Kard’s pitching and just predicted they’d hit a lot of bombs… I wont put in the effort to think of anything new. 
7. Americans + Mariners = Americans?  Wow, way to have some respect for yourselves, Mariners.  Every other team that combined changed their name, but you just caved and gave up your name.  Tisk tisk.  Squirrel, I expect big things!  Dr. Dipshiz, I miss you.  Lulu… eh.
6.  HRL Legends Chops, Daubs, DJ, Sanchez, and the Man (sigh)… plus Handsome Mat and Shandy.  I know it sounds stupid to say they’ll be better than people expect, but they’ll be better than people expect.  They had a losing record last year(it’s true), but I’m sure the root cause of that was Vlade… He gone now.  So… yeah, I don’t look forward to playing against these guys.
5.  Cheerio decided he wanted to break up the band and make a championship run with a new group of guys.  He’s sending everyone good Vibes.  I’m sure I can’t be the only one getting annoyed with that by now… Anyways, for some reason they’re mascot is a fu**ing s’mores wearing pants and boots… ugh… I can’t even.
4.  The Cannon Ballers will be very good.  I have nothing new to say, but I’ll say the same old stuff…  I love JC.  I want to keep Taco in my pocket.  Stache is my favorite guy to pretend to hate.  Zabka is probably in my top 10 favorite guys I ever played with.
3.  Half of this team is coming off very disappointing playoff runs… The other half are returning champions.  They will have the greatest jerseys of 2020, possibly ever (thanks Trent).  On paper, it’s all there.  So why aren’t the BabyCakes number one?  Cause that would be too on the nose.
2.  Ranking the Brewers ahead of my own team was difficult.  But then I thought, what if some random night only Yeller, Webby, and Aquaman showed up.  And I had to pitch.  I’m pretty good, but I’d probably fake an injury.  This is a dangerous line-up.  A lot of you don’t know Aquaman, he’s been out of the league a few years, but he’s hit some bombs off me that STILL HAVEN’T LANDED.  You’ve been warned.  And I mean no disrespect to Thunderson or Babyface.  It’s just, you know, Aquaman, Webby, and Yeller…
1. If at first you don’t succeed: try, try, again… I don’t know if grammatically, that’s how to present that sentence… but the point is, maybe if I continue to suck up and rank these guys #1, I can be a Biscuit next year.  This off season, I got a polite rejection text, which is more than I’d gotten previously, so clearly, I’m wearing these guys down and they’re almost ready to bring me on-board.

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