Typically, my Power Rankings are a pretty lighthearted affair.  I know people come for the jokes and not my serious thoughts on what is going on in the world, but last week was different, and as someone with a platform, I thought I’d use it to address a sensitive issue.  Just once.  Then move on.

If you looked at a screen last week, you couldn’t avoid it.  I know I couldn’t.  Even without trying, I’d be on my phone and next thing you know I’m up to my eyeballs in the Tweets, the videos, the coverage… I’ll be honest, it makes me sick.  The confusion of it all.  It knotted my stomach.  I’ll admit it, there were tears.

BabyCakes.  Lugnuts.  Marlins. 

Why did these teams only get two games last week, and so many others had four?  How is that fair. 

BlueSox.  Lil’ Puppies.  MeatHammer (& the Twins).

What’s going on here?  Why do we live in a world where we can’t be sure people will do the right thing?  And by that, I mean schedule all the teams for an equal number of games the first week of the season.  Two game nights in a week.  The first week of the season… Glorious, for sure.  But fair?  

I’m speechless.  I’m shocked.  I guess I’m happy at the outcome, but it just goes to show there’s still a lot of work to do to ensure everyone steps into the rink on the same level playing field… that, if you’re in Hopkins, is probably full of used needles and requires a tetanus shot.  Cause BOO HOPKINS.

Time for jokes…

20.  [Racist team name] (0-4).  Listen, if last week the Trash Pandas can break the top ten based on name value alone, I think the Sod Poodles can be ranked last based solely on their team name (their actual team name, not this awesome new one I’ve come up with).  Seriously though… 0-4?  I didn’t see that coming.  Not even a little.  #ChopWatch 399 career bombas!  Poodles got a pair against the Twins Thursday.  Hmmm, is it cool to have two dog-themed teams?  (Previous Rank: 6).
19.  Millers (0-4).  I guess these guys are a little rusty on the mound after sitting out the 2020 season...  Can’t blame them.  After 24 months off, anyone is bound to be a bit out of sync…  (too much?)  A team ERA over 14.00.  Not what one would expect.  What I do expect, The Millers to be far more competitive as the season progresses.  Fun fact: Dr. K is one of two “Doctors” in the top ten all time strike out leaders.  No wiffles for the Millers this week.  (PR: 16)
18.  Lugnuts (0-2).  They started from the bottom now we’re here!  Fun fact: The Lugnuts are the first team in HRL history to allow 61 fewer runs in their sophomore season debut than they did in their inaugural season.  Fun fact #2: Hamm’s was the first beer to use an animated character to promote their beer.  Much like the Nuts are the first to use an animated character (Franklin) to promote their team… Meh.  Nuts vs. Riders Thursday.  (PR: 22)
17.  Da Bears (0-2).  The Godfather of the HRL is out to prove he’s also the father of the HRL… hmmm, not my best joke… but I guess I wasn’t trying to be funny, so… it works!  I’m jealous Papa Bear (new name… hmm?).  I really am.  This is just awesome.  And Sully, I saw this tweet of yours (­čí¬).  Bold.  Very bold indeed…  Not only have you let the rest of the league off the hook, they don’t have to worry about HalfPint launching bombs off them… but you’ve also called me out, specifically.  Interesting fact: In her four seasons, I have never pitched to Half Pint.  Well, challenge: ACCEPTED.  See you May 27.  Bears v. Vibes: Thursday.  (PR: 18).
16.  Twins (0-2).  I feel like my joke from last week may not have hit as intended… (or I actually feel like I couldn’t think of anything new to say…).  I’ll try again, K-Mart looks like the Dude.  Or maybe the Dude looks like K-Mart?  I don’t know, but this morning I really am thinking about maybe starting a fashion corner in the weekly rankings.  K-Mart, you look good.  What is that, post-modern femme hipster couture?  I have no idea what I just said, but if I just offended hipsters, I apologize.  Twins v. Sod Poodles this week.  (PR: 14)
15.  Trash Pandas (1-3).  I don’t know why you wouldn’t use Sprocket as your mascot.  Look at this cute little bugger… Anyways, I feel like part of my job as the most contributing contributor of contributed content… Is to provide public service announcements.  The Trash Pandas are not the 2021 Rumble Ponies, but they do have the talent to upset some teams (sorry Ponies, I didn’t know when I wrote last week’s column).  The new guys, I forget which is which, have genuine potential.  They both field well, you’d know if the BabyCakes ever released the game footage… They also look like they have some potential at the plate.  You’ve been warned.  Trash Pandas are off this week.  (PR: 10).
14. Mariners (2-2).    I know the Steffesses… Steffes’s’s… I’m sorry, I don’t know the plural… Anyways, I know they’d never toot their own horns… that sounds dirty… anyways, LOOK AT SQUIRREL.  My dude is really smacking some plastic.  He’s on pace to double his career homerun total.  He’s hitting everything and will probably have his best season ever… Nice.  I’m still watching Super Nick/Dave… Mariners have an inter-squad scrimmage with the Americans this week.   Is SuperDave’s real name Nick?  Where did Nick come from?  (PR: 17).
13. Blue Sox (1-1).  Does anyone still rank the team Tweeters?  Cause BlueSox should be right near the top.  I find them quite funny.  But the BlueSox’s “Dong Belt…”  I have to admit, when I saw the tweet (#BluesOxDongBelt), and saw PorkBot had the dong belt, I kind of assumed it was some sort of… adult strap on deelio.  I’m sorry.  SOx hope to be the first team to keep the Crawdads to single digits this week.  (PR: 15)

12.  Yankees (1-3).  I did the research, and the last time the Yankees were below .500 was 2014.  They finished the season 18-15.  I believe the Yankees will right the ship… probably and get back to .500.  Full disclosure, I do not want them righting the ship this week, as they play the beloved BabyCakes, but right after that I wish only good things… So, did I really do the research?  Did I just make all that up?  (PR: 13)

11.  Stop.  Drop.  Shut ‘em down.  Open up shop.  Oh no, that’s how Ruff Ryders (2-2) roll.  Vibes wanna try, Vibes wanna lie.  Then Vibes wonder why Vibes wanna die… Wow.  That turned dark quickly.  So much for a Ruff Ryders Anthem-themed ranking this week… jeez.  Anyways, H8R and the Ryders stole one from the Vibes and another from the Manatees last week.  I use the word “stole,” not because of H8R’s walk off HR or whatever happened versus the Vibes, but because he stole my GoPro deelio.  Give it back dammit.  Just kidding.  I mean, you did steal it, that isn’t a joke, but you're free to keep it until you get your camera situation figured out.  So long as you post me some Dumpy footage.  Please and thanks.  Ryders v. Nuts this week.  (PR: 19)

10.  Marlins (1-1).   So, this weekend my wife made a flourless chocolate cake.  No flour (as the name implies).  Also, no frosting.  It is dense, didn’t rise, and HAS NO FROSTING.  I insisted that a dense chocolate dessert with no frosting cannot be cake, and rather she made brownies.  What does that have to do with anything?  Well, Neut is a wise man.  Maybe the most wisest I know.  I’d like him to weigh in on this debate, so rather than text him, I’m putting it here.  I know he will read it, and I know he will weigh in.  Two birds with one stone or whatever.  Anyways, after we fought about the brownies, the wife and I had beers with Shipwreck and his crew.  He is confident the Marlins will be at full strength more often than not.  I don’t know if I believe him… but I really want to!  The Fish are off this week.  (PR: 12)

9.  The Rubber Ducks (0-1) don’t play in the dark.  That’s really I learned from the long seconds of research I put into the Ducks this week.  Good news though, Stache, not wanting to let me down (remember last week I said if I watched players, I’d watch Stache), is hitting .400 and has a 1.00 ERA.  I’ll continue watching.  Facetime: 0 occurrences (FYI, Facetime = Face HR).  The Ducks face the Puppies this week.  (PR: 5)

8.  Chihuahuas (2-0).  I missed the Chihuahuas pre-game show last week.  I tuned in, but something about watching a pre-game show whilst in my car driving seemed… unsafe.  So I turned it off… perhaps I’ll go back and watch it… if someone tells me I was mentioned.  Oh, and in case you're wondering, not a word from A-Jizz.  Not a word.  Finally, I am Groot?  [Translation: 0 for 8?  What the heck buddy?  What’s going on?  I really expect more from you than 0 for 8.  A-Jizz had 3 hits.  My least favorite Puppy, and you had none?  Is something wrong?  Are those boys being mean to you?  Help me help you.  Ok?  I miss you.] The Wish faces off against former teammates this week.  (PR: 8)

7.  Manatees (3-1).  I’m going to let myself believe that they are trying.  I know they’ll deny it it… but if they try a little bit… I like their chances.  Tootin’ hit bomba #200 last week.  Hmmm, what else… oh, I’m trying to figure out how to highlight some of Shirls’s’s career achievements in a way that he won’t object to.  He’s a pretty modest guy from what I’ve observed… How about this, if you’re curious, check out the all-time pitching stats and see how often Shirls is in the top 10.  Anyways, the Manatees are a team to watch.  Duh.  Ummm, something about drinking beers… Sea Cows versus the Vibration Horses this week.   (PR: 11)

6.  Rumble Ponies (3-1).  What the heck.  I didn’t intend to take this route when I started writing about my favorite equestrians… actually, equestrians are horse riders, rumble ponies are, I assume, the actual rumbling animal… anyways, WHAT IS THIS NEW LOGO?  I dunno.  I’m not for it.  You ever see the movie Sorry to Bother You.  It is… disturbing, to say the very least.  At least the ending.  Spoiler alert, this (­čí¬) happens… I’ll say it, this is a disturbing logo, I don’t like it, please change it.  ManPonies versus the SeaPonies this week.  (PR: 9).
5.  Americans (2-1?).  Is Thuderson actually an American?  Is there any documentation to back this up?  Do I sound like a birther right now?  I don’t know if I sound stupid… but I’d like to see some proof Thunderson is actually an American.  If so, I like the move.  Thunderson (this guy ­čí¬) could really bring some maturity to the squad… (In case you’re wondering, that is my favorite joke this week, it made me laugh aloud).  See above inter-squad joke… (PR: 7)
4.  If anyone needed any proof that the Vibes (3-1) were going to be a terrible influence on Huck Finn, I present exhibit A: Huck has nearly as many walks this season (11), as he had all of last season (15).  As many as he had in 2017.  Stop the Vibes.  I don’t know which is worse, that they’re making Huck Finn walk so much, or that they’re ruining my boy Dumpy’s confidence by making him throw 22 walks.  In one game?  Jeez Dumpy…come on, you know better… Anyways, Save Huck Finn!  The Vibes will force Huck to take more walks against the Bears this week.  (PR: 4)

3. Baby Cakes (2-0).  At this point, it’s been a long morning.  You don’t care anymore.  I hardly care.  I’m only still going because I feel an odd obligation to write about every team.  But no one reminded me we have five more teams than last year.  I just don’t have the stamina.  Cakes and Yankees on Thursday.  (PR: 2) 

2.  Mmmmmmets (4-0).  If I ran Sports Center and had plays of the week (for wiffleball of course), my top play of the week would have been the highlight of Hondo scoring from first on a JC single to center field.  I don’t know what it is… well, I do.  NO ONE hustles like Hondo (well… maybe Taco, but that’s it).  I missed it.  I’m glad you're back.  Mmmmets take a breather this week.  (PR: 3).

1.  Crawdads (4-0).  I realize there is literally nothing I can write here that anyone would care about.  At all.  (PR: 1).

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