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By Nightmare aka “Mr. Hopkins” –

Well, here we are.  It’s week 1.  Monday, April 18…and I’m looking out the window at wind and snow.  Today’s high is 38 degrees and the extended forecast… could be better.

Mother nature hates the HRL.

But that’s okay, because Nightmare LOVES the HRL, and that more than makes up for it.  I am pumped, and I am ready to go.  The GoPro and radar gun are charged, the team chat is going full-Griz, and spare score sheets have been printed.  The Miller Lite is chilled, my Hopkins commute playlist is ready to go, and the folding chair has been unburied and tossed in the trunk.

It’s been 200 days since the season ended (congrats JC and the Mets!) and these next few days will feel even longer than those previous 200. 

Season 16.  I’m ready.

Anywho, let’s get onto the rankings.  To help pass the LONG wait, I looked at some other leagues’ sites.  There’s a lot of good content out there.  Skibbe Wiffleball keeps their power rankings posted right on the front page of their website… just saying… they also grade their teams… Clearly the guys over at Skibbe understand the value of rating and evaluating the league’s talent… they know that is what the people come to see!

Anyways, I can’t even post my own rankings, let alone feature them on the front page of the website, so… I did the next best thing and borrowed their idea of grading teams.  We’ll see if I have the motivation to keep it up all year, but for week 1, here are your team grades…

Time for jokes…

*Not sure how legible the text is in the graphics below, so the letter grades I’m giving are ‘overall’ (largest font) and hitting, pitching, and fielding (smaller grades across the bottom, in that order).


(#22) Lugnuts

There are SO many people on this team… So obviously, they added one more, Twizzler, to provide a much-needed boost… in… baking skills?  Also, I’m pretty sure Franklin has gone missing.  I haven’t seen, nor heard, from him in months.  Should we be getting worried?




(#21) Trash Pandas

The Pandas lost MacGruber, pNut, and Average Joe… basically all of their 2021 pitching and hitting.  So… yeah… I guess we’ll see how that works out for them.




(#20) Bears

I wish I had the stones, the cahones, the guts… to rank the Bears higher.  They’ve welcomed Professor back to the den, and Sully’s been working out and training for a triathlon or something and is looking svelte!  Something tells me they double their 2021-win total and are deserving of a higher ranking… But alas, I want to see it before I put it down on wax.



(#19) Mariners

Diddy is my guy and I see him improving on a stellar rookie season.  They also added Taylor who can crush the ball and is my early pick for rookie of the year… That being said, the team still needs pitching (Taylor can’t throw 90+mph in the HRL), so I can’t bring myself to rate them any higher this preseason.


(#18) Blue Wahoos

I don’t know anything about the Wahoos, but Mippey says he raised these guys, so I’ll bet they are talented.  I’m thinking they are the latest Chihuahuas or Rumble Ponies type of team that will take some time to adjust, but quickly become competitive.


So, the takeaway is… apparently Mippey is so good he can raise the rankings of teams he doesn’t even play for…

(#17) Marlins

Box and Professor are gone.  They accounted for 11 of their 15 wins on the mound and a huge chunk of their offense (20 of 56 HRs, the only offense that matters).  They also lost Cannablast or WobbleWobble or whatever he calls himself these days. 


Umm.  Marlins could be in trouble.  Hopefully the remaining Fish can step up (or they talk Box out of retirement) because they’ve got some work to do.



(#16) Twins

Twins are always hard to write about.  I want to say snarky things, but I like these guys too much.  But I know they’ll see my lack of snark as a sign of weakness… What’s a Nightmare to do?


They have the experience (that’s me calling you old) to put up runs, and they should stay competitive in their division, but they don’t have the pitching to string together too many wins.  I foresee a very Twins-ish season for the Twins.


(#15) Blue Sox:

Do I come out gunning at Vlade right off the bat?  Do I profess my love for Eddie Bauer now, or save it for down the road?  How do I work “PorkBot” into this ranking? 


Or do I write nothing, knowing that none of these guys will read this?

(#14) Chihuahuas

Absolutely NO ONE gets better by losing The Wish.  I should rank them last for letting such a treasure get away… If I could rank their off season moves, I’d rank them dead last.  I’d give them an F-.  What they’ve done is one of the most insanely idiotic things I’ve ever heard of.  At no point in their rambling, incoherent offseason was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought.  Everyone in the league is now dumber having seen it.  Wait… I think I stole that from somewhere… I am Groot?

(#13) Millers

I mean… I didn’t want to mention Stache’s article about division winners, but he basically just said what I always say, “the Millers need hitting.”  Stache, I don’t need any help beating this dead horse.  The Millers needing pitching is my overused, unfunny, un-insightful take on this team.  Find your own meaningless takes…


But yeah… Millers need hitting, for the 100th time, but now I can do it with a letter grade!  Maybe their rookie is the solution… hopefully it is.

(#12) Rough Riders

Everyone thinks the Rough Riders are in trouble, losing Dumpy.  Little do they know, they’ve replaced him with the younger, smarter, more talented, better looking, overall more impressive human being: Aweful.


Other than that… something about Hjal is awesome but will he show up?  H8R doesn’t wear sleeves.  Jagr is old… the other guys… are there.  Anyways, any team with H8R, Jagr, and Hjal could be competitive, but we’ll see who shows up, and when…

(#11) Yankees

Remember when the Yankees were a lock to win 25 games every season?  What happened to those guys?  I never thought I’d say this, but Yankees… Spend less time grilling and having fun, and more time winning wiffleball games.


That is all.


[editor’s note: I am too lazy to change the graphic, but I think hitting should be a B/B-, my bad.]



(#10) Baby Cakes

The Cakes were a top 5 team for their entire existence.  They made the World Series in both of their seasons while producing 2 MVPs, 2 yellow slammers, and 2 Cy Wiffles.  But times have changed…


I know there is still a playoff team here, but it will not come as easily as it has the past couple of seasons.  Seuss can win half their games on the mound, but each of these guys will have to step up at the plate and on the mound in a huge way (fielding they’re okay) to repeat the success of the past couple of years.

(#9) Rubber Ducks

Ducks were a middle of the pack team offensively last year in most categories (except for leading the league in strike outs)… I think the team has the talent to compete with anyone in the league, but for some reason they’ve never seemed to take the next step.


Stache wrote a REALLY long article, which I guess declares them the best team ever?  Or best come back team ever?  I don’t know, TLDR, but I guess I hope for a better result this year?


(#8) Rumble Ponies

Some people say I only moved to Hopkins to chase a cup.  Others say I needed more mileage on my car to justify getting Tesla.  But really, truly, I just can’t quit the Ponies.  If you can’t join ‘em, follow them 40 miles across town.  Anyways, I am predicting the Ponies take another step forward this season.  They’re a good offensive team, and I think they continue their success in Hopkins.

(#7) Manatees

I feel like last year I just kept saying the ‘Tees needed pitching.  I’m not sure, I’m too lazy to go back and look, and I’m sure they aren’t reading, so it isn’t that important. 


So, I’ll say it again.  These guys need pitching.  Or consistent pitching.  I think a team with Boom, Shirls, and Hoss should be okay for pitching, but whether they all show up consistently or not is a whole other issue.

(#6) Grasshoppers

You know free agency is ROUGH when you try to replace Babyface (.436 avg, 55HR) and WebGem (18-0, 136K pitching, .417 avg and 42HR batting) with… Nightmare and a couple rookies.  Talk about a downgrade…


First and foremost, the team is way worse looking.  That doesn’t appear anywhere on a stat sheet or box score, but I want everyone to know that I know.  Secondly… there will be far fewer topless Grasshoppers than there were Crawdads (I hope), but otherwise I think we’ll be… fine?

(#5) Braves

I hate to make this all about me, but… actually, I don’t.  I only write these to be about me.  I predict The Braves make the City Finals.


Exhibit A: I turned down an offer to join the team.  The last team I declined an offer from won the World Series.

Exhibit B: I just got news this weekend that my kid’s summer baseball team is… the Braves.  That’s sign if I ever saw one.

Exhibit C: Their roster.  

(#4) Americans

They might be the hardest working team in wiffleball.  I refuse to do the work to find out, but I feel like they always win like 25 games and then win Wifflepalooza, and then… well, it doesn’t usually end well,  but the point is, they’ve always been a pretty good team.  Now they bring in pNut and Average Joe and I think… hope that maybe this is the bump that they need to take the next step.  Which would be… City Finals?  Anyways, I think I usually start them as a mid-tier team and they gradually work up the rankings, but this year I think they’ll start (and stay) a top 4/5-ish team all year.

(#3) Vibes

There’s a rumor going around that I left Eagan after being brutally, brutally rejected by Wish and Huck.  Can confirm: not a rumor.  Seeing them across the rink every week would break my heart. So I left. 


That being said, The Wish is a non-factor until August.  With or without him, the Vibes are a lock for the playoffs and likely Eagan rep in the World Series.  They don’t need the Wish to get there, but beginning August 29, Playoff Huck gets to play with Post-Season Wish (meh) and… good luck to any team that has to play them, I think he could put the Vibes over the top.

(#2) Aces

Since 2011, a WebGem-lead team has failed to make the Divisional round of the playoffs only ONCE.   Psych has played in the last four World Series-es.  The “worst” he’s ever done is make the City Finals.

BabyFace hits 1.34 HRs per game.  Their “worst” players, Dumpy and Dodger Dave, will probably hit .300 with 15-20 HRs each, and Dumpy is my dark horse pick for Hopkins Cy Wiffle.

I should have stayed in Eagan.

(#1) Mets

They’re at the top until/unless someone can knock them off the throne.  I’m not sure they can be as dominant as they were last year (35 wins), but unless/until both Taco’s arms fall off (and probably both of Mippey’s too), the Mets are the team to beat… and even if they did lose all four arms, I think the Mets will be pretty tough to beat. 




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