Westy declines as the Brewers take their three game series into the night
At 10:43 am on Wednesday 10-24-04, it happened: 10,000 message board posts.  A wiffle ball website record?  Who knows.  The inhabitants of the MB are feeling pretty proud these days, however.

Those who are a part of the HRLTC know that part of the fun of being involved with this crazy group is spending inordinate amounts of time at work patrolling the league's message board. While we're constantly setting new record at our jobs with how little we accomplish in a work sense, a couple of miletones were recently hit when the MB got it's 40,000th visit, and even more recently, the 10,000th post. What exactly does this mean?  In a grand sense, it means jack s---. But for those who frequent the MB almost daily, they know the league wouldn't be as close knit a group without it. In this segment we'll talk about how our message board has become one of the most integral parts of our league.

Message board posting has become a sort of daily routine for most of the league's 2004 veterans, and the topics are infinite: baseball, politics, music, alcohol, you name it, even wiffle ball.  Oh, and it's perhaps the most effective communications tool during the season as well, as many game reschedules and adjustments for the evening's games go down on the MB during the day. Nicknames are anointed on the MB.  Most of the outside-the-league activities as well are set up on the MB.

Some MB Q&A
Q: Why is the message board accesible only to registered members?
A: It wasn't always that way. When the MB was first set up in late April of 2004, it was a free for all, you could read and post without even being logged in, which was fine, because as the league went on, most people got usernames and posted with them.  Rarely did any guests post. Then in July, we got some huge press when we were featured in Minneapolis' Star Tribune.  Knowing we were going to get some hardcore attention and some hardcore website hits, we decided that the general public did not need to be privy to alot of the inside information that was present on the MB. And by inside information we mean swears, gross locker room talk and Jack Cust stories.  Probably the smartest thing we could have done. To this day, the MB members prefer it remain private.

Q: So if I sign up, I can see all 10,000+ posts?
A: Yup. All you need to do is register, and then the MB admin will activate your account with the understanding that you're entering what is at times a pretty adult environment.  We're not doing this to shut anyone out, we're just trying to protect the kids who are interested in wiffle ball (and there are lots) from reading some stuff we'd rather they not see. So register and have fun, we invite you!

Fun MB Facts:
Established: April 29, 2004
Posts as of 11-24-2004: 10,061
Visits as of 11-24-2004: 43,026
Average posts per day: 48 (that's more than some wiffle MB's have TOTAL)
Average visits per day: 205
Members: 75
Members with 100+ posts: 18

The MB Crawl
From Monday 11-15-04 to Wednesday 11-17-04, we visited separate wiffle ball message boards on each day and decided to party for a bit on them.  First of all, we thank them all for being such good sports. We're proud to say we set records on all three for most users online at one time, and on two of them, more than doubled their post totals in just one day! Plus, oh yeah... it was a good time, too.  Better than working, anyway.  But we say, go ahead and visit these other fine wiffle MB's and participate!
Wiffleball2k MBWiffleball2k website
11-16-04: "
Wiffleball Discussion Forums"
Wiffle Atlanta MBWiffle Atlanta website

The MB admin for the board we hit on the 16th didn't even know what hit him. He eventually gave us our own forum to post on and got upset if we posted outside the forum, it was pretty damn funny.  Doubt he'll ever get another day of MB action like that one.

Was this three-day MB tour supposed to prove anything, like we're somehow superior to other wiffle leagues?  Naah. We just like MB's, especially wiffle ones. Besides, this whole MB thing is just something to do in between playing wiffle ball and drinking.

The unveiling!
We at the HRL are proud to do that MLB could not.  When it was learned that the MLB Expos were moving to DC, it seemed a foregone conclusion that they'd rename themselves to the Senators.  What's this Nationals crap? It's dumb. We, however, proudly introduce OUR version of the Senators, a team that will play in the AL East in 2005, headed up by ex-A's player, Jamie "911" Baskerville. Without further delay, HERE is the Senators new logo!

Likely wait for some in '05
Recently, as you all know, I put out an email to those folks who are interested in joining the league in 2005, whether it be as a team or as a free agent.  The interest as a result has been overhwelming, to the point where we may be forced to make some decisions we were hoping not to make.  Here's the scoop:

We hoped to expand from 8 to 16 teams in '05, but no more than that, with the idea that we don't want to grow too big too fast and have a league on our hands that grows out of control.  We have two places to play, one in Eagan (Sky Hill Park) and one in Hopkins (Oakes Park)

We have an agreement in place with the City of Minnetonka Park & Rec department that more or less gives us freedom to come and go as we please at Oakes Park, even to the point of modifying the rink with paint, scoreboards, temporary fencing, and use of the lights.  As part of this agreement, the league must hold two team spots open on the Hopkins side (for up to 10 Hopkins/Minnetonka residents). Our league is part of their winter/spring activity catalog, and if a town resident signs up to play, we are obliged to hold 2 teams open for those folks. In our opinion, a small price to pay for unfettered access to a city park that we really didn't have in 2004.

What this means is that there are currently two teams (and will likely be more) that have given me their information that I am going to have to break some bad news to:  they will be put on a waiting list.  If not enough Hopkins folks sign up to play thru the town brochure, or if another new team cannot commit to play, this could open up spots for their team to play.

New players who took the time to make it to one of the Fall Sessions have no need to worry.  Your roster spots are guaranteed.  For all other people who have signed up, it's become a first come, first serve situation. If you got you or your team's info to me in time, you're set.

It was recently discussed that while we may have the ability to put together up to a 20-team league in 2005, we feel that with our limited space that this would take away from the quality of the experience and would dilute things.  Are we against expanding again in 2006? Probably not, but we'll cross that bridge after the 2005 season.

It's a problem I am sure most wiffle leagues wish they had:  demand exceeds supply.  However, we will do the best we can to accomodate as many people as possible, and we apologize profusely in advance to those who may end up on the outside looking in, we certainly don't WANT to exclude anyone from this great game.

Recent Hot Stove moves:
Updated 11-24-04 - Along with the many new players showing interest, there has been some movement among existing teams, mostly involving the Yankees and Royals.

It was reported that the Yanks' Gus and Scott both would unable, perhaps unwilling to commit to play in 2005, essentially leaving the Yanks as a one-man crew in Josh Cota. Cota tried to sell himself to the Brewers, but the club declined the free agent's offer, saying "that wasn't the direction we wanted to go."

It was then that the Royals decided to offer Cota refuge.  After some thought, Cota accepted, giving the Royals a very tough 1-2 pitching punch with arguably two of the top three pitchers in the league from last year. Cota also rejoins former Yankee Willie within the Royals' fold.  To complete the roster, the Royals broke the league's gender barrier by signing Eagan's Angela Granneman to a rookie contract.  The Rick was subsequently let go by the Royals.

The Yankees' team spot was quickly gobbled up when a team headed by newbie Larry Walsh (who showed at the Winter Meeting) occupied that spot. The team will play in Eagan's AL East and is as of yet unnamed.

The Senators, led by GM 911, will feature a few rookie players with Fall Session experience, most notably the Father-Son Valen duo, and the man we nicknamed "Ten", Josh Carroll.

Recent MB rumblings by the Padres have indicated that Nine is still not a lock to be 100% ready by Opening Day with ligament damage in his knee, but team sources have said he's willing to play at less than full strength if necessary.

It's been confirmed that former Expos Pat Reckinger and Craig Olson are indeed forming a team of Airport Police, starting with another former X man, Mitch Goecke, who was an Expo mainstay early in 2004 before being replaced by star Christian Brandt.  Two more Airport Police are expected to fill out the roster of this as yet unnamed team, who will also play in Eagan's AL East.

The 2005 Schedule
There have been some glitches discovered in the recently released 2005 schedule that we hope to have fixed by the end of the holiday weekend. It seems there is serious imbalance among many teams with the amount of Mondays and Thursdays they are scheduled for.  The fixes will correct this imbalance as closely as possible. Also, the division alignment will also be corrected with the recent demise of the Yankees as well as the addition of several new teams.

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