1. Cubs: The Cubs swept the competition in the Opening Day Tournament. John Cronin threw 2 perfect games with 14 K's over 20 outs. He added a league leading 6 HR to his stat line. Dan O Reilly hit 3 HR, including a walk off vs the Red Sox. That semifinal matchup vs the Red Sox included an 8 run comeback to win 9-8. O Reilly started on the mound but was in trouble early, Ben Kemp came in the close out the game behind some solid pitching. Kemp hit 5 HR over the Cubs 3-0 start. Plus once Evan Sibbet makes his debut the Cubs will have another ace to throw. Fun fact: the Cubs haven't lost in the history of the franchise, dating back to last year. The Cubs are #1 for now, but they had a close call vs the Red Sox.
2. Red Sox: The Red Sox beat the Brewers (formerly the Pirates) and the Rockies, but could not overcome the Cubs. Sam Essen hit 5 HR but could not get the job done on the mound, giving up 9 runs to the hot hitting Cubs. David Johnson looked sharp on the mound with 8 K's. He will challenge Cronin for the Cy Young. Andy Lehman was the story of the day, coming out of nowhere and blasting 6 HR. He is tied for the league lead. Andy also made a nice catch in the field followed by a "Yeah B****! Let's go!!". He also was quoted yelling "Don't joke with me!". Andy will be a treat to watch this season, he is a leading contender for MVP with his quick wit and home run swing. The Red Sox need a #2 pitcher behind Johnson if they want to win back-to-back games.
3. Rockies: The rookie Rockies had a stellar day. Caden Christiansen looks to be the leader of this young bunch. He was fine on the mound and hit 3 homers. Tommy Buell had some dirty pitches, but could not control much which led to a loss against the Cubs. Joe Juliette threw a 1 hit shutout vs the Brewers with 7 K's, a rookie mistake in the outfield led to the lone hit. Juliette will be the ace on the team going forward. Nolan Rounds hit 1 HR and is doubtful to ever play again, we'll see. The Rockies need better fielder and knowledge of Shed Field quirks if they want to be a more consistent winner.
4. Brewers (formerly Pirates): Allen Greer, the captain of these Brewers, had a great day on the mound but was done in by some clutch hitting by Sam Essen. He had 6 K's. Bruce Lewis made his rookie debut with 4 K's. Mark Kladar and Nick Belmares each had 1 dinger as well. The Pirates need more offense behind Greer to move up in the rankings.
A new season is upon us, the Shed Field boys are growing up and moving on the college next year. Could this be the last season at Shed Field? Probably not, but let's act like it is and make it the best season yet.
1. Cubs: The defending champions did not lose a single game last season. When John Cronin is on the mound opponents have little chance to score. If Matt Richards can control his riser and add a secondary pitch the Cubs will have a reliable #2. Zach Edwards returns after a year in college, he is the best athlete on the team. Alex Nilles is another solid bat on the team, was 3rd in HR last season. Manager Cronin signed Dan O'Reilly. Dan is an internet sensation and his leg kick will be an improvement to the team. The Cubs didn't lose last season, until they lose they will remain the #1 team in the league.
2.Pirates: Andy Lehman resigned as manager and handed the reins over to Allen Greer. Allen was one of the top rookies in the league last year and had some of the nastiest pitches on the hill. Nick Belmares returns as a solid hitter and fielder. Mark Kladar hit one of the most memorable home runs in Shed Field history, a walk off vs. the Nats in the playoffs last season. He'll return as a clutch hitter. Greer signed Gabe Segura, Will Koenen, and Bruce Lewis, 3 rookies who will do ok probably. The Pirates surprised in the playoffs last season and with Allen Greer on his game can play with any team. Rookies will need to step up though if they want to beat the Cubs.
3. Red Sox: Manager Sam Essen dropped the Nationals name and reclaims the name used to win The Can in 2015. Sam is a rising hitting star in the Minnesota and National wiffleball scene. David Johnson is the ace on this pitching staff. Manager Essen signed Andy Lehman, a member of the original Red Sox. Andy is good at keeping stats and hitting lob home runs. Sam also sign Sean "Rocket" Pabon and Keith "Torpedo" Pabon to the Red Sox. Rocket and Torpedo are both mainstays in the HRL and will play on the SFWL Loons in the NWLA Tournament this summer. The Sox are at 3 because they lost to the Pirates in the playoffs last season. They lack a reliable #2 pitcher behind David Johnson. Rocket will likely be that #2 but needs to prove himself first.
4. Rockies: The Giants are no longer a team and were replaced with the Rockies. Rookie Tommy Buell will manage this team. His roster isn't set in stone but may include Nolan Rounds, Max Gantman, Joe Juliette, Nick Linarte, and Caden Christiansen. The Rockies need to prove themselves before they move up in the Power Rankings.