Greetings my wifflin' readers and welcome to the Week 3 installment of the BWA Power Rankings. The BWA season is a saga worthy of three marathon length feature films with its constant ups and downs, and thus this week's theme is Lord of the Rings. The heading in the title is also relevant because of the drastic shakeup in the league rankings after Week 3 is in the books. Our fearless players braved mud, rain, heat and humidity to take the field and the results coming out of the week are quite stunning.
1. Joe Cronin - The dark lord of Wiffleball (John Cronin) has fallen! Joe hath knocked John from his tower atop the BWA power rankings. The evidence is quite simple, Joe owns the best record in the league (4-1). While this is not the end-all, be-all of rankings, it is the staunch opinion here at BWA Power Ranking headquarters that team record holds the most weight when determining a players rank. Joe's dominance at the plate (league leading 12 HR, 2.4 HR/G) coupled with an improved pitching approach (12 K, 2.4 K/G) have blasted him to the top of the league. On Sunday, he won both of his games. Joe struggled a bit versus Cy Young award winner Howard Cronin's tricky pitching in the first game. He turned it on in the second game as he demolished John and Karen, blasting a home run in every inning for 5 HR total. This clip shows Joe's dominance; watch as he blasts HR from all levels, low to high against varying pitch speeds. (EDITOR'S NOTE: The referenced clip has not been created yet. League Commissioner John Cronin has failed in his duty to provide relevant material for this column). Whether Joe's tenure at the top will be lengthy is a question only to be answered by the passing of time. For now, he has a firm grasp on the top slot and does not appear to be slowing down any time soon.
2. Howard Cronin - Howard surprises everyone, including the rankings staff here at BWA Power Ranking central, with his appearance in the second spot in the Power Rankings. Like Samwise Gamgee, Howard is an unassuming and humble player who rises to the occasion and becomes a hero in a story that is not his own. He dominated the league from the pitching mound on Sunday with 11 K (watch him rack up 11 K's here). He went 1-1, but the loss was an excruciating 9-6 loss against the two players who have held down the #1 and #2 spots in the Power Rankings for the entirety of the season so far. His gutsy performance along with his pitching dominance (league leading 3.2 K/G) vault him up to the number two spot. If his pitching arm holds up, he does not appear likely to drop in the rankings anytime soon.
3. John Cronin - John fell down to the third spot in this week's rankings with his loss to Joe and Howard on Sunday. Was he fully responsible for the loss? No, for he had self-proclaimed "league loser" Karen Cronin on his squad. However, John contributed nothing positive for his team during the loss (O HR and gave up 3 HR to Joe Cronin while on the mound). John holds the 2nd best record in the league (4-2), but his performance on Sunday causes us here at BWA Power Rankings HQ to wonder whether he is contributing to these wins or whether he is being carried by his teammates. He's had the Player of the Week on his team for 2 of his 4 wins. Take those two games away and he has a pedestrian 2-2 record. He still has strong individual performances (2.83 K/G, 1.5 HR/G) but stats don't mean much in the lean, mean world of BWA Power Ranking. He will need to step up his game to take back the top spot in the league.
From this point on, the league Power Ranks do not differ much from last week's rankings since none of the other players showed up to sway us one way or another on their respective ranks. The only change is that Karen Cronin dropped down from number 7 to number 9 in the ranks due to her taking another loss on Sunday, dropping her record to 0-4. She did record 2 K, keeping her pitching numbers at a respectable 1.75 K/G. Here are the ranks as they stand for the rest of the league:
4. Pat Cronin
5. Amanda Cook
6. Andrew Cronin
7. Randy Cook
8. Joe Hubly
9. Karen Cronin
10. Brian Cronin
That wraps up the Week 3 Power Rankings. There really was not much to the Lord of the Rings theme besides the title and some half-baked references to the movie. However, I needed some sort of nerdy pop-culture reference for the title to reference Joe's return to the #1 spot in the Power Rankings and "Return of the King" sounds better than the punerific Star Wars reference "Return of the Joe-Di". Enjoy the weekend. Show up on Sunday. And as always, Stay Wifflin'!