Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!! It’s been a while. Whole teams and players have played through good chunks of this season and have never heard of a Commissioners Poll. Here’s the quick summary of it (a longer explanation of how the poll is done appears at the end of the poll): this is the extremely methodical poll that results when Jason, Gio, and – yours truly – Rene vote on the top teams across all of K.O.A.L.A. Kickball and decide who the top teams in the leagues are according to our highly unscientific methods.
We’ve had a lot of players ask us when we’d release the newest poll for this season, and, as a Christmas treat, we’ve delivered (standings across all leagues are also updated on each league page, as is the most up to date schedule for each league). I promise to write as detailed and in-depth analysis as I’ve ever written, and, as an added treat for those who read the entire poll, throughout it we’ll release Easter Eggs (or maybe, Christmas Eggs?) of some ideas we have in store for 2018. Without further ado, let’s talk about these teams. As always, if you want to compliment the poll, then reach out to me; for all your concerns and complaints, make sure to contact Jason.
- Grams for the 20 (27 points; 2 first place votes): The undefeated Pines squad – although with one tie on their books – the past two seasons receives the top spot in this poll. They have a +41 run differential, which is good for the highest run differential across all leagues by 11 runs and have scored the most runs in all of K.O.A.L.A. Kickball this season by 14 runs. This team has shown last season and this season at Pines [EASTER EGG #01: TWIN PEAKS, SPONSOR AT PINES STARTING IN JANUARY?] that they flat out know how to win with brute offense and sound defense, but are they overwhelming favorites to win Pines? Somehow or another, I believe Pitches Makes My Kick Hard and Metro Boomin may pose bigger threats than most people realize, although it’s hard to argue against Grams for the 20 currently being the strong favorite to win in Pines.
- The Monstarz (27 points; 0 first place votes): Deference to Miami Lakes and the caliber of teams playing there resulted in The Monstarz tying for first despite not receiving a single first place vote (tiebreaker went to Grams for the 20 because, as explained at the bottom of the poll, ties are broken by the team that received the most Commissioners voting the team ahead of the other). An experienced kickball team at Miami Lakes, no single stat seemingly stands out for the Monstarz: they have 28 runs scored, good for second in the Miami Lakes Green Division; 13 runs allowed, good for second in the Green Division; and a run differential of 13, good second in the Green Division at Miami Lakes. [EASTER EGG: #02 – WE’RE BUYING A GOPRO BY JANUARY 3 FOR PICTURES… AND MAYBE TO RECORD THE GAME OF THE WEEK IN DIFFERENT LEAGUES?]. They split the two regular season games they played against the next team on this list…
- Mikey’s Puppies (25 points; 1 first place vote): Remember how I said that The Monstarz were second in Lakes in the runs scored, runs allowed, and run differential categories? One team – full disclaimer, I’m on that team – beat them across all three categories, and that’s why I felt compelled to vote that team, which comes in at third in this edition of the poll, number one overall in K.O.A.L.A. Kickball. Runs scored? Tops in the Green Division in Miami Lakes at 19. Runs allowed? Tops in the Green Division at Miami Lakes. Runs Run differential? Tops in the Green Division at Miami Lakes. They also sport only one loss as of this moment compared to two for Monstarz (although, with the game against RipNDip with fifteen minutes left to play still having them losing 1-0, this could change). However, the reality still remains: The Monstarz have a team whose main pieces have played together longer than the pieces who played together for Mikey’s Puppies, and, as the team whose bulk of players won the trophy at Miami Lakes this past season, The Monstarz have earned the right to get ranked above Mikey’s Puppies at this time. However, these two teams currently appear neck and neck in Miami Lakes and, at this moment, they appear a level above the rest of the league rounding off into the final quarter of the league in Lakes; however, Take this L, Ballbarians (Playoff edition), and Wolfpack surely believe they have a say in the matter. [EASTER EGG: 03 – WE’D LIKE TO INTRODUCE FOR NEXT SEASON MANDO AS FIELD MANAGER OF MIAMI LAKES AND…]
- Rene’s Penguins (23 points): [EASTER EGG: 04 – ALSO THE FIELD MANAGER FOR TROPICAL PARK. MANDO WILL BECOME SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR FIELD SET UP IN TROPICAL PARK AND MIAMI LAKES, INCLUDING TELLING TEAMS WHAT FIELDS THEY’LL PLAY ON, TELLING REFEREES WHERE THEY’LL REF, AND MAKING SURE GAMES START ON TIME]. The bulk of this team has only had one loss on the field in two and a half seasons at Tropical Park; however, their one loss during that span was a walloping at the hands of the Tropical Park Black Team that resulted in drastic changes being made, with Jen Ten and Mando joining the core of this proud team in the hopes of dethroning their Freeballing rivals for the league trophy come playoff time. So far, they’ve had a strong start to the season with the hardest part of their schedule behind them, as they’ve already played the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th best teams currently in the standings. However, of concern is their run differential, as they barely nudge out Pata Sucias for third behind Freeballing and Jiminy Kickits at Tropical Park. In my book, despite the 4-0 record against them, Freeballing remains the favorite at Tropical Park. They’re still the defending champs.
- Smoking Buntz (15 points): All I’ve hard about this team at Cutler Bay is how good their starting pitcher is; the man apparently throws some serious heat down there at Cutler Bay. [EASTER EGG #05: AN ONLINE STORE IS COMING BY MARCH, BECOMING THE ONE AND ONLY PLACE FOR YOU TO BE ABLE TO BUY ALL OF YOUR K.O.A.L.A. KICKBALL MERCHANDISE.] Smoking Buntz also has the distinction of being the first team to beat Freeballing Down Under at Cutler Bay, and they seem to be the favorites to win the regular season Commissioners Trophy with four games remaining. Do they have the experience, knowledge, and determination to win it all at Cutler Bay? We’ll soon find out. They have the second-best runs scored, runs allowed, and run differential totals, and they’ve already beaten the team that has the best marks in those three categories, so I definitely think they can.
- Freeballing (14 points): The reigning defending champs at Tropical Park finally got the monkey off their backs, and then some. The core of this team won at Tropical Park AND Cutler Bay, and deservedly so. We know they’re tactically sound, we know they’ve got the talent, but now – and this is what makes them extremely dangerous at Tropical Park – they know how to win it all. They’ve got the championship mettle. I don’t think it’s easy for this team to get fazed down the stretch, and, I’ll say it again, they remain to me the consensus favorite to win at Tropical Park and repeat as champions. [EASTER EGG #06: BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND STARTING NEXT SEASON, THE HOME RUN DERBY, WHICH WILL GET DONE DURING WEEK 4 OF EACH LEAGUE].
- Pitches Make My Kick Hard (10 points): The second-best team in the standings at Pines checks in at #07 in this edition of the Commissioners Poll, and their numbers appear almost as impressive as Grams for the 20. With 5 games played so far, they have almost the same run differential at 35 as Grams for the 20 has after playing 7 games. They also have allowed the least runs in Pines, although the fact that they’ve played two less games than Grams for the 20 surely has something to do with that. Still, this team led by Mikey Dovale appears capable of threatening Grams for the 20 for the league trophy given the experience on the team [EASTER EGG #07: EXTREMELY THANKFUL TO KIKO FOR HIS ALL HARD WORK AT PINES, BUT WITH A VERY BUSY SCHEDULE, HE’S STEPPED DOWN AT PINES AFTER THIS SEASON… LEADING TO A NEW YEAR, NEW START AT PINES WITH A NEW COMMISSIONER READY TO RUN THE SHOW AT PINES… WE’LL ANNOUNCE WHO HE/SHE IS SOON!], and I can’t wait for playoffs to see who will come out on top at Pines!
- Ballbarians (8 points): I don’t know how they snuck in here (actually, I do), but… here are the Ballbarians. They’re the only team that was voted into the poll with a negative run differential (-3), sit at fourth in the standings of the Green Division at Miami Lakes (my apologies to Take This L, who got squeezed out of this poll in favor of Ballbarians), and have scored the third least runs in the Green Division at Miami Lakes. I think the two commissioners that voted this team into the poll are paying their respect to what I’ll start referring to the playoff Hulk Ballbarians (to distinguish them from their weaker Bruce Banner Ballbarians regular season counterpart). We know this team has been in the finals at Miami Lakes a few times. We know they have speed and power hitters dispersed throughout their lineup, and that their girls flat out know how to play. [EASTER EGG #08: SEASONAL K.O.A.L.A. KICKBALL OUTINGS ACROSS ALL FOUR LEAGUES, STARTING WITH A PANTHERS GAME IN FEBRUARY FOR ANYONE THAT WANTS TO HANG OUT]. But for me? It’s the regular season! I don’t have to worry about Hulk Ballbarians until playoffs.
- Freeballing Down Under (5 points): [EASTER EGG #09: TALK TO JASON ABOUT… OUR FIRST EVER DODGEBALL TOURNAMENT]. All hail the Freeballers Down Under, reigning Kings of the South! They lead all teams in Cutler Bay in the runs scored, runs allowed, and run differential categories. In fact, their +30 run differential is twice as any team in Cutler Bay. And, yet, a surprising loss to Smoking Buntz drops them from receiving higher consideration in this poll, and Cutler Bay’s second-best team currently checks in at ninth in this edition of the poll. However, as I stated early, the road to the championship runs through the defending champs, and they remain the champs at Cutler Bay until another team pries the trophy off their hands.
- Jiminy Kickits (5 points): The Jiminy Kickits! Tropical Park’s newest team boasts more kickball experience than any team in K.O.A.L.A. Kickball (and then some), but they’re still getting collectively used to the playing style at K.O.A.L.A. Kickball. [EASTER EGG #10: WE’LL AGAIN PARTICIPATE THIS SEASON IN THE CYSTIC FIBROSIS TOURNAMENT, WHERE WE’RE EAGERLY LOOKING FORWARD TO PLAYING – AND BEATING – FORMER UM LEGENDS IN A KICKBALL TOURNAMENT TO BENEFIT A GOOD CAUSE!] However, they have the fastest outfield in all four leagues (once Rob Novak returns from injury), as they boast 3 athletes who have won individual or team state titles in track while in high school, and it’s just a matter of time before this team rounds into form and threatens the other teams in Tropical Park for league supremacy.
Other receiving votes:
Take this L (3 points); Ref Deez Nuts (3 points)
Quick Reminder on How the Poll Works: Once both leagues have played at least 2 games each, the Commissioners each cast an anonymous ballot for the teams that they think are the top 10 in K.O.A.L.A. Kickball across our Miami Lakes and Tropical Park Leagues. The first ranked team in each ballot gets 10 points, the second ranked team in each ballot gets 9 points, and so forth all the way to the tenth ranked team in each ballot, which gets 1 point. The points that each team gets from each ballot are added up, and then the 10 teams with the highest total number of points are declared the Top 10 in the Commissioner’s Poll. If there’s a tie for points, then the team with the most number of Commissioners voting it higher than the team they tied will receive the higher position. Remember that this poll does not affect standings or playoff seeding in any way; it’s only for fun!