Another week has helped provide more clarity for the Commissioners in this week’s Seventh Edition of the Commissioners Poll, but not by much.  Our Tropical Park league?  The consensus among the Commissioners is that pretty much any team can win the regular season Commissioners Trophy and that any team can win the playoff league trophy.  Miami Lakes?  Some familiar names continue dominating the standings, but new up and coming teams threaten to shake the status quo.  Honestly?  We’re just doing our best to make sense of the whole thing.  The bottom five teams in our top ten rankings are only separated by 7 points, an incredibly small margin.


This week’s rankings are written by Rene Medina.  As always, these rankings simply offer our “expert” opinions on our best teams. The funniest thing about it all? We’ve discovered that teams that feel slighted usually use our poll as bulletin board material for their next game (so if you’re playing a team that feels slighted next week, we apologize in advance!).


1) New Kicks on the Block – 3 First Place Votes. 30 points (Royal Blue); previously 2nd.  I did a little bit of research on teams that have been captained by Garsha (with a strong assist by Lorely).  Here’s his regular season record in Miami Lakes: Season #01 (Team Russia) – 7 wins, 0 losses, 1 tie; Season #02 (Pitch Please) – 6 wins, 1 loss, 1 tie; Season #03 (Pitch Please) – 7 wins, 0 losses, 1 tie; Season #04 (New Kicks on the Block) – 5 wins, 0 losses, 0 ties.  Add those results up, and Garsha’s record as captain in Miami Lakes is 25 wins, 3 ties, and 1 loss.  Three regular season Commissioners Trophy championships.  There’s one team that I consistently hear teams tell me that they get amped up to play.  There’s one team that has consistently dominated regular season games at Miami Lakes.  There’s one team that’s allowing an absurd 1.2 runs per game and sporting a +27 run differential through 5 games.  And, quite honestly, whether they’re Team Russia, Pitch Please, or New Kicks on the Block… the results haven’t changed.  Garsha & Co. remain the best team in K.O.A.L.A. Kickball.  Everyone else is simply playing catch up right now.  Just ask the next team on the rankings…


2) Gattaca!!! – 27 points (Black); previously 1st.  Nothing to be ashamed of last week.  Tough 3-1 loss against an elite New Kicks on the Block team.  How do they bounce back after another heartbreaking loss?  Here’s what I’d tell them.  They’re allowing the second fewest runs (7) through four games.  They constantly talk about how defense is their calling card, and they absolutely should be proud of that fact.  If you play elite defense, then you’re always going to be in every game.  They’re extremely competitive, and they have improved leaps and bounds as a team from when they first started two seasons ago.  They have veteran experience, and they’re the only team in the league that played in the championship game last season.  They lost one game to a great team.  No shame in that.  Just come back next week and play your game.  I’m pretty sure you’ll come out just fine.


3) Suck My Kick – 23 points (Maroon); previously 3rd.  Gattaca!!!’s loss last week provided a HUGE opening for Suck My Kick to move up in the rankings.  Unfortunately… injuries happened.  Their starting pitcher, a man recently described as being Randy Johnsonesque, is out for the foreseeable future.  Injuries (and playing against an opponent that one Commissioner thinks is the secret dark horse to potentially steal this season’s league trophy) caused Suck My Kick a chance at getting voted in second in our Commissioner’s Poll.  However, you could potentially make an argument that this team is underrated.  They boast the second best record in Miami Lakes thanks to owning the second best run differential (+16) through four games.  They have several players with plenty of kickball experience.  And some people still claim they have the best female kickers in the entire league (New Kicks on the Block & Alcohooligans would surely disagree).  If they can get all their ducks in row, get healthy, and keep having fun, then they have as good a chance as any team to win it all.


4) Purple People Eaters – 22 points (Lilac); previously 7th.  Wait, who?  Who is this team that suddenly finds itself first in Tropical Park standings and the first Tropical Park team to make an appearance in this week’s version of the Commissioners Poll?  We have the scoop, sorta…  They have four players from Miami Lakes and are captained by Pablo Prieto (former captain of Miami Lions and 2 Legit to Quit; current captain of Primetime).  They have veteran kickball experience throughout their team.  They defeated The Misfits in a 2-1 thriller that Pablo called a “pitcher’s duel.”  But… they also only have a +2 run differential and tied the lowest team in the Tropical Park standings (Sexy Pitches).  See how Tropical Park is absolutely wide open?  One Commissioner went as far as voting this team third in the rankings, but for the most part, this seems like the appropriate place to put these Vikings.  Will they have staying power?  We’ll see as the season progresses!


5) The Misfits – 18 points (Garnet); previously 4th.  Tough 2-1 loss to the Purple People Eaters.  But they’re still statistically the best defense in Tropical Park, allowing six runs scored through three games.  They still have the second highest run differential in the league at +5. They’re experienced and have practice winning many close games against different teams, so the chances that they meltdown in a game are slim.  They’re in every game, their girls are probably vastly underrated, and they repeatedly seem to have as much fun as any team in Tropical Park.  Don’t underestimate the power of a team that plays loose and never attacks one another on the field.  Again, in a wide open Tropical Park league, they’ve got as good a chance as any team of winning it all.


6) Ballbarians – 12 points (Sunset); previously 5th.  Through five games, here’s a team that sports a +9 run differential and has allowed the third fewest runs (10) in Miami Lakes.  They have only lost 20% of their games this season.  Their captain, Jason Oliver, has complete faith in their ability to storm through Miami Lakes and win the league trophy.  But they absolutely have an infuriating tendency to lose or tie to teams below them in the standings, a fact also recognized by their team captain.  They have also only won 40% of their games, a surprisingly low percentage when you consider how this ranking places them firmly in the top third of K.O.A.L.A. Kickball teams (we have 19 combined teams between both leagues this season).  So, again, do you buy or sell stock on this team?  Time will tell.


7) Another Run – 10 points (Red); previously 8th.  The defending Tropical Park league champions felt disrespected after starting out 8th last week in our Commissioner’s Poll rankings, and something tells me they won’t feel any better after learning that after winning their game this week, this Commissioner’s Poll finds them moving up to only 7th.  Perhaps they’re still being punished for having lost to Blue Mountain Kicks one week after they lost 16-6 in the season opener.  Regardless, if they start going on a win streak, this team, which is in a five-way tie in the win column at Tropical Park, should quickly start moving up in the poll.


8) Only Tenn’s You’ll See – 9 points (Tennessee orange); previously unranked.  How is the team with the third best standing at Tropical Park ranked eighth?  Almost all of their kickball players have at least one kickball season of experience, and it looks like two thirds of their players have at least over two kickball seasons of experience.  Without anyone paying particular attention to them, they seem to quietly be jelling together into a good squad.  Other teams are better known league-wide and expect to contend for a league trophy.  Just don’t count out the Only Tenn’s You’ll See.  Just because their team color is usually associated with football ineptitude doesn’t mean that this kickball team will fall apart.  In fact, quite the contrary.  I suspect that this team may very well be completely underrated.


9) Pitch You Don’t Know Me – 8 points (Aqua); previously 10th. One of the most talked about teams in K.O.A.L.A. Kickball after seemingly vindicating one Commissioners decision to vote them in the previous Commissioners Poll by defeating the powerful Suck My Kicks.  Look, here are the facts on this team.  They have improved every season, as the team that they originally first played under lost all of their games in their initial season and winning only two games last season.  Now, they’re sitting at 2 wins, 2 losses, and 1 tie.  They’re a tough out for any team.  And last season in Miami Lakes, a team that finished ninth in the regular season standings with a -20 run differential came out of nowhere to win the league trophy.  Could Pitch You Don’t Know Me be this year’s Cinderella team?  I honestly don’t know.  But one Commissioner loves their potential.


10) Blue Mountain Kicks – 5 points (Carolina Blue); previously unranked.  Is it too early to rank this team in the Commissioners Poll?  I still cannot forget watching them lose 16-6 in their first game of the season, although, in complete fairness to them, they were nowhere near full strength for that first game.  But this team does deserve the benefit of the doubt.  They have players that played for the vaunted Prestige Worldwide from last season that destroyed Tropical Park in the regular season and came a few plays away from winning the Tropical Park league trophy.  They defeated last season’s Tropical Park champions, Another Run, despite perhaps privately stressing the fact that they played an elite team so early in the season.  They think they have figured everything out.  The rest of Tropical Park hopes and prays they’re wrong.


Others receiving votes: Kickaine Cowboys (1 point).
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. Remember that this poll does not affect standings or playoff seeding in any way; it’s only for fun!