It’s that time again. The moment we’ve been waiting for. Welcome back all returning players and teams. Welcome to the party all new players and teams. We’re happy to have all of you out here. Having a total of 28 teams has certainly made for an increasingly tight voting on the Poll. Miami Lakes has been doing some catching up as far as games played, since it seemingly rains every Wednesday (and only on Wednesdays, right)? Hopefully we are past that, but either way the Commissioners Polls are here to stay for the rest of the season. We’ve already had things shaken up quite a bit through four games in Tropical Park and two games in Miami Lakes (all while we try to figure out what new alias many teams are using this season). Since we are closing out the NBA season, I (Jason) will take a page out of Lorenzo’s book and give you a themed comparison involving NBA playoff teams. Don’t judge my NBA picks too much; just roll with them. Also, at the end of these rankings I’ve offered a word of advice to our new teams out there playing kickball with us. Without further ado, here’s Commissioners Poll # 13:
1. Balls & Dolls (2 first place votes) (29 Points) – & + Doll’s is mostly a conglomerate of some of last season’s “Suck my Kick” and “Primetime”. They feature several of the best bunters in both leagues which makes them very dangerous on the ground. Their 6 guys are all pretty good too. How do you get to the top of the Poll with a team that is not being a team captained by Garsha and Lorely? Easy, beat a team captained by Garsha and Lorely. Or, maybe not no so easy?? Either way, that what Balls & Dolls accomplished last week and that why 2 out of 3 commissioners voted the 2 – 0 team number one this week. They are having their moment right now all we can do is sit back and cringe.
NBA Comparison: Cleveland Cavaliers
Why?: Because you all got together to win a championship. No, Pablo Prieto, this does not mean you are LeBron James. (Rene’s editing note: NO, Giovanni Lorenzo, this does not mean YOU are LeBron James.)
2. Life’s a Pitch (20 points) – Just when you think tides may be starting to change on the Poll, arguably some of the most athletic, experienced players from Miami Lakes (not named “Balls & Dolls”) have invaded Tropical Park and are sitting number two on the standings with a clean 4 – 0 record and sitting at the top of the standings. Yes, Life is a Pitch. It’s going to be tough to beat this squad so get your practice in before you play them. To the rest of Tropical Park teams – are you going to defend your ground?
NBA Comparison: Miami Heat (I know, I always have the home team high)
Why?: Gus is a young Eric Spoelstra and he’s coaching all-stars, athletes, and K.O.A.L.A. veterans to win a championship.
3. The Only Tenn’s You’ll See (1 first place vote) (23 points) – I think I’m finally getting used to this name. And hey, what do you know, they got a number 1 vote from a commissioner. Well, I say… why not? Tenn’s are also halfway through their season posting a 4 – 0 record against worthy opponents. They make our lives a little easier by keeping last season’s name. They knocked out the defiant “Purple People Eaters” until losing in the semifinals. Their rise to the top of the standings cannot be taken lightly. In the bang-bang league at Tropical Park in which anything can happen, four wins are as good as any team out there. Still, if I were this team, I would personally get ready to play the number 11 and 12 seeds on these standings because I know those teams are going to bring it. Hang tight Tenn’s… or it will be the only first place vote you’ll see.
NBA Comparison: San Antonio Spurs
Why?: They are working as a unit and know how to win games, a lot of them.
4. District 28 (23 points) – The infamous Black team at Miami Lakes, former Gattaca!!! One of the most athletic teams and experienced teams in all of K.O.A.L.A. Kickball. Always knocking on the top of the standings in Miami Lakes, and always a sore thumb on any team’s schedule because they’re worried about their run differential. They are back at it with a 2 – 0 record and a run differential of +13, which puts them at the top of the Miami Lakes Standings.
NBA Comparison: Oklahoma City Thunder
Why?: Because they are talented, battle tested, and always a wild card to win it all.
5. PSN Slidez (14 points) – And sliiiding down the list to not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, but number 5. The current defending champions (formerly known as “New Kick’s on the Block”) and and also current Interleague Champs! Alright, before you hate me, or us, can you blame us? We have been suffering from your reign of terror since the start of K.O.A.L.A.! I personally doubt you will be hanging down here at 5 too long, but while you’re here, the rest of us are going to enjoy it for this sweet and probably too short of a moment. Despite a 1 – 1 record, this team’s history demands respect on the Poll (after they suffered just their only second loss in five seasons), so they are on here as the only team sitting at .500.
NBA Comparison: Golden State Warriors
Why?: Because you literally almost always win, your win-loss stats defy reason, and when you lose just one game we all notice.
6. Kickball Team (13 points) – Led for now by experienced veteran captain Alex Isaac, this team is making their mark in Tropical sitting number 4 on the standings at 3 – 1, posing only a Week 1 loss against the mighty “Life’s a Pitch”. Let’s see if we can figure out the genealogy of this one. Many of them started as members of the original K.O.A.L.A. “Ball’s Deep” in Miami Lakes. There’s even one member who played on “Banana Republic”; remember those guys? (See Instagram and scroll way down to find a picture of me wearing a banana suit). From there, a number of their players emerged from Prestige Worldwide and Alcohooligans (1.0). Anyways, the point I’m trying to make is that they got some pretty good players on the team and they know what they’re doing. I’m not going to bore you guys on how my “Green Tea Baggers” lost a 6 – 5 game to them and a puddle of water, even though the bitterness of my loss made this ranking hard to write.
NBA Comparison: Toronto Raptors
Why?: Talented, Athletic, and a good record.
7. Wicky Warriors (12 points) – The overall newest team up here, posting a respectable 3 – 1 record. There pitcher has experience, but otherwise this team is an even younger version of Kickball Team. This group of young athletes has been waiting for their chance to hop on K.O.A.L.A. Kickball action for some time (some of you may recognize them as last season’s Tropical Park hecklers) and they are finally here. They took a commanding 7 – 3 loss to the veterans over on “The Only Tenn’s You’ll See”; otherwise, we would have been forced to rank them higher on this list.
NBA Comparison: Portland Trail Blazers
Why?: They all just came together and are surprisingly good under one veteran’s leadership. Jose Roca is Damian Lillard.
8. Dream Chasers (7 points) – A combination of solid veteran players from last years “Suck my Kick” and some new emerging players all under Rene Medina’s leadership. This is one team we will have to keep an eye on if they can take care of their business. Let’s see if they can surprise us and reach their dreams of victory or if they fall below my Team with “No Name” next week after playing PSN Slidaz. So far they are doing pretty good posting a 2 – 1 record with 15 runs scores and just 7 allowed in comparison.
NBA Comparison: Atlanta Hawks
Why?: Veterans and rookies chasing victories together.
9. Always Pitching (5 points) – Tropical Park’s own signature black team, and last season’s Kickaine Cowboys. They are consistently leaving their mark as a top team in Tropical Park, as they literally blasted their way to the finals last season. They made a very commendable showing in the interleague tournament before losing to “New Kicks”. However the season continues to be a bit of a grind for them. They are posting a 2 – 1 -1 record.
NBA Comparison: LA Clippers
Why?: Capable of beating anyone anytime but still trying to be more consistent.
10. Pitch, You don’t know me (4 points) – Actually, we do know you. Thank God there is one other team name on this list I can recognize. This top echelon team in Miami Lakes knows how to take care of their business. They are waiting for another hack at win leaders in Miami Lakes, getting off to their own 2 – 0 start.
NBA Comparison: Memphis Grizzlies
Why?: Tough matchup for any team and always posting a winning record.
Honorable Mention: Team No Name (3 points) and I’d Hit that Haaaaan! (1 point)
Advice for new teams: For now, minimize your losses if you play a top 5 team on this list. Otherwise, take it to them ☺. There will be a lot of shaking in this poll before the season ends. Also, it wasn’t too long ago we had a 9th seeded champ at Miami Lakes, and last season’s finals in both leagues posted lower seeded teams. Oh, yeah, and the number one rule, the reason we are all out here. HAVE FUN, kick balls.
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!