Let’s take a look at the teams in the league and my own Power Rankings of them. We’ll start from the lowest to the highest.
#9 Bandits – What can you say, the Bandits posted one of their best seasons in quite a number of years when they won 10 games and finished in 6th place. They had a good run but lost their most productive players. Lenny, Chris, Cooks have found another team and rumor is Pito, 31 hits in ’12, won’t be back. Bandits always find a way to field a team but can they be competitive?
#8 Diamondbacks – This team formally known as Nothing Personal, is under new leadership and a new name. Jay and Tutu will now be at the helm. They have their work cut out for them after losing 5 key players that accounted for 105 hits and 32 RBIs. Joining the Dbacks this season is Ralph, formerly of the Ravens and John, formerly of the Falcons. The younger players will now have a chance to prove themselves and make their mark on this team and season.
#7 Stem – The Stem look like they might be taking a step back this season after showing some promise over the past few years. Rumors have it that they will be losing Wayne, Jen, Coree and Sky this season. No, they are not switching teams. The team has recruited a few new players, but also lost Warfield as he is playing with another team. Dave, Sean, Nas are still there to lead this team and I’m sure they will do their best to compete each and every Sunday.
#6 Saints – This team has the most personnel changes for the season. Pedro, Joey, Freddy, Mark and Ron have all left last year’s Nothing Personal team to rejuvenate this squad. Warfield also joins the team this season after playing the last few seasons for Stem. Mickey also returns after a year away from the Blvd. This team has a ton of potential and opened several eyes during the Columbus Day Tourney. The question is can they get used to playing with their new squad and will playing time become a factor on the team?
#5 Royals – The Royals are always in the middle of the standings at season’s end and have added some serious punch this year. Lenny, Chris and Cooks bring an average of 38 hits to a team that scored the 4th highest amount of runs in the league! Royals do lose Ralphy and Josh this season and there is the potential of losing Christian to college baseball. Roster changes can make it difficult for some players to stay on the field. Can they all co-exist? Bombi will have to manage that aspect in order to keep the Royals successful.
#4 Ravens – After making it to two of the four stickball championships last year, the Ravens are ready to take the next step. They are hyped about having Chungo on the team, after his departure from the Emporers. His experience will definitely benefit the Ravens. He is going to bring another good bat and great defense to his new team. Al Sr will also be playing a full season after joining the team late in 2012.
#3 Emperors – Emps had a great run last season but always seemed to be lacking that big hit when needed. They also lose one of their most dependable players to the Ravens. No matter what loss they face, the Emps are a veteran club with plenty of leadership and experience. Can they replace Chungo’s bat and defense? Is Tito ready to play some outfield now? We shall see.
#2 Leland – Eluding Leland year in and year out seems to be a championship. The team is comprised of veteran players and good team chemistry, but always are missing that one or two key hits when needed most. Rejoining Leland this season is Boobie after missing the last few seasons on the Blvd. Edwin put up some impressive numbers last season and is becoming one of the league’s best players. He will have to lead the way again if they want that championship title.
#1 The Gold – Well, this team is, of course, listed at the #1 spot and will stay there until someone can knock them off the top of the mountain. They lost a total of 3 games during the regular season and have another championship to prove that they are the league’s elite team. Richie always finds a way to keep this team together and focused around playoff time. Josh joins the outfield this season after spending the last several with his family on the Royals. I was surprised to learn recently that Chuchi will not be playing for The Gold this season. The kid had potential and barely missed out on the batting title in 2012.
I’ll see you on the Blvd!