by Chris Ford
Das Boot v Eldridge—Rivalry of the Week
This week doesn’t feature near the number of intriguing matchups that we saw in week 2, but this could be a great one. I mentioned both these teams as possible upsets last week. Eldridge beat the darlings of week 1, Red Lyon, 4-3 in a defensive battle in which the Eldridge scored all its runs in the last two innings. Das Boot was of course the favorite and handled 3-seeded Mad Greek in a game that may or may not have been as close as the final score indicates, as MG went on a late 9 run rally.
Das Boot is still largely a mystery to me, having never seen them play. I’d like to hear from anyone that may know of signature games in their team history. They finished last season with a 5-5 record after going on a winning streak to end the season and carrying that momentum into the tournament where they had Pita Pit on the ropes. This finish earned them the 5th overall ranking in pool seeding. This game will be their toughest test until rank play.
Speaking of schedules, the Eldridge appears to have the toughest first half schedule (Yellow Sub a close second) that matches them against Slowride (a team that could finish 3rd in most pools), Red Lyon, Das Boot, and Jazzhaus. Yowzers. The Eldridge aren’t newcomers as giant killers, handily defeating defending champions (deep swallow) Love Garden in ’08, and going on to a #4 overall seed in the tournament. In last year’s tournament, they gave First Blood an early round scare in an unexpectedly tight game.
These teams played last year, with the Eldridge coming out with the win. Perhaps someone can share what happened in that game. I figured the Eldridge would win at least one of it games against the giants on their schedule. Now that they’ve taken the first one, I’ll double down on them this week: E 10 DB 8
Astroidhead v Rangelife—GOTW
What this week lacks in marquee matchup depth, this game will make up for in sheer fun. Rangelife will attempt to defend its title as league’s best hecklers and hipsters against a few of its former teammates who spawned to form Astroidhead.
Both of these teams enter the week with big question marks following high preseason expectations. Rangelife still has several pieces to the team that ran through the #2 rank play and then went deep into the tournament, but they are licking their wounds from a first inning Screamer KO. Ouch. Meanwhile, the board obviously thought Astroidhead claimed the stronger roster in the split, but they dropped their opener to 3-seeded Liberty Hall and barely beat out Weavers.
Fortunately, both these teams have a lot of season ahead of them. Remember, it wasn’t until rank play last season that Rangelife found its groove, and I have it on good authority that they just landed 2 more elite weapons. Astroidhead has probably spent more time making props (teaser) than playing kickball together. Both these teams appear locked for #3’s in rank play, so this is likely just the first of two. I’m hoping the first is worth the sequel. Prediction: Don’t fail me two weeks straight! R 15 A 6
Brew Ballers v Replay
Unless the Eastsider’s pull together a team and upset BB, this game looks to determine the 2 seed for the James Naismith Pool and should be a competitive one. BB’s were seeded the 8th or 9th overall team in the tournament last year while the Replay Rowdies PBR’ed their way to the “less awesome” championship game (where they were beat by Murda Tang/Miltons in the last inning by a clutch Dan M double).
This season, BB frustrated Love Garden’s offense for 6 innings. They have some of the best female defensive players, fiery veteran guys, and added my former teammate and 2007 Catcher of the Year (my selection for a completely unofficial and fictitious award), Adrian M. Replay, on the other hand, could be a competitive team if they cared about winning half as much as they care about having a good time. Still, their loose and fearless playing style can be dangerous, and they should get a jolt from the return of their seersucker-suited star, Mr. Bickel. Prediction: Anyone want to start a pool on how many innings until R starts seeing double through PBR glasses? BB 12 R 8
I’m a bit long winded this week, so I’ll turn it over to anyone else that is looking forward to a game. West Coast v PP? Liberty Hall v Sacred Sword? Wildman v Weavers?