Heat 2020 Preview

Despite last year being Hudson Lake's first season under .500 since 2014, the hype is once again real heading into this season. After acquiring 2018 MVP Bailey Rhed at last season's deadline, the Heat have seemingly found the 5-man lineup they've always been searching for. With a year of experience together under their belt and a suspicious lack of noise from them in the off-season, Hudson Lake is hopeful 2020 is the year they finally are able to break out and take home a pennant.  


2019 did not go as planned for the Heat. Coming off their franchise best season in 2018, the hype was real for a Hudson Lake breakout season in 2019. However, inconsistent lineups coupled with the departure of lock-down left fielder Jasen Webb sent any hopes of challenging the commissioner's team down in flames. The Heat finished the season 11-13, the team's worst record since their inaugural 8-28 season in 2014. In the playoff, a short-handed Hudson Lake team narrowly got past the Goon Squad in the first Wild Card before bowing out to the Kings in the second. Ben McDonald was the lone All-Star for Hudson Lake.


1.  White Hot.
Despite Jasen Webb not being available for the Heat this season, they will still be represented strongly by their former rivals the White Lightning. Thanks to a mid-season trade last year, Bailey Rhed has been reunited with his WL pitcher Doug Benner on the heat. The two have some of the best pitcher-catcher chemistry in the league and will be pivotal for Hudson Lake's success in 2020. Since his breakout MVP 2018 season, Bails has established himself as one of the better hitters in the game. Podcaster Brandon Terry has even been quoted as calling him a "one of the top 3 hitters" he has ever seen. Then, there's Doug. The word out of spring ball is Benner’s hitting has looked eerily similar to his 2015 form, when he posted a .664 AVG to go along with 46 homers. As the undisputed fasted player in the league, Doug will look to rediscover the power which once made him an MVP candidate. If the Heat can get that kind of production paired with Rhed's MVP form the rest of the AL need be on high alert. There's something to be said about teammate longevity, and these two certainty have that.

2. McDonald's Transformation.
Let me know if you recognize long-time Heat slugger Ben "McNasty" McDonald the first time you see him this season. TMZ has given WiffleTalk.com exclusive access to footage which shows McDonald sporting a Fabio-esque mane in Spring Training. It's long. Like really, really long (that's what she said). More relevantly to wiffle, though, is the sight of him appearing to have gained nearly twenty pounds of pure muscle. Known for his ability to slap the ball to all fields, this added muscle will surely increase the vet's HR count in 2020 (not that anyone will know since HL doesn't keep stats). As he's aged, McDonald has seemingly found a way to tweak his game every season. The seasoned pro is expected to have perhaps his best season yet this year. As the Heat's only All-Star in 2019, he seemed to have estbalished himself as the premier threat for Hudson Lake despite batting alongside sluggers Bob Bushman and Jared Monhaut. After years of flirting with an MVP run, 2020 may be the year McNasty joins teammates Bushman and Bails in achieving just that.

3. Is this the year?
I feel like I have been calling a Hudson Lake breakout in the preseason for years now, but it has never fully come together. After their stellar 2018, it seemed like the Heat were ready to truly challenge for a pennant, but inconsistent lineups and a cold season at the plate derailed any hope of that in 2019. That being said, the pieces are all there for Hudson Lake to take control of the American League. With two former MVPs as well as standouts Ben McDonald, Jared Monhaut, and Douglass Benner rounding out their starting 5, the time may be right for Hudson Lake to make 2020 their year. An improved American League may prove difficult for the Heat, but if they can get their 5 consistently and get on a roll... anything can happen.


P Doug Benner
C Bails
OF Bob Bushman
OF Monhaut
OF McNasty
P Jake MacMillan
Util. D Luther
C D Curl
EH Plonka


The Heat seem to be the ultimate "what if" in ORWBL. A breakthrough seems always so close, yet just out of reach. 2020 looks to be different, however. With finally sporting a consistent lineup, Hudson Lake will put years of work into affect. The hitting will be there. With 2 MVPS and the rest of their lineup also being able to mash, that isn't a question. Stud pitcher Doug Benner will lock things down on the mound, but the rest of the defense is certainly a question-mark. Losing Webb leaves them with a hole in left field. Bushman has served admirably in left previously, but hasn't done so on a regular basis in a few years. Historically the Heat have been solid, but not spectator in the field. If they can lock down the defense and minimize the errors, a Hudson Lake challenge to the commissioner's team is surely in reach.




MeatSpins 2020 Preview

Last seen as members of the Great Lakes Godfathers, the infamous Granny's Quilt return to ORWBL finally possessing their own squad. Despite playing in the past as members of the now-defunct Cabo Yabos, the tourney stars enter 2020 as the Mishawaka wait for it... MeatSpins. Comments about the team name aside (Mishawaka Matadors would've been badass, just saying), the MeatSpins can play. They have a winner of practically every tournament on their roster, as well as one of the most exciting young prospects in the game in Biscuits! They're Granger's favorite team, and the commissioner's worst nightmare. Meet, the Mishawaka MeatSpins.


I'll save the full roster for you to discover when your team plays them (or if the website ever gets updated but I wouldn't hold your breathe on that one). However, what you need to know is that this team is loaded. From top to bottom, the MeatSpins posses talent from across the slow-pitch wiffleball world. Obviously the Granny's Quilt guys are here, but members of the Muffs, Cult West, Homerun or Bust, and the Malorts are all represented on Mishawaka. (Quick sidebar: A friend of mine from school who lives in Chicago busted out a bottle of Malort and conned a group of my friends into taking shots of it... that night did not end well. Don't K against the MeatSpins for your own sake). Their players are heavily decorated, possessing winners of a Hometown Cup, WWBC title, HD Classic belt, and a Cam Snead belt. They've played in the toughest games, battled against the best of the best, and drunk tweeted as much as anyone. #dontsleep


1.  Antho's Average.
Their biggest addition from an ORWBL-perspective has to be Anthony Rieff. The former (somehow two-time) Rookie of the Year broke the single-season record for batting average last year by a wide margin. Rieff hit an unfathomable .747... almost .75 more than the previous record. After such a surreal season with the Landsharks, all eyes will be on the Muff/Warrior to have another stellar year. Given his dependability as an every-game guy, expect Rieff to have another big season as a MeatSpin.

2. Depth.
As mentioned earlier, the MeatSpins are going to be deep. No matter the position, Mishawaka will have someone able to fill in a spot when needed. But who are we most excited about seeing? How about the HR or Bust guys. Aside from Matt Went, the only HR or Bust member who has ORWBL experience is Shane Forslund (who played two whole games for the Newts in 2012). With Shane, his brother Evan, and their teammate Neal Hickle, HR or Bust has a serious shot to burst onto the ORWBL scene this season. Once again, it remains to be seen who will actually be getting the majority of the innings here. Granny's guys are obviously the expected starters and the Muffs have their share of MeatSpins, too. Nick Thoman is the guy to watch out for awards-wise. He had high odds in The Black Cat's preseason MVP odds so at the very least he's a decent bet for a big statistical season (going out on a limb assuming they're taking stats). 

3. Will They Care Enough to Show Up?
The lasting image of Cabo's ORWBL run wasn't their stellar 2017 or Grant Duncan's near MVP season. No, it was being banned from the playoffs in 2018 for not playing all their games. We all know these guys can mash. They've done it at all the tourneys. There may be an argument to be made that the third outfielder in ORWBL throws them off a tad, but I'm not here to make that. When they show up and care, they're good. When they don't, they aren't. Pretty simple. My bet is on them showing up and being good this year, but it wouldn't shock me if they start needing to reschedule games and end up ineligible for the postseason. Hell, its 2020. Nothing would shock me. 


OF Nick Thoman
OF Ryan Warmoth | .279 AVG, 11 HR, 13 RBI
OF Erick Wodrich
OF Austin Rieff | .488 AVG, 16 HR, 24 RBI
P Anthony Rieff |.747 AVG, 30 HR, 48 RBI
OF Erick Mentock | .459 AVG, 15 HR, 20 RBI
C Dan The Cat | .367 AVG, 8 HR, 13 RBI
OF Shane Forslund
C Cory Kronewitter
OF Joey Stratton
C Grant Duncan


The MeatSpins are top tier talent-wise. Their team members have an abundance of tournament and league experience alike. However, this was also the case with Cabo. For the MeatSpins to avoid the same fate as the 2018 Yabos (who were inedible to play in the playoffs), they'll need to assemble some sort of consistent lineup who can show up every week. My money is on that being the case. This team is built different than those Cabo teams. After sitting 2019 out, a lot of these guys will be playing some of their first league games in over two years. It may take a few weeks to shake the rust off these old bones, but don't you worry. Once it's shaken, they'll be coming for Al's head. Literally.




Emery's Army 2020 Preview


They're back... again! Rolling Prairie returns to ORWBL in 2020 hoping the third rendition of EA is the best of the trilogy (think Return of the Jedi and not The Godfather: Part III). After their sequel in 2018 ended with a battered, empty roster losing a tight one-game Wildcard to the Billy Goats, EA took a year off to recoup and ice up the old arms. This season, EA has signed Cult West standout Danny Hernandez in hopes of bolstering their depth. Playing with four has never been an issue for EA, but for their sake let's hope to see a more balanced five-man lineup in this return.


For you newbies out there (75% of the league), here's a quick breakdown of the historic EA franchise. EA first entered the league in 2009 before leaving after the 2015 season, only to return again for 2017 and 2018. In their nine seasons EA held a 174-145 overall record. They made a Hometown Cup finals in 2013 under the name Habeas Corpus which served as a work-around after receiving a year ban from multiple Sunday no-shows. Rolling Prairie has never made an ORWBL world series despite their longevity in the league. Their best season came in their inaugural 2009 season in which they amassed a 30-13 record, although their 2011 first-place finish in the National League is also notable. (27-15 record).  Former manager Eric Johnson has made 8 ORWBL All-Star teams (tied for 3rd most all-time), while 2015 Cy Young winner Jake Lawrence has made 6 of his own. EA famously played at the Grassy Knoll, which is arguably the widest and deepest field in ORWBL history. It is unclear where they will play in 2020. Most recently in 2018, EA finished just 8-16, seventh in the National League. In the playoffs, however, they were able to win the first Wild Card before dropping a tight one to Twin Branch.


1.  Crafty Vets.
In addition to their core of Kevin May, J-Law, and Ryan Murphy (we'd include Eric Johnson in this but unsure if he'll be at any series this season), EA's roster includes a few other notable wiffle vets including Cult West's Danny Hernandez (more on him below) and Speedy's Chickenheads' Matt Serge and Ben Ellam. It will be interesting to see if the Speedy's guys show up (Serge has already been ruled out for Week 1) but regardless EA figures to be much deeper than their 2018 team. J-Law and Murph are still studs. Even as they've aged Law is still one of the most consistent all-around players in the league and Murph can still absolutely mash. One under-the-radar name to keep an eye out for is Ross Strieter. An older cousin of the Webb brothers, Ross is a sneaky good fielder for EA. If he can stabilize his streaky hitting Strieter could be a major player for Rolling Prairie.

2. Danny as "The Guy".
After seven ORWBL seasons with Cult West and the Newts, 2019 WWBC hero Danny Hernandez turned heads when he was announced to be joining EA in 2020. As a member of the legendary Cult West, Danny has sometimes flown under the radar in mainstream wiffle media (ORWBL's twitter called him underrated... absolutely disrespectful). Despite that narrative being pushed, Danny is obviously no slacker. The four-time Hometown Cup champion is a great hitter who has the power to put the ball over the fence consistently while also being able to place it to all fields. This will be his first ORWBL season as the focal point of his team's lineup, so a big statistical season is absolutely in play... that is, if EA keeps stats (doubtful).

3. Can they get 5?
Perhaps the biggest detriment EA-2018 faced was their inability to get a 5-man lineup week in week out. In the playoffs, even, EA was only able to field four players. The team's desperation forced them to ask current County Line King Roman Kuntz to play on their team... which he did, well. Without Kuntz this season, EA will have to rely on their aforementioned vets to show up. While they have proven the ability to compete with just 4, the disadvantage they face by doing so may ultimately prove to be their downfall... just as it was in 2018.


C Eric Johnson
P Jake Lawrence | .482 AVG, 33 HR, 48 RBI | 7-3, 17 SO, 8.75 ERA
OF Ryan Murphy | .400 AVG, 17 HR, 21 RBI
OF Kevin May
OF Brady Burnett
P Matt Serge
OF Ben Ellam
C Danny Hernandez | .276 AVG, 12 HR, 18 RBI
OF Ross Strieter


It's been a long time since EA finished north of .500. Not since their 2015 season in which they went 21-15 has Rolling Prairie done that. However, I wouldn't count the vets out just yet. They're a legendary ORWBL franchise for a reason. Perhaps more so than any other team, EA's record will largely be dictated by their attendance. If their guys show up and they can get a full 5-man lineup for the majority of their seasons, EA has a serious shot to compete. Their best 5 can compete with anyone in the league, it's just a question of whether or not they can get it to come together. If J-Law, Danny, and Murph can get enough out of the rest of the squad... EA could be dangerous come playoff time. 

Or, they could just drink their way through the qualifiers and forget to show up for the playoff. Wouldn't be the first time they did that (paging @HometownCup).




Godfathers 2020 Preview

Despite losing the Granny's guys, the Godfathers enter 2020 with a new look in a new division. The Godfathers signed the bulk of the Warsaw Whitecats in addition to World Wiffleball Hall of Famer John Premetz and Clutch Players standout Andy Sieradzki. In a top-heavy National League, Great Lakes will look to bring Niles it’s first playoff victory in franchise history.  


2019 was the definition of a jackal and hyde season for the boys up north. 9 of their 10 wins came via series sweeps, as the Godfathers broke the brooms out against the Wildcards, Leps, and Goon Squad. In the rest of their series however, Great Lakes managed just one win. That inconsistency came back to bite them in the playoffs with the short-handed Godfathers dropping the Wildcard to the Wildcards (that was a mouthful).  Matador Smith and Mark Haase were selected as All-Stars yet again for their efforts leading Great Lakes.


1.  Dynamic Duo.
There isn't much to write about these two guys that everyone doesn't already know, but Mark Haase and Matador Smith enter the season once again as the core of Niles' wiffle franchise. The two compliment each other's strengths in a way matched by few duos in the game, today. Between Matador's nasty on the mound, Haase sure hands in the field, and both studs' prowess at the plate, the Godfathers go as far as these two will take them. What these guys have done over the last five season is especially impressive considering their age. I'm not trying to call them old (anyone who has seen Matador fly off the mound to make a play wouldn't peg him a day over twenty), but taking into account the age difference between these guys and some of the other teams in the league and its a wonder they're able to consistently compete year-in-year-out. That is a testament to the top-notch skill these two posses.   

2. Meow.
Among President of Wiffleball Operations Matador Smith's pick-ups this off-season was the bulk of the Warsaw Whitecats roster... including the meowculate Whit Huffer. Although they have had less tournament success in recent years, the addition of this group of experienced wifflers will do wonders for Great Lakes' depth in 2020. Let's just hope they keep the cat-noises to a minimum... for everyone's sake.

3. Do the tourney stars turn out?
While Whit and the Warsaw gang will be great for Great Lakes' floor, it is the additions of John Premetz and Andy Sieradzki which will have the greatest impact on their ceiling. Prem is a World Wiffleball legend, as the WWBC Hall of Famer has won the second best tournament in wiffle four times with Club Ripped. The sure-handed Premetz brings a big bat to the plate which could prove essential for this big-swinging Godfathers team. Sieradzki, too, is a WWBC champion with his Clutch Players. Once the most hated tourney team in the land, recent additions to the tournament landscape have moved Clutch into more favorable position among fans. Sieradzki is a bonafide star but hasn't appeared in ORWBL since his 2018 post-season run with Granger was cut short by a hamstring injury. Whether or not these two are able to be consistent faces in the Godfathers lineup will be a deciding factor in their 2020 success.


OF Haase | .446 AVG, 20 HR, 30 RBI
P Matador | .267 AVG, 13 HR, 22 RBI | 10-12, 11 SO, 8.75 ERA
OF O'Hara | .398 AVG, 24 HR, 33 RBI
OF Shembarger | .310 AVG, 12 HR, 14 RBI
OF Sieradzki 
OF Premetz
P Whit
TBD Misc. Whitecats Players


Great Lakes' roster will look pretty different this season for the third year in a row. Their off-season additions are easily the biggest story for Niles fans heading into 2020, as Whit, Prem, and Sieradzki will largely dictate how far the 'Fathers are able to go in the playoffs. Make no mistake, however. This team lives and dies at the hands of Matador and Haase. The two workhorses are the engine behind this wiffle train and regardless of how much the new guys show up they've proven capable of carrying Great Lakes'. 


8-16 (5th in the NL)

Billy Goats 2020 Preview


After a breakout 2019 in which the 'Goats won the most regular season games in the league, Twin Branch faces roster question-marks entering 2020. Losing two every-game starters in Connor VanOverberghe and Kadin Abegg will force the 'Goats to rely on unproven prospects to fill the void. However, with their core four still intact Twin Branch's World Series hopes are as high as ever.  


The Twin Branch Billy Goats broke out in a major way in 2019, winning an ORWBL-best 20 games. The 'Goats lost just one series all season (1-2 to their cross-town rivals Granger) and were notably able to pull of sweeps of Maple City and Hudson Lake. They nearly maintained the same six-man lineup for every series. In the playoffs, Twin Branch swept the Kings (2-0) in the ALCS before dropping a controversial ALDS to the commissioner's team (2-3) without sure-handed outfielder VanOverberghe. Andrew Doran, Lucas Oletti, Frankie Minerva, and Connor VanOverberghe were selected as All-Stars for the 'Goats, with Oletti winning the HR derby. Additionally, Doran was awarded his second consecutive Cy Young award for his effort on the mound.


1.  Core Four.
While the aforementioned losses of VanO and Abegg will hurt, Twin Branch is still a World Series contender thanks to their four main guys: Doran, Oletti, Frankie, and Keigan White. As the original members of the 'Goats, these four have been present for an incredible 47 of the team's 48 ORWBL regular season games. Their longevity and dependability in Twin Branch's emergence as a top-tier team is reason enough for 'Goats fans to be hopeful for a World Series in 2020. Taking into account their improvement from 2018 to 2019, another jump is surely possible. These four give Twin Branch one of the highest floors in the entire league.

2. #Hoodie4MVP.
Within Twin Branch's leap last season was the emergence of outfielder Lucas Oletti as a MVP-caliber player. Oletti set the league on fire last season and was surely the runner-up for AL MVP (not that we actually know the results of the voting, that's apparently confidential). Oletti is the definition of a 5-tool wiffler. He has one of the smoothest swings in the game, with the speed to match is outstanding power. On defense Oletti is about as consistent as they come but he will be asked to cover a bit more ground this season in left following the departure of VanO. Nevertheless, 2020 has all signs pointing to a MVP-campaign for Hoodie Oletti.

3. Who's their 5th guy?
I'm sure the 'Goats are sick of hearing about losing Abegg and VanO, as that has someone been the dominate story line in mainstream wiffle media... despite them winning the most games in the league last season and coming one (perhaps illegitimate) game away from the World Series. Yet, it is still a question-mark of who will be their 5th guy this season. The younger Doran brother, Peyton, figures to be an opening day starter, but look for longtime filler Riley Smith to have an expanded role, too. Whoever their 5th is, the ceiling of the team will likely rely on how well they're able to match their core's outstanding play.


P Andrew Doran | .528 AVG, 30 HR, 39 RBI | 14-1, 20 SO, 4.77 ERA
P Peyton Doran
OF Frankie | .509 AVG, 31 HR, 46 RBI 
OF Oletti | .537 AVG, 38 HR, 45 RBI
OF Smith 
OF Keigan | .377 AVG, 24 HR, 32 RBI


It's almost like people forget how good the 'Goats were in 2019. They led the league in wins, swept the Magic at Kesling, and narrowly missed out on the World Series. Sure, losing VanO and Abegg hurts their depth, but it certainly doesn't ruin their chances. Doran's little brother Peyton is an up-and-coming player himself, and more ABs for Oletti, Doran, and Frankie will be a big boost to their offense. The American League is deep this year, but the 'Goats have proven they can make it to the biggest stages. Hell, this is a team who's already made it to a Hometown Cup finals. I'm all in on the 'Goats in 2020, and you should be too.




Leps 2020 Preview

The Lynn Street Leprechauns come into their fifth ORWBL season following a disappointing 2019 record-wise. The additions of veteran standouts Levi Miller and Mikey Smith have given Lynn Street newfound hope for a bounce-back campaign. This season will be especially meaningful for the Leps given fan-favorite Uncle Terry's off-season battle with a pneumococcal disease. Our thoughts and prayers are with Terry and his family as he perseveres through recovery. In 2020, we are all #MulletStrong.


2019 was a season to forget for Lynn Street fans as far as their record is concerned. After reaching the 10 win mark in Bailey Rhed's MVP 2018 season, Lynn Street shipped Rhed to Hudson Lake and their win total fell as a result. Despite sweeping the Sinners on Opening Day, the Leps managed just three wins the rest of the way. In the playoffs, Lynn Street dropped a heart breaker in the Wildcard on a walk-off to Scottsdale. Dylan Kegley was the lone All-Star for the guys in green but manager Nick Brassell quietly had a nice season as well, joining Kegley in batting at least .500 for the season.


1.  Luck of the Landsharks.
Trading 2018 MVP Bailey Rhed at last summer's trade deadline left a big hole in the Lynn Street line-up. Upon the Saugany Lake Landsharks folding this off-season, that hole was filled... and then some. The Leps signed both Levi Miller and Mikey Smith. In doing so, they solidified the two most important positions: left field and pitcher. Levi is coming off another stellar season while Mikey Smith is said to be in the best shape of his life. Playing at Rocko's will be a great boost for their hitting prospects, as well as Lynn Street's win percentage.  

2. Brassell & Kegley's emergence.
While the team's record didn't necessarily show it, Lynn Street's biggest stars took a big step up last season. Both players hit the .500 mark in batting average, notably in different ways. Kegley established himself as the team's go-to HR guy, while Brassell has become notorious for his well-placed base hits. The two have definitely cemented themselves as Lynn Street's backbone but it remains to be seen if they can translate those stats into wins.  

3. Can Mookie hit?
ORWBL's most lovable party animal enters this season with the same question as last: can he hit? In 16 plate appearances last season, Mookie had just 1 base hit. The implementation of the DH rule last season can pretty much be attributed to the contrast in Mookie's game. He is a solid pitcher for Lynn Street, but unless he can figure his swing out expect another DH-filled season for the Mooks.


OF N. Brassell | .500 AVG, 18 HR, 23 RBI
OF Z. Brassell | .433 AVG, 12 HR, 17 RBI
OF Kegley | .518 AVG, 30 HR, 43 RBI
P Ev King | .422 AVG, 10 HR, 11 RBI | 1-1, 3 SO, 7.71 ERA
OF Lev Miller | .440 AVG, 28 HR, 44 RBI
P Mikey Smith | .323 AVG, 7 HR, 14 RBI | 2-3, 2 SO, 10.55 ERA
P Mookie | 4-11, 16 SO, 7.88 ERA
OF Guy Wilson | .447 AVG, 12 HR, 18 RBI


This is the deepest team Lynn Street has had. The signings of Lev and Mikey are huge for filling out their lineup, especially when you look at Lev's ability in the field. Kegley and Brassell are coming off career years, and Guy Wilson showed flashes of taking a leap himself. That being said, there are still big question marks. Outside of Levi the defense is solid, but not spectacular. On offense the Leps are full of streaky hitters. Someone is going to have to step up and be their go-to-guy, but it remains to be seen who that will be. Nonetheless, 2020 projects to be an improvement over 2019.



Kings 2020 Preview

The County Line Kings enter 2020 with a new logo & lineup and project to be one of the most improved squads from last season. Signing the trio of Kadin Abegg. Colton Boren, and Kody Webb will do wonders for a team desperate for depth and experience. The raw talent is there, as County Line offers the athletes and skill to play with anybody. Time will tell, however, if they’re able to put it all together. 


2019 was County Line’s inaugural ORWBL season, and it showed. Like many first-year teams the Kings struggled at times to put together consistent stretches. County Line started the season 6-0, sweeping both the Goon Squad and Godfathers. After their hot start, however, the Kings finished just 5-13 to close out the season. Despite a series victory over Hudson Lake, County Line was swept against both Olive Township and Maple City. In the playoffs County Line once again defeated the Heat, this time in the wildcard, before being swept by the ‘Goats in the best-of-three divisional series. Manager Mike Forrester and outfielder Bryce Bloode were named All-Stars in their rookie seasons, with Forrester winning the AL Rookie of the Year.


1.  New-look Kings.
When the Mechanics bowed out of ORWBL play following the 2019 playoffs, County Line’s front office was eager to snatch their available free agents. Adding the reigning Gold Glove winner in Kody Webb will sure up the Kings’ outfield, giving them a black-hole in left. Signing 2019’s most improved player in Colton Boren gives the team the steady presence they lacked behind the plate last season. Finally, adding former ‘Goat pitcher Kadin Abegg adds depth to the County Line rotation behind presumptive starter Mike Forrester. These three project to play a pivotal role in their 2020 success. 

2. A real field.
As with most first-year teams, County Line’s field in their inaugural season was not the best. It was cramped and drifted downhill, leading to a number of unjust homeruns. This season, County Line has moved into a new venue in downtown Hudson Lake. The multi-dollar field features well-kept grass and a scenic overview which screams “ORWBL”. Just watch out for those rednecks. 

3. Is Bloode ready to take the leap?
Despite their familiarity swinging the bat, it oftentimes takes some time for baseball standouts to adjust to the slow-pitch, plastic game. When it clicks, however, it is a sight to see. Bloode had an up-and-down rookie season for the Kings which featured both hot streaks and cold stretches. He seemed to flip a switch toward the end of the season, though, and has reportedly carried that over into spring ball. If things click, Bloode could follow in reigning AL MVP Mark Richards’ footsteps in making a huge sophomore leap. 


P - Abegg | 0.346 AVG, 16 HR, 21 RBI | 5-3, 13 SO, 4.09 ERA
OF- Bloode
C - Boren | 0.410 AVG, 23 HR, 35 RBI
P - Forrester | 0.516 AVG, 24 HR, 31 RBI | 3-2, 13 SO, 6.29 ERA
OF - J.P
OF - M. Ryans
LF - K. Webb | 0.484 AVG, 23 HR, 33 RBI


The Kings have high expectations for 2020, and rightfully so. Forrester and Abegg provide County Line with a solid 1-2 punch on the mound. Having Webb in left is a game-changer, but there are still some question marks about the rest of the outfield. Boren’s best behind the plate, but he may be called into action in center or right depending on the circumstances. They have a lot of solid hitters, but are still looking for that go-to HR guy. If Bloode can take the leap at the plate and get enough from his teammates on offense, watch out. 




ORWBL Off-Season Review: NL Edition


Despite orwbl.com being dormant since August, a lot has happened in our wiffle world over the last 9 months. Let's recap. Here is every announced transaction for the upcoming season, team-by-team, along with some thoughts about the moves.

Granger Panthers

No announced transactions.


As of this post, Granger hasn’t made any moves. Despite falling in the NLCS, the Panthers ended the summer hoisting the Hometown Cup with practically the same team they used in ORWBL. They swapped Brett in for the kid during their championship run so maybe that’s the move in ORWBL, too? Regardless, moves probably weren’t necessary. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

New Carlisle Newts

+ OF Garrett Ruiz from the Mechanics.
+ LF Connor VanOverberghe from the Goats.
+ P Aidan Cotter from the Mechanics.

- C Danny Hernandez to EA.


The youth movement is on in New Carlisle. After narrowly losing in the World Series last summer, the Yankees of Wiffleball lost Danny Hernandez early before signing a trio of established young players late in free agency. Ruiz and Cotter have flirted with New Carlisle’s team in past tournaments, but VanO is freshly Newtered. All three players have extensive ORWBL experience, notably serving together as key cogs on a 2018 Muffs ORWBL team which won 17 games. In all, these additions will give the Newts some much-needed regular season depth as they chase their 4th ORWBL ring. 

Elkhart BFAM

+ OF Austin Traxler from the Landsharks.
+ Some softball player B Terry keeps talking about.


Trax is a big pick up. Walt and BLT willed the BFAM to a 19-5 record in Elkhart’s inaugural season. Adding their M.O.B. teammate gives them a bonifide third guy with needed wiffle experience. His combination of left-handing hitting and athleticism will fit right in with the BFAM. Additionally, BLT has brought up the signing of Mikey Namisnak who apparently is good at swinging a softball bat. While it’s unclear whether he will be as good at swinging a plastic bat (which is obviously much harder), the reigning MVP seems confident in his abilities. Good enough for me.

Rolling Prairie Emery's Army

+ C Danny Hernandez from the Newts/Cult West.


EA Part III will feature the usual suspects from Rolling Prairie in J-Law, Ryan Murphy, and Kevin May. Rumors of the return of Part I star Eric Johnson are circulating, however it is the addition of Danny Hernandez which is especially intriguing. The highly esteemed Cult West star joins an aging Rolling Prairie team with something to prove after an uninspiring sequel in 2018. The historically-great EA will assuredly be smashing brews, but it’s a question of whether those will be celebratory or mournful drinks. Adding Hernandez gives EA consistency, depth, and star power the 2018 team lacked. Overall, a great snag.

Lynn Street Leprechauns

+ OF Levi Miller from the Landsharks.
+ P Mikey Smith from Landsharks.


Less than a year after trading 2018 MVP Bailey Rhed away to the Heat, Lynn Street GM Nick “Hinkie” Brassell was back at it this offseason signing two Landshark staples in Levi Miller and Mikey Smith. Levi developed into a star in his two seasons as Saugany Lake’s manager and his presence in left will give Lynn Street the lockdown outfielder they’ve lacked for years. In joining together the legendary Smith brothers, Mikey and Mookie will give Lynn Street a solid one-two punch on the mound. Hitting-wise, both studs will project to have big seasons at Rocko’s. Look for Mikey Smith as a sleeper candidate for Most Improved. The Process continues. 

Great Lakes Godfathers

+ P Whit Huffer from the Warsaw Whitecats tournament team.
+ Other Whitecats
+ OF John Premetz from the Club Ripped WWBC team.

- Granny's Quilt to the Mishawaka Meatspins.


After spending the last four seasons in the American League, the new-look Godfathers will enter 2020 as a National League team. In large party because of Al-favorites Granny’s Quilt rejoining the league, Great Lakes’ needed to add depth to their veteran squad. In signing World Wiffleball Hall of Famer John Premetz, Whit, and a few other Whitecats, President of Baseball Operations Matador did just that. Matador’s beastly presence was concern enough for opposing players without having to worry about a man-cat meowing at them. Whit’s dancing knuckleball coupled with his cat-like antics give the ‘Fathers a new feel heading into 2020. It remains to be seen how often Premetz will be able to contribute to the Godfathers, but the World Wiffle legend will surely be a good add when present. The savy vet's attendance will have a big impact on Great Lakes' 2020 outlook.

Union Mills Goon Squad

Josh Trim from the Brew Crew Hometown Days team.

- OF Zach Christy to the Cyclones 


The kids are back and... pretty much the same as ever. They lost Zach Christy to the Cyclones in what looked to be some high-school drama (classic wiffleball ruining friendships stuff, been there). That’s sort of a shame given that he was one of the Goon Squad’s key contributors last year. He’ll presumably be replaced by Brew Crew standout Josh Trim whom Union Mills signed in late March. Year One is always the toughest, and with a year of experience under their belts the Goon Squad didn’t need to drastically overhaul their roster. The future is bright. Plus, even if it isn’t they have some nice grass on their field. So, there’s that.


ORWBL Off-Season Review: AL Edition


Despite orwbl.com being dormant since August, a lot happened in our wiffle world over the last 9 months. Let's recap. Here is every announced transaction for the upcoming season, team-by-team along with some thoughts about the moves.

Maple City Magic

+ Another ring.
+ Motivation from the haters.
+ Alex "Big Al" Freedman from IR.

- OF Ryan Murphy back to EA.
- C Eric Johnson back to EA.


I’m not sure if you'd heard, but the Magic 3-peated. Another year, another Cinderella-story championship run for mainstream media’s darling Maple City. Fake News ORWBL.com will surely be pushing for another Magic championship ring, but the third rendition of Emery’s Army took a little away from the Magic’s depth. Maple City is still damn good and the loss of Murph and EJ will hurt less thanks to the plethora of fast-pitch talent from other leagues Al will have to choose from. Any team with Caleb, Drew, and Shane will be near the top of the standings. The lack of depth is somewhat concerning, however, word on the street is Al might actually play this year? 2020 is nuts man.

Twin Branch Billy Goats

+ New field.

- LF Connor VanOverberghe to the Newts.
- P Kadin Abegg to the Kings. 


While losing VanO and Abegg may seem to hurt on paper, Twin Branch has shown the ability to compete in major tournaments without those two in the past (most notably in their 2018 Hometown Cup Finals run). Young bucks Peyton Doran and Riley Smith will be asked to pick up some of the slack, but by no means should the 'Goats be written off. Their core four of Doran, Oletti, Frankie, and Keigan will be enough to carry whoever their eventual 5th guy is if needed. In normal circumstances, their reliance on four guys would be worrisome, however those four have missed a combined 1 game in the last two ORWBL seasons. They're about as reliable as it gets. Let's just hope Oletti doesn't overheat in that hoodie.

Granny’s Meatspins

+ OF Anthony Rieff from the Landsharks/Muffs.
+ OF Austin Rieff from the Landsharks/Muffs.


So... that was weird. Look, it makes sense. The Grannys guys are (about?) the same age as the Muffs and both squads have become name-stays in the tournament community. But I won't lie, seeing them team up is odd. It is a great fit, don't get me wrong. Everyone knows Grannys is good. That isn't what's held them back in ORWBL play. They're just inconsistent in the regular season. For that reason, the Rieffs are sort of a perfect fit. They're consistent, good, and like to drink... pretty much exactly what Granny's needs. The more I type, the more I like Granny's Muffs. Great pick-ups.

County Line Kings

+ LF Kody Webb from the Mechanics.
+ C Colton Boren from the Mechanics.
+ P Kadin Abegg from the Goats.


(This is going to be incredibly biased, bite me). This just feels right. When the Mechanics dropped out of ORWBL, Webb and Boren seemed like natural fits to be Kings. Boren has played with the Kings extensively in the past, and Webb has stuck to Boren like glue in ORWBL play. Abegg leaving the 'Goats for the Kings was icing on the cake. The trio have played together in the past (on a 2018 Landsharks team that was a two seed in the playoffs) and have obvious chemistry. Their style of play fits exactly the type of athletic, defensive team Forrester is trying to build on County Line. Really great signings which have the potential to be the biggest difference-maker out of all off-season transactions. 

Hudson Lake Heat

- LF Jasen Webb to California


The Heat have seldom been a team to make major moves, as their team is respectably made up of their group of boys. After adding Bailey Rhed at the trade deadline, the Heat finally seem to have the five guys they've always been destined to have. Losing Webb definitely hurts, as he is the best defensive player in the league. Rhed can replace some of Webb's prowess in the field, but until they sort out the outfield they'll need to rely on their big sticks to carry them.

FlatRock Cyclones

+ OF Tyler Shupert from the Mechanics.
+ P Nate Arndt from the Mechanics.
+ OF Zach Christy from the Goon Squad.


The Cyclones solidified their supporting cast around reigning MVP Mark Richards in the off-season, adding three players with very different backgrounds. Arndt has been around the game his whole life. A streaky hitter with a huge bat, a change of scenery might be exactly what this vet needed to unlock his full potential. Shupert joins his third team in less than a year after finishing his career year with the Mechanics following the trade deadline. The 2019 All-Star game MVP really made a name for himself last season and likely has the ability to go up a level with more experience. Finally, Christy is raw but has some pop in his bat. The former Goon Squad member surprisingly jumped ship after his rookie season and will add some youth and athleticism to an older-than-you-think FlatRock team.

Bourissa Hills Wildcards

+ Another box of fireball shooters


First off, Mo Burke is just a hell of a guy. I feel like that needs to be said every time the Wildcards are brought up. Great dude. Anyway, the Wildcards didn't really announce anything this off-season. They talked a little shit on twitter. I think Rehlander got married. Another one of them had a kid. Other than that, same old Wildcards. Always dangerous, always taken for granted, 2020 will probably go a lot like the previous X amount of Wildcard seasons. As far as the mini fireballs go, tell Mason to save me one. This media corporation will happily be bribed into positive coverage.