Shake-ups abound after another raucous week of underhand toss competition. Week 7 has proven that the dynamics of an entire league can be drastically altered overnight; all it takes is the world's worst managerial decision (comon', pinch hitting a man in a coma!?), an entire team whose namesake has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection, and the arrest of a certain right fielder (yeah, that schmuck again) who has been charged with his 5th DUI in 3 years. As the season stumbles beyond the midway point, I am once again reminded that I am a mere iota away from throwing my arms in the air and screaming "Oh my god, I'm wasting my life."
1. Jolly Miser Tavern (up 1) -As far as I'm concerned, the seething debate over which establishment is the best/least completely ramshackle dive bar in Tuckersville has concluded with the team's 1-0 win over their arch-rivals Come On Inn last Tuesday night. In fairness, the game left much to be desired since a soft toss pitcher's duel between two middle-age unemployed divorcees felt a lot like watching the blood gradually drain out of a weeping teddy bear. At least the Miser makes a ripping tuna melt sandwich.
2. Garth's Hardware (up 4)-Just when everyone thought that this team was doomed to another season of despair, three decisive wins in less than a week has proven otherwise. Third baseman, and company owner, Garth Hendershot hit for the cycle on Thursday, although the elusive triple was merely the product of Hendershot pulling up lame while rounding second base as the left fielder desperately searched for the ball in the shrubs beyond the foul line. Teammates successfully drug a writhing Hendershot to third base, and ultimately a win.
3. Dry Bones Waterproofing (up 5)-The largest climb in this week's power rankings. The team responded admirably to three recent lawsuits filed by disgruntled homeowners after last Monday's heavy downpour. Dry Bones outscored their opponents 17-4 over the week, and is likely to secure a spot in the playoffs if things keep up. One word of caution though-never, under any circumstances, sign a contract with Dry Bones Waterproofing for your basement waterproofing needs.
4. Come On Inn (no change)-Let's face it, this team should've beaten Jolly Miser Tavern Tuesday night. Trailing by 1 run, with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the 9th, manager Clint Finklestein actually handed the umpire a lineup card declaring Ray Fudd as the pinch hitter. Folks, Ray Fudd has been in a coma at Tuckersville Mercy Hospital since April. When asked after the game, Finklestein said the incident was a "slight oversight...I couldn't see all the way to the end of the bench." Since friggin' April! The umpire was so confounded he called the game.
5. Bunyan's Lumber (up 2)-Ironically, a team with the word Bunyan in its title has the most stolen bases to this point in the season. They also have the league's most dominant hitter, Paul Burt, the freakishly powerful deaf-mute who is as well known for hauling white oak two-by-fours into your flatbed as he is for hitting home runs. His fielding is suspect though-I once watched him attempt to snatch a meandering dandelion fuzzy from midair while the opposing team batted around twice.
6. Chaz Mackenzie Automotive (down 7)-I almost feel bad dropping this team down 6 spots since last week. Not only has the team's namesake not sold a car in over two weeks, their center fielder, Thomas Ripley, has been arrested again on a DUI charge and will being doing considerable time at the Tuckersville State Correctional Institution. When asked if his team might conjure a second wind by rallying around the embattled centerfielder, team owner Chad Mackenzie replied with an emphatic "Fuck him."
7. Kerplucks Pool Supplies (down 2)-An appropriate name for a team that has fallen from the 2 spot since opening day. What can I say? My preseason prediction of a league championship is embarrassingly terrible in retrospect. They can't pitch, field, or run the bases with any consistency. However, perennial backup catcher Chuck Lewendowski, who was idling at the bench's end, did let loose a belch for the ages with two outs and runners on first and third in the bottom of the fifth during a tight game against Dry Bones On Monday. Several children, and one enfeebled bystander, had to be evacuated from the bleachers to the safety of the concessions stand. All affected returned to their seats once the tainted air was wafted away by one courageous young fan.
8. Brandon Textiles (down 5)-Who expected anything more, really? Their early season late-inning heroics have dried-up, and the precipitous tumble has begun. With no end in sight, sources say the team plans to pass around a leftover mesh hat (after the team ordered one too many-no wonder they stink), pony-up the cash to rent a bulldozer, and then bulldoze the ballpark late one night, before they can crash into the proverbial cellar once again. The rumor mill began churning when the manager was overheard screaming "Okay, we have raised enough money to rent a bulldozer and bulldoze the park." Local police are on the lookout.
9. Lancelot Bail Bonds (no change)-Poor guys. Not only has the team been lousy since the birth of the league itself, the company behind the team has filed for bankruptcy. Business owner and relief pitcher Quincy Klinefelder has yet to confirm that the beleaguered squad will disband, but he has hinted at the possibility. Maybe it's best. The team owes a collective $545.00 in entrance fees (plus late penalties) since 2008, and is unlikely to become solvent anytime soon. Furthermore, Klinefelder has been on suicide watch since the filing Wednesday morning. Last night's drubbing at the hands of Bunyan's Lumber makes it all the more likely he will call it quits and pull the trigger. Even in the throes of such tragedy, it is unlikely that league officials will waive the fees.