7/8 7/12 7/13 7/13 7/13 7/13 7/13 7/27 7/27 7/27 7/27 7/27 8/2 8/3 8/3 8/9 8/9 8/16 8/23
FS 3|3 FS 0|0 HB 0|2 BW 0|4 EL 1|1 ON 0|0 IS 0|13 EL 1|1 IS 0|0 WW 0|0 ON 3|0 KF 6|3 KF 0|1|0 FS 0 BW 1|2 EL 1|2 R★ 2 BW 0 The
WW 0|0 WA 1|1 KF 1|3 KF 1|10 HB 0|0 WA 3|3 WO 11|8 WA 0|2 WA 3|3 ON 3|3 WW 1|1 WO 0|0 EL 4|0|1 BW 2 WA 0|1 BW 0|0 G★ 0 EL 2 Thrill

Week 6

Frenchtown Field Constanti Field
6/5 6/5 6/5 6/5
BW 3|1|1|1 WW 4|7 CC 4|1 CC
WD 2|0|6|2 AK 5|6 AK 2|1 WW
Split 2-2 Split 1-1 CC w 2 PPD

Marquee Match-up:
June 5th | 12 PM | Constanti Field
Campus Commandos @ Ass Kickers

Who would have thought this? It is Week 6 and the Ass Kickers and Campus Commandos meet at even .500 records! Preseason predictions had these teams heading in opposite directions away from that number: Ass Kickers up, Commandos much further down. In fact, the Commandos (3-3 )are already at commissioner Coffee's three-win over/under betting line! The Ass Kickers 5-5 record may be selling them short and overly harsh at an outside glance, as three of those losses have come against the red-hot DeLoppes and dominating Git r' Done squad. The latter of which were both close games lost in walk-off fashion. So, don't let that record fool you, the Ass Kickers are still an elite team in WSEM and they will start to push back up the win column.

Like any good marquee the story here isn't limited to the numbers and play on the field, but also has some off the field, behind the scenes fire to it. It is no secret that both the Ass Kickers and Commandos are scrapping to piece rosters together week in and week out. Actually that hurdle has plagued many teams around the league, including the Warriors and the commissioner's Squirrels. So, a recent roster addition to the Commandos had Mike Constanti, captain of the Ass Kickers, upset with the way it went down.

Evan Bortmas (P) was put on the Squirrels roster before the season began as a spot-starter/occasional call up, but never played a game or met a Squirrel in person. He was subsequently removed from the roster around Week 2 of the season as the reality of him ever playing was looking increasingly unlikely. Although, communication between Bortmas and Coffee did persist. Jump forward to Week 5 where, as it happens, the Commandos were looking desperately for a second pitcher. Adam Grant, Commandos captain, being face-to-face discussing the need with Coffee was offered Bortmas' services and accepted, still unsure about his regularity of availability. Constanti immediately took issue with the move, seeing it as a sign of favoritism on the part of the front office members of the Squirrels not wanting to help teams ahead of them. His feelings on the issue were especially enticed in the wake of the problems facing what to do with players in fallout of the potential Westside Warriors fiasco. Constanti was told he could not outright sign Alex Shore of the Warriors to the Ass Kickers, because Shore had played games on a league roster [Ed. note: what to do if this situation presents itself is being talked about. Warriors players will be allowed to play in the league, most likely put on the rosters in the most need of them.]. The perceived double standard of giving one roster a player, and denying another the ability to pick one up does not sit well at all with Constanti.

And it just happens that those two rosters will be playing this Sunday at Constanti Field! At high noon! There has been no word on whether Bortmas will be in attendance, but the specter of this scenario surrounding him will for sure be looming over the proceedings. As if this isn't already building into a perfect storm of a series, the disheveled Warriors with all of their questions are the slated third opponent for Sunday's tri-meet. It is a lot of unstable ingredients in a volatile recipe, but hopefully the teams will channel their frustrations into the game and take it all out on the field. Belt a few HRs, burn your opponents with a few first-pitch Ks, and maybe even steal a call in the field to get even. ;)

On the field the game seems to slant in the Ass Kickers favor, despite offensive numbers being fairly even. The Ass Kickers as a team are hitting only 19 points higher than the Commandos (AK: .253,CC: .234) and slugging only 15 points higher (AK: .442, CC: .427), while the Commandos have a significantly higher OBP (AK: .369, CC: .428). The big factor, however, is pitching, and depth of pitching. Mike Constanti's ERA is continuing to drop week after week, and is down to 1.50 right now, compared to the 3.39 of likely number-one starter for the Commandos, Joe Seto. If Bortmas does not make his debut for the Commandos, then Seto will likely have to pitch all four games on the day without a dependable number-two in their bullpen. That could give the Ass Kickers all the looks they need to start teeing up Seto's stuff and turn the day into a hitting derby. Brian Constanti, number-two pitcher for the Ass Kickers, on the other hand has a respectable 3.38 ERA (1 point better than Campus' number-one, even) giving his brother the option of coming off the mound and saving his arm.

Elsewhere in Southeast Michigan: The Belgian Wiffles (1-3) will make their triumphant return on Saturday Sunday against the Wiffling DeLoppes (10-2)! WSEM has not seen this fan favorite team since Week 1. Captain David Buhr has since been on National Guard Drills for a few weeks and his team was unable to get their roster together in his absence. Belgian will be jumping straight into the thick of it again playing their full 4 game season series against the DeLoppes. Absolutely no slowly working back into things, just jumping straight into the action! Gotta love that. One last thing: given the teams sharing "wiffle" in their names, we have to give this series a name, like college football rivalries! Don't we? Dueling Wiffles... The Wiffle Cup... someone say something that sticks!

Week 5

Lafayette Park Frenchtown Field Westside Reservation
5/26 5/27 5/29
FS 2|5 AK 0|0 GD 12|14
CC 5|0 GD 1|2 WW 1|4
split 1-1 GD w 2 GD w 2

Marquee Match-up:
May 29th | 2 PM | The Westside Reservation
Westside Warriors @ Git r' Done

WSEM's biggest rivalry is Git r' Done and the Westside Warriors . Two younger generation teams, hyper-competitive, lots of energy, little restraint. Since Westside began playing with us last June they have an 14-11 record (3-2 in 2011), and Git r' Done has an 18-9 record (7-1 in 2011). Both were runners-up in a 2010 tournament. They have met up twice in each tournament, with GRD holding a 4-2 series lead. Including facing off for the Preseason "Wind Up" championship last week (GRD victory). They were originally slated to play Opening Weekend, but that got wiped from the schedule and now, finally, they get to go at each other on Memorial Weekend. What a backdrop! Making it an even more exciting affair is that this series will mark the opening of The Westside Reservation, the Warriors' home field.

On the field they are in each others' faces, loud, always trying their damnedest to show the other up. Their games draw everyone's attention in with the excitement they produce. Neither just wants to win, they want to make the other look horrible in the process: send them home totally disenfranchised with their heads between their legs.

Off the field they're still always on. Always loud. Once a week a roster member from one of the teams will take a jab at someone from the other and a new round of trash/shit/smack talk takes off. Usually it starts off with the game, a measuring contest with pitching or hitting numbers, calling out a poor performance, then subverting the numbers, escalating the war of words, and eventually just boiling down into a good old fashioned pissing contest over the internet. They get all eyes on them again. Commissioners have had to step in and shut down a few of the most recent shouting matches. The only things that have been left out of the back-and-forth so far are their mama's and the kitchen sink.

The rivalry's done both teams well, as every move/word from either team is can't miss entertainment. Literally. The talk between the two is unavoidable, the games are thrilling, and everyone is excited to see what they both are capable of accomplishing... or possibly demolishing.

Memorial Weekend Match-up:
Thursday May 26th | 6 & 7 PM | Lafayette Park
Flying Squirrels @ Campus Commandos

Two teams once nationally ranked, now no longer. A city once booming, now no longer. This is an underdog story. This is a comeback story. ... Or so Hollywood might hype it up that way. True points, though. Both the Squirrels and Commandos were flying high early in the season when they got to see their names put up in the lights of the NWLA rankings, but now they have both fallen off and slid out of the national spotlight. It's uncertain to say having played so few games so far, but the Commandos may just be returning to Earth. A .500 record is nothing to be ashamed of, especially for a team with little prior wiffleball experience that jumped into a league with a lot of unknowns. Sure, their 2 wins have come against the 0-10 Jason Mattseals, but they did take the feisty, armed-to-the-teeth Warriors to 12 innings before falling short this past weekend. So, they can definitely compete with high-quality teams in the league. The entire Commandos roster has an OBP of .419 or higher. Captain Adam Grant has 16 BB and Alex Linebrink isn't far behind with 12, so you know they are patient, willing to wait and build their success.

It is safe to say, however, that the Squirrels have slid completely off the table. They are a team that came into the season with a 13-7 franchise record, went 3-1 in the first week taking 2 from the Ass Kickers (5-3) and splitting with Belgian Wiffles (1-3), but since then they are on a 7-game losing streak. And the losses have not been close. The Squirrels' hitting is gone. Sure, the 7 straight losses have come to the Warriors (1), DeLoppes (2), and Git r' Done (4), who are all in the top-half of the league, but they didn't even put up a real fight against these teams. Once thought to be a contender for the WSEM championship, the Squirrels are teetering on now looking like a complete joke.

The Squirrels are shaking up their roster in Week 5, though, as it has become evident that Jon McKinnie will not be available. Mike Merlo will fill McKinnie's spot on the team and bring another pitching arm to their rotation, much needed with Murtha's absence this Thursday. Maybe the new blood in the lineup and the co-commissioners want to impress him will be the spark that can get this Squirrels lineup clicking again and climbing back up the standings.

I can hear the murmuring, the question in your head turning, as you're reading this. You are asking: how does a match-up between teams with records of 3-8 and 2-2 get highlighted? Well, it is the only series on the bill this Memorial Day Weekend was the only series on the bill this Memorial Day Weekend until late Tuesday night. So, you could go with that reason, or think about it cinematically: what's the drama in this series? What effects could the outcome of these games have? And there is and are plenty. Both teams have slid from their early lofty expectations; this Thursday is a chance for these teams to stand back on their feet, retake command of their season, and start climbing their way back up the league. Take that question turning in your head and turn it on itself: this match-up is a turning point in the season.

Week 4

Lafayette Park Frenchtown Field Frenchtown Field
5/20 5/21 5/22 5/22 5/22
WW 6|13 FS 0|5| 0|1 JM 0|0 AK 2|2 AK 5|7
CC 5|0 GD 7|8| 9|11 WD 10|10 WD 7|0 JM 0|1
WW w 2 GD w 4 WD w 2 Split 1-1 AK w 2

Marquee Match-up:
May 22nd | 1 PM | Frenchtown Field
Ass Kickers @ Wiffling DeLoppes
The DeLoppes are on fire right now, riding a seven-game winning streak into Week 4. Both their offense and their pitching are clicking, and if you find yourselves down against them going into the final inning, Chucky McDonald will take the mound and make sure you stay down. Presumably, if you manage to have a lead late in the game against the DeLoppes McDonald could come in, shut you down, and give his team the chance to come back and win. That situation is yet have risen.

The aforementioned pitching has always been there. Chad Hoppe is accurate, doesn't walk many, has lots of pitches to throw at you; he won't overpower you, but he won't give you much to rip either while he tricks you out of your cleats. Cliff Comstock, a southpaw, is a good addition to the DeLoppes rotation: similar to Chad, he won't blow you away with speed, but he spots his pitches very well. Forcing you to hit the pitches he wants you to, more often than not where he wants you to: notably into the hands of one his above average defenders; namely the sure-handed, quick-footed Joey Delano ranging around the outfield. Can you get the bat on the ball against the DeLoppes? Yes, but that is not the question. The question is can do anything with the pitches you get the ball on? So far this year, that answer is a resounding, "no."

The biggest part of the DeLoppes hot start to the 2011 season isn't their pitching, though. It is their hitting that shot up out of nowhere. Up and down the lineup they can do damage. The big sluggers, the heavy damage doers are DeLano and Nick Snow who are candidates for doubles and home runs every time they step up to the plate. You can't pitch around them either, because Bobby Hoppe, BJ Hoppe, and Cliff Comstock can also slap the ball around, find holes, and drive the ball to the wall. There aren't many reprieves or easy outs in this DeLoppes lineup; you have to make your pitches to count and not make any mistakes to escape an inning clean. The new black and silver look seems to be working for the DeLoppes, giving them a new found winning culture in their clubhouse.

Speaking of winning cultures: the Ass Kickers won their first ever wiffleball experience last June. The team expected that streak to continue when the 2011 season began, but things got off to a stutter-step start losing their first two games. They did rebound, however, winning their next two games. Off to a .500 start the Ass Kickers are not in bad shape, still in the top half of the league, and at only three games behind the DeLoppes they are in a position to be at the top if they can take the two games against them this Sunday.

Looking at the results so far, you might think that the Ass Kickers shot at taking games from the DeLoppes is slim. The Squirrels who beat the Ass Kickers twice just lost two to the DeLoppes. Although, if you look a little closer, you'll see the Squirrels lost 2-1 and 2-0: low-scoring defensive battles. Offense has never been a problem for the Ass Kickers. So, if Brian Constanti and Mike Constanti pitch to their potential, they have a real shot at winning these games. Brian can hammer the inside corner to right-handed hitters with a hard-cutter that usually results in soft ground balls. Controlling that corner may give him the advantage in getting through the DeLoppes lineup. Mike has also come a long way with both accuracy and movement in his pitching this year, giving the Ass Kickers a solid number-two for their rotation. In combination with the Ass Kickers potent offense, his pitching is good enough to give them the chance to win any game.

Now, if I had to predict the outcome of this two-game Sunday series... I wouldn't! I see two close games. Offensively, I give the advantage to the deep DeLoppes lineup. Defensively, DeLoppes get the nod as well. Pitching is a little tougher. The Ass Kickers throw harder and if they have their stuff working are harder to hit, but the DeLoppes seem to always have their stuff and hit their spots. There is one absolutely sure thing, though. If you want to see a game of wiffleball with lots of hard rips all over the yard, then you should check out one of these games. Both lineups will keep defenders on their toes and moving around the spacious grounds of Frenchtown Field. That said, the pitching will also be first-rate and there will definitely be plenty of "oooh!" worthy swings and misses along with some "damn!" worthy backwards Ks.

Elsewhere around WSEM: Git r' Done and recently proven pretenders, the Flying Squirrels, have both been playing since 2009, but have never met on the field. Saturday's series will be the first meeting for these squads and it comes with a few questions. 1) Is Dennis Pearson's arm okay to pitch? How will it hold up if he does? 2) Week 1 saw the Squirrels offense rake 32 hits to lead the league; Week 3 saw that number reduced to about 6. Which is the real Squirrels lineup? Or, at least, which will show up? ... The Jason Mattseals are still looking to get in the win column, and this Sunday will be a hard challenge to get that done with four games against the recently flaunted Ass Kickers and DeLoppes. ... Lastly, the week leads off with the Westside Warriors (1-2) heading to Lafayette Park to take on the Campus Commandos (2-0) in two games. Captain Alex Shore is upset with his team's attendance and losing twice this past week, so expect him to take out some frustrations having his team running like crazy around the bases against the Commandos. The question still remains: are the 2-0 Commandos for real? The Warriors energy, speed, and quality will be their first true test on Friday night.

Week 3

Frenchtown Field Lafayette Park Frenchtown Field
5/14 5/14 5/14 5/15 5/15
FS 1|0 FS 0 WW 1|3 AK BW
WD 2|2 WW 4 WD 4|6 CC GD
WD w 2 WW w 1 WD w 2 PPD PPD

Marquee Match-up:
May 14th | 2 PM | Frenchtown Field
Flying Squirrels @ Wiffling DeLoppes

Return to action in Week 3 includes the important opportunity to measure up the 2-0 Campus Commandos 46 against the 2-2 veteran Ass Kickers Sunday afternoon at Lafayette Park. The teams will play their full 4-game season series! The Commandos winning percentage has them sitting atop the WSEM standings after one week of play, but it is hard to fully determine what they truly are capable of with their only wins coming against the 0-6 Jason Mattseals. The Ass Kickers are expected to be an above .500 team and their only losses this season so far come against the highly touted Flying Squirrels. So, the Ass Kickers should give the Commandos their first taste of real, serious Wiffle in Southeast Michigan.

No less exciting, the Westside Warriors will make their 2011 debut this weekend! Great to have this team out as they bring an unequaled energy to the game when they are on the field; Westside just takes the whole thing to another level with their style of play. That said, their presence may be out shined by the match-up of their tri-meet counterparts, the Wiffling DeLoppes 29 (3-1) and Flying Squirrels 16 (3-1). The DeLoppes and Squirrels over the past two years have competed several times, almost always in 1-run games; a couple of which have been won in walk-off fashion, if memory serves correct. These two teams have always kept it tight with great pitching, low scoring affairs, but with Snow, Delano, and Comstock seemingly bulking up the DeLoppes offense they may give their team the advantage and claim their first win against the Squirrels. The unbalanced W-L record is the only thing keeping this short of a great rivalry, and the DeLoppes look like they are poised to make that a non-factor in 2011.

The Squirrels are still no slouches in the batters box, out-slugging (FS-.659, WD-.556) and hitting for better average (FS-.364, WD-.319) than the DeLoppes. In fact, the Squirrels lead the league in hits (32) and home runs (8). There is trouble attached to those stats, though, as the Squirrels are also last in the league in runs scored (15). Clutch hitting is obviously missing for the Squirrels after one week, and that is clearly evident in the stats; Corbett and Murtha both have 3 HR and just 6 RBI, while Coffee has 2 HR with only 3 RBI. Corbett also has 2 doubles further reinforcing that the Squirrels big hits are coming without runners on.

The DeLoppes pitching rotation, as expected, has come out dominant to start the 2011 season. Chad Hoppe leads the league with a 1.00 ERA, a 3.43 K/BB ratio, and 2.4 KPI (strike-outs per inning). Cliff Comstock is also in the top 5 for ERA with a 2.78 and an excellent 4.67 K/BB ratio. The two have surrendered a staggeringly low 7 runs in their 4 games. For the Squirrels Corbett struggled to find the zone in week one, uncharacteristically walking 11 and being pulled in his second start. However, Matt Murtha still managed to shine in his performance: 1.00 WHIP, 2.08 ERA, 27 Ks (leading the league), and a 4.50 K/BB ratio. Murtha's pitching definitely kept the Squirrels in their games and provided the opportunity to win their usual low scoring affairs. Corbett will need to have a better start and much better control against the Warriors and DeLoppes, as both teams are notorious for being patient hitters and taking walks. In week one the DeLoppes took 34 BB, nearly double the rest of the league that played 4 games. Frenchtown Field won't have the mud that Constanti Field did, so I expect the Squirrels pitching to be improved on both fronts. I also expect the DeLoppes pitching to improve or at least stay on its strong course, and the Warriors will likely come charging out of the gates with the feeling they need to prove themselves after missing week one. Expect Minnesota Twins style play with small-ball, stretching singles into doubles/doubles into triples, and flat-out hotly contested but good humored games won or lost on one key play. This should be a day filled with exciting finishes and flashes of brilliance!

Closing notes: The Jason Mattseals are opting to take the week off having played six games already. At the time of writing this Git r' Done 22 was still in talks with the Belgian Wiffles to try to set up games on Sunday at Frenchtown Field, but nothing official had been added to the schedule but they have now confirmed 2 games to be played at 5pm at Frenchtown Field. Oh yeah, and I haven't yet mentioned that provided the Ass Kickers handle the Commandos as expected and the Belgian Wiffles vs. Git r' Done games do not happen, then the DeLoppes and Squirrels rivalry could be a battle for first-place! ... With the Warriors looking to play spoilers!

Week 2

Mothers' Day Match-up:
May 8th | 1 PM | Frenchtown Field
No Games

The only two teams who set something up for this week just played last week! And now the Mattseals and Git r' Done will be finished with their season series for the year! We're rivaling the NHL for shoddy scheduling at this point. C'mon guys, talk to each other, figure things out, set dates, and get the info to us. You don't have to go week by week, either. Set games up as far into the future as you can. Please, make this run smoothly.

This match-up could prove a good one, though. Last week Git r' Done trailed in the third inning in both games against the Mattseals before they were able to string the hits together and win in come back fashion. With that said, do I expect that to happen again? No. Well, half-no: I do expect Git r' Done to walk away with two more wins in their pocket, but I don't expect the Mattseals to make it as close. Last week Git r' Done was saving their best for the DeLoppes and coasting through the Mattseals games. This week they don't need to play with those limitations. Notice that I removed the "Marquis Match-up" tag for this week. I do not see these being exciting games. I see these as filler games on a schedule, but coming at a point where they are all there is to talk about.

Sure, Jeff Biegas leads the league in hits... but he's also played two games more than other teams. So, there's a grain and a half of salt to take with that stat. The fact is that stats that actually tell the tale are bitter. The 'Seals do not have a pitcher on their active roster with an ERA below 9.19, the team batting average is .259, and they have 39 total bases in 6 games, while Git r' Done has 45 in just 4 games. On paper this match-up is one-sided, and on the field with Git r' Done being able to put their best food forward it will be even more lopsided. For a phrase that captures it entirely, I'll quote Kalamazoo Wiffleball League commissioner, Brian Meyers: Those poor Mattseals.