Opening Week ends with Wiffle-filled Sunday
All 8 teams were in action Sunday at the Dirtyard for the Opening Week round robin tournament.
The Moonshots and Short Shorts both went 3-0 to collect their respective division titles. Both of the 2019 World Series participants, the 8 Balls and Yakkers, struggled en route to a 1-2 record on the day.
The teams displayed the much-improved competitive depth of the 2020 CCW field, and the packed standings reflect that.
League leaders: https://www.mystatsonline.com/ballsports/visitor/league/stats/leaders.aspx?IDLeague=53281
Player of the Week: Will Smithey
The Moonshots (3-0) finished Sunday looking down at the rest of CCW in the standings, and a large part of that can be credited to Smithey’s contribution from the plate and mound.
The 2019 Rookie of the Year turned in a 2-0 pitching record, striking out 14 hitters and allowing only 4 runs. At the plate, Smithey hit .786 with 4 HR and 10 RBI, including a walk-off grand slam against the Yakkers.
All-State “You’re in Good Hands” Play of the Week
The Pork Pistols used an impressive display of teamwork to cut down TWO would-be runs in one play.
View the play here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWGrsRlct2U
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Thursday, June 11
6 PM: 8 Balls (2-3) vs Pork Pistols (3-2)
8 PM: Moonshots (3-0) vs Short Shorts (3-0)
Sunday, June 14
2 PM: Yakkers (1-4) vs Outlaws (0-5) – 3 game series
CCW Fantasy Wiffle
With the first week officially in the books, circlecitywiffleball.com/fantasy-wiffle will now transform into the home of all the information you’ll need to keep tabs on your team.
Please note that stats and points are updated manually, so allow some time following the completion of games for fantasy stats to be updated.
Reid Werner threw a perfect game vs the Pork Pistols on Sunday afternoon. Werner went 6 perfect frames, striking out 16 hitters and becoming only the second pitcher to record a perfect game (Mike Speek Sr., 2017).
Austin Church hit 1 home run to become the 9th player to join the 50 home run club.
Josh Hart releases hilarious season preview article
Although he lives 2 hours away and knows less about CCW now than he ever has, Hart has continued the tradition of writing the annual CCW preview article.
The article acts more as a CCW roast than a substantial preview, and nobody is safe from being roasted!
Read the article here: https://www.circlecitywiffleball.com/news/2020-ccw-preview
By Joshua Hart
Hey everyone. As our nation faces an international pandemic, stares down the barrel of a severe economic recession, and gears up for the most important Civil Rights movement in this country since the 60’s, it means there is only one thing to talk about. Midwestern, backyard wiffle ball! Can you feel the energy??
I am back, and a week late this time! Apparently, Circle City Wiffle Ball league commissioner Brendan Dudas was simply too busy working on his seventh 2K myPlayer build from March through May to reach out and plan this article with me. The league delayed opening day for crying out loud! I should simmer down though. No one had any extra free time on their hands the past few months to read about upcoming summer events, so publishing a season preview after the season started in June was the best logistical option.
So once again, I have risen from my one-bedroom Mishawaka apartment to write this article for 16 people. I dream one day I will be able to get out of writing this due to a backpacking trip in New Zealand or some kind of exotic honeymoon with my future wife. Unfortunately, 2020 was not having it. Until then...
It seems from an outsider's perspective that sweeping changes were not a major focus of the league this offseason. In 2019, it was about rebranding a league for a wider audience with slick social media accounts and an increased effort to improve team and field quality. Sure, there’s been some tinkering to team names and rosters in 2020. However, it appears CCW may be exiting the developmental stage of league building and entering into a more stable, consistent production. Hopefully you realize that bouquet of words was code for Josh did not actually care to research if any changes happened or not. It sounds eloquent though!
Alright, alright...I do believe there is a new rule that allows hitters after earning a walk to make a decision between receiving soft pitches to hit (any strike and the batter is out) or simply taking the earned walk. The hope is to add an element of decision-making the league has not seen before, deter pitchers from throwing around quality hitters, and spike the amount of home runs in an average game. I wish I had a joke here...seems like a cool rule. Let’s give credit to Cody House for this one. He certainly is not the kind of guy I would make a queso quip about.
8 Balls - Ugh, these guys again. Look, they are really good (62-15 and two titles in three years of league play), and they might just become the first dynasty in league history. With the roster returning intact, the 8 Balls had to look for other challenges to overcome this offseason such as finding a way to improve team uniforms, which they didn’t. Once again, the squad is led almost entirely by the Sr/Jr duo of Mike Speek. While Sr. is quickly heading towards becoming the first player in CCW history with an AARP membership, Jr. might just be entering his prime, which is terrifying for the rest of the league. Joining the Speek’s per usual is jar of mayonnaise Zach McFarland and Connor Morris, a hostage of the Speek family. Blink twice if you want to play for another team Connor!
Short Shorts - Ahh yes, the team that cares more about its’ Twitter account than actual performance on the field. Despite their status as a consistent title contender, this organization has sneakily regressed since the departure of...guess who? Me! A 2015 title and 2017 runner-up performance were the peaks of this franchise. After my exit in 17, the team has not returned to a championship series. There are no other possible explanations for this. And if there are, I have no intentions to listen to them.
The SS are again led by commissioner Dudas. A regular in the MVP discussion, he tops pretty much everyone’s list for league player that’s the most enjoyable to watch struggle. With the influx of quality pitching across the league for the 2020 season, one can only hope. Returning to the Shorts is prodigal son Keegan Caughey, who was viciously terminated in a Red Wedding level betrayal from the Moonshots by dear friend and former roommate Blake Voris. Caughey claims to be prepared to go on a “revenge tour” of sorts in 2020. With his 31 walks and 4 home runs in 2019 in mind, opposing teams are absolutely terrified at the raw power an angry Caughey will bring to the table.
The team is rounded out with Dylan Jones who I’m not even sure is playing, Jake Sprinkle (hahahahaha his last name is Sprinkle), local hippie Taylor Dehart, and Aidan Palmer, a kid I worry is dangerously close to buying Supreme t-shirts.
Moonshots - Coming off an extremely disappointing 2019 season that saw the Moonshots go 5-13, changes had to be made by the previously mentioned team manager Blake Voris, a man passionately committed to wearing his watches. One of these major shake ups included bringing over Reid Werner and Will Smithey from the shutdown Hounds organization, who were #1 and #3 in total strikeouts during the 2019 season, respectfully. The group fills out with a couple of B+ players that have probably seen their best days already go by them in Tyler Gregory and Austin Church. Similar to three-day old leftovers you have for lunch on Wednesday, expect the Moonshots to leave you with a sense of disappointment and despair throughout the 2020 season.
Noodlers - Just like the seasonal flu and Converse Chucks, the Noodlers find a way to be relevant each and every year. This time around, the roster is constructed with a 2016 championship-level team that includes the aforementioned Cody House, great dad Sawyer Mitchell, and the always serious Jordan Tackett (whose wedding I crashed, but that’s a story for another day). The secret sauce that might actually produce a title is one Caleb Jonkman, a star on the national wiffle circuit who decided it was worth commuting to Indy to play wiffle ball with players that have personalities and lives. Consistent attendance from Jonkman will be critical to the Noodlers contending status.
Yakkers - The Yakkers BS’d their way to a title appearance despite a forgettable 12-9 record in 2019. These guys seem like the Houston Rockets of CCW, always around to make things more competitive, but no one is actually threatened by them. This group is led by unseasoned potato Rudy Lyon, and a bunch of other forgettable, pasty white dudes. The one interesting thing about this bunch is the addition of Ryan Voges, who I believe is really good, but once again do not care to clarify that assumption. Similar to Jonkman, sources tell me he is not a resident of central Indiana so week-by-week status of Voges playing could be an issue.
Pork Pistols - Allegedly, the Pork Pistols are the fun, “wild” group that actually has female friends. I was wildly disappointed in 2019 when I heard zero reports of arrests, brawls, or other extremely devious behavior by them. Part of me wonders if they are just another group of basic dudes who drink beer and talk a big game, but end up going to bed at 10:30 every night after watching reruns of NCIS. I want to take this space to personally challenge them to be better (or is it worse?) this season. Circle City needs it. Scandal is the quickest way to new audience members online.
As far as wiffle goes, they have some players. Christian Leffler is good. They won’t win the title, and they won’t finish last.
Hackers - It appears the Hackers believed this was going to be a basketball league as their roster boasts 7(!) players. I certainly hope they all enjoy their 2 at-bats per game. The Hackers are led by a man with the tiniest nipples I have ever seen in Michael Plourde, a player who has a genuine heart of gold and a wiffle ball skill set that mirrors TJ McConnell. Plourde is joined by Holden Palmer, someone who certainly says, “I don’t care, where do you want to go?” every time he’s asked to pick a restaurant for dinner. Tucker Carlson fan and guy who doesn’t look great in sunglasses Spencer Schreindeir also returns as a force to be vaguely reckoned with. The other players on the Hackers I’m sure have fun personalities and stories to share.
Outlaws - I do not even know if this team exists or Dudas put it into the website to screw with me. Let’s roll with them being an expansion team. Welcome to the league, and congrats on being single! If you do anything of relevance (you won’t) in the 2020 season, I will donate $20 to the charity of your choice. Good luck.
MVP: Mike Speek Jr.
Cy Young: Christian Leffler (Pork Pistols)
Silver Slugger: Brendan Dudas (Short Shorts)
Rookie of the Year: Caleb Jonkman (Noodlers)
Defensive Player of the Year: Per tradition, someone who tries way too hard
Championship: Noodlers over 8 Balls
Most Likely To’s
Look the worst post-quarantine: Taylor Dehart
Break any concept of social distancing immediately: Everyone in the league
Leave for 15 minutes to get something in their car: Holden Palmer
Destroy his body attempting to run through the Dirtyard fence: James Hayworth
Choose to take his base after ball four to “protect his OBP”: Spencer Schneider
Bring up wiffle ball on a date: Rudy Lyon
Attempt to sell you on the value of Bitcoin based on one article they read: Aaron Rogers
Have gained 10 lbs but somehow still look pretty darn good: Tyler Gregory
Not do anything impressive or noteworthy: Everyone on the Outlaws
Say he’s a “coach only” after his first bad game: Blake Voris
Wear a ridiculous hat: Cody House
Make himself impossible to dislike with really pleasant conversation: Mike Speek Sr.
Have the most in-game arguments: Austin Church and Brendan Dudas
Show up for no reason: Dakota Rogers
Blow up on someone about the 2020 election: Keegan Caughey
Argue to change the rules back once they realize they still suck: Pork Pistols
Opening Week Ripe with Juicy Storylines
We are less than a week from Wiffle and this season appears to be the most interesting and competitive yet!
Monday: The past two CCW champs, the Noodlers and 8 Balls, will clash on the Dirtyard for Opening Night. Caleb Jonkman, the 2x National Player of the Year, will square off with the current king of the CCW hill, Mike Speek Jr. Both players ranked inside the top 30 in the 2019 installment of The Drop’s top 100 Wiffle players. Jonkman will become the first player to play in all 4 of the major Indiana Wiffle leagues.
Tuesday: Both CCW expansion teams, the Hackers and Outlaws, take aim at their first wins. Eric Starke (Hackers) and Aaron Rogers (Outlaws) both feel confident about their rosters, and they’re each looking to buck the trend of expansion teams being doormats for the better CCW franchises. Rogers has already labeled his rookie pitcher, Mitch Buis, as a rookie of the year contender.
Wednesday: The Pork Pistols have spent the offseason fuming after getting the short end of the CCW playoff stick last season. Rudy Lyon and the re-tooled Yakkers find themselves on the opposing side of the revenge tour to start the season, but the addition of CCW-slayer Ryan Voges and promising newcomer Dustin Dowden ensures the Yaks will remain a CCW title contender. All things considered, the biggest storyline here MIGHT just be whether or not the lines will be chalked before Hopkins arrives at the field.
CCW Fantasy Wiffle
The deadline to submit rosters is Tuesday, May 26th (TONIGHT) at 10 PM.
When the season begins on June 1st, the CCW Fantasy Wiffle page will transform into the hub for all of the stats and leaderboards you’ll need to track your team’s performance.
Confirmed prizes for the best teams include CCW logo hats by Branded Bills and a custom CCW logo drink tumbler! Submit your roster and $10 entry by 10 PM tonight!
Governor Eric Holcomb has updated the Indiana social distancing guidelines to allow for outdoor recreational activities (such as Wiffle ball). The easing of social restrictions does NOT mean the virus and its dangers are gone; it simply means that hospitals are confident in their ability to handle an influx of patients.
We have several at risk individuals within the league and we all likely come into contact with older relatives. PLEASE monitor yourself for symptoms and respect the space of people aiming to keep distance. To help lower risk, teams will be required to bring their own bats and seating.
Week 1 Power Rankings
Based on average ranking from each coach
1.8 Balls (1.3)
2.Short Shorts (2.9)
6.Pork Pistols (4.9)
Dirtyard to Remain Closed
The Dirtyard WILL be ready to go come June 1st, but will remain closed to practices through the end of May. The field directly behind the Dirtyard is open, and I encourage the use of it for batting, pitching and scrimmages.
In an effort to KEEP the Dirtyard beautiful, we want to give the grass plenty of time to establish before getting trampled by gameplay. Thanks for your understanding.
8 CCW members took turns picking players in a fantasy-style draft. Their goal was simple: to assemble the best all-time roster possible.
The draft resulted in eight 5-man squads of players stretching all the way back to Circle City Wiffle’s beginnings. Surprising players rose and fell based on the coaches’ strategies.
See the draft results below. Who do YOU think picked the best team?
Drafting Members: Blake Voris, Mike Speek Sr. Rudy Lyon, Dylan Jones, Cody House, Tyler Gregory, Brendan Dudas, Reid Werner
1. Mike Speek Jr. – Team Voris
MVP ('19), Cy Young ('19), 2 x CCW Champ
2. Will Smithey – Team Speek
Rookie of the Year ('19)
3. Brian Schaler – Team Lyon
2x Cy Young, CCW Champion ('18), Rookie of the Year ('16)
4. Dakota Rogers – Team Jones
MVP ('17), Silver Slugger ('17), Triple Crown ('17) CCW Champion ('18), ROTY ('15)
5. Brendan Dudas – Team House
3x MVP, 4x Silver Slugger, 4x Triple Crown, CCW Champion ('15)
6. Mike Speek Sr. – Team Gregory
Cy Young ('17), 2x CCW Champion
7. Rudy Lyon – Team Dudas
8. Aidan Palmer – Team Werner
9. Taylor DeHart – Team Werner
10. Austin Church – Team Dudas
MVP ('14), CCW Champion ('16)
11. Tyler Gregory – Team Gregory
CCW Champion ('18)
12. Blake Voris – Team House
13. Reid Werner – Team Jones
Rookie of the Year ('17)
14. Conor Morris – Team Lyon
CCW Champion ('19)
15. Keegan Caughey – Team Speek
CCW Champion ('15)
16. Christian Leffler – Team Voris
17. Sawyer Mitchell – Team Voris
Cy Young ('15), CCW Champion ('14)
18. James Haworth – Team Speek
19. Drake Capps – Team Lyon
2x CCW Champion
20. Jordan Tackett – Team Jones
Silver Slugger ('14)
21. Cody House – Team House
Cy Young ('14), CCW Champion ('18)
22. Dylan Jones – Team Gregory
23. Brandon Benedict – Team Dudas
CCW Champion ('16)
24. Devon Hensley – Team Werner
Rookie of the Year ('18)
25. Holden Palmer – Team Werner
26. Slater Burger – Team Dudas
CCW Champion ('14)
27. Zach McFarland – Team Gregory
2x CCW Champion
28. Christian Abner – Team House
CCW Champion ('14)
29. Bailey Buescher – Team Jones
30. Thomas Hopkins – Team Lyon
31. Dave Bailey – Team Speek
32. Mason Nickell – Team Voris
CCW Champion ('16)
33. Colin Miller – Team Voris
34. Joshua Hart – Team Speek
CCW Champion ('15)
35. Jake Sprinkle – Team Lyon
36. Michael Plourde – Team Jones
37. Dillon Douthitt – Team House
38. Jeremy McIntyre – Team Gregory
39. Griffin Ball – Team Dudas
40. Jacob Harris – Team Werner
TEAM HITTING TOTALS
TEAM PITCHING TOTALS
Head to Twitter and let us know who YOU think put together the BEST All-Time roster!
Decision made on season start date
Circle City Wiffle will return to action the week of June 1st. “Opening Week” will feature one matchup per night from Monday, June 1 through Thursday, June 4 and culminate in the Opening Week round robin tourney on Sunday, June 7.
The decision to begin the season comes on the heels of Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s announcement to ease stay-at-home orders and allow gatherings of up to 25 people.
CCW plans to limit the number of people allowed at the Dirtyard while offering solutions for disinfecting bats, balls and hands. The league strongly encourages anyone experiencing symptoms to inform CCW officials and stay home.
All games during the CCW season will be live streamed on Periscope (@circlecitywiff) and uploaded to YouTube the following day.
The CCW Board met via Zoom Sunday night to discuss modifications to some of the rules heading into 2020. Summaries of these modifications are listed below:
CCW members, both new and old, took turns selecting players in an all-time CCW player draft. The result was eight 5-player teams and a list of the 40 best Circle City Wifflers of all time.
Each coach displayed a unique strategy when picking their team which led to some surprising names rising and falling on the list.
The selecting members enjoyed the exercise. One anonymous member wants to see these teams in action: “I want to see these come to life on the field! A weekend draft-style tournament would be an insanely fun and competitive time.”
The selection committee, player list and complete rosters will be revealed this week! Stay tuned and prepare to let them know who YOU think picked the best all-time roster.
Dirtyard Dish to return on May 22
After a brief hiatus, Dirtyard Dish will release a new episode this Friday. The original episode schedule included a fantasy Wiffle panel and a season prediction show in the two weeks leading up to Opening Day.
With the updated timeline, expect those two topics to be discussed during each of the next two Friday episodes.
If you’d like to be included in an episode, please contact @DirtyardDish on Twitter or reach out personally.
Prizes for CCW Fantasy Wiffle
The season is right around the corner, and fantasy Wiffle rosters are due May 24th! If you haven’t selected your roster yet, head to circlecitywiffleball.com/fantasy-wiffle. Good luck!
Circle City Wiffle is pleased to confirm the following prizes, with more to be announced soon:
On This Day
May 17, 2017
Circle City Wiffle brought LIGHT to the Dirtyard!
Around the Wiffle World
I can't wait to get back out to the Dirtyard! If you or your team wants to set up a small practice, text me and we can work it out!
Aaron Rogers – Fired up by the Crazy Fat Kids’ suckiness, Rogers is branching off to start his own CCW franchise. He has assembled a 6 man roster and is looking to buck the historical trend of expansion teams being doormats and stat padders for the rest of the league.
Alex Gates – Transferred to the Outlaws from the Yakkers prior to the 2020 season. For the Outlaws to be competitive, Gates must become the centerpiece of this lineup and pitching rotation.
Jay Wilsey – Will play full-time for the Outlaws. Described by Rogers as a solid field with great plate awareness – a good skill to have in a league that walks so many hitters.
Tyler Harnish – As a softball specialist and HS baseball coach, Harnish can potentially bring a lot of baseball IQ and hand-eye coordination to the table for the Outlaws.
Mitch Buis – “Our ace if I can get him to be a part of our squad” is a ringing endorsement for a player who has never stepped foot onto the Dirtyard. Let’s hope Buis can carve out time for CCW in his schedule and live up to his coach’s expectations.
Shawn Rogers – The brother of the head coach, Aaron. Their Wiffle experience goes way back, and Aaron describes him as a “Ri
Key Player(s) – The Newbies. In order for this to work, at least one of these guys has to actually be something. If Buis is the ace Rogers promises, or Wilsey turns his plate awareness into a league-leading OBP, then we MAY just have something here.
Projected Record – (4-17)
Best Case – Two of the new guys turn out to be really good players, Alex Gates steps into the centerpiece role nicely and the Outlaws are able to push .500, upset some teams and put up a really good fight on Wild Card Weekend.
Worst Case – The new guys show up and realize how hard Wiffle ball really is, Rogers and Gates have their spirits crushed by Joe Burrow being a bust and this team never gets off the ground. They struggle to even finish the season, and every team in the league salivates at the idea of padding their stats against them.
Eric Starke – Taking over as head coach of the Crazy Fat Kids, Starke decided to scrap the team name and start from scratch. The Hackers were born and they are ready to hack their way out of the dumpster fire that was the Crazy Fat Kids franchise.
Holden Palmer – Finished top 4in strikeouts THREE straight years from 2016-2018 before a disappointing 2019 campaign that was derailed by attendance issues. Palmer has the ability to be an ace, but he needs to consistently be at the field.
Michael Plourde – One of the most tenured vets in the CCW player pool, Plourde is a jack of all trades type of guy. He will put up respectable numbers at the plate, eat up innings on the mound and his athleticism makes him an above average base runner and fielder.
Spencer Schriner – He’s been a bit of a polarizing player at CCW. Not afraid to rub people the wrong way, his bat flip walks and sky high pitches will make even the most level-headed people lose their cool. Schriner has baseball experience and is really looking to take the next step as a Wiffle ball player.
Kyle Gagliardi – Coming over from Leroy/GBL, Gags intends to be a part-time player in 2020. Finished top 5 at GBL in HR and RBI, and will provide some very much needed thump for this lineup when he’s available.
Key Player – Holden Palmer. ATTENDANCE, ATTENDANCE, ATTENDANCE. If Palmer can get to the field consistently, he will turn in top 5 pitcher numbers. We saw it 4 straight years. In order for this team to reach its potential, Holden Palmer has to perform like an ace.
Projected Record – 7-14
Best Case – Palmer shows up and hits the board, Starke continues to be a rock solid arm and Kyle Gagliardi is able to make it to more games than he anticipated. This team’s ceiling is right above .500, and with Palmer on the mound they will have the ability to cause an upset in the wild card round of the playoffs.
Worst Case – Gags isn’t able to make any of the games, Palmer shrinks under the pressure of being an ace and the Hackers struggle to score enough runs to make up for the lack of pitching. They compete with the Outlaws to see who can lose the most games.