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17

MINNEAPOLIS - The HRL crew gathered at Sgt. Preston’s for what was a record turnout of 40-50 players on a glorious evening that was a little bit wiffle, a little more boozin’, and a whole lot of camaraderie.  After about an hour of meeting, greeting and just general making merry with good buddies, the meeting was officially called to order, at which time, the two new expansion teams were given a proper HRL welcome with a raucous chorus of boos.  Welcome to the new Hopkins franshises, the Blue Jays and Dodgers!

A couple of issues were then voted on by the masses.  The noobs were forced to watch, because, well... they’re noobs.

A new playoff system:  While the details were not ironed out on this night (that will be determined by the league’s Round Table), the players almost unanimously decided to scrap the existing playoff system in favor of one that will feature the following elements:
     1.) All 20 teams will be included
     2.) It will be played in one weekend
     3.) It will be played at one location.
Call it Wifflestock, call it Wifflepalooza, call it what you will, but the players of this league seem to call it one thing:  Awesome.  We’ll update you once the league has worked out the details.

Doing away with the Automatic Fielder:  Much debate ensued as to the existing rules regarding the Automatic Fielder.  The current rules allow for a player not involved in the game to act as a substitute defensive player for a team that could only field 2 players.  The rub seems to be that a team batting only two guys has a huge advantage offensively because the same 2 guys see the pitcher more and can wear them out.  The thought of a team not able to field at least 3 guys getting an advantage out of it just seems to make most HRL’ers want to puke.  Many suggestions were offered up:
     1.)  Eliminating the AF and forcing the shorthanded team to play with 2 in the field.
     2.)  Inserting a “phantom” third batter into the lineup that is an automatic out everytime that batter is up.
     3.)  Allowing only two outs per inning for the shorthanded offensive team.
     4.)  A combination of the above.
Again, the details will be worked out within the Round Table, but it was decided, albeit narrowly, that we should do something to eliminate/negate the advantages gained by teams who should in fact be penalized for only getting two to the rink.

After that, the league got onto the Main Event:  the much anticipated Random Division Draw!  Here’s how it panned out:
randomdraw


Notes:  Knowing the playoffs will be a very short event this season, The Commish’s office has decided to officially extend the regular season from 16 weeks to 18 weeks.  More wiffles makes wifflers happy!  ...The schedule will be released sometime in February... The logos for the two new expansion clubs, the Dodgers and Blue Jays, are unveiled:
expansionteams

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