For most Wiffleball players March is a tough 31 days. The winter is still hanging on and for some it has been more than six months without our favorite pastime. For most this break is unbearable, for those running leagues it is the end of a well earned vacation and then there are those who just need to be held.
Until the bubbles stop rising to the surface.
The Justin Tomkins/JAL battle is a magnificent example. JAL is a Seattle based league new to the scene and got caught in hurricane Tomkins. Tomkins didn't approve of the way they played. He even played the, "Your guys are not as good as my guys" card. It had everything you wanted in an internet battle. Well no, not really.
If you do not know who Justin Tomkins is that is fine and completely understandable. He runs a small league in upstate NY. I think it is great that he has a league and it appears that the people who play there enjoy it. That should be enough but unfortunately for me and the rest of the Palisades it isn't.
Tomkins appeared on my radar when he became yet another NWLA member to write a disparaging
Palisades WBL article. Click the link, it is a short read.
Writing an anti-Palisades WBL article has become a sort of NWLA right of passage. From guys like Daryl Hutson backfiring with the "Nobody Can Throw A Wiffleball 90 MPH" article, to the cover story in the first issue of the Wiffler's Digest by Ryan Winfield stating how if the bat you use isn't yellow you are basically a scumbag, to Josh Smith's mean spirited April Fools Palisades WBL article that fell so flat he pulled it within hours of publishing, Tomkins' article was just one more negative exposé in a long line of negative NWLA
articles. I am going to get back to all this nonsense in a moment but first I will attempt to bring you up to date.
Did you get a chance to read the Tomkins' article that I linked? Good, now follow me down the rabbit hole to crazy town. The article in question was written prior to our 2016 season. That year nine guys from GSWL and five from the NWLA joined the Palisades. What is peculiar is Justin Tomkins was one of those five
NWLA players. Yes, just four months after he wrote the article he joined the Palisades WBL. What can I say, I am so good at this that even people who hate me will give me their money. In his defense the content of his article was prophetic as it became quite apparent that Palisades was in fact an island, an island
paradise that every capable wiffleball player within five states wanted to visit that summer. He nailed it
and I have to give credit where credit is due but remember crazy town? We have only just arrived on the outskirts.
You may be thinking why is there a picture of Justin Tomkins' Twitter account showing "You're blocked?" Before I get to that take a look at one of his Tweets from the other day.
This is where it really starts to get unhinged. The only time we have ever blocked someone on Twitter was the day Joe Gallo became an admin. Joe is very charismatic and has himself a stalker. Other than that we have never blocked anyone. I was sent the above Tweet last night and then went to our Twitter account to see if one of the other admins had blocked him. Nope, no one blocked him. I'll repeat that, just so there isn't even an inkling of confusion, he has never been blocked from the Palisades WBL Twitter account.
It gets even more bizarre when you breakdown what he said and why he said it. Here is what transpired on Twitter over the last few days. It started with this Tweet from the Two Wiffle Dudes.
If you recall the first paragraph of this essay you may remember what I said about Wiffle players and the month of March. I go back and forth trying to figure out if the Two Wiffle Dudes are really that naive or just straight up diabolical knowing that any mention of Palisades could start a shit storm. I lean toward the latter because as I listened to their show they managed to omit any talk of Palisades players joining the NWLA Tournament. Once again, it is March.
I am unsure what "Classic Palisades" means but I understand the rest and will do my best to refute what I am starting to think are the ramblings of a madman. "Shadow vote on a poll", let's think about that for a second. YouTube videos with 100,000 views, Instagram posts with 100,000 views in a day, live broadcasts with 20,000 viewers, an appearance on CBS's Sunday Morning, live interviews in Red Sox and Mets pre-game shows, meetings with Major League Baseball and we are going to get all excited for a Twitter poll that might get 100 eyes on it?
A Twitter poll.
From a podcast.
In the NWLA.
You just can't make this up.
Let's go to the next phrase in Tomkins' Tweet, "Talk shit to a guy they blocked." first of all if we blocked him how did he know we were talking shit about him? Somehow he was able to see and respond to our post nearly in real time, pretty amazing. If his situation was similar to my experience and he had people texting him what we wrote, oh wait, he didn't need to receive messages from someone else because he was never blocked.
What is also quite confusing is his definition of talking shit, please refer to his two Tweets below.
Above you can see what he Tweeted. Below is what I wrote when the poll closed in response to his unprovoked Tweet of "Nobody cares about Palisades" two days before.
That is talking shit? "And he thought nobody cared" is talking shit? At this point I truly believe his skin is so thin a mosquito could pop him like a balloon. For as strange as this all is it is only just the tip of the iceberg
Let's look at these two Tweets one more time.
To me it is completely nuts that he would play the victim in a scenario where he did exactly what he is
accusing us of doing. I am sure at some point he or someone else from his side will explain all of this and
it will make perfect sense but from where I am standing right here, right now, all I am going to say is if I end up murdered his alibi should be investigated thoroughly.
I didn't want to go here but after ten years running Palisades and nearly a decade of misinformation from NWLA media people I am going to write my first national article.
There is no Palisades vs. NWLA feud. That is simply what a few guys who lead players in the NWLA want you to think. This has been going on since 2010. I showed up to the NWLA after a Palisades WBL Google search. My first interaction with the NWLA was reading the following comment about the then six team Palisades WBL, "...a bunch of Guidos on steroids. They should change their name to the Guido Wiffleball League." A good time was had by all the members making fun of our website's branding and my first response was, "I will tell Ron. He will be pleased we have decided to name the League after him."
I can only suppose my innocuous response wasn't what the top tier of the NWLA wanted. They wanted me to come back both guns blazing so they could have themselves a good old message board battle. Initially I didn't oblige and that just opened the doors for some to continue to pile on. It didn't take long to become aware that the leagues that talked the most trash, the ones that asked the random loaded questions out of the blue didn't really enjoy a high level of play. They were just there for the drama.
Back then K-Zoo was a top dog in the NWLA. They were having a great time starting shit on the NWLA message board and publishing disparaging articles about Palisades. They ended up getting a clip on the MLB Network. The clip was a robbed HR where the outfielder went over the fence. What I don't think K-Zoo bargained for was my comment on the 30 MPH pitch dealt by K-Zoo's commissioner. His response, "I was gassed." That was all I needed, I gave back as good as I got, some would even say better.
That's when it dawned on me. All my problems have been with NWLA commissioners who really aren't great commissioners (certainly not good players) and writers who never caught on outside of the NWLA. Sure there were problems with individual players here and there but for the most part it was guys who ran leagues that were only NWLA popular. I never had any issues with powerhouse leagues who could stand on their own like the HRL and Hess. On the NWLA media side it was even more heated and got to the point where writers got together to go after Palisades. I mean honestly, the first issue of their magazine had a cover story featuring an anti-wiffleball league article. That was my punishment for not agreeing to work with the magazine's publisher and that has also been a reoccurring theme.
I won't even waste my time going into what's been said on the podcast, though if you were at the 2017 Palisades WBL Awards Show you got to hear quite a bit of it rehashed. The awards show video was brilliant in its execution. You could hear the anti-Palisades sentiment from the podcast while watching video of Palisades guys disproving every single solitary claim.
If you happen to be a guy in the NWLA I have no beef with you. I am happy you are having fun and I am sure no one in the Palisades WBL even thinks of you let alone dislikes you. The simple fact of the matter is you have guys who run things who can't or won't do what I and Palisades have done. Instead of coming up to our level their hope is to pull us down to theirs. That isn't beneficial for your league, tournament or wiffleball in general.
You can do what you want with this information. Stand by your guys, call me a liar, write another article, do another podcast, post more Tweets with sweeping generalizations about Palisades players from anonymous accounts, I don't care because no matter what it won't move the needle one way or the other. Don't worry though, if you want to start something we will still be proudly wearing that target on our backs so you can see it.