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Old 03-17-2019, 04:51 PM   #2761
Bub13
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Since I started reading this during the (latter half of) the Toner years, it has to be the great man himself. Each post was a love letter (or, during lean streaks, a "why you done me wrong" song) to him and to the evolving cast of ruffians and scalawags surrounding him.

Such times.
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Westheim (03-17-2019)
Old 03-17-2019, 05:12 PM   #2762
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I think you know who my favorite player is (and probably my least favorite).

I wonder if Tetsu still has those unders I tossed him.....

I still love that first great Raccoon run in the 90's (?). That was a long time ago.

Vern Kinnear and Bobby Quinn are favorites and the 2-pitch wonder, who's name has just slipped out of this old man's head..... I remember the year he and the Japanese ace (Saito?), started out the year 25 and 1.
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:30 PM   #2763
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bub13 View Post
Since I started reading this during the (latter half of) the Toner years, it has to be the great man himself. Each post was a love letter (or, during lean streaks, a "why you done me wrong" song) to him and to the evolving cast of ruffians and scalawags surrounding him.

Such times.
Even more amazing than Jonny Toner was the fact that we got him for a failed Japanese free agent, Shunyo Yano. Yano would finish his career with a winning record, and his lone Coons season was the worst of his career.

But it was GOOD that the 2011-12 seasons didn't work out - those netted us not only Jonny, but also Cookie.

Jonny was so beyond brilliant, although I have to admit that I still liked Brownie more for quite some time.

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I think you know who my favorite player is (and probably my least favorite).
Say, Maud doesn't believe me, but are you actually the guy in the trenchcoat and obviously fake moustache and huge sunglasses in always the same spot in section 87? I mean, you kinda stand out with that masquerade in the summer since at times it gets up to 80 degrees even here…

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I wonder if Tetsu still has those unders I tossed him.....
I don't think they make underwear *that* sturdy…

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I still love that first great Raccoon run in the 90's (?). That was a long time ago.
I remember it as if it had been yesterday! Still waiting for that overdue Player of the Year season from David Vinson! .912 OPS in '90 - kid is gonna be a star!

And Grant West! And Neil Reece! And Daniel Hall! And David Brewer! And Jason Turner! And Raimundo "Pooky" Beato!

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Vern Kinnear and Bobby Quinn are favorites
Such great outfielders - and the heartbreak when Vern slugged the Coons past the Elks into fifth place on the final weekend in '97... and then left.

And three decades later, when I hear Vern Kinnear, I don't remember the brown shirt with the #9, but the blue shirt and the yellow #16 and the walkoff single in Game 7 in '01.

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and the 2-pitch wonder, who's name has just slipped out of this old man's head..... I remember the year he and the Japanese ace (Saito?), started out the year 25 and 1.
Scott Wade. That was in magical 1989, with Scotty leading the league in wins that year, despite finishing 6-6 after a 15-0 start.
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Last edited by Westheim; 03-17-2019 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:44 PM   #2764
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Say, Maud doesn't believe me, but are you actually the guy in the trenchcoat and obviously fake moustache and huge sunglasses in always the same spot in section 87? I mean, you kinda stand out with that masquerade in the summer since at times it gets up to 80 degrees even here… .
It is me now.....for the last few years it has just been a scarecrow.....
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Old 03-18-2019, 01:23 AM   #2765
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You should then not be afraid to weigh in again from time to time about how everything that I do is wrong.
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:43 AM   #2766
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I was always fond of the man at the back end of the 'pen, Angel Casas, but man does thinking of him remind me of just how close 2010's season was to a title.
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Old 03-19-2019, 01:49 AM   #2767
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I was always fond of the man at the back end of the 'pen, Angel Casas, but man does thinking of him remind me of just how close 2010's season was to a title.
Yeah, if anybody in addition to Brownie could have gotten their stripes 'n' whiskers sorted out and found a W against the Cyclones at the very bottom of their hearts, that would have been nice. Angel had a 1.37 ERA and 0.69 WHIP that season. Outright filthy!

Or, you know, the year before was also pretty close to make something happen for the first time in 13 years. How did that end up again? Let's get legendary Raccoons broadcaster R.A. Koontz to weigh in with this clip from the broadcast of the game on October 5, 2009...

+++

...and the Crusaders stick to Scott Hood here, as they try to win this 162nd game of the season, and prevent this game from going into a 13th inning and prevent the Raccoons from walking off with another base hit. Antonio De La Parra will be the batter.

The Raccoons have only one batter left on the bench in this long season finale, that might not be the season finale, but they will not use Ximenes Lopes here and save him in case they need to hit for a pitcher again. And there is strike one by Hood to De La Parra.

The Raccoons need to win this game to force a tie-breaker in New York tomorrow. The Crusaders need to get one out here to win the game and prevent the game from going to the 13th inning. If the Raccoons win - tie-breaker in New York tomorrow.

Looking at strike two up in the zone is De La Parra. The Raccoons trail, four to three, and are one strike away from having their 2-out rally and their season dissipate here.

Jose Correa is on second base after singling in place of Angel Casas. Keith Ayers is on first base and the inning run, singling in place of Santiago Trevino.

Oh and two to De La Parra, and the pitch from Hood, met by De La Parra, and that will fall into centerfield. Ball makes his way to the gap! Martin Ortíz will not reach this one, and Correa is waved around and will score easily! The game will be at least tied. Keith Ayers is sent around third base by the coach, here comes the throw from Ortíz, relay by Ortega, Ayers going home, and the throw will be … - in time! Keith Ayers is out at home!


+++

(sits in the corner, weeping)
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Old 03-20-2019, 05:46 AM   #2768
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Raccoons (34-28) @ Capitals (28-32) – June 11-13, 2029

The Capitals were on a 4-game winning streak and also only four games out in a meager FL East. Their pitching was stingy, conceding the second-fewest runs in the Federal League, but their offense was rather crummy, yet they had a +29 run differential that hinted at things probably swinging around any moment now. And, well, they were on a winning streak already…! The teams had last met in the 2027 season when the Coons had dropped two of three to Washington, the same as in the two meetings prior to that. We had not won a series against them since 2020.

Projected matchups:
Dan Delgadillo (7-4, 4.61 ERA) vs. Jorge Beltran (6-3, 3.56 ERA)
Rin Nomura (2-3, 3.73 ERA) vs. Eric Williams (5-5, 3.27 ERA)
Mark Roberts (6-5, 4.15 ERA) vs. Greg Gannon (4-5, 3.76 ERA)

We did in fact not get the left-handed pitcher for Monday, but rather for Tuesday. The other two guys were right-handers.

Game 1
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – RF Mora – 1B Harenberg – LF Jamieson – 3B Nunley – CF Magallanes – C Ivey – P Delgadillo
WAS: 2B E. Trevino – CF Houghtaling – RF Tachibana – C Lessman – 1B Lane – SS Menth – 3B Branca – LF Salazar – P J. Beltran

In what was a depressing first inning the Coons had nothing at all going, while Enrique Trevino – the ABL leader in steals – reached base on a Harenberg error, promptly stole second, and came around to score on a fly to center by Jeremy Houghtaling and Tsuneyoshi Tachibana’s infield single. Credit where it was due – Dan Delgadillo came up with his best game face and impression of an actually valuable pitcher; the Capitals got only two hits off him through five innings, but that performance paled compared to Beltran’s, who retired the first 13 Raccoons in order before Jamieson and Nunley hit back-to-back singles to center in the top of the fifth… and Magallanes then hit into a double play. Portland DID tie up the game the next inning; Shane Ivey led off with a single, moved up on a bunt and a grounder, then came home when Tim Stalker’s fly beat the range of Tachibana for a 2-out double. Mora grounded out poorly to Urbano Branca to strand Stalker, though. Yusneldan stepped around a 1-out double by Trevino in the bottom 6th (where most batters would only have gotten a single that dropped near Magallanes in shallow right-center) with an easy fly to center by Houghtaling and Tachibana rolling out to Harenberg and the game remained tied into the eighth, where Beltran inexplicably walked Yusneldan with one out. Ramos singled through Danny Lane to put two on, and now Delgadillo was in scoring position and replaced by pinch-runner Chris Baldwin. The ploy failed; Stalker struck out, and Mora rolled out to Trevino, who hit a 2-out single off Surginer in the bottom 8th, but was thrown out by Ivey when he tried to scoop second base. Steve Casey sat down the middle of the order in the top of the ninth without any ball leaving the infield, then earned the W when the left-handed batting Tachibana blasted a 440-footer off Billy Brotman in the bottom of the ninth. 2-1 Capitals. Nunley 2-4; Delgadillo 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K;

Game 2
POR: SS Gerster – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – CF Mora – 1B Gomez – C Tovias – 3B Nunley – RF Baldwin – P Nomura
WAS: 2B E. Trevino – 1B Lane – RF Tachibana – CF Houghtaling – C J. Wood – SS Menth – 3B Branca – LF Merriweather – P E. Williams

The Raccoons scored a ramshackle run in the opening inning with a 2-out single by Jamieson, who stole second while Mora flailed on a hit-and-run, advanced further on a passed ball, and then came around when Lane fumbled Trevino’s feed for an error when Abel Mora finally did put a ball in play. Nomura blew the lead without logging an out as Trevino singled, running a hitting streak to 13 games, then easily came around on Lane’s gap double. Just like Alberto Ramos, maybe even faster …! And by the second inning he was out of the game, injured on a defensive play and replaced with Zhang-ze Ts’ai, who batted .095 but nevertheless turned a 2-out, 2-2 pitch into a 2-run single in the bottom 2nd as Nomura continued to unwind and was soon enough taken deep by Lane to put the Coons into a 5-1 hole they would never find their way out of…

While Matt Nunley plated Gomez with an RBI double in the top 4th, and the Raccoons brought up Tim Stalker with the tying run at least at the plate and two outs in both the fourth and sixth innings, their lot didn’t improve. Stalker grounded out to Branca twice, and nobody scored. Instead, Matt Stonecipher got bopped for two runs in the bottom of the sixth, and the Capitals scored another run in the bottom 7th when the Raccoons’ pen just couldn’t get anybody out… Tim Stalker showed up with two out and two on again in the eighth inning and hit a 3-piece off Matt Reimann, but at that point it already didn’t matter anymore. 8-5 Capitals. Jamieson 2-5; Gomez 2-4; Harenberg (PH) 1-1;

Game 3
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – 3B Nunley – CF Mora – RF Gomez – C Tovias – P Roberts
WAS: 2B E. Trevino – 1B Lane – RF Tachibana – CF Houghtaling – C J. Wood – SS Menth – 3B Branca – LF Merriweather – P Gannon

Greg Gannon bled three walks in the opening frame, but the polite Raccoons would not exploit such weakness and scored only one run when Harenberg singled in Ramos with two outs. Nunley and Mora walked the bags full after that, but Gomez grounded out to the mound. Almost 200 at-bats … 13 RBI! By the second inning, the score was 2-0 after an unexpected Tovias homer (because who expects anything but throwing errors from Tovias these days?), while Tim Stalker was headed for the showers, ejected after barking at the umpire after strike three to end the inning. Baldwin replaced him. Meanwhile the wind was blowing *in*, which was supposed to help “Launchpad” Roberts, but surely didn’t help Gannon, who served up a 2-run blast to center to Matt Nunley in the third to fall into a 4-0 hole. Before long, rain joined the procedures and produced a 40-minute delay before Roberts came back out for the third, which was surely going to help him so much after 28 pitches in the previous 90 minutes.

Actually, Roberts faced the minimum until there was one out in the bottom 5th and was yet to allow a base hit when the Raccoons, still up 4-0, reached deep into the chest with dirty tricks and Ramos and Mora produced consecutive embarrassing errors in the bottom 5th to put Jimmy Wood and Dave Menth on base. Ramos had a ball glitch from his paw as he tried to throw it, and Mora could for all intents and purposes have worn his glove on his face as he helplessly meandered under a pop that almost struck him in the forehead eventually. There came Baldwin into play, smothering a quick bouncing shot by Branca and turning it into an inning-ending double play! The soaking wet no-hit bid ended in the seventh with Danny Lane’s leadoff single, although Baldwin kept the line score in order by shuffling another 4-6-3 double play with Ramos on Tachibana. Roberts held up on paper in the eighth, but logged three increasingly long fly outs, with Branca ultimately almost getting to the fence, but being caught out there by Jamieson. With Roberts on 107 pitches, we knew we didn’t want him back in the ninth. Portland tacked on a run in the ninth with a Harenberg double and Nunley RBI single off Sergio Aredondo, then sent Fleischer, who retired nobody and made way for Boles after two hits, a walk, and a run had occurred. Josh got out of the game before blowing it all, surrendering only a 2-out RBI single to Jeremy Houghtaling before ringing up Jimmy Wood to salvage at least the one game… 5-2 Coons. Harenberg 3-4, 2B, RBI; Nunley 2-4, BB, HR, 3 RBI; Mora 2-4, BB, 2B; Roberts 8.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K, W (7-5);

Raccoons (35-30) @ Crusaders (31-32) – June 14-17, 2029

A quick hop up the I-95 corridor later we were in New York for a 4-game weekend set, which was convenient given that the draft would also take place here on Friday. The Crusaders were last in runs scored in the Continental League, plating only 3.6 runs per game. Their pitching and defense were sound, with the fourth-fewest runs conceded, but there really wasn’t much to love about their current lineup. They had *one* qualifying player (Ivan Vega) batting better than .240 …! On the other hand, they were also up 2-1 in the season series, so they had to be doing SOMETHING right…

Projected matchups:
Tom Shumway (5-3, 2.13 ERA) vs. Robby Gonzalez (1-7, 6.30 ERA)
Trevor Draper (2-0, 3.32 ERA) vs. Eddie Cannon (5-4, 3.76 ERA)
Dan Delgadillo (7-4, 4.18 ERA) vs. Doug Moffatt (5-6, 4.13 ERA)
Rin Nomura (2-4, 4.46 ERA) vs. Mike Rutkowski (5-5, 3.20 ERA)

All right-handers, but we would skip their best guy by ERA, Carlos Marron (5-3, 2.58 ERA).

The Coons came in after a roster change, removing Sean Catella, who was batting about nothing, for Ryan Allan, who was reaching base nicely in AAA and had batted … well, .186 for last year’s Critters. Somehow enough to get a ring, too.

Game 1
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – 3B Nunley – CF Mora – RF Allan – C Ivey – P Shumway
NYC: C F. Delgado – RF M. Owen – 3B Schmit – 1B Tadlock – LF I. Vega – CF Reardon – 2B T. Fuentes – SS Cameron – P R. Gonzalez

Here was another completely overwhelmed starting pitcher to be brutally blindsided by, and the Raccoons sure looked the part the first time through the order, amounting to a Jamieson single and nothing else at all. Shumway opened his day with a walk to Felipe Delgado, but Matt Owen hit into a double play and the Crusaders were not remotely close to scoring early on, either. Top 4th, Jamieson led off with another single, and Chris Reardon could not reach the soft fly off Harenberg’s bat, either, which fell for another single. Nunley drew a walk, putting three on with nobody out. Oh dear. Mora ran a full count before getting a single past Andy Schmit for the first run of the game, but the Crusaders got Harenberg at home on Allan’s grounder to Tony Fuentes. That left the bags stacked, as did Ivey’s single to center for his first career RBI. The best contribution to the inning was made by Shumway, who hit a 2-run double to right to get a 4-0 lead. New York then walked Ramos intentionally and depressingly got a double play from Tim Stalker, who poked at a 3-1 pitch to end the inning. Gonzalez failed to complete five, allowing singles to Jamieson and Nunley in the top 5th before plating the first Matt with a wild pitch. The second Matt was stranded by Jesse Wright when he replaced the yanked starter.

Tom Shumway looked like he would cruise straight through nine innings until the Crusaders, who had amounted to two base hits through six, nipped him for three soft singles and a run in the bottom 7th, honors done by Ron Tadlock, Chris Reardon, and Tony Fuentes, who got the RBI. Portland pulled the run back in the eighth, Ivey plating Mora with a groundout after Abel had led off with a single and stolen a base, and Shumway got through eight and was sent into the ninth at the very least. Tadlock grounded out. Vega flew out to left. Reardon doubled. Oops. But the next batter, Fuentes, was a left-handed batter, so Shumway would get him and then retire – and rung him up. 6-1 Coons. Jamieson 3-5; Harenberg 2-4, BB; Mora 2-5, RBI; Shumway 9.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, W (6-3) and 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI;

The Shumster had the only extra-base hit for the team in this game; 11 singles otherwise.

Game 2
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – 3B Nunley – CF Mora – C Tovias – RF Gomez – P Draper
NYC: C F. Delgado – RF M. Owen – 3B Schmit – 1B Tadlock – LF I. Vega – CF Reardon – 2B T. Fuentes – SS Cameron – P E. Cannon

With rain looming, Ramos opened with a double before Stalker grounded out to third, Jamieson hit an infield single, and Harenberg barfed another ball into a double play. Before long the Crusaders had Draper cornered. While Matt Owen singled and was picked off by Draper in the bottom 1st, the bottom 2nd saw three full counts, and all batters reached base on either a walk (Vega, Joe Cameron) or a single (Fuentes). At least that brought up Eddie Cannon with two outs! Cannon ticked the first pitch into center for a single, Vega scored, Fuentes was sent, and Mora threw him out, ending a frustrating inning. He would never have a non-frustrating inning in the game because he only lasted three awful innings on 67 pitches before an hourlong rain delay knocked him out of the game in the top of the fourth, then with the Coons down 2-1. Felipe Delgado had drawn a leadoff walk and been brought around in the bottom 3rd, while Harenberg had driven a leadoff jack against Cannon in the fourth. Nunley had walked just before the forced intermission, and at least Cannon – on 51 pitches – resumed pitching here… and would blow the lead in the inning. Nunley went to second when Mora grounded out, then to third on a duck snort single by Tovias. Gomez flew out to center, but deep enough for Nunley to jog home against Reardon’s powerful arm, knotting us up at two. Ryan Allan batted for Draper, reached on a Delgado error, and Ramos’ single to left-center allowed the Coons to sent home Tovias with the go-ahead run. Tim Stalker then hit a 3-run blast to left, putting Portland up 6-2. Maybe the Crusaders should have brought in a reliever after all…! No reliever got ready in time before Jamieson struck out, sending this 4-run lead to the Coons’ pen.

While the Critters’ slam-sized cushion allowed them the luxury to go to Matt Stonecipher for as long as the rookie could go or until there was real trouble brewing, whichever happened first, the Crusaders were also in their pen by the fifth inning. Nothing undue happened to Stonecipher so fast, and when Gomez was on first with one out in the top 6th against lefty Brent Beene, the reliever was kept around to bunt Rafael to second base. Ramos was walked intentionally to get to Stalker, which was sure a weird selection with a lefty on the mound and Stalker having taken Cannon’s flower hardly 20 minutes earlier. Tim ticked a ball to center for a single, Gomez was sent and scored narrowly ahead of Reardon’s throw, upping the tally to 7-2, with four RBI on Stalker. Jamieson walked, and Harenberg stranded three with a fly to center. Stonecipher lasted the Critters four innings, allowing runners only in the third of those, the bottom of the sixth, in which the Crusaders hit three singles, but also in a double play in between to deny themselves any runs. The Coons would add single runs on a Stalker sac fly in the eighth and a run-scoring Gerster groundout in the ninth, then almost turned a 9-2 game into a save chance for Josh Boles when between the wickedly inefficient Billy Brotman and Jonathan Fleischer the Crusaders put their first four batters on base. Three of them scored, but eventually Ramos got paws on a ball to end the game with a runner on third and Boles tossing in the pen already. 9-5 Coons. Ramos 2-5, BB, 2B, RBI; Stalker 2-4, HR, 5 RBI; Harenberg 2-5, HR, RBI; Tovias 4-5, 2 2B; Magallanes (PH) 1-1, 2B; Stonecipher 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, W (1-0);

However bemuddled this game essentially was, the Coons plated nine and with a Titans loss grabbed sole possession of the CL North for the first time all season!

Game 3
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – CF Mora – 1B Harenberg – 3B Nunley – C Tovias – LF Allan – RF Gomez – P Delgadillo
NYC: 1B Espinosa – 3B Schmit – LF M. Owen – C F. Delgado – CF Ugolino – 2B T. Fuentes – RF Reardon – SS Laughery – P Moffatt

Both teams got their leadoff men on in the first inning, and both were caught stealing to curtail earliest offensive attempts. The Coons were back in action with a 1-out double by Tovias in the second inning. Straight singles by Allan and Gomez plated Elias for the first marker in the game, Delgadillo bunted them over, and with two outs Moffatt ended up walking both Ramos and Stalker in full counts, which pushed in another run before J.D. Laughery intercepted a Mora grounder for the third out. That was really it for offense in the first innings, with the Coons only reaching scoring position again in the fifth on back-to-back 2-out singles by Mora and Harenberg before Matt Nunley grounded out to Juan Espinosa, while the Crusaders had to wait until the bottom 5th for a base hit by a position player. While Moffatt had hit a 2-out single in the bottom 3rd, nothing had come of that, and not much more came out of Chris Reardon’s 2-out double in the fifth. Laughery grounded out to short to strand him. Trouble seemed to find Delgadillo in the bottom 6th, though. Moffatt grounded out to begin the inning, but then Espinosa singled up the middle, stole second, and Yusneldan lost Andy Schmit on four pitches. Matt Owen ticked the very next offering by the Coons’ right-hander into center for an RBI single, which cut the lead to 2-1 and made Delgado a highly critical batter. Delgadillo had to get him or be removed for a southpaw with the left-handed array led by Ugolino drawing up. Delgado knocked a 2-0 pitch to third base, and Matt Nunley, still a damn cat in the field, zinged it around the bases for a 5-4-3 inning-ender. It was also Nunley to end the sleeping spell on the Raccoons offense with a solo jack off Moffatt with two outs in the eighth that put an insurance run back on the board. Delgadillo was – bravely, stupidly? – sent back out for the eighth, got PH Ivan Vega on a soft liner to Nunley, Espinosa to pop out foul, but then lost Schmit on a single to center in a full count. That was the end for Yusneldan, finally, with Ricky Ohl replacing him at this point. Matt Owen grounded out to Stalker to end the bottom 8th, but the Coons failed to get an insurance run in the ninth, either. Josh Boles would face the 4-5-6 batters in the ninth … and retired them in order, despite Tony Fuentes hitting a deep drive to center on a 1-2 pitch. Mora hustled back and grabbed it, and that ended the game. 3-1 Coons. Delgadillo 7.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, W (8-4);

Nobody knew quite how, but as a matter of fact Yusneldan now tied for third place in wins in the Continental League. Only Abramo Archibugi and Andy Bressner had won nine games.

Game 4
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – 3B Nunley – CF Allan – RF Gomez – C Ivey – P Nomura
NYC: 2B T. Fuentes – RF M. Owen – 3B Schmit – 1B Tadlock – LF I. Vega – CF Reardon – C R. Anderso – SS Cameron – P Rutkowski

A sweep was possible if Rin Nomura could resist coming apart once more; the Critters scored a run in the first with Ramos drawing a leadoff walk, gaining a base when Jamieson was clipped by a pitch, and then came home on a Harenberg single. Nunley whiffed and Allan popped out to end the first with runners on the corners. For the Crusaders it would get worse before it could get much better; Nomura walked a pair in the bottom 1st, but Tadlock crashed a ball to Ramos for a double play, and in the top 2nd Rutkowski faced just two more batters before leaving the game with general discomfort. Shane Baker took over for New York. The rest of the battery followed into the field hospital soon when Nomura managed to strike Ryan Anderson in his throwing shoulder in the bottom of the inning. Delgado replaced Anderson, while there were two on again with one out after an earlier walk to Chris Reardon. This time Joe Cameron hit into the double play. What a mess in the early going!

New York finally managed to tie the game in the bottom 3rd, which Baker, the long man, opened with their first hit, a single to left. The top three in the order would all shoot deep flies to center; only Owen’s fell in for an RBI double, and Tadlock popped out foul to end the inning, but the writing was on the wall that Nomura was not going to last long in this one, either… Bottom 4th, Reardon walked, Delgado singled, and Cameron walked, all with one out, and when Espinosa grounded to second base in place of Baker, the Coons could not turn two this time around and the go-ahead run scored. Fuentes whiffed to strand a pair anyway, but Nomura was on five walks and a mauled catcher after only four innings… Somehow he made it through two more innings with only one hit and no walks allowed before an exploded pitch count mercifully removed him for a pinch-hitter in the seventh. He was also still on a 2-1 hook with the Raccoons having done NOTHING against either Baker or his successor, Keith Roofener, who pitched 2.1 hitless innings before allowing back-to-back singles to Mora (in place of Nomura) and Ramos. Stalker hit into a fielder’s choice, presenting Jamieson with runners on the corners and two outs. Matt dropped a dying quail into shallow left center for a game-tying RBI single before Harenberg managed to loop an 0-2 pitch into shallow right center for another soft RBI single that had to drive the Crusaders nuts at this point. Jesse Wright, another righty, replaced Roofener in a 3-2 deficit, walked Nunley to fill the bags, and that brought up Allan, but why hit for a lefty batter here…? Yeah, it was Ryan Allan, but *maybe*… Wright ran a full count before challenging Allan down the middle; the Raccoons’ sorry excuse for a 27-year-old sophomore was not overwhelmed and knocked the ball over Tadlock and up the line for a double that eluded Owen for long enough to score even Matt Nunley from first base – bases-clearing double, Coons up 6-2!

The inning ended after an intentional walk to Rafael Gomez when Shane Ivey grounded out, and the Coons now had an almost fully rested pen available to get nine outs. Before I could begin to worry much, Garavito walked Laughery to open the bottom 7th, Fleischer allowed a double to Owen, and the Crusaders had two in scoring position with one out, but in that spot Fleischer pleasantly wrestled down the switch-hitting Schmit and rung him up in a full count, and the Crusaders stranded another pair when Tadlock grounded out easily on the very next pitch. The Furballs tacked one on in the eighth on singles by Ramos and Stalker as well as the former’s obscenely quick paws, but the game had seen the last challenge by the New Yorkers, who went down in due time to Fleischer and Brotman in the last two innings. 7-2 Furballs! Ramos 2-4, BB; Harenberg 2-5, 2 RBI; Allan 3-4, BB, 2 2B, 3 RBI; Mora (PH) 1-1; Brotman 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K;

In other news

June 11 – Titans OF Willie Vega (.282, 2 HR, 12 RBI) will miss a month with a broken wrist.
June 12 – RIC SP Matt Diduch (4-6, 3.39 ERA) will be out for at least a month with a broken finger.
June 12 – DEN OF Rafael Torruellas (.120, 1 HR, 3 RBI) is done for the season with a broken kneecap.
June 13 – Also lost for the season is SAC SP Michael Foreman (2-5, 3.98 ERA), who has suffered a partially torn UCL. The 38-year-old righty is headed for Tommy John surgery.
June 14 – Condors and Rebels enter the 11th inning tied at 11 before the Condors crush the Rebels pen with a 6-run inning en route to a 17-11 smash win. TIJ RF/LF Omar Larios (.268, 5 HR, 26 RBI) comes to the plate seven times and reaches as often with five walks and two home runs, plating five runs.
June 17 – Los Angeles sophomore RF/LF Oscar Mendoza (.304, 8 HR, 42 RBI) has put together a 20-game hitting streak with a 3-for-5 day in an 8-2 win over Salem.
June 17 – The first home run of the season for OCT C Liam Riley (.217, 1 HR, 8 RBI) is a pinch-hit walkoff grand slam off Aces hurler Jose Menendez (6-8, 6.07 ERA) that gives the Thunder a 6-2 win in regulation.
June 17 – Four teams in the Federal League score at least 12 runs on Sunday; the Capitals beat the Cyclones 12-6, the Blue Sox rock the Rebels 12-5, but the Stars lose despite scoring a dozen, falling to the Scorpions in a frantic back-and-forth, 13-12. SAC C David Drews (.311, 12 HR, 44 RBI) is unretired in the game with four walks, two home runs, and 4 RBI.
June 17 – PIT C/1B J.J. Henley (.246, 12 HR, 44 RBI) will have to sit for a month after a diagnosis of plantar fascitis.

Complaints and stuff

Who’s in first? Coons in first! It sure took us a while to get back to the top…!

That weekend sweep over the Crusaders showed that the team still has sting even though it has been up and down with the offense and with the pitching in recent weeks. We still have a few problems, though… f.e. little reliable starting pitching besides Tom Shumway, and we were also still trying to figure out which hole Rafael Gomez had fallen in to slug 124 points less than just two years ago. Finding an upgrade for him was not the problem – the problem was what had befallen him in the first place. I would probably put the Druid on that one. Mena! … Mena! … - Do you still have those electrical eels? – Try them on Gomez!

Well, that should take care of this.

Ramos is not stealing bases remotely near the pace last year, but is still on pace for something like 58 bags. I wonder why he is not having that much success… maybe our pitchers are indeed batting too well and he gets stuck a lot? His success rate is “only” 71% this year, compared to almost 73% for his career, but last year he actually had a *79%* success rate. Maybe I am just spoiled…

The Titans are in a 5-11 hole in June, a month they even opened 1-8, that lone win of them between June 1 and 9 coming by ramming Billy Ramm into the ground for seven runs in 3.2 innings. Meanwhile we are 11-6 on the month, and Billy Ramm is 1-1 with a 4.97 ERA after two starts in St. Pete. I don’t know what happened to the kid, but I don’t like it.

Next week, Loggers on the way home, then the Bayhawks at our place. Also, finally a day off!

What else? Ah, the fun fact…:

Fun Fact: Jason O’Halloran is not only the Titans’ career leader in strikeouts, but als–

(with a fizzling sound, all the lights go out)
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Old 03-20-2019, 05:47 AM   #2769
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2029 AMATEUR DRAFT

After Stonecipher’s long-relief heroics for his first major league win I hopped over to the league offices in New York along with the guy that had run our scouting department for the last few years, you know… that… that guy… (clicks fingers in vain trying to come up with the name)

The Raccoons did not expect much at all from this draft, given that we had signed away our #23 pick to the Aces when we had inked Tom Shumway to a 5-year deal (and I dare say that the early signs are that it was worth it). We would have the 23rd pick in all other rounds, while we also had a pick in the supplemental round, which was compensation for the loss of Jon Correa. This remained the #37 pick as pointed out earlier when I quickly showcased the draft pool, since Ian Prevost – still injured – remained unsigned through draft day and the Gold Sox lost their potential compensation to the big black void.

Speaking of the draft pool and personnel within, as already pointed out this was more of a batter’s draft, with the hotlist outlined beneath (* notes high school players; ^ notes two-way player):

SP Justin Kaiser (13/15/10) * – BNN #8
SP Rick Haugh (12/12/10) – BNN #2
SP Kent Turner (12/13/9) – BNN #5

RP Gabe Creech (16/13/9) ^ – BNN #4

C Mitch Cook (11/12/13)

INF/RF Billy Bouldin (15/3/5)
1B Ryan St. Pierre (9/15/14)
INF Josh Barnett (12/10/11) *

OF Sean Calais (13/10/4) * – BNN #3
3B/RF/LF Sonny Deming (9/11/13)
OF John Baron (8/14/12)

Of course I had no illusions of grabbing any of these. The Rebels could have illusions, given that they had the #1 draft pick for the 2029 selecting bonanza. They picked that high school pitcher up there, Justin Kaiser, to begin the pickery. The Blue Sox took Billy Bouldin at #2, while Mitch Cook went #3 to the Falcons. The Indians’ selection of John Baron, and the Scorpions taking Sean Calais completed the top 5 – all from the hotlist – and it continued like that with Gabe Creech going to the Loggers at #6, and Rick Haugh to the Bayhawks at #7; only after that the Gold Sox took OF/SS Tyler Miles as the first player not on our hotlist.

After that it was Kent Turner to the Knights as the 15th selection, but that was actually all for the last two thirds of the first round proper. For future reference, the Aces took SS Bill Hill with our #23 pick. Surefire Hall of Famer there!

The Aces also took the third-to-last player from our hotlist, Josh Barnett, with the #28 pick – but that was actually it. To our great surprise, Sonny Deming and Ryan St. Pierre remained left over by the time our #37 rolled around. Oh dear – choices! There was something to be said about high power bats, though, and there was only one high power bat left in the selection – St. Pierre.

Sonny Deming would actually linger around all the way to the #58 pick when the Miners had mercy on him and selected him with their second-round choice, just before the Raccoons could get engaged again…

There were also two pitchers named Jesse Erickson in this draft; a right-handed and a left-handed one. The Titans picked them both.

2029 PORTLAND RACCOONS DRAFT CLASS

Supp. Round (#37) – 1B Ryan St. Pierre, 21, from Minneapolis, MN – prototypical first baseman with very high power potential, not much in terms of high average, but maybe some strikeout issues. He did have patience though and might draw walks, if that was what you wanted from your vaunted cleanup hitter with three on and one out – set up a double play!
Round 2 (#62) – SP Bob Thomson, 18, from Dallas, TX – left-hander with a soft fastball (although he had room to add to that 88mph), but an interesting slider-changeup combo that could make him a valuable big leaguer, although in all honesty maybe more in a corner-nibbler role rather than flashy 10 K per game.
Round 3 (#86) – SS/3B Chris Pothen, 18, from Manhattan, NY – does a bit of all, batting for average, decent eye, good speed, solid defense; nowhere over the top, but nowhere does he appear to be really weak, and he could be a fairly decent infielder of the Matt Nunley mold in the sense of an upper-middle round pick with a balanced profile.
Round 4 (#110) – C/1B David Tinnin, 22, from Houston, TX – good defensive catcher, pretty smart, but the big question mark is whether he can hit enough to become viable; hitting for *some* power for Rice College, but not much, and not exactly a sparkling average, either.
Round 5 (#134) – LF Brian Cannon, 17, from Avondale, AZ – big wild card pick and a weird profile for a corner outfielder; he has hardly any range in the outfield and not much of an arm and might be better off as first baseman, but also does not hit for much power. He seems to have a good OBP bat, and despite his lack of range is very good at stealing bases; it is very likely that he amounts to nothing, ever, but at least he is a high schooler and has a lot of time to grow.
Round 6 (#158) – CL Kyle Green, 20, from Chula Vista, CA – right-hander throwing 90mph with a changeup and knuckle curve, but he has not mastered either one of those yet, and should come up with at least one of them… not much stamina apparently, so he will always be a reliever.
Round 7 (#182) – CL Sean Jaeger, 20, from Prattville, AL – right-hander with a 92mph heater and a swooping curve that can dart sideways to confuse the hitters.
Round 8 (#206) – CF/RF Matt Tate, 18, from Chillicothe, OH – wide range in center, but not much of a bat and absolutely no power…
Round 9 (#230) – 1B/RF/3B Cody Monk, 21, from La Follette, TN – how many strong defensive first basemen are in the Hall of Fame? Right.
Round 10 (#254) – SS Matt Carusi, 20, from Tallulah, LA – very good defensive shortstop, but a strict singles slapper and he doesn’t even have much speed to make himself a RISP presence after singling…
Round 11 (#278) – CL Elijah Crutchfield, 20, from Springdale, AR – left-hander (of course!) with an array of mediocre pitches and ill command, which is a lot more than what we wrote about Nick Brown almost 25 years ago!
Round 12 (#302) – C Dave Osmer, 18, from Gambier, OH – I asked, and we HAVE to pick somebody… OSA hardly ranks him able to jog, but somehow our scouting department gave him fair grades in some areas. Oh well, whatever!
Round 13 (#326) – SS/2B Joe Cinquegrana, 19, from Joplin, MO – there might be some power here, there surely is some defense here, but somehow it is all covered in those white packaging chips and a pile of lint.

+++

All draft selections were assigned to Aumsville.

We also canned a handful of guys right away and would continue to cull a few more for the rest of the season. Gone were among others 2023 sixth-rounder RHP Dale Autry, hopelessly stuck in AA (and already 28 years old); 2028 ninth-rounder 1B Danny Vera, essentially legally blind at the plate; same for 2028 eighth-rounder 2B/SS Roy Werden; and 2024 international free agent C Jesus Florian, who had cost us $18k back then; plus some scouting discoveries and random trash heap signings.
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:07 PM   #2770
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Raccoons (39-30) @ Loggers (31--38) – June 18-20, 2029

The Raccoons had dominated Milwaukee so far in the 2029 season, winning five of six games from them. The Loggers ranked second from the bottom in runs scored and merely eighth in runs allowed for yet another unhealthy run mix. They were making a solid bid for their sixth straight losing record since finishing third with 89 wins in 2023, also the most recent time they finished ahead of the Raccoons in the North.

Projected matchups:
Mark Roberts (7-5, 3.77 ERA) vs. Joe West (5-6, 2.69 ERA)
Tom Shumway (6-3, 2.03 ERA) vs. Julio Palomo (2-2, 6.14 ERA)
Trevor Draper (2-0, 3.68 ERA) vs. Philip Rogers (5-5, 3.94 ERA)

We would tip-toe around their only lefty starter, Francisco Colmenarez, who made a solid bid for ten losses before the end of June, although it was not his fault. With a 3-9 record he had a 3.88 ERA. Milwaukee had two crucial DL incumbents, SP Morgan Shepherd and infielder Matt Lockert (.295, 0 HR, 32 RBI), who had won the CL Rookie of the Month honors in both April and May, but was now out with a torn meniscus and would probably only return at the All Star break.

Game 1
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – CF Mora – 3B Nunley – RF Allan – C Tovias – P Roberts
MIL: 3B V. Diaz – 2B Rauser – C J. Young – RF W. Trevino – LF Cambra – CF Wheeler – 1B Schorsch – SS Holder – P J. West

An unearned run put the Raccoons up 1-0 in the opening inning thanks to Vinny Diaz fumbling a Stalker grounder that also moved Ramos, who had opened with a double to center, to third base, from where Harenberg scored him with a sac fly after Jamieson went down flailing. Harenberg also drove in the second run in the game with an absolute monster shot of a home run in the fourth inning – that one was out just by the sheer sound of it when KEVIIIIIN made contact. In between Roberts had hit a leadoff single in the third, but had been doubled up by Ramos (…!), while on the mound he retired the Loggers in order the first time through the lineup without K’ing any of them, then nailed Vinny Diaz to begin the bottom 4th, but while Diaz stole second base, the next three Milwaukee batters all made poor outs to strand him in scoring position, and against Jim Young Roberts even got his first strikeout of the game. Firmino Cambra’s solid leadoff single to center was the first Loggers entry into the H column in the bottom 5th, but he never got off first base when Mike Wheeler and Tom Schorsch struck out and Kaleb Holder rolled one over to Stalker for the third out. Top 6th, the Coons put their 4-5-6 batters on base with two outs, with Harenberg scoring for the second time on Nunley’s single to left-center that made it 3-0 Coons, but the Loggers pulled the run back with three singles in the bottom 6th. Particularly annoying was Joe West’s leadoff single to left, while Jason Rauser hit an infield single with one out, and Young drove in the run with a clean liner to left for another single. Willie Trevino then clubbed the first pitch he got into a 6-4-3 double play. Both pitchers ended up going eight innings while not whiffing a lot of batters; West rung up nobody between Jamieson’s K in the opening frame and the eighth, then struck out the 2-3-4 batters in order, while Roberts only got three K’s in the entire game, but hung on to the 3-1 lead through eight. Top 9th, the Critters put runners on the corners with one out thanks to Matt Nunley doubling off Jonathan Hose and Schorsch fudging Allan’s grounder for an error. The Loggers sent righty Zach Weaver to see after the constant double play threat Tovias, who was hit for by Magallanes, who hit a sac fly for an extra run, after which Rafael Gomez grounded out in Roberts’ spot to end the inning. Bottom 9th, Josh Boles came in with the max allowance for runs that would still get him a save, which he considered lame and instead he loaded the bases without getting an out. Trevino singled up the middle on 0-2, Cambra walked, and Mike Wheeler singled to left before Schorsch struck out and Wilson Aquino hit sharply into a 6-4-3 double play. 4-1 Coons. Harenberg 1-2, BB, HR, 2 RBI; Nunley 3-4, 2B, RBI; Roberts 8.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, W (8-5) and 1-3;

Josh, was that necessary? – No, I mean overall, in the grander scheme of things? – Josh, I don’t give a flying **** about your “thrill factor”. If you want to live on the edge, take speedballs!

Nobody took much of anything on Tuesday, which saw considerable rain and high gusts in Milwaukee and consequently a postponement of the second game of the series. Teams would play a double header on Wednesday, if weather allowed for that.

Game 2
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – CF Mora – 3B Nunley – C Tovias – RF Gomez – P Shumway
MIL: 3B V. Diaz – 1B Cambra – C J. Young – RF W. Trevino – LF Schorsch – CF Wheeler – SS Holder – 2B Rauser – P Palomo

The Coons scored two in the opening inning on base hits by Ramos and Stalker, who both individually stole second base in the inning, Harenberg, and Mora – all singles. Jamieson plated Ramos with a sac fly, and Stalker came home on Kevin’s single. Nunley chomped into a double play to get Palomo out of an early mess. It was a temporary relief, though. The bottom of the order amounted to a Rafael Gomez single in the top 2nd, but with two outs the top of the order ripped Palomo a new one. Ramos hit an RBI double to left, Stalker an RBI single to right, and Jamieson got a ball past a sliding Trevino for an RBI double to right before Harenberg kept the score at 5-0 with his groundout. Shumway squeezed his ERA under two in the meantime by two scoreless innings to begin the game. This included a Wheeler double with one out in the bottom 2nd, but Kaleb Holder grounded out and Jason Rauser was rung up to strand him at third base, while Rauser was ejected for giving the ump his honest opinion about strike three. (It was strike three, honestly) Brendan Day replaced Rauser for the third inning.

Top 4th, Ramos created a run all on his own, drawing a leadoff walk before swiping second and third base in separate at-bats before Jamieson hit another sac fly, 6-0. The Loggers took until the sixth inning for another real opportunity at scoring a run, placing runners on the corners with two outs, but Cambra and Trevino got stranded when Schorsch popped out to Nunley, who plated Harenberg with a run-scoring groundout in the top of the seventh. The Loggers did score two runs in the bottom 7th, but those were unearned; Holder had reached on a Mora error with one out, and while Day and Ray Masri had hit singles after that, Masri plating one run and Diaz another with a groundout, nothing was charged to Shumway’s now sub-2 ERA in his final inning in the game. Gerster batted for the Shumster in the top 8th and drew the first of back-to-back walks along with Ramos after Gomez’ leadoff single against Travis Feider. Three on, no outs, Stalker hit into a force at home, but Jamieson then drove in two more runs with a single to right, and Harenberg’s single reloaded the bases. Baldwin batted for Mora and struck out, but Nunley worked a bases-loaded walk to run the tally to 10-2 before Elias Tovias struck out as well against the beleaguered Feider, ending the top 8th. The 8-run cushion was never remotely threatened while Billy Brotman and Jonathan Fleischer pitched the last two innings. 10-2 Coons! Ramos 2-4, 2 BB, 2B, RBI; Jamieson 2-3, 2B, 5 RBI; Harenberg 3-5, RBI; Mora 2-4, 2B; Gomez 3-5; Shumway 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, W (7-3);

With that cozy win we sure had a better bullpen situation for the second game of the day, even with the questionable Draper starting the game.

Game 3
POR: SS Gerster – 2B Stalker – 3B Nunley – 1B Harenberg – RF Gomez – LF Allan – CF Magallanes – C Ivey – P Draper
MIL: 3B V. Diaz – 1B Cambra – RF W. Trevino – LF Schorsch – CF Wheeler – SS Holder – C Canody – 2B Rauser – P Rogers

Portland grabbed a run in the first again with Gerster’s leadoff single of the infield variety, a walk drawn by Nunley, and then Harenberg’s 1-out RBI single to left-center, but it didn’t help much with Draper walking the first two batters he faced, then immediately serving up a gapper to Trevino that scored both runners, with Schorsch plating Trevino with a grounder to put the Loggers ahead 3-1. Top 2nd, the tying runs were in scoring position right away with a walk to Magallanes and Shane Ivey’s double, but Draper and Gerster both struck out before Rogers lost Stalker and Nunley on balls, pushing home one run. Harenberg grounded to Rauser to strand a full set, though.

There was no working with Draper, though, who surrendered a run each in the third, fourth, and fifth innings with a variety of inept pitching. Trevino homered in the third, Wheeler singled and stole two bases before scoring on Ivey’ throwing error (but the run was earned thanks to a Taylor Canody single that followed), and in the bottom 5th Diaz hit a leadoff double and was brought around. That put the Coons in a 6-2 hole through five on only three base hits of their own and things looked rather glum for continuing the winning streak. Rogers, who had walked six in the first five innings, but still hadn’t been knocked over, retired the bottom of the order without issue in the top of the sixth, and did the same to the top of the order in the seventh. Only in the eighth inning did Kevin Harenberg hit a leadoff jack off right-hander Bobby Valencia, cutting the gap to 6-3, but it looked like too little, too late. However – Ryan Allan hit a triple into the leftfield corner, and Magallanes found the gap in right-center for an RBI double. Suddenly the tying run was at the plate with one out!? Ivey popped out, however, and when Jamieson batted for Garavito in the #9 hole the Loggers brought a new righty in Alfredo Casique, who nevertheless surrendered a soft looping single to left to score Magallanes and get the Coons within one run. Ramos batted for Gerster, but the Loggers threw southpaw Alex Gutierrez at him, who ended the inning with a K. In response to the rally, the Loggers took Matt Stonecipher apart in the bottom of the eighth; single by Trevino, pinch-hit homer by Jim Young to restore a 3-run gap. But the tying run was at the plate with nobody out in the ninth thanks to leadoff singles to center by Stalker and to left by Nunley off Zach Weaver, and that tying run was none other than Harenberg … who struck out. Rafael Gomez with one out grounded to short… and Holder overran the ball!! Error on the Loggers – bases loaded, and Ryan Allan would be the batter! He grounded up the middle, Rauser intercepted the ball, lobbed to Holder for the second out, and - … and then Holder was knocked out by Gomez in a boorish MMA attack that nevertheless extended the game. Holder had several limbs extended at awkward angles after the knockout blow and had to be replaced by Alexis Rueda (not a shortstop) while the Coons would send Magallanes with two outs and the tying runs on the corners. Weaver lost him on balls, loading them up for Ivey. The Coons would have LOVED to bat Elias Tovias in his spot… but needed someone to pinch-hit for Matt Stonecipher in the #9 hole, and so Ivey was sent to bat… and flew out to Trevino. 8-6 Loggers. Harenberg 2-5, HR, 2 RBI; Magallanes 1-2, 3 BB, 2B, RBI; Jamieson (PH) 1-1, RBI; Garavito 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K;

Some cocky reporter from the Milwaukee Dispatch-Bugle asked how we managed to lose the second leg of a double header when between Boles, Ohl, and Surginer none of our three best relievers got into either game and instead Stonecipher gave out for the margin of victory in the eighth. I shoved him into a waste bin on my way to the team bus.

Raccoons (41-31) vs. Bayhawks (32-40) – June 22-24, 2029

San Fran ranked tenth in runs scored and seventh in runs allowed, so basically similar to what the Loggers had offered earlier in the week. They were somehow swatting homers despite their park not facilitating it, so Mark Roberts popping up in this series and this park was not a comforting thought right now. The Coons nevertheless had a 2-1 lead in the season series.

Projected matchups:
Dan Delgadillo (8-4, 3.90 ERA) vs. Guillermo Regalado (5-7, 4.68 ERA)
Rin Nomura (3-4, 4.25 ERA) vs. Alex Lopez (5-6, 5.38 ERA)
Mark Roberts (8-5, 3.54 ERA) vs. Matt Huf (8-5, 3.50 ERA)

Three more righties; the Baybirds had now southpaw on offer right now.

Game 1
SFB: CF Hawthorne – SS Pulido – 1B Caraballo – RF C. Martinez – 2B D. Cobb – 3B J. Cruz – LF E. Rendon – C Pizzo – P Regalado
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – CF Mora – 3B Nunley – C Tovias – RF Gomez – P Delgadillo

The Critters made the third out at third base in the opening inning when Tim Stalker tried to go first-to-third on Harenberg’s 2-out single to right, but was thrown out by Cesar Martinez… but not without bowling over Jose Cruz, who left with an injury and was replaced by Mike Martin, who hit the first of back-to-back singles with Edwin Rendon with one out in the top 2nd, but was stranded on Mike Pizzo’s groundout and a K to Regalado. The Coons stranded Nunley on third base after his 1-out double in the bottom 2nd, then Ramos on second base in the bottom 3rd, and thus the Bayhawks would draw first blood with Cesar Martinez’ leadoff jack to left-center in the fourth inning. Ah, there were their homers! Not only did our homers remain in hiding, but the Bayhawks also went on to tear Delgadillo to shreds in the fifth inning without the benefit of the long ball… and that after they started off with two outs. Jose Pulido and Tomas Caraballo hit singles, Martinez walked, and Dan Cobb found the gap for a bases-clearing double. Delgadillo was yanked after a walk to Martin, with another run scoring when Billy Brotman failed to remove left-handed batter Edwin Rendon, who flicked another RBI single to center to run the tally to 5-0. Pizzo grounded out to end the miserable inning after six straight Baybirds had reached base. The Raccoons could not even score after Elias Tovias’ leadoff double in the bottom 5th and were more or less smothered at that point. Matt Stonecipher pitched the next two innings, allowing one run on one hit, four walks(!), and five strikeouts(!!). Calling him “exciting” was not quite nailing it… The Coons scored a token run in the unlikeliest fashion in the eighth inning when Regalado got taken yard by Alberto Ramos for a solo shot, but the game appeared over still. Bottom 9th, Mike Bass yielded a leadoff walk to Harenberg, then a Mora single to center. Still not quite a rally, and Nunley grounded out, merely advancing the runners, but then Tovias dropped in a 2-run single. Suddenly the tying run appeared in the on-deck circle, and Dan McLin appeared as new pitcher. The former Critter and still right-hander had a 3.46 ERA and ended the game with a K to Gomez and a groundout by Magallanes. 6-3 Bayhawks. Tovias 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI;

Game 2
SFB: CF Hawthorne – 3B M. Martin – RF C. Martinez – LF Orozco – C Carpenter – SS Pulido – 1B I. Pena – 2B D. Cobb – P A. Lopez
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – CF Mora – 3B Nunley – C Tovias – RF Gomez – P Nomura

Sky fell early in this one; never mind Nomura putting on George Hawthorne (double) and Mike Martin (walk), balking them over and conceding the runs on a sharp 2-out single by Eric Carpenter, but the Raccoons also lost Alberto Ramos to a wrist injury on a diving catch against Jose Pulido in the same inning. The Raccoons turned the score around with one run in the bottom 1st (Nunley walked after three singles had loaded the bases), then two more in the second: Rafael Gomez hit a leadoff jack before Nomura doubled to right and was moved around on grounders by Gerster and Stalker, but at the same time Nomura continued to fool absolutely nobody, especially not George Hawthorne, and probably not even George Hawthorne’s grandmother. Hawthorne hit another leadoff double in the top 3rd, stole third base, and scored on a groundout to knot the score at three.

It was still 3-3 in the bottom 6th when Tovias hit a leadoff double in the gap. Gomez grounded out at 1-2, advancing the runner, presenting a dilemma for the Raccoons, who already had their bench shortened and now had the go-ahead run at third base, one down, and their unconvincing starting pitcher at the plate. We ended up sending Ivey for Nomura given his pitch count being already elevated and that it was unlikely he would pitch more than one additional inning. Shane Ivey even came through against Alex Lopez, floating a single to right-center for the go-ahead run! After Butch Gerster flew out to center, Ivey was picked off first to end the inning, though… The lead fell apart immediately in the top 7th, too, with Billy Brotman facing three left-handed batters and allowing 1-out hits to Cobb (single) and Rendon (double). Ricky Ohl inherited runners in scoring position and could not have coped any less well, throwing a wild pitch to tie the game and allowing an RBI single to Martin to put the Bayhawks into the lead again, 5-4. Ivan Pena homered off Ohl in the eighth to add an insurance run, while the Coons had Jamieson hit into a double play in the bottom 7th to erase Stalker’s leadoff infield single, and then wasted Nunley’s leadoff double in the eighth. Bottom 9th, San Fran’s Adam Hicklin issued a leadoff walk to Tim Stalker, bringing up the tying run with nobody out, in this case Ryan Allan, the last man off the bench, and Allan hit into a fielder’s choice at second base. Hicklin lost Harenberg on balls, then allowed a fly up the rightfield line to Abel Mora. Martinez with his rather limited range did not manage to catch it, but cut off the ball before it could make the corner, and while he had not much range, he sure had an arm; Allan scored on the double, but Harenberg with the tying run had to be held at third base, while Mora was at second with the winning run for Matt Nunley. Both him and Tovias struck out. 6-5 Bayhawks. Magallanes (PH) 1-1; Stalker 1-2, 3 BB, RBI; Harenberg 3-4, RBI; Nunley 2-4, BB, 2B, RBI; Ivey (PH) 1-1, RBI;

The Druid diagnosed Alberto Ramos with a sprained wrist, meaning another DL stint for what could be such an awesome Player of the Year, a title he would never, ever win…

The Raccoons – bereft and grief-stricken and on a 3-game losing streak they would never snap – called up OF Wilson Rodriguez to fill the empty spot. The 27-year-old Dominican could play some infield at second and third. He had appeared in a handful of games last year, batting .211. In AAA he had hit .303 with seven homers up until now.

Game 3
SFB: CF Hawthorne – SS Pulido – 1B Caraballo – RF C. Martinez – LF Orozco – C Carpenter – 3B D. Cobb – 2B J. Cruz – P Huf
POR: SS Gerster – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – CF Mora – 3B Nunley – C Tovias – RF Gomez – P Roberts

A tremendous weekend got only better with Mark Roberts being waffled around for four base hits and three runs in the opening inning. Hawthorne opened with a single, Pulido doubled, and they scored on Cesar Martinez’ single – all to left – before too long. An ill-advised throw home by Jamieson and a passed ball on Tovias gave Martinez enough free bases to score on a 2-out single by Carpenter then, putting the Raccoons in a 3-0 hole and on track for a 4-game losing streak right after a 7-game winning streak… Martinez took Roberts deep (such a surprise) to add a run in the third inning, while the Raccoons did absolutely nothing the first time through the order. Stalker hit a solo homer his second time up, while the Coons also got Gomez in the fourth and Harenberg in the fifth to the plate with two on and two out, only for both of them to miserably strike out. Roberts was done after six innings of 4-run ball and just being plain ol’ ****, and Jose Cruz immediately hit a leadoff double against Surginer in the seventh. That runner, too, would score on a passed ball charged to Tovias, who was perhaps even worse than just plain ol’ ****. While the Coons had their leadoff batters on base in the sixth and seventh innings, Nunley and Allan would immediately hit into a double play, respectively, and the home team would not even come close to staving off a well-deserved sweep. Top 8th, Fleischer loaded the bases on an Orozco single, a walk to Carpenter, and nicking Cobb, then just kept going when Cruz dropped a bloop between Gerster and Jamieson for an RBI single. Miraculously Rendon whiffed and Hawthorne lined out to Jamieson, but Fleischer hung around to walk Pulido and Martinez in the ninth inning. Garavito got out of that inning, not that another crooked number would have made a difference. 6-1 Bayhawks. Jamieson 3-4; Baldwin (PH) 1-1;

In other news

June 18 – The Cyclones walk off to beat the Blue Sox, 2-1 in 11 innings, in most curious fashion. NAS CL Jimmy Souders (2-5, 2.50 ERA, 14 SV) has Cincy’s 2B/LF Hang-yu Che (.238, 2 HR, 21 RBI) reach on an error by 3B Chance Bossert before both Frank Eisenberg and Kelvin Winborn reach on sacrifice bunts in which the Blue Sox try and fail to kill off the lead runner Che. With three on and no outs, CIN C/1B Rey Cedillo (.268, 1 HR, 16 RBI) works a full count for a walk to end the game.
June 19 – The hitting streak of LAP RF/LF Oscar Mendoza (.300, 8 HR, 42 RBI) ends in his team’s 5-3 win over the Scorpions, who hold the sophomore dry and end his spell at 21 games.
June 19 – SAC CF Justin McAllester (.196, 4 HR, 26 RBI) is done for the season after tearing his labrum.
June 20 – WAS 2B/3B Enrique Trevino (.358, 1 HR, 37 RBI) has connected for 20 straight games with a single in the Capitals’ 8-4 win over the Miners, but the mood is dampened in the Capitals camp with WAS OF Jeremy Houghtaling (.276, 3 HR, 19 RBI) expected to miss the rest of the season after fracturing his skull running into the outfield fence.
June 22 – SAC SS/3B Matthew Crabtree (.244, 2 HR, 23 RBI) goes 0-for-10 in the Scorpions’ 4-2 win over the Buffaloes that takes six hours and 22 innings to complete. Way past a senior citizen’s bed time, 42-year-old SAC 1B Mike Rucker (.279, 7 HR, 33 RBI) hits a 2-run homer off TOP MR Mike Willis (1-2, 6.75 ERA) in the 22nd inning to break a 2-2 tie on the board since the second inning.
June 22 – LAP SP Luis Flores (4-3, 2.66 ERA) will miss at least one start with elbow soreness.
June 22 – The Rebels trade 3B/1B Mike Grigbsy (.241, 5 HR, 28 RBI) and an unranked prospect to the Aces for INF Mike Green (.227, 4 HR, 27 RBI).
June 23 – The Stars crush the Capitals in an 18-6 rout, with DAL 2B Eric Hendricks (.303, 2 HR, 15 RBI) supplying three base hits and a handful of RBI.

Complaints and stuff

A 4-game losing streak against thoroughly mediocre opposition – wonderful. Never mind we will have to play actual teams next week with the Thunder here and Titans in Boston. The latter probably won’t have to wait for us to physically appear to forcefully take back first place in the division.

Not that any of this spiraling is surprising. The Raccoons dared to not send Tom Shumway in any of the last four games – their pitchers cocked up six runs or more in all four of them. Shumway will have to start every game in Boston! And if possible go nine in all four of them.

Right out of the gate, this year’s team did not gel much at all. And that was before all the best players went for extended holidays on the DL. Well, it is all in the bin. With Ramos on the disabled list for a month AGAIN in addition to Rico Gutierrez and Rich Hereford (lost for much longer) the Raccoons only have the wannabes and pretenders left. And maybe Shumway. All is lost. All is lost.

(calmly huddles up on the brown couch wrapped entirely into a Raccoons beach towel)

(wailing erupts from under the blanket)

Fun Fact: The Thunder’s Alex Lindsey no-hit the stupid Bayhawks 21 years ago today, on June 24, 2008.

The game ended 6-0 for the Thunder and was the first no-hitter by a visiting pitcher in the ABL since the Critters’ Bob Joly’s no-hitter in New York in 2000. It was also the first no-hitter ever for the Thunder, who have since had four more, pairs of no-nos by Brian Furst and Bryan Hanson. The Raccoons were never involved in those.

Just like they won’t be involved with the postseason this year…
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:34 AM   #2771
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Raccoons (41-34) vs. Thunder (38-36) – June 25-27, 2029

The reeling Raccoons went on to host the water-treading Thunder, so anything could happen right now… usually bad stuff. Oklahoma sat third in the South, 6 1/2 games out, and had a nice offense that chopped out the fourth-most runs in the CL. Unfortunately for them, their pitching staff could not have been leaking worse if they were all replaced by sieves and held under a running water tap. The worst starters’ ERA, the worst bullpen ERA, and the most runs allowed – all the Thunder’s! The league-worst defense probably also had a say, but you could not blame it ALL on defense. They were also at the bottom of the CL in another stat, steals, but the rest was damning enough on its own. The Coons were 2-1 on them this season.

Projected matchups:
Tom Shumway (7-3, 1.89 ERA) vs. Jeff Dykstra (9-4, 4.56 ERA)
Trevor Draper (2-1, 5.00 ERA) vs. Chris Klein (4-7, 4.78 ERA)
Dan Delgadillo (8-5, 4.21 ERA) vs. Andy Palomares (5-6, 5.65 ERA)

Three right-handers on offer here; their only southpaw starter, “Graveyard” Gill had disappeared onto the DL several weeks ago.

Game 1
OCT: CF Pagel – C Burgess – 3B D. Garcia – SS Serrato – RF Sagredo – 1B J. Gutierrez – LF Loya – 2B Kane – P Dykstra
POR: RF Magallanes – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – 3B Nunley – SS Gerster – CF Mora – C Tovias – P Shumway

The Thunder’s porous defense showed up for the first time in the bottom of the second inning when Alex Serrato fumbled a Butch Gerster groundball into an error, which combined with Harenberg’s leadoff single that extended a 12-game hitting streak and Abel Mora getting flatout nailed loaded the bases with one down for Elias Tovias, who managed a sac fly to left for the first run in the game before Shumway got eviscerated on strikes. The Thunder did not trail for long; Shumway allowed a leadoff single to Ricky Loya in the third inning, then conceded the run by allowing a 2-out triple to center on an 0-2 pitch to Kyle Pagel. Mike Burgess walked after that, but perennial pain bringer AND pain receiver Dave Garcia struck out, stranding two. Depressingly enough, the next time the Thunder had somebody in scoring position Pagel would be available again to provide a 2-out knock; that came in the fifth with Mike Kane having reached on a single that Butch Gerster should have been able to get in a perfect world, and then Pagel doubled into the gap between Jamieson and Mora to put the Thunder up 2-1 in the fifth. The Raccoons were 2-hit through five innings, which was bad enough, but there was still room for it all to get much worse. The Thunder had Garcia on with a leadoff walk in the sixth, he got caught stealing, but Luis Sagredo walked, and Jose Gutierrez – the ancient one – singled. Tom Shumway left the game – with discomfort. The trainer hauled him in, not the manager. And the Raccoons were doomed.

Never mind the run the Thunder tacked on in the eighth when Surginer and Garavito seemingly could retire nobody at all except when the Thunder retired themselves. Never mind the bottom 8th, which Ryan Allan opened with a pinch-hit single before throwing out his back in an on-base collision with Serrato at second base on Magallanes’ umpteenth ****ty grounder of the game. Never mind that the Raccoons remained absolutely pathetic at the plate and lost the game without as much as a comeback attempt. 3-1 Thunder. Harenberg 2-4; Nunley 2-4; Allan (PH) 1-1;

With Tom Shumway dangling over the DL and under the cutting knife – IN ADDITION TO Ramos, Gutierrez, and Hereford – the Raccoons’ season was most definitely wrapped up and done.

The Druid was not done soaking Shumway in vinegar for the moment, but we did place Ryan Allan (herniated disc) on the DL, where he would remain all through July. The worst thing was… there was nobody in the system that would have merited a call-up, or would made sense to call up to replace him, infielder or outfielder. The Coons settled on German Sanchez because he was on the 40-man roster, but he was also – in St. Pete – batting *.171*.

That was the point where we had sunken to. No luck. No depth. No future.

Game 2
OCT: CF Pagel – C Burgess – 3B D. Garcia – SS Serrato – LF D. Brown – 1B J. Gutierrez – RF Dalton – 2B Kane – P Klein
POR: SS Stalker – LF Jamieson – 3B Nunley – 1B Harenberg – CF Mora – RF Gomez – C Ivey – 2B Baldwin – P Draper

To anybody’s surprise, Trevor Draper was not eaten by grasshoppers on his way to the mound for the first pitch, lined up three goose eggs to start the game, and then was spotted a lead when Tim Stalker fired a 3-piece in the bottom of the third. Baldwin, the rule 5’er nobody needed, wanted, or used around here, led off with a single, Draper had his bunt thrown away by Mike Burgess, and Tim unloaded to dead center. The Coons got Jamieson on with a single, had him doubled off when Nunley grounded to short, but Harenberg drew a 2-out walk and scored on Mora’s double to extend the lead to 4-0 before Draper could get the round leather back. When he did, he retired none of the first four Thunder in the fourth inning. Garcia walked, stole second, then scored on a Serrato single, and Draper then filled the bags with more walks to Dan Brown and Jose Gutierrez, who was going on 45 but had a .438 OBP in limited action. Dalton fouled out, but Mike Kane hit an RBI single, Klein hit a sac fly, and Harenberg made a sprawling play to retire Pagel and end the inning just before the Thunder, now down 4-3, could tie it. (barks at Draper from his office) YOU ****ING SUCKER!!

The Coons stranded a full set in the bottom 4th after leadoff singles by Ivey and Baldwin, with Stalker getting nailed to load them up for Jamieson, who popped out foul, and Nunley, who flew out to Pagel. Draper barely lasted five and a third innings, issued a leadoff walk to Gutierrez in the sixth on his way out, and Billy Brotman just barely managed to get through the left-handed Kane and the ****ing opposing pitcher without blowing the skinny lead. Actually Klein singled with two outs, but Pagel popped out poorly. Whatever the **** works? Nothing ****ing worked here anymore… Ricky Ohl pitched the seventh flawlessly, arranged as such so that Matt Stonecipher would face the less intimidating batters in the eighth. He allowed a leadoff single to Brown, nailed Kane, but somehow also struck out two without blowing the still skinny lead. Bottom 8th, Ivey and Baldwin made poor outs against Ying-hua Ou before Wilson Rodriguez, inserted in a double switch earlier, singled through Garcia in his first at-bat of the season. Tim Stalker came up, saw, and conquered, hitting a brutal 2-piece off Ou that provided some cushion while also engaging the fans in the upper rows in the leftfield stands. Even then, Josh Boles refused to save the game without panic, walking Burgess with one out, then Serrato with two outs in the ninth inning. Dan Brown was the tying run and drove a double past the diving Harenberg that plated one run and put the tying runs in scoring position for Sagredo, who grounded up the middle with spice, but Tim Stalker was there to save the day for a third time, making a sprawling reaching play-and-tumble and then still managed to toss to first base in time to end the affair. 6-4 Coons. Stalker 3-3, 2 HR, 5 RBI; Jamieson 2-5; Nunley 2-5; Harenberg 2-4, BB; Baldwin 2-4; Rodriguez 1-1;

(holds a bewildered Tim Stalker curled up in his lap and pats him like an oversized cat) You are a good boy, Tim. You are a good boy.

You are a good boy, Tim. You are a good boy.

You are a good boy, Tim. You are a good boy.

Game 3
OCT: CF Dalton – RF Sagredo – SS Serrato – 3B D. Garcia – C Burgess – 2B Kane – LF Hodgers – 1B Loya – P Palomares
POR: 2B Stalker – LF Magallanes – 3B Nunley – 1B Harenberg – CF Mora – C Tovias – RF Gomez – SS Sanchez – P Delgadillo

An entirely unexpected home run by Rafael Gomez (slugging under .300 entering today…) put the Raccoons up 2-0 in the second inning, cashing in on Elias Tovias’ earlier single. Delgadillo allowed no hits in the early going, and the first time through the Thunder lineup walked two (though Victor Hodgers was caught stealing) and whiffed three. The Thunder were still hitless after the fourth inning, while the Coons weren’t so much; Harenberg hit a 1-out single, stretching his hitting streak to 15 games, and Mora came up with a double in the bottom 4th, and then Elias Tovias emptied the bases with a dinger to right-center, jumping the tally to 5-0. Yusneldan maintained a no-no through five, but then got zinged for back-to-back singles by PH Jose Gutierrez and Dan Dalton. Gomez overran Dalton’s single for an error, but remarkably with two in scoring position and nobody out, Delgadillo dug in and managed to surrender only one run in the inning with a pop, a groundout, and a K to Garcia. He lasted seven innings of 2-hit, 1-run ball before being hit for to begin the bottom 7th with his pitch count at 98. Butch Gerster popped out in his spot and the Coons would not mount any more offense, but the Thunder would neither. Matt Stonecipher retired them in order for the final six outs of the game. 5-1 Coons. Tovias 3-4, HR, 3 RBI; Sanchez 1-2, BB, 2B; Delgadillo 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K, W (9-5); Stonecipher 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K;

Before the Coons left for Boston, they put Tom Shumway on the disabled list with ulnar nerve irritation, which was probably going to put him out of his misery for the rest of the season.

Raccoons (43-35) @ Titans (41-36) – June 28-July 1, 2029

Buried deep beneath the detritus that was this season, somewhere, was the fact that despite the agony suffered in the Thunder series, the Raccoons still had gained a game on Boston, who were now 1 1/2 out, but that was still enough to lose the lead by not securing a split in Boston, and did these Coons look any likely to split? Nah. The Titans were up 4-3 in the season series, and also had the stingiest pitching in the CL, conceding the fewest runs, with a top 3 rotation and the outright strongest bullpen. The Coons could not stink up to that. In turn, the Titans still struggled to score, sitting eighth in runs tallied. The run differentials, another sometimes useful measure, saw no favorite here: the Titans’ was +45, the Coons’ +44.

Projected matchups:
Rin Nomura (3-4, 4.28 ERA) vs. Dustin Wingo (3-5, 3.10 ERA)
Mark Roberts (8-6, 3.69 ERA) vs. Bryan Hanson (4-8, 3.78 ERA)
Trevor Draper (3-1, 5.01 ERA) vs. Lorenzo Viamontes (10-2, 2.76 ERA)
Jamie O’Leary (0-0) vs. Chris Munroe (3-8, 4.19 ERA)

This series would start off with two left-handers in Wingo and Hanson, then two righties. The question was whether the Raccoons wanted to rest Kevin Harenberg at all with him on a 15-game hitting streak… Regular left-handed bats Matt Nunley and Abel Mora would get the opener off.

The Raccoons called up their 2026 first-rounder, #16 pick Jamie O’Leary. The 25-year-old southpaw had not exactly sparkled at any point in his minor league career, but there was something about desperate times and such measures. He threw 92 with a tendency for grounders, and his fastball was least impressive for sure. He had three breaking balls to mix in. This year he had gone 7-4 with a 2.82 ERA between Ham Lake and St. Petersburg.

Him and Draper had pitched on the same day and one of them would have to go on short rest. We picked Draper, who was largely a disappointment that nobody cared about anyway and regularly required resuscitation by relievers in the middle innings anyway, so why not give the debutee a clean slate on regular rest on Sunday? It’s not like it is likely to matter, because by then the Titans will have been sweeping their way to the top anyway.

Game 1
POR: SS Stalker – CF Magallanes – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – RF Gomez – C Tovias – 2B Baldwin – 3B Gerster – P Nomura
BOS: 1B Jon. Morales – SS Spataro – 3B S. Williams – RF O’Rourke – 2B R. West – CF Reichardt – C T. Perez – LF Acor – P Wingo

Unforeseen by anybody, Dustin Wingo had a bit of a hiccup in the opening frame, in which Harenberg cashed singles by Magallanes and Jamieson with a gapper in right-center for a 2-run double. Gomez singled to put runners on the corners, and then Elias Tovias bombed a ball over the head of a sad-looking Dustin Acor for a 3-piece, putting Portland up 5-0 in the first. Oh dang, it is Nomura on the mound – small leads might survive, but any huge lead was sure to be blown! True to form and fame, Nomura shuffled the bases full with one out in the bottom 1st, walked in a run when he lost Rhett West in a full count, and another run scored on Adrian Reichardt’s groundout (although given Reichardt’s record as top-drawer coonskinner we probably had to be glad that ball wasn’t headed for New Brunswick) before Tony Perez struck out to keep it a civil 5-2 after the first. The Coons added a run in the third on Jamieson’s leadoff triple and Gomez’ run-scoring groundout when Harenberg flew out poorly to shallow left, but Nomura kept sucking hard. A leadoff single by Keith Spataro in the bottom 3rd ended up being doubled up, but a leadoff walk to West in the fourth created more trouble, especially after Reichardt singled. Tony Perez grounded to short, Stalker blatantly blew the play and the bases were loaded with nobody out after the error. Acor hit a 2-run single, 6-4, before John Jacobs popped out. When Jonathan Morales singled to restock the bags, the Coons angrily yanked Nomura from the game and sent Jonathan Fleischer to contain the fire, which he did masterfully by walking in a run facing Spataro, whiffing Stephen Williams, and then conceding a score-flipping 2-run single to Dave O’Rourke. West struck out, 7-6 Titans after four.

At that point, why bother? The Coons loaded the bags against Tim Zimmermann in the top 5th, but Gerster struck out to keep the runners stranded, and Magallanes’ 2-out double in the sixth led nowhere nice, either. Instead Fleischer surrendered a tack-on run in the bottom 6th after a leadoff single by Morales, who was plated with two outs by O’Rourke. Between Pat Selby and Jonathan Snyder, the Titans produced a three-on situation again in the eighth. Nunley singled with one out in the terrible Gerster’s place, then got forced out when Mora batted for Brotman and grounded to second. However, Snyder threw a wild pitch, halfheartedly walked Stalker after that, and then hit Magallanes. Matt Jamieson came up with a full plate… and on the first pitch grounded out to Spataro. 8-6 Titans. Magallanes 2-4, 2B; Jamieson 2-5, 3B; Gomez 2-4, RBI; Ivey (PH) 1-1; Tovias 2-4, BB, HR, 3 RBI; Nunley (PH) 1-1;

Tim Stalker is 0-for-8 with a game-blasting error since his 5-RBI against the Thunder. Something seems to have disturbed him, but I can’t figure out what it might have been…

However… (looks Rin Nomura straight in the eyes) Rin… I know, or I guess, that you try your best. … But I am done with you. **** you. **** you. **** you.

**** you.

(walks away muttering)

(Nomura turns to his interpreter, who makes a spiraling motion with his finger next to his right temple and shakes his head)

Game 2
POR: SS Stalker – CF Mora – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – C Tovias – 3B Nunley – RF Gomez – 2B Baldwin – P Roberts
BOS: 1B Jon. Morales – SS Spataro – 3B S. Williams – RF O’Rourke – 2B R. West – CF Reichardt – C T. Perez – LF Acor – P Hanson

The Titans jumped out to the early lead thanks to having runners in scoring position with nobody out in the first two innings. Jonathan Morales opened the bottom 1st with a triple and scored on a Stephen Williams sac fly, and then Nunley threw away Rhett West’s grounder to begin the bottom 2nd and that run came around on a Dustin Acor single when the Coons decided not to walk the .184 batter intentionally with two outs. Portland would not go down unanswered though; Tim Stalker got nailed with two outs in the third and then Mora flicked a single into center to even get the Critters into the H column. Another single by Jamieson scored Stalker before Harenberg popped out. In the fourth, Tovias and Gomez hit doubles to tie the game. The fifth saw Harenberg and Tovias strand a pair in scoring position before the Titans’ bottom of the order ripped Roberts for the go-ahead run. Tony Perez – also challenging the .180 mark – singled to lead off the bottom 5th, and then Acor hit the gap for an RBI triple. Somehow, Roberts kept him stranded despite no retirements in the inning, whiffing Hanson, walking Morales, getting a pop from Spataro, and also getting Mora to chase down a Williams drive, so maybe we could chalk that one up as success… except that we were still losing.

Gomez and Baldwin hit a pair of 1-out singles to go to the corners in the top 6th, which brought up Roberts as well as a dilemma. The Raccoons had abused their pen in the previous game(s) and required more pitching badly, but Roberts was also still batting over .300, so maybe he could by chance… no, popped out. Stalker grounded out to Spataro. The first-and-third, one out situation reoccurred in the seventh inning, then after Mora had singled, stolen second, and had advanced on Harenberg’s streak-extending single to Acor’s feet, which precluded Mora from challenging for home. Mora was sent, however, on O’Rourke’s arm when Tovias flew out to fairly deep right, and managed to slide in under the tag, just barely safe, to tie the score. Nunley singled, but Gomez flew out to center to end the inning – the cardinal mistake, hitting it vaguely into Adrian Reichardt’s zip code…

Roberts got through seven and also over 100 pitches at the same time and would be hit for in the top 8th, but before his turn even came up he was spotted the lead in the single most unlikely fashion – Chris Baldwin homered off Pat Selby. This was the first career dinger for Baldwin, of course, and it could also prove a real thorn in the Titans’ side here. Selby hung around to allow a PH single to Magallanes, who advanced on Stalker’s groundout. Mora was walked intentionally to get to Jamieson, but the Coons also pulled off a double steal here which not only took away the double play, but also turned out crucial in getting another run across on Jamieson’s 3-1 grounder to the left side that Spataro managed to cut off deep on the dirt, but by then he had been carried so far away from any play (there was no play at second base) that all paws were safe with a run-scoring infield single. Harenberg hit a sac fly, 6-3, and Ricky Ohl retired the 1-2-3 batters with surgical precision in the bottom of the eighth inning. All that was left was for Josh Boles to get three outs before cucking up three runs. Rafael Gomez picked an O’Rourke drive off the top of the fence, West struck out, and then Reichardt was nailed. Perez hit a 2-2 pop foul, but Jamieson dropped it outside fair bounds, putting the batter back in the box. The count ran full, but then Perez grounded out to Stalker. 6-3 Coons. Mora 3-4, BB; Jamieson 2-3, 2 BB, 2 RBI; Gomez 2-5, 2B, RBI; Baldwin 2-5, HR, RBI; Magallanes (PH) 1-1; Roberts 7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, W (9-6);

(exhales)

The good news is that while Draper goes on short rest on Saturday, our long men are rested and we will probably see at least one between Fleischer and Stonecipher.

Game 3
POR: 2B Stalker – 3B Nunley – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – CF Mora – RF Gomez – C Ivey – SS Gerster – P Draper
BOS: 1B Jon. Morales – SS Spataro – 3B S. Williams – RF O’Rourke – 2B R. West – CF Reichardt – C T. Perez – LF Acor – P Viamontes

Draper sucked right out of the gate, walked two and allowed two hits in the bottom 1st with the Titans having one run on the board and three men on base when Adrian Reichardt uncharacteristically did not remove my will to live with a gapper, but hit one to Butch Gerster for a 6-4-3 inning-ender, keeping it a 1-0 deficit. Tim Stalker would tie the game with a solo homer in the top of the third, which not only made him the first player into double digits on this team (!!), but also broke an 0-for-13 spell. The Titans recovered soon from that blast, at first aided by Shane Ivey, who dropped a foul pop by Spataro with one out in the bottom 3rd, the second time this occurred for a Coons fielder in four defensive innings… Spataro got another chance and singled, but was thrown out at home plate on the following deep double by Williams. The Titans were unfazed though, getting 2-out RBI hits from O’Rourke (double) and West (single) to build a new 3-1 lead.*

Draper lasted five, which was probably as much as anybody’s most generous guess, but remained on the short end of the score despite leadoff doubles by Nunley and Jamieson in the sixth. While that got one run across, Jamieson was left stranded. The Titans also stranded a pair in scoring position against Fleischer in the bottom 6th when Acor flew out to Jamieson, and the Coons opened the seventh with an Ivey single past Rhett West. Gerster bunted badly, getting the catcher forced out at second base, but then was sent to second base, which he swiped, under threat of immediate disposal in the nearby harbor. Next was Chris Baldwin, who had entered with Fleischer, who was in the #5 hole, in a double switch earlier, and we were not inclined to pinch-hit now. Baldwin came back with a gapper in right-center, O’Rourke missed it narrowly, but then still had to chase it all the way to the fence, leaving Baldwin with a score-knotting RBI triple. The Titans got out of that one with an intentional walk to Stalker, then a poor grounder by Nunley, and finally Jamieson flying out to right, keeping it a 3-3 game. … well, at least until the top of the order took Fleischer apart in the bottom 7th. Morales single, walk to Spataro, RBI single by Williams. Harenberg opened the eighth with a double to right, then was stranded when Tovias grounded out and Gomez and Ivey both popped out foul. Ryan Corkum retired the Coons in order in the ninth. 4-3 Titans. Ivey 2-4; Baldwin 1-2, 3B, RBI;

I like to think that this lineup would be a bit less ****ty with Ramos and Hereford around…

Game 4
POR: SS Stalker – 3B Nunley – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – CF Mora – C Tovias – RF Rodriguez – 2B Baldwin – P O’Leary
BOS: 1B Jon. Morales – SS Spataro – 3B S. Williams – 2B R. West – CF Reichardt – C T. Perez – RF Calfee – LF Acor – P Munroe

O’Leary retired the first five batters of his major league career, including Morales and Reichardt with strikeouts, before Perez and John Calfee reached base in the bottom 2nd. Acor flew out easily, however, the bottom 3rd began with a Chris Munroe double, which was annoying as **** in itself, and doubly so given that Munroe had started the season 0-for-****ing-32. The double made him an .030 batter, although the top of the order stranded him on third base with a grounder, a pop, and a fly to Jamieson in that order. The game was scoreless after three. O’Leary would also get his first career hit, a single to right in the fifth inning that also sent Wilson Rodriguez from second to third with one out. Tim Stalker hit into a 5-4-3 double play to keep the Coons dry.

The Titans took their time, but eventually got there when O’Leary came unhinged in the sixth inning and just like that walked the bases full with one out. All the runners scored on singles by Reichardt (2 RBI) and Calfee (1 RBI), and the Titans stormed into first place because of it. O’Leary was hit for with two outs in the seventh inning and Mora and Baldwin in scoring position against Munroe, but Rafael Gomez flew out to Calfee in rightfield. The pinnacle of shame came when the Titans deemed it unnecessary to remove Munroe for a reliever in the ninth inning despite being up by “only” three runs. He had a 7-hit shutout after all, what could ever happen to him against one of his 38 former teams? Mora led off with a single. A-ha! There is the rally! And when Tovias smacked into a double play, the rally was over. 3-0 Titans. Jamieson 2-4, 2B; Mora 2-4; Stonecipher 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K;

In other news

June 25 – The hitting streak of Washington’s Enrique Trevino (.357, 1 HR, 41 RBI) reaches 25 games with a single in the Capitals’ 5-1 win over the Pacifics.
June 25 – IND SP Andy Bressner (9-6, 3.63 ERA) will miss two to three months with a herniated disc.
June 26 – SAC SP Alex Vallejo (4-3, 4.05 ERA) 1-hits the Rebels in a 7-0 shutout. Richmond’s only base hit is a leadoff single by INF John Hansen (.240, 3 HR, 15 RBI) in the fourth inning.
June 28 – Just a week after being signed out of Italy by the Wolves, LF Fontana Condulmaro (.455, 1 HR, 6 RBI) collects four hits and drives in six runs in an 11-3 win over the Scorpions.
June 29 – The hitting streak of WAS Enrique Trevino (.355, 1 HR, 41 RBI) ends after 27 games in a 5-2 win over the Buffaloes. Trevino goes 0-for-3 in the contest.
July 1 – LAP LF/CF Chris McEwen (.286, 4 HR, 12 RBI) goes deep three times in an 8-2 Pacifics win over the Warriors. It is the first time a Pacific has achieved the feat in 17 years, with Stanley Murphy most recently going deep three times for them in 2012.

Complaints and stuff

(sits in the middle of a burning hotel room and calmly drinks from a weirdly glowing bottle)

This is all fine.

(with great bluster and rumble, part of the burning ceiling collapses in the far corner)

Fun Fact: Whenever the Raccoons have on 95+ games in a season, they have won only 89 games on average the following season.

Also, only five playoff appearances in years after a 95+ W campaign.

Well, shoulda seen it coming!

*The game scored these two runs as unearned, while I think they should be earned. If you want to weigh in, a discussion is in the OOTP 19 General Blurb forums.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:02 PM   #2772
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Raccoons (44-38) @ Canadiens (41-42) – July 2-5, 2029

Raccoons fans everywhere approached this series with much foreboding given the team’s track record for spectacularly collapsing whenever they ventured north of the border in anything other than perfect condition… and they were far from perfect… and even in perfect condition, grim things had happened in the past. The Elks had the worst batting average (something that could be helped out quickly) in the Continental League, but still somehow had the third-most runs scored (there ya go), while their pitching was adequate at best and crummy at worst and conceded the fourth-most runs, giving them a +4 run differential. The season series was tied at two.

Projected matchups:
Dan Delgadillo (9-5, 3.99 ERA) vs. Joe Martin (4-7, 3.70 ERA)
Rin Nomura (3-5, 4.70 ERA) vs. Leon Hernandez (3-4, 3.86 ERA)
Mark Roberts (9-6, 3.62 ERA) vs. Victor Govea (2-4, 3.78 ERA)
Trevor Draper (3-1, 4.58 ERA) vs. Estevan Delgado (6-5, 5.08 ERA)

Three righties and a left-hander on offer here. With Chris Sinkhorn, John Byrd, and Brian Wojnarowski, the Elks continued to have significant assets on the DL, but tell me about that…

As always, I would not be able to attend the games in person, courtesy of my longstanding travel ban (occasionally coyly circumvented, but usually always detained after some unclever move) to the Land of Moose. I had not even gotten out of Boston by game time on Monday, having trudged into the nearest bar after being carried out of the burning hotel by a fireman. There I sat at the counter, and with the Titans game on the East Coast already over, the TV above the bar showed the Raccoons game from Elkland. Oh great, you can’t get away from those stinkers for even five minutes …! Next to be sat a toothless guy everybody called August, in his stained underwear, and talking intelligibly to his empty bottle, but that did irk me considerably less than the Raccoons game being on TV.

Game 1
POR: SS Stalker – 3B Nunley – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – CF Mora – C Tovias – RF Gomez – 2B Baldwin – P Delgadillo
VAN: C F. Garcia – SS N. Millan – CF Coca – 1B D. Fisher – LF A. Torres – 3B Anton – RF N. Day – 2B Gura – P J. Martin

Said game’s first out was Tim Stalker getting caught astray of first base after a leadoff single, so there ya go, boys, that’s the spirit! Talking about spirit … (squints to decipher the blue stitches on the bartender’s stained white shirt) *Lou*… how, about some more spirits in my glass right here? Doubles by Nunley in the first and Tovias in the second disappeared into the void, while Delgadillo got charged with 2-out runs in the bottom 2nd, when disgusting ****head Ted Gura doubled in Alex Torres and Norman Day from the corners, and another 2-out run in the third inning when Nelson Millan hit a 1-out triple into the gap between Gomez and Mora, Delgadillo battled down Tony Coca for a K – no mean feat at all – and then still surrendered a leaky single to David Fisher. Two more in the fifth, Torres and Matt Anton getting back-to-back RBI singles past Tim Stalker to run the lead to 5-0 after a 1-out single by Nelson Millan and a borderline 3-2 pitch being called ball four on Coca.

The Coons had no base hits from the Tovias double in the top 2nd all the way to the sixth, when just as I was considering trying some of that brown crack stuff the news were warning about from a street vendor, Harenberg, Mora, and Gomez dropped in three hits for a token run. The Coons got another one in the seventh, which Delgadillo opened with a leadoff double off reliever Luis Vasquez, Jamieson plating him with two down. That slow-poke rally continued in slightly more force in the eighth inning, with Vasquez allowing Tovias on board, and then Rafael Gomez to hit one outta there, at which point August looked up and said to me that those damn Skunks better not let those other damn Skunks steal the skunking game. I advised him to bite me and/or lay by his mother. His concerns turned out unmerited. Matt Nunley drew a leadoff walk from Raul de la Rosa in the ninth, which was as far as the Coons would come towards tying the game. Jamieson hit into a double play for some great disservice, and Harenberg struck out when there was no more double play left to hit into. 5-4 Canadiens. Tovias 2-4, 2B; Gomez 2-4, HR, 3 RBI;

Delgadillo struck out eight … and still got pummeled. Not that eight is plenty, but he sure hasn’t put up high K values for a long time.

That was Tony Coca’s last game as an Elk; they traded him (.294, 18 HR, 57 RBI) to the Crusaders overnight for a package of MR Jared Stone (0-3, 5.23 ERA, 1 SV) and #83 prospect OF/2B Eric Morrow, which was ONE way to bow out of a tight race in early July… I did not hear about this until I was on a bullet train somewhere in Pennsylvania where some obnoxious 12-year-old kid with glasses and hearing aids in my compartment watched a simulcast of the Coons-Elks game, the Aces-Bayhawks game, the Indians-Loggers game, and the Gold Sox-Scorpions game, with all four sound tracks live, on his transparent laptophone. Yeah, if I did that, my hearing would be damaged, too!

In addition to the usual misery, this was a Nomura start – and he was dead to me – and I saw this from opposite the kid, so Nomura in my top-left of the screen was throwing right-handed as far as I was concerned.

No wonder kids are all messed up these days!

Game 2
POR: SS Stalker – 3B Nunley – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – CF Mora – C Tovias – RF Gomez – 2B Baldwin – P Nomura
VAN: CF Tessmann – RF N. Day – LF A. Torres – 1B D. Fisher – SS N. Millan – C F. Garcia – 3B Light – 2B Gura – P L. Hernandez

The hellbound-on-losing Raccoons managed no hits in their first 15 attempts against Hernandez before Gomez landed a 2-out single in the fifth that led absolutely nowhere, while the Elks had five hits in the first three innings against Nomura, but jacked into two double plays with Norman Day in the first and Nelson Millan in the second. When they did score in the bottom 4th, the run was unearned thanks to an error by Harenberg that put the leadoff man Torres on base in the inning. Thanks for enabling the Elks, Kevin. Thanks a bunch – I cursed that out loud and in less rosy words, causing the kid to look at me and to hold his index finger in front of his mouth to kindly request that I shut the **** up.

Nomura hit the absolutely detestable Ted Gura to begin the bottom 5th; most detestable was actually that he did hit him to lead off an inning and that he didn’t blow his brains out while doing so, but I drew pleasure from Tovias throwing out Gura trying to nip second, Elias’ second runner caught stealing in the game. Nomura was done after six innings, during which he bled nine hits but never allowed an earned run, and even led off the top 6th with a single to rightfield that the top of the order could not possibly have cared less about. The Coons sucked the covers off the baseballs as always, and were still held to two hits through eight innings. Mauricio Garavito was out in the bottom 8th, walked Torres leading off, then hung a 1-2 breaking ball to David Fisher that probably landed in Raccoons Ballpark, putting this game out of even theoretical reach even before Kevin Surginer replaced the left-hander, allowed singles to Millan and Sean Light, threw a wild pitch, and then cocked up a 3-piece to the ****ing miscarriage Ted Gura. 6-0 Canadiens. Nomura 6.0 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, L (3-6) and 1-2;

Somehow, the Raccoons game was on in the terminal at the Chicago airport where I waited on a delayed flight on Wednesday. I did not know why Chicago cared about baseball at all anymore, having been snubbed by the ABL for decades on end. Oh well, the horrors of the brown-clad fools on the field distracted me from the horrors of having the hair of a woman, that had fallen asleep next to me with her head sinking onto my shoulder afterwards, crawling up my left nostril. Her hair smelled like unwashed hair smelled after three days. Also, Matt Nunley was batting leadoff for the Raccoons, which was not the worst thing that had happened to the 2029 Coons, but was coming pretty close.

Game 3
POR: 3B Nunley – CF Mora – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – RF Gomez – 2B Baldwin – C Ivey – SS Sanchez – P Roberts
VAN: CF Tessmann – C F. Garcia – LF A. Torres – 1B D. Fisher – SS N. Millan – 3B Anton – RF L. Gross – 2B Gura – P Govea

Two broken lineups on two broken teams produced one hit apiece through the first five innings in a game that would have seemed to breeze by if I wouldn’t have had that lady’s unkempt mop in my face. German Sanchez opened the top 6th with a single to right, stole second, then was stranded right there as Roberts popped out, Nunley popped out, and Mora… grounded out. Good work, boys, always work in something unexpected! I totally expected A ****ING RUN. Govea struck out nobody (!) through six innings as the Raccoons kept futilely poking for no greater good, THEN came back and struck out the heart of the order IN order in the seventh inning. There was no rationalizing and no reasoning with this team. Much like with a 320-pound cellmate with little choice, there was just bending forward and taking it.

Govea, who had gone on short rest with a suspension to the Elks’

throwing things into disarray, lasted only seven innings, and Roberts could not get through the bottom 8th either. 2-out walk to PHs Ricky Ortíz and Sean Light created some urgency, especially with another right-handed batter, Adam Albrecht, hitting for Danny Tessmann in that spot. Ricky Ohl was called on, walked the bags full, then looked spooked when Fernando Garcia hit a fly into the right-center gap. Rafael Gomez managed to race over there, taking the ball to strand a full set for a team still on two base hits through eight. Top 9th, de la Rosa retired Nunley, then Mora, then lost Jamieson on a soft single up the middle, the ball just barely shying past the glove of replacement shortstop Curtis Hargraves. Blimey – Kevin Harenberg turned on a 1-2 pitch and blasted it out of the park of horrors! The Coons had the lead after all, then turned to Josh Boles to put things right. Boles walked Torres to begin the bottom 9th, almost got taken deep by Fisher (caught by Mora in vicinity of the fence), shed a single to Millan, and that brought up the winning run. Matt Anton ran a full count before grounding back to Boles, but Boles’ defensive shortcomings prevented the game from ending 1-6-3. Only Millan was retired, and Luke Gross would bat with two outs and runners still on the corners, popping up the first pitch he saw. If the question you asked at the top of the show was why the **** Chris Baldwin was batting sixth for a team that hoped to get anywhere this season, it was catching a harmless pop from a fellow fringe player that could have done major damage if handled by a millionaire. 2-0 Blighters. Jamieson 2-4; Harenberg 1-4, HR, 2 RBI; Roberts 7.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K;

My flight left Chicago at midnight, then was diverted from Portland to the nearby pleasant place of … Reno, Nevada, which meant that Thursday would see me travelling the backwoods roads between the desert and our lush corner of the world via ride service. My driver would be a nice Bangladeshi fella who had not been in the country for very long, and who – imagine – listened to baseball radio broadcasts while driving at more or less full volume. You will never guess what game was on during our drive up Route 97. “RANJIT RISTEN BASEBARR FOR REARN RANGUAGE” he would yell at me about 28 times during the drive, each time patiently staring at me with a bright grin until I acknowledged his endeavors with a nod. Mind that I was in the back seat and he would turn back to me while he did that, while doing about 75. Probably more, but I think the speedometer was broken, judging by the amount of police cars chasing us out of Klamath Falls.

Game 4
POR: SS Stalker – CF Magallanes – LF Jamieson – C Tovias – 1B Gomez – RF Rodriguez – 3B Gerster – 2B Baldwin – P Draper
VAN: CF Tessmann – RF N. Day – 1B D. Fisher – 3B Anton – SS Hargraves – LF Campbell – C R. Ortíz – 2B Light – P E. Delgado

Norman Day, the fool, struck out to strand a full set of runners that Trevor Draper had mostly walked, including a 2-out free pass to Estevan Delgado for good measure, although the Elks were up 1-0 by then thanks to an RBI double by Ricky Ortíz plating Tim Campbell, who had – well… – walked. Delgado would walk three in the fourth inning, but that would not amount to as much as the tying run for the Raccoons, especially with Juan Magallanes having been caught stealing by then… While Portland was doing absolutely nothing otherwise, the Elks would add a few comfort runs in the fifth on straight base hits by Fisher (double), Anton, and Hargraves (pair o’ singles), plus Campbell’s run-scoring groundout to make it 3-0. The bottom 7th saw a Gomez error and a Fisher single on Draper’s watch. The starter left with nobody out, and Kevin Surginer did nothing to kill the flames, walking Anton to put three on with no outs, and when the damn Elks got a pop and a force at home from the next two batters, Ricky Ortíz still managed to blast a bases-clearing double with two outs and in a full count. While Ranjit was powersliding through the Terwilliger Curves, Abel Mora hit a meaningless pinch-hit homer that knocked out Delgado, but would not matter in the final score. Nothing mattered here in Portland. 6-2 Canadiens. Mora (PH) 1-1, HR, 2 RBI;

Raccoons (45-41) vs. Indians (46-40) – July 6-8, 2029

Like anything else, the Indians had passed the Coons by, and the two teams would vie for second place on the final weekend before the All Star Game… like there was going to be *competition* …! Ridiculous proposition. Indy came in fourth in runs scored, third in runs allowed, and had all the tools needed to knock the Critters far off first place just before three long days to think about the meaning of life. The Arrowheads also led the season series, 5-4.

Projected matchups:
Jamie O’Leary (0-1, 4.50 ERA) vs. Mark Matthews (4-8, 5.78 ERA)
Dan Delgadillo (9-6, 4.17 ERA) vs. John McInerney (9-5, 2.79 ERA)
Rin Nomura (3-6, 4.21 ERA) vs. Sal Bedoya (4-1, 3.16 ERA)

Right-left-right, and probably also aggravating loss – crystal clear loss – I can’t believe I put on pants for this loss.

Game 1
IND: SS Pizano – 1B Jon Gonzalez – CF Suhay – RF Plunkett – C Dear – LF Aleman – 3B T. Johnson – 2B Schneller – P Matthews
POR: 2B Stalker – 3B Nunley – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – CF Mora – RF Gomez – C Tovias – SS Gerster – P O’Leary

The Indians stranded runners at second base in the first two innings, while the Coons left Harenberg and Tovias on the corners when Butch Gerster struck out in the bottom 2nd. Mario Pizano opened the top 3rd with a single, stole second – his 32nd base of the year – and then came home on Ben Suhay’s double in the gap for the first run of the game. Now, down 1-0 Portland was not dead yet, although all their runs in the bottom of the same inning would be unearned after an error by ROTY contender Dan Schneller, a tender 21 years old, that added Matt Nunley to the base paths in addition to Tim Stalker with one out. Kevin Harenberg then brawled an 0-1 pitch over the rightfield fence for a score-flipping 3-piece.

With Nunley on first, Harenberg hit a 1-out single his next time up, and Mark Matthews then walked Abel Mora on five pitches to load them up for Rafael Gomez, who you might remember was a pretty impressive hitter as little as two years ago, but now had a .620 OPS. If there had been anything of value on the bench, the Coons might have sent a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning, but there was not, and so Gomez was allowed to bat; grounder at Todd Johnson, to second base, to first – but not in time. Nunley scored when the Indians could not turn the double play, but Tovias then grounded out to short to end the inning. O’Leary’s decent effort ended up completely hosed when the top 6th began with a Nunley error, then a walk that put on Matt Dear, too. Alex Aleman, Schneller, and PH Brad Rolph all knocked in a run to tie he game – all runs were unearned – and Pizano also singled up the middle to put the go-ahead run at third base. Kevin Surginer replaced O’Leary, walked Jon Gonzalez on four pitches, then had Ben Suhay, the notorious strikeout candidate, at 0-2 with two outs before he surrendered a liner into the corner for a bases-clearing double.

The desolate Raccoons got a leadoff single off Jim Kretzmann off Butch Gerster’s bat in the bottom 6th, then a Wilson Rodriguez double, and then barely managed to get those two runs across with a sac fly by Stalker and a Jamieson single that Pizano really should have had, yet still trailed 7-6. Stonecipher pitched two scoreless for the Coons, but could not spark a comeback. When leadoff man Mora reached base in the bottom 7th, and even swiped second, the inept Raccoons still stranded him at third base, and they got nobody on in the eighth. Harenberg led off the ninth against righty Ben Darr, but grounded out to short in a full count. Mora struck out. Magallanes grounded out to Schneller. 7-6 Indians. Harenberg 3-5, HR, 3 RBI; Mora 2-4, BB; Rodriguez (PH) 1-2, 2B;

Game 2
IND: SS Pizano – 1B Jon Gonzalez – CF Suhay – RF Plunkett – C Dear – 2B Schneller – LF Siebuhr – 3B T. Johnson – P McInerney
POR: SS Stalker – CF Magallanes – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – RF Rodriguez – C Tovias – 3B Gerster – 2B Baldwin – P Delgadillo

Bottom 1st – Stalker single, Magallanes single, Jamieson double … aaaand, as of yet, no runs … Stalker had been caught stealing. In an obvious clutch spot, Harenberg obviously popped out before Wilson Rodriguez, the scrub not on any prospect list, turned a 3-1 pitch into a 2-out, 2-run gapper in right-center. Those were his first career RBI’s, and then he was left stranded when Elias Tovias popped out. The Indians did not get a base knock the first time through, but Pizano singled and stole second with two outs in the top 3rd. Delgadillo balked him to third base even, but Jon Gonzalez, also far from the Master of Clutch, popped out to Baldwin. Remember, those two first-sackers were BOTH active in the Coons’ successful 2026 postseason, although you would not guess why…

Suhay’s leadoff single and a four-pitch walk to Mike Plunkett with nobody out in the top 4th would allow the Arrowheads to score a run on two productive outs, but Yusneldan was still ahead through five innings, although he needed nearly 80 pitches to get there. The remainder of his workload for the day plainly sucked; a leadoff walk to Jon Gonzalez, then a Suhay triple to knot the score in the top 6th. Plunkett popped out, Dear walked, and Schneller lined out to Stalker. With two outs and the game still tied, Brotman replaced Delgadillo to see after Jon Siebuhr, a terrifying left-hander batting all of .130, and in a full count allowed an RBI single up the middle, then walked Johnson to fill them up for McInerney, who popped out to left, but had a probably unrelinquishable 3-2 lead now. Rodriguez hit another 2-out double in the bottom 6th, but this time with nobody on, and did you really expect anything from Elias Tovias here? You really should adjust your expectations.

Fleischer and Ohl held the Indians close in the seventh and eighth innings, with the Raccoons getting Gerster on in the bottom 7th before he was caught stealing by Dear. Stalker drew a leadoff walk in the eighth, then was forced out on a frankly horrendous bunt by Magallanes. Awesome. Matt Jamieson ran into one and hit it for 370 feet to left then, a score-flipping homer, and if you wonder why I am completely devoid of any excitement here, it may well be because I was already dead inside. Boles sat down the Indians in order in the ninth, ending it with a K to Gonzalez. I still felt nothing. 4-3 Coons. Stalker 2-3, BB; Jamieson 2-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI; Rodriguez 2-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI;

Chad, you can stop dancing and poking me, I don’t think I can be happy tonight. – No, seriously, stop dancing. – Stop the dancing. – Chad, I must w-… great, now he danced into the showcase with the trophies and the mascot head has some old award stuck in the eye…

Game 3
IND: SS Pizano – 1B Jon Gonzalez – CF Suhay – RF Plunkett – C Dear – LF Aleman – 3B T. Johnson – 2B Schneller – P Bedoya
POR: 2B Stalker – 3B Nunley – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – CF Mora – RF Rodriguez – C Ivey – SS Sanchez – P Nomura

A Todd Johnson error that put Stalker on base to begin the bottom 1st allowed the Raccoons to score an unearned run when Harenberg’s 2-out grounder escaped out of Schneller’s reach. No other damn Raccoon reached base while Dan Schneller tied the game with a homer in the third, and the Indians put up three against an inefficient Nomura in the fourth inning, rapping out three base hits in addition to a walk and a costly Jamieson error in leftfield that added Plunkett to the base paths in addition to Suhay with one out, a scenario from which the rubbish Nomura proved unable to recover. Nor could the Coons come back from a 4-1 deficit, despite having the leadoff man on base in the fourth (Jamieson walk), fifth (Sanchez single!), AND sixth innings (Jamieson double). They scored two in the bottom 6th on a Harenberg double and a Rodriguez single, but that still kept them short at 4-3. Nomura was gone in the seventh after a leadoff walk (…) to Schneller, then a 1-out Pizano single. Stonecipher got Gonzalez to fly out to center and whiffed Suhay, which should be an easy task for any right-hander you’d be forgiven to think, right, KEVIN?? Ohl and Brotman continued to allow nothing, but the Coons could not get as much as on base in the seventh and eighth, then faced Darr again in the bottom of the ninth, still looking under every rug and pillow for the tying run. On the first pitch of the ninth, Wilson “Take Two” Rodriguez hit a double to left-center. There was the tying run. Now we just needed some fool to get another lucky bounce. It was not Shane Ivey, who popped out, and it should not have been Elias Tovias, who batted for Gerster and rolled a ball near the third base line, but Johnson had played deep and could not make it in time, and Darr had fallen the wrong way, too … Elias Matias Tovias Diaz actually legged out a ****ing infield single, and now the winning run was on base for PH Rafael Gomez, who struck out on three pitches, and then with two down the leadoff batter Tim Stalker. Tim ran it to 2-1 before looping a ball over Jon Gonzalez. It bounced fair behind Gonzalez, who leapt in vain and fell down to remove one defender from the play, so the game was tied in any case, but what about Tovias, who had gone on contact and was flinging the paws like there was a buffet at home plate. The ball also ran away from Plunkett and into foul ground, giving Tovias additional time to chug around third base where the coach had been windmilling for a couple of minutes with his arm. By the time Plunkett fired to home plate, Tovias was halfway, the throw was not very good, bounced inconveniently for Dear, and he had throw himself at Tovias at an angle… and missed him – the Coons walked off! 5-4 Critters. Harenberg 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Rodriguez 2-4, 2B, RBI; Tovias (PH) 1-1;

No, Maud, I am not smirking! And don’t you ever dare calling me a smirker again!

In other news

July 2 – PIT 1B Danny Santillano (.311, 12 HR, 43 RBI) not only hits safely five times in the Miners’ 3-1 win over the Cyclones, but also legs it out for a double four times, but somehow drives in nobody and scores only once.
July 2 – WAS OF Danny Serrano (.263, 0 HR, 14 RBI) is traded from the Aces to the Capitals in exchange for MR Arturo Arellano (0-1, .7.08 ERA, 2 SV) and a meager prospect.
July 3 – BOS CL Ryan Corkum (1-1, 2.35 ERA, 18 SV) is out for the year with a torn labrum.
July 3 – Indians and Loggers poke away at each other indecisively for 16 innings before the Indians break through with five runs in the top of the 17th to claim a 10-5 victory.
July 4 – The Warriors amount only to INF Ricky Tello (.281, 2 HR, 20 RBI) single in an 8-0 shutout for the Wolves’ combo of SP Phil Harrington (11-4, 2.66 ERA) and MR Jorge Farinas (1-2, 2.51 ERA, 1 SV).
July 4 – IND INF Nick Herman (.316, 1 HR, 11 RBI) will miss at least a month with a broken hand.
July 4 – A broken thumb puts CIN LF/RF Kelvin Winborn (.327, 4 HR, 35 RBI) out of action for the next month or more.
July 4 – The Gold Sox send SP Danny Arguello (8-6, 4.11 ERA) to the Blue Sox for a minor leaguer and an unranked prospect.
July 4 – The Rebels trade INF Evan Donahue (.264, 3 HR, 24 RBI) to the Aces for OF David Allard (.148, 1 HR, 8 RBI).
July 5 – Solo homers by SFW OF Mark Walker (.293, 11 HR, 34 RBI) and the pinch-hitting SFW 1B/SS Edgar Gonzalez (.282, 10 HR, 45 RBI) mark all the scoring in the Warriors’ 2-0 win over the Wolves.
July 6 – The Falcons score 11 unanswered runs in the last four frames against the Thunder and still come up short in a 14-13 scorefest. OCT 3B/CF Dave Garcia (.303, 11 HR, 57 RBI) drives in six runs on three hits, including a homer.
July 6 – Back soreness might keep PIT 3B Omar Lastrade (.294, 4 HR, 17 RBI) out for two weeks.
July 7 – The Loggers trade SP Philip Rogers (7-7, 3.83 ERA) to the Cyclones in exchange for two prospects.
July 7 – The Blue Sox trade SP Dan Jerge (8-8, 3.59 ERA) to the Gold Sox for a prospect in the second deal of the week between these two teams.
July 7 – For a prospect, the Knights acquire CHA SP Jesse Schiebout (2-3, 4.11 ERA).
July 8 – LAP OF Justin Fowler (.265, 17 HR, 59 RBI) will miss a month with a separated shoulder.

Complaints and stuff

The North is a riot. It would have been so easy to run away from this mess… but that was before the baseball gods smothered most any good player we had.

You might have read the Agitator as well recently. They are clamoring for reinforcements to get the team to the playoffs when they should be aware of the fact that we have nothing to trade, especially no prospects. There is absolutely nothing I can do besides hoping that the Titans waive Lorenzo Viamontes and 21 other teams snooze through the opportunity…

Well, I *do* scour the waiver wire diligently. Daniel Bullock is on waivers right now after batting .259 with no RBI in 31 games for the Aces and … - Cristiano, stop tugging on my shirt!

Somehow the Coons managed five All Stars, two of which were on the DL anyway: Shumway and Ramos. Also going: Ricky Ohl, Josh Boles, and Tim Stalker. It is the sixth All Star Game for Shumway, the fourth for Ohl, the second for Stalker and Boles, and the first(!) for Ramos. Well, no wonder if someone is always on the DL…!

The Raccoons have so far signed three international free agent teen kiddos, but we have also spent less than $60k total on those three, a left-handed pitcher named Julian Ponce as well as two right-handed infielders, Christian Castro and Vincent Zesati. All are 16-year-old Dominicans.

The Druid read in the bar code on the back of his comic book that Rico Gutierrez and Rich Hereford would be able to resume baseball activities in the second half of August. Of course, that also means rehab after a 3-month absence, so they would not be able to help the crashing Raccoons even remotely in time. Alberto Ramos might be back in the second half of this month, which was good news, because then there was still enough season left for him to reach his customary three annual DL stints.

Oh well, we’ll always have 2030, right?

Right?

Fun Fact: No team has ever won three championships, each two years apart.

The Titans have come close at times, with their four in a row this decade, and once they also won three in four years, but still, nobody has ever gone ring-meh-ring-meh-ring, even when allowing for the mehs to be additional rings. Well, only seven teams have even won three-plus rings at all in ABL history…

In case you lost track, it is Titans (8), Crusaders (7), Pacifics and Critters (4 each), and Stars, Capitals, and Scorpions (3 each).
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:13 PM   #2773
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All Star Game

The Federal League beats the Continental League, 5-2, in Washington, with hometown player Dave Menth being named MVP with a 2-run home run off John McInerney in a 1-for-3 performance. No player manages two base hits in the contest, and the Continental League manages only two in total, solo homers by Shane Sanks and Andrew Showalter.

Of the three Raccoons nominated and able to play, none is a starting lineup assignment. Tim Stalker pinch-hits, but makes an out, and Josh Boles gets tagged for two runs in two thirds of an inning. Ricky Ohl does not play at all.

Raccoons (47-42) vs. Canadiens (47-43) – July 12-15, 2029

…and round two on the cross-border pests. The season series stood 5-3 in the damn Elks’ favor after the most recent traumatic dismantling of the Raccoons north of the 49th parallel. The Elks were also hot, having won six of their last seven games before the All Star Game, and did not look like they would stop hoofing now. They were third in runs scored, seventh in runs allowed, and the Coons were in trouble against any opponent at this point.

Projected matchups:
Mark Roberts (9-6, 3.38 ERA) vs. Joe Martin (5-7, 3.42 ERA)
Dan Delgadillo (9-6, 4.21 ERA) vs. Victor Govea (2-4, 3.52 ERA)
Jamie O’Leary (0-2, 3.09 ERA) vs. Leon Hernandez (4-4, 3.76 ERA)
Rin Nomura (3-6, 3.94 ERA) vs. Estevan Delgado (7-5, 4.89 ERA)

I am not kidding with that remark about how any opponent could douse the Critters right now. Some of our guys played some catch with students from the Willamette Institute for the Limbless and the Blind during the All Star Break, with select media invited (somebody from the Agitator snuck in anyway), and some of those kids gave the Coons hell. I don’t know how, but Mark Roberts gave up a home run to a boy in seventh grade with only one leg and one arm. That ball is still rolling up Mount Hood as we speak…

Game 1
VAN: CF Tessmann – RF N. Day – LF A. Torres – 1B D. Fisher – SS Byrd – 3B Anton – C F. Garcia – 2B Gura – P J. Martin
POR: SS Stalker – 3B Nunley – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – CF Mora – RF Gomez – C Tovias – 2B Baldwin – P Roberts

Roberts’ very first pitch thrown in anger this week hit Danny Tessmann, who stole second and came around on a groundout and a sac fly by Alex Torres, so that was a nice start to the post-All Star Game part of the season! Not that this meant we were in the *post*-traumatic stress disorder part of the year; no, no! The terror was still live and raging. In this case, the Coons stunk their first time through the lineup, and Roberts got lit up in the fourth with a 1-out triple by David Fisher, then a pop by John Byrd that gave Roberts a perfectly good 2-out chance to escape against Matt Anton, but Anton, Fernando Garcia, and the ****stain of the world, Ted Gura, all hit singles, driving in two runs in the inning. Matt Nunley had the Coons’ first two base hits, both singles, never got off first base, and once was doubled up by Harenberg, while by the fifth inning Roberts had hit Tessmann leading off … twice. Joe Martin walked Roberts in the sixth, Harenberg in the seventh, and those two did not reach second base, either. Roberts got knocked out in the eighth after a Byrd single, his own error that put Anton on base, then a walk to Garcia. Three on, one out, Kevin Surginer allowed an RBI single to the world’s tallest cockroach, Ted Gura, and another run scored when Stalker and Baldwin could not turn a double play on Luke Gross. Down by five, the miserable Raccoons actually reached scoring position with leadoff doubles by Baldwin in the eighth and Jamieson in the ninth, and even got those runs in. Meaningless runs. In between, Brotman gave up back-to-back bombs to Torres and Fisher in the top of the ninth. 7-2 Canadiens. Nunley 2-4; Rodriguez (PH) 1-1;

I would shrug now, but I have no energy for it.

Best news yet, Nick Valdes would be in town for the weekend and expected nothing less but a complete turnaround and three wins.

Game 2
VAN: SS Byrd – 3B Anton – RF Wojnarowski – 1B D. Fisher – LF A. Torres – C F. Garcia – CF N. Day – 2B Gura – P Govea
POR: SS Stalker – 3B Nunley – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – CF Mora – RF Gomez – C Tovias – 2B Baldwin – P Delgadillo

Brian Wojnarowski homered in his first at-bat back in the lineup, a solo shot at least. Another solo home run was hit in the second inning by the wart on a weasel’s bum hole, Ted Gura, putting the Elks up 2-0. Valdes wondered out loud where our dingers where. On the DL, I quipped, and then we didn’t talk for the rest of the game…

The Elks’ bats did talking for all of us, though. Top 3rd, John Byrd reached on a ****ty throwing error by Tim Stalker, Matt Anton singled, and Wojnarowski emptied another game of any purpose with a booming 3-piece to deep right. Those were the last runs off Delgadillo, who managed to last six innings despite being roundly and superbly ****, with the crowning achievement of walking the opposing pitcher with the bases empty and two outs in the sixth inning also meticulously attained in masterful manner. At that point, the Raccoons had three base hits off Govea, no runs, and were surely forsaken. When the bottom 6th saw a Stalker out followed by Nunley doubling, Jamieson singling, and Harenberg walking, it never once crossed by mind that with three on and one down they might rally; they had just chosen to be much more bitterly forsaken. Abel Mora grounded a 2-1 pitch to the world’s yellowest ***stain, Ted Gura, but the stinking Elks couldn’t quite turn two on the play, conceding a consolation run to the Raccoons, who then had the astonishingly purposeless Rafael Gomez ground out to David Fisher to strand runners on the corners in a 5-1 game.

The game entered the record books when Brian Wojnarowski, who had walked in his third attempt against Delgadillo, hit a 1-2 pitch by Mauricio Garavito over the fence in the seventh inning, which was his third bomb on the day. Wilson Rodriguez hit a pinch-hit homer off Govea in the bottom 7th, which also meant that the Raccoons now had a new starting rightfielder, because if you have a huge cauldron of oozing, bubbling calamity, it is important to keep stirring it. Also an idiot, but not likely benchable yet: Kevin Harenberg, who hit a 2-out double off Andy Purdy in the bottom 8th, then was slapped down in a rundown between second and third like a bloody high school freshman. Amazingly enough the Raccoons would score four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to make up their 6-2 deficit… except that it was not a 6-2 deficit anymore by then; Stonecipher and Surginer had been slammed for three runs in the top of the ninth, and the Coons lost by that margin. Despite 2-out run-scoring doubles by Stalker and Nunley. Jamieson grounded out on a 3-1 pitch with the tying run, Harenberg, in the on-deck circle. 9-6 Canadiens. Nunley 3-5, 3 2B, RBI; Harenberg 2-3, BB, 2B; Baldwin 2-4, RBI; Rodriguez (PH) 1-1, HR, RBI;

Game 3
VAN: CF Tessmann – 3B Anton – RF Wojnarowski – LF A. Torres – C F. Garcia – SS Byrd – 1B N. Day – 2B Gura – P L. Hernandez
POR: 2B Stalker – 3B Nunley – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – CF Mora – RF Rodriguez – C Ivey – SS Gerster – P O’Leary

The ****ing Elks hit a dinger before they made an out, with Tessmann’s single and Matt Anton’s shot to center putting them up 2-0 on the bloody rookie O’Leary, who allowed another walk and two hits for another run in the inning. Norman Day hit a 2-out RBI double that scored Torres, with Garcia thrown out at the plate by Abel Mora. The useless scumbag O’Leary was out of the game before his turn to bat came up, bludgeoned to death with five (…) straight singles to begin the third inning, while the brown-clad miscarriages were sat down in order by Hernandez in the first two innings. Jonathan Fleischer inherited a purge in progress, 5-0 with three on and nobody out, and the human pest virus, Ted Gura, at the plate. Fleischer surrendered an RBI single on his very first pitch, the sixth hit in a row to begin this genocide of an inning. He somehow struck out Hernandez in a full count, then yielded a 2-run single to Tessmann past the diving (falling over?) Harenberg, threw a wild pitch, and allowed tow more on Anton’s single to left, the eighth single of the inning, and that one also made it 10-0.

At that point, Valdes broke the seering silence, barking that they were playing none too well. WELL YEAH THAT IS SOMETHING WE CAN ****ING AGREE ON.

Fleischer kept it a cool 10-0 through three, and Hernandez sat down ten Raccoons before one reached, and it was Nunley again with a single to right in the fourth. He was stranded on first base. That was already about as close as the Coons would get to scoring in this game. The Elks shifted a few gears back after the early demolition and coasted to score two runs in the seventh against Trevor Draper, the useless scum, as he walked four in three inning of work. Hernandez pitched a 5-hit shutout on 99 pitches. 12-0 Canadiens. Brotman 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K;

With that, the Raccoons banished Trevor Draper (4.66 ERA) back to St. Petersburg. He had walked 27 batters in 46.1 innings in the majors, an outright gutting performance that should be rewarded with semi-surgical removal of his left arm. The Coons didn’t need another starter until the following weekend thanks to an off day on Monday and so called up Jeremy Moesker to maybe eat some garbage innings. Moesker had pitched to a 5.59 ERA with the Coons earlier in the season.

Game 4
VAN: CF Tessmann – 3B Anton – RF Wojnarowski – LF A. Torres – 1B D. Fisher – C F. Garcia – SS Byrd – 2B Gura – P E. Delgado
POR: SS Stalker – 3B Nunley – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – RF Rodriguez – 2B Baldwin – CF Magallanes – C Tovias – P Nomura

While owner Nick Valdes went through all the other teams’ media guides to find a player with a winner’s moustache to trade for, Slappy and I embraced the booze even when Rin Nomura weathered the first inning storm of a walk to Anton and a Rodriguez error that put runners in scoring position and got David Fisher to pop out for a scoreless first. Boy, are we winners! (clanks bottles with Slappy) The bottom 1st saw straight singles by the top three to load the bases before Harenberg sure-handedly popped out. Rodriguez dropped a ball into shallow center for an RBI single, and Baldwin’s grounder beat the reach of the scourge of man, Ted Gura, for a 2-run single. Pathetic outs by Magallanes and Tovias left the remaining runners in scoring position, but with Nomura on the mound that was probably for the better. The more huge the lead, the more suck Nomura…

All was well through three with no hits for Elktown, but the Coons added three run to their tally… well, actually Delgado added three runs to the Coons’ tally… They had two hits in the bottom 3rd, but he also hit two batters and threw a wild pitch, without which the Coons probably would not have scored at all… All was well through four innings, and the Elks still had no hits, but Nomura was losing command and his pitch count skyrocketed. Walking John Byrd to begin the fifth didn’t help, but at least when he hit the Vancouver children eater, Ted Gura, he nailed him so good the Elks had to remove him from the game. Luke Gross replaced. HA!! **** YOU, GURA!! **** YOU!! PH Tim Campbell hit into a double play, but Nomura instead balked in Byrd from third base, giving the Elks a run out of thin air. The Coons answered with two against horrendous Luis Vasquez (9+ ERA) on a Stalker sac fly and a 2-out single by Nunley after Magallanes and Tovias had reached base. The damn Elks go their first base knock on Nomura’s 88th pitch, a leadoff double in the top 6th by Matt Anton. Nomura only ran three-ball counts from there, got two grounders, but also walked two batters, and Anton scored in the course of that mess. Ricky Ohl replaced the idiot Nomura, who had managed to turn eight runs of support into a muck with five walks and two hit batters, nailed Byrd, then gave up a 2-out slam to Luke Gross. It was now an 8-6 ballgame, and the ****ING ELKS had scored their six ****ing runs on TWO ****ing hits.

Stalker drove in an insurance run with two outs in the seventh, but the Coons still invited the Elks to have the tying run at the plate in the eighth. Garavito allowed a single to Garcia with two down in the inning, at which point we went to Boles for a 4-out save in the 9-6 game. Boles promptly gave up a sharp single to Byrd, bringing up slamming Luke Gross, who this time went down swinging. Boles did his usual two out, two on trick in the ninth, retiring Ricky Ortíz and Danny Tessmann before conceding singles to Anton and Wojnarowski. Alex Torres went down swinging to end the series from hell. 9-6 Coons. Stalker 2-4, 2 RBI; Nunley 4-5, BB; Jamieson 3-5, 3B; Magallanes 2-3, BB, RBI;

In other news

July 10 – The Rebels trade SP Todd Wood (6-7, 4.86 ERA) to the Warriors for unranked but interesting prospect 3B Jeff Weir and a minor leaguer.
July 13 – In another dismantling move, the Rebels trade CL Seth Odum (1-5, 3.68 ERA, 20 SV) to the Capitals for two prospects.
July 15 – SFB SP Ben Lipsky (9-6, 2.37 ERA) no-hits the Aces in a 10-0 Bayhawks rout, allowing only three walks against five strikeouts. It is the sixth Bayhawks no-hitter ever and the second no-hitter against the Aces in three years (TIJ George Griffin, 2027).
July 15 – The Capitals unspool the Rebels in an 18-3 rout, including an 11-run seventh inning. Four different Capitals players land three base hits, and C David Lessman (.292, 6 HR, 40 RBI) leads the team effort with 4 RBI.

Complaints and stuff

(sits in a dark office and does not say anything for a long time)

Saturday night I visited Max, who ran the minor league team in Portland before the Raccoons and the ABL rolled in. Max is older than dirt and has been around baseball for as long as it has been played. Max knows the ins and outs of winning and losing. Max has seen it all. Max’ll fix it. And for this purpose I brought him to the ballpark, so we could look at the team together and decided where to go. So, please welcome Max, everybody.

(produces a plate with a dirty skull on it; a few of the teeth are missing; inside the skull, a short black candle is flickering wildly)

And here… (shows a piece of paper to the skull) …are the suckers’ stats, Max. So what do you say we do now?

(the candle dramatically extinguishes)

Fun Fact: Six times this decade has an opposing player hit three home runs in one game against the spineless Raccoons. Three of them were Elks.

Needless to say that no other team in ABL history has gotten even remotely close to getting that regularly record-book-worthy rumped than the Raccoons.
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:16 PM   #2774
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:33 PM   #2775
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Questdog View Post
I could have had a nice day without this post....
Ask the guy who saw all those games un-chain-react-explode in color in front of his very eyes…!
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Old 03-27-2019, 05:16 PM   #2776
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Raccoons (48-45) vs. Loggers (39-54) – July 17-19, 2029

The Loggers were the only team in the North that was not going to be involved in a mildly crazy playoff scruffle at this point. Scruffle was not a word, but neither was there a flawless team in all of the North. The Coons surely weren’t it, and neither were the Loggers, who sat second from the bottom in runs scored, while they also allowed the fourth-most runs. Nothing to love here, and a 7-2 season series lead for the Raccoons, who could deny the Loggers a season series win for the 16th straight year by taking two out of three.

Projected matchups:
Mark Roberts (9-7, 3.47 ERA) vs. Joe West (5-7, 2.52 ERA)
Dan Delgadillo (9-7, 4.30 ERA) vs. Francisco Colmenarez (4-12, 3.57 ERA)
Jamie O’Leary (0-3, 7.90 ERA) vs. Alex Contreras (6-6, 4.21 ERA)

The Loggers would start with a righty and then alternate handedness with their starters from there.

As a neat surprise for the fans, the Coons activated Alberto Ramos from the DL at the start of the series, ditching German Sanchez in an actual ditch next to I-205.

Game 1
MIL: SS Lockert – 3B V. Diaz – C J. Young – RF W. Trevino – LF Cambra – 2B Holder – CF Becerra – 1B B. Day – P J. West
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – CF Mora – 3B Nunley – RF Rodriguez – C Tovias – P Roberts

Mora and Nunley went to the corners with a pair of singles in the second, with Wilson Rodriguez’ sac fly to Willie Trevino bringing in the first run of the contest before Elias Tovias crashed a fastball over the leftfield fence to make it 3-0 rather soon. Roberts reached on an error and Ramos on a single, but the Coons would not tack on to the lead with two on and one out as Stalker flew out to center, and Vinny Diaz grabbed Jamieson’s liner. The Loggers would get on the board in the fourth when Trevino’s leadoff drive ran away from Abel Mora for a double, and the Loggers scored him on two more deep flies to center, and those were not the first ones that Roberts had given up in this game, either. Everybody could hit Roberts hard if they guessed right on where a ruler-straight fastball would arrive: Joe West doubled down the line with one out in the fifth, but serious ROTY bid Matt Lockert and Diaz guessed wrong and both struck out.

Bottom 5th, a chance to blow it open. Abel Mora appeared in the box with one out and three aboard – none the result of a base hit. Ramos and Harenberg reached on walks, while Brendan Day threw away Tim Stalker’s grounder trying to turn two. Joe West kept missing to Mora, who walked to push home Ramos, but then rung up Nunley and got Rodriguez to pop out. More offense came via Roberts in the sixth, but in a good way; he hit a gapper between Angelo Becerra and Willie Trevino for a 1-out triple, and after a Ramos walk and Stalker pop Matt Jamieson would actually single him in, 5-1. Roberts got through seven without getting bombed after all (although it remained close right until the end), but instead the Coons upped their lead by one when Matt Nunley took Travis Feider deep to left center in the bottom 7th. The Critters thereafter finished the game with just Stonecipher and Moesker; the former retired nobody, conceding a leadoff single to Diaz in the eighth before Moesker replaced him and retired six of the next seven to complete 27 outs. 6-1 Coons. Nunley 2-4, HR, RBI; Roberts 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, W (10-7) and 1-3, 3B;

Who, after his shambles start to the season, would have thought that Roberts not only would win ten without being beaten to death by general management first, but would also be the FIRST Raccoons starter to reach ten?

Game 2
MIL: SS Lockert – 3B V. Diaz – C J. Young – RF W. Trevino – LF Cambra – 1B Aquino – CF Wheeler – 2B Holder – P Colmenarez
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – C Tovias – RF Rodriguez – CF Magallanes – 3B Baldwin – P Delgadillo

The Loggers crushed Yusneldan for four in the opening inning, which started with a single by Matt Lockert and quickly spiraled out of control. Trevino singled in a run, Firmino Cambra reached on balls, and Wilson Aquino hit a 3-piece. The 4-5-6 batters also reached all with two outs in the third inning, then with Aquino singling in the Loggers’ fifth run. The Coons had nothing at that point and weren’t likely to get something against a 12-game loser in the middle of July… Well, actually they did score two in the bottom 3rd on a Delgadillo double (maybe he should bat more often than he pitches…), a Ramos triple, and finally a Stalker single, but that still didn’t solve the problem of ****ty pitching, which in Delgadillo’s case went on for 4.2 innings before he left with a man on first that Mauricio Garavito masterfully waved around to score with a walk issued to Cambra, then a 2-run double in the left-center gap by … Aquino. That crapper was now on six RBI and he would add a seventh marker with ANOTHER double in the seventh, then off Billy Brotman, who basically retired nobody once more. Their one-man wrecking crew was entirely enough to win the game, while the rest of the lineup struck out 13 times against Raccoons pitching, but had no visible effect on the scoreboard at all …! Colmenarez went into the ninth against harmless Raccoons who mustered only two more hits off him besides that brief rally in the third, right up until they were down by six and to their last out when Rafael Gomez batted for Magallanes and randomly cocked one outta here. Seems like he does have a pulse after all…? Zach Weaver replaced Colmenarez at that point and rung up Baldwin to end the game. 8-3 Loggers. Ramos 2-3, BB, RBI; Gomez (PH) 1-1, HR, RBI; Surginer 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K;

Nick Valdes popped in unexpectedly, and he was already in a mood. I hear a big contract for baby seal furs fell through and it cost him millions…

Game 3
MIL: SS Lockert – 3B V. Diaz – C J. Young – LF Cambra – 1B Aquino – 2B Holder – RF St. Germaine – CF Becerra – P Contreras
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – CF Mora – 3B Nunley – RF Gomez – C Tovias – P O’Leary

O’Leary, who had been gutted and torched by the damn Elks the last time out, saw the minimum the first time through the order despite opening the game with a walk to Lockert and then a deep drive to right hit by Diaz. Gomez scratched that on off the fence, and Jim Young hit into a 6-4-3, while the next six went down in order entirely. It was however more or less the same for Contreras, who allowed a single to Harenberg, but Mora hit into a 6-4-3, and nobody else reached base the first time through the order. But Milwaukee quickly got on their horse; Diaz walked in the fourth, Young doubled, and the runners scored with a Cambra sac fly and a bloop single by Aquino, who became a great annoyance in a hurry. That was all the Loggers’ hits through six, while the Coons wasted doubles by Jamieson in the fourth, Nunley in the fifth, and then had one of those Alberto-does-it-all runs in the sixth when Ramos led off with a walk, stole second, scratched out third on a fly to left, and came in on Jamieson’s sac fly to Becerra. Yet it looked a lot like O’Losey would remain on the learing end of this game. The Raccoons just could – not – hit – the – dang – ball!! Bottom 7th; Mora led off and grounded to the right side, with Kaleb Holder committing an error to give the Coons the tying run on base. In desperation, Nunley was ordered to bunt, which he did well, but Gomez grounded out, merely advancing Mora to third base. And here came Elias Tovias, the happy strikeout, and hit a 365-foot blast to right out of thin air. That one flipped the score, and suddenly O’Leary was on the winning end of the contest…! Ricky Ohl obliterated the bottom of the order in the eighth, but the same could not be said for Josh Boles, who blew the win with a pinch-hit homer served up to Willie Trevino in the ninth… tied at three, the Coons sent the 5-6-7 batters up against Bobby Valencia, a mediocre righty, in the bottom 9th, where results could not have been less encouraging, and the 3-3 game went to extras. Jonathan Fleischer pitched two scoreless innings for nothing before Billy Brotman blew up another game. Cambra singled, stole second, then scored on a single by… who else? Aquino. Mike Wheeler hit a single that sent Aquino to third, although he then had to leave the game with an injury. However, former Raccoon Adam St. Germaine added an insurance run with a groundout. The Raccoons kept sucking in the bottom of the inning. While Nunley hit a single, that was all there was to their rally against Zach Weaver. 5-3 Loggers. Jamieson 1-2, BB, 2B; Nunley 2-4, 2B; O’Leary 7.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K; Fleischer 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K;

I struggle to think of a more useless assembly of pitchers and batters that his current one…

Raccoons (49-47) vs. Aces (49-48) – July 20-22, 2029

Despite the worst batting average, the Aces were still eighth in runs scored amongst CL teams, but were also giving up the fourth-most runs. Their run differential was a modest -20, while the Coons’ was still +14, but we were getting there quickly… We were also up 2-1 in the season series, but all these things were very much transient at this point.

Projected matchups:
Rin Nomura (4-6, 4.13 ERA) vs. Abramo Archibugi (11-6, 2.60 ERA)
Bobby Reed (0-0, 10.38 ERA) vs. Alex Ortiz (8-8, 5.67 ERA)
Mark Roberts (10-7, 3.35 ERA) vs. Franklin Alvarado (1-2, 2.83 ERA)

Probably no chance against the southpaw Alvarado, then an undercooked righty and a righty swingman past his due date despite the crisp ERA. Probably a hostile sweep in those cards.

In a year of just plugging holes with bodies of dubious temperature, the Coons recalled Bobby Reed for a spot start. This would actually be his first ABL game as a starting pitcher after six relief appearances between two teams, all of them ****.

Game 1
LVA: SS Baer – LF Dunlap – 3B Grigsby – RF Lynch – C Scheffer – 2B Donahue – CF Hatley – 1B Barrientos – P Archibugi
POR: SS Ramos – CF Magallanes – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – C Tovias – RF Rodriguez – 1B Gomez – 3B Gerster – P Nomura

Ramos walked, Magallanes singled, Stalker hit a sac fly, and Jamieson chipped in an RBI single to give the Raccoons two quick runs in the first inning. Nomura started out decently enough with two scoreless before a 38-minute rain delay was likely to throw him off kilter in the third inning. But the Aces stranded Ramiro Barrientos on second base in that inning as well as Philip Scheffer at the same haven in the fourth, and Nomura struck out the bottom of the order in the fifth, but at the same time the Critters couldn’t get a single hit until their hurler himself opened the bottom 5th with a grounder through between Evan Donahue and Todd Baer for a single. Crucially, while Ramos and Magallanes could not get the ball to fall in, Archibugi also threw a wild pitch that moved Nomura to second ahead of Tim Stalker beating the range of Nick Hatley in the gap with two outs, plating Nomura on the double to extend the lead to 3-0.

Nomura went through seven without allowing another base runner, but when the eighth rolled around left-handed batters Nick Hatley and Ramiro Barrientos hit a double and RBI single, respectively, pulling up the tying run with nobody out. The Coons scrambled for Kevin Surginer, who retired PH Tom Hawkins, Baer, and Tom Dunlap, but also abused the defense while doing so. Bottom 8th, Arturo Arellano tried to keep the Critters close, but couldn’t quite. Jamieson led off with a double, Tovias was walked intentionally, and then the Coons emptied their bench against the righty. Nunley grounded out, but advanced the runners to scoring position. Harenberg was walked intentionally, and Abel Mora had no place to go in Gerster’s spot and singled to center to tack on a run, 4-1. Shane Ivey was the last lefty bat off the bench, hitting for Surginer, and got a grounder past Baer for another RBI single. The top of the order hardly slowed the pace. Ramos walked to force in another run, and then right-hander Felipe Jacquez replaced the unlucky Arellano. Magallanes made the second out with a sac fly. Stalker singled past former Coons discard Mike Grigsby for another RBI single. The inning ended only with Jamieson’s fly out to Dunlap. 8-1 Critters. Stalker 2-4, 2B, 3 RBI; Jamieson 2-4, BB, 2B, RBI; Mora (PH) 1-1, RBI; Ivey (PH) 1-1, RBI; Nomura 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, W (5-6) and 1-2;

Game 2
LVA: RF Quinn – LF Dunlap – SS A. Medina – CF Hatley – C Motley – 1B Barrientos – 3B Hawkins – P A. Ortíz – 2B Donahue
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – 3B Nunley – CF Mora – RF Rodriguez – C Ivey – P Reed

The gate to the Coons’ pen opened, Bobby Reed came out into the spotlight, and then the gate to the lions’ pen opened, and the lions poured out, tore out all his limbs and head, and then the smallest lion played ball with his blood-smeared torso, which was pretty much the story of Bobby Reed’s first and probably only major league start. He got ahead of nobody, he retired hardly anybody. The Aces had two hits, two walks, and four runs in the first inning, Ramiro Barrientos’ 2-out, 3-run homer a key ingredient for their sizable early lead. Even that took a few innings. The Coons foolishly let him bat in the bottom 3rd just after Shane Ivey had singled, the first Coon to reach base in the damn game. Reed bunted into a force. When the Aces loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth on two singles and a clueless walk to Justin Quinn, Reed was yanked, leaving the game with his head hanging down on his chest under a shower of boos and at least one drink hurled at him. Garavito got Dunlap to ground out to short, ending the inning, but the Coons still trailed by four and looked hopeless against yet another routine pushover. Singles by Harenberg and Mora in the bottom 4th were just enough to scratch out a hit, but Garavito gave it right back when he was taken deep by Andres Medina in the fifth. Two runs off Surginer in the seventh ended the game more or less, and that even came after the Coons had loaded them up with singles by Harenberg, Mora, and Rodriguez in the bottom 6th, but had not been able to push a run across. At some point Matt Jamieson would hit a sac fly down the road. It changed nothing. Alex Ortiz pitched a complete-game 10-hitter, whatever the **** that was. 7-2 Aces. Harenberg 2-4; Mora 2-4, RBI; Gerster (PH) 1-1; Magallanes (PH) 1-2; Stonecipher 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K;

Bobby Reed was discarded again right away. The schedule allowed the Critters to go without a fifth starter until July 31, and they would make use of the opportunity. Out of any smart options, we recalled Sean Rigg…

Meanwhile, the Aces skipped Alvarado. Instead we’d get Chris Guyett (9-8, 3.34 ERA). The righty had shut out the Knights on five hits on Monday.

Game 3
LVA: SS Baer – LF Dunlap – 3B Grigsby – RF Lynch – C Scheffer – 2B Donahue – CF Hatley – 1B Barrientos – P Guyett
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – 3B Nunley – CF Mora – RF Gomez – C Tovias – P Roberts

Mark Roberts had the Coons’ first base hit in the game, a 1-out single to left in the third; never mind that he was a fireworks display waiting to happen in this game – depending on your definition of “deep out” the Aces hit up to five of those in addition to two actual doubles in the first three innings, at least he was pacing the damn offense! Ramos and Stalker hit singles to fill the bags for Jamieson, who struck out and left things to Harenberg, who ground out to Todd Baer like the ****ty fraud he was. Top 4th, leadoff walk to Kevin Lynch, then a real bomb hit by Philip Scheffer to left, and that was, presumably, the ballgame.

Roberts labored through six innings and a rain delay, getting neither strikeouts nor calm outs. Kevin Lynch homered in the sixth, making it 3-0, while the Coons were still wondering whether this performance would be deducted from their meal money. Stalker led off the bottom 6th with a single, and Jamieson and Harenberg again could not have been more useless if they have been carved from stone. Stalker was at second base with two outs, then was singled in by Matt Nunley, the 42nd RBI of the year for #42. Mora also singled, which suddenly put up the tying runs for Rafael Gomez, who lined softly to short, where Baer jumped up and reached, touched the ball, but deflected it into the gap. Tom Dunlap fell down when he tried to make a change of direction in the outfield, and Gomez ended up with a stupidly lucky 2-out, 2-run triple he had neither deserved nor expected. Tovias was walked intentionally, whereupon Wilson Rodriguez batted for Roberts, but popped out, sealing a no-decision for Roberts in a 3-3 tie.

Brotman came out for the seventh, struck out Barrientos, then conceded a single on an 0-2 pitch to Chris Guyett, because why not put the opposing pitcher on base when even his handedness matched yours? Damn you, Billy, I will write your mother that you ate a meatball sandwich if you don’t get out of this ****ing inning!! He didn’t. Tom Hawkins singled, Tom Dunlap grounded out to advance the runners, and then we scrambled for Ricky Ohl, who got Grigsby to ground out, ending the seventh. Ohl allowed a leadoff single but then struck out three in the eighth, and Matt Nunley hit a leadoff single off Guyett in the bottom of the inning. Since he was the go-ahead run, Baldwin ran for him. Mora grounded out, moving the runner to second, and from there Nunley would have scored just as handily on Rafael Gomez’ triple into the rightfield corner. Guyett had Tovias at 1-2 before he gave up an RBI double, 5-3, Ivey grounded out, but Tovias scored with two outs on a Ramos single to left-center for another tack-on run. Quirky Alberto stole second AND third base on consecutive pitches by Arturo Arellano, who had replaced Guyett and then surrendered the run on a Stalker single on the very next pitch. Jamieson grounded out, leaving the 7-3 lead to Sean Rigg in the ninth inning. The Aces went down in order. 7-3 Coons. Ramos 2-4, RBI; Stalker 3-5, RBI; Nunley 2-4, RBI; Gomez 2-4, 2 3B, 3 RBI;

In other news

July 16 – With a ruptured achilles tendon, SFW C Mike Thompson (.296, 11 HR, 44 RBI) is lost for the season.
July 17 – VAN OF Danny Tessmann (.259, 1 HR, 19 RBI) collects six base hits in the Canadiens’ 10-5 win over the Crusaders in New York. All but one of his hits go for singles, except for a triple in the seventh inning. Tessmann drives in three runs in the act. He becomes the 62nd player to collect six hits in one game, and the first Canadien to do so since Bob Butler in 2000.
July 17 – OCT RF/LF Luis Sagredo (.296, 14 HR, 35 RBI) could miss up to a month with a sprained ankle.
July 18 – DEN SP Tommy Weintraub (7-4, 2.27 ERA) will miss a month with a herniated disc.
July 19 – The Gold Sox pick up CL Michael Frank (4-3, 2.74 ERA, 22 SV) from the Stars in exchange for two prospects.
July 21 – 34-year-old OCT CF/3B Dave Garcia (.303, 11 HR, 59 RBI) reaches the 2,000 hits mark with a first-inning double off New York’s Mike Rutkowski (8-6, 3.08 ERA). The Thunder go on to lose the game, 4-1. Garcia, a 9-time All Star and twice the Player of the Year in the Continental League, and a legendarily brittle player on top of that, is a career .292 batter with 281 HR and 1,088 RBI. He has also swiped 162 bases in 16 seasons between the Bayhawks and Thunder.
July 22 – Let’s play 20: the Gold Sox beat the Capitals, 6-5, in two full games and two more innings of baseball, with Denver’s utility Trey Rock (.295, 1 HR, 21 RBI) chipping in five hits and 3 RBI. This includes both the 2-out RBI single in the ninth that sends the game to extra innings to begin with as well as the 2-out walkoff RBI single that ends it more than three hours later.

Complaints and stuff

As far as 3-3 weeks go, this one was pretty tough on the old nerves, heart, and stomach. (only now remembers to hide the three empty Capt’n Coma bottles behind the desk)

Alberto Ramos returned and immediately was a major disruption again. He had only six hits on the week, but walked nine times and swiped six bags, but he is not in the lead anymore after his DL stint. He sits at 35, while Mario Pizano has made it up to 41 with Indy.

Tim Stalker’s last-out RBI single on Sunday put him into sole possession of the team RBI lead. Harenberg could not be less of a clutch batter, but who was the last clutch first baseman the Coons had? Tetsu Osanai!? … I never complained much about Al Martin, now that I think of it… so it is probably between those two…

Wilson Aquino, who shredded the Critters for 8 RBI during the midweek series, was on waivers over the All Star break. I thought “what a scum” and passed.

This week, the Miners offered to trade back Omar Alfaro and cash for a minor leaguer and last year’s second-rounder Steve Florence. I think I would rather have a shard of glass stuck in my urethra; alternatively add Damani Knight back to the rotation. Or in terms of outfielders, re-sign the Coons’ starting rightfielder on Opening Day, Pedro Sánz.

Opening Day in 1977 that is.

Fun Fact: Prior to Tessmann’s decryable heroics, then-Raccoon Terry Kopp had been the most recent player to connect six times in one game, doing so in a 9-8 loss to the Bayhawks on September 20, 2025.

Among the four other Elks to have hit safely half a dozen times in one game is David Brewer, who did the honors to the Blue Sox in June of 1989, also in a losing effort. While Brewer would of course later be that HUGE signing (6-yr, $9M used to be ginormous) for the Raccoons before the 1995 season, he also replaced a Raccoon as most-recent six-hitter: Daniel Hall, who churned out six against the Falcons in April of 1989.

(sigh) Daniel Hall…!
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Old 03-27-2019, 08:00 PM   #2777
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Say.... what’s the average salaries for the league now? Been reading for a while, safe to say that’s not super good for my health the way it’s going right now with these critters!
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Old 03-27-2019, 08:19 PM   #2778
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Thes..s...ssss… C- C- … Quitterss..sss…! (swipes empty bottle of the desk, after which it narrowly misses Honeypaws on the table)

+++

The salary for an average player per settings should be $945k.

Teams' total payrolls are just under $639M, which makes about $26.6M per team. Assuming a full 40-man roster for all teams (unrealistic) that makes $665k per player, but this is of course distorted because of the number of minimum salary personnel that is around.
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Old 03-29-2019, 02:19 PM   #2779
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Raccoons (51-48) @ Falcons (39-59) – July 23-25, 2029

The Falcons were more or less terrible, sitting sixth in runs scored, but second from the bottom in runs allowed, with a particularly pathetic rotation (hear, hear…). They were also second from the bottom in on-base percentage, but could at least hit for power and steal some bases to alleviate that. Nevertheless, they were firmly entrenched in last place in the South, a week’s worth of games removed from even the fifth-place Bayhawks. Nevertheless, they were 2-1 this year against Portland.

Projected matchups:
Dan Delgadillo (9-8, 4.59 ERA) vs. Mike Fernandez (5-8, 5.57 ERA)
Jamie O’Leary (0-3, 6.10 ERA) vs. Chris Rountree (5-10, 4.71 ERA)
Rin Nomura (5-6, 3.87 ERA) vs. Jesus Chavez (6-10, 4.72 ERA)

Southpaw in the middle game on Tuesday; Rountree was their only one.

I continued to poke around for reinforcements in the meantime, but unfortunately we had blown millions on DL warmers and had no prospects to deal, so the Raccoons, though two games out, continued to look frankly doomed.

Game 1
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – 3B Nunley – CF Mora – RF Gomez – C Tovias – P Delgadillo
CHA: CF N. Nelson – 3B G. Ortíz – RF Kok – LF Salto – 1B Fowlkes – SS Hobbs – C Sigala – 2B Fitzsimmons – P M. Fernandez

Offense was slow in the early going despite a leadoff single by Alberto Ramos, who was immediately doubled up by Tim Stalker’s grounder to short. The third however began with an Elias Tovias double in the gap, and then Delgadillo reached on an infield single; that ball rolled past the pitcher Fernandez, who could not reverse his natural course after delivering the ball, over the mound, and died in between Michael Hobbs and Tom Fitzsimmons. Ramos hit a fly to center that allowed Tovias to score before Stalker hit a soft single to left and Jamieson reached on an infield single to fill the bases with one out. Harenberg got a run in with a single to right, but Nunley hit into a double play, keeping it a 2-0 game, at least until the Falcons got back to work. Two on and two out, Delgadillo had Pat Fowlkes at 0-2 before nailing him. With the bags full, Hobbs split Nunley and Ramos with a grounder for a 2-run single, chasing home Greg Ortíz and Barend Kok to tie the game before Jairo Sigala grounded out.

Top 4th, Abel Mora opened with a soft single to left and stole second, then scored on two groundouts, which was really as much as I was asking for anymore. The Falcons countered with two outs, Nelson lining a single and Ortíz hitting a double to left, but they were stranded in scoring position when Barend Kok – the only lefty bat to face Delgadillo – struck out. The following inning, Jamieson drove in Ramos (leadoff double) with a single up the middle, and when Harenberg and Nunley added two more singles, the latter for an RBI and a 5-2 score, the Falcons yanked Fernandez, who’s final line read 4.1 innings and six runs thanks to a Mora single off Brandon Smith, a righty reliever that would surrender two more runs in a sixth inning that miraculously began with a Tovias triple before Smith walked the sacks full and conceded two runs on a Harenberg single. Delgadillo barely made it through six innings, allowing a third run in his final frame in the aftermath of a Nate Nelson triple, and while the Critters were up 8-3 in the game, their pen came close to burning brightly in the seventh inning. Sean Rigg put the first two Falcons on base before Jamieson made a marvelous catch after running down a Sigala drive in the gap. The Falcons would score a run anyway before Mauricio Garavito came into the game with Hobbs on second and two outs, facing lefty PH and former Critter Russ Greenwald, then ran a 3-0 count before Greenwald poked and grounded out, keeping it 8-4. So, the pen tried to burn brightly AGAIN in the eighth. Garavito retired nobody, yielding three singles to the 1-2-3 batter as well as a run before Ricky Ohl was launched out of the Critters’ pen via catapult. Jamieson held the game together with an amazing catch against Graciano Salto, and Ohl got out with a K on Fowlkes and a grounder to third off Hobbs’ bat. And Josh Boles? He did his usual mind**** of getting the first two batters, then putting two on. Greg Ortíz finally poked a 1-2 pitch to left where Jamieson this time had to race in to make the catch in this no-pitching game. 8-5 Coons. Ramos 3-3, BB, 2B, RBI; Jamieson 3-5, RBI; Harenberg 3-5, 2B, 3 RBI; Mora 2-4, RBI; Tovias 2-4, 3B, 2B, RBI;

The two teams combined for 31 base hits in this game, or 16 for the Critters and 15 for the Falcons.

Game 2
POR: SS Ramos – CF Magallanes – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – C Tovias – RF Rodriguez – 3B Gerster – P O’Leary
CHA: CF N. Nelson – C Cooper – 1B Fowlkes – LF Salto – 3B G. Ortíz – RF Kok – SS Hobbs – 2B Fitzsimmons – P Rountree

The Coons opened the game with four singles and two runs before whiffing three times in a row, then did nothing in the next few innings, while O’Leary retired the side in order on 34 pitches before a fourth-inning rain delay threatened to throw things outta whack for everybody, but the Falcons continued to go down in the bottom of the fourth. Before any Furball could get his tail lit on fire again, the Coons opened the top 5th with a Ramos double and Magallanes’ RBI single that made it 3-0. Stalker was hit, Jamieson singled, and the bases were loaded for Kevin Harenberg with nobody out, which made an unassisted triple play a real possibility. Rather, Kevin flew out weakly to left, and the Coons might have stalled here, but Salto fudged the catch and dropped the ball, causing four Critters to scuffle to another base, including Magallanes crossing home, 4-0. They got one more run on Tovias’ 6-4-3 double play, but at the same time that one also murdered the inning, with Rodriguez grounding out meekly.

The pile of Falcons retired without reaching base eventually reached 15 for O’Leary before Hobbs hit a leadoff double to center in the sixth. That run came across on a 2-out single by Nate Nelson, and O’Leary was removed after putting two on in the seventh inning, clearly running out of juice when he walked Barend Kok with two outs. Stonecipher entered with Rafael Gomez in a double switch (removing Harenberg) and got Hobbs to pop out to quell the threat. Stonecipher issued a leadoff walk to Fitzsimmons in the bottom 8th, then ran two full counts both ending in whiffs before Matt Cooper flew out to Wilson Rodriguez. It was not at all wholly pretty, but the Coons seemed to emerge winners again, and indeed Fleischer retired the heart of the Falcons lineup in order to end the game, which also sealed the first career win for Jamie O’Leary. 5-1 Coons. Ramos 3-5, 2B; Magallanes 3-5, RBI; Mora (PH) 1-1; O’Leary 6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, W (1-3);

Game 3
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – 3B Nunley – CF Mora – RF Gomez – C Ivey – P Nomura
CHA: CF N. Nelson – C Cooper – 1B Fowlkes – LF Salto – 3B G. Ortíz – RF Kok – SS Hobbs – 2B Fitzsimmons – P J. Chavez

The Coons scratched out a run on basically Ramos’ hindpaws in the opening inning, but that was soon erased when Rin Nomura, the pathetic loser, grabbed the ball. He walked the first two batters he faced, then gave up the runs on a Fowlkes double and a Salto single. After Ortíz popped out, the Falcons would keep singling away merrily, eventually plating another three runs on base hits by Kok, Fitzsimmons, and Chavez. Nomura, the pathetic loser, would not even finish two innings, being clubbed out on another walk and two hits leading to a 2-out RBI credited to Barend Kok. Surginer replaced Nomura, the pathetic loser, and rung up Hobbs to at least keep the score at 6-1.

Nobody exactly expected the Critters to rally; they scored one runner (Harenberg) in the third that had been nailed by Chavez, and in the second made two outs (this did include Surginer, who was needed for a wee bit more length here) before Ramos hit a single. Before long, that became a string of 2-out singles; Stalker hit one, so did Jamieson, plating Ramos, and Harenberg, chasing around Stalker, and now the tying runs were on for Nunley, who grounded out sharply to Fowlkes.

Kevin Surginer faced ten and retired ten in an unnecessary extra shift, then was hit for to begin the top 5th. Juan Magallanes walked in his spot, bringing the tying run back to the plate against a wobbling Chavez, but the top of the order failed to get the ball past the defense. And while for once, the Coons’ pen did not collapse and was in fact unscored upon with any run at all through the eighth inning after Nomura had rolled over and had given birth to six, the offense could not maintain the momentum. Nobody reached in the seventh or eighth for the Critters, and the Falcons’ Mike Tandy also retired Ramos and Stalker to begin the ninth before Jamieson dropped a fart for a single into leftfield. An 0-2 pitch nailed Harenberg, once more bringing up Nunley with the tying runs aboard, and he popped out. 6-4 Falcons. Ramos 2-5; Stalker 2-5; Jamieson 2-5, RBI; Mora 2-4, RBI; Surginer 3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K;

We had nine hits, all singles, and failed to bundle them up like the Falcons did, who got seven hits off the useless Nomura, then only two more off the relievers.

It is custom on this team that after a series ends, especially on the road, I will walk (sometimes with assistance) down to the clubhouse to talk to the players or give them a pat as they filter out and towards the bus (on the road). When Nomura passed me and reached out with his useless left arm, I yelled at him what the **** he was looking at.

Erosion …!

Raccoons (53-49) @ Condors (61-41) – July 27-29, 2029

The Condors led the South by quite the margin, and the Raccoons had probably little hope of dealing with the best offense and the second-best pitching in the Continental League at this point. We have fought them to a 3-3 standstill in the season so far, but I think we have run out of luck at this point…

Projected matchups:
Mark Roberts (10-7, 3.40 ERA) vs. Joe Perry (9-4, 3.33 ERA)
Dan Delgadillo (10-8, 4.58 ERA) vs. Jorge Villalobos (6-3, 2.91 ERA)
Jamie O’Leary (1-3, 4.94 ERA) vs. George Griffin (9-7, 4.42 ERA)

Perry would be the only southpaw on offer in this series.

Game 1
POR: SS Ramos – CF Magallanes – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – C Tovias – RF Gomez – 3B Baldwin – P Roberts
TIJ: RF M. Matias – SS C. Miller – 1B McGrath – 3B Sanks – C Zarate – CF Camps – LF Braun – 2B Bross – P Perry

Of Roberts’ first seven pitches, two were hit as to send outfielders steaming back to make catches, and one was grounded at Chris Baldwin, who threw Kevin McGrath’s simple roller away for a 2-base error. GOOD teams pounced on that, and the Condors did: Shane Sanks dropped a ball into shallow center for a single, McGrath raced all the way and scored, and the Coons were looking up a mountain again. And Roberts would not be able to keep the ball on the ****ing ground afterwards, either; Adam Braun hit a long double in the second, then came around on a Dave Bross single, making it 2-0, and Tijuana added another unearned run in the bottom 3rd, this time on Roberts’ own error. Meanwhile, Joe Perry retired the first 13 Critters before Harenberg singled to center. Tovias doubled him up on the very next pitch, and this game was quite definitely in the bin… Roberts was done after five pathetic innings, yielding nine hits and three runs and having run up 98 pitches. The Raccoons’ pen then fell apart with great noise; Danny Zarate doubled in two runners Stonecipher had walked in the sixth, and Garavito and Rigg basically retired nobody in the seventh until the Condors ran themselves out of the inning and lost Adam Braun to injury on the base paths, to be replaced by Matt Good. Perry lasted seven innings and faced two over the minimum, and it wasn’t like long man Bobby Thompson was much of an easement for the Critters, either… 6-0 Condors. Ramos 2-4;

Come Saturday, Chris Baldwin was out with gout, which was more or less the least terrible development of the last few days.

Game 2
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – 3B Nunley – CF Mora – C Tovias – RF Rodriguez – P Delgadillo
TIJ: LF Denzler – SS C. Miller – 3B Sanks – RF M. Matias – C Zarate – CF McNaughton – 1B Good – 2B Bross – P Villalobos

The Coons got three on via the walk of getting nailed (Jamieson), but failed to score in the opening inning, with Abel Mora ultimately lifting a fly out to Joel Denzler, while Delgadillo exploded as soon as he got a chance; leadoff walk to Zarate in the bottom 2nd, then RBI doubles by David McNaughton and … the opposing pitcher with two outs. While the Raccoons spent their time picking through the options for October holidays, the Condors crowded Delgadillo in the third, but stranded two, and then got McNaughton on with a leadoff walk in the fourth. Good popped out, but Bross doubled to left. That was it for Dan Delgadillo – he removed himself with an injury. And never mind his pathetic 4.61 ERA; he was the second-best pitcher left in the rotation, and now the Raccoons’ season was absolutely, definitely over. There was nothing left beyond this point but another 58 1/2 games of absolutely gut-wrenching, abysmal, highly toxic suckage. Surginer stranded the runners, whiffing up Villalobos and getting a pop from Denzler, but it mattered nothing anymore. All was lost. All was lost.

The Coons had Nunley and Mora on the corners with two outs in the sixth inning. Wilson Rodriguez hit an RBI single off Mike Simcoe, who went on to nail Rafael Gomez and concede a bases-loaded, score-flipping, 2-run single to Alberto Ramos. It still didn’t matter. Nothing mattered anymore. All was lost. All was lost. Tovias tacked on a run with a sac fly in the seventh, but the bottom of the inning saw Brotman put on Kevin McGrath with a leadoff single, and when Denzler was retired was replaced by Ricky Ohl, who walked Chris Miller, nailed Shane Sanks, walked in a run against PH Jeff Rinehart, and conceded the lead on Zarate’s sac fly before McNaughton struck out. Y’know – like good teams do it!

Top 9th, Mike Baker put on Jamieson and Harenberg with a walk and a single to begin the inning. Nunley bunted the runners into scoring position for Mora, who was walked intentionally to bring up Tovias, who popped out on the first pitch. Here, Shane Ivey had to bat as the last man off the bench in place of Garavito, and hit a grounder to left that actually left the infield for two runs, before Butch Gerster, playing rightfield because things were falling apart fast, struck out. Boles retired the Condors in order in the bottom of the ninth. 6-4 Coons. Jamieson 2-4; Nunley 2-3, BB, 2 2B; Mora 1-2, 3 BB; Ivey (PH) 1-1, 2 RBI;

No news on the injury front. We were going to have to play this day-to-day, and entirely by ear. O’Leary on Sunday, Nomura on Monday, probably a bucket with dirty mop water on Tuesday, and maybe we could close up shop and move to Montana after that…

Game 3
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Jamieson – 1B Harenberg – 3B Nunley – CF Mora – RF Gomez – C Ivey – P O’Leary
TIJ: RF M. Matias – SS C. Miller – 1B McGrath – 3B Sanks – CF Camps – C O’Dell – LF McNaughton – 2B Bross – P Griffin

Ivey threw out Chris Miller trying to nap third base after hitting a double in the first inning, and a Dave Bross walk aside there were no other nasty accidents for O’Leary the first time through the Condors order, but Griffin was just as stingy and faced only one over the minimum with an infield single yielded to Gomez. O’Leary kept clawing, walked Sanks in the fourth, yet retired Juan Camps, then allowed a leadoff double down the line to ex-Critter Brett O’Dell. Two groundouts plated the run, the first in the game, while the Coons had yet to land a base hit outside the infield. That didn’t change in the sixth, in which Ramos walked, but was stranded on first base, after which the wheels came off. O’Leary allowed a clean leadoff single to Mike Matias before Miller bunted. Good bunt, too – Nunley raced in and flung the ball past first base for a 2-base error. O’Leary lost McGrath on four pitches to fill the sacks with no outs. Sanks hit a sac fly, 2-0, before Camps flew out to center to no great effect. Two outs, O’Dell hit an RBI single to right, bringing up rookie McNaughton, who CRUSHED a ball for 450 feet, blowing the doors clean off the barn. O’Leary was retired after 5.2 innings and six runs, all but one unearned.

Come the eighth, Mora led off with a walk and stole second base. Gomez popped out, but Shane Ivey singled through McGrath, putting runners on the corners. Magallanes hit for Sean Rigg, who had gotten four outs, and singled up the middle for the Critters’ first run in this particular trauma of a game. It also knocked out Griffin, replaced by Bobby Thompson, who allowed a single to Ramos to load the bags, then Josh Sharp, who walked Stalker to push home a run. With that, Jamieson was the tying run at the plate with one out, and if only once the damn Coons could get a slam in such a spot …! They did not. Jamieson hit a sac fly to Matias, and then left-hander Mike Simcoe came on and rung up Harenberg to strand two. Stonecipher walked two and conceded a run in the bottom 8th, while Markus Bates retired Nunley, Mora, and Tovias in order in the ninth. 7-3 Condors. Magallanes (PH) 1-1, RBI;

In other news

July 24 – In a 13-1 rout of the Gold Sox, TOP SS/2B Alex Majano (.309, 1 HR, 47 RBI) collects three hits, including two triples, and drives in a whopping seven runs.
July 26 – SFW SP Pat Okrasinski (13-4, 2.75 ERA) 1-hits the Capitals in a 4-0 shutout, whiffing six. Despairingly, the lone Capitals hit is a 2-out single in the ninth inning off the bat of Enrique Trevino (.357, 1 HR, 54 RBI).
July 26 – The Loggers trade SP Alex Contreras (6-7, 4.30 ERA) to the Scorpions for utility Wayne Morris (.251, 3 HR, 30 RBI) and a prospect.
July 27 – ATL 2B John Johnson (.311, 5 HR, 38 RBI) will miss a month with a sprained ankle.
July 28 – The Warriors deal INF Ricky Tello (.270, 3 HR, 27 RBI) to the Cyclones for OF/1B Kevin Parks (.222, 0 HR, 0 RBI).
July 28 – Boston expects SS Keith Spataro (.294, 2 HR, 29 RBI) to miss three to four weeks with an oblique strain.
July 29 – VAN LF Alex Torres (.202, 9 HR, 35 RBI) is done for the season with a badly broken hand.
July 29 – The Crusaders pick up SP Mel Lira (6-11, 3.88 ERA) from the Miners in exchange for two prospects.

Complaints and stuff

Forsaken.

The Delgadillo injury (whatever it might turn out to be) ends it once and for all. I had no idea who to bring up for the start on Tuesday anymore, because the minors are a fuming waste dump and we have not had a pitching prospect since… Rico Gutierrez?

And Rico is 30 years old.

And on the DL.

They are all on the DL.

Forsaken.

Fun Fact: Damani Knight appeared in 56 games (53 starts) in his major league career, comprising exactly 300 innings, and pitched to a 12-25 record and 5.22 ERA.

Well, there *is* a job opening now… or two… or three…
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: 2 POWELL : 8 REECE : 10 BROWN : 15 HALL : 28 CASAS : 32 WEST : 46 SAITO

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Old 03-30-2019, 04:27 PM   #2780
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It is BayTV's Mark Beaker with the call of the game!

…and the 1-1 pitch is straight into Edwin Rendon! Rendon to first base, and the home crowd, or what is left of it, does not know how to react anymore as this game has now also passed midnight.

The Raccoons' pitching coach is out to the mound along with Tovias and the infielders to try and calm down Martinez, who was not expecting to pitch in this game at this point, and neither did anybody else.

The umpire breaks up the mound conference; he wants to go home as well. Most fans already have; everybody's gotta work and go to school tomorrow… or rather today.

The batter is Dan Cobb, who takes a called strike low. It is Dave Bray on third, Jose Pulido at second, and after getting hit, Edwin Rendon on first. No hits, three on for the 'hawks! And that is strike two low to Cobb, who steps out to take a hack.

This is the first game of the season for Martinez, and it shows why. The 0-2 missed grossly, Tovias contains it, and the count will be one and two.

It takes Martinez an awfully long time to release the ball now. Tension is high at the Bay!

Here comes the pitch; it rides in, and it hits Dan Cobb! Dan Cobb is hit, everybody moves around, and this game is tied!

And there is the Raccoons' manager, absolutely going to town on a notepad in the dugout. Splinters flying everywhere as the backups scatter!
__________________
Portland Raccoons, 55 years of excell-.... of baseball: Furballs here!
1983 * 1989 * 1991 * 1992 * 1993 * 1995 * 1996 * 2010 * 2017 * 2018 * 2019 * 2026 * 2028
1 OSANAI
: 2 POWELL : 8 REECE : 10 BROWN : 15 HALL : 28 CASAS : 32 WEST : 46 SAITO

Resident Mets Cynic



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