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Old 08-03-2018, 06:14 PM   #621
Paulie123
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27 August 2052

The SCL Armchair Almanac, 2052 Edition

MOST OUTSTANDING HITTER AWARDS, 2017-2051

7 - Sam Jordan (Bismarck, St. Paul): 2037, 2038, 2039, 2040, 2041, 2042, 2043
7 - Tsugahara Baba (Olympia, Boston, Albany, Atlanta, Indianapolis): 2027, 2029, 2030, 2034, 2038, 2040, 2042
5 - Carlos González (Providence): 2029, 2030, 2031, 2032, 2033
5 - Ray Marsh (Montgomery, Atlanta, Lansing): 2022, 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028
4 - Curt Hogan (Albany, Tallahassee): 2017, 2019, 2023, 2024
4 - Stephen Church (Austin): 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021
4 - Bryce Bowman (Albany): 2035, 2036, 2039, 2041
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My dynasties:
Part 1 - Oakland A's 2024 and Beyond Dynasty
Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
The State Capitals League - The Magpies
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Old 08-03-2018, 06:15 PM   #622
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2 September 2052

GM’s notebook - Series 46 and 47

Olympia 5-11 Magpies
Olympia 3-5 Magpies
Olympia 6-0 Magpies
Magpies 5-1 Lansing
Magpies 2-1 Lansing
Magpies 2-1 Lansing

- Denver’s 34-year-old CF Rich Nelson has been forced to retire with a partially torn labrum. A sad way for the 2044 WL Outstanding Hitter winner and 4-time all-star to end his career.
- Ángel Márquez has hit a rich vein of form and hit 3-5 with a triple in the first game versus Olympia. Ángel Ochoa hit 2 doubles.
- Robert Terry was back on the mark in the 5-3 win: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 11 K.
- I have a decision to make about Ricardo Vargas, who is 6-4 with a 4.65 ERA from 15 starts: do I stick with him or move him to the minor league roster for more development? He has such a high ceiling and is brilliant in his day, so I think demoting him risks wasting a great prospect.
- Ronald Williams is now 5-0 with a 2.28 ERA after throwing 7.2 IP for 1 run in the opening fixture against Lansing. He’s been a revelation so far. Pedro Soto hit 4-5 with 3 doubles. Ken James now leads the WL with 38 saves.
- On Sep 1st, I called up three players to the expanded roster: outfielder Terry Lawrence as a left-handed bat off the bench, Allen Clary as an extra relief arm, and speedy outfielder Mike Howard as a pinch-running threat.
- Our best pitcher and best hitter combined to beat Lansing in game two of the series. Tom Hart (17-8, 2.38) pitched 8 innings of 1-hit ball, and Earl Becker leathered 2 homers.
- We have gone 32-10 over the last 7 weeks and have taken control of the North Division. But next up we host a 3-game series against St. Paul, which could see our division lead halved if we are not on our game.

This week: 5-1
Record: 82-59, 1st place, 6 game lead over St. Paul, Madison
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My dynasties:
Part 1 - Oakland A's 2024 and Beyond Dynasty
Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
The State Capitals League - The Magpies
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Old 08-03-2018, 06:18 PM   #623
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3 September 2052

FANGRAPHICS
Chat: Failing to take precautions on a one-time romantic rendezvous can lead to unwanted outcomes, Osiris Sabretooth has found out the hard way. He has doubled his working hours at FanGraphics after also finding out that child maintenance payments are rarely cheap.

9:00

Osiris: Top of the morning, all! Help me earn some dosh by paying attention to this chat rather than your work for the next few minutes. You know that report can wait till tomorrow.

9:01

Jessica Rabbit’s Phone Number: What a turnaround from the Magpies! They looked well out of it at the end of May. Now they’re favourites for the North Division title.

9:01

Osiris: All round the roster, players have improved their performance since the poor opening weeks of the season. People point to the trade for Earl Becker as the catalyst, but he’s not been that great until recently. The pitching staff has improved drastically too.

9:03

Bob Bones: How much of that improvement to you credit to Billy DePodesta, and how much to the players?

9:04

Osiris: About half and half. DePodesta gets credit for getting Becker, putting Daniel Burke’s defense at shortstop, and shaking up the bullpen to remove talented but underperforming guys like Bernardo Merrado and David Gaines. But look at the massively improved numbers of the other pitchers: DePodesta doesn’t get full credit for that.

9:06

Mind The Gap: Tom Hart: 24 of 29 quality starts, 3.03 FIP, 2.4 K/BB. How was that guy not an all-star this season?

9:07

Osiris: He wasn’t good enough overall before the all-star break, simply put. Been sensational since.

9:08

Marvin the Annoying Orang-utan: Is Jesús Benítez the Magpies’ next closer?

9:09

Osiris: No. I assume they’ll be able to afford to keep Ken James long-term now.

9:09

Catcher Interference: Who says no? Donnie Lee of Santa Fe for Tom Hart of Des Moines.

9:10

Osiris: The Magpies say no. Lee is still a wonderful pitcher, probably the better of the two right now, but he’s 34. Hart is 7 years younger and a lot cheaper. Santa Fe would have to add a top 50 prospect.

9:11

Osiris: Right, I have to dash. Thanks for the questions and see you next time.
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Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
The State Capitals League - The Magpies
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Old 08-04-2018, 06:53 PM   #624
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8 September 2052

GM’s notebook - Series 48 and 49

St. Paul 1-2 Magpies
St. Paul 0-2 Magpies
St. Paul 5-4 Magpies
Magpies 12-2 Austin
Magpies 6-0 Austin
Magpies 3-7 Austin

- Israel Padilla was fantastic in the first game of the important series against the Rockets: 8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K.
- Continuing his recent outstanding form, Earl Becker hit a HR (his 30th this year) and a double in game two. Robert Terry threw 6.1 scoreless innings.
- The offense has been quiet over the last 5 games, but since we’ve only conceded 4 runs in that sequence we haven’t exactly needed much.
- Ken James now has 41 saves, and is tied for the SCL lead with Indianapolis’s Forrest Myers.
- Gonzalo Torralda hit a HR and double in the 5-4 defeat to St. Paul: his 26th of each type of extra base hit this season.
- The offense burst out of the slump with 6 runs in the 4th inning and 5 in the 9th of the 12-2 dismantling of the Tycoons. Red hot Becker and Pedro Soto both hit 3-5. Marv Lewis (ERA 2.67) and Walt Davidson (2.68) pitched scoreless innings in relief and have both quietly put together superb seasons.
- Yet another brilliant quality start from Tom Hart on day two of the Austin road trip: 8 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K.
- Sacramento’s 23-year-old third baseman Pancho Cabrera recorded the astonishing achievement of hitting for the cycle on two consecutive days against St. Paul.
- With 15 games remaining, we have an 8-game lead in the North Division, and our magic number is 8.

This week: 4-2
Record: 86-61, 1st place, 8 game lead over St. Paul, Madison
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Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
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Old 08-04-2018, 06:55 PM   #625
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9 September 2052

From: Agamemnon Profitloss, Chief Finance Officer
To: Billy DePodesta

Des Moines Magpies Finance Department
FINANCIAL PROJECTIONS FOR 2053 AND 2054


I am now able to confirm our budgetary position for next season and the season after, following detailed discussions over recent weeks with Chris and George. Our player payroll budget absolute limit will be $230m, but as previously discussed in order to minimise the risk of financial problems recurring we will operate with a de facto limit of $220m.

This is obviously a huge increase on the $100m budget limit we are continuing to operate for the current season. I know you have confidence in the current roster and are keen to avoid the trap sprung by many teams with more sizeable budgets and waste money on bad contracts. We discussed that while you will review the free agent market in the winter, you will only seek to bring in new players if they are sure to materially strengthen the team and justify the loss of a first-round draft pick.

Our current player payroll is $95m. With contracted increases already agreed with Israel Padilla, Cory Adams, Walt Davidson, Eric Warner and Earl Becker, the latest projection for 2053 is $115m.

For the following year, 2054, Tadamichi Hamada and Rob Crawford will become arbitration eligible for the first time, and are likely to each attract a salary in the region of $12m-$13m. It is a complicated picture, with Marv Lewis a potential super-2 qualifier, and Ken James, Ernesto Solís and Ángel Ochoa likely to attract higher salaries if we extend their contracts. Overall, I project that to retain the current roster we would need to spend about $160m in 2054. That means we could give free agent acquisitions $60m in salary this offseason and be confident of staying within budget for the next two seasons.

There are obviously a lot of unknowns for 2054 and beyond. What I can say with absolute certainty is that for the first offseason in a while we do not need to trade away salaried players simply in order to keep the budget under control.

I would like to congratulate you and the team on your fine form over the latter half of the season. The club’s playoff charge has ignited the interest of our fan base, increasing our attendance receipts and merchandising revenue still further. This is obviously further extremely positive news for the organisation.

Agamemnon Profitloss
Chief Finance Officer
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Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
The State Capitals League - The Magpies
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Old 08-04-2018, 06:57 PM   #626
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15 September 2052

GM’s notebook - Series 50 and 51

Salem 2-8 Magpies
Salem 0-6 Magpies
Salem 3-5 Magpies
Magpies 2-3 Bismarck
Magpies 4-5 Bismarck
Magpies 9-2 Bismarck

- Player of the day in the 8-2 victory versus Salem was Ángel Márquez (3-4, HR), who edged out Israel Padilla (6.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 8 K).
- Robert Terry lowered his ERA to 2.17 with 6.2 scoreless innings in game two of the series. Ken James (2.14 ERA) earned his 42nd save of a brilliant year.
- Former Magpie reliever Jorge Cruz, now at Lansing, is done for the year with a torn back muscle. Until Jesús Zamora’s breakout this year (he goes under the radar but has a 2.57 ERA and 3.51 FIP) I haven’t had a really good lefty in the pen since Cruz left.
- That was a stupendous sweep of the Ironclads, and we have now overtaken them as the Western League’s number one seeds. Madison and St. Paul have both lost their last two, and our magic number for the North Division title is now just 3.
- Both the first two Bismarck losses were frustrating defeats where we allowed the winning run in the bottom of the 9th.
- Earl Becker and Pedro Soto both hit 3-5 with a HR in the 9-2 triumph over Bismarck. The victory secured the North Division title!
- It’s our second division pennant since I’ve been GM here, and only the franchise’s sixth in total. Considering the hole we were in after about 55 games, it’s been a brilliant turnaround from the boys to not just win the division, but do so with time to spare. Credit also to Johannes Kepler who has managed the team superbly overall.

This week: 4-2
Record: 90-63, 1st place, 10 game lead over St. Paul, Madison (clinched)
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Part 1 - Oakland A's 2024 and Beyond Dynasty
Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
The State Capitals League - The Magpies
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Old 08-04-2018, 06:59 PM   #627
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21 September 2052

GM’s notebook - Series 52 and 53

Magpies 3-7 Sacramento
Magpies 4-3 Sacramento
Magpies 2-1 Sacramento
Carson City 5-2 Magpies
Carson City 9-3 Magpies
Carson City 6-3 Magpies

- The rotation for the division series will be Tom Hart, Israel Padilla and Robert Terry, with Ronald Williams a fourth starter if one is needed. They will continue to make their starts this week to prevent rustiness, and I’ll cross my fingers we get no injuries. I’m not especially bothered about getting ourselves home field advantage. Ricardo Vargas will operate out of the bullpen in the playoffs.
- Earl Becker hit 3-5 with a stolen base in the 4-3 victory over Sacramento in game two of the series.
- A brilliant outing from Vargas (6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) in the final game against Sacramento looked like ending in a harsh loss until Ángel Márquez’s 20th home run tied the scores at 1-1 in the 9th inning. We scored the winning run on a throwing error in the top of the 10th.
- Tom Hart’s performance against Carson City (3.2 IP, 7 H, 5 ER) was a worry. We need our ace firing on all cylinders if we are to progress in the postseason. It is tempting now to give him one last start to re-find his best form, but I think the best bet is to make sure he’s fully rested to pitch the division series opener.
- He wasn’t helped by his defense, but Ronald Williams took his first big league loss after a wild display: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 6 BB. Marv Lewis (0.1 IP, 3 ER) relieved him and just poured fuel on the fire.
- Israel Padilla was dross in the final Rattlesnakes game: 4.2 IP, 11 H, 6 ER. The sweep has moved them one game ahead of us as the WL’s top seed. If we face them in the playoffs we are going to have to play a whole lot better.
- Salem have clinched a wildcard spot, while St. Paul and Madison have faded away. For the first time in seven years, there will be a team from outside the North Division in the WL wildcard game.

This week: 2-4
Record: 92-67, 1st place, 9 game lead over St. Paul, Madison (clinched)
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My dynasties:
Part 1 - Oakland A's 2024 and Beyond Dynasty
Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
The State Capitals League - The Magpies
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Old 08-05-2018, 04:49 PM   #628
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22 September 2052

Mannix Glowstone
@rayoflight

What a great second half of the season from the #Magpies. I said earlier this season we should stay positive about this team and I was right #toldyouso #greatstufflads #positivethinking
9:57AM - 22 Sep 2052

Zebedee Stethoscope
@glasshalfempty

@rayoflight bad wk we jst had tho, wont get far playin like that
10:00AM - 22 Sep 2052

Chad Loveisland
@hellolovelyladies

@glasshalfempty they’re just lulling our future playoff opponents into a false sense of security, I reckon they’ll be bang on form when the meaningful games start! #goMagpies
10:02AM - 22 Sep 2052

Kevin Beercan
@therealkevinbacon

Have to say @rayoflight, totally agree about the #Magpies second half. Remember we were dead and buried at the end of May! Whatever happpens in the playoffs this has been a season to remember! #halcyondays #fondmemories
10:05AM - 22 Sep 2052

Genghis Troll
@nothingbettertodo

Baseball is crap. Period. #ihateyouall
10:09AM - 22 Sep 2052
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Part 1 - Oakland A's 2024 and Beyond Dynasty
Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
The State Capitals League - The Magpies
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Old 08-05-2018, 04:52 PM   #629
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25 September 2052

GM’s notebook - Series 54

Magpies 5-4 Phoenix
Magpies 12-6 Phoenix
Magpies 7-2 Phoenix

- Madison’s Julián Emery enters the week with a great chance of winning the Western League batting triple crown for the second straight year. His biggest threat is HRs, where he leads Lansing’s Eric Nicholas by 50 to 49.
- Robert Terry took a no-decision in his final regular season start in the Raccoons opener. His numbers dropped off a little over the last month or so, but he finished an excellent season 13-6 with a 2.37 ERA, which looks like being good enough for the 7th best mark in the league.
- In the game, Earl Becker hit 3-4 with 2 doubles, and Ken James picked up his 45th save (top in the WL, and joint-best in the league).
- In the second game, the offense jumped all over our former starter Philip Givens right from the start. Gonzalo Torralda hit 4-6, HR, DBL, 5 RBI and Ángel Ochoa went 3-3 with 2 walks.
- Sacramento first baseman Kiichi Ohayashi hit 6-6 in their game against Carson City. This excellent performance has relevance for us: Sacramento’s win means that we go into the final day knowing that a win will give us the best record in the SCL and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
- Ronald Williams made the start in the final game of the regular season, to ensure Tom Hart is fit ready to start the division series opener. Williams was excellent, throwing a complete game. Ochoa ended the season in fine form with another 3-hit game.
- Hart finished the year tied for 2nd in the league with 18 wins, behind only Madison’s Al Harper (22 wins; and with a league-leading 1.86 ERA as well is surely certain to reclaim the Western League Outstanding Hitter award he controversially missed out on last year). Hart was 4th in FIP with 3.00, and beat Harper in that category.
- James ended his fine season level with Indianapolis closer Forrest Myers on 45 saves.

This week: 3-0
Record: 95-67, 1st place, 11 game lead over St. Paul, Madison (clinched)
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Part 1 - Oakland A's 2024 and Beyond Dynasty
Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
The State Capitals League - The Magpies
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Old 08-05-2018, 04:53 PM   #630
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26 September 2052

onlytheboxscore.com/Magpies
Some interesting and some not-so-interesting player stats from the 2052 SCL regular season
Posted by Angus Stattnerd, @betadistributionrocks

Pitching
Most innings pitched: 265.2 (Scott Hale, Richmond)
Most wins: 22 (Al Harper, Madison)
Most saves: 45 (Ken James, Des Moines and Forrest Myers, Indianapolis)
Lowest ERA: 1.86 (Al Harper, Madison)
Lowest FIP: 2.48 (Carlos Lara, Lansing)

Hitting
Most hits: 211 (Jesús Martínez, Annapolis)
Most HR: 50 (Julián Emery, Madison)
Most RBI: 131 (Julián Emery, Madison)
Highest batting AVG: .348 (Julián Emery, Madison)
Highest OBP: .443 (Julián Emery, Madison)
Highest OPS: 1.148 (Julián Emery, Madison)*
Most stolen bases: 57 (Vicente Madrigal, Baton Rouge)

* Denotes SCL single-season record
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Part 1 - Oakland A's 2024 and Beyond Dynasty
Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
The State Capitals League - The Magpies
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Old 08-05-2018, 04:55 PM   #631
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27 September 2052

(Reproduced courtesy of SCL At-Bat, the number one app for all the latest SCL news and scores)

Emery completes Western League batting triple crown
Madison superstar achieves feat for remarkable second straight season

By Buster Oldknee, 8.33PM, 27 Sep 2052

Madison’s future Hall of Famer Julián Emery, the first baseman, has achieved the triple crown of hitting for the second time in two years. The 29-year-old best player in baseball led not just the Western League but the entire SCL in batting average (.348), home runs (50) and RBIs (131). He is a racing certainty to win the WL Outstanding Hitter award for the fourth time.

Emery has produced arguably the best season of any hitter in the SCL’s history. His OPS of 1.148 is the highest single-season mark ever, eclipsing the previous record of 1.138 set by Tsugahara Baba of Olympia back in 2030. Emery also became only the 5th batter ever to blast 50 home runs in the regular season, and the first since Kelly Lewis in 2034. The best HR total remains 53 by Bismarck’s Cipriano Caraballo in the SCL’s inaugural season in 2017.
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Old 08-06-2018, 02:52 PM   #632
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27 September 2052

(Reproduced courtesy of SCL At-Bat, the number one app for all the latest SCL news and scores)

The 162-game appetiser is over... now for the main course
Magpies the top seeds after impressive second half resurgence

By Tim Curtain, 9:01PM, 27 Sep 2052

Thirty teams set out on 1 April on an epic 162-game voyage across the choppy waters that are the State Capitals League regular season campaign. Twenty of those ran aground on route or smashed to pieces against the rocks. Just ten successfully made it to shore, parking their vessels on the sandy beaches of Playoffland. But which group of explorers will discover the long lost treasure known only as the SCL Cup Final Series Trophy?

Tortuous and dubious analogies aside, the SCL postseason is at long last here. Indianapolis’s 5-0 trouncing of Trenton in last night’s elimination playoff secured for them the second and final Eastern League wildcard spot, and completed the roster of teams who will battle it out for glory. For the first time in five years, we will not have a Montgomery versus Baton Rouge showdown in the Cup Final Series, after both teams were eliminated following disappointing seasons.

Western League:
North Division: Des Moines Magpies (95-67)
West Coast Division: Carson City Rattlesnakes (94-68)
South Division: Austin Tycoons (86-76)
Wildcards: Salem Ironclads (92-70), Sacramento Stingrays (88-74)

Eastern League:
North East Division: Providence Blue Rocks (90-72)
Central Division: Columbus Heatseekers (93-79)
South East Division: Tallahassee Islanders (88-76)
Wildcards: Annapolis Mustangs (92-70), Indianapolis Wildcats (88-74)
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Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
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Old 08-06-2018, 02:54 PM   #633
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28 September 2052

FANGRAPHICS
Season review: George Tinker-Tailor looks back on the Magpies’ regular season campaign

For the first third of the season, 2052 looked like being a lost year for the Magpies. Coming off a 92-win year which had culminated in a disappointing wildcard game defeat to old adversaries Madison, GM Billy DePodesta had retained most of the core pieces of his young roster. Hopes were high that, still young but a year more experienced, the talented team could go deeper in the postseason this time.

Crucially, however, DePodesta had decided to trade one of his core pieces, star hitter Jeffrey White, who had just one year remaining on his contract, for reigning rookie of the year Tadamichi Hamada. The loss of the dependable White seemed to shake the club’s confidence, and they started the season in dreadful form. They went 5-13 over the first 3 weeks, and as late as 28 May a 3-2 defeat to Santa Fe left the team in a 22-32 rut. The faltering offense couldn’t produce runs with any regularity, and, Tom Hart, Robert Terry and Ken James aside, the erratic pitching staff leaked runs all over the place. DePodesta’s moves to shake up the bullpen and defense seemed to have little impact.

Or so it seemed. Performances, albeit not results, did begin to improve. Then, at the end of May two things happened, which seemed to light the blue touch paper under the Magpies’ season. First, the club announced the partnership with businessman George Sonos, ending the club’s years of financial worries. Then, DePodesta traded to acquire all-star center fielder Earl Becker from Olympia. Becker himself struggled initially, but his mere star presence in the cleanup position seemed to galvanise the entire roster.

Terry delivered a superb and unexpected all-star year, which only tailed off towards the very end. Hart was consistently brilliant. In the bullpen, James delivered save after save, talented righties Jesús Benítez and Walt Davidson rediscovered their best form, while young left-handers Jesús Zamora and Marv Lewis finally delivered on their talent. When Cory Adams struggled in the rotation, rookie Ronald Williams was called up and kept the wins coming.

By the end of June, the Magpies had hauled themselves back into the playoff race, and in late August they took over the lead in the North Division. Long-time pace-setters Madison and St. Paul seemed unnerved by the Magpies’ seemingly inexorable charge, and fell away. By this time, Becker was showing the Iowa Ballpark faithful what he could really do with the bat, which seemed to also inspire young sluggers Gonzalo Torralda and Ángel Márquez.

In the end, the Magpies took the division by a dominant 11-game margin, and ended up with an SCL-leading 95 wins. But can they go deep into the postseason? While it was their excellent pitching which led the way in their resurgence, questions remain over whether the youthful top three in the rotation - Hart, Terry and Israel Padilla - can deliver over short playoff series. If not, we may see the Magpies invest their newfound wealth over the winter.
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Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
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Old 08-06-2018, 02:56 PM   #634
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29 September 2052

(Reproduced courtesy of SCL At-Bat, the number one app for all the latest SCL news and scores)

Stingrays and Mustangs advance after wildcard game triumphs
Sacramento to face Magpies in division series

By Buster Oldknee, 7:18AM, 29 Sep 2052

Last night’s wildcard games produced all the excitement you would expect from one-game eliminators with so much riding on them. In the Western League, Sacramento beat West Coast Division rivals Salem in a 4-2 come-from-behind victory. They will now play North Division champions and top seeds Des Moines in the division series. The Stingrays will be looking for revenge against the Magpies, having lost each of their four series during the regular season by 2 games to 1.

After winning an elimination match against Trenton just to reach the Eastern League wildcard game, Annapolis continued to ride their wave of confidence by beating Indianapolis 5-3 in another comeback win. In what was a repeat of last year’s EL wildcard fixture, all the scoring came in the 6th inning of a game otherwise dominated by outstanding pitching.

Western League division series:
Sacramento Stingrays vs Des Moines Magpies
Austin Tycoons vs Carson City Rattlesnakes

Eastern League division series:
Tallahassee Islanders vs Columbus Heatseekers
Providence Blue Rocks vs Annapolis Mustangs
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:45 PM   #635
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Hart destroys Stingrays lineup to give Magpies 1-0 series lead

By Maggie Pye | 30 Sep | 12,836 comments

Magpies manager Johannes Kepler has heaped praise on star starting pitching Tom Hart, after his dominant display in tonight’s opening game of the WL division series against Sacramento. Disregarding concerns over his form going into the postseason, Hart put up a display which will live long in the memory, restricting the Stingrays to just a single hit and a single run over 9 dominant innings.

The Magpies took an early lead in the 3rd frame, Rob Crawford hitting a lead-off triple and coming home on Gonzalo Torralda’s single. The Magpies added further runs in the 4th and 5th, and two more in the 7th to establish a game-winning 5-0 lead. Hart, meanwhile, was working on a no-hitter, but sadly it wasn’t to be for the right hander when, in the top of the 8th, catcher Dave Bray smacked his 3-2 fastball far over deep left field for a home run. The Magpies were never under any real threat, however, and Earl Becker finished off the scoring in the bottom of the 8th by rounding off an 11-pitch at-bat with a 411ft no doubter to make it 6-1. In total they had 14 hits but left 12 men on base in a game they should have won even more comfortably.
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:47 PM   #636
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Live: Stradivarius Menuhin gives live inning-by-inning updates from tonight’s second game in the division series between Sacramento and Des Moines.

Preamble: Greetings, everybody! Welcome to game two between the Magpies and the Stingrays. The Stingrays will be eager to bounce back from their resounding defeat in last night’s opening game of the division series. It will be a long way back should they fall 2-0 behind in this best-of-5 series. Israel Padilla (17-12, 4.07) will be on the mound for the Magpies, while the Stingrays opt to go with their talented young flame-thrower Manolo Martínez.

2nd inning: The Stingrays load the bases against Padilla with 1 out, but the young Magpies right-hander strikes out catcher Dave Bray and shortstop Allen Alexander to escape the jam. A huge wasted opportunity for Sacramento, which is immediately punished in the bottom of the innings when Gonzalo Torralda scores after hitting a lead-off double.

5th inning: A beauty from Becker! Rob Crawford gets on board with a single, Pedro Soto scores him with a double, and Earl Becker cleans up the bases with a monster blast into the right field bleachers. 4-0 Magpies!

8th inning: Becker again! It was gone the moment it left his bat! That huge solo homer was measured at 448 feet and makes it 5-0. Padilla leaves the game after a magnificent performance: 7.2 scoreless innings.

9th inning: Reliever Jesús Zamora throws an easy 1-2-3 inning and it’s all over. Magpies win 5-0 and take a 2-0 series lead to California!
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:48 PM   #637
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Magpies lose game three after disastrous three-error fourth inning

By Maggie Pye | 3 Oct | 20,508 comments

The Sacramento Stingrays kept their division series alive with a closely fought 5-3 victory in tonight’s game. In truth, the Magpies were the architects of their own downfall.

This season’s pitching sensation Robert Terry made his first career postseason start, but fell behind in the 3rd inning after giving up a double to first baseman Steve Roberts. It then all went wrong for the Magpies in the 4th frame. After a lead-off single, Kiichi Ohayashi reached on catcher interference from Ernesto Solís. A run then scored after an uncharacteristic handling error from shortstop Daniel Burke, another runner came home on a wild pitch by Terry, and a further fielding error from third baseman Ángel Márquez let a third run score. The Stingrays scored a further run for a 5-0 lead before the Magpies finally shut down the messy inning.

Earl Becker’s home run, his 4th of the series, in the 6th inning closed the Magpies’ deficit to 5-3, but the Stingrays’ bullpen prevented any further scoring.
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:29 PM   #638
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Live: Inning-by-inning updates from game four of the Magpies-Stingrays division series, brought to you by Adam Economicrisis.

Preamble: The Stingrays have wily veteran lefty António Martínez making his second start of the series. Rookie Ronald Williams gets the honour of starting for the Magpies, who have chosen to keep ace Tom Hart back for a possible fifth game decider.

3rd inning: Sacramento open the frame with a single, triple and another single to establish a 2-0 lead with two on and no outs. Williams, however, induces a double play and a flyout to limit the damage there. The Stingrays will be disappointed not to have scored more.

4th inning: The Magpies tie the game, after scoring one run on a throwing error as Ángel Ochoa tried to steal third, and then another on Tadamichi Hamada’s RBI single. But Williams concedes an RBI triple to Allen Alexander to let Sacramento nudge their noses back in front. 3-2.

5th inning: This is shaping up to be quite a game! We’re tied at 3-3 after Dave Bray gives up a passed ball and allows Magpies shortstop Daniel Burke so score easily from third base. Bray is normally so dependable behind the plate, but that’s what playoff baseball does to you!

8th inning: The Magpies have one foot in the league championship series now! Relief pitcher Dimião Cardita loads the bases with three walks, and Joe Merrill’s single scores 2 of the runners.

9th inning: It’s all over. Pedro Soto’s double scores Ochoa and Earl Becker to put the Magpies 7-3 ahead. Closer Ken James gives up an RBI single in the bottom of the frame, but it’s no more than a consolation run for the Stingrays. The Magpies are through to the league championship series for the fourth time in the past seven seasons!
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:30 PM   #639
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(Reproduced courtesy of SCL At-Bat, the number one app for all the latest SCL news and scores)

Tallahassee shock Columbus to reach league championship series
Wildcard Annapolis thrash Providence 3-0

By Tim Curtain, 8:41AM, 5 Oct 2052

Eastern League wildcard Annapolis will get the chance to win their first EL championship pennant since 2040 after outplaying Providence in a convincing 3-0 victory in the division series. The unfancied Blue Rocks has ridden their luck for large spells of the season, but it finally ran out against the ruthless Mustangs. Annapolis will now face Tallahassee, who upset the EL’s top seeds Columbus 3-1.

In the Western League, 2045 SCL champs Austin will face 2046 winners Des Moines in what promises to be an enthralling series. The Tycoons went into their division series against Carson City as second favourites, but fought back from losing the opening game to advance. Center fielder Earl Becker dominated the Sacramento pitching with 4 HR and 7 RBIs in the Magpies’ comfortable series win.

ELDS:
Annapolis Mustangs 3-0 Providence Blue Rocks
Tallahassee Islanders 3-1 Columbus Heatseekers

WLDS:
Austin Tycoons 3-1 Carson City Rattlesnakes
Des Moines Magpies 3-1 Sacramento Stingrays
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:31 PM   #640
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Hart dominates again as Magpies breeze to victory in WLCS opener

By Maggie Pye | 6 Oct | 32,776 comments

The Magpies went into the league championship series as narrow bookies’ favourites, but the Tycoons will have been confident after leading 7-5 in head-to-head games over the regular season. Magpies ace Tom Hart, however, was in no mood to lose the opening game at the Iowa Ballpark.

Hart pounded the Austin lineup from the outset, retiring 19 of the first 23 batters he faced, and not allowing any Tycoons runners into scoring position. Austin phenom Stanley MacPherson matched him with goose eggs for 5.2 innings, but then the Magpies lineup broke through. Ángel Ochoa’s 3-run blast, measured at 400 ft exactly, opened the scoring, before Ángel Márquez put MacPherson’s very next pitch 403 ft into the next row of seats further back for another run.

With Hart’s pitch count at 119, manager Gabe Kepler took him out of the game just one out away from the shutout, finishing with a line of 8.2 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 0 K. The cheers from the crowd as Hart left the field were surpassed in volume only by those a few minutes later when Ricardo Vargas struck out first baseman Daniel Ramsey to end the game. Final score: 5-0.
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