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Old 11-30-2019, 07:08 PM   #461
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Figures…

I got this in the mail after the game… Los Angeles center fielder Otto Isaac has suffered a setback in his recovery from a torn labrum. According to King's officials, he will be out of action for 12 more months. "Doctors are concerned with the rate of healing and have decided that Isaac will need additional time in rehab before he will be cleared to play," one team spokesman explained to reporters.

Otto Isaac is expected to undergo surgery in Los Angeles (California) tomorrow. For the year Isaac hit.302 with 16 home runs, 56 RBIs and 48 runs scored.

This means that our superstar will be out all of next season too... 358 more days out of Baseball. Pay attention kids... this is why you shouldn't buy into vegan diets and follow the spiritual guidance of a former fitness instructor who, after a trip to India, decided he was qualified, for a small fee, of course, to be a guru to the stars...

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150Lbs?!? Good god, man - eat a caribou steak!
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:39 AM   #462
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2078 Playoffs (10/17 – 10/18)

Brooklyn Citizens (4-1, .800) @ Los Angeles Kings (4-1, .800)
The Citizens finished 2nd in the NL West based on their H2H record against the Pittsburgh Steelers. They finished 8-12 against them in the regular season before turning that trend of its head to kick off the 2078 playoffs. They finished 4-3 against us, played us tough… but, the sample size makes that essentially meaningless. This is being billed as an evenly matched series and, in a way, it is. Brooklyn is solidly built with no real outlier categories – they play team ball and count on every man to do his job. No heroics, nothing fancy – just do your job and the rest, as they say, will take care of itself. Their pitching is a strength – they have a strong rotation filled with durable, high-stamina power arms that can, when necessary, deal with the finesse of a Columbia St. Ballerina – it’s all in the footwork, the mechanics make the man. They have two pitchers with whom I am intimately familiar – Merl, a former Laker, who was still feeling his oats when we had him… he’s settled into a quality ace for Brooklyn, and Cam Murphy, who I drafted, developed and then watched slip away after being summarily dismissed by his former club, the Phoenix Suns. We’ll have our work cut out for us here – a no-nonsense staff backed by a solid pen and a patient, battle-tested lineup that habitually strings together quality AB’s and has a knack for testing a pitcher’s fortitude. That being said, the club enters this series with confidence, swagger, and believes that we can get the job done here. We’re in a good position as we enter this series – our form is great, confidence high, and no one is ready to call it a day just yet.

Game 1: Merl Crawford (1-1, 3.29) @ Newton Weiser (1-0, 7.27)
Loss, 7-4
. This contest was won & lost in the 4th frame. Brooklyn won it by scoring 7 in the top of the 4th and we lost it when we could only answer back with four of our own in the bottom of the frame. Weiser got in trouble early in the 4th, all 7 of the Brooklyn runs will be added to his permanent record and serve to balloon his ERA up to 10.50 for the 2078 playoffs. And, Crawford wasn’t much better – his trouble wasn’t as life-threatening in the 4th but he did leak 4 runs including a 3-run dinger courtesy of Joseph Zody. Outside of that though, we didn’t do anything of note offensively – Crawford kept us off balance, and even though he labored for long stretches in this one our guys were unable to make him pay. This is one of those games, or innings really, that you’d love to get back… but can’t, because time-travel doesn’t exist (yet) and even if it did the ramifications of going back and making that kind of a change could spread far & wide… it’s just impossible to tell. What if someone bet their life savings on Brooklyn tonight and then used her winnings to cure cancer? No, we’ll just have to live with it – time travel isn’t worth the trouble.

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Elsewhere: The Coney Island Footlongs won the Bush League Series over the Gainesville Gamecocks, 4-1. This is Coney Island’s 5th Bush League Championship and 2nd in the last 4 seasons of play. Weiner takes all! Wait, is it too early for hotdog jokes? Yeah? Okay, strike that and move along then…

Game 2: Cam Murphy (0-0, 3.86) @ Jonny Garcia (0-0, 4.26)
Win, 3-1
. Jonny Garcia gave us an 8-inning, 3-hit shutout with 10 Ks and Michael Brisk picks up his 4th save despite giving up a late, top of the 9th run to Brooklyn. The offense was still of little use for us in this one – we got a double from OH HONG, a 2-out RBI from Goodwin, and managed to steal three bags… nothing fancy, just enough, barely enough, to get the job done. Brooklyn got what they needed – a split – and now we will make the cross-country trek to meet them on their turf for a 3-game set that could spell the end for this semi-magical, low-key entertaining journey we’ve been on in 2078. Our hope is that the pitching follows the example set by Jonny tonight and that the offense lays off the snooze button and shows up ready to play while in Brooklyn.

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Elsewhere: Golden State won game one against the Toronto Reds with a 10th inning, 2-run, walk-off homer. They’re really firing on all cylinders right now, and, if they aren’t already, should be installed as the heavy World Series favorite by every book from here to Antarctica. Or not, they lost game two by a score of 4-0… shut out at home in front of their wives, children, parents, cousins, girlfriends, mistresses, side-chicks, and second-cousins – and that’s not how a champion gets things did.
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Old 12-01-2019, 10:54 AM   #463
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2078 Playoffs (10/20 – 10/22)

Los Angeles Kings (5-2, .714) @ Brooklyn Citizens (5-2, .714)
Imagine, if you will, my disappointment when I rifled through my suitcase to discover that, of all things, I had forgotten my sleek, black turtleneck sweater. How am I to assimilate, not just blend, but really present myself as one of them – a card-carrying member of their boredom culture, an equal opportunity critic, and hipster of ill-repute? You can’t drink a doppio, pinky raised in mock salute, God save the Queen and all that, without a proper turtleneck to go with your beret and Kerouac paperback… So, instead, I’m forced to head to Gertie’s for a legendary brunch plus Bloody Mary before heading to the ballpark. Zahur’s customary pre-game scouting report is at the ready, single-spaced, excellent font choice, complete with spray charts, graphs, and stats… there’s even a picture of him and his wife on their honeymoon in Tuscany – not sure why, but it’s there. The problem is, I’m just not into it right now – I’ve been deterred by its length (27-pages!) and we’re at the point where history is irrelevant.

In other news… while things have been quiet on the Foggy front, Yan has made the trip to New York with the club. Yan almost never travels with the team and wouldn’t have made this trip if she didn’t see it as an opportunity to apply for Columbia University. That she already has degrees in International Finance, Inferential Statistics, and Computer Science is of no importance… her aim here is to major in Linguistics, a subject she’s already well-equipped in, as a cover for her desire to join the Columbia-Barnard Fencing team… if she doesn’t get into Columbia (unlikely) she could always apply at Barnard, where, if what she told me is correct, she can major in Dance with a minor in Human Rights. I mean, Columbia is cool – but, if it were me, I’d give Barnard a try first.

Game 3: Aiden Jensen (0-0, 31.50) @ Les Trost (1-0, 1.00)
Loss, 6-4
. Jensen managed to cut his postseason ERA in half, but that wasn’t the actual goal here – we needed a win, and, after giving up 3 runs in the bottom of the 4th and 3 more in the bottom of the 6th he didn’t really put us in a position to do that. Brooklyn’s Nehemiah Jenkins went 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs – the former Laker really put it on us in this one, out there prancing around the diamond looking every bit the part of the one that got away. Our offense continued to struggle – there were 4 doubles (Rajkumar, Ethan, Goodwin, and Nolan), a 2-out RBI, and, because we did nothing with any of them, 6 runners left stranded… It’s not that we’re being dismantled, it’s that Brooklyn has been just a little bit better in nearly every facet of the game. What we need now is a good bounce, an overzealous Brooklyn batsman to swing at a bad pitch, and for their bullpen to unravel – to heck with making our own luck, what we need, right now, is for them to have some bad luck.

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Game 4: Trevor Dotson (1-0, 2.57) @ Anthony Boswell (0-0, 5.68)
Win, 2-0
. 8 innings of shutout baseball courtesy of Trevor Dotson, another save from Brisky, and a clutch, top of the 9th, solo homer from OH HONG to give us more than enough cushion to bring this one home. This was that lucky break I was talking about – our offense is still sputtering, and this game could have really gone either way… but, it didn’t. because Trevor was great, Brisky came though, and OH HONG will not go quietly into the night. We’ve booked a return trip to Los Angeles with this win, have evened things up, and now find ourselves locked into a best of three series for the right to represent the National League in the World Series.

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Game 5: Newton Weiser (1-1, 10.50) @ Mer Crawford (2-1, 3.92)
Loss, 3-0
. I always liked Merl Crawford when he was in the fold – he had a good head on his shoulders, worked hard, and always kept his off-the-field shenanigans wholesome… I never had to send a car to pick him up on the bad side of town, no hush money was ever doled out on his behalf, and, outside of that time he found his way into the back room of a nail salon on La Brea, I never had the need to question his decision-making. Whatever soft spot I had for the kid, however, has turned into solid granite after he hung a complete-game, 2-hit, shutout on our club tonight. He was, in a word, masterful – taking full advantage of our suddenly sputtering offense and outdueling a surprisingly serviceable performance by Weiser. When you add in the fact that Ruben Zarate, a kid who I didn’t like, a kid who led Merl into the bowels of that Nail Salon, and a kid who cost my staff untold dollars in hush money, went 1 for 4 with a solo shot in the bottom of the 8th that broke our back, I think it’s safe to say that I’ll not be looking forward to returning to Brooklyn anytime soon.

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We now find ourselves on the precipice of defeat but will look forward to contesting these next two games in our park, in front of our fans, for the right to, well, party, I guess… The winner gets Toronto, who closed out their set against the Golden State Warriors in spectacular fashion… a 9-0 thrashing at home in from of the Reds Army… Hamza, my main man, went 3 for 4 with an RBI, 3 runs, and a free pass to anywhere within the Toronto Metropolitan area good for two free beers and a plate of Fried Chicken Bao courtesy of the Banh Mi Boys. Good looks, Hamza.

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Old 12-01-2019, 11:35 AM   #464
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2078 Playoffs (10/24)

Brooklyn Citizens (7-3, .700) @ Los Angeles Kings (6-4, .600)
I often spend the twenty minutes it takes me to walk from my condo to the ballpark reflecting, visualizing future success, and listening to something with some pep. I did none of those things on my way to the park today – I was a blank slate, focused only on putting one foot in front of the other and not getting hit by a wayward driver crossing one of the many intersections I have to navigate on the way. Maybe it was nerves, maybe I’m just mentally spent after being put through the ringer this season – Otto showed up to camp nearly 30lbs underweight and under the spell of a charlatan posing as a guru, Foggy got lost in a globe-trotting investigation into the origins of Otto’s hypnosis, and I, somehow, got myself connected to a Tupperware-based money laundering scheme that threatened to destroy everything I’d built over 3+ season in Tinseltown. This has been something of a non-linear jaunt along the edge and has, with us only 1 game away from elimination, brought me right up to it. In order to succeed you have to jump, that much is true, but, and I think this is important, in all of the hullabaloo of our 2078 campaign I haven’t had time to double-check my parachute…

In other news… I have it on good authority that, after her name change from Foggy Finkelstein to Loretta Synn was processed, our resident rabble-rousing PI of ill repute has installed herself as the Co-Captain of LA’s premier Roller Derby outfit, the Rocket Queens. I think that I’m happy for her – on the surface this all seems to be on the up & up… but knowing Foggy… err, Loretta… I’m not convinced that she’s not up to something here. She has the gift – sees all the angles, plays the ones worth playing, and, somehow, despite her habit of acting out emotionally (RE: the Phoenix debacle), she always comes out smelling like roses.

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Game 6: Cam Murphy (0-1, 4.15) @ Jonny Garcia (1-0, 1.88)
Loss, 3-2
. All that glitters isn't gold, all we are is dust in the wind, we're all just bricks in the wall, manic depression's a frustrating mess, you can't always get what you want, a hard rain's gonna fall, and, until 2079, the thrill of living is gone… We got handled by Brooklyn in this series, and while we did mount a mini-comeback in the bottom of the 9th it wouldn’t be enough, the destiny of the 2078 Los Angeles Kings was sealed when Phil Murray thought it would be a good idea to rebrand our club the Kings… the Kings of what? Second place? East-LA? Who knows what that guy was thinking… here we got a masterful Cam Murphy who kept us scoreless through 7 innings, a lockdown effort from the opposing bullpen who kept it that way, and a 2-run ding dong from 3B Jarel White that would be all she wrote. Lloyd and OH HONG both struck out 3 times, Dom hit into a soul-crushing, rally-killing double play that squashed our comeback effort in the bottom of the 9th, and we left 8 runners stranded without enough pocket money to get a bite to eat while they wait for the bus to come through. We came into this season on a high note, the best team in the game, and, eventually, watched our destiny slip through our fingers as injuries took their toll. That’s my story anyway – it was the injuries, without them we’d have swept our way through the playoffs to claim our 3rd straight World Series rings, right? Yeah, not so fast… this is baseball, and it has no love for a sure thing. Don’t believe me? Go ask the guys from Golden State or any of the players who were on Philly’s Tricentennial squad… We have some big decisions to make in the off-season, I have some big decisions to make – my contract is up, Phil is notoriously miserly, and, let’s be honest, a change of scenery might be nice.

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Elsewhere: The Brooklyn Citizens defeated the Toronto Reds BC in 6 games to win their 5th World Series title and first in 47 years. But nobody cares about that. Unless you live in Brooklyn, I guess. But no one else, for sure.
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Old 12-01-2019, 06:53 PM   #465
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2079 Pre-Season

***Long Post Alert***

League Notes:
  • The Reds BC have a new owner. In a press release, the Board of Directors of the Toronto Reds BC announced the sale of the team to business entrepreneur Tommy Mattern. The new owner is regarded by close associates as tolerant. They expect him to take a generous approach to payroll issues.
  • There is a sense of unease in certain parts of the Green Bay sports community following the sale of the Green Bay Packers. Former owner Stanley Blodgett Jr., well-known to Green Bay, has sold the team to eccentric industrialist Ismael Centeno. Centeno tried to reassure Packers season ticket holders that he wants to win. "I want to make the best team I can. I'm going to find everything that's wrong with the team and fix it," he said. "I know that things are stacked against us. If something is important enough, even if the odds are against me, I'm going to do it." Centeno is said to be a demanding character, with a fiscal personality of economizer. The Packers finished the regular season with a 81-81 record, third place in the American League East Division.
  • The San Diego press and public got a chance to meet and greet the new owner of the San Diego Chargers today at Petco Park. The new head man is Clark Roberts, a well-known business tycoon. He bought the club from Tony Malo in a straight cash sale a week ago. The MLB commissioner announced completion of the deal and approval by a vote of the owners earlier this week. Roberts has acquired a ball club that ended up with a 59-103 record last season and was last in the National League West Division standings. Roberts has a reputation for being tolerant in disposition and relating to others and for being generous in financial dealings.
  • The Orlando Sentinel has reported that, Elvira Hancock, has won full control of the Orlando City Baseball Club, LLC as part of her divorce settlement from previous owner/husband, Vinny Hancock. In a short press conference, Elvira made her intention to move the franchise to Miami prior to the start of the 2079 campaign clear. “I intend to take his toy to Miami and to achieve the type of success he never could here in Orlando”, was Elvira’s brief & only statement to those in attendance. The Mayor of Orlando has promised his constituents that he won’t let the club move without a fight – but, given that their lease is up, it’s not immediately clear what levers, if any, the ineffectual politician must pull to keep the team in town.

Awards:
  • Aitor Cubas has been around Major League Baseball enough to know a good hot streak when he sees one -- and he got to see one firsthand all year. For his standout run through the 2078 season, he's taking home the Boyce Rigg Award in the American League. The Seattle left fielder put up a batting average of .294 with 24 doubles, 4 triples, 36 home runs and 110 RBIs. Pablo Madera of the Carolina Panthers finished second in voting, while Heathcote Kinton of the Los Angeles Galaxy finished third.
  • The National League has given Tom Franzone the Boyce Rigg Award. In 2078, the Pittsburgh first baseman was outstanding with a .329 batting average, 31 doubles, 1 triple, 54 home runs and 146 RBIs. Franzone also had 81 walks, scored 126 times and posted a .410 on-base percentage. Jacob Wells of the Phoenix Suns finished second in voting, while Ray Gerhold of the Phoenix Suns finished third.
  • Big Burt McElheny of Vancouver excelled on the mound in 2078 with a 23-6 record and was named the American League Victor Pacheco Award winner. The Giants star put on quite a show with a 3.15 ERA in 32 starts and 173 strikeouts in 234 innings. David Arney of the Los Angeles Galaxy finished second in voting, while Ken Spears of the Golden State Warriors finished third.
  • It was a dream season for Landon Sampson of San Francisco Seals. He pitched his way to a 16-8 record and carted off the 2078 National League Victor Pacheco Award. Working 193.2 innings this year, Sampson made 33 starts, struck out 251 and crafted a 2.28 ERA. He gave up 153 hits and 45 walks and limited other teams to a .214 average. Jake Talley of the Phoenix Suns finished second in voting, while Cathal Magill of the Orlando City finished third.

Contract News:
After careful consideration, Phil Murray extended an offer of a 2-year extension paying me $11.3M per year. After my own careful consideration, I countered with a request for more money. Given that Loretta Synn and Yan Welli are not on the official books, and are, instead, paid for out of my own pocket (mostly using my Tupperware cash), I feel like my raise should leave a little room in there for me to give them one too. Phil didn’t budge. So, I didn’t either. And when, Elvira Hancock came calling, with an offer of $15.3M per and threw in her Ex-Husband’s fully equipped Miami-based Houseboat, free of charge and with 5-years of moorage fees prepaid, I did what any self-respecting beach bum would do… I packed my bags, told Loretta & Yan that I had a new adventure to pursue, offered them a raise to come along, and went on my merry way.

Notes from the Editor: I loved LA and had a great run in La-La Land, but it was time… time to try to build a club from the ground up, to start fresh, and to see if I could duplicate my previous success in a new city. And, while leaving the CITY OF COMPTON, Otto, OH HONG (yeah, right! I'm totally gonna trade for him), and Brisky behind will be tough - it’s time… onward and upwards my friends…

The New Crew:

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The Organization:
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Miami United, MLB (lovingly referred to as the Hot Pinks, ‘Mingos, or Flim-Flams by the locals)
Havana Sugar Kings, AAA
Barbados Tridents, AA

The Early Moves:
  • Fans in Miami woke up this morning to learn that their team had traded 23-year-old minor league CF Wayne Sisson to the Minnesota North Stars. In return, the United will receive 22-year-old minor league LHP T-Rex Stiles.
  • In an effort to add some depth to its roster, the Miami United have swapped 28-year-old CF Filonas Polyclitus and 24-year-old minor league RHP Shawn Duc to the Houston Dynamo for 27-year-old LF Kyle Weaver and 20-year-old minor league 2B Chico Mendes. The United GM told reporters, "We saw a chance to upgrade our ball club and took it."
  • Newspapers in Miami and Los Angeles reported that the United have reached a deal sending 20-year-old minor league 2B Chico Mendes to the Kings for 24-year-old minor-league RHP Orlando Vasquez.
  • You can't always get what you want, but sometimes you find a deal anyway. The Baseball News Network is reporting that Miami and New York have made a swap with 20-year-old minor league LHP Jon Browning being shipped to the Jets and in return the United would get 23-year-old minor-league 3B Bump Stanley and 36-year-old minor league RHP Flamengo Zamora. Miami general manager Lefty Anonymous said the two sides were close to a blockbuster trade before agreeing upon a smaller scale transaction. "This is just a bit of housekeeping compared to what we wanted to do," he said. "I won't name names, but the potential deal we were close to making would have certainly grabbed some headlines."
  • The Miami United announced a deal with the Packers today, sending 23-year-old minor league LHP Taylor McGrady to Green Bay for 21-year-old minor-league 2B Magmo Noyola. It had been talked about for the past few weeks and everything came together late last night. All players are expected to be joining their respective clubs shortly.
  • The Baseball News Network is reporting that the Warriors and United have consummated a trade. Miami will receive 37-year-old minor league RHP Christopher Pimentel in a swap for 31-year-old RF Joshua Newman. A league analyst called the trade a "fairly even transaction."
  • The Miami United have finalized a deal with the Los Angeles Kings for the services of 26-year-old 1B Oh Hong, 25-year-old minor league LF Aris Anaconda and 23-year-old minor league C Monty Williams. In exchange, the Kings will receive 25-year-old LHP K.J. Judd and 29-year-old LHP Jack Grace.

Other Notable Trades & Transactions
  • Officials for Los Angeles confirmed that they have traded 25-year-old LF Joseph Zody to the Minnesota North Stars. In return, the Kings will receive 27-year-old 1B Yoshimasa Sugawara.
  • Rumors of a deal between Josiah Weber and Jacksonville finally bore fruit today as the two sides faced a packed press gathering. Jaguars officials looked very pleased as they outlined the terms of the new deal. Weber will earn $34,000,000 per year for 2 years. He is expected to be a solid addition to his new club. Weber has a lifetime ERA of 2.78 with a record of 309 wins and 160 losses. He also has struck out 5496 batters in 4371 innings and allowed 3680 hits.
  • Team insiders were tight-lipped prior to today's deal that brought 28-year-old second baseman Heathcote Kinton to Portland. Kinton is considered one of the league's A-list players and certainly will enhance any chances the Timbers have to win a playoff spot this year. For his career Kinton has hit at a .304 clip. Among his lifetime numbers are 992 hits, 137 doubles, 26 triples, 111 home runs and 480 RBIs.
  • The euphoria surrounding a big-name deal can sometimes overshadow the deal itself. Occasionally a team will mortgage its future to make a big splash, though no one in Seattle was worried about that today as the club finalized terms with Ethan Mullens. Mullens will earn $26,800,000 per year over 3 years. Mullens is hitting at a .287 rate over his 857-game career. Lifetime he has 175 doubles, 28 triples and 116 home runs with 482 RBIs and 560 runs scored.
  • Paul Yeager and Seattle put the finishing touches on a $31,133,333-a-year deal that will keep the 28-year-old in a Seattle uniform for 3 years.
  • Golden State's signing of Michael Brisk was met with mixed reactions today as the 31-year-old starting pitcher was introduced to the media. Some experts consider him overpaid at $15,400,000 a year for 2 years, while others insist that Brisk is a perfect fit for the Warriors.
  • In what local scribes are hailing as a huge move for the team's future, the United inked a $64,400,000 deal with catcher Rex Engelstad. Team officials expect Engelstad to fill an immediate void on the roster and felt the deal would solidify them as a playoff contender.
  • Los Angeles Galaxy fans welcomed Steven Barbaccia into the fold, as the veteran announced he'd reached an agreement with Los Angeles brass. Some were critical of the move, insisting that you shouldn't invest $3,520,000 in a 36-year-old man, no matter how good he might be on the field. The team believes he will deepen their roster and ultimately win a championship.

Elvira’s expectation is that we play .500 ball in 2079… I think we should be able to handle that. Maybe.

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Old 12-02-2019, 08:53 AM   #466
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2079 Season (4/3 – 4/5)

Miami United (0-0, .000, t-1st NL East) @ Brooklyn Citizens (0-0, .00, t-1st NL East)
In 2078 the Brooklyn Citizens took their moon shot. They loaded up their shuttle, stocked it with high-priced talent, made some key mid-season adjustments (Voorhis for Murphy comes to mind), and stuck the landing. They stuck it clean and for the first time in 40+ years... there was a parade, their stars made the rounds on the talk show circuit, and they were regaled with praise wherever they went. But, if the off-season fire sale conducted by the Citizens is any indication, sticking a landing on the moon isn’t cheap and, in this business, even if you make your payments on time the APR will increase with impunity. Brooklyn’s owner, Dante Searcy, pushed all of his chips into the middle of the table, caught an ace on the river, cashed in and stuck the profit into his pockets - it’s just business. Basically, the likelihood that the Citizens secure a repeat hovers right around zero. They still have a solid staff with a few absolute crackerjacks at the top (Krebs, Merl & Cam), and their offense is capable... not the type of lineup that gives you heartburn, but they’ll string good at-bats together against you, chip away at your starters pitch count, and put themselves in a position to get what they need, when they need it. So, this year’s version isn’t the world-beating club we saw run roughshod through the playoffs, the unit that broke my heart and sealed my fate in LA. This year’s version is something else, less exciting, racing to the middle... they’re likely a better club than we are, but, speaking as the guy who had his chest splayed open by them in the NLCS, at home, in front of 52K+ fans, it’s nice to see that, unlike my 2076 & 2077 Laker clubs, they will likely be a one-and-done. It’s the little things that make a life in baseball, they must be celebrated or at least recognized... if you let these sweet nothings slip by, you’ll likely find yourself on the wrong side of depression, holed up in the owner’s box, crying, with the lights set low.

Still, as satisfying as it was to watch the Brooklyn brass flounder their way through an off-season where they always seemed as short on funds as they were on imagination, I would have preferred to start my tenure in Miami against a different club, like Montreal or San Diego, hell, even an April trip to Minnesota would’ve been more agreeable. But here we are, introducing the world to Elvira’s new-look Miami club, against the reigning champions... where I’ll be forced to sit through their ring ceremony recounting all the things we did wrong against them in that fateful game 6 loss. What I need today is a win - a good first impression, a reinforcement of my decision to leave the comforts of Los Angeles for a houseboat and a little bit of Elvira’s loose change. Let’s hope that the trivia question we create here today has an answer we can feel good about.

1 of 162: Cathal Magill (0-0, 0.00) @ Matthew Krebs (0-0, 0.00)
Loss, 7-6
. While we didn’t get the result we were looking for in our inaugural game, we did give a good account of ourselves here and fought tooth & nail to get the victory – but, despite our 6-run top of the 8th, Brooklyn was able to hold on and give their fans a second thing to cheer about it after they were showered in applause during the ring ceremony. Magill left a bit to be desired – he faltered early, only lasted for 3.1 innings, and gave up 7 total runs, 5 of those earned. Our 4 errors, two of which belonged to OH HONG at 1st, didn’t help and pretty much erased any benefit our 2 two-baggers and homerun would provide. There’s the answer to the trivia question for you… how many errors did Miami United commit in their inaugural game? 4, Alex, the answer is four. That one is an automatic daily-double… Hong went 2 for 5 with a run and an RBI, Crouch, and DeTour scored, and Eldin Kemp drove one in on a SAC FLY. Our costly free-agent, and the key to the future of our franchise, Rex Engelstad, went 0 for 3 and struck out once.

Elsewhere: The Los Angeles Kings lost their season opener on the road in Houston… 1B Paul Aguilar, in his 1st AB of the game, hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th to seal the deal. Oh Hong replacement, Yoshimasa Sugawara went 0 for 4 with 4 K’s in the loss and DH Kirk Johnson, Megan’s one & only, went 0 for 4 with 2 K’s in his first ML start. Aiden was great though, always liked that kid. Also, Ian Hanan, playing his first game in an LA Galaxy Kit after signing with them in the offseason went 3 for 4 with a HR, 2 RBIs, and a walk during LA’s 6-2 loss against the Seattle Sounders… he was the whole show, folks.

2 of 162: Cliff Slavinski (0-0, 0.00) @ Merl Crawford (0-0, 0.00)
Win, 8-4
. Nice. Our first road win in a Miami kit… Slavinski gave up 4 runs in 8.1 innings of work and fanned 11 batters, Danny Switzer picked up his first save, and Oliver Woodward went 2 for 4 with a double, an RBI and two runs… OH HONG hit a two-run double, but left early with an injury (he’ll be listed DtD for the next 6 days), Weaver scored, Steve Green put out his first long ball of the season, and we swiped two bags on the day. We got another solid effort from the club and were rewarded for it with the victory… felt good charging 5 to Crawford’s account too…

Elsewhere: I gave Yan Welli the keys to the castle as my General Manager here in Miami… and, she made the most of it yesterday with some furious waiver wire activity (and the demotions that followed)…

Assigned RP Christopher Pimentel to Triple-A Havana.
Assigned RP Davey Halimkusuma to Triple-A Havana.
Assigned 3B Ethan Cope to Triple-A Havana.
Assigned RF Wyatt Marinelli to Triple-A Havana.
Assigned 1B John Burkett to Triple-A Havana.
Signed free agent RP J.J. Denney to a minor league contract.
Promoted RP J.J. Denney from Double-A Barbados to Triple-A Havana.
Demoted RP Skip Dokken (the Dream Warrior) from Triple-A Havana to Double-A Barbados.
1B Hetereki Ailani was claimed off waivers from Carolina.
3B Diego Mateo was claimed off waivers from New York.
2B Jaime Negrete was claimed off waivers from New York.
3B Dalton Olson was claimed off waivers from Chicago.
SS Elias Franco was claimed off waivers from Dallas.
1B Rickey Morton was claimed off waivers by Los Angeles.
RP Davey Halimkusuma was claimed off waivers by Jacksonville.
RP Graham Doyle was claimed off waivers from Phoenix.
2B Jim Tepper was claimed off waivers from San Francisco.

3 of 162: Radoslav Borovsky (0-0, 0.00) @ Cam Murphy (0-0, 0.00)
Loss, 13-7
. Things fell apart pretty quickly for Borovsky in this one – 3.1 innings, 5 earned – but, a 4-run top of the 5th saw us threatening to get back in it. We’re battling, had shown ourselves to be doggedly determined to stay in it… and that’s when the wheels really came off. Our next two pitchers allowed 7 runs to plate in the bottom of the frame and the reigning World Series champions never looked back from there. Our two big dogs were all bark, no bite – OH HONG went 2 for 4, Rex-E went 0 for 4 – and despite the best efforts of our also-rans, we’d run into a brick wall here and, ultimately, lose our first series as a Miami based ballclub. Three doubles, a homer, 19 total bases, three 2-out RBIs, and a swiped bag were not enough to secure the series win. We did our level best… we can be happy about that… but the 90-minute rain delay in the 8th inning sufficiently soaked in the fact that 2079 will likely be a long, tough slog for the Flim-Flams.
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Old 12-02-2019, 07:40 PM   #467
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:33 AM   #468
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2079 Season (News, Complaints, and Other Stuff)

(News) Mr. 2000:
CF Wil Lewandowski, of the Toronto Reds BC, collected career base hit #2000. That his team lost the game, 5-1, is of little importance. Wil spent most of his career in Seattle followed by stops in Toronto (2x), Phoenix, and Green Bay. He’s hit at a .280 clip over his 14 years of major service. In the off-season, Lewandowski spends his days in his native Montana where he runs a small fishing guide company. All this guy does is catch cutthroats and hit baseballs.

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(Complaints) Injuries?!? Already?!?
The Phoenix Suns have lost the services of Patrick Keith for the rest of this season. He suffered a torn rotator cuff in a recent ballgame and the follow-up report from the medical staff is not good. Keith is out for the year. Last season Patrick missed time due to Elbow Inflammation (twice), Bone Spurs, and a Strained Hammy – in total he missed nearly 5 months last year… and now this - another entire season gone vamoose!

A blow for Ethan Mullens today -- team doctors were able to determine the full extent of his recent injury. He will miss 4-5 weeks with a strained posterior cruciate ligament. Mullens suffered the injury on 04/03/2079. The team will likely place Mullens on the injured list today. The last time Ethan was out for more than a few days was in 2072 when he missed a stretch due to strained triceps. I’m gutted for the guy - finally out from under Otto’s shadow, in a new city, and on pace to make his name... he’ll be back, stronger, like Arnold in Commando. Get to the choppa!

(Other Stuff) A trade & a scouting report…
The Baseball News Network is reporting that Miami and Minnesota have made a swap with 32-year-old RF Andrew Beck being shipped to the North Stars and in return, the United would get 36-year-old RHP Saul Guzman and 24-year-old minor league RHP Zachary Muhammed. This was (almost) purely a housekeeping move as I was trying to free up some space for Kyle Weaver to start… that I got Guzman in the deal is a nice bonus though. He’s not very good, but I have a soft spot for the guy.

There are three things I don’t like about Carter DeTour… 1st – he’s a me-first kind of guy with no loyalty to the team, which is weird because this is the only Franchise he’s ever known. 2nd – he’s unhappy in Miami, with the team, with his teammates, I heard that his girlfriend had dumped him, and he wants out… that he’ll tell anyone with a microphone those things as well doesn’t help (loose lips, man...). And 3rd – he’s just not that good at playing baseball. He’s a middle-of-the-road guy, playing middle-of-the-road ball on a club that doesn’t know who it is yet… I’ve put him on the block, sent a message to Yan that read, “get rid of him”, and am excited to see what she can get for him. So, with any luck, Yan will find a taker within the next few days and by the end of next week, Carter DeTour will be out playing in traffic for a different baseball club, in a different city, far, far away from here.

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Old 12-03-2019, 10:14 PM   #469
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2079 Season (4/7 – 4/9)

Miami United (1-2, .333, 4th NL East) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2, .333, 4th NL East)
With Fresnel Holoprism, Inc., the preeminent manufacturer of 3-D Holographic Entertainment Systems, as its largest employer, Pittsburgh has come a long way from being the town that was built on the backs of the proletariat and forged in steel. Now home to high-end holography, delectable pierogis, and a baseball team with 9 straight playoff appearances and no hardware to show for it, Pittsburgh continues to plug away at it despite having an offseason that will likely not produce the results their fans are used to – begging the question would you rather always be the bridesmaid, never the bride, or not bother attending the wedding at all? So, what do these guys have going for them after losing two of their premier arms to free agency? The answer, besides not much, can be summed up in two words: Tom. Franzone. And, really, that’s about it. The Steelers are going back to their roots in 2079, they’re going to load up the expectation of an entire fanbase and rest that package squarely on the back of the 2078 Boyce Rigg winning home-run machine and hope for the best. If only we here in Miami could be so lucky…

4 of 162: Mirko Samsonenko (0-0, 0.00) @ Claude Gould (0-0, 0.00)
Win, 8-3
. Tom Franzone sat down at our table, loaded up his plate with meat and cheese, took half our loaf of bread, and all of the mashed potatoes and feasted on our pitching – 2 for 3, a homer, 2 RBIs, and 2 runs… unfortunately for him and his ballclub, there just wasn’t enough room at the table for anyone else. Mirko gave a good account of himself over 7 innings of work, 9 K’s & 3 earned, and Rex came alive in a 2 for 3, 2 run performance to lead us to a game one victory against Steel City. OH HONG went 2 for 5 with an RBI, Watanabe & DeTour each drove in a run, and Lucas Brandt put together a nice 2-inning save to close this one out. We’re a .500 ballclub and I couldn’t be happier.

Elsewhere: LF Jo Jo Jackson, of the Dallas Cowboys, hit his first home run of the season in a 5-4 win over Phoenix. Jackson, in his second season as a major leaguer, is now hitting .286 with a HR, an RBI, a Walk, and 7 strikeouts. And, you’re right, I get it – it’s early… but, I’d still like to point out that he doesn’t even lead the league in K’s yet. Nope. That honor belongs to 1B Yoshimasa Sugawara, AKA Bootleg Hong, of the Los Angeles Lakers, who has been rung up a league-leading 9 times so far in 2079.

5 of 162: Cathal Magill (0-1, 13.50) @ Wing Sung (0-0, 0.00)
Loss, 4-3
. Cathal was better this time around – 8 innings, 7 hits, 4 earned, and 5 K’s – but he still wasn’t good enough. We’ll need him to get this thing dialed in pretty quickly if we are to reach our potential as an honest-to-goodness, average ballclub. Watanabe gets another RBI and a hits 2 doubles, Rex and OH HONG went back to being non-factors, we stole two bags, and got caught with our hand in the honey pot twice… For each step forward, we take one step back… Cha-cha-cha!

Elsewhere: Yan is nothing if not thorough, efficient, and heartless… we’ve announced another trade – Carter DeTour & Minor-Leaguer Pascal Overton for Early Felger (AAA) & Winn Meints (AA). Felger looks to have more long-term upside than DeTour but has a lot of runway to cover before any of that talent takes flight. So, we stocked our developmental talent a bit and got rid of a clubhouse cancer. I can dig it. One problem though… our Major League roster is so barren, that it’s a near certainty that Early Felger will arrive at the table blue-rare rather than the mid-rare I usually order. He’s from New York, he can handle it.

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6 of 162: Kito Western (0-0, 0.00) @ Robby Garrett (1-0, 1.13)
Win, 8-6
. Franzone was at it again in this one – 4 for 5, 2 HRs, 4 riblets, and 2 runs – but none of his so-called teammates were willing to follow his lead… and, um, yeah… about that Early guy, he went 4 for 7 with a HR and 4 RBIs in his Major League debut which is, well, surprising. Not only that – it was his solo HR in the top of the 13th inning that put us up for good here – so, welcome to the club young man, we think you’ll like it here. 2 RBIs for Watanabe, OH HONG goes 1 for 6 (ugh), Rex went 1 for 5 (ugh), we got TWO SAC BUNTS (small-ball-a-go-go!), stole two bags, and completed 3 double plays… don’t look now you guys, but we got ourselves a .500 ballclub in Miami…

Elsewhere: LF Palmer Parker, of the Philadelphia 76ers, laid down a 5-hit game in a 19-8 win over the reigning-champion Brooklyn Citizens… he also had 4 RBIs and 3 runs during the game. And, your lovable club of misfit toys, affectionately known as the Miami ‘Mingos by the locals, are heading home for our first ever home series against the Montreal Wanderers. There are still a few tickets available, so act fast… or don’t. We expect to have some available at the box office on game day – take your time, relax… we’re far from the hottest ticket in town. Yet.
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:24 PM   #470
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2079 Season (4/10 – 4/12)

Montreal Wanderers (3-3, .500, t-2nd NL East) @ Miami United (3-3, .500, t-2nd NL East)
April in Miami feels like home even if it’s not quite home yet - temperatures in the mid-70s, a cool breeze, and warm enough to still wear shorts on the houseboat. Speaking of... it, the houseboat I mean, may be one of the best job perks I’ve ever had. A premium sound system with 5 TBs of music on its server, a stateroom finished in mahogany and oak, a spacious galley, and a spare bedroom to boot. The “Exhibit A”, as its previous owner christened it, will make a fine base of operations during my stay in Miami... especially given the fact that I’m a short 2 block walk away from the Twin Palms Bar & Laundromat. I have everything I need to make this area a perfect base of operations - premium sound, a place to fraternize while getting my laundry done, and a nice spot to rest my head. The only problem is that, unlike my LA Condo, I can’t walk to the park, so, I’m in the market for transportation and since I don’t have a driver’s license will need to find a reputable driving service to cut back on my Uber expense. But, enough about all that - we have some baseball on the itinerary, our first home game as a Miami based baseball club, and, with the Montreal Wanderers coming to town for a 3-game set we’ll have our work cut out for us if we hope to make a good first impression in the new park. Montreal entered the 2079 season with some lofty expectations - pegged as a likely playoff contender by the baseball punditry and with a staff that, on paper, looks to be as good as any and better than most, the Wanderers were preseason darlings. And while they haven’t necessarily started the season like they were shot out of a cannon (that honor has been bestowed on the Golden State Warriors), I expect that cribbing a win or two off of them will be an arduous task. One that, on the surface, we’re unlikely to be good for... but, mine is a club that isn’t afraid to get dirty, of dogged determination, and comprised of the type of talent that makes up their skill gap through balls-to-the-wall effort. I just need them to pull out all the stops and get game one added to the win column, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and after that, we can crash back down to earth and play like the middling club we’re constructed to be.

Elvira will be in attendance, along with her bodyguard, and I’m told that Loretta’s Roller Derby outfit bought tickets at a group discount... we need to look good here, to show Ms. Hancock that her decision making is sound, and to make some inroads into getting Ms. Synn to make the move to Miami... hell, I already have an open-ended invite to try out with the Vice City Rollers secured for her and there are plenty of salons downtown that can keep her formerly red hair dyed black & blue.

7 of 162: Joseph Grace (1-0, 1.42) @ Cliff Slavinski (1-0, 4.32)
Loss, 3-0
. Losing our first home game was less than ideal. Getting shutout in our first home game was absolutely dreadful. Getting 1-hit, on a little blooper that got through the infield in the bottom of the 8th, was the only thing that saved us here – had we got no-hit I have no doubt that I would have been fired on the spot, chased out of town, and never allowed back into the state of Florida. Slavinski was just okay in 6 innings of work – or less so, really – he gave up 10 hits, 2 runs, and 2 walks during the contest. Our lone highlight came, as I previously stated, in the bottom of the 8th… Ethan Loy, our so-so third baseman, was named our unofficial player of the game here.

Elsewhere: The day was marked by phenomenal pitching… in addition to Joseph Grace’s 1-hitter for the Wanderers, Theodore Junkersfeld, of the Chicago Fire, threw a 2-hitter in a 3-0 win over the Green Bay Packers, and Cam Murphy, of the Brooklyn Citizens, threw a 3-hitter in a 1-0 loss against the St. Louis Rams. SP Cosmo Puente got the shutout in that last one – his only flaw? He gave up 5 hits for the game.

8 Of 162: Hudson Dorsch (1-0, 1.23) @ Radoslav Borovsky (0-1, 13.50)
Win, 4-3
. Okay, this is good – we will not be swept in our first-ever home series. We’ll take it. Radoslav went 5.1 with 7 K’s and 3 earned, Danny Switzer picked up his 2nd save of the season, and Donovan Taylor went 1 for 3 with a 2-run HR. Watanabe scored, Weaver drove one in, and we added three doubles as a team to go along with Taylor’s dinger… Good team effort here. Interesting side note: 1B Archie Imanov went 1 for 3 with 1 run scored for the game – which, if you were wondering, is interesting because the former Laker who spent 3 years in Seattle signed a 2-year contract with the San Marcos Supremos as a free agent in the offseason… a $21M contract, which was very quickly purchased by the Wanderers for $500K. That’s how you get paid with the quickness here in the Strangeverse… He gets a balloon payment for half of the $21M, with an extra $545K in salary from the Wanderers and gets to go through free agency again next season. Hustler.

9 of 162: Dylan Bauer (0-1, 4.26) @ Mirko Samsonenko (1-0, 3.86)
Win, 5-1
. Holy moly, Rocky! We’ve won our first ever series at home. If I’m being honest, and why wouldn’t I be, I thought we’d get swept here… instead, the nearly 28K fans that showed up witnessed history. History that will be quickly forgotten, but history, nonetheless. Mirko hucked a complete game 4-hitter and allowed a run, Watanabe went 1 for 4 with a triple, an RBI, and 2 runs, and Early Felger went 2 for 4 with two doubles and a run. Travis Scharmer stole his 4th bag, 2-out RBI for Rex, and a historic first home series win! Bring on the dancing bears!
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Old 12-07-2019, 03:03 PM   #471
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2079 Season (4/13 – 4/20)

Minnesota North Stars (3-6, .333, 6th NL West) @ Miami United (5-4, .556, 2nd NL East)
Shawna Betts has made her goal for 2079 widely known – it’s playoffs or bust. After five sub-.500 seasons in a row, and off to an inauspicious start to their 2079 campaign, the lenient, charitable owner of the North Stars has made it clear that it’s time to start winning. Attendance has been stagnant, her local media outlets have widely panned the efforts of her brain trust, and fan loyalty is at an all-time low… it’s a dicey time to be affiliated with the Minnesota Baseball Club, LLC. What we have here is a club with above-average power who, on paper, looks like prolific scorers backed up by a pitching staff in need of an overhaul. Their Ace is ranked 22nd (David Ouwerkerk) in the league, their closer 19th (Dylan Cain), and their best reliever 19th (Steven Parkin) … this is not a staff that inspires fear, but, instead, is one that inspires excitement. We have an opportunity here, in our second ever homestand as a Miami-based ballclub, to look better than we are – in short, if we are to fulfill our destiny as a mediocre, middle-of-the-road, bastion of averageness then it starts here – our charter, to the degree, that it has been defined, is to feast on the poor clubs and, once full, come crashing back down to earth against the better-than-average clubs. A split simply will not suffice here – we need a series win or better.

10 of 162: Keiki Kaneko (0-0, 9.64) @ Cathal Magill (0-2, 7.15)
Win, 5-1
. This is how it should be – sounds weird given our talent situation, but we are, in fact, the better club here… Cathal gave us 7 innings of 3-hit, 1-run ball and Kyle weaver went 2 for 2 with 2 runs scored. Early Felger continues to provide us with solid AB’s, he’d get a couple of hits and a run in this one, and 1B Hetereki Ailani, subbing for an injured Oh Hong, went 2 for 3 with 3 RBIs. Pretty happy with our effort here – nothing fancy, not a single EBH… but, we got the win, in front of 31-thousand fans. Side note: Our concessions are killing it so far this year with our Taco Dog being the clear favorite…

Elsewhere: The inaugural game of our AAA-club, the Havana Sugar Kings, came this evening on the road against the Sugar Land Skeeters. We gave SP Funky Martin the historic start and he didn’t disappoint in a 7.1 inning, 7-hit, shutout… of, course, there was some disappointment – here it came mostly from the bullpen who let three runs sneak by them en route to a 3-2 walk-off loss. Funky, an international scouting discovery out of Venezuela hasn’t developed into the Major League worthy talent we had hoped for when he was signed in 2073… his is a name that begs to be displayed in bright lights, on our mega-huge scoreboard situated in right-center. But, it likely won’t happen like that here – at least in any long-term capacity. The kid has a great fastball, pin-point control with little to no movement and not enough other “stuff” to go with it. Cool name, though.

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11 of 162: David Ouwerkerk (1-0, 4.50) @ Graham Doyle (0-0, 2.45)
Win, 6-4
. Our first 4-game winning streak… Doyle wasn’t great and didn’t really have to be given Ouwerkerk’s early struggles… 7 innings, 6 hits, 4 earned for our #5. Kyle Weaver stayed sharp for us – he went 2 for 4 with a double and 4 RBIs – and Scharmer & Felger both drove one in… two swiped bags (Watanabe & Scharmer), two two-baggers (Watanabe & Weaver), and 2 nifty double plays for the squad… things are clicking a bit now and, despite it being an extremely unlikely scenario, after 11 contests we find ourselves at 7-4 on the year.

Elsewhere: SP Rad Taylor, of the Compton Raiders, pitched a complete-game 10-hitter, gave up 3 earned, and struck out 6 batters in his clubs 4-3 loss against the Salem Silverbacks in Oregon. Rad’s trajectory, at this point, has him joining the big club in LA any day now… he deserves it. But, the word is that he and Kirk Johnson don’t really get along, so, it’s possible that Megan has made his requirements for making the majors an arduous set of tasks.

12 of 162: Taylor Pushkin (1-1, 4.63) @ Cliff Slavinski (1-1, 4.40)
Win, 4-3
. And the hits just keep on coming… this, a 5-game winning streak, is something of a pleasant surprise. Slavinski gave us 8 hard-scrabble innings of shutout baseball, and, while our bullpen did their level best to give this one away it was Cash Crouch, whose 2-run double in the bottom of the 10th served as our first-ever, honest-to-god walk-off, that would be the hero in this one.

Elsewhere: SP Michael Brisk, the highly paid #3 pitcher for the Golden State Warriors, pitched an 8-inning, 3-hit shutout gem against the Carolina Panthers. The Warriors won the ballgame by a score of 1-0 and are now off to a rip-roaring 10-2 start to the 2079 campaign. Theirs is a club with unfinished business, built for spend, and bent on revenge. Hopefully, they won’t blow their wad too early – they’ll be a fun club to watch this season if they can keep things together.

13 of 162: Octavio Cervera (1-1, 5.91) @ Radoslav Borovsky (8.31)
SWEEP, 11-5
. We exploded in this one – all good vibes, joy-juice, and band-aids. Radoslav went 7 innings and gave up 4 runs, Scharmer, and his thick, bushy ‘stache, went 2 for 4 with a double, a ding dong, 3 RBIs and 2 runs, and Cash Crouch went 2 for 5 with a two-bagger, a jack, 3 RBIs, and a run. We got three total home runs with Early Felger hitting the third, or first as it were, Hetereki continued to fill OH HONG’s spot admirably in a 1 for 3 performance with 2 runs, we got a SAC BUNT and SAC FLY, and Scharmer stole his 6th bag of the season. We’re firing on all cylinders right now and may even be firing on a few I didn’t know we had… great stuff from the ‘Mingos.

Elsewhere: While we missed Havana’s first historic game at home, a 7-6 loss to the Austin Grackles, to complete this set, Cheech and I met at the Twin Palms Bar & Laundromat to finalize plans for his first visit to Cuba’s capital… the Twin Palms Bar & Laundromat seems like a good post-game base of operations – what it lacks in charm it makes up in earthy seediness befitting that of an unheralded dive bar near the docks. The set-up is simple… 8 stools, two 4-tops, a 2-top, a pool table that isn’t level, a couple of dartboards, and a waitstaff, if you can call it that, made up almost exclusively of U of M Volleyball players whose long legs, athletic build, and entitled attitude give the place a certain exotic charm. Cheech and I took the 2-top, off to the side in a dimly lit corner that is typically reserved for couples engaged in salacious activities, criminal or otherwise… I figured that we’d blend, after all, what’s more criminal than getting paid to run a baseball team? Long story short – Cheech and I, once my laundry is finished, will be jumping onto separate planes, Cheech to head to Havana for his first look at the Sugar Kings in a game situation, and I to Los Angeles to face my old club. The plan, as it stands, is for me to meet Cheech in Barbados in an attempt to make some inroads into standing up our United-funded youth baseball program after 4-days in La La Land where I’ll be forced to deal with my, at times, shoddy decision making as I watch my old club run roughshod over my new one…

2079 Season (4/17 – 4/20)
Miami United (9-4, .692, 1st NL East) @ Los Angeles Kings (7-6, .538, 3rd NL West)

By the time we get around to the first pitch in this four-game parlay, I’ll be looking across the diamond at a club whose core is slightly askew, all jagged lines and impressionistic flourish, styled to the nines per the whims of its GM, Megan Appel. They are still a top-flight ballclub, capable of big, big things in 2079, with injuries that have held them back from their full potential. Otto’s recovery is going well, his latest prognosis has him actually making it back before the regular season is complete, and Dontrell Gay only has a few more weeks of rehab before he can return to the clubhouse. They’re poised for a breakout – their offense is rated 2nd in OBP and Runs Scored, 1st in OPS, wOBA, and HRs, and their staff, while not quite in mid-season form, has acquitted themselves nicely so far at 5th in ERA. The reality as we enter LA is simple – we’re not quite as good as we look, and these guys are a long way from Minnesota.

14 of 162: Mirko Samsonenko (2-0, 2.25) @ Trevor Dotson (1-1, 2.93)
Loss, 3-0
. When we reentered the earth's atmosphere, I knew something was wrong… our steering was wonky, our reverse thrusting capability stalled… it was the thud heard all the way in South Beach. Trevor Dotson owned us – complete game. 4-hit, shutout in game one and Rajkumar went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI… Mirko pitched well, he had some good & impressive stuff over 8 innings of work – but he gave up runs to Rajkumar, Dontrell (who must’ve been DtD instead of out), and Rake. Not much to discuss on our end – we got caught with our hand in the honey pot once, left four runners in scoring position, and Weaver hit into a rally-killing double play in the top of the 8th.

15 of 162: Cathal Magill (1-2, 4.91) @ Jonny Garcia (1-0, 7.94)
Win, 6-4
. It took extra-innings to get this one sorted – an Eldin Kemp 2-run jack was all we’d require to secure this one. Ethan Loy drove in 3 runs, we got doubles from Watanabe and Loy, the aforementioned homer from Eldin, a 2-out RBI from Early, a SAC BUNT from Kemp, a SAC FLY from Loy (two of them actually), and a highlight-reel double play… all in a day's work for the hardest working club in Baseball.

Elsewhere: I took the opportunity to go see Loretta Synn and her flat track derby squad, the Rocket Queens, compete in a bout against the Atlanta Jukes of Hazzard. Lorretta, with her rapid acclimation to derby play, kept the packs tight and slow – the Queens, in their first bout of the season, earned a sweet victory by a score of 196-121. After the bout, I took the opportunity to let Ms. Synn know that she has an all-expense-paid, open tryout with the Vice City Rollers available at her leisure… she seemed agreeable, if noncommittal, to it. Balls…err, skates, on her track now… we’d love to have her join us in Miami – I have a case for her… it seems that someone stole a pair of my pants, my favorite pair of slacks, at the Twin Palms Bar & Laundromat and I really, really want them back. With the lucky quarter that I left in the change pocket, no less.

16 of 162: Graham Doyle (1-0, 4.22) @ Aiden Jensen (1-1, 2.00)
Loss, 5-2
. Aiden gave the Kings 6, so-so, innings of work and that was all that would be required in this one… Aris Anaconda, up from Havana to cover for the ailing OH HONG, went 2 for 5 with an RBI and a run, Rex drove one in, both men hit doubles, Anaconda’s RBI was of the 2-out variety, and we even got another stolen base in this one… but, look, let’s be honest – LA is, was, and, until some of our prospects ripen, will continue to be the better club so it is only fitting that they get the win here, in their park, in front of their people, and at my expense.

Elsewhere: A quick hit here, mostly because I have a soft spot for the kid and because my Havana outfit did nothing of note… SP Rad Taylor pitched another gem for Compton, but still hasn’t been able to secure his 1st win of the International League season… he went 8, gave up 2, and K’d 10 in a 9-8 loss against the Cincinnati Bengals.

17 of 162: Cliff Slavinski (1-1, 2.82) @ Newton Weiser (2-1, 2.01)
Loss, 11-2
. A pounding, crushed like the can that we are… Newton was superb – complete game, 2-run effort from the craftsman. Bootleg HONG, Yoshimasa Sugawara, went 2 for 5 with a 2-run homer, Rajkumar went 2 for 5 with a GRAND SLAM, and even Kirk Johnson managed to secure an RBI… We didn’t do much in this one, except, maybe, wish we weren’t here… no batter registered more than a single hit, we ground into two double plays, left 4 stranded like Annie’s hard-knock life crew, and our pitching was, in a word, dreadful. But, because you have to look on the bright side of life… it should be noted that OH HONG played, got a hit, scored a run, and received a rousing welcome from the highly partisan, but not amnestic, Los Angles fans.

Notes… Well, where should I start… we had a solid 8-game stretch, managed to sweep the North Stars, and managed to not be swept by the Los Angeles Kings. So, no complaints worth leveling here… we did better than our best and I certainly don’t expect that to continue. Not with St. Louis coming to town next… our records our similar, so, maybe our fans will be fooled by that and make their way out to the park. That’s where our similarities end… see, St. Louis is a talented, well-balanced ballclub with a history of success and, well, we aren’t really any of those things – yet. In time, dear friends, in time…
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Old 12-07-2019, 03:56 PM   #472
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2079 Season (Cool news, if you ask me)

In what I’d like to think went down like a role-reversed scene from an Officer & A Gentleman, where Megan, in her all-white, ‘I mean business’, pantsuit lifted our boy, PEPPER GRANT, back up where he belongs… it is with great pleasure that I announce that Mr. Grant, after signing a 2-year contract with the Shreveport Sashimi Samurai of the Bush League, had his contract purchased by none other than Ms. Megan Appel. When I cast him away in a salary-shedding maneuver for a couple of ho-hum relievers and a box of Voodoo Donuts, my regret was instantaneous, my depression dark & foreboding… I stayed resolute though, professional even, and stuck with my plan to quest for the almighty ALL – that I didn’t get my 3rd straight championship in 2078 is of no consequence, you can’t will these things into existence… but, when you trade away a favorite, you expect results – AND – when you don’t get them the regret comes creeping back. Here’s an early Christmas gift from the OOTP AI… Pepper, back in the fold, a Los Angelino through & through, who, at nearly 36-years old, still has a couple more seasons in the sun in him, at least. I’ll be looking in on him, of course, I mean, how can I not? Like some forlorn former lover, I just can’t really help myself – Phoenix, Los Angeles… the ones that got or were gave away. Partaking in that time-honored tradition of pining after your past will be just a bit more gut-wrenching now that Pepper is donning the Purple & Gold once again. But, enough about that, I got a Cubano on my desk that isn’t going to eat itself…

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Old 12-08-2019, 09:14 AM   #473
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2079 Season (4/21 – 4/23)

St. Louis Rams (10-6, .625, 2nd NL East) @ Miami United (10-7, .588, 3rd NL East)
St. Louis is solid, well, better than solid, really… and, when you compare them to us, they start to take on the shape of a world-beater. They have a lot of what we want – run-scoring acumen, solid arms in the rotation, and a history of success. For our part, the runs have been there – ours aren’t generated with machine-like precision, they are the product of good old fashioned, luckily timed hitting… it’s the arms and the history where we are lacking right now. That last bit will take time, it must, and the former could be sped along, or we could be prudent and wait for our developmental system to supplement it in a few seasons. Prudence, in my experience, isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be though. I want to speed this thing along – to get closer to the level at which St. Louis is capable of operating, but I don’t have the pieces or the cash, to make that happen – so, instead of getting my own private Jonah Dove (1x Boyce, 9x All-Star), Mike Duncan (32 homers last year), or even my own Dimitri Pimentel (10x Mustache All-Star, 3x Actual all-Star), I’ll busy myself by doing the next best thing… I’ll sit idly by, watching my team get handled by the type of team I’d like us to one day become.

18 of 162: Cosmo Puente (2-0, 2.84) @ Radoslav Borovsky (1-1, 6.89)
Win, 4-2
. We’ve finally run out of red ink after being dusted twice in a row in Tinseltown and managed to put this one in the black – a solid win where we were led by our starter who gave us 7 IP, 1 ER, and 8 K’s, Kyle Weaver who supplied a 3 for 4 day with a double and 2 RBIs, and OH HONG, back from the dead, who contributed a 2 for 4 day with a DING DONG and 2 runs. Hong hit his 1st homer of the year in this one, a 2-out solo shot, and, fun fact, committed his 3rd fielding flub of the season… all at home. It’s the humidity, man. It’s got to be.

Elsewhere: Who else hit homers today? Ruben Zarate (BRK) put two out on Pittsburgh, Nolan Steffan (GSW) put two out on Vancouver, Palmer Parker (PHI) hit his 4th of the season, Rajkumar (LAK) hit his 4th long ball of the season, Kirk Johnson (LAK) hit his 1st of the year, and Aitor Cubas hit his 4th interplanetary blast of the year in a win over the Dallas Cowboys – it should be noted that, during that game, Jo Jo Jackson did not hit a single ball out of the park despite leading the American League at 6… he did strike out three times though…

19 of 162: Zeljko Ivancic (1-2, 8.53) @ Mirko Samsonenko (2-1, 2.63)
Loss, 5-2
. Mirko gave up 4 runs and handed out 5 free passes over 8 innings of work. This, of course, was less than ideal. Early & Oh each put two hits on the board, no other batter could muster more than one, we hit into two double plays, left 5 on, and despite turning 4 double plays of our own we couldn’t overcome our pitching in this one.

Elsewhere: Jo Jo Jackson, of the Dallas Cowboys, went 2 for 3 with 2 homers, 3 RBIs, a walk, and a strikeout… Dallas, now 8-10 on the year, overpowered the Seattle Sounders, who, despite an attempt to retool their roster during the offseason, have come out of the gate sputtering. Jackson currently leads the league in HRs at 8 with Tom Franzone coming in a 2nd with 7. After breaking the all-time, single-season, strikeout record that had stood at 253 since 1999, Jo Jo has retooled his swing and, so far, it looks like he may avoid leading the league in that category again this season… Also, some low-key news out of Havana – the Sugar Kings are welcoming Compton to town over the weekend and managed to win the first of the three-game set by a score of 3-2. Aris Anaconda, back on the island, went 1 for 2 with a homer, 2 RBI, a run, and 2 walks.

20 of 162: Joseph Hinder (2-1, 3.48) @ Cathal Magill (1-2, 3.65)
Win, 5-1
. We’d get a fortunate turn in the rotation from Cathal here – he’s starting to dial this thing in and gave us 8 solid innings of work where he only allows 1 run on 10 total hits… he also fanned 10 batters to earn his first double-digit strikeout game since July of 2078. Rex showed up in a 2 for 4 performance with 2 doubles, an RBI, and 2 runs, and OH HONG went 2 for 4 with a run of his own. Three doubles, a 2-out RBI, a SAC FLY, a stolen base, and a series win against a superior ballclub.

Elsewhere: PEPPER GRANT, a King out of Los Angeles, hit his first home run of the season in the 7th inning of a 7-2 loss against the San Francisco Seals. Since rejoining LA, Pepper is hitting .325 with 1 HR and 4 RBIs… so, nowhere near his prime contributions, but it’s great to see him in a purple & gold kit nonetheless. For our part, we’ll take a much-deserved day off in Miami before contesting our next 6-straight at home with 3-game sets on the docket against Philadelphia (P-Squared in the house!) and Brooklyn. And, lastly, SP Rad Taylor picked up his first loss of 2079 against the Havana Sugar Kings in Cuba… Taylor went 7 innings and only gave up 3 runs, but, that was all the Sugar Kings would need as our own SP Ricky Reyman struck out 15 batters in 8-innings of work and only allowed one runner to plate.

Editors note: So, we are, currently, tied for first in the NL East with the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is, well, unexpected. My club isn't built yet, we, on paper, are nowhere near this good - and, look, I know it's early and I know that we will likely falter soon... But, wow, this was unexpected and if it continues I will be known as the luckiest GM on the face of the planet from here to eternity.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:23 AM   #474
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2079 Season (4/25 – 4/27)

Philadelphia 76ers (9-10, .474, 4th NL East) @ Miami United (12-8, .600, t-1st NL East)
Philly is 9-10, which is about right if you believe the output delivered by our esteemed baseball prognosticators in their preseason predictions. Really, you’d expect their record to be flipped, but it’s early and the law of averages hasn’t really had an opportunity to rear its ugly head. They got some pop with Palmer Parker (4) and Rich Hamilton (3) in the lineup, are hitting for average, have a good on-base pct… unfortunately, none of this has translated into runs so their games have been tight and they’ve struggled in the tight ones (0-3 in 1-run games). They get a bit of a boost from their pitching and defense where they rank at the middle or better in most categories… however, their lack of consistency has led to more than their share of bad beats. GM Dylan Edmonston sat on his hands for most of the offseason… so, after two straight finishes that kept them out of the playoffs, it’s hard to figure out how he intends to lead this squad back to the promised land. The 6ers could be mired in this tailspin for a while it seems – their minor league system is ranked at 22nd, their GM, now in his 3rd season at the helm, looks every bit the lame duck, and their superstar, Palmer Parker, will be a free agent after this season. Unless Edmonston has something up his sleeve, some ace in the hole, it’s unlikely that Mr. Parker will be around after this season and it’s even more unlikely that this team corrects their flight pattern to avoid a crash landing any time soon.

21 of 162: Logan Maldonado (0-1, 3.97) @ Graham Doyle (1-1, 5.84)
Loss, 2-1
. Philadelphia improves to 1-3 in 1-run games with this road victory in Miami… Graham Doyle gave one up in the 8th, Kordell gives up the game-winner in the top of the 9th.

22 of 162: Vin Uhlman (3-1, 4.33) @ Cliff Slavinski (1-2, 4.85)
Loss, 5-4
. Make that 2-3 in 1-run games for Philadelphia… a 4-run bottom of the 2nd wouldn’t hold Philly back as they’d get one of those back in the top of the 4th before exploding on us for 4 more in the top of the 6th. Slavinski is charged with all 5 runs, Philly’s Palmer Parker hit a double.

23 of 162: Grimm McGowan (2-1, 4.97) @ Radoslav Borovsky (2-1, 5.16)
Loss, 4-0
. Swept at home and shutout in the closeout game… Yikes. Parker put his 5th ball out of the park, Grimm went the distance in the shutout, and Weaver hit a double that we didn’t do anything with.

Notes: It should go without saying, but just in case you didn’t figure it, we are no longer tied for 1st in the NL East… That designation now belongs to the Pittsburgh Steelers who have the 4th best record in the league behind Toronto (14-8), Phoenix (17-5), and Golden State (19-4). We now occupy the 4th place slot on the table – but, don’t worry, we’re making sure that our players don’t get so used to being so high on the table… we want them to be realists. In other news, top MLB prospect, CF Mortecai Flenderson, of the San Diego Aztecs, has hit successfully in 32 straight games with his most recent base knock coming at the expense of the Pennsylvania Quakers. Seen as a 5-tool prospect with a high IQ, solid work ethic, and a star-quality demeanor – the smart money says that Mortecai goes in the top 3 of this year’s draft. We’d love to get him into our system… but with San Diego and Dallas selecting before us, we’re not holding our breath.

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Old 12-08-2019, 06:16 PM   #475
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2079 Season (4/28 – 4/30)

Brooklyn Citizens (8-13, .381, 6th NL East) @ Miami United (12-11, .522, 4th NL East)
Last season looks something like a lottery ticket that paid out for the Citizens where their owner spent the winnings on his other businesses before the taxman showed up to collect the rest… this year's version isn’t fooling anyone, they won’t come up smelling like roses – best-case scenario: the Brooklyn Citizens perform like a scratcher that’s good only for what you paid. If they break even or even slightly eclipse .500, it will be a success. But, with the start they’ve had even that doesn’t look likely. They’re 12th (that’s last, you guys) in AVG, OBP, OPS, SBs, and Bullpen ERA and have, somehow, managed to reach all the way up to 10th in Starters ERA and Runs Against. SP Cam Murphy is their only starter who is showing himself to be a capable arm and, offensively, outside of their DH Lucas Reese, no one seems to understand that the 2079 season has started. After finishing at .500 or better in 7 of the last 8 seasons, Brooklyn is looking like a lock to finish this campaign below that threshold for only the 2nd time in 10 years. They’ll likely get some help from us here – our start has been an apparition – but it’ll take more than beating our Miami-based club to get them where they need to be. Like them, we’re 3-7 for our last 10, on a 3-game losing streak, and grasping at straws… so, something’s got to give. Let’s hope it’s not us.

Side Note: Phoenix has won 12-straight, including home sweeps over Philadelphia, Minnesota, and Los Angeles. They’ll travel to San Francisco next where they’ll have a legit opportunity to make it 15 in a row.

24 of 162: Cam Murphy (2-2, 3.19) @ Mirko Samsonenko (2-2, 3.06)
Loss, 4-2
. Neither starter was great, but Cam managed to be just a bit better than Mirko… our guy gave up all four of Brooklyn’s runs, including two HRs to Kelford Jackson who finished with 3 RBIs. Kyle Weaver went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI, Watanabe drove one in, Oh Hong finished 0 for 3 with 2 K’s, and Rex hit a double and scored. We battled offensively here, but, unfortunately, our pitching just wasn’t up to snuff. 4 straight losses on the books now…

Elsewhere: Phoenix lost. This is good. I don’t want to talk about them anyway. Also, SP Pete Taylor, of the Houston Dynamo, took the mound against the Los Angeles Kings and in a display of graciousness that I didn’t know their marketing team possessed, Rad Taylor was not brought up from Compton to compete against him. Pete took the loss, gave up 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st, and was never able to get his fastball under control. In other bad, streak-ending news – CF Mortecai Flenderson’s hitting streak ended at 33-games against the Pennsylvania Quakers. Looking forward to him putting a nice streak together in the pros one day.

25 of 162: Merl Crawford (1-3, 5.48) @ Cathal Magill (2-2, 3.03)
Win, 7-6
. OH HONG came up with a big 2-run homer in the bottom of the 8th to help us secure a game 2 win and Travis Scharmer hit a 2-run blast of his own in the bottom of the 7th. Cathal left with a 2-run lead in the 6th, RP Lucas Brandt gave it away in the next frame, but the offense was able to dig in and help us get the win.

26 of 162: Dylan Tuyay (2-2, 3.21) @ Graham Doyle (1-1, 4.05)
Win, 5-3
. Put us down for another series win… please & thank you. Cash Crouch came up clutch with two doubles, two RBIs, and four hits, and Kelford Jackson drove one in and scored one… Graham was fine – 6 innings, 3 earned, 5 walks (gross), and 3 K’s…

Elsewhere: SP Aiden Jensen, of the Los Angeles Kings, pitched a complete-game, 3-hit, shutout with 7 K’s in his clubs 7-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. Aiden is 3-2 with a 2.63 ERA, and 6.7 K/9. Los Angeles has been on a bit of a run here and is starting to make up some ground on the Suns… They’ve won three in a row and just swept the Dynamo while Phoenix was busy having the butts handed to them in the Bay Area by a group of aggressive seals that got tired of juggling for the man.

Notes: In our first full month as a Miami-based ballclub we went an astounding 14-12, were 10-6 at home, 3-0 in extra-inning games, and 6-1 versus lefties. Our Rookie Closer, Danny Switzer, was named Greenhorn of the Month in the NL (7 saves, 1.46 ERA), and we’re getting solid contributions from most of our guys. This has been a nice surprise. May, however, looks to be where the rubber meets the road – we’ll kick things off with a 10-game road trip with stops in St. Louis, Dallas (interleague), and Seattle (interleague) and will play 18 of our 28 games on the road in May. We could be in for some turbulence.
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Old Yesterday, 11:36 AM   #476
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Minnesota North Stars (3-6, .333, 6th NL West) @ Miami United (5-4, .556, 2nd NL East)
Shawna Betts has made her goal for 2079 widely known – it’s playoffs or bust. After five sub-.500 seasons in a row, and off to an inauspicious start to their 2079 campaign, the lenient, charitable owner of the North Stars has made it clear that it’s time to start winning. Attendance has been stagnant, her local media outlets have widely panned the efforts of her brain trust, and fan loyalty is at an all-time low… it’s a dicey time to be affiliated with the Minnesota Baseball Club, LLC. What we have here is a club with above-average power who, on paper, looks like prolific scorers backed up by a pitching staff in need of an overhaul. Their Ace is ranked 22nd (David Ouwerkerk) in the league, their closer 19th (Dylan Cain), and their best reliever 19th (Steven Parkin) … this is not a staff that inspires fear, but, instead, is one that inspires excitement. [/I]
This Minnesota team reminds me a lot of the Phoenix Speed Devils in the WPK. For years they have been the best power hitting club in the league, and often have scored a ton of runs. But with such poor pitching and sub-par defense that they under-achieve year after year. And now, in the 1975 season, in spite of still having some of the biggest bats in the league, they have fallen deep into the second division, trying desperately to not finish last. I love it when OOTP seems to reward well-rounded clubs and punish the one-trick ponies.
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Old Yesterday, 09:21 PM   #477
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This Minnesota team reminds me a lot of the Phoenix Speed Devils in the WPK. For years they have been the best power hitting club in the league, and often have scored a ton of runs. But with such poor pitching and sub-par defense that they under-achieve year after year. And now, in the 1975 season, in spite of still having some of the biggest bats in the league, they have fallen deep into the second division, trying desperately to not finish last. I love it when OOTP seems to reward well-rounded clubs and punish the one-trick ponies.
It actually bums me out - I so desperately wanted her club to become a perennial contender...Plus, I was a North Stars fan as a wee little lad in Alaska... I see that her GM, 62-year old Christopher Coyne (I need to make a Christopher Walken facegen for this guy!), favors hitting, vets, and defense... he also, strangely, favors speed over power (2nd in swiped bags, 4th in dingers)... They are 12th in D-Eff & Runs against - so, I question this guy's ability a bit. None of my business though. Shawna is the captain of her own ship and all that.
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