Friday, November 23, 2018

Trophy Presentation

Commissioner Manfred presents the league championship trophy to New York Cobra CEO Brad of this Nation as manager George Kird, outfielder Chad White, and reliever Rudiger Rocker look on.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Qualifying offers

Fourteen players were extended the qualifying offer, and each of them turned it down.  For the following players, when they are signed the signing team will forfeit a draft pick, and the team losing the free agent will gain a compensation pick.  We are not sure at this point which picks will be transferred.

One player, Billy Bass of Miami, worked out an extension with his current team.  Billy will be paid 125 million over the next 5 seasons.

Players rejecting the QO are:

Pitchers:
Jonathan Umber
Steve Kepler
Pedro Lewis

1st base:
Peter Craig
Jack Collins

3rd base:
Michael Rondon
Brandon Cohen

Shortstops:
Doug Frazier
Michael Garciajawa

Catchers:
Matt Bulger
George Frog

Outfielders:
Adrian Sandusky
Ken Jones

Arbitration cases have been heard and contracts awarded, for details go to league site and transaction log.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

2018 Conan Awards

The Superior League award went to Utah's Erick Reinfelder in a unanimous vote.  Reinfelder hit .293 with 34 homers, 100 RBI, stole 32 bases, all while playing outstanding defense in center field.  Reinfelder's season was worth 9.9 wins above replacement.

Two time winner Devan Arceneaux finished second, after a .302/34/106 season.  He topped it off with a .339 average, 7 homers, 16 RBI, and a .758 slugging in the postseason, however his single to center field turned into the final out of the season when Ricky Buckley was thrown out at the plate.

After Arceneaux the voting went:

Troy Wyckoff
Won-Shik Lee
Jared Pollard
Bobby Barrios
Miguel Fernandez
Javier Soto
Kyle Bonderman
Jesus Valdez
Dwight Schrute
Doug Frazier

C.C. Salbacca, Peter Rabbitt, Alvaro Samuel, Billy Bass, Jose Landry, and Silveran Kanan Bonis also placed on ballots.

The Major League vote was much closer.  Michael Rondon earned 10 first place votes and 299 points overall.  Stephen Hamburg won 11 first place votes, but finished second at 248 overall points.  Larry Brooks, Miguel Cruz, and Silvanos Tonka also had first place votes. Following them in the voting were:
Alex Duran, Conn Barbarian, Bryce Parkman, Lee Thompson, Roger Blackwood, Adrian Sandusky, Wellington Gehrig Bear, Buddy Dervish, Jonathan Umber, Mark Crawford, Cristobal Rangel, Squirrel Nutkin Jr, Jeremy Keen, Angel Garcia, and Ryan Stephens.

Rondon hit .296 with a league best .387 OBP.  He hit 24 homers, 37 doubles, 7 triples, and drove in 81 runs.  He stole 32 bases and played average defense at third base, good for a 7.6 WAR season.  Rondon is now a free agent, and likely will be very rich by the coming of the spring.

Monday, November 12, 2018

2018 Roger Chillingworth awards

Jared Pollard took home his second Roger award in a row, finishing with a 19-6 record and 2.09 ERA.  In 185 innings he allowed only 131 hits, 8 homers, walked 24, and struck out 213.  He received 24 out of 30 first place votes.

Boston's C.C. Salbacca finished second.  The wookiee was 16-8 with a 2.56 ERA and struck out 228 in 211 innings.

Kyle Bonderman of Chicago, who had the best ERA in the league at 1.71, finished third.  Bonderman won 17 games and lost 11.  Bonderman's ERA was the best since since 1995, 5th best alltime among pitchers with at least 162 innings, and an all time Superior League record.  Voters these days are less impressed with run prevention and prefer candidates who miss bats.  Bonderman struck out 170 while walking 71.

In the Major League Stephen Hamburg won 26 out of 30 first place to take home the award.  Hamburg went 17-7 with a 2.34 ERA.  In 219 innings he allowed only 146 hits, walked 31, and struck out 277.

His teammate Silvanos Tonka finished second.  Tonka was 15-7 with a league best 2.08 ERA, and led the league with 225 innings pitched.  He walked 54, struck out 204, and allowed only 8 homers.  Tonka also went 4-1 on 5 postseason starts, though the voting happens before the postseason begins.  Over the last 4 years Tonka is 12-1 with a 1.39 ERA in 97 postseason innings.

Florida's Roger Blackwood (16-3, 2.35) finished third, and Buddy Dervish (18-10, 2.57) finished 4th.

2018 Managers of the year

Skip Yoder of the Bay Area Bandits and Battle Trap of the Utah Utes earned manager of the year awards.  These awards are based on regular season records only.  Both teams won a playoff round but lost in their league's championship series.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Rookies of the Year (Jeffrey Lamar Lewis Award)

In a close vote, Mike Winters of Utah is the Superior League rookie of the year.  Winters hit .265 with 12 homers, 32 doubles, 8 triples, and stole 42 bases in 50 attempts.  He played excellent defense, with a +10.5 runs saved rating combined as he split time between left and center.  Winters took home the award despite getting only 11 first place votes.

Silveran Kanan Bonis placed first on 14 ballots, yet finished second.  The Elf proved his ability to both pitch and hit at the highest level.  In 32 starts he struck out 218 with a 3.61 ERA, though poor run support left his record at 10-13.  At the plate he hit .261 and blasted 13 homers in 329 at bats.  His OPS+ was 119, and his ERA+ was 110.  He had 1.8 wins above replacement hitting, and another 2.2 on the mound.

Catcher Dave Thomas of Springfield finished 3rd.

In the Major League, Portland rookie center fielder Mike McLeod edged teammate Hisashi Kondo.  Both earned 14 first place votes.  McLeod hit .254 with 20 homers and 36 steals, and was 8 runs better than average in center field.  Kondo hit .297 with 23 homers and 17 steals, however his defense was 11 runs below average. 

Denver's Michael Stewart finished third despite spending the first half of the season in the minors.  Stewart hit 24 homers in only 82 games, good for a .576 slugging percentage.  He was also 5 runs above average in right field and stole 11 bases in 12 attempts.

Monday, November 05, 2018

2018 Reliever of the Year

For the Major League it was Jake Richardson of the LA Shockers.

The 34 year old saved 46 games with a 1.97 ERA over 82 innings.  He struck out 96, walked 23, and did not allow a homerun all year.  Cesar Cordero finished second, with Jon Papelbrad third.

In the Superior League it was Dwight Schrute in a unanimous decision.  Schrute struck out 112, walked 21, and had an ERA of 1.04 in 78 innings.  He had a record of 7-2 along with 35 saves.  Chicago's Claude Smith finished second, followed by Rafael Baker of Mars.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

2018 Gold Gloves

Superior League

P Trent Harris, Bal
C Jorge Guevara, Utah
1B Darin Elam, NYK
2B Steve Sweeney, Bal
3B Jung-Ho Kodos, Bos
SS Oswipe Cabrera, Mia
LF Gregory Santor, Orl
CF Peter Rabbitt, Mia
RF Billy Bass, Mia

Major League

P George Taylor, Hol
C Dan Jernigan, Haw
1B Wellington G. Bear, NYC
2B Angel Garcia, FLA
3B Scott Watson, LA
SS Gerald Evans, Por
LF Jose Alvarado, Phi
CF Daniel Klein, NYC
RF Zandar Dukakis, Por

Contract Extensions

The Miami Stars reached an agreement with 2016 and 2017 MVP Devan Arceneaux on a 7 year, 242 million dollar contract.  The deal buy out his final two years of salary arbitration and pay him 14 million in 2019, 28 in 2020, and 40 million per year from 2021 to 2025.  Arceneaux also has the ability to opt out of the deal after the 5th season in 2023, when he will be 29 years old.

If Devan remains an MVP caliber hitter, he will have the opportunity to perhaps score a 10 year contract at that time.

Detroit signed Larry Brooks, who hit .318 with 35 homers, to a 5 year contract for 107 million.  Brooks also had two years left under salary arbitration.

Hollywood signed third baseman Eddie Del Toro to a 4 year deal for 40.3 million.

Cleveland reached a 6 year deal for 169.9 million with outfielder Troy Wyckoff.  The 28 year old hit .313 with 31 homers and 96 RBI, and the deal covers 3 arbitration years.  It will pay him 7.3 million in 2019, 17.8 in 2020, 27.8 in 2021, and 39 million in each of the next 3 seasons.  The final season is a player option.

Gerald White Jr.  signed a 2 year, 12 million dollar extension with the Florida Penguins.

Roger Lewis to Retire

Roger Lewis will not return to the Portland Decepticons for a 21st season, despite being only 3 wins away from 300. 

After an excellent 2017 season where he won 14 games with a 2.25 ERA, Roger came into spring training missing about 4 MPH off his fastball.  His velocity loss could not be attributed to an injury, but there was nothing he could do to get it back and found himself unable to get consistent outs.

Roger finished the 2018 season pitching out of the bullpen, threw 69.1 innings and had a 5.84 ERA.  He had no desire to struggle through another season if he could not pitch up to his high standards, and elected to walk away from the game.

Manager changes

Miami Stars will hire Brian Kaat as their new manager.  Kaat retired after the 2017 season and did not work for a team during the 2018 season.

Big Cheese promotes bench coach Todd Allen to manage the Denver Rabbits.

Radicus Prime's contract expired with the Toronto Seagulls and they will look for a new manager.

Jose Rea's contract was not renewed by the Mars Eyebiters, bench coach Stan McCarthy was promoted to replace him.

R.J Duke to retire

R. J. Duke's season ended when Daniel Klein made a perfect throw to home plate to throw out Ricky Buckley, preventing the tying run and ending the world series.  

While Duke has had tremendous regular season and Superior league playoff success, the world series win has eluded him.  His Stars did win it all in 2011, however Duke is has now lost 5 out of the 6 world series his team has played in.

Duke announced today that he would not return to the bench for the 2019 season.  He will not pursue other baseball jobs and considers himself retired at the age of 63.  This news came as a shock to the Miami Stars, who appreciate his work for the team which includes 6 straight Superior League East titles with at least 97 wins.  The Stars have made it to, and lost, 3 of the last 4 world series.

The Stars have scrambled to put together a list of managerial candidates.  Rumored to be under consideration are Florida Penguins bench coach Ryne Solo Jr., former outfielder Brian Kaat, bench coach Fidel Duenas, and minor league managers Greg Orton and Slash Dixon.

Big Cheese to retire

Live from Denver as Bewis "Big Cheese" Skywalker holds a press conference:

Good evening my Jawa brethren, assorted other beings, and the good people of Denver.  Today I have to inform you that the Denver Rabbits will begin looking for a new manager.  I have had the privilege of leading this organization for the last 33 seasons.  While I enjoyed and greatly appreciated this job, it was not an easy journey.  For many seasons we came so close to our goal, yet suffered through playoff heartbreaks.  It finally all came together in 2012.  That was not our best regular season team, in fact it was only my 16th best, however we finally put things together in the playoffs and brought the championship to this great city.

I have had the chance to manage many great players over the years, like Misfire, Sunsurf, Mahatma Russell, Stan Marsh, Joey Renseller, and Mark Crawford.  So many others have given their best for this team, and I appreciate them all.  I thank all of my players for the managerial record I have accumulated.  They did all the work.  

The past four years have not been easy, however I believe we have turned a corner in rebuilding this great franchise.  We caught a glimpse of what Michael Stewart can do, as he hit 24 homers in only half a season.  He has many great years ahead of him, and veterans like Crawford and Miguel Tejawa have some good baseball left in them as well.  As I own this team, I will be here to support them in my retirement, and cheer on our next manager from the owner's box.

As I approach my 87th year, I have to be honest with myself that I no longer have the energy to run this team the way it needs to be run.  Our fine general manager, Michael Adams, has begun a search and will put forth every effort to find the right person to lead this team into the future.

I began my baseball career nearly 70 years ago.  I was a young jawa, fresh off the ship from Tatooine, when I signed my first professional contract with the New York Knights.  Even then, I knew that one day I would like to manage a team.  I spent my playing career learning everything I could about baseball, just in case some day I would need that knowledge.  I never missed a chance to learn from those who came before me in the game.  One such person, whom I met in my first spring training, was a manager in his final season with the Philadelphia A's, Connie Mack.  Even though I was playing for the other team, I introduced myself to Mr. Mack during one series. That great old man was generous with his time, even for a teenage creature from another planet who played for another club.

He gave me pointers on my swing which helped me adjust to big league pitching, and we talked for hours about his job as manager.  Mr. Mack had every excuse to have an ego, yet I could not detect the slightest trace of one.  This great manager was the most humble person I have ever met.  Despite holding records that will never be broken, Mr. Mack did not consider himself the greatest.  I will never forget the words he said to me when I asked him what his secret was to becoming a great manager.  He said "Bewis, there has been only one manager, and his name is McGraw."

Mr. Mack managed his final season when he was 87 years old.  Today is my 87th birthday.  Mr. Mack won 3,731 games, more than anyone else.  John McGraw, who passed away when I was a jawaling, won 2,763 - good for second place.  I find myself in third place with 2,747 victories.  I could manage one more year and catch McGraw in victories and Mack longevity, however I have no desire to chase their records for the sake of chasing records.  I will not stand in the way of progress for the Denver Rabbits, who need a new manager to lead them into a new era of dominance of the Major League Central division.

Thank you Denver, for all of your support over the years.