Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Opening day news

Fans in Phoenix Rally Behind Wayward Cat
Monday, April 1st, 2019
After Phoenix’s latest victory, it seemed like the last thing anyone wanted to talk about was the game itself. Instead, the focus was on a cat that somehow wandered onto the field at Ballpark of Arizona in the top of the second inning. The tiny tabby scampered from near the visitors' dugout all the way to left field wall, stopping the action for a good ten minutes. Outfielder Derek Faison stood motionless as the cat darted past. "I'm not going to try to catch that thing," he said later, "he was moving pretty fast. And I'm more of a dog person myself."

College intern Matt Field was given the unenviable task of capturing the frenzied feline, and the fans were transfixed as they watched the thrilling chase unfold before them. Matt finally caught up to the cat and grabbed it on the warning track, but getting the scrappy stray off the field proved to be tricky. "He wasn't very cooperative," the 20-year-old explained, "and I have the scars to prove it. But we made it eventually."

The cat's mad dash, meanwhile, was replayed later on the stadium's video screens, which pumped up the crowd and maybe even the players, as they went on to victory. Fans immediately went on social media offering to adopt the cat and nominating him as the team's official "meows-cot." Reportedly, the cat is now at the Phoenix Humane Society, where he will kept for observation. If no owner can be identified, then the cat will be placed for adoption. "Sure, we'd like to keep him," said Autobots spokesman Ben Cooney. "If he can bring us some more victories, we'll even give him a spot on the roster!"

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Hall Welcomes 4 More

Jacen Solo, Stuart Johnson, George Kird, and Jerry Tugwell have been elected to the hall of fame.  Tugwell received 75% of the votes, the others were unanimous.

Finishing with 50%, the following players will remain on the ballot for next year:

Sammy Swopa
Jake Decker
Leon Wolf
Kimba Bartee

Also remaining with 25% are:

Gerald White Sr.
Marcel Johnson
Troy Everett
Jason Baret

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Hall of Fame candidates


Here are the Hall of Fame candidates for the second election of 2019:

The following candidates have appeared on previous ballots:

1B/3B Jerry Tugwell


The sweet swinging Tugwell hit .317 for the 1995 Penguins.  He was a disciplined hitter who drew his share of walks, and later developed power.  In 2000, the year of the Penguin, Tugwell was moved to the leadoff spot despite hitting more like a middle of the order hitter.  That season Tugwell hit .271, hit 23 homers with 66 RBI, and thanks to a .368 on base percentage scored 117 runs as the Penguins went to the first of back to back World Series.

The following season Tugwell moved back to the middle of the order and broke out with an MVP season, hitting .312 with 39 homers, 126 RBI, 53 doubles, a .416 OBP and .601 slugging.  The following season Tugwell had an even better season for the Louisville Sluggers, hitting .336/39/139.  He remained a strong force in the middle of the order for the LA Shockers for four more seasons.  In his late 30s Tugwell was a productive platoon 1B/DH for Mars, Miami, Baltimore, and Las Vegas.  In 2011 he was traded to the Miami Stars at the trade deadline and went on a tear, hitting 10 homers in only 114 at bats, with a .434 OBP and .596 slugging as he helped the Stars win their first world championship since 1993.  He had another productive season in 2012 as a platoon player, and retired at age 41.

OF
Sammy Swopa

Sammy Swopa hit 445 homeruns, including 6 seasons of 40 or more.  In 1999 he became one of 6 players to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in a season.  In 2002 Sammy hit 50 homeruns.  In 2003 Sammy hit 49 homers, drove in 147 runs, and won the Superior League MVP award.  A fine defender, Sammy won 4 gold glove awards.  Sammy did not have a long career, fading in his 30's and retiring at age 35.

OF
Leon Wolf

Leon Wolf started his career with the Charlotte Hawks.  He was not expected to excel defensively, or show great speed or power, but make a living with his bat.  He only hit .214 his first year, and .269 his second, and was let go to look for another job.  He improved to a .303 average in his third year for the El Paso Devils, but only hit 3 homers in nearly 400 at bats.  Once again he was looking for the job, and found a great opportunity with the 1994 Utah Utes.

Wolf won a job as a platoon left fielder and thanks to a team culture that embraced advanced hitting theory, improved to .348 and drove in 66 runs in only 374 at bats.  The Utes went on to win the first of 3 consecutive championships.  In 1997 Wolf hit .382.  Despite such lofty stats, Wolf was never a fulltime player in Utah due to a talented roster, however he did win 4 rings in his 5 seasons there.

After the breakup of the Utes in 1999 he spent one year in Portland, then went to Hollywood where he became a fulltime player and had the most productive seasons of his career.  In 2000 he hit .335 with 22 homers.  The next two years he won batting titles (.357 and .344) while also hitting over 20 homers, and in 2003 hit career bests with 28 homers and 114 RBI.  He remained a productive bat into old age, hitting .322 with 17 homers as a 39 year old.  He retired in 2008 with a .312 average and 2166 hits.

SS
Alex Salazar

Salazar began his career in 1995 with the Toledo Mud Hens, winning the rookie of the year award as he hit 26 homers, stole 19 bases, and played outstanding defense.  Thanks to playing in the same league as Lou Zamuda prevented him from winning gold gloves early in his career, however he did win the award in 2000 and 2001.  Salazar never hit 26 homers again, but was a solid hitter with 15-20 homer power for 11 years in Toledo, and in 2002 he stole 45 bases in 50 attempts.

Salazar remained productive for a long time, and hit .318 at age 36 for St. Louis.  He played 18 seasons and finished with 2394 hits, 248 homers, and 349 stolen bases.

P
Jake Decker

In 1995 Decker, a rookie for the Alaska Snow Sox, pitched 138 innings, struck out 158 batters, and saved 35 games.  The following season his ERA was 1.65.  In 2003 he saved 47 games for the New York Cobra with a 1.70 ERA.  Over his 15 year career, Decker pitched 1061 innings, had a 2.84 ERA, struck out 1015, walked only 316, and saved 494 games. 


These candidates are appearing on the ballot for the first time:

1B Stuart Johnson

A switch hitting first baseman, Johnson was one of the finest hitters to ever play the game.  He began his career with the Louisville Sluggers.  In his third season Johnson was part of one of the deadliest offenses in league history.  He joined Hall of Famers Ryne Solo Jr., Helmut Schmidt, Rob Block, Cesar Ramos, and Galvatron in a lineup filled from top to bottom with patient hitters who could hit the long ball.  Johnson hit .318 that year, with 26 homers and 39 doubles among his 218 hits, and led the team with 137 runs batted in.  After 4 season in Louisville, Johnson played 8 years in Toronto, twice driving in 111 runs.  After 3 years in St Louis Stuart joined the 2008 Boston Beaneaters and hit .326 with 24 homers and 106 RBI at the age of 38.  Two years later he joined the New York Knights, where he hit .330 at the age of 41.  He followed that up by hitting .331 when he was 42, and retired after a .270 season with 16 homers at age 43.  Johnson finished his career with 3447 hits, 423 homers, 1877 RBI, and 719 doubles.  His career average was .298.  On the All time lists Johnson ranks third in hits, 7th in RBI, and second in doubles.  His offensive wins above replacement is 70.3, second highest on this ballot.

2B Jacen Solo

Jacen Solo was one of the most complete players to ever play the game.  As a second baseman, he played outstanding defense, hit for average, hit for power, and was a threat on the bases even late into his career.  Eight times in his career he hit 20 or more homers with 20 or more stolen bases.  In 2001 Solo hit .329 with 24 homers, 117 RBI, and stole 43 bases in 47 attempts.  In 2008, at age 35, he hit .300 with 17 homers and stole a career high 64 bases.  

Solo had only one subpar season in his career, in 2010 at age 37 he hit .275 with 11 homers, and due to season long knee pain (which he played through) stole only 4 bases.  He came back from that season to hit .339 with 19 homers and stole 49 bases.

In his final season of 2013, at the age of 40, Solo hit .291 with 16 homers, and 33 steals. 

During his career Solo played for a single team, the Charlotte Hawks, and helped them reach the world series four times.  They beat the Portland Decepticons in 2005 and 2013, and lost to the New York Cobra in 2002 and the Philadelphia Grays in 2010.

In the 4th game of the 2005 series, with Charlotte up 3-0 in the series, Solo came to bat in the 9th inning with his team down 5-2, a runner on, and two out.  Solo singled, as did the next two batters, and Vernell Hightower capped the inning with a 3 run homer to finish the sweep.  In the deciding game 6 of the 2013 series, Solo hit a first inning, two run homer.  In the 8th inning, Charlotte trailed 6-4 but got two batters on base with the top of the order due up with one out.  Eddie Cedeno tied the game with a double, and stole third base.  Solo brought him home with a perfect squeeze bunt in the final plate appearance of his career, as the Hawks won the game 7-6.

LF Gerald White Sr

Played 29 seasons, more than anyone else in league history.  Was an all star outfielder for the first half of his career.  Once his skills declined he became a backup outfielder and stuck around for another 14 years.  Hit 9 homers at age 47, and hit .283 in his final season at age 51.  Overall White had 2,596 hits, hit 320 homers, and stole 213 bases.  Set career highs in 1990 with a .348 average, 34 homers, and 137 RBI.  In 1989 stole a career high 35 bases and won a gold glove. 

OF Bobby Rayburn

Played 17 seasons, from 1997 to 2013, just missed completely spanning the APBA era.  Hit 385 homeruns and stole 258 bases.  In 1999 Rayburn hit 36 homers, stole 48 bases, and scored 141 runs as leadoff hitter for the Louisville Sluggers while winning a gold glove.  The next year he hit 40 homers and drove in 135.  Rayburn declined early, having his last good season at age 30.  Outside of his 2 big seasons in Louisville, struggled to hit for average and finished with a career mark of .237. 

1B Marcel Johnson

A career .312 hitter, Johnson hit .300 or better in his first 12 seasons. Hit .345 in 2003 and .341 the following season.  Also won gold glove in 2003.  Finished with 2,431 hits and 224 homers.  A slow runner, Marcel attempted only one steal during his career, and was thrown out.

C George Kird

A top defensive catcher over an 18 year career, Kird holds the record for homeruns by a catcher with 407.  Won 3 gold gloves in his career, but was among the best defenders for his entire career.  Allowed only one passed ball during his first 9 seasons, and threw out 39% of opposing base stealers.  A 2 time world champion who played in 4 world series.  Had a career year in 2005, hitting .321 with 35 homers and 101 RBI, for which he won the MVP award.  His pitchers claim that Kird was the best catcher they ever threw to.

OF Bob Abuee

A patient hitter over 13 seasons, Abuee hit .265 with 187 homers and a .364 OBP.  His best season was 2005 when he hit 29 homers, drew 109 walks, and scored 106 runs.  Scored 100 or more runs each year from 2002 to 2006.

C Eli Moreno

Hit 228 homers over a 16 year career as a catcher.  Best season was 2001 when he hit .295 with 27 homers.  Threw out 36 percent of opposing base stealers.

OF Kimba Bartee

Hit .270 over a 14 year career, including .313 as a rookie.  Went to the world series in his first 2 seasons with the Penguins.  Stole 787 bases, including single season totals of 107, 96, 88.  5th alltime in stolen bases.

OF/1B Ray Hamilton

As a rookie, Hamilton hit 45 homers.  Three years later he hit 47, earning a big free agent contract from the Chicago Winds.  He was largely a disappointment there, hitting above .250 and hitting over 30 homers only once.  He finished his career with a .242 average and 332 homers.

P Jason Baret

Won 223 games (while losing 227) while pitching almost 4000 innings over a 20 year career.  Ranks 9th alltime in innings pitched and 7th in strikeouts (3,471).  Baret never backed down from a challenge and was always willing to throw his fastball to the best hitters in the game.  Won 20 games for the 2010 Baltimore Colts at the age of 37.  Threw 3 no-hitters in his career, only Jojo Lewis, Nolan Ryan, and Sandy Koufax have thrown more.

P Johnny DeMario

209-186 over a 17 year career.  7 times struck out 200 or more batters, with a high of 275 in 2001.  Also won 18 games that season, a career high he tied in 2012.

P Damon Collins

Won 205 games (184 losses) over a 17 year career.  Went 23-7 for the 2001 Miami Stars, with career best 246 innings and 225 strikeouts.

P Roscoe Savage

A late bloomer, Savage was 28 years old before he won his 3rd APBA game.  Finished strong with 180 wins against only 129 losses.  Went 15-6 with a 3.09 ERA to help the 2010 Philadelphia Grays win their only championship.  At age 39, he joined the New York Cobra and had back to back seasons with a W-L record of 17-3.

P Ben Richards

Pitched 17 seasons with a 164-132 record. Won 18 games in 2000, and had two other years with 16 wins.

P David Burke

Used pinpoint control to earn the win often for the Utes.  Went 17-5 in 2002 and followed that up with a 19-7 season.  Over his 14 year career won 159 games against only 96 losses.

P Dan Johnston

154-133 over a 15 year career.  Won a career high 17 games in 2001, and 15 more in 2004.

P Jet Storm

Over a 13 year career in the bullpen, went 63-56, saved 222 games, and had a 3.58 ERA.  Saved 38 games with a 2.28 ERA in 2005, helping his team reach back to back world series.

P Jeff Beck

Saved 345 games over a 15 year career.  Saved 43 games with a 2.94 ERA in 2006, saved 41 with a 2.26 ERA in 2002.  Pitching in middle relief in 2012, helped the Denver Rabbits capture their only world championship.

P John LaRusso

Saved 397 games over an 18 year career. Saved 40 or more games 3 times.  Career ERA of 3.51.

Inter league play in 2019

Commissioner Manfred has announced that 2019 will see the return of interleague play, the first time since the 1996 season.  To balance the leagues out, Orlando will move from the Superior League to the Major League, giving each league 15 teams.


Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Hall of Fame Welcomes 6

Tom Groovine and Dirk Lindros were elected to the Hall of Fame today, with each receiving 100% of the required votes.  This was no surprise as Groovine won more than 300 games while Lindros hit over 600 homeruns.

Joining them with 75% of are catcher Bruce Berano on his first ballot, 1B/3B John Conner, OF Damon Nkik, and the first elf elected to the Hall, outfielder Sithas Kawasaki.

The following players received votes and will remain on the 2019 ballot, which will be out within a few weeks:

Jerry Tugwell
Sammy Swopa
Leon Wolf
Jake Decker
Alex Salazar

In addition, Yoda received a write in vote.  Yoda managed for 10 seasons in Orlando, including the team's only championship year, and three years for the Florida Penguins.  He is currently the general manager of the Penguins, and while he would be eligible as a manager, the league will not place him on the ballot while he remains active as a GM.

The following players did not receive votes and will no longer be considered on future ballots:

Vern Terrell
Monty Harmon
Shazeem Abdul-Mustafa
Stephon Jameson
Sid Rubin
Troy Everett
Paul Williamson

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Hall of Fame Candidates

The following players last played in 2012 or received enough votes to stick on the ballot in previous elections.  They are now eligible for the Hall of Fame.

OF Dirk Lindros

Lindros was the most hyped prospect in league history, and was made the #1 overall pick in the 1994 draft.  He made an immediate impact on the league, hitting .288 with 38 homers, 118 RBI, while drawing 109 walks.  He was named Rookie of the Year and won the MVP award.  The Hollywood B's improved from a 67 win, last place finish to 90 wins, the best record in the major league.  The B's however, under high priced new manager R.J. Duke, suffered an early exit in the playoffs.  The following season Lindros hit 40 homers and drew 136 walks, however another early round playoff exit let to feuds between the superstar manager and superstar player.  That feud and the league salary structure led to both being replaced, as Duke was fired and Lindros was traded to the New York Cobra.

In his first season with New York, Lindros hit .305 and drew 133 walks against only 508 at bats, good for an OBP of .449.  The next season, a strike shortened 120 games, Lindros led the team all the way to the world series, where they were swept by the Utah Utes.  Early in the 1997 season, Lindros was traded again, to the Springfield Isotopes in a block buster deal that brought HOF second baseman Joe Thomas to New York.

Lindros had his best seasons in his 8 year stay with the Isotopes.  In 1998 he hit .301 with 43 homers, 140 RBI, and walked 149 times.  The next year he hit .314 with 44 homers, drew 137 walks, and stole 32 bases for the only 30/30 season of his career.  In 2001 Springfield reached the World Series, and swept the Florida Penguins for their only championship.  After playing for Boston, Hawaii, and the New York Knights Lindros played his final season with the Los Angeles Shockers in 2012.  At age 39, he was a shadow of his former self and hit only .221 with 16 homers.

He retired with 632 homers, an even 2000 in both runs and RBI, 2727 hits, and 2073 walks.  He ranks 4th all time in homers, 3rd in both runs and RBI, and first in walks.  He also ranks 3rd in offensive wins above replacement, with 108.8.

C Bruce Berano

A first round draft pick in 1996 by the Las Vegas Gamblers, the switch hitting Berano would go on to become one of the greatest hitting catchers in league history.  After four seasons in Las Vegas, Berano signed with the Cleveland Spiders, where he would play for the next 11 seasons.  He hit .322 his first year in Cleveland, with 21 homers and 91 RBI.  Two years later he had his best season, hitting .333 with 40 homers and 118 RBI.  His slugging percentage was .638.  In 2006, age 34, he hit .325 with 28 homers. Berano played his last two seasons in Hawaii, hitting .288 with 17 homers in 2011, and a respectable .279 with 9 homers and a .434 slugging percentage in 2012, when he was 40.

Berano finished his career with 324 homers, 2050 hits, and 1235 RBI.  He is among the top 3 in each category among catchers.  His 64.6 offensive WAR is second best among catchers.  As a defensive player he was regarded as a strong leader and capable handler of pitchers, however his throwing arm was average at best.  For his career he threw out 26 percent of opposing baserunners.

1B/3B Jerry Tugwell

The sweet swinging Tugwell hit .317 for the 1995 Penguins.  He was a disciplined hitter who drew his share of walks, and later developed power.  In 2000, the year of the Penguin, Tugwell was moved to the leadoff spot despite hitting more like a middle of the order hitter.  That season Tugwell hit .271, hit 23 homers with 66 RBI, and thanks to a .368 on base percentage scored 117 runs as the Penguins went to the first of back to back World Series.

The following season Tugwell moved back to the middle of the order and broke out with an MVP season, hitting .312 with 39 homers, 126 RBI, 53 doubles, a .416 OBP and .601 slugging.  The following season Tugwell had an even better season for the Louisville Sluggers, hitting .336/39/139.  He remained a strong force in the middle of the order for the LA Shockers for four more seasons.  In his late 30s Tugwell was a productive platoon 1B/DH for Mars, Miami, Baltimore, and Las Vegas.  In 2011 he was traded to the Miami Stars at the trade deadline and went on a tear, hitting 10 homers in only 114 at bats, with a .434 OBP and .596 slugging as he helped the Stars win their first world championship since 1993.  He had another productive season in 2012 as a platoon player, and retired at age 41.

1B Vern Terrell

Vern Terrell began his career with the 1991 Denver Rabbits. A lefty swinging first baseman, he didn't often hit for high averages but his patience and power made him a dangerous middle of the order hitter.  In his second season, he hit 27 homers and drove in 113 runs.  After a decade with the Rabbits Terrell joined the Springfield Isotopes and from 1999 to 2001 hit at least 30 homers with 100 RBI per year, while averaging 100 walks per season.  In 2001 he drove in 120 runs as the team won the world championship.  He remained a dangerous hitter long into his career, hitting 25 homers at age 39.  He retired with 408 homers, 1523 RBI, and 1557 walks.



1B/3B John Conner

John Conner had 2875 hits, and had his best season in 2001 (.314-34-132) as Springfield won their only world series.  Conner was a line drive hitter, his 652 doubles rank 8th alltime.  He twice reached 200 hits and 6 times drove in 100 runs.  

OF Damon Nkik

Damon Nkik was the #1 overall pick in the 1996 draft.  In 1998, he hit .338 with 21 homers and 117 RBI while stealing 36 bases and leading Green Day to 93 wins, their first winning season and first playoff appearance.  In 2000 Nkik stole 108 bases.  He drove in 100 or more runs 7 times.  In 2006 and 2008 Nkik was an important part of two Superior League championship Miami teams, though both times they fell short in the world series against New York.  Nkik retired with 2456 hits.

C Monty Harmon

Harmon began his career with the 1998 Miami Stars, hitting .285 with 15 homers.  The following season he was traded to the Utah Utes.  In 2001 he hit .309 with 23 homers and 88 RBI for the Utes.  In 2006 he hit .340 for Mars.  He remained a solid offensive contributor until he was 38, hitting for high averages with occasional power.  For his career, Harmon threw out 29% of opposing baserunners.

OF Sammy Swopa

Sammy Swopa hit 445 homeruns, including 6 seasons of 40 or more.  In 1999 he became one of 6 players to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in a season.  In 2002 Sammy hit 50 homeruns.  In 2003 Sammy hit 49 homers, drove in 147 runs, and won the Superior League MVP award.  A fine defender, Sammy won 4 gold glove awards.  Sammy did not have a long career, fading in his 30's and retiring at age 35.

OF Leon Wolf

Leon Wolf started his career with the Charlotte Hawks.  He was not expected to excel defensively, or show great speed or power, but make a living with his bat.  He only hit .214 his first year, and .269 his second, and was let go to look for another job.  He improved to a .303 average in his third year for the El Paso Devils, but only hit 3 homers in nearly 400 at bats.  Once again he was looking for the job, and found a great opportunity with the 1994 Utah Utes.

Wolf won a job as a platoon left fielder and thanks to a team culture that embraced advanced hitting theory, improved to .348 and drove in 66 runs in only 374 at bats.  The Utes went on to win the first of 3 consecutive championships.  In 1997 Wolf hit .382.  Despite such lofty stats, Wolf was never a fulltime player in Utah due to a talented roster, however he did win 4 rings in his 5 seasons there.

After the breakup of the Utes in 1999 he spent one year in Portland, then went to Hollywood where he became a fulltime player and had the most productive seasons of his career.  In 2000 he hit .335 with 22 homers.  The next two years he won batting titles (.357 and .344) while also hitting over 20 homers, and in 2003 hit career bests with 28 homers and 114 RBI.  He remained a productive bat into old age, hitting .322 with 17 homers as a 39 year old.  He retired in 2008 with a .312 average and 2166 hits.  


C/1B Shazeem Abdul Mustafa

Abdul Mustafa began his career with the Texas Gunfighters as a power hitting catcher, however his defense at catcher was not very good.  In 2000, he allowed 116 stolen bases.  Many of those were likely by Kenny Anderson as Kenny stole a league record 309 bases.  Abdul Mustafa moved to first base shortly after that.  He hit 20 or more homers 8 times and finished with 280.

SS Alex Salazar

Salazar began his career in 1995 with the Toledo Mud Hens, winning the rookie of the year award as he hit 26 homers, stole 19 bases, and played outstanding defense.  Thanks to playing in the same league as Lou Zamuda prevented him from winning gold gloves early in his career, however he did win the award in 2000 and 2001.  Salazar never hit 26 homers again, but was a solid hitter with 15-20 homer power for 11 years in Toledo, and in 2002 he stole 45 bases in 50 attempts. 

Salazar remained productive for a long time, and hit .318 at age 36 for St. Louis.  He played 18 seasons and finished with 2394 hits, 248 homers, and 349 stolen bases.

2B Stephon Jameson

After hitting .202 as a 20 year old rookie for the 1997 Shockers, Jameson went to the Cleveland Spiders in the 1998 expansion draft.  He was one of the few bright spots on that 115 loss team, stealing 60 bases.  The following year he had 211 hits and stole 52 bases.  Jameson was durable, with over 600 AB each year from 1998 to 2009.  He ended his career with 2258 hits.

OF Sithas Kawasaki

Kawasaki was one of the first hitting stars of the Elven league to play on this side of the world.  He had over 1500 hits in that league.  In 2002 he joined the Chicago Winds and hit .322 with 208 hits, 39 doubles, 14 triples, and stole 41 bases.  The next two years he also topped 200 hits, with averages near .330, and stole 37 bases per year while hitting 46 doubles.  Kawasaki remained a productive hitter with plenty of doubles and triples for the next five years.  He finished his APBA career 1725 hits, giving him a combined total of over 3000 between APBA and the Elven league.  Kawasaki was an outstanding defender with a strong throwing arm and won 2 gold gloves.  

P Tom Groovine

In Tom Groovine's rookie year the Utah Utes won 100 games.  The following year they won 110, with Tom winning 17 of them.  That year they won their first world championship, with Tom winning the final game.  They won 117 the next year, Grooving went 21-5 with a 2.75 ERA, and once again he won the last game of the world series.  He later had seasons of 18 and 19 wins for the Utes.  After the team broke up, he went to Hollywood for 3 years, then to Boston for 4.  In his first 3 seasons in Boston Tom won 18, 18, and then 19 games, winning the Cy Young award with a 2.68 ERA in the latter.

After 3 years (and 47 more wins) for the New York Knights Tom returned to Utah at age 40.  He won 16 games that year and helped the Utes win yet another world championship, pitching a pivotal game 3 after the team lost the first 2 to New York.  Tom pitched well in that game, which the Utes won in extra innings, and the Utes rallied to win the next 3.  Tom pitched 3 more seasons, his final season at age 43, to reach the 300 win plateau.

In 20 seasons Groovine won 303 games, lost 178, and pitched 4202 innings.  His ERA was 3.61, he struck out 2498 batters, and completed 119 games. 


P Sid Rubin

Sid Rubin pitched for 16 years, won 166 games against 158 losses, and struck out 2081 batters.  His top season for wins was 15, and 4 times he won 14.


P Troy Everett

Troy Everett burst onto the scene with 44 saves for the 1997 Green Day Dukes.  The following season he saved another 44, with a 1.71 ERA, as the team won their first division title.  He was consistently around 40 saves over a 15 year span, finishing with 587.  In 2004 the Bay Area Bandits used him in a 1970s workhorse role, and he pitched 126 innings with a 14-5 record, 32 saves, a 2.91 ERA, and 151 saves.

Two years later Everett pitched his only season for the New York Cobra, and ended up as a hero in a very surprising way.  Over his career, he was not asked to bat much, and wasn't very good at it.  For his career he had 4 hits in 55 at bats (.073) and struck out 25 times. 

In the 2006 world series game 7 Everett came into the 9th inning with his team down a run, and allowed an insurance run to the Miami Stars.  In the bottom of the 9th, with one out and 2 runners on, New York still down 2 runs, Everett came to the plate and due to previous moves and injuries, New York was out of pinch hitters.  Everett had to bat, and loaded the bases with a single.  One out later, Joe Thomas ended the world series with a grand slam on the final swing of his career.

For his career Everett pitched 1275 innings, had a 3.29 ERA, and struck out 1240 batters.

P Paul Williamson

Over a 17 year career Williamson saved 508 games, pitched 1412 innings, and had a 3.04 ERA.  In 2004 he posted a 0.78 ERA with 31 saves for the Toledo Mud Hens.  In 2010, at age 38, he saved 47 games for the Denver Rabbits, and the next year saved 49.  In 2012 he struggled to a 5.76 ERA, but was part of the Rabbits only world championship.

P Jake Decker

In 1995 Decker, a rookie for the Alaska Snow Sox, pitched 138 innings, struck out 158 batters, and saved 35 games.  The following season his ERA was 1.65.  In 2003 he saved 47 games for the New York Cobra with a 1.70 ERA.  Over his 15 year career, Decker pitched 1061 innings, had a 2.84 ERA, struck out 1015, walked only 316, and saved 494 games. 

HoundDogs ink Rondon to Mega Contract

The Hawaii Hounddogs announce that they have come to terms with Major League MVP Michael Rondon on a 9 year contract worth 271 million dollars.  Rondon will serve as a building block for the rebuilding franchise, joining former teammate Clayton Lewis, who 3 years ago signed a 7 year, 215 million dollar deal in Hawaii.

Rondon hit .296 last year, and with 85 walks posted a league leading .387 on base percentage.  He hit 24 homers, 37 doubles, and 7 triples, drove in 81 runs, and scored 89.  A fine all-around talent, Rondon also stole 32 bases in 41 attempts.

Rondon leaves behind the Green Day Dukes, who won the central division last year but will be hard pressed to repeat.  They will receive a compensation draft pick next June.  Rondon was impressed with the pitch of Hawaii GM Juan Alou.  In a press conference Rondon stated "I get the feeling that this guy really, really does not like to lose.  Plus he showed me some beachside mansions, and I decided that this is where I want to live and play baseball."

In other news Brandon Cohen signed a 6 year, 77 million dollar deal with the Baltimore Colts, Todd McCarthy went to the Shockers for 2 years, 25 million, Robert Wright went to Boston for 3 years, 31 million, and Randy Hickey joined the Utes for 3 years, 24 million.  Hickey will face the prospect of replacing Frank Lewis in the batting order.  

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.