Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Calamari State to the Sweet Sixteen!

Former APBA manager Admiral Ackbar is now coaching basketball, and his team, Calamari State, pulled off a surprising upset of UK (University of Kashyyyk).

Most analysts favored the Wookies' advantages in rebounding and shot blocking, but Ackbar's squad forced 33 turnovers with a relentless series of traps.

Unfortunately, the Cinderella ride likely ends here as all 5 starters will be unable to play against Sith University on Thursday, as they need time to regrow their limbs.  After the game, the enraged Wookies tore arms and legs off the Mon Calamari and ate them, because 1) Wookies hate to lose, and 2) Calamari tastes good.

Their backups are 40 point underdogs against the Sith, who advance after obliterating Alderaan.  The Sith coach had only to say "All is proceeding as I have foreseen".

Monday, March 10, 2014

Kobe signs extension

The Los Angeles Shockers have signed 36 year old shortstop Kobe Jones to a 2 year, 48 million dollar extension covering the 2015-2016 seasons.  Jones had been signed through 2014 at 18 million.

According to Kobe, no negotiations were necessary.  The Shockers, who have a large number of contracts coming off the books after 2014, approached Kobe with the offer.  Kobe kept his composure and simply said "OK".

Kobe is not the only Hall of Fame bound shortstop who would have been headed for free agency.  The countdown is now on for Brett Solo, who is heading into his final season with the New York Cobra.  Brett, 32 years old, is reportedly looking for a 10 year extension.

Winter Meetings

George White gets the biggest deal of the day, taking a 175 million, seven year deal with Bay Area.  Silvanos Tonka, coming over from the Elven League, received contract offers by sealed bids.  It should surprise nobody that once the bids were unsealed, Brad once again stood tall, menacing, and goateed with the winning bid.  Tonka will receive 162 million over 7 years.

Hawaii broke out some of their hoarded revenue sharing funds to sign Derek Seitzer for 6 years and 120 million.  This matches the deal received by former Hounddog Jered DeMario.  Seitzer will see 56 million of that in his first season.  Andy Roughton gets almost as much (114 over 6) to pitch for Springfield.

Other pitching contracts:
Joseph Smith Langford 5/60 to NY Knights
Eric Rodriguez 4/54 to Toronto
Joel Camels 3/36 to Toledo

Brad also gave out the largest multiyear deal ever to a closer, signing Jon Papelbrad for 8 years and 100 million.  Green Day, also in the market for a closer, get Steve Kepler for 5 years and 57.5 million.

The Florida Penguins take perhaps the best position player in second baseman Joey Howell, for 6 years and 96 million.  Some compare Howell to Robinson Cano, without the short right field porch of Yankee Stadium.  He's a regular .320 hitter with enough pop to hit 15-20 homers, plays very good defense and can steal a bag.  The best shortstop, Alex Guerrero, gets 7 years and 119 million from Detroit.

George Frog, who had a .400 OBP last year, sticks in Toledo for 78 million over 6 years, and Bob Brady will get 72 million over 6 from the Knights.  Penguins pick up veteran Otto Tingley for 2 years and 12.5 million.

Chicago resigns 50 steal man Alfonso Gorin for 4 years and 40 million, and then solidifies their rotation by trading reliever Jon Mexico to Miami for lefty Jason Curry.

Bud McNamara, age 41, heads home to Orlando for 5 million, where he expects to be the DH.

Reggie Stocker, the number 1 overall pick in 2008, was mostly a disappointment to the Snow Sox.  He hit 31 homers with 109 RBI as a rookie, but never matched those numbers over the next 5 years.  All is forgiven though, as Detroit pays for potential to the tune of 110 million over 6 years.  Miguel Fernandez, a power hitting, strong throwing right fielder who will swing at anything, gets 90 million over 5 years.

Some more signings:
SS Orlando Veras, Charlotte, 4/36
SS Jim Concepcion, Springfield, 5/62.5
DH Leroy Brown, Springfield, 3/42
CF Eddie Cedeno, Charlotte, 4/50
3B Mike Conner, Alaska, 3/21
3B Elvis Dixon, Phoenix, 2/14
3B Justin Headley, Texas, 3/21
3B Dennis Affleck, Charlotte, 3/21
3B Chris Gruber, Louisville, 3/15
1B Andy Moore, Texas, 3/30
DH Ho Chi Fat, NY Knights, 3/30
2B Rey Nunez, Phoenix, 4/40
1B Hal Glover, NY Cobra, 1/7

The New York Cobra then pull off a shocking trade, dumping the salary of Ricky Buckley to Texas.  Buckley was traded along with minor league shortstop David Walker for minor league infielder David Jackson and reliever Vince Everts.  Buckley had fallen out of favor with manager Juan Biras, who thinks backup Juan Biras did less to lose in the playoffs last season.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Big Fish off the Market

The New York Cobra announced today that RF Keith Lee has resigned with the team.  Lee, considered the best available free agent in this years class, will get a nice pay increase as part of the new contract.  The new pact will pay him 24 million dollars per year for the next 5 years.  Previously, Lee joined the Cobra after the 2005 season after signing the "Manny Ramirez" contract, 160 million over 8 years.  At 34 years of age now, Lee's new contract won't top the old one in terms of total dollar value, but does represent a 20% increase on a contract that was already large.

In other news, it is rumored that a dark elf may be offered up by the elven leagues...stay tuned.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Roger Lewis resigns in Portland

Portland has reached an agreement with their ace starter that will keep him around for 3 more years and 75 million dollars.  This makes him the highest paid pitcher in the game, surpassing Suzuke Mazdahonda.

New York is paying 25.7 million per season for Buddy Lewis, but part of that deal goes to his former Elven club.

New Managers

Here are the teams going with new managers in 2014:

Green Day -Justin Lewis
Hollywood - Keith Grace
Bay Area - Skip Yoder
Detroit - Troy McCoy

Springfield - Glen Porter
Boston - Damon Nkik
Texas - Pudge Fernandez
Cleveland - Jason Gambini
Toledo - Miles OBrien
Las Vegas - Jose Canseco
Louisville - Walter Lewis

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Hall Inducts Four

Lou Zamuda heads the 2013 Hall of Fame class, receiving a perfect 100% of the votes.  He is joined by fellow first timers to the voting process Ryne "El Jawa" Solo Jr., and Jojo Lewis.  Also making the cut is Bob Zygyk, who makes the hall in his fifth try.

Just missing by one vote is Jake Decker.  Leon Wolf, John Conner, Sammy Swopa, Damon Nkik, Sithas Kawasaki, and Vern Terrell also received enough votes to stick around for the next ballot.

Kawasaki has proven to be a much more popular case than expected, and the Herman has committed to doing a full feature on his career in the near future.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hall of Fame Candidates, 2014

Lou Zamuda leads the HOF new candidates.  In 23 years, the great Utah shortstop collected 3891 hits, 1902 RBI and 2040 runs.  He was one of the greatest defensive shortstops of all time, winning 8 gold gloves.  Zamuda was a part of all 6 of Utah's world championship teams.  Zamuda was drafted by Miami in 1991, expected to be a weak hitting but superior fielding shortstop.  After his rookie year Zamuda was traded to Utah.  In 1993, working extensively on his swing with manager Eddie Bird and hitting instructor Lamont Malone, Zamuda raised his batting average from .264 to .351.  It was not a fluke, he was just getting started.  He hit .392 in 1995 and .388 in 1996.  He added power to his game in 1997, hitting .332 with 19 homers, 98 RBI while scoring 141 runs in 1997 and was named the league MVP.  He followed that with an even better season in 1998, hitting .366 with 27 homers, 131 RBI, and 153 runs while repeating as MVP as Utah won their fourth championship.

After the 1998 season the Utes broke up their dynasty.  Conan, Kermit Holmes, Eddie Bird, Mike Langford, and Tom Groovine all moved on, but Zamuda stuck around for the rebuilding.  He became a middle of the order hitter, and in 2002 drove in 139 runs and won another MVP award.  Zamuda remained an impact player into his old age, hitting .341 with 107 RBI in 2006 at age 38.  The next year Utah made it back to the world series, and Zamuda scored the winning run in the bottom of the 9th in game 6 to finish the series.  They won again in 2009 as a 41 year old Zamuda hit .300, and hit cleanup.  His 3 run double in the first inning of game 6 set Utah up for a 5-4 series clinching win.  He retired after the 2011 season, at age 43, with more career hits than anyone in APBA history.

Ryne "el jawa" Solo Jr. played 22 seasons, mostly with Alaska, Louisville, and Miami, and excelled at getting on base.  He had 3087 career hits, and also took 1789 walks for a .394 on base percentage.  Seven times he took over 100 walks in a season. El jawa played second base for about half his career before moving to first.

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.

Jason Gambini played 3rd base for the 1999-2000 Autobot championship teams, and first base for the 2003 title team.  In 2003, his game 4 homerun off Roger Chillingworth put the Autobots in the lead as they went up 3-1 on the way to a series win.  Gambini had 5 season of 100 or more RBI, including 33 homers and 119 RBI in 2001.  He finished with 317 homers, playing 11 of his 15 seasons in Phoenix.

Del Holdworth played 15 seasons, collecting 2353 hits.  He had back to back 200 hit seasons with the 2001-2002 Texas Gunfighters.  None of this hits were ever bigger than the 9th inning, game winning double off Jaret Benser in game 6 of the 2007 World Series, which brought home Lou Zamuda.  Holdsworth also played in the world series with the 2004 Boston Beaneaters, and the 2009 Utes.  His 2 run homer in game 6 that year helped Utah to hold off New York.

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 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.

Bob Zygyk and Leon Wolf had great years with the Utes, and for other teams after 1998.  Zygyk played in a record 10 world series.  In 1997 Zygyk led the league in batting (.354) and RBI (123).  A platoon player in his years with Utah, Wolf hit as high as .382 in limited playing time.  Given a chance to play every day later in his career, Wolf won back to back batting titles at ages 33 and 34 with averages of .357 and .344.  In 2007, Leon won another batting title at age 39 (.322).

John Conner had 2875 hits, and had his best season in 2001 (.314-34-132) as Springfield won their only world series.  Vern Terrell also played for that team, hitting 30 homers and driving in 120, on the way to 408 career homers.

Jojo Lewis was a 7 foot tall Rastafarian whose 100 MPH fastball came out of a tangle of long limbs and dreadlocks to terrify opposing hitters.  He won 331 games, second only to Roger Chillingworth, and struck out 5032 batters, more than anyone in APBA history.  He struck out 200 or more batters in 14 seasons, won 20 or more games three times, and 19 in three other seasons.  He won the Cy Young award 4 times, including 3 in a row from 1995 to 1997.  He also holds the record for throwing 4 no-hitters.  The most impressive one came in 2000, when he struck out 15 Springfield Isotopes.  His final no-hitter came in 2011, his final season, when the 41 year old shut down the Utah Utes.  Jojo led the Orlando Rugrats to their only world series title in 1994, pitching a shutout in game 1.  He was also part of the Autobot teams that beat Florida in 2000 and New York in 2003.  In 2003, He beat Roger Chillingworth in game 4, and held a lead in game one which the bullpen could not hold.  In 2000 he started Phoenix's sweep off with a 7-3 win over the Penguins, striking out 9 over 7 2/3 innings.

Jake Decker ranks 5th on the all time saves list. As a rookie Decker pitched 138 innings and struck out 158, numbers that will likely never be seen again by a reliever.  He saved 35 games and posted a 2.09 ERA. 

Henry Rollins saved 400 games over his career, and had his best season with the 2007 Utes.  That year Rollins had a 2.80 ERA, saved 53 games, and was known as "The Saving Ute".  In game 2 of the 2007 series, Rollins pitched 2 scoreless innings to save a 7-4 game.  In game 3 he again pitched the final two innings for a save, giving up one run in an 8-6 Utah win.  In game 6 he allowed a 9th inning, game tying homer to Chad White, but got the last two outs and was the pitcher of record when Del Holdsworth drove in Lou Zamuda to finish the season.

All the candidates can be found here:

Monday, February 03, 2014

2013 Major League MVP

The final award to be announced is the Major League MVP, which essentially was a two-horse race between Denver's Mark Crawford and New York's Chad White.  These two all-time great outfielders have often been compared to one another, since they stand so far above the crowd.  During the regular season, Crawford hit .313 with 41 HR, and 115 RBI.  He also had 40 2B, 10 3B, 125 runs, 69 BB, .391 OBA, and .639 SLG.  Crawford led the league in SLG, RBI, Runs, and HR, and was 5th in batting average.  Formerly a CF, Crawford now plays RF for Denver, and is a solid defensive player.

Meanwhile, Chad White hit .316 with 33 HR, and 108 RBI.  Chad also had 46 2B, 1 3B, 106 runs, 52 BB, 16 SB, .382 OBA, .596 SLG.  Chad did not lead the league in any offensive statistics, but was in the top 3 in most of the important categories.  Chad also plays a gold glove caliber CF, and is widely considered the greatest defensive outfielder in league history.

With a very close vote, Chad White pulls off the upset and wins his 2nd career MVP award.  Complete results as follows:

1.    Chad White (3) 33 points
2.    Mark Crawford (2) 29 points
3.    Conn Barbarian (1) 22 points
4.    Kobe Jones 6 points
5.    Miguel Cruz 5 points
6.    Derek Tufnel 3 points
7T.  Zandar Dukakis 1 point
7T.  Stan Marsh 1 point
7T.  Casey Lebron 1 point
7T.  Keith Lee 1 point

Penguins extend Buchanan

The Fkorida Penguins agree to a 7 year, 101.5 million dollar deal with LHP Peter Buchanon.  The deal will not only keep Peter in the Penguin rotation every 5th day, but also includes a radio program on WPEN, the team's radio network.

Buchanan's first program included a diatribe against the 5 man rotation. From the transcript:

 "A certain fat Yoda just assumes I will pitch in a 5 man rotation.  Let me tell you something about the 1950's, people.  We god fearing Americans resisted communism.  We restricted immigration to keep fat Yodas out of our country.  Men put in an honest day of work, and that includes the pitchers, who took their turn every FOURTH day."

The deal probably spells the end of George White's tenure in Florida.  As a free agent, he may be tempted with riches from the New York Cobra, although that could lead to him being disowned by his family.