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Great Season once again.  With the playoffs in the books and balloting and cuts upon us look back on the past season.

The Clemente division last year was a battle with Brooklyn winning 106, and Newton a wild card and championship.  This year the Middlesex Generals leveled and exceeded the playing field, by winning the Parker division.  The Generals led by Frank Berta took care of business taking over 1st place March 28th, their 4th game, and never looked back.  They set the pace by sweeping Brooklyn in Block 1.  That was all she wrote.  Berta led his team all the way to their first playoff series win in the divional series against a well stocked Cooperstown team.  Cooperstown having won the Monday division, lost in 5 to the Generals in a hard fought and close set.  The bullpen led by Edwin Diaz, held the fearsom Iron Horse lineups in check in the late innings when it counted the most in the final games that the Gen's Snell and Lauer started effectively.

But the stunning and now legendary Conference final was wild, a CBA classic against Philly in which the Generals won 3 of the first 5 games. Bloke Snell was dominant 3-0, and in game 6 and 7 the Generals couldn't score against the Philly bullpen led by Dominguez (11total lights out appearances in PO).  In game 6 so close in extra innings, Philly relievers held on, and Philly won 2-1 in 11 innings.  It was that close for Middlesex to get to the World Series. With Philly's miracle of game 6, game 7 saw the momentum swing in an even series.  The Philly offense awoke for 9 runs, and the Clemente title.  Philly would later defeat the New Jersey Beatles in the WS.

The Generals led by Ace Blake Snell 16-7  2.67 ERA, Jameson Taillon 12-9   3.36, and Edwin Diaz 2-2 0.53 46sv, who was spectacular in the playoffs as well.  The pitching led by the aces, also boasted solid middle performances by Jefferies, Stanek, and Casilla to hold the late games in place.  Diaz 'Generally' closed the door.  A total offensive effort, though not the best in the Conference, but adequate with JP Realmuto 24 HR 85 RBI .309, with the to boot being  8 triples.  MIddlesex completed a succesful year.

The Brooklyn Superbas dropped 19 wins in the standings, although barely making their way into the second wild card spot.  Not the strongest Brooklyn team ever.  Certainly compared to the powerhouse 106 win team of 2018, and Parker titles, and Clenete, WS championships of the past.   It's been 8 years since Brooklyn has last made it to the WS.  This year the Superbas finally had what they sore need back in '18, pitching. Starting pitching as good as any in CBA, and at the legendary CBA "House Of Pain".  The ballpark that opponents dread playing, in and Brooklyn fans embrace, the Superbas led by the now injured and ineligible Cory 'K' Kluber who was 16-7  3.09 222 K's many in Coors field. 1st round pick Trevore Williams had an impressive rookie campaign 13-6 3.81 ERA to head a staff that had Greinke 10-11  4.46 187 K, and Marquez 1-13 4.07 195 K's, Kimbrel 2.85 13 sv .  The pen only allowed .271 of inherited runners to score despite a .683 X defense.  The Coors inflated numbers not withstanding, a good effort for a team with a middling offense .263 178 HR, whose leading power hitters Braun 22 HR 74 RBI .265, since traded David Freese 19 HR,  and Adam Duval 16 HR.  Brooklyn's 90 SB led by Ahmed Rosario's 29 SB were second in Clemente to Skokie.

The Newton Bombs stayed as one of CBA winningest franchises although were unable to achieve their lofty position of the previous year.  With competition firce and ginning for the champion,  some of the Newton players didn't reach some their projected levels.  Aside from good years from David Peralta 23 HR 69 RBI  .291, and the popular Nick Catellanos 17HR 56 RBI .296, their was a sharp dropoff in offense after those players. A team .316 OBA and .384 slg, made it tougher in the DH conference.

Despite playing  half the games in the SF Giants park, the Bombs, are looking towards better performances in '20.  The Newton pitching remains largely the same although the injured Carrasco needs a year to recoup.  Chris Sale was a dominiant ace again 17-4 2.69 ERA 231 K's merits Cy consideration. Betances 2-4  1.56 25 sv since traded to Brooklyn, and and Aroldys Chapman  3-1  3.13 17 saves were a deadly late inning lights out combo.  The goat were Ronson award candidate Randy Hendricks 13-18 4.37, and Kurton Clayshaw er Clayton Kershaw 9-11 3.49 ERA.  Hector Carrasco used mainly in long relief, pitched 111 appearances all in relief, was 9-5  3.47 3 sv in 191 IP with 230 K's!   The team defense .74% X was about 3/10 of a point above average.

The Monday division wound up in Jon Stamets Cooperstown hands after some noise made from some other teams.  The Iron Horses trade and put themselves in the best position they could to get into the elite playoffs.  A former champion, Jon usually finds a way to at least get there and take his shots.  The Horses had 251 homers 11 guys over double digits, and clubbed opponents despite a .251 BA.  Encarnacion hit 34 HR 85 RBI .219, Semien 19 HR 80 RBI .276 but 29 errBaez ors and a .687 X rating, Acuna 22 HR 70 .269.  Yadi had 18 HR at catcher.  Of note Matt Carpenter who has been in CBA trade talks, led the team with 15 sacrifice bunts.

  The pitching staff saw Zack Wheeler 11-7 3.05 in 150 IP, Cole 12-10 3.13, and Trevor Bauer acquired from Newton for Clayshaw went 13-8  3.57.  The staff was not helped by the teams abyssmal .704 team x rating among the lowest.  To think how many more wins had the defense been able to turn double plays instead of hitting into them, only +3 on the season.  The bad range ratings do not help. A .552 X rating in the playoffs took it's ultimate toll in an otherwise succesful season for Jon Stamets.  The team has talent and is willing to trade it, so one never knows how the Iton Horse will turn out next season.

   Skokie has had a nice rising trend since beginning their rebuild two seasons ago.  Last year, Skokie held first place from March 26th through July 3rd before being over taken by  CTown. Still they made the playoffs.  Unfortunately, Skokie's usage was over extended by season end.  Many of their players were not eligible, and with so many players not, the Commisioner allowed them to participate rather than to have his team walk over in a forfeit.

The players are hitting their prime, and Skokie has more talent in the wings and baking in the minors.  Chuck Furlong managed this potent offense with a .331 OBA and high .456 slug.  240 homers 10 guys in double digits, and speed too 112 SB.   3 guys over 25 SB.  Inciarte 7 62 .267 37sb, Story 30 100 .300 25sb, and Baez 31 100 .280 24sb.  The pitching was pretty poor this year with a team led by Chris Archer 17-8 3.92 ERA.  The team ERA was 4.46 pretty substandard so the offense bailed them out.  The bullpen only had a team leading 11 saves from Nathan Eovaldi of all people.  Although win totals may show a succesful year for Skokie, the fact of gross over usage mars any support of this being a successful season for the Wolfmen.  The league requires it should not occur in the future or the team (or any) risk being made non eligible for post season.

Ohio has made improvements to their team and it showed in the standings in 2019 being on the fringe of the second wildcard race late season.  Once again the Outlawz pitching staff kept their very potent Clemente style offense working to gain any wins.  The lighter fluid (5.01 ERA) staff had no performances to speak of other than horror and humiliation for this once championship franchise.  Chalie Morton can not do it forever and he at was 11-8  4.57 as the ace.  Arodys Vizcaino's 12 saves led the team.  Acquiring Machado was big for Ohio.  His 27 HR 101 RBI .268, alongside Freeman .307, Shin Choo .291 24 HR, Posey 7 HR .301, and  Aldemys Diaz 15 HR .296 made Ohio a scary team especially in extra innings where they were 9 and 2!  The team had a .343 OBA, and 450 Slg.  .180 ISO Pwr is excellent, and signals the best Ohio offense many years. Glenn has won the CBA Trophy before 5 years ago.  You can bet with some great MLOR picks, Ohio fans look ahead to their future.  Glenn Kenan will be ready to compete.

   Hard times have fallen on the once proud Carolina franchise.  The team has been saddled with draft pick loss, and some players not living up to their lofty expectations. A .327 OBA and .380 slug are a long way from the playoff years.  The pitchers sans the late Skaggs 11-8,  who are talented and of high pedigree just haven't developed yet, and the team has dipped in the standings.  Scott Kenan did draft plenty of top choice future talent which should help in a couple of years, but until then, it will be up to the MLB stars to reach their potential then Carolina will rebound if they sit tight.  Joey Gallo gained competence defensively in the OF and at 1B. Well he did go nuts slugging 48 HR and 138 RBI for a 4.0 WAR.  On the other hand Erik Kratz 1 HR 9 RBI .209 was a reserve catcher.  Stark contrast which shows nothing and has no relevance much like Carolina this season.  More penalties don't bode well for the listless Copperheads.

The Schmidt was all about Philadelphia who we chronicled in an earlier Newsletter.  The Trophy winning Rob Hite has built the ultimate franchise.  A worthy CBA team to represent the best of us moving forward.  We honor Rob's 4th championship. We are seeing a great franchise.   112 wins a league leading .275 BA, team 3.83 ERA 242 HR in a down offensive year, with a high 942 runs.  Philly had a true two way player with Otani.  6-3 5.12, but his paired with his offense in 300+ Ab .312 23 HR 63 RBI he was a force in reserve roles.  Ground breaking.   Trade rumors swirl around Nelson Cruz 39 HR 121 RBI .287  he of one way offense, has hiked his career totals to .278 343 HR 924 RBI.  5 guys over 20 HR.  Harper 43 HR 100 RBI hit well despite a low BA.  His presence protected the others in the lineup.  Trea Turner .282 21HR 96 RBI and flawless defense at a tough position had a 7.0 WAR, however the story wasn't the offense.

Two big big aces.  Jake-a-nola.  Deadly Jake 2.35 19-4, Dastardly Nola 2.42 20-3.  Cy candidates, but who was better? 39 wins between them a significant difference for Philly in '19.  Will Smith 'hitched' together 23 saves for the Phun Phans. Old King Cole Hamels went 16-10 despte a gaudy 5+ ERA.  55 team saves reinforced a team approach for the great Phantastics.

   Malachi Nellum's Red Sox 81-81 competed for the second wildcard again this year. The Sox didn't quite have the same offense as in years past, but the leagues offense numbers seem be down for 2019 season over all.  That is sure to change next year as the rediculous Selig express has allowed juiced baseball to mask cheating scandals and a diminishing fan base as the game has priced itself out from the youth.  Stirling still had enough offense to be near the top batting .263 with 185 homers.  The team allowed a .251 BA against.  Some difficult defense numbers with 102 errors, but some improvement is showing in the pitching staff compared with years past.  Severino 15-11 3.94 234 K's led the improved starting staff.  Berrios 12-5, Godley 11-12, and Minor 10-10 3.98.  The bulpen's .304 IRSC meant they allowed 30% of inherited runners to score compared with the league average of .303, about average despite Kenley's 26 saves .206 IRSC and only 3 blown saves for an .897 sv%.  Kenley always seems to be on the trade block despite his effectiveness.

   Lorenzo Cain 118 runs 11 HR 57 RBI 23 SB .345 is on the MVP ballot carrying the teams offense.  Relatively speaking Cain had a tremendous impact on his teams 81 wins with a 7.6 WAR! Cody Bellinger 25 HR 111 RBI .276 had a solid if not spectacular year.  Malachi has mastered the draft acquiring Joey Wendle .325 Lourdes Gurriel .319, D Santana .310. M Adams 21 HR, and Schwarber 27 HR's.  Stirling looks ready into the future. 

  Jack Jung's Ottawa Otters was  led by the Whole @&% Show Mike Trout  .286 33 HR 82.  71 wins is a recent low point for the once playoff inspred Otters.  To make things more complex, Adrian Beltre, who was drafted by Ottawa way back in 1999 as the first pick in the draft by Dan DiVirgilio's Mackinaw Breakers has retired after 20 years, His career numbers include a BA of .288 +390 HR 1,472 RBI .341 OBA 2,583 hits,  1,251 runs, 548 doubles plus gold glove defense.  His steady card will be missed.  Although their record is down, Ottawa still has a few good players on the roster to help compete, but as the shows age and wear n tear, will Ottawa be competive in '20?.

New Hampshire.  After reaching the ultra highs of the Conference finals in '18, the Wildcats took a severe tumble in '19 dropping to 67 wins.  Mr. Brazeau will not tolerate such foolishness and has embarked on some team building acquiring Jean Segura 8 HR 60 RBI .300 39sb.  This years offense was middle of the road, with 147 HR .247 BA.  Mitch Haniger hit 14 64 .304. Myckhyl Franco 18 65 .288.   Jake Cave 10 35 .305 in his first year. Not bad, but not enough to compete in Clemente.New Hampshires bullpen was the best part of the team with Cole, Castillo, and the released Chris Bassitt showing solid numbers in set up.  The Bassitt early season release may yet haunt the Wildcats.  Chris must hope that he can get rebound pitching performances form his staff.  NH hopes to use strong draft picks, and get some more major league ready talent.  They drafted plenty of good talent in the MLOR which is a few years away.

 

With offense down on the whole in 2019, the generally less offensively prolific Staub Conference had it’s share of playoff drama within the Black N Blue Rogers division and wildcard shuffles.  Please read the entire newsletter beofre tour Votes are due. Ballots will be released this week.

I just completed an total statsitical analysis of CBA’s last 23 seasons. I will post the new findings and latest ground breaking long term statistics shortly afer this Newsletter.

Looking at the numbers in CBA over some time.  It’s startling….This year was CBA’s lowest ever batting average as a league .249.  CBA averged .263 over it’s 23 seasons.  The on base 3rd lowest of all time behind 2015-6.  Slugging .410 tied for lowest all time as a league.  CBA all time has a .428 slugging pct.  In 2018 the CBA had a total .330 on base percentage.  In 2019, .321.  Slugging went from .436 down to .421.  

 Staub Conference

    The Staub Conference was led by the 100 win Towaco Wolfpack.  Kevin G held off eventual Conference champion New Jersey in the regular season.  Knowing the outcome of the playoffs and course of events, we see that another 100 win season for Towaco puts the pack among the elite CBA teams in history.   833 wins 625 losses for a .571 Win pct.  Hall of Fame material, one of CBA’s most successful franchises.  This year, Towaco held off New Jersey and Essex in the final block as they had all year to take the coveted Rogers title.  A .654 road win percentage meant success and another shot at the elusive Championship.  MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt has a sensational .324 41 HR 101 RBI season.  Yelich added a .288  27 HR 88 RBI 21 sb season to lead the offense.  The offense was powerful belting 198 HR  The team collected a .241 BA, .323 OBA, and .411 slug which in simple terms meant that they had to rely on their pitchers and their two big hitters to win them 100 ball games. A complementary  offensive crew, but this year were dependent on the big homers.  The pitching staff was tremendous establishing dominance in CBA with a team 3.28 ERA  and 1,352 K’s.  Syndergaard 11-3 2.66, Clevinger 11-9 3.28, Lopez 15-7 3.56, and Towaco veteran Marco Gonzalez 12-7  3.60 were a fearsome 4 some. Overall OP BA .238, .260 IRSC, and a miniscule 1.19 WHIP tell much of the Towaco story for 2019, regular season dominance.

   The New Jersey Beatles caught CBA off guard.  Rest assured no one will look past them for a long while.  A stunning playoff run, and a stunning playoff run put Steve Adler back in the show. To get there, they had to rely on their pitching staff as well.  The Beatles were powerful whomping  212 taters, scoring 703 runs.  The sabremetrics show a .308 oba, and only 4.32 runs of support per game.  The Beatles did steal 82 bases.  Steals are a lost art in todays baseball it seems.   Jersey’s defense wasn’t particulary efficient with a .699 Xrating.  Just a weird note, The pitching staff did lead the league with 60 Intentional walks.  The Jersey batters were walked only 30 times themselves.  No players made the top league leaders on offense and the team .163 Iso, and .718 OPS tells a story of stuggling for runs.  Yasiel Puig .292  29 HR 72 RBI  12 sb, proved to be an excellent acquistion as he was the Beatles lead guitar slinger.  Marte 22 HR 63 RBI  .282, and Raffy Devers 24 HR were strong enough to provide big homers when needed.  The teams bats cooled off in August batting only .221, but launching an impressive winning streak  to close out the second half of that month.  

Pitching however was Jerseys’s strength.  A 3.71 ERA led by Justin Verlander 16-4  3.43, and  Kyle Freeland 14-6  2.88 ERA.  A side note, Verlander manged to get a win in the last regular season block over Towaco and in the playoffs, whereas Kyle Freeland lost to title winner Towaco in the last series.  Verlander reached his 210th win against only 102 losses and 2,957 K’s, and still going.  Vasquez did it all 9-5  2.53 21 sv.  The Beatles bullpen was efficient and din’t allow opponents to score often, (.268 IRSC).   The champion Beatles took advantage of their matchups on a consistant basis.  They avoided long losing streaks, and won when they had to.

   Big Bryan Swank’s colorful Essex Escapees brought Strat-o-madness to CBA the past few years.   Ever so tough, the Escapees are building a tough competitive reputation.  The Rogers division could be one of the strongest, and Essex has a championship and close calls in the pennant chases.  Swankymodes team fights right to the end.  In the most dire of circumstances, Swank’s army fought usage issues, and to ensure the others gaming experience he completed games bunting, PH, platooning, and manipulating his team to stay CBA legal.  All the while suffering on a personal note.  He was not the only GM who did so under personal duress.  I have a great deal of respect for my GM’s, who this year were suffering personal tragedy and hardship, yet who maintained their bond with their CBA friends here.  Selfless act some made, and Bryan Swank’s dedication to his Escapees, and others playoff chances made me so proud to lead CBA.  Indeed, he gets part of my votes for GM of the year.  

Perhaps Essex would have won other divisions or made the show?  Hard to say.  Detroit and Towaco won 11-7 against Essex, but Essex shredded NJ 12-6.  This was a team that had 11 PH homers in 2019.  The Escapees did slight better +3 on road rather than at home.  Essex relied on a platoon and reserve sytem.  They gained every bit of usage they could from a total team effort which brought them to 85 wins in a tough division.  Lindor 26 HR 76 RBI 31sb  .262 BA, and Altuve 16 HR 62 RBI .313 22 Sb, generated a productive offense for Essex.  .262 team BA was the best in the division over Det,  NJ, Towaco, in fact best in the Staub Conference by a wide margin.  178 Homers, very good for a non DH team.  There was some speed too 119 Sb, including 21 by Allen.  Gorkys Hernandez belted 19 homers of the 178. The Escapees fared better against their lefty pitching competition posting a 30-19 record agains games in which a lefty started.  55-58 vs Righties The pitching stood at 3.75 which means that Essex competition in Rogers likely kept their record down a few wins. They did it in the clutch.  85 wins was well earned.  Justin Turner paid huge dividends in with a .338 11 HR 46 RBI line, Ryback Zimmerman .309 12 HR 51 RBI off the bench.  How did they lose?

Scherzer a Cy Candidate 18-8  2.73 307K in 220IP led the teams staff.  Marco Estrada added 10-4 3.38 to the mix. Cahill 9-5 3.28 part time tell half the story.  The other half was the collapse of the platoon pitchers like Edwin Jackson career 78-87  4.98 1425 IP since 2004 when he first came up with Brooklyn as a late round draft pick popnomer.  How has Jackson 2-7 4.44, stuck around CBA for so many years?  Ryan Yarbourough was pressed into starter duty pitching 23 games as a lefty starter.  Yabourough a long reliever who had the ability to turn lineups around in a hurry midway through a game, went 7-8 3.53 as mostly a starter. The pen was efficient .237 IRSC, and a team 1.22 WHIP.  So what hurt the Escapees? Seems like Detroit and Towaco were were the main culprits.

 Detroit.  Mark Holmes Wheels could be one of the toughest teams with a losing record in awhile.  78-84 but a hard fought record. Detroit had good pitching 3.75 team ERA led by Cy candidate Mike Folty 14-8  2.56 196K, and Nick Pivetta 11-6  2.86 174 K’s.  Roarke 8-15 3.95, but only 130 K’s in 180 IP.  Blake Treinen since departed in trade saved 1-2  2.53 and 25 games saved. The bullpen after Treinen was disastrous allowing 35% of their inherited runners to cross the plate.  That is deadly in later innings as the 6-8 record in extra innings and 21-22 record in 1 run games will tell you.  Detroits pitching was assisted by a stellar defense. A team .830 X rated was superb, and took away plenty of hits and turned many runs away.  Jones, Lemahiew, Crawford were a main reason why this team was so tough.  In a perhaps the toughest division. 

Detroit’s offense suffered from a lack of hits and on base.  The .300 OBA and .378 were sparse at best generating absolutely no runs. Outside the occasional homer.  .143 Iso Power, and 150 homers.  Max Muncy hit 35 of them.  Lamahieu added 11 HR 49 RBI and a .260 BA which was a let down but better times are ahead.  There’s some talent here especially in the pitching staff.  Detroit got nice bounce back years from LaMahieu, Wainwright, Lamet, Roark, Eaton, and Pujols.  Some young talent like young Ronny Rodriguez, Pivetta, and Jalen Beeks.

 

We skip to the Carter division where The Temple Angels finsihed 89-73.  The Angels led by Cory Light, completed another season in which they entered the CBA playoffs.  The Angels are a scary team. Among CBA’s most powerful franchises for a few years now, the Angels are led by an all star slugging crew which features a CBA version of Murderers Row.  JD Martinez 35 HR 96 RBI .311, Charlie Blackmon 31 HR 91 RBI .277,  The Judge 26 HR 67 RBI .250, Gregorius 27 HR, Cory Seager 23 HR, Gattis hit 7 PH HR, wow!   A team .242 BA where BA’s seemed down across all of CBA.  Angels Stadium limits the ballpark singles last year to next to nothing accounting for much of the low team average at home where they thrived.  With such a stingy park, the Angels dominating lineup popped a .255 BA, and 129 HR on the road which led all of CBA, but  only .227 at home. But no one else could hit in Angels park either. The team .434 slug was .024 better than the league average of .410.   However they hit,  this was a slow team with 38 SB and 15 CS. Perhaps some of the poor SB pct is due to use of the Hit and run, where Temple used the play more than the average team, getting 14 hits in 40 attempts, but runners advanced only 28 of the 40 times total causing some ill fated steal attempts.   Teams preferred walking the Angels most lethal, issuing 50 IBB’s in 162 games. 

The pitching was surprisingly good 5th in ERA in Staub 3.61.  with a low .232 BA against.  Porcello 11-9 3.38, LeBlanc 12-9 3.43, Lester 10-10 3.69 were quite solid. Pruit had 22 saves in his rookie year.  The bullpen was shaky despite the gaudy ERA numbers for the middle innig guys who let runs score 30% of the time, then shit people down which is why their ERA ‘s are low but IRSC’s are high.  Temple should be around again in 2020 as they will face comptetion from Tinley Park, and the next team, San Diego.

   The story of SanDiego is one of reinvention.  Every so often Joe Wallace embarks on a mission to retool his ever present and successful SD Surf franchise.  The model of shrewd trades, and shrewd talent recognition, Already Joe Wallace has made a hot stove fire by trading All Star X Boegaerts get a #1, Luis Uria, And catcher Joey Bart.  He also acquired Brandon Woodruff to shore up his Starting pitching, and dealt CF Manny  Margot to Brooklyn for a 3rd rounder.  With that last SD struggled, and limped to the finish line with an un SD like 71-91 record.  The Surf enjoyed the SoCal vibe mostly finishing 39-42, close to .500.  On the road, the team probably “Couldn’t Stand The Weather” and took a “Cold Shot” from teams on the road, 29-52.  They struggled in 1 run games going 12-26 pretty much at the bottom of CBA’s barrel.  They scored 4.7 runs per game, but allowed 5.02 runs a formula for a disastrous year.  Better times await this proud franchise.

The team batted .247 despite 198 homers of which 11 in double digits.  Stanton hit 27 HR, Alex Bregman was an MVP candidiate .336 22 HR 69 RBI, and 25 79 RBI .283 homers from Huntermel Renfroe.  SD lacked pitching, and gave up more than a run per game more than the playoff contenders generally did in 2019.  A 4.55 ERA was ludicrous in the Staub conference and ended all talk of playoffs right there.  Tyson Ross did go 13-9 but a 4.79 ERA which was bad.  The bullpen the biggest culrit blowing games at an prescendented rates.  A .380 IRSC is about as high as any Ive seen in awhile. Nuf ‘ced.  Joe has already begun to correct the issue in making some off season moves. 

The Indiana Redbirds haven’t been as competitive the last 10 seasons.  The once proud franchise hasn’t lived up to the lofty Standards that future Hall of Fame manager Bob Fidler had set for the franchise.  Indy used to dominate those years with an all Star team loaded to the gills at all positions.  Names of CBA’s storied past like Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, Grady Sizemore, Jason Bay, A-Roid, Roy Oswalt.  This team won CBA championships 3 of 4 years 2006-2009.  Visit the CBA webpages Archive links at cba-bb.net.  Be sure to scroll down and click on links for each of our 23 seasons playoff results, summaries and events, and stats.  Also click thriugh to our vast archive for our updated records page. You would be surprised to see the phenomenal CBA Pitching and batting records over the years. 

The Red Birds 62-100, have not challenged for the playoffs in many years.    Like San Diego they were able to win at home somewhat 37-44 wins, but were futile on the road 25-56.  Usage issues caused the team to drop 9 of their last 10 games.  Indy was 15-30 in one run games.  James Shields return to his old form and finished 10-9  3.19 for such a poor team. A team 1.31 WHIP wasn’t horrible, but was inflated by a few wank performances from Jacob Barnes 1.63, Sonny Gray 1.52, Luke Farrell 1.83, Willy Peralta 1.65, and Justin Wilson 1.67.  All were counted upon to help Indiana contend.  Didn’t happen.  The team posted a 32% IRSC.  The hitting was anemic a .305 OBA and .369 slug.  Pretty much most teams might have kept their corners in against such low slugging.

The struggles could be in the past as this team has started to develop some good players who could impact the standings in years to come. Meadows, Lorenzen, Bichette, catchers Knizner, and Rutschmann, Mr Botte, Dakotie Hudson, and more.  The Indiana quest for younger viable talent is in effect.  Although in need dire need of pitching, Bob Fidler sold high on the older but rejuvenated Sonny Gray gaining a 1st round pick along with Hampson.  Expect the overhaul to continue as Fidler starts to put effort and knowledge back into this dormant franchise.

The Dawson is an interesting division to watch.  Long time rivals Belfast-LP-Montreal now have some competition in John Skillings Neah Bay Whalers.  J-Skill is one of CBA’s old school GM’s back a few years ago for his 2nd go around.  He has taken a useless dead franchise and painstakingly rebuilt it ground up with NO real talent.  Given the barest of teams, the knowledgeable and fierce competitor has made the Whlaers a favorite to rise substantially in next years standings.  This year they didn’t conceal their losing 111 games and dubious records shattered.  Not a badge of honor, Neah set some records here in futility.  ‘Specially da’ offense: a team .208 BA and .337 Slug, both are lowest of all time officially.  But the story is interesting.

JSkill’s Whalers now after years of building, show some serious talent development.  The great Peter Alonso, Juan Soto, Keston Hiura, Bradley Jr, Verdugo, Teheran, and Alex Kiriloff up in Neah’s Vancouver Beavers farm team.  Plus theres some fine looking Minor League Organzations (MLO’s)  Neah lost 111 games this year, and lost their first two picks this year with unfortunate usage issues.  Not one to sit idle, John picked up another 1st round draft pick which will add to his growing core of talent.  In his rookie year Soto 14 HR 38 RBI .260 showed enough promise for next year.  Soto will be tremendous.  Jed Lowrie smashed 31 HR 93 RBI .266 to lead the offense.  Will Jed Lowrie or Chris “Khalifa” Davis be back with Neah?  Decisions loom.  Catchers Victor Caratini and Tom Murphy,pleasant surprises were traded in order to draft young talent in the 1st round.  One must look ahead to keep from crying…

…And then there is one of CBA’s shining stars, Judy Brunet.  Judy knows how to compete and build a solid team, proven.  She has shown she can kick you’re a** too, competing in the Conference finals two years straight.  All Judy hasn’t done is win the CBA title which she is definitely trying to do, and win a very tough division.  Many of her wins came in face to face  or Netplay game encounters.  Now, she secure the services of Xander Boegaerts from San Diego.  This sent ripples through CBA causing a trade buzz and subsequent frenzy.  The Dawson champs, Lynx featured a very aggressive pitching staff that was effective in all facets.  A 3.33 ERA including 50 saves from the outstanding 2 closer pen. Playoff manager Steve Adler last year said to me that the LP bullpen could have been among the best he has ever played against of any team.  A tremendous compliment, but this year LP (.234) may indeed have been better (2018 .264 IRSC%) as the number comparisons show . 

He lets his fastball do the talking with the baseball animals, Dr Doolittle converted 20/25 saves, and the Rev Osuna another 13 of 13 opps.  The team boasted a miniscule 1.20 Walks+Hits divided by Innings pitched (WHIP).   Inherited runners scored a historically low .234 IRSC%  good for 5th place all time in CBA’s 1997-2019 history.  Newcomb went 11-9  2.93 and Rodriguez 11-5  3.13 ERA.  McHugh excelled in long relief 9-3  2.33 ERA.  Hitters suffered somewhat providing some clutch hits by squeak by their limited opponents.  Batting .231, LP could have managed many more wins with any other offense than Edwdin Rosario’s 29 HR 85 RBI  .285, Ramirez’ 25 HR 70 RBI  .231, and Justim Smoak’s 29 round trippers and .anemic .221 BA.  Beoegaerts was sorely needed moving ahead to 2020.

    The Crows have struggled of late, but appear to destined to move forward in the standings.  Montreal is loaded with good draft picks, cashing in early and looking to continue their massive rebuild yet still compete somewhat.  Next year they should compete and their youth have begun maturing.  Last year was still, a year in which Doug Brunet would perhaps rather forget.  It started well with Montreal claiming the early Dawson lead in the first week of April.  But the meek offense drowned while the exalted pitching staff labored.   A .239 team BA plus a fair 162 HR’s, but really no OBA and little offense to speak of.  Sal Perez 33 HR 79 RBI .212 will get a year off to rest while the team of Carrotini and Murphy rent the space and entertain til Mr Sal returns.  The team MVP seemed like Jonathan Schoop who pelted 33 HR 85 RBI  .245.  The .151 ISO was not so good.  The pitching was indeed very similar to Montreals pitching.  A strong bullpen with a near CBA record .238 IRSC 10th place all time.  The philosophy of strong bullpen seems to run in the family.  Teams only bat .232 with a tidy 1.20 WHIP against Montreal.    The .711 X Chart defense was average slighty below than the leagues .715 Xrating so that din’t help.  Ja’ Happ 11-6 2.63 since has beendealt across town to Judy Brunet’s Longue Pointe Lynx who needed innings.  Kirby Yates went 7-4 2.61 21 saves, and Killa Kela added 12 more saves.  Fiers went 11-10 with a 3.81 ERA to show, that despite good pitching a team must have some offense.  The .306 OBA and .391 slug doesn’t always translate to wins.

The Brawlers story .247 BA wasn’t bad. CBA entire league batting average was .249 lowest of all time!     But the incidentals show more.    Look at the .313 OBA .389 slug, .142 IsoPWR, .640 total average, .702 OPS all add up to …nothing.  No one on base, no runs, no wins.  The pitching was good as is the case for all of Dawson division.  The bullpen was much better than average.  The league allowed .32% of inherited runners to score, JD Adams Brawlers allowed only .288 ( apx 29%) A 1.33 WHIP wasn’t awful.  Brian Anderson was a standout 12 HR 79 RBI .279 166 hits, Camargo had 25 HR 70 RBI, Malex hit .301 and stole 51 bases!  There is some talent amasing here.  The story for Cy Young includes Patrick Corbin 18-11  3.19 231 K’s who was dominant for a poor team.   Matt Boyd 10-11   3.93 shows some promise as well.  JD has to have a strong draft in the spring and get some high level prospects and players into the mix.  There may be a golden opportunity with good draft positioning in 2020.  With Montreal acquiring so many picks and young players, all the teams in Dawson surely must be taking notice.

Have a great holiday season all!

 

July 9th 2019

 The Essex escapees would like to notify their fans are in league members of a new minor-league franchise the Swanklin Sea serpents We are excited for the developmental league said manager bryan swank we will be steadfast in our ways of recruiting that include your grandma when asked about his notions of this leak Swank manager said in miz style awesome! Our manager for the serpents will be forthcoming
Sent from my iPhone

 

July 6th, 2019

The Ohio Outlawz just announced before their July 4th game celebration that their new Minor League affiliate will be the Chillicothe Mudcats. They have been a member of the Frontier League since the league's  inaugural debut in 1993. The games are played in the old V.A. Memorial Stadium which was built in 1954. The stadium  is scheduled for a major renovation in 2020 which will increase the capacity from 4000 to 6515 in light of their new affiliation with the Ohio Outlawz, and much anticipated attendance increase.

The Cooperstown Iron Horse Minor League affiliate, The Punxsutawney Ponies, has released a list of specials in anticipation of the expanded rosters and new minor league draft.

1) The Punxsutawney Phil Burger - Is it just a burger that we named after our beloved Groundhog... or is it actually made from our beloved Groundhog? 
 
2) Gobbler's Knob - An all you can eat section where you can fine like a groundhog..  A ticket includes a general admission bleacher seat and all you can eat Alfalfa, June Bugs and Snails.
 
3) The Burrow Parking Lot - An underground parking lot with a tunnel leading straight to the stadium.  
 
4) Early Spring Pavilion - A grandstand section full shade and no shadows.
 
5) 6 Weeks of Winter Terrace - A bleacher section full of sun and scary shadows.  Free passes to the Burrow Parking Lot included.
April 26th, 2019
 
There was a buzz in Cooperstown entering the 2019 season.  
The rotation of Cole, Bauer, Sanchez, Wheeler and Bumgarner looked formidable.  
The lineup looked intimidating.  4 projected 30+ HR bats with 4 more projected to hit 20 or more.  Even the "worst" hitter, Marcus Semien was penciled in to hit .250 with 15 HR.  
The Draft War Room focused heavily on the bullpen in the middle rounds adding numerous arms... Tepera, Biddle, Roe, Kelley, Brazier, Nuno to go along with the trio of Familia, Watson and Lugo.
They looked ready to reclaim the division after taking a year to retool in 2018... but the Iron Horses have derailed.  Stumbling to an 11-19 start, tied for 2nd worst in CBA, is not what this fan base or front office had in mind. 

"It is surprising," said Stamets after their 4th consecutive loss, "We traded away some good talent last year to set up for a pennant chase this season.  We weren't expecting this." When asked about shopping veteran player

to continue looking towards the future, Stamets wasn't ready to to discuss that topic.  "We're not there yet.  There's still time to right the ship and there's enough talent on this team to do so.  It's a 162 game season and we have to depth to make it to the end with a competitive team."  

While the slow start is concerning, one would figure that Suarez will improve on his .207 average.  Carpenter, Polanco and Encarnacion are all hitting below .173, that surely has to change.  Trevor Bauer's ERA still sits above 5.00 after throwing 6 scoreless innings but that should continue to trend downwards.  
While there's not a plan for a fire sale in the near future, you have to wonder if those plans will change if this team is still in the cellar approaching the trade deadline.  Iron Horse fans sure hope it doesn't come to that.

April 21st, 2019 Press Newton Bombs
Heys:
  The 2018-2019 CBA Champion Newton Bombs Review
     I can tell you - I never thought I'd e sitting here now DEFENDING the CBA Title.  I didn't think I had the horses. I have no superstars, and my main weapons seem to be of the "smoke and mirrors" variety!  I was gearing more for the 2019 season than the 2018 season last year, where all 3 of my outfielders have much better years.  But, I commited to run, and the team ran well, but was always a distant 2nd next to the Brooklyn juggernaut!  Still, I was contending for a good shot at a wild card at the mid-point, and started to seek some ace relievers to carry me thru the 2nd half.  Cooperstown had an interest draft, picking up Goody and Kahnle's superior cards in the 3rd round of the draft.  The Iron Horse had seemed to be ready to look at future options, so I offered my 3rd and 5th for these blank cards.  Jon Stamets must h ave looked over my roster very well.  He posed the trade of Bauer, Heaney, and Vlad Guererro for Kershaw.  I would not part with Vlad, so it became Bauer and Heaney for Kershaw.  These moves worked well, and I made it into the playoffs as a wild card with good distance. 
     The playoffs, however, were magical!  So, it is why sometimes all you need is to make the playoffs - anything happens in a 7 game series!  And boy, did it ever!  I just had to sit back and be a spectator, and my rotation of Strasburg, Sale, Kershaw, and Carrasco took over the games, going 16-7.  Carrasco and Sale didn't fair as well, but, they went 5-5 in the playoffs, which is great for winning! Kershaw and Strasburg went 7-1 in 66 innings, giving up 39 hits, 9 walks, and 1 HR.  That was dominant.  A real treat to watch!  I stand by the idea that it is "everything" just to make the playoffs in the CBA!

      Moving ahead, I think the Newton Bombs will deliver on a repeat playoff mission in 2019!  The team is actually very improved in many important ways - starting pitching, outfield, catcher, and some infield - the team will continue the win with the same pedigree as last year.  Newton will have it's hands full, however, as the Parker Division has no slackers at this point, and playoff-worthy Brooklyn and Newton will not have an easy road with Atlanta and Middlesex breathing down our backs.  We complete the intradivision play this week - so far we are playing like sisters.  CBA is, like the MLB, a marathon, however.  It will be great to watch how this year unfolds as well!  Good luck to all of you CBAers!  Always go for the stars - you will never know when not to run if you give yourselves a chance to contend!

 

 

April 6th, 2019

Ottawa Otters Team Outlook

It was a disappointing 2018 season for the Ottawa Otters when they finished with only 69 wins against 93 losses, and a dismal 23 games behind Philly in the Schmidt Division.  Ottawa usually relies on the long ball to win games but only Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen had at least 30 homers that year.  The Otters finished in the bottom third of the league in terms of team hitting and pitching. 

Mike Trout won the Clemente MVP award in a close ballot, edging out Nolan Arenado.  The Otters were able to sign Trout to a new contract during the off-season with an eye-watering 12-year, $430 million extension to his existing contract that would have expired next season.  While Trout has been brilliant since joining the league in 2012, he has not had much team success in Ottawa.  The Otters made with play-offs just once during Trout’s career thus far when the Otters lost in seven games to Ohio in the second round in 2014.  There were rumours that Trout would be traded in the off-season, but the Otters decided to keep Trout on their roster and build their team around him.

A new season begins and the pre-season showed that the Otters may be able to climb out of the basement in the standings this year.  The team will once again be anchored by a stellar outfield with Trout, McCutchen and Jason Heyward.  Other key returning veterans include Adrian Beltre, Joe Mauer, and Kurt Suzuki.

The Otters chose to use most of their draft picks to upgrade their pitching for the new season.  Returning to the rotation are Joulys Chacin and Kyle Gibson.  Joining them are free agents Francisco Liriano, Ian Kennedy, and Chad Kuhl.  Brad Ziegler will continue as the team’s closer.  Starters Yu Darvish and Doug Fister are both on the disabled list for most of the season and are not expected to return to play until September.   Hopefully, the Otters will be vying for a play-off position when they return.

Looking even further ahead, key prospects for the Otters include outfielder Lewis Brinson and short stop Royce Lewis.  Brinson may be ready for the majors as early as next year while Lewis is still at least two years away.

{AP Newsline Brooklyn, NY March 26th, 2019}

    The mood was festive at Trommers Beer Gardens on Eastern Parkway and Flatbush Avenue.  The melting pot that is Brooklyn NY, has taken to the Superbas this spring with renewed enthusiasm.  Last year was a successful season winning 106, two less than the franchise record and within the top 10 all time.   Yet somehow the fans seemed a bit shook.  Their divisional playoff loss to eventual World Champions Newton was heartbreaking.  They ran into historic pitching, but you couldn't tell that the defeat ever happened the way the loyal Brooklyn Crew spoke of their team.  "Dese guys here may be back in da mix agin.  The lineup hits, and gets on base, and man the pitching staff looks good." said Louis Costello of Bergen st.  His friend and Superbas 'D-Line' female fan booster president Lorinda Dee added "Not for nuthin, they can hit, and yep they can ...a tent in my backyard anytime..." 
 

 
   Superbas closer star Craig Kimbrel stopped by at Trommers Beer Garden for a few cold ones.  When a few fans bought him rounds, Kimbrel gave them each an autographed jar of tartar sauce, and an 8x10 picture.  3 lucky beer blasters were given his Superba cap, Kimbrel's neck tie, and a sock for their efforts.  Kimbrel eventually escaped Trommer's without a shoe, and healthy mustard stain compliments of his losing in the sudden death round of the popular Trommer's game "Name That Hot Dog".

 
   Robinson Cano will be making an appearance Saturday at Trommers after the home game against Newton.   He will be a guest coach for the Sid and Marty Barrett Pink Sox Brigade Charity Curling match.  The contest will be played on roller skates on Trommers famous Ballroom dance floor in lieu of ice. 
 

 
Cory Kluber took a no hitter into the 7th inning in the opener against Newton.  Kluber looks forward to a good season as staff ace.  My kid helped me develop my knuckleball, and a fork ball.  I hope they can be alternate out pitches. 
 

 
Kevin Plawecki is excited to be Brooklyn's primary back up at catcher behind James The Can.  He hopes he contribute more than  just ocassional ant-acid pills to the men in the clubhouse.

December 1st, 2018

The Outlawz are coming off one of their worst seasons in 2018. There were some bright spots with Altuve, Posey and Morton, but overall the pitching and hitting took a big downward slide. The biggest surprise of the year was management trading its superstar 2B, Jose Altuve for Manny Machado. GM Kenan stated: "the team needed a shakeup and when Manny became available, it was a move I had to make, as hard it was to trade Jose". The future looks bright for the Outlawz with a solid nucleus of "team captain" Buster Posey, Freddie Freeman, Manny Machado, Michael Conforto, Shin-Soo Choo and new rookie sensation, Miguel Andujar. The big question marks going into 2019 is if Jonathan Villar can adequately fill in at 2B and if the talented Adalberto Mondesi can keep progressing and hold down the SS position. A big plus is that 3 of our starting infielders can play multiple positions which gives us a lot of flexibility. The other huge question mark is starting pitching. We have 3 solid arms in the rotation of Leake, Morton, and the newly acquired Danny Duffy, but after that its a cast of: Wade Miley, Tyler Mahle and Ty Blach. The bullpen is fairly decent with Vizcaino (needs to stay healthy), Ramos and Grace. And, another major concern for the Outlawz is the health of their 2 young pitching prospects coming off of major surgeries, Alex Reyes and Julio Urias. These guys not being available has really hurt the Outlawz rotation for the past 2 years. The team needs to stay healthy, especially the pitching staff, as it has had more than its share of injuries. 

In conclusion, the 2019 Outlawz will score some runs, but how many will the opposition score is the concern. I think it will be an exciting season and a hotly contested Monday division. I look for an exciting 2019 CBA season with some really great divisional races and if Bruce Bundy and his Newton Bombs can defend their title.  Bring on the Hot Stove and 2019 draft !!

 

October 1st, 2018

In a highly anticipated divisional playoff series, the New Jersey Beatles eliminated the Towaco Wolf Pack, 4 games to 2. These teams battled for the Rogers division all year, with Towaco prevailing with a Staub Conference-leading 104 wins, including a 14-4 record against New Jersey. The Beatles, who won 101 games in the regular season, looked to turn the tables in this playoff series. They did not disappoint.

Game 1 saw Brad Peacock (12-3) take on Dallas Keuchel (11-4). Neither man would factor in the decision. The teams were tied 3-3 after 6 innings. In the bottom of the 7th, MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt launched a 2-run bomb off Felipe Rivero. That was the difference in the game, as the Wolf Pack bullpen held the Beatles scoreless the rest of the way. Towaco goes up 1-0 with a 5-3 win. W-Colome; L-Rivero; S-Rodney

In game 2, the Wolf Pack picked up where they left off, jumping out to a 4-0 lead against Beatles starter Justin Verlander (15-6), who lasted only 4 innings. New Jersey touched up Alex Cobb (16-6) to get to within 4-3 in the top of the 5th, but Towaco added 2 runs in the bottom of that frame to extend their lead to 6-3. New Jersey put together some timely hitting in the 8th, rallying for 3 runs to tie the game at 6. In the top of the 10th, Carlos Correa smashed a 2 run dinger against Fernando Rodney to put the Beatles up 8-6. Towaco battled back in the bottom of the inning, but ultimately, Trevor Rosenthal held them off. New Jersey wins 8-7(10) to tie the series at 1. W-Albers; L-Rodney; S-Rosenthal

The series headed to the Cavern for game 3, which featured Towaco’s Mike Clevinger (10-4) taking on New Jersey’s Chase Anderson (12-7). The Beatles opened up the scoring in the 2nd, capitalizing on a Zack Cozart error and Jacoby Ellsbury’s 2-run double. Towaco came back to tie the game on solo homers by Cozart and Carlos Gomez in the 3rd and 5th innings, respectively. New Jersey took the lead again in the bottom of the 5th on Yasiel Puig’s run-scoring double. Both teams’ bullpens took over from there, and that’s how the game ended. New Jersey wins, 3-2, and leads the series 2-1. W-Anderson; L-Clevinger; S-Albers

Game 4 saw Towaco’s Rich Hill (12-5) facing Jersey’s Dylan Bundy (12-4). New Jersey jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double by Rafael Devers and a run-scoring single by Jay Bruce. That’s how the score stayed until the 9th inning. With one on, and Towaco down to their last out, Paul Goldschmidt stepped to the plate and crushed a game-tying home run off of Beatles closer David Robertson to send the game to extra frames. An inning later, pinch hitter Lucas Duda smashed another 2-run homer off of Robertson. The New Jersey crowd was in stunned disbelief, as Towaco ties the series 2-2 with a come-from-behind 4-2(10) win. W-Rodney; L-Robertson; S-McGee

In game 5, Peacock and Keuchel faced off again, as each team looked to take a crucial 3-2 series lead. New Jersey opened up a 5-1 lead behind 2 Carlos Correa home runs. The Beatles bullpen could not hold the lead, as the Pack battled back with 2 in the 6th and 2 in the 7th to tie the game, 5-5. New Jersey opened the 9th inning with singles from Jose Martinez and Devin Marrero. Jacoby Ellsbury came up and lined a single up the middle, as the Beatles got a huge walk-off win, 6-5, to take a 3-2 lead in the series. W-Albers; L-Colome

The series returned to Towaco for game 6, with Justin Verlander taking on Alex Cobb, in a rematch of game 2. New Jersey opened the scoring in the 2nd inning on Martin Maldonado’s 2-run jack. Towaco battled back to tie the game on Tommy Pham’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 2nd and Travis Shaw’s solo home run in the 3rd. The Beatles were not to be denied, however, as they homered in each of the next 4 innings to open up a 7-2 lead. The bullpen was able to hold off the Wolf Pack, and New Jersey won the game 8-4, and the series, 4-2. W-Albers; L-Cobb

Matt Albers had a stellar series, winning 3 games and notching a save, as he pitched 7 1/3 scoreless frames in relief. Carlos Correa hit 5 home runs over the 6 games to lead the Beatles’ offense. New Jersey will face the winner of the Longue Pointe-San Diego series, and will be looking to make it to the finals for the first time since their championship run in 2013.

 

September 18th, 2018  Game 163

The city of Philly had the day off as fans poured into downtown to see game 163 that will settle the CBA Schmidt Division champs. 
 

Jared Eickhoff took the mound for the Phanatics and maybe some nerves showing as he hits Mitch Haniger to start. With Mitch at 2nd and 2 down, Rob Hite Intentionally walk Hosmer and brings up Tucker Barnhart who ripx a double and plates the games first run. Rob then walk Suarez to face the (6L) Brian Dozier, who bangs one up the middle and NWS has a 2-0 lead. Antonio Senzatela cruises and Eickhoff settles down and going into the 5th the score is the same.  Haniger rip a double with 1 out and again Rob use the Int. Walk putting Bour on.  Eickhoff then walks Steven Souza to load them up. Eric Hosmer K's and Rob brings in Jose Torres to face Barnhart.  Ball  4 - NWS 3-0. 

Senzatela finally cracks in the 5th and gives up a HR to Wilmer Flores.  After 5, 3-1.  In the 6th Chris Brazeau goes with his bullpen which got him here.  Chris Devenski, John Brebbia and Shane Greene keep it a 3-1 game into the 9th. 

In the top of the 9th, Addison Russell doubles and Haninger and Bour hit singles to add a run.  Steven Souza walks and they are loaded.  Lance Mcullers time, he strikes out Hosmer and Barnhart and get Suarez to ground out keeping this one close. 

Tyler Lyons starts the 9th against Bryce Harper and hits one to Dozier, one of the best 2bs in the game. Boots it.  Really, in the 9th, no stress!  Ken Giles comes on and gets the next 3.  Final NWS 4 - PPS -1
 


August 2018 races in both Conferences. 

The Dawson battle has emerged, and the two players right now are Longue Pt and Belfast. Both teams will need good bench performances to move them into thhe top spot.  Both have regulars in need of rest. What if the Crows win 2 or 3 good blocks?  Will the Crows and Neah Bay do damage to both teams?

At current pace in Staub,  With the Dawson division hovering around .500 and bench rest coming to the Brawlers and Loggers, this could develop into quite an August. Will either team will make moves considering that other teams in Staub may also be competeing for the Second wild card spot?  Thhe next few blocks are critical.  Whoever gets hot may take Dawson.  Odds favor that the teams in that division may need to win thhe title to make the playoffs.  Longe Pointe has pitching a team 1.21 WHIP, and an IRSC of .263.  Belfast may not boast the pitching numbers, but the offenses show similar offensive team Sabermetrics...Neah Bay's Wellington Castillo may be CBA's best catcher.  Batting .372 17  HR 40 RBI,  if ever there were an all star this year, he's one.



  Towaco and New jersey are embroiled in an epic Rogers division battle, and a trade war.  Both have moved significant future stocks to compete in Staub.  Division champ and rival Essex has done somewhat the same.  All are competing for the playoffs. Towaco stepped out in front of Rogers after Joliet and Indiana swept New Jersey. New Jersey is interesting.  The team holds opponents to .227 BA, but thhe bullpen despite paultry ERA's, WHIPS, allows a poor 33% of inherited runners to score.  Jersey outslugs opposition with homers, 174 of 'em. Towaco is known for the pitching in Citifield whhere thhe ballpark singles are a '1-1'.  Despite that, the Wolfpack still slug .426, and create 4.76 runs per game. Bullpen you ask? .176 IRSC, well below league .330 average, awesome....
Essex underachieving need to win a few series or sweep some games they should win. Pretty much rested, expect a push for a wildcard.  The key will be head to head match ups with Detroit, and their division rivals.  The move for Altuve makes sense in a non DH Conference. Can the Wheels spoil dreams?  Can't count them out of causing trouble for that division.


Joliet has started  to piece back together their season and with a good block or two could complicate matters for the plentiful pack of contenders. They are well rested, and still talented.  Buckle up your seat belts.  With SD dropping some games last block, and Temple on a surge, the outlook is for a tight August race for the Carter title.  It's anyones guess who can emerge there. Further complications, Temple Angels GM Cory Light went and added lefty ace John Lester who should give some needed innings down the stretch.  The Angels lefties Vargas and Lester could hurt certain playoff bound teams.  They may not stop Gianmichaelcarlo Stanton of rival SD. He has a .310 40 HR 79 RBI season happening right now.  Thhe losers of this battlle for Carter may all be in contention for 1 wildcard spot if NJ and Towaco do not fade.



Parker division has Brooklyn holding 5 games over Newton.  That division is up for grabs between those two teams as Atlanta cashed in her chips in another Loria like massacre upset some GM's in it's wake.  With these two teams looking at possibly a title and a wildcard, a tremendous race is on within the Schmidt for wins.  Wins to take the title and knock the Willdcats from their perch, but needed wins to gain a wildcard.  All teams are within reach still.  Philly keeps rising after a slow start.  CBA's leading BA,  the Phantastics platoon is working, and are well rested.  Bryce is hitting.342 with16HR now...The Willdcats are rested too.  The official Schmidt pennant chase is on.  This is the first ever for the previously underdog Wildcats.  Chris Brazeau, has rebuilt the franchise into a contender after years of labor and less than stellar records.  This year has to be gratifying. Although NH's Greinke is 9-10 right now,  it's been in hard luck as his ERA 2.79 and WHIP 0.95 are terrific. He could be the races X factor....Stirling is competing as well.  A strong offense,  but problems at the end of the rotation have limited the wins for the Sox. Remains to be seen what Malachi does as the deadline approaches.  Two clear signals that  the Sox could in August be on the rise, are a strong bullpen .261 IRSC, and a nice .75 fld Xrating.  They also have a few sub.500 teams  scheduled...The Otters need some pitching help fast.  The pen is in shambles Feliz 1-7,  Strickland 5.68 ERA, Ziegler,  Romero, alll over 5.00+   Mike Trout's best 28 HR 71 RBI  .320,  and  the potent offense may not be enough to carry them through without pitching help.


  The Monday is all Carolina righht now.  CTown also cashed in their chips, andall that remains is Skokie who is looking toward the trade market.  With Carolina's hot usage for pitching, will they sustain?  Does anyone want to win this division right now? If Carolina fades then what will happen?  Should be interesting as the Copperheads will face playoff contenders all through August. This division thhough quiet now could become a real surprise if no one steps up.  This may need to be HOF'er Scott Kenan's best managing job to date... Did we read correct Bob Fidler's Redbirds rekindled olld magic and swept Jersey?  Fidlers been awful quiet during a dismal season, but capable of defeating any given team, at any given time.  Adam Jones  .319 18HR 69 RBI.  Ohio lands Machado. Could be the start of a new ERA in Ohio.   Kenan hopes to revisit the World Series, and another CBA championship to his trophy chest.  This may not be the year, but never count a Kenan out.

 

 

 

September 18th, 2018  Game 163

The city of Philly had the day off as fans poured into downtown to see game 163 that will settle the CBA Schmidt Division champs. 
 

Jared Eickhoff took the mound for the Phanatics and maybe some nerves showing as he hits Mitch Haniger to start. With Mitch at 2nd and 2 down, Rob Hite Intentionally walk Hosmer and brings up Tucker Barnhart who ripx a double and plates the games first run. Rob then walk Suarez to face the (6L) Brian Dozier, who bangs one up the middle and NWS has a 2-0 lead. Antonio Senzatela cruises and Eickhoff settles down and going into the 5th the score is the same.  Haniger rip a double with 1 out and again Rob use the Int. Walk putting Bour on.  Eickhoff then walks Steven Souza to load them up. Eric Hosmer K's and Rob brings in Jose Torres to face Barnhart.  Ball  4 - NWS 3-0. 

Senzatela finally cracks in the 5th and gives up a HR to Wilmer Flores.  After 5, 3-1.  In the 6th Chris Brazeau goes with his bullpen which got him here.  Chris Devenski, John Brebbia and Shane Greene keep it a 3-1 game into the 9th. 

In the top of the 9th, Addison Russell doubles and Haninger and Bour hit singles to add a run.  Steven Souza walks and they are loaded.  Lance Mcullers time, he strikes out Hosmer and Barnhart and get Suarez to ground out keeping this one close. 

Tyler Lyons starts the 9th against Bryce Harper and hits one to Dozier, one of the best 2bs in the game. Boots it.  Really, in the 9th, no stress!  Ken Giles comes on and gets the next 3.  Final NWS 4 - PPS -1
 

 

April 1st, 2017   CBA Press Release Atlanta

 

“It’s a nice start but the division race will take more than a two-week run of good fortune.”  You can excuse Coach Blakely for not allowing team complacency with a 10-2 start of the CBA season. “I imagine Brooklyn will have much to discuss this week at the House of Pain.” 

 

This team was 55-107 in 2016 and returns most of the same players responsible for this fast start. The Phoenix sport a team ERA of 2.41 (3rd in the CBA) and is playing lights out defense; yet, Coach Blake is barking about the bats.  “We have hit when we needed to hit and pitched when we needed to pitch. But we have to become better at getting on base.”

Coach Blake worries that he may need to work on the lineup and move players around. But not until the record demands; Though Nolan Arenado (.186), Kole Calhoun (.180), Rougned Odor (.213), and Trevor Story (.188) have struggled early, all have hit well in the clutch when it was needed. Wilson Ramos, Mookie Betts, Luis Sardinas and Adeiny Hechavarria have picked up to help carry the offensive load. “Those guys will start hitting soon. I think. If not, I’ll have to order more firewood and a new set of mirrors for the pitchers.”  The pitching has been spectacular (third in the league with a 2.41 ERA) so far, and Blake is prepping for a tiring pitching staff. “Conley and Gibson are both good for 25 starts. The time will come when I have to find some guys to step up and fill those shoes.”  When asked if he has anyone in mind, Blake barks, “Oh yeah, just pick one or two from Seaver, Koosman or Matlack. Dumbass…”

 

“Alex Wilson will be a big help in the pen.  We gave up a future OF kid (Mitch Haniger) to the Hamp Cats (New Hampshire) to get Wilson. It’s worth it for now. Really wanted to see Mitch develop. Anyway, Wilson will help the pen and the pen has been solid so far.” The pen is not a collection of all-stars but a group of pitchers that, when used correctly, will produce nice results. 

 

Before leaving, Coach Blake wanted to talk about the rookies he got in the draft. “You know, if we can take care of business around here and keep up with our ’18 picks, we might really scare some people.”  Alex Bregman and Dansby Swanson are pounding away waiting to contribute in the future. “Don’t sleep on my red-head, Frazier; he’s gonna mash. He can fight you, too.”   Clint Frazier won a head-butting contest before leaving to join his minors team. Frazier was the only contestant in the contest without a batting helmet.  “Kid’s gonna mash, gonna mash.  Had a damn bad headache, though.”

 

And if the Atlanta Phoenix has its way, the rest of the CBA will suffer from headaches in 2017.


 

J. Michael Blakely

 

 

CBA Press Release Detroit....March 23rd, 2017

The press conference was starting about 10 minutes late.  There had been a mention of a meeting with a legal team running over.  Wheels owner Mitch Ryder finally stepped to the microphone, looking a bit disheveled and wearing dark sunglasses.

“Thanks for coming, we are looking forward to our new season.  But do you know what really gets me?  Those West End Dogs, they’re using my songs.  That’s why our meeting just ran over, they’re using my songs, they owe me some serious royalties!  They’re using my songs, WHY IF I GET MY HANDS ON THEM I’LL…”

A whine and loud thud were heard as the microphone was switched off and Ryder was escorted away from the press conference.  Ryder could be heard continuing to rant as he walked away.  After a couple of minutes the microphone was switched back on as Wheels General Manager Al Kaline stepped to the microphone.  Looking a little bit dejected, Kaline spoke calmly to the assembled media.

“Thank you all again for coming to our preseason press conference.  On behalf of the organization I apologize for Mr. Ryder’s reaction, he’s been a bit preoccupied lately with this particular legal issue.  We have been trying to distract him by calling more meetings about the team, but he continues to be extremely concerned about that one issue.

“Anyway, the rest of us are certainly looking forward to the upcoming season.  You know, someone, I forget who, called us ‘the best last place team in the league’ last season.  I’m not sure how to take that, I guess sort of a compliment.  We were in a tough division though and did show an overall record better than even we might have hoped for.  It was good that we were able to move some players who were a bit disgruntled, rightly so perhaps, it was not possible to get Pujols, Fielder and Roidriguez in the lineup at the same time, at least in most of our games since the team was moved from the DH to the non-DH conference.

“We are glad to continue to have a strong ‘up the middle’ defense, with Wieters at catcher, Crawford and LeMahieu in the infield, and Maybin in center.  Maybin is currently struggling with some nagging injuries though, so we are a bit worried about that.  Pujols finally settles in as the regular first baseman rather than the rotating situation we had early last year, and Jake Lamb looks ready to take over as the regular third baseman.  Adam Eaton looks ready to take over as our regular right fielder, and we’re optimistic about Alex Dickerson growing into the left field job.

“Pitching-wise we felt we were a little thin so we put more focus on that in this last draft.  Wainwright and Roark look like they’ve rebounded from last year’s injury problems and we are glad to add Junior Guerra.  Colby Lewis looks like he might struggle with some injuries this year though.  We are optimistic that the bullpen can be a strength especially with Roberto Osuna closing things out.

“Thanks again for coming and here’s to a new season.”

   

CBA Press release Brooklyn, N.Y...April 1st, 2017.................................................................................

The annual Brooklyn event known as Superba Daywas a spectacular success.  The Brooklyn fans took to the iconic park (design by Olmstead and Vaux) early Friday afternoon in anticipation of the events that were in store.  Giant satellitte broadcast screens were set in place for the what was to be a weekend celebration of music and baseball.  Fans ever so loyal.  Many fans felt that last year was a building year and were very pleased to compete once again finishing with 95 wins in yet another playoff season. 

   The weekend events featured 3 days of great division rivalry baseball between the Parker champ Newton Bombs and the Brooklyn Superbas.  Brooklyn eventually took 2 of the 3 games in spectacular pitching dominated games.  The atmosphere was festive as the crowsds in Prospect Park watched, oohed, aaah'd, and cheered when the Brooklyn pitchers managed to strike out an ever tough Bomb batter.

   Many camped overnight and took advantage of the great festival music from the great band lineups at the 3 day event.  Friday evening saw 'Michael Franti's Spearhead, Thievery Corporation, Ziggy Marley, and Warren Haynes reunited with Derek Trucks, and Dickey Betts in a grand finale alongside Stevie Ray Vaughn's Double Trouble bandmates.    Saturday after the game fans were treated to a rousing performance by the West End Dogs who tore it up playing a Mitch Ryder version of "Sock It To Me Baby".  They were joined onstage by Gary Rossington and Peter Frampton.  But the real kicker was the post game show Sunday night. 

    Live from Prospect Park, Sir Paul McCartney helicoptered unto the Botanical Garden Pit, and led an entourage featuring, Little Richard, Don Wilson, Brian Wilson, Wilson Alvarez, Al Kooper, and the band The Persuit of Hapiness, to the fileds where the faithful were gathered for the big concert and Superba rally.  After a light hearted, and heartfelt words, mocking the Kardashians, Paul led a supercharged version of Centerfield as he attempted to hit a homerun with guest artist MC Lyte.    All in all a fun weekend as the Superbas start their season on a positive and hope to be in the final mix for the playoffs in 2017.

 

New Jersey Beatles Press Release

The New Jersey Beatles are now two years removed from their magical run to the CBA title, and what a difference two years has made. The Beatles advanced to the playoffs in 2014, bowing out in the first round, before struggling in 2015, compiling a 69-93 record. New Jersey has assembled an exciting mix of veterans, such as Felix Hernandez, Evan Longoria, and Justin Verlander, and young players, such as Carlos Correa, Starling Marte, Daniel Norris, and Byron Buxton. Their pitching staff has been hampered by injuries to Verlander, Norris, Cliff Lee, Matt Moore, Zach Wheeler, and prospect Dylan Bundy. They will need to acquire some pitching help in order to contend in 2016, but with GM Steve Adler wheeling and dealing, they should not be counted out. 

Essex Escapees Press Release

2016 Campaign:   the essex escappes escaped to first wild card birth in 2015 and look to build on that success. Bryan Swank assessed the rubble remaining from first round loss and determined to send yasiel fatman pig packing and wi yen chen off to greener pastures. Newly acquired nathans famous eovaldi and rubb one out de la rosa look to strengthen  staff . With scherzer ricahards colome and pomeranz we look to shut down opposition. Outfielders Cespedes and Polanco hunker the corners whilst machado turner and kendrick sure up infield with rollins and lindor at ss,  ryan howard adds depth. Fransisco Cervelli takes over catcher responsibility and adds obp. a couple platoons with blanks and ruf and the division title wont be tough,Gibson we are gunning for you, Look out!
 


New Hampshire Prospectus

The last few years have been rather dismal in New Hampshire.  The front office has tried to be aggressive, and  few things have not worked out as planned.  Matt Cain, Jared Cosart, Jurickson Profar, Charlie Morton to name a few, have not lived up to expectations.  Even an inexpensive gamble like Hanley Ramirez has not panned out.  We stayed aggressive in 2015 trading for Kolten Wong, Miguel Montero. Two years ago, there were a few snickers when the Cats drafted Jose Abreu 2nd overall. That is one thing that has worked out well.   Coming into this draft, the Wildcats have added Shelby Miller and young and upcoming SS Addison Russell.
 
The 2016 version of NWS should score its share of runs with the likes of Wong, Montero, Kendys Morales, Jose Abreu, Brett Lawrie, Danny Valencia and Kevin Kiermaier.   Our defense should be significantly better with an up the middle troika of Russell, Wong and Kiermaier.  Which can only help a very average pitching staff.
 
Pitching, well that will be our issue.  Miller will look good at the top but after that we have a bunch of 3 and 4 guys.  The future of this team rests on our staff pitching to its capabilities.  This season, who knows.  We will score a lot of runs, but we likely will give up a bunch to.  The future has something that Wildcats fans have craved for a few years, Hope. 
 
So heading into the draft, Pitching will be a priority.

 

 

Towaco Wolfpack Press Release

The Towaco Wolfpack are looking forward to 2016 with a much stronger starting staff and a mix of youth and veterans in trying to win our third Rogers Division pennant and a 2016 championship. Towaco is looking forward to having a healthy E. Goldschmidt this coming season. "When Goldy is on there isn't anyone better at 1B" bragged Kevin Gibson the Wolfpack manager. "He's the driving force on this club for sure." "Losing him for part of the stretch run almost did our team in but we recovered when he came back and it was just in the nick of time" said Gibby!
 
Towaco has some concerns regarding Alex Cobb's elbow. "He was struggling some last season and from what we've heard from him during the off season his elbows bothering him so we shut him down and sent him for further testing." "If there is a problem we may need to stretch out Warren to fill the void." Towaco is expecting improvement from Marco Estrada and Francisco Liriano and their young stud starter Noah Syndergaard who can really light up the radar gun! The Wolfpack are expecting Kris Medlen to bounce back from his second TJ surgery and are going to try using lefty Travis Wood out of the bullpen some this year! "We may look to add another starter or two to replace Georgie and add a little depth" said Gibby. The Georgie he's referring to is Jorge De La Rosa who was traded to High Bridge for veteran outfielder M. Byrd this off season.
 
Manager Gibson likes his two returning catchers and thinks they are one of the best catching tandems in the league. "We've added this 25 year old to play second base named Jace Peterson. We may need to platoon him some but he should see the bulk of his time vs. right hand pitching." "We love the way Marty plays third and we have Sogard and Reyes taking turns at SS." Kevin Gibson is really high on his young 21 year old left-handed SS Corey Seager. "This kid just tore up the minor leagues the past couple of seasons. I can't see keeping him down there again he's got nothin' to prove there anymore." "This kid is itchin' to do some damage so I'm gonna turn him loose!" "I may be able to work him into the mix at 3B with Marty."
 
As for the Wolpack outfield young Christian Yelich has leftfield locked up with great defense and a solid bat. Rightfield will have a platoon with returning veteran DeAza vs. righties and newly acquired Byrd vs. lefties. "Byrd gives us some much needed pop" says Gibby. Gomez and Davis should have centerfield covered but there may be some additional moves made before the regular season starts. 
 
Right now the Wolfpack bullpen has three potential closers in Smith, Cecil and newly acquired McGee. "I think all three will be pitching and competing in spring training before I figure out who will be assigned to which roll" said Gibby. "We'll have everybody ready by the time the season starts." "We're looking forward to winning this damn thing and that's what we are working hard to do!"

High Bridge Heaters Press Release

2015 was a disappointment for the Heaters. Although we lost Matt Harvey for the year, we thought great managing and a few good breaks would have been enough to grab a wild card.

Ohio proved to be too good to catch.  After falling behind in July, we came on strong at the end to finish 500. Some teams would have been satisfied to get the best draft picks possible, but the Heaters play to win!

Our team's tenacity and desire for excellence instils fear in our opponents. It's no accident that we have been transferred from both conference and divisions several times in the past five years. The league fears that if left alone in one division for too long, we would dominate for many years. We pledge to persevere in our quest to win the Parker division in 2016. We have a mighty line-up that's about to get mightier when a blockbuster trade is announce on February 8th. It should remind everyone of the deal the Dallas Cowboys made when they traded Hershel Walker. We are going to use our new draft picks to replace a stud SP with good, young pitchers who can also win now.  We are open t trades. but have already reshaped our team and will probably use the draft to sure-up our needs. Ours offensive stars this year include: J.D. Martinez with his new 3 rating in RF with that -3 arm.  Charlie Blackburn got 2's in the corners and crushes righties.  Kyle Seager lost his "1" , but is still in the top ten 3b's. Joe Panic has been rated in the top three 2b's this year ( a defensive "1" this year). Didi gets his "1" again and will platoon with Mercer at ss. We picked up the Mets' lucky charm in Juan Uribe to sure up the infield with his dominant bat against lefties. Veteran OF Josh Hamilton gets a second chance in High Bridge and we expect great things from him.  Jason Werth is coming off a disappointing season, although he cam on strong at the end. We predict Werth will be the Come-Back player of the year in 2016.  So-beware Parker Division, especially Brooklyn! We are ready to give you a run for your money.  Good luck all! See you on draft day.

 

Skokie Wolfmen Press Release 2016

What was once a great team (making the playoffs in 8 of its first 9 seasons
including 4 visits to the WS) is now a rebuilding team -

we expect to continue to rebuild in 2016 -

Starting Pitching is always a problem and for the most part the
Skokie starters are young with several with high potential and a group
of other young starters we see helping our future

With the draft coming up soon Skokie will continue to work
to add more youth following the models done in MLB by the Royals,
Houston and the Cubs --

prior to the draft or doing the draft we have holes to fill -
our 3B will be retiring next year - 2B is weak - and we have
no Catcher to speak off (hint hint if anyone has an extra
catch to trade with some PAs we might give a draft pick)

in any case we like our OF with Springer, Inciarite and Souza
with Blanco to backup and Beltran to DH/RF

we expect however either Beltran or C. Santana (or both) will be
traded (if anyone has an interest let us know) this year

we might have a left handed starter to trade as well

We don't expect another 100 lost season but we do
expect to find a way to fill all our holes - as always we
are open to trade and no player is untouchable if we
hear the right offer including any stars we have

as we offered before the #2 pick of the upcoming
draft is available - if the right offer is heard ...

there are some very excellent players, franchise
players you would be guaranteed to get at this pick

good luck to all the returning and new managers
of the CBA - would will be the 2016 champ - the trend
the last four seasons has been 1st time champs

From the headquarters of the Skokie Wolfmen
 

 

 

 
Oct 26th, 2015
Tim Hudson, a likely CBA Hall of Famer, has announced that the 2016 will be his last.  "It's time to hang it up and spend time with my family," Hudson said "I think I have one more season left in me where I can help a team win, whether it's in Cooperstown or elsewhere, but that will be it."
 
Hudson currently sits at 10th all time in CBA in strikeouts, 4th all time in wins, 3rd in innings, 2nd in starts and 9th in shutouts.
 
His 5th start of 2016 will make him the CBA all time leader in that category, passing Andy Pettitte who currently holds that title.
 
If Hudson can earn 14 wins in 2016, he'll leapfrog Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez to become CBA's most winning-est pitcher.  Whether he can manage that feat or not, this season Hudson joined those three pitchers as the only members of the 200 win club, currently sitting at 204. 
 

It remains to be seen if Hudson will be on the Iron Horse roster next season, or if teams who find his veteran presence appealing inquire about a trade.  He won't pitch like the Tim Hudson of old, but you can pencil him in for about 120-125 innings and an ERA around 4.40-4.45.  Tim said he may be willing to pitch out of the bullpen as well if it's what's best for the team.  Regardless of his role, it will be fun watching him pass some CBA legends in some impressive categories as he writes his own story in the history books.

 

 
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -- Associated Press) 

 

As many CBA teams lick their wounds from a disappointing regular season or early playoff exit, the league's esteemed GMs are beginning to look forward to 2016 as they inspect every piece of the roster for future potential -- and future gaps in talent.  


 
Many fine players across the league are expected to change uniforms during what is sure to shape up as a busy off-season.  According to Philly GM Rob Hite, "I've been around CBA for a long time, and back in the golden age of the league many GMs chose to sit on their talent and build slowly. They would trade for a piece here or there, but they mainly built through the draft".  

 
But the institution of the CBA amateur draft changed everything.  With young talent at a premium, and harder to acquire in the regular draft, it is of utmost importance that a team draft kids who are 18 or 19, and follow them as they develop into CBA contributors.  Hite added, "sometimes we plan a positional need way ahead of time, and use the prospect pick to try to fill that need before it's really a need.  Like back when our all-time franchise greats Derek and Chase [Jeter & Utley] were getting older, we said -  hey we have a great middle infield but let's start addressing that so we'll be great there for the next decade after they hang it up".  

 
At the time, Philly also sported a perennial all-star Evan Longoria at 3rd, making one of the most potent infields in the Association.  But Longoria was packaged up to New Jersey in exchange for Bryce Harper, who Hite hoped would be his franchise slugger for the next 15 years.  That was a controversial move which many Philly phans wanted him run out of town for, as evidenced by the venom spewed on sports talk WIP radio in Philly.  Calls for the GMs head on a platter were plentiful as Philly not only dealt Longoria in the deal for the unproven hot-headed Harper, he also dealt ace Justin Verlander.  But the 22 year old Harper gamble paid immeasurable dividends this season, slugging a gaudy .330/.460/.649 slashline with 42 HR to boot.  So the consensus in Philly now is, Longoria who?  Didn't she used to star on Desperate Housewives?  

 
With an entire infield to rebuild in Philadelphia, Hite went on the offensive - drafting and signing a plethora of young infielders with hopes that a few would pan out and become the anchors that Jeter, Utley, and Longoria were.  

 
And today, the maligned Philly front office can flash a smug Cheshire Cat smile, because their young infielders have finally arrived.  In this 2015 MLB Fall Playoffs alone, there are 5 young players featured who will be competing for time at SS and 2b next year for Philly: 

 
Starlin Castro - the "old-timer" of the group at 25, is a few years removed from his great 207 hit season in 2011.  But Starlin, who hit .265 this year, has possibly found a new home at 2b and will surely deliver many all-star seasons ahead given his age.  
 

 
Wilmer Flores - Flores at 24 is still developing into his game, but his burgeoning power was on display in 2015.  With 16 HR and 22 doubles this year, along with much improved defense at short, Wilmer will be hard to keep out of the starting SS gig for Philly next season.  By the time he reaches his prime, 25-30 HR seasons will be the norm for this infield slugger.  
 

 
"Kike" Enrique Hernandez - Kike is a 22 year old superkid who can literally play 7 positions on the field.  A next generation Ben Zobrist, he can also hit the baseball better than Zobrist as witnessed by his .307 average and .490 SLG% this season.  It's quite a luxury having this kind of bat who can backup at 2b, SS, and 3rd in addition to quality OF starts in LF, RF, or CF.  This kid is a young star in the marking.  
 

 
Javier Baez -  Another great next generation SS/2B/3B, Baez is just 21 and has the greatest power potential of them as indicated by his prolific minor league power - 37 HRs in AA ball.  Baez has cut down on his swing to make contact in the major leagues, to a tune of a .289 average this season.  A Troy Tulowitzki-esque future awaits this stud. 

 
Addison Russell - Russell is the closest thing to Derek Jeter that Philly GM has found in this collection of young infield stars.  A mere Cub at 21 years old, he delivered 29 doubles and 13 homers in his first campaign, along with spectacular shortstop defense.  As his bat develops, his all-star appearances will begin to accumulate. The next great shortstop of this generation?  Time will tell.  He also plays 2b and a little 3rd should the glut of infielders pose a huge dilemma for GM Hite.  

 

 
What is GM Hite going to do with these 5 great young middle infielders? Surely nobody will be moved over to third on Philly, especially in light of two equally young and talented 3rd basemen just to the left of them in the infield of dreams: 
 
23 year old Maikel Franco (.497 SLG) and 23 year old run producer Nick Castellanos (33 doubles, 15 HR, 73 RBI).  

 
We asked Hite what his plans were for all of them, and he shared, 
 "Hey, I am in no rush to trade any of them because having a group of young stars is a unique luxury for us.  If we are bowled over with offers this Fall and Winter, we will listen.  But the good-ol-days of Former Commish Claude Lamarre legislating against positional hoarding in CBA are long gone.  I'm going to hoard away, baby!  Unless the other GMs offer up some of their blue chip outfield talent, then I may listen" 

 
Photo:  Young Philly Phantastics stars Addison Russell and Javier Baez

 
 

 
February 18th, 2014

Japanese Ace Tanaka Bound for CBA


 
Tokyo- At noon today in Japan, a press conference was held at the Tokyo Hilton by much scouted and highly touted righthander Masahiro Tanaka. There he announced his intentions to pitch in the major leagues in 2015. The timing of the announcement is crucial as it comes only short weeks away from the CBA spring draft which is scheduled for Sunday, March 9th beginning at 11AM ET. 
     Tanaka, who turned just 25 this past November, has garnered much attention from CBA scouts since before mid-season in 2013, in no small part due to the success of Ottawa Otters starter and fellow countryman Yu Darvish. Tanaka has followed Darvish since he came to North America, and made allusions to plying his trade here as well. Now that he has made his intentions known publicly, his name should instantly move up in priority on CBA draft lists. Darvish was drafted 11th overall as Ottawa's prospect pick in 2012. The same may happen with Tanaka in 2014, especially given the clarity provided at today's press conference.
     Just like Darvish, he will be drafted while still under contract for 1 more season with his Japanese club. In this case, it's the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japanese Pacific League. Also like Darvish, he intends to accept the opportunity offered to him by any CBA team.
     "I just want a chance to prove myself at the highest level," said Tanaka, "I am not playing favorites."
     CBA has always had its' share of foreign born players, but in the last few years more looks have been given to the younger talent now emerging from Asia and Cuban players who have defected from their homeland to find careers as professionals. Jose Iglesias, Yoenis Cespedes, and Jose Fernandez were all drafted as prospects and are establishing themselves in the majors. Yasiel Puig, who had defected from Cuba during the 2012 season, is expected to go very early in the 1st round this spring after excelling in Los Angeles of the independant leagues last season. And, because of the affiliation agreement that CBA has with the independant leagues, Puig is eligible to be drafted as a free agent. The drafting team will retain its' prospect pick, making the future star outfielder even more attractive. So it is the same with another LA star. Korean lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu is also expected to be taken from the slate very early on. It's reasonable to project more of the same in the coming years, if not more this spring, as CBA general managers continue to widen the scope in search of the game's best.
     There may not be a lot of instant impact players in the coming draft, but there is no shortage of talent. And where there's talent, you'll find the CBA.
     
       

Let It Be...Beatles Win!
New York- Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be. A Staub team will win the series. Let it be.
     As the New Jersey Beatles were clinching a CBA championship with a 4-0 win over the defending champions Skokie Wolfmen at home in game 6 of the series, they were also ending a seven year streak of CBA championships by Clemente conference teams. Not since the Longue Pointe Loggers in 2005 had a Staub conference team taken the title.
     When New Jersey took game 3 in Skokie by a convincing 9-4 score, the writing seemed to appear on the proverbial wall. But Skokie was valiant in defending the crown and forced the series back to New Jersey via a shutout win in game 4 and a barn burning 13-12 win in game 5. In the end, however, the combination of pitching and power would prove too much to overcome for the incumbents. Indeed, the team that looked the best all season while winning 106 games, was the best. 
     Their stiffest test in the post-season came from division rival San Diego, who took the Beatles to a seventh game before bowing to the new champs in the division series. The Beatles then had to face down the pitching of the Montreal Crows, and did so with some pitching of their own. After dropping game 1 to the Dawson claimants, the Beatles rang up four straight wins on the way to meet Skokie for the big prize. New Jersey's first championship comes in just its' fourth year of existence, making for a story of an unusually quick rise to a difficult summit.
     After the league expanded in 2009 from 20 to 24 teams, that season ended with two teams in difficulty. Westminster, one of the 4 expansion teams, did not fair well at all in losing 126 games. Regardless, it was a baseball experiment in a place that had too little interest to sustain a major league team. The old Skokie franchise, although successful, ran into difficulties from unfortunate circumstances not of its' making that forced the league to act with a respectful marker given to both the owner Josh Shapiro and the Wolfmen's fans, a marker that was redeemed when Southwest moved to Skokie when the Wolfman took control in 2011. Westminster and Skokie were contracted and two new franchises were to be awarded and formed in a redraft from the remnants of the contracted teams before the 2010 season. Chris Brazeau garnered one of them and put a team in Hew Hampshire as the Wildcats. Steve Adler, a die-hard fan of the Fab Four, got his ticket to ride and the New Jersey Beatles came to be.
     The Beatles won just 50 games in its' inaugural season, and only 42 in 2011. But in 2012, the tally rose to 75 showing the team to be up and coming. A few daring trades brought the likes of Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander to the club to mention just a couple. Kyle Lohse, who pitched 6 shutout innings in game 6 of the championship series to earn the clinching win, was drafted in the 8th round in 2011. Perhaps the quick rise to the top can be best reviewed through his eyes.
     It's been a hard day's night, but Steve Adler will be sleeping like a log.

Lake Hopatcong, NJ – The New Jersey Beatles won their first CBA title, 4 games to 2, over the defending champion Skokie Wolfmen. After taking a 3-games-to-none lead in the series, the Beatles were hoping to close things out in Skokie. However, the Wolfmen battled back to win games 4 and 5, sending things back to New Jersey. Perhaps bolstered by the huge throng of fans that greeted them at New York’s JFK Airport, the Beatles refused to let back-to-back losses dishearten them. They closed out the series with a 4-0 game 6 win behind series MVP Kyle Lohse’s 6 shutout innings and 4 hits from Chris Denorfia. After the final out was recorded on Aramis Ramirez’s comebacker to Fernando Rodney, Rodney struck his familiar bow and arrow pose. “Twist and Shout” blared from the speakers as 58,000 screaming Beatles fans went wild.

In the process, the Beatles brought the title back to the Staub Conference for the first time since 2005. With the win, New Jersey completed an improbable run to the championship, having suffered through a 120-loss season just 2 years ago. A series of trades that brought key players to the Beatles helped turn that team around. Young players, such as Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper, Jeremy Hellickson, Jason Motte, and Chris Tillman  were traded away, while proven stars Adrian Beltre, Edwin Encarnacion, Evan Longoria, Jimmy Rollins, Felix Hernandez, and Justin Verlander joined the team. It proved to be a winning combination, as the Beatles won 106 games in the regular season, and then topped things off with a CBA Championship.

Series Recap:       

 Game 1 featured a pitchers’ duel, with Justin Verlander pitching a complete game and leading the Beatles to a 1-0 victory over the Wolfmen and hard-luck loser Mike Fiers. The only run of the game scored in the 5th inning. Michael Saunders hit a one-out double and advanced to third when Brian Lahair mishandled Kelly Johnson’s routine ground ball to first. Verlander then laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to score Saunders.

 Game 2 saw the Beatles defeat the Wolfmen, 7-1. Felix Hernandez earned the win with 5 2/3 strong innings, as Skokie could not muster much offense for the 2nd game in a row.

 The series moved to Skokie for Game 3, as the Wolfmen fans were looking to get back into the series. Unfortunately for them, the Beatles roughed up starter Ryan Vogelsong, scorching him for 8 runs in 5 innings. The Beatles cruised to a 9-4 victory, hitting 5 homeruns in the process. Edwin Encarnacion hit 2 dingers, including a first inning grand slam.

 Skokie’s backs were against the wall in Game 4, down 3-games-to-none and facing likely Cy Young winner Justin Verlander. The gritty Wolfmen were not dead yet, though, as Tim Hudson pitched a complete game 3-hitter, as Skokie won 4-0.

 It was do-or-die for Skokie again in Game 5. Game 2 winner Felix Hernandez faced off against game 1 loser Mike Fiers. Neither of them made it past the 3rd inning, as this game turned into a slugfest. Skokie raced to a 7-2 lead at the end of 2. New Jersey took the lead back with 6 runs in the top of the 3rd highlighted by Ryan Ludwick’s grand slam. Skokie scored 3 more in the bottom of the 3rd, and then scored 1 run in each of the next 3 innings, extending their lead to 13-9. New Jersey closed to 13-12 on a 3-run homerun by Ludwick in the 9th, but their comeback fell short, as Skokie held on for the win.

 The series returned to New Jersey for Game 6, with the Beatles holding a 3-games-to-2 lead. Game 3 winner Kyle Lohse took on Game 2 loser Wade Miley. Just as they had all season, the Beatles’ pitching staff carried the day, as New Jersey closed out the series with a 4-0 win. Lohse (2-0) went 6 innings, allowing just 2 singles and a walk. Fernando Rodney contributed 2 2/3 scoreless innings to finish the game. Meanwhile, Chris Denorfia went 4-4, and had a hand in each of New Jersey’s scoring rallies.

 
For openers, congratulations to all the playoff teams.  Steve Adler, Kevin Gibson, Joe Wallace, Dennis Concepcion, Doug Brunet, Wolfman Shapiro, Marc Wass, Rob Hite, Bruce Bundy, Jack Jung.  Who will win it?  Wolfman vs Bundy in Clemente vs Steve Adler whose Beatles are the current  #1 hit across CBA Land.  
GM's next year is approaching rapidly.  There is a likelyhood of some rules clarifications and modifications.  Among the issues that coulClaude and Gerald should have known. The original CBA teams were all named after movie studios. The Bodega Bay team was titled Essasnay, Longue Pointe was Pathe, Brooklyn was Vitagraph, and Harlem was Keystone. The team name was changed to the Harlem Dark Knights when Donald Davis assumed control before the draft commenced.1997 season saw Donald Davis lead the Harlem Knights to a 77-85 record. Donald Ducked after the season in favor of Claude's friend Stephane Bouchard. But wait! A little known secret, Shawn Jones was the original owner in the winter of 1996 into the cold of 1997 with the Memphis Mafia. Somehow, he was rubbed out and replaced with Big Donald. Donald was known for his questionable participation. Stephane went on to a disappointing and horrid 51-11 record in '98. Figuring that if he changed the teams name to Tazmanians it would change their fortunes. They improved 22 games to 73-89 in '99. By 2000 he had them up to a franchise high 95-67. That same year Jon Calder {Alexandria Assault} became a league official, our first ever roster transaction executive. The Parker team made it to the playoffs losing in round 1 to Clemente Champion Philly who was 120-42 that year. Stephane stuck around until 2003 when the Tazmanians went 88-74 missing the playoffs. 

Just for some nostalgia.  Lets look back at a storied franchise that dissolved in favor of expansion after 2003.  The story of the Tennessee Tazmanians run by Stephane Bouchard.  
The franchise story was different from its inception.  
  The original CBA teams if I recall were all named after movie studios.  The Bodega Bay team was titled Essasnay, Longue Pointe was Pathe, Brooklyn was Vitagraph, and Harlem was Keystone?? {Claude?}.  The team name was changed to the Harlem Dark Knights when Donald Davis assumed control before the draft commenced.1997 season saw Donald Davis lead the Harlem Knights to a 77-85 record.  Donald Ducked after the season in favor of Claude's friend Stephane Bouchard.  But wait! A little known secret, Shawn Jones was the original owner in the winter of 1996 into the cold of 1997 with the Memphis Mafia. Somehow, he was rubbed out and replaced with Big Donald.  Donald was known for his questionable participation.  Stephane went on to a disappointing and horrid 51-11 record in '98. Figuring that if he changed the teams name to Tazmanians it would change their fortunes.  They improved 22 games to 73-89 in '99.  By 2000 he had them up to a franchise high 95-67.  That same year Jon Calder {Alexandria Assault} became a league official, our first ever roster transaction executive.  The Parker team made it to the playoffs losing in round 1 to Clemente Champion Philly who was 120-42 that year.  Stephane stuck around until 2003 when the Tazmanians went 88-74 missing the playoffs.  


Belfast: .742 X Rating, .251 BA against, .305 IRSC a 3.68 ERA...but .310 OBA .104 ISO, .348 slug meant 3.46 runs support.  22-44 vs Dawson's LP, Montreal, Limoilou....But Belfast walloped Monday 31-17 for season.  What does that tell you about Dawson?

Brooklyn: After losing Parker by 1 game to Carolina, took revenge in '13 sweeping Carolina and winning div title in process.  Braun .331 30 SB 48 HR 128 RBI 116 runs, Miguel Cabrera .352 .428 OBA .630 slg, 43 HR, 136 RBI 113 runs 216 hits, RA Dickey 17-7 2.93 239 K's, David Price 13-6 3.22 203 K's, Jeter 20 HR 96 RBI .322 13 SB 218 hits.  They carried Brooklyn.  Brooklyn led CBA in batting .287.  Lower than usual power totals and average in Coors were made up for with a rare display of speed by the Superbas.  They stole a team record 131 stolen bases led by Jarrod Dyson's 54. 


Bryan:  Another winning season for Cory Light.  The Bryan Bashers hung tough until the final two blocks.  The battle with Towaco was fierce and right to the last month.  Bryan featured excellent pitching.  Perhaps the best Basher staff in recent memory finishing 4th overall.  The pen saved 53.  Though Casey Janssen finished with 31 sv it was a committee of relievers who had save totals.  .242 IRSC (Inherited runners scoring) The offense doesn't jump out at you.  The numbers are below average.  .246, 149 ISO, 166 HR's not bad for Staub however.  Part timer Dwayne Wise 12, led the er speedy Bashers to 51 stolen bases.  Paul Konerko deserves MVP consideration carrying this team on his back virtually himself .296 31 HR 96 RBI.  Nick Swisher chipped in with .227  25 HR's.  
 
Carolina: Fell just short.  In tough Parker, Carolina had a few sluggers who provided offense.  Shoo in for rookie of the year Willin Rosario hit 30 HR's, Votto 11 HR 61 RBI .329 in an  injury laden season.  Zimmerman 23 HR, Dunn 25 HR, Kubel 22 HR 82 RBI, and Marco Scutaro .312 led CBA with 27 sacrifices. Had 18 Hit and run hits using that it's advantage.  The low team OBA/SLG .324/.398 hurt most. The pitchers were tough. Anibal Sanchez finished 14-10 3.41 152 K's, J Johnson 12-10 3.57.  Huston Street saved 26.  Took 3 of 4 to finish the season block 25 in revenge of losing the week before spoiling Newton's Parker run.

Cooperstown: The Iron Horses cashed in early in the season after some early set backs.  They acquired draft picks and players looking ahead. Some very promising rookies like Byrom Buxton, Evan Gattis, Jeff Locke to go along with player returness like Matt Kemp 25 HR 65 RBI .277 and Adrian Gonzo 23 HR 81 RBI .275.   27 traded ballplayers from the team.  The future will tell if Cooperstown will return to prominence.  On paper it looks like it could be.

High Bridge opened the season strong.  They remained only two games back by June 17th.  They hung around into July before fading when roster changes took place and rest given to the over worked players.  The future seemed bright when John Miller grabbed Matt Harvey with his number 1 pick.  When MLB Harvey went down with injury, the Heaters front office felt let down.  Though the injury isn't as serious as could have been, Harvey will have a superior card in 2014.  Dillon Gee has returned from his serious injury to become a front end pitcher as well to go along with Rick Porcello.  Young talent like Denard Span, Didi Gregorius, Starling Marte, and Alex Presley present well for future years.  Tyler Colvin had a very good year 17 HR

Indiana:  returned to the press with a nice little run for the Monday title.  The Redbirds reclaimed a taste of their glory years of last decade with a return to first as late as mid September.  Who could ask for more?  When the pitching and key sluggers like Pujols, and Hamilton suffered injuries the last week.  Hamilton 46 HR 109 RBI .265BA.  Pujols 39 HR 124 RBI .298 BA a typical year for him.  Pujols career totals .323 601 HR's 1,591 RBI's.  Indy won 14 of 17 down the stretch in September to keep the pressure on Skokie.  Indiana socked a whopping 250 Homers in '13.  Catchers (Wieter) threw out 39% of their base stealers best in CBA. 

Joliet: Jack Frost builds, slowly but surely.  Looking for a return to the glory days of 2008, '14 could be the year the Jacks could make some noise.  2013 saw a 68-94 record which was not too awful.  Some moments of good play.  The Jacks had a good July which brought them neqar the cust of the second wildcard range. 9 games under .500, but so were a few teams.  One August and eventual Staub champ New Jersey came to town, Joliet underwent a long losing streak to fade away into CBA's abyss.  Middlebrooks 14 HR 49 RBI .339, Chris Carter 24 HR, and Rizzo 16 HR .319 starred. Some bright youngsters are on hand to make the future a bright one.

Limoilou; Our long time friend Jeff Boutet stepped aside in 2013 departing CBA as it's championship leader with 3. The Wendigo used good pitching from Latos 13-9 2.84, Kimbrel 7-1 26sv, Scherzer 14-8, Kershaw 17-5 3.23.  Melty Cabrera 10 HR 54 RBI .334 was among leaders in batting. Granderson 39, and Fielder 26 HR generated power in their approach to a wildcard.  James Blakely replaced Jeff for the final month steering them just shy of the final wildcard despite inherited usage situations.

Longue Pointe: One of 2013 great mysteries, what happened to Dennis Concepcion? His proxied team took a wildcard spot but lost to San Diego Surf in the playoffs.

Maine:  Up and down roller coaster for the Express. Started off April relatively fast, then dropped a bunch to fade fast from first place after 3 weeks.  From May and June They hovered at .500 then a losing streak took hold dropping them back a ways.
When it all seemed lost, Mike Koepp reeled off an impressive 12 game winning streak to highlight a streaky season. They made a rush to .500 and into contention, but usage became a factor and the fade took them out of the race in the second half.  Perhaps some better hitting vs lefties where a 20-32 record against lefty starters hurt them most. Acloser look shows the power shortage vs L hurt worse than the BA.

Montreal: Second best season, and same results.  Twice to the Staub Showdown and no show, yet. The Crows are now known for their pitching, defense, and '13 was more of the same. The addition of Cory Hart and Garrett Jones no doubt got them to the dance. But the price they paid has yet to be determined. Though Montreal traded quite a bit, Brunet knows how hard it is to get to the dance and join the CBA elite franchises which Montreal has now done twice in a row 5 years after his initial DRAFTING from scratch of a team.  Montreal and Westminster were true expansion teams in that year.  Its possible that there could be another expansion in the future,but Montreal shows, that from having initially no talent a dedicated GM can achieve high status in post season events.  Post season = Best of year. Conference finals equals elite teams for a season. Doing more than one time brings the level higher. Consider that Doug has done it in season 4 and 5 but...what about 2014? The draft will be important for the Crows.

New Hampshire: The assigned history of this franchise is quite fascinating I find.  The history was one of turmoil. Possibly CBA least successful franchise that had been snake bitten from day 1.  Right now Chris Brazeau has stabilized, and rebuilt this franchise gone wild.  Lets look back.  Claude and Gerald should have known.   The original CBA teams were all named after movie studios.  The Bodega Bay team was titled Essasnay, Longue Pointe was Pathe, Brooklyn was Vitagraph, and Harlem was Keystone.  The team name was changed to the Harlem Dark Knights when Donald Davis assumed control before the draft commenced.1997 season saw Donald Davis lead the Harlem Knights to a 77-85 record.  Donald Ducked after the season in favor of Claude's friend Stephane Bouchard.  But wait! A little known secret, Shawn Jones was the original owner in the winter of 1996 into the cold of 1997 with the Memphis Mafia. Somehow, he was rubbed out and replaced with Big Donald.  Donald was known for his questionable participation.  Stephane went on to a disappointing and horrid 51-11 record in '98. Figuring that if he changed the teams name to Tazmainians it would change their fortunes.  They improved 22 games to 73-89 in '99.  By 2000 he had them up to a franchise high 95-67.  That same year Jon Calder {Alexandria Assault} became a league official, our first ever roster transaction executive.  The Parker team made it to the playoffs losing in round 1 to Clemente Champion Philly who was 120-42 that year.  Stephane stuck around until 2003 when the Tazmanians went 88-74 missing the playoffs.  

Well New Hampshire is continuing the structure started by Brazeau to get into the upper ranks.  a 59-103 season was a setback of sorts.  Some expected a better record for '13 but '14 could be promising.  Matt Cain fronts the staff. Hanley Ramirez returns to SS at a very high level at least part time. Masterson steps up into the top of the rotatsh.   Profar gets utility work.  D'Aza steps up,  The future looks bright.  Viciedo led hitters with 27 HR, Cain was 10-15 3.50 ERA.  

New Jersey: It was like 1964.  The year the Beatles controlled the charts.  The Jersey boys controlled all of Staub at one pint winning 20 in a row just shy of the CBA record.  They controlled the Staub Playoffs.  Shrewd deals. Killer pen, and some stick to boot.  See how they do in the big show.  

Newton:  Last years near miss in the playoffs, just made him angry.  Laying low in the standings, the Newton Bombs found a way to win and manage usage enroute to the franchises first playoff.  It was at the end that the strategy master put the puzzle pieces together, to enter and take out the veteran Rob Hite in the playoffs, no easy task 3 games to 1.  Next, Bundy had to play Clementes toughest team, Ottawa.  With all on the line the two managers dueled a full 7 games.  In the end, Bundy defeated Jack Jung to advance to meet the Wolfman in the Clem finals.  Newton used all resources to get this far.  .745 X rated fielding. .345 OBA, .452 slug showed Clemente like offense.  A team 4.62 ERA was 3rd worst, but the saving grace was Bruce's use of the bullpen to get wins.  A team .225 IRSC.  Only 8 pb 55 wp from the batteries, Newton's pen shutdown those late runners.

Ohio:  Great offense team .273 BA with 195 Homers.  This team was made for Clemente.  They were able to play against friendly rival Carolina face to face on occassion.  Somehow more was expected of Ohio befor ethe season began.  As the T Cats began to start and look good, they too faded back in the tough Clemente.  The Conference teams are all quite strong and capable of defeating each other.  We saw that with even the second division teams defeating and spoiling for the top standings teams.  Ohio led by Buster Posey's 21 HR 86 RBI .352 season may get some MVP consideration.  Matt Holiday added 30 taters.  Fredrick Freeman added 28.  A team .181 ISO PWR good, So it wasn't that offense.  Than what?  Defense? .745 X rating not bad, 79-83 record was attributed to the pitching staff's failure to get guys out.  4.56 ERA.  Clay Buckholtz 15-8 4.08 ERA was a lone bright spot. A .362 IRSC stunk.  Then pen and rotation failed.

Ottawa:  Best regular season ever for the Otters.   Team .353 OBA, .272 BA, 965 runs, 265 HR's .481 slug team records all.  Best in 17 seasons.  Ottawa took that offense led by MVP candidates Trout 44 HR 125 RBI .325, McCutchen 48 HR 127 RBI .307,  Papi's 30 HR 91 RBI .347 BA in 322 AB.  Leadoff hitters hit 30 HR, 2nd place hitters 42 HR, 3rd place hitters hit 50 , cleanup hitters hit 52.    Perhaps the best top half of the lineup years!  A season for the ages.  The team 3.91 ERA could have meant more wins if lower.  Gallardo 19-6 4.38, Fister 13-6 3.58, and Yu Darvish 14-7 4.26, had solid seasons.  Ottawa was 4 games back on May 2nd, but got hot to take first place and never look back.  They led runner up Philly all season after the first week of May.  

Philly came on strong at the end to snatch wildcard number 2 in the last block.  Is that any news at all that Rob Hite had made the playoffs yet again? Hite has 5 World Series appearances.  The elite?  Perhaps Rob is one of the standards that others will  be measured by.  A true elite franchise.  egular playoff appearances, it isn't just luck.  Hite has won 3 Championships.  This year the big trade came back to hurt some as Justin Verlander 24-4 went on to lead New Jersey to a walk away title.  Rob got back Bruce Harper 22 HR 81 .272 who went on to become a main cog in the powerful Philly Offense.   Philly slugged 230 HR with a team .281 BA.  
Quebec:  Led by Hall of Famer Dino Barnabe is building up.  They have some high draft picks, and some very good young players just waiting to break loose.  Quebec hit 231 HR last year showing alot of power.  Mitch Moreland slugged 23 HR .298, Cespedes had a great year .295 28 HR.  Trumbo slugged 32 HR's, and Josh Reddick added a big 35 HR's.  .183 ISO power is among the leagues best.  The BA was a low .250, with only 649 runs knocked in.  Homers with out men on base.  Cant win those games if the defense drops 142 balls ,and the pens allows 35% of inherited runners to score. Clearly this is a team on the rise.  The pitching defense and speed may have hurt, but the future and the draft could make Barnabe a player once more.

River Meadow:  Claude Lamarre is back.  The Monarchs hung around .500 or just under most of the year.  The team was not strong enough to contend for the title, so Lamarre acquired some draft picks for some aged retired players.  The Monarchs did slighty better on the road.  They did a bit better in one run games as their pen was strong .281 IRSC.  The opponents .287 batting average hurt the pitchers but the teams 3.87 runs of offensive run support was pathetic.  A team .315 on base, and no real slugging threats aside from catcher Ryan Doumit and the stud 1B from Baltimore {whats that} Chris Davis who hit 37 HR.  Next season Chris Davis major league high for Baltimore 53 HR .286 BA should carry this team a long way the way Mark McGwire once did.   There's great talent here with Kipness, Iglesias at SS, Davis who is going to be awesome, Fowler, Teheran, Lowry, Carpenter   around t contend in '14 with a good draft. 

San Diego: The Surf dynasty continues.  The Surf have won yet again getting into another playoffs.  All the classy Joe Wallace does is win baby.  The Surf continue to draft well each year and develop new talent.  Wallace rarely misses with his young prospects.  This year David Wright, Giancarlitolo Stanton 45 HR,obinson Cano led a strong offense.  .327 26 HR 110 RBI's.  SD lost to Staub Chmapion NJ in round 1.  Expect Wallace to be back with his dynastic franchise.

Skokie:  The Wolfman has parlayed his way using the trade market to gain an advantage.  That advantage led to a final week clinch of the Monday title, narrowly defeating Indiana's Bob fidler in some head to head matchups.  Wolfman's mastery of the usage and preparation provided dividends.  Skokie got excellent support down the stretch from Ethier who got hot, Future hall of famer acquired from Joliet Juan Pierre who provided a leadoff hitter, and the spot usage of Troy Tulowitsky.  The Wolfman acquired bullpen supprt and pitching as well.  This combined to add up to another appearance in the Clemente finals.

Stirling: A good offense with a team .277 BA.  Despite 'only' 140 HR's, the Redsox contended into the last 3 blocks in September.  Ultimately, injuries and other issues kept the Sox from a deserved wildcard spot.  Brett Butler 38 HR 107 RBI .304 BA was a team best.  148 stolen bases led by Campana 20,Choo 30, and Andrus 27.  Kenley Jansen led the pitchers with 38 saves.  No starters stood out.  Buehrle went 13-10 4.55, and Ian Kennedy 13-16 was an iron horse.  The pen was otherwise not too good allowing 32% of inheriteds to score.

Towaco:  Kevin Gibson proved a saavy manager guiding a relatively well balanced but not spectacular team all the way to the Rogers title over rival Bryan Bashers.  Towaco use magaer matchups despite an ordinary Staub offense.   They go on base a pretty good .333 OBA, which for Staub is good.  A .420 slug is fairly decent.  Managed  .755 team production.   .159 ISO was weak.   Two players with 20+Homers were Russ Martin 24 HR .179 BA, and P Alvarez 25 HR 80 RBI .256.  174 HR was good for Staub, and a .261 average not bad.  Just balanced.  Ken Medlen pitched absolutely lights out.  He was the difference.  consider for Cy Young  16-1 1.21, I say 1.21 ERA but only 21 starts. but those were big starts.  Towaco had a great year despite bowing to Staub champ NJ.  Gibson is proving to be quite a GM and tactician.







CBA: Where the Action Is                                                                     February 23, 2013


 
New York- CBA. The major leagues. The show. Playing baseball at this level was once considered to be only an American dream. Now it is a dream shared around the globe, from kids in the back yards and sandlots in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela to men dotting the fields of packed stadiums in Japan and Korea. And this is a time in the year when some few will find out if that dream has a chance at reality, when the CBA holds its' annual draft.
     At approximately 11 AM eastern time tomorrow, Scott Kenan, owner and general manager of the Carolina Copperheads, will likely make a dream come true by announcing the first overall selection. Likely, because not all players being considered are without prior experience in the majors. Just ask Skokie pitcher Ryan Vogelsong. Likely, because those coveted early round picks are almost always devoted to acquiring the best young rising stars. Whatever happens, players and agents the world over will have all their media attuned to the goings on here in New York.
     Indeed, Ryan Vogelsong's case is a rarity. For someone who hadn't pitched in the majors since 2006 with the Allentown Senators (now the Towaco Wolf Pack), being selected fifth overall last year came as a pleasant surprise to the then 34 year old, who had been playing in Japan.
     "It's not that I'd given up hope. But after so long, you kind of don't expect anybody to be watching anymore. Even knowing that there had been scouts that went over to Japan who had spoken with my agent, I didn't dare think that anything would come of it," said Vogelsong. "I can't tell you how excited I was when my agent called me last year to tell me I had been drafted by Skokie."
     Not only was he drafted, but won a spot in the rotation out of spring training and played a prominent role in the Wolfmen winning its'  first world championship. It's a testament to how far and wide CBA organizations will go to find the right players as they draw from the vast well of talent that is present at many levels.
     "We weren't the only ones over there looking at Ryan," said Josh Shapiro, the wolfman himself. "We knew we wanted him, but we also knew that if we didn't snap him up somebody else would. I admit that picking him that early at his age was done with some reservation. But kudos to our scouting staff for recognizing that Ryan had found his way back to his game. Obviously, there are no regrets. I think, without him, we probably would have come up short of the title yet again."
     Though not so long away from the majors, reliever Fernando Rodney could be getting the same call that Vogelsong did. After seeing his performance and command decline over two seasons, the Montreal Crows released him following the 2011 season. His disappointment at not being selected as a re-entry in last year's draft drove Rodney to elevate his pitching to the level that got him to the majors. He pitched well enough with Los Angeles of the independent leagues last season that led to Skokie acquiring him as a restricted free agent in mid-August, and has had a number of CBA scouts keeping an eye on him this winter in his native Dominican Republic. The word is that his name is on several draft lists of general managers looking to address their bullpen shortages.
     But, as mentioned earlier, these are the rare ones. What teams are really hoping for is Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, or Jordan Zimmermann. This is where the scouting staffs really earn their paychecks. A shining example as to the impact of advanced scouting can be seen in the Philly Phantastics. GM Rob Hite has assembled what he refers to as 'the best birddogs in baseball', a scouting staff that he personally heads and travels with extensively. He believes that it is the key to Philly putting a competitive team on the field year after year.
     "It's not easy when you have to cut down your roster every December to know who to keep, who to move, and who to cut," says Hite. "Certainly there are your core players that remain, but you can't hold on to everybody. The scouting that we do plays a huge part in how we move forward through all phases of the off-season. We look at everything. Sabermetrics, development in the minors and the independents, prospect maturity, even the psychology of certain players we look at. Things have to fit a profile for this organization."
     There is an obvious measure of success for Hite where the draft is concerned. He claims that drafting a player at the right time to suit a need before it occurs prevents the necessity to move value at a later time. Players like Starling Castro, Jonathan Lucroy, and Eric Hosmer are examples of draft picks that have made or will make an impact at the major league level in a relatively short period of time, keeping fresh the mix of veteran leadership and young raw talent.
      And as Shapiro alluded to, Hite adds, "You have to respect what your dealing with in this league. If you don't go out and find your guys,  someone else will. That's the nature of the beast."
     Short turnarounds are not so uncommon. We saw glimpses last season of some youngsters looking to make a splash this season. Salvador Perez in Montreal and Mike Trout with the Ottawa Otters gave us a taste in 2012. Perez was even included on the Crows' post-season roster and looks to be the starting catcher in 2013. With shoe-in hall of famer Vladimir Guerrero's retirement, a whole different player than the one Jack Jung watched last year at AAA has to show up this spring to keep Trout from playing in Ottawa. 
     So many others can be named. Kipnis, Lawrie, Parker, Cespedes, Goldschmidt, the list goes on. Many new names and some old ones, too, will be the talk of baseball as they roll out on the list of players drafted onto CBA rosters, where the action is.

 
 

Recap

The wildcard round saw Longue Pointe and their pitching staff dominate over David Jones Lake County Leopards. Lake County took game 1 behind Johnny Cueto's masterful pitching.  Then it was CC Sabathia, Tim Lincecum, and CJ Wilson shutting the door to advance the Loggers to the Conference playoffs vs Joe Wallace's powerful San Diego Surf.

The Clemente Wildcard saw Rob Hite's Philly Phantastics sweep Marc Wass' Brooklyn Superbas in 3 straight.  Although Verlander, Hamels, and Brandon Morrow stifled the potent Brooklyn Superbas attack in the House of Pain, It was Eric Hosmer who single handedly and legendarily executed the Brooklyn boys with 5 Homers 2 doubles 9 RBI's and 7-11 batting.  Not to be forgotton anytime soon.

In round 1 of the Staub Playoffs, Doug Brunet's Montreal Crows swept past Cory Light's Bryan Bashers behind superior pitching in tight ball games.  Both first time managers, but someone had to win.  Montreal will play against the LP vs. SD winner.  Rob Hite's Philly Phantastics defeated Malachi Nellum's Stirling RedSox 4 games to 3 in an epic and well played series.  The Skokie wolfmen defeated the Cooperstown Iron Horses 4 games to 1.  Wolfman is looking at yet another Conference final to add to his resume. 

This is where the big boys meet and play.  The dedicated, the lucky, the astute, the confident, the best in CBA ball for 2012.  Last year Saw Brooklyn Defeat San Diego in 5 games for the 2011 Championship as Miguel Cabrera dominated the post season like no other has since.  Cabrera had 10 HR's and led his team.  Who will this years hero be?  We saw magnificent perfomances so far that will be archived for future reference.  Performances Like Johnny Cueto's shutout over Longue Pointe on opening day.  Eric Hosmer single handedly destroying Brooklyn's dream of repeat with 5 HR's in a 3 game wildcard. Montreal terrorizing the Bashers behind masterful pitching by James Shields.  Allen Craig's timely PH.  Nyger Morgan's .469 batting average leading Longue Point over deep into the 2nd round.  Billy Butlers 13 hits and .409 BA for Stirling vs Philly.  Sandoval's 3 HR's for Bryan.  Jared Weaver's gem vs red hot Skokie for Cooperstown.  Perhaps not many bigger highs and lows than we saw in the LP-SD series which turned after an 8th Inning boot by Yunel Escobar in g5.  The hero, Nick Hundley with a long Homer to win the series for San Diego against the speedy small ball artistry of the Loggers. 

Now we have two repeaters looking for their opportunity for gold.  We have GM Doug Brunet who makes his first appearance in the final four.  The Skokie Wolfman.  Veteran GM with a record of success each year.  He has been to the dance, but unable to claim the ring.  There's CBA legend Rob Hite.  All Hite does is win.  We learned in 2012, never count Philly out.  He even threw down the towel so he says.  A towel chuck right into the playoffs ala Indiana.  Seems to work in Clemente.  Hite is a 3 time champion looking for his fourth.  In CBA Jeff Boutet has 3, Bob Fidler 3, Marc Wass 2, Jack Jung 1, Dennis Concepcion 1, among active GM's.  Although some forget the losers, no Finals runner up is a loser.  No shame losing in the Conf Champ.  Only shame if your a former champion who gets blown out in 3 straight in the wild card round.  Staub has last won a World Championship in 2005 when Dennis defeated Rob Hite, the year of Miracle Mirabelli and Ichiro's  series and GW HR.  Clemente has dominated since then.
Rounding out the managers is the long time veteran Joe Wallace.  Joe Wallace has built a long runniing dominant franchise in San Diego.  Holder of the all time best season with 122 wins, San Diego and Wallace have been there and paid some heavy dues, slowly building up from first round and outs, the game 7's in the second round a few years back (Archives has it), and finally a Staub Championship and World Series appearance.  After last years disappointment, Wallace revamped his squad, and brought aboard the powerful Mike Stanton sending King Felix to New Jersey where Hernandez helped improve their record from last year.  Wallace vowed to add power and did.  He seeks yet another series appearance after his hard fought battle vs Longue Pt. 


 
Superbas claim New York!
 (AP) September 29th 2012  CBA©  Offices New York, NY all rights reserved.     "...And they danced, like a wave on the ocean...they romanced and they danced the night..." from Rockaway Beach in Queens to Manhattan's rediculous Upper West Side, all of New Yorks eyes are on the Brooklyn Borough's Superbas.  But the rest of the borooughs have cashed in on "SuperMania".  The Superbas have become New Yorks City's favorite, especially after last years heart stopping and spectacular World Series win.   Playoff and Series MVP Miguel MVP Cabrera yesterday led a team rally in Brooklyn's own Prospect Park near Grand Army Plaza that blocked traffic on Flatbush Avenue all the way down Flatbush avenue extension to the Manhattan Bridge and into Manhattan's Chinatown.  Cabrera hit that famous 1 out 9th inning HR to tie and ultimately win the Division playoffs in 7 games from arch rival Philly Phantastics.  Cabrera the Grand Poobah of today's rally said " We like to thank our fans very much.  Salud!  Brooklyn!"   Disgruntled High Bridge fans protested the rally.   High Bridge is New Yorks other team in the area, but the fans are not amused by the antics of loyal Brooklyn fans.  Said cab driver Shetstaen AlFaisal "These animaux they crazy.  Make celebrate party by punch each other face in happy way.   I'm going home now its too much.  My team the Heaters and this is not good for me..."  Joey Loconsolo of Brooklyn's Bay Ridge section was in the 3rd Ave "Brooklyn Superba" bar when the announcement that Brooklyn won the home wild card seat was made by the bar tender whose identity must remain anonymous.  Said Joey, "Mink-ya...Min...I mean thats my boys.  Got that Jeter going off, with Cabrera, and Braun, Mah-ron thats what I'm talkin bout ya hear?".   Shirley Lumpis of Staten Island was also in the Superba bar in the table across from Mr Loconsolo with her friends Gertie, and Gimble.  " We cam hee-yah to watch the action.  And that game against the Iron Horses was good too, tee-hee".  Bars around New York reported sales increases during the Brooklyn Cooperstown series.  The ratings and crowds may be quite high again for the upcoming Wild card round.  Can Brooklyn pull it off? Manager Marc Wass thinks so.

Worst to First- The Iron Horse Turnaround

Cooperstown - After enduring a heartbreaking game 163 loss to the eventual 2010 CBA champion Indiana Redbirds, Iron Horse fans watched as the entire roster was torn down and rebuilt from scratch. “We knew our team was getting older and our window to win a championship had closed.” Cooperstown GM Jon Stamets stated.  “We needed to bring in some young blood, and with that comes growing pains.”  There were indeed growing pains as Horse fans saw even more of their stars shipped off at the deadline on their way to a 110 loss season. 
 

However one thing was obvious to Stamets, “We had pitching and draft picks coming out of our ears.” In fact, they had 11 capable starting pitchers on their roster and with SP at a premium; this opened the flood gates for one of the most active off-seasons in Cooperstown history.  “We had a solid team of youngsters, but with 7 picks in the first 3 rounds and a lot of depth we knew we could make a big splash.” 
 

It was a Prince Fielder cannon ball type splash.

Over the next few months Iron Horse fans saw 16 trades with 11 different teams empty their stockpile of draft picks and young talent.  However, there was a buzz in Cooperstown as they witnessed press conference after press conference introducing their new superstars.  Cliff Lee and Tim Hudson were added to the rotation and sluggers Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart were added to the lineup.   
 

2012 wouldn’t be a disappointment.  Kemp and Gonzalez went on to mash 89 combined HR’s and the team hit .291 as a whole.  New acquisitions Hudson and Lee anchored the pitching staff that saw Jered Weaver and Madison Bumgarner enjoy breakout seasons combining for 40 wins. Javier Vazquez, in what he has announced will be his final season, cut his 6.43 ERA from 2011 in half to 3.09.  After seeing triple digits in losses just last season, the Iron Horses accomplished that feat in the win column, racking up 101 of them to eke out a division title by one game over the mighty Superbas. 
 

When asked if the 2012 offseason would be as busy as it was in 2011, Stamets replied, “We’ll see, but at this point we’re concentrating on the postseason.  We’ll worry about the offseason in the offseason.” 


Bryan Bashers 2012  1st Playoff appearance!
 
Pitching and Defense was the name of the game in 2012 for the Bryan Bashers.  With the move out of the hitter friendly Clemente to the Pitcher friendly Staub, Bryan was able to deal with the loss of a DH with relative ease.  Continuing their recent trend of improving pitching (this 2012 marks the 4th year in a row that Bryan has lowered their ERA from the previous year, from 5.53 in 2008 to 3.45 this year), Bryan set several team records in pitching, the most significant in many eyes was the record 23.56% IRSC% (only 45 of 191 inherited runners scored on Bryan in 2012.  Bryan also set a team record for fewest errors at 87.  The dominant pitching and Defense was needed, as the anemic offense set many team record lows..Runs scored (643) AB (5477) Triples (16) and OPS (.705)--and just missing the record low in HR (from 2011) by just one HR.  Bryan did manage a very respectable 86.6% Stolen base percentage with only 9 CS vs. 58 SB  
 
Key additions were
Josh Tomlin, who was 2nd in wins (12) and 2nd in era (2.99) for the team. Acquired last offseason in a trade with Cooperstown.
 
Pablo Sandoval, a draft day trade, that anchored what offense Bryan did have (33HR, .996 OPS)
 
Joaquin Benoit, acquired in May, help shore up an already deep pen, with a 1.97 ERA.
 
Amazingly, Jason Isringhausen brought in 25 saves in 27 opportunities after being drafted in the 10th round.
 
Bryan jumped to an early lead in the Rogers division, with over .600 winning percentage by mid season.  Then they managed to ride out the big start to finish 5 games over Maine by the end of the regular Season, earning their first ever Playoff appearance and 2nd best record of all time with 87 wins. (the 2007 Bryan Bashers ended up with a 92-71 record, having tied Philly for the wild card and losing the game 163 tie breaker).
 
Congratulations to all that have made the playoffs this year, and good luck!  It's been a wild season, and the playoffs surely will be more of the same!

 

Getz To Miss Postseason

Montreal- After four seasons, the Montreal Crows will make their first appearance in the postseason after winning the Dawson division crown. After four seasons in the Crows organization, third with the big club, infielder Chris Getz will be relegated to dugout cheerleader due to a pulled hamstring.
     "I am so disappointed, you have no idea," said Getz. "It's ridiculous. You think of how many times you run the bases. Sometimes you go real hard on some plays, especially coming home. But it wasn't even that kind of play. Y'know, just run home."
     In the eighth inning of last Monday's 3-1 loss to the Belfast Brawlers, Getz entered the game as a pinch-hitter for reliever Fautino De Los Santos. After he drew a walk and stole second, Todd Helton slashed a two-out double to the left field gap. It was a play on which Getz would have easily scored, but rounding third he pulled up favoring his right leg. He managed to hobble his way to the plate, then went to the ground and was helped off the field by team trainer Basil Fawlty and J.J. Hardy who was on deck during the play.
     "We've had a great season," added Getz. "It's gonna be tough to have to sit this out. This is what you work for, a chance to do something special. All I can do now is cheer the guys on."
     In a platoon role with Jeff Keppinger, Getz hit .257 and stole 25 bases while providing solid defense at second. No doubt the dimensional aspect that he has brought to the team will be missed. To replace him, however, the Crows have decided to add a third catcher to the postseason roster instead of another infielder. With multi-positional players Todd Frazier and Nick Punto backing up in the infield, manager Robert Brunet has elected to add rookie sensation Salvador Perez.
     "My dad wants Perez, he gets Perez," was GM Doug Brunet's answer as to why. "Besides, I think the kid deserves it after what he's done. He can flat out hit. I don't know if he'll start, he's just 22 years old. But, dad believes he can be a threat off the bench in a late inning situation. So, we're going with him."
     Perez was drafted fourth overall by Montreal in March of this year. After lighting it up in Halifax, he was called up in late July when Lou Marson went on the disabled list. After a bit of a slow start at the major league level, Perez finished the season riding a ten game hitting streak with a .321 average, 1 homer, and 14 RBI.
     Regarding the pitchers, Brunet will shorten the rotation a little to allow staff ace James Shields to take the ball as often as possible. Of course, Shields will start game 1 in the division series against the Bryan Bashers that looks to be shaping up as a battle of pitching staffs. Lefty Derek Holland will get the ball in game 2, and Jordan Zimmermann is slated for game 3. The intention at that point is to have Shields go on 3 days rest in game 4, so he would be able to do the same again if the series goes to a 7th game. Holland will start game 5 or 6 depending on how he bounces back from his game 2 start, with either righty Dillon Gee or lefty Paul Maholm starting the other game. The short rotation gives Brunet the extra pullpen arms of the latter two, particularly Maholm adding to southpaws Rafael Perez and Tom Gorzelanny. 
     The Crows have plenty of time to deliberate strategy. The series with Bryan will begin on Tuesday, October 9th at Oscar Peterson Memorial Stadium. Before that, however, the wild card series between crosstown rival Longue Pointe Loggers and Carter division runner up Lake County Leopards will be decided to see which team faces the conference incumbent San Diego Surf. 
     With two teams going into the postseason, the city is abuzz with talk of baseball and hopes of an inter-city series for the Staub conference championship.

L

"The Legend Of Donnybrook"

Legend has it that the word describes the time back in 2004

when a clueless Irish guy from out of town named Donny 
went into a crowded bar and grill near the Brooklyn Bridge 
known as Da Greasy Spoon Saloon at the height of Happy Hour
AND rush hour had a few mugs of Steeplechase brews. 
 
Watching the CBA World Series playing on the TV above the bar,
Donny loudly (and carelessly) said some disparaging words
about the local CBA franchise that just happened to be at bat
that very moment. 
 
The enraged partisan barflies instantly Twittered and texted
a flash mob summons.  Within seconds the entire populace
of the borough converged on said watering hole and proceeded
to thoroughly and firmly, but violently, explain the incorrect syntax,
grammatical errors, and most especially the poor and inaccurate
word choices of Donny's remarks by using Donny's entire body
as a metaphor to diagram and correct his multiple verbal faux pas.
 
Having purged him of his anti-Superba bias (as well as most of his
consciousness and stomach contents) the crowd deemed it
appropriate that Donny should be "re-born" and, carrying Donny
over their heads and shoulders like a rock star in a mosh pit,
trooped their way to the Brooklyn Bridge where they gleefully
baptized him in the murky waters of the East River below.
 
Following the Superba triumph in the Series that very night,
the current logo was commissioned. 
 
People have often remarked about the Superba logo
and the meaning of the little blemish seen in the
lower right edge. 
 
Historians have postulated that it is a symbolic reference
to the legendary Steve Brody, but in explaining the meaning
of the word DONNYBROOK (as it applies to CBA fans 
in Brooklyn anyway), the origins of that curious mark
have never been revealed....
 
UNTIL NOW...

 
It is early morning here in Renton, WA aka Skokie, IL
I just read the news today (oh boy) of San Diego's victory
of Longue Pointe to be our fourth team to survive to the
conference championship round

It is natural for us to focus on the remaining teams
as we wait to see who will face each other in the
CBA World Series -

at this juncture we have 3 teams who have never won
and one who has won (Philly) what 3 or 4 times, we
recall our WS visit against Philly in I think it was
2007 losing in six games and here we are again
for another chance

but before I speak and share some thoughts (this is
all propaganda of course to get things juicy as we
enter the next round, some postering, the usual
for the Wolf Guys) I want to once again acknowledge
and honor the six friends who were part of our party
who are now on the sidelines

Of course expanding to 10 playoffs teams I believe
was a good thing, it gave more teams a chance to
make the playoffs and we had five of those 50%
who had not had a chance before - it seems to have
worked too in the MLB as St.Louis who might be
in the series (similar to Philly in the CBA) would not
have had a chance without the extra slot

so we miss our friends in Brooklyn, Lake County,
Bryan, Cooperstown, Longue Pointe and Stirling,
while you might feel a bit disappointed you couldn't
go farther this year, you all did a hell of a job and
should be proud, as we all know only one can be
champion - and to do this is no easy task as Skokie
has experienced in our two unsuccessful bids to the show

what I can tell you is usually the team that wins at the
end may not have the best team on paper or with the
best record, its who is hot - and perhaps knows some
strategies to defeat their opponents working with the game

I can tell you when I have played the board game at tournaments,
I didn't have a prayer - all the strategies I remembered from the less
advanced board games or the computer game, didn't even help
me to finish at .500 in the two tournaments I played, although
I occasionally beat a good player

So we now have Montreal and San Diego - history would favor
San Diego but I played Montreal in Exhibition and got beat so
good pitching and defense in a short series can prove victorious,
this was a strategy we tried early in our history and while we
did get to the playoffs we couldn't get far so you have to have
patience for it to work and it seems Mr. Doug has it so it
could be surprising what happens here.

Of course Skokie has something to prove - Philly, thanks to
the new playoff system just makes it in - with the worse record
in the Clemente Conference - that when the Playoffs come,
the record means nothing - everything is reset and since
Philly has already been champion before, its just another
day at the office for GM Rob Hite - you notice Rob is very
humble, I noticed this during the banter between him and
the Boss, the Wass in their playoff series - always letting
others know he isn't sure if he can do it but goes ahead
and does it anyway - there is something of winning which
he understands, kind of like a personal secret, which is
why he is able to win or be there at the end - plus he
has a way to pull off bringing in the best young players,
look at his current roster

Billingsley, Castro, Craig, Cruz, Greinke, Hosmer,
Longoria, Lynn, Morrow, Morse, Verlander, Zobrist

this is why he stays good - its difficult to keep a team
successful from year to year - every year some key players
are injured or have a down year - we know and the only reason
why Skokie keeps showing up in the playoff is we trade -
we try every which way to bring a balanced team to the field
but one year, this method won't work and it could set us back
years

 

In round 1 of the Staub Playoffs, Doug Brunet's Montreal Crows swept past Cory Light's Bryan Bashers behind superior pitching in tight ball games.  Both first time managers, but someone had to win.  Montreal will play against the LP vs. SD winner.  Rob Hite's Philly Phantastics defeated Malachi Nellum's Stirling RedSox 4 games to 3 in an epic and well played series.  The Skokie Wolfmen defeated the Cooperstown Iron Horses 4 games to 1.  Wolfman is looking at yet another Conference final to add to his resume. 

This is where the big boys meet and play.  The dedicated, the lucky, the astute, the confident, the best in CBA ball for 2012.  Last year Saw Brooklyn Defeat San Diego in 5 games for the 2011 Championship as Miguel Cabrera dominated the post season like no other has since.  Cabrera had 10 HR's and led his team.  Who will this years hero be?  We saw magnificent perfomances so far that will be archived for future reference.  Performances Like Johnny Cueto's shutout over Longue Pointe on opening day.  Eric Hosmer single handedly destroying Brooklyn's dream of repeat with 5 HR's in a 3 game wildcard. Montreal terrorizing the Bashers behind masterful pitching by James Shields.  Allen Craig's timely PH.  Nyger Morgan's .469 batting average leading Longue Point over deep into the 2nd round.  Billy Butlers 13 hits and .409 BA for Stirling vs Philly.  Sandoval's 3 HR's for Bryan.  Jared Weaver's gem vs red hot Skokie for Cooperstown.  Perhaps not many bigger highs and lows than we saw in the LP-SD series which turned after an 8th Inning boot by Yunel Escobar in g5.  The hero, Nick Hundley with a long Homer to win the series for San Diego against the speedy small ball artistry of the Loggers. 

Now we have two repeaters looking for their opportunity for gold.  We have GM Doug Brunet who makes his first appearance in the final four.  The Skokie Wolfman.  Veteran GM with a record of success each year.  He has been to the dance, but unable to claim the ring.  There's CBA legend Rob Hite.  All Hite does is win.  We learned in 2012, never count Philly out.  He even threw down the towel so he says.  A towel chuck right into the playoffs ala Indiana.  Seems to work in Clemente.  Hite is a 3 time champion looking for his fourth.  In CBA Jeff Boutet has 3, Bob Fidler 3, Marc Wass 2, Jack Jung 1, Dennis Concepcion 1, among active GM's.  Although some forget the losers, no Finals runner up is a loser.  No shame losing in the Conf Champ.  Only shame if your a former champion who gets blown out in 3 straight in the wild card round.  Staub has last won a World Championship in 2005 when Dennis defeated Rob Hite, the year of Miracle Mirabelli and Ichiro's  series and GW HR.  Clemente has dominated since then.
Rounding out the managers is the long time veteran Joe Wallace.  Joe Wallace has built a long runniing dominant franchise in San Diego.  Holder of the all time best season with 122 wins, San Diego and Wallace have been there and paid some heavy dues, slowly building up from first round and outs, the game 7's in the second round a few years back (Archives has it), and finally a Staub Championship and World Series appearance.  After last years disappointment, Wallace revamped his squad, and brought aboard the powerful Mike Stanton sending King Felix to New Jersey where Hernandez helped improve their record from last year.  Wallace vowed to add power and did.  He seeks yet another series appearance after his hard fought battle vs Longue Pt. 

 
 
Superbas claim New York!
 (AP) September 29th 2012  CBA©  Offices New York, NY all rights reserved.    
"...And they danced, like a wave on the ocean...they romanced and they danced the night..." from Rockaway Beach in Queens to Manhattan's rediculous Upper West Side, all of New Yorks eyes are on the Brooklyn Borough's Superbas.  But the rest of the borooughs have cashed in on "SuperMania".  The Superbas have become New Yorks City's favorite, especially after last years heart stopping and spectacular World Series win.   Playoff and Series MVP Miguel MVP Cabrera yesterday led a team rally in Brooklyn's own Prospect Park near Grand Army Plaza that blocked traffic on Flatbush Avenue all the way down Flatbush avenue extension to the Manhattan Bridge and into Manhattan's Chinatown.  Cabrera hit that famous 1 out 9th inning HR to tie and ultimately win the Division playoffs in 7 games from arch rival Philly Phantastics.  Cabrera the Grand Poobah of today's rally said " We like to thank our fans very much.  Salud!  Brooklyn!"   Disgruntled High Bridge fans protested the rally.   High Bridge is New Yorks other team in the area, but the fans are not amused by the antics of loyal Brooklyn fans.  Said cab driver Shetstaen Alfyasal "These animaux they crazy.  Make celebrate party by punch each other face in happy way.   I'm going home now its too much.  My team the Heaters and this is not good for me..."  Joey Loconsolo of Brooklyn's Bay Ridge section was in the 3rd Ave "Brooklyn Superba" bar when the announcement that Brooklyn won the home wild card seat was made by the bar tender whose identity must remain anonymous.  Said Joey, "Mink-ya...Min...I mean thats my boys.  Got that Jeter going off, with Cabrera, and Braun, Mah-ron thats what I'm talkin bout ya hear?".   Shirley Lumpis of Staten Island was also in the Superba bar in the table across from Mr Loconsolo with her friends Gertie, and Gimble.  " We cam hee-yah to watch the action.  And that game against the Iron Horses was good too, tee-hee".  Bars around New York reported sales increases during the Brooklyn Cooperstown series.  The ratings and crowds may be quite high again for the upcoming Wild card round.  Can Brooklyn pull it off? Manager Marc Wass thinks so.
 

Worst to First- The Iron Horse Turnaround
 


 

Cooperstown - After enduring a heartbreaking game 163 loss to the eventual 2010 CBA champion Indiana Redbirds, Iron Horse fans watched as the entire roster was torn down and rebuilt from scratch. “We knew our team was getting older and our window to win a championship had closed.” Cooperstown GM Jon Stamets stated.  “We needed to bring in some young blood, and with that comes growing pains.”  There were indeed growing pains as Horse fans saw even more of their stars shipped off at the deadline on their way to a 110 loss season. 
 


 

However one thing was obvious to Stamets, “We had pitching and draft picks coming out of our ears.” In fact, they had 11 capable starting pitchers on their roster and with SP at a premium; this opened the flood gates for one of the most active off-seasons in Cooperstown history.  “We had a solid team of youngsters, but with 7 picks in the first 3 rounds and a lot of depth we knew we could make a big splash.” 
 


 

It was a Prince Fielder cannon ball type splash.


 

Over the next few months Iron Horse fans saw 16 trades with 11 different teams empty their stockpile of draft picks and young talent.  However, there was a buzz in Cooperstown as they witnessed press conference after press conference introducing their new superstars.  Cliff Lee and Tim Hudson were added to the rotation and sluggers Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart were added to the lineup.   
 


 

2012 wouldn’t be a disappointment.  Kemp and Gonzalez went on to mash 89 combined HR’s and the team hit .291 as a whole.  New acquisitions Hudson and Lee anchored the pitching staff that saw Jered Weaver and Madison Bumgarner enjoy breakout seasons combining for 40 wins. Javier Vazquez, in what he has announced will be his final season, cut his 6.43 ERA from 2011 in half to 3.09.  After seeing triple digits in losses just last season, the Iron Horses accomplished that feat in the win column, racking up 101 of them to eke out a division title by one game over the mighty Superbas. 
 


 

When asked if the 2012 offseason would be as busy as it was in 2011, Stamets replied, “We’ll see, but at this point we’re concentrating on the postseason.  We’ll worry about the offseason in the offseason.” 

 


Bryan Bashers 2012  1st Playoff appearance!
 
Pitching and Defense was the name of the game in 2012 for the Bryan Bashers.  With the move out of the hitter friendly Clemente to the Pitcher friendly Staub, Bryan was able to deal with the loss of a DH with relative ease.  Continuing their recent trend of improving pitching (this 2012 marks the 4th year in a row that Bryan has lowered their ERA from the previous year, from 5.53 in 2008 to 3.45 this year), Bryan set several team records in pitching, the most significant in many eyes was the record 23.56% IRSC% (only 45 of 191 inherited runners scored on Bryan in 2012.  Bryan also set a team record for fewest errors at 87.  The dominant pitching and Defense was needed, as the anemic offense set many team record lows..Runs scored (643) AB (5477) Triples (16) and OPS (.705)--and just missing the record low in HR (from 2011) by just one HR.  Bryan did manage a very respectable 86.6% Stolen base percentage with only 9 CS vs. 58 SB  
 
Key additions were
Josh Tomlin, who was 2nd in wins (12) and 2nd in era (2.99) for the team. Acquired last offseason in a trade with Cooperstown.
 
Pablo Sandoval, a draft day trade, that anchored what offense Bryan did have (33HR, .996 OPS)
 
Joaquin Benoit, acquired in May, help shore up an already deep pen, with a 1.97 ERA.
 
Amazingly, Jason Isringhausen brought in 25 saves in 27 opportunities after being drafted in the 10th round.
 
Bryan jumped to an early lead in the Rogers division, with over .600 winning percentage by mid season.  Then they managed to ride out the big start to finish 5 games over Maine by the end of the regular Season, earning their first ever Playoff appearance and 2nd best record of all time with 87 wins. (the 2007 Bryan Bashers ended up with a 92-71 record, having tied Philly for the wild card and losing the game 163 tie breaker).
 
Congratulations to all that have made the playoffs this year, and good luck!  It's been a wild season, and the playoffs surely will be more of the same!

 

Getz To Miss Postseason

Montreal- After four seasons, the Montreal Crows will make their first appearance in the postseason after winning the Dawson division crown. After four seasons in the Crows organization, third with the big club, infielder Chris Getz will be relegated to dugout cheerleader due to a pulled hamstring.
     "I am so disappointed, you have no idea," said Getz. "It's ridiculous. You think of how many times you run the bases. Sometimes you go real hard on some plays, especially coming home. But it wasn't even that kind of play. Y'know, just run home."
     In the eighth inning of last Monday's 3-1 loss to the Belfast Brawlers, Getz entered the game as a pinch-hitter for reliever Fautino De Los Santos. After he drew a walk and stole second, Todd Helton slashed a two-out double to the left field gap. It was a play on which Getz would have easily scored, but rounding third he pulled up favoring his right leg. He managed to hobble his way to the plate, then went to the ground and was helped off the field by team trainer Basil Fawlty and J.J. Hardy who was on deck during the play.
     "We've had a great season," added Getz. "It's gonna be tough to have to sit this out. This is what you work for, a chance to do something special. All I can do now is cheer the guys on."
     In a platoon role with Jeff Keppinger, Getz hit .257 and stole 25 bases while providing solid defense at second. No doubt the dimensional aspect that he has brought to the team will be missed. To replace him, however, the Crows have decided to add a third catcher to the postseason roster instead of another infielder. With multi-positional players Todd Frazier and Nick Punto backing up in the infield, manager Robert Brunet has elected to add rookie sensation Salvador Perez.
     "My dad wants Perez, he gets Perez," was GM Doug Brunet's answer as to why. "Besides, I think the kid deserves it after what he's done. He can flat out hit. I don't know if he'll start, he's just 22 years old. But, dad believes he can be a threat off the bench in a late inning situation. So, we're going with him."
     Perez was drafted fourth overall by Montreal in March of this year. After lighting it up in Halifax, he was called up in late July when Lou Marson went on the disabled list. After a bit of a slow start at the major league level, Perez finished the season riding a ten game hitting streak with a .321 average, 1 homer, and 14 RBI.
     Regarding the pitchers, Brunet will shorten the rotation a little to allow staff ace James Shields to take the ball as often as possible. Of course, Shields will start game 1 in the division series against the Bryan Bashers that looks to be shaping up as a battle of pitching staffs. Lefty Derek Holland will get the ball in game 2, and Jordan Zimmermann is slated for game 3. The intention at that point is to have Shields go on 3 days rest in game 4, so he would be able to do the same again if the series goes to a 7th game. Holland will start game 5 or 6 depending on how he bounces back from his game 2 start, with either righty Dillon Gee or lefty Paul Maholm starting the other game. The short rotation gives Brunet the extra pullpen arms of the latter two, particularly Maholm adding to southpaws Rafael Perez and Tom Gorzelanny. 
     The Crows have plenty of time to deliberate strategy. The series with Bryan will begin on Tuesday, October 9th at Oscar Peterson Memorial Stadium. Before that, however, the wild card series between crosstown rival Longue Pointe Loggers and Carter division runner up Lake County Leopards will be decided to see which team faces the conference incumbent San Diego Surf. 
     With two teams going into the postseason, the city is abuzz with talk of baseball and hopes of an inter-city series for the Staub conference championship.

 
Pitchers
James Shields
Derek Holland
Jordan Zimmermann
Paul Maholm (designated starter for relief)
Dillon Gee
Tom Gorzelanny
Michael Stutes
Rafael Perez
Wilton Lopez
David Robertson
Mark Melancon

 
Catchers
Yorvit Torrealba
Lou Marson
Salvador Perez

 
Infielders
Todd Helton
Jeff Keppinger
J.J. Hardy
Alberto Callaspo
Nick Punto
Todd Frazier

 
Outfielders
Will Venable
Caneron Maybin
Jeff Francoeur
Tony Gwynn
Juan Rivera