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Old 09-04-2019, 08:42 PM   #301
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2076 Season (7/17 – 7/19)

But first… the National League dominated the American League, winning the all-star game by a score of 9-3. Otto won the MVP award with a 2 for 4 performance that included a double, 2 RBI, a run, and a walk. So, the leading vote-getter wins the MVP – pretty nifty. And another thing: Jacksonville is working the phones something fierce… they’ve managed to lift Mustafa Boltz off the Golden State Warriors for a low-key blue-chipper (RP Cameron Bennett) and some minor league filler – OOTP likely wants them to win another championship (OK, I know that’s not accurate – but their sudden high-level trading acumen is suspect). And, that’s not all… SS Donny Jeter of the San Francisco 49ers went 5 for 5 with 2 runs and 2 RBI in their 8-6 win in Brooklyn – 38-years young and still running this ****.

Orlando City (44-44, .500, 4th NL East) @ Los Angeles Lakers (55-34, .618, 1st NL West)
The representative from Florida now has the floor… Orlando is average – milquetoast, even – ranked no better than 5th anywhere. They have the 6th ranked Starting Staff with Nacho at the helm (6-4 record, 3.21 ERA, and an IDGAF attitude) and the 7th ranked offense led by 33-year old LF Otis Murray – his .324/6/40 line and prankster personality helps keep the clubhouse loose – they’re putting together a campaign that should have them missing their second straight postseason. So, they might beat us in this series – we’ve been in bad form lately (and of questionable fitness) – but, it’s safe to say that they won’t be adding a 4th championship to their all-time tally this season.

90 of 162: Nacho Valadez (6-4, 3.21) @ Nat Millard (7-2, 2.91)
Win, 8-2
. Nacho was fierce, giving up only a single run over 8 hard-scrabble innings of work & Nat was pretty good too – he gave us 7.1 with only 2-hits and no runs before handing it off to the pen. Caldwell got his 13th save, Otto stole two bags and scored on a Pepper single that brought him all the way home for 2nd. Otis hit a double – so City had that going for them – and they did turn three DP’s, but it was all for naught as they lost, and we didn’t.

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Elsewhere: Backup right-fielder Willi Heinze, the man with no eyebrows, went 2 for 4 with two homers, 4 RBI, 2 runs, and a walk for Phoenix in their 12-0 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 34-year old Austrian was recently acquired from the Columbia Blowfish of the Bush League and has started 38 games for Phoenix as they navigate injuries to some of their core outfielders. He hit two grand slams against the Huntington Beach Bombers in back-to-back games for the Tuscon Arrowheads before being called up to the big club in May. Not sure how well the fair-skinned Sankt Polten native is handling the Phoenix heat… I mean, he’s hitting .324 with 5 homers, so, he might be good with it. Not to be outdone – 1B Travis Jackson, of the Decatur Donnybrooks, hit 3 homers and drove in 7 in Decatur’s 14-7 win over the Dearborn Dilly’s in Bush League play – who knows, maybe an MLB club will come calling for him too.

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91 of 162: Vicente De La Cruz (7-3, 5.07) @ Lee Myers (8-4, 3.63)
Loss, 3-2
. Orlando scores two late – top of the 8th – to grab the win in the second game of our 3-game set. Myers is solid – 7IP/5H/1ER/2BB/8K – but RP Jonny Garcia blows it for us by giving up 3 hits and 2 runs over 2 innings of “work”. Otto went 2 for 4 with a run – everyone else’s effort isn’t worth talking about.

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92 of 162: Cathal Magill (4-5, 3.30) @ Dejuan Burns (8-7, 3.74)
Win, 6-3
. Some nice get back for the La La’s here with Dejuan giving us a strong, quality start and Lonzo Gonzo finishing the set on a 3 for 5 performance where hit hits another double and scored twice. Newman, who we haven’t seen much of value out of for a while, went 3 for 4 with a run and Larry Williams managed to plate twice – good all-around effort here as we get 3 doubles, a triple (OTTO), three stolen bases (Otto is up to 28 & Lonzo is up to 18), and turned a stellar Kwaku-Williams-Hanan double-play that should make the evening news.

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Elsewhere: Former Laker, current Brooklyn Citizen (who coincidentally are headed to town next), Ruben Zarate went 3 for 4 with a double, TWO HOMERS, 4 RBI, and 2 runs in Brooklyn’s 7-6 win over the 49ers – so, yeah, he was pretty much the whole show for the citizens. Happy to see him doing well, but I’ll be even happier if he got all that out of his system before paying us a visit… Zarate also took player of the week honors, so maybe this is just a preview of things to come for us. He sure looks happy in BRK…

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Old 09-07-2019, 08:50 AM   #302
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2076 Season (7/20 – 7/22)

Brooklyn Citizens (38-54, .413, 6th NL East) @ Los Angeles Lakers (57-35, .620, 1st NL West)
Brooklyn is in a bad way – 11th in runs & AVG and 12th in OBP & bWAR – if they’re not hitting balls out of the park (where they are 1st in the NL with 89 long balls), they’re not hitting at all. The offense is led by 2B Randall Berger (.282/11/35) & 1B Ruben Zarate (.267/11/55), though neither are having what you would call a banner year, and DH Payton Gardner is pacing towards his career-best in home runs but isn’t giving them much else at the plate. The staff isn’t much better – 11th in runs against and 12th in Bullpen ERA – with Isaiah Zuno wrestling the Ace designation away from the struggling Josh Allen but not doing much with it at 3-13, 3.30 ERA. The rest of their staff – including former Laker, Merl Crawford, all have a 4.50 or higher ERA and with no key injuries among them, it’s safe to say that their collection of arms is both not very good and underperforming. They arrive in town with a 5-10 record so far in July despite Zarate’s recent hot streak and after two straight playoff appearances in 2074 & 2075, the nosedive has commenced with the Citizens Faithful being treated to a game of “how low can you go” here lately.

93 of 162: Sam Gehring (2-6, 5.84) @ Michael Brisk (10-5, 3.42)
Loss, 4-2
. Gehring performed admirably – 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 2 K’s – and gets the win for the Citizens. They are paced by LF Roan Munoz who plates three times, while the La La’s don’t much of note… Otto 0 for 3 with 2 K’s, Hanan goes 0 for 4, Pepper ends a rally attempt by grounding into a double play, and C Dom Cooke lets one get by him at the plate. All four of Brooklyn’s runs get charged to Brisky’s account – he labored through 5.2… just didn’t have it today.

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94 of 162: Isaiah Zuno (3-13, 3.30) @ Newton Weiser (4-0, 2.11)
Loss, 15-2
. Pummeled. Destroyed. Bodies adorned in Purple & Gold splayed about – let on the field of battle to rot without the dignity of a proper burial. Newton suffers his worst outing so far – a 3.2 inning, 6 runs, dismantling at the hands of a suddenly hot Brooklyn squad… C Steve Ratliff hits one out, 3B Miguel Pacheco finished with 3 RBI, and Randall Berger hits a run-scoring double for the Citizens… Otto goes 0 for 5 and our bullpen gives up 10 runs to go along with the 5 that got charged to young Weiser.

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95 of 162: Josh Allen (8-9, 5.21) @ Nat Millard (8-2, 2.70)
Win, 5-4
. We avoid a sweep at home against one of the poorest clubs in the league – and while a series loss against these bums is bad enough, getting swept would have been nearly unbearable. With this win we are 8-7 so far in July – struggling with the midseason doldrums a bit lately, I suppose. Nat gives us a good 6 inning effort and K’s 8, Otto wakes up a bit with a 3-run HR, and Hanan finished 1 for 2 with a homer of his own. Save #15 for Rudolph, Lonzo Gonzo scores twice, and Pepper laid down a rare Sac Bunt. We won a game we should win 99 times out of 100, so not too exciting, especially after dropping the 1st two.

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Elsewhere: Your boy, Adrian Bae, went 5.1 innings for Hagerstown and gave up a 2-run HR to CF Stef Radford… he left the game with the lead, but his bullpen fails him yet again as they’d give up 6 more to the Nolanville ‘Nauts and end up losing the game by a score of 8-4.

The La La’s have a day off before embarking on a 10-game road trip with stops in Vancouver BC, San Francisco, and then New York… We’ll need to file a complaint with the commissioner’s office for that cross-country BS. It’ll be nice to get out on the road, though, put some distance between us and the distractions afforded to us by the City of Angeles – which is not to say that Vancouver, SF, and NY don’t have plenty of distractions – they do – but, a trip outside of our comfort zone is long overdue. Plus, a run over the Lionsgate Bridge is always a good time - and, with the way we've played of late, I could use some good times.
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:34 AM   #303
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2076 Season (7/24)

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2B Max Rodabaugh had a good collegiate career with the Virginia Cavaliers – good enough that, in 2069, we spent our 4th round pick on him (97th overall). He’d spend 2 ½ seasons in Compton where he never really stood out and eventually was called up to the big club for a cup of coffee. He appeared in just 5 games for the La La’s in 2072, taking 8 AB, earning 2 hits with a triple, and striking out 4 times. It was the last we’d see of him in Los Angeles – potential unfulfilled, usefulness expired – before he turned to the Bush League for employment. His best season came in a Hagerstown kit, in 2074, when he hit .281 with 33 RBI’s in 82 games. He’s since spent seasons in Quincy and, now, Coney Island where he works as a slightly overpaid part-time player performing at barely above replacement levels. He has his moments, sure, he went 3 for 4 with a HR, 3 RBI, and 3 Runs in a 14-3 Footlongs win over the Hagerstown Hummers last night and recently opened his second White Castle franchise in Bedstuy, NY. He is the prototypical interesting player that this verse produces – those guys that are on the fence who could go either way – a slick-fielding, hard-working, intelligent guy who can wreck the basepaths but can’t hit a lick.

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At 37-years young, SP Landen Clark is tapping into whatever baseball talent he has left – this game will have to kick him to the curb, he won’t leave it on his own account. Clark is another former Virginia Cavalier, albeit one who managed to have a respectable career in the bigs even if he spent much of that time as a career journeyman – he’s made stops in Houston, Jacksonville, Montreal, Los Angeles (Galaxy), San Francisco, St. Louis, and Toronto (in addition to spending considerable time with each team's AAA club)… he’s seen a million faces, and rocked a couple, here & there. We are now at the part of his journey where he steals as much backend baseball cash as he can in the Bush League, earning pay from Quincy, Naperville, and Decatur before landing in Beaumont for the 2076 campaign. Where he has gone 3-6, with a 5.60 ERA. He finished his MLB career (I think) with a 3.5 WAR and has amassed a 10.8 WAR during his BL tenure. Recently, like last night, he put together his best start of the season – 7.1 innings with 2 hits, 0 earned, and 6 K’s – he’s not done yet it seems…

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SP Ash Newman has had a tough run – he’s spent the majority of the 2076 campaign bouncing back-and-forth between the Tucson Arrowheads and their parent club, the Phoenix Suns, while he attempts to regain the wicked movement he had earlier in his career. In his last IL appearance, he pitched a complete-game shutout in Hartford as the Arrowheads topped the Whalers by a score of 3-0. His is a real Dr. Jeckyll / Mr. Hyde scenario – in IL play he is 10-2 with a 3.34 ERA and is second in K/9 at 10.7 (these are great numbers), but, in MLB play he’s gone a tepid 1-2 with a 7.58 ERA with the main culprit being that he’s giving up bombs on the regular (1.9 HR/9). I like Ash – I think he’d fill out a Compton Raiders Kit quite nicely, if it comes to that, and that, with a little bit of work with my world-class training department (well, they are slightly above average), could find himself getting some starts on the big club in September after proving himself in the pen. So, I did what any respectable GM would do – I traded for him. That the Suns took a so-so 3B prospect (Dylan De La Rosa – an Intl scouting discovery of ours out of the DR) for him feels a little bit like robbery, but, whatever – I have no love for Phoenix.
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Old 09-07-2019, 05:22 PM   #304
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2076 Season (7/24 – 8/2)

7/24 – 7/26
Los Angeles Lakers (58-37, .611, 1st NL West) @ Vancouver Whitecaps (45-52, .464, 5th NL West)

Last time we encountered the Vancouver Whitecaps, in our park, we swept them – an unmerciful display from the Mighty La La’s before we started to underperform in July. Mired in a sort of prolonged rebuilding phase, the Whitecaps have not really taken the step forward you would expect from a club 4-years into that process. If anything, they’ve gone backward – a good young core that are now past due coupled with an aging group of vets that are declining faster than expected yields mixed to poor results. At 10th in OPS, bWAR, and wOBA their offense is middling and at 11th in Bullpen ERA, FIP, and pWAR their pitching is far from top-notch – but, even still, they have their bright spots… LF Arthur Grant has hit 17 out, 1B Monte Loftus is batting .319, and Ace Bill Marvin boasts a 2.98 ERA. Owner TJ Torres is seemingly trading on his market size and good fan loyalty as he is way under budget on his player payroll while he continuously claims that his main desire is to build a winning ballclub. That his words haven’t matched his actions is something the Whitecaps faithful will have to parse out on their own – we’re good with it… always nice to have a division rival who doesn’t seem to have the baseball acumen required to build a winner.

96 of 162: Lee Myers (8-4, 3.50) @ Bill Marvin (5-5, 2.98)
Win, 7-5.
An Otto grand slam steals the show as we overcome Vancouver’s 3 HRs with two of our own. Myers gives up 4 in 5 innings, and Rudolph picks up save #16.

Elsewhere: Donny Jeter was traded to Golden State along with LHP Hayden Snodgrass for SP Jeronimo Tucker of the 49ers. This will be Donny’s second stop in the bay area – semi-interesting given that he elected to sign with SF instead of GS during the offseason. While not completely nonsensical, I can’t see how this trade makes much sense for either club. Hayden Snodgrass projects to be a better than average Closer someday, so he’s the low-key prize here. Also, Palmer Parker went 3 for 4 with a HR, 5 RBI, and 3 runs in Philly’s 10-4 over their in-state rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

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97 of 162: Dejuan Burns (8-7, 3.74) @ Jake Renfer (8-8, 4.44)
Win, 4-2.
Renfer is good, but Burns is one earned run better, and Ian Hanan hits one out late to give us all the cushion we’d need.

98 of 162: Michael Brisk (10-6, 3.55) @ Jack Souris (6-7, 4.65)
Loss, 5-4
. Second verse, not quite the same as the first for Brisky who was unable to secure the sweep for us as he did the last time he faced BC… Rollins gets 2 RBI, HR #11 for Pepper, and 4 errors for the club (Hanan, Lonzo Gonzo, Williams, and Marshburn).

We’ve moved up to 2nd in the Weekly Power Ranking – that’s suspect, but we’ll take it… interestingly Phoenix is #3 and after going 8-2 over their last 10 find themselves only 5 ½ games off the pace. Coincidentally, PHX SS Ray Gerhold has taken the league lead in WAR over Heathcote Kinton (LAG) – both are strong MVP candidates this season. Seattle has taken the lead in the AL West (1 ½ games, but still…) and, along with the Houston Dynamo, have gone 8-2 in their last 10 – the LA Galaxy have gone 4-6 in that stretch and now find themselves in 3rd on the table.

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7/27 – 7/30
Los Angeles Lakers (60-38, .612, 1st NL West) @ San Francisco 49ers (48-50, .490, 3rd NL West)

12 games back at 48-50, San Francisco is still in the Wild Card hunt – but with 7 long-term injuries on the IL, it’s difficult to see a scenario where they will have any of the depth required to do anything with the opportunity. They have the 10th rated offense in the AL – producing a paltry 4.1 R/G and ranked last in XBH with 158 (10 lower than the 11th ranked team) – and, have a 5th ranked staff giving up 4.5 R/G who are 2nd best in HRA. What they are, then, is the sum of their parts and with an IL as sturdy as theirs, they just don’t have the pieces to augment their MLB machine to the degree that anything other than a disappointing campaign is possible.

99 of 162: Newton Weiser (4-1, 3.05) @ Lenard Henos (6-3, 3.56)
Loss, 4-2
. Solid bounce-back performance for Newton even if he did give up 4 runs over 8 innings – he settled in nicely after allowing three to plate in the bottom of the 1st. Outside of Pepper’s HR, we’d not give him much support. Otto scored the other run, stole a bag too.

100 of 162: Nat Millard (9-2, 2.71) @ Landon Sampson (13-3, 2.37)
Win, 6-3
. Pepper goes 3 for 4 with 2 RBI and C Dom Cooke hits a 2-run HR. Millard is serviceable, if not otherworldly, in this one – gets the W though, which we like. Otto struck out 3 times. Ouch.

Elsewhere: LF Burl Ortiz, of the Naperville Nibblers, went 3 for 5 with a GRAND SLAM in their 9-3 win over the Hagerstown Hummers. Burl lasted only a season and a half with the Toronto Reds BC organization before washing out – he signed with Naperville only three days after being released in 2072 and has been a Bush League mainstay ever since with stops in Hagerstown, Columbia, Coney Island, Dearborn, and Sunrise before joining Naperville. He’s hitting .290/12/49 on the year – one of his best BL seasons so far – and delivered in mighty fashion here as Naperville was hosting their Burl’s Burns promotion where the first 5,000 fans received free stick-on sideburns to wear during the game.

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101 of 162: Lee Myers (9-4, 3.63) @ Foster Bantel (3-6, 5.52)
Loss, 6-3
. Ash Newman makes his debut in relief – 2 innings, no runs, 2 K’s. Backup C leads with 2 RBI’s, Otto 0 for 4 with 2 K’s.

102 of 162: Dejuan Burns (9-7, 3.66) @ Alex Gillentine (2-9, 5.14)
Win, 11-1
. A much-needed offensive explosion for the La La’s – haven’t seen much of this for a while. Lonzo Gonzo hit a GRAND SLAM in the top of the 3rd and Joshua Newman goes 3 for 4 with a run. Burns gives us 8.1, 7 K’s and only 1 earned. 3 SB’s in this one – Otto, Lonzo, and Newman.

We’ll have to settle for the split in San Francisco, but at least are boarding our long flight to NY coming off a dominating win to close out the 4-game series. We’re #1 in Starters ERA now – not that the improvement there has translated to a lot of extra wins, but, if the offense can carry this last one forward, we could be primed to go on a little bit of a run. Elsewhere: 1B Oh Hong, of the CITY OF COMPTON Raiders, went 4 for 4 with a double, 2 RBI, and 2 runs in our 10-4 win over the visiting Mexico City Diablos. Hong came to us as part of the Lee Myers for Case Tunnell trade and has been developing quite nicely in Compton – at his current rate, we’ll have a decision to make soon on what we do with Austin Rollins / Ian Hanan. Maybe. We’ll see – it’s too soon to tell. But – in my mind – he could be the guy we slot in at that position as soon as 2077/78.

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7/31 – 8/2
Los Angeles Lakers (62-40, .608, 1st NL West) @ New York Jets (49-53, .480, 6th AL East)

The Jets play in the very tough AL East, where 4 teams are playing above .500 ball and very much in the hunt. New York is an offensive powerhouse – ranked 2nd overall in the AL and 1st in RS, OBP, OPS, wOBA, and Home Runs – but their pitching is in shambles – ranked dead last with some of their best reduced to idling their time on the IL. It’s just one of those things – luck… some teams have it in spades while others have none at all. The New York Jets are fully in the “none at all camp” in 2076.

103 of 162: Michael Brisk (10-6, 3.58) @ Nell Edwards (5-6, 6.87)
Loss, 10-8
. Walked off in the bottom of the 9th after a long 5-hour flight. Is normal, nothing to see here. Lonzo Gonzo shook off the jet lag to go 4 for 4 with an RBI and 2 runs, Otto finished 3 for 5 with a couple of runs, and Pepper drove in 3. In the end, Matt Olson ruins it by allowing two in the bottom of the 9th after our guys scored two in the top of the frame to knot it up. This one stings a bit.

Elsewhere: 1B Oh Hong was at it again… 3 for 3 with 2 jacks, 3 RBIs and 2 runs in Compton’s 7-4 win against the visiting Nashville Pickers. Your boy is tearing it up right now, making his case…

104 of 162: Newton Weiser (4-2, 3.28) @ Cliff Slavinski (10-7, 3.92)
Loss, 12-3
. Weiser picks up his 3rd loss in a row – the kid is in a tailspin and his ERA balloons to 4.25 after this ****-show. Hanan goes 4 for 4 with an RBI against his old club, Rollins puts one out, Marshburn gets caught trying to swipe second.

105 of 162: Nat Millard (10-2, 2.80) @ Kevin Hothan (7-6, 5.36)
Win, 6-2
. Millard – still serviceable, still not spectacular – gets his 11th W, Dom hits a double and a HR, adds 4 RBI, and Lonzo Gonzo drives one in and scores one to help us avoid the sweep. More bags added to our collection – we get two tonight, one each for Lonzo and Newman.

Elsewhere in the Ballad of Adrian Bae: I should just break my rule and pick this guy up already, but I won’t – because rules are rules… he went 4 innings, struck out SEVEN, allowed 3 hits and NO RUNS. Nice start for Bae – unfortunately, however, the Hummers couldn’t be bothered to match the effort put forth by the Dearborn Dilly’s and lost by a score of 2 to 1.

Ahh… 5 and 5 on our 10-game road trip… somehow still 2nd in the Weekly Rankings though – top 5 are Philly, La La’s, Jax, Seattle, and Phoenix… after that? Who cares, a bunch of scrubs, you ask me. The offense ranked 5th now, Pitching improves to 3rd in the NL. Ethan returns in about a week, Barbaccia eligible to return in a couple of weeks – that’s good news. Our form concerns me, especially given that we are heading into August now – we’ll need to course-correct and put a run together because, at the rate we are going, we will find ourselves on the outside looking in if we end up facing Philly in the LCS.
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:50 PM   #305
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2076 Season (8/3 – 8/9)

8/3 – 8/4
Chicago Fire (57-50, .533, 3rd AL East) @ Los Angeles Lakers (63-42, .600, 1st NL West)

A solid club made better by an active GM in July… Clark Antonucci got trigger happy as the trading deadline approached and managed to improve his team demonstrably with the acquisition of SP Evan Church (53/55; 9-8, 4.96) and CL Roddy Ossa (78/78, 22 Saves) to improve a staff that was already ranked at 4th in the American League. Pairing his revamped staff with an offense that is 3rd in the AL will, undoubtedly, pay some dividends as we head into the stretch. LF Jerry Landowski leads the offense and is showing no signs of slowing down at the ripe old age of 37… he’s batting .307/.386/.506 with 16 bombs and 62 RBI, and the Ace if the staff, Nathaniel Firestone, has performed admirably so far this season for the club – his 11-9 record is a tricky thing, he’s been good but unfortunate. We’re 2-1 against them so far this season with both wins coming on their turf, so the Fire will be looking for some get back here – good timing on their part, too, because we kind of suck right now.

106 of 162: Nathaniel Firestone (11-9, 3.71) @ Lee Myers (9-5, 3.88)
Win, 7-0
. Myers is all scorched earth in this one – 7 strong, 0 earned while Firestone leaves after the 6th, burnt to a crisp after we charged 6 to his account in the bottom of that frame… Rollins hit a 3-run jack, Lonzo Gonzo goes 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run, and Dom scored twice. Nice win for the Purple & Gold.

107 of 162: Shizuka Takeuchi (5-3, 3.60) @ Dejuan Burns (10-7, 3.50)
Win, 4-0
. We hold the Chicago offense scoreless for the second straight game – Dejuan is magic, 2-run homer for Pepper, and Lonzo Gonzo plates twice. Two stolen bases in this one – Otto (33), Lonzo (25) – and FOUR double-plays.

108 of 162: Ashton Hughes (6-5, 3.97) @ Michael Brisk (10-6, 4.01)
Win, 2-1
. Brisky allows only one run to plate, Marshburn drives in a run, and Oh Hong, up for a cup of joe and the lulz, gets his first MLB RBI. Nice, well-timed sweep for us here. Coincidentally, Brisk is now 2-1 in Sweep close-out games. Dig it.

8/5 – 8/9
San Diego Chargers (51-57, .472, 4th NL West) @ Los Angeles Lakers (66-42, .611, 1st NL West)

RF Kelford Jackson is an under-appreciated talent – partly because he has been too lazy in his work to sharpen his natural gift and partly because he’s been plying his trade on a team that is historically good, but never good enough – they’ve made the playoffs in 7 of the last 10 season but haven’t made it to the World Series in any of those appearances and haven’t won the whole thing since 2023. But maybe that’s not the point – the Chargers are also a club that has been in the black in 9 out of the last 10 season and that has had some success despite their average market size and often tepid fan interest. San Diego is a case study in averageness – never the worst, seldom the best… they live comfortably in the middle, content to eke out a comfortable existence on the fringe of greatness.

109 of 162: Aden Grey (6-6, 5.02) @ Newton Weiser (4-3, 4.25)
Win, 4-0
. Weiser was able to recover from his recent tailspin – throttle to idle, full opposite rudder, ailerons neutral – and deliver a phenomenal start – 8.2 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 2 K’s. Nice to see that he wasn’t just a flash in the pan – the kid might stick. Pepper hit a 3-run homer and drove in another on a double – he is responsible for all our runs in this one bringing in Newman, Rollins, Hanan, and himself. This makes it 15 homers on the year for Grant – he’s now trending to come in at 22 jacks which would be a new career record (by 1) for the 33-year old gamer.

110 of 162: Shiro Nakamura (2-5, 5.82) @ Nat Millard (11-2, 2.80)
Win, 4-3
. Nat allows 3 on 8 hits, Otto hits one out, Hanan drives in two, and Rudolph gets his 20th save… we’re on something of a roll now.

Elsewhere: Adrian Bae took the loss today as his Hagerstown Hummers were bested by the Coney Island Footlongs by a score of 4-0. Bae gave up two in five innings, struck out 4, and gave up two solo HRs. Outside of those homers, it wasn’t a bad outing exactly – just not enough to get anyone from the bigs to pay attention.

111 of 162: Artyom Fadeyev (2-4, 7.06) @ Lee Myers (10-5, 3.67)
Win, 3-2
. Otto went 3 for 3 with a double, a homer, an RBI, 2 runs, and a walk while Lee Myers gave us a quality start before turning it over to the pen. Rudolph in a nice groove – picks up his 21st. Not sure what I’ll do when Barbaccia returns from the IL.

112 of 162: Mike Augustine (7-10, 6.02) @ Dejuan Burns (11-7, 3.32)
Win, 10-2
. Otto hits a 2-run blast, Dejuan K’s 6, and Dom hit a 2-run double to secure our 7th win in a row and second consecutive sweep – how sweet it is to don the Purple & Gold. With the win we now have 70 on the season with 50 left to play.

So, um, yeah – this was a great week. We’re firing on all cylinders, winners of 7-straight, and are now the #1 ranked team on the Weekly Power Rank – we’ve usurped Philadelphia… for now (let’s not kid ourselves – they’re still the class of the league). Elsewhere… Philadelphia has opened up a 13 ½ game lead on the Montreal Impact – so the NL East is all but decided. Heathcote Kinton won the Player of the Week honor in the American League – he’s also regained his spot atop the WAR rankings, bumping Ray Gerhold to 2nd in the standings. Also, his LA Galaxy are starting to make some power moves – they’ve passed Houston on the table and are now only a 1 ½ games back from Seattle. There should be some interesting Wild Card & Divisional races down the stretch.

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We have two games in Minnesota before heading to Orlando for another 4-game series after getting what feels like our first day off in a grip.
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Old 09-08-2019, 09:27 AM   #306
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2076 Season (8/10 – 8/11)

Los Angeles Lakers (70-42, .625, 1st NL West) @ Minnesota Timberwolves (49-62, .441, 6th NL West)
Shawna has built a good offense – they score well (3rd), hit the long ball (2nd), and control the strike zone (9th in Strike Outs) – but, offense alone, isn’t enough in Baseball, and what she hasn’t done is paired her 3rd rated offense with a Pitching staff worthy of sharing the same clubhouse. Not even close… Shawna and her brain trust have done the opposite here – they’ve somehow amassed a collection of misfit toys so malformed, so malfeasant, that the work they’ve managed to put forth should be considered a crime against baseball. They are, in short, the worst. We are 7-1 against them so far this season – we’ll be looking to improve that to 9-1 before heading south to Orlando.

113 of 162: Michael Brisk (10-6, 3.88) @ Gregory Highman (5-10, 4.89)
Win, 4-3
. We’d rally late, scoring runs in the 8th & 9th, to secure the road win here – Brisky goes 8, gives up 3, and Larry Williams hits the solo homer in the top of the 9th that put us up for good. Rollins scored twice, we steal twice (Otto – 34, Lonzo – 27), and Newman threw MIN 2B Brentley Ioannidis out at home from deep in Right Field for the OF assist.

Roster Note: Ethan Mullens was reactivated after the game, we’ll have him in the lineup tomorrow. With Mullens coming off of the IL, we’ve sent young Oh Hong back to Compton. Hong went 3 for 11 (.273) with 1 RBI and 1 K during his stint with the big club.

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114 of 162: Newton Weiser (5-3, 3.65) @ Octavio Cervera (5-6, 5.22)
Loss, 6-2
. Shawn Scaramella (2 runs) and PJ Trudell (3 for 4, RBI) put it on us in this one – giving their hometown faithful a much-needed opportunity to cheer… Ethan is 0 for 4 in his return, Pepper hit his 19th double, and Newman swiped a bag. Weiser was chased out early as he only lasts 2.1 innings with 5 earned charged to his name. Note: Ash Newman has made 5 relief appearances, put in 7 innings worth of work, and has not allowed a single runner to plate – he’s starting to make a case for himself. Pepper was injured while running the bases – diagnosis pending.

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Well, a split in a quick 2-game set isn’t the end of the world – sure, it’s hard to justify the fact that we didn’t come in and simply smash the T’Wolves – but, that is easier said than done. Elsewhere: 3B Mustafa Boltz (JAX) has signed a $43.2M extension for 2-years… the Hagerstown Hummers have dropped to 2nd place in the BL Independence Division having been replaced by the Naperville Nibblers – this is the first time since the end of the 1st week of the Bush League season that Hagerstown has slipped from the top of the division. Roster moves: CL Steven Barbaccia is back! We’ve slotted him right back into the closer role and have moved Rudolf to a set-up role… Mason Sandoval was optioned to Compton upon Barbaccia’s return.

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Old 09-08-2019, 12:15 PM   #307
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2076 Season (8/13 – 8/16)

Los Angeles Lakers (71-43, .623, 1st NL West) @ Orlando City (54-60, .474, 5th NL East)
The Good:
  • Bullpen ERA – 3.37, 3rd
  • Zone Rating - +0.3, 3rd

The Bad:
  • OPS - .707, 11th
  • wOBA - .316, 11th
  • Home Runs – 75, 11th
  • Defensive Efficiency - .666, 11th

The Ugly:
SP Ethan Hardoon – 3-12, 5.86 ERA – 184th overall pick in 2064 by the Carolina Panthers; claimed off of waivers by Pittsburgh in 2071, signed a 1-year $890K deal with Orlando in the offseason. Hardoon has a great fastball and curveball but suffers from poor movement and average control.

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115 of 162: Nat Millard (12-2, 2.85) @ Vicente De La Cruz (8-6, 5.07)
Loss, 2-0
. De La Cruz is sensational, pitches a 2-hit shutout for City. Nat Millard isn’t bad, per se, just not quite good enough – his 8-inning, 5-hit, 2-run performance is actually one of his better outings since early July.

Scoring Summary:
003: CF Masaharu Watanabe (ORL) hits a line-drive double, RF Abelardo Aguila (ORL) scores from second – Otto’s throw from CF is close. Skipper Ryan Rudnick argues the call to no avail – gets tossed for his shenanigans. City leads, 1-0.
007: C Gavin Roberts (ORL) draws a bases-loaded walk off of SP Nat Millard (LAL), 1B Tad Monroe scores from 3rd. City leads, 2-0.

Top Performers:
  1. SP Vicente De La Cruz (ORL) – 8.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
  2. SP Nat Millard (LAL) – 8.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
  3. C Gavin Roberts (ORL) – 1 for 2, RBI, BB

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Bad News Bears: Pepper Grant was diagnosed with a hamstring strain. He’ll miss 6-7 weeks. This is super unfortunate, Pepper was having a good year for us. 3B Dontrell Gay was recalled from Compton to replace Mr. Grant. Depth – we have a little bit of that. We should be okay here, I think.

City of Compton: 2B Owen Mack, our 1st pick in this year’s draft (18th overall) out of Vandy, went 4 for 5 with a double, a homer, 2 RBI, and 3 runs in a 6-4 loss against the Columbus Bluejackets. Mack has hit 6 home runs for Compton so far, including 2 leadoff home runs.

116 of 162: Lee Myers (11-5, 3.65) @ Cathal Magill (7-6, 3.22)
Win, 18-3
. Take that Orlando.

Scoring Summary:
002: C Dominic Cooke (LAL) hit a solo HR off of Cathal Magill. Lakers lead, 1-0.
003: Top - CF Otto Isaac (LAL) hit an 0-2 double into the gap, Lonzo Gonzo scores from 3rd – throw from Watanabe, not in time. RF Ethan Mullen (LAL) hits a 2-2 single, Otto Isaac (LAL) scores. Bottom – RF Patricio Sanchez hits a first-pitch single, C Gavin Roberts (ORL) scores from 3rd, Watanabe scores from 2nd – throw by Lonzo Gonzo is late. Lakers lead, 3-2.
004: C Dominic Cooke (LAL) hits a solo home run off of Cathal Magill. Lakers lead, 4-2.
005: RF Ethan Mullens (LAL) hits a 3-RUN HOME RUN off of Cathal Magill (he has given up 3 jacks so far…), Otto Isaac and Austin Rollins score. SS Larry Williams (LAL) hits an FC to the Short Stop, 1B Ian Hanan (LAL) scores. Lakers lead, 8-2.
006: 1B Ian Hanan (LAL) hits line-drive single, CF Otto Isaac (LAL) scores. 2B Mario Marshburn (LAL) draws a bases-loaded walk, RF Ethan Mullens (LAL) scores. SS Larry Williams (LAL) hits an L7 sacrifice fly, 1B Ian Hanan (LAL) scores. Los Angeles 11, Orlando 2.
007: CF Otto Isaac (LAL) hits 2-run HR off of JJ Chavasse (ORL), DH Austin Rollins scores. C Dom Cooke (LAL) hits 2-run HR off of JJ Chavasse (ORL), RF Ethan Mullens (LAL) scores. Los Angeles 15, Orlando 2.
008: Top – CF Otto Isaac (LAL) hits 2-run HR off of Mike Norwood (ORL) – his second of the game, DH Austin Rollins (LAL) scores. Bottom – 2B Carter DeTour (ORL) hits line-drive single, 3B Jason Spears (ORL) scores from 2nd – throw by CF Otto Isaac (LAL) is late. Los Angeles 17, Orlando 3.
009: LF Lonzo Gonzalez (LAL) hits a line drive single down the middle, C Dom Cooke (LAL) scores from second. Los Angeles 18, Orlando 3.

Top Performers:
  1. CF Otto Isaac (LAL) – 4 for 5, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R, BB
  2. C Dom Cooke (LAL) - 3 for 3, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, 3 BB
  3. RF Ethan Mullens (LAL) – 4 for 5, HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, BB

117 of 162: Dejuan Burns (12-7, 3.28) @ Ethan Hardoon (3-12, 5.86)
Loss, 6-5
. Last night was exhausting – it’s hard on the body to put 18 on the board. That’s our excuse and we are sticking to it.

Scoring Summary:
001: RF Ethan Mullens (LAL) hits groundball single, LF Lonzo Gonzo (LAL) scores after stealing 3B on the pitch before. 1B Ian Hanan (LAL) hits groundball single, DH Austin Rollins scores from 2nd. SS Larry Willimas hits a 3-run HR off of Ethan Hardoon (440 ft), 1B Ian Hanan (LAL) and RF Ethan Mullens (LAL) score. Los Angeles 5, Orlando 0.
005: LF Otis Murray (ORL) hits groundball single, SS Aaron Lane (ORL) scores. 3B Jason Spears (ORL) hits a double (EV 96.9 MPH), CF Masaharu Watanabe scores from 2nd. 1B Tad Monroe (ORL) hits 3-RUN HOME RUN off of SP Dejuan Burns (LAL), LF Otis Murray (ORL) and 3B Jason Spears (ORL) score. Los Angeles 5, Orlando 5.
008: 1B Tad Monroe (ORL) hits solo homer off of RP Matt Olston (LAL) – thanks Matty – 383 Ft. Los Angeles 5, Orlando 6.

Top Performers:
  1. 1B Tad Monroe (ORL) – 2 for 4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
  2. SS Larry Williams (LAL) – 1 for 3, HR, 3 RBI, R
  3. SP Ethan Hardoon (ORL) – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

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118 of 162: Michael Brisk (11-6, 3.85) @ Prior Balazs (8-4, 4.05)
Win, 5-2
. We get the split – a marginally acceptable result. Brisky comes through – always out there preening for the ladies, which can be annoying, but he has it dialed in pretty good of late.

Scoring Summary:
001: C Dom Cooke (LAL) hits a single on a 3-1 count, line drive with a 104.4 MPH EV, LF Lonzo Gonzo (LAL) scores from second – your boys got some wheels. He stole 2nd during this sequence as well. Lakers 1, City 0.
004: RF Patricio Sanchez (ORL) hits Sac Fly, CF Masaharu Watanabe (ORL) tags up at 3rd and scores. LF Otis Murry (ORL) hits a groundball single, 3B Jason Spears (ORL) scores from 2nd, throw by RF Ethan Mullens (LAL) is late.
005: DH Austin Rollins (LAL) hits Sac Fly, 2B Mario Marshburn (LAL) tags up at 3rd and scores, throw by LF Abelardo Aguila (ORL) is late. Los Angeles 2, Orlando 2.
007: DH Austin Rollins (LAL) hits 2-RUN HOME RUN off of RP Chip Gaytan (ORL), SS Kawku Kawku (LAL) scores. CF Otto Isaac hits 390ft. SOLO HOME RUN off of RP Chip Gayton (ORL). Los Angeles 5, Orlando 2.

Top Performers:
  1. SP Michael Brisk (LAL) – 7.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, W
  2. SP Prior Balazs (ORL) – 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
  3. DH Austin Rollins (LAL) – 1 for 4, HR, 3 RBI, R

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We split both of the series we played this week – we are consistently inconsistent – and drop back to #2 in the Weekly Power Ranking.
  1. Philadelphia 76ers
  2. Los Angeles Lakers
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars
  4. Phoenix Suns
  5. Los Angeles Galaxy

We'll make the trip to St. Louis (ranked 18th) for a 3-game set, followed by 3 at home against Toronto (ranked 8th)...
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:55 PM   #308
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2076 Season (8/18 – 8/20)

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Los Angeles Lakers (73-45, .619, 1st NL West) @ St. Louis Rams (53-65, .449, 6th NL East)
St. Louis - AKA the Gateway City - sits on the western bank of the Mississippi River. To the north, the Missouri & Mississippi rivers shake hands, become best friends and merge into one. It’s about unity and the spirit of togetherness. For all it’s grime, STL can be something to behold... historic, home to some world-class BBQ, and with deep, heartfelt blues pouring out of every open door downtown - the city inspires the question of just exactly where it’s famed gateway leads. If you’re a baseball fan, especially one that imbibes the Spirit of St. Louis, it’s been imminently clear that the gateway leads to purgatory - that middle ground reserved for those mired in suffering with no obvious routes of escape. Condemned to the waiting for lying to themselves about the prospects of their club with a seat reserved at the kiddie table sandwiched between the marketer who named double-stuff Oreo’s despite the fact that they really only have 1.5x the stuff and the guy who wrote “the Final Countdown”. The Rams are a halfway house - they give you just enough to entertain thoughts of sublime grandeur before dropping you on your head after another campaign of unfulfilled promise followed by an offseason spent assuaging your worry with promises of glory on the horizon. RF Jonah Dove (.252/10/62) has underperformed when compared to the standard he set last season while 1B Austin Matthews and his 19 HR’s have been a nice surprise but it’s really the same as it ever was... here we have a sub .500 club slogging their way through the dog days of summer and looking to course-correct starting with a 3-game set in La La Land.

120 of 162: Nat Millard (12-3, 2.81) @ Dimitri Pimentel (9-10, 3.93)
Win, 12-3
. With Pepper out on the DL, we recalled 3B Dontrell Gay from Compton – he responded by putting one out of the park (we also reactivated RP Patrick Zimmer from the IL, so Newton’s stay on the big club was cut short – he’s back in Compton working on his control – he was stellar, sure, just not as dependable as we’d like him to be…). Nat goes the distance, lets three get across, Hanan finished 3 for 3 with a 2-run HR, and Dontrell, looking sharp in the Purple & Gold, finished 2 for 5 with a double, a HR, 2 RBI, and 2 runs. Otto also drove a couple in… good all-around effort in this squash match.

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Elsewhere: SP Newton Weiser, now of your CITY OF COMPTON RAIDERS, went 8 innings with 5 hits, 1 earned, and 10 K’s in a 3-1 win over the Sugarland Skeeters – your boy has a point to prove and is dealing from the bump with a chip on his shoulder. He’ll be back with the big club soon enough… Also, the Los Angeles Galaxy now have a ½ game lead over the Sounders – they’re firing on all cylinders and look to be a big-time factor come playoff time.

121 of 162: Lee Myers (12-5, 3.65) @ Nick Colbaugh (4-9, 6.87)
Win, 9-7 (in extras).
Ethan hits a 2-run blast in the top of the 11th to secure the victory & Barbaccia makes his first appearance since his return from the IL – he gave up a hit and earned a K in 0.1 IP and added his first hold of the 2076 season to the tally. Otto went 2 for 5 with a run and an RBI, Larry Williams scored twice (and hit a SAC FLY), and we stole two bags (guess who… Otto (35th) & Lonzo Gonzo (30th).

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Elsewhere: SP Theodore Junkersfield, highlighted here as much for his name as his performance, put in 7.1 innings of work with 7 K’s and 0 earned for the Columbus Bluejackets in their 4-2 win over the Gwinnett Stripers. Junkersfeld was the 7th overall pick in the 2075 draft out of Clemson - The kid has 4-MLB worthy pitches in his arsenal and his stuff/control is already highly rated – but, he’ll need to work on his movement if he is to develop into the player that the Chicago Fire pegged him to one day become – if he can do that, he’ll factor into their long-term plans. Also, the Philadelphia 76ers beat the San Francisco 49ers in extras – winning by a score of 7-5. With the win, they are the first club to reach 80 wins in 2076.

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122 of 162: Dejuan Burns (12-7, 3.48) @ Thomas Deane (5-4, 3.97)
Win, 9-7. 3B Dontrell Gay continues to make the most of his opportunity – he went 4 for 4 with a double and 4 runs & Lonzo Gonzo finished at 3 for 5 with 2 RBI and 2 runs… all in a day’s work as they say. Otto went 3 for 5 with a homer in the top of the 5th that put us up for good, and Hanan & Lonzo both hit SAC FLIES that all but ensured that we’d secure the sweep against the listless, lost, and otherwise predisposed shell of a baseball club we like to call the St. Louis Rams. Also, save #21 for Barbaccia.

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With the sweep, we have successfully opened a 7-game lead on the Phoenix Suns, which, while nowhere near as cool as Philly’s 18 ½ game lead over the Montreal Impact, has us feeling pretty good about ourselves. Jacksonville, despite losing their #5 pitcher, Justin Torres, for the season are starting to run away with the AL East crown having now opened a 5 ½ game lead over Carolina, and the Los Angeles Galaxy continue their hot streak with a sweep over the Chicago Fire (in Chi-Town) to improve their lead over Seattle in the AL West to 1 ½ games. We’re boarding a plane to run back home where we’ll meet up with the Toronto Reds BC for a 3-game set before returning to the road with sets in Carolina, Phoenix, and Minnesota to kick off September… we’re getting close to the end of the marathon… gotta stay hydrated and hope that none of our muscles cramp as we inch towards the finish line.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:23 PM   #309
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2076 Season (8/21 – 8/23)

Toronto Reds BC (61-60, .504, 3rd AL East) @ Los Angeles Lakers (76-45, .628, 1st NL West)
It’s not that Toronto is a bad team per se – far from it, they’re pretty okay, it’s that they play in what I believe to be the toughest division in the MLB… the AL East. Currently, the Reds BC find themselves in a three-way tie for 3rd on the AL East table – occupying that space alongside the Chicago Fire and the Green Bay Packers… both solid clubs. That’s really it in a nutshell – they are just okay… sure, they are 10-8 so far in August, which isn’t bad, or great, it’s just… okay. Their problem, like so many of the Strangeverse clubs, is pitching, and, while their offense isn’t exactly up to snuff, it’s the arms that is doing them in so far in 2076. When you pair a Pitching staff that is ranked at 8th in the AL with and an offense that is ranked 6th you get a club that is treading water – like some so-so swimmer wearing water wings that have a slow leak… they have their head above water, but unless they stay in the shallow end of the pool, where their feet can still touch the ground, they won’t last long without swallowing some chlorine infused water and having a half-baked lifeguard throwing a life preserver in their general direction. The bad, and there is plenty of it, is that they have a -18 rDiff, are ranked 12th for Bullpen ERA, and are 11th for Strikeouts… and the good is, um, I don’t know, that they are raked 4th in OPS? It’s got to be tough for a guy like RF Andrew Beck, who, at 29-years old is hitting .299 with 19 jacks and 58 RBIs, even if he is banking $9.8M for the season – the former Oregon State Beaver was part of Toronto’s championship-winning 2071 campaign, made the playoffs with them in 2072 & 2073, and has suffered with them through losing campaigns in 2074 & 2075. This season has been a step in the right direction for Toronto, it has, it’s just that their stride-length leaves something to be desired and they have a long way to go to get back to the form they displayed when they won it all in ’71.

123 of 162: Keiki Kaneko (10-5, 3.70) @ Matt Olson (0-2, 3.14)
Win, 4-3
. RP Ash Newman gets his first W in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform after putting in 3 innings of work in relief – he’d allow only 1 hit and ring up 4 K’s – and RF Ethan Mullens was vintage in a 2 for 3 performance for 2 HRs, 2 RBI, and 2 runs, while C Dom Cooke hit 2 jacks of his own in the win – together these two are responsible for all of our runs. 4 runs, 4 HRs… you don’t see that every day.

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Elsewhere: The Carolina Panthers destroyed the San Diego Chargers by a score of 20-6. Ouch. SS Ethan Mason & LF Andy Shepard both hit GRAND SLAMS in the win. That the win came at home was special for the Carolina faithful.

124 of 162: Rafael Alcantara (1-0, 1.80) @ Michael Brisk (12-6, 3.78)
Loss, 4-1
. Ouch. Every winning streak must end, but how often do they have to end at Brisky’s front door. It’s probably a recency effect, but it sure feels like it happens pretty often. Ethan Mullins put one out of the park, Lonzo Gonzo got caught trying to pull a jack move (that’s his 5th time caught with his hand in the honey pot), and Austin Rollins hit his 18th double.

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Elsewhere: It was Phoenix’s turn to put a bad one on another team… they’d destroy the Chicago Fire (who are playing their worst baseball of the season right now) by a score of 16-6. SS Maddox Wahlen hit two bombs and drove in 5, 1B Jacob Wells hit a 2-run HR, and C Norton Manning hit a GRAND SLAM. Everyone got a piece in Phoenix tonight! Also, in the International League we had THREE CG SHUTOUTS – Davey Halimkusuma of the Mexico City Diablos (3 H, 11 K), Arnold Mistele of the Sacramento Kings (3 H, 11 K), and Riley Valentine of the Salem Silverbacks (3 H, 10 K) all accomplished the feat in near-identical performances with each of their teams winning by a score of 2-0 against their respective opponents… was there a glitch in the OOTP matrix? And, last but not least, CF Josh Rogers, of the Sunrise Supremos, went 3 for 4 with 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R, and 3 BBs in their 18-5 win over the Nolanville ‘Nauts in Bush League play… the 32-year old former Pittsburgh Panther spent three years with the Carolina Panthers before starting his journey through the Bush League… and I can tell just by the look of his facegen that this guy likes to party and tell fart jokes.

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125 of 162: Rosario Arce (3-6, 5.61) @ Nat Millard (13-3, 2.83)
Win, 6-0
. Nat nearly gets the CG SO but must hand it off to Zimmer for the last out as he got himself into a late jam, and Dom is at it again… 3-run homer in the 7th to put this one out of reach for good. Ethan scores twice and swipes a bag, we get two DP’s, and even Marshburn hits one out (his 6th). A nice win to take the series before we head out on the road for 10 straight.

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Elsewhere: Brooklyn SP Josh Allen pitched an 8-inning shutout in their 6-0 win over the Portland Timbers. He’s fallen off recently – 4.63 ERA so far in 2076 – so, it’s nice to see him have some success here – especially when that success comes against PDX. RF Jay Shaffer, of the Long Beach Dirtbags, hit a GRAND SLAM for his club during their 5-1 win over the Louisville Bats. Your boy Adrian Bae took the Loss for the Hagerstown Hummers despite only giving up 1 run in 5 innings of work – can the Hummers give this guy some support already?

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Old 09-10-2019, 06:29 PM   #310
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Oh Hong looks to me like a man who enjoys what he does and has a healthy, but not over-bearing, confidence in his ability to do it well.

I think I'll be keeping tabs on his progress.

Plus, hey, great name.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:34 PM   #311
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdWatcher View Post
Oh Hong looks to me like a man who enjoys what he does and has a healthy, but not over-bearing, confidence in his ability to do it well.
You have him pegged, he's a gamer! I have high hopes for him. he could develop into something special - it should be fun.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:37 PM   #312
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2076 Season (8/24 – 8/26)

Los Angeles Lakers (78-46, .629, 1st NL West) @ Carolina Panthers (65-60, .520, 2nd AL East)
While they position themselves as one team for all of the Carolinas, the fact is that the Carolina Panthers are a Charlotte club - they are, not unlike the Golden State Warriors, trying to run a little bit of game on the general population and stake a claim over a region instead of merely repping the city they inhabit. Maybe this is all just a ploy to sell more shirts - based on some hackneyed big data analytics and sports fan specific psychographics... it’s a nebulous naming convention - murky, even. What isn’t muddled about the Carolina Panthers, though, is the fact that their offense is scary good on multiple levels. First, they are young relative to most clubs, and, second, they’ve arrived way ahead of schedule with players like Madera (.331/20/95) turning the corner this season and heading straight towards superstardom. But, alas, like many other clubs in Strangeverse - Carolina just can’t get both sides of the ball on the same page as they pair their little house of horrors offense with a middling pitching staff (ranked 10th… so bad, not necessarily middling) that feels as overdue as their offense feels ahead of schedule. This is, in my estimation, the downfall of doing things the “Panther Way”, where the trust in their in-house scouting and development is so complete that working the phones or being active during the free agency period is less desirable than pushing all your chips into the center of the table and hoping you catch something on the river. On the one hand, as a GM who is defined as much by impatience as luck, it’s difficult to rationalize the “Panther Way”, but on the other hand, it’s hard not to privately appreciate their steadfast belief in self - even if that confidence is oftentimes misplaced. In the end, however, I think what we will find here is that while self-confidence, even of the misplaced variety, can, and often will, take you far - it’s those last few steps toward immortality that usually require a little extra finesse. And luck, too... you gotta have some of that to get to where you want to go in this league.

126 of 162: Lee Myers (12-5, 3.81) @ Stephen Estevez (12-6, 3.75)
Win, 14-3
. It was Carolina’s turn to get crushed as we ran through Estevez in 1.2 innings while Myers recovered nicely from some early troubles – he went 6, struck out 5, and gave up three early runs (1 in each of the first 3 frames). The story for us here wasn’t the pitching though, as we got all the way around the bases early and often in this one – Dom went 3 for 5 with a double, a homer, and 3 RBIs, Austing drove in 3, and Otto scored twice and brought three around. Lonzo Gonzo scored three times, hit a double, and stole another bag (as did Otto and Ethan), Hana put his 4th out of the park, and Kwaku got a nice 2-out RBI that should make tonights highlight reel – this was a good one for us, all the starters brought some pain with them tonight.

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127 of 162: Dejuan Burns (13-7, 3.52) @ Jake Douglas (7-10, 4.33)
Win, 5-1
. A tight, defensive, and all-around sleep-inducing game up until the top of the 10th when we exploded for 4 runs – 3-run homer for Ethan was a timely piece of clutch hitting for a guy who recently came off the IL. He’s really worked himself into quite a groove in short order – which is nice to see. He could very well be the guy next year (along with some young guns I expect to make the 2077 roster) if we fail to resign Otto (his contract expires at the end of the season and he’s been all Kwahi Leonard about it… playing possum). Barbaccia gets the W, Newman closed it out in the bottom of the 10th, Otto hit his 29th long ball, and Lonzo Gonzo’s fails to steal a bag – like, when is the last time that happened, dunno… may have to look into it (okay, I looked into it – turns out it was only two days ago).

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Elsewhere: CF Josh Rogers, the fart joke aficionado with the Sunrise Supremos, was at it again as he went 2 for 5 with 2 jacks and 4 riblets in a 12-5 win over the Quincy Quackers. He’s making mincemeat of Bush League pitching lately – hide yo kids, hide yo wives… Not to be outdone, in other Bush League action, 2B Randolph Gulikyan of the Columbia Blowfish went 4 for 4 with 3 doubles and 2 RBI in Columbia’s 8-4 loss against the Coney Island Footlongs – the former San Francisco Don played in the Majors for 13 years - with a previous two year jaunt through the Bush League before getting bought out by Jacksonville – before becoming a full-time BL guy for the second time in his career. He made the MLB All-Star team in 2066 and has made my All-Mustache team in 10 of his 13 MLB seasons. Dude’s a stud – gets over on the babes better than he does a curveball, but a stud, nonetheless.

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128 of 162: Matt Olson (0-2, 3.31) @ Larry Ramirez (8-12, 4.95)
Loss, 6-5
. Well, I would’ve loved to start off this 10-game road trip with a sweep, but it was not to be as the Carolina Panthers managed to salvage some pride and walked us off in the bottom of the 9th. We gave Caldwell the ball in the bottom of the 9th and he did not rise to the challenge – he’d give up the game-winning single to LF Andy Shepard, who, coincidentally, was the only batter he faced… it only took him 2 pitches to squash all my hopes and dreams. Rollins & Cooke hit bombs, Lonzo Gonzo didn’t steal anything (and got hit by a pitch for crowding the plate), and Isaac got a sweet OF assist. We just couldn’t hold on to the victory… and to be fair to Rudolf, Ash put the man on base that plated on the single he gave up, so, it takes a team to break my heart.

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Elsewhere in the CITY OF COMPTON: SP Newton Weiser put in another 8 innings of tip-top work where he K’s 12, allows on 2 hits, and only 1 run in a 4-3 LOSS against the Austin Grackles… Oh Hong, that purveyor of low-key cockiness, went 2 for 3 with an RBI. He is ready, I think, and I have some chips to move in the offseason to clear some space at his position with first basemen Austin Rollins and Ian Hanan on the roster – I’m already seeing a scenario where I move one of the two for a solid 3B to shore up some depth behind Pepper (assuming I don’t move him too given that Oh Hong has started to occupy the same place in my heart previously reserved for all things PEPPER).

A quick note… we’ll head off to Phoenix for 4-games in the sweltering heat, the least favorite of my least favorite destinations (I won’t rehash my charges of mistreatment at the hands of the Phoenix brass here – it’s been well documented already). We currently enjoy an 8-game lead over them in the NL West and they are coming off 2 straight losses – a good opportunity to grind them into dust. A tall order as their top guy, SS Ray Gerhold, has retaken the league lead in WAR again (Heathcote Kinton has dropped to #2) and leads the league in runs scored at 100. It should also be noted that he leads the league in being caught with his hand in the honey pot at 15. So, his current form coupled with the fact that we always seem to struggle H2H against the burnt orange & eggplant purple gives me some pause… I always find myself holding my breath when we play these guys. If we can get out of there with 3 wins (I’ll take two… shoot, I’m not greedy), then we’ll have the opportunity to close out a stellar road trip with a stop in Minneapolis… A series win in the desert would be a great way to close out what has been a great month for the La La’s.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:32 PM   #313
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2076 Season (8/27 - 8/31)

Los Angeles Lakers (80-47, .630, 1st NL West) @ Phoenix Suns (72-55, .567, 2nd NL West)
The Phoenix Suns are behind schedule, they’ve missed their delivery date. This is where I’d like to give in to my spite, point fingers, and say, “see, you should’ve have kept me”. But I won’t, because it’s no one’s fault - in fact, the new regime has done just fine without me. They’ve trimmed some of the fat I’d left behind, cut bait on prospects where the pan had come up empty too many times, and, over the last two seasons, have been the favorite paper tiger of all the important pundits. But for injuries - lots and lots of injuries - they’d be a serious contender instead of the low-key nuisance they’ve been so far in 2076 (and, really, 2075 too). And it’s not been a problem of depth either as they’ve carried 8+ players on the IL for significant stretches over the last two years with their arms taking the brunt of that pain... theirs has been a story of snapped ligaments and lower back pain where they’ve been good enough to annoy but too broken to really make some power moves in the NL West. Their offense, led by SS Ray Gerhold (.354/6/53), has been formidable... ranked 1st overall in the NL and holding down the #1 spot in Runs Scored, AVG, OBP, OPS, and wOBA - and their pitching, despite its injury woes and underperforming prospects, has been among the okayest in the Bigs (ranked 5th as a unit and 3rd in Bullpen ERA). They’ve essentially taken these lemons, so many lemons, and have made some bootleg lemonade where the sugar was substituted with monk fruit sweetener - it’s worked in a pinch, but we know, we all know, that it’s not the real thing... not like mom used to make. They’ve been solid of late and always seem to get up when we are in town - so this could be a series where we stumble a bit, causing me to be a depressed version of myself as I hit all my favorite Phoenix spots and make time to sync up with old friends over the next four days...

129 of 162: Michael Brisk (12-7, 3.84) @ Jack Sanchez-Flores (8-6, 5.06)
Loss, 6-4
. Ouch. The Suns ride a 5-run 8th to victory in this one – we probably left Brisky in a bit two long as he started to unravel in that frame and was responsible for the first two of those five runs. RF Burton Darden, who I’ve never even heard of – I think maybe they grabbed him from the snowcone concession – went 2 for 4 with a HR and 2 RBIs and earned the PoTG honor… not too shabby for a nobody… But, the real story here was the undoing of Rudolf Caldwell who has suddenly taken a nosedive with Barbaccia’s return – he gave up 3 in the 8th, took the loss (his 3rd), blew the save (his 4th time doing that) – all on 22 pitches. Goof grief… Also, in more bad injury news for Phoenix, SP Jack Sanchez-Flores left after the 4th with an undisclosed injury.

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Elsewhere: LF Isidro Lutz’s 5-hit performance led the way for the Jacksonville Jaguars tonight as they crushed the Toronto Reds BC by a score of 13-0. Lutz, always the gamer, has not had too many games like this so far in 2076 – the 11-year vet is hitting a subpar .259 this year but does have 18 HRs and 76 RBIs.

130 of 162: Nat Millard (14-3, 2.66) @ Patrick Keith (5-2, 1.92)
Loss, 6-2
. Subdued by Keith… he went 8-innings with 1 earned and 8 K’s, while Nat only gives us 5 in this one. SS Ray Gerhold hit one out for Phoenix – I kind of hate him – and our guys didn’t do much for us tonight… Hanan hit a double, Otto stole a bag, Kwaku got two hits… I’m starting to dread a potential playoff matchup against these guys…

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131 of 162: Lee Myers (13-5, 3.83) @ Julen Morales (12-7, 4.11)
Loss, 15-11
. Well, ****. Can you overdose on Tums? Is that a thing – does that happen to people? We had some highlights – take Kwaku’s 5 RBIs or that another bag was stolen by Lonzo for instance – but does it really matter when you have three errors that lead to three unearned runs? That’s a rhetorical question – you don’t have to answer it, because IT DOESN’T MATTER. Even the fact that we chased former Laker, Julen Morales, out of the game after only 2.2 innings doesn’t matter because we got used, abused, and put away wet in this one. 4 RBIs for Gerhold, 4 for a guy called Avery Robertson (WHO TF IS THIS GUY? WHO GAVE HIM A UNIFORM?), and 3 HRs for the Burnt Orange and Eggplant Purple. They are playing us like marionettes.

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Elsewhere: Seattle’s Frodo Gonzales, straight out of the shire, went 3 for 4 with 2 jacks 4 RBIs and 2 runs in the Sounders’ 6-5 loss against the Dallas Cowboys. Not sure what is more interesting… that his parents named him Frodo, that he is a UCLA Alum who grew up in Texas (usually people move the other way, right?), or that he is a guy named Frodo who also happens to be 6’4” tall… the 24-year old, recently called up Big Leaguer is hitting .290 with 7 HRs and 25 RBIs in 37 games on the big stage. He doesn’t rate very high – so he’s probably set to fizzle out soon – but is making the most of the opportunity thus far. Enjoy it while you can Frodo, life gets rough when you leave the Shire

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132 of 162: Dejuan Burns (13-7, 3.44) @ Bentley Hawkins (11-8, 4.82)
Win, 9-5
. Dejuan Burns gives us just enough to head out of town with some of our dignity still intact… 6 IP, 3 ER, 4 K’s, and Bootleg Pepper (Dontrell Gay) went 3 for 5 with a HR and 2 RBI… Otto drives in a run, Newman & Rollins get 3 hits each, Hanan scored twice, Rollins hit his 20th double, Dom hits #16 out of the park, and Newman (23) & Mullens (29) each steal a bag. Not even our best effort of the series here – but we won, and that’s really the only thing that matters.

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This is where I would recap the series, maybe add in a preview of things to come – talk a little smack, highlight that, for some unknown reason, we are ranked #1 in the weekly power rank… but I won’t. This one hurts – I have come to loathe the Suns, all that they stand for, their awful kits, the heat, their fans, the local restaurants, the super tasty tomatoes… everything they know and love. What a crap series – look, this isn’t the end of the world, there is a lot of baseball left to be played – but we can’t fade into nothingness like this and expect to win the World Series. We must be able to dig deep, to win these tough road games when we shouldn’t… We were absolute trash over the last four days and trash, my friends, does not win championships.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:13 PM   #314
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Some great text in these posts. Many evoking smiles. Nice.
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:37 AM   #315
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Some great text in these posts. Many evoking smiles. Nice.
Thanks! Appreciate that!
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:05 PM   #316
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2076 Season (9/1 – 9/3)

But first… C Dominic Cooke of your Los Angeles Lakers took home the August batter of the month award – your boy hit for a .400 AVG with 10 homers, 28 RBIs, and scored 21 times. He also had 8 walks.

Los Angeles Lakers (81-50, .618, 1st NL West) @ Minnesota Timberwolves (58-73, .443, 6th NL West)
Minneapolis/St. Paul has a lot going for it - superb outdoor recreational opportunities, mosquitoes the size of Andre the Giant’s fist, and a world-class Roller Derby outfit that boasts a hall of fame that includes names like Torrential Pain, Slaying Mantis, and shE.Coli amongst its ranks. It’s the land of all the lakes in the house that Terry Gilliam decorated. Shawna’s T’Wolves are new to that fold - still looked on with a wary eye - and are an entity that hasn’t completely endeared themselves to the Twin Cities populace. They are a nice to have - not yet considered essential to the day-to-day life of the local citizenry - they’ve not yet sandwiched themselves into the weekly wardrobe despite working diligently to slot themselves in between Gore-Tex and fur-trimmed jackets. Their marketing department has worked diligently to ingratiate their club to the community - a tall order when Wins come at such a high premium - to mixed results. Perhaps it’s because they’ve pivoted too far towards exhibiting Minnesota’s brand of politeness - courteous, reserved, and mild-mannered - often extending it to their opponents in the form of cheap wins. Or, maybe it’s because they’re new to town... or it could be how they came to be. Who knows... they’ve not yet hit puberty, the faithful don’t yet have a real sense of what Shawna’s club will ultimately become. She promised a perennial powerhouse and while these things do take time, so far all she’s delivered is poorly played baseball and an affiliate system whose cupboards are incomplete - you can’t winter on canned sauerkraut and the occasional tin of sardines.

133 of 162: Michael Brisk (12-7, 3.84) @ Gregory Highman (5-14, 5.42)
Win, 3-0
. Brisky was brilliant… 8.1 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, and 5 K’s… and Otto went 0 for 2 with 2 runs and 3 walks – that’s one way to do it, I suppose. What else is there in a 3-0 game? We stole a couple of bags (Otto (38); Ethan (30)), completed 3 double plays, and Barbaccia got save number 22 on 4 total pitches. Minnesota is like our home away from home – if we get the sweep here, I told the team I’d buy a fur-trimmed jacket and their choice of canned meat (ham, beef, fish – whatever) for each and every one of them.

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Elsewhere:
C Grayson Murphy, of the Gwinnett Stripers (Carolina affiliate), went 3 for 4 with 2 bombs, 4 riblets, and 2 runs in their 6-1 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Grayson is an adaptable, easy-going kind of guy who is already a legend at avoiding K’s and who is starting to develop some solid Contact and Gap Power rating – he has a future in the Show, for sure. The Dallas, TX born & bred former Mississippi Rebel was the 176th overall pick this year – not sure how he fell so far as his potential has him topping out at an eventual all-star if he maintains his current trajectory – not sure how I missed this guy in the draft.

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134 of 162: Matt Olston (0-2, 3.79) @ Octavio Cervera (8-7, 4.85)
Loss, 10-4. First… we lost Lonzo Gonzo for a couple of weeks – strained hammy, injured mid-burglary. Second – there were 7 home runs hit in this game and we only hit 2 of them (Cooke & Ethan). Third – Olston got shelled – he gave up 3 of the 5 Minnesota homers and his ERA ballooned to 4.53 – he’s 0-3 now. Yikes. Fourth – Lonzo Gonzo got caught stealing – in the same play he was injured on, which I’ve sort of said already, but I wanted to add some clarity. And…. Fifth – I saved a ton of money now that I don’t have to buy 25+ fur-trimmed jackets and an assortment of canned meats. You must keep your eye out for the silver lining in life.

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135 of 162: Nat Millard (14-4, 2.75) @ Damon Smith (10-9, 6.14)
Loss, 4-3
. Well, great… I’ll be hearing about this from Shawna for quite some time. Nat only gives us 5.2 innings of work – and it was so-so work at that. He just doesn’t go deep into games often enough – I got low-key fleeced when I picked him up – I’ll most likely look to deal him in the offseason. We hit three doubles (Hanan, Otto, and Dom) but didn't do much with them, completed a pretty sweet double play, failed to steal even a single bag, and nearly hit double-digits in K’s. After getting crushed in Phoenix, to drop a set to the Timberwolves is concerning – especially at this stage of the year when we should be hitting a stride, getting our throwdown swerve on… baseball is a frustrating mistress…

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Elsewhere: Phoenix’s SS Ray Gerhold had his 20-game hit streak snapped by the San Diego Chargers. Good, he deserved it. Philly’s lead over the Montreal Impact has shrunk to 15 games, our lead over Phoenix was reduced to 5 games, The Galaxy's lead over the Sounders is now only a single game, and Jacksonville’s lead over the Panthers is now at 6… I sense a theme – good clubs getting worn down a little bit. SS Ray Gerhold – him again – is leading the league in WAR at 7.6… Heathcote Kinton is second at 7.2, Otto is 4th at 5.9 (tied with Palmer). SP Josiah Weber – the GOAT – leads the league in ERA+ at 168 (dude is 37, y’all). And not a single Laker leads in any category… yep, that’ll do it. Also, it should be noted that CF Masaharu Watanabe of the Orlando Magic is leading the league in strikeouts at 165. Clearly, he subscribes to the, “when in doubt, take a cut at it”, hitting methodology. Guess who else is on the list… OTTO – how Bryce Harper-ish of him.

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Well, what a lame road trip. Back in LA for some home cooking against the 49ers next. Given that they are in 5th place in the NL West, I expect them to sweep us.
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:44 PM   #317
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2076 Season (9/4 – 9/6)

San Francisco 49ers (62-72, .463, 5th NL West) @ Los Angeles Lakers (82-52, .612, 1st NL West)
The 49ers have the 2nd best (some would argue best) pitcher in the National League in Landon Sampson – the Kentucky alum has made 9 all-star appearances and has won the Pachecho 3 times – unfortunately, he anchors a staff that drops off dramatically at 2 through 5. And, I mean DRAMATICALLY – basically if he is a box of Chicken Rice-A-Roni then the rest of the staff is a single-serve cup of Cheddar Broccoli Rice-A-Roni. On a club that has only won 62 games this season, 18 of those wins were charged to Sampson’s account – 18-7, 2.61 ERA, 233 K’s (#1 in the majors), 12.1 K/9 (also ranked at the top of the pops), and a 6.4 pWAR… the guy is an absolute savage, and, unfortunately, we’ll likely get a look at him in the third game of this 3-game set. Outside of Landon – San Francisco’s club doesn’t have much going for them, save, maybe 1B Charles Vecera who is hitting .345/17/74 from, seemingly, out of nowhere. It’s the kind of performance you save for a contract year, so the fact that he’s doing this with two years left gives credence to the scouting report my team put together on him for me that says he’s a hard worker with low intelligence. We’re sitting at 5-5 against these guys so far in 2076, which is unsatisfactory, but can take solace in the fact that this version of the 49ers won’t be pulling the ol’ Trojan Horse on the league during the playoffs as they did in ’74 because, well, they won’t be getting in the door this time.

136 of 162: Jan Hernandez (5-3, 3.20) @ Lee Myers (13-5, 3.90)
Loss, 3-2
. Myers is good… 8 innings, 1 earned, and 7 K’s, but Barbaccia bombed out in the 9th when he did his best Rudolf impression and gave up two runs in the top of that frame. The fact that we brought Rudolf in after him – low leverage situation, but still – who faced two batters and struck them both out only serves as the icing on our black bean cake. This has been a bit of a rough patch for us – I’m eating Tums like they are Redhots, not getting any sleep, and I’m pretty sure that my hairline has moved back a full inch over these last 11 games. Otto hit #30, Newman got two steals, and the defense turned in two double-plays – all nice – but when your closer, the guy you brought in to so much fanfare delivers a gut punch like this, it’s enough to abandon the baseball life and spend your life’s savings on a ranch out in the middle of Wyoming. No one can laugh at you while you're tending to your flock of sheep, right?

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Elsewhere, in THE CITY OF COMPTON… SP Newton Weiser gave our Raiders 8-innings of 4-hit ball with just one earned run in Compton’s 3-1 win over the Mexico City Diablos. Sadly, 1B Oh Hong went 0 for 4 with 4 K’s – brutality.

137 of 162: Foster Bantel (6-9, 4.88) @ Dejuan Burns (14-7, 3.47)
Win, 6-3
. Dance and rejoice! We actually won a game – and in semi-convincing fashion. 1B Austin Rollins went 2 for 4, with 2 homers, 4 RBI, and 2 runs – he was fierce. Otto scored a run, backup C Dylan Ticker hit his third out of the park, Mullens swiped his 31st bag of the season, and we turned a sick Kwaku-Marshburn-Hanan rally-killing double play. Oh, and, hey – Barbaccia shook last nights debacle off and eanred his 23rd save of the year after Ash got us the hold. In fact, 5 of the 11 K’s our staff produced tonight came from those two (Ash -2, Barbaccia – 3). So, it looks like I won’t be dropping a handful of tums into my Old Fashioned tonight after all.

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Elsewhere, in the Bush League… CF Pablo Zapata led a BL homerun revolution for the Dearborn Dilly’s as he put two over the fence against the Beaumont Bullies and SS Julio Sandoval did the same for the Quincy Quackers against the Gainesville Gamecocks. Zapata, it should be noted, went undrafted out of Holy Cross and has played his entire professional career in the Bush League. He’s currently pacing to match his career-high in HRs at 18. This guy is looking like a Bush League lifer – a real Strangeverse Crash Davis, just without the philosophical rants – he’s more of a manifesto type.

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138 of 162: Alex Gillentine (3-11, 5.85) @ Michael Brisk (13-7, 3.67)
First thing’s first… Okay, I was wrong, we didn’t get Landon. My bad…
Win, 8-3. Brisky is like a fine wine – he makes even the stinkiest cheese taste good. We got a 1-run, 6-hitter out of the leagues most debonair hurler. A fine night of work. Larry Williams hit a 2-run jack, Mullen drove in a couple (on a triple – his 3rd on the year), Newman steals another bag – his 26th – and we got TWO SAC FLYS. We needed this one – badly – so, let’s just saunter out of here like it ain’t nothing and then freak tf out when we get home, ok? Cool.

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Elsewhere… Phoenix took the #1 spot on the weekly power ranking for the week. Let that one sink in and completely ruin your night. Big series win against SF for us – it was a must-have. Next up is a 13-game road trip with stops in Vancouver (awesome), Pittsburgh (kinda cool), Montreal (Amazing), and San Diego (paradise if you have the right sunblock and some fresh Oakley shades). We’ll need to be the best version of ourselves over this stretch if we intend to keep Phoenix from leapfrogging us in the standings.
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:48 AM   #318
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2076 Season (9/7 – 9/9)

Los Angeles Lakers (84-53, .613, 1st NL West) @ Vancouver Whitecaps (66-70, .485, 3rd NL West)
Had Hunter S. Thompson spent his time in the Pacific Northwest, had he been born in Forks instead of Louisville, then he would’ve undoubtedly sewn tales of sociopathic loggers, of Quillayute shape-shifters, and had he traveled north through Vancouver and into the Great Bear Rainforest he’d have left us with the line, “we can’t stop here, this is Sasquatch country”. Vancouver, a bustling seaport city and crown jewel of British Columbia, is built in the middle of Sasquatch habitat - it’s sprawl creating a forest fragmentation that many believe led to the divergent biology of Bigfoot - the Ts'emekwes, or the benign faced one - where the Canadian version is a much nicer, purported vegetarian, variant of the non-sapiens hominid. Everything in Canada is viewed as a less dangerous version of what exists to the south where those crazy Americans devour copious amounts of nachos, smoked salmon, and Oly beers... unfortunately, for fans of the Whitecaps, this extends to their team. They’re capable, no doubt, but nowhere near as dangerous as they need to be if they are to survive and thrive in this long slog of a baseball season. They have some talent, a few mid-level players that are more than capable of surprising you, and versatility - the problem for them, however, has been their ability to get this loose collection of misfit toys going in the same direction long enough to ruffle some feathers. Instead, what we’ve got with the Whitecaps, is a whole lot averageness - a disappointing output from a team who hasn’t lived up to their preseason mythology, where tales from people who say they’ve seen a great team in BC is only supported by grainy photos and easily refuted by any logical, non believing fan who is perfectly content to turn away from baseball and focus on fly fishing instead.

139 of 162: Nat Millard (14-5, 2.88) @ Bill Marvin (9-9, 2.81)
Loss, 3-2
. Turns out we shouldn’t have stopped here and that this is, indeed, Sasquatch country as the Whitecaps held true to the legend to secure the win in the bottom of the 7th when they scored another all too rare run. Bill Marvin went 6 with 0 earned, while Nat went as far into the game but let three get across. Our only bright spots were the three doubles we hit (Zody (a recent roster expansion call up – along with Oh Hong, Newton, Rajkumar, Nashy, and Mason Sandoval), Otto, and Marshburn do the honors), and a couple of double plays. Our problem, it seems, is that we aren’t really that good at baseball with our strength being that we are consistently inconsistent.

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Elsewhere… 38-year old 2B Homer Devine went 4 for 4, with a double, 2 homers, and 9 RBI for the Quincy Quackers in their 16-4 win over the Decatur Donnybrooks. He set a new single-game RBI record for the Quackers in this one… and wrestled the top spot away from LF U.S. Imhof (Coney Island Footlongs) on the Top Offensive Game Performances table with a game score of 138. Homer spent 15 years in the Toronto Reds organization before turning to the Bush League this season where he is hitting .240 with 21 homers and 53 RBI. Not too bad for a swan song. Also, RF PJ Trudell of the Minnesota Timberwolves put his 2000th hit on the board in a win over the Suns (thanks for that kind sir). The 4-time Boyce Rigg winner’s career is winding down – I expect to see him in the BL within a year or three – but for now, he’s still playing some solid baseball for Shawna’s club.

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140 of 162: Lee Myers (13-5, 3.77) @ Steve Unger (9-10, 4.49)
Loss, 6-3
. Well, I don’t think it can get much worse for us as we are seemingly content to just limp our way to the finish and to hand off the top spot in the NL West to the Phoenix Suns. We just don’t want it. Meyers gave up 6 earned, Otto hit his 24th double, Mullen hit a SAC FLY, and we turned 3 double plays – what we didn’t do is hit very well, play with any sense of urgency, and bring our teammates in when they were in scoring position (we left 4 stranded in this contest).

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Elsewhere… Your boy Adrian Bae took the loss for the Hagerstown Hummers today, lasting only 3.2 innings and giving up three runs – he also pegged a batsman and handed out free passes to four. Oh, and he was injured during the game… diagnosis is, of course, pending…

141 of 162: Newton Weiser (5-4, 4.22) @ Adam Gunter (11-9, 3.60)
Loss, 7-0
. Weiser gave up 6 in his return to the big club, and our offense did absolutely nothing (huh! say it again!) against Gunter who threw a complete game 7-hit shutout to secure the sweep for Vancouver. We struck out 9 times as a unit, including 3 for Kwaku and 2 for Otto, left 7 stranded, and our bullpen allowed two inherited runners to score. My phone is on silent… I mean Phil Murray can’t fire me if I don’t take the call, right?

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Elsewhere… 1B Steve Weed, of the Newport Beach Gypsies, went 4 for 5 with a HR, 2 RBI, and 3 runs in a 9-5 win over the Austin Grackles. The red-headed, 250th pick out of Clemson, doesn’t look like he has what it takes to escape the minors and earn a career in the bigs, but he has a fun name and a pretty swanky twisted ‘stache and will be added to my “Bush League Updates” shortlist just in case he finds himself plying his trade in the BL someday. I mean, my man looks like a dude that likes to get Cheeched, doesn’t he? I bet he burns patchouli in his apartment and listens to the Dead on off days too.

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So, our lead over Phoenix is now only 3 ½ games. But, and this is pretty lame, it seems that SS Ray Gerhold – the current WAR leader in Major League Baseball, will miss 5-weeks (at least) due to a fractured wrist. Ugh. Listen, I’m no fan of the Suns, I’ve made that clear, but if we beat them (and it is still up in the air) in the NL West, I want it to come against the best version of them possible. We're boarding a plane to Pittsburgh next, where we will likely spend the next 4-days getting swept by another so-so ball club.
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Last edited by pauwoo; 09-14-2019 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 09-14-2019, 05:05 PM   #319
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2076 Season (9/10 – 9/13)

Los Angeles Lakers (84-56, .600, 1st NL West) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (68-71, .489, 3rd NL East)
With an offense anchored by LF Tony Voorhis (.258/26/86) and 1B Tom Franzone (.273/31/81), the Pittsburgh Steelers have a little bit of pop but not much else. Any success they’ve had this season – and I should say that at 22 games back in the NL East, there hasn’t been much of it – rests solely on the shoulders of their #4 ranked pitching staff that is led by the 3-headed monster of Robby Garrett (3.6 pWAR), Cole Guzman (3.9 pWAR), and Tim Kelly (3.1 pWAR). They have the look of a club that is 1-2 solid offensive guys and a Closer away from serious contention, even if they have taken a slight step back from being the .500 club that got bounced out of the 1st round of last years playoffs. At risk for the Pittsburgh brain trust, this season is their 6-year .500 or better streak – they’ve no illusions about winning the whole thing. For them, it seems that treading water in 2076 while they anxiously await what may go down as the finest free agency class this league has ever seen is their preferred route to the promised land. Or not, it’s really hard to say honestly – because even though their owner, the esteemed Mr. Patton Hill, is known as charitable with a hands-off approach, who’s to say that these clowns don’t spend that cash on clubhouse upgrades instead of talent, and who knows if any of the upcoming bumper crop of talent is willing to play in a city like Pittsburgh.

142 of 162: Dejuan Burns (15-7, 3.50) @ Gregory Morgan (9-10, 4.46)
Loss, 5-2
. And our woes continue as we lose our 4th in a row after Morgan gives us the business over 8 innings of work and 2B Cody Keenan makes mincemeat of Dejuan on a 2-run double in the bottom of the 4th. Honestly, we didn’t get much from anyone in this one – there really are no highlights worth typing out, only a deep & dark foreboding that has engulfed our team like the mysterious mist that engulfed Bridgton, Maine as cover for some large praying mantis-like creature bent on ripping our club from limb to limb.

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Elsewhere… SS Hamza McDonnell of the New York Jets went 3 for 3 with a HR, 2 RBI, 3 runs, and a walk in their 13-4 win over the Golden State Warriors. This marks the first time Hamza has plated in the last 4 games – and it’s not like runs are at a premium for this year's version of the Jets – they rank 1st in the AL – it’s just that Hamza has had a rough go of late, so it’s nice to see him put a little something together here.

143 of 162: Michael Brisk (14-7, 3.57) @ Robby Garrett (9-15, 3.74)
Win, 9-4
. Brisky, coupled with a resurgent Austin Matthews (3 RBIs in this one), is our supreme streak snapper in this one – he gave us 8.1, allowed 4, and K’d 6 before reluctantly handing it off to the inconsistent Barbaccia who retired the last two batters on 4 total pitches – both on flyouts. Otto went 0 for 5 with 3 K’s – yikes – Ethan got a couple of hits, and our middle infielders, Marshburn (2B) and Larry Williams (SS) drove in two each. We’ll take this small step in the right direction and work to extend this newfound verve forward through the rest of this set.

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144 of 162: Nat Millard (14-6, 2.93) @ Jimmy Garcia (9-12, 3.33)
Win, 7-0
. Here we go… now we are cooking with Crisco… Nat, still not going deep, gives us 6 shutout innings, and Zody, fresh up from the City of Compton, finished at 3 for 4 with an RBI and 2 runs to help us secure our second win in a row. Ethan hit a two-run triple, Austin drove two in, Rajkumar plates, and Oh Hong went 1 for 2 with a run and an RBI – that RBI came on a nice, team-first SAC FLY. Your boy Hong is a gamer, folks. Out there looking for dubs!

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Elsewhere… the Philadelphia is the first team to clinch a playoff spot, despite losing tonight, and is now guaranteed a spot in the tricentennial season playoffs… The 1st round of the International League Playoffs got underway tonight with the Newport Beach Gypsies (facing the San Jose Sharks) and the Gwinnett Stripers (facing the Seattle Supersonics) both securing game one victories to kick things off…

145 of 162: Lee Myers (13-6, 3.96) @ Dom Jefferson (1-3, 3.67)
Win, 8-3
. Three straight now, and on something of a roll, we’d get a nice 3 for 5 day out of LF Joshua Newman where he also contributes a double, a homer, 2 RBI, and 3 runs… with Lee Myers turning 7 solid innings of work where allows only 2 runs. The team hit 3 out – Newman, Dom, and Marshburn put two double plays on the board, and Barbaccia picks up his 24th save despite inheriting 3 runners that were left behind by the struggling Rudolf. I shouldn’t be hard on the poor sap though – he’ll be DtD for 4-weeks according to my doctors, as he has something of a mild elbow strain.

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This made me feel pretty good, I must say – it’s always nice to win a four-game series on the road. And, to head to one of my favorite towns after winning three straight games? Well, that’s pretty awesome too. Headed up to Montreal next for a quick three games before heading back to the west coast for three in San Diego. Just piling on those frequent flier miles. Also, our lead on Phoenix in the NL West has grown to 5 1/2 games... it really is too bad about Gerhold.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:35 PM   #320
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2076 Season (9/14 – 9/16)

Los Angeles Lakers (87-57, .604, 1st NL West) @ Montreal Impact (77-65, .542, 2nd NL East)
When you look at Montreal’s pitching staff, they look like the kind of guys that you’d find sharing a laugh over a game of darts at the local pub – and to a man, it’s safe to say that they are the kind of guys who’d enjoy a pitcher or three over a game of cricket. That they are also the undisputed #1 staff in the National League comes as a bit of a surprise – they have a 2-time All-Star as their Ace in Norm Rodriquez, a Gold Glove winner as their #2 in John Aivazian, and the 2073 Pacheco winner slotted in at third in the rotation in Ferdinand Loving. Locally, Loving is THE GUY – everybody loves Ferdinand. And why wouldn’t they? The guy is everywhere… raising money for the local Children’s Hospital? Ferdi’s got you, no problem. Looking for someone to come and speak to your youth group about life? Give Ferdi a call, he’ll answer, he’ll say yes, and he’ll stay late to sign autographs. 2076 marks Ferdinand’s 10th season as a Major Leaguer – with every one of those seasons being played in a Montreal kit… he’s an institution in Quebec, the heart and soul of this club, and one of the top “team first” guys in the game… and we’ll see him in the first game of this set.

146 of 162: Newton Weiser (5-5, 4.79) @ Ferdinand Loving (10-9, 3.30)
Loss, 7-1
. Ferdi had no love in his heart for the La La’s… a complete game 1-run effort for the King of Montreal… and, look, Newton wasn’t bad here – not at all – he gave up two runs through 7 innings and Rudolf promptly gave up 5 runs once he took over. The guy is trash right now – he gave us a good effort while Barbaccia was gone, but his confidence seemed to implode as soon as our established closer returned – timing really is everything. LF Harlem Peterson drove in two runs, and former Laker, SS Sammie Fregoso hit a 2-run double off Caldwell in the 8th. Lonzo, in his first action for a short stretch, got two hits and drove in our only run. Otto has reached 40 steals – so that’s cool.

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Note… we, like Philadelphia, secured a guaranteed spot in the playoffs on a loss. We now officially have a chance to win the World Series – and to right the wrong of losing Game 7 of that series in 2075.

147 of 162: Dejuan Burns (15-8, 3.59) @ Jaxon Mottola (6-9, 4.93)
Win, 4-0
. We return the favor here – or more pointedly, Dejuan returns the favor over 7 innings of shutout baseball (and this time we went to Ash Newman in relief who was phenomenal). Otto hit his 31st homer and drove in two, and Newman hit a 2-run jack of his own. 3 double plays for the La La’s in this one – we played a nice, tight, and taut defense tonight on the road, and when we needed them, the hits came.

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148 of 162: Michael Brisk (15-7, 3.60) @ Kikuzo Ueno (9-10, 3.96)
Win, 9-3
. Big win for the La La’s that was captained by another really good performance from Brisky – 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, and 6 K’s – while Ethan took his spot in the Navigators seat going 3 for 5 with 3 runs scored. Otto put #31 out of the park, we’d hit 3 doubles as a team (Rollins, Lonzo, and Marshburn), we’d get 3 2-out RBIs, and Ethan STOLE THREE BAGS. Really solid road performance for the good guys – I like what I’m seeing right now, my stomach has started to settle, and I’m looking to sell off some of that stock I bought in GlaxoSmithKline.

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Elsewhere… Jacksonville’s SP Matthew Krebs rung up 14 Ks in a win over Golden State and is quietly putting together one of his best major league seasons… the Gwinnett Stripers swept the Seattle Supersonics in the 1st round of the International League playoffs, despite Seattle’s 3 HR’s in the closeout game… Your boy Adrian Bae’s injury diagnosis has come in – he’s out for the remainder of the season and at least the 1st round of the playoffs should Hagerstown make it to the postseason (it’s not really looking that good)… Former Laker disappointment, current NY Jet, SP Phillip King delivered a complete game, 6-hit, shutout win over the Portland Timbers – he struck out 4 in the victory and is now 11-9 on the year with a 2.86 ERA and 119 K’s.

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