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Old 04-17-2019, 02:17 PM   #1
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The Milburn Mallards (The Big Leagues)

As I awoke this morning, I calmly began stepping through my regular morning ritual. I rolled out of bed. I threw on my robe. I used the restroom. I brushed my teeth. I wandered out into the hallway and peeked into each of the kids’ rooms to make sure they were still asleep. I ventured into the kitchen and poured myself a cup of coffee. I stepped outside and grabbed the Milburn Gazette from the driveway. As I took a peek at the front page, noting the headlines, that is where my regular morning ritual took a sharp turn. Even though I knew what one of the top stories was going to be, it still set my heart rate into 3rd gear. I gazed at that headline like I had never gazed at one before.



“Mallards Hire Stone Torkelson as GM”

It seemed surreal. It seemed like fantasy. I almost expected at any second to find myself laying in bed, just awakening from what was a beautiful dream. But I was already awake. I was really standing out in the driveway, Gazette in hand, staring trance-like at that headline.

“Put some pants on!”

(Just kidding, I made that part up. My robe covered any unwanted exposure to the world.)

“Mallards Hire Stone Torkelson as GM”

Yes, it really said that. Yes, I was really the new General Manager for my beloved Mallards.

This was a dream that started taking shape twelve, thirteen years ago or so. When my baseball playing career stalled in the minor leagues because of injury (not to mention a lack of any apparent big league ability), my new baseball dream involved taking on the role that my grandfather had worn so successfully years ago.

You see, my grandfather, Studs Torkelson, was the Mallards’ General Manager through what was the club’s most successful era. He helped build and sustain a team that won seven Big Leagues Series titles during his time at the club. Many of the great Mallards of yesteryear played during my grandfather’s time in that office in the cupola of Jacoby Park. Names such as the amazing third baseman Claude Pellechia, his heir apparent at the hot corner, Noe Torres, the inimitable left fielder Jimmie McGuire, thoroughly dominant pitcher Phil Snellbaker. Names that still instill awe and inspire tales of sheer magic from old timers recounting their memories of those incredible days. My grandfather was there. My grandfather either signed them or dealt for them.

And now it is my turn. Don’t get me wrong though, possessing the last name that I do carries some lofty expectations along with it. My grandfather was literally and figuratively a Stud(s). My dad tried to follow in his footsteps, and had some success, but nothing like what Granddad enjoyed. Dad initially tried to steer me into other aspects of baseball after I hung up my glove and cleats. Coaching, managing, radio play by play, Cracker Jack vendor. Some other profession that is part of this game I love so much. But I felt, and feel even more so now, like it is in my blood. This is what I was born to do.

Who are the new Mallards heroes I might help be a part of?
Will I help bring another championship to this city?

I sure hope so.

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Old 04-17-2019, 02:18 PM   #2
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The year is 1979. But the year is not that important. The league stats will proceed on a historical trend but will stall sometime in the 80s. The dynasty will have a 1940s/1950s aesthetic, minus some of the not so pleasant aspects of that era.

The Milburn Mallards are a team in the Big Leagues, a league that exists in place of Major League Baseball in this world. The New York Yankees do not exist in this world. But the New York Metropolitans do. The Philadelphia Phillies do not exist either. But the Philadelphia Centennials do.

Milburn is a city that does exist in this world. But if you try to find it on a real-world map, you will not find it. Tt is a city though that does not exist in the world where the Cubs, Dodgers, Marlins do exist. But here, in this world, Milburn is a city located somewhere in the American Midwest. To narrow down just a bit, it is a city on the shores of Lake Michigan.

The “major” league in this world is the Big Leagues, which consists of the Hickory League (HL) and the Ash League (AL). The Hickory League came first, and is often referred to lovingly as “ol’ Hickory”. The HL began in 1876 with eight teams. After the unsuccessful beginnings of a few other leagues, The Ash League began play in 1901, and in 1903 the two leagues joined together to form a more perfect union known as “The Big Leagues”.


The Big Leagues consists of the following teams:
Hickory League
HL East
Baltimore Baybirds (Joined in 1955)
Brooklyn Atlantics (1876)
Cincinnati Redbirds (1884)
Montreal Royales (1977)
New York Mammoths (1876)
Philadelphia Centennials (1876)
Pittsburgh Summits (1876)

HL West
Chicago Stars (1876)
Los Angeles Bluebirds (1977)
Milburn Mallards (1881)
Milwaukee Chiefs (1876 - relocated to Milwaukee from Boston in 1949)
Minnesota Millers (1955)
San Diego Skippers (1953)
San Francisco Seals (1953)

Ash League
AL East
Atlanta Thrashers (1974)
Boston Colonials (1901)
Cleveland Foresters (1901)
Detroit Zephyrs (1901)
New York Metropolitans (1901)
Toronto Maple Leafs (1974)
Washington Generals (1901)

AL West
Chicago Unions (1901)
Dallas Texans (1955)
Houston Buffaloes (1955)
Kansas City Keystones (1901 - started in Philadelphia, relocated to KC in 1952)
Los Angeles Seraphs (1953)
St. Louis Saints (1901)
Seattle Rainiers (1953)

The winningest team in the history of The Big Leagues is the Philadelphia Centennials with 19 PrimeTime Series titles. The Mallards have won the Big Leagues Series 8 times in our history, with the last one being twenty two years ago, in 1957.

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Old 04-17-2019, 02:19 PM   #3
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Old 04-17-2019, 02:20 PM   #4
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Old 04-17-2019, 05:32 PM   #5
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The owner of the Mallards, Bob Jacoby, is one of those kind of people that as soon as you meet them, you almost instantly feel like you have known all of your life. Patient, kind, generous, warm. The man loves baseball, and as a result, I have heard that he can get a little more involved in the day to day operations of the team than I might like. Something to keep an eye on on.



But the reality in my case is I really have known him all of my life. The Jacoby family has owned the Mallards for 70 years. Bob’s father, Edward, bought the team in 1909, so my grandfather worked for Mr. Jacoby. Upon Mr. Jacoby's passing in 1957, Bob took the mantle and has been running them ever since. Now 78 years old, who knows how much longer he will be around, but I am looking forward to working for him.
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:38 AM   #6
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In my first meeting with him after becoming GM, Mr. Jacoby outlined some of his goals for the 1980 season.

* Achieve a winning record
* Improve team stolen bases total
* Sign Closer Lee Lewis to an extension
* Acquire a hometown player
* Increase team attendance
* Keep building the team up in order to make the playoffs in the next 3 seasons

The first goal, achieving a winning record, is very doable. The team has some talent, and just two seasons ago won 90 games. But this past season the team fell to 75-79, prompting Mr. Jacoby to make a change.

The second goal, increasing total stolen bases for the team, is also reasonable. The Mallards had 100 steals as a team last season, and were led by 2B Dan Musgrave and 1B Alex Thigpen, both with 22 steals. Young shortstop Richie Swan stole 18 bases last year, but was also thrown out 14 times. He has elite speed, and if he can improve his base running instincts, should see more success.

Signing closer Lee Lewis to an extension is an interesting one. The dude is 39 years old. But he still has top closer ability. This past season, his first with the Mallards, he had 31 saves, but compiled a 3.96 ERA, which needs to improve. He also has not spent more than one season with a club since his first seven years in the league, which were all spent with the Kansas City Keystones. Last season we were his 12th team since 1968. That’s a new team every season since 1968. We will have to see what he is looking for in an extension.


Acquire a hometown player - Right now Russ Hamlett, LFer for the Milwaukee Chiefs is the only current Big Leaguer from Milburn. This one might be tough. But we’ll scour the minor leagues too to see if we can find anyone. But we’re not going to make a deal solely to bring in someone from Milburn. It has to be the right move to help the team.

Attendance has been down the last few years, so we need to do something about that. Winning will help. We have a young team, with some exciting players, so that should help too.

For the last goal - again, we have a young team, so I think we are in a pretty good place to keep growing and maturing. If we can continue to do that, we should be in a pretty decent place to consistently participate in the playoffs.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:42 AM   #7
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One of my first orders of business is assessing the coaching staff, and making some decisions on whether to keep existing coaches/personnel. Two decisions I will not have to make are whether to keep the pitching coach and the hitting coach, as both coaches from last season have resigned. So I need to find replacements for them.

Bench coach Joe Birge has been with the Mallards for the past two seasons. Birge is a no-nonsense guy, liking order and structure in the clubhouse. Some guys like that, some don’t. He currently has two years left on his contract, which is paying him $30,920 a year. I will most likely keep him around this season at least.

The scouting director is Bill White. White has been scouting director for the Mallards since 1976, and has a year left on his $28,780/year contract. He is generally regarded as a strong judge of talent, with his strengths as scouting the Big Leagues and international scouting. White I will definitely keep aboard.

In the Minor Leagues, I will be making a few changes here. Don’t say anything to him until I have a chance to talk to him, but I will be letting Ben Thomas, manager of our AAA Porterville Pheasants club, go. I want to get someone in there with more developmental ability. Likewise, I will be finding a new hitting coach at AAA Porterville as well. Henry Day has been the hitting coach at Porterville since 1970, and I have not seen the development in the batters at that level that I would want.

The staff at the lower levels I will probably leave them be and give them a chance to show me what they can do.

Speaking of the lower levels, I should probably introduce you to those teams as well. As I have already mentioned, our AAA affiliate is the Porterville Pheasants. At AA we have the Kernal City Huskers. Our Single A club is the Cascadia City Klondikes, and our Rookie ball team is the Coconut Bay Sandpipers.

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Old 04-18-2019, 04:08 PM   #8
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Also on the To-Do list is figure out what i want to do regarding salary arbitration eligible players. We have ten players eligible. Of the ten, three are starting pitchers, and 3/4 of the starting infield from last season as well.

I decide that I will tender all ten an offer. In line to receive the biggest increases are starting pitcher Juan Leyva, who compiled a 14-16 record in 1979, with a 3.62 ERA in 261 innings pitched, and a 5.4 WAR. In 1979 he made $168,000, and we are offering him $337,500 for next season.


Also in line for a big increase is 23 year old catcher Ron Schwartz. Schwartz hit .252/.365/.359 this past season, with 6 HRs in 515 AB. His WAR was 3.8 Defense is where he really shines though. This guy will hopefully be our backstop for many years to come. In his three years in the Big Leagues, he has been an All-Star twice, won the Silver Slugger in 1978, and Gold Gloves in 1977 and 1978, with another one probably on the way when this year’s awards are announced. He made $41,600, and before I joined the ball club we extended him an offer for $232,000 for the next season.


Additionally, we have six players who are pending free agents. One of those is the previously mentioned Lee Lewis, our closer this past season. He is the only one I will pursue at all. The rest are fringe players making too much money for fringe players.

I ended up making a couple internal moves to help shore up the minor league coaching staffs. As I mentioned, I let Ben Thomas and Henry Day go from AAA Porterville, and I ended up promoting Jack Fisher, who was managing our AA Kernal City club, up to Porterville. I also moved AA Kernal City Hitting Coach Billy Sadler up to Porterville in the same role. Both Fisher and Sadler have been long time Kernal City stalwarts, with Fisher managing the team since 1972, and Sadler plying his trade as hitting coach with Kernal City since 1967. Both are long overdue for these promotions.

To fill their roles with Kernal City, I moved our Single A Cascadia City manager, John Lugo, up to manage the Huskers. I also moved Cascadia City Hitting Coach Bill Howell up to Kernal City as well.

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Old 04-19-2019, 12:41 AM   #9
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Ruben Solis is a 30 year old pitcher from Catano, Puerto Rico. The Mallards acquired him from the St. Louis Saints in 1973 in a trade for C Quintiliano Ezaki. He has been a consistent member of the starting rotation since 1975. He is coming off of his best season as a pro this past season, going 11-13 with a 3.60 ERA, 30 starts, 217.2 IP, and a 1.2 WAR. Good, not great.

One thing he is great at though is his work off the field with various organizations. He is very involved in charity work, and actively tries to recruit teammates to be more active in the community.

Ruben approached me about the Mallards helping out the community through either starting a charity or giving a donation. I thought this was a great idea. Having just stepped into these shoes, I felt like the time might not be right yet for me to start a charity in the Mallards’ name, but can without hesitation give a donation. I want the Mallards as a team to be active in the city of Milburn. Give back and all that stuff, y’know?


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Old 04-19-2019, 11:52 AM   #10
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October 17, 1979 (GBS)

Subject: The Big Leagues Announce Gold Glove Winners

As expected, Ron Schwartz won his third straight Hickory League Gold Glove at Catcher. If he continues, he could easily go down as one of the greatest defensive catchers in the history of the Big Leagues. Three seasons played, three Gold Gloves.

Hickory League Winners were:
P - Muhsin Berkeley (Cincinnati Redbirds) - 3rd GG
C - Ron Schwartz (Milburn Mallards) - 3rd GG
1B - Bob Tyson (San Francisco Seals) - 10th GG
2B - Steve O’Connor (Los Angeles Bluebirds) - 2nd GG
3B - Mike Jimmerson (Minnesota Millers) - 3rd GG
SS - Ron Stewart (Pittsburgh Summits) - 9th GG
LF - Ernie Anderson (Chicago Stars) - 1st GG
CF - Tony Albert (Philadelphia Centennials) - 1st GG
RF - Fred Hedlund (Brooklyn Atlantics) - 1st GG

Bob Tyson, San Francisco Seals

Ash League Winners were:
P - Otis Croom (Washington Generals) - 1st GG
C - Keith Cullen (Cleveland Foresters) - 1st GG
1B - Jody Carroll (Los Angeles Seraphs) - 3rd GG
2B - Bob Robson (Dallas Texans) - 1st GG
3B - John Keeter (Houston Buffaloes) - 1st GG
SS - Sergio Franco (Washington Generals) - 1st GG
LF - Mike Jackson (Cleveland Foresters) - 2nd GG
CF - Andres Angel (Chicago Unions) - 3rd GG
RF - Bob Benware (Boston Colonials) - 3rd GG

Ron Stewart, Pittsburgh Summits

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Old 04-21-2019, 12:55 AM   #11
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We came to terms with a hitting coach and pitching coach today. John Silver, who actually was our pitching coach the past seven years, but decided to test free agency, re-signed with us on a one year deal worth $33,600. Silver works well with ground ball pitchers, of which we have a number.

Our hitting coach will be Don Landrum. Landrum was the hitting coach for the Dallas Texans for 20 years, but has taken the last three seasons off. The 59-year-old joined us on a two year deal worth $35,000 per season. One of Landrum's key focal areas for hitters is being patient at the plate.
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Old 04-21-2019, 01:15 AM   #12
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October 22, 1979

Subject: TBL Announces This Year's Award Winners

Last night the Big Leagues announced the award winners for the 1979 season at the annual Awards Banquet at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City. Taking home hardware were:

HL Manager of the Year: John Ridge, Chicago Stars
AL Manager of the Year: Sammy Simmons, St. Louis Saints

HL Kid Dynamite Award (Top Rookie): 1B Mike Seawright, Philadelphia Centennials (.321 AVG, 21 HR, 59 RBI)
AL Kid Dynamite Award: Bobby Sharp, Seattle Rainiers (.287 AVG, 16 HR, 67 RBI)

HL Golden Arm (Top Pitcher): Jorge Gutierrez, Chicago Stars (14-4, 1.81 ERA)
AL Golden Arm Award: Lionell Blount, Detroit Zephyrs (21-5, 2.29 ERA)

HL Player of the Year Award: 1B Jim Corbin, Pittsburgh Summits (.347, 31 HR, 131 RBI)
AL Player of the Year Award: LF Danny Roncal, Dallas Texans (.370, 24 HR, 107 RBI)

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Old 04-22-2019, 10:07 AM   #13
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10/31/1979

As the free agency period is about to start, I start making my plans/strategies for how the team will proceed. What positions we will target, who we will pursue.

Strengths
First task is identifying in which positions I feel comfortable with going into the 1980 season. Those positions are:
C - Ron Schwartz (obviously). Head Scout Bill White identifies his excellent defensive instincts. Good control and recognition of the strike zone as a hitter. Has some mechanical issues with his swing, but we can address those over time. This past season hit .252/.365/..359 with 6 HR and 60 RBI. 3.8 WAR
2B - Dan Musgrave - 23 years old. Bill White’s Scouting Report lists him as an elite menace on the base paths. Strong defensively. Has a good sense of the strike zone. Has the talent to flourish as a 2Bman. In 1979 he hit .246/.342/.363 with 7 home runs and 68 RBI. 2.4 WAR. Also have Bobby Bugbee at AA Kernal City coming too. Set at 2B for a number of years.
SS - Richie Swan - Also 23 years old. White notes his excellent instincts defensively. Outstanding speed. Switch hitter with confident swings from both sides of the plate. Franchise cornerstone. Batted .265/.368/.410 with 12 home runs and 60 RBI. 4.6 WAR.
3B - Mario Mora - Another 23 year old. The future looks bright with this youth corp. Bill White raves about his speed, his elite defensive ability, and pegs him as a .310 hitter. This season hit .267/.293/.357 with 4 home runs and 63 RBI. Needs to hit for more power, but coming off of a bit of a down season. 0.7 WAR.
LF - Ian Auld - 27 year old. Good hitter. Not as much power as I would like for a left fielder. Not fleet of foot whatsoever, but has good instincts on the bases. Decent plate judgment. 1979 numbers include .320/.373/.464 with 14 HR and 56 RBI. 3.1 WAR.
CF - Jim Rainey - Another one of those 23 year olds. The 1978 Kid Dynamite Award winner as top rookie in the league. Excellent fielder with top class speed. Makes consistent contact. Numbers this season are .270/.318/.438 with 15 HR and 74 RBI. 3.7 WAR.
RF - Pete Grier - Another excellent fielder, having won a Gold Glove in 1976. Above average to strong power, with a smooth, fluid swing. Was the overall #1 pick in the 1972 TBL Draft by the Mallards. In 1979 he batted .296/.366/.478 with 26 HR and 87 RBI, with a 4.4 WAR.

Starting Pitching
#1 Starter Juan Leyva - Coming off of a 14-16 season with a 3.62 ERA. Previous two seasons won 20 games and 17. The right-hander is just 27 years old. Should be set for awhile.
#2 Starter Wally Christensen - The lefty had a record of 13-8 in 1979 with a 3.30 ERA. 30 years old.
#3/4/5 Starters - Feel pretty good with two guys here, Bob Carithers (29 years old) and Bob Figiel (26 years old). Carithers had a record of 13-7 this season with a 3.52 ERA in 29 starts. Figiel, who we just picked up in a trade before the start of the ’79 season, went 10-8 with a 2.93 ERA. Ruben Solis has moved back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen, and could be an answer here again too. Jimmy Riggs is at AAA Porterville, and may be ready to join the Big League squad also.

Bullpen
Set at closer with Lee Lewis, who we are trying to sign to an extension. 39 years old, but should have a few more years left in him barring injury. Feel comfortable with the four other guys currently making up the bullpen (Solis, Mike Straub, Leon Williams, Hal Holmes).

Areas to Improve
So now it is on to the areas I feel like we need to improve upon:
1B - Probably the biggest target area. Alex Thigpen has been serviceable, but has no power. As a team we need a big upgrade in the power arena, so finding a slugging first baseman will be a goal for the offseason. Have Bill Kennedy, who played at Single A Cascadia City this season. He is 22 years old, but probably needs another year of seasoning before he is ready.

Jody Carroll is probably the top First Baseman available in free agency. The 31 year old has spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Seraphs. This season he compiled a .257 average, with a .381 OBP and .460 SLG. He hit 26 home runs and 102 RBI. He has won 3 gold gloves at 1B, and is a 2-time All-Star. Bill White's Scouting Report states Carroll draws walks and works the count amongst the best in baseball. Has power. A defensive marvel. Would fit in well with the rest of our defensive strengths, and his power would be nice. Mr. Jacoby has given us a budget for free agency of $1,040,340, so we would be able to fit him in to the budget, with a bit left over to strengthen our depth.

Pitching - can never have too much pitching. Nobody pressing in the minors yet, so adding some more depth to the rotation/bullpen would be nice.

Other Focal Areas for the Offseason
Also need to look at which contracts will be expiring after the 1980 season, and which players we would like to try to work out an extension with versus letting walk. We have a considerable budget for extensions (just over $2M), and we will not even begin to use that on expiring contracts. Might be good to get some other guys signed longer-term as well.

The players we have with contracts expiring after the 1980 season are:
  • SP Wally Christensen
  • P Ruben Solis
  • 2B George Byers
  • SS Bob Hancock
  • 3B Paul Van der Horst

Solis and Christensen are both 30 years old, so any extension would not be a long-term. Having said that though, I would like to see if we can get them both signed for another 2-3 years. Solis should be easier to get signed, as Christensen will be looking for a bigger payday.

Hancock was the starter at shortstop for the past number of years until Richie Swan came on the scene and quickly unseated him. He’s only 30, so still has a number of years left, but they won’t be with the Mallards. I will be looking to trade him this season.

Both Byers and Van der Horst have bounced back and forth between Milburn and Porterville. Neither will most likely be re-signed.

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Old 04-22-2019, 10:53 AM   #14
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Mallards Announce Extensions for Key Players

MILBURN (11/1/1979) - The Milburn Mallards announced today the signing of contract extensions for two key players. Signing a one-year extension were All-Star Catcher Ron Schwartz. Schwartz will be earning $232,000 for for the 1980 season.

The team also announced that closer Lee Lewis has signed a two-year extension worth $550,000 per season. The right-hander will be 41 years old at the end of this extension.






Both of these offers were made prior to my arrival, so I did not have much to do with them. But glad we could particularly get the deal done with Schwartz. He is arbitration-eligible again after the '80 season, so I may try to avoid that and get him signed to a longer-term deal during the season, if not before.

The Lewis deal makes me a little uneasy. Again, the offer was made by my predecessor, but I didn't want to risk upsetting Lewis by pulling the offer or trying to re-work it. But $550,000 a year for a 39 year old who has not been with the same club for a good number of years is a bit of a risk. He will be 41 at the end of this deal, so this may be his last contract in baseball. Hopefully he can last it out.
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Old 04-22-2019, 03:12 PM   #15
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Taking a look at the world of baseball outside of the on-the-field product, last week was a sad week for The Big Leagues family, as two team owners died within two days of each other.

The first owner to pass away was Bill Barrow, owner of the Chicago Unions, on October 23rd, 1979. Mr. Barrow's 49-year-old son George will take over ownership of the team. He is known as a fairly patient, charitable person, who does like to make a profit.

Two days later, on October 25th, the baseball world was saddened to hear of the passing of St. Louis Saints owner Jorge Leon due to an illness. Jorge Leon Jr. will take over the ownership. Due to the lengthy illness of the elder Mr. Leon, Leon Jr. has been taking on increasingly more responsibilities with the Saints. He is known to be an economizer from a financial standpoint, and lenient in personnel decisions.
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Old 04-22-2019, 03:18 PM   #16
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Mallards Re-Sign Solis to Four-Year Deal

MILBURN (11/9/79) - The Milburn Mallards announced this morning that pitcher Ruben Solis has signed a four-year extension to his current contract. Solis's previous deal was due to expire at the end of this coming season, but with the new deal, he will be a Mallard for four more seasons. Solis will continue at the $110,000 a season rate he is currently at for the duration of the new contract.



When Solis did not seek a raise over his current salary of $110,000, I figured we should go ahead and move on that. He initially asked for a 5 year deal, but I was not comfortable adding the 5th year, as he will be 35 at that point. This deal will carry him through to the age of 34. He has been relatively injury-free, so hopefully that continues.
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:11 PM   #17
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I reached out to 1B Jody Carroll’s agent today to get a feel for what he might be looking for. His agent stated 7 years, $800,000 per season. That’s a little rich for my blood, and would make him the highest paid player in The Big Leagues, so we’ll see how much wiggle room we have to work with. We can afford that, but I don’t necessarily want to swing for the fences on my first free agent deal.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:43 PM   #18
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The Milburn Mallards have announced the signing of 1B Jody Carroll to a multi-year deal today. Terms of the deal were not available immediately, but rumors are the deal is for seven years at a salary of $750,000 per season. Carroll, one of the top free agents available this offseason, is a thirty-one year old from North Charleston, South Carolina. He has spent his entire nine year career with the Los Angeles Seraphs.

In 1979, Carroll batted .257 with a .381 On-base percentage and a .460 slugging percentage. He slugged 26 home runs while knocking in 102 RBI. For his career he has hit 187 home runs while knocking in 635 RBI. He is a two-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove winner, three-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and has two Big Leagues Series titles during his time with the Seraphs.



I am almost certain I overpaid for Carroll, but he becomes our biggest home run threat, and at a position we needed to upgrade. The fan reaction to his signing are amazing, and has increased fan interest significantly. With one of my goals from Mr. Jacoby being to increase attendance, this should help tremendously with that. This will move Alex Thigpen to the bench. He is only making $73,000 this season, so I will most likely not trade him, unless he forces my hand with his attitude. I’m not expecting that to be an issue, but we’ll find out soon enough.
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:47 AM   #19
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As I am about to head out to the Winter Meetings in San Diego, I thought I would provide an update on the free agent signings that have happened thus far this offseason:
  • The Philadelphia Centennials have signed former Pittsburgh Summits SP Robert Weston to a 2 year, $600,000/season deal. Weston, 30 years old, missed almost all of last season due to a stretched elbow ligament.
  • The San Francisco Seals have re-signed RF Joe Snyder to a $2.22 million dollar contract over 5 years. The Seals had acquired Snyder, 32 years old, at the trade deadline from the Washington Generals. Last season he hit .254 with 10 home runs and 49 RBI.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced they signed former Chicago Union 3B Don Galvin to a 4-year, $458,000 per season contract. Last season the 34-year-old hit .306/.425/.959 with 28 home runs and 112 RBI.
  • The Boston Colonials have signed former Pittsburgh Summits SP Steve Pope to a 4-year contract worth $740,000 per season. Last season Pope, 32 years old, went 21-3 with a 1.13 ERA.

Also, my goals for the Winter Meetings include:
  • Exploring trade options for SS Bob Hancock
  • Add some bullpen depth
  • Per Mr. Jacoby's goals for this season, see what we might find related to bringing in a player from Milburn

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Old 04-24-2019, 02:25 PM   #20
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Not a blockbuster by any means, but gives us a little more depth in the bullpen. Neither Madison or Chlopecki were ever going to reach the big club most likely, so not a huge loss. Walden didn't have a great season last year, but he is only making $41,600 this season, so not a huge gamble.

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