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Old 02-28-2012, 01:37 PM   #1
Nunyer
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Northern League Baseball: A humorously depressing look 50 years into the future...

The year is 2052. China and India are the big economic powerhouses on the planet. America has seen decades of relative stagnation. Fuel costs are high, wages aren't rising... it's sorta like the 1970s... except for roughly 40 straight years and with less disco music and unkempt body hair. Over this time, professional sports have seen a drastic decline in popularity. Young people from the early part of the century, raised with entertainment options from video games and the internet, are generally not as strong sports fans as their parents were. With the economy never especially bright, the middle classes have been shrinking and many people have been slowly priced out of stadium seats. Owners and players engage in repeated cycles of strikes and lockouts, fighting over the remains of the dying golden goose, and more and more fans are alienated.

Facing lower revenue and rising fuel costs, in the early 2020s, the western teams decide to break from MLB and start a regional league... no longer able to justify cross country road trips involving prohibitively expensive air travel. With this region of the country being primarily Spanish speaking by 2030, they siphon off the majority of the Latin based talent from Central/South America and Caribbean.. enjoying generally higher attendance, allowing for higher salaries and offering the players a home where Spanish is the primary language.

By 2025 the remaining rump of the MLB is next to collapse. The talent pool has been greatly diminished, the revenues can no longer support the palatial ballparks, big time corporations are now buying luxury boxes for cricket matches in India and soccer in China. By 2029 the southern teams have followed the west and have gone regional. In 2033, with only eight teams remaining in the northeast and midwest, the final official MLB games are played. The Cubs go 125 years without winning a World Series. The Pittsburgh Pirates win the final three championships. Dogs and cats get along fine. Carrot Top is now considered a comic genius by the people of France. It's insanity.

With the reset button now fully pressed, baseball goes about slowly rebuilding at the regional level. In 2042, Northern League Baseball is formed with 18 total teams running from the eastern seaboard to Chicago in the west and to Virginia and Kentucky in the south. Some teams share a direct lineage with their MLB predecessors, a few MLB teams have survived as regional, minor league teams and will form affiliations with NLB teams... but all teams at the top level start with new names and mascots to avoid the stigma from decades of labor unrest and an ugly league wide death spiral.

League Setup:

18 teams, 2 divisions
2 wildcards
Both playoff rounds will be best of seven
DH enabled

Three levels of minors (AAA, AA, SA)

The divisions will be geographically based by western and eastern. I will run an unbalanced schedule, as to reduce travel costs, I would think Chicago would want to avoid as many train rides to New York as possible.

Star players will earn $1.5m - $2m per season, minimum salary for a scrub is $120k or so. Top team payrolls are around $20m. Stadium capacity league wide is between 20-30,000 seats. Foreign players will be capped at 10%.

I will shortly be taking control of one team and provide the story primarily from that perspective, with news stories sprinkled in from around the league, country, world, etc. The game world has been simulated ahead, to the year 2052. Generally speaking, I like to have fun with this kind of stuff. The backstory is a bit of a downer, a necessary evil to give myself a clean sandbox to play in, but the mood will be much lighter going forward, most fake news stories will be based around the premise of me making myself chuckle while I write it.
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:41 PM   #2
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Northern League Baseball

Eastern Division
Washington Colonels
Richmond Riptide
Bronx Zoo
Hartford Diablos
Rhode Island Revolution
Boston Barons
Philadelphia Felons
Brooklyn Biohazard
Baltimore Ball Busters

Western Division
Pittsburgh Hardhats
Detroit Machine
Cleveland Comrades
Buffalo Soldiers
Columbus Hot Dogs
Cincinnati Cockroaches
Grand Rapids Mammoths
Kentucky Bluegrass
Chicago Fire
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:57 PM   #3
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Selig named NLB Commissioner
Nation collectively gasps "WTF, He is sill alive?"
by Wayne Krenchicki IV, YTGTESPN Staff Reporter
February 26th, 2052

NEW YORK, NY - After ten years of existence being run directly by an executive board of owners, Northern League Baseball has decided to add a figurehead to the organization. They have announced the hiring of former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig.

"We like what Bud brings the table," said Baltimore Ball Buster owner Mark Day, "which is mainly that he typically has no clue what he is doing and has an excellent track record of being an obedient lackey for ownership."

When asked if his advancing age is a concern, Day brushed off such concerns. "The man is almost 120 years old and still has a passion for the game. I can't think of a better way to embrace a new, younger generation of fans then to hire a frighteningly old, old man."

Selig himself appears spry and aware for a man of his age. "Well, I have a special elixir I take weekly to keep myself young," stated Selig, "the key ingredient is the tears of crippled orphans... Only naturally crippled orphans, don't get any ideas of crippling any orphans yourself, those tears are no good. Boy howdy, did I learn that one the hard way."

According to most reports, Selig will not be involved in any direct day-to-day operations for the league, and has primarily been hired to be a figurehead. "The word just rolls off the tongue, Selig, has a golden ring to it." said Mark Day. "We think he will make a great public face for our still growing league."
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:17 PM   #4
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Columbus Hot Dogs name new GM
In aftermath of embarrassing Spring Training brawl, GM Foster is fired
by Wayne Krenchicki IV, YTGTESPN Staff Reporter
March 26th, 2052

COLUMBUS, OH - In one of the most bizarre events seen in the ten year history of the league, long time Columbus General Manager Freddie Foster has been fired after getting into an on-field brawl with manager Cody Summers. He has been replaced by JJ Nunyer, a relative unknown who was apparently a college roommate with Hot Dogs owner Curt Lerma.

After the Hot Dogs dropped their final spring training matchup to the Cincy Cockroaches, Foster and Summers appeared to have words outside the dugout. Soon the two were throwing punches and only the quick reaction of Benny Byproduct, the Hot Dogs mascot, managed to break up the fight before anybody was hurt.

"I think we need a new direction," stated owner Lerma, "it's too damn expensive to fire the coaching staff... so Freddie had to go."

When asked for information about new GM Nunyer, Lerma was less than forthcoming. "Let's just say we made a bet when I bought the team. JJ wagered that if we didn't make the playoffs for 10 straight seasons, he'd get to run the show. Well, I suppose you can guess how many times we've made the playoffs..."

Nunyer has not made any public comments yet, but with less than a week before Opening Day, a team spokesperson said the new GM is already very immersed in his new job.
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:49 PM   #5
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GM Journal

My kids make fun of me for keeping my grandfather's old Playstation3 around so I can play MLB '15 The Show... but look who's laughing now... I'm running a baseball team! I can't believe Lerma actually kept his word and remembered our bet from all those years ago. At first I thought he had just about given up and stopped caring about the team... figure he'd pay me peanuts and spend all his time at his summer house... But the guy is surprisingly hardcore about this crap... Asking me for my take on the roster and the direction of the farm system and the coaching and scouting staffs. It's like he expects me to have a clue... Good thing I have a nice supply of these 56 Hour Energy shots on hand. Time to start looking at what I got here...



History
Owner Curt Lerma became a minor national celebrity in 2040 when at the age of 32, he married the 60 year old former model and California governor Kim Kardashian. It was her 7th marriage and it only lasted for two years. Lerma used the generous divorce settlement to purchase the Columbus Hot Dogs shortly after the start of the 2042 inaugural NLB season. The team has been consistently mediocre, with Lerma spending on veteran free agents and rarely developing much in house talent.

Best Player
RF Jeffrey "Firehose" Young / 29 years old - A former 1st overall pick by Columbus in 2046, Young did not take a single at-bat in the minor leagues. He made his NLB debut immediately after being drafted out of the University of Tennessee and won NLB Rookie of the Month for July 2046. He is a career .288 hitter good for 25-30 HRs per season while swiping 20 or more bases. A fan favorite in Columbus, Young is signed for two more seasons with a player option for the third. He is the 2nd highest paid player on the team, making a combined $2.6m over the next two seasons.

Best Pitcher
SP Ruben "Big Stud" Vega / 32 years old - Another fan favorite, Vega has spent his entire 10 year career with the Hot Dogs. With 125 career wins and a 3.79 lifetime ERA, Vega has been one of the few consistent performers on a team that typically does not spend money on pitching. He's the highest paid player on the team, owed a little more than $4m over the next three seasons.

Outlook
Not a whole lot of warm and fuzzies looking at those yearly standings. Guess things could have been worse, and looking at the current situation, we have some decent veteran leadership... But also have a couple of bad contracts and I'm not getting a lot of confidence about young guys on our minor league system. Within the next day or so, I'll really have to get a handle around our roster and start really looking at the rest of the league... now where did my kid put my PS3 controller... it's not like these things can just be picked up at any old WalMart anymore... geez.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:46 PM   #6
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GM Journal

Just got out of my first meeting with our head scout... He's an odd bird, that guy. Chris Orr is his name, claims to be the illegitimate great grand cousin of NHL great Bobby Orr... But the more I think about it, what the hell is a great grand cousin? All he does is sit around and play Angry Birds 6: Modern Warfare 2 on some old iPad5... I never see him doing any work... And he insists that I call him "Mothballs" .... "it's because of how I smell" he says... Although I don't smell anything. Starting to think people around here are messing with the new guy... But Orr appears to have his stuff together despite never seeming to work, gave me some good info about our starting pitching... even if this notebook has doodles of cartoon birds carrying machine guns all over the margins...

SP Evan Carroll / 35 years old
Under contract for 1 year @ $314k
Career journeyman, always had a reputation for being a bit lazy, one of Lerma's typical cheapskate moves to save money. He insisted we grab him in the Rule 5 when Philly realized he was basically a bum. He can still probably eat up some innings for us, but none of his three pitches particularly fool anybody anymore. If you resign this guy, then you will already be dead to me.

SP Bob Childs / 33 years old
Under contract for 1 year @ $600k
Bob put up a number of decent seasons pitching for pretty bad teams out in Baltimore. But he is well past his prime now, skating by on reputation more than stuff. Guys either swing and miss at his heater or it leaves the ballpark. He's given up over 70 home runs in 52 starts in Columbus. Rumor has it that he might snag a supplemental draft pick if he hits the market next year, although I can't imagine any other teams realizing this and offering him a deal.

Drew "The Workout" Lee / 28 years old
Under contract for 1 year @ $180k, arbitration eligible (est $189k)
This might shock you boss, but Lee is another journeyman type that comes cheap. We got him mid season last year off waivers when, you guessed it, the Cincy Cockroaches realized he had little value. He doesn't walk anybody, but unfortunately he doesn't strike anybody out either. Earned his nickname from teammates because of all the running around they have to do in the field on days he starts. He is 17-34 with an ERA north of 5.00 in his NLB career.

SP Lorenzo Rodriguez / 33 years old
Under contract for 1 year @ $336k
We traded away some underachieving nobodies to get this guy, so I guess I can't complain... but another one of our starters with little upside beyond a throwing arm that is medically considered functional. Throws five pitches, none of them particularly effective anymore, but doesn't surrender many walks. I can't project this guy to do much for us this season or in any subsequent season.

Ruben "Big Stud" Vega / 32 years old
Under contract for 3 years: $1.26m, $1.39m, $1.52m
The one decent starter that we ever managed to develop and keep in house. Lerma almost gave me a heart attack when he handed Ruben that six year deal a few years back. I'm doubting he lives up to it by the time he's 34-35 years old. He's been declining for the last two years, all of his good numbers going bad, all of his bad numbers getting worse. His fastball just doesn't dance like it used to... Still, he's the best thing we got.

Anyways, that's all the notes I can afford to give you at the moment... Thinking about our rotation makes me all frowny inside. Let's talk later about the bullpen, at least we got some talent there, because bullpen arms are cheap... just like Lerma likes em....
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:29 PM   #7
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I don't want to interrupt this because I am afraid you might stop. But I must interrupt to say BRAVO! This is outstanding work so far, and I hope you can maintain the momentum. I would say slow down a bit, but hey you have plenty of those 56-hour energy drinks. They must cost at least six bullets and a roll of vintage Charmin.

Benny Byproduct... 120 y/o Bud Selig crippling orphans... YTGTESPN... great stuff! I really don't care, but I am guessing there will be baseball too.
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:54 PM   #8
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GM Journal

After lunch had my second meeting with Mothballs... Now I get the nickname. No idea what the guy eats for lunch... but damn... it makes your eyes water a little bit before the actual smell registers with the brain. It's completely unsettling... and I think I momentarily starting hallucinating for a minute there... It was a nice spring day here in Columbus, so I wisely moved the meeting outside to the balcony overlooking the field. I'm not sure if Mothballs picked up on the reasoning, I think everybody else around here has developed a resistance. Anyways, he's much more exited about our bullpen....

MR Jose Aurillo / 27 years old
Under contract for 1 year @ $430k
We acquired him from Grand Rapids a few years back when our outfield got crowded and we didn't want to pay any more arbitration raises than we had to. Jose has been great for us the last two seasons, solid setup man. He doesn't recover fast enough to really eat up a lot of innings, but he is a very effective leftie when on the mound. Can approach the upper 90s with his sinking fastball, and throws two wicked breaking balls. His ERA is consistently below 2.50 with a FIP under 3.00... strikes out over 10 batter per 9IP. He can likely walk when the year is over.... we need to think long and hard about his future in Columbus.

MR Eric Braun / 32 years old
Under contract for 2 years @ $820k per year (player opt for 3rd year @ $820k)
Saved 33 games for the Champion Philly Felons last year. I didn't understand the need to sign him, but Lerma loved the guy... "We don't need starters, we need another closer!"... He didn't pitch particularly well in the spring, but I fully expect him to be closing games for us this season. A straight up fastball/slider righty, Braun can be unhittable when on his game.

MR Garland Schneider / 32 years old
Under contract for 1 year @ $189k, arbitration eligible (est. $207k)
A fairly pedestrian middle / long reliever. Spent most of his career in the minors, logging only 67 appearances over parts of six NLB seasons. Hard throwing righty who is well liked in the clubhouse and is better than anything we have in Triple A.

MR Scott "Wildcat" Thompson / 24 years old
Under team control @ $120k per season. 83 total days of NLB service time
Somehow those fools running the Richmond Riptide thought they could sneak this guy through waivers at the end of spring training. Only appeared in 15 games over two seasons, but the kid was a former 1st rounder who has saved over 100 minor league games since he started pro ball at the age of 17. Another hard throwing righty, he needs to brush up on his command a little bit, still see too many walks... But when he properly locates his fastball and slider, it's just not fair to the batters.

MR Silas "Pep" Wright / 28 years old
Under contract for 1 year @ $360k, pending extension offer for 2 years @ $380k
Local kid, former first rounder out of Ohio State University... or "THE" Ohio State University like those dolts say on the pro football games... what's that all about? Anybody confusing them for the Ohio University Nobodycares?!? Anyways, Wright is a serviceable lefty matchup guy... He hasn't been terribly consistent over his career and never lived up to the promise of future closer after notching 32 saves in 2047. Worth keeping around for the right price and I didn't argue with Freddie offering him that extension before he got canned.

CL Timothy Hendricks / 27 years old
Under contract for 3 years @ $600
Long time setup man, won the closer job in spring training. I have to think that Foster was planning on trading Timmy away after signing the Championship closer in Eric Braun... but then he got fired... and burned all his files and smashed his corporate laptop on the way out... and then spray painted various curse words all over the stadium. Hendricks can hit triple digit heat and has had an effective career as an 8th inning specialist... But it's starting to look like this pitching staff has one too many closers and four too few starters.
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orcin View Post
I don't want to interrupt this because I am afraid you might stop. But I must interrupt to say BRAVO! This is outstanding work so far, and I hope you can maintain the momentum. I would say slow down a bit, but hey you have plenty of those 56-hour energy drinks. They must cost at least six bullets and a roll of vintage Charmin.

Benny Byproduct... 120 y/o Bud Selig crippling orphans... YTGTESPN... great stuff! I really don't care, but I am guessing there will be baseball too.
Thanks for the kind words Orcin.... As far as the pace, it's going to come in fits and spurts as I get time. For example, today at work I was stuck on a good 2-3 hours of completely dull conference calls... conference calls that required about 15 total minutes of my participation... but calls that my boss insisted that I stayed on... So guess what? It was mute the phone dynasty writing time!

So I would guess that there will be days with a ton of updates... then maybe nothing to very little for a few....

And there will be baseball, I plan on taking the baseball side of the house with all required seriousness... and all the news stories and surround stuff will just be for fun. I'm planning on going over the roster with my scout.. then starting the season... Seeing I was hired after spring training was over... so likely things will become more workaday baseball results soon enough.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Nunyer View Post
But it's starting to look like this pitching staff has one too many closers and four too few starters.
Ahh, but the good news is that those other NLB GM's probably love relievers as much as your predecessor did.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:08 PM   #11
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GM Journal: Saturday March 30th, 2052

Only two days until opening day... it's going to be a circus. Well, as much of a circus as regional sorta major league baseball can be in central Ohio. We welcome the Cockroaches to town, they aren't terribly good, but they were the team that was on the field when my predecessor, Freddie Foster, went crazy and tried to kill our manager and Benny Byproduct. Should be an interesting official start to my new career.

And wow... our minor league system must be really, really bad. Every time I try to talk to Mothballs about it, he screams in what I can only guess are curse words from a foreign language and throws random items from his desk at me until I leave his office. That bastard clipped me in the collarbone with his stapler this morning. According to an independent scouting agency that we apparently pay to keep Mothballs honest, our farm system is ranked 16th. Not good in an 18 team league.

I offered a few young guys minor league contracts a few minutes ago... based on reading a few blogs. Felt good to actually do something official... Hopefully I didn't screw up the paperwork. Rumor has it that our team lawyer is actually a former exotic dancer that the owner keeps on the payroll so he can hide the child support payments from his wife... She signed her name on every single blank line of the contracts, even the blank lines meant for the players to sign... and her name is Destiny... no last name ... just Destiny, Attorney at Law... with a heart dotting the "i". Starting to understand why Freddie Foster went on a postal rampage at the end.

On a brighter note, my assistant just dropped off the scouting assessment of our catchers. Starting to wonder if Mothballs computer is even plugged in... everything is in these spiral notebooks covered with doodles. Today's theme appears to be dragons with human female breasts... Thanks for that Mothballs, you're a gem.

C Jason Bell / 35 years old
Under contract for 1 year @ $805k
Ever see that movie Major League? Me either, that thing is like 70 years old... don't even know why I brought it up... But Jason Bell makes Tom Berenger from Major League look like Johnny Bench... Bell has shot knees, can't run and isn't terribly sharp anymore defensively. He'll probably fall into 15 homers if we play him regularly, but that's about it for silver linings here.

C Jose Garcia / 30 years old
Under contract for 1 year @ $180k, arbitration eligible (est $189k)
Everything I said above about Bell? Well, just replace Major League with Major League 3... and replace Tom Berenger with Scott Bakula.

In conclusion our catchers stink. We have one somewhat promising kid down on the farm, but he is at least a full season away. I know you are new at this job... in over your head... way out of your league... hopelessly overwhelmed at every turn... So you might want to take a look at the waiver wire, Baltimore is trying to sneak their former starter down to the minors. He's nothing much at the plate, but he's outstanding at handling pitchers and in the field. Maybe we can convince Lerma to eat the $180k to make Garcia go away.... I doubt it, but claim the guy and worry about those details later.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:56 PM   #12
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Great idea, I love reading these types of dynasties. Keep it up!
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:46 PM   #13
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GM Journal - less than 24 hours to opening day

Everybody around here is getting a little tense.. Suppose it always would around here right before the start of a season. Met my first member of the team today, Steve Walton, seems like a nice enough guy. He's our backup first baseman and primary performer in the Benny Byproduct costume since we acquired him a couple years ago. He says he has six kids and the extra $200 a game for being the mascot pays for a lot of braces getting tightened.... He's only averaged about 20 games per season as a ball player over his nine year career... guess nobody ever really misses him in the dugout... He was Closed Head Injury Carl for the Pittsburgh Hardhats... Sparky the Arsonist for the Chicago Fire... and Tommy Tumor for the Brooklyn Biohazard. Fans around the league have probably saw a lot more of Steve Walton then they ever would have thought... crazy how things work sometimes...

Just had Mothballs walk into my office... time to see what else he's got ready for me...

Starting outfield:

LF Barry "Condor" Summers / 23 years old
Under team control @ $120k per season. 139 days of NLB service
Formerly the #1 ranked prospect in the league, Condor has yet to really ... wait for it ... spread his wings in the NLB... Get it? because he has a stupid bird nickname... Anyways, Barry has the talent, but he doesn't work very hard to improve. Left field is his to lose this year. If he lives up to his potential he can bat .300 and hit 40 HRs. Above average defensively as a corner OF, if maybe with a slightly weak throwing arm. Good base runner.

CF Mauro Moreno / 24 years old
Under contract for 1 year @ $410k, arbitration eligible (est $493k)
A bench player for his first three years in the league, Moreno has blossomed into a very solid center fielder. Stole 69 bases last season and earned his first All-Star appearance. Slotted as the leadoff man, although he still strikes out too often. Probably a bottom half of the order type of bat on a good team.

RF Jeffrey "Firehose" Young / 29 years old
I wrote a little on Jeffrey in an earlier journal entry.. Easily our best all around player, hits for power, can steal a base, draws obscene amounts of walks... Although we might start getting him time at DH this year. His defense isn't the strongest.

Reserve outfield:

LF Felix Gonzalez / 29 years old
Under contract for 1 year @ $379k
Pretty good option to have as a backup. Above average defensively with a cannon arm. Could be used as a defensive replacement or left handed pinch hitter. Apparently not happy that Condor was handed the LF starter spot, could see platoon work or win the job outright if the youngster craps the bed. He can walk at the end of the season, and I don't see him fitting into any long term plans... of course you are the GM and I'm just a lowly paid scout with decades more experience than you... why listen to me?

RF Georges Geoffrey / 33 years old
Under contract for 3 years @ $905k per season
WARNING: Horrible contract alert! When Lerma and Foster went to the "winter meetings" in Atlantic City in 2050, they came back with three things... Lerma ended up with a pregnant stripper... err, lawyer... named Destiny. Foster, well pretty sure he caught syphilis, as that would explain his insane break from reality a few years later... And the third thing was this horrible 4 year, $3.6 million dollar contract for the ridiculously named Georges Geoffrey. I guess he can still rake well enough, and maybe we can find a team desperate for corner outfielding that will take this contract off our hands... but I doubt it. This one is a budget killer for us. Start making phone calls. The only decent prospects we have are outfielders... and this guy is blocking their path. Get me a pitching prospect, hell, get me a guy to give Walton some days off from wearing the Benny costume... just get this guy out of town.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:12 AM   #14
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56 Hour Energy my sweet hinder...! no way I made it past 47 hours... dammit, it's less than an hour until first pitch. Better shower up and get to the owner's box. Thank goodness there is a fully furnished locker room in this place...

Ok, made it to my seats. Mothballs is already here... enjoying a cigarette directly next to the "NO SMOKING" sign... nobody else seems to care. He starts banging away at some silly game on his iPad... as I sit down he pushes over another spiral notebook... today's opponent...

(just realized I misspelled Cincinnati on this team banner, stupid no spell checking Photoshop!)


History
In 2024, two years after the western MLB teams decided to split and form their own regional league with various Mexican clubs, the Reds were lured away from Cincy. They moved to Tijuana and became the "Los farmacéuticos locos de Tijuana" or the "Tijuana Crazy Pharmacists". A few years later, in 2028, the Cincinnati Cockroaches were born as an independent team. The nickname was supposedly chosen because, like the Cockroach, you can't kill baseball in Cincy. After a horrible early history, the team is looking on the rise, led by a strong young pitching staff. Frugal ownership will probably let most of these guys walk in a few years, but for now the Cockroaches could be poised for a run at the playoffs.

Best Player
C Rex "The Shark" Scott / 25 years old. Former first overall pick from the Cockroaches, Scott has come into his own the last two seasons. Has batted around .300 with 30+ HR power. Strong throwing arm at catcher, possibly could hit the open market next year if the cheapskates running the team don't pony up.

Best Pitcher
SP Alfonso "Magician" Ramirez / 26 years old. After an unspectacular four seasons, Magician made opposing batters disappear in 2051... (see what I did there, MAGIC PUNS... or was that a simile? I dunno... anyhoo...). He won 20 games, striking out 216 hitters and putting up a sparkling 0.93 WHIP. One of his best games last season was a 4-hit, 9-strikeout gem against our very own Hot Dogs in Columbus last August... and he's on the mound today. Cincy took a gamble and locked him into an affordable four year deal prior to last season and that is looking to have been a shrewd move.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:58 AM   #15
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Little nippy out this afternoon... probably only 50 degrees or so with a sharp wind blowing across the field. Looks to be pretty close to a sellout, that's a good sign. Mothballs has tucked away the iPad and is on the edge of his seat... already scribbling like mad in the next spiral notebook... I guess this is when he does his work...

The Hot Dogs jump on Ramirez early, putting up four hits including a 3 run HR from Felix Gonzalez... 4-1 after three innings.... Trouble in the 5th... Vega loads the bases with nobody out, two hits and a walk... But he escapes the jam!! Infield fly, grounder taken to the plate and a strikeout! That's some big brass balls from the Big Stud! (note to self: never mention big brass balls and Big Stud together again, I feel dirty)... Vega gives up another run in the 7th, starts to look a bit worn down... Summers pulls the plug and lefty Aurillo gets the final out. Not a bad opening day for the Stud: 6.2IP, 7H, 2ER, 3K, 1BB... We add an insurance run in the bottom of the 7th and the bullpen closes the door... 5-2 Hot Dogs in the opener!

Game notes
  • Have to read up on our 3B. Worked a couple a nice ABs and played stellar on the hot corner
  • The bullpen is looking like a big plus, seven batters faced, four strikeouts
  • Stop accepting complimentary beers no later than the 5th inning. *hiccup*
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:54 PM   #16
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GM Journal - April 3rd, 2052

Our second game didn't go so well, we were shutout on four hits by Cincy, 6-0... and next up are the League Champion Philly Felons... might be an ugly week.

On the plus side, my waiver claim for a new catcher went through! We have acquired 28 year old Eric Stevens from Baltimore. He's not going to win any batting titles, but he is a huge upgrade defensively. I'm pretty sure Summers is going to give him the platoon job against lefties at the least... if he pans out he'll probably replace Bell outright. As expected, nobody is returning my calls in regards to our former backup catcher, Jose Garcia. I was wishfully thinking we could roll him over for a weak prospect, just to clear his $180k off the books... but no takers... Sure he'll clear waivers and end up playing out the string as a warm body in AAA.

April 8th

Mercy! There is a reason the Felons were the league champions. We just got embarrassed at home in a three game sweep. Were shutout twice, scored a grand total of two runs in three games... 1-4 out of the gate... and now we go on the road. 18th in the league in pretty much every batting category... The starters have been awful... Time to start looking at some of my players again... something is going to give here soon.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nunyer View Post
(just realized I misspelled Cincinnati on this team banner, stupid no spell checking Photoshop!)
Nah. I'd like to think that in 2026, then Ohio governor Jerry Springer led the charge for renaming that predominant city's spelling.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:26 PM   #18
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April 9th

The team just arrived in Pittsburgh, going to take the field against the Hardhats in about eight hours. I'm going to go back over these notes I have on our infield guys. Need to start coming up with options here... I hate to start already panicking, but I have no experience and I'm in way over my head... sounds like a good time to panic to me....

Starting infield

1B Michael "No Nickname" Jackson / 26 years old
Under contract for 1 year @ $715k, arbitration eligible (est $1.0m)
Originally drafted by Richmond, the Riptide organization gave up on Jacko after only one season. We snatched him up and he has developed into an All-Star at 1B. He has average .300 and 30HR the last three seasons and will likely demand a decent amount of money to lock him long term.

2B Edmund Warren / 33 years old
Under contract for 3 years @ $760k, $900k, $1.04m
Another bad contract that Foster handed out towards the end. I can't imagine paying this guy $1m when he's 36. He might end up being passable for this season, but we might have to try and get something for him while he still has some value. We have some younger and/or cheaper guys on the bench that won't be much of a drop off in production.

SS Alberto Vazquez / 28 years old
Under contract for 4 years @ $350k, $700k, $1.00m, $1.30m
Continuing on with the bad contract theme... Neither Lerma or Foster ever listened to me... I told them this guy was never going to be worth one million bucks per season. He had one good season at the plate in a contract year and totally cashed in. Defensively, he's awful at SS and slightly better than awful at 2B. Another guy that should not fit into our long term plans, assuming we aren't stuck with this albatross of a contract.

3B Don "Tricky" Nixon / 27 years old
Under contract for 1 year @ $595k
The absolute gold standard for consistency... In five seasons, Don has never batted above .247 and he's never batted below .239... Not great, but at least you know what you're getting with him. He's also won three of the last four Allstate You're In Good Hands Outstanding Fielder of the Year presented by Old Spice Awards at 3B. (Don't worry, I'll call it the Gold Glove from now on, no freaking way I'm going to bother with an acronym for that hot mess!). Most likely will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. Played primarily SS in the minors, will never be a gold glove guy in the middle infield, but probably still has good enough tools to convert back if required.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:39 PM   #19
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On the road in Pittsburgh for a three game set....



History
Originally founded as the Pittsburgh Alleghenys in 1882. One of only three former MLB teams (along with Detroit and Philly) to have survived the collapse of the league while continuing to play uninterrupted baseball in their original cities. After the MLB folded, the Pirates immediately rebranded themselves as the Hardhats and started playing in the independent Appalachian Baseball League. They joined the NLB for the inaugural 2042 season.

Best Player
LF Richard Terry / 26 Years Old - Injury has slowed down his early career, but Terry showed what he is capable of in 2050 by hitting 46 HRs in only 138 games. Already has 4 HR in his first 10 games of 2052. Although he only covers an average amount of ground in LF, Richard has shown surprising base stealing ability and could swipe 30 or more bags when healthy.

Best Pitcher
SP Kyoden Akiyama / 26 years old - Discovered playing semi-pro ball while in the United States on a student visa, Akiyama is one of few Japanese nationals playing in the NLB. Nothing is overpowering out his stuff but he locates four pitches well and attacks the strike zone. Won 14 games while holding batters to a low .228 average in his first full NLB season in 2051.

Outlook
The Hardhats have a downright dangerous lineup and a relatively young pitching staff on the rise. They have started the season with a 5-2 record to lead the early Western Division race.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:27 PM   #20
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Results

Game 1

Columbus 9 - Pittsburgh 4
Evan Carroll battled for six and and third, surrendering 10 hits and using up 121 pitches, but ultimately earned his first win of the season. Condor Summers continued to be one of the lone bright spots for the Hot Dogs offense, delivering a double and triple along with three RBI. Hardhat starter Johnny Taylor was roughed up for five runs in three innings of work.

Game 2

Columbus 0 - Pittsburgh 1
The Hot Dogs soccer style scoring continues, getting shutout for the 4th time in only seven games. Pittsburgh starter Aurelio Garza holds Columbus to only three hits in the complete game gem while striking out four with three walks. Closer Tim Hendricks surrendered back-to-back doubles with two outs in the bottom of the 9th to take the first loss of the year from the Columbus bullpen. Starter Bobby Childs delivered a strong eight innings of work, giving up five hits while striking out four with no walks.

Game 3

Columbus 3 - Pittsburgh 5
Hot Dogs manager Cody Summers stuck with his starter for a little too long and it cost him. Despite a well rested bullpen, Summers trotted out Lorenzo Rodriguez for the 8th inning. One walk and two singles later, the Hardhats took a two run lead that would hold through the ninth. Pittsburgh starter Kyoden Akiyama pitched eight strong to improve to 3-0 on the season.

GM Journal

Just got off the phone with Lerma... only the 2nd or 3rd time I've talked to him since he hired me. Says he'll be in town next week after I told him that we've started 2-6. He stated that the playoffs should be my goal and make any moves that our budget will allow to improve the team.

I've already started by calling every other GM... But it's hard to find a good way to say "let's talk about you acquiring my overpaid, underachieving contract albatross..." I still need to work on the used car salesman aspects of being a GM. Mothballs told me he's got some potential leads... and that I should talk to him in the morning.... the team is on the bus home, Detroit comes to town for a three game series. They've started slow as well at 4-6, maybe we can stop the bleeding.

Last edited by Nunyer; 03-01-2012 at 04:30 PM.
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