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Old 10-02-2019, 08:21 PM   #101
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1927 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
KINGS IN A HOLE AFTER DROPPING PAIR AT HOME
The Brooklyn Kings old nemisis, 1-run games, came back to haunt them as the World Championship Series got underway. Brooklyn, which struggled in 1-run contests during the season going 16-21, dropped both games one and two of the series to the Philadelphia Keystones by that margin. They are certainly not out of it but what makes comeback chances even tougher for Brooklyn is both of those games were played at Kings County Park and now they must travel to Philadelphia needing to win two of three on Broad Street in order to prolong the series.

The series opener saw the potent Philadelphia offense get right to work, scoring twice in the top of the first inning although they were aided by a wild pitch from Brooklyn starter Cal Williams (21-10). Brooklyn battled back with single runs in the 4th,5th and 6th frames to go up 3-2 but Philadelphia retook the lead for good with 3 runs in the 7th inning, keyed by a 2-run double off the bat of Keystones shortstop Cliff Herman (.309,7,115). The Kings cut the gap to one in the bottom of the ninth thanks to a 1-out solo homerun from catcher Mickey Dowell (.306,8,87) and had the tying run on base following a 2-out single off the bat of rookie second sacker Willie Jackson (.271,8,47) but the game ended 2 pitches later when Rip Agee hit into a fielders choice to make the final 5-4 Keystones.

While most expected the series to be a slugfest between the top offensive clubs in each league, it was pitching that stole the show in Game Two. Brooklyn's talented 25 year old lefthander Leon Campbell (17-13) went the distance allowing just 4 Philadelphia hits but Philadelphia's Rube Frazier (14-17) was nearly as effective, surrendering only 7 hits to the Kings and pitching his way out of several jams. Scoreless thru five, it was Brooklyn's Campbell that blinked first, walking Lee Smith (.326,11,97) with one out and then, after getting Carl Ames (.338,12,97) to fly out, Campbell made a mistake on his first delivery to Federal Association triple crown winner Rankin Kellogg (.364,32,133). The 24 year old outfielder belted the ball 422 feet for a homerun that some in attendence felt went much further than that.

It put Philadelphia up 2-0 and even though Campbell aided his own cause by driving in Lou Garman (.320,7,67) with a run in the bottom of the 6th to make the score 2-1, it was clear on this day that Rube Frazier had the Kings number. The 2-1 victory meant Philadelphia was heading home with a 2-0 series lead. This was a game the Kings should have won, and normally would win but they failed to take advantage of 3 Philadelphia errors and several good scoring opportunities- none better than having the bases loaded with 1 out in the third inning while the game was still scoreless. Unfortunately they came away empty just as they did two innings later with runners on first and second and two out. In both cases Bud Rogers (.335,8,84) failed to deliver.

Despite outhitting the Keystones 18-13 in the two games and committing just 1 error to Philadelphia's 6, the Brooklyn Kings now find their backs against the wall. It is not a position they are unused to this season, having come back and received plenty of good luck in terms of the right teams winning to allow them to claim the Continental Association pennant. Now, it remains to be seen if that luck is still there or if it has run out on Brooklyn.




WHERE IS DOUG LIGHTBODY?

One big question on the minds of Brooklyn fans is what is going on with Doug Lightbody. The 23 year old Continental Association batting champ seemed almost invisible during the opening two games of the series. Lightbody had an average first game, going 1-for-4 in the series opener. He reached on an error in the first inning but failed to advance. In the third inning he followed up John Wilder's 2-out double with a single but didn't get the rbi as Wilder was erased at the plate for the third out. He delivered a sacrifice bunt to advance Wilder to second base in the fifth inning but Wilder would be stranded there as Mickey Dowell and Lou Garman each popped out. Lightbody grounded out to lead off the 7th inning and did the same for the final out of the 8th, stranding Wilder at third base.

He was hitless and looked tired in Game Two, grounding out to end the first inning, reaching on a error to lead the bases with one out in the third but Brooklyn failed to score a run as Bud Rogers hit into a force out at home and Mickey Dowell popped up to end the inning in what could have, and likely should have been the inning to turn around the game for the Kings. Bases loaded with 1 out only to come away empty.

Lightbody drew a walk to in the bottom of the fifth to put runners on first and second with 2 out but Bud Rogers flew out to end that rally as well. In his final at bat, Lightbody grounded out weakly to the pitcher in the 8th inning.

Lightbody is 1-for-7 in the series, the same as Philadelphia star Rankin Kellogg. The difference is, of course, Kellogg's hit was a big two-run homer to lift the Keystones to victory in Game Two. Neither young superstar looked dominant in their first World Championship Series appearances, but Kellogg came through when needed. Had Brooklyn won either of the two games we would not be making as big a deal about Lightbody, and it is a lot of pressure to put on a 23 year old with only a year and a half of professional experience under his belt, but if the Kings are to come back in the series it will be up to Lightbody to lead the way.
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:23 PM   #102
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1927 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES (GAMES 3 & 4)

KINGS STILL ALIVE, BUT JUST BARELY
There is no margin for error anymore. Backs are against the wall. It's do or die. You can use whatever cliche you want but the bottom line is the Brooklyn Kings need to win 3 straight games from the Philadelphia Keystones if they are to claim their first World Championship in franchise history. Brooklyn put themselves in this predicament because of a failure to get timely hits as they dropped the first three games of the series. The Kings did give their fans a sliver hope with a convincing 7-0 victory in Game Four but to expect to do it 3 more teams is something that tests the faith of even the most devout Brooklyn fan. Well, perhaps it's two sliver's of hope for their fans as the Kings did get their convincing Game Four win against Keystones ace Bill Ross but now they need to win 3 more times.

So why is Brooklyn down in the series despite outhitting Philadelphia 38-29, drawing more walks (17 compared to 8 for the Keystones) and committing just 3 errors compated to 11 by the Keystones? Two words. Clutch hitting, or more precisely a lack of it from Brooklyn. In the first 3 games of the Series the Kings left 23 men on base compared to 13 by Philadelphia.

In game one alone the Kings stranded 12 runners and lost 5-4. After Philadelphia scored twice in the top of the first inning of the series opener the Kings had runners on first and second in the bottom of the inning but instead of responding they came away empty after both Bud Rogers and Mickey Dowell popped out. In the third inning they had John Wilder thrown out at the plate after Doug Lightbody got his only hit of the series so far. They scored 1 run in the fourth inning but left runners on first and second and worst of all they had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the 7th and came away empty as Willie Jackson lined out to the third baseman before pinch-hitter Clarence Hall flew out. They were trailing 5-3 at the time and a base hit from either Jackson or Hall would have tied the game. Game Two was more of the same as they lost 2-1 despite having several opportunities to score more than a single run.

The Kings have done a pretty good job containing Philadelphia's young superstar Rankin Kellogg. The 24 year old is just 2-for-14 in the Series but the problem for Brooklyn is that both of those hits were homeruns that won the game for his club. Kellogg did it with a 2-run shot in the sixth inning of the Game Two 2-1 victory and did it again in Game Three, hitting a solo shot in the bottom of the 8th to snap a 2-2 tie and ulimately lead Philadelphia to a 4-2 victory. Kings starter Mose Smith, a pitcher of the year candidate, was very good in the loss but the Keystones Ed Cheetham, who had a 5.50 era during the season, was at least Smith's equal on this day. Mickey Dowell had a big game for the Kings with 3 hits and scored both Brooklyn runs, but the problem was the big bats of Doug Lightbody and Bud Rogers were a combined 0-for-7 in front of Dowell.

No one in the Continental Association would doubt Lightbody's incredible skill at the plate. In just 217 career big league games, the 23 year old has 308 hits and is a .374 career hitter. By comparison, Lightbody's former manager Powell Slocum - the greatest hitter in FABL history - had 337 hits in his first two major league seasons but played 35 more games than Lightbody. We do have to keep in mind Lightbody is a college graduate while Slocum was coming straight out of high school but the point is Lightbody is an amazing talent and this was supposed to be his coming out party on baseball's biggest stage. However, he has clearly laid an egg. He has 1 hit in the series and is batting .071.

Thanks to a big 7-0 win in Game Four most of the other Kings hitters have pretty good numbers for the series especially fellow outfielders Ab Thomas and Bud Rogers, who each had 3 hits in Game Four and are batting .400 and .357 respectively for the series. Catcher Mickey Dowell has been on fire as well, going 4-for-4 in the win and is 8 for 16 in the series but Rogers, and to a lesser extent Dowell, failed to deliver the clutch hit in the first 3 games that might have turned the tide of the series.

With no room for error Kings manager Wally Grant has opened himself to second-guessing by making the controversial decision to move Lightbody out of the number 3 slot in the batting order for Game Five. He will switch places with the red-hot Mickey Dowell, who had been batting 5th. Grant also toyed with the idea of replacing shortstop Lloyd Carter, who is just 2-for-12 in the series, with Rip Agee but decided to stick with Carter because of his past success against Philadelphia starting pitcher Rube Frazier, a former Baltimore Cannon.

So it all comes down to tomorrow. Back to the cliches as we will find out if the Kings 'live to fight another day.'
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Old 10-04-2019, 05:45 PM   #103
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1927 FABL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES (GAME FIVE)

LIGHTS OUT! KINGS SHUT OUT AS KEYSTONES WIN SERIES

The Brooklyn Kings season came to an end as they were shut out 6-0 yesterday to drop the best of seven FABL World Championship Series in five games to the Philadelphia Keystones. The Kings have reached the championship series 3 teams since the FABL Series was first played in 1893 but are now 0-for-3. Brooklyn had plenty of problems in the series but none were more evident then the struggles of their young superstar outfielder Doug Lightbody.

The deciding game was never close as Brooklyn, after failing to cash in with runners on 1st and third with one out in the opening inning, watched the Keystones plate a pair in the home half of the first and never look back. It was another nightmare game in what was a series full of bad dreams for Lightbody. The Continental Association batting champ and MVP candidate went 0-for-3 including a weak inning-ending ground out to snuff out any sort of quick start for the Kings in the top of the first. On the series, Lightbody hit just .059 (1-for-17) and looked completely out of sorts. Lightbody will shoulder most of the blame but in truth, although he is the most obvious candidate for it, he is far from alone. Bud Rogers, another former CA batting champ, hit .278 in the series, but aside from Game Four when he had 3 hits, he struggled as badly as Lightbody did in the clutch.

There were some bright spots, most notably catcher Mickey Dowell (10-for-20), young centerfielder Ab Thomas (9-for-24) and recently acquired third baseman John Wilder (8-for-22) and the pitching, which had hurt the Kings at times during the season, performed quite well as the most explosive offense in baseball.

The question is where do the Kings go from here. Overall, they are still a very young club and the expectation is they should get some more opportunities to play deep into October over the next half dozen or so years but right now they will be forced to deal with plenty of questions about Lightbody and, to a lesser extent, Bud Rogers. Lightbody was the golden boy, a country kid who came straight from the college ranks at Ole Miss, to take the city - and the league- by storm last season before suffering that devastating season-ending arm injury last July. He picked up right where he left off in the spring and flirted with a .400 batting average for much of this season. He epitomized hope for the long suffering Brooklyn fans and instantly became the face of the franchise, a Golden Boy who could do no wrong. However, the Philadelphia Keystones exposed some tarnish on that gold. Now, the question is whether or not that tarnish was just the case of a young player, who had never played as many as 80 games in a season before, getting worn down or did Philadelphia prove that he is not quite the player the faithful from Flatbush Avenue felt he was.

Next April will be very interesting in Brooklyn, but before that they have an entire off-season to deal with and who knows what that might bring. The Kings have never been afraid to pull the trigger on a deal so don't be surprised if they make some noise over the winter.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:50 PM   #104
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Why I like stats-only online leagues far more than ratings visible -part 27 (or thereabouts)

NOVEMBER 1927
As fun as the pennant race was (until the World Championship Series debacle) my favourite part of the Figment Online League is the off-season, specificaly the draft. I have said it before in this thread but it certainly is worth repeating. A stats-only league draft is just so much more fun than one in a league where you know the ratings. After the FABL I got the online league bug and joined a second OOTP league- called Modern Oldies which is historical and based in the 1930s. It has the same commissioner as the FABL and many of the same owners. Now, it's a fun league and I am enjoying it but the draft in it (or any other league with ratings visible) is just not comparable for me.

In the Modern Oldies draft my first round pick meant something and to a degree I got a decent player in the second and third rounds but beyond that, it really made very little difference who I drafted because we had a pretty good idea of everyone's potentials (scouts are on so not 100% accurate). However, in FABL every single one of my draft picks has the possibility of panning out because we only have their college/high school stats and a scouting report to go by. I suppose if you want it to be it's a lot more work then a draft with all the potentials laid out for you, but that also means you can get some pretty good players in later rounds and there is no guarantee your first rounder won't be a bust.

We are only heading into our third draft since human GMs took over in the league so still very early to judge prospects but here are some examples of the unpredictability of the draft.

I got Doug Lightbody, who just won the Continental Association MVP in his second season, with the 6th overall pick. Now it will probably go down as a very deep draft because 3 of the players picked ahead of him are already established big leaguers and I would say at least 2 are stars of almost the same magnitude as Lightbody. However, the first overall pick - unlike the other hitters in the top 6, was a high schooler by the name of Al Wheeler. He had some incredible power according to my scout and to be honest I had him #1 on my draft board - ahead of Lightbody. However, Wheeler has yet to play a big league game. He is 3 years younger than the others and has 35 homeruns in 200 minor league games so the potential is still there but right now he does not match up with the other picks. This is no knock on Detroit, as I had him #1 as well, but it shows the difference between high school and college guys plus the unpredictability of stats only.

In that same draft Toronto traded up to select pitcher Eddie Quinn second overall. Quinn has been a bust so far, getting only a brief look as high as AA and appearing overmatched in A ball. However, he was drafted out of high school and still may pan out but it is looking less and less likely that will happen. I have made it a point to try and avoid high school players, especially pitchers, as much as possible because of the unpredictability.

There were some nice steals in the draft - for all teams, but I will only talk about a few of my own. In the second round I had two picks thanks to trading down with Toronto and I took a college pitcher by the name of Bill Dengler, who made the Kings in mid-season and looks like he will become a solid part of my rotation at some point. However, I also got Dave Bristol, a high school 3B my scout was really high on. He hit .152 at Class A Omaha and further reinforces my plan to avoid high school players as much as possible in the future.

In the third I got Lynn Randall - a college outfielder who I converted to 1B. He tore up AAA this season, hitting .364 with 18 homers in 84 games and had a brief call-up to Brooklyn. I see him as my 1B of the near future.

Ray Hays is an example of a high school prospect that might pan out. Now 20 years old, I drafted the 2B in the 9th round and he his .349 while providing decent defense at Class B Tampa. He has great work ethic and my scout loves him. College player Bernie Carter was a 14th rounder who showed a bit of pop in his bat at AAA this season and catcher Dick Fleetwood was a 15th and final round pick who seems to have a pretty bright future. I did not have as much success with later round pitchers but 7th round pick Lyman Weigel had a decent year split between AA and AAA and could eventually help in my bullpen.

The point is that late round picks suddenly matter in a stats-only league, while they are basically meaningless in a ratings visible league. I greatly prefer the unpredictability and challenge (plus a lot of guess-work and a little luck) of stats only. It is in my mind the only way to play an online league. The downside is it requires a little more time and effort so you probably can't be in a half dozen leagues and do yourself justice in stats-only, but then again why would you want to be in a half dozen leagues unless you had the time to devote to each one.

The other downside is it sucks when a high draft pick doesn't pan out, but that's just like real life. My top pick this past draft looks like a bust. College pitcher Del Lyons was supposed to be a starter but my scout felt he lacked the stamina so he was exiled to the pen where he had a rough year in the minors. Now he was on some bad teams but he pitched poorly and to top it all off his attitude sucks. He thinks he should be playing in the majors when he can't yet handle AA hitters.

I was going to go in to a little more detail on how I prepare for the draft but I think this post went on long enough, so that will be in a future update.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:10 PM   #105
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Kings take a pair of post-season awards.

LIGHTBODY WINS WHITNEY AWARD

A small consolation prize after his World Championship Series struggles as Doug Lightbody was recognized as the Continental Association's top player. The 23 year old outfielder led the majors with a .384 batting average while also topping the CA in on-base percentage and slugging percentage. In 138 games he hit had 198 hits including 19 doubles, 20 triples and 15 homeruns to go along with 98 rbi's and 113 runs scored. Lightbody got 14 of the 16 first place votes.

Cleveland's star shortstop Joe Standish was second with Philadelphia Sailors outfielder David Merchant, a two-time Whitney Award winner, coming in third. Standish and Merchant each received 1 first place vote. Brooklyn was also well represented on the ballot with 22 year old outfielder Ab Thomas finishing 5th in voting, 28 year old first baseman Lou Garman coming in 7th, 28 year old outfielder Bud Rogers finished 8th and 26 year old catcher Mickey Dowell ended up 11th in the voting. Also of note, veteran John Diblee of the Chicago Cougars, who won the first CA Whitney Award in 1911, capped off a great season at age 39 by finishing 4th in the voting.

The Kings made it a sweep of the awards as veteran Mose Smith was named the best pitcher. The 34 year old Kings ace finished the year with a 19-14 mark, logged 36 starts totalling 302 innings. He recieved 14 first place votes with runner up Bob Lawrence of Cleveland getting the other 2. Brooklyn's young lefthander Leon Campbell finished third while 20-game winner Cal Williams was 5th in the voting.

They were the first individual awards won a Brooklyn player. The pitching award, called the Allen Award, is named after the league's career wins leader Allan Allen. Double Al pitched for 3 teams from 1890-1909 and was 514-338 for his career. His son, Al Jr., made his big league debut this season for Montreal. The Whitney Award, for the league MVP, is named in honor of league founder William Whitney. You can read about the complete history of the Figment League here
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Old 10-11-2019, 02:46 PM   #106
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The draft is underway. The Kings picked 15th in the 16 team league and, while a little worried they took a pair of high schoolers in the first two rounds, we love the projections for our first two picks. To get both we feel is a huge coup as I was debating between 3 guys for my first pick as we got close to it. I got 2 of them and as we near my third round pick, the #3 guy on my list is still available. Fingers crossed.

Here is a recap of round 1 and 2



1927 FABL DRAFT
KINGS DRAFT UPDATE

The Brooklyn Kings were thrown for a loop when they guy they had their eyes on for 3 years was selected 4th overall by the Pittsburgh Miners. All the intel Brooklyn had was Frank Lightbody, the younger brother of Continental Association MVP Doug Lightbody, was projected to be a late second round or early third round pick. The Kings had already privately let the Lightbody clan know that the Mississippi A&M outfielder would be their guy in round one. Brooklyn even had sent Frank a Knoxville Knights jersey and cap as that was where the 21 year old was expected to begin his minor league career.

However, the Kings did not pick until 15th but with a deep outfield class they felt pretty good about getting their man. That is until Pittsburgh surprised us by grabbing Lightbody with the 4th pick, citing his solid numbers in college plus the obvious family pedigree. So the younger Lightbody was now a Miner and the Kings were left scrambling for a plan B. Enter a Milwaukee High Schooler by the name of Rabbit Mudd.

You might be remiss to call Mudd a plan B. OSI, the league's central scouting bureau, felt Mudd was a top 10 talent after the young shortstop hit .401 for the Maroons last season. He possibly projects as more of a second baseman than a shortstop at the big league level but it is his bat that has Rube Carter and the rest of the Kings scouting staff drooling. Mudd, who hit .350 for his 3 year high school career, projects to have the potential to hit close to that in the majors. He doesn't have a lot of power yet but scouts are confident that will come as he bulks up. The 18 year old is likely several seasons away from plying his trade at Kings County Ballpark but Brooklyn feels he can be star.


SECOND ROUND
The Kings have traditionally favoured college players over high school kids, especially under Tiger's Fan regime which is now in it's third draft. However, the Kings brain trust felt with their shortage of young pitching prospects that the opportunity to add Art Blake was too tempting to pass up. Blake was third in pitcher WaR in the Eastern High School ranks and among the ERA leaders as he compiled a 5-2, 1.82 season as an 18 year old for Asheville High School. His best pitch is his sinker but he has a solid arsenal of 4 decent pitches. He is an extreme groundball specialist who allowed just 1 homerun in his high school career and had a career WHIP of under 1.00 while averaging almost 10.0 K/9. All the numbers are through the roof including an ERA+ over 301 last season and 274 for his career. He is a high school arm though, and many things can happen along the way but right now the Kings feel he has the potential to be the ace of the staff in a few years.
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Old 10-12-2019, 11:48 AM   #107
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KINGS ADD TWO MORE IN DRAFT

Brooklyn Kings head scout Rube Carter is extremely happy with the way the draft has gone for his club through their first four picks. On draft day every team is full of optimism and happy with their draft picks but the Kings are even more so, despite failing to get their number one objective in Doug Lightbody's younger brother Frank. Frank, from Mississippi A&M, was off the board well before the Kings first selection came at pick 15.

Brooklyn went for positions of need in rounds one and two, getting Milwaukee High School shortstop Rabbit Mudd in round 1 and Asheville High School pitcher Art Blake in the second round at picks 15 and 31 overall. Mudd was ranked in the top 10 players to watch by BNN and Blake was the second highest ranked pitcher on the Kings board. Brooklyn is very thin in young middle infield and pitching prospects but these two go a long ways towards addressing that issue.

With the 46th pick the Kings added power-hitting first baseman Nick Bennett from Ellery College in Rhode Island. In 50 games this past season for the Bruins, the 21 year old hit .308 with 12 homeruns. He projects to have plus talent at the plate and plenty of power. Bennett was rated 13th overall and the number 1 first baseman on Rube Carter's draft board.

The Kings next pick was the 4th one in the fourth round (52 overall) and came courtesy of a mid-season deal with Pittsburgh. Brooklyn got another player listed on the BNN top 10 to watch list by going back to Mississippi A&M and taking outfielder Loren Morgan. Morgan hit .327 with 16 homers in 50 games for the Generals and is another in the long list of outfielders to come out of the Jackson, Mississippi institution that includes current Kings Doug Lightbody and Clarence Hall and former King Jim Renfroe.

"I think it makes up for not getting Lightbody's brother," said Kings aging owner Malcolm Presley. "From what I am told this kid outplayed Lightbody and should have been the guy we were after instead."

In truth Morgan and the younger Lightbody put up very similar numbers with Lightbody having a slightly higher batting average and on-base percentage while Morgan had the better slugging numbers.

Those 4 picks were felt to be a real coup for the Kings as they were the four guys being debated about as candidates to be taken in the first round when Brooklyn's pick came up at #15 overall. To get all 4 of them is beyind the Kings wildest expectations for the draft. The FABL draft continues through the weekend.
Code:

BROOKLYN PICKS SO FAR
RD  PICK POS   NAME            AGE    SCHOOL
 1   15   SS  Rabbit Mudd	18    Milwauke High School
 2   15   P   Art Blake		18    Asheville High School
 3   15   1B  Nick Bennett	21    Ellery College Bruins
 4    4   OF  Loren Morgan	21    Mississippi A&M Generals
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:08 PM   #108
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For the most part, Montreal hasn't missed out on any players that we really wanted. Except for one. I wished I had pushed Loren Morgan a little higher in my list.
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