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Old 02-17-2019, 04:10 AM   #141
Dukie98
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2031 Playoff Report

Frontier League: In a matchup featuring the Frontier League's winningest squad against the defending world champions, the Portland Skunks outlasted the Cincinnati Spiders in seven games. Portland first baseman Jeff Bagwell was named MVP after hitting .320 with 5 homers and 10 RBI's, including game-winning homers with two outs in the ninth inning of Game One and Game Three. Portland left fielder Mike Easler hit .333 with 3 homers and 8 RBI's, including two homers in the decisive Game Seven. Southpaw Jarrod Washburn went 1-0 with a 1.32 ERA, surrendering just one earned run in 7.2 innings in Game Seven. Cincinnati was led by second baseman Junior Spivey, who hit .308 with 3 homers and 7 RBI's, and southpaw Ricky Romero, who went 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 16 innings. The Baltimore Robins, making their first playoff appearance in twelve years, upset the Seattle Whales, as the two teams traded victories throughout the seven-game series. Baltimore catcher Gary Sanchez took home MVP honors, hitting .385 with 5 homers and 13 RBI's. Right fielder Hal McRae hit .357 with a homer, 6 runs scored, and 4 RBI's. Lefty Clayton Richard went 2-0, including a Game Seven victory, with a 0.52 ERA in 17.1 innings, while Randy Johnson went 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA and 25 strikeouts, including a 2-hit, 13-strikeout gem in Game Five. Seattle rightfielder Sherry Magee hit .310 with 3 homers and 5 RBI's. The London Werewolves ousted the Chicago Mules in seven games. London was led by first baseman Greg Gagne, who hit .379 with 5 doubles and 3 RBI's, and second baseman Ryne Sandberg, who hit .323 with a homer and 6 RBI's. Starting pitchers Vern Olsen, Alex Wood, and Frank Papish combined for a 3-0 record and a 1.64 ERA in five starts. Chicago first baseman George Altman was named MVP in a losing effort, hitting .414 with 3 homers and 10 RBI's. In the lone Wild Card series that didn't go the full seven games, the Denver Spikes dominated the favored Detroit Purple Gang in a five-game romp. Denver second baseman Bernie Friberg was named MVP after hitting .500 with a homer and 3 RBI's. Right fielder Felix Jose hit .320 with 2 homers and 4 RBI's, including an 11th inning walk-off blast in Game Five. Chick Brandom led a dominant Denver bullpen, as he pitched 6 shutout innings, and the bullpen allowed just 7 hits and 1 run in 16 innings. Detroit right fielder Larry Sheets popped 3 solo homers, and Charlie Puleo threw 8 shutout innings, allowing just one hit and whiffing 11 Denver hitters.

Baltimore's magic ran out in the Division Series, as Portland swept the Robins, outscoring them 21-2. Portland right fielder Cliff Floyd took home the hardware, hitting .438 with 6 extra-base hits and 3 RBI's. Left fielder Mike Easler hit .313 with 2 homers and a series-high 8 RBI's. Lefty Mark Thurmond and righhander Kyle Snyder combined for 17 shutout innings. Baltimore right fielder Hal McRae provided the only offense for the Robins, hitting .294 and driving in both of their runs with a pair of solo shots. The London Werewolves upended the Denver Spikes in six games, with left fielder Duffy Lewis hit .522 with 3 doubles, 6 runs scored and 3 RBI's. Ryne Sandberg hit .333 with a homer and 8 RBI's. Righthander Frank Papish went 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in 13 innings. Denver was led by right fielder Felix Jose, who hit .417 with a homer and 7 RBI's. In the League Championship Series, the Portland Skunks nearly blew a three-games-to-one lead, before eliminating the London Werewolves in seven games to make their first World Series appearance. Portland left fielder Mike Easler earned MVP honors, hitting .417 with a homer and 8 RBI's. Second baseman John Knight hit .379 and slugged .690, popping 2 homers, scoring 5 runs, and plating 5 runners, and third baseman Mike Moustakas drove in a team-high 11 runs. Righthander Denny McLain filled in admirably for Jarrod Washburn, who tore an elbow ligament, going 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA. Ryne Sandberg starred once again for London, hitting .462 with 2 homers, 7 runs scored, and 11 RBI's.

Continental League: The Albuquerque Conquistadors, owners of the best offense in baseball, pounded the Jacksonville Gulls, scoring 34 runs in a five-game victory. Conquistadors catcher Tex Erwin earned MVP honors, hitting .500 with 2 homers and 5 RBI's. Third baseman Frank Baker hit .474 with a homer and 5 RBI's, while right fielder Doc Miller hit .400 with 2 homers and drove in 8 runs. Dave Righetti won both his starts for Albuquerque. Center fielder Roy Weatherly led Jacksonville, hitting .400 with 7 RBI's. The Dallas Wildcatters, who only clinched a playoff spot on the final day of the year, upset the heavily-favored Los Angeles Kangaroos in five games. Right fielder George "High Pockets" Kelly earned MVP honors after hitting .556 with 3 homers and 7 RBI's, and first baseman Brad Fullmer hit .400 with 2 homers and 7 RBI's. Righthander Hank Borowy went 2-0 with a 3.21 ERA. DH Norm Cash led Los Angeles, hitting .350 with a homer and 5 RBI's. The Las Vegas Aces knocked off the New Orleans Crawfish in six games, with DH George Bell taking home MVP honors after hitting .375 with 4 homers and 11 RBI's. Right fielder Tony Gwynn hit .346, swiped 3 bases, and scored 6 runs. Roberto Hernandez led a strong bullpen, surrendering just one hit in 4.2 shutout innings and earning the win in Game Six. The Washington Ambassadors knocked off the Phoenix Lizards in six games, with shortstop Miguel Tejada taking home the hardware after hitting .440 with 2 homers and 10 RBI's. Third baseman Mike Benjamin hit .478 with a homer and 6 RBI's. Center fielder Johnny Groth hit .364 with 7 RBI's. Closer Chris Short notched three saves in 6 shutout innings of 2-hit ball.

In a shocking upset, the Dallas Wildcatters, who had a negative run differential on the season, upended the 99-win Albuquerque Wildcatters in 7 games, taking Game Seven in dramatic fashion by scoring 5 runs in the top of the ninth inning to erase a 5-1 deficit. Right fielder George "High Pockets" Kelly led Dallas, hitting .323 with 2 homers and 10 RBI's, including a grand slam in the top of the ninth inning of Game Seven. Dallas left fielder Mike Greenwell hit .346 with a .469 on-base percentage. Righthander Hank Borowy went 1-0 with a 3.21 ERA. Albuquerque first baseman earned MVP honors in a losing effort, hitting .464 with 2 homers and 8 RBI's. Albuquerque left fielder Andy Tomberlin hit .345 with 4 homers and 7 RBI's. Remarkably, Dallas won despite being outhomered 13-5 by Albuquerque. After dropping Game One of the League Championship Series to the Las Vegas Aces, the Washington Ambassadors pulled out four consecutive victories by a combined seven runs. Washington first baseman Lee Stevens took MVP honors after hitting .421 with 2 homers and 10 RBI's- driving in more than half the Ambassadors' runs in the series. Shortstop Miguel Tejada hit .316, and first baseman Eddie Robinson hit .300 and scored 3 runs. Las Vegas was led offensively by catcher Miguel Olivo, who hit .389 and scored four runs. On the mound, relievers Mike Cuellar and Yhency Brazoban combined for 8 shutout innings, allowing just two hits. In the League Championship Series, the Dallas Wildcatters edged the Washington Ambassadors in seven games. Dallas right fielder George "High Pockets" Kelly continued his strong postseason, earning MVP honors after hitting .406 with 3 homers and 6 RBI's. Center fielder Jim Busby hit .486 with 17 hits and 8 runs scored. Right hander Dinelson Lamet went 1-0 with a 2.02 ERA, while Hank Borowy notched the win in Game Seven and posted a 2.81 ERA, striking out 16 batters in 16 innings. Catcher Stephen Vogt led Washington, hitting .389 with 3 homers and 11 RBI's.

World Series: The matchup of two first-time World Series participants was a mismatch on paper, as the Portland Skunks won 104 games, and led the Frontier League in runs scored, while the 86-win Dallas Wildcatters posted a -20 run differential on the season and finished just 16th in the Continental League in runs scored. Portland dominated Dallas in five games, outscoring Dallas 42-14 along the way, and winning each game by at least six runs.

Portland blasted Dallas 12-2 in Game One, pounding six homers, as Mark Thurmond threw a complete-game seven-hitter, while Dallas rookie hurler Red Ames surrendered nine runs in four innings. Third baseman Mike Moustakas went 3-for-3 with 2 homers and 2 walks. Cliff Floyd doubled twice, homered, and drove in 3 runs, and Mike Easler homered and drove in 3 runs. Portland took Game Two by a 9-2 score, with Butch Henry throwing a complete game. Portland center fielder Dave Henderson had three hits, including a homer, and drove in 4 runs, while Jeff Bagwell popped his first homer since the League Championship Series.

Dallas fought back to take Game Three by a 5-2 score, as Hank Borowy outdueled Denny McLain to bring his postseason record to 5-0. Wildcatters sluggers Mike Greenwell and Brad Fullmer broke the game open with back-to-back homers off McLain in the sixth inning. Mike Easler and Dave Henderson popped solo blasts for Portland, bringing Easler within one RBI of the single-season postseason record held by Jody Davis (31). Portland took Game Four 6-1, as Kyle Snyder threw a six-hit complete game. Catcher Michael Barrett homered and drove in five runs, while Cliff Floyd hit a two-run triple. Portland clinched the series in Game Five, winning 12-4, as Mark Thurmond posted another complete-game victory. Portland left nothing to chance, erupting for six runs in the top of the first inning, as Dave Henderson popped a bases-loaded double. Henderson posted 3 hits, with 3 runs scored and 3 RBI's, and Jeff Bagwell pounded 3 hits, including a homer and a triple, and drove in 4 runs.

Portland centerfielder Dave Henderson was named World Series MVP, hitting .524 and slugging an incredible 1.238, with 4 round-trippers and 11 RBI's. Michael Barrett and Cliff Floyd each hit .429, combining for 3 homers and 13 RBI's. Mike Moustakas launched 3 homers, while Jeff Bagwell and second baseman John Knight each ripped a pair of homers and drove in 6 runs apiece. Mark Thurmond led the way on the mound, going 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA. Left fielder Mike Greenwell led Dallas, hitting .400 and slugging .800 with a homer and 3 RBI's.
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:11 AM   #142
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2031 Awards Winners

Frontier League MVP: Corey Seager, SS, CIN (28): .364/ .444/ .636, 222 hits, 32 doubles, 4 triples, 42 HR, 127 RBI, 122 runs, 90 BB, 2 SB, +7.1 Zone Rating 179 OPS+, 11.1 WAR
Second place- Jeff Bagwell, 1B, POR (17): .341/ .459/ .705, 193 hits, 29 doubles, 6 triples, 55 HR, 143 RBI, 134 runs, 112 BB, 9 SB, 199 OPS+, 11.0 WAR
Third place- Ryne Sandberg, 2B, LON: .368/ .428/ .619, 228 hits, 29 doubles, 5 triples, 39 HR, 127 RBI, 130 runs, 64 BB, 66 SB, +9.3 Zone Rating, 166 OPS+, 9.9 WAR
Fourth place- Minnie Minoso, LF, TOR: .348/ .427/ .646, 210 hits, 36 doubles, 48 HR, 123 RBI, 136 runs, 62 BB, 17 SB, 176 OPS+, 8.2 WAR
Fifth place- Steve Barber, LHP, DEN (3): 21-8, 2.25 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 268 IP, 228 K, 92 BB, 10 CG, 3 shutouts, 199 ERA+, 8.3 WAR

Frontier League Cy Young Award- Steve Barber, DEN (44): 21-8, 2.25 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 268 IP, 228 K, 92 BB, 10 CG, 3 shutouts, 199 ERA+, 8.3 WAR
Second place- Randy Johnson, BAL (3): 17-4, 1.87 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 207 IP, 239 K, 67 BB, 4 CG, 1 shutout, 236 ERA+, 7.6 WAR
Third place- Jose Guzman, SEA (1): 23-5, 2.64 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 256 IP, 237 K, 90 BB, 10 CG, 3 shutouts, 167 ERA+, 4.9 WAR
Fourth place- Bob Moose, CHI: 18-7, 2.97 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 237 IP, 250 K, 65 BB, 7 CG, 2 shutouts, 149 ERA+, 9.3 WAR
Fifth place- Smoky Joe Wood, PIT: 21-8, 3.21 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 264 IP, 257 K, 107 BB, 5 CG, 2 shutouts, 138 ERA+, 9.3 WAR

Frontier League Rookie of the Year- Joe DiMaggio, CF, BOS (27): .311/ .362/ .550, 188 hits, 29 doubles, 5 triples, 35 HR, 144 RBI, 99 runs, 40 BB, 2 SB, +14.9 Zone Rating, 135 OPS+, 7.3 WAR
Second place- Don Wilson, RHP, KC (21): 11-11, 2.59 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 215 IP, 204 K, 86 BB, 2 CG, 170 ERA+, 7.1 WAR
Third place- Rich Nye, LHP, PHI: 19-10, 2.88 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 231 IP, 163 K, 74 BB, 1 CG, 1 shutout, 153 ERA+, 6.0 WAR

Continental League MVP- Frank Baker, 3B, ALB (48): .383/ .463/ .759, 230 hits, 34 doubles, 15 triples, 54 HR, 164 RBI, 151 runs, 91 BB, 12 SB, 206 OPS+, 12.0 WAR
Second place- Dots Miller, 1B, ATL: .344/ .397/ .669, 220 hits, 59 doubles, 4 triples, 47 HR, 119 RBI, 143 runs, 55 BB, 37 SB, 173 OPS+, 7.7 WAR
Third place- George Brett, 1B, ALB: .341/ .425/ .643, 212 hits, 54 doubles, 11 triples, 37 HR, 149 RBI, 138 runs, 98 BB, 10 SB, +9.1 Zone Rating, 169 OPS+, 8.8 WAR
Fourth place- Larry Hisle, LF, HOU: .362/ .447/ .634, 220 hits, 39 doubles, 3 triples, 40 HR, 112 RBI, 126 runs, 89 BB, 18 SB, 182 OPS+, 9.6 WAR
Fifth place- Tex Erwin, C, ALB: .296/ .402/ .623, 143 hits, 27 doubles, 1 triple, 43 HR, 121 RBI, 116 runs, 86 walks, 11 steals, 158 OPS+, 7.6 WAR

Continental League Cy Young Award- Don Drysdale, SA (37): 16-5, 2.75 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 216 IP, 230 K, 18 BB, 2 CG, 1 shutout,168 ERA+, 8.9 WAR
Second place- Ron Kline, LV (6): 20-6, 2.44 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 203 IP, 166 K, 60 BB, 193 ERA+, 4.2 WAR
Third place- John Montefusco, ATL (2): 15-12, 3.12 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 269 IP, 204 K, 79 BB, 6 CG, 2 shutouts, 156 ERA+, 7.3 WAR
Fourth place- Red Ames, DAL: 15-12, 3.10 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 218 IP, 286 K, 87 BB, 157 ERA+, 6.2 WAR
Fifth place- Nap Rucker, LA (2): 19-12, 3.15 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 232 IP, 226 K, 101 BB, 1 CG, 154 ERA+, 5.9 WAR

Continental League Rookie of the Year- Jim Greengrass, LF/ RF, ATL (48): .355/ .412/ .605, 226 hits, 26 doubles, 8 triples, 39 HR, 118 RBI, 122 runs, 58 BB, 14 SB, 162 OPS+, 7.9 WAR
Second place- Red Ames, RHP, DAL: 15-12, 3.10 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 218 IP, 286 K, 87 BB, 157 ERA+, 6.2 WAR
Third place- Steve Woodard, RHP, LA: 18-9, 3.77 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 229 IP, 190 K, 23 BB, 129 ERA+, 4.9 WAR

Top draft picks: 1. Larry Walker, RF, Milwaukee Raccoons
2. Robin Yount, SS, Memphis River Pirates
3. Kal Daniels, LF, Kansas City Mad Hatters
4. Chris Carpenter, RHP, Hartford Huskies
5. Russ Christopher, RHP, New York Emperors
6. Jack Coombs, RHP, Montreal Knights
7. Hanley Ramirez, SS, Oklahoma City Otters
8. Dale Murphy, CF, Anaheim Antelopes
9. Andrew McCutchen, CF, Vancouver Viceroys
10. Sherm Lollar, C, Calgary Cattle Rustlers
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Old 02-24-2019, 04:24 AM   #143
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2031 Hall of Fame Voting

For the first time, the Hall of Fame welcomed multiple position players into its hallowed halls, as right fielder Aaron Judge was finally selected on his eighth time on the ballot with 75.2%. JD Drew became the first center fielder selected to the Hall of Fame, notching 76.8% of the vote in his maiden ballot appearance. In addition, closer Dick Radatz also earned selection, garnering 86.9% of the vote in his first time on the ballot.

Judge, a 5-time All-Star, spent nearly his entire 11-year career with the Cleveland Rocks. Judge combined tremendous power with a disciplined batting eye, finishing in the top 3 in the Frontier League in homers four times in a five-year stretch from 2014-18, leading the league with 45 round-trippers in 2015 -- one of four times he topped 40 homers. Judge drove in 100 runs five times, including a league-leading 143 RBI's in 2013. But Judge was not a one-dimensional slugger-- he also led the league in on-base percentage in 2014 and in walks the following year. His best season was 2013, when he hit .347 and slugged .637, bashing 43 homers, driving in 143 runs, and finishing second in the Frontier League MVP voting after lodging 9.6 WAR. He followed up that season with another second-place MVP finish, hitting .318 with 41 homers and 111 RBI's. Judge spent 9 1/2 seasons with Cleveland before being traded to Boston for the 2020 stretch drive, where he started for a squad that made it to the League Championship Series. He then returned to Cleveland for spot duty the following season before retiring. Judge finished his career with a .292/ .404/ .524 slash line, with 319 homers and 996 RBI's.

Drew, a 7-time All-Star centerfielder, spent his prime seasons with the San Antonio Marksmen. After being drafted ninth overall, he erupted out of the gate, hitting .298 with 29 homers, 120 walks, 125 RBI's, and 38 steals as a rookie in 2014, finishing second in the Continental League in the Rookie of the Year balloting and fifth in MVP voting. He earned MVP honors the following year, after hitting .328 with a league-best 142 walks, slugging .631 with 37 homers, 137 RBI's, 58 steals, and topped the league with 11.6 WAR. He led the Continental League in WAR again in 2017, when he hit .334 with a .428 on-base percentage, 20 homers, 110 RBI's, and 9.5 WAR. After six terrific seasons with San Antonio, Drew signed a free agent contract with the Omaha Falcons, where he made the All-Star team every season from 2021 through 2024. After five solid seasons in Omaha, he decamped for Los Angeles, where he continued to be a solid hitter, but his defensive skills steadily deteriorated. Drew retired with a career .289 average, with a .386 on-base percentage and .488 slugging percentage, ripping 352 homers and stealing 451 bases. He also popped 15 homers and swiped 27 bases in 91 career postseason games. Drew had 8 seasons with at least 100 RBI's (plus two more with 99), ranking 21st in baseball history with 1445 RBI's as of the time of his induction, and he topped 30 steals 9 times.

Radatz was perhaps the most dominant closer in HRDL history. Breaking in with the Los Angeles Kangaroos in 2013, he led the Continental League in saves for every season between 2014 and 2018. He won three reliever of the year awards: in 2014, when he went 9-5 with a 1.95 ERA, 124 strikeouts, and an incredible 5.4 WAR out of the pen; in 2016, when he went 7-4 with a microscopic 1.36 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP, and 44 saves, and 2018, when he posted a career-high 47 saves with a 1.47 ERA and a ridiculous 0.71 WHIP, after allowing just 32 hits in 79 innings. After 7 years in Los Angeles, Radatz had a nomadic experience, signing a series of 1-and-2-year contracts with Buffalo, Seattle, Calgary, and Charlotte before concluding his career with an otherwise forgettable season with the New York Emperors. An 8-time All-Star, Radatz was a postseason fixture, winning an incredible seven championship rings, including five between 2020 and 2027. Radatz retired at age 39 with a career 94-80 record, 364 saves, a 2.62 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 1358 strikeouts. He holds the HRDL career postseason records with 88 games pitched and 35 saves, notching 7 saves in a single postseason three separate times.

Leading vote recipients include:

Dick Radatz, RP, LA/ BUF/ SEA/ CAL/ CHA/ NY: 86.9%
JD Drew, CF, SA/ OMA/ LA: 76.8%
Aaron Judge, RF, CLE/ BOS: 75.2%
Jose Reyes, SS, CLE/ KC: 70.8%
Ed Morgan, 1B, SD/ SA/ CHA/ NO/ MIA: 69.5%
Kirby Puckett, CF, HOU/ CAL/ PHI: 60.4%
Paul Molitor, 2B, HOU/ MIA/ PHI/ VAN: 56.7%
Dave Ferriss, RHP, DAL/ NAS: 53.7%
Troy Tulowitzki, SS, BUF/ ATL/ SF/ SEA: 49.0%
Steve Hargan, RHP, CHA/ DET/ BUF/ HAR: 47.3%

Once again, the ballot appeared to be bogged down in quality candidates, with a dozen players returning to the ballot next year after drawing 35%. Nomar Garciaparra became the first player in league history to fall off the ballot after ten years; league management toyed with the idea of increasing the minimum number of seasons in an effort to reduce the size of the ballot. Notable players who fell off the ballot include slugging right fielder Albert Belle, 6-time Gold Glover Jerome Walton, 191-game winner Rube Marquard, and 2016 MVP Brady Anderson.

Here's a look at the Hall of Fame inductees:
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Old 03-02-2019, 01:11 AM   #144
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2032 Mid-Year Review

Exceeding expectations: The Boston Minutemen appeared likely to end their streak of eight straight seasons below .500, leading the Northeast Division for most of the first half, as they ended the first half with a 44-30 record, 2 1/2 games out of first place. Boston led the Frontier League in runs scored and homers, as third baseman Nolan Arenado hit .337 with 18 homers and 57 RBI's, and right fielder Pat Mullin exploded, hitting .323 and slugging .632 with 23 homers and 61 RBI's. Righthander Brandon Maurer led a patchwork pitching staff, going 7-3 with a 3.02 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. The Omaha Falcons, after a middling 84-win season last year, burst out of the gate, winning their first ten games on their way to a 46-27 first half. Right fielder Cito Gaston led five sluggers in double figures in homers, hitting .360 with 17 homers and 50 RBI's, while left fielder Preston Wilson and first baseman Lou Gehrig popped 14 round-trippers apiece. Ed Reulbach went 7-5 with a solid 3.49 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. In the Continental League, the Atlanta Ducks looked to snap their ten-year postseason drought, taking a league-best 49-25 record into the break. First baseman Dots Miller built on his breakout season last year, taking a .357 average with a league-best 26 homers and 75 RBI's into the break. Defending Rookie of the Year Jim Greengrass matched Miller, hitting .352 with 24 homers and 62 RBI's. Ace John Montefusco went 10-4 with a 3.27 ERA and 95 strikeouts, while closer Mike Kekich had 19 saves and a 2.63 ERA. The Oklahoma City Otters, who had gone 7 seasons without winning more than 70 games, took a 41-31 record into the break, just one game out of first place in the Texas Division. The Otters ranked second in the Continental League in runs scored, behind a league-best team on-base percentage of .370. Rookie shortstop Hanley Ramirez hit a team-best .348 with 7 homers, 45 RBI's, and 20 steals. Center fielder Hank Lieber hit .312 with 19 doubles, 11 homers and 53 RBI's. But the Otters' injury-ravaged staff struggled, ranking 20th in the league in runs allowed. Righthander Frank Smith went 9-2 with a 3.82 ERA, but was sidelined with forearm inflammation and likely would not return before September.

Disappointments: The Cincinnati Spiders' streak of three straight postseason appearances was in jeopardy, as they stumbled to a 36-37 start, ending the half 8 games out of first place. Cincinnati's offense was not the problem: defending MVP Corey Seager hit .355 with 11 homers and 58 RBI's, and leadoff hitter/ left fielder Tracy Jones took a .377 average with 9 homers and 57 runs scored into the break. But the Spiders' team ERA spiked by nearly a whole run. Ace Jon Matlack went just 3-7 with a 4.10 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, and the bullpen, after losing closer Joel Zumaya for the season in the first week, ranked among the worst in the league. The defending champion Portland Skunks, winners of 104 games last season, went just 37-37. First baseman Jeff Bagwell's production stumbled from MVP-caliber to merely solid, hitting .268 with 19 homers and losing 150 points from his slugging percentage. Center fielder Dave Henderson struggled, hitting just .242 with a .302 on-base percentage. Southpaw Mark Thurmond, who went 19-7 with a 2.94 ERA in a stellar rookie season, stumbled to a 5-7 start with a 3.54 ERA. In the Continental League, the Nashville Blues' streak of 12 straight seasons at or above .500 -- ten of which resulted in a playoff bid -- was certain to end, as they bumbled to a 25-48 start. Nashville ranked 23rd in the league in runs scored with a league-worst team batting average of .225. Veteran DH Ben Paschal collapsed, hitting just .224 with a .270 on-base percentage, although he drilled 15 homers. Their infield was a disaster, as third baseman Charley Moore hit an anemic .157 with a .209 slugging percentage in 153 at bats, while journeyman shortstop Kurt Stillwell hit a disastrous .143 with a lone extra-base hit in 119 at bats. On the mound, Chad Ogea, an 18-game winner in 2031, stumbled to a 5-8 start and saw his ERA soar to 4.56. The Dallas Wildcatters, who made an out-of-nowhere World Series appearance last season, had a disastrous 27-45 half, ending the half fifteen games out of first place. Dallas ranked last in the Continental League in runs scored and homers. Mike Greenwell, who received downballot MVP support last year after a breakout season, hit a pedestrian .306 with 8 homers and 38 RBI's. Shortstop Pat Meares, who hit a surprising .306 last season, collapsed, hitting just .173 with a .257 slugging percentage. On the mound, Red Ames had the sophomore slump, going just 5-8 with a 5.42 ERA- an increase of more than two runs per game, and surrendered 19 homers in just 101 innings.

Old faces, new places: Several franchise icons switched teams in free agency. Most notably, 43-year old third baseman Andy Van Slyke, a 12-time All-Star with the Minneapolis Penguins, decamped for Denver. First baseman Keith Hernandez, after sixteen seasons with the Jacksonville Gulls, continued his quest for 3,000 hits with the London Werewolves. Third baseman Larry Parrish, who spent 17 years with the Anaheim Antelopes, signed with the Charlotte Aviators as a free agent.

Offensive explosion: Leaguewide offensive totals continued to creep upward. The leaguewide ERA in the Frontier League was 4.45 -- a hair short of the all-time record of 4.49 set in 2030. The Continental League's ERA reached 4.70 at midseason, which would set an all-time record. Eight teams had at least 100 homers at the break. 25 teams averaged at least five runs a game, and Albuquerque, Atlanta, and Oklahoma City each averaged more than six runs per game.

Major milestones: Denver third baseman Andy Van Slyke ripped his 3,500th career hit. London first baseman Keith Hernandez joined the 3,000 hit club. New Orleans shortstop Jean Segura, Charlotte DH Tommie Agee, Omaha first baseman Lou Gehrig, and Chicago shortstop Al Bridwell each drilled their 2,500th career hits. Gehrig, Chicago first baseman George Altman, and Portland first baseman Jeff Bagwell each drilled their 400th career homers. Denver righthander Bruce Berenyi and San Antonio's Joe Ross each joined the 3,000 strikeout club. Meanwhile, Washington third baseman Wade Boggs was days away from becoming the first player in HRDL history to rip 4,000 base hits. Charlotte's Larry Parrish and Detroit's Bill Melton were likely to join the 3,000 hit club by year's end. Melton was just two homers away from hitting 600 homers, while Parrish and Los Angeles outfielder Chili Davis were expected to hit their 450th career homer before the end of July.

Major injuries: Buffalo signed southpaw Dave Righetti as a free agent in the offseason, but he tore his rotator cuff in his second start - the third major injury of his illustrious career. He joined teammate Willard Nixon, who tore his UCL, on the disabled list; Nixon was not expected to return before September. Cleveland righthander Jake Peavy went down with bone spurs in his elbow on Opening Day, and was expected to be out until August. Denver left fielder Chris James tore his labrum in spring training and would miss the entire season. Detroit righthander Larry Jaster saw his quest for 300 wins interrupted for the second straight season, this time by a labrum injury which would knock him out of commission until 2033. Pittsburgh second baseman Bill Madlock saw his promising rookie season interrupted by a torn hamstring which would sideline him until mid-August. Vancouver second baseman Davey Lopes tore his ACL in mid-April, effectively ending his season.
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Old 03-05-2019, 03:28 AM   #145
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2032 Year in Review

Frontier League: The Northeast Division was the most competitive division in baseball, as four teams were in playoff contention until the final day of the season, and every team won at least 77 games. The Boston Minutemen snapped an eight-year playoff drought behind an explosive offense that set Frontier League records with 1,031 runs scored and 247 homers, as they took the division title with 104 victories. Third baseman Nolan Arenado starred, hitting .348 and slugging .628, with 43 homers and 143 RBI's. Sophomore center fielder Joe DiMaggio hit .315 with 47 homers and a league-high 153 RBI's, while right fielder Pat Mullin had a career season, hitting .297 with 47 homers and 140 RBI's. First baseman Ernie Banks and second baseman Sal Bando each topped .300 and combined for 64 homers and 231 RBI's. Southpaw Zach Duke led a patchwork pitching staff that ranked 17th in the league in runs allowed, going 15-6 with a 4.29 ERA but a bloated 1.55 WHIP. The Baltimore Robins hung close with Boston for most of the season, finishing second with 97 wins. Baltimore finished third in the league in offense, led by catcher Gary Sanchez, who hit .303 with 39 homers and 103 RBI's. Right fielder Hal McRae hit .339 with 76 extra-base hits, including 20 homers, scored 113 runs, and drove in 97 runs. Third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo hit .300 with 21 homers and 97 RBI's. Fireballer Randy Johnson led the stingiest pitching staff in the Frontier League, going 18-9 with a 2.37 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP, and a league-high 315 strikeouts. Southpaw Mickey McDermott went 19-7 with a 3.09 ERA and 235 whiffs. The Pittsburgh Golden Gorillas returned to the playoffs after a two-year hiatus, clinching a spot on the final day of the year with their 89th win. Pittsburgh's middling offense was led by first baseman Brad Fullmer, who hit .292 with 38 homers and 117 RBI's. Center fielder Mickey Rivers set the table, hitting .323 with 221 hits, including 43 doubles, 50 steals, and 112 runs scored. Although ace Smoky Joe Wood set a career low with just 14 wins, he posted a strong 2.51 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, and 264 strikeouts. Southpaw Hooks Wiltse notched a 16-9 record with an underwhelming 4.02 ERA. Although the Montreal Knights jumped out to a 32-18 start, they played slightly under .500 the rest of the way, and they were eliminated from playoff contention on the last day of the year. Montreal's 87 wins were their most since their last playoff appearance thirteen seasons ago. They were led by slugging first baseman Johnny Mize, who hit .330 with a .420 on-base percentage and a .582 slugging percentage, including 33 homers and 113 RBI's. Mize forced Eddie Murray to play out of position at third base, where he hit .280 with 36 homers and 93 RBI's. Righthander Aaron Sele went 18-9 with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.

The Detroit Purple Gang coasted to another Great Lakes Division title, jumping out to a 50-31 start, and they won the division by 9 games despite a sub-.500 second half. Detroit was led by veteran third baseman Bill Melton, who popped his 3,000th hit and 600th homer on his way to batting .277 with 31 homers and 98 RBI's. Shortstop Francisco Lindor hit just .253, but launched 30 longballs and drove in 99 runs. Left fielder Mel Hall hit .308 with 35 homers and a team-high 115 RBI's, but found himself losing playing time down the stretch. Ed Walsh stabilized an injury-ravaged pitching staff, going 19-5 with a 3.17 ERA, a 1.09 ERA, and 222 strikeouts. But Detroit headed into the postseason without the services of the injured Larry Jaster, Larry Jansen, Mike Garcia, and Randy Jones -- who had a combined 615 career victories.

The Omaha Falcons won their first ten games on their way to a 96-win Great Plains Division title, their third playoff appearance in four years, as five players topped 25 homers. Omaha was sparked by a breakout season by right fielder Cito Gaston, who hit .334 with 35 homers and 120 RBI's. Left fielder Preston Wilson hit .274 with 32 homers and 107 RBI's, while veteran sluggers Gorman Thomas, Lou Gehrig, and Gabby Hartnett combined for 77 homers. Ed Reulbach paced a deep pitching staff, going 15-12 with a 3.61 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. The slap-hitting Chicago Mules were well below .500 through the end of July, but made a furious push for a playoff spot, finishing with 87 wins, . Left fielder Gene Clines won the Frontier League batting title, hitting .370 with 243 hits, 49 steals, and 97 runs scored. Ageless first baseman George Altman hit .304 with 28 homers and 88 RBI's. Ace Bob Moose appeared to be a shoo-in for his second Cy Young Award, leading the HRDL with a 25-8 record and a 2.13 ERA, while notching a 1.07 WHIP and 276 strikeouts.

The Seattle Whales relied on a balanced offense which ranked second in the league with 901 runs scored to win the Northwest Division with 96 games. Left fielder Sherry Magee hit .287 with 40 homers, 114 RBI's, 125 runs scored, and a league-high 71 steals. Slugging first baseman Lee May hit .303 with 29 homers and 120 RBI's. Rookie third baseman Milt Stock hit .326 with 21 round-trippers and 101 runs, while center Lee Mazzilli set the table, hitting .318 with a .407 on-base percentage, scoring 138 runs while ripping 27 homers with 43 steals. Veteran righthander Bob Osborn went 18-8 with a 3.49 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP, while Al Benton went 17-7 with a 3.70 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. Seattle held off a second-half surge by the defending champion Portland Skunks, who rallied from a 5-13 start to go 58-29 after the All-Star game, finishing with 95 wins. Although first baseman Jeff Bagwell could not duplicate his MVP-runner-up 2031 season, he still hit .279 with a .422 on-base percentage, and rapped 38 longballs with 109 runs scored and 94 RBI's. Left fielder Mike Easler hit .319 with 35 homers and plated 101 runs. Second baseman John Knight hit .318 with 79 extra-base hits, including 30 homers, and he scored 135 runs while swiping 40-of-45 bases. Rookie southpaw Pete Falcone went 14-9 with a 3.16 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP, and 224 whiffs, while veteran Ed Halicki posted a 15-8 record with a 3.75 ERA. Although the Denver Spikes lost slugger Chris James for the season in spring training, they still won 91 games, largely due to pitching and defense. Shortstop Yoan Moncada hit .313 with a .408 on-base percentage, with 14 homers, 70 RBI's, and went an incredible 70-for-77 on the basepaths. Catcher Frank Fernandez pounded 36 homers and drove home 90 runs. Veteran righthander Bruce Berenyi returned to form, going 19-7 with a 3.37 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Closer Chick Brandom posted 42 saves with 98 strikeouts in just 73 innings.

Continental League: The 94-win Washington Ambassadors coasted into the postseason for the third straight season, winning the Atlantic Division by 11 games without ever being seriously threatened. First baseman Lee Stevens led the way, hitting .332 and slugging .617 with 46 homers and 124 RBI's. DH Eddie Robinson hit .349 with 34 homers and 103 RBI's. Right fielder Ralph Garr set the table effectively, hitting .370 while scoring 93 runs in just 112 games. Righthander Homer Hillebrand led a middle-of-the-pack pitching staff, going 16-6 with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Closer Chris Short had another brilliant season out of the pen, going 6-2 with 36 saves, a 1.88 ERA, a 0.88 WHIP, and 103 whiffs in just 72 innings.

In the Southeast Division, the Atlanta Ducks rode a powerful offense to make the playoffs for the first time since 2021. The Ducks scored 1,023 runs, ranking third in the Continental League. Left fielder Jim Greengrass posted an MVP-caliber season, hitting .356 and slugging .635 with 47 homers and 142 RBI's. First baseman Dots Miller hit .328 while drilling 42 homers and plating 136 runs. Catcher Darrin Fletcher had a career season, hitting .320 with 41 homers and 110 RBI's. Veteran righthander John Montefusco went 18-9 despite a career-worst 3.91 ERA, and he fanned 225 enemy batters. Closer Mike Kekich notched 32 saves with a 2.26 ERA. The Ducks held off the New Orleans Crawfish, who made the playoffs for the tenth time in twelve seasons after their 91-win campaign. Third baseman Manny Machado starred, hitting .341 and slugging .584 with 38 homers and 133 RBI's. First baseman Joey Meyer hit .311 with 29 round-trippers and 117 RBI's, while left fielder Tommie Davis hit .310 with 29 blasts of his own, in addition to 30 steals and 114 runs scored. Southpaw Tom Milone went 21-6, tying for the league lead in victories, despite a mediocre 4.33 ERA, and closer Clarence Pickrel saved 35 games with a 1.70 ERA. The Miami Flamingos narrowly missed the playoffs, winning 89 games, as they were led by right fielder Frank Robinson, who hit .322 with 40 homers and 122 RBI's and center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who hit .321 with 23 longballs and 107 runs scored. Closer Dave LaRoche posted 40 saves with a 1.70 ERA.

Despite a shaky September, the 95-win Houston Pythons held on to take the Texas Division title by a game over the El Paso Armadillos. Houston's powerful offense blasted 246 homers, the third most in baseball. Left fielder Larry Hisle led the way, hitting .339 and slugging .667, and leading baseball with 52 round-trippers, while driving in 139 runs. Center fielder Ryan Thompson hit .309, punching 40 homer and driving in 111 runs in just 118 games. Six Pythons blasted at least 20 homers, and defensive ace Andrelton Simmons smacked 19 of his own. On the mound, Jerry Reuss tied for the league lead with 21 wins for the second straight year, while posting a 3.63 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. Lefty Bill Sherdel went 19-11, but sported a mediocre 4.63 ERA. The El Paso Armadillos won 94 games thanks to elite pitching and defense, as they surrendered just 668 runs - second in the Continental League, while posting a team DER of .710. First baseman Gil Hodges led a subpar offense, hitting .273 with 30 homers and 100 RBI's, while center fielder AJ Pollock hit .296 with 43 doubles, 29 longballs and drove in 84 runs while scoring 103 times. Righthander Jordan Zimmermann went 18-9 with a 2.87 ERA with an 0.99 WHIP and 190 strikeouts. Closer Rube Vickers led a deep pen, saving 36 games with a 2.67 ERA. The San Antonio Marksmen, winners of 91 games, also matched a subpar offense with elite pitching, as they ranked 17th in the Continental League in runs scored and 19th in homers, while allowing just 627 runs- the fewest in baseball. Third baseman Ray Boone hit .286 with 29 homers and 104 RBI's. First baseman Randy Milligan popped 23 round-trippers with a team-high 112 RBI's. Left fielder Enos Slaughter hit .301 with a .405 on-base percentage, with 36 doubles, 17 homers, and 82 RBI's. Ace Don Drysdale had his typical hard-luck season for the Marksmen: he went just 12-10 despite a 2.29 ERA, a 0.95 WHIP, and 222 whiffs. Joe Ross posted a 15-12 record with a 2.63 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP and 260 strikeouts, but went down in September with a back injury and would miss the playoffs. The Austin Mustangs came seemingly out of nowhere to flirt with their first playoff appearance since 2025, but ultimately fell short with 88 wins. Left fielder Bob Johnson hit .302 with a .417 on-base percentage, blasting a team-high 45 homers and 103 RBI's. DH Harry Lumley continued his late-career renaissance, popping 39 homers with 107 RBI's. Righthander Earl Francis posted a 17-8 record with a 3.13 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.

The 107-win Albuquerque Conquistadors continued their multiyear onslaught on the record books, leading the Continental League in nearly every major offensive category, as they scored 1149 runs with a .310 team average and 269 homers. Once again, an Albuquerque corner infielder had a dominant season -- but this time it was first baseman George Brett who flirted with a Triple Crown, hitting .386 with 50 homers and a best-in-baseball 166 RBI's. Catcher Tex Erwin hit .313 with 46 longballs and 134 RBI's. Right fielder Doc Miller hit .367 with 37 homers and plated 122 runs. Third baseman Frank Baker's streak of four straight MVP seasons would surely end after a disastrous first half, but rallied to finish with a .329 average, a .566 slugging percentage, 29 homers, and 133 RBI's. Free agent signee Bob Gibson was the lone bright spot on an otherwise dreadful pitching staff, going 18-4 with a career-best 3.42 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. The Los Angeles Kangaroos won 100 games, but never seriously threatened the Conquistadors. Center fielder Bobby Tolan starred, hitting .370 with 26 homers, 53 steals, and 111 RBI's, despite missing September with a broken finger. Veteran left fielder Gary Matthews went deep 36 times and drove in 107 runs. Catcher Elston Howard hit .301 with 26 homers and 121 RBI's. Southpaw Nap Rucker posted a 16-5 record with a 3.30 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP, and 227 strikeouts, while rookie closer Mark Clear saved 34 games with a microscopic 1.54 ERA.and 110 strikeouts in just 75 innings. The Las Vegas Aces narrowly missed the playoffs, winning 89 games. Sluggers Willie Horton and Bobby Bonilla combined for 71 homers and 117 RBI's. Righthander Butch Wensloff went 18-10 with a 3.10 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP, and 232 strikeouts.
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Old 03-09-2019, 04:10 AM   #146
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2032 Playoff Report

Frontier League: The Boston Minutemen easily handled the Pittsburgh Golden Gorillas, eliminating Pittsburgh in five games. Surprisingly, although Boston's pitching staff struggled throughout the season, they dominated Pittsburgh, holding the Golden Gorillas to just 13 runs in 5 games. Boston left fielder Roy White was named MVP after hitting .368 with a .538 on-base percentage and a series-high 6 RBI's. First baseman Ernie Banks hit just .222, but he popped both of Boston's homers and drove in 3 runs. Southpaw Zach Duke starred, going 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA, allowing just 8 hits in 15 innings. Rookie second baseman Bill Madlock led Pittsburgh, hitting .368 with 2 RBI's. The Baltimore Robins ousted the Detroit Purple Gang in six games, holding Detroit to just four runs in the Robins' four victories. In a controversial decision, third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo was named MVP after hitting .423 with a homer and 5 RBI's. Southpaw Randy Johnson dominated, allowing just 4 hits in 16 shutout innings while striking out 22- including a 12-strikeout no-hitter in Game 5, the third in HRDL postseason history. Detroit shortstop Francisco Lindor drilled 3 longballs and drove in 7 runs. In the only series of the Wild Card round to go the distance, the Omaha Falcons outlasted the defending champion Portland Skunks in seven games. Omaha catcher Gabby Hartnett took home the hardware, hitting .417 and slugging .833, blasting 2 homers and driving in 6 runs. Righthander Ed Reulbach went 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA, allowing just 6 hits in 14 innings. Portland left fielder Mike Easler continued to build on last year's brilliant postseason, as he hit .296 with 3 homers and 7 RBI's, while second baseman John Knight hit .379 with a homer and 8 RBI's out of the leadoff slot. In a Northwest Division showdown, the Seattle Whales dominated the Denver Spikes, outscoring Denver 29-11 in a four-game sweep. First baseman Lee May starred, hitting .471 with 3 homers and 9 RBI's. Third baseman Milt Stock hit .533 with 4 RBI's. Denver was lead by slick-fielding first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, who hit .538 and drove in a pair of runs.

In a Northeast Division matchup in the Divisional Round, the balanced Baltimore Robins upended the 104-win Boston Minutemen in six games. Baltimore left fielder Duffy Lewis took home MVP honors after hitting .458 with a homer and 6 RBI's. Third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo hit .320 with 3 homers and 6 RBI's, while catcher Gary Sanchez popped 3 longballs of his own, driving in 5 runs. Boston second baseman Sal Bando led the way, hitting .375 with 2 homers and 7 RBI's. The Seattle Whales pulled their second straight sweep of the postseason, outscoring the Omaha Falcons 26-9. Rookie third baseman Milt Stock hit .412 with a homer and 8 RBI's to take home MVP honors. Center fielder Lee Mazzilli hit .419 with a .579 on-base percentage, scoring 7 runs and driving in 4 with a homer. Seattle's bullpen dominated, allowing just two hits in 11 shutout innings. First baseman Lou Gehrig led an overmatched Omaha offense, hitting .357 with 3 RBI's. Seattle continued to dominate in the League Championship Series, eliminating the Robins in a surprising four-game sweep, while outscoring Baltimore 20-6. First baseman Lee May earned another trophy, hitting .400 with 3 homers and 4 RBI's. Left fielder Sherry Magee hit .333 with a pair of homers, 4 RBI's, and 2 steals. Righthander Al Benton threw a 6-hit shutout in Game One, while Bob Osborn and Tom Griffin each hurled 7 shutout innings. Leftfielder Duffy Lewis valiantly led Baltimore, hitting .455 with a .625 on-base percentage.

Continental League: The Albuquerque Conquistadors outlasted the New Orleans Crawfish in six games. Despite the booming bats of the Conquistadors, scrappy shortstop Elvis Andrus earned MVP honors after hitting .500 with 12 hits, 6 runs scored, a homer, and 4 steals. First baseman George Brett and catcher Tex Erwin each popped three homers. Righthander Bob Gibson won both his starts, posting a 2.84 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 13 innings. Left fielder Tommie Davis led the Crawfish, hitting .480 with 2 homers and driving in 5 runs; Jean Segura and Chet Lemon each popped a pair of homers and drove in six runs apiece. The Los Angeles Kangaroos hopped over the Washington Ambassadors in six games. Slap-hitting second baseman Jerry Priddy led the way, hitting .600 with a homer, 4 RBI's, and 6 runs scored. Rookie rightfielder Danny Litwhiler hit .480 with a homer and 5 RBI's, while third baseman Josh Harrison drove in a series-high 11 runs. Southpaw Nap Rucker made a strong push for MVP honors, going 2-0 without allowing an earned run in 16 innings, including a three-hit shutout in Game Two. Slugging left fielder Gus Zernial led Washington, hitting .467 with 2 homers and 7 RBI's. In a Texas Division showdown, the powerful Houston Pythons destroyed the El Paso Armadillos in a four-game sweep. Rookie first baseman Adam Laroche earned MVP honors after hitting .462 with 2 homers and plated 4 runs. Right fielder Derrick May hit .429 with 4 runs scored. Southpaw Bill Sherdel earned the win in a 1-0 series finale, hurling 7 shutout innings of 3-hit ball. El Paso first baseman Gil Hodges popped 2 homers and drove in 3 of their 9 runs in the series. The Atlanta Ducks made a resounding return to the playoffs after an 11-year drought, knocking off the San Antonio Marksmen in 5 games. Atlanta slugger Jim Greengrass raked, hitting .429 with a homer and 3 RBI's. Duck righthander Al Santorini won both his starts and posted a 2.57 ERA in 14 innings. Catcher Wilin Rosario led the Marksmen, hitting .278 with 2 round-trippers and 5 RBI's.

In a classic Division Series showdown, the 100-win Los Angeles Kangaroos upended the 107-win Albuquerque Conquistadors in seven games; Albuquerque won games 5 and 6 before falling a run short in Game Seven. Kangaroo catcher Elston Howard hit .400 with a homer and 6 RBI's, while second baseman Jerry Priddy continued to swing a hot bat, ripping the ball to a .414 clip with a homer and 3 RBI's. Veteran slugger Gary Matthews led the Kangaroos with 3 homers and 7 RBI's. Albuquerque star third baseman Frank Baker took home MVP honors in defeat, hitting .458 with 4 homers and 10 RBI's. The Atlanta Ducks won the final three games to knock off the Houston Pythons in six games. Left fielder Jim Greengrass won his second straight trophy, hitting .542 with 5 extra-base hits and driving in 7 runs. Second baseman Roberto Alomar hit .538 with 5 runs scored and 5 steals. Al Santorini continued to pitch well, going 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA. Houston southpaw Jerry Reuss dominated, going 1-0 with a 0.50 ERA in 18 innings, including a six-hit shutout in Game One. In the League Championship Series, the Ducks outlasted the Kangaroos in seven games in a mild upset. Atlanta DH Adam Jones took home the hardware after hitting .308 with 3 homers and 11 RBI's. Atlanta outfielders Jim Greengrass, Gary Roenicke, and catcher Darrin Fletcher each drilled a pair of homers, while Tyson Ross earned a pair of wins in relief. Los Angeles catcher Elston Howard put forth a valiant effort in defeat, hitting.385 with 3 homers and 8 RBI's.

World Series: The World Series featured a matchup of two teams with deep, balanced offenses and middle-of-the-pack pitching staffs - the 96-win Seattle Whales and the 95-win Atlanta Ducks. Seattle's three prior World Series appearances resulted in a parade, while Atlanta had never won a championship and only made one prior World Series appearance. Seattle entered the Series with a 12-game winning streak, having swept each of their first three rounds. Atlanta snapped the Whales' winning streak, taking the first two games of the series -- but Seattle stormed back to take the series in six games.

Atlanta dominated Game One 8-1, as right fielder Gary Roenicke popped two homers, including a ninth-inning blast to break the game open, and journeyman John Lamb outdueled Seattle's Bob Osborn, allowing just two hits in seven innings. Atlanta took Game Two 5-4 in ten innings, with star left fielder Jim Greengrass blasting the game winning homer with two outs in the top of the tenth inning off Darren Dreifort. Seattle nearly blew a 7-run lead in the seventh inning of Game Three, but the Whales held on for a 7-6 victory. Seattle second baseman Clint Barmes ripped four hits and drove in four runs, while catcher Gene Oliver rapped two doubles. Roenicke and DH Adam Jones homered for Atlanta.

Seattle won a pitchers' duel, 3-1, in Game Four, as Lou Knerr hurled 7 shutout innings of two-hit ball. Star left fielder Sherry Magee homered off Al Santorini in the first innning, while May homered in the eighth inning to break the game open. Seattle dominated all phases of the game in Game 5, winning 6-2, as catcher Gene Oliver homered, righthander Bob Osborn threw six solid innings, and Lee Mazzilli and Magee combined for five steals. Seattle clinched the series in a romp in Game Six, winning 10-2 as shortstop Dick Bartell popped three hits and drove in three runs, including a three-run homer off Scott Elarton to open the scoring. Al Benton won his fourth game of the postseason with seven solid innings.

Seattle catcher Gene Oliver, a controversial free agent signing, was named MVP of the World Series, as he hit .348 with 2 homers and 4 RBI's. Center fielder Lee Mazzilli hit .417 with 5 steals and 3 runs scored. Atlanta was led by Gary Roenicke, who hit .350 with 3 longballs and drove in 8 runs.
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:11 AM   #147
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2032 Awards Winners

Frontier League MVP- Nolan Arenado, 3B, BOS (43): .348/ .442/ .628, 218 hits, 40 doubles, 3 triples, 43 HR, 143 RBI, 149 runs, 104 BB, 3 SB +12.1 Zone Rating, 174 OPS+, 10.9 WAR
Second place- Bob Moose, RHP, CHI (5): 25-8, 2.13 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 257 IP, 276 K, 60 BB, 7 CG, 4 shutouts, 214 ERA+, 12.0 WAR
Third place- Joe DiMaggio, CF, BOS: .315/ .365/ .617, 182 hits, 31 doubles, 1 triple, 47 HR, 153 RBI, 112 runs, 43 BB, 2 SB, +18.8 Zone Rating, 150 OPS+, 8.2 WAR
Fourth place- Minnie Minoso, LF, TOR: .349/ .411/ .606, 215 hits, 24 doubles, 1 triple, 44 HR, 127 RBI, 122 runs, 51 BB, 5 SB, 160 OPS+, 7.2 WAR
Fifth place- Sal Bando, 2B, BOS: .330/ .458/ .543, 193 hits, 24 doubles, 5 triples, 30 HR, 113 RBI, 144 runs, 124 BB, 6 SB, 159 OPS+, 9.2 WAR

Frontier League Cy Young Award- Bob Moose, CHI (44): 25-8, 2.13 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 257 IP, 276 K, 60 BB, 7 CG, 4 shutouts, 214 ERA+, 12.0 WAR
Second place- Smoky Joe Wood, PIT (3): 14-11, 2.51 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 254 IP, 264 K, 74 BB, 5 CG, 2 shutouts, 182 ERA+, 11.1 WAR
Third place- Randy Johnson, BAL (1): 18-9, 2.37 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 247 IP, 315 K, 91 BB, 2 CG 192 ERA+, 8.7 WAR
Fourth place- Ed Walsh, DET: 19-5, 3.17 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 216 IP, 222 K, 40 BB, 3 CG, 2 shutouts, 144 ERA+, 8.9 WAR
Fifth place- Frank Papish, LON: 16-7, 2.19 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 238 IP, 187 K, 69 BB, 211 ERA+, 7.2 WAR

Frontier League Rookie of the Year: Chuck Klein, RF, TOR (47): .332/ .382/ .631, 201 hits, 37 doubles, 3 triples, 46 HR, 143 RBI, 102 runs, 51 BB, 1 SB, 158 OPS+, 5.8 WAR
Second place- Larry Walker, RF, MIL: .303/ .384/ .568, 184 hits, 30 doubles, 4 triples, 41 HR, 108 RBI, 111 runs, 70 BB, 47 SB, +13.4 Zone Rating, 144 OPS+, 6.0 WAR
Third place- Pete Falcone, LHP, POR (1): 14-9, 3.16 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 222 IP, 224 K, 89 BB, 2 CG , 1 shutout, 144 ERA+, 5.8 WAR

Continental League MVP- George Brett, 1B, ALB (48): .386/ .456/ .721, 249 hits, 54 doubles, 6 triples, 50 HR, 166 RBI, 162 runs, 86 BB, 24 steals, +9.4 Zone Rating, +193 OPS+, 11.5 WAR
Second place- Larry Hisle, LF, HOU: .339/ .427/ .667, 203 hits, 38 doubles, 1 triple, 52 HR, 139 RBI, 132 runs, 86 BB, 12 SB, +11.8 Zone Rating, 182 OPS+, 10.0 WAR
Third place- Jim Greengrass, LF, ATL: .356/ .394/ .635, 242 hits, 38 doubles, 5 triples, 47 HR, 142 RBI, 137 runs, 45 BB, 6 SB, 162 OPS+, 8.1 WAR
Fourth place- Tex Erwin, C, ALB: .313/ .400/ .651, 158 hits, 33 doubles, 46 HR, 134 RBI, 129 runs, 74 BB, 3 SB, 162 OPS+, 7.8 WAR
Fifth place- Dots Miller, 1B, ATL: .328/ .387/ .639, 211 hits, 58 doubles, 8 triples, 42 HR, 136 RBI, 145 runs, 62 BB, 27 SB, 161 OPS+, 6.3 WAR

Continental League Cy Young Award- Don Drysdale, SA (27): 12-10, 2.29 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 204 IP, 222 K, 24 BB, 2 CG, 1 shutout, 208 ERA+, 7.8 WAR
Second place- Joe Ross, SA (21): 15-12, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 247 IP, 260 K, 28 BB, 9 CG, 2 shutouts, 182 ERA+, 8.9 WAR
Third place- Clayton Kershaw, MEM: 17-11, 2.76 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 225 IP, 281 K, 86 BB, 182 ERA+, 7.6 WAR
Fourth place- Butch Wensloff, LV: 18-10, 3.10 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 264 IP, 232 K, 73 BB, 7 CG, 3 shutouts, 157 ERA+, 7.7 WAR
Fifth place- Jordan Zimmermann, EP: 18-9, 2.87 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 254 IP, 190 K, 30 BB, 7 CG, 2 shutouts 168 ERA+, 5.4 WAR

Continental League Rookie of the Year- Hanley Ramirez, SS, OKC (21): .344 /.413/ .517, 195 hits, 34 doubles, 11 triples, 14 HR, 105 RBI, 114 runs, 71 BB, 55 SB, 135 OPS+, 6.7 WAR
Second place- Darryl Strawberry, RF, BIR (20): .287/ .390/ .566, 162 hits, 23 doubles, 4 triples, 42 HR, 128 RBI, 107 runs, 93 BB, 29 SB, 141 OPS+, 5.0 WAR
Third place- Mark Clear, RHP, LA (7): 7-3, 34 saves, 1.56 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 75 IP, 110 K, 47 BB, 322 ERA+, 3.3 WAR

Top draft picks: 1. Mark Prior, RHP, Nashville Blues
2. Corey Kluber, RHP, New York Emperors
3. Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP, Minneapolis Penguins
4. Bill Sweeney, 2B/3B, Hartford Huskies
5. Edd Roush, CF, Jacksonville Gulls,
6. Pete Reiser, CF, Cleveland Rocks
7. Ray Fosse, C, Anaheim Antelopes
8. Tino Martinez, 1B, San Francisco Longshoremen
9. Chappie McFarland, RHP, Ottawa Parliamentarians
10. Weldon Henley, RHP, San Diego Zookeepers
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:01 AM   #148
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2032 Hall of Fame Voting

In recent years, the Hall of Fame ballot became excessively bloated, with dozens of players remaining on the ballot year-to-year, coupled with increasingly talented groups of newcomers joining the ballot each year. With just fifteen spots on the ballot among 60-70 nominees, many seemingly qualified nominees struggled to achieve the necessary 75% rate for induction. Veteran Hall-watchers were concerned about the effect of a deep group of newcomers on the 2032 ballot -- but those concerns proved to be misplaced, as a record five inductees were selected, all on the first ballot. 7-time Frontier League MVP Mickey Mantle was a near-unanimous choice with 98.0%, and 4-time Cy Young Award winner Brett Anderson matched him at 97.7%. Fireballer Justin Verlander was tabbed with 80.7%, 12-time All-Star catcher Dave Nilsson garnered 80.4%, and crafty southpaw Reb Russell squeaked over the threshold with 75.5%

Mantle was the single most dominant offensive force in HRDL history, winning 7 MVP awards during his 10 seasons with the Denver Spikes, five batting titles, six home runs titles, and two triple crowns. Mantle broke in with a bang, winning the MVP as an 18-year-old rookie in 2013, hitting a league-leading .363 with 53 homers, 128 RBI's, and 12.1 WAR. He won the triple crown and was a unanimous MVP the next year after hitting .359 with 44 homers and 136 RBI's. After a one-year hiatus, he earned MVP honors once again in 2016, after hitting .359 with a league-leading .451 on-base percentage, 39 homers, and 111 RBI's. Despite winning a second Triple Crown in 2017, Mantle finished a close second in the MVP voting. Mantle returned to the awards podium in 2018, taking the MVP after hitting a league-best .358 with 35 homers and 110 RBI's. He won MVP honors yet again in 2019 after hitting .346 with 50 homers and 125 RBI's. After an "off" season in 2020, when he merely led the league in WAR and homers, he earned another MVP award in 2021, after hitting a league-best .348 with 46 homers and 125 RBI's. He won his final MVP award in 2022, hitting .346 with 41 homers and 104 RBI's. After ten extraordinary years in Denver, however, Mantle signed a free-agent contract with the Houston Pythons and began a rapid decline. After a solid, if not quite spectacular, first season with Houston, Mantle's production plummeted, as he closed out his career with only one solid season over his last six, and he limped over the 3,000 hit barrier. For his career, Mantle hit .318 with a .395 on-base percentage, a .554 slugging percentage, and 121.3 WAR-- the latter figure ranking fourth all-time as of the time of his induction. A ten-time All-Star, he rapped 3,019 hits, including 432 doubles, 555 homers (3rd all-time), drove in 1654 runs (including 11 100+ RBI seasons) and stole 226 bases. Mantle also won three postseason series MVP awards, sporting a career postseason batting average of .343 with 13 homers and 48 RBI's in 280 at bats.

Southpaw Brett Anderson established a similar record of dominance on the mound, winning a record four Cy Young Awards for the Los Angeles Kangaroos between 2016 and 2020. Anderson was a late first-round draft pick (46th overall) of the Kangaroos in 2013, but immediately established his dominance, going 16-8 as a rookie with a 2.66 ERA. Sporting pinpoint control, Anderson had a breakout season in 2016, going 26-6 and leading the league with a 2.56 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP, while walking just 40 hitters in 260 innings. After an 18-9 season with a career-best 2.29 ERA the next year, Anderson took home three straight Cy Young Award trophies between 2018 and 2020, posting an incredible 67-16 record with ERA's of 2.37, 2.28, and 2.34 and identical 1.01 WHIPs each season. Anderson continued to be a highly effective, if not quite dominant, pitcher for several seasons, but suffered season-ending nerve injuries in 2026, and tore his UCL in both 2027 and 2028, ending his career. Anderson notched a 270-110 ERA with a 2.72 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP, 2211 strikeouts, and 100.4 WAR despite making only fifteen career starts after age 33. A 9-time All-Star, Anderson was inducted with the third-most wins of any pitcher in HRDL history and the best winning percentage. Anderson notched a career 22-15 record with a 3.27 ERA in the postseason, winning two world titles with the Kangaroos in 2014 and 2016.

Verlander, an 8-time All-Star, was tabbed by the Detroit Purple Gang with the 6th pick in the 2016 draft. After showing steady improvement in his first three seasons, Verlander had a breakout season in his fourth year, winning the 2020 Cy Young Award and finishing third in the MVP balloting after going 16-6 with a league-best 1.95 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP, and 222 strikeouts. Verlander went 16-8 with a 2.31 ERA and a career-high 262 whiffs the following year, finishing 4th in the MVP voting and runner-up for the Cy Young Award. Verlander continued to pitch effectively through 2028, at which time he signed unexpectedly with the Hartford Huskies as a free agent; after an ineffictive season with Hartford, Verlander tore his labrum and retired after additional medical setbacks. Although Verlander never won 20 games in a season he made the All-Star team every season between 2020 and 2028 but one, and he led the Frontier League twice in ERA and once in strikeouts. He retired with a career record of 190-129, a 2.67 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP, 2761 strikeouts, and 88.0 WAR-- ranking 22nd among pitchers all-time. Verlander posted a 5-5 career postseason record in 14 starts with a 2.83 ERA - including an incredible 0.39 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 23 innings in 2021.

Nilsson spent his entire 18-year career with the Buffalo Fighting Elk after being drafted 50th overall in 2011. Nilsson made 12 All-Star teams and won four Silver Slugger awards. He topped .300 in each of his first five seasons, and popped a career-best 33 homers with 95 RBI's in his sophomore campaign in 2013. Nilsson notched 2,336 career hits, as he hit .293 over his career with a .373 on-base percentage and a .493 slugging percentage, including 424 doubles, 314 homers, 1,089 RBI's, and 223 steals. He was a terrific postseason player, hitting .286 with 28 homers, 89 RBI's, and 22 steals in 650 career postseason at-bats, including .357 with 3 homers and 15 RBI's in Buffalo's triumphant 2017 postseason campaign. Nilsson joined Bill Freehan as the only catchers in Cooperstown.

Russell, the 2019 Cy Young Award winner, won 242 games over his storied career. He spent the vast majority of career piching for the HRDL's Canadian franchises, after being drafted 21st overall by the Vancouver Viceroys in 2014. Remarkably durable and consistent, Russell never went on the disabled list, and posted season ERA's under 3.00 for each of the first 13 seasons of his career. After four solid seasons in Vancouver, Russell took the next step in 2019, winning the Cy Young Award and finishing third in the MVP voting after going 23-7 with a 2.41 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP, and a stellar 4.92 K/BB ratio. After another strong season, Russell left Vancouver for the London Werewolves as a free agent. Russell posted a career-best 2.32 ERA in his first season in Vancouver, then won 18, 19, and 19 games in each of the following seasons. In 2023, Russell finished fourth in the Cy Young Award voting after going 19-9 with a 2.49 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP, posting an incredible 6.68 K/BB ratio, including just 25 walks in 271 innings. Russell continued to pitch effectively through 2027 with London before signing with the Minneapolis Penguins for the last two years of his career. Overall, Russell posted a career 242-179 record with a 2.86 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, 1985 strikeouts, and just 633 walks in nearly 4,000 innings, and his 102.9 WAR ranked seventh all-time among pitchers. Russell also aided his cause with the bat, hitting a respectable .217 with 96 extra-base hits, including 23 homers, in his career.

Leading vote recipients include:

Mickey Mantle, RF, DEN/ HOU: 98.0%
Brett Anderson, LHP, LA/ SA: 97.7%
Justin Verlander, RHP, DET/ HAR: 80.7%
Dave Nilsson, C, BUF: 80.3%
Reb Russell, LHP, VAN/ LON/ MIN: 75.5%
Ed Morgan, 1B, SD/ SA/ CHA/ NOR/ MIA: 70.9%
Jose Reyes, SS, CLE/ KC: 65.4%
Kirby Puckett, CF, HOU/ PHI/ CAL: 58.8%
Paul Molitor, 2B, HOU/ MIA/ PHI/ VAN: 46.7%
Dave Ferriss, RHP, DAL/ NAS: 45.4%

Notable players falling off the ballot after failing to reach the requisite 5% include 2013 MVP Carney Lansford, 209-game winner Frank Lary, speedy rightfielder Braggo Roth, and slugging first baseman Kent Hrbek.

Here's a look at the Hall of Famers:
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:25 AM   #149
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2033 Mid-Year Review

Exceeding Expectations: The Philadelphia Hawks were coming off three straight sub-.500 seasons, but they entered the All-Star break squarely in the playoff mix, notching a 41-33 record, good for second place in the Northeast Division. First baseman Wes Parker led the league's third-ranked offense, hitting .315 with a .409 on-base percentage, 23 doubles, 10 homers, and 65 runs scored. Veteran right fielder Jerry Mumphrey, a free agent signee, entered the break hitting .300 and slugging .492, with 24 doubles, 12 homers, and 49 RBI's. Closer Ken Howell led the deepest bullpen in the league, posting 14 saves and a 1.77 ERA. The Milwaukee Raccoons, who had bottomed out with 111 losses in 2031 before improving to just 91 losses last year, entered the break just 3 games out of first place in the Great Plains Division with a 36-38 record. Seven-time all-star centerfielder hit .313 with a .588 slugging percentage, including 21 homers, 68 runs scored, 41 RBI's, and 32 steals. Savvy-swinging first baseman Mark Grace hit .330 and slugged .510, entering the break with 33 extra-base hits, including 11 homers, 53 runs scored, and 35 RBI's. Southpaw Dave Fleming led a middling pitching staff, going 6-6 with a 3.53 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. In the Continental League, the Oklahoma City Otters had long been an afterthought, winning 84 games last season to snap a streak of seven straight seasons with seventy wins or less. The Otters rode an explosive May to jump out to a lead in the Texas Division before slumping right before the all-star break, but ended the half with a 43-31 record, just a half-game out of first. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez built on his Rookie of the Year campaign, hitting .331 and slugging .554, including 39 extra-base hits, 10 homers, 58 runs, 72 RBI's, and 36 steals. Center fielder Hank Lieber hit .317 with a .397 on-base percentage, with 7 round-trippers and 52 RBI's. The Otters stole a league-high 134 bases on their way to a top-3 scoring performance. Lefty Dallas Keuchel went 8-5 with a 3.98 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. Closer Billy McCool notched 18 saves with a 1.96 ERA. After an out-of-nowhere World Series appearance in 2031, the Dallas Wildcatters collapsed to a 70-92 record the following year, but rebounded in 2033 to enter the break with a 42-31 record, just one game out of first place in a highly-competitive Texas Division. Although Dallas ranked next-to-last in the Continental League in homers, their offense ranked squarely in the middle of the pack, led by right fielder Ken Landreaux, who hit .312 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs. Left fielder Mike Greenwell hit .330 with 27 doubles, 8 longballs, and 48 RBI's. Workhorse Red Ames was just 6-7 despite a solid 3.98 ERA and 104 strikeouts. Closer Clay Bryant led the league's top-ranked bullpen notching 19 saves with a 1.47 ERA.

Disappointments: Expectations were high for the Baltimore Robins after a 97-win season, but they stumbled to a 38-36 record in the first half, ranking dead last in the Northeast Division. Although Hal McRae flirted with .400 in the first half, leadoff hitter Mickey Rivers had a dreadful season, hitting just .259 with a .289 on-base percentage in an injury-plagued half. Randy Johnson proved to be mortal after two brilliant seasons, going a lackluster 6-7 with a 3.40 ERA, and more ominously, surrendering 16 homers in just 114 innings. The Omaha Falcons looked to build on a 96-win season, but they stumbled into the break with a mediocre 34-40 record. Perennial all-star catcher Gabby Hartnett unexpectedly struggled, hitting just .252 with 9 homers and 31 RBI's. Right fielder Cito Gaston, who received downballot MVP support last season, hit just .246 with 9 homers and 25 RBI's. The Miami Flamingos appeared poised to make a posteason run coming off the heels of a 96-win campaign, but they stumbled to a 35-38 first-half mark. Right fielder Frank Robinson tailed off badly from his career season in 2032, hitting just .281 with 13 homers and 49 RBI's. The biggest culprit was the pitching staff, which ranked 21st in the Continental League in runs allowed. Righthander Aaron Sele, who won 18 games a year ago, saw his ERA spike by more than a run to 5.22, while Jeff Robinson's ERA jumped by nearly a run and a half to a bloated 6.46. The Las Vegas Aces were unlikely to duplicate their 89-win mark from a year ago, limping to the all-star break with a 38-36 record, and outplayed their pythagorean expectation by 4 games. Power hitting first baseman Jason Thompson appeared to hit the end of the line, hitting just .229 with 9 round-trippers and 24 RBI's. Ace Butch Wensloff stumbled, going just 4-7 with a mediocre 4.28 ERA, and the Aces' bullpen ranked among the worst in baseball.

Texas Arms Race: Long considered the weakest division in the HRDL, the Texas Division proved to be one of the most competitive- based in large part on an offseason shopping spree involving nearly every team in the division. The Austin Mustangs kicked off the Hot Stove League by signing all-star second sacker Ryne Sandberg to a 7-year contract and signed third baseman Don Buford soon thereafter. The El Paso Armadillos signed first baseman Lou Gehrig, second baseman DJ LeMahieu, and 16-game winner Mike Bruhert within a span of ten days. The Houston Pythons added leadoff hitter extraordinaire Ralph Garr and reliever Doug Corbett. The Dallas Wildcatters upgraded their bullpen by signing closers Gregg Olson and Cy Falkenberg, who combined for 78 saves last year, and middle reliever Sam McDowell. The San Antonio Marksmen upgraded their offense, signing free agent outfielder Heinie Manush and second baseman Miller Huggins, an on-base machine. Only the Oklahoma City Otters were comparatively quiet, with 16-game winner Mitchell Boggs being their only free agent acquisition of note.

Great Plains, Great Pains: The six teams of the Great Plains Division bumbled their way through the first half, and for a long time, it looked likely that none of the six squads would top .500. The Chicago Mules needed a strong June to top the break-even mark, entering the break at 39-35. Meanwhile, two of the traditionally strongest franchises in the game-- the Kansas City Mad Hatters and Minneapolis Penguins -- were among the worst teams in baseball, sporting a 28-45 and 18-56 record, respectively.

Offensive explosions: Some new stars broke out to rank among the league's elite performers. Kansas City rookie right fielder Jay Buhner hit .323 and slugged .641, leading the Frontier League with 74 RBI's. Birmingham shortstop Jose Fernandez starred, hitting .328 with 20 homers and an incredible 89 RBI's in just 70 games. Baltimore right fielder Hal McRae starred, hitting .399 and slugging .693, with an incredible 52 extra-base hits in 73 games -- including 31 doubles. Los Angeles center fielder Bobby Tolan led the best team in baseball, hitting .385 and slugging .604 while scoring 64 runs in 71 games.

Major injuries: Expectations were high for Omaha third baseman Gary Gaetti -- one of the major signings in free agency --but he tore his ACL in spring training and would miss the year. Memphis southpaw Clayton Kershaw suffered from an inflamed rotator cuff on Opening Day, and he was not expected to return until the Fourth of July. Austin left fielder Bob Johnson had an all-star caliber season interrupted with a torn hamstring in early June; he was expected to be out until late August. Denver righthander Earl Johnson tore a tendon in his elbow, and would not return until midseason 2034. London first baseman Keith Hernandez tore ligaments in his elbow and would miss nearly the whole season. San Diego righhander Ham Iburg suffered from shoulder inflammation, causing him to miss nearly the entire year.

Major milestones: Chicago first baseman George Altman and Los Angeles left fielder Gary Matthews joined the storied 3,000 hit club, while Detroit left fielder Mel Hall and El Paso center fielder AJ Pollock each rapped their 2,500th career hit. Hall and Vancouver third baseman Kevin Mitchell each pounded their 400th career round-tripper. Buffalo southpaw Dave Righetti notched his 250th career victory. Looking ahead to the second half, sluggers Gorman Thomas, Lou Gehrig, and Jeff Bagwell were each likely to join the 450-homer club by Labor Day. Pittsburgh ace Smoky Joe Wood and Seattle's Bob Osborn were likely to notch their 200th career wins by the end of July.
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Old 04-01-2019, 02:05 AM   #150
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2033 Year in Review

Frontier League: The Boston Minutemen combined their explosive offense with an improved pitching staff to coast to the Northeast Division title with 104 wins. In a rarity, four teams in the division posted over 90 wins, and all six teams topped .500. Boston led the Frontier League with 240 homers and 929 runs scored, led by defending MVP Nolan Arenado, who hit .317 with a league-high 48 homers, 140 runs scored, and 128 RBI's. Star center fielder Joe DiMaggio hit .324 with 44 homers and 133 RBI's. First baseman Ernie Banks hit .299 with 38 longballs and 114 RBI's, and four other players topped 22 homers. Crafty veteran Bill Hands went 18-2 with a 3.25 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP, yielding just 27 walks in 210 innings. Southpaw junkballer Zach Duke went 13-9 with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. Journeyman Harry Feldman sent a HRDL record with 48 saves, notching a 2.78 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. The Montreal Knights snapped a 13-year playoff drought, with a franchise-record 94 wins. Right fielder Ron Northey hit .281 with a team-high 33 homers and 126 RBI's. While Johnny Mize and Joe Judge split time at first base, both had spectacular seasons. Mize hit .325 and slugged .657 with 37 homers and 107 RBI's, while Judge had a breakout season, hitting .338 and slugging .592 with 17 homers, 60 RBIs, and 18 steals. Catcher Jack Hiatt hit .317 with a .421 on-base percentage. Righthander Jack Coombs led a solid, if unspectacular pitching staff, going 13-9 with a 3.41 ERA and 207 strikeouts. The Philadelphia Hawks snapped a five-year playoff drought of their own, going 92-70. First baseman Wes Parker starred, hitting .344 with 49 doubles, 27 longballs, 108 RBI's, 20 steals, and a league-high 141 runs scored. Free agent acquisition Jerry Mumphrey had a strong all-around season, hitting .292 with 42 doubles, 25 homers, 27 steals, 102 runs scored, and 90 RBI's. Left fielder Enos Slaughter hit .291 with 37 doubles, 16 homers, and a team-high 114 RBI's. Lefty Rich Nye posted a 16-7 record with a 4.16 ERA and 187 strikeouts. The Hawks sported the league's top-ranked bullpen, as closer Ken Howell notched 29 saves with a 2.65 ERA, while setup man Fernando Rodney added 6 saves and a microscopic 0.90 ERA in 60 innings. The Buffalo Fighting Elk returned to the playoffs after two years of missing the playoffs, matching the Hawks with a 92-70 record. Slugging first baseman Don Hurst hit .269, pounding 41 homers and driving in 122 runs, while left fielder Ron Jones ripped 31 round-trippers and drove in 119 runs of his own. Center fielder Nemo Leibold set the table, hitting .323 with a .433 on-base percentage, including 55 steals, and scored 119 runs. Righthander Brett Oberholtzer led a deep pitching staff, going 20-10 with a 2.83 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. Righthander Kyle Lohse went just 11-12 despite a strong 3.11 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.

The London Werewolves, led by the league-best pitching staff, won the Great Lakes Division with 94 wins. Star right fielder Reggie Smith hit .307, pounding 41 homers, scoring 105 runs, and driving in 112. Second baseman Frankie Gustine had a breakout season, hitting .343 with 221 hits, including 43 doubles, and scored 105 runs. Center fielder Paolo Orlando hit .332 with 205 hits, including 12 homers and 70 RBI's. Catcher Wes Westrum popped 32 homers, plated 86 runners, and drew 96 walks. Southpaw Vern Olsen led the pitching staff, going 16-6 with a 2.56 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP, allowing just 6 homers in 193 innings. Rookie righthander Jim Baskette sported a 15-6 record with a league-best 2.38 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. The Werewolves narrowly held off the 89-win Cincinnati Spiders, who were the final team eliminated from the wild card. Shortstop Corey Seager led the Spiders, hitting .308 with 20 homers and 94 RBI's, while third baseman Nick Castellanos blasted 27 longballs and drove in 102 runs. Righthander Joe Presko went 19-8 with a 3.75 ERA, while Jon Matlack posted a 16-9 mark with a 3.40 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP, and 232 whiffs.

The Chicago Mules were the best of a bad lot, coasting to the Great Plains division title with just 85 wins. The punchless Mules ranked 20th in the Frontier League in runs, and dead last in baseball with just 77 homers. Right fielder Augie Bergamo provided the offensive spark, hitting .354 with a .450 on-base percentage, including 207 hits, 12 homers, 79 RBI's, and 94 runs scored. Left fielder Gene Clines hit .342 with 44 steals and 105 runs scored. Bob Moose anchored the pitching staff, but received poor offensive support, as he followed up his 25-win season with a 13-11 mark despite a 2.57 ERA, a league-best 1.05 WHIP, and fanned 251 hitters.

The Seattle Whales were the class of the Northwest Division, winning 101 games behind a balanced offense which led the Frontier League with a .286 average, and a top-three pitching staff. Right fielder Sherry Magee hit .301 with a .420 on-base percentage and .587 slugging percentage, including 89 extra-base hits, 36 homers, 135 RBI's, 128 runs scored, and 61 steals. First baseman Lee May clubbed 41 homers and drove in 112 runs. Third baseman Milt Stock hit .358 with 235 hits, including 42 doubles, 14 homers, 83 RBI's, 42 steals, and scored 115 runs. Righthander Jim Tobin went 18-4 with a 3.84 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Veteran Bob Osborn missed two months, but he went 10-2 with a 2.69 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. The Portland Skunks made their fourth straight postseason appearance, winning 94 games. Portland scuffled near .500 for four months, before exploding with a 38-14 record after August 1. First baseman Jeff Bagwell hit .302 with a .433 on-base percentage and a .624 slugging percentage, pounding 43 homers and driving in 120 runs. Center fielder Dave Henderson hit .293 and slugged .502, popping 33 longballs and driving in 102 runs. Left fielder Mike Easler hit .324 and slugged .516, ripping 43 doubles, 25 homers, scoring 126 runs, and plating 103 more. On the mound, southpaw Mark Thurmond went 19-8 with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. Pete Falcone followed up his strong rookie campaign by going 15-10 with a 3.93 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP, and 232 punchouts. Closer Gene Walter notched 7 wins, 33 saves, a 2.21 ERA, and a 0.98 WHIP.

Continental League: The powerful Washington Ambassadors overcame an injury-riddled pitching staff to blast 254 homers on their way to the Atlantic Division title, as they held off the Virginia Beach Admirals by a game to take the division with 86 wins. Left fielder Gus Zernial blasted 47 round-trippers and drove in 117 runs -- one of five Ambassadors to top 30 homers, and one of six to top 90 RBI's. First baseman Lee Stevens hit .283 with 42 homers and 116 RBI's. Center fielder Johnny Groth hit .334 with 49 doubles, 18 homers, and 101 RBI's. Washington's pitching ranked near the bottom in the league -- the lone bright spot was relief ace Chris Short, who earned 39 saves with a 2.45 ERA, an 0.87 WHIP, and an incredible 114 strikeouts in 80 innings. The Admirals narrowly missed making the playoffs for the first time in five years. First baseman Chris Shelton hit .298 with 32 homers and 138 RBI's. Second baseman Danny Murtaugh hit .328 with 39 doubles, 114 runs scored, and 45 steals. Southpaw fireballer Johnny Vander Meer led a deep pitching staff, going 13-8 with a 3.57 ERA, a 1.28 WHIP, and 227 strikeouts in just 181 innings.

The Atlanta Ducks took the Southeast Division title, tying a franchise record with 105 wins. The Ducks ranked second in the Continental League in runs scored, led by first baseman Dots Miler, who hit .317 and slugged .586 with 36 homers, 125 RBI's, and 37 steals. Leftfielder Jim Greengrass hit .282 and slugged .511, ripping 35 homers and driving in 114 runs. Catcher Miguel Olivo blossomed into a star, hitting .288 and slugging .533, with 28 homers and 96 RBI's -- and stealing 19 of 21 bags. Righthander John Montefusco appeared primed to win his third career Cy Young Award after going 23-3 with a 2.44 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP, and 208 strikeouts. Ed Walsh gave the Ducks a second ace, going 15-9 with a 3.15 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP, and 207 strikeouts. Atlanta held off the New Orleans Crawfish, a perennial postseason participant. New Orleans third baseman Manny Machado led the way, hittind .318 with 43 longballs and 107 RBIs. Slugging first baseman Joey Meyer hit .303 with 32 homer and plated 103 runs On the mound, Wilbur Cooper carried the way , going 14-10 with a 2.02 ERA. Closer Clarence Pickrel notched 28 saves with a 1.61 ERA.

The Dallas Wildcatters took a crowded Texas Divisions title with 96 wins. Left fielder Mike Greenwell led the way, hitting .353 with 57 doubles, 18 homers, 100 RBI's, and 110 runs scored. Right fielder Ken Landreaux hit .306 and slugged .521, with 26 longballs and 116 RBI's. Center fielder Jim Busby hit .324 , including 18 homers, 42 steals, 93 runs, and 86 RBI's. On the mound, fireballer Red Ames bounced back to have a strong third-year campaign, going 16-12 with a 3.41 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP, and fanned 226 enemy batters. Steady Hank Borowy went 15-11 with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. Clay Bryant anchored the best bullpen in the league, saving 47 games and posting a 1.64 ERA, with 104 whiffs in just 77 innings. The Houston Pythons outslugged enough opponents to sneak into the playoffs with 88 wins. Left fielder Larry Hisle hit .303 with 44 homers and 143 RBI's. DH Norm Cash bopped 47 longballs in his lone season with the squad, and drove in 111 runs to boot. Ryan Thompson pounded 37 round-trippers and plated 124 runs. Crafty southpaw Jerry Reuss posted a 19-9 record with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Closer Rick Waits notched 39 saves and a 1.90 ERA.

The explosive Albuquerque Conquistadors won 109 games to take the Southwest Division. Scoring 1067 runs and blasting 267 round-trippers, Albuquerque led the Continental League in most offensive categories. Five players- George Brett, Frank Baker, Tex Erwin, Doc Miler, and Vic Power - each blasted at least 30 homers and drove in at least 110 runs. Brett his .333 with 49 homers and 158 RBI's, while Baker returned to form, hitting .344 with 46 homers and 154 RBI's. Miller won the batting title, hitting .366 with 33 homers, 132 RBI's, 28 steals, and 120 runs scored. Righthander Bob Gibson had a career season, going 20-2 with a 2.71 ERA with a 1.16 WHIP and a career-high 221 strikeouts. The Los Angeles Kangaroos won 100 games behind a solid offense and the second-best pitching staff in the league. Center fielder Bobby Tolan hit .349 with 50 doubles, 56 steals, 22 homers, 127 runs scored, and 100 RBI's. Catcher Elston Howard hit .324 and slugged .530, bopping 23 homers and driving in 95 runs. Leftfielder Gary Matthews hit .313 with 26 homers, 110 runs, and 96 RBI's. Slugging first baseman Brad Fullmer led the squad with 32 longballs and 122 RBI's. Ace Nap Rucker went 21-9 with a 2.99 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, and 267 strikeouts. Control ace Steve Woodard went 16-10 with a 3.82 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP, and just 26 walks in 215 innings. The 90-win San Diego Zookeepers were one of the best stories of the season, surviving the early season loss of ace righthander Ham Iburg to make their first playoff appearance since 2017. Right fielder Raul Mondesi had a breakout season, hitting .336 and slugging .620, blasting 45 longballs and swiping 37 bags to go along with 131 RBI's and 110 runs scored. Shortstop Julio Franco, healthy for the first time in years, hit .345 with 27 homers, 51 steals, 85 RBI's, and 96 runs scored. Second baseman Rougned Odor hit 37 homers and drove in 122 runs. Rookie righhander Weldon Henley filled Iburg's shoes, sporting a 21-11 record with a 3.65 ERA. Southpaw Al Grabowski went 17-9 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. Closer Bill Sayles posted 31 saves with a 1.87 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP.
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:27 AM   #151
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2033 Playoff Report

Frontier League: In a Northeast Division showdown, the Boston Minutemen swept the Buffalo Fighting Elk in four games -- all decided by either one or two runs. Boston third baseman Nolan Arenado dominated, hitting an incredible .692 and slugging 1.231 with a homer and 5 RBI's. Boston's Zach Duke and Jack Brewer each earned a victory with six innings of one-run ball, allowing just six hits combined. Buffalo was led by left fielder Ron Jones, who hit .357 with 2 homers and 4 RBIs. The Portland Skunks nearly blew a three-games-to-one lead against the underdog Chicago Mules before prevailing 4-3 in Game 7. Portland centerfielder Dave Henderson took home the hardward, hitting .353 with 4 homers and 6 RBI's, while catcher Michael Barrett hit .364 with 6 doubles and 4 RBI's. Southpaw Pete Falcone won two games while sporting a 1.76 ERA, with 17 strikeouts in 15.1 innings. Third baseman Terry Pendleton led Chicago, hitting .483 with a homer and 7 RBI's. The Montreal Knights jumped out to a 3-0 lead against the London Werewolves before prevailing in six games. Montreal center fielder Al Cowens earned MVP honors after hitting .393 with 3 homers and 5 RBI's, while second baseman Jerry Remy hit .375. Montreal starters Kevin Slowey and Willie Adams each notched a win with a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings, while Beryl Richmond threw 4.2 shutout innings in relief, fanning nine. London catcher Wes Westrum and left fielder Michael Conforto each popped three homers and drove in 5 runs. The Seattle Whales swept the Philadelphia Hawks, although three of the four games were decided by a lone run. Star Seattle right fielder Sherry Magee was named MVP after hitting .313 with 2 homers and 5 RBI's, including a tie-breaking double in the tenth inning of Game Four. Third baseman Milt Stock hit .375 with a homer, 2 steals, 5 runs scored, and 2 RBI's. Righthander Jim Tobin hurled a complete-game 3-hitter in a 2-1 Game Three victory.

Arenado's heroics continued in the Division Series, leading the Minutemen to an easy victory over the Portland Skunks in five games, as he hit .611 with 2 homers, 4 doubles, 7 runs scored, and 10 RBI's. Second sacker Sal Bando hit .381 with 3 homers and 8 RBI's. Righthander Bill Hands earned a win, and led the Minutemen with 13 strikeouts in 12 innings. Portland's first baseman Jeff Bagwell put forth a valiant effort in defeat, hitting .563 with 2 homers and 4 RBI's. The Montreal Knights upset the favored Seattle Whales in five games, advancing to the League Championship Series for the first time in franchise history. Montreal was led by slugging first baseman Johnny Mize, who hit .389 with a homer, 7 RBI's, and a .500 on-base percentage. Montreal righthander Jack Coombs was brilliant, going 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 14 innings. Seattle slugger Lee May earned MVP honors in defeat, hitting .474 with four solo homers. Boston's booming bats continued to dominate in the League Championship Series, as they ripped fifteen homers in a five-game romp over Montreal, with shortstop Red Rolfe taking home the hardware after hitting .476 with 4 homers and 9 RBI's. Right fielder Moises Alou hit .500 with 3 homers and 4 RBI's, while Nolan Arenado's dream postseason continued, as he hit .389 with 3 homers, 4 RBI's, and 6 runs scored. Righthander Bill Hands went 2-0 with a 3.21 ERA, allowing just 8 hits in 14 innings. Montreal center fielder Al Cowens hit .350 with 2 homers and 4 RBI's in a losing effort.

Continental League: The Houston Pythons erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to upset the explosive offense of the Albuquerque Conquistadors, scoring four runs in the last two innings of a 7-6 Game Seven win, with Chip Hale hitting a tie-breaking homer. Houston blasted 21 homers in the seven-game series. Star left fielder Larry Hisle earned MVP honors after hitting .357 with 4 homers and 11 RBI's. DH Norm Cash hit .320 and popped 5 homers, plating 6 runners. Right fielder Ralph Garr set the table by hitting .464 with 7 runs scored and 4 RBI's. Albuquerque was led by star first baseman George Brett, who hit .355 with 4 homers and 7 RBI's, and second baseman Vic Power, who hit .310 with 4 round-trippers and 8 RBI's. The Los Angeles Kangaroos avoided an embarrassing upset, taking the last three games against the Washington Ambassadors to escape in seven games. Kangaroo left fielder Gary Matthews earned MVP honors after hitting .500 with 5 longballs and 9 RBI's. Catcher Elston Howard chipped in with a .407 mark, 2 homers, and 10 RBI's. Southpaw Nap Rucker posted a 1.59 ERA and whiffed 13 hitters in 17 innings. Washington first baseman Lee Stevens and third baseman Willie Jones blasted three longballs apiece, and combined for 18 RBI's. The New Orleans Crawfish swept the punchless Dallas Wildcatters, outscoring them 12-4. New Orleans third baseman Manny Machado was selected as MVP after leading all hitters with a .429 average and .643 slugging percentage. Outfielders Tommie Davis and Chet Lemon popped a pair of homers apiece, while Wilbur Cooper and Tom Milone each threw 7+ shutout innings. Righthander Hank Borowy led Dallas, hurling a complete game six-hitter in a Game Two loss and striking out 10. The upstart San Diego Zookeepers upset the 105-win Atlanta Ducks in seven games, led by first baseman George Stovall, who hit .419 with a homer, 4 doubles, and 10 RBI's. San Diego second sacker Rougned Odor hit. 379 with 2 homers and 6 RBI's, while keystone mate Julio Franco hit .394 with a homer and 5 RBI's. Righthander Bob Kelly went 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings. Left fielder Gary Roenicke led Atlanta with a .379 average, 4 longballs, and 6 RBI's.

Houston's magic ran out against Los Angeles in the Division Series, as the Kangaroos prevailed in six games. Los Angeles shortstop Tom Tresh took home the hardware after hitting .304 with 3 homers and 10 RBI's. Second baseman Jerry Priddy hit .379, leading all hitters with 11 hits. Southpaw Nap Rucker dominated, going 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA in 15 innings. Center fielder Ryan Thompson led Houston, hitting .280 with 3 homers and 9 RBI's. The upstart San Diego Zookeepers took games six and seven to upend the New Orleans Crawfish. San Diego shortstop Julio Franco hit .407 with a .515 on-base percentage, 4 steals, and 8 runs scored. Right fielder Raul Mondesi hit .333, slapping 2 homers and driving in 7 runs. Bob Kelly threw seven shutout innings of two-hit ball, while rookie righthander Weldon Henley went 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA. Rookie southpaw Wilbur Cooper led New Orleans with a 1.35 ERA in 13 innings. The Zookeepers suffered an epic collapse in the League Championship Series, dropping the final four games to the Kangaroos after jumping out to a 3-0 series lead. Los Angeles left fielder Gary Matthews earned MVP after hitting .419 with a homer and 6 RBI's. Right fielder Danny Litwhiler hit .429 with a homer and 5 RBI's. Nap Rucker's brilliant postseason continued, as he went 1-0 with a 2.12 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 17 innings. Second baseman Rougned Odor led San Diego with 4 homers and 5 RBI's, while Raul Mondesi smacked 3 round-trippers and plated five runs.

World Series: In a matchup of two 100-win teams, the Boston Minutemen, owners of the strongest offense in the Frontier League, were slight favorites over the pitching-oriented Los Angeles Kangaroos. Boston prevailed easily in five games -- but they unexpectedly did so on the strength of the Minutemen's pitching. Boston's victory constitutes the sixth straight World Series won by the Frontier League, along with 14 of the last 17 titles.

Boston took Game 1 3-0 behind a dominant pitching performance, as Bill Hands upped his postseason record to 5-0 with 7 shutout innings of 1-hit ball. Boston shortstop Red Rolfe broke the game open with a two-run double in the third inning. Nap Rucker led Los Angeles, whiffing 12 hitters in seven innings. Los Angeles evened the score in Game Two 6-4, as Tom Tresh hit a 3-run eighth inning blast off Boston closer Harry Feldman. Zach Davies earned the win for Los Angeles with seven solid innings. Boston took control of the series with a 7-6 victory in a seesaw Game Three, pulling it out with three runs in the top of the ninth inning, as Sal Bando rapped the go-ahead single. Joe DiMaggio laced three hits for Boston. Steve Woodard gave Los Angeles six solid innings of two-run ball, but the bullpen collapsed, as righthander Dick Barrett took his fourth loss of the postseason.

Boston used another dominant pitching performance to take Game Four, 4-0, as Jim Brewer hurled eight shutout innings, allowing just four hits. Sal Bando and Moises Alou homered for Boston, while ageless Gary Matthews ripped two of Boston's four hits. Boston clinched the first title in team history with a 3-2 win in Game Five, as DiMaggio doubled in Roy White for the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning. Bill Hands went the distance for Boston, surrendering just 2 runs on 8 hits, and bringing his postseason record to 2-0. Matthews had three hits for Los Angeles, including his eighth homer of the postseason.

Boston right fielder Moises Alou was named World Series MVP after hitting .294 with 2 homers, 4 runs scored, and 3 RBI's. Joe DiMaggio hit .333 with 3 extra-base hits. Righthander Bill Hands made a strong push for MVP honors after going 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA, allowing just 9 hits in 16 innings. Los Angeles left fielder Gary Matthews continued his brilliant postseason, where he fell just short of the single-season hits record with 39, as he hit .368 with a pair of solo homers in the World Series. Kangaroo southpaw Nap Rucker fanned 23 Minutemen in 13 innings, setting a single-season postseason record with 67 strikeouts.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:39 AM   #152
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2033 Awards Winners

Frontier League MVP- Kal Daniels, LF, KC (30): .354/ .472/ .661, 202 hits, 41 doubles, 4 triples, 42 HR, 110 RBI, 135 runs, 120 BB, 73 SB, 193 OPS+, 9.4 WAR
Second place- Nolan Arenado, 3B, BOS (16): .317/ .416/ .639, 189 hits, 44 doubles, 2 triples, 48 HR, 128 RBI, 140 runs, 100 BB, 3 SB, 171 OPS+, 10.0 WAR
Third place- Hal McRae, RF, BAL (2): .397/ .455/ .668, 250 hits, 61 doubles, 13 triples, 28 HR, 127 RBI, 131 runs, 65 BB, 7 SB, 190 OPS+, 9.6 WAR
Fourth place- Joe DiMaggio, CF, BOS: .324/ .386/ .608, 200 hits, 29 doubles, 7 triples, 44 HR, 133 RBI, 124 runs, 56 BB, 4 SB, 155 OPS+, 8.2 WAR
Fifth place- Andrew McCutchen, CF, VAN: .341/ .419/ .596, 212 hits, 33 doubles, 12 triples, 34 HR, 122 RBI, 123 runs, 84 BB, 59 SB, 162 OPS+, 9.5 WAR

Frontier League Cy Young Award- Bob Moose, CHI (39): 13-11, 2.57 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 252 IP, 251 K, 66 BB, 3 CG, 2 shutouts, 173 ERA+, 8.1 WAR
Second place- Smoky Joe Wood, PIT (9): 20-8, 2.82 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 252 IP, 291 K, 85 BB, 4 CG, 1 shutout, 158 ERA+, 8.9 WAR
Third place- Brett Oberholtzer, BUF: 20-10, 2.83 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 248 IP, 145 K, 25 BB, 7 CG, 2 shutouts, 154 ERA+, 6.5 WAR
Fourth place- Jim Baskette, LON: 15-6, 2.38 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 193 IP, 144 K, 65 BB, 190 ERA+, 4.8 WAR
Fifth place- Bob Shirley, DET: 18-7, 2.82 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 233 IP, 159 K, 35 BB, 158 ERA+, 7.9 WAR

Frontier League Rookie of the Year- Jay Buhner, RF, KC (26): .289/ .379/ .580, 163 hits, 37 doubles, 2 triples, 41 HR, 142 RBI, 108 runs, 74 BB, 147 OPS+, 5.2 WAR
Second place- Pete Reiser, CF, CLE (8): .322/ .412/ .510, 184 hits, 40 doubles, 10 triples, 16 HR, 67 RBI, 110 runs, 66 BB, 8 SB, +12.8 Zone Rating, 140 OPS+, 7.7 WAR
Third place- Jim Baskette, RHP, LON (14): 15-6, 2.38 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 193 IP, 144 K, 65 BB, 190 ERA+, 4.8 WAR

Continental League MVP- Frank Baker, 3B, ALB (44): .344/ .428/ .646, 202 hits, 34 doubles, 3 triples, 46 HR, 154 RBI, 137 runs, 88 BB, 12 SB, 170 OPS+, 9.9 WAR
Second place- George Brett, 1B, ALB: .333/ .391/ .651. 212 hits, 48 doubles, 4 triples, 49 HR, 158 RBI, 140 runs, 65 BB, 12 SB, 161 OPS+, 7.7 WAR
Third place- Raul Mondesi, RF, SD: .336/ .379/ .620, 213 hits, 39 doubles, 3 triples, 45 HR, 131 RBI, 110 runs, 42 BB, 37 SB, 156 OPS+, 6.6 WAR
Fourth place- John Montefusco, RHP, ATL: 23-3, 2.44 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 255 IP, 208 K, 51 BB, 5 CG, 201 ERA+, 7.1 WAR
Fifth place- Larry Hisle, LF, HOU: .303/ .385/ .594, 186 hits, 35 doubles, 6 triples, 44 HR, 143 RBI, 119 runs, 73 BB, 20 SB, 155 OPS+, 7.1 WAR
Fifth place (tie)- Nap Rucker, LHP, LA: 21-9, 2.99 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 268 IP, 267 K, 94 BB, 14 CG, 7 shutouts, 164 ERA+, 7.3 WAR

Continental League Cy Young Award- John Montefusco, ATL (18): 23-3, 2.44 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 255 IP, 208 K, 51 BB, 5 CG, 201 ERA+, 7.1 WAR
Second place- Nap Rucker, LA (16): 21-9, 2.99 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 268 IP, 267 K, 94 BB, 14 CG, 7 shutouts, 164 ERA+, 7.3 WAR
Third place- Don Drysdale, SA (14): 19-5, 1.72 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 204 IP, 212 K, 19 BB, 1 CG, 1 shutout, 271 ERA+, 8.9 WAR
Fourth place- Steve Barber, HAR: 20-7, 2.94 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 276 IP, 263 K, 90 BB, 6 CG, 1 shutout, 166 ERA+, 9.2 WAR
Fifth place- Bob Gibson, ALB: 20-2, 2.71 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 202 IP, 221 K, 63 BB, 1 CG, 1 shutout, 184 ERA+, 6.6 WAR

Continental League Rookie of the Year- Mark Prior, RHP, NAS (45): 8-13, 2.68 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 235 IP, 275 K, 57 BB, 170 ERA+, 6.7 WAR
Second place- Wilbur Cooper, LHP, NO: 14-10, 3.02 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 206 IP, 163 K, 57 BB, 164 ERA+, 6.1 WAR
Third place- Weldon Henley, SD: 21-11, 3.65 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 239 IP, 196 K, 92 BB, 134 ERA+, 4.5 WAR

Top draft picks: 1. Javy Lopez, C, Minneapolis Penguins
2. Jim Thome, 1B, Jacksonville Gulls
3. Brad Penny, RHP, Nashville Blues
4. Frank Tanana, LHP, Anaheim Antelopes
5. Tony Boeckel, 3B, Toronto Predators
6. Charlie Blackmon, CF, Ottawa Parliamentarians
7. Bernie Carbo, RF, Kansas City Mad Hatters
8. David Wright, 3B, New York Emperors
9. Mike Minor, LHP, Calgary Cattle Rustlers
10. Mickey Haefner, LHP, Charlotte Aviators
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Old 04-21-2019, 12:19 AM   #153
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2033 Hall of Fame Voting

The Hall of Fame became a little less pitching-centric with the election of three position players, including -- shockingly -- the first infielders in the Hall's history. Right fielder Bryce Harper -- the HRDL's all-time leader in home runs and RBI's -- was a near-unanimous selection, with 99.3% of the vote. First baseman Todd Helton garnered 91.2% of the vote in his inaugural appearance on the ballot. First baseman Ed Morgan notched 75.7% in his fourth time on the ballot.

Harper, a 12-time All-Star, won the Rookie of the Year Award in 2011, and the Continental League MVP in 2014, and notched three other top-three appearances. Harper was selected by the Jacksonville Gulls in the league's inaugural player dispersion draft, and he broke out with a bang, hitting. 398 with 48 homers, 145 RBI's, and a .505 on-base percentage in the league's inaugural season of 2011. As the talent pool in the league expanded, Harper remained an elite hitter: he topped 40 homers 4 times in his first 5 seasons. Harper's 2014 was his finest all-around season, as he won the batting title, hitting .382 with a .488 on-base percentage, and a league-leading .655 slugging percentage, including 40 homers, 108 RBI's, and stole a career-high 26 of 30 bases. Harper spent his first sixteen seasons in Jacksonville, hitting over .300 every season, topping 30 homers eleven times, with 13 seasons over 100 RBI's. He also topped 7 WAR in each of his first 9 seasons. After sixteen extremely successful years in Jacksonville, Harper joined El Paso as a free agent, where he hit 65 homers in 3 seasons and averaged over 100 walks per season. He spent his final season with Pittsburgh, where he popped 28 homers with 118 RBI's and 125 walks at age 39. Although Harper never won a World Series, he was a postseason fixture, blasting 29 homers in 181 career postseason games, and he hit .340 and .348 in leading the Gulls to the 2021 and 2022 World Series. Over his 20-year career, Harper posted a career batting average of .326 with a .439 on-base percentage and a .556 slugging percentage -- good for an eye-popping career OPS+ of 170. He notched 3,705 hits (second all-time), 633 homers (first all-time), 2,174 RBI's (first all-time), 2321 walks (first all-time), and 133.4 WAR (third all-time).

Helton was a remarkably consistent and durable first baseman, who made five all-star teams for the Toronto Predators between 2015-19. Helton topped 200 hits 5 times, and 190 hits on four other occasions. He topped 30 homers 6 times, and 100 RBI's in seven different seasons. He also batted over .300 in each of his first 15 seasons. Helton came in 4th in the Frontier League MVP voting in 2016, when he hit .345 and slugged .590, popping 36 homers and 106 RBI's. Two years later, he was the runner-up for the Frontier League MVP after hitting .345 and slugging .593, with 34 doubled, 37 homers, and 127 RBI's. After nine stellar seasons in Toronto, Helton jumped to Kansas City as a free agent, where he spent seven productive seasons, including a career-high 44 homers in 2023 and leading the league in slugging percentage in 2026 after hitting .340 with 70 extra-base hits. Helton spent the final two seasons of his career with the Detroit Purple Gang. Helton retired with a career .317 batting average, a .404 on-base percentage, and .514 slugging percentage. He notched 3,222 hits, 582 doubles, 448 homers, and drove in 1673 runs while posting 94.5 WAR. At the time of his induction, he ranked seventh all-time in hits, sixteenth in homers, ninth in RBI's, and twelfth in WAR.

Morgan had a long and highly productive career. Debuting with the San Diego Zookeepers in 2011, he burst out of the gate, hitting .373 with 46 homers and a league-high 162 RBI's. After seven productive seasons with San Diego, where he topped .325 four times, Morgan jumped to the San Antonio Marksmen in free agency, where he continued to hit with authority, posting a 154 OPS+ in three-plus seasons. Morgan's career was rejuvenated at age 36 after a midseason trade to Charlotte in 2021 -- he hit .366 and slugged .529 in 51 games, and the following year, won the batting title hitting .388 with a .482 on-base percentage, 25 homers, and 116 RBIs. Morgan led the league in on-base percentage the following year (.464) with the New Orleans Crawfish. He remained a productive offensive player through age 41. Overall, Morgan hit .322 with a .417 on-base percentage (10th all-time)with a .495 slugging percentage, including 2888 hits, 516 doubles, 318 homers, 1499 RBI's, and 1501 walks.

Leading vote recipients included:

Bryce Harper, RF, JAX/ EP/ PIT: 99.3%
Todd Helton, 1B, TOR/ KC/ DET: 91.2%
Ed Morgan, 1B, SF/ SA/ CHA/ NO/ MIA/ BAL/ VAN: 75.7%
Jose Reyes, SS, CLE/ KC: 72.3%
Kirby Puckett, CF, HOU/ CAL/ PHI, 64.2%
Dave Ferriss, RHP, DAL/ NAS: 59.5%
Steve Hargan, RHP, CHA/ DET/ BUF/ HAR: 51.7%
Paul Molitor, 2B, HOU/ MIA/ PHI/ VAN: 49.3%
Bob Veale, LHP, CAL/ POR/ BUF/ DET/ PHI: 49.0%
Cody Bellinger, 1B, PHI/ DAL/ PIT/ HOU/ VAN: 48.3%

The ballot was slightly less unwieldy than past years, consisting of 55 players, roughly half of whom had at least a colorable claim to election. 21 players drew at least 10% of the vote. Notable players who dropped off the ballot after failing to reach 5% included slugging catcher Willson Conteras, infielder Marcus Giles (who rapped 2859 hits), 2016 ERA champion Lefty Williams, and hard-hitting third baseman Rafael Devers.

Here's a look at the Hall of Fame's newest inductees:
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Old 04-25-2019, 02:07 AM   #154
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2034 Mid-Year Review

Exceeding Expectations: The Cleveland Rocks appeared poised to end one of the longest postseason droughts in league history, as they had not made the playoffs since 2017, and had gone 15 seasons without winning more than 85 games. The Rocks took a 43-31 record into the break, just two games out of first place in the Great Lakes Division. Left fielder Rafael Palmeiro hit .312 with 17 homers and 58 RBI's, while first baseman Don Mattingly hit .362, slugged .577, and popped 21 doubles and 9 homers. Southpaw Zane Smith notched a 7-2 record and a 3.28 ERA. The Omaha Falcons, winners of just 70 games the year before, got off to a red-hot start, going 17-6 on their way to a 38-36 half, which was good enough for a narrow lead in the middling Great Plains Division. Third baseman Nick Castellanos had a breakout season, hitting .309 with 14 homers and 45 RBI's. Righthander Ed Reulbach went 7-2, while hard-luck Bill James took a 4-6 record into the break despite a sparkling 2.74 ERA. In the Continental League, the Hartford Huskies looked to snap their streak of six straight losing seasons, going 42-32, four games behind the first-place Washington Ambassadors. First baseman Justin Bour hit .309 with 20 round-trippers and 57 RBI's, while center fielder Tris Speaker hit .310 with 25 doubles, 45 walks, 30 steals, and stellar defense. Southpaw Steve Barber anchored a top-three pitching staff, going 8-2 with a 2.79 ERA, 111 whiffs, and allowed just 5 homers in 119 innings. Righthander Chris Carpenter went 10-4 with a 2.91 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. The Oklahoma City Otters looked to snap an eleven-season streak of missing the playoffs, jumping out to a 32-14 start on their way to a 44-30 first half, just a game behind the Dallas Wildcatters for the Texas Division lead. Second-year shortstop Hanley Ramirez starred, hitting .310 and slugging .621 with 22 homers, 67 RBI's, and 30 steals. Left fielder Bob Bescher set the table, hitting .308 with a .455 on-base percentage, stealing 40 bases, and scoring 64 runs in just 70 games. Righthander Frank Smith went 10-4 with a 3.12 ERA, while teenage closer Billy McCool notched 19 saves with a 2.20 ERA.

Disappointments: The Buffalo Fighting Elk, coming off a 92-win playoff appearance, ended the first half in the Northeast Division cellar with a 32-40 record. Slugging right fielder Michael Cuddyer slumped, hitting just .237 and slugging a modest .424, with 7 homers and 25 RBI's, while leadoff hitter Nemo Leibold found himself with an empty .273 batting average, and a dropoff of 60 points in his on-base percentage. Buffalo's traditionally strong pitching staff ranked just 13th in the Frontier League, as Kyle Lohse stumbled to a 3-7 record and a 4.61 ERA -- a spike of a full run and a half. Middle reliever Mike Cuellar saw his ERA more than triple to a ghastly 5.76. The Denver Spikes, coming off three playoff appearances in four years and a solid 85-win season, stumbled to a 31-43 first-half mark, dead last in the Northwest Division despite an elite bullpen. Denver collapsed offensively, ranking dead last in the Frontier League with a team .243 average and next-to-last with just 282 runs scored despite playing half their games in the thin mountain air. Left fielder Chris James, a franchise mainstay, appeared to hit the end of the line, hitting just .214 with a modest .406 slugging percentage. Catcher Frank Fernandez, who topped 30 homers each of the past three years, hit just .168 and slugged .372, with more than twice as many strikeouts as hits. Righthander Earl Johnson's career was in jeopardy after a setback following elbow surgery, while lefty Stubby Overmire went just 4-7 and saw his ERA surge by more than a run to 4.90. In the Continental League, the New Orleans Crawfish appeared likely to miss the playoffs for the first time in five years, and their streak of 14 straight seasons over .500 was in jeopardy, as they stumbled to a 32-41 record. New Orleans stumbled offensively, ranking 22nd in the league in runs scored and on-base percentage. Franchise mainstay Jean Segura was the biggest offender, hitting just .260 with a .300 on-base percentage and .377 slugging percentage, and just 22 RBI's. Yasiel Puig, who hit 31 round-trippers and drove in 93 runs in his maiden season in the Big Easy, declined to just 9 homers and 37 RBI's, and first baseman Joey Meyer hit just .214 with a .268 on-base percentage. On the mound, free agent acquisition John Montefusco, the defending Cy Young Award winner, went just 6-8 with a 5.40 ERA -- more than double his award-winning mark from the year before. The Los Angeles Kangaroos, winners of 100 games each of the last two years, posted a middling 39-35 record and dropped 14 of 20 games right before the break. Star left fielder Gary Matthews jeopardized his quest for 500 homers, hitting just .237 with 7 round-trippers in an injury-riddled half. Catcher Elston Howard hit just .251 with a .266 on-base percentage, thanks to an embarrassing 57-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. On the mound, free agent signee Frank Lange was a disaster, going 0-7 with a 10.00 ERA, allowing 13 homers in 54 innings. Nap Rucker, a 21-game winner the year before, went just 3-4 with a modest 3.67 ERA.

Whale of a Start: The Seattle Whales managed to improve on last season's 101-win pace, despite losing perennial all-star right fielder Sherry Magee to a sprained ankle in early April and righthander Al Benton to arm surgery after two starts. The injury bug subsequently knocked second sacker Jim Gilliam out of commission for a month. Yet Seattle jumped out to a 21-4 start and entered the break with a 51-22 record, far and away the best in baseball. Center fielder Lee Mazzilli was an MVP favorite, entering the break with an incredible .382/ .475/ .618 slash line, including 13 homers, 28 doubles, and 69 runs scored in 72 games. Catcher Gene Oliver hit a solid .279 with 12 longballs and 45 RBI's, while shortstop Dick Bartell hit .315 with 7 homers and 43 RBI's. Righthanders Bob Osborn and Diego Segui sported matching 6-2 records with 3.31 and 2.81 ERA's, respectively. The Whales ranked second in the Frontier League in runs scored and fourth in runs allowed.

Ace of Spades: Few noticed when the Boston Minutemen acquired journeyman Bob Spade, as Spade was coming off a dreadful 4-22 season with the punchless Nashville Blues, after losing 18 games the year before. But Spade turned over a new card with the powerful Boston offense behind him, going 12-0 in 15 starts with a commendable 4.04 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.

Parque Perfect: New York southpaw Jim Parque entered a late June showdown with the Hartford Huskies with a dreadful 2-9 record and a 9.90 ERA, and he was coming off an outing where he yielded 5 homers and 10 earned runs to Phoenix. Naturally, he shut down a deep Hartford squad, throwing the first perfect game in franchise history.

Major Injuries: Albuquerque right fielder Doc Miller, last year's batting champion, would not successfully defend his crown: he tore his ACL in mid-June and would miss the year. Portland lefthander Pete Falcone, who won 29 games over the prior 2 seasons, tore his labrum and would miss the season. Seattle right fielder Sherry Magee missed 6 weeks with a sprained ankle. Pittsburgh ace Smoky Joe Wood, a perennial Cy Young Award candidate, would make no such push this season, missing a month with an oblique strain and going just 2-5 with a 4.25 ERA. Oft-injured Atlanta second baseman Roberto Alomar tore his ankle ligaments and would miss the last 4 months of the season. Nashville righthander Brad Penny, the #3 overall draft pick and the top-ranked prospect in the HRDL, tore his labrum seven starts into his career.

Major milestones: Las Vegas right fielder Reggie Smith joined the 3,000 hit club, while Vancouver third baseman Kevin Mitchell posted his 2,500th hit. Hartford DH Norm Cash launched his 500th career home run. El Paso second baseman DJ LeMahieu was likely to join Smith in the 3,000 hit club by mid-July. Portland first baseman Jeff Bagwell and Charlotte third baseman Larry Parrish were likely to pop their 500th homers (respectively) before year's end. Pittsburgh ace Smoky Joe Wood was two starts away from notching his 3,000th career strikeout.

Last edited by Dukie98; 04-27-2019 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 04-30-2019, 12:14 AM   #155
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2034 Year in Review

Frontier League: Once again, the powerful offense of the Boston Minutemen dominated the Northeast Division. Boston blasted 281 round-trippers on their way to scoring 988 runs, topping the HRDL in both categories on their way to a 99-63 record. Third baseman Nolan Arenado had another MVP-caliber season, hitting .334 and slugging .633 with 46 homers and 135 RBI's. First baseman Ernie Banks hit .305 with a career-best 47 homers and 149 RBI's. Center fielder Joe DiMaggio hit .312 with 87 extra-base hits, including 41 homers and 125 RBI's. Moises Alou and Sal Bando each topped .300, and combined for 67 round-trippers and 202 RBI's. Righthander Bob Spade went from leading the Continental League in losses in 2033 to leading the Frontier League in wins, going 21-3 despite a middling 4.57 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. The Baltimore Robins returned to the postseason after a one-year hiatus, going 90-72. Rightfielder Hal McRae led the way, hitting .329 with a league-high 59 doubles, 29 homers, 89 RBI's, and 111 runs scored. Third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo hit .307 with 26 homers and 111 RBI's. Star catcher Gary Sanchez hit .284 and slugged .512, blasting 32 longballs and driving in 94 runs. Randy Johnson led the league's third-ranked pitching staff, going 13-9 with a 3.52 ERA and a league-best 269 strikeouts. Closer Brad Boxberger led the league with 46 saves. The Pittsburgh Golden Gorillas remained in the postseason mix until the last day of the year, but they dropped 9 of their final 14 games, including a 3-game sweep by the lowly Vancouver Viceroys to close out the season to fall just short. Pittsburgh won 88 games, led by a breakout season from right fielder Chet Laabs, who hit .292 with a league-high 57 homers and 133 RBI's. Third baseman Bill Madlock hit .358 with 20 homers and 98 RBI's. Ace Smoky Joe Wood rallied from a slow first half to go 14-8 with a 3.18 ERA and 212 strikeouts- and blasted six homers to boot.

For the second straight season, the London Werewolves won the Great Lakes Division with 94 wins -- a feat made all the more impressive by the offseason departure of star outfielder Reggie Smith to Las Vegas via free agency. Left fielder Michael Conforto starred, hitting .297 with 38 homers and plated 96 runs. Catcher Wes Westrum matched Conforto, pounding 38 homers of his own and driving in 94 runs, while center fielder Peter Bourjos had a breakout season, hitting .326 with 235 hits, with 80 extra-base hits, including 22 triples, 20 homers, and 99 RBI's. London featured the league's best pitching staff, led by Matt Morris, who went 12-9 with a 3.69 ERA and 1.29 WHIP, and southpaw Vern Olsen, who went 9-2 with a sparkling 2.45 ERA in 150 innings before blowing out his UCL. Closer Mike Naymick was brilliant, posting 6 wins and 31 saves with a 1.55 ERA and 102 strikeouts in just 69 innings. London held off the 93-win Cleveland Rocks by a single game, as Cleveland triumphantly returned to the postseason for the first time since 2017. Cleveland was led by the lefthanded triumvirate of center fielder Pete Reiser, first baseman Don Mattingly, and left fielder Rafael Palmeiro. Reiser hit .359 with a league-high 236 hits, including 48 doubles, 21 homers, drove in 95 runs and scored 121 times. Mattingly hit .344 and slugged .574 with 81 extra-base hits, including 24 homers and 114 RBI's. Palmeiro popped a team-high 30 homers and drove in 118 runs, while batting .309. Righthander Jake Peavy led the Rocks with a 16-12 record, despite a mediocre 4.13 ERA, while southpaw Zane Smith went 13-10 with a 3.66 ERA. The Cincinnati Spiders narrowly survived a dreadful September, where they lost 9 of their last 11 games, but they snuck into the playoffs with 89 wins. Slugging first baseman Mike Epstein hit .292 with 27 homers and 99 RBI's. Leadoff hitter Tracy Jones hit .306 with 23 homers, 74 RBI's, and scored 121 runs. Southpaw Jon Matlack went 21-6 with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Joe Ross posted a 17-8 record with a 3.50 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. Closer Bob Locker led one of the deepest bullpens in the league, posting 32 saves with a 1.75 ERA.

The Milwaukee Raccoons took the Great Plains Division title with just 84 wins, returning to the playoffs for the first time in six years, thanks to one of the top offenses in baseball. Star center fielder Eric Davis hit .295 with 44 homers and an HRDL-best 163 RBI's -- in addition to stealing 62 of 69 bases. Right fielder Larry Walker hit .352 with a league-leading .637 slugging percentage, ripping 83 extra-base hits, including 32 homers, 109 RBI's, 122 runs scored, and 50 steals. Left fielder Chris Parmelee popped 32 homers and plated 105 runs. The Raccoons survived one of the worst pitching staffs in the league, finishing 21st in the Frontier League in runs scored. Bill Steele went 13-12, with a mediocre 4.51 ERA -- but was the only Raccoon starter with a sub-5.00 ERA.

The Seattle Whales jumped out to a 32-7 start on their way to winning the Northwest Division with a best-in-baseball 107 wins. Seattle finished second in baseball with 932 runs scored, led by a career season from batting champion center fielder Lee Mazzilli, who hit .375 with 58 doubles, 30 homers, 45 steals, 124 RBI's, and an incredible 152 runs scored. Catcher Gene Oliver hit .282 with 31 round-trippers and 115 RBI's. Veteran right fielder Sherry Magee overcame an injury-riddled first half to hit .306 with a .413 on-base percentage, including 36 doubles, 26 homers, 95 RBI's, and 35 steals. Third baseman Milt Stock hit .321 with 42 doubles, 22 homers, 121 runs scored, and 90 RBI's. Due to a rash of injuries, Seattle won 107 games despite having only one pitcher with more than eleven wins. Jim Hughes went 15-5 despite a shaky 4.72 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Closer Bob Chakales anchored a deep bullpen, posting 44 saves and a 2.05 ERA. The Portland Skunks combined an explosive offense with a solid pitching staff on their way to 101 wins. Star first baseman Jeff Bagwell hit .297 with a .430 on-base percentage, including 38 homers, 129 RBI's, and 121 runs scored, while topping the 500-homer and 2,500-hit barriers. Right fielder Cliff Floyd had a breakout season, hitting .302 while drilling 32 homers, driving in 109 runs, and swiping 40 bags. Catcher Michael Barrett hit a career-best .317 with 22 round-trippers and 93 RBI's. Left fielder Mike Easler hit .283 with 46 doubles, 30 homers, and plated 103 runs. The Skunks survived the early-season loss of southpaw Pete Falcone, as Denny McLain posted a career-best 18-7 record with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Southpaw Mark Thurmond went 13-10 with a solid 3.31 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.

Continental League: The Washington Ambassadors won a franchise-record 103 games on their way to taking their fourth straight Atlantic Division title. The Ambassadors featured a powerful offense, ranking second in the Continental League with 260 homers, as eight players topped 20 homers, on their way to scoring 912 runs, good for third in the league. First baseman Lee Stevens and left fielder Gus Zernial launched 44 and 45 longballs, respectively, and each drove in 131 runs. Right fielder George Hendrick hit .290 with 36 homers and 108 RBI's, while third baseman Willie Jones blasted 34 bombs and drove in 95 runs. Franklin Morales posted a 16-7 mark with a 3.84 ERA, while southpaw TJ House registered an 18-9 record despite a middling 4.53 ERA. Closer Chris Short again anchored the bullpen, notching a 10-5 record with 34 saves, a 2.64 ERA, and a career-best 138 strikeouts in 89 innings. The Hartford Huskies earned their first postseason berth in eight years, winning 93 games. Rookie first baseman Justin Bour had a monster season, hitting .318 with 43 homers and a franchise-record 129 RBI's. Left fielder Ryan Rua came out of nowhere to hit .308 and slug .540 with 35 homers and 111 RBI's. Center fielder Tris Speaker hit .337 with a .429 on-base percentage, including 47 doubles, 8 homers, 99 runs scored, 86 RBI's, and 64 steals. Southpaw Steve Barber anchored the pitching staff, going 17-7 with a 2.73 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP, and 218 strikeouts. Chris Carpenter went 15-8 with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP, despite being sidelined for the last six weeks of the season. The Charlotte Aviators improved by 21 games to post 90 wins, remaining in playoff contention until the last two days of the season. The Aviators' explosive offense ranked second in the Continental League with 957 runs scored. Eddie Murray led the way, hitting .307 with 36 homers and 134 RBI's. Leadoff hitter Julio Franco set the table, hitting .347 with 22 homers, 104 RBI's, 126 runs scored, and 48 steals. Right fielder Cito Gaston hit .309 with 28 longballs and drove in 105 runs. Rookie lefthander Mickey Haefner was the lone bright spot on a subpar pitching staff, going 21-7 with a 3.21 ERA and 200 strikeouts.

Despite losing 2033 Cy Young Award winner John Montefusco in the offseason to free agency, the Atlanta Ducks coasted to their third straight Southeast Division title with 91 wins. First baseman Dots Miller hit .345 and slugged .605, ripping 93 extra-base hits, including 28 homers and 93 RBI's and scoring 111 runs. Left fielder Jim Greengrass hit .296, pounding 36 round-trippers and driving in 98 runs. Right fielder Gary Roenicke drilled 34 homers and drove in 106 runs. Rookie third baseman Ken Reitz flirted with the batting title, hitting .342 with 51 doubles, 13 homers and 96 RBIs.

In a wild Texas Division race, the Dallas Wildcatters won 7 of their final 8 games, and rode a 19-8 September to take the division with 97 wins, edging out El Paso by 2 games and Houston by 3 games. Dallas ranked just 20th offensively, but relied on the stingiest pitching staff in the league to win their third division title in four years. Third baseman Bobby Bonilla, acquired from Las Vegas at the trading deadline, hit .284 with a combined 37 homers and 120 RBI's, including 45 RBI's in 55 games for Dallas. Left fielder Mike Greenwell hit .302 with 44 doubles, 24 homers and drove in 97 runs. Fireballer Red Ames went 16-10 with a 3.35 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP, and 241 strikeouts. Hank Borowy posted a 14-14 mark despite a 3.49 ERA and 215 whiffs. David Palmer went 12-7 with a stellar 2.89 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. Gregg Olson was brilliant out of the pen, winning 7 games and saving 46, with a microscopic 0.74 ERA, a 0.95 WHIP, and 100 strikeouts in 86 innings. The El Paso Armadillos won 95 games, led by a powerful offense that blasted 202 homers and strong pitching staff. Third baseman Matt Davidson led the way with 39 homers and 89 RBI's. Right fielder Jack Clark popped 31 round-trippers and drove in 88 runs, while catcher Brian McCann launched 29 longballs and drove in 83 runs. Tommy Hunter went 14-4 with a 3.56 ERA before being sidelined for September with a back injury. Mike Bruhert posted an 18-7 record with a 4.36 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. Closer Taijuan Walker notched 40 saves and a 2.85 ERA. The powerful Houston Pythons won 94 games, thanks to a league-best offense that scored 989 runs and blasted 265 round-trippers. Perennial all-star left fielder Larry Hisle hit .332 and slugged .604, bopping 43 doubles and 37 homers, scoring 119 runs and driving in 130. Center fielder Ryan Thompson blasted a league-best 49 homers and drove in 136 runs. First baseman Adam LaRoche popped 33 longballs and drove in 108 runs. Right fielder Ralph Garr set the table with a .349 average and a league-best 229 hits and scored 114 runs. Crafty southpaw Jerry Reuss led an otherwise-dreadful pitching staff, which ranked second-to-last in the Continental League in runs allowed, by going 13-8 with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Journeyman Rick Wise went 16-9 despite a 4.36 ERA, and passed the 200-win milestone while pitching for his seventeenth team(!) of his career. The Oklahoma City Otters rallied late to clinch their first playoff spot since 2022, with a franchise-best 92 wins, winning 12 of their final 13 games including ten straight. The Otters ran wild, leading baseball with 254 steals. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez blossomed into an MVP candidate, hitting .332 and set a franchise record by slugging .600, with 39 homers, 136 RBI's, 121 runs scored, and 62 steals. Center fielder Hank Lieber hit .294, ripping 34 homers, and plated 139 runners. Left fielder Bob Bescher hit .298 with a stellar .432 on-base percentage, leading the league with 140 runs scored and 87 steals, while pounding 52 doubles, 16 homers, and driving in 71 runs. On the mound, Frank Smith went 20-10 with a 3.73 ERA, a 1.28 WHIP, and 230 strikeouts. Southpaw Dallas Keuchel went 15-10 with a 4.63 ERA.

The Albuquerque Conquistadors won their fifth straight Southwest Division title, with 95 victories, although their offense was slightly less dominant than in recent years. Five-time MVP Frank Baker had another dominant season winning the batting title by hitting .351, slugging .608, and blasting 35 homers while scoring 136 runs and driving in 113. First baseman George Brett hit .332 and slugged .634, ripping 52 doubles, 43 homers, and a league-best 146 RBI's. Catcher Tex Erwin drilled 48 homers and drove in 134 runs. Righthander Steve Rogers went 13-3 with a 3.97 ERA, but tore his labrum in early September. Bob Gibson posted an 11-8 record with a 3.82 ERA and 199 strikeouts.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:30 AM   #156
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2034 Playoff Report

Frontier League: The 107-win Seattle Whales outlasted the Cincinnati Spiders, holding the Spiders to just 14 runs in 6 games. Seattle right fielder Sherry Magee was named MVP after hitting .429 with 2 homers, 4 runs scored, and 4 RBI's. Shortstop Dick Bartell hit .350, while star center fielder Lee Mazzilli hit .348 with a homer, and each drove in 3 runs. Mickey Mahler, a spot starter during the season, hurled seven shutout innings in Game 3, while Al Benton allowed just two earned runs in 11 innings, despite getting two no-decisions. Cincinnati was led by first baseman Mike Epstein, who hit .300 with 2 homers and 5 RBI's. The Portland Skunks outlasted the Milwaukee Raccoons in six games, as left fielder Mike Easler hit .458 with 4 homers and 11 RBI's, including a 3-homer showing in Game 4. Right fielder Cliff Floyd hit .346 with 3 homers, while catcher Michael Barrett hit .375 with 2 homers and 7 RBI's. 18-game winner Denny McLain won both his starts with 15 strikeouts and a 3.75 ERA. First baseman Mark Grace led the Raccoons, hitting .333 with 2 homers and 7 RBI's. In a Great Lakes Division showdown, the London Werewolves won the final three games to eliminate the Cleveland Rocks in a six-game series. London locked down Cleveland's offense, holding them to just 12 runs in the series, including two in the final two games. London third baseman Marty Krug took home the hardware after hitting .333 with a Game 6 homer, 3 doubles, and 6 RBI's. Jim Baskette was brilliant, pitching 15 shutout innings and allowing just 8 hits, including allowing just 4 hits in a Game 5 1-0 win. Jamie Brewington went 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA. Hard-luck Jack Peavy went 0-1 for Cleveland despite not giving up an earned run in 12.2 innings and striking out 12. The Boston Minutemen edged their rival Baltimore Robins in another six-game set, as Nolan Arenado buillt on last year's postseason heroices by hitting .364 with 3 homers and 9 RBI's. Boston first baseman Ernie Banks matched Arenado by hitting .316 with 3 homers and 9 RBI's of his own. 21-game winner Bob Spade won both his starts, with a sparkling 1.20 ERA over 15 innings. Right fielder Hal McRae led Baltimore, hitting .444 with a homer, while second baseman Kelly Johnson hit two homers and drove in 3 runs.

In the Division Series, the Seattle Whales outlasted their Northwest Division rival Portland Skunks in seven games, taking Games 6 and 7 to seize the series. Right fielder Sherry Magee earned MVP honors once again, hitting .434 with 2 homers, 8 runs scored, and 6 RBI's. Third baseman Milt Stock hit .379 with 3 round-trippers and 5 RBI's, while catcher Gene Oliver popped 3 homers of his own and drove in 6 runs. Jim Hughes split two decisions despite a 1.23 ERA and 17 whiffs in 14.2 innings. Portland was led by Cliff Floyd, who hit .321 with 3 longballs and 6 RBI's. Boston's explosive offense blasted London, scoring 33 runs in an easy five-game series. Second baseman Sal Bando earned MVP honors after hitting .421 and slugging .789, with a homer, 6 runs scored, and 6 RBI's. Nolan Arenado and Joe DiMaggio each hit over .300 while popping 3 homers apiece. Righthander John Martina went 2-0 with 10 strikeouts in 11 innings. London was led by right fielder Jeff Francoeur, who hit .300 while blasting 3 homers and driving in 5 runs. Seattle dominated Boston in the League Championship Series, scoring 36 runs in 5 games, and taking the final four after dropping the opener. Whales center fielder Lee Mazzilli dominated, hitting .429 with 3 homers, 6 runs scored, and 9 RBI's. Catcher Gene Oliver also hit .429 while blasting 2 longballs and driving in 7 runs. Al Benton led the Seattle pitching staff, pulling out a tight 2-1 win in Game 3 with six strong innings. Joe DiMaggio led Boston by hitting .368 with 3 homers and 7 RBI's in defeat, while Ernie Banks hit .353, blasted 3 round-trippers, and drove in 6 runs.

Continental League: The Washington Ambassadors outlasted the overmatched Oklahoma City Otters in five games, taking the final three matchups. Washington first baseman Lee Stevens earned MVP honors after hitting .333 with 2 homers and 4 RBI's. Center fielder Johnny Groth hit 2 homers, scored 6 runs, and drove in 5 runs. Washington closer Chris Short earned 2 saves, striking out 6 in 5 shutout innings. Otter center fielder Hank Lieber was brilliant, hitting .316 with 4 homers and 5 RBI's. The Atlanta Ducks erased a 3-1 deficit, winning the final three games against the El Paso Armadillos to take the series in seven games El Paso scored just 13 runs in 7 games, including just 2 runs in the final three games. Atlanta second baseman Roberto Alomar was tabbed MVP after hitting .379 with 2 homers, 2 steals, 7 RBI's, and a series-high 11 hits. Catcher Jason LaRue popped 2 longballs and drove in 3 runs. Ron Kline took the win in Game 7, allowing just 2 hits in 7 shutout innings, and posting a 1.38 ERA in two starts. El Paso's Matt Chico allowed just 1 hit in 7 innings in a Game 4 win, while Jordan Zimmermann yielded a 2.35 ERA in 15.1 innings. In a matchup of two of the most explosive offenses in baseball, the Albuquerque Conquistadors outlasted the Houston Pythons in seven games. Albuquerque catcher Tex Erwin earned MVP honors after hitting .296 with 4 homers and an incredible 14 RBI's, including 2 homers and 5 RBI's in Game 2. First baseman George Brett hit .333 with 3 homers and 8 RBI's. Albuquerque's bullpen was brilliant, posting a 2.25 ERA with 24 strikeouts in 28 innings. Slugging centerfielder Ryan Thompson led Houston, pounding 4 homers and driving in 8 runs. In the third seven-game series of the Continental League Wild Card round, the Hartford Huskies edged the Dallas Wildcatters, as second baseman Bill Sweeney hit .419 with 13 hits, 8 runs scored, and 5 steals to take home MVP honors. Center fielder Tris Speaker hit .417 and slugged .625, driving in 4 runs. Rookie righthander John Whitehead posted a 1.38 ERA, including 7 shutout innings in a 5-0 Game 7 victory. Center fielder Jim Busby led Dallas, hitting .394 with 13 hits, a homer, 6 runs scored, 3 steals, and 3 RBI's.

After dropping the first two games of the Division Series to the Atlanta Ducks, the Washington Ambassadors stormed back to win the next four games to advance to the League Championship Series. Center fielder Johnny Groth took home the hardware, hitting .346 with 3 homers and 7 RBI's. Righthander Mace Brown went 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in 13 innings, and earned the win in the clinching Game 6. Slugging left fielder Jim Greengrass led a middling Atlanta offense, hitting .320 with 2 homers and 3 RBI's. The Albuquerque Conquistadors dominated the Hartford Huskies in a four-game sweep,as George Brett earned MVP honors after hitting .400 with a homer and a series-high 7 RBI's. Right fielder Brian Asseltine hit .353 with 2 homers and 4 RBI's, including a walk-off homer in Game 2. Bob Gibson hurled five shutout innings in Game 2. Hartford right fielder David Murphy hit .357 with a pair of solo homers in defeat. Albuquerque dominated the 103-win Ambassadors in the League Championship Series, winning easily in five games. Catcher Tex Erwin earned his second trophy of the postseason,hitting four jacks and driving in 9 runs. Third baseman Frank Baker and left fielder Hank Edwards each hit .350, scoring a combined seven runs. Conquistador long reliever Charlie Hough allowed just one hit in five shutout innings, while Bob Gibson went 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 9.1 innings. Washington third baseman Wayne Gross led the way, hitting .450 with a homer and 4 RBI's in a losing effort.

World Series: Although the 107-win Seattle Whales had won all four of their prior World Series appearances, they were only mild favorites over the slugging Albuquerque Conquistadors. In a dramatic seven-game series, Albuquerque pulled the upset, ending the Frontier League's streak of six straight series wins. Albuquerque catcher Tex Erwin continued his magical postseason streak, earning MVP honors yet again, as he tied Jody Davis's postseason record with 12 homers and shattered his record for postseason RBI's with 35 -- a feat all the more remarkable in light of the fact that the Conquistadors played only 9 games in the Divisional Series and League Championship Series.

Albuquerque took Game 1 6-3, as the Conquistadors erased an early 3-0 deficit, as Erwin hit a three-run homer, and George Brett ripped a two-run double in the eighth inning to break the game open. Albuquerque's Rich Gale went seven solid innings for the win, and Francisco Cordero earned a two-inning save. Seattle's Lee Mazzilli had 3 hits, including 2 doubles and a steal. Seattle pulled even in Game 2, 5-1, as Al Benton yielded just one run on four hits in seven innings to outduel Al Santorini. First baseman Daric Barton hit a solo homer for Seattle. The Whales appeared to take control of the series in Game 3, winning 3-2 in 10 innings, as second baseman Jim Gilliam singled in third baseman Milt Stock for the tiebreaking run. Seattle's Kyle Snyder gave the Whales six solid innings of two-run ball. Albuquerque's Frank Baker, Tex Erwin, and Brian Asselstine each had two hits in defeat. Albuquerque evened the series with a 9-3 blowout win in Game 4, as Otis Lambeth yielded just 2 runs in 7 innings. Frank Baker had three hits, including a homer, and scored 3 runs, while Erwin homered and drove in 4 runs.

Albuquerque regained momentum in Game 5, winning 3-1 as Rich Gale outdueled Seattle's Mickey Mahler. Brett and Erwin each blasted solo shots for Albuquerque, while third baseman Milt Stock had 3 hits for Seattle. Seattle squared the series in Game 6, as Al Benton hurled 7 shutout innings to reduce his postseason ERA to 0.89. Seattle's Sherry Magee popped four hits, including a homer, and also stole a base. Frank Baker had two hits, including a double, for the Conquistadors.

Game 7 was a pitchers duel between Bob Gibson and Kyle Snyder. Gibson hurled five shutout innings, striking out 4, before turning teh game over to the bullpen. Snyder gave the Whales six brilliant shutout innings -- but unfortunately, he pitched a seventh, as Erwin broke a scoreless tie with a longball, and Vic Power followed with a two-run blast two batters later. Francisco Cordero pitched two shaky innings for the save, as Jim Gilliam made the final out with two men on base.

Erwin was an easy choice for MVP. In addition to establishing the single-season postseason marks for homers and RBI's, he hit .423 and slugged .962, blasting 4 homers and driving in 10 runs. Hank Edwards hit .333 with a round-tripper. Lee Mazzilli led Seattle, hitting .360 and driving in 4 runs while stealing 3 bases. Al Benton posted a 2-0 record with a 0.64 ERA in 14 innings for the Whales in a losing effort.
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Old 05-04-2019, 01:09 AM   #157
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2034 Awards Winners

Frontier League MVP- Nolan Arenado, 3B, BOS (34): .334/ .418/ .633, 204 hits, 39 doubles, 3 triples, 46 HR, 135 RBI, 147 runs, 94 BB, 1 SB, +10.3 Zone Rating, 171 OPS+, 10.3 WAR
Second place- Lee Mazzilli, CF, SEA (13): .375/ .463/ .619, 234 hits, 58 doubles, 2 triples, 30 HR, 124 RBI, 152 runs, 97 BB, 45 SB, 180 OPS+, 10.4 WAR
Third place- Larry Walker, RF, MIL: .352/ .448/ .637, 191 hits, 44 doubles, 7 triples, 32 HR, 109 RBI, 122 runs, 93 BB, 50 SB, +9.2 Zone Rating, 180 OPS+, 9.2 WAR
Fourth place- Pete Reiser, CF, CLE: .359/ .424/ .543, 236 hits, 48 doubles, 5 triples, 21 HR, 95 RBI, 121 runs, 46 BB, 10 SB, +7.9 Zone Rating, 151 OPS+, 9.0 WAR
Fifth place- Eric Davis, CF, MIL: .295/ .384/ .568, 181 hits, 32 doubles, 2 triples, 44 HR, 163 RBI, 127 runs, 90 BB, 62 SB, 145 OPS+, 7.3 WAR

Frontier League Cy Young Award- Don Wilson, KC (46): 16-11, 2.77 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 266 IP, 260 K, 67 BB, 10 CG, 4 shutouts, 159 ERA+, 8.9 WAR
Second place- Bob Moose, CHI (2): 17-12, 2.79 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 258 IP, 257 K, 56 BB, 1 CG, 1 shutout, 158 ERA+, 9.4 WAR
Third place- Smoky Joe Wood, PIT: 14-8, 3.18 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 215 IP, 212 K, 48 BB, 6 CG, 1 shutout, 139 ERA+, 7.1 WAR
Fourth place- Frank Papish, DET: 18-7, 2.40 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 214 IP, 147 K, 58 BB, 1 CG, 183 ERA+, 5.4 WAR
Fifth place- Jack Coombs, MTL: 17-11, 3.13 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 253 IP, 233 K, 118 BB, 3 CG, 2 shutouts, 140 ERA+, 5.9 WAR

Frontier League Rookie of the Year- Bernie Carbo, RF, KC (42): .331/ .448/ .592, 160 hits, 35 doubles, 2 triples, 29 HR, 88 RBI, 89 runs, 100 BB, 9 SB, 170 OPS+, 6.9 WAR
Second place- Mike Minor, LHP, CAL (6): 15-13, 3.18 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 235 IP, 224 K, 67 BB, 138 ERA+, 6.6 WAR
Third place- Luke Scott, RF, CLE: .296/ .389/ .556, 130 hits, 27 doubles, 9 triples, 23 HR, 75 RBI, 67 runs, 63 BB, 1 SB, 144 OPS+, 4.0 WAR

Continental League MVP- Hanley Ramirez, SS, OKC (30): .332/ .396/ .600, 217 hits, 36 doubles, 11 triples, 39 HR, 136 RBI, 121 runs, 71 BB, 62 SB, +9.7 Zone Rating, 151 OPS+, 9.8 WAR
Second place- Bob Johnson, LF, AUS (5): .333/ .451/ .644, 187 hits, 27 doubles, 2 triples, 48 HR, 144 RBI, 125 runs, 124 BB, 12 SB, 181 OPS+, 9.0 WAR
Third place- Ed Walsh, RHP, ATL (11): 22-3, 2.34 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 220 IP, 223 K, 30 BB, 3 CG, 1 shutout, 208 ERA+, 9.3 WAR
Fourth place- Frank Baker, 3B, ALB (1): .351/ .456/ .608, 203 hits, 36 doubles, 4 triples, 35 HR, 113 RBI, 136 runs, 109 BB, 15 SB, 170 OPS+, 8.4 WAR
Fifth place- George Brett, 1B, ALB (1): .332/ .389/ .634, 205 hits, 52 doubles, 3 triples, 43 HR, 146 RBI, 118 runs, 66 BB, 6 SB, +9.5 Zone Rating, 156 OPS+, 7.1 WAR

Continental League Cy Young Award- Ed Walsh, ATL (46): 22-3, 2.34 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 220 IP, 223 K, 30 BB, 3 CG, 1 shutout, 208 ERA+, 9.3 WAR
Second place- Steve Barber, HAR (2): 17-7, 2.73 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 248 IP, 218 K, 74 BB, 10 CG, 4 shutouts, 177 ERA+, 9.0 WAR
Third place- Clayton Kershaw, MEM: 17-6, 2.34 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 235 IP, 294 K, 65 BB, 3 CG, 1 shutout, 207 ERA+, 9.3 WAR
Fourth place- Mark Prior, NAS: 11-13, 2.75 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 249 IP, 320 K, 66 BB, 2 CG, 1 shutout, 165 ERA+, 8.1 WAR
Fifth place- Gregg Olson, DAL: 7-3, 46 saves, 0.74 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 86 IP, 100 K, 32 BB, 659 ERA+, 4.3 WAR

Continental League Rookie of the Year- Justin Bour, 1B, HAR (41): .318/ .383/ .567, 203 hits, 28 doubles, 1 triple, 43 HR, 129 RBI, 125 runs, 71 BB, 146 OPS+, 5.7 WAR
Second place- Mickey Haefner, LHP, CHA (6): 21-7, 3.21 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 269 IP, 200 K, 75 BB, 5 CG, 2 shutouts, 155 ERA+, 7.7 WAR
Third place- David Wright, 3B, NY (1): .328/ .403/ .539, 194 hits, 30 doubles, 4 triples, 29 HR, 112 RBI, 91 runs, 19 SB, 144 OPS+, 5.8 WAR

Top draft picks: 1. Chipper Jones, 3B, STL
2. Jose Rijo, RHP, MIN
3. Robin Ventura, 3B, JAX
4. Cliff Johnson, C/ 1B, NAS
5. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, KC
6. Scott Bankhead, RHP, TOR
7. Jarrod Parker, RHP, LV
8. Lou Fette, RHP, ANA
9. Mark Langston, LHP, SA
10. Eric Chavez, 3B, BUF
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Old 05-05-2019, 03:02 AM   #158
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2034 Hall of Fame Voting

After last year's selection of three position players, the Hall of Fame voting veered sharply in favor of pitching once again, as five hurlers were inducted, as well as shortstop Jose Reyes -- the first middle infielder to be selected. The ballot featured an astonishingly deep class of new candidates, as five first-timers were inducted. Madison Bumgarner led the way, with 94.6% of the vote. All-time wins leader Gary Nolan earned 90.3% of the vote, while runner-up Larry Jaster received 84.3% of the vote. Three-time Cy Young Award winner Joe Gibbon earned 82.9% of the vote, while Roger Clemens was named on 79.6% of ballots. Reyes, in his fifth turn on the ballot, received 76.5%.

A seven-time All-Star, Bumgarner debuted at age 18 with the Minneapolis Penguins in 2013 after falling to the 22nd pick in the draft, and he starred from day one, notching a 2.60 ERA and 211 strikeouts as a rookie. By 2016, at the tender age of 21, he notched a 20-12 record, a 2.23 ERA, and led the league with a microscopic 0.89 WHIP. The next year, he posted a 21-5 mark with a 1.73 ERA, and again led the league with a 0.84 WHIP, as he finished second in the Cy Young Award voting and third in the Frontier League MVP race. Bumgarner posted another second-place Cy Young finish in 2018, posting a 2.31 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP despite an unexceptional 13-7 won-lost record. Bumgarner also carried the Penguins to their only world championship that year, going 5-2 in the postseason with a 2.75 ERA -- including going 2-0 in the World Series with a 1.10 ERA, allowing just 9 hits in 16 innings, and pitched into the 10th inning in the clinching Game 5. Bumgarner won the Cy Young Award and posted another top-3 MVP finish in 2021, when he went 21-6 with a league-best 1.82 ERA, a 0.99 WHIP, and notched 11.2 WAR. He spent his first 13 seasons with Minnesota -- 12 times posting a sub-3.00 ERA, and six times yielding less than one baserunner per inning. He joined the Jacksonville Gulls in 2026 where he won 64 games in five seasons (including four postseason appearances), before finishing up with one last hurrah with Cincinnati. Bumgarner ended his career with a 268-186 record, a 2.78 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP, 3,543 strikeouts, and 122.3 WAR, and at the time of his induction, he ranked 5th all time in victories, 2nd in innings pitched, 4th in strikeouts, and 5th in WAR.

Nolan was a workhorse who set HRDL records for victories and innings pitched, winning 323 games over a 21-year career. Taken 119th overall by the New Orleans Crawfish in the inaugural dispersal draft, Nolan quickly established himself as a force, winning 18 games in each of his first two seasons. In 2013, he won the Continental League Cy Young Award after posting a 25-7 record with a league-best 2.41 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. Between 2013 and 2018, he won 20 games four times and also won 19 games in 2016; he also won three Gold Gloves in that stretch. After a slow start to 2020, New Orleans traded him to the London Werewolves at midseason, where he had 5 1/2 solid seasons, including an 8.0 WAR showing in 2022. Nolan signed with the Kansas City Mad Hatters as a free agent before the 2026 season, where he notched four strong seasons (including two more All-Star appearances) before showing signs of decline in his age 41-42 seasons. Overall, Nolan notched a 323-277 record with a 3.37 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP, with 2,780 strikeouts and 131.5 WAR (ranking second all-time). He remains the only pitcher to top the 300-win threshold in HRDL history.

Larry Jaster, a five-time World Champion and three-time All-Star, won 290 games over his storied career. A control artist, he never walked more than 53 batters in a season, and he led the league in the fewest walks per inning four times between 2023-2027. Jaster was drafted 71st overall by the Minneapolis Penguins before the 2013 season, forming perhaps the most potent draft class in league history with fellow inductee Madison Bumgarner. Jaster won 111 games for Minneapolis over seven seasons, including 20-win seasons in 2017 and 2018. Jaster was part of the Penguins' title team in 2018, where he won the MVP for the League Championship Series after going 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA, while throwing a three-hit shutout in the clinching Game Six. After the 2019 season, he jumped to the Calgary Cattle Rustlers in free agency, where he posted five strong seasons, and won a combined 28 games for the 2022 and 2023 championship squads. In 2024, Jaster finished fifth in the Cy Young voting after going 18-9 with a 1.99 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP, while the following year, after joining the Charlotte Aviators, he finished second in the Cy Young balloting after going 16-4 with a 2.67 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP while leading the Aviators to a World Series title, earning another League Championship Series MVP trophy and earning the win in the World Series clincher. Jaster led Charlotte to another World Series title in 2027, after going 17-7 with a 2.67 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. Jaster won a career-best 24 games in 2029, at age 36. While Jasper appeared poised to make a run at 300 wins in 2031, he suffered a series of severe arm injuries, requiring him to retire with a stellar 290-158 career record, with a 2.98 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP, 2469 strikeouts, and 96.4 WAR. He ranks second all-time in victories and third all-time with just 1.1 walks per nine innings. He also sports a stellar 28-14 career postseason record

Joe Gibbon was drafted fifth overall by the Virginia Beach Admirals after the 2018 season and spent every day of his storied career in the Admirals' green and gold. As a rookie, the southpaw starred, going 20-9 with a 2.67 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. After two more solid seasons, he made the leap into stardom in 2022, winning the Cy Young Award after going 26-5 with a 2.19 ERA, a league-leading 0.97 WHIP, and 224 strikeouts, and he made the first of his six All-Star teams. The following year, Gibbon set a career high with a league-best 9.5 WAR, as he went on to lead the Continental League four times between 2023 and 2028. Gibbon won another Cy Young Award in 2025, after going 20-11 with a 2.59 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. In 2028, he earned his third Cy Young Award, going 21-11 with a league-best 2.33 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. After two solid, if unspectacular seasons, Gibbon suffered through an injury-riddled 2031 and retired at year's end. The three-time Cy Young Award winner posted a career record of 207-135 with a 3.07 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP, with 2262 strikeouts and 79.7 WAR.

Roger Clemens was selected second overall by the Chicago Mules after the 2013 season, and he quickly paid dividends. After posting an 8.9 WAR rookie campaign, he won both the Cy Young and the MVP awards in his sophomore campaign in 2015, posting a 24-7 record and leading the league with a 1.55 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP, 286 strikeouts, and 11.3 WAR. The following season, he won the Cy Young Award once again, and finished second in the MVP voting, going 17-10 with a 1.93 ERA, a 0.98 ERA, and leading the league with 295 strikeouts and 10.3 WAR. Clemens made five straight All-Star teams between 2015 and 2019. After ten years with the Mules, Clemens jumped to the Charlotte Aviators in free agency, where he immediately became a key contributor to a championship-quality team. Clemens went 17-6 with a 2.69 for the Aviators in 2025, and he went 2-0 in four postseason starts for the world champion aviators. Clemens posted a 12-7 mark for the Aviators in 2027, as they won another title, and he followed it up with a 16-3 record with a 2.68 ERA the following year. After six seasons in Charlotte, Clemens spent his last two seasons with Jacksonville and Nashville. Overall, he registered a career mark of 249-171 with 7 saves, a 3.28 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, 3536 strikeouts, and 89.2 WAR, as well as a 12-7 career postseason mark. At the time of his induction, Clemens ranked 10th all-time in victories and 5th in strikeouts.

Jose Reyes debuted in 2011 with the Cleveland Rocks, after being selected 92nd overall in the inaugural dispersal draft. After a strong rookie season as a 19-year-old, where he hit .299 , scored 117 runs, and stole 52 bases, he had a breakout season in 2012, when he hit .362 and slugged .524, with 18 homers, 94 RBI's, and 67 steals, and finished runner-up for the Frontier League MVP. In 2013, Reyes led the Frontier League with a career-high 95 steals and scored 126 runs, while ripping 69 extra-base hits. A triples machine, he smacked a career-high 25 three-baggers in 2017, while hitting .317 and scoring 101 runs. In Reyes' first nine seasons, he hit over .280 and stole at least 45 bases every season, while scoring at least 100 runs seven times and making six All-Star teams. After missing most of 2021 with a broken kneecap, Reyes joined the Kansas City Mad Hatters in free agency, where he spent the final six seasons of his career, and earned the 2022 Wild Card round MVP. At the time of his induction, Reyes' total of 75.3 WAR in a Cleveland uniform was substantially more than any other player in franchise history, with only one other player, fellow Hall of Famer Aaron Judge, having even half as many WAR for the Rocks. Over his seventeen-year career, Reyes notched 2581 hits, good for a .290 career average, a .341 on-base percentage, and a .429 slugging percentage, including 428 doubles, 154 triples, 169 homers, 1051 RBI's. He swiped 683 bases and scored 1334 runs, posting a career total of 87.4 WAR. He ranked 6th all-time in triples and 15th in steals

Leading vote recipients included:
Madison Bumgarner, LHP, MIN/ JAX/ CIN: 94.6%
Gary Nolan, RHP, NO/ KC: 90.3%
Larry Jaster, LHP, MIN/ CAL/ CHA/ DET: 84.3%
Joe Gibbon, LHP, VB: 82.9%
Roger Clemens, RHP, CHI/ CHA/ JAX/ NAS: 79.6%
Jose Reyes, SS, CLE/ KC: 76.9%
Kirby Puckett, CF, HOU/ CAL/ PHI: 65.2%
Trevor Story, SS, LA/ CHA/ ATL/ MIL: 58.2%
Dave Ferriss, RHP, DAL/ NAS: 48.5%
Cody Bellinger, 1B, PHI/ DAL/ PIT/ HOU/ VAN: 47.8%
Pat Duncan, RF, SEA: 45.2%
Bob Veale, LHP, CAL/ POR/ BUF/ DET/ PHI: 42.1%

Overall, 64 players were on the ballot - 29 of whom received at least 10% of the vote. Noteworthy players who fell short of the 5% threshold to remain on the ballot include Rickey Henderson (who ripped 2598 hits and stole 926 bases), career .308 hitter Steve Garvey, 7-time All-Star Rick Monday, strikeout artist Felix Hernandez, and slugger Pablo Sandoval (who popped 320 homers and hit .296).

Here's a look at the Hall's newest inductees:
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Old 05-05-2019, 03:09 AM   #159
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Here's Hall-of-Fame Inductee Jose Reyes (as only five images can be uploaded at a time):
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Old 05-11-2019, 01:40 AM   #160
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2035 Mid-Year Review

Here are the major storylines across the league at the 2035 All-Star break:

Exceeding Expectations: The Chicago Mules, coming off a 79-win season, unexpectedly took a 12-game Great Plains Division lead into the All-Star Break, as they went 48-27 -- made all the more surprising by an 0-6 start. The Mules rode a 22-2 streak (including a 12-game winning streak) through late April into mid-May. Veteran first baseman Vic Saier led the way, ripping 20 homers and driving in 55 runs. Catcher Fran Healy had a breakout season, hitting .349 at the break with 20 doubles, 6 homers, and 42 RBIs, while right fielder Augie Bergamo hit .350 with 25 doubles, 6 homers, 44 RBI's, and 53 runs scored. The Mules' pitching ranked second in the league, as ace Bob Moose went 10-2 with a 2.79 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, and 115 strikeouts, while closer Roy Parmelee led a deep bullpen with 17 saves and a 1.21 ERA, while allowing just 14 hits in 37 innings. The Vancouver Viceroys looked poised to end a five-year postseason drought by going 49-26, led by free agent signee Rougned Odor, who had 22 homers and 54 RBI's in just 36 games before going down with a hamstring tear. Shortstop Aledmys Diaz hit .327 with 10 round-trippers and 44 RBI's, while center fielder Andrew McCutchen hit at a .298 clip with 15 homers, 39 RBI's, 53 runs scored, and 20 steals. Journeyman John Urrea jumped out to a 10-0 start with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP, while southpaw Dennys Reyes went 6-3 while posting a 2.51 ERA. In the Continental League, the New York Emperors posted a 39-35 mark, threatening to end a streak of 8 years below .500 and 17 years without a playoff appearance. The Emperors were in first place for most of the season before limping into the break by dropping 9 of their last 12 games. Second-year third baseman David Wright starred, hitting .348 and slugging .631 while blasting 20 homers and 69 RBI's, while swiping 11 bags. All-Star centerfielder Johnny Mostil hit .319 with a .421 on-base percentage with 23 doubles, 13 homers, and 71 RBI's. The Emperors' pitching staff, however, was held together by duct tape, as rookie junkballer Paul Splittorff led the way with a 7-5 record and a 3.81 ERA. Closer Ed Connolly notched 15 saves with a 1.62 ERA. The Miami Flamingos, coming off back-to-back 80-win seasons, looked to snap a 15-year postseason drought, as they went 46-27. Miami was led offensively by right fielder Frank Robinson, who hit .295 and slugged .594 with 23 longballs and 67 RBI's, and second baseman Jose Vidro, who hit .328 with 25 doubles, 17 homers and 65 RBI's. Righthander Aaron Sele led a solid, if unspectacular, staff with a 7-5 record and a 3.41 ERA.

Disappointments: The Baltimore Robins, who won 90 games last year and made the playoffs in three of the prior four seasons, were in danger of missing the postseason after sputtering to a 35-39 record, including a 13-23 start. Offensively, the Robins struggled to fill the hole at third base created by the departure of free agent Edgardo Alfonzo, as replacement Bill Tuttle hit just .232 with 6 homers and 27 RBI's- losing nearly 150 points in slugging percentage from his strong 2034 with Cleveland. Perennial all-star catcher Gary Sanchez showed signs of slowing down, hitting just .262 with 35 RBI's, despite 14 homers. On the mound, Randy Johnson was decidedly mortal, going 6-5 with a 3.66 ERA before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Baltimore's bullpen was an unmitigated disaster, ranking 22nd in the league, as closer Brad Boxberger slumped to a 4.55 ERA, and saved just 8 games. The Cleveland Rocks, the feel-good story of 2034 with a triumphant return to the postseason with 93 wins, slumped badly, going 28-44 and ending the first half in last place. The Rocks' season was doomed from the start, as center fielder Pete Reiser, who finished 4th in the MVP voting last season, tore a knee ligament in spring training and was sidelined for the season. Sluggers Rafael Palmeiro and Don Mattingly both disappointed, with Palmeiro on track for a career-worst .266 batting average and .492 slugging percentage- 99 points below his career average, while Mattingly was on track for his worst season since his 2029 rookie campaign, hitting just .277 and slugging a pedestrian .454. Cleveland's pitching was disastrous, ranking 23rd in the Frontier League. Free agent signee Bob Osborn, who posted a career 2.98 ERA over 18 seasons, went just 1-3 with a 8.15 ERA and suffered a season-ending triceps tear. Other than Jake Peavy (who missed a month with injuries), the other four Rocks pitchers with the most innings pitched had ERA's ranging from 6.70 to 7.89. In the Continental League, the Charlotte Aviators, who returned to prominence with 90 wins last year, stumbled to a 35-38 start. Left fielder Ken Singleton, coming off a 25-homer, 101-RBI season the year before, tore his Achilles tendon in early April and missed nearly the entire first half. Longtime slugging catcher Gus Triandos passed the torch to Jim Pagliaroni, who popped just 4 homers and drove in only 20 runs despite playing regularly. On the mound, second-year hurler Mickey Haefner dropped off from his 21-win debut to a 5-7 record and a 4.85 ERA. Righthander Junior Guerra went 6-8 with a disappointing 5.55 ERA. Although the El Paso Armadillos won 95 games last year, and made the playoffs 7 times in the prior 9 seasons, they entered the break in last place in the Texas Division with a 30-45 record. Free agent signee Mark Grace was tremendously disappointing, hitting just .234 with 6 homers and 30 RBI's, losing nearly 120 points in slugging percentage from his career mark with Milwaukee. Veteran sluggers Lou Gehrig and Jack Clark appeared to be running on fumes, as Gehrig hit .245 with just 7 homers and 25 RBI's, while Clark hit .207 and slugged .401, with 11 homers and 34 RBI's. On the mound, Mike Bruhert, a surprise 18-game winner last season, tumbled to a 4-8 mark with a 7.55 ERA, while free agent signee Angel Miranda went just 2-7 with a 6.11 ERA.

Superstar shuffle: Five-time MVP third baseman Frank Baker departed the World Champion Albuquerque Conquistadors for their division rivals, the Los Angeles Kangaroos. Albuquerque didn't skip a beat, signing Manny Machado from the New Orleans Crawfish. Los Angeles did not content themselves with importing just one star third baseman -- they also signed Edgardo Alfonzo from Baltimore, but after a slow start, traded him to London shortly before the All-Star break. Meanwhile, Baker had a disappointing start, entering the break with a .290 average and .470 slugging percentage -- both which would be career lows. Machado, however, had an MVP-caliber first half, hitting .361 and slugging .718 with 21 homers for Albuquerque.

Oklahoma Not OK: Perhaps no team in league history was hit as hard in free agency as the Oklahoma City Otters, who won 92 games and made the playoffs for the first time in 12 years last season. The Otters lost left fielder Bob Bescher, who posted a .432 on-base percentage while leading the league in runs scored, walks, and steals; center fielder Hank Lieber, who popped 34 homers and drove in 139 runs, 20-game winner Frank Smith, and two more starting pitchers. Meanwhile, the Otters were thoroughly lacking pitching depth, as Scott Aldred and John Patterson combined for a 1-20 record with ERA's of 8.59 and 10.69, respectively. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Otters stumbled to a 32-43 first-half record.

Northwest is Best: At the break, all six teams in the Northwest Division were above .500. Vancouver and Seattle were both over .600, while Calgary and Denver would have made the playoffs if the season ended at the break, with Portland and San Francisco each within two games of a wild-card spot. If this trend continued, the Northwest would be the first division in league history with all six teams over .500

Major injuries: Cleveland center fielder Pete Reiser tore a knee ligament in spring training and was knocked out of commission for the entire season. Baltimore southpaw Randy Johnson tore his meniscus in June, causing him to miss the rest of the year. Baltimore second baseman Kelly Johnson, having a breakthrough season, tore his MCL, ending his season prematurely. Charlotte left fielder Ken Singleton tore his Achilles tendon during the first week of the season, but he was expected to return by mid-July. Detroit righthander Mike Garcia suffered from bone chips in his elbow, and was sidelined through Labor Day. San Antonio shortstop Glenn Wright suffered a back injury in spring training and missed the first two months of the season.

Major milestones: The 3,000 hit club saw its membership swell, as within a three-week stretch, Buffalo shortstop Jean Segura, Dallas left fielder Mike Menosky, Phoenix right fielder Cliff Heathcote, and London shortstop Al Bridwell each notched this milestone. Phoenix second sacker Jose Altuve ripped his 2,500th hit. Chicago center fielder Gorman Thomas pounded his 500th homer. San Antonio righthander Don Drysdale won his 250th game, while teammate Freddie Fitzsimmons and Jacksonville's Jose Guzman each joined the 200-win club. Guzman was poised to notch his 3,000th strikeout by the end of July. El Paso DH Lou Gehrig and San Antonio left fielder Heinie Manush were likely to top 3,000 hits. Anaheim left fielder Gary Matthews was on track to hit his 500th homer by August. Detroit southpaw Bob Shirley, with a strong second half, would hit 300 wins in September.
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