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Old 10-01-2019, 10:51 PM   #221
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Martial Imbert

Imbert is an interesting player in that his rookie card created several years ago featured him a position player for the Pantin Vultures. Once he made it to the top level he became exclusively a pitcher. He's no Julien Henri with the bat is one way to put it.

The other compelling thing about Imbert is that his Stuff is at or below average. Using three good pitches and a high ground ball percentage has allowed him to carve out a distinguished career with the Waves, his only team to date.

He has tallied 72 complete games in his FBL career which is reason enough to value a player of his caliber.
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Old 10-01-2019, 10:57 PM   #222
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June 1 Henri loses a close one

Former Le Diamant SP, and former 1 year Paris Artist Sebastian Vautier got the best of Julien Henri and the Artists as he led the Expedition to a 3-2 win over Paris. Julien went deeper into the game, allowed less hits, walked fewer, but, ultimately the home run was his undoing. It can be noted that Julien hit better than the 0 for 3 Vautier, as he had a pair of singles in four trips to the dish.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:26 PM   #223
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Vic Cosman

Long the ace of the powerhouse Le Diamant ball club Cosman continues to baffle opposing batters with his fastball, slider, and changeup. He is fanning less than 5 batters per 9 IP (4.9), yet his effectiveness remains high. Very high.

Cosman is up for contract renewal at the close of the 1971 season (this year). The big question is, will Le Diamant spend, presumably big, to keep their ace on the staff. They did not opt to keep their big bats last year as Mercier and Michel inked contracts with Paris, reuniting with both Henri and Delage. The Diamonds offense is now 4th in runs scored. Maybe a turning point in the franchise if they go cheap on Cosman.

The next question is, if they don't sign him, who will? The Paris Artists certainly would have interest in adding Cosman to the staff, despite having the top ERA for starters in the FBL. The money appears to be there if that opportunity presents. A Cosman contract is not without risk given his advanced career age of 35. The venerable Cosman is extremely popular in every FBL market so it will be interesting.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:40 PM   #224
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Pete Brophy

Long the mainstay and #1 SP for Ottawa Expedition, Pete Brophy opted for free agency last year to sign with the perennial championship challenger, Cap Chevalier Waves. At 37 he has two years left on his deal.

The similarities between he and Cosman are there with Brophy being a few years older. Brophy, not to be confused with the 'great one', is maybe one notch below Cosman. His numbers have fallen a bit from last year but he is on track for 3.6 WAR season. Is that worthy of a + $100,000 contract? Maybe, if it takes them to the post season. They are 5 back of Le Diamant and have a 1 game edge on the only Wild Card berth.

The similarities go beyond age and contract. Like Cosman, Brophy commands three solid pitches with equal effectiveness, fastball, chaneup, and curve. He is also a ground ball inducing, worm killing kind of pitcher. Like Cosman, he is averaging less than 5 K's per game, something new for him. Homers? A paltry .4 per game. What a stat to have. Gives Brophy wiggle room to give up some hits, an occasional free pass, and still not get burned.

And, he's an IRON MAN. How many days has he missed in his career? Well, you can count them on two hands, just 9.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:42 PM   #225
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FBL Standings

As of June 14, here are the team standings.
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:15 PM   #226
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Artists current losing streak at 3

Julien Henri could not make it out of the 3rd inning as the revamped Toucans won the opener in Paris. Henri had an impressive string of games (11) where he lasted at least 7 innings. In this his 12 start of the year he gave up 10 hits including a grand slam.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:31 PM   #227
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July 6

After suffering consecutive losses in three straight games, Julien Henri has bounced back with a pair of CG wins, allowing a total of just three runs.

He made short work of the Snake Eyes in Quebec needing just 106 pitches to get the job done. Voted the POG, Julien had a double and RBI to go with his fine pitching performance.

The parity at the top of the league is most evident this season with three teams standing above the rest. Le Diamant, probably on the downside of their historical run, Ottawa who of late has been a very well balanced team, and the Paris Artists who are seemingly on the rise.
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:11 PM   #228
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Into the Dog Days

It's no secret the Artists having been scuffling of late. Mercier, the glue that seems to hold the offense together, has been in and out of the line-up with injury. Erwin de Rooij, a veritable rock as an SP, 24-14 over the last two seasons, is gone for the season with a herniated disc.

Make no mistake, barring an epic collapse, they will win the French League division and participate in the post-season. But, parity is at an all time high this year with Le Diamant still the team to beat, Ottawa and a rejuvinated Xavier Rolland having regained his power stroke (11 HR's), and a charging out of nowhere Le Morne Rounge Toucan ball club who threatens to overtake Le Diamant for first, but might have to settle for the WC if they can maintain their 4 game lead over perennial WC Capp Chevalier Waves. Don't forget the team in last place in the strongest of the FBL leagues, Anse d'Arlet who are just 1 behind the Waves and 5 back of the Toucans for the WC.

In other news, journeyman Nicolas Masson (lifetime 115-120), accomplished a goal few pitchers ever do in tossing a spectacular no-hitter on July 30 (see box). Masson, is 12-7 on the year and proving to be the steadying influence the 1970 free agent signing hoped it would be. Paris is happy to have him on the club.

Our featured player, Julien Henri, is doing his part to lead the Artists on the mound and in the field. A bit more accomplished on the hill, he still is pounding out a respectable .785 OPS with a .313 BA.

On the mound, Julien's stats speak for themselves. At 27 years of age, Julien may be into the prime years of his career. At the same time, he's got the drive and work ethic to climb a bit higher up that ladder, too.

But, for Henri, it's the Paris championship that motivates him. Always a team player, yet his interview back in June he candidly shared his long term goals with FBL followers. It's no secret that he might like to finish his career back on his home island of Martinique where his fiance Alize still lives and works as a school teacher.

I'm sure Le Diamant would welcome him back, and Anse d'Arlet (just 20 kilometers west), would covet his presence in the Sting Ray uni. Not forgetting the up and coming Toucans of the high ground of Le Morne Rouge, Henri would have ample suitors. Of course, this decision belongs to Paris as they have inked Henri through 1974.

It's all speculation, but, isn't that part of the joy of the game of baseball?
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:17 PM   #229
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Editors Note

I just completed a 10 day cross country trip on the Amtrak California Zephyr with stops in Denver, Nevada City, CA, and Benecia, CA. I took the opportunity to visit several good friends who had relocated while my wife and sister took a rail/cruise to Nova Scotia, and other ports.

Without internet much of the time, I plunged into some immersive FBL activity, in between other interests.

Loved everything about the trip and will now resume more frequent postings on my way to the completion of Henri's career, whenever it may be.
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:16 PM   #230
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevem810 View Post
I just completed a 10 day cross country trip on the Amtrak California Zephyr with stops in Denver, Nevada City, CA, and Benecia, CA. I took the opportunity to visit several good friends who had relocated while my wife and sister took a rail/cruise to Nova Scotia, and other ports.

Without internet much of the time, I plunged into some immersive FBL activity, in between other interests.

Loved everything about the trip and will now resume more frequent postings on my way to the completion of Henri's career, whenever it may be.
Did you get to spend a little time at the recently (well, fairly recently) renovated Union Station in Denver? I hope so as it is a fun spot right down in the ballpark district.
Next time you are in Denver it would be great to have coffee or something. (Granted, you may have been here when I was in Michigan.)
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:45 PM   #231
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Did you get to spend a little time at the recently (well, fairly recently) renovated Union Station in Denver? I hope so as it is a fun spot right down in the ballpark district.
Next time you are in Denver it would be great to have coffee or something. (Granted, you may have been here when I was in Michigan.)
Yeah, a bit of time. Beautiful renovation of the Station, my favorite on the trip. For a second I thought I was in a Hotel, which, of course I was given how they have integrated the space so nicely.

I will give a shout next time I'm in the area (do the same if you are near Ann Arbor). I stayed 3 days in Loveland with some good friends who relocated to Denver a few years back and then headed on to Sacramento area. Was actually supposed to meet one of GM's of my league but that was the day it snowed 2 or so inches making his journey up the expressway to treacherous to navigate.
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:56 PM   #232
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Yeah, a bit of time. Beautiful renovation of the Station, my favorite on the trip. For a second I thought I was in a Hotel, which, of course I was given how they have integrated the space so nicely.

I will give a shout next time I'm in the area (do the same if you are near Ann Arbor). I stayed 3 days in Loveland with some good friends who relocated to Denver a few years back and then headed on to Sacramento area. Was actually supposed to meet one of GM's of my league but that was the day it snowed 2 or so inches making his journey up the expressway to treacherous to navigate.
Well, you aren't too far off about Union Station- there is a high-end hotel in the station, the Crawford Hotel. It's now such a multi-purpose space with great restaurants, bars, coffee shops, etc. where before it was just a dilapidated big mostly unused, but still impressive, space.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:53 PM   #233
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Henri notches another CG Win

Julien Henri labored for 135 pitches but got the job done when Paris tallied 4 in the 8th and 2 in the 9th as they rallied to defeat the Royals 6-1. Girard's grand slam in the 8th was the difference maker.

Henri at 14-7, now has ERA of 2.96, a WHIP of 1.02, and a FIP of 3.08.

Paris maintains an 8 game lead over second place Nice who elevated their record 2 games over .500 while sitting at 59-57. The last winning season for the Orchids was 1967 the only year they have made the post-season.
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:21 PM   #234
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Player Spotlight

What is driving the Le Morne Rouge Toucans to the upper echelon of the Francais Baseball League? Players like second year third baseman Rodrigue Deschamps.

The popular Rodrigue has been fine tuning his pitch selection as his BB/K ratio made a dramatic improvement in 1971. More importantly, it was not at the expense of his power stroke which has also increased this season. His 26 homers lead the league.

Born in St. Pierre, the original capital before the great volcanic eruption at the turn of the 1900's, Deschamps is but a stones throw from his home town while he plays ball in the rainforest of Le Morne Rouge on the island of Martinique.

His mood: "Happy as a Clam"
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Old 10-23-2019, 10:47 PM   #235
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Henri, another game, another CG win

Julien Henri is some kind of zone of late. His effort against a strong hitting Ottawa ballclub was impressive.

The magic number for the Artists is now 6. Le Diamant has 11 and Ottawa 10 so the Artists may be the first to clinch.

Julien may eclipse some career marks this year on the way to leading the Artists to the post-season. Never a big K guy on the hill, he keeps the ball in the park and limits the bases on balls.
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:16 PM   #236
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Julien, again

Henri put a stop to the 3 game skid reducing the magic number to 4.

Barring a complete meltdown by someone the post-season will beature Le Diamant coming out of the Martinique League for the 7th straight season. The Ottawa Expedition will represent the Canada League, for the 5th time in 7 years. In the France League, Paris will take first place for the 3rd consecutive year.

The Wildcard, which virtually comes out of Martinique every year, will be the Le Morne Rouge Toucans, just the 2nd time in their 11 year history being in the post.
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:42 PM   #237
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Cosman

Having had Cosman in the rotation while steering the ship in Le Diamant, I often check up on his performances, knowing at 35 years of age, someday he will not be in a line up.

That doesn't appear to be imminent for the short term as he as consistent as he is great. Vic Cosman, a sure HOF inductee when it opens.
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Old 10-26-2019, 05:45 PM   #238
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With 2 games left

A rather predictable final month of the season that will conclude with two days in September has suddenly become very interesting. Fortunes have shifted, if not flipped, for a few teams.

Le Diamant Diamonds had the leagues best record in their back pocket. But a 4 game losing streak combined with a 4 game Paris winning streak has opened the door to home field advantage and a playoff match up with the wild card team. Le Diamant has but a narrow one game lead over Paris after Merlin shut them out 2-0. The final two games will be played in Arc de Triomphe ball park when we enter September, in one more day.

The Wild Card bound, for the first time in 10 seasons Le Morne Rouge Toucans have found it challenging to deal with the stress of the post-season race. The leagues hottest team just in mid summer have dropped 8 straight games. Coming off a 18-10 July, and without a single month where they did not win more games than they lost, the Toucans posted a 9-18 record in August. The Nice Orchids are just one game back and the Quebec Snake Eyes, through some kind of baseball miracle, are just 2 games back. The Snake Eyes were a disaster with a 49-57 record approaching the end of July.

So, the certainty is Le Diamant, Ottawa, and Paris will be in the post. Either Le Morne Rouge, Nice, or Quebec will be the WC. Le Diamant or Paris will be the top seed.
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Old 10-27-2019, 12:21 AM   #239
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One game left, unless...

The Paris Artists put together a wild 8th inning to rally for a 2-2 tie against the Diamonds, and then Lamy's lead-off three base hit set the stage for Kobayashki's single to win it in the 9th.

The Toucans finally won a game, and so did the Orchids. The Snake Eyes are out.

Final day of the regular season will determine the best record and home field advantage, and, maybe the WC. Will the Artists start a rested Henri for the final game? Or, save him for Game 1 of the post season.
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Old 10-27-2019, 09:55 PM   #240
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Game 138

There will be a game 139 between the Nice Orchids who won 4-1 on the road over the Anse d'Arlet Stingrays and the Le Morne Rouge Toucans who lost 3-1 to the Cap Chevalier Waves at home.

An improbably tie as the Toucans slumped to 1-9 while the Orchids went 8-2 over the last 10 games. The game will be played on the island of Martinique in the rain forest of Le Morne Rouge.

The big news out of Paris is that the Artists behind Hubert Rivet whitewashed the Diamonds by a 6-0 score allowing them to have the best record in the FBL at 83-55. They won their six last games and Le Diamant lost their final six.

With a 1-0 lead on a balk scoring a run in the second inning, it was Julien Henri who ignited a huge 4th inning barrage of runs when he led off with a solo homer to left. By the time the first out was recorded the Artists had a 5 spot on the board and it was lights out for the Diamonds.

Hubert Rivet was the POG.
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