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OOTP 20 - Fictional Simulations Discuss fictional simulations and their results in this forum.

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Old 12-15-2019, 11:28 AM   #481
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2079 Season (5/12 – 5/14)

Montreal Wanderers (15-18, .455, 5th NL East) @ Miami United (17-19, .472, 4th NL East)
It’s good to be home – back on my swanky houseboat, the Twin Palms Bar & Laundromat only a short walk away, and a cool ocean breeze to greet me each evening – but, are our fans as glad that we’re back as we are to be back? I’m not so sure… we’ve limped back into town after being roughed up, rolled, and otherwise manhandled on the road with a 3-7 record in our last 10 and currently riding a 4-game losing streak. That we will welcome the equally dreadful Wanderers to town is of no real consolation – with their terrible offense in need of a jump start and their stout pitching and defense primed to give us fits, we could be in for a rough time. At issue here is that we, by our, admittedly, low standards are not necessarily playing bad… it’s that our ceiling right now resembles that of a camper van instead of the cathedral I had in Los Angeles. And, well, despite the crew I’ve assembled together for this latest adventure, my confidence has been tested. It’s not doing well – my No. 2 pencil isn’t sharp, somebody chewed off its eraser, and, as it turns out, simply selecting C for every multiple-choice question is not actually a good strategy. In Montreal, we will face some of the Strangeverse OG’s – Randall Berger (34, 1x Boyce Rigg, 7x All-Star), Julen Morales (33, 1x All-Star), and Nat Millard (37, 2x WS Champ, 1x All-Star, 2x GG)… they’ve all seen better days, sure, but they all also have a little something left in the tank and we’re a straight-away… no turns, no hills, just a flat track that is content to not offer much to challenge one’s driving ability. You just have to drive, and you should be fine. Our club needs to find a way to get back on track here – Montreal is the type of club we must beat. And, true, it is early yet, but I can’t help feeling like this set will have a lot to say about how we finish the month of May.

37 of 162: Joseph Grace (4-1, 4.00) @ Kordell Littles (1-1, 8.68)
Win, 8-3
. We managed to punch more than a few through Montreal’s stout defense and Kordell managed to give a better account of himself than he did during his last time out… Our future stud went 6 strong innings, struck out 6 batters, and only allowed 3 earned runs while Travis Scharmer went 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs and 2 Runs to help the Hot Pinks put an end to our losing streak in an attempt to build something new… Saul Guzman picked up his first save of the year, Anaconda & Rex both scored twice, OH HONG scored one and drove one in on 3 for 5 hitting. 2 doubles, a triple, and 2 stolen bags for our club in this one – happy with this effort, but I’ll need to see it sustained before I get too excited.

Elsewhere: I’m hearing rumors that there is a secret bar housed within the Twin Palms Bar & Laundromat – something similar to an Elks club… the Benevolent Order of the Red Snapper or something like that… I dunno, I’m having a hard time dialing it in. Sounds mysterious and cool… and mysteriously cool, and I want in. I just need to figure out who I need to talk to in order for that to happen – it’d be helpful if Loretta would hurry up and get LA out of her system – first, it was my favorite pair of pants and now… this. We need her to get back to work.

38 of 162: Julen Morales (1-3, 4.61) @ Radoslav Borovsky (2-3, 3.67)
Win, 4-2
. Rex hit a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 8th that sealed the deal for us in this one… which, prior to that moment was mostly a lackluster affair, all mechanical and going through the motions, until he put that blast on the board. OH HONG and Anaconda went a combined 0 for 7 with a walk, Kyle Weaver brought in a run, we stole 4 bags (2x for Felger), and got a 111 pitch effort from Radoslav where he only allowed 2 runs (on a HR), K’d 4 and doled out 4 free passes. Look, our effort from last night was not sustained here – but, we got the win, and, at the end of the day, it’s just nice to be a .500 ballclub again with a chance to secure a sweep in front of our hometown fans.

39 of 162: Dylan Bauer (1-3, 4.46) @ Mirko Samsonenko (2-5, 3.91)
Loss, 3-1
. A sweep would be too much – the universe couldn’t let that happen lest it risk the balance of the space-time continuum… why risk a rip in the fabric of time when the universe can just make us lose like we are supposed to? Archie Imanov hit a homer for Montreal in the 4th to put them up for good, we, as a team, managed to squeeze the proverbial lemon for one run of our own, and, while Mirko was mostly fine, he couldn’t give us enough for our anemic offense to get over in the 3rd tilt of this 3-game set. The RBI went to Felger, it was of the 2-out variety, and we struck out 9 times as a unit (2 each for OH HONG and Weaver, 3x for Donovan Taylor)... all told 34K came out to see this game and the smart money says that at least half of them won’t be back anytime soon. I mean, why would they? We ran out of wasabi fries in the 4th, are trying to charge $5 per hotdog, and played an uninspired, deficient brand of baseball. Elvira has asked me to meet her tomorrow on the houseboat for an impromptu meeting – so, yeah, probably getting fired. I'll need to spend many a hard-earned dollar at the Twin Palms this evening – I want to be good & useless for our discussion… she deserves a good glimpse into the fraudulent VP of Baseball Operations she hired to Captain this outfit.

Elsewhere: 3B Brantley Kirby, of the PDX Timbers, went 3 for 4 with 2 jacks, 6 riblets, and 3 runs in Portland’s 9-6 win over their PNW rival Seattle Sounders… This Kirby kid has a lot going for him – popular with the locals, solid in the field, has a good eye and rarely strikes out, and flexes one of the premier mustaches in all of Strangeverse. Kid’s solid, better than solid actually, and has a bright future ahead of him… I see him as a version of Ethan Mullens. It’ll be fun to see what he does over the next decade.

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Old 12-15-2019, 01:25 PM   #482
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2079 Season (5/15 – 5/17)

Pittsburgh Steelers (23-16, .590, 1st NL East) @ Miami United (19-20, .487, 4th NL East)
The suddenly power-starved Tom Franzone hasn’t hit one out in five games – it’s tough for anyone to go against Golden State & Philadelphia in back-to-back 3-game sets – and now finds himself ranked 3rd behind Aitor Cubas (14) and Jo Jo Jackson (12). I imagine that, right now, he’s somewhere over North Carolina reading a scouting report on our pitching staff – his eyes opened wide, lips licked, with a smile, slowly creeping across his face. “Soon, I’ll feast…”. Pittsburgh is a top-notch outfit, they’re running rough-shod over our division so far in 2079 with their only real competition coming from the St. Louis Rams. If you care to call it that… look, STL is a good, solid ballclub. This much is true. But they are no Pittsburgh – 2nd in runs scored, OPS and wOBA, 1st in HRs, and rated 5th overall in the NL for pitching. This isn’t a case of outliers – Pittsburgh is balanced, efficient, and cold. An automated assembly line designed to manufacture wins in the National League. We’re not any of those things – we’re something else… an appetizer, small bites. We’ll have our work cut out for us here – if we can earn even a single win during this 3-game set it will be a minor miracle, something along the lines of the Virgin Mary appearing in a piece of gluten-free toast. Defensively it’ll require that our hurlers navigate their power alley with aplomb and offensively we’ll need to find a way to overcome their power arms. This is a tall order, but, we’re gamers and we’ll give it our best shot… just don’t be surprised when we get Manute Bol blocked each time we attempt to drive the lane. Side note: Tuesday at the ballpark is $2-taco night, and, because no one eats hotdogs on a Taco Tuesday, our all-beef franks will be ½ off as well. I told the marketing team that we should run the hotdog promo as a BOGO so we don’t keep throwing so many away, but, because they are outlandishly confident in their marketing prowess they’ve rebuffed my request and went with this instead. Whatever, I’m just the VP of Baseball Operations… what do I know?

40 of 162: Roydrick Luedtke (1-1, 4.50) @ Cathal Magill (2-3, 3.97)
Win, 3-2
. Cathal gave up one run over 6.1 innings of work and OH HONG went 3 for 4 with a 2-run double… Franzone went 2 for 4 but was unable to cook up much of a long-ball appetite as our pitching was able to hold it together throughout this one… We got a SAC BUNT, a SAC FLY, and just enough of everything else to secure a game 1 victory. This wasn’t the most convincing display of baseball superiority – no, this was a just good fortune. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes, as is the case here, you simply outlast the other team.

Elsewhere: SP Rad Taylor threw a complete-game, 8-hit, 1-run game for the CITY OF COMPTON to improve his 2079 IL record to 3-2 with a 2.72 ERA… Compton got the win over the Newport Beach Gypsies by a score of 5-1. Of note… Rad registered 9 K’s in this one including 3 against Cole Holt who is 2nd best prospect behind 3B Bulldog Johnson.

41 of 162: Robby Garrett (4-2, 3.18) @ Cliff Slavinski (2-3, 5.08)
Win, 2-1
. No homers today… and another lackluster win where we outlasted the Pittsburgh Steelers. Slavinski gave up a lone run in 7 innings of work and Steve Green went 2 for 3 with an RBI… Kyle Weaver hit a SAC BUNT, Scharmer committed a crime against the base paths (steal #21 for the speedster), and, in a bit of terrible new, OH HONG pulled his hamstring and will miss 4-weeks. CF Masaharu Watanabe has been recalled from Havana as a replacement.

42 of 162: Gregory Morgan (3-3, 6.30) @ Kordell Littles (2-1, 7.04)
Loss, 5-0
. On aggregate, after this 5-0 victory, the Pittsburgh Steelers would have beat us by a score of 8-5. But this isn’t soccer, so we earned a series victory, 2-1, over them despite having our asses handed to us in the final game of the set. Kordell was okay here – his ERA improved, so he has that going for him, but the team was, well, I’m not sure they showed up at all. This was, easily, the most uninspired set of baseball our club has played this year, and, yes, I know we got the series victory – but if this is the product we intend to put on the field, how can we expect anyone to show up at all? Oh, almost forgot – Tom Franzone hit a 3-run ding dong during the top of the 8th that served as the cue for our fans to head out to their cars… He’s now tied with Jo Jo for 2nd on the HR rankings – both he and Aitor haven’t hit one out in their last 3 games…

Elsewhere: The NCAA Tourney is all set… Clemson is the odds-on favorite to win the whole thing and Ridgemont Community College, the University of Hawaii (in their 1st season), San Dimas Community College, MIT, and Binghamton all made the cut from the unaffiliated division. My dark horse is the San Diego State Aztecs – they have Mortecai Flenderson out of French Lick, Indiana on their roster – he’s the best player in the NCAA according to Cheech and is, surely, a lock to go at #1 in this year’s amateur draft.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:08 PM   #483
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2079 Season (Trade Alert)

Man, getting rid of Cathal Magill was harder than I thought it would be – normally, I can find at least a couple of options that satisfy my GM, in this case, Yan, and the opposing GM… not so much this time. But, after working through multiple combinations of players, I finally stumbled on something mutually beneficial, and, most importantly, beneficial to my club's long-term plans, with a proposal I made, reworked, and reworked again with the San Francisco Seals. In the end – I came away with some value here while giving up a good ace whose attitude problems proved too burdensome for my patience. The gist of the deal is this… SP Cathal Magill, our Ace, disgruntled veteran, and surly malcontent, is headed to San Francisco to become a Seal while CL Harvey Allen, a 22-year old stud with a good attitude, Cl Yogi De Jesus, a hard-working Minor Leaguer who may develop into a starter if he can get another pitch dialed in, and 1B Magee Ives head to Miami where they will ply their trade for a so-so ballclub with designs on becoming a perennial contender and enjoy an unlimited supply of Cubano sandwiches and rum. Harvey and Magee will join the big club – Harvey because he belongs, Magee because OH HONG is OOS, while Yogi De Jesus heads to Barbados to bag some rays, get in some reps, and play a little baseball in front of those young, lascivious Island beach bunnies… He may not know it yet, but I just changed Yogi’s life. Had I not come along with this deal that boy would’ve cut his teeth in AA ball while living in Stockton. One day, when his playing days have long since been extinguished, he’ll call on me to express his gratitude for me including him in on today’s festivities. And, honestly, when I look at this deal – that may be the only thing I can count on coming out of it… the rest, as they say, is yet to be seen.

Nice to be rid of Cathal though… surly little ****, he was.

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Old 12-16-2019, 01:17 PM   #484
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Steve Green(s)

I just realized that between your Strangeverse, my WPK, and stevem810's FBL, there are three Steve Green's knocking around here in the Fictional subfolder. (Actually, not sure the FBL Steve Green is still active.)

Sure, common name, I get that.
But for you and I it's not just that a Steve Green is in the league- they are members of our teams.
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Old 12-16-2019, 03:49 PM   #485
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He's working on a catamaran on Martinique. I should add that for most of his career this Steve Green was on my Le Diamant team, too.

btw, pauwoo, send me a PM if you'd prefer that I not intrude on your thread. I will understand completely. :-)
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Old 12-17-2019, 08:49 AM   #486
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Originally Posted by stevem810 View Post
He's working on a catamaran on Martinique. I should add that for most of his career this Steve Green was on my Le Diamant team, too.

btw, pauwoo, send me a PM if you'd prefer that I not intrude on your thread. I will understand completely. :-)
I love it! Here's my version of Steve Green... great fielder, good range, great arm, not prone to mistakes. Terrible baserunner - like, really, really, bad. And, he's a good enough hitter, I guess.

He was the 84th pick in the 2076 draft out of UC Santa Barbara - He joined the big club late last year after dividing the bulk of his time in AA (Sunrise) and AAA (Mexico City). Since he debuted in College in 2074 at 19-years old until now, this Steve Green has never stolen a base, Not one. Nada!

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@Bird - let us know about your version of Mr. Green.
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Old 12-17-2019, 10:38 PM   #487
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Steve Green, the elder

Well, I'm pretty sure my Steve Green is your Steve Green's great-great grandfather (notice the uncanny resemblance.)
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My guy was a 1st round draft pick (#8 overall) in 1969 and has turned into a steady mid-rotation presence for the Brewers. He's on pace for his best season as a big leaguer currently.
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Old 12-17-2019, 10:57 PM   #488
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Well, I'm pretty sure my Steve Green is your Steve Green's great-great grandfather (notice the uncanny resemblance.)
Great Scott! I think we broke OOTP you guys...

Wait, how do we know that he’s not a vampire?
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Old 12-18-2019, 12:01 AM   #489
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Great Scott! I think we broke OOTP you guys...

Wait, how do we know that he’s not a vampire?
Crazy, isn't it. I just assumed that OOTP's facegen's were random enough that this wouldn't be likely to happen. But as I soon as I saw your post here earlier I had to laugh. I totally know this dude!
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Old 12-18-2019, 12:35 AM   #490
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Even has the sideburns for 70's look.
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Old 12-18-2019, 01:01 AM   #491
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Even has the sideburns for 70's look.
Right- I hadn't even noticed. That's about the only difference between the two.
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Old 12-18-2019, 10:18 PM   #492
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2079 Season (5/19 – 5/21)

Miami United (21-21, .500, 2nd NL East) @ Brooklyn Citizens (18-22, .450, 6th NL East)
After we complete this set, we will have played 45 games, 9 of which would have come against these Brooklyn Citizens… that’s 1/5 of our work, because… math. We’re 3-3 against them so far – a surprise given that they are the defending champions, even if they look nothing like the club that won it all in 2078. The Citizens are not in a good way right now, they’re average or worse everywhere, have a -25 rDiff, are 12th in average, and 10th in runs against. Their scouting report says that everyone, outside of maybe 1B Ruben Zarate, is a problem… they’re just not getting the individual contributions necessary to make the climb above .500… yet. The talent is there – it’s just not being fulfilled. But things may be looking up as they’ve managed to put a nice 7-3 record up over their last 10 games with series wins against PDX and Philly, and a sweep over the St. Louis Rams during that stretch. Listen, Brooklyn is not what it was last year, far from it, but they should be better than this, and, frankly, should be better than us. On paper – where calculators and regression analyses trump actual on-field play – they were, confidently, picked to finish ahead of us in the standings, and I have no reason not to trust the math. But, and this is important, trusting math and understanding it is two different things – so, given that none of my guys are cut from the Good Will Hunting mold of misunderstood genius, I expect our guys to go out there like Morgan, with reckless abandon, in search of their double cheeseburger.

43 of 162: Radoslav Borovsky (2-3, 3.54) @ Les Trost (2-1, 3.29)
Win, 7-3
. It took 17-innings to sort this one out, but a run-scoring single, courtesy of Travis Scharmer, broke things open in the top of the 17th and we scored 3 more in that frame to put this one out of reach for the home team. 14 hits, 13 K’s and 7 runs for the ‘Mingos… and we nearly completed a buy one, get one ball game for the Brooklyn fans that were resolute enough to stick it out for 17 frames. We like the win – but, this is no way to start off a road series… our staff was decimated (not a lot of bullpen options over the next couple of games) and our offense is sure to be dead-legged and dragging during game 2.

44 of 162: Mirko Samsonenko (2-6, 3.88) @ Cam Murphy (3-3, 3.88)
Win, 3-2
. Mirko threw a 2-hitter over 8.2 innings of work - both hits were solo HR’s but he left us in a position to win and Rex Engelstad brought it home for us during the top of the 10th on a 2-out, run-scoring single. We lost Kyle Weaver for 4-5 games in the 1st due to a concussion – poor guy ran into the wall trying to snag a deep fly ball, Steve Green went 2 for 5 but left 3 on and K’d twice, and, as a team, we swiped three bags. We’ve secured a series win on the road here and are playing some pretty solid ball as a club. Our goal is to beat the teams we’re supposed to and to stay competitive against those that we aren’t. Mission accomplished.

Elsewhere: The guy with the strangest name in all of Strangeverse, who is, somehow, from Monroe, WA, Mr. Ciriaco Ambrosini, of the Newport Beach Gypsies (an affiliate of the Vancouver Giants), went 2 for 4 with 2 jacks, 3 riblets, and 3 runs in their 9-4 win over the Nashville Picks. Not the strongest performance ever, I get it, but with a name like that I had to highlight it. Too weird to pass up. Also, Cheech just submitted his scouting report on Angry Eloy Delando – pegged him as a slightly over-the-hill outfielder with above-average power, a good eye (when the ump is on his side), who is best suited for a bench role. I was toying with the idea of purchasing his contract from the Decatur Donnybrooks but, since I have plenty of guys who have the same abilities, I think I’ll pass. Plus he’s often pissy – and since I just got rid of Cathal for that very reason, I see no purpose in paying $500K just to put him on the block a month or so down the road.

45 of 162: Graham Doyle (1-1, 4.40) @ Merl Crawford (2-5, 4.78)
Hmm, I wonder what it would take to get Merl at my club… he gave me heartburn in LA, but, here in Miami, I’m going through two rolls of role-aids every day, so, why not?
Win, 13-1. Merl gave up 5 runs in this one and, in the process, answered my question above… we’ll have no room for him in Miami… Graham gave us 5.1 innings of work and only allowed one runner to plate, Ethan Loy went 3 for 5 with a 3-run jack, and Oli Woodward went 1 for 3 with that one being a 2-run two-bagger. We put 9 runs on the board in the 8th and 9th frames, hit 3 doubles, a triple, and a homer (TEAM CYCLE), and even got ourselves a SAC FLY… we’re feeling like a million bucks right now… ROAD SWEEP?!? Who would’ve thunk it?

Notes: We’re now firmly lodged into second place on the NL East table and find ourselves 1 ½ games ahead of Philly – look, we’ve been playing a lot of patsies, so I know that this is just an aberration, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t feel good. Golden State is off to a stellar start and at 35-9 so far is the only team that hasn’t seen their loss total dip into the double-digits – for comparison's sake, Phoenix, the second-best team in baseball so far, has already lost 16 games. Also, we’re ranked 6th on the weekly power rank… and, while I know we are being set up for the fall, I gotta give the guys some credit… they’re out there battling for every game and winning more than their share of them so far (we’re +3 against the Pythagorean). Tough stretch ahead – Philly (better than us), San Diego (about the same as us), and Phoenix (way better than us) are all on the docket over our next 10 games with the Philly & Phoenix sets being contested on the road. If this stretch doesn’t put us back into our place, then maybe it’s just not our place at all… dig. In other news… only one NCAA team from the unaffiliated division managed to win their 1st round game – the MIT Equations beat the Pennsylvania Quakers by a score of 4-3 and survived a 3-run bottom of the 9th from Penn that threatened to end their Cinderella-story in the making before it even had a chance to get started… the bracket is attached for your viewing pleasure (smart money is still on San Diego State).

Also – last thing, I promise – I found this snap in my DeLorean… it’s of Steve Green the very, very 1st, taking some time to kick back during the Civil War. Not sure where he got the ballcap, I’ll have to talk to the good Doctor about that…Vampire or just some really, really strong genes? I'll let you decide.

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Old 12-20-2019, 05:59 PM   #493
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2079 Season (Trade Alert)

When Yan and I left the bunker, we were both satisfied with the work that we’d done – confident that it would carry us forward in the not so distant future and keep us on the path towards perennial contention. So, when the trade of our aging and highly paid starter, Cliff Slavinski, hit the news we expected kudos, we expected the pundits to laud our expertise, and to be recognized for the geniuses we so obviously are… Unfortunately, our fans did not agree – they were devastated and, in that devastation, made their feeling known. I think it’s safe to say that, despite getting RP Murray Wagner (a really good, young, reliever with plenty left in the tank) and a solid SP prospect in Nick Espinal, our fans, who are stuck living in the past, are unhappy with our decision making here. They will, of course, eventually come around – because, if my crystal ball is correct, this is the trade that will put us over the top in the future, this is the trade that makes us champion… or not. Or, more pointedly, definitely not. It should also be noted that we will be retaining 65% of Cliff’s contract and that we had to give up a couple of solid prospects in 3B Lima Laney and SP Skip Dokken. And, if I’m being honest, Yan didn’t really like the trade that much – she wanted more, didn’t really feel that we were getting the value necessary to pull the trigger – but, I just didn’t want to pay Cliff so much money over the next 2 years… $27M per? Nah. Of course, this is not a move that I expect to help us this season – in fact, it will likely do the opposite… it really leaves my rotation in a bit of a lurch. The reality, however, is that we didn’t come into this season with playoff expectations and I didn’t get hired to construct an average ballclub – our mission, the one we accepted from Elvira Hancock, was to become a dynasty and this is just another baby step in that direction.

And, it should be noted that this is probably not my best work – short term a divisional foe gets better at an acceptable price. The Montreal Wanderers (Cliff’s future home) didn’t exactly leverage their future here – they still have prospects in the funnel, are only paying half of his salary, and will be able to part ways with him after the 2080 season, if not before. They also didn’t need to promote anyone to the big club after the trade – so, their everyday deck was improved here for 2079. For my part, I just wanted to dump some salary and start building something new instead of shedding dead weight in the offseason. This frees up some capital and moves us, ever so slightly, in that direction. Plus, if he ever makes it up to the big club, Nick Espinal looks like the kind of fella you don’t want to charge for putting one up & in on you.

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Old 12-21-2019, 10:15 AM   #494
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2079 Season (5/22 – 5/24)

Miami United (24-21, .533, 2nd NL East) @ Philadelphia 76ers (22-22, .500, 3rd NL East)
The 76ers are Palmer Parker's team – when he goes, they go… or, at least that’s how this thing is designed. Currently, while Palmer is humming along with a .401 average, 7 home run, 30 RBI season so far, like some well-oiled, finely tuned exotic, the rest of his team continues to sputter along. They want to follow their leader, to hitch themselves to his superstar wagon, but they just haven’t been able to keep his pace and over the course of these first 44-games have lost sight of him around corners and are at risk of losing him altogether in the rush hour traffic that is surely ahead. Philadelphia is not a bad club by any stretch of the imagination – they are built on a solid foundation (+8 rDiff, 6th in Starters & Bullpen ERA) and now have a chance to make up some ground at home after contesting 29 of their 44 games on the road where they have gone 13-16. This will be a tough set to navigate before we return home for a 4-game stretch against the woeful San Diego Chargers – but, if we can find a way to win here we will be way ahead of where I thought we would be right now… ours is a good news story so far, maybe even a too good news story – if we can stay in that vibe and take care of business here then the league will be forced to pay us our due respect as a club that competes instead of one who is propped up by it’s ho-hum, early-season schedule.

46 of 162: Kordell Littles (2-2, 6.04) @ Vin Uhlman (5-3, 5.60)
Win, 5-3
. Palmer Parker charged a 2-run homer to Kordell’s account in the bottom of the 6th, but, as is the case with these Philadelphia 76ers, his teammates were not able to follow his lead as Littles managed to put in 8 strong innings of work where he only allowed 3 runners to find their way home and K’d three while walking none. And, it should be noted, that Uhlman wasn’t bad either – we didn’t expect a bootleg pitchers duel in this one, but, that’s what we got… Travis Scharmer went 1 for 5 with that one being a 2-run blast in the top of the 7th and Harvey Allen picked up his 11th save of the year. This one will go down as a good effort from the ‘Mingos that was propped up by a mistake-prone Philadelphia defense that committed 3 costly errors that, ultimately, were the difference in the game. When you get a gift like this, you bow your head in genuine appreciation and move on to the next.

Elsewhere: Grayson Sherman, heir to the Sherman Paints fortune and current Left Fielder for the MIT Equations, went 3 for 5 with 2 jacks, 2 riblets, and 4 runs in the Calcs’ surprising 8-5 win over the Maryland Terrapins in the second round of the NCAA tournament. They will go on to face the formidable San Diego Aztecs in the 3rd round where they will face the always great Mortecai Flenderson. Should be a barnburner.

47 of 162: Radoslav Borovsky (2-3, 3.62) @ Bentley Hawkins (2-4, 4.50)
Loss, 7-3
. Parker went 1 for 3 with an RBI, but, his lead here, was only directional as the rest of his club took the lantern and fought back the darkness despite his uncharacteristically pedestrian performance – Jason Spears (3 for 4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) and Shifty Culp (2 for 4, HR, 2 RBI, R) led the way for Philadelphia in this thorough & convincing home win… We didn’t get much from our club – Rex drove one in, Kyle Weaver put a triple on the board, and Steve Green brought one around on a SAC FLY. This just wasn’t our finest hour, and, it came at a time when Philadelphia seemingly broke out of the malaise that has plagued them so far in 2079.

Elsewhere: SP Aiden Jensen, of the Los Angeles Kings, pitched a strange, 10-inning, complete-game shutout against the Phoenix Suns… he went 10 IP, with 6 hits, no runs, 2 walks and 6 K’s for the game. Not sure I understand the decision to let him go 10… but, what do I know? In other superb pitching performances, there were two CG shutouts in IL play – the first was a 3-hitter hurled by Claude Gould in a 6-0 win for his Cincinnati Bengals over the San Jose Sharks and the second was captained by Cassidy Town of the Calgary Flames in a 1-0 win over Brooklyn’s Staten Island affiliate, the Killer Bees.

48 of 162: Randy Kline (2-1, 1.44) @ Grimm McGowan (4-2, 4.17)
Loss, 4-3
. Grimm McGowan gave Philly a nice 8-inning, 1 run performance and Rich Hamilton, the 38-year old bionic man, hit a walk-off solo homer run in the bottom of the 16th to send us to the airport on a 2-1 series loss. Kline, in his first start for us this season, was fine – he left in the 8th after retiring one batter with the game tied… we just couldn’t be bothered to bring it home for him. We managed to squeeze out 12 hits here, Rex went 4 for 7, but despite that statistic, our offense remains somewhat cold. We just aren’t seeing any consistency – our offensive identity is vanilla, not French vanilla, just vanilla… like a bootleg gallon of vanilla ice cream that tastes like it has freezer burn.

Elsewhere: 2B Randall Berger, the 6th pick in the 2066 draft out of San Dimas Community College, secured his 2000th hit in a tilt against the Brooklyn Citizens in a 3 for 5 performance. Berger has a .313 career batting average and only needs 4 jacks to reach 200. He won the Boyce Rigg in 2074 while playing for the Dallas Cowboys, has made 7 all-star appearances, and has been one of the premier stars of our league for over a decade.

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Old 12-21-2019, 01:36 PM   #495
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2079 Season (5/25 – 5/28)

San Diego Chargers (22-25, .468, 4th NL West) @ Miami United (25-23, .521, 2nd NL East)
San Diego Owner, Clark Roberts, is known throughout the community as a tolerant & generous man – that tolerance and generosity is extended to his club as well where his hands off, almost indifferent approach has created a situation where he has stuck with is ho-hum personnel despite the fact that they haven’t made the playoffs since 2075. This is a club that specializes in subpar play and organizational mediocrity, where they have, by the grace of God managed to land one of the most highly touted prospects in the history of our league in Boogie Barnett. But, with Barnett currently toiling in the Continental League as a member of the Chula Vista Terrapins, the fortunes of the big club continue to rest on a squad that is ranked 10th in average and OBP while also being ranked dead last in Starters & Bullpen ERA. That’s a recipe for disaster, and, while they haven’t been as poor as Minnesota, they’ve mostly followed it to the letter – their mediocrity and poor play has, thus far, been carefully measured out in teaspoons and ¼ cups… Far removed from their glory years of the 2020s, San Diego will have its work cut out for them if the Boogie Barnett era of the 2080s is to come to fruition. For now, they are, like us, a poor club with waning fan support that is in need of a plan.

49 of 162: Brody John (5-4, 3.73) @ Mirko Samsonenko (2-6, 3.64)
Win, 3-2
. This was a barnburner… Mirko pitched a complete game, 2-run, 6-K game, and Magee Ives brought us home in the bottom of the 9th on a walk-off, run-scoring single. Our offense is still sputtering, but we seem to be navigating the rough patch just fine – of course, the good fortune of having fair winds and following seas hasn’t hurt. Look, we’re collecting W’s, which I do like – but, these aren’t the types of wins that you really put your stamp on – nope, we seem to be in this weird place where we find a way to just, barely, outlast the other team. We’ll take it, how could you not, but I’d be a lot more positive about our play if we really settled into a groove where we had a core group of guys we could count on to produce each and every night.

50 of 162: Cason Torres (5-2, 4.36) @ Kordell Littles (3-2, 5.34)
Loss, 3-2
. 6 innings, 3 runs for Kordell, an anemic offensive effort, and a 2-run blast for San Diego’s Jamie Burke was all it took to charge a loss to our account in this one. If we’re being honest, with the exception of Magee’s late-game heroics, this one didn’t look a lot different than the effort we put forth last night… a ho-hum, offensively challenged doesn’t often end in wins even if it’s how we’ve been making our living lately – we’re at a tipping point, where our good fortune has seemingly started to wane. If we want to win, it’ll take more than just hanging around to see if we can outlast the other guy – we’ll have to earn it by dictating the action, cutting of the ring, and pumping our jab.

Elsewhere: The NCAA Final is all set… the San Diego State Aztecs will face off against the New Mexico State Aggies…

51 of 162: Brian Candelario (5-3, 5.80) @ Jimmy Garcia (0-0, 0.00)
Canceled due to bad weather… rescheduled for tomorrow. Double-header!

51 of 162 (the do-over): Brian Candelario (5-3, 5.80) @ Jimmy Garcia (0-0, 0.00)
Win, 5-4
. Two-run double for Rex, Garcia gave up 5 runs over 5.1 innings of work, and Kyle Weaver goes 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs. We’re now 7-6 in 1-run games… 25% of our games have been won or lost by a single run. +8 rDiff and 2 games up on the Pythagorean.

52 of 162: Peter Garcia (3-3, 5.28) @ Radoslav Borovsky (2-4, 4.01)
Win, 5-0
. Radoslav went 8.1 innings of 3-hit, shutout ball, and Kyle Weaver finished the day at 4 for 8 with 2 doubles, 3 RBIs and a run – both doubles and one of the RBIs came in this, the second game of our double-header. This, obviously, is the win I’ve been looking for. We got 3 two-baggers and a ding dong, a 2-out RBI double from Weaver, and Saul Guzman retired the last two batters on 6 total pitches. A great 3-1 series win against a club that we are supposed to beat – this was as good a result as I could have wished for… Phoenix is next, so…. Gut check time. Of course, with the Suns, a gross team that no one should like, on a 5-game losing streak we might see our good fortune extended over the next 3 games.

Elsewhere:
The New Mexico State Aggies are your 2079 NCAA Champion after winning a closely contested finale by a score of 2-1. 3B Ezra Needles, who will likely go undrafted two years from now, went 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI while Mortecai Flenderson went 0 for 4 with 2 K’s… Not the best ending to his collegiate career, but his legend is yet to be written in the Majors.
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Old 12-21-2019, 04:31 PM   #496
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2079 Season (5/29 – 5/31)


Miami United (28-24, .538, 2nd NL East) @ Phoenix Suns (28-21, .571, 1st NL West)

When I left Los Angeles, the club I was leaving behind wasn’t exactly in a good way – weighty contracts, overpaid & over-the-hill (or close to the edge) vets, and Otto Isaac injured, emaciated, and embroiled in the midst of his own Katie Holmes’ era Tom Cruise-ian moment… the timing was perfect for Phoenix to make their move. And, for the Desert Faithful, who, despite the requirement that they wear eggplant purple and burnt orange in their everyday life, have held steadfast in their belief that this day would come it came at exactly the right time. There is a feeling of the torch being passed – even if, in the end, those feels will only be fleeting given the fact that Megan Appel is at the helm in LA. The reality, as I see it, is that the Suns are and will continue to be, a top tier club, but their moment spent out of LA’s imposing shade will be short-lived… Megan is just too good and Otto, back up to an athletic 185lbs is just a couple of months away from playing some tip-top, honest-to-god baseball again. So, as we arrive in Phoenix for a visit to the home of the class of the NL in 2079 and knowing full well that despite their 5-straight losses, ours is not the type of resistance that keeps such a well-built club from having their fun - we understand that our work will be cut out for us here. But, be that as it may, I take solace in the thought that this current reality is on the clock, it’s ticking, and should sound an alarm soon enough. In short, enjoy it while you can Suns fans… your days at the top are numbered.

53 of 162: Randy Kline (2-1, 1.95) @ Teagan Rachel (3-2, 2.69)
Loss, 11-7
. Seth Green showed up – 2 for 4 with a double, a jack, 3 riblets and 2 runs – Anaconda hit his 6th double, and Eldin Kemp scored twice. Our offense looked good – unfortunately, with some assistance from Kline (2.2 IP, 6 earned, 3 free passes, 1 HRA), Phoenix’s offense was much, much better. Lonzo Gonzo (I miss that guy) went 3 for 5 with 2 runs, Gerhold scored twice, Wells drove two in, and Voorhis scored twice and brought two others in… Phoenix just shredded our staff – Guzman let three plate, Holguin was victimized for a couple. This would be a tough loss to swallow if it wasn’t what so obviously was supposed to happen.

Elsewhere: My Havana-based Sugar Kings were in Compton today to play my former affiliate club in the International league – they lost (6-3) and Kumar Bovie went 2 for 4 with a HR and 2-RBI… We’ll play them again tomorrow with Rad Taylor getting the start against my struggling AAA club.

54 of 162: Mirko Samsonenko (3-6, 3.45) @ Jack Sanchez-Flores (4-2, 4.15)
Loss, 6-2
. It took Phoenix four innings to get it into gear in this one, but when they did it was all she wrote… Sanchez-Flores was dominant over 8 innings of work and Jacob Wells put a timely 2-run double on the board that served as a call-to-arms for the rest of the Suns' offense. Mirko got pummeled for 5 runs in 6 innings, Kyle Weaver got hit by a pitch, and Anaconda got caught with his mitts in the honey pot. 6 K’s and 15 LOB for the club – we just couldn’t get our engine to turn over, and, let’s be honest, even if we could I doubt that our car could get up to speed with theirs anyway.

Elsewhere: I’m not sure how I should feel about this one – like a proud father? A scorned ex-lover? Or, do I just appreciate it from afar with feigned indifference? Your boy RAD TAYLOR etched his name in the annuals of international league folklore today against my Havana Sugar Kings – in a style that can only be described as ‘totally tubular’ or ‘gnarly’. He led his Compton-based outfit to a 3-0 victory while pitching a NO-NO… 9 IP, ZERO HITS, ZERO RUNS, 2 BB, and 8 PUNCHOUTS! The Bolingbrook, IL native and former Michigan State Spartan, with the name that conjures up visions of Spicoli riding some gnarly surf as the top of a wave pitches over him so that he is completely enclosed in the oval space behind the curtain of falling water before shooting out with his tallboy of Colt .45 still firmly within his grip. This, my friends, is a great day for Strangeverse. A great day, indeed. A day that also begs the question – why is he still flexing a Compton kit? Megan? Megan? Are you there? Does your boyfriend Kirk Johnson really deserve a roster spot over Rad?

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Injury Update: 1B OH HONG experienced a setback in his rehab for a torn hammy – he will now miss another 3 months and is scheduled to go under the knife tomorrow. Bummer biscuits, man. I just can't have it both ways, can I?

55 of 162: Kordell Littles (3-3, 5.15) @ Josh Allen (4-4, 3.96)
Loss, 4-2
. When I got off the phone with Rad last night, after congratulating him on his no-hitter, I couldn’t get myself to sleep. I was giddy, impressed with how far the young man has come. I sat up working my way through a bottle of whiskey and reminisced. Back to when I first discovered the kid, to when I temporarily gave up on him and traded him to Montreal where he played for their affiliate club in Calgary, and finally to the move I made to bring him back. He never really panned out the way I thought he would, but he’s starting to look like something of a late bloomer - and there’s still time for him to make his mark in the Major Leagues... about this game, yeah, um, well... I was too hungover to pay it much attention. From what I gather, we lost unceremoniously… and were swept out of Phoenix like we were the trash left behind after some ticker-tape parade. Somehow, Rad’s achievement serves to make this sweep more palatable – it underscores my ability to find a diamond in the rough even if my talent judging criteria includes things like whether you have a cool mustache and if your name has a snappy ring to it.

Elsewhere: Heathcote Kinton, of the Portland Timbers, may rethink his decision to forgo the family business of Rodeo Clowning to become a baseball player after he was suspended by the commissioner for 6 games due to his part in sparking a bench-clearing brawl in a game against the Chicago Fire. Shizuka Takeuchi ran one up and inside on the consensus best player in the game and Kinton, always one to take the bull by the horns, decided to take a run at him. And, while this is never a good scene, I mean – we have kids in the stands for Pete’s sake – we did get a glimpse into Heathcote’s progress as a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner as the newly anointed purple-belt caught Takeuchi in Strangeverse’s first-ever submission by Twister. So, I mean – not wonderful, but at least we got to see something unexpected.

Notes: Phoenix is a cruel, cruel mistress… after a three day span spent in a perpetual state of existential dread while in the desert we leave town with our head held low, shamed by our inability to do anything positive on the diamond… and now, for our efforts, or lack thereof really, we find ourselves right back where we belong at 4th on the table in the NL East and a full 5 ½ games off of Pittsburgh’s pace. We now commence with the part of this journey where we desperately try to keep our heads above water.

Edit… Oops – too much whiskey it seems… I guess this was a 4-game set.
56 of 162: Radoslav Borovsky (3-4) @ Robert Hawkins (3-4, 5.74)
Loss, 6-5
. So – yeah, whatever… make it a 4-game sweep. I mean, why not.

And, also... Kirk Johnson went 3 for 4 with a double, a homer, and 4 RBIs in LA's 9-3 win over St. Louis tonight... so, maybe Megan has a plan after all. And, the Barbados Tridents won their inaugural game against the Fairbanks Emperors by a score of 9-8. Diego Mateo, who Yan claimed off of waivers in April, hit a 3-run triple in the top of the 9th to put us over the top. When in darkness, look for the light...And, this is the very last thing - I PROMISE... look at this guy's name... have you ever seen this in OOTP? Is it some kind of weird error?

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Old 12-22-2019, 09:31 AM   #497
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2079 Season (6/2 – 6/4)

Portland Timbers (31-22, .585, 2nd AL West) @ Miami United (28-28, .500, 4th NL East)
At 31-22, the Portland Timbers boast the 2nd best record in the American League and are 4th best overall in the league - they’re a stacked outfit that is every bit on par with clubs like the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and Pittsburgh Steelers with one key difference. Their bullpen, despite being one of the best in the league on paper, is in shambles with an 11th rated ERA. This is, for now, their only weakness. Everywhere else they rate 1st or 2nd with the occasional outlier that sees them ranked 4th (mostly in the pitching categories where their underachieving bullpen is acting as a statistical anchor). A club like ours, low on talent and completely devoid of depth, would like to avoid mixing it up with the Timbers – especially after losing four straight in Phoenix. Nothing good can come of it. Our timing, such as it is, is about as good as can be – Heathcote will miss these games as he serves out the remaining games on his suspension for being the catalyst in a dustup with the Chicago Fire. Of course, we’re also on that 4-game skid I mentioned with a unit whose confidence is stuck firmly in the doldrums. When we arrived back home in Miami, it felt good to be back – to put those last four games behind us, crawl into our own beds, and to have the opportunity to get back at it in front of our supporters – until we looked at the schedule. Back-to-back killers… there’ll be no shelter here.

57 of 162: Leonardo Duarte (4-4, 3.88) @ Jimmy Garcia (0-0, 6.75)
Win, 2-0
. Garcia left early after spraining his ankle on the mound but Saul Guzman (3.1 shutout innings) and CL Harvey Allen (masterful in the top of the 9th) were able to preserve the shutout and bring this one home… Kyle Weaver was the star of the show, a beacon of shiny light amidst the fog, and went 3 for4 with 2 two-baggers and 2 RBI (both in the eight, driven in by one of those doubles). Outside of that one, important moment there really isn’t much to highlight here – a SAC FLY and swiped bag for Watanabe is worth a note, I suppose… but that’s about it. Nice to be home. Nice to get a win in front of our fans and to climb above .500 once again. Unfortunate that we bored most of them to death in this one, though.

58 of 162: David James (1-2, 5.57) @ Randy Kline (2-2, 3.34)
Win, 2-1
. Sometimes Baseball just doesn’t make sense… Kline gave us 7 strong innings, K’d 10, allowed only five hits, and only 1 earned run got past him… Kyle (codename: Tango) and Cash each earned an RBI and our defense turned two nifty double-plays. Interestingly, we have now beat one of the top clubs in the majors twice, in a row, and did so tonight without a single EBH, no steals, while leaving 6 runners stranded.

59 of 162: Peter Parrow (6-4, 2.07) @ Mirko Samsonenko (3-7, 3.72)
Loss, 6-2
. We were this close to going from sweepee to sweeper… but for reality, that cruel bruiser who reared up and smacked us clean in the jaw. So, not much to talk about here – Mirko got murked – he gave up 6 in 7, Brandt committed his second error of the year, Scharmer got hit by a pitch, and we left 3 on base, which, if you’re counting wouldn’t have been enough anyway. Listen, as much as I hate losing, I expected it – so, taking a series off a club as stacked as the Timbers, at home, after having our asses handed to us on the road by the Suns is a welcome respite from our collective, ever-present, existential dread.

Notes: We’re still lodged in 4th on the NL East table… nothing lost, nothing gained over these last three games… Pittsburgh’s Tom Franzone leads the all-star voting in both the National League and all of baseball – he also has recaptured to HR lead with 21 dingers so far (Aitor is in 2nd with 16… here we go again). The 2079 Draft is tomorrow… we have the 3rd pick, but are under no illusion that Mortecai will fall to us…
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Old 12-23-2019, 10:00 AM   #498
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2079 Draft

Top-heavy – that’s how I’d describe the 2079 draft. Normally, that would be a bad thing for me…. I rarely got a top 10 pick during my tenure in LA. This year was different as Orland City was bad enough in 2078 to secure my Miami United club the 3rd pick. And, while we won’t end up with the crown jewel of the draft, we should, if Cheech does his job, end up with something of real value.

The Top 5:

Round 1, Pick 1 – San Diego Chargers: CF Mortecai Flenderson, 21 (San Diego State)
A rangy outfielder with a cannon for an arm, Flenderson projects to be a perennial all-star with world-class base running skills. He should develop good gap power, discipline, and an above-average ability to avoid K’s while also developing tip-top contact and power. Mortecai is as highly touted a prospect as Bulldog Johnson and Boogie Barnett were last year, with the key difference being that the baseball pundits, rival scouts, and fans haven’t found any sign of weakness to pick on prior to the draft… so far, Mortecai is bullet-proof, seen as a can’t-miss prospect who will one day usurp the designation of the best player in the game and, over the course of his career, wreak havoc on the record books.

Round 1, Pick 2 – Dallas Cowboys: SP Jed Fisher, 21 (Vanderbilt)
A power pitcher with good stuff & control… movement will need refinement, but with 5 pitches at his disposal and a keen understanding of how to mix them in, Fisher looks to be the type of high-K guy that will blow the roof off the building with his gas. Great stamina, a keen ability to hold runners, and a Forkball/Fastball combo that gives opposing batters fits. In his last start as a collegiate pitcher, Jed recorded 18 K’s in a complete game, 4-1 win over OSU.

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Round 1, Pick 3 – Miami United: SP Santino Andrade, 21 (Minnesota)
With great movement and great stuff, Andrade is a 4-pitch, groundballer with world-class stamina, a devastating slider, and tip-top work ethic. He was eligible for the draft last season but failed to sign with the San Francisco Seals and instead went back to his native Venezuela to refine his technique. He has a lot of potential stacked neatly into all of the categories required to be great – however, it’ll take some time for him to develop into a top of the rotation type that you can depend on in the Majors. This pick, while not without its risks, could, eventually, pay some huge dividends for us.

Round 1, Pick 4 – Dallas Cowboys: 3B Mahmoud Fakhfakh, 22 (Washington)
Another 2078 hold out who took a year off to refine his skillset after spurning the advances of the Chicago Fire after that year’s draft. Mahmoud is a solid infielder who, according to the OSA ratings, should develop a keen eye to go along with his contact hitting approach. This is the type of guy who makes opposing starters work before teeing off on the bullpen. It should be noted that Cheech had this guy ranked low – he’s gone to great lengths to tell me, over and over, that he wouldn’t have picked him anywhere above the 3rd round.

Round 1, Pick 5 – SP Henry Nunn, 21 (Tennessee)
Nunn is a fine prospect – a power pitcher with a nasty fastball who’s known as a positive presence in the clubhouse. His control is, for now, an issue – albeit one that the OSA scouts believe he will work out in short order. Nunn should, one day, be a 'better than solid contributor' at the major league level – that is, if his fragility will allow him to compete without extended stays on the IL.

A smattering of my other picks…
Supplemental Round 1, Pick 14, 34th overall – LF Jayden Telting, 22 (Binghamton)… a homerun hitter with good discipline at the plate, speed, stealing ability and solid, if not awe-inspiring, range in the outfield.
Round 2, Pick 11, 45th overall – 3B Oberon Huskey, 21 (Duke)… a defensive liability with a little bit of pop.
Round 3, Pick 3, 57th overall – LF Nigel McLennan, 21 (Georgetown)… great outfield arm has some work to do at the plate and really can’t do much of value on the base paths. Hits a lot of line drives, is a gym rat with a superb work ethic, and is generally known as a good teammate. Low ceiling, but good to have around for our other prospects. Glue guy.
Round 4, Pick 3, 87th overall – 2B Rick Casablanca, 21 (Polk Community College)… good speed, solid stealing ability, hits balls deep in the gap but struggles with contact. He’s relaxed and confident, has a good work ethic, and is always respectful – another good glue guy that will serve as an example to his young teammates in Barbados.
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Old 12-23-2019, 12:23 PM   #499
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2079 Season (6/5 – 6/8)

Vancouver Giants (29-28, .509, 3rd AL West) @ Miami United (30-29, .508, 4th NL East)
This three-game set against the injury-depleted, yet still solid, Vancouver Giants will serve as the opening salvo of what will be a 20-game stretch without a day off where we will contest 17 of those 20 games in Miami. And, while the prospect of playing 17 of 20 at home is always welcome, I’d be remiss not to mention that, over that stretch, we’ll be welcoming some heavy hitters, like Pittsburgh and STL, to town. There is no rest for the wicked… and kicking things off against the soundly constructed Vancouver Giants is not the way I would’ve drawn it up. Here is a club that is solid or better in every important statistical category even while they have several key players languishing on the IL… and they have some real pop too – 1st in HRs, t-3rd for runs scored, and a +7.8 base running rating. Vancouver is the type of club that gives game-planners fits… there isn’t any one thing that pops out, nothing that you can tell your notoriously attention-deficient players to focus on – this is a club that is a jack of all trades, master of none. They can beat you in any number of ways, are patient, content to just pick away at you until they steal a win at the end. They are the Lions Gate Bridge personified – they don’t look like much as you approach them and can’t really be appreciated until you look over the side once you’ve reached its apex. Vancouver is no joke, but if they’re looking for a punchline, they may find that we’re their huckleberry.

60 of 162: Adam Gunter (5-2, 4.32) @ Radoslav Borovsky (3-4, 3.55)
Loss, 6-3
. And so, it begins… the season of our discontent. Radoslav gave up 4 runs in 7 innings of work, doled out two free passes, and sent 7 betters back to the visitors’ dugout with their heads hung low… but, C Laz Braun hit a 3 run homer off him in the 7th that put Vancouver up for good and Adam Gunter was strong over 8 innings of work. Felger hit our only extra-base hit, a double, in the 9th that served as a mini-rally for our guys who managed to put up a couple of runs in the frame… too little, too late – the story of my life here lately.

Elsewhere: Palmer Parker, of the Philadelphia 76ers, went 4 for 4 with a triple, a dinger, 3 RBIs, and 2 runs in his clubs 8-6 win over the always tough Golden State Warriors. Palmer’s torrid start to the 2079 campaign continues… he’s currently batting .381 with 11 homers, 43 RBIs, and is trending to an 8.7 WAR. With one Boyce Rigg already under his belt – P-Squared is doing his level best to give Pittsburgh’s Tom Franzone a run for his money in 2079. Oh, and this is important, Palmer’s contract has a player opt-out included after the 2079 season. It’ll be interesting to see where he ends up.

61 of 162: Burt McElheny (7-3, 2.95) @ Kordell Littles (3-4, 5.04)
Loss, 3-0
. 2 of the 3 runs that were charged to Kordell’s account in this one came by way of solo-HR, bringing his 2079 HRA total up to 8 for the season… he was, otherwise, a cut above serviceable for us here. Big Burt had us on a string for 8 innings, he let us put some balls in play for the Giants defense to feast on – we hit into 4 double-plays, got caught stealing twice, and only drew two total walks… where’s our hometown ump? For the second game in a row, we only managed one EBH, a double for Oli Woodward, while the Giants hit 3 doubles and two home runs. This is not how you want to start off a 20-game stretch…

Trade Alert: Yan Welli pulled the trigger on a trade with the Portland Timbers… adding some pitching depth to the big club by acquiring LHP Thomas Deane in return for a low-key, low-upside minor league catcher, Darby Helton, and a CL, Johnson Rivers, who may one day be a top-tier close-out guy. I’d have liked to have kept Rivers, but, let’s be honest – closers, in Strangeverse, aren’t hard to come by. This ‘verse produced a disproportionate amount of high-upside, lockdown closers it seems… with the addition of Deane, Ash Newman heads back to the bullpen.

62 of 162: AJ Hinson (2-5, 6.37) @ Jimmy Garcia (0-0, 3.60)
Loss, 8-4
. Vancouver arrived in town in possession of a large, thick shop broom whose bristly head rivals that of Big Burt’s Magnum P.I. inspired mustache, and, when given the opportunity to use it they didn’t hesitate. Getting swept at the outset of our sturdiest stretch of break-free games of the 2079 campaign is far from ideal, but this is the life I signed up for when I followed Elvira to Miami, transfixed by her gait and held in a state of hypnosis by her choice of perfume… a life where Vancouver’s AJ Hinson hangs a CG on us, one where former Laker, Arnold Webster, scores on us three times and hits a 2-run moonshot, and, finally, a life where Ethan Masson can and will go 3 for 4 with a double and two RBIs of his own… outside of Felger’s double, Magee’s triple, and a steal from Scharmer we didn’t offer much in the way of resistance in this one as Garcia gave up 5 runs before handing it off to Saul Guzman who gave up three more of his own… and all on a night when my marketing department thought it would be a good idea to offer our fan-favorite shrimp ceviche and chowder bacon fries combo at half off. It sounds like a good idea, right? Well, when you run out of the special of the day before the 5th inning, squelch a mini-riot on the concession concourse, and get swept in front of your home fans all on the same day, I think we can definitively say that our marketing department needs a talent infusion that rivals the one our club is in need of.

Notes: We’ve now lost 4 straight games, are 7 ½ games off Pittsburgh’s pace, and have dipped back below .500 for the season… 2-8 over our last 10. SMH. I’ll be spending all my time avoiding Elvira after we return from a short, 3-game set in Leonard Cohen country for 14-straight home games. I’ll need a new place to stay – my only recourse to avoid Elvira and her bodyguard if they were to pay me a visit on the houseboat would be to jump off, and, well, I’m no Jacque Cousteau when it comes to swimming and this houseboat ain’t no Calypso.
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Old 12-23-2019, 05:15 PM   #500
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2079 Season (6/9 – 6/11)


Miami United (30-32, .484, 4th NL East) @ Montreal Wanderers (28-31, .475, 5th NL East)

We can’t stop here, this is Cohen country... it seems clear to me that Leonard Cohen wasn’t a sailor and that when he said, “there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in”, he hadn’t taken time to consider what a crack means to a hull. Ours is a battered vessel, with a cracked hull and tattered sails... it’s not that we wish to keep the light at bay, we can only hope to see it at the end of the tunnel, it’s that our survival requires swift patching to keep the water out. After 4-straight losses, we’re below .500, below average, and at a loss on how to get out of this tailspin... a trip to Montreal, where Wanderers fans look down their nose at our ragtag outfit from Biscayne Bay with open derision, is not our best medicine. Sure, they are ranked lower than us in the NL East, are the worst OBP team in our league, and typically don’t score much – but, they can pitch and that spells disaster for a club like ours that can’t hit (12th OPS, HRs, wOBA) and who, typically, scores even less than the Wanderers do. Look, we’re not exactly in trouble against these guys – Nah, these next three are basically a coin toss, it’s just that we’re in a bad way right now and have struggled to get ourselves on solid ground where we can dig in to make a move. Montreal is unlikely to hand that feeling, that secure sense of self, over to us without a fight and given that our guys haven’t exactly displayed anything even remotely resembling championship mettle, this will be a tough set to navigate.

63 of 162: Mirko Samsonenko (3-8, 3.93) @ Hudson Dorsch (2-5, 3.23)
Win, 6-2
. Mirko sat 6 down over 6 innings and only allowed two earned runs while Early Felger went 3 for 4 with a double and 3 RBIs… Harvey Allen secured his 15th save of the season, we got 2-out RBIs from Woodward and Ives, and snapped our 4-game losing streak despite being caught with our hand in the honey pot (Felger attempted to swipe 2nd in the bottom of the 4th only to be gunned down by Montreal Catcher Ted Victor) and Kemp’s error in the 7th. It was nice to see our side come away with a win here, a convincing one at that, and it’s nice to have snapped our winless streak – let’s just say that this win has filled me with a cautious optimism, the kind of optimism made stronger when aided in its imagination by a nice two fingers of whiskey on the rocks and a fine, Cuban cigar. Given that I have neither of those things with me – I’ll settle for TCM re-runs, lukewarm room service, and pessimism.

64 of 162: Radoslav Borovsky (3-5, 3.69) @ Joseph Grace (6-3, 5.04)
Win, 9-5
. Magee Ives went 3 for 5 with a 3-run HR and Eldin Kemp kept the bats alive in a 2 for 4 performance where he added a double, 2 RBIs, and a run. Borovsky improved to 4-5 on the season, Watanabe went 3 for 5 with a run, we hit 4 doubles and a HR as a team, and stole three bags… when it rains, it pours, and this was easily one of our best offensive showings in some time. With the win, we improved to .500 on the season with a chance to secure a winning record and the series sweep in the last game of this set in Canada.

Elsewhere: LF Lloyd Daniels, of the Los Angeles Kings, went 5 for 5 with 2 runs and an RBI in LA’s 9-4 road win in the Purple Palace at Minnesota. Lloyd is hitting .300 with 3 HRs and 24 RBIs so far this season for the Kings and has managed to stay healthy through 62 games despite his reputation as a fragile, west coast type of player. Also, 2B Johnny Batton, of Vancouver’s AA affiliate Winnipeg Jets, went 5 for 5 with a double, a homer, 2 runs, and 4 RBIs in his clubs 14-2 victory over the Fontana Venom. Batton was named as player of the game for his efforts and is starting to gain supporters willing to designate him as a prospect to watch,

65 of 162: Kordell Littles (3-5, 4.88) @ Julen Morales (3-5, 3.71)
Win, 8-2
. This was a crazy turn of events – to go from being swept to sweeping a club on the road is the type of up & down, swirling motion this season has consistently provided us with… it’s enough for me to consider buying shares in the company that manufactures Dramamine… Kordell was fierce over 7 innings, he allowed 4 hits, 2 runs, doled out 3 free passes, and K’d 5 batters in the win, Oli Woodward hit a 3-run homer, and Eldin Kemp went 2 for 4 with a 2-run shot of his own. Watanabe scored, Weaver hit a SAC FLY, we swiped three bags (Anaconda, Weaver, and Magee did the honors), and secured 3 2-out RBIs. This was a great all-around effort, again, and our most superb series played so far in 2079. And, while this doesn’t mean that everything is clicking, that we are firing on all cylinders, it does mean that we are capable – capable of putting losses behind us, playing at full-tilt despite the betting line, and capable of doing the little things that separate a winning club from one that is going the other way. Good stuff from the ‘Mingos in Montreal, folks.

Note: We’ve improved to 5 ½ games off the pace but remain in 4th place and just one game behind the St. Louis Rams… you have to feel pretty good about this. I certainly didn’t expect to remain in striking distance of the playoffs at this stage of the season, but… here we are, hanging on for dear life and hoping for the best. Some league leaders… Tom Franzone leads the league in jacks at 23, Jo Jo Jackson leads the league in striking out, and our own Travis Scharmer leads the league in thievery.

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