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Old 07-30-2013, 12:36 PM   #1
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Danger!

Duluth Danger Of The HBL
1978-Present
Online League Franchise



The Duluth Danger is one of twelve members in the Heartland Baseball League, an online association established in 1978 (now 1990). I've been the General Manager of Duluth since the inaugural season, leading the franchise to the Championship in 1985 and 1989. The Danger have earned the fifth best All-Time record in HBL history with a mark of 870-858. This Dynasty is designed to document my franchise as we continue to pursue our first Heartland Series title. I hope you all enjoy. I try to keep this as organized and easy to track as possible, but if there's anything additional you'd like to view, go ahead and check out the HTML reports link included below.

The Official HBL Dynasty Report can also be found here.
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Duluth - 1985/1989 North League Champions!



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Old 07-30-2013, 12:41 PM   #2
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Duluth's Longest Tenured Player Outraged -- Wants Traded
April 16th, 1987



Usually when you have a player that has been apart of an organization for seven seasons, management displays respect for that players commitment by granting them a position in the starting lineup, so long as they aren't too old and decrepit. In the case of Bryant Parsons, Duluth's longest tenured veteran, he can still knock the cover off the ball, but is being denied an opportunity to start with the club. As expected, he couldn't be anymore irate.

Parsons is thirty-two years old and statistically at what should be the very peak of his career. Known for his inability to stay healthy, Bryant's career numbers have been hindered by nagging injuries that seem to reoccur on an annual basis, limiting him to under 100 games in each of the last four seasons. Despite his absence from the field, the moments in which he is playing for the Danger have produced very impressive numbers. As a career .312 hitter, Bryant has batted over .300 six times in his career going back to 1978, made two All-Star appearances, and finished the most recent season with a .297 average in 192 appearances. Numbers that should certainly warrant him a position in the lineup, though Danger GM Gavin Giles had other thoughts...

"Parsons has paid great tribute to the city of Duluth and it's fans, and we appreciate very much his commitment to Danger baseball. However, though I do contest that he is certainly capable of producing big numbers at the plate, Duluth has an entourage of young bats coming up that we'd like to get a look at. His injuries have hurt his reliability. That's what this is about. It has nothing to do with talent, because he has it. We just need a healthy bat we can count on for 500 plate appearances."

Recent reports have indicated that Parson's has gone as far as 'demanding a trade' to the front office. No teams have yet expressed interest, but the season is young.
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Duluth - 1985/1989 North League Champions!


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Old 07-30-2013, 01:04 PM   #3
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Top Prospect Sanders Shines In Rookie Campaign
May 1st, 1987



Two weeks ago, you would've called Duluth Danger outfielder Michael Sanders a prospect. However, given his performance in these first four weeks of the 1987 season, such a reference could be deemed a subtle slap to the face. Sanders was visibly upset last season in 1986 when he was forced to spend the entire season with Triple-A Akron, despite putting up numbers worthy enough to give him the 1986 Outstanding Hitter Award at the highest minor league level. The near 23 year-old sensation concluded last season with the Gladiators with 49 home runs, 142 RBI, and a .334/.403/.712 slash line. He set the Triple-A all time records for total bases with 332, home runs, and RBI.

It wasn't until the following season when Danger general manager Gavin Giles finally decided to recall the superstar to the big club.

"Those that have followed Duluth baseball over the last few years know that we have an unfortunate history of calling players up before they're ready. I have such high hopes for Sanders, that I didn't want to make the same mistake that I did with...well, I won't mention names (Alfred Warren)." Giles explained "He's going to have every opportunity to be a superstar here. I know some people feel like I was holding him back last year, but I feel it was best for his development"

From his performance through the month of April this season, it's safe to say that Sanders, a third round draft selection in 1983, has already established himself as a star. In his first twenty-four games, Michael is tied for the HBL lead in home runs with 8 while also driving in 21 runs (tied for 7th), and a 1.030 OPS. Following the first two weeks of the season, Sanders was moved up in the lineup to the lead-off slot, where he is expected to remain for the rest of 87'.
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:25 PM   #4
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Update From The Front Office:
May 1st, 1987
Team Record: 13-12
(4th Place In North, 5.5 GB)

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Awesome sim in the latest stretch for the Duluth Danger! Where do I start? We finished 8-5 during the last two weeks, swept Rochester in a three game series at their own park (our biggest rival), and Logan Gleeson was actually half decent for a change. Oh, and we stayed completely INJURY FREE!

A few changes were made to the active roster beforehand. Superstar closer Bakhitiyar Davis accepted an extended role in the bullpen, which will result in him getting a few more innings of middle relief while continuing to close. He doesn't have a lot of juice, and he's getting old, so I'm not sure if that's going to put too much stress on his arm or if it'll be beneficial, but regardless, it's worth a gamble.

I've also extended the contract of 2B Darrel Moon, and immediately am regretting it. Moon has been pretty worthless this year, with a 'wrecked' injury history and a .238 batting average in 1987, I'm really not sure why I felt such a strong urge to give him a contract. That's why you don't make negotiations late at night...

Michael Sanders is perhaps the biggest story of the sim. He was complaining like a little baby about not being 'at the top' of one of the most stacked starting lineups in the league as a freaking ROOKIE!? Looks like he was right afterall though, because he's tied for the league lead in home runs and somehow has one more bomb than my prized third-baseman John Newman. It's like the Mantle-Marris home run race back in 1961 for the Yankees. Granted, though it's smaller stage, I hate seeing anyone outhit Newman. Apart from Bakhitiyar Davis (who I swear I have a man-crush on), he's easily my favorite guy on the roster.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:40 AM   #5
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Ramirez Rumors Shot Down, Yates Returns To Minnesota
May 1st, 1987



There was a lot of hype amongst media officials in recent weeks in regards to a potential deal in the works to bring former first overall pick Jose Ramirez to Duluth from Jefferson City. Sorry to disappoint you, but officials are reporting that Danger GM Gavin Giles has shot those discussions down quickly after realizing the asking price was 'too high'. That's probably for the best considering Duluth already has a decent shortstop in Mike Young, though some additional depth would've been useful. Regardless, one cannot overpay for depth, and Giles appears to have grasped the concept.

Instead of the original blockbuster proposal, Giles settled for bringing two bullpen prospects to the club by dealing star outfield prospect Joe Sullivan to the Jackalopes. Yes, the rumors are true, Michael Yates is back with the team that had originally drafted him back in 1981. Yates is regarded by many as one of the best bullpen prospects in the minor leagues, and was acquired along with a mediocre closing prospect in Andrew Wegg.

After being reintroduced to the organization, Yates was quoted as saying "It's great to be back. I spent the first five years of my career working for an opportunity to close for this great franchise, and it's nice to know my dream could still be realized. I'd like to thank the Jefferson City club for allowing me to continue my career and giving me a chance to develop in their farm system."

Duluth had previously traded Michael Yates to the Canton Kernals in the deal that brought now Cedar Rapids catcher Dave Cook to Minnesota. When his contract expired at the end of the 1986 season, Yates was questionably released by Canton and signed to a minor league contract by the Jackalopes.

He is expected to be the successor in the distant future when the dominant era of Bakhitiyar Davis and Tom Simmons comes to an end.

Andrew Wegg was assigned to Triple-A Akron, while Joe Sullivan similarly will be joining the minor league club with the Jackalopes.
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Duluth - 1985/1989 North League Champions!



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Old 08-01-2013, 02:35 PM   #6
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Update From The Front Office:
May 16th, 1987
Team Record: 21-19
(3rd Place In North, 6.0 GB)

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Despite going 8-7 this sim, I can honestly say without hesitation that I've never been more disappointed in my club. Our offense saved our butts on multiple occasions, otherwise we would've won two, maybe three games. We managed to post a team ERA for these fifteen games of 6.99, but it would've been closer to 10.00 if it hadn't been for the efforts of Gerald Humphrey, the only guy in the starting rotation who's performance was even satisfactory.

Duluth surrendered more than ten runs seven times in the last two weeks, highlighted by 15 to Springfield on May 7th and 12 to Jefferson City on consecutive nights. The Danger also set the All-Time HBL record for most runs surrendered in a sim with 119. How does that happen? It's one thing if our rotation was filled with a bunch of scrubs, but I've built my team around pitching, and to see us to succumb to such filth is disappointing.

Take a look for yourself...

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As for our offensive performance, I've very pleased. Michael Sanders had another big stretch with a pair of four hit games, including one on May 2nd in which he shot one triple and three doubles. The following night he belted two home runs, and now has 11 on the season (2nd in the North League). In his rookie season, Sanders is batting .338 with 11 HR, 12 SB, and 34 RBI, leading the Danger in each of the three Triple Crown categories.

As a team, the Danger managed to lead the entire Heartland League during the sim in batting average (.308), OBP (.367), and hits (159). Not bad. At least that gives me something to be happy about.

Transactions:
- After a 6.65 ERA to start the season, George Graves has been demoted to Triple-A Akron
- Duluth signed free-agent closer Eugene Dean, and placed him on the 25-man roster.
- Alfred Warren will join the rotation from the bullpen following Graves' demotion.

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Old 08-03-2013, 02:41 PM   #7
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Update From The Front Office:
June 1st, 1987
Team Record: 31-22
(Tied 2nd Place In North, 2.0 GB)


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After finishing 10-3 in the latest stretch, the Danger managed to catapult themselves into a tie for second place in the North League standings. Unfortunately, despite such a strong showing, the Oshkosh Outlaws performance in the last two weeks was equally as strong. On the positive end, Duluth did manage to charge the Outlaws with two of their three losses in a three-game series. The formally first-place South Bend Silver Sox slipped after a 4-9 sim, while Bay City also put on a good show at 8-5. The four clubs seem to be setting the pace for what could be a solid race in the North in 1987.

Now let's look at the numbers for Duluth! The dynamic duo of Michael Sanders and John Newman put on a dominant showing in the last thirteen games, with Newman batting .440 with 5 HR, 16 RBI, and a 1.389 OPS and Sanders batting .345 with 5 HR, 15 RBI, and a 1.058 OPS. Sanders performance comes after being moved from the lead-off slot down to third in the lineup both against lefties and righties.

The pitching staff was much stronger this time around. Nobody really overwhelmed the opposing batters, but nevertheless were consistently effective. The 8th and 9th inning men, Bakhitiyar Davis and setup man Tom Simmons, each worked nine full innings out of the pen and allowed just one run. Davis, returning to his usual dominance, struck out ten.

As a team, Duluth finished in 1st place in the HBL in batting average in the last two weeks for the second straight time, batting .312 in 459 AB's. Pitching ranked second in the league In ERA at 3.35 behind the Jefferson City Jackalopes. Not much to complain about there!

Highly regarded future ace of the Duluth staff Gerald Humphrey improved to 6-0 on the young season, while Alfred Warren posted a 4.50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in his first two starts since being called upon from the bullpen.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:19 AM   #8
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Second Baseman Moon Claimed Off Waivers
June 17th, 1987



Following a well documented effort to remove star second-baseman Darrell Moon from the payroll, the Duluth Danger have at last been relieved of their obligation to pay out the remainder Moon's three year $1,200,000 contract through 1990. Moon was claimed off waivers by rival Rochester on June 6th, granting a sigh of relief to GM Gavin Giles, who has been actively shopping Darrell in recent weeks.

Moon is now thirty-five years old and among the most decorated athletes in Heartland League history, having appeared in eight All-Star games, winning three Best Fielder Awards, and ranking second on the All-Time hits leaderboard with 1,483. Following eight seasons with the Poplar Bluff Predators, Moon was signed as a free-agent by the Danger on January 1st of 1986. The same season Moon went on to post a .338 AVG, .385 OBP, and 51.4 VORP in 143 games. Due to an overstocked infield, the Danger were forced to choose between the younger option, 2B Preston Richards, or rely on the aging Moon -- favoring the ladder option.

The loss of Moon was a major blow to the fans of Duluth, having been regarded among the most popular players in town.

"I just don't understand the logic in the front office." said Carson Trayner, a longtime Danger supporter "The fans loved Moon. He brought a lot of enthusiasm to the ballpark. He's a legend, you know. Even though he wasn't here for very long, it's just the fact that he's been so successful in the league for years that created all the hype. I'm disappointed. It's a tough loss."

In related news, the Danger also placed MR Wayne Miller on waivers, and he has since been claimed by the Canton Kernals organization.
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Duluth - 1985/1989 North League Champions!



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Old 08-08-2013, 02:10 PM   #9
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Update From The Front Office:
June 16th, 1987
Team Record: 40-27
(1st Place In North)


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As a result of a seven game winning streak that lasted from June 7th to June 13th, the Danger have found themselves atop the North League standings at the mid-season mark. The historically dominant Oshkosh Outlaws are the closest competitor currently in the standings, though only with a one game advantage over Bay City and South Bend who follow closely behind.

It's certainly exciting to be in first, but please keep in mind that our success in the latest sim was highly influenced by the fact that Duluth played some of the weaker teams in the Heartland League...

2 Games against Evansville (23-44)
3 Games against Rochester (23-44)
3 Games against Cedar Rapids (27-40)
2 Games against Dayton (29-38)

The only truly difficult games we had during this stretch were the two against Springfield (40-27) and two against Jefferson City (34-33). In those four games, the Danger went 1-3.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:05 PM   #10
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Alfred Warren - The Most Hated Man In Duluth, June Pitcher Of The Month?
July 1st, 1987



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His name -- or at least the one that appears officially on his birth certificate, is Alfred Warren.
Although if you were to be present in the audience at General Mills Park at any point during the last few seasons, the titles bestowed upon him would've had a far harsher connotation.

When Alfred Warren was selected with the second overall pick in the 1982 first-year player draft, it was the first managerial move in the career of Danger GM Gavin Giles. Warren was a flame-thrower from the University of Wisconsin, coming off a senior season in which he went 9-3 with a 2.20 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 12.09 K/9 ratio. Scouts were projecting stardom for the young phenom, as was the Duluth fan-base.

The following season, without even a single game of seasoning in the minor leagues, Warren was promoted to begin his career in the Heartland Baseball League -- a decision that would later haunt Giles five years later.

Though the demise of Alfred Warren as a public enemy in Duluth can largely be attributed to poor decision making on behalf of the Danger staff, baseball has taught us time and time again that it's fans do not allow much room for sympathy and understanding. The inexperienced Warren struggled in his rookie season with a 6-12 record, 5.01 ERA, and 1.77 WHIP. When Giles at last opted to demote Warren to Triple-A in 1984, it was too late -- the damage to the former #9 Overall Prospect's development had already taken it's toll.

"I felt like the weight of the world had been placed on my shoulders. The year before I got drafted, Duluth was a last place team. They called me up because they wanted an immediate impact, and I just wasn't ready to deliver for them. The fans gave me hell. I received death threats. It was an ugly ordeal." - Warren, via phone-interview with ESPN

Warren spent the next few seasons being bounced back and forth between Duluth's bullpen and starting rotation, with several brief stints in the minor leagues leading up to 1987. Now on the verge of his 27th birthday, his potential may have finally been realized.

As the month of June 1987 came to a close and monthly awards were handed out, Alfred Warren's name stood atop the candidates, having been named the North League Pitcher Of The Month following a month in which he boasted a 4-1 record, 2.16 ERA, and 37 strikeouts. On the season, Warren is currently 7-3 with a North League leading 2.68 ERA as of July 1st. Warren also currently showcases the lowest H/9 ratio in the North at 6.94 and opposing batting average at .207.

"I've always felt somewhat responsible for the flack that Warren received from the fans. I never should've called him up when I did. The fans demanded that he essentially carry a last place team to the championship, and that's simply not realistic. You can't expect that out of a kid fresh out of college." - Duluth GM Gavin Giles

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Old 08-09-2013, 08:24 PM   #11
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Blockbuster Deal Brings Pair Of Legends To Duluth
July 1st, 1987



With the Oshkosh Outlaws and Duluth Danger currently deadlocked in a tie for 1st place in the North League standings, the two teams have reached a BLOCKBUSTER deal that essentially will force Oshkosh to hoist the white flag in the air for 1987, in favor of getting younger for the future.

The Outlaws have traded a pair of future Hall of Fame arms to the Danger in 33 year-old SP Terry Knight and 35 year-old closer Larry Stanley. Also included in the package is Stanley's long-time setup man Jasper Saunders. Knight and Stanley, prior to the trade, were two of only six players in the entire Heartland League that have been with the same organization since the inaugural season ten years ago.


Knight - Stanley - Saunders

The trio of arms will add a total of $775,000 to the Duluth payroll, putting the organization only a few thousand below the league salary cap for 87'.

In return, the Danger have shipped an entourage of young minor league talent, highlighted by 1986 first-round draftee and 14th ranked prospect Timothy Hill, third baseman Brian Terry, and recently acquired single-a closer Earl Phillips. Also included in the deal were a pair of minor league catchers, Tony Bacon (AAA) and Bill Henry (A).

"In the long run, the Oshkosh organization will surely benefit form this move." commented Duluth's GM Gavin Giles "This move is going to severely limit the playoff potential of Oshkosh in 1987, and they're right there with us in the standings. The players we've acquired are veterans -- guys that have been to the postseason before and won rings with Oshkosh. I expect them to be leaders both on and off the field as we strive for a title."

In his illustrious career, Knight ranks second on the all-time wins leaderboard with 137, first in strikeouts with 1770, and has won three Heartland Series titles while appearing in five.

Larry Stanley has the lowest career WHIP of any pitcher in baseball at 1.07 and has been elected to six All Star rosters. He is projected to be placed in the second setup spot behind current Duluth closer Bakhitiyar "Pasta" Davis and setup man Tom "Barracuda" Simmons.

Saunders has been a member of Oshkosh since 1980 and was elected to two All Star teams in 1981 and 1983.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:40 PM   #12
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Not often, will we see an awesome deal between two top teams, in the SAME Division!!! ... very BOLD!!!
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:59 PM   #13
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Wow!

Odd time to raise the white flag...
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honorable_Pawn View Post
Wow!

Odd time to raise the white flag...
Thank you for reading!

It was moreso that Oshkosh was getting older and realized their window for opportunity was closing unless they struck a deal. I was desperate to win, so I made a lopsided trade. They got the better bargain, they just traded in this season (or so I thought).

Unfortunately, the following sim which happened this morning resulted in them still in 1st place with a .5 game lead over Duluth. Their GM just made another transaction this morning to bring the 1986 Batter Of The Year to the Outlaws, so he hasn't given up.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:00 PM   #15
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I like your style. I'll be following fo sho
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Old 08-11-2013, 01:35 AM   #16
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Update From The Front Office:
July 16th, 1987
Team Record: 53-42
(2nd Place In North, 0.5 GB)


Remember when I said that the last move with Oshkosh was essentially an unwritten agreement that the Outlaws were to bow out of the race in 1987? Forget it. In an early afternoon deal, the Outlaws have acquired a number of professional caliber players by making two trades with the Dayton Dawgs and one with the Jefferson City Jackalopes. The most notable acquisition for Oshkosh was...wait for it...the defending South League Batter Of The Year -- Ray Gray. I'm not going to go off on a rant to explain how big this move was. Click his page if you want to see how incredible he's been the last few years.

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To the overwhelming majority of general managers in baseball, to be successful is to win the league championship. As for me, I've always been more ambitious when I compete. I guess I have that New York Yankee mindset where I take pride in being the very best not just in one season but throughout the history of a given league. That's my goal with Duluth, and that's why I'm so hesitant to jump for joy when my team is in 2nd place.

Two weeks ago I made the decision to trade away some of the very best prospects in my farm system to the Oshkosh Outlaws in hopes of giving the Danger the advantage headed into these final couple months. Thus far, that plan has all but blown up in my face. As much as we continue striving to eliminate the other three contenders in the race, each week the standings are as close as can be between the four teams in the top echelon of the North League.

While the Duluth lineup continues to lead the North in batting average behind Palmer Cooper (.327), John Newman (.310), Michael Sanders (.300), Andrew Rodgers (.316), and Melvin Shields (.311), the starting rotation continues to be characterized by inconstancy. It's one thing to have a bad rotation and know you have a bad rotation. It's an entirely different animal when you have a rotation that can't make up it's mind if they want to be the best in baseball or the worst.

When I traded for prized pitching sensation Terry Knight in the Oshkosh deal, I fully expected him to jump right in and continue where he left off. Nope. Through his first four starts in Duluth, Knight is 0-3 with an ERA over 15. Normally, I would write such a poor performance off as just a bad stretch, but frankly, we can't afford a bad stretch right now. Duluth isn't just competing against the Outlaws, we're competing against two other legitimate pennant contenders in Bay City and South Bend. There is no room for error.


To conclude, I'll leave you with one more reason not to root for Outlaws...

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Old 08-11-2013, 11:21 PM   #17
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Here's a look at the mid-season stats if anyone is interested...

The season is 144 games long.

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Old 08-14-2013, 02:28 PM   #18
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Monthly Magazine: July 1987
Vegas Odds' Favor Oshkosh, Duluth Slips

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Despite posting a winning record (7-6) in the last two weeks, the Danger couldn't seem to sidestep a seemingly inevitable decline in the North League standings following an explosive stretch for the Outlaws (10-2). That's the bad news. The good news? Bay City has all but bowed out of a previously four-team battle. The Lake Monsters demise came at perhaps the most inopportune point in the season, going 0-6 in a pair of series against Oshkosh and South Bend during the week of July 19th. At the end of the month, Bay City now sits a distant nine games back of the leader.

Duluth was actually given a golden opportunity to conclude the month of July tied for 1st place when they were slated to face off against Oshkosh for a pair of games on the 30th and 31st of the month. As luck would have it, the pitching staff was less than effective in the pair of games, allowing nineteen runs in the two-game series. The Danger are now just 6-11 against the rival Outlaws this season.

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----------------------------------------
Sanders Named July Batter Of The Month

Following a less than spectacular month of June, Duluth's prized rookie outfielder Michael Sanders shined like a gem in July! The now 23 year-old Sanders was recently moved to the fifth slot in the lineup, but that didn't seem to effect his swing in the slightest. Sanders played in 27 games this month, batting .311 with 9 home runs, 22 RBI, and 28 runs scored, enough to grant him the Batter Of The Month award for July.

The Duluth lineup has similarly been insane this year. Although we aren't scoring as many runs as other teams (4th in the NL in RS), the production we're receiving from the top half of the lineup is just ridiculous. In Heartland League history, only a mere three players have ever hit 40 home runs in a single-season. Duluth has three players that could realistically come very close to the milestone in John Newman (30), Michael Sanders (27), and Andrew Rodgers (25). Furthermore, all but one member of the starting lineup is either batting over .300 or within .006 points of .300. Take that Oshkosh!

All Star Teams Announced -- Duluth With Six!

The commissioners office has selected the rosters for the upcoming 1987 All Star Game, and six of them will be proudly wearing the Duluth colors!



3B John Newman (3rd Appearance)

RF Michael Sanders (1st Appearance)

SP Alfred "Public Enemy" Warren (1st Appearance)

C Melvin Shields (4th Appearence)



CL Bakhitiyar "Pasta" Davis (8th Appearance)

1B Andrew Rodgers (3rd Appearence)


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Old 08-14-2013, 02:33 PM   #19
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A news release from Oshkosh, courtesy of Outlaws' GM Eli Levinowitz.

Quote:
A Change of Course

On July 1st, the Oshkosh Outlaws waived the white flag. Gone were three key members of their pitching staff, jettisoned to division rival Duluth, and rumors swirled of an Outlaws fire sale. Perennial all-stars Rob Clemons and Pat Best had their bags packed, expecting to be the next two dominos to fall.

Everyone expected the Outlaws to lose – the media, the rest of the league, even some of team management – everyone except the Outlaws themselves. Refusing to quit, the Outlaws dug deeper and continued to win ball games.

The defining moment came on July 7th, the last game of a 3 game set against Duluth. The Outlaws won the first game of the series but their bullpen blew game two. Another loss would put the Danger ahead of the Outlaws in the standings, perhaps this time for good. Former Outlaw Terry Knight took the mound for the Danger in game three, eager to show up his former ball club, but instead got walloped. Knight got thumped over 1.2 innings, surrendering 8 hits and 6 earned runs en route to a 7-3 Outlaws victory.

The Outlaws kept fighting, and more importantly kept winning. Just 3 short weeks after waiving the white flag the front office began to change course. Instead of subtracting from the current nucleus of major league talent, the Outlaws canvased other organizations for players ready to contribute in 1987.

The first order of business was restocking a depleted bullpen. Gone was Larry Stanley, the only closer Outlaw fans had ever known. Stanley, in a contract year, was in the midst of the worst season of his 10 year career. Instead of reupping on Stanley with a multiyear extension, the Outlaws flipped him for promising young prospects then backfilled the bullpen through trades with Dayton, Evansville, and Jefferson City.

The Outlaws also added two difference makers to the lineup in shortstop Ray Gray and right fielder Brian Jackson. Gray, last year’s South League MVP and a 6 time all-star, was formally introduced at yesterday’s press conference.

“It feels pretty good,” Gray joked with reporters, “I mean, I gained like 16 games in the standings overnight.”

Gray, along with new outfielder Brian “B-Jac” Jackson legitimizes the Outlaws lineup, and the two certify the HBL North franchise as the frontrunner to capture another pennant.

The playoffs still loom a month and a half away, and for once the North race may be exciting to the very end; however, Outlaw fans must be feeling a lot better now than they were a few weeks ago.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:41 PM   #20
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Extension Talks Silent -- Decisions Still To Be Made
August 1st, 1987

Heading into the final stretch of the 1987 campaign, a trio of talented players on the Danger's 25-man roster remain unsigned with just a few short months remaining until players will file for free agency. Among an extensive list of minor leaguers with expiring contracts, Duluth outfielder Palmer Cooper, shortstop Mike Young, and recently acquired reliever Larry Stanley, are the only HBL players who may not be returning next season.

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OF Palmer Cooper

Palmer Cooper has been a member of the Danger since 1982, and is perhaps the most unlikely candidate of the three to receive an extension, despite very stellar numbers thus far in 87'. Now that outfield prospects Emilio Cruz, Michael Sanders, Danny Koch, and Buck Kleeman are all ready for the show, the soon to be 35 year-old Cooper could be deemed unnecessary financial baggage. Nevertheless, Cooper should not be ruled out for an extension entirely, having already posted a 17.4 VORP in 1987.

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CL Larry Stanley

You could essentially flip a coin with Larry Stanley. The Danger already have a spectacular but aging bullpen and a payroll hovering around the leagues five-million dollar salary cap for the next two years. Don't expect to see Stanley back in a Danger uniform unless he can agree to a one-year deal with less money than he's accustomed to. I wouldn't rule him out entirely, but don't cross your fingers on this one!

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SS Mike Young

Finally, we have Mike Young. Young is going to be resigned, it's just a matter of time. Danger GM Gavin Giles has been very high on Young throughout his career, having praised him as one of the most underrated players in the Heartland League. Young is a speedy infielder with a great glove and the ability to hit for average. Furthermore, it should also be noted that the Danger have a very thin degree of depth at the shortstop position, and Mike Young still only 26 years-old.
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