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Old 08-11-2019, 06:28 PM   #281
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2076 Season (6/1)

St. Louis Rams (25-25, .500, 2nd NL East) @ Los Angeles Lakers (32-19, .627, 1st NL West)
Solid… that’s the first word that comes to mind when the subject of the St. Louis Rams comes up. They’re ranked 7th or better in every major category with the only laggard being home runs where they rank 10th. The bottom half of their rotation could use an upgrade, and their bullpen is probably 1 or 2 setup men away from being a noteworthy unit – but, with their 8th ranked development system strangely devoid of legit pitching prospect any such upgrade will have to come by trade. Their lone FA of note, SP Trev Anderson, has mostly lived up to his $45M contract but at 5-4 with a 2.09 ERA, it’s safe to say that the rest of the team isn’t giving him the support he needs when he’s out on the bump. Since his opening day shutout victory over Pittsburgh, he’s gone 4-4 with two no decisions with two of those losses coming on a single run – oh, sure, he’s been blown up a couple of times, but let’s blame everyone else… it’s more fun that way. We won’t see him in this series and instead have 2-5 to look forward to (unless they move him up a day on his next start – entirely possible given that their #5 guy is a complete dumpster fire so far in 2076). This, then, is one of those series – the ones where you are up against a club that doesn’t really inspire fear – they can certainly beat us, it’s just that the fear of being embarrassed, at home, in front of our people, is not at the forefront of anyone’s mind. Probably not a good thing as complacency has been the problem with the Lakers since I came to town – Oscar is gon’ Oscar, as they say. Should be an enjoyable 4-game stretch for our fans – starting with game one when we run our always popular Pepper Bobblehead Pepper Mill promotion. Fans will need to hurry to the park before we run out of peppercorns to fill up their new grinders…

52 of 164: Dimitri Pimentel (3-4, 3.57) @ Dejuan Burns (6-3, 2.83)
Win, 6-1.
A 5-run burst in the bottom of the eighth busts this one open for us as SS Kwaku Kwaku hits a solo shot that got our crowd to their feet, which we followed up with a 3-run ding-dong courtesy of Austin Rollins to keep them standing. Welcome to the Hotel California, Mr. Rollins, may you never leave… Pepper and Oscar each contribute NOTHING, backup Catcher Dylan Tucker drove in two, and Rudolf Caldwell snipes the win after Burns goes 7 innings with 8 K’s and 1 earned. Two errors tonight – both of which were charged to Ethan Mullens out in right field, where, if the rumors are true, some rowdy St. Louis fans were caught using a handheld fan to blow pepper from their new limited-edition Pepper Grant Bobblehead Pepper Mill’s onto the field. Look – I don’t know if it’s true, but how else can you explain all those sneezing fits he was having out there tonight?

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Elsewhere: Gainesville Gamecocks SS, Lockjaw Kuykendall, hit a grand slam in their win over the Coney Island Footlongs in Bush League play – he finished 1 for 2 with a GSHR, 4 RBI, and 3 runs. Also of note – he hit the slam off of a dude named Xander Graybill who is now 0-4 with a 6.66 ERA for the season. So, um, yeah – keep that in your back pocket… you never know when it will come during the next trivia night at your local watering hole. Other outlandish names that competed in this contest? Thaddeus Riccio – kinda weird, I guess. WHO NAMES THEIR KID LOCKJAW, THOUGH?!?

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Also, elsewhere, but not really of note: CF Clinton Wolf, out of the CITY OF COMPTON RAIDERS, went 0-4 with 3 K’s against the Gwinnett Stripers in International League play – I bring this up because, well, I had no idea I had this guy on the roster. He’s an international signee out of Curacao who can run the bases and, well, that’s about it. Killer facegen though – my man has been putting that $1M signing bonus to good use at the buffet it seems…

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Old 08-13-2019, 11:47 PM   #282
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2076 Season (6/2)

St. Louis Rams (25-26, .490, 4th NL East) @ Los Angeles Lakers (33-19, .635, 1st NL West)
So…we put the Rams under .500 in the first game of the series – time to finish what we’ve started and bury them further below the winning percentage version of the Mendoza Line, right? Well, not so fast – this stuff isn’t easy – if it was, anybody could do it. The Rams are still a professional baseball club filled with major league ready talent at every position – this, after all, is where the best of the best play. So, unless we’re playing against a Bush League club – nothing is a given. Sure, we’re getting Nick Colbaugh and his 8.29 ERA tonight – we like that – but, he’s due – he’s a big-league guy, with big-league stuff that is mired in something of a rough patch. Cool, right? Means… NOTHING. He can huck it around a little bit – the kids got a killer slider and a nice changeup that he can mix in with it when necessary. And, yeah, it’s true – we’re trotting Michael Brisk and his perfectly manicured ‘stache out to the mound tonight, but, even a debonair ladies man like Brisky has an off-night every now and then. This is the deal – in baseball, nothing is a given, this **** goes sideways out of habit and you never know what’s going to happen. Here is a win we should get, one that I’d argue we need (they all count, right?), and one that will carry us forward on our quest to immortality. Gotta have it, man.

53 of 162: Nick Colbaugh (2-4, 8.29) @ Michael Brisk (5-3, 2.93)
Win, 8-6.
A back and forth battle – tug-of-war… We’d break this one open in the bottom of the 7th, after a Hollywood rendition of “take me out to the ballgame” and give the hometown faithful something to talk about on their way back to the ‘burbs. Austin Rollins takes the role of Ray Peterson – 3 for 4 with 4 runs, and 2 RBI – Otto is all Art Weingartner – contributes NOTHING – and Mario Marshburn is Mark Rumsfield without the water hose – 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI. Brisky had one of those off nights – your boy gave up 6 in 3.2… earning his pay, and Barbaccia (remember him?) picks up save #19 on a 9 pitch 9th inning where he got two weak grounders and a K. We earned this one like a close decision victory in a world title fight that could have gone either way but didn’t. We’ll take it – secured the series win here and we gave ourselves the chance to get a 4-game sweep – a tall order to be sure, but there’s still a chance. It’s all about the opportunity. Some bad news – we lost Joshua Newman for 4 weeks to an abdominal strain – bummer biscuits. We need him. He’s good at baseball. Note: We brought Nash Aguilar up from Compton after the game as a replacement – it’ll be nice to see him in the Purple and Gold for a stretch – let’s hope he’s up to the challenge.

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Elsewhere: Ash Newman, the Phoenix stud that has been unceremoniously optioned to Tucson, pitched another gem today – your boy posted a CG, 7 hits, 14 K shutout against the Brentwood Beakers in International League play. The Arrowhead won the game by a score of 1-0… so, I guess that was enough run support. The former UAF Nanook struggled against everyone not named the Los Angeles Lakers in his stint in the bigs this year, but has posted a 4-1 record with a 3.96 ERA in the developmental league – let’s hope he is able to fix the hitch in his giddyup… he belongs in a major league rotation.

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Old 08-16-2019, 10:24 PM   #283
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2076 Season (6/3)

St. Louis Rams (25-27, .481, 3rd NL East) @ Los Angeles Lakers (34-19, .642, 1st NL West)
First thing’s first… what does it say about the NL East when a team, in this case, St. Louis, loses 4 out of their last 5 games and still moves up to 3rd in the standings? It’s a sad state of affairs, man. And, if that isn’t enough news of the “sad” variety – in addition to losing LF Joshua Newman for 4 weeks during the last game when he tore an abdominal muscle sliding into 3rd, our Closer, Steven Barbaccia, was injured as well – after getting save #19 he went straight to the training room – diagnosis is still pending… that can’t be good. This one could get interesting really quickly as we are putting Lee Myers on the bump – he gave up 5 over 6 his last time up – given that we really need him to eat some innings here. Game 3 of this 4-game set is up for grabs – a good opportunity for the Rams to pick up that ever-elusive road win.

54 of 162: Octavio Cervera (3-3, 4.18) @ Lee Myers (4-3, 3.80)
Win, 3-1.
The Rams managed to punch one through in the top of the 2nd on a two-out double from 3B Mike Udelhoven – it’s always nice when you hang a curveball to a scrub and he makes you pay for it. 14th double for the serviceable veteran… it’d be a couple of innings before we’d answer back when Ethan Mullens brings Otto home on a well-hit sac fly. We’d get a couple more in the frame – a Larry Williams triple brings Cooke home, and Stan Wilkins manages to bring Williams in during the next at-bat. From there it was all zeros to close it out – with a dicey top of the 9th as Rudolf Caldwell, doing his best Barbaccia impression, picks up his 1st Major League save on 26 pitches.

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Elsewhere… Dallas SS Kalid Zamara – the MLB’s only active player from Saipan, went 6 for 8 with only a single run and a single RBI in the Cowboys’ 7-3 loss against the Green Bay Packers. A wasted effort… interesting score as well – might as well have been a football game, am I right? Kalid was drafted 62nd overall by the New York Jets out of Notre Dame – he’d spent most of his time bouncing between AAA and the Majors before securing an everyday role with the Cowboys in 2075. He’s out there for his defense and baserunning ability – so a 6 for 8 performance, given his poor contact and avoid K rating is something of a surprise. He may never have a more productive day at the plate…

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The Ballad of Adrian Bae… your boy picked up his 4th win of the season (he’s now 4-0 with a 2.67 ERA) in Hagerstown’s 7-1 win over the Decatur Donnybrooks… Bae went 5.1 innings with 1 earned and 1 K – wait just a gosh darn minute – ONE K? THAT’S IT? He managed to keep the ball down & let the defense eat tonight, I guess – 8 ground out & 4 fly outs. This guy is a tough one to figure – he’s a gamer, and has a knack for making his stuff work for him – but, he doesn’t exactly pop out of the box score, does he?

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In other news – the diagnosis of Barbaccia’s mysterious injury is still pending. Can someone tell me just what I pay my medical staff for? How hard is it? Take a picture, check your little medical book, and tell me what the hell is going on with my closer. See? Easy. The Doctors I have on the payroll are charlatans. Hell, I'd have better luck getting a solid answer out of a fortune-teller whose storefront sits in a strip mall sandwiched between a Payless Shoes and a Little Caesar's...I mean, look at this guy - SKETCHY. Got a real Creed vibe, you ask me...

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Old 08-17-2019, 12:16 PM   #284
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2076 Season (6/4)

St. Louis Rams (25-28, .472, 4th NL East) @ Los Angeles Lakers (35-19, .648, 1st NL West)
We’re in the midst of an 8-2 stretch and are playing some of our best baseball so far this year – things seem to be coming together, even if we’ve suffered a couple of unfortunate injuries of late. Neither are deal-breakers – but they’ll hurt. We recalled RP Jonny Garcia from Compton prior to the game – he came to us as a throw-in piece to the Ruben for Archie trade… who we then flipped for Austin, as, I’m sure, you are well aware. Archie, as it stands, is 4 for 13 so far in Seattle – he’s starting to show signs of life… if he can dial it in Seattle can safely say they won that trade – younger, cheaper, and almost as productive (with potential that is as of yet untapped). Garcia had great stuff, an incredible changeup, but he’s also still developing the kind of fastball he’ll need to pair with it as a setup pitch – he has some potential and gave us four innings on the 2nd against STL – we’ll have him in the pen tonight. We’re giving our resident Diva, Otto Isaac, the day off – slotting Ethan in at CF and starting the recently promoted fan-favorite Nash Aguilar at RF. Would be great to get a 4-game sweep before the team heads to Jacksonville.


55 of 162: Masaya Nakagawa (4-3, 4.66) @ Phillip King (5-4, 2.92)
Win, 4-3.
The Rams would draw first blood in the top of the 4th when Austin Matthews brings in Jonah Dove on a double and then scores a run of his own from 2nd on a single from DH Mark Gibbons. Nakagawa is pitching well through three – only allowing a single hit (though we’re hoping that the 3 walks he’s allowed are a sign of things to come)… We’d get one back in the bottom of the frame – Kwaku hit a single along the 3rd base line that brought Nash in from 2nd – nice to see Aguilar having an impact. I’m pretty high on the guy – but, it’s difficult to find room for him in my crowded outfield. We managed to take a 1-run lead in the bottom of the 6th – Aguilar plates again & Dontrell Gay picks up his first RBI of the game… We trot Rudolf Caldwell out to close the show – but, he’s not up for it, gives up the ghost, and allows the Rams to knot this one up in the top of the 9th… Isaac comes in as a PH to lead off the bottom of the frame and… hits a double that would have exited the park if not for the 15 MPH wind blowing in from LF… and in the next at-bat, Lonzo Gonzo sneaks a dribbler through the infield and Otto legs one out from 2nd for the walk-off! What a glorious way to close out a 4-game sweep. Dig it.

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Still no news on Barbaccia… Craziness. I might have to pay a visit to Tova Kove in NYC while I’m in town for the draft – I need a psychic intervention here.

Elsewhere… LF Otis Murray, of the Orlando City, is having himself a good season thus far – he leads the National League in WAR at 3.3, boasts a .381 average, and has 4 HR’s, 25 RBI, and 35 runs. At 33-years old, and becoming increasingly fragile as his age advances, the 4-time all-star is quietly putting together what may turn out to be the best season of his semi-illustrious career. City is Murray’s 4th club – he was drafted out of San Diego State by the Steelers and toiled with their floundering club for 7 seasons before being shipped off to Green Bay. After playing out his contract with the Packers, he signed with the Sounders for 3 years, won a title with them in 2073, and after another season decided to exercise his player option to become a free agent – his decision to join City, presumedly to kick it with Nacho and his band of good time boys on their historically ho-hum ballclub, was something of a head-scratcher… why join a club that really has no chance? Could have something to do with the fact that he was born and raised in Sunset, FL, but still – you only have so many reps in you, why waste them plying your trade for a club that isn’t committed to winning? I guess $30M over 3 years may have had something to do with it.

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Next up… 2076 Draft (where we have the last pick of the 1st round…) & a 3-game set in Jacksonville against the AL East-leading & defending champion Jaguars. Interleague silliness is my least favorite kind of silliness.
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:43 PM   #285
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2076 Draft (6/5)

2076 Draft (6/5)
We’d have to sit on our hands for 17 picks before getting a chance to find a diamond in the rough… Some early surprises: SS Toddrick Carr goes 3rd to the Vancouver Whitecaps – let’s see if he signs with them, I have my doubts. IMHO he’s the only real sure-thing in this year’s draft – he really is a can’t miss guy with generational upside. Two pitchers go before him, both will be solid at worst or all-stars at best – still, passing up a potential generational talent, who plays SS – questionable. The first three position players drafted all play the SS position – 2076 is a bumper crop for infielders – with Oliver Vallee, out of Wyoming, being drafted 8th by Minnesota (a nice pick from Shawna and her brain trust – he’ll be an all-star eventually) and Ron Henry, out of Boston College, going 9th to the 49ers.

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Round 1, Pick 18: Owen Mack, 2B, Vanderbilt Commodores – Mack can hit, the kid rarely strikes out, has good contact and a little bit of pop… he can also wreck the base paths, which we like, but his fielding has a good distance to go before we trust him to take over 2B on the big club. The Cerritos, CA native has a ton of upside, good work ethic, and is super intelligent – the only red flag is that he is kind of a loner, doesn’t mix it up with his teammates much, but, at least the guy has a reputation for working incredibly hard – a few seasons in Compton should bring this guy out of his shell and get him sorted.

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Round 2, Pick 15: Zion Herrera, C, Wyoming Cowboys – I went against my scouting director on this guy. No reason really, outside of his work ethic and baseball IQ he doesn’t have much that stands out. He’s got a chance at being solid – probably not a starter at Catcher unless he finds himself on a lower-tier club. Great catching ability, good eye at the plate, and, well – that’s about it. But, whatever – it’s all a crapshoot at this point in the draft anyways.

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Things went downhill fast for us at the end of the 3rd round – we picked up Paul Bryant, a Left-Fielder out of Tennessee whose upside is likely as AAA filler & future BL starter. We round it out with a guy named Pete Glass who is unlikely to stick and an SP named Luke Hazelwood out of Florida – he has a lot of work to do, but my scouts are high on him and tell me he may turn some heads after a few years of development… time will tell, I suppose.

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Old 08-17-2019, 01:53 PM   #286
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2076 Season (6/5 – 6/7)

Los Angeles Lakers (36-19, .655, 1st NL West) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (30-23, .566, 1st AL East)
A 3-game set against the team that broke our hearts in last season’s World Series - doesn’t get any better than that, am I right? Gross. Would have preferred a run through the AL West for our interleague play this season - less travel, a set in Seattle, a chance to enjoy some Texas Bar-B-Que... but, alas, it was not to be - so, instead, we settle for a trips to Wisconsin, Florida, and Toronto (hey, I love Toronto - fun town). Jacksonville is every bit as good this season as they were in 2075 - however, with Luc Felix our for the season, a repeat championship will require their entire staff to step up to carry the load left in his absence. That’s a tall order - but, one they are more than capable of pulling off. This is a historically successful if at times unlucky, outfit with a Front Office who are among the best our league has to offer. Theirs is the model most try to adopt - a nearly impossible feat for most (though Philadelphia looks like they have pulled it off so far in 2076 with every single one of their offseason moves paying dividends thus far). The Jags get **** done - point blank - their starters are lights out (1st in the AL) and they are solid enough at the plate to give them all the run support required to secure their share of W’s. Also, it doesn’t hurt that 1B Jeremy Glickstein is tearing it up so far - .285/9/33 - the Captain of their offense is performing at a clip that rivals some of the best in the game, even though he’s not really one of them. Leading the way for All-Stars like Isidro Lutz (who’s getting a little long in the tooth) and Telma Tavares who have both eased their way into a groove this season and are starting to perform like you’d expect players of their caliber to do. We’re in a good way right now, but if there’s any team who is adept at killing a vibe, Jacksonville could wear that title as well as anyone.

56 of 162: Nat Millard (4-1, 2.64) @ Gary Benoit (6-2, 3.49)
Win, 3-2.
As expected, this was a tightly contested tilt in Florida – Nat Millard gave us 7 solid innings of work, allowing only 2 earned and striking out 6, and Dom Cooke finished at 2 for 4 with a 2B and a run. Benoit was solid – better than solid really – and left the game at the end of the 6th with only 1 earned run charged to his account – the bullpen, specifically, Anderson Parker, was the culprit here… he gave up a game-tying homer to the resurgent Otto in the 8th and the game-winner on a run-scoring single courtesy of Lonzo Gonzo that brought your boy Nash in from second. Scrappy, my club has some scraps – 6 straight W’s for the good guys now. Let the good vibes wash over you like glitter in the rain – who knows when this will end…

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Ugh… stupid, stupid game… Barbaccia is out for 2-months with an elbow strain. Dumb. Bright side… we called Newton Wiser up from Compton – let’s see if the young(ish) prospect is ready for primetime, shall we? The future starter (I think) will join the pen as a Long Reliever for now…

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Elsewhere… Palmer Parker, out of Philadelphia, went 5 for 6 with a two-bagger, and RBI and 3 runs in Philly’s victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy in interleague play today, and CF Norris Flattery drove in 6 runs off of TWO 3-RUN HOMERS… that’s called having yourself a game. The 6ers won by a score of 13-3. Just smashing clubs…

57 of 162: Dejuan Burns (6-3, 2.67) @ Joseph Hinder (1-0, 1.00)
Win, 5-1
. We’re so locked in right now – it truly is a sight to behold. Dejuan goes 7 innings of 5-hit ball and allows only 1 earned run and Larry Williams drives in 2-runs in the 1st inning during a tone-setting 4-run start to the contest. Otto, Rollins, Cooke, and Marshburn all score, Pepper contributes a couple of RBI’s, we steal two bags and turn a snappy DP in this one – dominating every facet of the game on their turf. A small measure of revenge against the club who broke our hearts? Sure. But it’s the micro-victories that you must savor on this long slog of a baseball season. Sidenote: All-Star voting update was delivered today – Otto leads all vote-getters so far at ~900K, Palmer Parker is 2nd at ~830K…

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58 of 162: Michael Brisk (5-3, 3.49) @ Matthew Krebs (2-6, 4.43)
Win, 3-2
. SWEEP – MAKE THAT TWO SWEEPS… IN A ROW. This is a form I haven’t seen too much of… We survive a CG performance by Krebs, Brisky goes 8 strong with only 2 earned, and Cooke, Williams, and Pepper drive in a run each – Grant’s was on a solo home run in the 3rd that put us up 3-0. Glickstein does his level best to keep his club in the game – he went 2 for 3 with a run, but Tavares & Isidro continued to struggle in this series, both contributing nothing of note to the cause. A nice pitchers duel in this one, with Brisky coming out on top – we stole a couple more bags, Rudolf gets his second save in Barbaccia’s absence, and we got another Marshburn-Williams-Rollins DP on the books for the Quick Pitch crew…

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Elsewhere: Harlem Peterson, of the Montreal Impact, hit two out of the park today against the Golden State Warriors – the Impact lost the game though by a score of 5-3. Harlem can’t do it all by himself. Not to be outdone, Tom Franzone of the Pittsburgh Steelers blasted two moonshots of his own and totaled 4 RBI in their 15-2 win over the Dallas Cowboys – take that Harlem. In another 2 HR performance, this time out of the International League, DJ Wilders of the Calgary Flames, hit 2 bombs, scored 3 times, and drove in 3 runs in their 12-6 win over the Huntington Beach Bombers. Wilders has put four seasons of work in at the AAA level and his hopes of ever making the big club are quickly fading – this performance will give him some hope for a while though. Oh, and, there’s more… 1B Micky King, of the Gainesville Gamecocks, went 2 for 4 with, you guessed it, 2 HR, 5 RBI, and 2 runs in their 15-12 loss against Decatur… King washed out of AAA after only two seasons and has spent the last couple of years in the BL – first with the Blowfish and now with the Gamecocks on a $169K 1-year deal. There’s still light at the end of the tunnel – but the batteries on his flashlight seem to be a little low.

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Old 08-17-2019, 03:41 PM   #287
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2076 Season (6/8 – 6/10)

Los Angeles Lakers (39-19, .672, 1st NL West) @ Green Bay Packers (33-25, .569, 1st AL East)
After dispatching Jacksonville from their roost atop the AL East, we meet the newly appointed division leaders in Green Bay. I should clarify that statement, though, as “we” will not be meeting them in Green Bay because I’ve elected to head back to LA to take care of some housekeeping while the club bides their time in that lonely Wisconsin town… don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Green Bay – they have a few breweries I like to frequent whenever I find myself in their town – but, I’m tired after spending a long couple of days in NYC for the draft before heading down to Florida to join the team. I’m also the GM – so, yeah, I do what I want. This year’s model of the Green Bay Packers is built on pitching – 3rd in RA, 2nd in Starters ERA, 3rd in Bullpen ERA – and paired with a middling offense in need of new blood – 8th or 9th almost everywhere except Base Running where their +10.8 rating is top of the pops. They lost 3B Austin Tolzmann for 10 months due to a torn posterior cruciate ligament (also known as creaky knee) earlier this month and will undoubtedly miss the .418 average he was putting up, but 1B Quinn Charvart is still in the lineup – the consensus #1 rated 1B in the AL is batting .376 with 8 ding dongs and 42 riblets so far – putting together a pretty fierce campaign thus far, and at only 24-years old, his is a name we may hear often in the years to come. Always fun to play in Green Bay, even if the nightlife leaves a bit to be desired, as they have superior fan interest (96) and great fan loyalty – the stands will be full of drunken behemoths singing songs about beer, cheese, and beer cheese soup.

59 of 162: Lee Myers (5-3, 3.55) @ Don Gadient (4-4, 2.98)
Loss, 4-3
. All good things must come to a resounding thud… like taking a log of provolone to the face. Myers lasts 5, gives up 3 earned, Johnny Garcia gives up another in 3 innings of work, including the walk-off single to John Negrete in the bottom of the 9th. Otto finished 2 for 4 with a couple of runs, Ethan struggles in a 1 for 5 performance, and Pepper drives in a run – he’s been quietly consistent lately. Losses are always tough to take, and a walk-off at the hands of the Packers can be tougher than most, but the fact that I caught this one from the comfort of my couch made my decision to skip the Green Bay trip seem like a great idea in retrospect. Now, I need to find a taco truck somewhere nearby that is still open so I can get some tacos al pastor and eat my feelings.

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Elsewhere… the Ballad of Adrian Bae: Your boy was, well, dominant – 7.2 IP, 4 H, ZERO EARNED, and 9 K’s in a winning effort. Hagerstown continues to dominate in Bush League play, they are now 26-12 and in 1st place of the Independence Division with a 4 ½ game lead over the Naperville Nibblers. My rule that I don’t simply buy him out and put him back into the fold is getting harder and harder not to break – I could use him right about meow… but, alas, we have to let OOTP have control here and see how this thing plays out – there can be no outside interference into the Ballad of Mr. Bae.

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60 of 162: Phillip King (5-4, 2.88) @ Dacquan Lyons (4-2, 2.98)
Loss, 4-0
… Oof. Shutout in GB – that’s not wonderful. Lyons gives the Packers 6.2 innings before handing it off to the pen, who finish the job with the aplomb and dignity befitting a lactose intolerant prom king in a dairy town. Out their hotdogging and carrying on – we won’t forget this Mr. Surber and Mr. Hag – your day will come. We only manage 6 total hits in this one with one each for Otto, Dom, Austin, Williams, Pepper, and Marshburn. Just not our best effort here – oh, and Marshburn left in the 5th after hurting himself while running the bases – he’s listed DtD for a couple of weeks, so nothing to get your panties in a bunch about. 2 losses in a row, though? That’ll do it.

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Elsewhere… Former Packer, and 36-year old grandpa, Sherman Hardcastle went 4 for 5 with a Grand Slam in the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 8-4 win over Orlando City. He got the hit off of RP JJ Chavasse in the top of the 9th – that’s dramatic. Chavasse has struggled a bit this season – he currently has a 6.86 ERA and has blown 3 saves in his last 5 attempts… that’s not how you secure career longevity guys. Also, in international league play we had 3 CG shutouts – Dontell Willburn (Gwinnett Stripers) pitched a 2-hitter with 11 K’s, Justin Lynch (Salem Silverbacks) pitched a CG 5-hitter with 8 K’s, and KJ Judd (Mexico City Diablos) pitched a CG 4-hitter with 9 K’s.

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61 of 162: Nat Millard (4-1, 2.63) @ Truman Phillips (4-4, 5.16)
Win, 6-4
. We avoid the sweep here even though Nat gives us his worst performance as a Laker (5 innings, 4 earned), as Ethan Mullens (2 for 4, HR, 2 RBI, R) and Dontrell Gay (2 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI, R) propel us to victory. Austin finished 3 for 4 with a run, Kwaku drives in two, Pepper scores a run, and Otto does nada… 0 for 4, 3 K’s – somebody stayed out too late carousing with the local talent, eating too many cheese curds, and drinking way too many IPA’s. I just don’t know about that guy sometimes – he’s a poor decision-maker… I mean, IPA? Get a lager, friend, save your taste buds… from what I hear, he went through 12 IPA’s like a hot knife cutting through buttah… he won’t be able to taste his food for a week.

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So, the team is headed home, where their subpar effort against the Packers will be rewarded with a day off before we welcome the Phoenix Suns to town. We have a 10 ½ game lead on the Suns – looking forward to keeping it that way.
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Old 08-17-2019, 06:24 PM   #288
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2076 Season (6/12 – 6/14)

Phoenix Suns (27-31, .466, 4th NL West) @ Los Angeles Lakers (40-21, .656, 1st NL West)
Ah, the Phoenix Suns – that underachieving mess of a club that came crashing down into the desert like a giant radioactive meteor that has, instead of enlarging the local ant population, made their home town faithful stay as far away from the club as they can. Attendance, local television ratings, merchandise sales are all down, the team is hemorrhaging money, and their once-vaunted Minor League System comes in at a paltry 6th in the rankings. Their offense, led by 23-year old wunderkind SS Ray Gerhold has been stellar – 1st in Avg, OBP, OPS, and wOBA & 3rd in RS, bWAR, and HR’s. Unlike their offense, however, their pitching is in shambles – just shuffling along like a zombie that got kneecapped by some thug with a tire iron… 11th in Starters ERA with 3 of their 5 hurlers flexing a 5.5+ ERA, 8th in FIP & RA, and 7th in Bullpen ERA. Let’s call it what it is – their staff is a dumpster fire, a blaze that has spread so quickly that the Phoenix Brass has no idea what to do about it – they sent Sanchez-Flores down to Tucson after a solid start to the season, moved Cam Murphy to the rotation (where he was pretty solid), and bumped a struggling Julen Morales out of the Ace spot – only to recall Sanchez-Flores today, move Cam back to the pen and demote some scrub MR that had no business on the big club in the first place. Messy business, you ask me. Of course, this is coming from a guy that demoted Phillip King (our leader in K’s so far this season), moved prospect Newton Wiser into the #5 spot on the rotation, and brought Mason Sandoval back up from Compton so I can watch him, and his 6.11 ERA, lose us some ball games in relief. So, yeah, maybe I’m in no position to cast aspersions on my peers who came from the desert…

62 of 162: Julen Morales (3-5, 5.67) @ Dejuan Burns (7-3, 2.55)
Loss, 12-3
… the last time Julen pitched against us, we charged 5 runs to his account in 4 innings – no tip & a ****ty comment on the rating card… this time, well, not so much – Julen had us on a string for 7 innings where he allowed 8-hits, 1 earned, and struck us out 7 times – and that offense, yeah, they played pretty well, I guess. RF Burton Darden hit two out, one on Burns and another on Olsen (he’d add 5 RBI too), and CF Jason Bland went 4 for 6 with a triple, 3 RBI, and 2 runs. Burns got burnt – toasted, roasted, and crispified – 2.2 innings, 6 hits, 2 walks, SEVEN earned runs – yikes, these savages may have ruined him forever – gonna have to shop this guy around now that the Phoenix offense have all but eviscerated his soul. We hit 2 doubles, a triple, and a HR – but, who really cares – we lost by 9 runs. Nothing matters, no matter how “good” it is when you lose by 9 runs.

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Elsewhere… David Arney, of the Los Angeles Galaxy, spun a CG 5-hit shutout with 14 K’s against the Golden State Warriors – the Galaxy won the game by a score of 8-0 – not wonderful news for us as we are both playing at home over the next 3 days – so while we are on the other side of town getting kicked in the teeth by the Suns, the Galaxy, and their snooty, uptown fanbase are busy enjoying an 8-0 shutout.

63 of 162: Patrick Keith (1-2, 2.41) @ Michael Brisk (6-3, 3.38)
Loss, 7-1
… Good grief. Another day, another shellacking – Keith pitches a CG, 1-run gem for Phoenix, he had stellar command and mowed down every single one of our guys who were not named Austin Rollins (2 for 4, HR, RBI, R) and Gianni Berghuis (a 2B that they got by trade from Dallas) went 4 for 4 with a GS that he put under Brisky’s name. There really isn’t much to parse out here – Otto sucked, Pepper was trash, Ethan had an empty 2 for 4 day, and our leadoff guy, Lonzo Gonzo struck out 3 times.

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Elsewhere: Weston Spann, of the Calgary Flames, tied the International League record with 3 home runs in a single game – for the contest, an 11-4 win over the Hartford Whalers, Spann went 3 for 4, with 3 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R, and 2 BB’s. The effort moved him into the #2 slot on the Top Game Performances (Batters) table behind Hudson Collier who went 3 for 5, with 3 HR, 7 RBI, 4 , and 3 BB’s against the Salt Lake Alpines on Cinco de Mayo as his club, the Buffalo Bills, defeated the Alpines by a score of 13-12. So far this season, Spann and Collier are the only two players to post a game score of 100 or better in the International League – the MLB has had only one player post a 100+ score in 2076 (Adam Collins – Minnesota Timberwolves) and the Bush League has had 4 players post a 100+ game score – Archie Hineman (Hagerstown), Jon Bunch (Dearborn), CJ Morris (Nolanville), and Brian Bradford (Decatur) have all accomplished the feat so far…

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64 of 162: Jack Sanchez-Flores (3-4, 5.64) @ Lee Myers (5-3, 3.66)
Win, 6-0
… we avoid the sweep for the second series in a row and exact a small measure of revenge by sending Phoenix on their way with a shutout – Myers gave us 5 innings of 3-hit baseball, he allowed nada and struck out 6 and Dom Cooke went 2 for 4 with a double, 3 riblets, and a run. RP Johnny Garcia gave us 4 innings of work in relief – he was stellar, economical, and dominant in his time on the bump – 1 hit and 4 K’s on a total of 55 pitches (35 for strikes), Rollins put one out of the park, we got two DP’s and every single starter registered at least one hit for the game – nice to see the club shake off the last two and bounce back for a dominant win.

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Elsewhere: Adrian Bae put in 4.1 innings of work for Hagerstown today in an effort against the Nolanville ‘Nauts – he gave up 5 hits, no runs, and struck out 5 – but, was pulled early after hitting a pitch count of 75. Hagerstown lost by a score of 8-4 and used 7 total pitchers during the game – some weird managerial decisions in the Bush League. In other news… Rad Taylor got the start for the Calgary Flames against the Hartford Whalers – he went 5.1 innings and gave up the only run scored during the game – taking the L despite allowing only 5-hits and dealing 6 K’s – without bad luck, Rad would have none at all. Grimm McGowan, the Whaler who pitched against him, went 8 strong, gave up 3 hits, no earned while walking 3 and striking out 4. I’m also inclined to give him the nod in the battle of first names – Grimm, it’s got something snappy, I think.

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Last edited by pauwoo; 08-17-2019 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:14 AM   #289
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2076 Season (6/16 – 6/17)

San Francisco 49ers (31-31, .500, 2nd NL West) @ Los Angeles Lakers (41-23, .641, 1st NL West)
When 37-year old SP Matthew Townsend went down with a season-ending injury, torn rotator cuff, on 5/21, it was a huge loss for the club. He’s been a leader and top performer for them over the last 3 seasons – winning 18 & 19 games in 2074 & 2075, respectively. Last season, his best as a professional, he took home the Pacheco Award – but, now, given his advanced age, his future is in serious jeopardy. It’s difficult to suffer a loss like that and not just call it a day for most clubs – but, the 49ers have pitching depth and could use it to overcome his loss. It’s just that, well, they haven’t – because the universe hasn’t let them… they’ve since suffered season-ending injuries to SP Pascal Paiz & SP Alex Gillentine which has left their rotation a mess – and, that’s not all as Outfielders Brady Till and Kyle Denham are both out too… for the year. It’s a hard thing to swallow – here’s a club that should be giving us a run in the NL West who has been devastated by the injury bug – ligaments stretched to their limit… their positional depth razed by the barbarians at the gate whose primary target is your health. As a result, the 49ers fulcrum point has shifted and they’ve struggled to maintain any sense of balance – remnants of what could have been shine through here and there – they are 1st in Bullpen ERA, FIP, Pitching WAR – but mostly they’re a puzzle that was cut with a dull jigsaw which has created a situation where it’s difficult to make the pieces fit even when you find a match. Their offense has taken a nosedive – 9th in RS, 8th in AVG, and 11th in bWAR – and their pitching (outside of the pen)/defense hasn’t fared much better – 8th in Starters ERA, 8th in dEff, and 11th in ZR. For a club that is only a mere two seasons removed from winning the whole thing, it’s difficult to see how they will be able to avoid a tailspin that finds them mired in a period of inadequacy for years to come.

65 of 162: Foster Bantel (1-2, 3.86) @ Nat Millard (5-1, 2.98)
Win, 5-2
. Nat bounced back nicely from his last disastrous performance and gave us 6.2 innings of work where he only gave up 2 earned runs – this is not to say that he was back to his old self – 7 hits, 5 walks – but, he got the W and seems headed in the right direction… Dontrell went 2 for 2 with a run, Ethan finished at 2 for 4 with an RBI, and Kawku hit a solo HR in the 5th that led to a 4-run frame that got us the lead for good… the Otto-Rollins-Pepper triumvirate went a combined 3 for 11 with 4 K’s between them, and Rudolf continues to perform well as our de facto closer, earning his 4th save of the year.

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Elsewhere… When the Portland Timbers put 33-year old RP Patrick Zimmer on the waiver wire, I put in a claim on a lark – surely someone else would go after this guy… he’s been a rock-solid bullpen guy for the last 4 seasons and was selected to the All-Star team in 2070. So, when I got him, well, it came as something of a surprise. Not sure how this move will end up for us – but, I’m excited to see this one play out. This move means that Mason Sandoval, who took losses in both of his outings since joining the big club, will be sent back to Compton – if the 4 innings he pitched for us since the 12th are any indication, Sandy needs a sturdy amount of seasoning before he’ll be ready to contribute at the level required. Also… sidebar… Lockjaw Kuykendall, of the Gainesville Gamecocks, was at it again tonight – he went 3 for 5, with 2 doubles, a homer, and 5 RBIs in their 7-5 win over the Beaumont Bullies…

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66 of 162: Alex Gillentine (1-7, 4.47) @ Newton Wiser (0-0, 0.00)
Win, 5-2
. Newton’s 2076 MLB debut could not have gone any better… he was locked in for us in this one, an 8 inning, 6-hitter where he only allows two to come across and K’s 5, and Caldwell managed to get his 5th save on the year (he was a bit shaky but managed to get it done). Outside of Otto who went 0 for 5 with 3 K’s, everyone on the offense is serviceable – Dom, Ethan, Williams, Stan Wilkins, and Kwaku all drive in a run, Lonzo Gonzo lifts a bag, and we’d hit three doubles in the contest… we did what we were supposed to do here – nothing more, nothing less. So, it’s off to the showers, then home, then back at it against the Impact for a 4-game series in LA (in fact, it’s all home cooking for us for an 8-game stretch as Philly come in for 4 after Montreal).

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Last edited by pauwoo; 08-18-2019 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:24 PM   #290
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2076 Draft (6/5)




Round 2, Pick 15: Zion Herrera, C, Wyoming Cowboys – I went against my scouting director on this guy. No reason really, outside of his work ethic and baseball IQ he doesn’t have much that stands out. He’s got a chance at being solid – probably not a starter at Catcher unless he finds himself on a lower-tier club. Great catching ability, good eye at the plate, and, well – that’s about it. But, whatever – it’s all a crapshoot at this point in the draft anyways.
I have to admit, this is totally the type of player I routinely target. The Denver Brewers organization is becoming loaded down with high defensive value, poor hitting, decent to great walk rate catchers with strong positive character traits. Can't really say whether it's paying off for me, but I figure with the scarcity of great hitting catchers, I can at least get some Gold Gloves out of the mix. And just hope it has enough of a positive impact on our pitching staff to counteract all those empty AB's.
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:30 PM   #291
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Oh, and apropos of nothing, I think Palmer Parker should marry Parker Posey. I mean, it's 2076 so pretty sure she's long gone. But maybe she has a grand-daughter named after her.
And then maybe she could hyphenate her name: Parker Parker-Posey.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:38 PM   #292
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I have to admit, this is totally the type of player I routinely target. The Denver Brewers organization is becoming loaded down with high defensive value, poor hitting, decent to great walk rate catchers with strong positive character traits. Can't really say whether it's paying off for me, but I figure with the scarcity of great hitting catchers, I can at least get some Gold Gloves out of the mix. And just hope it has enough of a positive impact on our pitching staff to counteract all those empty AB's.
Kid hasn’t signed yet. He’s playing hard to get. Also, strange how it’s 2076, yet most of my references are from the 90s. Ha! Parker Posey Rules!
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