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Old 07-06-2019, 04:07 PM   #241
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2075 Playoffs NLCS (10/19)

Montreal Impact (5-3) @ Los Angeles Lakers (4-1), Game 2 (MTL lead 1-0)
After a forgettable game one, where we were out of it after the flop even if we did catch some good cards at the river, we intend to charge the field with a renewed focus and steely resolve. Actually, that’s just me saying that – no one in the clubhouse said anything of the sort, instead it was business as usual – cool, calm, and collected. I wish my confidence was as unwavering – but, it’s not – far from it in fact. Montreal showed the ability to jump on bad pitching – and while we’ve been serviceable on the mound so far in the playoffs, we’ve rarely been great. To silence Montreal’s bats, we don’t have to be great – we just can’t be whatever it is that Brisk was in Game 1. As I’ve said before, he certainly looked the part in Game 1 – a quality that is emphasized in La La Land – but he couldn’t quite play it, and in the meritocracy that is professional baseball we stack our weights on the field of play, and Brisk couldn’t quite measure up. With Dejuan on the bump today we expect – NAY, demand – better results. It’s funny – I have a tendency to add undue import on games throughout the season, tossing around the term, “must-win”, out there with the reckless abandon of a young college co-ed on their first spring break vacation without their parents – but, if ever there was a game that we simply had to win, I think this is it. If only for my sanity – to keep my blood pressure in check – and to, for one more day at least, keep my job security in the green.

Side note: Shawna Betts is in town. She’ll be joining me in the owner’s box for the game, where our topics of discussion will almost certainly include the rumor that a cadre of influential owners, still hot over her outright thievery of OKC’s team, is pushing the expansion agenda again. An aggressive expansion agenda that, in addition to the reintroduction of the Oklahoma City Thunder, would bring 3 additional clubs into our league. With clubs in Colorado, Ottawa, Miami, Washington DC, Columbus, Indianapolis, Boston, Calgary, Monterrey, and Anaheim under consideration. With the list of owners attached to the rumor, and given their influence over this league, there isn’t much we can do to stop it, so I expect that Shawna will be pushing the agenda to gain my owners cooperation in making sure that if OKC does make a reappearance in the MLB it will happen in the American League. Should be a fun chat to have during an intense and important game 2.

Julius Trowbridge (1-1, 16.20) @ Dejuan Burns (1-0, 2.16)
Trowbridge was destroyed his last time out – 6 earned in 0.2 innings of work – laid to waste… Montreal’s castle was razed and there appeared to be no survivors. So, seeing him get the nod here is nice, but hardly comforting – the Bahaman hurler has a sick fastball and a dag nasty slider when he has his command. He’s also the type that operates on an even keel – and islander through and through. Today, he rode the tack and righted the ship until a rogue wave in the bottom of the 5th, which came in the form of a 3-run double courtesy of Mr. Pepper Grant, knocked him back off course and gave us a much needed 2-run lead. We’d manage to hang on to it and take Game 2 by a score of 4-2. A critical win for us here – exaggeration be damned – Dejuan gives us 7 innings, allowing 2 runs and striking out 8, and Kawka goes 2 in relief, allowing nothing to reach home and racking up 3 K’s. Pepper’s has been our offensive story so far – that’s fun, but not the kind of fun that will propel us into the next round – and Otto seems to have stepped out of his mini-funk with a 1 for 3 day and run scored performance. We’ll head to Montreal next – a long flight with nothing to think about – for a couple in their ballpark. We need to get them both, but will settle for a split – anything else would be uncivilized.

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Old 07-06-2019, 06:00 PM   #242
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2075 Playoffs – ALCS (10/20)

Jacksonville Jaguars (7-3) @ Chicago Fire (7-4), Game 3 (Tied, 1-1)
As the Jaguars make the trip to Chicago for Game 3 of their 7-game series against the Fire, I can’t help but feel that with their Game 2 loss, they’ve lost control of this series. Of course, Jacksonville is a well-built club – dominant over large stretches during the regular season and more than capable of getting back on track – so, my gut feeling could be wrong (I’m probably just hungry). In this tilt, however, they find themselves looking out at Trev Anderson from the Batters Box, and while there are far worse sights to see from that vantage point than the former 10th overall pick out of Duke, he’s been on something of a tear here lately – all quality, though his quantity could be improved upon. The Brooklyn born & bred hurler has fantastic stuff – with a forkball, fastball, and slider that have a place amongst the elite versions in the MLB. He’ll be tough to hit – and this one may be decided based on his performance. If I was a betting man, I’d take the Fire in this one.

Joseph Thompson (0-0, 5.40) @ Trev Anderson (1-0, 2.16)
Anderson – for all my hackneyed build-up – gave up a lead-off double three pitches into the game to Billy Brown, who’d steal 3rd and score a couple of batters later, and Trev would give up two more runs before getting out of the top of the 1st. Hmm, I may have been right about the outcome of this game being dependent on his performance (and it's a good thing that I am, in fact, NOT a betting man)… He’d give up one more before getting yanked in the 7th. Thompson, on the other hand, dazzled, sparkled, shined throughout this one – 6 innings with only 5 hits and no earned runs to aid the Jaguars in their cause. The Jags would get this one by a score of 4-0, shutting out the home team & embarrassing them in front of their wives, girlfriends, mistresses, family, and friends. Jaguars DH Burton Darden (A restaurant owning snowboard enthusiast – fresh powder and cedar plank salmon?) went 2 for 3 with a couple of RBI’s and Mercury Aghajari & Isidro Lutz both drove in one of their own – a dominant effort from Jacksonville and a tough loss to bounce back from for the Fire… This one is heating up.

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Old 07-07-2019, 12:14 PM   #243
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2075 Playoffs – NLCS (10/21)

Los Angeles Lakers (5-1, On Road: 2-0) @ Montreal Impact (5-4, At Home: 4-0), Game 3 (Tied, 1-1)
Something’s got to give – we’re a perfect 2-0 on the road in the postseason while Montreal is 4-0 at home – there is no cooking that the Impact like better than home cooking. It’s a difficult transition when you leave LA and then step out of the plane in Montreal 5-6 hours later – going from the mid-’70s to the mid-’40s is a jolt to your system. It is beautiful though – with the fall colors in full swing and if you don’t mind a little rain, there is plenty to do with your downtime. It’s all about layers – Montreal likes to mix it up a little bit in October – you have to be prepared for anything. We have a 3-game set to get through – so downtime will be nonexistent – and like the October weather that typifies their city, the Impact might have you thinking it’s going to go one way before coming at you with something else – their staff throwing lightning bolts, while the lineup brings some thunder. This can be a hard team to figure – they’re versatile, and if you spend to much time trying to adapt to what they’re doing, you’ll only find yourself lost – and by then, it’s too late. So, these three games can’t be about them – we can’t look to be a counterpunching, technical foe – all feints and footwork. Nope, these next three are about us – about what we want to do… they’re going to be about Otto doing Otto type ****, about Pepper peppering the gaps with timely base knocks, and about our staff getting into their heads and making guys miss. We have to take the center of the ring, cut them off, stick the jab out there like it’s the piston of a well-oiled machine, and finish them off with a little bit of that head-body-head.

Case Tunnel (1-0, 4.26) @ Norm Rodriquez (1-0, 4.09)
After securing the 1st out of the game on a weak fly-ball, Case walks two straight and gives up a well-placed base knock to Mack Ramirez that brings Thiago Leyva home – then, another weak fly-ball for an out, followed by an RBI single for Easton Thorn that brings Harlem Peterson home… SMH, this is not how we want to start this road trip – already low on gas, with a couple of the wheels threatening to come off. We enter the top of the 2nd in a 3-run hole – that’s gross. Equally gross – the Owner’s box smells like cheese curds and maple syrup – I’m not sure what is making me feel sicker, our start or that smell. By the bottom of the 3rd, however, the tide had changed – a 4-run top of the 3rd for the La La’s makes it 5-3 in what has been a wild Game 3 thus far. In the end, we walk away with a clutch, hard-earned 7-6 victory. Joshua Newman plays the hero in the top of the eighth with a two-out, run-scoring single that puts us up for good. Ruben Zarate and Nehemiah Jenkins get 2-RBI each, and David Cooke plates twice. Both starters are yanked by the 3rd inning in this one and our bullpen triumvirate of Guzman-Miyakawa, and Kawka find a way to get it done by allowing only 4 hits over 6.2 innings of work collectively. We’ll get at least one more home game now – but, still have some work to do here while we are in Canada.

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Bonus Coverage: Jacksonville Jaguars (8-3, On Road: 2-2) @ Chicago Fire (7-5, At Home: 4-1), Game 4, JAX leads 2-1
A critical game for the Fire, who put on a show in the bottom of the 7th that puts them up for good – a tightly contested 5-4 win against the rock-solid Jacksonville Jags. Chicago SS Joshua Norman hit a 2-run, game-tying double in the bottom of the 7th and Chicago’s bullpen overcomes an early injury to Starter Cao An to put together a solid team-effort, all hands on deck win. With the series now tied 2-2, we have a 3-game series to figure out the ALCS. After some rough patches for the Chicago pen, Closer Roddy Ossa gives the home-team 2 great innings of relief – allowing only a single hit and striking out 3 for his 4th save of the postseason.

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Side Note: Before I forget – the Coney Island Footlongs won this year’s Bush League Title in a 4-0 sweep over the Columbia Blowfish. They outscored the Blowfish 36-18 for the series, and 35-year-old 3B Cordell Harris took home the MVP honors. Cordell played in the majors for 10 seasons, split between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Portland Timbers. He made 1 All-Star team while in the MLB, earning the honor in 2070, and has plied his trade in the BL for the last three seasons with stops in Decatur and Coney Island. Harris had a solid MLB career, but there were always persistent rumors that his work ethic was questionable and that his commitment to his craft was often nonexistent – he always preferred carousing with the locals after the game instead of recuperating and making sure he was ready for the next one. So, he’s a fun first kind of guy who did it his way, and a guy who may not be remembered much for his MLB career but one who has 73-million dollars in the bank to show for it – not a bad trade-off if you ask me.

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Old 07-07-2019, 02:09 PM   #244
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2075 Playoffs – NLCS (10/22)

Los Angeles Lakers (6-1, On Road: 3-0) @ Montreal Impact (5-5, At Home: 4-1), Game 4, LAL lead 2-1
I spent the early morning hours taking in the sights and sounds of the Parc du Portugal - contemplating our good fortune and trying to figure which 3rd story window Leonard Cohen spent his mornings looking out of. I’d like to think that this year's version of the La La’s would be poem worthy - one where everybody knows that the good guys lost - but I’m sure that his attention would have been turned elsewhere for inspiration - he wouldn’t have been bothered with something so trivial. Of course, there is nothing trivial about this to me - up 2-1 in a series against a serious club where the result will be representative of a lot of long nights, hard work, and perseverance. A baseball season is such a long and arduous slog - suitable only for those among us who have the sturdiest of constitutions - guys like Julen Morales, our game 4 starter, whose journey from Venezuela to the bump today could fill a poem book on its own with nary a haiku within its pages. At 18-7 with a 3.09 ERA for the season, Julen has been among our most consistent performers. Bringing superb stuff and a devastating changeup to pair with a filthy slider, Morales can give you fits. This will be his first start against the Impact in 2075, an introduction of sorts... let’s hope he makes his presence felt from his opening toss, and that he asserts his authority early and often. A good result here puts us firmly in control, gives us some breathing room - and with oxygen in short supply during the postseason let’s just say that a win would beat the light-headedness a game 4 loss would most assuredly usher into our clubhouse.

Julen Morales (1-0, 2.70) @ Ferdinand Loving (1-1, 3.24)
Julen comes out in the 1st dealing – 3 up, 3 down – but gives up a solo HR to Jayden Russell in the bottom of the next frame. We’d get it back in the 3rd when Clay Daniels gets a double on an error, steals 3rd and is brought home by Ethan Mullens – the manufacturing plant is open, y’all. From there nothing is getting through for either club – we have ourselves a little bit of a pitcher’s duel with Julen giving up 5 hits through 7 while Ferdinand has held us to 2 hits. We bring Kawka in for the 8th, he promptly ruins it by loading the bases and throwing beach balls – he’s easily one of the most frustrating guys on my squad (the Winter Meetings can’t come soon enough) – 1 plates, Montreal takes a late 2-1 lead. All is made right with the world when Heath Valdes comes in to relieve Ferdinand and gives us his best Josiah Kawka impression – we get one over on a Pepper sacrifice to knot it up. Kawka settles in and gives us a rock-solid bottom of the 9th… and we’re going to extras. In the end, we give Kawka one chances too many by allowing him to pitch the bottom of the 10th and he rewards us by giving up the game-winning HR to C Joseph Furst – who prior to Josiah’s gift was hitting a paltry .171 in the postseason. Baseball sucks.

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Bonus Coverage: Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4, On Road: 2-3) @ Chicago Fire (8-5, At Home: 5-1), Game 5, Series Tied 2-2
Luc Felix (3-0, 0.34) @ Tom Wallace (0-1, 0.00)
Jacksonville does what we were unable to do – persevere and win an extra-innings tilt on the road. RF Paul Swift is your wannabe walk-off hero today – his solo shot in the top of the 10th seals the deal in this one, a 3-2 for the club from Florida. Jeremy Glickstein finished 2 for 4 with an RBI for the Jags, and Starter Luc Felix put in 7 solid innings of work for the winner. Tom Wallace, in the performance of a lifetime, goes 7-strong, shutout innings, but his work is all for naught as Roddy Ossa goes from hero to zero and blows the save, he’s now 4-1 in save situations during the postseason. Mercy, Roddy, say it… tough loss for the Fire.

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Old 07-07-2019, 03:13 PM   #245
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2075 Playoffs – NLCS (10/22)

Los Angeles Lakers (6-2, On Road: 3-1) @ Montreal Impact (6-5, At Home: 5-1), Game 5, Series tied 2-2
While I wanted a stroll through the Parc du Portugal to be the daily ritual that carried me through a 3-game sweep and series win over the Montreal Impact, I’m forced to abandon it after being gutted in extras last night. So, instead, I head out for a stroll through Mount Royal Park with Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain blasting through the ol’ earbuds. By the time the opening bars of “You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks” starts to play I’m starting to get some go in my step again, and when “Super Stoopid” drops, I’m ready to get my swerve on – head back to the park and let the chips fall where they may. I’m resolved to go in expecting the best, but fearing the worse… With Brisk and his 7.00 ERA on the mound, it can be difficult to shake the evil that was his last performance and think positive. The Brightside, I suppose, is that after only going 2 innings in his last start, a completely disastrous performance, he should be well-rested. When I arrive in the clubhouse to find him preening in front of a mirror, I tell myself that he’s over that start and ready to start anew. We’ll also need Otto to break out of his 2-game mini-slump and go gonzo in this one, we’ll need Ethan to improve upon his already good .281 average, and we’ll need Pepper to be a lot better than the .188 batter he’s been lately. This one is a must-win – a game where we need to play Laker baseball set the tone, and dictate the pace. If we don’t, we’ll need all that plus a little bit of luck to represent the NL in the 2075 World Series.

Michael Brisk (1-1, 7.00) @ John Aivazian (1-0, 5.40)
Brisk deals a leadoff walk then fails to hold Cleveland Hunter at 1st two pitches later – and just like that we have no outs and a man in scoring position… Nehemiah Jenkins gets us on the board in the top of the 2nd – his RBI single to the gap brings Zarate home, Clay Daniels follows it up a couple of batters later with an RBI Sac Fly that brings Kyle Weaver home – a nice 2-run inning that will hopefully provide a good enough cushion for Brisk to settle into this one. We’d add some padding to the cushion when Newman, getting slotted in at leadoff for the first time this series, hits a 381ft solo shot to right field – 3-0 lead now… Ruben, with a little of that rinse, wash, repeat action, hits a 398ft bomb in the top of the 6th to put us up 4-0 – we are getting it done in fits and starts against Aivazian today. Montreal would break through in the bottom of the frame – Sammie Fregoso hits a nice RBI single before Brisk gets himself out of the jam – why’d I trade that guy again? We go up 5-1 on an INSIDE-THE-PARK home run for Zarate – his 2nd of the game, in the top of the 8th – WOW – a great day for Mr. Zarate – get that man some poutine! We’d pull Brisk in the 7th after he gave us a 1-run, 6-hit effort and hand it off to, umm, Kawka – who, to his credit, mows them down and gets two K’s during the bottom of the 8th. Ethan breaks out of his mini-slump with a solo shot in the top of the 9th to put us up 6-1, and Skip elects to leave Josiah out there to close it out in the bottom of the frame. GULP. He walks the first batter – I’ve bitten my fingernails down to the quick – there is a lot riding on this… the game, our season, my ability to ever listen to Maggot Brain again… Next batter, Fregoso, hits a double – runners on 2nd and 3rd, no outs, 5-run lead… Furst drops one in over the head of our second baseman – RBI Single, 4-run lead now… still no outs – Skip yanks Josiah, I guess I don’t need to stab him with my swiss army spork in the clubhouse after the game – unless the replacement, Adrian Bae, manages to mess this up. He gets a line drive for out #1, a K for out #2, and an easy pop out to close the show. Adrian Bae is getting his number retired and Ruben never pays for a meal in LA again. Don’t like it? Fight me.

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Old 07-07-2019, 08:34 PM   #246
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2075 Playoffs – ALCS (10/24)

Chicago Fire (8-6, On Roade: 3-4) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4, At Home: 6-1)
That Jacksonville, at home now with a full day of rest between contests, finds themselves here is not surprising - this is a quality club with a proven track record. This could be the win that catapults them into a rareified air - the stratosphere reserved only for champions - it could be the start of righting the wrong that the universe delivered when Josiah Weber went down due to season-ending injury against Seattle in 2072. They should have run roughshod over everyone that year - but, unfortunately, we’re unable to overcome that devastating loss. That squad was a juggernaut with a capital J - jobbed by the injury bug. This team doesn’t have that same make-up - they’re a hard-scrabble bunch of ne'er-do-well’s who have fought for everything they’ve earned. And, their opponent, the Chicago Fire? They’re no easy out - not for anyone - and here, with their backs against the proverbial wall, will look to come out swinging. Loading them up, every shot sent forth with the illest of intentions - this one should be a barn burner. Will Mercury and his band of less-than-merry men get it done or will Gavin Nalley and his hard-scrabble squad of up-tempo up setters survive and force a game 7?

Jeffrey Egans (2-1, 3.91) @ Nat Millard (2-1, 3.51)
Nat Millard comes into this contest with an 0-2, 3.91 ERA against the Fire in the regular season – not ideal, but he might be good for it – he kicked it off by sitting them down in order during the top of the 1st, so could just be too small a sample size to carry any water. And it didn’t – this time, Nat got the win, and it was Egans who would get pummeled – a 6-run did him in and, effectively, ended the Fire’s season. Paul Swift, Jeremy Glickstein, Telma Taveras, and Burton Darden each brought in 2 RBI’s for Jacksonville – ensuring that their ticket to the World Series was properly punched. Nat went 7.2 innings and allowed 3 measly hits on only a single earned run – he’d add 7 K’s to his tally before handing it over to Rion Foreman who registered 2 K’s en route to closing this one out. Jacksonville gets it done, in dominant fashion, by a score of 10-2. Ultimately, this is the result I expected – honestly, I’m just glad it wasn’t Green Bay that made it to the Series.

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Old 07-08-2019, 08:15 PM   #247
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2075 Playoffs – NLCS (10/25)

Montreal Impact (6-6, On Road: 1-4) @ Los Angeles Lakers (7-2, At Home: 3-1), Game 6 (LAL lead 3-2)
At home, in the City of Angels, with an opportunity to gain entry into the promised land on the line against the misbegotten club from Montreal – months of laborious repetition, early curfews, and the occasional wind sprint have all led up to this moment. We’ll start Mr. Dejuan Burns on the bump, an addition we made via trade with the team we find ourselves matched up against, with his 7-2 record & 3.18 ERA amassed in the Purple & Gold – who is currently on a 3-game winning streak that includes a paltry 5 earned runs in 23.1 innings of work. This will be his moment – will he bring his devastating slider and mind-bending change-up to the table or will he wilt underneath the bright lights? One thing is for sure – the Overland Park, KS native isn’t in Kansas anymore (sorry, I had to do it). On the other side we have Julius Trowbridge, an easy-going Nassau native whose cool island vibes are enough to make you abandon your penny loafers for a pair of ratty old flip flops, and his top-flight fastball topping out at 99 MPH headed our way – he’s tough, for sure, but in a bit of a bad way… He’s given up 10 runs in his last 8-innings of work. He’ll be a challenge – a competitor to his core who won’t be scared of the moment. We need to close it out here – it’s a must – because, while I do love a game 7, I’m not interested in the stress that comes with a winner-take-all game when my team is one of the participants.

Julius Trowbridge (1-2, 8.18) @ Dejuan Burns (2-0, 2.35)
Burns comes out in less talk, more rock mode – nothing but the best jammies – a 1, 2, 3 inning with 2 K’s to get us started… Trowbridge is the other side of that coin – a leadoff double for Mullens, a walk for Zarate, a walk for Otto, and a 2-run double for Pepper… HERE WE GO! We’d get another off an RBI single for Weaver, another off of a Sacrifice Fly for Nehemiah, one more off an RBI single from Daniels, one more for Ethan – RBI single, we’ve gone through the order in the bottom of the 1st… that’s SIX, count ‘em… SIX runs in the bottom of the 1st. What else is there to say, really? We’d win this one by a final score of 13-4 – a dominant, soul-crushing performance by the La La’s. Ethan finished 4 for 5 with 2 runs and 3 RBI, Pepper goes 2 for 3 with 3 runs and 2 RBI, and Cooke drives in 2 on 2 for 4 hitting. Burns gives up only 3 runs in 6 innings of work and little used Mason Sandoval gets an opportunity to close this one out – 2.2 innings with 1 earned run from the young man today. Cooke, Mullen, and Otto all put balls out of the park, we hit 3 doubles, and turned 2 DP’s – that’s called firing on all cylinders. That’s called razing the castle, taking no prisoners, and utter annihilation. Wow. Not gonna lie – this was satisfying.

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Jacksonville for all the marbles up next… Bring on the dancing bears… I LOVE LA!
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:30 AM   #248
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2075 World Series

Jacksonville Jaguars (10-4, On Road: 3-3) @ Los Angeles Lakers (8-2, At Home: 4-1)
A 7-Game series to get 2075 sorted, playing marbles for keepsies - we’re a crown royal bag full of high-quality pieces - a few cats eyes, an onion skin, some oxblood's, a patriotic toothpaste, and a tiger-style shooter... the circle is hand drawn and pitted, and we’re ready to claim what’s ours. A cursory glance towards the visitors' clubhouse brings the Jacksonville Jaguars into focus - never the odds on favorite to be the cream of the AL crop, that would’ve been Seattle or Green Bay, but they’re no Cinderella story either. If this were a prize fight, the Jaguars would be the challenger with nothing to lose - a technically proficient force of nature as comfortable on the outside as they are fighting in a phone booth. A solid, piston-like, jab of an offense - built on repetition and textbook footwork, with an Ace who is adept at setting traps, cutting off the ring, with KO power in both hands - the Jags are for real. They are formidable - this ain’t no smash match - and, given that the line here reads ‘even’, everybody knows that this series can go either way. A potential World Series for the ages with heavy hitters in the red and blue corners. Two squads hell-bent on bringing this thing home - both dialed in, looking across the infield at each other with malevolent intent.

Game 1: Luc Felix (3-0, 0.81) @ Case Tunnell (1-0, 8.31)
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that Case getting the nod in Game 1 doesn’t give me agita... are these butterflies or was the sushi I ate last night a huge mistake? Tunnell gives up a couple of hits in the top of the first - an infield hit that is borderline unacceptable and a well-hit ball that manages to find the hole between 1st and 2nd, but both are left stranded and I’m able to keep any undigested bits of spider rolls down. So far, so average... We’d give Luc a 1-2-3 bottom of the frame, punctuated by an Otto K where he swung so hard that I’m nervous he may have pulled something. Case leaves midway through the 2nd inning with an injury - not ideal - we’ll have to wait and see how severe it is. It stays scoreless until the bottom of the 4th when Ethan brings in 2 runs off of a superbly hit double, which is followed up by Otto’s solo shot. And that was all she wrote in Game One - we shutout the AL Champs. Kyle Weaver finished 4 for 4, Otto finished 2 for 4 with a HR, and we only strike out 6 times as a team. An auspicious start for the Purple & Gold - we treat 54k+ of the LA faithful to a well-played victory here and just like that are off on the good foot.

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Old 07-12-2019, 08:28 AM   #249
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2075 World Series (Game Two)

Jacksonville Jaguars (10-5, On Road: 3-4) @ Los Angeles Lakers (9-2, At Home: 5-1); Lakers lead 1-0
After a satisfying game one victory, where our pitching staff was dominant and offense were serviceable, we’ll look to go up 2-0 in the 2075 World Series against the Jaguars. Our Game 2 starter, Michael Brisk, has been up & down in the playoffs so far – consistently inconsistent – but is coming off a clutch 7 inning, 1 earned run, game 5 performance against the Montreal Impact. His 8 K’s were the most he’d posted since a June 13th regular season game against that same Montreal club – in fact, he only registered 8 or more K’s 4 times in the regular season, with three of those coming in the 1st month of the 2075 season. So, he’s not necessarily due – but we’re hoping that his latest wave of solid pitching doesn’t crest in this contest. On the other side, we’ll get Joseph Thompson, who, at 13-14 with a 5.04 ERA in the regular season, was good enough when he had to be, averaging ~5.8 innings per game. The New York, NY native has a fantastic curveball and, when he’s on, his movement defies the laws of physics – he gave the Jags 6 innings of shutout baseball in their 1-0 game 3 win over the Chicago Fire in his last start. He has the ability to give us fits in this one – could be a long night.

Joseph Thompson (1-0, 2.45) @ Michael Brisk (2-1, 4.50)
Brisk started us off well – he’d retire the first two batters on fly balls, walk the next, and get Isidro Lutz on a weak grounder – 12 pitches, only 5 strikes – so, we’ll take it but he’s not all the way dialed in yet. In the bottom of the frame, Newman starts us off with a base knock from the leadoff spot, Mullens would trade spots with him on a grounder and then steal second (a close one) but ultimately got stranded – we put some good AB’s together though, so we just needed to keep chipping away. Top of the 2nd – Brisk starts making mistakes and throws an absolute meatball to RF Paul Swift who takes it on a ride over the RF fence for a Solo HR to take a 1-0 lead. He was able to reel it back in, retiring the next three, but the Jags draw first blood in this one. We’d get back on top off of a 3-run bottom of the 3rd when Mullens brought Clay Daniels in from second on a well-hit single followed by a 2-run double from Dom Cooke (who’s been a stud in this series so far) – 3-1 lead for the Lakers. The Jags wouldn’t go silently into the night though – they tied it up in the top of the 4th when Jason Dalton – who worked as a bouncer while attending Illinois – hit a 2-run single off of Brisk. Swift drives in his second run in the top of the 5th to put his club up 4-3, and both teams traded zeros from there – a tough home loss for the La-La’s. Paul Swift finished 4 for 4 with a HR and 2 RBI for the Jags – easily the man of the match – and outside of Cooke’s 2-RBI single, we don’t really show much of note in this one. Neither pitcher was great – Thompson, though, was just better enough to get it done today.

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Old 07-13-2019, 01:40 AM   #250
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2075 World Series (10/30 – 11/1)

Los Angeles Lakers (9-3, On Road: 4-1) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (11-5, At Home: 7-1)
After dropping a close one at home we find ourselves boarding a 6+ hour flight from LA to Jacksonville for a 3-game set – at 1-1, we have to get at least one road victory to get another crack at these guys on our home turf. Of course, if we sweep them, we get to celebrate in front of their fans – a jubilant dance on the grave of your vanquished foe moment – which, really, is the more desirable outcome on a number of levels. Leaving the LA bubble, where everyone believes they will one day be a star and traveling to the youngest city in the 5th oldest state (ranked by median age) – there’s a wonky stat for you. I mean whose idea was it to use that factoid in their tourism adverts? Don’t get me wrong, Jacksonville is a cool city – at least by Florida’s standards – lots of beaches, great fishing, fresh coastal seafood on the menu of nearly every local spot, and an emerging craft beer scene for those among us that measure the quality of their beer in taste bud damage. It’s not the town that gives me pause, there’s fun to be had in Jax, it’s what awaits us when we arrive… a murderer’s row of starting pitchers with Nat Millard and Luc Felix on the docket, this could be a long slog for our offense. For a city whose motto is, “it’s easier here”, I’m thinking that message hasn’t exactly resonated with their baseball club.

3 of 7: Dejuan Burns (3-0, 2.91) @ Nat Millard (3-1, 2.70)
Another closely contested contest, another pitcher’s duel – Nat Millard pitches 8 shutout innings while Dejaun gives up 1 over 6.1 – and our second win of the series… A 2-1 gift of a victory where we only manage 3 hits to Jacksonville’s 7. Ethan Mullens reaches on an error in the 8th that allowed two runs to score – Jacksonville’s CF Jason Dalton gives up the ghost here and may find himself working as a bouncer again before this series is done. What a terrible way for the Jaguars to lose this one… We’d turn 4 DP’s today – an excellent display of fielding – but nearly every other facet of our game was anemic. Listen, we’ll take it, but our 10 K’s as a team doesn’t inspire much confidence in our future in this series.

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4 of 7: Julen Morales (1-0, 1.98) @ Liam Anderson (1-0, 3.15)
Morales got shelled in the bottom of the first by an angry Jacksonville, our offense was, once again, anemic – we’d get shutout in this one – and the home team kept putting it on us throughout the game, winning by a score of 9-0. Liam Anderson went 7 innings with 2 hits and no earned runs, Paul Swift goes 2 for 4 with a HR and 2 RBI’s, and Mercury Alhajari hits a 3-run homer in the bottom of the 1st that sets the tone early. Nothing of note to report on the Lakers here – we were absolute trash in this one. Too many craft beers last night? Did some of that “world class” coastal seafood hit some of our guys with a low-key bout of food poisoning? Who knows – these are unknowable things, so, let’s stick to the facts… We weren’t very good at baseball today.

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5 of 7: Case Tunnell (1-0, 6.97) @ Luc Felix (3-1, 1.12)
Luc Felix did a bunch of Luc Felix things over 7 innings of work – we’d get to him a little bit early though – and Case was good for 5 innings before handing it over to Saul Guzman who gives us 3.2 innings of superb work to close out a game 5 victory for the La La’s by a score of 6-1. We’ll head back to LA with a 3-2 series lead and needing only a single home victory to win the whole thing. Zarate was a juggernaut for us in this one, finishing 3 for 4 with a double, a triple, 3 RBI’s and 2 runs – everything we needed and more. Otto gets 2 runs, Pepper & Nehemiah drive in a run each, and Newman brings one in on a perfectly executed hit & run in the top of the 2nd. A good win to think about on the long flight home – our future looks bright, but it’s far from certain.

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Old 07-13-2019, 12:26 PM   #251
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2075 Playoffs (11/3 -11/4)

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Los Angeles Lakers
After taking two of three off the Jaguars, the 6.5-hour flight back to Los Angeles doesn’t feel that long – the atmosphere on the plane is jovial and our confidence is high. We’ll get our second crack at Joseph Thompson in the first game of a potential 2-game series – he got the win against us in Game 2 where he only gave up 3 runs in 6 innings of work. Our offense isn’t exactly clicking right now, but you have to think that seeing the same guy twice in 7 days will be advantageous. We’ll put Michael Brisk on the mound, basically giving one of my favorite guys the chance of a lifetime in a closeout game – he’s been the okayest pitcher on our staff so far in these playoffs with his last two outings ranking among his best thus far. I like our chances – I don’t love them, but I do like them. What I don’t like and what I’m struggling to parse out of our 3-2 series lead, is Otto’s terrible play through the first 5 games of this series – batting just .210 with 3 runs, 1 homer, 1 RBI, and 7 K’s for the series… we’re are not getting anything close to what we’d expect from our best player. We’ve been fortunate to see other guys step up and it’s been exciting to watch, but when does that train run out of fuel? And, it’s not just Otto – Ethan has been below average too – we’ve been getting it done offensively (if you can call it that) in fits and starts, on the backs of guys who typically don’t lead our offense, but instead ply their trade by filling its gaps and contributing from the fringe. Here’s to the hope that our offense will wake up a bit here and close this one out so I can get some sleep.

6 of 7: Joseph Thompson (2-0, 3.18) @ Michael Brisk (2-2, 4.91)
Brisk comes out looking primed and preened – looking into the batter’s box with his best screw-face before delivering his first pitch. Looks can be deceiving though as he gives up a lead-off HR to Telma Taveras – not ideal, but nothing to worry too much about… yet. He’d labor through the next three batters – a 22 pitch 1st for Brisk – but puts them down in order. Thompson, for his part, gives up a hit to Mullens, but navigates the bottom of the frame efficiently enough and gets out of it largely unscathed. We’d trade zeros for a few innings until the Jags get another run on us in the top of the 4th – Brisk had dialed it back in, but is starting to make little mistakes here and there against a team built to capitalize on the most minute of opportunities. We show some life in the bottom of the 6th and get one across on an Otto sacrifice, but leave another stranded – we’re putting good AB’s together now, starting to come alive a little bit. We’ll need more of that – like now. We’d not get it – what we would get, however, is another shaky 9th inning performance from Kawka before going out 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 9th as the Jaguars force a game 7 by a score of 2-1. Frustrating game. Brisk is serviceable, even good at times, Ethan goes 2 for 4, Otto is mired in the doldrums, he walked twice but who cares, and Pepper leaves 3 stranded in a 0 for 3 performance. Yikes.

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7 of 7: Nat Millard (3-2, 2.18) @ Dejuan Burns (3-0, 2.57)
Dejuan gives us a 1-2-3 top of the 1st – breathing a little bit of life into the dugout early in this one. Those good vibes are quickly extinguished when Nat responds in kind, on fewer pitches, to close out the 1st frame… Otto commits an error on a flyball in the top of the 4th, leading to a run for the bad guys – things fall apart, man… good grief. 1-0 lead for Jacksonville. It’s starting to feel like we’re stuck in quicksand with cinderblocks for cleats. We’d get a leadoff base knock from Newman in the bottom of the 6th, which gets quickly erased when Clay Daniels hits into a double-play – nothing doing for the Purple & Gold – Dejuan, for his part, is dealing though, giving us everything he’s got out there… we just can’t reward him offensively. In the end – our suddenly nonexistent offense screws the proverbial pooch, gets shut out for the second time in this series and wastes a clutch performance from burns. Otto was the worst version of himself here, Ethan wasn’t much better, and Pepper found a way to disappear – he has a future in magic. We dropped two at home to close out the 2075 campaign, losing the World Series to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the process. A tip of the ol’ cap to the ballclub from Florida – this is a difficult one to swallow, a difficult result to rationalize. Telma wins the WS MVP honors as our guys watch the festivities while doing their best versions of a pribolof stare… baseball is a cold, cold business, the seas are rough... we're battered, bruised, and humbled. Headed off in multiple directions to face an offseason that will likely be filled with regret, anxiety, and many a night spent tossing and turning in our beds wondering where it all went wrong. This will be the season of our discontent.

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes are definitely coming for the La La’s… we have a lot, I mean A LOT, of players with expiring contracts – we built this thing for 2075 without considering the future beyond it. So, it will be a busy offseason for me, if I remain a Laker that is – our owner, ever the eccentric, can be a bit of an emotional decision maker as one who is not used to losing at pretty much anything sometimes tends to be. There is also talk of expansion in the MLB (though I don’t know if I want to materially alter my set-up here as it has been so much fun to play, I just feel like I need some new blood to think about – some new cities to visit), which means there would be an expansion draft -FUN! – and opportunities to land on should my Owner show me the door. Decisions, decisions… I don’t know where I should go with this universe yet. I’ll give it some distance, I suppose, navigate my list of chores, head out to the dog park before the Texas sun gets too hot, and get on with reality a bit while mulling it over.

One thing is for sure - I'm trading Kawka for whatever I can get. A $2 dollar bill and a bag of Corn Nuts? Absolutely - DEAL. Hell, if they're Chile Picante Con Limon flavored I might throw in a prospect. Or two. Who's counting, let's make a deal!
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Old 07-13-2019, 04:29 PM   #252
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2076 Offseason

A bit of a long-winded off-season post here…. Proceed with caution (if you proceed at all).

Early offseason notes:
Pepper Grant – We have a team option on him; if we elect to take it we’ll be committing $7M for him next year, or, we can buy him out for $3.5M. I love Pepper – which should be obvious to anyone who has read any of this drivel – but, he made it difficult this season. Great in the field, sure, but decidedly ho-hum at the plate… and he’ll be 33-years-old at the start of 2076. That’s not old, really, and we can probably squeeze another adequate season out of him… still, this is a tough one for me. He was something of a de facto Captain on our club in 2075 – well-liked, with a superb work ethic – and $7M is, really, a small price to pay for what he brings to the table in that regard. I’ll exercise it, see what I can get in FA at the position and offer him up in trade if I find a worthwhile upgrade there.

2076 Budget – Phil Murray doesn’t hate me, in fact, he still believes in my ability to build this thing into a dynasty. That’s high praise from such a successful businessman. He’s established a $200M budget for the club this year – which would rank us at #9 in the MLB (tied with 5 other clubs). So, if we want to buy a ring, we will need to be low-key creative to do it. Note: The Jaguars have a $238M budget for 2076, which ranks them at #3.

Skipper Ryan Rudnick – I think that this guy makes questionable decisions, like his insistence on using Kawka in high leverage situations while Saul Guzman was sitting in the bullpen. His contract has expired, but I’ve offered him a 1-year contract that matches his asking price – I expect him to take the offer. One thing is for certain, he won’t have Kawka to go to in those situations in 2076 – that guy’s dismissal is priorities #1, 2, and 3. RR is tactical, has a track record of success, and won a ring with the Sounders in 2073 – one more season is a sound decision, I think. It will give off an air of consistency for the club before I start wheeling and dealing.

Compton Personnel – I’ve hired a new hitting coach, Ike Bohuslav, who is an unproven native Los Angelino that I think will fit in well with the culture we’ve established in Compton – let’s hope he’ll be as good as I think he is. I’ve also hired a new pitching coach – 52-year-old Bernard Heiser out of Tacoma, WA – he’ll fit in for us in Compton for sure – and his reputation among baseball purists is stellar. He’s spent the last 3 seasons working as the Pitching Coach in Sunrise for the Supremos of the Bush League. Welcome back to the Majors my man.

2075 Awards:
AL Boyce Rigg: Green Bay’s Jackson Walsh (SS, 28yo, 6th overall pick in 2069 out of St. Mary’s)
- .343, 14 HR, 96 RBI – Aitor Cubas (SEA) finished 2nd, while Rich Hamilton (NYJ) finished 3rd in voting. Jackson getting the nod here is somewhat surprising, not outlandish exactly, but I thought Aitor had this one locked up.

NL Boyce Rigg: Our own Otto Isaac (CF, 27, 15th overall pick in 2070 out of Pennsylvania) - .304, 35 HR, 89 RBI – Arthur Grant (VAN) finished 2nd in voting. Grant is an interesting one as he played out of his mind in 2075 during a contract year – it’ll be fun to see where this guy lands. Somewhat bitter sweet win for Otto. For as great as he was in the regular season, he sure pulled an Alex Rodriguez in the World Series. No one wants to see that – you should never go full Rodriguez when death is on the line.

AL Pacheco: Seattle’s Bradley Hughes (SP, 27, 2nd overall pick in 2069 out of Michigan State) – 20-8, 2.73, 309 K’s. No surprise here – a well deserved 2nd Pacheco for the undisputed heir to Josiah Weber’s crown. I suspect that Bradley has a few more of these in his future. He’ll be a free agent after next season – curious to see where he ends up for 2077. Hopefully, he stays put, but you never know.

NL Pacheco: San Francisco’s Matthew Townsend (SP, 37, drafted in the 7th round in 2060 out of Wyoming) – 19-8, 2.97, 201 K’s. A bit of a surprise, but good for him – the old man still has it. He’ll be a free agent, so this should net him a few more high paid years in the sun, I think.

Arbitration:
Guys I made offers to…
SP Michael Brisk – 9.5M
SP Dejuan Burns – 4.6M
SP Case Tunnell – 3M
LF Joshua Newman – 7M
CF Otto Isaac – 12M
RF Ethan Mullens – 7.2M

Notable guy that I did not make an offer to…
SP Julen Morales – I can’t really defend my thinking here. He’s 30, so there is that.

What they got…
SP Michael Brisk – 11.4M (Offered 9.5M)… Ouch.
SP Dejuan Burns – 5.5M (Offered 4.6M)
SP Case Tunnell – 3.4M (Offered 3M)
LF Joshua Newman – 7M (Offered 7M)
CF Otto Isaac – 15.7M (Offered 12M)
RF Ethan Mullens – 8M (Offered 7.2M)… A bargain, you ask me.

Free Agents…
Offered contracts to SP Max Harrington, SP Nat Millard (I don’t expect to land him, so for the lulz if nothing else), RP Steven Barbaccia, and Abe Meinecke (another one I don’t expect to land, but, it’s fun to pretend).

Some early results – Meinecke went to Portland where he will team up with Angry Eloy to wreak havoc in the AL West, presumedly. Nat Millard is digging what we are putting down – no decision yet, but he likes what we had to say… he’s probably gaming us. Which is fine. Max Harrington was a hard pass – apparently, he has a family to think about – Latrell Sprewell much? His chinstrap beard is douchey anyways. Seattle second fiddle, SP David Arney, signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy – that’s gross. They’ll drop 35M on him next season. Mmm-kay. Steven Barbaccia signed our offer, the 14th pick in 2064 out of Virginia is a fan favorite that will fill out a Purple and Gold kit quite nicely methinks… Nehemiah Jenkins went to Philadelphia – our fans are pretty mad, a noticeable dip in fan interest – but we are close to landing Larry Williams via trade with the Houston Dynamo. I just got to figure out the best group of prospects to spend on him… File under: Really?!? – We landed Laker killer Nat Millard. Craziness. Didn’t expect that to go so well, Jacksonville signed Matthew Krebs to offset the defection – they’ll be no worse for wear here. C Johan Somma signed with Montreal, our fans are shocked – well, get used to it guys there is more of that to come. SS Donny Jeter accepted a $15M deal with the San Francisco 49ers… Hmm, I wonder what that means for your boy Hamza? Questionable move from a suspect front office. Cl Saul Guzman signed with Portland, the fans couldn’t care less – I think that I blew this one though. Such a great ‘stache. We signed 3B Dontrell Gay to a minor league contract, grooming him as an eventual Pepper replacement… time will tell. SP Julen Morales went to Phoenix – that one stings a bit, I didn’t want to pay him his asking price, but certainly didn’t want him to go to a division rival either.

Some trades:
SP/RP Josiah Kawka & MiLB SS Seve Navarro to Houston for SS Larry Williams – an absolute coup if you ask me.

MiLB 2B Nicholas Rivera & MiLB 2B Jacob Stever to Minnesota for RP Bernard Desjardins and MiLB SP Kordell Littles – I got low-key fleeced here, but fell for the name Kordell Littles.

Additional notes:
Overall, I’m happy with our offseason – we’ve improved our pitching and brought in a really, really good SS to replace Nehemiah. Phil Murray just wants us to be better than .500 – weird. Baseball pundits have us pegged to win 87 games, finishing 2nd in the NL West behind San Diego. I disagree. I’m often wrong. I made a last minute trade for 2B Mario Marshburn – lost Clay in the deal, but I’m getting a super low-key offensive upgrade here.

We’ll get started off with a 3-game set against Phoenix at home – Julen Morales, their recently acquired Ace, gets his first crack at his old club. SMH… gross.

The 2076 Opening Day Roster…

Pitching Staff:

1. Nat Millard – a surprising but welcome addition – I expect our newly appointed Ace to be worth every single penny… if he’s not, I’ll… I’ll…. Well, I’ll eat his salary and look like a fool to my peers. Is normal.
2. Dejuan Burns
3. Michael Brisk – I like him in the #3 slot. This could work.
4. Case Tunnell
5. Phillip King – lost due to a torn rotator cuff for the entirety of the 2075 campaign, I expect King to work his way up or out of the rotation by the all-star break.

Notable Bullpen Hurlers:
CL Steven Barbaccia – No Kawka, no Guzman – Barbaccia better make things happen or we riot.
SU Merl Crawford – I like this role for Merl; he got the stuff but not the stamina to be a full-time starter.
LR Brent Durkin – He was great out of the pen last year, solid innings eater. We’ll take more of that, please.

The Offense:
1. LF Joshua Newman
2. C Dominic Cooke – started getting in a groove at the end of the 2075 campaign, looking for him to find that space earlier this season.
3. RF Ethan Mullens – My favorite guy on the squad, Mullens gave us some much-needed leadership when Otto went down with injury.
4. CF Otto Isaac – What’s not to like? He’s one of a handful of overpowered HR guys and won the NL Boyce last season – but, I’m having a hard time shaking off the Alex Rodriguez vibes he was sending out into the universe during the World Series… if the right deal comes along, I probably pull the trigger on it. No, I wouldn’t – that’d be career suicide.
5. 1B Ruben Zarate – Rock-solid glue guy. Everyone needs one of those.
6. SS Larry Williams – New guy, Nehemiah replacement. The jury’s still out. Not sure what to expect really.
7. DH Kyle Weaver
8. 3B Pepper Grant – His days are numbered, let’s enjoy it while we can.
9. 2B Mario Marshburn – slight upgrade over Clay and the result of a panic trade – hopefully I won’t regret it. He’s a good enough fielder and should get me more offensively than Daniels did – how much more remains to be seen.

Our MiLB system, BTW, is now ranked 6th. Dig.

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Old 07-13-2019, 07:15 PM   #253
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2076 Season (4/6 – 4/19)

Phoenix Suns @ Los Angeles Lakers (4/6 – 4/8)
We open the season at home against the team I love the least – there’s something about the Suns that really chaps my hide. They’ve finally parted ways with Derek Jeter, who has joined the Portland Timbers for a 1-year, $7.7M deal, and have committed to the youth movement I installed during my short-lived tenure in the desert. We are expected to compete tooth and nail with these guys for 2nd place in the NL West – I think that prediction is suspect, I think we win it outright – and, I guess there is no better way to kick off that competition than with a season-opening set against the eggplant purple & burnt orange.

1 of 162: Julen Morales @ Nat Millard
Win, 3-2… New faces in new places – Julen is great in this one and only allows 2 runs in 8 innings of work, but Nat wins the duel, giving us 6 innings of shutout baseball before handing it off to Sandoval for the 2-inning hold. Barbaccia gets save #1, Sobania, getting the start at 1st (Zarate was slotted in as the DH today), hits his 1st HR of the year, and Dom brings in the winning run on a single in the 6th.

Elsewhere… The defending champion Jacksonville Jaguars get an opening day 5-3 win against the Toronto Reds. Luc Felix goes 8 with 3 earned and 7 K’s.

2 of 162: Bentley Hawkins @ Dejuan Burns
Loss, 4-2… Burns gets styled on for 5 innings by the Suns who put up four earned on him today. Otto is off to a 1 for 8 start in 2076. Zarate goes 3 for 4 with an RBI. We get out first DP of the season. Phoenix hit four doubles during the contest.

Elsewhere: SP Bill Marvin pitches a complete game shutout in their 1-0 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, and Jacksonville newcomer Matthew Krebs pitches a complete-game shutout for the Jabs in their 8-0 win over Toronto. He added 9 K’s for good measure in this one.

3 of 162: Liam Anderson @ Michael Brisk
Win, 6-4… Brisk goes 6 and allow 1 earned and Ethan Mullens finished at 2 for 3 with an RBI and 2 runs scored. Pepper hit a 2-run double, I like that, Otto gets his first RBI of the 2076 season, that’s cool, and Barbaccia gets save #2, I’m an absolute genius it seems. Good effort today and a fine series win to start the 2076 campaign.

A series win against a division rival to start the 2076 campaign? Sold. We like that. We’d have loved a sweep, but a series win is a series win as they say. They say that, right? People do say that I think.

Elsewhere… Green Bay 3B Austin Tolzmann went 3 for 4 with two doubles, a HR, 4 RBI, and 2 runs in their 9-7 win over the New York Jets. Solid.

Los Angeles Lakers (2-1, .667, 2nd AL West) @ San Francisco 49ers (0-2, .000, 5th AL West); 4/9 – 4/12)
First… not sure how I missed it, but Hamza was traded to the Jets. He looks good in their kit, I’ll have to keep my eye on him as I’d still love to get him on my team. The 9ers have started off slow – they are at or very close to last in every offensive category that matters, and their starters have not come out of the gates like their fans would have hoped. Side note: They trade Hamza and go with Donny Jeter at short? I don’t get it – I really thought he was Bush League bound this year.

Also, before I forget… Jules Winfield is back in the Majors, y’all. He’s on the roster for the Brooklyn Citizen and has had one AB so far… he’s 1 for 1 with a run scored and all-star bound for sure.

4 of 162: Case Tunnell @ Mark De La Cruz
Loss, 9-8… Donny Jeter put one out on us – Ha! Why not. Barbaccia takes the loss on a disastrous 4-run bottom of the 9th – turns out that I’m not a genius after all. Otto 1 for 5 with an RBI, Newman brings in 3, and Zarate scores twice.

Elsewhere: Montreal CF, Leo Bullock, went 4 for 4 with 2 jacks and 4 RBI in their 6-2 win over the Rams. He’s batting .556 to start the season – coming out hot!

5 of 162: Phillip King @ Pascal Paiz
Win, 6-1. Welcome back, Phillip – 7 innings, 4 hits, 0 earned, 4 walks, and 4 K’s in his first start since last years catastrophic injury. That’s the good stuff, and I ain’t talking about milk, Kenny… Weaver – 2 for 4 with a double and 2 runs. Otto – 2 for 4 with 2 runs… I mean he’s producing a little but our boy needs to get to smashing balls out of the box.

Elsewhere: St Louis gets some revenge against Montreal and earn an 11-9 win on the back of 2B Mike Duncan’s 4 for 5 performance – he added a double, 3 RBI and 3 runs to the Rams’ stat sheet.

6 of 162: Nat Millard (1-0, 0.00) @ Alex Gillentine (0-0, 0.00)
Loss, 5-0… Millard was very un-Millard like – 4 earned in 5 innings of ****ty work. Gillentine gives the 9ers 7 innings of lockdown pitching with only 3 hits. This result and being in a 1-2 hole so far in this 4-game series is not ideal. I don’t like it. This isn’t fun for me.

Elsewhere: SS Shaughan Hayes, of the Minnesota Timberwolves, recorded 5 RBI in their 11-8 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps. But, who cares really? The Lakers lost, everything else is stupid.

7 of 162: Dejuan Burns @ Landon Sampson
Loss, 3-1… At least we didn’t get shut out again. Otto finished 0 for 4 with 3 K’s – 2 looking, and one chasing. Maybe he is Alex Rodriguez reincarnated. It’s possible. Let’s get him tested. Also, we struck out 13 times as a team today. Sooooo… losing in style, I guess?

Losing 3 out of 4 to the San Francisco 49ers feels a lot like what I’d imagine getting kicked in the face feels like. I’m over it.

Los Angeles Lakers (3-4, .429, 2 ½ Back) @ Minnesota Timberwolves (1-5, .167, 4 back) – 4/13 – 4/15
Coming off a 4-game home stand against the Vancouver Whitecaps where they lost 3 of 4, the Minnesota T’Wolves are grumpy and looking to come out throwing haymakers. Conversely, after dropping 3 of 4 in San Francisco you’d think that we’d be fighty as well – but we’re not, we’re indifferent. It’s too early to be indifferent. This series pits the 16th & 24th ranked teams in the MLB, so, I’m expecting a packed house.

8 of 162: Michael Brisk (0-0, 1.50) @ Pedro Aceves (0-1, 4.26)
Win, 9-5… Otto goes 2 for 3 with his first jack of the season, drives in 3, and Larry Williams is 3 for 5 with a double and 3 riblets of his own. Brisk goes 7 with only 3 earned – he’s got a nice rhythm going so far. Minnesota is like chicken soup for the soul here, we needed this W. Or at least I did.

9 of 162: Case Tunnell (0-0, 5.68) @ Gregory Highman (0-0, 15.00)
Win, 11-8… Ethan! 2 homers for your boy with 4 RBI and 2 runs scored. Otto is waking up a bit as well – 3 for 5 with HR #2 and a couple of RBIs. PJ Trudell gives us the business in a losing effort – he finished 4 for 4 with 2 HR, 3 RBI, and 2 runs in the losing effort. Barbaccia gets his 3rd save, and Marshburn drives in a couple to add to the final tally.

10 of 162: Phillip King (1-0, 0.00) @ Morton Bradley (0-1, 7.94)
Win, 6-2… SWEEP! King brutalized the Timberwolves with a CG, 2 earned performance and Pepper contributes a 3-run HR in the top of the 8th – clutch city, we needed it. It’s Pepper’s first HR of the year, a bit of heroics for a guy that I have an undeserved soft spot for. Weaver drove in the go-ahead run, so credit where it is due.

We’d get a day off before heading to Vancouver, and I’d hang back to catch an all-female Prince cover band with Shawna in Minneapolis. I’m not sure what to say about the show – there is so much to parse out when you see an all-female Prince cover band… it’s confusing is what it is. Side note: I tried to talk trades, but she deftly steered our conversation to astrophysics each time I attempted it and as I don’t know anything about astrophysics I would just nod and agree and forget everything else I wanted to chat her up about. It’s like some sick form of hypnosis if I’m being honest.

Los Angeles Lakers (6-4, .600, 3rd NL West) @ Vancouver Whitecaps (7-2, .778, 1st NL West), 4/17 – 4/19
The Whitecaps are off to something of a rip-roaring start in 2076 and are firing on all cylinders. The offense is setting the NL pace, though their power is lacking a bit so far, and their staff, while not otherworldly so far, is holding it down when it matters most. For my part, I’m looking forward to checking out Dead Moon’s, “Live at Satyricon”, during my habitual jaunt over the Lionsgate Bridge. I’d link it, but you don’t want to know about that life – they are, how shall we say this, not the most proficient of garage rock acts out there…

11 of 162: Nat Millard (1-1, 3.27) @ Elijah Hall (0-0, 11.25)
Loss, 4-2… We lose Nat Millard for 3 weeks in this one – that’s not cool OOTP, why you wanna do me like that? Miyakawa gives up 3 in 2.2 innings, Otto is trash – how’d he cross the border into Canada anyways? – and Pepper strands 8 on an 0 for 5 performance. Remember all those good vibes we had after our sweep over the Timberwolves? They’re gone… replaced by intense foreboding.

Elsewhere: SDC SP Reed Pirelli (no relation) gets a complete game shutout win over the San Francisco 49ers – he only recorded 3 K’s in the effort, so he let his defense eat early and often in this one.

12 of 162: Dejuan Burns (0-2, 4.97) @ Bill Marvin (2-0, 1.10)
Win, 4-2… Dejuan gives us a stellar 8 inning, 1 earned run performance and Pepper stays hot with a 2 for 5, HR, and 3 RBI effort in the win. Otto recorded the go-ahead run on an RBI single in the top of the 5th, Barbaccia gets his 4th save, and Newman goes 2 for 3 with a run. 1-1 in this series so far, we need to get the rubber match to secure an acceptable start to the 2076 campaign. Well, a barely acceptable start at least.

Elsewhere:
MIT’s SP Matheo Trachtenberg recorded 15 K’s in a win over the Ole Miss Rebels in their 12-1 victory in NCAA play – Matheo is 2-3 with a 2.90 ERA for the Equations so far this year. He’s a top prospect that could be draft ready this season – if he turns 21 in time, I honestly can’t be bothered to check for sure right now because I’m frighteningly lazy.

13 of 162: Michael Brisk (1-0, 2.70) @ Adam Gunter (1-1, 8.64)
Loss, 2-1… Baseball is obviously stupid and a complete waste of all of our time. Brisk is better than solid in this one – 8 innings with 2 earned… but the rest of our club couldn’t be bothered to put a good at-bat together to help the guy out. Our power alley of Zarate, Isaac, and Grant combined for a 0 for 11 day – that’s not awesome.

So we lose this series 2-1 in Vancouver and put together a slightly above average 7-6 start to the 2076 campaign. We sit at 4th in the NL West and 2 ½ games back – this is a far cry from where I’d thought we’d be. What have I built here exactly… too early to tell really. Our offense has performed admirably – we rank 3rd in the NL as a unit, and the Starters are getting by, I’d like to see them turn the corner a bit, but at 4th in ERA so far, we are in the mix… Our Bullpen has been recycled trash – just not good at throwing baseballs, really… we’re last in the NL in bullpen ERA and while I’m fairly confident that we won’t still be there when it is all said in done, with our offseason additions, I expected a much better start. What are you gonna do? Keep playing the games, I guess.
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Old 07-14-2019, 02:00 AM   #254
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2076 Season (4/20 – 4/23)

Before we get back to our regularly scheduled programming, there are a few things that we need to talk about…

1B Oh Hong, a Long Beach Dirtbag and prospect in the Los Angeles Galaxy’s farm system that I shortlisted as much for his name as I did for his skill, has taken home the RL Player of the Week honor in the International League. The former Duke Blue Devil is somewhat of a late bloomer – he went undrafted, spent a couple of seasons in the Bush League, and eventually was signed by the Galaxy in 2075. He’s not much of a fielder, has no arm, and is a terrible baserunner – but the guy can hit. He’s tracking to be a pretty good contact hitter with a little bit of pop – and he had himself a week in the International League going 15 for 27 with a HR and 6 RBI. He’s turning some heads early in 2076 and it should be fun to track this guy’s career – he’s no lock for making the majors, but he’s getting better and is starting to look like he has an outside chance at it.

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Expansion… I didn’t do it for the tricentennial season. I mean. I should’ve, but it takes time, and that game 7 loss we took kinda took the wind out of the ol’ sails a little bit – so I decided to just let it roll, stay on the sea, relax, and ride the tack (you know, like when you grope for luna…). 2077, then, on the 100th anniversary of the Clash’s S/T debut, I will definitely pull the trigger and expand Strangeverse’s MLB to a 28-team league (I’ll also fix my broken playoff format) – definitely maybe. The OKC Thunder will reappear (in the AL) and I’ll also add clubs in Ottawa (because it’s a great city – if you’ve not been, I recommend that you remedy that), Denver, and Indianapolis. I think I’m 75% certain that those will be the clubs. Indianapolis is suspect, though, if I’m honest.

Roster moves… With our offseason acquisition, Nat Millard, on the 10-day IL, we’ve moved emergency spot starter, Merl Crawford, into the rotation and called Charles Fane up to the big club from Compton. He’s a specialist who appeared in 7 games for the big club last season, but only pitched two innings worth of baseball – in that stretch he gave up 2 runs and had an 18 BB/9 - so, he’s like a short term, we couldn’t remember anyone else’s name type of call-up.

San Diego Chargers (7-5, .583, 3rd NL West) @ Los Angeles Lakers (7-6, .538, 4th NL West)
At 5-5 over their last 10, it would seem that the San Diego Chargers may not be who we thought they were – but, it’s early, let’s not make any rash proclamations. They are, by far and away, the top offense in the league – they rank 1st in every offensive category with the exception of Homer Runs, where they rank 10th. They have some power in their lineup though, so the smart money says that they will remedy that, and when they do – all bets are off. Their pitching has been an issue early in the season, where no one not named Burt McElheny or Reed Pirelli is throwing the ball at a major league level. Of course, they haven’t met us yet and we have a way of making people look good – the lighting in LA is the best in the world. Of the four starters we will face in this series – another 4-game stretch (I don’t like 4-game series, and I hate a 2-game set (or is it a pair?) – two of them have ERA’s over 6. We’ll see Reed in game two though and he’s scary enough on his own…

14 of 162: Shiro Nakamura (1-0, 4.15) @ Case Tunnell (1-0, 6.00)
Win, 5-3… Larry Williams hits a timely HR in the 5th and is named the Player of the Game for his 2 for 4, HR, RBI, and 2 R day, while Newman draws a walk that allows a run to plate in the 5th – padding our lead just enough for Barbaccia to earn his 5th save of the year. Case pitches well – he’d give us 7 innings with only 3 earned runs despite allowing 12 hits. In fact, we were outhit by the Chargers 12 to 7 in this one, but ours were the more meaningful shots – that’s called effective aggression folks. Not really. No one calls it that in Baseball.

Elsewhere: The unfortunately named Tad Monroe, of the Orlando City, went 3 for 3 with 3 RBI’s in City’s 7-5 win over the St. Louis Rams – he hit a 2-run single for Orlando in the bottom of the 8th against McKinley “Call me Denali” Moore, who was charged with his first blown save of the year and is now 0-2 with a 4,26 ERA out of the pen for the Rams.

15 of 162: Mike Augustine (1-1, 6.17) @ Phillip King (2-0, 1.10)
Loss, 6-3. Well crap… King gives us 8 innings of 5 hit, 1 ER domination and Barbaccia gives San Diego one inning of batting practice – he gave up 5 runs in the top of the 9th. I had high hopes for him and based on those hopes and the advice of a scout that shall not be named – we mustn’t speak of such evil – I paid him a princely sum to deliver on that promise. This decision may not have been among my best. Zarate goes 1 for 3 with 2 RBI and Pepper drives one in off a well-hit double in the bottom of the 9th. As a team we completed 3 DP’s, but so did they – so do they really count? This one bums me out – we had it in our sights.

16 of 162: Reed Pirelli (2-0, 0.53) @ Merl Crawford (0-0, 0.00)
Loss, 7-1. Kelford Jackson killed us in this one – 3 RBI’s (2 off a homer, one off a single). Merl got shelled for 4 runs in 7 innings of work, and Mason Sandoval gave up 4 hits, 3 runs, and could only retire one batter before we had to bring Miyakawa into the game. Our offense stunk it up again, we just can’t put many good AB’s together, and when we do, we have a tendency to follow that up with a few bad ones to erase whatever good could have come from them. We kinda suck so far this year – a .500 ballclub doing .500 ballclub type bull****.

Elsewhere: Former Laker and Current Montreal stalwart, Sammy Fregoso went 4 for 4 with a double, a homer, and 4 RBI’s in Montreal’s 9-7 loss at home to Pittsburgh – dig on that. Nice to see him having some success, even if his club was unable to secure the win. Former Laker, Nehemiah Jenkins’ younger brother, Latroy Jenkins went 5 for 5 for Notre Dame with 5 runs and 1 batted in during ND’s 20-9 win over the Grand Lakes University Hooters. Our scouts, the trustworthy ones at least, tell me that they believe he’ll be a better big leaguer than his big bro.

17 of 162: Aden Grey (0-2, 9.35) @ Dejuan Burns (1-2, 3.48)
Win, 3-2… Dejuan gives us 7 innings and only allowed one run to plate – Barbaccia gets his 6th save (he’s either lights out or a big floozy on the mound (everybody gets a hit)). Pepper finished at 1 for 2 with a HR and a BB, and Otto’s slow start has continued – the former stud and current Playoff A-Rod clone is batting an unacceptable .232 so far this season. It’s hard to figure what could be wrong with the guy – we always have kale on hand (he’s on a hippy/organic kick here lately), let him control the stereo in the clubhouse, and our equipment guy assures me that his pine tar jar is always full – so what gives? I should trade him so that it’ll come back to haunt me as he takes his new club all the way to the promised land – I’m a glutton for punishment.

Hey, a 2-2 series! We'll take it - because that's what .500 ballclubs do - they take what they can get. Hopefully, when Green Bay gets to town (Interleague Play already?), we'll start to awaken from this malaise and start playing Laker baseball. Unless we just suck. Hmm... maybe we just suck. Not the unlikeliest of scenarios, I guess.

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Old 07-14-2019, 12:37 PM   #255
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2076 Season (4/24 – 4/26)

Green Bay Packers (11-6, .647, 1st AL East) @ Los Angeles Lakers (9-8, .529, 4th NL West)
Coming off of a 4-game series where they took two and lost two against the Toronto Reds, the Green Bay Packers have not quite captured the form they had in the 2nd half of 2075. Truth be told, they haven’t needed to as most clubs, save maybe the Philadelphia 76ers (Josiah looks great at the start of 2076 – 2-0, 0.98 ERA – only 3 RA in 27.7 innings) and the Portland Timbers, have come out of the gates slow & inconsistent. Teams are looking to work their way into 2076… settle into a groove and start being the best version of themselves. What’s different about the Packers so far is that they keep winnings ballgames while they figure things out – expertly uncovering opportunities to turn contests to their favor. Their pitching has been great – head and shoulders above the rest – they are 1st in both Starters ERA and Bullpen ERA, and 3rd in WAR & FIP. Their performance here has been interesting – there really is no standout guy on their rotation… it’s just 5 solid guys where the #1 through #3 guys look interchangeable – there really isn’t a clear ace. Offensively the book on these guys does not read as well – 10th in OBP, 9th in OPS, 6th in AVG – ho-hum in aggregate but situationally superb. Something has to give with these guys – their record and their stats suggest that they are a band of world-beaters – they are not, this is a mirage – let’s hope that their inevitable descent back to earth starts with our 3-game set in LA.

18 of 162: Elijah Rizzuto (1-1, 3.38) @ Michael Brisk (1-1, 2.53)
Win, 6-3… Brisk gave us 7 innings and allowed only two to come home, Barbaccia gets save number 7 and brings his ERA down a few ticks to 10.80 (yikes….), and Joshua Newman hits his team-leading 3rd HR of the season – a 2-run shot off of Rizzuto in the 6th. Newcomer Mario Marshburn endeared himself to the hometown fans a little bit as well when he hit a 2-out, 2-run single in the bottom of the 7th that put us up in this one for good. Only 32K fans came to this one – not a great sign… we are down 14% in attendance year-over-year despite no material change in ticket prices.

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Elsewhere: Josiah Kawka, who is now in the starting rotation for the Houston Dynamo, git his 4th start of the season as his club was in Montreal to begin a 3-game set against the Impact. He was shaky in the 1st inning, allowing two runs in the bottom of the 1st before settling in nicely in the 2nd inning – however, he was lifted in the 3rd due to an undisclosed injury, details pending. Listen, I don’t necessarily like what how the guy performed for us last season – especially during the second half and in the playoffs – but he’s a good dude and we wish him a speedy recovery… FWD to the morning of 4/25 – turns out he has a mild abdominal strain – he’s DtD for 5… let’s hope it doesn’t turn into a lingering thing.

19 of 162: Teagan Rachel (1-1, 3.50) @ Case Tunnell (2-0, 5.32)
Win, 4-3PEPPER walked the Packers off tonight in the bottom of the 9th with a dramatic two-out, run-scoring single and Case single-handedly gave the bullpen the night off as he went the distance against Green Bay, only allowing 2 earned runs in the contest. We gave Otto the night off, got 3 hits from Nash Aguillar, and 2 each from Newman and Mullens. The Packers committed two fielding flubs for us – and we were able to get a run across as a result… ~37K attended this one – an improvement, let’s hope that with the exciting finish they’ll bring some more friends with them next time they pay us a visit.

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Elsewhere, well not really elsewhere: One of the marketing “geniuses” in the office decided that today would be a good day to run our first popcorn promotion of the season – essentially, she set up a promotion where local flavored popcorn vendors get to set up popup popcorn stands throughout the stadium to give out to the kids. Our flavor representation is off the charts - we got dark chocolate espresso, buffalo wing (what kid wants buffalo wing flavored popcorn?), green apple, hot-pink watermelon, ranch, mint chip, and because this is LA, sushi flavored… what in tarnation? So, let me get this straight – we’re going to give out loquacious amounts of sugar to kids, for free, and at the expense of our regular concession stands? Never mind that I’m expecting a call from the Union’s shop steward any minute – 1000’s of kids plus tons of sugar? Not good. Listen, I like out-of-the-box thinking as much as the next guy – but we might have a riot on our hands by the time we reach the 7th inning stretch… it’s about to get all Lord of the Flies up in here.

20 of 162: Dacquan Lyons (1-0, 2.41) @ Phillip King (2-0, 1.11)
Win, 5-2… Our second SWEEP of the season, another late rally, and, despite some dicey moments in the crowd – including one where a group of sugared up 9-year-olds rushed one of the ESPN cameramen, but were stopped just short of reading their manifesto live on the air by an overzealous usher – we managed to come out of this one unscathed and smelling like roses. The return of the King continues to be the story of our team so far – he gave us another 8 inning, 2 earned effort (and K’d 8 hapless batters) in the win, and Nash Aguilar, in his second consecutive start, went 1 for 2 with a 3-run jack. Barbaccia gets save #8, Otto scored twice, Mullens finished 2 for 4 with 2 runs, and the Kids didn’t riot so only the game was televised…

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We got ourselves a perfectly timed sweep – one that will hopefully dominate local coverage as I don’t want too much ink spent on the popcorn debacle – I already have multiple voicemail messages from the union representative of our concession workers… apparently, all those free treats cut into their profit (hey, it cut into my profit too… sheesh). So, whatever, we got a three-game set in Toronto next and given the fact that someone thought it would be funny to fill my car with more popcorn then the scientist/teacher bad guy had in his house in ‘Real Genius’, I’m going to take an UberLyft to the airport to claim my spot on the 5+ hour flight to Hollywood North… we’re looking for another 3-game sweep in the 6, so no sleep ‘til Danforth – the next three days are going to be all about Baseball and Gyros folks… let’s get it.

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Old 07-15-2019, 02:24 PM   #256
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Oh my, what a heartbreaking way to see the World Series end- shades of 1991 and that Jack Morris 1-0 shutout, though in this case it didn't take 10 innings. (Sorry, just catching up here so a little late with these comments.)

Post-season baseball is such a grind and such a crap-shoot. Better luck in 2076.
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:56 PM   #257
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdWatcher View Post
Oh my, what a heartbreaking way to see the World Series end- shades of 1991 and that Jack Morris 1-0 shutout, though in this case it didn't take 10 innings. (Sorry, just catching up here so a little late with these comments.)

Post-season baseball is such a grind and such a crap-shoot. Better luck in 2076.
Yeah - dropping those last two at home was harrowing. Fair play to Jacksonville - they found ways to get it done. I did speed through the first few weeks of the season to expedite getting back to the playoffs (assuming we make it) though... It’s part of what makes this game so fun.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:50 PM   #258
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2076 Season (4/27 – 4/30)

Los Angeles Lakers (12-8, .600, 2nd NL West) @ Toronto Reds BC (11-8, .579, 1st AL East)
More interleague silliness… but this time we get a squad in the Toronto Reds that is every bit as good as their record would suggest. So far, in the early goings of the tricentennial season, the Reds have adopted the Chicago Fire’s 2075 approach – it’s all about that balanced attack. At 6th in total offense and 5th in pitching, the Reds BC have a lot of ways to beat you, just none that stand out – they’ve been outlier free since 2073. DH Andrew Beck & 2B Richard McTaggart are leading the way offensively – Beck with his three jacks and .389 average, and McTaggart with his slick fielding and 7 RBI’s. 1B Arnold Webster, batting just .192, has managed to put 5 out of the park and amass 15 riblets so far – when his stick gets straightened out he’ll be a handful. Their starters have also been solid as a unit – 5th in ERA & 6th in runs against – but, it’s the Bullpen that has been stellar for Toronto. As a unit they are 3rd in ERA and have nary a blown hold or save between them – they’ll falter eventually… hopefully, that comes against us in this 3-game set. It’s unlikely though – they’re set up for success and their fans know it as evidenced by their 21% increase in both attendance and revenue per game. So, after three years of futility where they played sub-.500 ball – their time, it seems, is now.

But, not on our watch. Hopefully.

21 of 162: Merl Crawford (0-1, 3.18) @ Kade McMillan (2-1, 6.60)
Win, 7-3… 5 straights W's now. Weaver did a little bit of everything in this one – he finished 4 for 5 with a triple, 2 runs, and 3 RBI’s – a solid days work. Rocco finished 0 for 4 but reached on an error in the top of the 4th that allowed two runs to score, Otto & Newman both finish 1 for 5, and Nash, Otto, Cooke, and Williams all hit doubles – but, again, the story was Weaver and his 6 total bases in this one. Crawford was sufficient – 6 thrown, 3 earned – and the pen successfully closes this one out – we’ll take a game one win against a solid club, in their park, anytime.

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22 of 162: Dejuan Burns (2-2, 2.93) @ Tom Wallace (2-1, 5.56)
Win, 5-3
… the streak is now at 6 straight… Burns spins a magic outing in this one – 7 thrown, 3 earned – and Barbaccia gets his 8th save and brings his ERA below 10. Pepper drives in two runs on a sac fly – Zarate and Weaver drive in 1 each, and Otto hits a double and scores a run. Not a ton to parse out in this one – we were mostly just workmanlike in this contest and in the end were good for a few more reps than the other guys.

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Elsewhere: Isidro Lutz of the despicable Jacksonville Jaguars finished 4 for 5 with a double, a homer, and 5 RBI’s in the defending champs 10-2 win over the San Francisco 49ers. Lutz is hitting .311 with 3 HR and 15 RB so far this season and has an OPS+ of 152. He’s a killer, boss.

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23 of 162: Michael Brisk (2-1, 2.54) @ Sarkis Canby (2-2, 3.20)
Win, 6-2… SWEEP! The winning streak has now grown to SEVEN! We’d get a complete game out of Brisk – he allowed only one and struck out 7 during the outing – and Dom Cooke finished 3 for 5 with a double, a HR, and 3 RBI’s. We’d get 11 total hits as a club with Mullens, Pepper, Cooke, and Weaver all getting two or more – Otto, batting just .222 now, went 0 for 5 with 2 K’s… seriously, what gives? Toronto loses Canby and Thomas Torin to injury in this one – status unclear as of yet, but let’s hope neither stay out for any extended length of time.

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Well… I didn’t expect to sweep Toronto at home, especially with Otto playing like trash so far this season. So we get a welcome and surprising result here – we’ll head off to Brooklyn next where we will face a struggling Josh Allen in the first game of a 4-game series.

Bush League (The Ballad of Adrian Bae) – So, this is cool (from an authoring perspective at least, I’m sure that Adrian would disagree) … It seems that Adrian Bae, former 2075 LA Laker – who actually performed at above replacement levels for us down the home stretch – has joined the Hagerstown Hummers of the Bush League where he has been slotted in at #2 in their STARTING rotation. This requires that we chronicle his time in the BL – SO… I’ve shortlisted the fella and will be posting his results each time he starts as we progress through the La La’s 2076 campaign. Dig?

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Last edited by pauwoo; 07-16-2019 at 09:37 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 08:08 AM   #259
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2076 Season (4/30 – 5/3)

Los Angeles Lakers (15-8, .652, 1st NL West) @ Brooklyn Citizens (9-12, 5th NL East)
At 8 games off the pace, sitting at 9-12, and with a -39 rDiff already (tied for last in the Majors), Brooklyn is a runaway F train headed straight for Rockaway Beach with nary a swimmer amongst their rank and file. Returning home form a West Coast swing that included losing sets in Portland and Golden State (Oakland), Brooklyn has a tough slog ahead if they are to right the ship. Dead last in every, single offensive category and with a pitching staff ranked 6th, Brooklyn has only mustered a less-than-pedestrian 2.8 runs per game while allowing 4.6. That’s not how the deed gets done – former offensive studs, Randall Berger & Archie Imanov have yet to impress – they’re doing their best Otto impression so far and are nailing it. Neither is hitting their weight and they only have 3 home runs between them. Their Ace, Isaiah Zuno, has performed okay, but he’s really nobodies Ace, and Josh Allen, who after a 7-18 season in 2075 is trending to finish 8-23 in 2076, can officially be called a bust. Such high hopes - look at all that potential that’s gone unfulfilled. He puts in long hours, but just doesn’t get the results – his movement just hasn’t come around and once opposing teams dial him in, his starts turn into a BP session. The Citizens are a team on the road to ruin – 19th ranked development system says there will be no help any time soon. And with ticket sales plummeting so far in 2076 as they trend to finish below .500 for the first time in 9 seasons it’s difficult to see a scenario where they stay out of the red in 2076 – so, the big club is in a funk, their development system’s cupboards are bare, and without an infusion of cash they won’t be able to buy their way out of this – so, Brooklyn fans, welcome to the bottom – I hope you enjoy the view as it looks like you’ll be down here for a while.

24 of 162: Case Tunnell (3-0, 4.35) @ Josh Allen (1-3, 7.11)
Win, 5-2… Case gives us 6 innings of 3-hit ball & only allows 2 while striking out 7 before showering and putting on his best dancing clothes on his way out of the clubhouse to join the bridge and tunnel posse for some debauchery in Manhattan - the hapless Brooklyn offense just couldn’t get anything going against him and continued the trend against our bullpen. We teed off on Allen (who leads the majors in HRA) – 3 home runs in the game, included a 2-run shot for Ethan to go with solo shots from Pepper and Weaver. Otto is still in a bad way – he’d finish 1 for 4 in this one – but relievers Matt Olston pitches two hitless innings to get his 2nd hold and Barbaccia picks up his 10th save of the year which, if you’re counting, is good enough for 2nd in the Majors behind Philadelphia’s Tony Dyson (kids got 12 so far).

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We’ll interrupt our regularly scheduled programming here as we’ve closed out the 1st month of the season… I’ll post a brief month one summary next and then finish off this 4-game series after that. Also, the Bush League is kicking off its 2076 campaign on May Day – your boy Adrian Bae will get his 1st start on the 2nd… I’m looking forward to that, let’s hope that he doesn’t let us down.

Last edited by pauwoo; Yesterday at 08:22 AM.
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