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Old 09-23-2018, 04:59 PM   #321
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In the final game of a three-game series against the Phoenix Speed Devils the Brewers were being no-hit by Devin Washburn until Antonio Puente hit his 25th HR of the year (a moonshot) to lead off the bottom of the 8th. After that the Brewers bats came alive (including Hector Uribe getting a single in the 9th to extend his hitting streak to 11 straight games) but it was just a little too little too late. (Potential tying run at the plate when it ended.)
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Old 09-23-2018, 06:18 PM   #322
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Things are looking mighty interesting in the SJL as the season winds down. The Washington Night Train had been on a roll and had taken over first place earlier in the month. But now they have lost 8 straight to drop behind the now red-hot Philadelphia Mud Hens and the reigning champs, Jacksonville. The Pittsburgh Roadrunners are also not out of it, but at 4 games back with just a handful to play, they are the longest of long-shots.

In the MGL, the Portland Wild Things clinched it today and await the SJL winner to battle for the honor to be named WPK champs.

(Meanwhile, the Brewers have now dropped 4 straight, the latest being a heartbreaker in L.A. in which the Brewers got a bit 2-run HR from Erik Shelton in the 8th inning to take a 5-4 lead only to have their best reliever, MIguel Solis, give up a two-out, two-run HR as the Spinners walked off with the win and a sweep of the 3-game series. (All by a single run, 3-2,3-2,6-5.))
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Old 09-23-2018, 09:31 PM   #323
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So in the final home game of the 1967 season, having lost 6 games in a row, the Brewers see what might be the final game in a purple jersey for veteran starting pitcher Jason Lawson. (The 39-year old Lawson has a player option for 1968 and it is unclear whether he will choose to stay with the club. And there is some speculation that management wouldn't be terribly upset if he walked away and they could spend that money on someone younger.) And Lawson pitched a gem, not allowing a run through 8 innings. Then, in the bottom of the 8th he came up to bat with two outs in a scoreless tie. And he hammered a pitch into the leftfield seats.
Unfortunately, he was unable to get out number 27 in the top of the 9th. He got the first two outs of the inning pretty easily. But then gave up a solo HR to Oklahoma City's secondbaseman Josh Waldron.
To make a long story a bit shorter, 9 innings later, after the Diamond Kings had taken a 2-run lead in the 12th inning only to see the Brewers tie the game again, it was over. And the Brewers had lost 7 in a row and were assured of another losing season.
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Old 09-23-2018, 11:10 PM   #324
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The Brewers losing streak ends at 7 games, mercifully, though it took extra innings against Phoenix to accomplish it. And that's after the Brewers took a 6-1 lead into the bottom the 5th inning, on the strength of 3 Tanner Yurek 2-run HR's. (Yurek had a 4 HR game in the 1965 season, so he does like to get them in bunches.) Yurek is sneaking up on Antonio Puente for the team lead in this category as he now has 23 on the season to Puente's rather disappointing 25.
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Old 09-23-2018, 11:37 PM   #325
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Nice honor for young Pat Rondeau as he is named the MGL Rookie-of-the-Month for September.
It certainly appears that Pat will be going into the 1968 season with the centerfield starter job his to lose.
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Old 09-24-2018, 12:05 AM   #326
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And the Brewers at least end the season with a 3-game sweep of Phoenix on the road, winning the last game mostly thanks to a 10th inning 3-run HR off the bat of Antonio Puente. Puente finished the season quite cold at the plate but with his 26th HR he also got over the century mark for the second year in a row in runs batted in.
The Brewers fall a few wins short of their goal of at least reaching .500 this season, but they saw a lot of promising developments on the team and they enter the off-season with at least moderately high hopes for the future.
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:34 PM   #327
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Going into the post-season, one thing is certain: a new champ will be crowned this year. After two straight years of Jacksonville Wolf Pack (SJL)- Los Angeles Spinners (MGL) World Series match-ups, neither team returns to the post-season in 1967. In the SJL, the Washington Night Train manage to bounce back at the end of the season (after going through a horrible stretch towards the end of September) and on the last day of the season their nearest rivals, the Philadelphia Mud Hens, suffer a heartbreaking 3-2 loss at the hands of the Columbus Whalers and the Night Train avoid having to settle a tie-breaker with Philly and take the SJL by a single game. The reigning two-time WPK champs, Jacksonville, finish in 3rd, 2 games off the pace. With the level of young talent on that club, everybody expects they will likely get back to the Fall Classic sometime in the next few years again, though.
In the MGL, the Portland Wild Things cruised to the title, finishing the season with 98 wins, 7 games ahead of their nearest competitors, the Oklahoma City Diamond Kings. The L.A. Spinners dropped to a 3rd place tie with Phoenix, a distant 11 games out of the lead.

So, the 1967 WPK World Series sees a matchup of the Washington Night Train versus the Portland Wild Things. It should be fun, especially with some new blood in the championship series.

On a less happy note, the miserable El Paso Dawgs finished the season with 117 losses, by far the worst team in the SJL. The MGL saw one team finish over the century mark in losses, the perennial also-ran Detroit Falcons, who, by comparison to El Paso, lost a very modest 104 games.
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:47 PM   #328
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In front of the home town Portland fans, the Wild Things jump out to a 1-game lead in the best-of-seven series versus the Night Train. All 3 of the runs scored in this game came courtesy of solo homeruns. The first, which gave the Night Train the lead in the 5th inning, came off the bat of an unlikely source: light-hitting catcher Matt Crout.
Portland would tie it up in the 6th when a much more likely candidate- former MVP and premiere slugging superstar Frank Hernandez clubbed a slider that stayed flat into the rightfield seats.
Then, with the score tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the 9th, with one out, Akke Holierhoek, the pride of the island of Curacao, snuck a line-drive just over the rightfield fence to give the Wild Things the win.
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:18 AM   #329
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Or so, at least, Game 1 seemed to happen in an extremely vivid and detailed dream that Holierhoek's Curacaoan grandmother had the night before the big game.

(After posting last night I had a bit of a crash/freeze of the program and lost a few days of, well, relative inaction. Biggest loss was this game which I will need to replay. Also lost a mildly significant trade that I worked the previous day (game calendar) but should be able to recreate that. First such episode for me with OOTP19 and not too disconcerting. I do very regularly save and make backups but hadn't done either yet during this session of play. Whoops!)
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:34 PM   #330
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Well, in one respect Granny Holierhoek's dream did turn out to be prophetic. It was certainly low scoring. Well, and in another respect as well, as her grandson Akke's team got the victory. Though in this case there were no dramatic homeruns. No homeruns at all. And Akke was not the hero for the Wild Things. That honor would go to talented young ace starter Jose Aguilar.
(And yes, all saved prior to posting this. So this time it should stick and not turn into some crazy dream.)
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:46 PM   #331
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The day before the World Series started the Denver Brewers finally officially gave up on minor league starting pitcher Jon Goldman. Although Goldman has shown signs of having great talent (he's a big, hard throwing, six pitch starter with great energy and work ethic) he has continued to struggle with nagging injury issues and at age 25 it appears that his pitches will never develop the movement needed to keep the ball from flying out of major league ballparks (when hit, of course, by major league hitters).
In the trade the Brewers pick up a veteran lefthanded reliever with great durability and who has been well-liked by teammates in the past. Although the bullpen was a particular strength for the Brewers this past season, there were concerns that they needed to add a second lefty to take some of the burden off David Brown, who was spectacular in 1967. It appears that the free agency market might not be great this off-season also so the Brewers will likely be looking to make any needed upgrades through trades.
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:24 PM   #332
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Portland claims an easy victory in Game 2, but it might also prove to be a costly game. Early on, veteran superstar Andy "Lemonhead" Wilson argued a bit too vociferously on a called third strike, was tossed from the game, and in the ensuing argument apparently made contact with the umpire. The league has suspended Wilson for 3 games and the Wild Things will have to make due, with the series shifting to Washington D.C., without one of the greatest players in the league.
They are up early in this series but will they be able to sustain it without one of their two former league MVP's in the lineup for three games? Stay tuned.
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:37 PM   #333
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Back home in The District, the Night Train survive a 9th inning rally by Portland to squeak out a 3-2 victory and get back into the series. Washington veteran thirdbaseman Raoul Pirelli is a key contributor in the win as he collects 2 hits in 3 at-bats including the second inning homerun that put the Night Train on the board first, a lead they would never relinquish.
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:04 PM   #334
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In a back-and-forth game Washington gets a walk-off win again due to the exploits of Raoul Pirelli, who not only went 2 for 3 again but whose 2-out bottom-of-the-ninth solo HR ended the game. Shortstop Lorenzo Castro, who was perhaps the best in the game at his position in 1966 but saw his offensive numbers dip a bit in '67, also had a fine game in the victory.
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:27 PM   #335
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Perhaps it is home cooking or the pleasure of playing in front of the partisan D.C. home crowds, or perhaps it also has a bit to do with playing against a Wild Thing team missing perhaps their biggest star and best player the past three games, but the Washington Night Train now find themselves on the verge of winning their first WPK crown.
Manny Nieto, the Night Train's best power hitter, helped propel his team to victory in Game 5, going 2 for 3 at the plate and hitting his second homerun of the series.
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Old 09-28-2018, 05:51 PM   #336
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With the 1967 season in the tail lights, and a new WPK Champion having been named (okay, that's a teaser- will report on the last two games of the World Series tonight), it's time to start to thinking about 1968 and beyond for my Denver Brewers.
The good news is, despite me not providing our owner with the championship he was asking for this season, he has decided to open the organizational wallet a bit more than usual for this coming season. And with a few expensive veterans being off the payroll now- Jeff Burdick did not meet his required number of innings pitched for his vesting option to kick in for 1968 (because I didn't let him) and veteran firstbaseman Aaron Fuller did not meet his required number of games played for same (because I didn't let him- he was a total washout in a Brewers uni)- combined with a bit more generosity on the part of the owner, we are in a pretty good position to possibly pick up one impact free agent (there are three starting pitchers we have our eye on, most especially Jaime Schardein) and to try to get a few of the young players we are counting on to form the core of a winning team signed to longer-term contracts (Chad Brown, Ruben Souffront.)

Also, the owner has readjusted his expectation for the 1968 season to be more in line with reality as he is looking for us to have a winning record. That should be achievable, I believe. He wants a championship by 1970, which is fair, if by no means a given.

Looking over the team as it is currently comprised, it seems to me that these are our strengths going into 1968 (in addition to general youth and potential):
1) Middle infield defense plus good offensive production from our starters in those positions. With Chad Brown's emergence as a solid hitter and continued development as a spectacular fielder and Tanner Yurek's consistent and even slightly increasing power bat, above average defense, and fine plate discipline, we are great up the middle in the infield.
2) Outfield defense. Puente is terrific in left, Rondeau is already looking like a potential gold glove candidate in center, Souffront is solidly above average in right, and Zack Banks provides great d as a fourth outfielder, particularly in left and center.
3) Team speed. A few slow pokes (catchers, of course, Hector Uribe at thirdbase) but overall, nearly every position player is either well above average or exceptional in the speed category.
4) Bullpen (maybe, probably). The bullpen was horrible in 1966, great in 1967. The nature of these things, it could be bad again in 1968. But with some of the key additions made prior to the '67 season and the maturation of some of the young arms in the pen, I expect it will be at least above average again in 1968. And it is deep. Clearly some of the guys who saw work with the Brewers this past season will need to spend some time at AAA this year, so in the event (a given) of injuries during the season, there will be solid replacements available.
5) Corner infield defense. Although you will see the corner infielders make an appearance in the weaknesses list below, they are all above average to well above average defensively. And with super-utility glove-man Jose Bravo added to the mix, defense in the Brewers infield will not be an issue. Honestly, the only area where we could use some defensive help is behind the plate.

Some of the weaknesses that we would like to address:
1) Corner infield offensive production. The corners are in flux right now and will likely see some platoon action with young players. Firstbase has two youngsters with at least decent offensive potential in Erik Shelton (22 years old) and Bobby Erbakan (21.) Shelton was very decent with the bat in his partial season with the Brewers in 1966 but took a step backwards in 1967. Although, after his brief suspension in September, he finished the season pretty hot at the plate. Erbakan looks mostly over-matched at the big league level at this point, but could someday be a very gifted major league hitter and has shown some glimpses of his great potential.
Thirdbase features players with good defense and limited offensive upside. Hector Uribe did have a better second half at the plate in 1967 but at his best his offense would probably be just good enough to make him an average thirdbaseman given his defensive strengths. And long-time minor leaguer Willie Chavez, who turns 27 near mid-season, has what is probably a AAAA bat, but does offer solid defense and is a right-handed batter who can sub for the lefthanded hitting Uribe when lefty pitchers are on the mound.
Thirdbase is the area our owner is focusing on now in terms of positional improvement. And I'm not yet sure how we will satisfy him in this area. We can only hope that Jose Careaga continues his development in the minors and is ready sooner rather than later.
2) Lack of team power. We have to hope that Puente takes a step forward again in his power game in 1968, that Yurek continues to inch upwards in this category, that Ruben Souffront perhaps starts to find untapped potential in this area, that Bobby Erbakan matures quickly and develops at least average power, etc., etc. A lot of ifs. And given the expected crop of free agents, it does not look like this is a weakness that will be solved this year via that route.
3) Lack of a true ace for the starting rotation. But this one we might be able to resolve through a free agent signing. And this will probably be priority number one in the off-season.
4) Catcher defense. Starter Sam Rogers is a three-time All-Star. This is as much because of his reputation and sterling character as his on the field performance though. He's a solid hitter but no more than that. And a pretty mediocre to poor fielder. Backup catcher Tony Silmon is a very solid defensive catcher other than having a weak arm. But he can't hit a lick. So, another priority in the off-season will be to identify a superior defensive catcher who isn't too terrible a liability with a bat in his hands who might take over the back-up job from Silmon.

Posting all of this away from the game. Will likely be elaborating or following-up on most of this over the course of the off-season with screenshots. And before long we will see how well I did identifying and addressing areas of need for the team.

Last edited by BirdWatcher; 09-28-2018 at 10:07 PM. Reason: spelling correction
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Old 09-28-2018, 09:37 PM   #337
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In Game Six of the 1967 World Series, finding themselves down 3 games to 2, Portland returns home and sees Andy Wilson return from his 3 game suspension and they get a rather easy 5-1 victory to send the series to a Game 7.
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Old 09-28-2018, 09:48 PM   #338
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But in the end the Wild Things will regret that they didn't capitalize on their early advantage in this series and certainly in some quarters there will be speculation about whether Andy Wilson;s temporary loss of control might have cost his team a chance at a championship. The Washington Night Train get another big hit, a 4th inning 3-run HR, from series MVP Raoul Pirelli and hold on for a relatively easy 4-1 win. For the third year in a row, the WPK Championship trophy will reside in a Shoeless Joe League city.

And while Portland may indeed be back next year, with their two best players and biggest stars, Andy Wilson and Frank Hernandez, heading into their mid-30's, this may have been their best chance at a championship with this set of players.
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Old 09-28-2018, 09:59 PM   #339
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Post-season award time and the Brewers get just one Gold Glove award for 1967 and it goes to starting pitcher Steve Alonso- his second straight year to win this prize for best fielding pitcher in the MGL.
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Old 09-28-2018, 10:05 PM   #340
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Among MGL relievers, lefty David Brown comes in 4th for the Reliever-of-the-Year voting.
The Brewers do get one Silver Slugger award, which goes to catcher Sam Rogers. Sam's offensive numbers weren't that fabulous but this is a position sorely lacking in offensive stars at this time.
And young centerfielder Pat Rondeau comes in 3rd in the MGL in Rookie-of-the-Year voting.
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