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Old 07-04-2018, 04:22 PM   #541
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21 September 2051

GM’s notebook - Series 52 and 53

Magpies 2-7 Denver
Magpies 4-5 Denver
Magpies 6-2 Denver
Olympia 1-4 Magpies
Olympia 4-7 Magpies
Olympia 7-1 Magpies

- A rare bad day for rookie reliever Ramón González cost us the first game in Denver: he gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk in the 7th inning, and Johannes Kepler hooked him before he’d retired a batter.
- We only lost the following day in the 10th inning, but committed 4 errors in total and got the loss we deserved.
- Wesley Weaver got the win in the final Snow Sox game, after delivering the strong start we so desperately needed today: 8.1 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K.
- St. Paul also went 1-2 in their first series of the week, against Santa Fe, and our magic number for a wildcard is down to 2. Lansing now lead us by 4 games and we need a miracle to catch them.
- Assuming, as seems nearly certain now, that we end up in the wildcard game, Tom Hart made his final regular season start in the 4-1 win over Olympia. He finished the year with a 16-7 record and 2.21 ERA after posting 8 innings of 1-run ball.
- Gonzalo Torralda hit 3-4 with a HR in the second game of the Wolfhounds series. The win clinched a wildcard spot - securing our sixth postseason appearance in a row. We still have an outside shot at the division pennant after Lansing lost their game to Santa Fe.
- Joe Merrill argued with the home plate umpire after being called out on strikes and will miss the remaining 4 games of the regular season through suspension. I’ll no doubt have a nearly email from the Commissioner’s Office sitting in my inbox by the morning.

This week: 3-3
Record: 90-69, 2nd place, 3 GB from Lansing
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:25 PM   #542
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20 September 2051

OFFICE OF THE STATE CAPITALS LEAGUE COMMISSIONER

NOTICE OF SUSPENSION: JOE MERRILL


The Commissioner is extremely disappointed to write to you to issue a player suspension, less than two months after last doing so. The behaviour of the Des Moines Magpies team on the field of play is of great concern to him at this current time. The Commissioner fully understands that during the closing stages of the regular season, as teams compete to win division titles and postseason berths, emotions are running high. But he does not accept that this invalidates norms of behaviour on the baseball field, and expects State Capitals League players to treat fans, officials, and each other, with respect at all times.

This letter provides official notification from the Office of the State Capitals League Commissioner of the four-game suspension that has been issued to Des Moines Magpies outfielder Joe Merrill. Mr Merrill has no right of appeal against this decision. The suspension applies with immediate effect.

The SCL has a well established belief that players should treat officials politely and respectfully at all times, and will not tolerate verbal abuse being directed toward them. The aggressive and intimidatory language that Mr Merrill directed to home plate umpire Les Largezone in last night’s game against Olympia and which led to Mr Largezone ejecting him from the game, has no place in the SCL, which, I remind the Magpies organisation, is a family-friendly sport. Mr Largezone is not, as Mr Merrill alleged during his tirade, “smellier than a skunk up a drainpipe”, “8 sandwiches short of a picnic” or “a biased, bloated, barmy, backside-kissing buffoon”, and most certainly could call a better game than Mr Merrill’s grandmother. While the Commissioner has some admiration for Mr Merrill’s alliterative skills, he wholeheartedly supports Mr Largezone’s decision to eject Mr Merrill from the game.

The Commissioner feels that a 4-game suspension is appropriate in this case, and reflects Mr Merrill’s previous good behaviour during his SCL career to date. I am sure that the Commissioner would, however, take a rather more dim view of events should there be a repeat in future.

Yours sincerely,

Rufus S. Bureaucracy
State Capitals League Deputy Commissioner
20 September 2051
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:27 PM   #543
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25 September 2051

GM’s notebook - Series 54

Magpies 4-2 Sacramento
Magpies 2-0 Sacramento
Magpies 3-4 Sacramento

- In game one, Cory Adams took a no-hitter into the 7th inning. Blair Cunningham and Ángel Ochoa both hit 3-5, and Eric Warner hit 2 doubles.
- Robinson Ortíz pitched 8 scoreless innings to get the win in the second game of the series. Jeffrey White hit 3-3 with his 31st home run, and Ken James claimed save number 40. That took us to 92 wins, meaning we’ve bettered last year’s 91-71 record.
- Lansing have lost 2 to Phoenix, so, incredibly, we go into game 162 still with a chance of winning the North Division. Wesley Weaver will get the start, as I have to keep Tom Hart fresh for the potential wildcard game.
- An agonising 10th inning run from the Stingrays won the final game and ended our chances. Lansing beat the Raccoons in their game, so it was academic anyway.
- So Lansing win the North Division at 94-68. It’s a bonkers sixth consecutive all-North Division wildcard game, and we’ll face old foes the Brown Bears. This will be our third wildcard game face-off. The previous two, in 2046 and 2047, we won. And we are 8-4 in head-to-head games this year. Unfortunately they’ll have likely repeat Outstanding Pitcher Al Harper (14-7, 1.92) on the mound, so they’ll be favourites and we’re right up against it.
- White finished the season with 112 RBIs, 4th in the league.
- Hart’s ERA of 2.21 placed 3rd among all qualified SCL pitchers.
- His 40 saves placed Ken James 10th in the SCL. Above him on the list were former Magpies team-mates Júlio Martínez (45) and Jorge Cruz (44).

This week: 2-1
Record: 92-70, 2nd place, 2 GB from Lansing
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:31 PM   #544
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26 September 2051

Mannix Glowstone
@rayoflight

We’re off to the wildcard game... again! 5th in 6 seasons! Just typical that it’ll be another #SCLNorthDivision team... again! And it’s the Brown Bears... again!
11:41AM - 26 Sep 2051

Sergei Shakes
@wibblewobble

These wildcard games give me the heebie-jeebies! My nerves can’t stand it! #PassTheBrandy
11:43AM - 26 Sep 2051

Zebedee Stethoscope
@glasshalfempty

@rayoflight weve no chance vs Al Harper, prob wnt even bother watchin #WasteOfTime #AlwaysNextSeason
11:44AM - 26 Sep 2051

Genghis Troll
@nothingbettertodo

@rayoflight baseball is BORING!! I literally couldn’t have less interest in your pathetic meaningless “wildcard game” #boring #boring #soooooooboring
11:47AM - 26 Sep 2051

Buzz Spacecowboy
@tomarsandbeyond

@nothingbettertodo you sure do tweet about baseball a whole lot for something you allegedly hate so much #plank #wally
11:50AM - 26 Sep 2051

Bart Wardrobe
@MagpiesMad

In Billy I trust! #keepthefaith #Magpies
11:55AM - 26 Sep 2051
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Old 07-06-2018, 04:52 PM   #545
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26 September 2051

(Reproduced courtesy of SCL At-Bat, the number one app for all the latest SCL news and scores)

Magnificent Emery claims WL triple crown
Brown Bears hitter a lock for the SCL Hall of Fame

By Buster Oldknee, 11:58AM, 26 Sep 51

Julián Emery has claimed the first triple crown in SCL history. Madison’s superb first baseman led the Western League in batting average (.342), home runs (46) and RBIs (116). He had been neck-and-neck with Phoenix catcher Jeremy Black on batting average for most of the last few weeks, but a strong final fortnight from Emery, coupled with a disappointing run for Black, saw him top the category.

The 28-year-old 5-time all-star seems certain to claim the third Outstanding Hitter title of his career at the end of the season. The one award above all that is missing from Emery’s collection, however, is an SCL Cup Final Series ring. The Brown Bears will face traditional adversaries Des Moines in the upcoming wildcard game.
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Old 07-06-2018, 04:53 PM   #546
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27 September 2051

(Reproduced courtesy of SCL At-Bat, the number one app for all the latest SCL news and scores)

Montgomery chase record-equalling fourth straight SCL crown
Annapolis complete postseason lineup after playoff game victory over Atlanta

By Tim Curtain, 9:42AM, 27 Sep 51

The Montgomery Cruisers enter the 2051 SCL playoffs as hot favourites to match the 2025-2028 Atlanta Hurricanes and win four successive Cup Final Series trophies. The 2048, 2049 and 2050 champions were in a close battle with the Hurricanes in the South East Division for much of the season, but pulled away with excellent results down the stretch, eventually finishing 8 games clear at 95-67. Central Division champions Columbus boast the best overall record in the SCL with 97 wins. After finishing tied for the second Eastern League wildcard spot, the Annapolis Mustangs beat Atlanta 5-4 in a tension-filled one-game playoff to claim their first postseason berth for five years.

A fourth straight Deltas-Cruisers Cup Final Series matchup also remains a possibility, after Baton Rouge easily reclaimed their South Division title. The Western League’s top seeds are Lansing, who won the tough North Division after a close race. The North Division will supply both wildcard teams for an amazing sixth year in a row, with Des Moines hosting Madison. Olympia will feature in the playoffs for the first time since 2039 after winning the West Coast Division despite only just finishing above .500 at 82-80.

Playoff qualifiers for the Western League:
North Division: Lansing (94-68)
West Coast Division: Olympia (82-80)
South Division: Baton Rouge (89-73)
Wildcards: Des Moines (92-70), Madison (88-74)

Playoff qualifiers for the Eastern League:
North East Division: Hartford (87-75)
Central Division: Columbus (97-65)
South East Division: Montgomery (95-67)
Wildcards: Indianapolis (88-74), Annapolis (87-75)
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Old 07-06-2018, 04:57 PM   #547
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29 September 2051

The Des Moines Telegraph
Magpies crash out in the wildcard game for third time in four years after another heavy defeat

The Magpies were last night thrashed by divisional rivals Madison in the Western League wildcard game, ending the cash-strapped franchise’s hopes of a second SCL championship. With ERA leader and reigning WL Outstanding Pitcher Al Harper on the mound, the Brown Bears did enter the game as strong favourites to progress. But it was still an immensely disappointing outcome for the young Magpies team, and general manager Billy DePodesta was visibly downbeat when speaking to reporters after the game.

In truth, the game was over before it had barely begun. The Magpies has kept their ace Tom Hart fresh in order to start the game, but he ran into immediate trouble in the top of the 1st inning. A leadoff walk was followed by a double from switch hitter Jesús Ortíz to score the first run. Further doubles from catcher Bernard Ingram and DH Júlio Pérez scored three more runs, and the Magpies were 4-0 down before their lineup had faced a single pitch.

Hart dug in and threw well after that, but Harper was at his imperious best and the score remained 4-0 entering the 8th inning. In the top of the inning, Hart gave up another double to Ortíz and Johannes Kepler decided he was done for the day. Rookie Robert Terry took the mound for the Magpies in his place, and intentionally walked Julián Emery. Infielder Burt Townsend was up next, and jumped on Terry’s first pitch, launching it fully 470 feet into the bleachers for a three-run home run and a 7-0 lead for the Brown Bears.

The game was up, and the Magpies knew it. They did manage to put two consolation runs on the board in the bottom of the 8th against a tiring Harper, but it was much too little, much too late. Madison were the team with the superstars, and they were too good for the young Magpies today. After another demoralising postseason loss, the Magpies front office will face tough decisions about where the club goes from here.

However, yesterday’s defeat coincided with better news on the off-field side of the organisation, as the club posted strong financial results which have raised hopes that owner Chris Rueda may be able to make greater investment in the team in the near future. Announcing the figures before the start of the game, Rueda said that the club had made an operating profit in 2050, for the first time in a number of years. He said that the front office would continue to operate under tight budgetary constraints for the coming 2052 season, but that no decision has yet been made for 2053 or beyond. Much will depend on revenues next season and Rueda’s ability to attract additional external funding into the club.
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Old 07-07-2018, 04:19 PM   #548
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30 September 2051

GM’s notebook - Roster planning: Jeffrey White

We have no players going to arbitration after the season, so planning for next year can start now. Our current contractual commitments for 2052 (excluding António Fernández and Curt Cox, who will leave as free agents this winter) are $9m over budget at $109m. That means I must cut $9m from the payroll.

The big question this winter is what to do about Jeffrey White. He had another fantastic season batting cleanup (.851 OPS) and is my star hitter, but earns $16m and is entering the final year of his contract. He will be 29 just before the new season begins. Do I trade him for a younger model, or hold on to him for now and reconsider my options at the deadline? I don’t need to trade him before the season: I have already decided to trade Robinson Ortíz (signed to a $9.5m, 1-year extension for 2052) which will bring me back within budget. But straight after free agents have filed in November is when teams have the most budget room, so is likely to give me the most options for prospects to get in return for White in a trade, and give me some budget headroom for the rest of the offseason. The fans will hate losing White, but I’m paid to put a winning and affordable team on the field, not to please all the fans.

I have decided to test the trade market waters to see what sort of return I can get for White. I’ll want an excellent young hitter on minimum salary who can slot into the lineup. The ideal solution would be a LF who means I can shift the defensively limited Rob Crawford to DH, but I will also try out for a direct replacement in White’s place, playing 1B or DH. Ortíz could form part of the trade package. If I don’t find a trade I like, White will stay and I’ll trade Ortíz alone.
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Old 07-07-2018, 04:20 PM   #549
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30 September 2051

GM’s notebook - Roster planning: Position players

Overall I don’t have any over-riding needs from the offseason, and most of the squad will be returning next year.

The situation of Jeffrey White has already been discussed. Gonzalo Torralda at 1B, Ángel Ochoa at 2B and Ángel Márquez at 3B/SS were very good every day starters in the infield this season and are under contract for at least the next 2 years. Reynaldo González blew a bit hot and cold in his rookie season but will keep his spot playing 3B against right-handers, with Eric Warner coming into the lineup against lefties. Alex Becker and Nick Baker are good-quality reserves. In Darrel Rogers, Pedro Medina, Shane Hendricks and last year’s first round draft pick Daniel Burke, I have a set of great infield prospects, although they’re all probably at least a year away.

I have learned my lesson about Gianni Hagenaars’s defensive value at CF, but I would really like him to improve his ugly .168 batting average to stop me changing my mind again. Joe Merrill is a capable and very cheap backup. Dave Plummer played well when called upon and will replace the departing António Fernández in the RF platoon with Pedro Soto. At LF, Rob Crawford fell away a bit after a superb start to the year, and will hopefully resume his improvement this season. Terry Lawrence, who had a poor year after excelling the season before, is likely to begin 2052 as the primary outfield reserve. I don’t like the thought of his $2.3m salary sitting on my minor league roster, however, so he is a potential trade chip.

Ernesto Solís and Blair Cunningham are firmly established as the two catchers on the roster after putting up nice seasons on both sides of the plate. The only question is whether Solís can hold onto the starters’ job, or whether Cunningham can wrestle it from him. José Pereira is the third catcher in the organisation, who has failed to impress in two stints on the 25-man roster so far in his Magpies career, but still has potential.
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Old 07-07-2018, 04:22 PM   #550
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1 October 2051

GM’s notebook - Roster planning: Pitchers

I am really happy with the starting rotation. Tom Hart tired a little towards the end of the season, but gives me a bona fide top of the rotation arm who is, crucially, on an affordable $9m per annum contract for the next 3 years. Israel Padilla was consistently excellent, and Cory Adams was a revelation in his first full season as a big league starter. With only 50% quality starts, Wesley Weaver’s erratic form was a concern, but he has done enough in the past to make me keep the faith a little longer. But as he enters the final year of his $7m/yr deal, he could be on the block ahead of the trade deadline if he fails to return to his best. Robinson Ortíz was good this year but I need to move him to keep within budget, and this is the best time to maximise the return I can get for him. Robert Terry will take the rotation spot vacated by Ortíz.

The bullpen was infuriating all year. Such much talent but some really underwhelming performances and numbers (Jesús Benítez, Bernardo Merrado, David Gaines). It was definitely the team’s biggest weakness this season, but I simply don’t have the cash to sure it up with veteran arms. And I have so much good young pitching on the minor league that it would feel almost a criminal waste of money and talent to block guys with a free agent acquisition. I believe in the ability of these lads and think they will turn it around next year, so I am going to stick with the current group, at least to start the new season. Left-handed relief pitching was a particular problem, but I expect to start the year with the live young arms of David Gaines and Jesús Zamora with the big league club, and have Marv Lewis back in the minors for more development. At least in Ken James we have a dependable closer. Ramón González fitted straight into the bullpen after being drafted in June and I have earmarked him as our next closer once we can no longer afford James.
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Old 07-09-2018, 05:16 PM   #551
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7 October 2051

(Reproduced courtesy of SCL At-Bat, the number one app for all the latest SCL news and scores)

Montgomery and Baton Rouge advance to league championship series
Both teams aiming to claim their fourth straight league championship pennant

By Tim Curtain, 8:21PM, 7 Oct 51

It couldn’t happen yet again, could it? Could we really have a fourth Cup Final Series in a row battled out between the Montgomery Cruisers and Baton Rouge Deltas? Well, there is every chance, as both teams won their division series match-ups to advance to their respective league championship series.

The defending champion Cruisers, aiming to match the record of Atlanta by claiming four consecutive titles, suffered a bad 10-3 defeat in the opening game of their series against Annapolis, but struck back with three big wins of their own to win the series 3-1. The Deltas’s Western League division series against wildcard winners Madison was a much more cagey and low-scoring affair, but their passage was comfortable enough in the end too.

The Cruisers will now face Hartford, who shocked top-seeds Columbus in a final game decider last night. The Deltas’s championship series is against Olympia.

Western League division series:
Baton Rouge Deltas 3-1 Madison Brown Bears
Olympia Wolfhounds 3-1 Lansing Sharks

Eastern League division series:
Montgomery Cruisers 3-1 Annapolis Mustangs
Hartford Tarantulas 3-2 Columbus Heatseekers
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Old 07-09-2018, 05:17 PM   #552
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10 October 2051

(Extract from “Des Moines Dreams: A History Of The Magpies” by Lewis Michael)

Chapter 16

This wildcard defeat felt different to the previous ones. Sure, any team could lose a one-game head-to-head play-off. It wasn’t the loss itself so much, or the crushing disappointment that accompanied it, which was the thing. The problem, Billy reflected, as he sat in stony silence in his office after the game was over and even the Iowa Ballpark matchday staff had gone home, was that for the first time, doubt had started to creep into his mind.

When he first returned to the Magpies to become their new GM, he was absolutely confident he could build a championship team here, financial problems or no financial problems. And, after winning the franchise’s first title in 2046, he had of course. But as the club’s budgetary constraints had persisted since, and the list of talented baseball players he had been forced to trade away mounted up, the 2051 wildcard game marked the point at which he lost that unshakable confidence that he would win again.

Objectively, for a team with by far the smallest payroll in the league, 92 wins and a wildcard appearance was a hugely successful season. But after losing that wildcard game for the second consecutive year, it certainly didn’t feel like it. The tribulations of his young bullpen, Billy thought, pretty much encapsulated the barrier he no longer felt so sure he could overcome.

His overall strategy - keeping the best veteran talent he could afford and trading the rest for the next round of youth once he could no longer afford them - was working up to a point. He had never yet failed to reach 90 wins. So he knew he could field a competitive team. But now he was doubting whether his low budget was enough to field a championship team. His strategy meant could get in young talent. And lots of it. But young talent is often inconsistent and has its ups and downs. Sometimes, like this year’s bullpen, more downs than ups. A winning team needs veteran presences to guide the younger players and deliver more sustained levels of performance over the long season. And his bottom-feeder budget didn’t allow for much in the way of veteran presences.

Chris Rueda, the Magpies owner, interrupted Billy’s train of thought by knocking on his office door. “Don’t be down, Billy. The boys did great this year. 92 wins is no mean feat. Revenues were up again. Most of your fellas will be back here again next season, a year older, a year wiser, a year more experienced.”

“I’m just not sure, Chris”, Billy said.

“The immediate aftermath of a disappointing defeat is the worst possible time to start rethinking our entire strategy and plans”, replied Rueda. “We’ll only throw the baby out with the bath water. Take a few days off. Come back fresh next Monday and attack the league again.”

Billy forced a smile. “Sure.”

Rueda turned to leave. “You see that story on the Telegraph’s website tonight?”

“The one saying I was considering becoming GM of the Adventurers? Yeah. No idea where they get that sort of nonsense from.”

“You sure it’s nonsense?”

Billy laughed. “Of course! Come on, Chris. Look, I’ll be straight with you. I won’t pretend that some day, some dim and distant day, mind you, the old “resurrect an underperforming powerhouse” job might appeal to me. But not now! There’s a job to do here and I’m committed to it.”

“Glad to hear it!”, said Rueda. “Seriously, give yourself a few days. If you text me about baseball before Monday, you’re fired!” And he left Billy’s office.

If Billy was honest, taking on a team like Boston - with their money - had its appeal. The thought of taking such a job, if it were ever offered, had crossed his mind. If he could sustain 90-win seasons on the Magpies’ minuscule budget, what could he achieve with Boston’s reported $240m riches?

But no, what he said to Chris was right, he thought. Now was not the time. One day, maybe. But not now.
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Old 07-09-2018, 05:19 PM   #553
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17 October 2051

(Reproduced courtesy of SCL At-Bat, the number one app for all the latest SCL news and scores)

Montgomery and Baton Rouge return to Cup Final Series for remarkable fourth year in a row
Will be four consecutive titles for Cruisers or fourth time lucky for Deltas

By Buster Oldknee, 9:31AM, 17 Oct 51

Baton Rouge and Montgomery have each claimed a fourth league championship in as many years, and will duke it out once again in the SCL Cup Final Series. Montgomery had too much for Hartford in their championship series, and will now get the chance to equal the historic four-in-a-row achievement of the Atlanta Hurricanes.

The Western League championship series was much more of a white knuckle ride for the Deltas. Having lost the first two games of the series at home against the Wolfhounds, they fought back to win all three subsequent games in Olympia. Another home loss tied the series 3-3, but they finally prevailed with a dominant display in the game seven decider, winning 9-4.

Never before has the SCL seen such a postseason rivalry between two so dominant teams. Will the Cruisers be overawed by the prospect of making history? Will the Deltas buckle beneath the pressure of trying to avoid four straight Cup Final Series losses? It promises to be quite a series.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:17 PM   #554
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27 October 2051

(Reproduced courtesy of SCL At-Bat, the number one app for all the latest SCL news and scores)

Four in a row for historic Cruisers
Montgomery match feat of Atlanta, as Deltas fall at the final hurdle once again

By Tim Curtain, 11:03PM, 27 Oct 51

When closer Gabe Copeland got the final out to win game five and give the Baton Rouge Deltas a 3-2 lead in the Cup Final Series, even the most pessimistic of their fans must have thought they’d do it this time. Surely.

No. The Montgomery Cruisers are an historically great team for a reason. They hustle and they harry. They battle and battle some more. They never know when they’re beaten. They fought back to level the series at 3-3, and then, tonight, in possibly the tensest game of baseball that any of us lucky enough to be in the Alabama Arena have ever experienced, they took home the SCL Championship trophy after a magnificent 3-1 victory. And in so doing, meaning that the achievement of the 2025-2028 Atlanta Hurricanes will never again stand alone in the annals of the SCL.

But even the most hard-hearted of Cruisers fans must have felt a pang of sympathy for the poor Deltas, who have now fallen just short of glory four years running. “It’s a bitter pill to swallow, for sure”, said the Deltas’s all-star outfielder Ray Parker, still only 25 but a veteran of all four of the team’s defeats. “All we can do is try and come back even stronger again next year.”
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:18 PM   #555
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4 November 2051

(Reproduced courtesy of SCL At-Bat, the number one app for all the latest SCL news and scores)

Madison’s Emery retains Outstanding Hitter award
Lara wins second career Outstanding Pitcher trophy

By Buster Oldknee, 1:48PM, 4 Nov 51

Julián Emery’s superb 2051 season was formally recognised at the SCL end of season awards, as the Brown Bears first baseman took home the Western League Outstanding Hitter award for the third year in a row. Having won the rare triple crown, his triumph was hardly unexpected.

More controversial, however, was the victory of Lansing ace Carlos Lara in the WL’s Outstanding Pitcher category. Lara is obviously one of the SCL’s premier pitchers and enjoyed an excellent season for the Sharks. However, many observers had expected the award to go to Emery’s team-mate Al Harper, who led the league in ERA at 1.92 across 239.1 magnificently consistent innings. It is Lara’s second award, after previously winning the trophy in 2048.

Des Moines Magpies’s Gianni Hagenaars won the Western League Glove Wizard award at center field.

Outstanding Hitter
WL: Julián Emery (Madison) .342/.421/.623, 46 HR
EL: Jesús Martínez (Annapolis) .314/.361/.582, 44 HR

Outstanding Pitcher
WL: Carlos Lara (Lansing) 18-5, 2.54
EL: William Wright (Columbus) 19-6, 2.02

Rookie of the Year
WL: Tadamichi Hamada (Olympia) .264/.356/.433, 15 HR
EL: Joe White (Nashville) .211/.270/.385, 24 HR
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:20 PM   #556
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18 November 2051

GM’s notebook

- Today is free agent filing day, and Curt Cox and António Fernández have left the club. As expected, neither will attract compensation when they sign elsewhere.
- Fernández had a nice season (.728 OPS) but is asking for $15m over 2 years, which is quite a stretch.
- We will probably not be active in the free agent market as usual this year. The most important priority for the offseason is to trade Robinson Ortíz to keep the 2052 budget under control.
- But the most urgent priority is to investigate possible trades for Jeffrey White. If I’m going to move him (and it’s a big ‘if’), the time is now, before teams start to tie up their unspent payroll in offers and contracts for free agents.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:21 PM   #557
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20 November 2051

The SCL Armchair Almanac, 2052 Edition

TEAM LEAGUE LEADERS IN RUNS SCORED, 2051 REGULAR SEASON

770 - Columbus Heatseekers (EL)
722 - Baton Rouge Deltas (WL)
721 - Carson City Rattlesnakes (WL)
715 - Des Moines Magpies (WL)
709 - Austin Tycoons (WL)
704 - Hartford Tarantulas (EL)
694 - Lansing Sharks (WL)
689 - Olympia Wolfhounds (WL)
688 - St. Paul Rockets (WL)
684 - Annapolis Mustangs (EL)
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:01 PM   #558
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Magpies trade White and Ortíz to Olympia in exchange for Hamada

By Maggie Pye | 25 Nov | 11,638 comments

The first rumours flickering round this year’s SCL hot stove were that the Magpies were ready to part with cleanup hitter Jeffrey White. And lo, it has come to pass. The Magpies tonight announced that they had agreed a signature 3-for-3 trade with the Olympia Wolfhounds which sees White, starting pitcher Robinson Ortíz and minor league reliever Pablo Cruz depart. In return, the Magpies have obtained 22-year-old outfielder Tadamichi Hamada, 24-year-old minor league left fielder Curtis Montgomery and 21-year-old minor league starting pitcher Wu-sheng Yang. White and Ortíz were entering the final year of their contracts and GM Billy DePodesta has decided to trade while they could bring value back in return.

Hamada, the 2051 Western League Rookie of the Year winner, is the main prize for the Magpies. The 5th overall draft pick in 2049, Hamada this season established himself as a regular starter for the Wolfhounds, putting up an impressive .789 OPS over 114 games. A speedy runner with a good eye, he is still developing as a hitter and growing into his body, and is expected to increase his home run power. He will take over from Rob Crawford at LF for the Magpies, upgrade their outfield defense and bat #5 in the lineup. Crawford will assume White’s designated hitter duties. DePodesta clearly has faith in Hamada and the team’s ever-improving first baseman Gonzalo Torralda to fill the offensive hole created by the departure of former Outstanding Hitter White. Hamada won’t be eligible for arbitration until the end of the 2053 season, and in total has five more years of club control remaining.

For the West Coast Division champion Wolfhounds, the exchange sees them trade away part of their future (Hamada, and Yang at a push) for a significant roster upgrade in the present. They are firmly in ‘win now’ mode as they seek to improve on last season’s 82 wins and mount a stronger postseason challenge. White, Ortíz and Cruz have all been put straight onto their provisional 25-man roster for the new season.
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:03 PM   #559
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25 November 2051

Dietmar Uberfan
@magpiesobsessive

I’m sorry, we did what now? Traded Jeffrey White? Former outstanding hitter Jeffrey White? Our best hitter Jeffrey White? The heart of our lineup Jeffrey White? Seriously?! #Magpies #youwhat
7:41PM - 25 Nov 2051

Julius Czszur
@ettubrute

I reckon it’s a better move for us than it might first appear @magpiesobsessive. Yes White is quality, but Hamada is a lot more affordable for us and I reckon could become just as good. #positivespin
7:44PM - 25 Nov 2051

Zebedee Stethoscope
@glasshalfempty

@magpiesobsessive White = top quality. Ths season over b4 its even started hmm @alwaysnextyear
7:45PM - 25 Nov 2051

Hank Blunt
@isayitlikeitis

@magpiesobsessive Crazy
7:47PM - 25 Nov 2051
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:05 PM   #560
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26 November 2051

GM’s notebook

- Gulp. Lansing have acquired all-star starting pitcher Lorenzo Colón from the Dark Knights. He’s 31 now but still a quality arm. He, Carlos Lara and Jason Jordan give the Sharks an absolutely fearsome first three in the rotation. If they get into the postseason they will be extremely hard to beat with one of those three guys starting every game.
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