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New Jersey Beatles Press Release

The New Jersey Beatles are now two years removed from their magical run to the CBA title, and what a difference two years has made. The Beatles advanced to the playoffs in 2014, bowing out in the first round, before struggling in 2015, compiling a 69-93 record. New Jersey has assembled an exciting mix of veterans, such as Felix Hernandez, Evan Longoria, and Justin Verlander, and young players, such as Carlos Correa, Starling Marte, Daniel Norris, and Byron Buxton. Their pitching staff has been hampered by injuries to Verlander, Norris, Cliff Lee, Matt Moore, Zach Wheeler, and prospect Dylan Bundy. They will need to acquire some pitching help in order to contend in 2016, but with GM Steve Adler wheeling and dealing, they should not be counted out. 

Essex Escapees Press Release

2016 Campaign:   the essex escappes escaped to first wild card birth in 2015 and look to build on that success. Bryan Swank assessed the rubble remaining from first round loss and determined to send yasiel fatman pig packing and wi yen chen off to greener pastures. Newly acquired nathans famous eovaldi and rubb one out de la rosa look to strengthen  staff . With scherzer ricahards colome and pomeranz we look to shut down opposition. Outfielders Cespedes and Polanco hunker the corners whilst machado turner and kendrick sure up infield with rollins and lindor at ss,  ryan howard adds depth. Fransisco Cervelli takes over catcher responsibility and adds obp. a couple platoons with blanks and ruf and the division title wont be tough,Gibson we are gunning for you, Look out!
 


New Hampshire Prospectus

The last few years have been rather dismal in New Hampshire.  The front office has tried to be aggressive, and  few things have not worked out as planned.  Matt Cain, Jared Cosart, Jurickson Profar, Charlie Morton to name a few, have not lived up to expectations.  Even an inexpensive gamble like Hanley Ramirez has not panned out.  We stayed aggressive in 2015 trading for Kolten Wong, Miguel Montero. Two years ago, there were a few snickers when the Cats drafted Jose Abreu 2nd overall. That is one thing that has worked out well.   Coming into this draft, the Wildcats have added Shelby Miller and young and upcoming SS Addison Russell.
 
The 2016 version of NWS should score its share of runs with the likes of Wong, Montero, Kendys Morales, Jose Abreu, Brett Lawrie, Danny Valencia and Kevin Kiermaier.   Our defense should be significantly better with an up the middle troika of Russell, Wong and Kiermaier.  Which can only help a very average pitching staff.
 
Pitching, well that will be our issue.  Miller will look good at the top but after that we have a bunch of 3 and 4 guys.  The future of this team rests on our staff pitching to its capabilities.  This season, who knows.  We will score a lot of runs, but we likely will give up a bunch to.  The future has something that Wildcats fans have craved for a few years, Hope. 
 
So heading into the draft, Pitching will be a priority.

 

 

Towaco Wolfpack Press Release

The Towaco Wolfpack are looking forward to 2016 with a much stronger starting staff and a mix of youth and veterans in trying to win our third Rogers Division pennant and a 2016 championship. Towaco is looking forward to having a healthy E. Goldschmidt this coming season. "When Goldy is on there isn't anyone better at 1B" bragged Kevin Gibson the Wolfpack manager. "He's the driving force on this club for sure." "Losing him for part of the stretch run almost did our team in but we recovered when he came back and it was just in the nick of time" said Gibby!
 
Towaco has some concerns regarding Alex Cobb's elbow. "He was struggling some last season and from what we've heard from him during the off season his elbows bothering him so we shut him down and sent him for further testing." "If there is a problem we may need to stretch out Warren to fill the void." Towaco is expecting improvement from Marco Estrada and Francisco Liriano and their young stud starter Noah Syndergaard who can really light up the radar gun! The Wolfpack are expecting Kris Medlen to bounce back from his second TJ surgery and are going to try using lefty Travis Wood out of the bullpen some this year! "We may look to add another starter or two to replace Georgie and add a little depth" said Gibby. The Georgie he's referring to is Jorge De La Rosa who was traded to High Bridge for veteran outfielder M. Byrd this off season.
 
Manager Gibson likes his two returning catchers and thinks they are one of the best catching tandems in the league. "We've added this 25 year old to play second base named Jace Peterson. We may need to platoon him some but he should see the bulk of his time vs. right hand pitching." "We love the way Marty plays third and we have Sogard and Reyes taking turns at SS." Kevin Gibson is really high on his young 21 year old left-handed SS Corey Seager. "This kid just tore up the minor leagues the past couple of seasons. I can't see keeping him down there again he's got nothin' to prove there anymore." "This kid is itchin' to do some damage so I'm gonna turn him loose!" "I may be able to work him into the mix at 3B with Marty."
 
As for the Wolpack outfield young Christian Yelich has leftfield locked up with great defense and a solid bat. Rightfield will have a platoon with returning veteran DeAza vs. righties and newly acquired Byrd vs. lefties. "Byrd gives us some much needed pop" says Gibby. Gomez and Davis should have centerfield covered but there may be some additional moves made before the regular season starts. 
 
Right now the Wolfpack bullpen has three potential closers in Smith, Cecil and newly acquired McGee. "I think all three will be pitching and competing in spring training before I figure out who will be assigned to which roll" said Gibby. "We'll have everybody ready by the time the season starts." "We're looking forward to winning this damn thing and that's what we are working hard to do!"

High Bridge Heaters Press Release

2015 was a disappointment for the Heaters. Although we lost Matt Harvey for the year, we thought great managing and a few good breaks would have been enough to grab a wild card.

Ohio proved to be too good to catch.  After falling behind in July, we came on strong at the end to finish 500. Some teams would have been satisfied to get the best draft picks possible, but the Heaters play to win!

Our team's tenacity and desire for excellence instils fear in our opponents. It's no accident that we have been transferred from both conference and divisions several times in the past five years. The league fears that if left alone in one division for too long, we would dominate for many years. We pledge to persevere in our quest to win the Parker division in 2016. We have a mighty line-up that's about to get mightier when a blockbuster trade is announce on February 8th. It should remind everyone of the deal the Dallas Cowboys made when they traded Hershel Walker. We are going to use our new draft picks to replace a stud SP with good, young pitchers who can also win now.  We are open t trades. but have already reshaped our team and will probably use the draft to sure-up our needs. Ours offensive stars this year include: J.D. Martinez with his new 3 rating in RF with that -3 arm.  Charlie Blackburn got 2's in the corners and crushes righties.  Kyle Seager lost his "1" , but is still in the top ten 3b's. Joe Panic has been rated in the top three 2b's this year ( a defensive "1" this year). Didi gets his "1" again and will platoon with Mercer at ss. We picked up the Mets' lucky charm in Juan Uribe to sure up the infield with his dominant bat against lefties. Veteran OF Josh Hamilton gets a second chance in High Bridge and we expect great things from him.  Jason Werth is coming off a disappointing season, although he cam on strong at the end. We predict Werth will be the Come-Back player of the year in 2016.  So-beware Parker Division, especially Brooklyn! We are ready to give you a run for your money.  Good luck all! See you on draft day.

 

Skokie Wolfmen Press Release 2016

What was once a great team (making the playoffs in 8 of its first 9 seasons
including 4 visits to the WS) is now a rebuilding team -

we expect to continue to rebuild in 2016 -

Starting Pitching is always a problem and for the most part the
Skokie starters are young with several with high potential and a group
of other young starters we see helping our future

With the draft coming up soon Skokie will continue to work
to add more youth following the models done in MLB by the Royals,
Houston and the Cubs --

prior to the draft or doing the draft we have holes to fill -
our 3B will be retiring next year - 2B is weak - and we have
no Catcher to speak off (hint hint if anyone has an extra
catch to trade with some PAs we might give a draft pick)

in any case we like our OF with Springer, Inciarite and Souza
with Blanco to backup and Beltran to DH/RF

we expect however either Beltran or C. Santana (or both) will be
traded (if anyone has an interest let us know) this year

we might have a left handed starter to trade as well

We don't expect another 100 lost season but we do
expect to find a way to fill all our holes - as always we
are open to trade and no player is untouchable if we
hear the right offer including any stars we have

as we offered before the #2 pick of the upcoming
draft is available - if the right offer is heard ...

there are some very excellent players, franchise
players you would be guaranteed to get at this pick

good luck to all the returning and new managers
of the CBA - would will be the 2016 champ - the trend
the last four seasons has been 1st time champs

From the headquarters of the Skokie Wolfmen
 

 

 

 
Oct 26th, 2015
Tim Hudson, a likely CBA Hall of Famer, has announced that the 2016 will be his last.  "It's time to hang it up and spend time with my family," Hudson said "I think I have one more season left in me where I can help a team win, whether it's in Cooperstown or elsewhere, but that will be it."
 
Hudson currently sits at 10th all time in CBA in strikeouts, 4th all time in wins, 3rd in innings, 2nd in starts and 9th in shutouts.
 
His 5th start of 2016 will make him the CBA all time leader in that category, passing Andy Pettitte who currently holds that title.
 
If Hudson can earn 14 wins in 2016, he'll leapfrog Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez to become CBA's most winning-est pitcher.  Whether he can manage that feat or not, this season Hudson joined those three pitchers as the only members of the 200 win club, currently sitting at 204. 
 

It remains to be seen if Hudson will be on the Iron Horse roster next season, or if teams who find his veteran presence appealing inquire about a trade.  He won't pitch like the Tim Hudson of old, but you can pencil him in for about 120-125 innings and an ERA around 4.40-4.45.  Tim said he may be willing to pitch out of the bullpen as well if it's what's best for the team.  Regardless of his role, it will be fun watching him pass some CBA legends in some impressive categories as he writes his own story in the history books.

 

 
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -- Associated Press) 

 

As many CBA teams lick their wounds from a disappointing regular season or early playoff exit, the league's esteemed GMs are beginning to look forward to 2016 as they inspect every piece of the roster for future potential -- and future gaps in talent.  


 
Many fine players across the league are expected to change uniforms during what is sure to shape up as a busy off-season.  According to Philly GM Rob Hite, "I've been around CBA for a long time, and back in the golden age of the league many GMs chose to sit on their talent and build slowly. They would trade for a piece here or there, but they mainly built through the draft".  

 
But the institution of the CBA amateur draft changed everything.  With young talent at a premium, and harder to acquire in the regular draft, it is of utmost importance that a team draft kids who are 18 or 19, and follow them as they develop into CBA contributors.  Hite added, "sometimes we plan a positional need way ahead of time, and use the prospect pick to try to fill that need before it's really a need.  Like back when our all-time franchise greats Derek and Chase [Jeter & Utley] were getting older, we said -  hey we have a great middle infield but let's start addressing that so we'll be great there for the next decade after they hang it up".  

 
At the time, Philly also sported a perennial all-star Evan Longoria at 3rd, making one of the most potent infields in the Association.  But Longoria was packaged up to New Jersey in exchange for Bryce Harper, who Hite hoped would be his franchise slugger for the next 15 years.  That was a controversial move which many Philly phans wanted him run out of town for, as evidenced by the venom spewed on sports talk WIP radio in Philly.  Calls for the GMs head on a platter were plentiful as Philly not only dealt Longoria in the deal for the unproven hot-headed Harper, he also dealt ace Justin Verlander.  But the 22 year old Harper gamble paid immeasurable dividends this season, slugging a gaudy .330/.460/.649 slashline with 42 HR to boot.  So the consensus in Philly now is, Longoria who?  Didn't she used to star on Desperate Housewives?  

 
With an entire infield to rebuild in Philadelphia, Hite went on the offensive - drafting and signing a plethora of young infielders with hopes that a few would pan out and become the anchors that Jeter, Utley, and Longoria were.  

 
And today, the maligned Philly front office can flash a smug Cheshire Cat smile, because their young infielders have finally arrived.  In this 2015 MLB Fall Playoffs alone, there are 5 young players featured who will be competing for time at SS and 2b next year for Philly: 

 
Starlin Castro - the "old-timer" of the group at 25, is a few years removed from his great 207 hit season in 2011.  But Starlin, who hit .265 this year, has possibly found a new home at 2b and will surely deliver many all-star seasons ahead given his age.  
 

 
Wilmer Flores - Flores at 24 is still developing into his game, but his burgeoning power was on display in 2015.  With 16 HR and 22 doubles this year, along with much improved defense at short, Wilmer will be hard to keep out of the starting SS gig for Philly next season.  By the time he reaches his prime, 25-30 HR seasons will be the norm for this infield slugger.  
 

 
"Kike" Enrique Hernandez - Kike is a 22 year old superkid who can literally play 7 positions on the field.  A next generation Ben Zobrist, he can also hit the baseball better than Zobrist as witnessed by his .307 average and .490 SLG% this season.  It's quite a luxury having this kind of bat who can backup at 2b, SS, and 3rd in addition to quality OF starts in LF, RF, or CF.  This kid is a young star in the marking.  
 

 
Javier Baez -  Another great next generation SS/2B/3B, Baez is just 21 and has the greatest power potential of them as indicated by his prolific minor league power - 37 HRs in AA ball.  Baez has cut down on his swing to make contact in the major leagues, to a tune of a .289 average this season.  A Troy Tulowitzki-esque future awaits this stud. 

 
Addison Russell - Russell is the closest thing to Derek Jeter that Philly GM has found in this collection of young infield stars.  A mere Cub at 21 years old, he delivered 29 doubles and 13 homers in his first campaign, along with spectacular shortstop defense.  As his bat develops, his all-star appearances will begin to accumulate. The next great shortstop of this generation?  Time will tell.  He also plays 2b and a little 3rd should the glut of infielders pose a huge dilemma for GM Hite.  

 

 
What is GM Hite going to do with these 5 great young middle infielders? Surely nobody will be moved over to third on Philly, especially in light of two equally young and talented 3rd basemen just to the left of them in the infield of dreams: 
 
23 year old Maikel Franco (.497 SLG) and 23 year old run producer Nick Castellanos (33 doubles, 15 HR, 73 RBI).  

 
We asked Hite what his plans were for all of them, and he shared, 
 "Hey, I am in no rush to trade any of them because having a group of young stars is a unique luxury for us.  If we are bowled over with offers this Fall and Winter, we will listen.  But the good-ol-days of Former Commish Claude Lamarre legislating against positional hoarding in CBA are long gone.  I'm going to hoard away, baby!  Unless the other GMs offer up some of their blue chip outfield talent, then I may listen" 

 
Photo:  Young Philly Phantastics stars Addison Russell and Javier Baez

 
 

 
February 18th, 2014

Japanese Ace Tanaka Bound for CBA


 
Tokyo- At noon today in Japan, a press conference was held at the Tokyo Hilton by much scouted and highly touted righthander Masahiro Tanaka. There he announced his intentions to pitch in the major leagues in 2015. The timing of the announcement is crucial as it comes only short weeks away from the CBA spring draft which is scheduled for Sunday, March 9th beginning at 11AM ET. 
     Tanaka, who turned just 25 this past November, has garnered much attention from CBA scouts since before mid-season in 2013, in no small part due to the success of Ottawa Otters starter and fellow countryman Yu Darvish. Tanaka has followed Darvish since he came to North America, and made allusions to plying his trade here as well. Now that he has made his intentions known publicly, his name should instantly move up in priority on CBA draft lists. Darvish was drafted 11th overall as Ottawa's prospect pick in 2012. The same may happen with Tanaka in 2014, especially given the clarity provided at today's press conference.
     Just like Darvish, he will be drafted while still under contract for 1 more season with his Japanese club. In this case, it's the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japanese Pacific League. Also like Darvish, he intends to accept the opportunity offered to him by any CBA team.
     "I just want a chance to prove myself at the highest level," said Tanaka, "I am not playing favorites."
     CBA has always had its' share of foreign born players, but in the last few years more looks have been given to the younger talent now emerging from Asia and Cuban players who have defected from their homeland to find careers as professionals. Jose Iglesias, Yoenis Cespedes, and Jose Fernandez were all drafted as prospects and are establishing themselves in the majors. Yasiel Puig, who had defected from Cuba during the 2012 season, is expected to go very early in the 1st round this spring after excelling in Los Angeles of the independant leagues last season. And, because of the affiliation agreement that CBA has with the independant leagues, Puig is eligible to be drafted as a free agent. The drafting team will retain its' prospect pick, making the future star outfielder even more attractive. So it is the same with another LA star. Korean lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu is also expected to be taken from the slate very early on. It's reasonable to project more of the same in the coming years, if not more this spring, as CBA general managers continue to widen the scope in search of the game's best.
     There may not be a lot of instant impact players in the coming draft, but there is no shortage of talent. And where there's talent, you'll find the CBA.
     
       

Let It Be...Beatles Win!
New York- Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be. A Staub team will win the series. Let it be.
     As the New Jersey Beatles were clinching a CBA championship with a 4-0 win over the defending champions Skokie Wolfmen at home in game 6 of the series, they were also ending a seven year streak of CBA championships by Clemente conference teams. Not since the Longue Pointe Loggers in 2005 had a Staub conference team taken the title.
     When New Jersey took game 3 in Skokie by a convincing 9-4 score, the writing seemed to appear on the proverbial wall. But Skokie was valiant in defending the crown and forced the series back to New Jersey via a shutout win in game 4 and a barn burning 13-12 win in game 5. In the end, however, the combination of pitching and power would prove too much to overcome for the incumbents. Indeed, the team that looked the best all season while winning 106 games, was the best. 
     Their stiffest test in the post-season came from division rival San Diego, who took the Beatles to a seventh game before bowing to the new champs in the division series. The Beatles then had to face down the pitching of the Montreal Crows, and did so with some pitching of their own. After dropping game 1 to the Dawson claimants, the Beatles rang up four straight wins on the way to meet Skokie for the big prize. New Jersey's first championship comes in just its' fourth year of existence, making for a story of an unusually quick rise to a difficult summit.
     After the league expanded in 2009 from 20 to 24 teams, that season ended with two teams in difficulty. Westminster, one of the 4 expansion teams, did not fair well at all in losing 126 games. Regardless, it was a baseball experiment in a place that had too little interest to sustain a major league team. The old Skokie franchise, although successful, ran into difficulties from unfortunate circumstances not of its' making that forced the league to act with a respectful marker given to both the owner Josh Shapiro and the Wolfmen's fans, a marker that was redeemed when Southwest moved to Skokie when the Wolfman took control in 2011. Westminster and Skokie were contracted and two new franchises were to be awarded and formed in a redraft from the remnants of the contracted teams before the 2010 season. Chris Brazeau garnered one of them and put a team in Hew Hampshire as the Wildcats. Steve Adler, a die-hard fan of the Fab Four, got his ticket to ride and the New Jersey Beatles came to be.
     The Beatles won just 50 games in its' inaugural season, and only 42 in 2011. But in 2012, the tally rose to 75 showing the team to be up and coming. A few daring trades brought the likes of Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander to the club to mention just a couple. Kyle Lohse, who pitched 6 shutout innings in game 6 of the championship series to earn the clinching win, was drafted in the 8th round in 2011. Perhaps the quick rise to the top can be best reviewed through his eyes.
     It's been a hard day's night, but Steve Adler will be sleeping like a log.

Lake Hopatcong, NJ – The New Jersey Beatles won their first CBA title, 4 games to 2, over the defending champion Skokie Wolfmen. After taking a 3-games-to-none lead in the series, the Beatles were hoping to close things out in Skokie. However, the Wolfmen battled back to win games 4 and 5, sending things back to New Jersey. Perhaps bolstered by the huge throng of fans that greeted them at New York’s JFK Airport, the Beatles refused to let back-to-back losses dishearten them. They closed out the series with a 4-0 game 6 win behind series MVP Kyle Lohse’s 6 shutout innings and 4 hits from Chris Denorfia. After the final out was recorded on Aramis Ramirez’s comebacker to Fernando Rodney, Rodney struck his familiar bow and arrow pose. “Twist and Shout” blared from the speakers as 58,000 screaming Beatles fans went wild.

In the process, the Beatles brought the title back to the Staub Conference for the first time since 2005. With the win, New Jersey completed an improbable run to the championship, having suffered through a 120-loss season just 2 years ago. A series of trades that brought key players to the Beatles helped turn that team around. Young players, such as Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper, Jeremy Hellickson, Jason Motte, and Chris Tillman  were traded away, while proven stars Adrian Beltre, Edwin Encarnacion, Evan Longoria, Jimmy Rollins, Felix Hernandez, and Justin Verlander joined the team. It proved to be a winning combination, as the Beatles won 106 games in the regular season, and then topped things off with a CBA Championship.

Series Recap:       

 Game 1 featured a pitchers’ duel, with Justin Verlander pitching a complete game and leading the Beatles to a 1-0 victory over the Wolfmen and hard-luck loser Mike Fiers. The only run of the game scored in the 5th inning. Michael Saunders hit a one-out double and advanced to third when Brian Lahair mishandled Kelly Johnson’s routine ground ball to first. Verlander then laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to score Saunders.

 Game 2 saw the Beatles defeat the Wolfmen, 7-1. Felix Hernandez earned the win with 5 2/3 strong innings, as Skokie could not muster much offense for the 2nd game in a row.

 The series moved to Skokie for Game 3, as the Wolfmen fans were looking to get back into the series. Unfortunately for them, the Beatles roughed up starter Ryan Vogelsong, scorching him for 8 runs in 5 innings. The Beatles cruised to a 9-4 victory, hitting 5 homeruns in the process. Edwin Encarnacion hit 2 dingers, including a first inning grand slam.

 Skokie’s backs were against the wall in Game 4, down 3-games-to-none and facing likely Cy Young winner Justin Verlander. The gritty Wolfmen were not dead yet, though, as Tim Hudson pitched a complete game 3-hitter, as Skokie won 4-0.

 It was do-or-die for Skokie again in Game 5. Game 2 winner Felix Hernandez faced off against game 1 loser Mike Fiers. Neither of them made it past the 3rd inning, as this game turned into a slugfest. Skokie raced to a 7-2 lead at the end of 2. New Jersey took the lead back with 6 runs in the top of the 3rd highlighted by Ryan Ludwick’s grand slam. Skokie scored 3 more in the bottom of the 3rd, and then scored 1 run in each of the next 3 innings, extending their lead to 13-9. New Jersey closed to 13-12 on a 3-run homerun by Ludwick in the 9th, but their comeback fell short, as Skokie held on for the win.

 The series returned to New Jersey for Game 6, with the Beatles holding a 3-games-to-2 lead. Game 3 winner Kyle Lohse took on Game 2 loser Wade Miley. Just as they had all season, the Beatles’ pitching staff carried the day, as New Jersey closed out the series with a 4-0 win. Lohse (2-0) went 6 innings, allowing just 2 singles and a walk. Fernando Rodney contributed 2 2/3 scoreless innings to finish the game. Meanwhile, Chris Denorfia went 4-4, and had a hand in each of New Jersey’s scoring rallies.

 
For openers, congratulations to all the playoff teams.  Steve Adler, Kevin Gibson, Joe Wallace, Dennis Concepcion, Doug Brunet, Wolfman Shapiro, Marc Wass, Rob Hite, Bruce Bundy, Jack Jung.  Who will win it?  Wolfman vs Bundy in Clemente vs Steve Adler whose Beatles are the current  #1 hit across CBA Land.  
GM's next year is approaching rapidly.  There is a likelyhood of some rules clarifications and modifications.  Among the issues that coulClaude and Gerald should have known. The original CBA teams were all named after movie studios. The Bodega Bay team was titled Essasnay, Longue Pointe was Pathe, Brooklyn was Vitagraph, and Harlem was Keystone. The team name was changed to the Harlem Dark Knights when Donald Davis assumed control before the draft commenced.1997 season saw Donald Davis lead the Harlem Knights to a 77-85 record. Donald Ducked after the season in favor of Claude's friend Stephane Bouchard. But wait! A little known secret, Shawn Jones was the original owner in the winter of 1996 into the cold of 1997 with the Memphis Mafia. Somehow, he was rubbed out and replaced with Big Donald. Donald was known for his questionable participation. Stephane went on to a disappointing and horrid 51-11 record in '98. Figuring that if he changed the teams name to Tazmanians it would change their fortunes. They improved 22 games to 73-89 in '99. By 2000 he had them up to a franchise high 95-67. That same year Jon Calder {Alexandria Assault} became a league official, our first ever roster transaction executive. The Parker team made it to the playoffs losing in round 1 to Clemente Champion Philly who was 120-42 that year. Stephane stuck around until 2003 when the Tazmanians went 88-74 missing the playoffs. 

Just for some nostalgia.  Lets look back at a storied franchise that dissolved in favor of expansion after 2003.  The story of the Tennessee Tazmanians run by Stephane Bouchard.  
The franchise story was different from its inception.  
  The original CBA teams if I recall were all named after movie studios.  The Bodega Bay team was titled Essasnay, Longue Pointe was Pathe, Brooklyn was Vitagraph, and Harlem was Keystone?? {Claude?}.  The team name was changed to the Harlem Dark Knights when Donald Davis assumed control before the draft commenced.1997 season saw Donald Davis lead the Harlem Knights to a 77-85 record.  Donald Ducked after the season in favor of Claude's friend Stephane Bouchard.  But wait! A little known secret, Shawn Jones was the original owner in the winter of 1996 into the cold of 1997 with the Memphis Mafia. Somehow, he was rubbed out and replaced with Big Donald.  Donald was known for his questionable participation.  Stephane went on to a disappointing and horrid 51-11 record in '98. Figuring that if he changed the teams name to Tazmanians it would change their fortunes.  They improved 22 games to 73-89 in '99.  By 2000 he had them up to a franchise high 95-67.  That same year Jon Calder {Alexandria Assault} became a league official, our first ever roster transaction executive.  The Parker team made it to the playoffs losing in round 1 to Clemente Champion Philly who was 120-42 that year.  Stephane stuck around until 2003 when the Tazmanians went 88-74 missing the playoffs.  


Belfast: .742 X Rating, .251 BA against, .305 IRSC a 3.68 ERA...but .310 OBA .104 ISO, .348 slug meant 3.46 runs support.  22-44 vs Dawson's LP, Montreal, Limoilou....But Belfast walloped Monday 31-17 for season.  What does that tell you about Dawson?

Brooklyn: After losing Parker by 1 game to Carolina, took revenge in '13 sweeping Carolina and winning div title in process.  Braun .331 30 SB 48 HR 128 RBI 116 runs, Miguel Cabrera .352 .428 OBA .630 slg, 43 HR, 136 RBI 113 runs 216 hits, RA Dickey 17-7 2.93 239 K's, David Price 13-6 3.22 203 K's, Jeter 20 HR 96 RBI .322 13 SB 218 hits.  They carried Brooklyn.  Brooklyn led CBA in batting .287.  Lower than usual power totals and average in Coors were made up for with a rare display of speed by the Superbas.  They stole a team record 131 stolen bases led by Jarrod Dyson's 54. 


Bryan:  Another winning season for Cory Light.  The Bryan Bashers hung tough until the final two blocks.  The battle with Towaco was fierce and right to the last month.  Bryan featured excellent pitching.  Perhaps the best Basher staff in recent memory finishing 4th overall.  The pen saved 53.  Though Casey Janssen finished with 31 sv it was a committee of relievers who had save totals.  .242 IRSC (Inherited runners scoring) The offense doesn't jump out at you.  The numbers are below average.  .246, 149 ISO, 166 HR's not bad for Staub however.  Part timer Dwayne Wise 12, led the er speedy Bashers to 51 stolen bases.  Paul Konerko deserves MVP consideration carrying this team on his back virtually himself .296 31 HR 96 RBI.  Nick Swisher chipped in with .227  25 HR's.  
 
Carolina: Fell just short.  In tough Parker, Carolina had a few sluggers who provided offense.  Shoo in for rookie of the year Willin Rosario hit 30 HR's, Votto 11 HR 61 RBI .329 in an  injury laden season.  Zimmerman 23 HR, Dunn 25 HR, Kubel 22 HR 82 RBI, and Marco Scutaro .312 led CBA with 27 sacrifices. Had 18 Hit and run hits using that it's advantage.  The low team OBA/SLG .324/.398 hurt most. The pitchers were tough. Anibal Sanchez finished 14-10 3.41 152 K's, J Johnson 12-10 3.57.  Huston Street saved 26.  Took 3 of 4 to finish the season block 25 in revenge of losing the week before spoiling Newton's Parker run.

Cooperstown: The Iron Horses cashed in early in the season after some early set backs.  They acquired draft picks and players looking ahead. Some very promising rookies like Byrom Buxton, Evan Gattis, Jeff Locke to go along with player returness like Matt Kemp 25 HR 65 RBI .277 and Adrian Gonzo 23 HR 81 RBI .275.   27 traded ballplayers from the team.  The future will tell if Cooperstown will return to prominence.  On paper it looks like it could be.

High Bridge opened the season strong.  They remained only two games back by June 17th.  They hung around into July before fading when roster changes took place and rest given to the over worked players.  The future seemed bright when John Miller grabbed Matt Harvey with his number 1 pick.  When MLB Harvey went down with injury, the Heaters front office felt let down.  Though the injury isn't as serious as could have been, Harvey will have a superior card in 2014.  Dillon Gee has returned from his serious injury to become a front end pitcher as well to go along with Rick Porcello.  Young talent like Denard Span, Didi Gregorius, Starling Marte, and Alex Presley present well for future years.  Tyler Colvin had a very good year 17 HR

Indiana:  returned to the press with a nice little run for the Monday title.  The Redbirds reclaimed a taste of their glory years of last decade with a return to first as late as mid September.  Who could ask for more?  When the pitching and key sluggers like Pujols, and Hamilton suffered injuries the last week.  Hamilton 46 HR 109 RBI .265BA.  Pujols 39 HR 124 RBI .298 BA a typical year for him.  Pujols career totals .323 601 HR's 1,591 RBI's.  Indy won 14 of 17 down the stretch in September to keep the pressure on Skokie.  Indiana socked a whopping 250 Homers in '13.  Catchers (Wieter) threw out 39% of their base stealers best in CBA. 

Joliet: Jack Frost builds, slowly but surely.  Looking for a return to the glory days of 2008, '14 could be the year the Jacks could make some noise.  2013 saw a 68-94 record which was not too awful.  Some moments of good play.  The Jacks had a good July which brought them neqar the cust of the second wildcard range. 9 games under .500, but so were a few teams.  One August and eventual Staub champ New Jersey came to town, Joliet underwent a long losing streak to fade away into CBA's abyss.  Middlebrooks 14 HR 49 RBI .339, Chris Carter 24 HR, and Rizzo 16 HR .319 starred. Some bright youngsters are on hand to make the future a bright one.

Limoilou; Our long time friend Jeff Boutet stepped aside in 2013 departing CBA as it's championship leader with 3. The Wendigo used good pitching from Latos 13-9 2.84, Kimbrel 7-1 26sv, Scherzer 14-8, Kershaw 17-5 3.23.  Melty Cabrera 10 HR 54 RBI .334 was among leaders in batting. Granderson 39, and Fielder 26 HR generated power in their approach to a wildcard.  James Blakely replaced Jeff for the final month steering them just shy of the final wildcard despite inherited usage situations.

Longue Pointe: One of 2013 great mysteries, what happened to Dennis Concepcion? His proxied team took a wildcard spot but lost to San Diego Surf in the playoffs.

Maine:  Up and down roller coaster for the Express. Started off April relatively fast, then dropped a bunch to fade fast from first place after 3 weeks.  From May and June They hovered at .500 then a losing streak took hold dropping them back a ways.
When it all seemed lost, Mike Koepp reeled off an impressive 12 game winning streak to highlight a streaky season. They made a rush to .500 and into contention, but usage became a factor and the fade took them out of the race in the second half.  Perhaps some better hitting vs lefties where a 20-32 record against lefty starters hurt them most. Acloser look shows the power shortage vs L hurt worse than the BA.

Montreal: Second best season, and same results.  Twice to the Staub Showdown and no show, yet. The Crows are now known for their pitching, defense, and '13 was more of the same. The addition of Cory Hart and Garrett Jones no doubt got them to the dance. But the price they paid has yet to be determined. Though Montreal traded quite a bit, Brunet knows how hard it is to get to the dance and join the CBA elite franchises which Montreal has now done twice in a row 5 years after his initial DRAFTING from scratch of a team.  Montreal and Westminster were true expansion teams in that year.  Its possible that there could be another expansion in the future,but Montreal shows, that from having initially no talent a dedicated GM can achieve high status in post season events.  Post season = Best of year. Conference finals equals elite teams for a season. Doing more than one time brings the level higher. Consider that Doug has done it in season 4 and 5 but...what about 2014? The draft will be important for the Crows.

New Hampshire: The assigned history of this franchise is quite fascinating I find.  The history was one of turmoil. Possibly CBA least successful franchise that had been snake bitten from day 1.  Right now Chris Brazeau has stabilized, and rebuilt this franchise gone wild.  Lets look back.  Claude and Gerald should have known.   The original CBA teams were all named after movie studios.  The Bodega Bay team was titled Essasnay, Longue Pointe was Pathe, Brooklyn was Vitagraph, and Harlem was Keystone.  The team name was changed to the Harlem Dark Knights when Donald Davis assumed control before the draft commenced.1997 season saw Donald Davis lead the Harlem Knights to a 77-85 record.  Donald Ducked after the season in favor of Claude's friend Stephane Bouchard.  But wait! A little known secret, Shawn Jones was the original owner in the winter of 1996 into the cold of 1997 with the Memphis Mafia. Somehow, he was rubbed out and replaced with Big Donald.  Donald was known for his questionable participation.  Stephane went on to a disappointing and horrid 51-11 record in '98. Figuring that if he changed the teams name to Tazmainians it would change their fortunes.  They improved 22 games to 73-89 in '99.  By 2000 he had them up to a franchise high 95-67.  That same year Jon Calder {Alexandria Assault} became a league official, our first ever roster transaction executive.  The Parker team made it to the playoffs losing in round 1 to Clemente Champion Philly who was 120-42 that year.  Stephane stuck around until 2003 when the Tazmanians went 88-74 missing the playoffs.  

Well New Hampshire is continuing the structure started by Brazeau to get into the upper ranks.  a 59-103 season was a setback of sorts.  Some expected a better record for '13 but '14 could be promising.  Matt Cain fronts the staff. Hanley Ramirez returns to SS at a very high level at least part time. Masterson steps up into the top of the rotatsh.   Profar gets utility work.  D'Aza steps up,  The future looks bright.  Viciedo led hitters with 27 HR, Cain was 10-15 3.50 ERA.  

New Jersey: It was like 1964.  The year the Beatles controlled the charts.  The Jersey boys controlled all of Staub at one pint winning 20 in a row just shy of the CBA record.  They controlled the Staub Playoffs.  Shrewd deals. Killer pen, and some stick to boot.  See how they do in the big show.  

Newton:  Last years near miss in the playoffs, just made him angry.  Laying low in the standings, the Newton Bombs found a way to win and manage usage enroute to the franchises first playoff.  It was at the end that the strategy master put the puzzle pieces together, to enter and take out the veteran Rob Hite in the playoffs, no easy task 3 games to 1.  Next, Bundy had to play Clementes toughest team, Ottawa.  With all on the line the two managers dueled a full 7 games.  In the end, Bundy defeated Jack Jung to advance to meet the Wolfman in the Clem finals.  Newton used all resources to get this far.  .745 X rated fielding. .345 OBA, .452 slug showed Clemente like offense.  A team 4.62 ERA was 3rd worst, but the saving grace was Bruce's use of the bullpen to get wins.  A team .225 IRSC.  Only 8 pb 55 wp from the batteries, Newton's pen shutdown those late runners.

Ohio:  Great offense team .273 BA with 195 Homers.  This team was made for Clemente.  They were able to play against friendly rival Carolina face to face on occassion.  Somehow more was expected of Ohio befor ethe season began.  As the T Cats began to start and look good, they too faded back in the tough Clemente.  The Conference teams are all quite strong and capable of defeating each other.  We saw that with even the second division teams defeating and spoiling for the top standings teams.  Ohio led by Buster Posey's 21 HR 86 RBI .352 season may get some MVP consideration.  Matt Holiday added 30 taters.  Fredrick Freeman added 28.  A team .181 ISO PWR good, So it wasn't that offense.  Than what?  Defense? .745 X rating not bad, 79-83 record was attributed to the pitching staff's failure to get guys out.  4.56 ERA.  Clay Buckholtz 15-8 4.08 ERA was a lone bright spot. A .362 IRSC stunk.  Then pen and rotation failed.

Ottawa:  Best regular season ever for the Otters.   Team .353 OBA, .272 BA, 965 runs, 265 HR's .481 slug team records all.  Best in 17 seasons.  Ottawa took that offense led by MVP candidates Trout 44 HR 125 RBI .325, McCutchen 48 HR 127 RBI .307,  Papi's 30 HR 91 RBI .347 BA in 322 AB.  Leadoff hitters hit 30 HR, 2nd place hitters 42 HR, 3rd place hitters hit 50 , cleanup hitters hit 52.    Perhaps the best top half of the lineup years!  A season for the ages.  The team 3.91 ERA could have meant more wins if lower.  Gallardo 19-6 4.38, Fister 13-6 3.58, and Yu Darvish 14-7 4.26, had solid seasons.  Ottawa was 4 games back on May 2nd, but got hot to take first place and never look back.  They led runner up Philly all season after the first week of May.  

Philly came on strong at the end to snatch wildcard number 2 in the last block.  Is that any news at all that Rob Hite had made the playoffs yet again? Hite has 5 World Series appearances.  The elite?  Perhaps Rob is one of the standards that others will  be measured by.  A true elite franchise.  egular playoff appearances, it isn't just luck.  Hite has won 3 Championships.  This year the big trade came back to hurt some as Justin Verlander 24-4 went on to lead New Jersey to a walk away title.  Rob got back Bruce Harper 22 HR 81 .272 who went on to become a main cog in the powerful Philly Offense.   Philly slugged 230 HR with a team .281 BA.  
Quebec:  Led by Hall of Famer Dino Barnabe is building up.  They have some high draft picks, and some very good young players just waiting to break loose.  Quebec hit 231 HR last year showing alot of power.  Mitch Moreland slugged 23 HR .298, Cespedes had a great year .295 28 HR.  Trumbo slugged 32 HR's, and Josh Reddick added a big 35 HR's.  .183 ISO power is among the leagues best.  The BA was a low .250, with only 649 runs knocked in.  Homers with out men on base.  Cant win those games if the defense drops 142 balls ,and the pens allows 35% of inherited runners to score. Clearly this is a team on the rise.  The pitching defense and speed may have hurt, but the future and the draft could make Barnabe a player once more.

River Meadow:  Claude Lamarre is back.  The Monarchs hung around .500 or just under most of the year.  The team was not strong enough to contend for the title, so Lamarre acquired some draft picks for some aged retired players.  The Monarchs did slighty better on the road.  They did a bit better in one run games as their pen was strong .281 IRSC.  The opponents .287 batting average hurt the pitchers but the teams 3.87 runs of offensive run support was pathetic.  A team .315 on base, and no real slugging threats aside from catcher Ryan Doumit and the stud 1B from Baltimore {whats that} Chris Davis who hit 37 HR.  Next season Chris Davis major league high for Baltimore 53 HR .286 BA should carry this team a long way the way Mark McGwire once did.   There's great talent here with Kipness, Iglesias at SS, Davis who is going to be awesome, Fowler, Teheran, Lowry, Carpenter   around t contend in '14 with a good draft. 

San Diego: The Surf dynasty continues.  The Surf have won yet again getting into another playoffs.  All the classy Joe Wallace does is win baby.  The Surf continue to draft well each year and develop new talent.  Wallace rarely misses with his young prospects.  This year David Wright, Giancarlitolo Stanton 45 HR,obinson Cano led a strong offense.  .327 26 HR 110 RBI's.  SD lost to Staub Chmapion NJ in round 1.  Expect Wallace to be back with his dynastic franchise.

Skokie:  The Wolfman has parlayed his way using the trade market to gain an advantage.  That advantage led to a final week clinch of the Monday title, narrowly defeating Indiana's Bob fidler in some head to head matchups.  Wolfman's mastery of the usage and preparation provided dividends.  Skokie got excellent support down the stretch from Ethier who got hot, Future hall of famer acquired from Joliet Juan Pierre who provided a leadoff hitter, and the spot usage of Troy Tulowitsky.  The Wolfman acquired bullpen supprt and pitching as well.  This combined to add up to another appearance in the Clemente finals.

Stirling: A good offense with a team .277 BA.  Despite 'only' 140 HR's, the Redsox contended into the last 3 blocks in September.  Ultimately, injuries and other issues kept the Sox from a deserved wildcard spot.  Brett Butler 38 HR 107 RBI .304 BA was a team best.  148 stolen bases led by Campana 20,Choo 30, and Andrus 27.  Kenley Jansen led the pitchers with 38 saves.  No starters stood out.  Buehrle went 13-10 4.55, and Ian Kennedy 13-16 was an iron horse.  The pen was otherwise not too good allowing 32% of inheriteds to score.

Towaco:  Kevin Gibson proved a saavy manager guiding a relatively well balanced but not spectacular team all the way to the Rogers title over rival Bryan Bashers.  Towaco use magaer matchups despite an ordinary Staub offense.   They go on base a pretty good .333 OBA, which for Staub is good.  A .420 slug is fairly decent.  Managed  .755 team production.   .159 ISO was weak.   Two players with 20+Homers were Russ Martin 24 HR .179 BA, and P Alvarez 25 HR 80 RBI .256.  174 HR was good for Staub, and a .261 average not bad.  Just balanced.  Ken Medlen pitched absolutely lights out.  He was the difference.  consider for Cy Young  16-1 1.21, I say 1.21 ERA but only 21 starts. but those were big starts.  Towaco had a great year despite bowing to Staub champ NJ.  Gibson is proving to be quite a GM and tactician.







CBA: Where the Action Is                                                                     February 23, 2013


 
New York- CBA. The major leagues. The show. Playing baseball at this level was once considered to be only an American dream. Now it is a dream shared around the globe, from kids in the back yards and sandlots in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela to men dotting the fields of packed stadiums in Japan and Korea. And this is a time in the year when some few will find out if that dream has a chance at reality, when the CBA holds its' annual draft.
     At approximately 11 AM eastern time tomorrow, Scott Kenan, owner and general manager of the Carolina Copperheads, will likely make a dream come true by announcing the first overall selection. Likely, because not all players being considered are without prior experience in the majors. Just ask Skokie pitcher Ryan Vogelsong. Likely, because those coveted early round picks are almost always devoted to acquiring the best young rising stars. Whatever happens, players and agents the world over will have all their media attuned to the goings on here in New York.
     Indeed, Ryan Vogelsong's case is a rarity. For someone who hadn't pitched in the majors since 2006 with the Allentown Senators (now the Towaco Wolf Pack), being selected fifth overall last year came as a pleasant surprise to the then 34 year old, who had been playing in Japan.
     "It's not that I'd given up hope. But after so long, you kind of don't expect anybody to be watching anymore. Even knowing that there had been scouts that went over to Japan who had spoken with my agent, I didn't dare think that anything would come of it," said Vogelsong. "I can't tell you how excited I was when my agent called me last year to tell me I had been drafted by Skokie."
     Not only was he drafted, but won a spot in the rotation out of spring training and played a prominent role in the Wolfmen winning its'  first world championship. It's a testament to how far and wide CBA organizations will go to find the right players as they draw from the vast well of talent that is present at many levels.
     "We weren't the only ones over there looking at Ryan," said Josh Shapiro, the wolfman himself. "We knew we wanted him, but we also knew that if we didn't snap him up somebody else would. I admit that picking him that early at his age was done with some reservation. But kudos to our scouting staff for recognizing that Ryan had found his way back to his game. Obviously, there are no regrets. I think, without him, we probably would have come up short of the title yet again."
     Though not so long away from the majors, reliever Fernando Rodney could be getting the same call that Vogelsong did. After seeing his performance and command decline over two seasons, the Montreal Crows released him following the 2011 season. His disappointment at not being selected as a re-entry in last year's draft drove Rodney to elevate his pitching to the level that got him to the majors. He pitched well enough with Los Angeles of the independent leagues last season that led to Skokie acquiring him as a restricted free agent in mid-August, and has had a number of CBA scouts keeping an eye on him this winter in his native Dominican Republic. The word is that his name is on several draft lists of general managers looking to address their bullpen shortages.
     But, as mentioned earlier, these are the rare ones. What teams are really hoping for is Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, or Jordan Zimmermann. This is where the scouting staffs really earn their paychecks. A shining example as to the impact of advanced scouting can be seen in the Philly Phantastics. GM Rob Hite has assembled what he refers to as 'the best birddogs in baseball', a scouting staff that he personally heads and travels with extensively. He believes that it is the key to Philly putting a competitive team on the field year after year.
     "It's not easy when you have to cut down your roster every December to know who to keep, who to move, and who to cut," says Hite. "Certainly there are your core players that remain, but you can't hold on to everybody. The scouting that we do plays a huge part in how we move forward through all phases of the off-season. We look at everything. Sabermetrics, development in the minors and the independents, prospect maturity, even the psychology of certain players we look at. Things have to fit a profile for this organization."
     There is an obvious measure of success for Hite where the draft is concerned. He claims that drafting a player at the right time to suit a need before it occurs prevents the necessity to move value at a later time. Players like Starling Castro, Jonathan Lucroy, and Eric Hosmer are examples of draft picks that have made or will make an impact at the major league level in a relatively short period of time, keeping fresh the mix of veteran leadership and young raw talent.
      And as Shapiro alluded to, Hite adds, "You have to respect what your dealing with in this league. If you don't go out and find your guys,  someone else will. That's the nature of the beast."
     Short turnarounds are not so uncommon. We saw glimpses last season of some youngsters looking to make a splash this season. Salvador Perez in Montreal and Mike Trout with the Ottawa Otters gave us a taste in 2012. Perez was even included on the Crows' post-season roster and looks to be the starting catcher in 2013. With shoe-in hall of famer Vladimir Guerrero's retirement, a whole different player than the one Jack Jung watched last year at AAA has to show up this spring to keep Trout from playing in Ottawa. 
     So many others can be named. Kipnis, Lawrie, Parker, Cespedes, Goldschmidt, the list goes on. Many new names and some old ones, too, will be the talk of baseball as they roll out on the list of players drafted onto CBA rosters, where the action is.

 
 

Recap

The wildcard round saw Longue Pointe and their pitching staff dominate over David Jones Lake County Leopards. Lake County took game 1 behind Johnny Cueto's masterful pitching.  Then it was CC Sabathia, Tim Lincecum, and CJ Wilson shutting the door to advance the Loggers to the Conference playoffs vs Joe Wallace's powerful San Diego Surf.

The Clemente Wildcard saw Rob Hite's Philly Phantastics sweep Marc Wass' Brooklyn Superbas in 3 straight.  Although Verlander, Hamels, and Brandon Morrow stifled the potent Brooklyn Superbas attack in the House of Pain, It was Eric Hosmer who single handedly and legendarily executed the Brooklyn boys with 5 Homers 2 doubles 9 RBI's and 7-11 batting.  Not to be forgotton anytime soon.

In round 1 of the Staub Playoffs, Doug Brunet's Montreal Crows swept past Cory Light's Bryan Bashers behind superior pitching in tight ball games.  Both first time managers, but someone had to win.  Montreal will play against the LP vs. SD winner.  Rob Hite's Philly Phantastics defeated Malachi Nellum's Stirling RedSox 4 games to 3 in an epic and well played series.  The Skokie wolfmen defeated the Cooperstown Iron Horses 4 games to 1.  Wolfman is looking at yet another Conference final to add to his resume. 

This is where the big boys meet and play.  The dedicated, the lucky, the astute, the confident, the best in CBA ball for 2012.  Last year Saw Brooklyn Defeat San Diego in 5 games for the 2011 Championship as Miguel Cabrera dominated the post season like no other has since.  Cabrera had 10 HR's and led his team.  Who will this years hero be?  We saw magnificent perfomances so far that will be archived for future reference.  Performances Like Johnny Cueto's shutout over Longue Pointe on opening day.  Eric Hosmer single handedly destroying Brooklyn's dream of repeat with 5 HR's in a 3 game wildcard. Montreal terrorizing the Bashers behind masterful pitching by James Shields.  Allen Craig's timely PH.  Nyger Morgan's .469 batting average leading Longue Point over deep into the 2nd round.  Billy Butlers 13 hits and .409 BA for Stirling vs Philly.  Sandoval's 3 HR's for Bryan.  Jared Weaver's gem vs red hot Skokie for Cooperstown.  Perhaps not many bigger highs and lows than we saw in the LP-SD series which turned after an 8th Inning boot by Yunel Escobar in g5.  The hero, Nick Hundley with a long Homer to win the series for San Diego against the speedy small ball artistry of the Loggers. 

Now we have two repeaters looking for their opportunity for gold.  We have GM Doug Brunet who makes his first appearance in the final four.  The Skokie Wolfman.  Veteran GM with a record of success each year.  He has been to the dance, but unable to claim the ring.  There's CBA legend Rob Hite.  All Hite does is win.  We learned in 2012, never count Philly out.  He even threw down the towel so he says.  A towel chuck right into the playoffs ala Indiana.  Seems to work in Clemente.  Hite is a 3 time champion looking for his fourth.  In CBA Jeff Boutet has 3, Bob Fidler 3, Marc Wass 2, Jack Jung 1, Dennis Concepcion 1, among active GM's.  Although some forget the losers, no Finals runner up is a loser.  No shame losing in the Conf Champ.  Only shame if your a former champion who gets blown out in 3 straight in the wild card round.  Staub has last won a World Championship in 2005 when Dennis defeated Rob Hite, the year of Miracle Mirabelli and Ichiro's  series and GW HR.  Clemente has dominated since then.
Rounding out the managers is the long time veteran Joe Wallace.  Joe Wallace has built a long runniing dominant franchise in San Diego.  Holder of the all time best season with 122 wins, San Diego and Wallace have been there and paid some heavy dues, slowly building up from first round and outs, the game 7's in the second round a few years back (Archives has it), and finally a Staub Championship and World Series appearance.  After last years disappointment, Wallace revamped his squad, and brought aboard the powerful Mike Stanton sending King Felix to New Jersey where Hernandez helped improve their record from last year.  Wallace vowed to add power and did.  He seeks yet another series appearance after his hard fought battle vs Longue Pt. 


 
Superbas claim New York!
 (AP) September 29th 2012  CBA©  Offices New York, NY all rights reserved.     "...And they danced, like a wave on the ocean...they romanced and they danced the night..." from Rockaway Beach in Queens to Manhattan's rediculous Upper West Side, all of New Yorks eyes are on the Brooklyn Borough's Superbas.  But the rest of the borooughs have cashed in on "SuperMania".  The Superbas have become New Yorks City's favorite, especially after last years heart stopping and spectacular World Series win.   Playoff and Series MVP Miguel MVP Cabrera yesterday led a team rally in Brooklyn's own Prospect Park near Grand Army Plaza that blocked traffic on Flatbush Avenue all the way down Flatbush avenue extension to the Manhattan Bridge and into Manhattan's Chinatown.  Cabrera hit that famous 1 out 9th inning HR to tie and ultimately win the Division playoffs in 7 games from arch rival Philly Phantastics.  Cabrera the Grand Poobah of today's rally said " We like to thank our fans very much.  Salud!  Brooklyn!"   Disgruntled High Bridge fans protested the rally.   High Bridge is New Yorks other team in the area, but the fans are not amused by the antics of loyal Brooklyn fans.  Said cab driver Shetstaen AlFaisal "These animaux they crazy.  Make celebrate party by punch each other face in happy way.   I'm going home now its too much.  My team the Heaters and this is not good for me..."  Joey Loconsolo of Brooklyn's Bay Ridge section was in the 3rd Ave "Brooklyn Superba" bar when the announcement that Brooklyn won the home wild card seat was made by the bar tender whose identity must remain anonymous.  Said Joey, "Mink-ya...Min...I mean thats my boys.  Got that Jeter going off, with Cabrera, and Braun, Mah-ron thats what I'm talkin bout ya hear?".   Shirley Lumpis of Staten Island was also in the Superba bar in the table across from Mr Loconsolo with her friends Gertie, and Gimble.  " We cam hee-yah to watch the action.  And that game against the Iron Horses was good too, tee-hee".  Bars around New York reported sales increases during the Brooklyn Cooperstown series.  The ratings and crowds may be quite high again for the upcoming Wild card round.  Can Brooklyn pull it off? Manager Marc Wass thinks so.

Worst to First- The Iron Horse Turnaround

Cooperstown - After enduring a heartbreaking game 163 loss to the eventual 2010 CBA champion Indiana Redbirds, Iron Horse fans watched as the entire roster was torn down and rebuilt from scratch. “We knew our team was getting older and our window to win a championship had closed.” Cooperstown GM Jon Stamets stated.  “We needed to bring in some young blood, and with that comes growing pains.”  There were indeed growing pains as Horse fans saw even more of their stars shipped off at the deadline on their way to a 110 loss season. 
 

However one thing was obvious to Stamets, “We had pitching and draft picks coming out of our ears.” In fact, they had 11 capable starting pitchers on their roster and with SP at a premium; this opened the flood gates for one of the most active off-seasons in Cooperstown history.  “We had a solid team of youngsters, but with 7 picks in the first 3 rounds and a lot of depth we knew we could make a big splash.” 
 

It was a Prince Fielder cannon ball type splash.

Over the next few months Iron Horse fans saw 16 trades with 11 different teams empty their stockpile of draft picks and young talent.  However, there was a buzz in Cooperstown as they witnessed press conference after press conference introducing their new superstars.  Cliff Lee and Tim Hudson were added to the rotation and sluggers Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart were added to the lineup.   
 

2012 wouldn’t be a disappointment.  Kemp and Gonzalez went on to mash 89 combined HR’s and the team hit .291 as a whole.  New acquisitions Hudson and Lee anchored the pitching staff that saw Jered Weaver and Madison Bumgarner enjoy breakout seasons combining for 40 wins. Javier Vazquez, in what he has announced will be his final season, cut his 6.43 ERA from 2011 in half to 3.09.  After seeing triple digits in losses just last season, the Iron Horses accomplished that feat in the win column, racking up 101 of them to eke out a division title by one game over the mighty Superbas. 
 

When asked if the 2012 offseason would be as busy as it was in 2011, Stamets replied, “We’ll see, but at this point we’re concentrating on the postseason.  We’ll worry about the offseason in the offseason.” 


Bryan Bashers 2012  1st Playoff appearance!
 
Pitching and Defense was the name of the game in 2012 for the Bryan Bashers.  With the move out of the hitter friendly Clemente to the Pitcher friendly Staub, Bryan was able to deal with the loss of a DH with relative ease.  Continuing their recent trend of improving pitching (this 2012 marks the 4th year in a row that Bryan has lowered their ERA from the previous year, from 5.53 in 2008 to 3.45 this year), Bryan set several team records in pitching, the most significant in many eyes was the record 23.56% IRSC% (only 45 of 191 inherited runners scored on Bryan in 2012.  Bryan also set a team record for fewest errors at 87.  The dominant pitching and Defense was needed, as the anemic offense set many team record lows..Runs scored (643) AB (5477) Triples (16) and OPS (.705)--and just missing the record low in HR (from 2011) by just one HR.  Bryan did manage a very respectable 86.6% Stolen base percentage with only 9 CS vs. 58 SB  
 
Key additions were
Josh Tomlin, who was 2nd in wins (12) and 2nd in era (2.99) for the team. Acquired last offseason in a trade with Cooperstown.
 
Pablo Sandoval, a draft day trade, that anchored what offense Bryan did have (33HR, .996 OPS)
 
Joaquin Benoit, acquired in May, help shore up an already deep pen, with a 1.97 ERA.
 
Amazingly, Jason Isringhausen brought in 25 saves in 27 opportunities after being drafted in the 10th round.
 
Bryan jumped to an early lead in the Rogers division, with over .600 winning percentage by mid season.  Then they managed to ride out the big start to finish 5 games over Maine by the end of the regular Season, earning their first ever Playoff appearance and 2nd best record of all time with 87 wins. (the 2007 Bryan Bashers ended up with a 92-71 record, having tied Philly for the wild card and losing the game 163 tie breaker).
 
Congratulations to all that have made the playoffs this year, and good luck!  It's been a wild season, and the playoffs surely will be more of the same!

 

Getz To Miss Postseason

Montreal- After four seasons, the Montreal Crows will make their first appearance in the postseason after winning the Dawson division crown. After four seasons in the Crows organization, third with the big club, infielder Chris Getz will be relegated to dugout cheerleader due to a pulled hamstring.
     "I am so disappointed, you have no idea," said Getz. "It's ridiculous. You think of how many times you run the bases. Sometimes you go real hard on some plays, especially coming home. But it wasn't even that kind of play. Y'know, just run home."
     In the eighth inning of last Monday's 3-1 loss to the Belfast Brawlers, Getz entered the game as a pinch-hitter for reliever Fautino De Los Santos. After he drew a walk and stole second, Todd Helton slashed a two-out double to the left field gap. It was a play on which Getz would have easily scored, but rounding third he pulled up favoring his right leg. He managed to hobble his way to the plate, then went to the ground and was helped off the field by team trainer Basil Fawlty and J.J. Hardy who was on deck during the play.
     "We've had a great season," added Getz. "It's gonna be tough to have to sit this out. This is what you work for, a chance to do something special. All I can do now is cheer the guys on."
     In a platoon role with Jeff Keppinger, Getz hit .257 and stole 25 bases while providing solid defense at second. No doubt the dimensional aspect that he has brought to the team will be missed. To replace him, however, the Crows have decided to add a third catcher to the postseason roster instead of another infielder. With multi-positional players Todd Frazier and Nick Punto backing up in the infield, manager Robert Brunet has elected to add rookie sensation Salvador Perez.
     "My dad wants Perez, he gets Perez," was GM Doug Brunet's answer as to why. "Besides, I think the kid deserves it after what he's done. He can flat out hit. I don't know if he'll start, he's just 22 years old. But, dad believes he can be a threat off the bench in a late inning situation. So, we're going with him."
     Perez was drafted fourth overall by Montreal in March of this year. After lighting it up in Halifax, he was called up in late July when Lou Marson went on the disabled list. After a bit of a slow start at the major league level, Perez finished the season riding a ten game hitting streak with a .321 average, 1 homer, and 14 RBI.
     Regarding the pitchers, Brunet will shorten the rotation a little to allow staff ace James Shields to take the ball as often as possible. Of course, Shields will start game 1 in the division series against the Bryan Bashers that looks to be shaping up as a battle of pitching staffs. Lefty Derek Holland will get the ball in game 2, and Jordan Zimmermann is slated for game 3. The intention at that point is to have Shields go on 3 days rest in game 4, so he would be able to do the same again if the series goes to a 7th game. Holland will start game 5 or 6 depending on how he bounces back from his game 2 start, with either righty Dillon Gee or lefty Paul Maholm starting the other game. The short rotation gives Brunet the extra pullpen arms of the latter two, particularly Maholm adding to southpaws Rafael Perez and Tom Gorzelanny. 
     The Crows have plenty of time to deliberate strategy. The series with Bryan will begin on Tuesday, October 9th at Oscar Peterson Memorial Stadium. Before that, however, the wild card series between crosstown rival Longue Pointe Loggers and Carter division runner up Lake County Leopards will be decided to see which team faces the conference incumbent San Diego Surf. 
     With two teams going into the postseason, the city is abuzz with talk of baseball and hopes of an inter-city series for the Staub conference championship.

L

"The Legend Of Donnybrook"

Legend has it that the word describes the time back in 2004

when a clueless Irish guy from out of town named Donny 
went into a crowded bar and grill near the Brooklyn Bridge 
known as Da Greasy Spoon Saloon at the height of Happy Hour
AND rush hour had a few mugs of Steeplechase brews. 
 
Watching the CBA World Series playing on the TV above the bar,
Donny loudly (and carelessly) said some disparaging words
about the local CBA franchise that just happened to be at bat
that very moment. 
 
The enraged partisan barflies instantly Twittered and texted
a flash mob summons.  Within seconds the entire populace
of the borough converged on said watering hole and proceeded
to thoroughly and firmly, but violently, explain the incorrect syntax,
grammatical errors, and most especially the poor and inaccurate
word choices of Donny's remarks by using Donny's entire body
as a metaphor to diagram and correct his multiple verbal faux pas.
 
Having purged him of his anti-Superba bias (as well as most of his
consciousness and stomach contents) the crowd deemed it
appropriate that Donny should be "re-born" and, carrying Donny
over their heads and shoulders like a rock star in a mosh pit,
trooped their way to the Brooklyn Bridge where they gleefully
baptized him in the murky waters of the East River below.
 
Following the Superba triumph in the Series that very night,
the current logo was commissioned. 
 
People have often remarked about the Superba logo
and the meaning of the little blemish seen in the
lower right edge. 
 
Historians have postulated that it is a symbolic reference
to the legendary Steve Brody, but in explaining the meaning
of the word DONNYBROOK (as it applies to CBA fans 
in Brooklyn anyway), the origins of that curious mark
have never been revealed....
 
UNTIL NOW...

 
It is early morning here in Renton, WA aka Skokie, IL
I just read the news today (oh boy) of San Diego's victory
of Longue Pointe to be our fourth team to survive to the
conference championship round

It is natural for us to focus on the remaining teams
as we wait to see who will face each other in the
CBA World Series -

at this juncture we have 3 teams who have never won
and one who has won (Philly) what 3 or 4 times, we
recall our WS visit against Philly in I think it was
2007 losing in six games and here we are again
for another chance

but before I speak and share some thoughts (this is
all propaganda of course to get things juicy as we
enter the next round, some postering, the usual
for the Wolf Guys) I want to once again acknowledge
and honor the six friends who were part of our party
who are now on the sidelines

Of course expanding to 10 playoffs teams I believe
was a good thing, it gave more teams a chance to
make the playoffs and we had five of those 50%
who had not had a chance before - it seems to have
worked too in the MLB as St.Louis who might be
in the series (similar to Philly in the CBA) would not
have had a chance without the extra slot

so we miss our friends in Brooklyn, Lake County,
Bryan, Cooperstown, Longue Pointe and Stirling,
while you might feel a bit disappointed you couldn't
go farther this year, you all did a hell of a job and
should be proud, as we all know only one can be
champion - and to do this is no easy task as Skokie
has experienced in our two unsuccessful bids to the show

what I can tell you is usually the team that wins at the
end may not have the best team on paper or with the
best record, its who is hot - and perhaps knows some
strategies to defeat their opponents working with the game

I can tell you when I have played the board game at tournaments,
I didn't have a prayer - all the strategies I remembered from the less
advanced board games or the computer game, didn't even help
me to finish at .500 in the two tournaments I played, although
I occasionally beat a good player

So we now have Montreal and San Diego - history would favor
San Diego but I played Montreal in Exhibition and got beat so
good pitching and defense in a short series can prove victorious,
this was a strategy we tried early in our history and while we
did get to the playoffs we couldn't get far so you have to have
patience for it to work and it seems Mr. Doug has it so it
could be surprising what happens here.

Of course Skokie has something to prove - Philly, thanks to
the new playoff system just makes it in - with the worse record
in the Clemente Conference - that when the Playoffs come,
the record means nothing - everything is reset and since
Philly has already been champion before, its just another
day at the office for GM Rob Hite - you notice Rob is very
humble, I noticed this during the banter between him and
the Boss, the Wass in their playoff series - always letting
others know he isn't sure if he can do it but goes ahead
and does it anyway - there is something of winning which
he understands, kind of like a personal secret, which is
why he is able to win or be there at the end - plus he
has a way to pull off bringing in the best young players,
look at his current roster

Billingsley, Castro, Craig, Cruz, Greinke, Hosmer,
Longoria, Lynn, Morrow, Morse, Verlander, Zobrist

this is why he stays good - its difficult to keep a team
successful from year to year - every year some key players
are injured or have a down year - we know and the only reason
why Skokie keeps showing up in the playoff is we trade -
we try every which way to bring a balanced team to the field
but one year, this method won't work and it could set us back
years

 

In round 1 of the Staub Playoffs, Doug Brunet's Montreal Crows swept past Cory Light's Bryan Bashers behind superior pitching in tight ball games.  Both first time managers, but someone had to win.  Montreal will play against the LP vs. SD winner.  Rob Hite's Philly Phantastics defeated Malachi Nellum's Stirling RedSox 4 games to 3 in an epic and well played series.  The Skokie Wolfmen defeated the Cooperstown Iron Horses 4 games to 1.  Wolfman is looking at yet another Conference final to add to his resume. 

This is where the big boys meet and play.  The dedicated, the lucky, the astute, the confident, the best in CBA ball for 2012.  Last year Saw Brooklyn Defeat San Diego in 5 games for the 2011 Championship as Miguel Cabrera dominated the post season like no other has since.  Cabrera had 10 HR's and led his team.  Who will this years hero be?  We saw magnificent perfomances so far that will be archived for future reference.  Performances Like Johnny Cueto's shutout over Longue Pointe on opening day.  Eric Hosmer single handedly destroying Brooklyn's dream of repeat with 5 HR's in a 3 game wildcard. Montreal terrorizing the Bashers behind masterful pitching by James Shields.  Allen Craig's timely PH.  Nyger Morgan's .469 batting average leading Longue Point over deep into the 2nd round.  Billy Butlers 13 hits and .409 BA for Stirling vs Philly.  Sandoval's 3 HR's for Bryan.  Jared Weaver's gem vs red hot Skokie for Cooperstown.  Perhaps not many bigger highs and lows than we saw in the LP-SD series which turned after an 8th Inning boot by Yunel Escobar in g5.  The hero, Nick Hundley with a long Homer to win the series for San Diego against the speedy small ball artistry of the Loggers. 

Now we have two repeaters looking for their opportunity for gold.  We have GM Doug Brunet who makes his first appearance in the final four.  The Skokie Wolfman.  Veteran GM with a record of success each year.  He has been to the dance, but unable to claim the ring.  There's CBA legend Rob Hite.  All Hite does is win.  We learned in 2012, never count Philly out.  He even threw down the towel so he says.  A towel chuck right into the playoffs ala Indiana.  Seems to work in Clemente.  Hite is a 3 time champion looking for his fourth.  In CBA Jeff Boutet has 3, Bob Fidler 3, Marc Wass 2, Jack Jung 1, Dennis Concepcion 1, among active GM's.  Although some forget the losers, no Finals runner up is a loser.  No shame losing in the Conf Champ.  Only shame if your a former champion who gets blown out in 3 straight in the wild card round.  Staub has last won a World Championship in 2005 when Dennis defeated Rob Hite, the year of Miracle Mirabelli and Ichiro's  series and GW HR.  Clemente has dominated since then.
Rounding out the managers is the long time veteran Joe Wallace.  Joe Wallace has built a long runniing dominant franchise in San Diego.  Holder of the all time best season with 122 wins, San Diego and Wallace have been there and paid some heavy dues, slowly building up from first round and outs, the game 7's in the second round a few years back (Archives has it), and finally a Staub Championship and World Series appearance.  After last years disappointment, Wallace revamped his squad, and brought aboard the powerful Mike Stanton sending King Felix to New Jersey where Hernandez helped improve their record from last year.  Wallace vowed to add power and did.  He seeks yet another series appearance after his hard fought battle vs Longue Pt. 

 
 
Superbas claim New York!
 (AP) September 29th 2012  CBA©  Offices New York, NY all rights reserved.    
"...And they danced, like a wave on the ocean...they romanced and they danced the night..." from Rockaway Beach in Queens to Manhattan's rediculous Upper West Side, all of New Yorks eyes are on the Brooklyn Borough's Superbas.  But the rest of the borooughs have cashed in on "SuperMania".  The Superbas have become New Yorks City's favorite, especially after last years heart stopping and spectacular World Series win.   Playoff and Series MVP Miguel MVP Cabrera yesterday led a team rally in Brooklyn's own Prospect Park near Grand Army Plaza that blocked traffic on Flatbush Avenue all the way down Flatbush avenue extension to the Manhattan Bridge and into Manhattan's Chinatown.  Cabrera hit that famous 1 out 9th inning HR to tie and ultimately win the Division playoffs in 7 games from arch rival Philly Phantastics.  Cabrera the Grand Poobah of today's rally said " We like to thank our fans very much.  Salud!  Brooklyn!"   Disgruntled High Bridge fans protested the rally.   High Bridge is New Yorks other team in the area, but the fans are not amused by the antics of loyal Brooklyn fans.  Said cab driver Shetstaen Alfyasal "These animaux they crazy.  Make celebrate party by punch each other face in happy way.   I'm going home now its too much.  My team the Heaters and this is not good for me..."  Joey Loconsolo of Brooklyn's Bay Ridge section was in the 3rd Ave "Brooklyn Superba" bar when the announcement that Brooklyn won the home wild card seat was made by the bar tender whose identity must remain anonymous.  Said Joey, "Mink-ya...Min...I mean thats my boys.  Got that Jeter going off, with Cabrera, and Braun, Mah-ron thats what I'm talkin bout ya hear?".   Shirley Lumpis of Staten Island was also in the Superba bar in the table across from Mr Loconsolo with her friends Gertie, and Gimble.  " We cam hee-yah to watch the action.  And that game against the Iron Horses was good too, tee-hee".  Bars around New York reported sales increases during the Brooklyn Cooperstown series.  The ratings and crowds may be quite high again for the upcoming Wild card round.  Can Brooklyn pull it off? Manager Marc Wass thinks so.
 

Worst to First- The Iron Horse Turnaround
 


 

Cooperstown - After enduring a heartbreaking game 163 loss to the eventual 2010 CBA champion Indiana Redbirds, Iron Horse fans watched as the entire roster was torn down and rebuilt from scratch. “We knew our team was getting older and our window to win a championship had closed.” Cooperstown GM Jon Stamets stated.  “We needed to bring in some young blood, and with that comes growing pains.”  There were indeed growing pains as Horse fans saw even more of their stars shipped off at the deadline on their way to a 110 loss season. 
 


 

However one thing was obvious to Stamets, “We had pitching and draft picks coming out of our ears.” In fact, they had 11 capable starting pitchers on their roster and with SP at a premium; this opened the flood gates for one of the most active off-seasons in Cooperstown history.  “We had a solid team of youngsters, but with 7 picks in the first 3 rounds and a lot of depth we knew we could make a big splash.” 
 


 

It was a Prince Fielder cannon ball type splash.


 

Over the next few months Iron Horse fans saw 16 trades with 11 different teams empty their stockpile of draft picks and young talent.  However, there was a buzz in Cooperstown as they witnessed press conference after press conference introducing their new superstars.  Cliff Lee and Tim Hudson were added to the rotation and sluggers Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart were added to the lineup.   
 


 

2012 wouldn’t be a disappointment.  Kemp and Gonzalez went on to mash 89 combined HR’s and the team hit .291 as a whole.  New acquisitions Hudson and Lee anchored the pitching staff that saw Jered Weaver and Madison Bumgarner enjoy breakout seasons combining for 40 wins. Javier Vazquez, in what he has announced will be his final season, cut his 6.43 ERA from 2011 in half to 3.09.  After seeing triple digits in losses just last season, the Iron Horses accomplished that feat in the win column, racking up 101 of them to eke out a division title by one game over the mighty Superbas. 
 


 

When asked if the 2012 offseason would be as busy as it was in 2011, Stamets replied, “We’ll see, but at this point we’re concentrating on the postseason.  We’ll worry about the offseason in the offseason.” 

 


Bryan Bashers 2012  1st Playoff appearance!
 
Pitching and Defense was the name of the game in 2012 for the Bryan Bashers.  With the move out of the hitter friendly Clemente to the Pitcher friendly Staub, Bryan was able to deal with the loss of a DH with relative ease.  Continuing their recent trend of improving pitching (this 2012 marks the 4th year in a row that Bryan has lowered their ERA from the previous year, from 5.53 in 2008 to 3.45 this year), Bryan set several team records in pitching, the most significant in many eyes was the record 23.56% IRSC% (only 45 of 191 inherited runners scored on Bryan in 2012.  Bryan also set a team record for fewest errors at 87.  The dominant pitching and Defense was needed, as the anemic offense set many team record lows..Runs scored (643) AB (5477) Triples (16) and OPS (.705)--and just missing the record low in HR (from 2011) by just one HR.  Bryan did manage a very respectable 86.6% Stolen base percentage with only 9 CS vs. 58 SB  
 
Key additions were
Josh Tomlin, who was 2nd in wins (12) and 2nd in era (2.99) for the team. Acquired last offseason in a trade with Cooperstown.
 
Pablo Sandoval, a draft day trade, that anchored what offense Bryan did have (33HR, .996 OPS)
 
Joaquin Benoit, acquired in May, help shore up an already deep pen, with a 1.97 ERA.
 
Amazingly, Jason Isringhausen brought in 25 saves in 27 opportunities after being drafted in the 10th round.
 
Bryan jumped to an early lead in the Rogers division, with over .600 winning percentage by mid season.  Then they managed to ride out the big start to finish 5 games over Maine by the end of the regular Season, earning their first ever Playoff appearance and 2nd best record of all time with 87 wins. (the 2007 Bryan Bashers ended up with a 92-71 record, having tied Philly for the wild card and losing the game 163 tie breaker).
 
Congratulations to all that have made the playoffs this year, and good luck!  It's been a wild season, and the playoffs surely will be more of the same!

 

Getz To Miss Postseason

Montreal- After four seasons, the Montreal Crows will make their first appearance in the postseason after winning the Dawson division crown. After four seasons in the Crows organization, third with the big club, infielder Chris Getz will be relegated to dugout cheerleader due to a pulled hamstring.
     "I am so disappointed, you have no idea," said Getz. "It's ridiculous. You think of how many times you run the bases. Sometimes you go real hard on some plays, especially coming home. But it wasn't even that kind of play. Y'know, just run home."
     In the eighth inning of last Monday's 3-1 loss to the Belfast Brawlers, Getz entered the game as a pinch-hitter for reliever Fautino De Los Santos. After he drew a walk and stole second, Todd Helton slashed a two-out double to the left field gap. It was a play on which Getz would have easily scored, but rounding third he pulled up favoring his right leg. He managed to hobble his way to the plate, then went to the ground and was helped off the field by team trainer Basil Fawlty and J.J. Hardy who was on deck during the play.
     "We've had a great season," added Getz. "It's gonna be tough to have to sit this out. This is what you work for, a chance to do something special. All I can do now is cheer the guys on."
     In a platoon role with Jeff Keppinger, Getz hit .257 and stole 25 bases while providing solid defense at second. No doubt the dimensional aspect that he has brought to the team will be missed. To replace him, however, the Crows have decided to add a third catcher to the postseason roster instead of another infielder. With multi-positional players Todd Frazier and Nick Punto backing up in the infield, manager Robert Brunet has elected to add rookie sensation Salvador Perez.
     "My dad wants Perez, he gets Perez," was GM Doug Brunet's answer as to why. "Besides, I think the kid deserves it after what he's done. He can flat out hit. I don't know if he'll start, he's just 22 years old. But, dad believes he can be a threat off the bench in a late inning situation. So, we're going with him."
     Perez was drafted fourth overall by Montreal in March of this year. After lighting it up in Halifax, he was called up in late July when Lou Marson went on the disabled list. After a bit of a slow start at the major league level, Perez finished the season riding a ten game hitting streak with a .321 average, 1 homer, and 14 RBI.
     Regarding the pitchers, Brunet will shorten the rotation a little to allow staff ace James Shields to take the ball as often as possible. Of course, Shields will start game 1 in the division series against the Bryan Bashers that looks to be shaping up as a battle of pitching staffs. Lefty Derek Holland will get the ball in game 2, and Jordan Zimmermann is slated for game 3. The intention at that point is to have Shields go on 3 days rest in game 4, so he would be able to do the same again if the series goes to a 7th game. Holland will start game 5 or 6 depending on how he bounces back from his game 2 start, with either righty Dillon Gee or lefty Paul Maholm starting the other game. The short rotation gives Brunet the extra pullpen arms of the latter two, particularly Maholm adding to southpaws Rafael Perez and Tom Gorzelanny. 
     The Crows have plenty of time to deliberate strategy. The series with Bryan will begin on Tuesday, October 9th at Oscar Peterson Memorial Stadium. Before that, however, the wild card series between crosstown rival Longue Pointe Loggers and Carter division runner up Lake County Leopards will be decided to see which team faces the conference incumbent San Diego Surf. 
     With two teams going into the postseason, the city is abuzz with talk of baseball and hopes of an inter-city series for the Staub conference championship.

 
Pitchers
James Shields
Derek Holland
Jordan Zimmermann
Paul Maholm (designated starter for relief)
Dillon Gee
Tom Gorzelanny
Michael Stutes
Rafael Perez
Wilton Lopez
David Robertson
Mark Melancon

 
Catchers
Yorvit Torrealba
Lou Marson
Salvador Perez

 
Infielders
Todd Helton
Jeff Keppinger
J.J. Hardy
Alberto Callaspo
Nick Punto
Todd Frazier

 
Outfielders
Will Venable
Caneron Maybin
Jeff Francoeur
Tony Gwynn
Juan Rivera