Skokie Wolfmen (SWM)

Click for Skokie Wolfmen Roster 2016

Formerly Southwest Lizard Kings SLM Southwest Sun Lizards Home Page

Stadium: RFK Stadium
Conference:
Rusty Staub
Division:
Gary Carter
Lives and resides all across America


Email1: joshuashapiro@worldmysteryrc.org
Email2: www.cba-bb.net/Video.mpg
ICQ: 
AOLIM: jshapiro81737
MSN Messenger:

 

Owner:  Josh "Wolfman" Shapiro       aka Rick "The Wolfman" Shapiro

MOC 2005

95

67

.586

824

648

176

.270

.246

206

138

SWC 2006

97

66

.595

755

613

142

.266

.243

179

121

SWC 2007

87

75

.537

913

795

118

.278

.274

276

151

SWC 2008

96

66

.593

917

710

207

.287

.257

259

159

SWC 2009

91

72

.558

849

724

125

.269

.256

175

139

 

SWM 2011

101

61

.623

810

660

150

.282

.233

249

195

SWM 2012

102

60

.630

865

636

229

.282

.242

255

166

SWM 2013

87

75

.537

765

655

110

.269

.239

224

189

SWM 2014

49

106

.316

655

925

-270

.247

.289

183

232

SWM 2015

58

104

.358

562

834

-272

.231

.289

156

196

 

 

 

CBA Achievements to date:

2013 Staub Clemente Champion

2012 World Champion

2011 Staub Champion
2009 Staub Wildcard
2008 Staub Conference Champions
2007 Staub Conference Champions
2006 Skokie Wolfmen Staub Wild Card
2005 Skokie Wolfmen Staub Wild Card

The Skokie Wolfman Presents Articles about Strat-o-matic

Bob Fidler on right, and Skokie GM Josh "Wolfman" Shapiro show muscle not only in the photo, but on the Strat diamond as well.  Both GM's lead two of the more successful franchises in CBA both are perennial playoff GM's. The face off in the 2008 CBA World Series.

Skokie takes over Southwest Franchise

'Old'Skokie Historical Page

Historical Montreal Royals Home page

Vermont Team Statistics

Bodega Bay Mad Birds Page

Skokie Playoffs 2007

2007 Playoffs\cba_playoffs_2007.

 

Press Release - The Skokie Wolfmen

Ah dear fans of the Wolfmen, what happens to the mighty as after back
to back world series appearance in 2012 and 2013 representing Clemente
in 2014, the team under the Wolfman's management had its worst year
ever but you can't keep winning every season ... and being in a year
of rebuilding last year, as Skokie prepares for the 2015 draft with
high expectations, is a hard donut to take ...

so what is Skokie proud of during the rebuilding process and
what does it have to look forward to in 2015, as it knows they
won't be ready to compete till 2016.

Never before in a draft has the Wolfman taken a future rookie star
in the 1st round, but we are happy we did as we picked up George Springer
who besides being ranked one of the top power hitters seems to have
a good future ahead being projected by the on-line powers that be
as a top OFer of the future.

2014 also was a trend to rebuilt the roster with more young players
and all the pitchers now are under 30 as we picked up Archer and
Locke from Cooperstown in trade last year, and Anderson, Meija,
Maurer, Jennings in the Draft and we are taking a chance that
a previous ranked top 100 propsect Hultzman will be a new key
pitcher for 2016 and the same for A J Griffin coming back
from surgery.  We have tried to trade Holland but not one
nibble with anything of value so he will be our premier
closer for years to come.

Speaking of our hitters and positional players - we picked
up Jeter cheaply from Brooklyn as a stop gap SS for the
upcoming season - basically we hope with the new draft
coming up soon to refuse our whole lineup with some good
possible young players and that perhaps our Veterans
like Teixiera and Beltran will come through as we surround
them with Youth.

Trading wise we sent Tillman, Medina and Ethier away
and got lost of draft picks back - we have done a very
thorough analysis, taking us 3 months to explore all
the players available in the draft from about 10 projection
systems and also looking at the new stars who will be
coming - as in modern day baseball - youth is taking over.

So the Wolfman will be a non-entity again in the CBA
in 2015 but we have a new strategy to rise - we expect
to do a lot more trading during the season and will be
coming to knock on several of our co-managers doors
with lots to offer.

We also will be looking to make trades during the
draft and to trade our high draft picks for next year
which no doubt will be at the top

We say goodbye to some of our key players who
brought us to the series including Molina (traded),
Tulo (traded), Soriano retired, Adams and Pestano
release, Eric Young released, Ethier our best hitter
traded ....

we believe once agin the CBA will see a 1st time
champion in 2015 ---

good luck to all our fellow members

remember, if you make the right trades and draft picks
you can become our new champ -- motion is the key
we believe and what we live by

The Skokie Wolfmen (mostly Wolfie with a little Mike there)

1997 1998  

1999

 

 

2002

 

  2003-2004       2005 2006-2009
 
 
Name and Location
Year Location
1997-03-01 Bodega Bay Mad Birds
2002-03-01 Vermont Expos
2003-03-01 Montreal Royals
2006-03-01 Skokie Wolfmen
 

Wolfman Shapiro has been nominated to acquire and own the former Southwest Lizard king Franchise and History.

The Skokie Wolfmen (initially took over the
Montreal Royals) with Wolfman Shapiro.
It had been over 20 years since Wolfman Shapiro
had been seriously interest in SOM
but he found a version of SOM Baseball on the
Sporting News Website while living in
Holland at the time and began to look for his old
friends via the most well known on-line
form - the SOM Fan Forum. Marc Wasserman the commissioner of the CBA saw him
and invited him to join the CBA and he took over
the Montreal Royals for the 2005 CBA
season. As a prelude of the mischief the Wolfman
would do in the league he turned
the team around and made it as a wild car in the
playoffs in the Staub Conference,
mostly via his trades.

In 2006 Wolfman won up in a tie for his division
but lost in the playoff game to
again be the wild card team but not until 2007
did he manage to get to the World
Series with an 87-75 record but lost out to Philly in six games. In 2008 again
he made it back to the world series and this time
he faced the legendary Indiana
Redbirds and took the world series to 7 games but again lost out.

In 2009 the Wolfman again had a shot to make the playoffs, as the wild card,
he needed just one win in his last 7 games but
due all of his key players having
been used up he was tied for the wild card and lost in the extra game. This is
the only season the name of the Wolfman, since he has been in the CBA has
not been heard in the playoffs, who may have been favored to go back to the
world series for a 3rd year.

In 2010 Wolfman had too many personal matters going on and had to reluctantly
retired, his players were divided up amongst the
new teams who came into the league
that year and the draft. In 2011, the
Southwestern Lizards retired and Wolfman missing
out on the CBA was granted to take over this strong team but he was now in the
Clemente Conference, so could he get back to the World Series in this hitting
conference. He had a strong team in 2011 which won 108 games but this was
Brooklyn year who beat him in 5 games in the Clemente Conference championship.
He decided no matter what he would be in the series and win it in 2012 and
after a tough series with Cooperstown in the playoffs swept Philly in 4 games
to advance to his third world series. He believe a few later trades at the end
of the year to add two more bombers, home run hitters, did the job to beat
San Diego in the World Series in 5 games with the last game going 14 innings.

With finally a world series under his belt for
the 2013 campaign, he didn't feel
he had the stuff to make it back to the playoffs so he drafted and traded
for many young players. But in the middle of the season, even with his bum
team, only being 2 games out of first in his division, the Wolfman part took
over and via a number of key trades he won his division again and was
able to sweep Brooklyn in 4 games and the tough Newton team in six
games to be back in the World Series.  Could the luck of the Wolfish
carry him one more time? But he had to face a very powerful New Jersey
team with strong pitching and good hitting plus losing the DH for four
games. The Wolfmen broke down only scoring 1 run in 3 games in
NJ and got bombed one game in Skokie to lose the WS in 6 games.

One never knows what the Wolfman has up his sleeve for the 2014
CBA - he claims not to have enough to do it again but we will see.

Skokie Wolfman / Montreal Royals 2005-2009 / 2011-2013
(4 World Series appearances, two in each conference, 1 World Series
championship, won their division 5 times, wild card 2 times)

 

Skokie Wolfmen (SWC)

Owner: Rick Josh "Wolfman" Shapiro

2008 Staub Conference Champions
2007 Staub Conference Champions
2006 Skokie Wolfmen Staub Wild Card
2005 Skokie Wolfmen Staub Wild Card
 

First let me start by saying how I thoroughly enjoyed "Wolfman" and Ryan both, having you with us for as long as you guys had. You both have a welcome waiting for you should your schedules and motivation coincide, certainly should you would want to rejoin us in CBA.  I am sure that the rest of us feel this way as well.

 

http://www.cba-bb.net/Skokie%20Pages.htm

 

http://www.cba-bb.net/Cooperstown%20Page.htm

 

  Your memberships in CBA has made this league that much better. 

 

Josh, Your competitive play, attention to detail, spirit, values, and input have no doubt enhanced all of our gaming experience both directly and indirectly.  With your permission, your legacy will live on in CBA through your wonderful press releases, pictures and personalized baseball cards.  Your logo and uniforms will remain too.   CBA will be considering both as nominees for our own CBA Hall of Fame.  Among Wolfman Shapiro's CBA accomplishments since entering in 2005.

 

*Took over Gerald Benoit's Montreal Royals franchise (formerly Vermont Expos).  Benoit led Montreal to a 78-84 record in 2004.  The franchise never had made the playoffs.  In his first season Wolfman traded, drafted, and strategized his way to a franchise record 95-67 record.  He didn't stop there.

*He made the playoffs each year of his tenure except for this one.  No easy feat.  2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.

* 2 wildcards, and 2 Staub Championships (07,08)

* Lost in the Finals in both 2007 & 2008 in 7 games.

*Never won less than 91 games

* A .574 career winning pct

* Made many friends for hopefully a lifetime...

 Skokie Historical Page

 

The Skokie Wolfmen Prepare for the 2007 CBA Playoffs

The Skokie News

your report John Rawlings

One of the most difficult things a manager
can do is to try to create a very competitive
team, year in and year out. The original
Montreal Royals, now known as the
Skokie Wolfmen, for the four years that
the Wolfman has held the reigns he
has created a competitive team. In
his four two years it took, two 7 games
series to eliminate him in the first round
and the last two years he finally found
his way to the series, last year he
had the worst record of any playoff team.

In the past, how the Wolfman has achieved
this success is through a combination of
filling holes during the draft and schrewd
trades. He and Trader Wayne, for the
last two years have been doing trades
before the draft where the Wolfman
has given his high draft picks for the
future to get players for the current season.

So lets look at some of the key players
for the Wolfmen that helped with their
success this season.

Last year during the draft, Bonds was
offered for a draft pick and led the team
in 2007 in HRs and RBIs and this year
was not bad for limited play with 35
homers (72 in 2 seaons) - of course for
next year Skokie loses the homerun
King but for two years he helped a lot
to help the team make the series.

Chipper Jones has been coveted for
the first two years of the Wolfman,
but in a trade last year Chipper was
brought to Skokie and the team
didn't need to give up any star players.
Last year Chipper did well but this
season he excelled and could be
the MVP of the league leading in
average and was second in homers.
Chipper had 4 homers in the first
two series in the playoffs. So via
trade Skokie was able to bring
in its top two sluggers.

Another player picked up that
was a castoff last year due to
limited play was Gary Sheffield
who hit 34 homers for Skokie this
season and brought back another
power hitting outfielder to go
with Bonds.

Tim Hudson was picked up last
year because Skokie needed badly
a starter with innings. Although
Wang and Clemens were the
aces last year, Hudson led the
team with victories with 13. This
year he became the Skokie ace
winning 18 games so again a lucky
move.

Speaking of Clemens - many people
were surprised when Skokie traded
for him in 2005, assuming that would
be his last season but he gave Skokie
four good years, winning 9 games in 2008
with limited innings and has been doing
a great job as the middle reliever (due
to an infraction that prevented Heilman
from being there)

Again last year, Skokie needed another
good starter with innings and picked up
Wang who helped Skokie greatly in
the playoffs last year - with Wang and
Hudson able to pitch at full strength
in the World series, Skokie has 5 games
where Indy hitters will only be able to
get home runs off their own cards. This
could be a key.

Another key player Skokie traded for
but was limited use but effectively
was Bradley - again picking up
Bradley last year for a player and
draft pick -- he helped Skokie verse
lefthanded pitching and a defensive
outfielder.

Now lets look at the draft - Skokie's first
pick was Soria, who normally is used
as a master closer but became the
setup man for Nathan. Skokie just
went for the best pitcher -- tried to
trade Soria to get some improvement
in their hitting but now we are sure
glad we kept him, he has excelled
in the playoffs.

Another weakness that Skokie had
was at 1B -- they used an effective
platoon system of Giambi/Aurilla/Speizio
last year but all three players had down
seasons. So they chose D. Young,
a switch hitter but poor fielder to fill
the whole. Young hit an unbelievable
.338 in the season with 20 homers
and gave 1B some stability.

The biggest lost to Skokie was
Piazza, the Pizza man, their most
valuable player in 2007. Fortunately
they were able to draft 2 catchers
in Molina (who hit .380) and Estrada,
along with Castro picked last year
as a backup, combined for 21 Homers
and 88 RBIs in the season, not what
Piazza did but good enough

The combination of Itzuris and Wilson
held at SS with Wilson hitting 18 homers
and Counsell, a RFA pickup early in
the season allowed only 6 erros at 2B
between him and Grudzielanek

Pitching wise, draft picks Redding as
a 5th starter along with Schroeder and
Shouse in the pullpen helped to give
Skokie a strong pen which saved 42
games - Sherill a key reliever picked
in the draft last year helped to anchor
the pullpen.

So through luck, good trades in the beginning
of the year and good draft picks, Skokie
was able to build a balanced team, perhaps
the best team they have had in the four years.
But is this team good enough to beat the
mighty Indiana Redbirds who are loaded?

The strange thing about Skokie this year is
they could not make any trades during the
season. Whereas the mighty Redbirds
picked up some amazing players. This
single factor could determine the 2008
World Series.

Anyway John Miller, a well known opponent
to Bob Fidler -- will be matched with the
Wolfman, off on another trip helping from
behind the scenes.

Earlier Mr. Filder made a mistake saying
the Skokie and Indiana had played in the
series before, he must have been psychic.
If you go to the Indiana webpage on the
CBA site, you can see a photo of Fidler
and Wolfman - that was taken at the
beginning of the season - little did these
two managers know as they were
ready to punch each other that they
would be squaring up for the 2008
CBA Championship.

May the best team win -- will it be
Skokie's first championship or will
Indiana take its second championship in 3 years

who are you routing for??

This is John Rawling, Skokie reporter
anxiously awaiting the 2008 CBA Championship


__._,_.___

2008 Staub Champions
2007 Staub Conference Champions
2006 Skokie Wolfmen Staub Wild Card
2005 Skokie Wolfmen Staub Wild Card

This is the fourth year that the Wolfmen (formerly the Royals) have been fortunate to participate in the CBA Playoffs.  Following the guidance of the their manager the Skokie Wolfman, and working hard to create a competitive team using the draft and trades and a few free agents, the franchise has been successful.

 

The 2007 version of the Wolfmen is quite different from their earlier teams in 2005 and 2006.  The former teams featured stronger squads with a more balanced pitching staff and defense.  But one of the key weaknesses of the team was to have a better on base percentage and to score more runs.  It is ultimately this weakness which caused the former teams to bow out in the first round of the playoffs.

 

With the 2007 Regular season behind us, the major challenge was for all the teams was to find good pitching.  There really wasn’t a dominating pitching team as there had been in years past.  And actually, the normally Dawson Conference which featured teams that had success more on good pitching changed in 2007 to teams that paralleled their Clemente opponents with more hitting and power.

 

To build the 2007 Wolfmen, once again key players via the draft were acquired as well as via trades.  Most of the key power hitters (Bonds, Piazza, Jones, Valentin) were acquired in this way.  There were six players who hit 20 or more homers for this squad, the 2007 version had a much higher on base percentage and set a team record with 26x homers for the season ranking 2nd in the league.  But the starting pitchers were much weaker (a key trade to bring in Wang definitely was absolutely necessary) and the relief staff was at best in consistent.  Perhaps the Wolfmen would have won a few more games if Nathan was more available but he had to sit out the last 40 games of the season.

 

A key part of the managerial strategy to play the Wolfmen, was as always to work with positional players to deal with any type of team, park and pitcher.  Skokie took a big gamble to bring on board and keep a number of very older players (late 30s or 40’s, including Bonds, Piazza, Jones, Edmonds, Giambi and Clemens.  The Skokie of 2007 sacrificed on their defense as they were willing to start poor fielding players in the corners in the outfield as well as at 1B & 3B.  The Piazza trade was a big gamble as Skokie decided to go with more hitting and power at catcher but sacrificed on stolen bases by their opponents with Piazza poor arm and several pitchers who were unable to hold base runners close.  Skokie had never tried before to play with such wholes in their defense on the field but the thinking process was, if we could bomb the other team there was the defense to come in during the late innings and their closer Joe Nathan, one of the premier closers.

 

So the 2007 Skokie Wolfmen took a big gamble, they felt they could do it because they were in a weak division and if they could just get back to the playoffs, using all the players properly, in a short series, that they could be competitive.  Another key aspect of the Wolfmen was that they lead the league in giving up the least amount of home runs.  Being that they live in Wolfie park which is a hitters park, this was crucial to balance the less then perfect defense on the field and weak ability to stop opponents to steal bases.

 

So this version of the Skokie team won 9 less games then in 2006.  It comes into the playoffs with the worse record of any playoff bound team.  With its clearing weaknesses as discussed above, few people will give them a chance against the better teams in the CBA.  If they are going to go far, it will require all the tricks and skills by their manager the Wolfman to do it and perhaps some lucky rolls of the dice.

 

There was a big debate over whether to go with Piazza at catcher but he won up tied for 2nd on the club with 28 homers in somewhat limited due and was second in RBIs.  His memorable four homer game is a record in the CBA.  Barry Bonds was another gamble with his poor knees and fielding if this would more adversely affect the team then his bat but he tied the record of 37 homers done by Beltran in 2005 and had 100 RBIs in again a bit of limited duty.  Valentin a middle inning pick in the draft (Skokie wait as long as possible to grab their old friend and former player) was also another key to Skokie’s success as he provided a good strong bat and power which was needed and lead to Grudzielanek seeing limited duty but valuable for late inning defense.  Edmonds also hit a bit more for power then expected and came through in some key games plus his consistent defensive in CF was key.  The late addition of Giambi and Dellucci added some more power for the clubs and left handed hitters who could hit lefties, Dellucci began a backup for Bonds.  1B had been a challenge for Skokie rotating four other players to fill the void (Aurilla, Shelton, Sheffield, Spiezio) but with Giambi on the scene it added another power hitter with good on base.  Skokie tried to create their own version of the famed Yankees murders row.  Especially against right handed pitchers – just about every hitter in the lineup was capable of hitting the ball out.  Gary Matthews Jr. may have been Skokie’s most consistent hitter who did a great job as a leadoff hitter.  Normally the Wolfmen like to have more speed in their lineup but the roll of the dice didn’t allow this to occur.

 

L. Hudson was a surprise starter for the team and thus earned a place on the playoff squad, was perhaps the most consistent starter. Nathan is Nathan and set a mark in the age of the Wolfman with 20 saves.  He was almost unhittable and will be a key player in the playoffs.  But the relief staff was a lot more inconsistent in times past and will have to be used wisely in the playoffs.  Look for the Wolfmen to count on their starters to go long into the game.  As far as the other Skokie starters, at times they look brilliant but overall their effective was very questionable and far less in performance then prior years.  Clemens just wasn’t his usual self winning only 6 games, Lilly and T. Hudson were inconsistent – Redman and Patterson gave some help in limited starts but the trade for Wang brought that other starter that Skokie deeply needed. 

 

So to summarize, the 2007 version of the Skokie Wolfmen was a collection of the old and new.  The team has the ability to explode at any moment but comes in with a number of holes where they could also be crunched just the same.  It will be an interest challenge to see if an improved scoring machine is enough to take the Wolfmen to a higher level.  The keys for their success will be how effective Wang and Clemens can be as consistant starters and if the club can score runs which has doomed them in the playoffs in the last two years.  There is no doubt the Wolfmen like Skokie’s park but with the worse record as a playoff team after the 1st round they could lose home field advantage.

 

Analysis of San Diego VS Skokie

 

During the regular season the two teams split the twelve games played.  Even though San Diego had a better regular season record, Skokie gained home field advantage for this series due to winning their division (finally after losing out the past two years on the last day of the season).  Skokie’s true advantage then was having possibly four games in their park as their club is really suited for the long ball.  Thus for San Diego to win the series they would need to win in Skokie.  The Surf is a better hitting team but the key weakness of the surf, if any, as Mr. Wallace had put a good squad together was in their pitching as their 3rd and 4th starters were not strong and the bullpen could be a bit stronger.  The strategy for Skokie was to bomb the Surf starters, then bring in their defense and have Nathan waiting at the end.  The Surf had better speed then Skokie and could take advantage of the weak arm of Piazza and also several of Skokie’s starters inability to hold runners.  So in comparing the two teams their strengths and weakness were pretty even, the key would see if San Diego could win in Skokie.  And with San Diego being more of a pitcher’s park (low ball park home run) if they could win 3 in San Diego, then Skokie could be in a lot of trouble.  Finally a last key for Skokie in the series was if their starters could take up a lot of innings as three of the Skokie relievers are more geared for more conditional spots.  So if the Skokie starters got bombed early, Skokie could be in a lot of trouble.

 

Now lets move on two the actual games and see what happened:

 

Game 1: At Skokie   (Haren vs Wang)

 

Surf............ 0 0 0  0 0 1  0 2 0  -  3  9  1
Wolfmen......... 2 0 0  1 3 0  0 0    -  6 10  0

 

Skokie started out the gate as the “Pizza” man hits a two run homer to begin the first inning.  This bodes badly for the Surf if the Skokie bats start blasting home runs.  Wang was pitching very good and the Surf were consistently unable to come through with clutch hits when men were on base.  Edmonds hits a solo shot for Skokie to make it 3-0 and then Shelton shocks the Surf (Note: Shelton almost was not kept on the squad for the playoffs, it was between keeping him or Sheffield) with a 3 run dinger in the 5th.  So with a commanding 6-0 lead and Nathan waiting in the wings if needed, it looked like Skokie had the game in hand.  But then the Surf bats came alive in the 8th and they threatened but good old reliable Nathan, who relishes this type of spots came in and shot the door for a 6-3 Skokie win.  Was this a sign that Skokie could break their first round jinx and move to the finals?  The Surf now needed a victory in Game 2.

 





Game 2: At Skokie   (Peavy vs Clemens)

Surf............ 0 1 0  1 0 0  0 0 0  0 0 -  2  9  1
Wolfmen......... 0 0 1  0 0 1  0 0 0  0 1 -  3  9  1

 

This was definitely a key game in the Series.  If Skokie went up 2 games to none, and especially if Skokie could beat Peavy one of the best pitchers in the league, it would be tough for San Diego.  This was a classic game, a pitchers duel between two of the greatest pitchers in the history of the game.

The Surf would take the lead and Skokie would battle back.  Neither team could get ahead and it went into extra innings.  Skokie knew if they could get past Rodriquez, the ace closer of the Surf and outlast him, they might have a chance. (BTW, C. Jones was up with the bases loaded earlier in the game and had a chance at a ball park homer which would have been a  Grand Slam but missed but he did homer later to tie the game in the 6th).  Anyway in the bottom of the 11th with two on, Matthews who had a great season (and also had 7 doubles in 6 games for the series) came through in the bottom of the 11th and Skokie won game 2 by the score 3-2.  This was the turning point of the series.  With Skokie up 2 games to none, San Diego had to do some miracles in their home park.

 


Game 3: At San Diego (L. Hudson vs Meche)

Wolfmen......... 0 0 1  0 6 0  0 2 0  -  9 12  0
Surf............ 0 0 0  0 0 0  0 0 1  -  1  7  0

 

This was a due or die game for San Diego.  Skokie surprised the world by going with Luke Hudson instead of Tim Hudson (who won 13 games for the Wolfmen).  But Luke Hudson had been one of Skokie’s most consistent starters all year long and he earned this game 3 start.  And boy did Hudson pitch his heart out.  He was virtually unhittable and only in the bottom of the 9th could the Surf score.  Shelton came through again in the 5th with a two run homer and Edmonds also hit his 2nd.  A big six run 5th put the game away for Skokie. Matthews also was a star hitting 3 doubles and driving in two runs but the real star with L. Hudson.  Well Skokie had a command 3 games to none lead.  The question was, could Skokie do a sweep?  Game 4 featured the starters of Game 1.

 

Game 4: At San Diego (Wang vs Haren)

 

Wolfmen......... 0 0 1  0 0 0  1 1 0  -  3  7  0
Surf............ 0 1 0  2 0 3  3 0    -  9 10  0

 

(Personal note: I was hoping that we could finish the series in four, as I had to stay up very late to play due to our difference in hours but Joe was not to be denied this game.)

 

The game started as many being close and tied 1-1 after 3 innings, but then the Surf bats came to life and they were unstoppable.  They sliced and diced Skokie starter Wang and Skokie saw their dream to sweep fading.  Skokie tried to use Wang as long as possible but the Surf was taking batting practice and then when the relief came in, finally Skokie was able to stop the party by the Surf.  C. Duncan feasted on Skokie pitching hitting two homers.  So Skokie just let the Surf enjoy their day as Manager Wallace earned his first playoff win in convincing fashion.  We could hear Joe saying in the dugout as the game was nearing completion if only I save some of these runs for the other games.  Well could the Surf do a Boston Redsox and take the final four? With the jinx of seven games in the past, the Wolfman was becoming a bit worried.

 




Game 5: At San Diego (T. Hudson vs Peavy)

 

Wolfmen......... 0 0 1  0 0 1  0 0 1  -  3  8  2
Surf............ 0 1 0  1 3 6  5 0    - 16 15  0

 

Well again, the Surf were facing an elimination game.  But this club which almost won their own division is a very gutsy club and they never say “Die”.  Again the game started out close but starting into the 5th through the 7th innings, the Surf could do no wrong.  They literally destroyed the Skokie pitchers, it didn’t matter who was brought in, they were cannon fodder – on this day no team could have beat the Surf, they were unstoppable.  Dye hit his 2nd homer and Victorino hit an inside the park homer.  Three of the Surf hitters had 3 RBI’s each.  So Skokie basically gave up in the 6th and let the Surf enjoy their day.  They decided than, that when they went home to Wolfmen Park, they would win the series for the fans.  Besides, they had Clemens coming up next and he didn’t have to face Peavy again.  Peavy is darn tough and Skokie was happy they could win that very hard fought Game 2 against him.  25 runs in two games for the Surf, they were now on fire and ready to win in Skokie.

 

Game 6: At Skokie   (Santana vs Clemens)

 

Surf............ 1 0 0  0 0 0  1 0 0  -  2  5  0
Wolfmen......... 0 0 0  3 0 0  0 0    -  3  7  0

 

With Skokie at home and with Clemens going, San Diego must have been a bit concerned.  Clemens had pitched great baseball in Game 2 and Santana was a bit vulnerable to go against right handed hitters.  But the Surf showed they are a good team and began to continue their hitting against Clemens by scoring in the top of the first to take an early lead.  Skokie was struggling against Santana and starting to think the curse of 7 games was coming back but finally HR and RBI team leader, Barry Bonds, who had been quiet the whole series hit one out of the park in the bottom of the 4th to tie the game.  And Bonds must have inspired the Wolf guys because shortly later, Piazza, who may well be the MVP of the Skokie squad during the regular season, launched his 2nd homer of the series (he batted in Skokie’s first runs in Game 1 and their final runs in Game 6 with homers) for Skokie to take a 3-1 lead.  With Clemens on the mound, would this be enough?  Clemens continued to dominate but then that squirley Victorino came to bat in the 7th, he did it again and hit a inside the park home run to make it 3-2.  Just one run separating the two combatants.  Clemens made it into the 9th but walked the first hitter and Duncan was up (he was killing Skokie pitching) so the Wolfman brought in Sherill to face him (or to not allow Duncan to be the guy who could defeat the Wolfmen) and Sherill was able to get pinch hitter Nady to line out).  Then it was Nathan time, for the chance for the Wolfmen to go into round 2 for the first time, this is why Skokie jumped to trade for him last year giving away Bedard one of the best starting pitchers, and Nathan in his normal fashion shut the door down and the Wolfmen are now headed to the conference championship. 

 

Series Notes and Conclusion

 

The keys for this series were the following.  First of all the Surf bats fell silent in Skokie and you will never beat the Wolfmen there if you can’t score runs as Skokie won all 3 games in their home park.  Clemens is probably the MVP for Skokie pitching two game gems.  During the regular season the Wolfmen’s starters had a lot of problems but with the two good starts by Clemens (both games won 3-2) and the strong outing by Wang and especially L. Hudson, it was actually Skokie’s starting pitching which won the series.  All year long, Skokie had to conserve Clemens (due to a limit of innings) but in the playoffs they could turn him loose.  Could Clemens be the Skokie X Factor?

 

Special achievements by players from each team:

 

San Diego Surf:

 

Duncan was a tear to the Wolfmen, hitting .714 in five games with 2 HRs and 8 RBIs.

 

Victorino also hit .429 with 2 HRs (both inside the park) and 5 RBIs

 

Dye also hit .348 with 2 HRs and 6 RBIs.

 

(most of the hitting by the  Surf came in the two games they won, by a combined score of 25-6.  Unfortunately they couldn’t split part of their hitting in the other four games, especially games 2 and 6, both lost 3-2)

 

Peavy 2.81 ERA, 1-0 was very tough for Skokie and deserved recognition, if he would  have had more run support he might have been 2-0.

 

Relievers Embree / Oliver / F. Rodriquez shut the Skokie bats down

 

San Diego had a better ERA and batting average then Skokie.

 

Skokie Wolfmen:

 

Shelton .429 2 HRs, 6 RBIs, helped to win two key games with his blast

 

Mathews .400 7 doubles, 4 RBIs, was a key to helping Skokie score runs

 

Piazza .273 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, he knocked in the first two runs for Skokie and the

                                             Last two runs via Home Runs in Skokie

 

(Skokie teams as usual spread out key hits amongst its players, as the teams success depends on using their players to their max capability.  Skokie had 11 homers in the six games hit by 8 different players)

 

L. Hudson 1.00 ERA 1-0 12 Ks – pitched a masterful game 3 (unexpected)

 

Clemens 2.12 ERA 1-0 – two stellar outings including clinching game 6

 

Heilman 0.00 ERA 1-0 4 innings of shutout relief

 

Nathan 0.00 ERA two saves in 2 innings, saved game 1 and game 6

 

 



WHAT IS UP NEXT?  SKOKIE VS LIMOILOU

 

While some experts might have felt Skokie could take round 1 in the playoffs due to their home field advantage where they played very well in the regular season and being that they have been in the playoffs the best two years, coming to the Conference championship, this is a different matter  entirely.  During the regular season, Limoilou humiliated the Wolfmen winning 11 out of 15 games.  Limoilou is heavily favored to go to the Series again. 

 

Limoilou and Skokie have a history together.  In the  2005 Playoffs, Skokie was up 3 games to 2, and was unable to put  Limoilou away in their home part (as Montreal).  There was the grandslam by Glaus giving Limoilou a 4-1 victory in game 7.  Limoilou and Skokie have made key trades with each other.  On the current squad Lofton and  Beltran and Betancourt were once wolf guys where Skokie has Edmonds and T. Hudson plus via Limoilou draft pick, Skokie picked up Speizio, a very capable backup and spot starter.  Some people think Skokie was crazy to trade Beltran but it was a half to do trade for Skokie and Edmonds has been a steady player for the Wolfmen although they would have loved to have Beltran in their lineup this year.  So now we will see if these trades come back to haunt Skokie.

 

Comparing the two teams, they are a bit similar, both have tremendous hitting and power with Limoilou having better starting pitcher and each has a key closer.  Skokie tried to improve their team with more on base this year as Limoilou always has this.  So the key factor to this series will be which teams starters can contain the other teams spoilers.  Skokie had a big decision to make whether to use T. Hudson or Lilly as there 4th starter but due to the stronger hitting vs lefties by Limoilou, they chose to go with T. Hudson.

 

It will be interesting to see if the Skokie weaknesses at corner defense and Piazza throwing arm will be their downfall.  Again Skokie needs for its starters to go long as they did in the San Diego series.  Limoilou going into round 2 is the only favorite who won their first playoff games.  Can the Wolfman, using his guile and intuition prevail at what looks like a much stronger and balanced team.  The only reason Skokie may have a chance is that it’s a short series – and they can use a bit more in a  balanced way their top starters.  Due to Clemens pitching game six in the San Diego series he will then start in Game 3 and if needed Game 7.  Will he be the key again. 

 

From the Skokie point of view, they need for Bond (.118), Gambi (.143), Delucci and Aurilla (.000) to pick up the hitting otherwise with the power of Limoilou (Beltrans / Thome / Hall / Glaus) it will be a  long series.

 

So can the  Wolfmen avenge their 7 game playoff loss in 2005 and make it to their first series or will the very successful and dominating team of Limoilou led by the  legendary Jeff Boutet prevail again to make another appearance in the CBA World Series, we  will find out shortly.

And last but not least, who will the the champion of the Staub conference face.  Normally the series is the pitching of Staub vs. the power  of Clemente but this year, the final four teams have all had their success more via their superior hitting and power.  Will Indiana be the first team in a long time to take the crown in back to back years, or will  the very proficient CBA managers who have been to t he series before Hite and Boutet do it again or last but not least, will the willy Wolfman guide his team to victory after having his worse record year and the worse record of any playoff bound team.  If there is one thing we all know, who takes it all is completely unpredictable in the CBA playoffs.

 

Good luck to the remaining four teams!!  (Limoilou, Philly, Indiana & Skokie)

 

 

 


 

SKOKIE HOWLS AT WINTER DRAFT...
Photo (CBAP): Mike Piazza at Skokie press conference.

2004-2005

My hobbies:  Sports, Science Fiction, Travel, Writing,                    
                     World Mysteries, Spiritually-based subjects

Strat-experience -- Started to play the game in 1967,
was involved with various face-face leagues around Chicago
in 1968-1979 -- participated in one mail league where received
the nickname of Wolfman, the Skokie Wolfman -- played in
a mail series against Donna Chevrette that was reported
in the SOM Review and also we organized several years
of National SOM Conferences at the U of I, in Champaign-Urbana
Illinois in the late part of the 1970's.  The CBA is my first
computer based/internet league I am participating in.
I returned to SOM via the trial leagues offered on the
Sporting News using the 2003 based cards. 

Entered the league in:March 2005

The "Rocket" Clemens fires to home in 2006 playoff win vs Longue Pointe


   

The Skokie Wolfmen Prepare for the 2007 CBA Playoffs

This is the third year that the Wolfmen (formerly the Royals) have been fortunate to participate in the CBA Playoffs.  Following the guidance of the their manager the Skokie Wolfman, and working hard to create a competitive team using the draft and trades and a few free agents, the franchise has been successful.

The 2007 version of the Wolfmen is quite different from their earlier teams in 2005 and 2006.  The former teams featured stronger squads with a more balanced pitching staff and defense.  But one of the key weaknesses of the team was to have a better on base percentage and to score more runs.  It is ultimately this weakness which caused the former teams to bow out in the first round of the playoffs.

With the 2007 Regular season behind us, the major challenge was for all the teams was to find good pitching.  There really wasn’t a dominating pitching team as there had been in years past.  And actually, the normally Dawson Conference which featured teams that had success more on good pitching changed in 2007 to teams that paralleled their Clemente opponents with more hitting and power.

To build the 2007 Wolfmen, once again key players via the draft were acquired as well as via trades.  Most of the key power hitters (Bonds, Piazza, Jones, Valentin) were acquired in this way.  There were six players who hit 20 or more homers for this squad, the 2007 version had a much higher on base percentage and set a team record with 26x homers for the season ranking 2nd in the league.  But the starting pitchers were much weaker (a key trade to bring in Wang definitely was absolutely necessary) and the relief staff was at best in consistent.  Perhaps the Wolfmen would have won a few more games if Nathan was more available but he had to sit out the last 40 games of the season.

A key part of the managerial strategy to play the Wolfmen, was as always to work with positional players to deal with any type of team, park and pitcher.  Skokie took a big gamble to bring on board and keep a number of very older players (late 30s or 40’s, including Bonds, Piazza, Jones, Edmonds, Giambi and Clemens.  The Skokie of 2007 sacrificed on their defense as they were willing to start poor fielding players in the corners in the outfield as well as at 1B & 3B.  The Piazza trade was a big gamble as Skokie decided to go with more hitting and power at catcher but sacrificed on stolen bases by their opponents with Piazza poor arm and several pitchers who were unable to hold base runners close.  Skokie had never tried before to play with such wholes in their defense on the field but the thinking process was, if we could bomb the other team there was the defense to come in during the late innings and their closer Joe Nathan, one of the premier closers.

So the 2007 Skokie Wolfmen took a big gamble, they felt they could do it because they were in a weak division and if they could just get back to the playoffs, using all the players properly, in a short series, that they could be competitive.  Another key aspect of the Wolfmen was that they lead the league in giving up the least amount of home runs.  Being that they live in Wolfie park which is a hitters park, this was crucial to balance the less then perfect defense on the field and weak ability to stop opponents to steal bases.

So this version of the Skokie team won 9 less games then in 2006.  It comes into the playoffs with the worse record of any playoff bound team.  With its clearing weaknesses as discussed above, few people will give them a chance against the better teams in the CBA.  If they are going to go far, it will require all the tricks and skills by their manager the Wolfman to do it and perhaps some lucky rolls of the dice.

There was a big debate over whether to go with Piazza at catcher but he won up tied for 2nd on the club with 28 homers in somewhat limited due and was second in RBIs.  His memorable four homer game is a record in the CBA.  Barry Bonds was another gamble with his poor knees and fielding if this would more adversely affect the team then his bat but he tied the record of 37 homers done by Beltran in 2005 and had 100 RBIs in again a bit of limited duty.  Valentin a middle inning pick in the draft (Skokie wait as long as possible to grab their old friend and former player) was also another key to Skokie’s success as he provided a good strong bat and power which was needed and lead to Grudzielanek seeing limited duty but valuable for late inning defense.  Edmonds also hit a bit more for power then expected and came through in some key games plus his consistent defensive in CF was key.  The late addition of Giambi and Dellucci added some more power for the clubs and left handed hitters who could hit lefties, Dellucci began a backup for Bonds.  1B had been a challenge for Skokie rotating four other players to fill the void (Aurilla, Shelton, Sheffield, Spiezio) but with Giambi on the scene it added another power hitter with good on base.  Skokie tried to create their own version of the famed Yankees murders row.  Especially against right handed pitchers – just about every hitter in the lineup was capable of hitting the ball out.  Gary Matthews Jr. may have been Skokie’s most consistent hitter who did a great job as a leadoff hitter.  Normally the Wolfmen like to have more speed in their lineup but the roll of the dice didn’t allow this to occur.

L. Hudson was a surprise starter for the team and thus earned a place on the playoff squad, was perhaps the most consistent starter. Nathan is Nathan and set a mark in the age of the Wolfman with 20 saves.  He was almost unhittable and will be a key player in the playoffs.  But the relief staff was a lot more inconsistent in times past and will have to be used wisely in the playoffs.  Look for the Wolfmen to count on their starters to go long into the game.  As far as the other Skokie starters, at times they look brilliant but overall their effective was very questionable and far less in performance then prior years.  Clemens just wasn’t his usual self winning only 6 games, Lilly and T. Hudson were inconsistent – Redman and Patterson gave some help in limited starts but the trade for Wang brought that other starter that Skokie deeply needed. 

So to summarize, the 2007 version of the Skokie Wolfmen was a collection of the old and new.  The team has the ability to explode at any moment but comes in with a number of holes where they could also be crunched just the same.  It will be an interest challenge to see if an improved scoring machine is enough to take the Wolfmen to a higher level.  The keys for their success will be how effective Wang and Clemens can be as consistant starters and if the club can score runs which has doomed them in the playoffs in the last two years.  There is no doubt the Wolfmen like Skokie’s park but with the worse record as a playoff team after the 1st round they could lose home field advantage.

Analysis of San Diego VS Skokie

During the regular season the two teams split the twelve games played.  Even though San Diego had a better regular season record, Skokie gained home field advantage for this series due to winning their division (finally after losing out the past two years on the last day of the season).  Skokie’s true advantage then was having possibly four games in their park as their club is really suited for the long ball.  Thus for San Diego to win the series they would need to win in Skokie.  The Surf is a better hitting team but the key weakness of the surf, if any, as Mr. Wallace had put a good squad together was in their pitching as their 3rd and 4th starters were not strong and the bullpen could be a bit stronger.  The strategy for Skokie was to bomb the Surf starters, then bring in their defense and have Nathan waiting at the end.  The Surf had better speed then Skokie and could take advantage of the weak arm of Piazza and also several of Skokie’s starters inability to hold runners.  So in comparing the two teams their strengths and weakness were pretty even, the key would see if San Diego could win in Skokie.  And with San Diego being more of a pitcher’s park (low ball park home run) if they could win 3 in San Diego, then Skokie could be in a lot of trouble.  Finally a last key for Skokie in the series was if their starters could take up a lot of innings as three of the Skokie relievers are more geared for more conditional spots.  So if the Skokie starters got bombed early, Skokie could be in a lot of trouble

Now lets move on two the actual games and see what happened

Game 1: At Skokie   (Haren vs Wang)

Surf............ 0 0 0  0 0 1  0 2 0  -  3  9  1
Wolfmen......... 2 0 0  1 3 0  0 0    -  6 10  0

Skokie started out the gate as the “Pizza” man hits a two run homer to begin the first inning.  This bodes badly for the Surf if the Skokie bats start blasting home runs.  Wang was pitching very good and the Surf were consistently unable to come through with clutch hits when men were on base.  Edmonds hits a solo shot for Skokie to make it 3-0 and then Shelton shocks the Surf (Note: Shelton almost was not kept on the squad for the playoffs, it was between keeping him or Sheffield) with a 3 run dinger in the 5th.  So with a commanding 6-0 lead and Nathan waiting in the wings if needed, it looked like Skokie had the game in hand.  But then the Surf bats came alive in the 8th and they threatened but good old reliable Nathan, who relishes this type of spots came in and shot the door for a 6-3 Skokie win.  Was this a sign that Skokie could break their first round jinx and move to the finals?  The Surf now needed a victory in Game 2.


Game 2: At Skokie   (Peavy vs Clemens)

Surf............ 0 1 0  1 0 0  0 0 0  0 0 -  2  9  1
Wolfmen......... 0 0 1  0 0 1  0 0 0  0 1 -  3  9  1

This was definitely a key game in the Series.  If Skokie went up 2 games to none, and especially if Skokie could beat Peavy one of the best pitchers in the league, it would be tough for San Diego.  This was a classic game, a pitchers duel between two of the greatest pitchers in the history of the game.

The Surf would take the lead and Skokie would battle back.  Neither team could get ahead and it went into extra innings.  Skokie knew if they could get past Rodriquez, the ace closer of the Surf and outlast him, they might have a chance. (BTW, C. Jones was up with the bases loaded earlier in the game and had a chance at a ball park homer which would have been a  Grand Slam but missed but he did homer later to tie the game in the 6th).  Anyway in the bottom of the 11th with two on, Matthews who had a great season (and also had 7 doubles in 6 games for the series) came through in the bottom of the 11th and Skokie won game 2 by the score 3-2.  This was the turning point of the series.  With Skokie up 2 games to none, San Diego had to do some miracles in their home park.


Game 3: At San Diego (L. Hudson vs Meche)

Wolfmen......... 0 0 1  0 6 0  0 2 0  -  9 12  0
Surf............ 0 0 0  0 0 0  0 0 1  -  1  7  0

This was a due or die game for San Diego.  Skokie surprised the world by going with Luke Hudson instead of Tim Hudson (who won 13 games for the Wolfmen).  But Luke Hudson had been one of Skokie’s most consistent starters all year long and he earned this game 3 start.  And boy did Hudson pitch his heart out.  He was virtually unhittable and only in the bottom of the 9th could the Surf score.  Shelton came through again in the 5th with a two run homer and Edmonds also hit his 2nd.  A big six run 5th put the game away for Skokie. Matthews also was a star hitting 3 doubles and driving in two runs but the real star with L. Hudson.  Well Skokie had a command 3 games to none lead.  The question was, could Skokie do a sweep?  Game 4 featured the starters of Game 1

Game 4: At San Diego (Wang vs Haren)

Wolfmen......... 0 0 1  0 0 0  1 1 0  -  3  7  0
Surf............ 0 1 0  2 0 3  3 0    -  9 10  0

(Personal note: I was hoping that we could finish the series in four, as I had to stay up very late to play due to our difference in hours but Joe was not to be denied this game.)

The game started as many being close and tied 1-1 after 3 innings, but then the Surf bats came to life and they were unstoppable.  They sliced and diced Skokie starter Wang and Skokie saw their dream to sweep fading.  Skokie tried to use Wang as long as possible but the Surf was taking batting practice and then when the relief came in, finally Skokie was able to stop the party by the Surf.  C. Duncan feasted on Skokie pitching hitting two homers.  So Skokie just let the Surf enjoy their day as Manager Wallace earned his first playoff win in convincing fashion.  We could hear Joe saying in the dugout as the game was nearing completion if only I save some of these runs for the other games.  Well could the Surf do a Boston Redsox and take the final four? With the jinx of seven games in the past, the Wolfman was becoming a bit worried.

Game 5: At San Diego (T. Hudson vs Peavy)

Wolfmen......... 0 0 1  0 0 1  0 0 1  -  3  8  2
Surf............ 0 1 0  1 3 6  5 0    - 16 15  0

Well again, the Surf were facing an elimination game.  But this club which almost won their own division is a very gutsy club and they never say “Die”.  Again the game started out close but starting into the 5th through the 7th innings, the Surf could do no wrong.  They literally destroyed the Skokie pitchers, it didn’t matter who was brought in, they were cannon fodder – on this day no team could have beat the Surf, they were unstoppable.  Dye hit his 2nd homer and Victorino hit an inside the park homer.  Three of the Surf hitters had 3 RBI’s each.  So Skokie basically gave up in the 6th and let the Surf enjoy their day.  They decided than, that when they went home to Wolfmen Park, they would win the series for the fans.  Besides, they had Clemens coming up next and he didn’t have to face Peavy again.  Peavy is darn tough and Skokie was happy they could win that very hard fought Game 2 against him.  25 runs in two games for the Surf, they were now on fire and ready to win in Skokie.

Game 6: At Skokie   (Santana vs Clemens)

Surf............ 1 0 0  0 0 0  1 0 0  -  2  5  0
Wolfmen......... 0 0 0  3 0 0  0 0    -  3  7  0
 

With Skokie at home and with Clemens going, San Diego must have been a bit concerned.  Clemens had pitched great baseball in Game 2 and Santana was a bit vulnerable to go against right handed hitters.  But the Surf showed they are a good team and began to continue their hitting against Clemens by scoring in the top of the first to take an early lead.  Skokie was struggling against Santana and starting to think the curse of 7 games was coming back but finally HR and RBI team leader, Barry Bonds, who had been quiet the whole series hit one out of the park in the bottom of the 4th to tie the game.  And Bonds must have inspired the Wolf guys because shortly later, Piazza, who may well be the MVP of the Skokie squad during the regular season, launched his 2nd homer of the series (he batted in Skokie’s first runs in Game 1 and their final runs in Game 6 with homers) for Skokie to take a 3-1 lead.  With Clemens on the mound, would this be enough?  Clemens continued to dominate but then that squirley Victorino came to bat in the 7th, he did it again and hit a inside the park home run to make it 3-2.  Just one run separating the two combatants.  Clemens made it into the 9th but walked the first hitter and Duncan was up (he was killing Skokie pitching) so the Wolfman brought in Sherill to face him (or to not allow Duncan to be the guy who could defeat the Wolfmen) and Sherill was able to get pinch hitter Nady to line out).  Then it was Nathan time, for the chance for the Wolfmen to go into round 2 for the first time, this is why Skokie jumped to trade for him last year giving away Bedard one of the best starting pitchers, and Nathan in his normal fashion shut the door down and the Wolfmen are now headed to the conference championship. 

Series Notes and Conclusion

The keys for this series were the following.  First of all the Surf bats fell silent in Skokie and you will never beat the Wolfmen there if you can’t score runs as Skokie won all 3 games in their home park.  Clemens is probably the MVP for Skokie pitching two game gems.  During the regular season the Wolfmen’s starters had a lot of problems but with the two good starts by Clemens (both games won 3-2) and the strong outing by Wang and especially L. Hudson, it was actually Skokie’s starting pitching which won the series.  All year long, Skokie had to conserve Clemens (due to a limit of innings) but in the playoffs they could turn him loose.  Could Clemens be the Skokie X Factor?

Special achievements by players from each team:

San Diego Surf:

Duncan was a tear to the Wolfmen, hitting .714 in five games with 2 HRs and 8 RBIs.

Victorino also hit .429 with 2 HRs (both inside the park) and 5 RBIs

Dye also hit .348 with 2 HRs and 6 RBIs.

(most of the hitting by the  Surf came in the two games they won, by a combined score of 25-6.  Unfortunately they couldn’t split part of their hitting in the other four games, especially games 2 and 6, both lost 3-2)

Peavy 2.81 ERA, 1-0 was very tough for Skokie and deserved recognition, if he would  have had more run support he might have been 2-0

Relievers Embree / Oliver / F. Rodriquez shut the Skokie bats down

San Diego had a better ERA and batting average then Skokie.

Skokie Wolfmen:

Shelton .429 2 HRs, 6 RBIs, helped to win two key games with his blast. Mathews .400 7 doubles, 4 RBIs, was a key to helping Skokie score runs

Piazza .273 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, he knocked in the first two runs for Skokie and the  Last two runs via Home Runs in Skoki

(Skokie teams as usual spread out key hits amongst its players, as the teams success depends on using their players to their max capability.  Skokie had 11 homers in the six games hit by 8 different players)

L. Hudson 1.00 ERA 1-0 12 Ks – pitched a masterful game 3 (unexpected)

Clemens 2.12 ERA 1-0 – two stellar outings including clinching game 6

Heilman 0.00 ERA 1-0 4 innings of shutout relief

Nathan 0.00 ERA two saves in 2 innings, saved game 1 and game 6

 

 



WHAT IS UP NEXT?  SKOKIE VS LIMOILOU

 

While some experts might have felt Skokie could take round 1 in the playoffs due to their home field advantage where they played very well in the regular season and being that they have been in the playoffs the best two years, coming to the Conference championship, this is a different matter  entirely.  During the regular season, Limoilou humiliated the Wolfmen winning 11 out of 15 games.  Limoilou is heavily favored to go to the Series again. 

 

Limoilou and Skokie have a history together.  In the  2005 Playoffs, Skokie was up 3 games to 2, and was unable to put  Limoilou away in their home part (as Montreal).  There was the grandslam by Glaus giving Limoilou a 4-1 victory in game 7.  Limoilou and Skokie have made key trades with each other.  On the current squad Lofton and  Beltran and Betancourt were once wolf guys where Skokie has Edmonds and T. Hudson plus via Limoilou draft pick, Skokie picked up Speizio, a very capable backup and spot starter.  Some people think Skokie was crazy to trade Beltran but it was a half to do trade for Skokie and Edmonds has been a steady player for the Wolfmen although they would have loved to have Beltran in their lineup this year.  So now we will see if these trades come back to haunt Skokie.

 

Comparing the two teams, they are a bit similar, both have tremendous hitting and power with Limoilou having better starting pitcher and each has a key closer.  Skokie tried to improve their team with more on base this year as Limoilou always has this.  So the key factor to this series will be which teams starters can contain the other teams spoilers.  Skokie had a big decision to make whether to use T. Hudson or Lilly as there 4th starter but due to the stronger hitting vs lefties by Limoilou, they chose to go with T. Hudson.

 

It will be interesting to see if the Skokie weaknesses at corner defense and Piazza throwing arm will be their downfall.  Again Skokie needs for its starters to go long as they did in the San Diego series.  Limoilou going into round 2 is the only favorite who won their first playoff games.  Can the Wolfman, using his guile and intuition prevail at what looks like a much stronger and balanced team.  The only reason Skokie may have a chance is that it’s a short series – and they can use a bit more in a  balanced way their top starters.  Due to Clemens pitching game six in the San Diego series he will then start in Game 3 and if needed Game 7.  Will he be the key again. 

 

From the Skokie point of view, they need for Bond (.118), Gambi (.143), Delucci and Aurilla (.000) to pick up the hitting otherwise with the power of Limoilou (Beltrans / Thome / Hall / Glaus) it will be a  long series.

 

So can the  Wolfmen avenge their 7 game playoff loss in 2005 and make it to their first series or will the very successful and dominating team of Limoilou led by the  legendary Jeff Boutet prevail again to make another appearance in the CBA World Series, we  will find out shortly.

And last but not least, who will the the champion of the Staub conference face.  Normally the series is the pitching of Staub vs. the power  of Clemente but this year, the final four teams have all had their success more via their superior hitting and power.  Will Indiana be the first team in a long time to take the crown in back to back years, or will  the very proficient CBA managers who have been to t he series before Hite and Boutet do it again or last but not least, will the willy Wolfman guide his team to victory after having his worse record year and the worse record of any playoff bound team.  If there is one thing we all know, who takes it all is completely unpredictable in the CBA playoffs.

 

Good luck to the remaining four teams!!  (Limoilou, Philly, Indiana & Skokie)

 


 

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