Sunday, November 30, 2014

Game 2 (BoS) - Panthers Season

WTCN- Channel 19 -- TRAVERSE CITY Sports Network presents PANTHERS BASEBALL!

Welcome back to Izzy Productions Panthers Park!

We return for the second game of this series between the Traverse City Panthers and the visiting N.L. Champs, the Portland Microbrewers. Game 1 was a pitchers' duel that was eventually settled by the Panthers with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th by Alejandro De Aza.

Portland sends old veteran starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (age 40), whose numbers have returned to his youth of late, while battling the young ace in the making in Mr. Matt Harvey. Should be another great game.

Matt Harvey was dialed in, in Game 2.


Bottom of the 1st -- Back-to-back singles by Jean Segura and Matt Carpenter to start the inning. Last night's hero Alejandro De Aza hears the home crowd's appreciation, as he gently waves to the crowd, while stepping into the box. De Aza smacks a hard grounder to Adam Lind at first, Lind scoops it up, fires to second for one out, back over to first, not in time! Segura and De Aza on the corners, one out for the Panthers. Bartolo Colon to face clean-up hitter Josh Donaldson, Brewers are playing in for the play at the plate, the pitch, it's hit towards Eric Chavez, he muffs it, as it rolls away... Segura scores easily, De Aza makes it all the way to third, the Panthers had the hit & run in motion, while Donaldson reaches on a E-5. Hunter Pence would hit into a double play, but not before the Panthers could scratch up a run. Traverse City 1, Portland 0

Top of the 3rd -- Matt Harvey had a scare as Jhonny Peralta put a charge into a ball to deep left, as Giancarlo Stanton snags the fly with his back to the wall. Otherwise, he got out of the inning unscathed.

Top of the 5th -- Matt Harvey allows his 3rd walk of the game, to lead-off man Scooter Gennett. Gennett moves up to second with ground out by Eric Chavez. Harvey to face Jhonny Peralta, the pitch, he strikes out, Harvey's 4th K of the game -- two away. It's up to Adam Lind to do something for Portland here, Harvey rocks & fires, hit to the mound, Harvey knocks it down, over to first, three down.

Top of the 6th -- Russell Martin breaks up Matt Harvey's bid for a no-hitter, with no outs, tying run at first. Jason Kipnis lays down a nice sacrifice bunt down the first base line, to move the runner Martin up to second. Mike Trout in search for his first hit this season, comes to the plate to face Harvey, the Panthers want nothing to do with it, intentional walk. First & second, one out, playing for the double play as the switch-hitting Coco Crisp comes to the plate. Portland's manager Brad Stark goes to the bench to have the dangerous lefty Freddie Freeman bat. Harvey sets & delivers,  Freeman pops it up to Brian Dozier playing second, two away. Harvey wheels & deals, upstairs with a fast one, Colby Rasmus doesn't offer, and Harvey gets the call, his 5th K. Portland leaves them stranded.

Bottom of the 6th -- Charlie Blackmon comes in for Portland to play left for Coco Crisp.

Top of the 7th -- Jhonny Peralta smacks a two-out double into left-center gap, only the Brewers' second hit of the game; Panthers are doing no better up to this point with three hits off of Bartolo Colon. Matt Harvey is intentionally walking Adam Lind, to take his chances against Portland's catcher Russell Martin. Portland's Brad Stark counters with Alfonso Soriano to pinch-hit for Martin -- T.C.'s skipper Shawn Baier is now wishing he just had Harvey pitch to Lind. Runners on 1st & 2nd, 2 outs, Harvey gets ready to pitch to Soriano, fires, smacks it towards short, Jean Segura is up with it, flips it to Brian Dozier at second, third out! Plenty of strategy in this series up to this point, you got to love it.

Bottom of the 7th -- A.J. Ellis comes in as a defensive replacement for Russell Martin behind the plate for Portland, it is tough to steal on either catcher with their arms. After Bartolo Colon retired the first two batters, Traverse City's manager Shawn Baier decided it's time to unveil their prize for a horrible season in 2013, with the debut of Yasiel Puig. Puig will come in to pinch-hit for Giancarlo Stanton, who has failed to get a hit up to this point. Colon with the pitch, just catches the plate, and Yasiel goes down on strikes, side retired. Traverse City 1, Portland 0

Top of the 8th -- Alejandro De Aza moves to left, as Yasiel Puig takes over in center. With one out in the 8th, Mike Trout sends one to left, all De Aza can do is look up, Adios! Trout's first hit of the season is a big one, tying the game. Mike Harvey will have to shake it off, he now faces the lefty Charlie Blackmon at the plate, the pitch, strike three, two down. Harvey to face Colby Rasmus, he's goes down swinging. Traverse City 1, Portland 1

Mike Trout makes his first hit of the season, a HR to left.

Bottom of the 8th -- Brandon Belt puts a charge into this one, it could be trouble, it's off the wall, Mike Trout picks it up & fires it in, as Belt holds at second with a double. Brian Dozier lays down a successful sacrifice bunt, as the first baseman Adam Lind tags Dozier, and Belt reaches third. One out as Devin Mesoraco steps to the plate, Portland has the infield playing in. The Panthers' Mesoraco steps out of the box, looks at the dugout, he's coming out for pinch-hitter Wilson Ramos. Portland's manager wants nothing to do with Ramos, and has Portland starter Bartolo Colon intentionally walk him, to face Jean Segura. The Panther's manager Shawn Baier counters, sending Ryan Raburn to bat for Segura. Colon picks up a big strike out, striking out Raburn! Two down, runners on the corners, and it comes down to the DH - Matt Carpenter to try and come up big. Colon facing Carpenter, the pitch, it's a liner to deep center, it bounces off the wall, Belt scores, Ramos holds third as the center fielder Mike Trout gets the ball in, Carpenter claps his hands at second -- big hit for the Panthers!

Portland goes to the pen for Tony Watson, as Bartolo Colon pitched a fine performance for the Microbrewers; Colon went 7.2 innings, allowing 5 hits, a walk, 2 ER's so far, while striking out seven. The Panthers decide to have the righty Juan Lagares to challenge the southpaw Watson. Needing an out to get out of this, Watson sets & delivers, and it's popped up, Watson does it.
Traverse City 2, Portland 1

Top of the 9th -- Wilson Ramos stays in to catch behind the plate, Jordy Mercer will come in to play shortstop in place of Segura, while Juan Lagares will stay in left. The Panthers will send their closer Cody Allen to close things out. Scooter Gennett grounds to second for one out. Another smacked towards second baseman Brian Dozier, but this one gets by into right, a single by Eric Chavez. Portland's manager looks at his score sheet, he will have Brad Miller pinch-run for the slow vet Chavez. Allen will face Jhonny Peralta, he sets & fires, a deep fly to center, but he won't advance the runner, two down. The Panthers decide to intentionally walk lefty Adam Lind, to face righty A.J. Ellis, putting the runner in scoring position. Allen's pitch to Ellis, and it just catches the plate, strike three, the game is over!

FINAL: Traverse City 2, Portland 1

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Panthers' 2014 Season Debut

WTCN- Channel 19 -- TRAVERSE CITY Sports Network presents PANTHERS BASEBALL!

Welcome to Izzy Productions Panthers Park!
The new season is upon us, as the Traverse City Panthers are anxious to put last season behind them, they open the season hosting the National League Champion - Portland Microbrewers, who are once again loaded for another title push, led by young phenom, center fielder Mike Trout and their much-feared pitching rotation.

Two of Japan's finest starting pitchers in Iwakuma and Darvish, go head-to-head.

The Panthers send their first franchise pick to the mound in Yu Darvish, he did not live up to his numbers in what was a dismal 2013 campaign, a losing atmosphere can even effect the best of arms sometimes; He's looking to rebound this season, and will face Japanese counterpart Hisashi Iwakuma, who's expected to have a bigger impact this season.

Top of the 1st -- Yu Darvish strikes out the side, while allowing a single to Freddie Freeman. During the bottom half, the Brew Crew suddenly switched Colby Rasmus and Coco Crisp, the corner outfielders, Rasmus moves to right, Coco to left --  odd move, so early in the game.

Top of the 2nd -- Two-out single to right by Adam Lind, Russell Martin beats out a swinging bunt & the throw from third baseman Josh Donaldson. Brad Miller swings and misses, T.C.'s catcher Devin Mesoraco with a quick throw to first and they nail Lind diving back into first, not sure why he was that far off the bag.

Bottom of the 2nd -- a clean single to right for Josh Donaldson, that's the Panthers' first hit of the ballgame and season, they are expecting big things from Donaldson this season. Hisashi Iwakuma strikes out the next two batters in Hunter Pence & Giancarlo Stanton, while getting the 3rd out with a easy ground-out by Brandon Belt. Score remains 0-0.

Top of the 4th -- Eric Chavez who sent a long ball to the warning track in left, sends a two-out home run over the right-center field wall at Panthers Park off of Darvish. 1-0, Portland.

Eric Chavez: The old vet goes yard for Portland.
Bottom of the 4th -- Traverse City's Matt Carpenter plants a lead-off double between Mike Trout and Colby Rasmus in the gap. Alejandro De Aza fails to move Carpenter to third on a one-hop grounder to shortstop Brad Miller. Josh Donaldson gets his pitch and sends a double to left-center, as Carpenter scores, tie game! This brings up Hunter Pence who had a lousy season splitting time between Boston & T.C. last year, the Panther fans are hoping to see a difference. Hisashi Iwakuma, who doesn't walk many, walks Pence, runners on 1st & 2nd for T.C. with danger at the plate in Giancarlo Stanton, one of last season's only bright spots for the Panthers. Iwakuma delivers, it's grounded to short, no play at second, the throw to first, and he's out -- two away. Portland is hoping to escape this inning with a tie in tact, the lefty Brandon Belt faces righty Iwakuma, the pitch, and it's flied to left, Coco Crisp camps under it, and that's the inning. Traverse City 1, Portland 1

Top of the 5th -- Yu Darvish records his 5th & 6th strike-outs of the evening with scoreless action in the half-inning.

Bottom of the 5th -- Colby Rasmus robs a lead-off homer by Brian Dozier, to make it only a loud out.

Top of the 6th -- Scooter Gennett smacks a double off the wall in center that nearly went out, to lead off the inning for Portland -- bringing up Mike Trout. The Panthers elect to pitch to him, getting him to pop up in foul territory behind third. Not out of the woods yet, they will have to face Freddie Freeman, this time the Panthers will intentionally walk Freeman to face Colby Rasmus, setting up the double-play. Rasmus ends up whiffing, leaving their chances to Eric Chavez, who hit a HR in the fourth. This time, Chavez hits a routine fly to center to end the threat.

Bottom of the 6th -- Josh Donaldson collects his 3rd hit of the game, but T.C. will do nothing more, as the score remains 1-1, in what has been mostly a pitchers' duel.

Top of the 7th -- Lead-off double by Coco Crisp, a liner to the right-center gap that Hunter Pence couldn't get to in time. Adam Lind grounds to short, to move the runner up to third. One out, Russell Martin steps up to the plate. Yu Darvish walks Martin, runners now on the corners, Darvish is visibly upset with himself. The Brewers decide to go to the bench, Brad Miller will come out for Charlie Blackmon, a dangerous lefty off the bench. The Panthers have no lefties to counter him, a bad oversight by the front office of the Panthers -- they should do something about that. Blackmon hits a fly to the gap in left-center, Alejandro De Aza is after it, tailing away from him, and it's caught! Crisp is tagging, De Aza with the throw, and Crisp will score! Portland takes a 2-1 lead here in the top of the 7th -- Martin holds at first. Two outs, Scooter Gennett will come to the plate, here comes the Panthers manager Shawn Baier, he's signaling to the bullpen, and is calling on Tyler Clippard to get them out of this inning. Darvish leaves after 6.2 innings, allowing only 6 hits, 2 ER, while striking out 7 Brewers. Clippard delivers, Martin is off and running, the throw by the Panthers' catcher Devin Mesoraco, and he's out -- side retired! Portland 2, Traverse City 1

Bottom of the 7th -- Charlie Blackmon is out, Jhonny Peralta is playing shortstop now for the Portland Microbrewers, Hisashi Iwakuma still on the mound, as he faces Giancarlo Stanton. A healthy cut by Stanton, but it's sent straight up -- pop up to Russell Martin, one away. Brandon Belt sends a single to right. Iwakuma strikes out the last two batters in Brian Dozier and Devin Mesoraco.

Bottom of the 8th -- Jean Segura gets serious wood on a mistake pitch by Hisashi Iwakuma, a blast to left, to tie the game 2-2, but the Panthers couldn't add to the score. Traverse City 2, Portland 2

Segura hits the Panthers' first HR of the season, a game-tying solo shot in the 8th.

Top of the 9th -- Portland's manager Brad Stark goes to his bench and calls on Jason Kipnis to pinch-hit for Colby Rasmus, to face T.C.'s Tyler Clippard. Kipnis would shatter his bat, and get thrown out at first by a step, with a great throw by Josh Donaldson. Clippard issues two-out walk to Coco Crisp. The Panthers go to the pen for Tanner Scheppers, Clippard goes two innings, with a walk & K, he's responsible for Crisp. Adam Lind steps to the plate, Scheppers sets & delivers, outside, Crisp is off & running, the throw from Devin Mesoraco, and he's safe! Crisp is now at second with two outs. Scheppers resets against Lind, the pitch, and Lind is caught looking -- leaving Crisp stranded.

Bottom of the 9th -- The Brewers have Alfonso Soriano take over in right, as Kipnis is now out of the game. Hisashi Iwakuma is still on the mound, as he will have to face, Pence, Stanton & Belt. Hunter Pence steps up, and Iwakuma ends up walking him, the winning run is at first. Iwakuma will now have to face Giancarlo Stanton, the pitch, Stanton grounds it to Eric Chavez at third, the throw to second for one, over to first, not in time, as Stanton beats it out to first -- no double play. One out for Brandon Belt as he steps up to face Iwakuma, Belt steps back out, as the Panthers have Jarrod Dyson running from the dugout, he'll run for Stanton. Iwakuma delivers to Belt, the ball is hit past Freddie Freeman, Scooter Gennett dives and knocks it down, but that's all he can do with it. Runners on first & second for Traverse City. Panthers' manager Brad Stark heads to the mound, he's calling on Mark Melancon in his hopes that Melancon can get a groundball double play to get out of this unscathed. The Panthers counter with lefty Yonder Alonso to pinch-hit for Brian Dozier. Melancon sets & fires, Alonso flies it to shallow left, Jhonny Peralta is running back, and catches it, two down! The Panthers wheels are still turning, they want that winning run, they call on Ryan Raburn, who will be used in this role quite often this season. Raburn gets his pitch, smacks a rocket to right, and it's snagged by Soriano, who is all smiles. Traverse City 2, Portland 2

Top of the 10th -- Hunter Pence moves to left for T.C., as Jarrod Dyson moves to right, Jordy Mercer comes in to play second (replacing Brian Dozier), as Wilson Ramos takes over catching duties.

Bottom of the 10th -- Portland calls on Joaquin Benoit to pitch, strikes out both Jean Segura and Matt Carpenter. This brings up Alejandro De Aza, 0-for-4, Benoit sets & delivers, no doubt about this one, it's over the right field wall -- Goodbye! The Panthers win with a De Aza walk-off as the home crowd has not been this happy, well... since Opening Day last season. We knew this would be a pitchers' duel in this first game, both teams have blown scoring chances, and after two quick strikeouts by Benoit, De Aza got the barrel of the bat on this one!

The Panthers' Alejandro De Aza: The walk-off blast & reaction.

Traverse City wins 3-2 in 10 Innings, against Portland to kick off the 2014 campaign!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Panthers' Prowl

Panthers are ready for Josh Donaldson to release his pure awesomeness.
The top pick went to my Traverse City Panthers, for they had the worst record in the entire league at 46-116. When I drafted this team in the inaugural draft, I thought I drafted really well for them, I thought that I could compete in my division at least, I solely drafted for 2013 MLB players instead of 2012 players, so I knew that would be reflected somewhat, but it really wasn't until putting the rosters together that I realized how little power that my lineup had. Before the season began, I felt we would be in the losing half of the league, but more like 70-92, mid 60's in wins, at it's worst -- I was obviously wrong.

In the 2013 Inaugural draft (which took place in February 2014) and was of 2012 players -- I drafted players that would emerge in 2013, in Josh DonaldsonMatt CarpenterBrian DozierBrandon Belt, Devin MesoracoChris Johnson & Julio Teheran. I also drafted some great pitching in Yu DarvishMatt HarveyAlex Cobb, and a No-Card in Scott Kazmir. Drafted bullpen studs Cody AllenLuke Gregerson & Kelvin Herrera.

When I realized that things were going south, I traded players like my center fielder Austin Jackson, who at that point was one of my few constant contributors on offense to Portland with starting pitchers Matt Harrison and Brandon Morrow. Both Harrison & Morrow had pretty good seasons in 2012, so they will help Portland's staff now with a little offense & great defense in adding Jackson. I would acquire Corey KluberNathan Eovaldi & Ryan Raburn in the deal. Portland also acquired my 4th Round Draft pick (basically a late 3rd Round pick). Kluber, as we know would win the 2014 American League Cy Young Award, while Eovaldi has potential, dialing it up in the high 90's; Raburn will be a plus for this season, our 2014 Season (2013 stats) -- Raburn had a .901 OPS in 2013 playing part-time for the Indians, with 16 HR's in only 243 at-bats, which will come in handy off the bench for the Panthers.

Excited about Kluber: By the way, the man only has one face.

At the trade deadline, I made another deal that would help transform this team and set them up for the future, a trade with Boston. Trading Austin Jackson was tough for my Panthers, because it left a vacancy in the outfield, I had Giancarlo Stanton in left, and after that there was a considerable drop-off. I still had Alejandro De Aza (who was solely drafted for 2012 & 2013 MLB stats) and Jarrod Dyson (a part-time speedster), the other guys ended up being released after the season. At this point, I told myself we are drafting starting pitcher Jose Fernandez if we end up with the worst record. Could you imagine a rotation with Darvish, Harvey, Fernandez, Teheran & Kluber?! But my senses kicked in, and I realized I need some outfield studs, and some offense -- who is more exciting than (the other Cuban) Yasiel Puig? Nothing was confirmed, there was my team along with a few other teams that had a legit shot at the #1 overall pick, nor was I trying to lose, who really wants to be the worst? But realistically, I knew I was going to get a good pick regardless, it was a great draft for rookies.

Pence wants to bring his MLB winning ways to Grand Traverse.
So back to the Boston deal, I traded for Hunter Pence. Pence was struggling for Boston, and at that moment was sitting in the minors, he had good numbers in 2012 & better numbers for 2013 & 2014. He is a consistent offensive player, with good glove, that bats around .285 that hangs around the 20/20 club. So my thoughts starting going with a great fielding OF in Giancarlo, Pence & the possibility of Puig. I traded 3B-Chris Johnson, who will help Boston now in their playoff race, and be even better in 2014 (2013 MLB stats), he was traded along with NC (no-card) Scott Kazmir who transformed his career from almost out-of-baseball to sudden back-on-track ace, and a lefty in Jonny Venters (who has had some health issues), but should help in his playoff push. I traded a 6th Rd pick I believe, and received a 15th Rd (last round) draft pick. I would re-acquire my 6th Rd pick back, by trading starting pitcher Matt Garza.

Eventually, we ended up with the #1 overall pick, I drafted Yasiel Puig. He will go along with Stanton & Pence like planned, and I added some depth to De Aza & Dyson with sleeper Scott Van Slyke and surprise Tampa Bay Rays youngster Kevin Kiermaier. Van Slyke, is in an interesting MLB situation, he's in a crowded Dodgers outfield, that has been in middle of trade rumors -- if he was able to get playing time somewhere, he could emerge like Jayson Werth did in Philadelphia, then again, he could also just be another Ryan Raburn, who can never take advantage of his full-time status (better as a platoon option).

T.C.'s alternate logo.
We added Wade Davis in the 2nd Round of the 2014 BoS Draft, that will go nicely in 2015 with Kelvin Herrera, Cody Allen, Luke Gregerson, and Tyler Clippard.

We should be better this season, it will be tough in this N.L. East though with the Hannibal Cavemen & Holland Hitchhikers -- plus the Urbana Locomotives hope to defend their division title as well. Looking forward to seeing how much the Panthers have improved -- I really believe we can finish with a winning record, so I guess it's safe to say that I expect my team to improve it's win  total by 35-40 games. We'll have to see how that all plays out, really stiff competition this season, the league I believe has more parity this season.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Deconstructing Colorado (Alternate 1993 Project)

The real-life 1993 Colorado Rockies, where the players all went in this Alternate 1993 Project (what if there was no Rockies?)...

1993 Colorado Rockies
RP - Scott Aldred (Montreal)
IF - Freddie Benavides (New York (A))
OF - Dante Bichette (Kansas City)
P - Willie Blair (Chicago (N))
OF - Daryl Boston (Boston)
SP - Kent Bottenfield (San Diego)
IF - Pedro Castellano (Minnesota)
3B/SS - Vinny Castilla (California)
OF - Jerald Clark (Cincinnati)
OF - Alex Cole (Oakland)
RP - Scott Fredrickson (Cincinnati)
1B - Jay Gainer (Cincinnati)
1B - Andres Galarraga (New York (N))
RP - Mark Grant (Seattle)
SP - Greg W. Harris (California)
3B - Charlie Hayes (Cleveland)
RP - Darren Holmes (Pittsburgh)
SP - Bruce Hurst (Toronto)
OF - Chris Jones (Cleveland)
RP - Mark Knudson (San Francisco)
P - Curt Leskanic (San Francisco)
IF - Nelson Liriano (Texas)
OF - Roberto Mejia (San Francisco)
RP - Marcus Moore (Los Angeles)
RP - Mike Munoz (Milwaukee)
OF - Dale Murphy (Baltimore)
SP - David Nied (St. Louis)
C - Jayhawk Owens (Kansas City)
P - Lance Painter (Montreal)
P - Jeff Parrett (Milwaukee)
RP - Steve Reed (Seattle)
SP - Armando Reynoso (Texas)
P - Bruce Ruffin (Houston)
SP - Mo Sanford (Oakland)
RP - Scott Service (Cincinnati)
C - Danny Sheaffer (Chicago (A))
RP - Keith Shepherd (Seattle)
SP - Bryn Smith (Pittsburgh)
1B/3B/C - Jim Tatum (Baltimore)
RP - Gary Wayne (New York (N))
C - Eric Wedge (Boston)
2B - Eric Young (Boston)
OF - Gerald Young (Minnesota)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

2013 BoS Award Winners & Recap

Beltre had a mammoth 2013 BoS Season, is he ready to do an encore?

Today I sent off our season's first Commissioner File (C-File) to the league. It is Opening Day for our league, the Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League (BoS). Our first season used players from the 2012 MLB Season, making it our 2013 BoS Season.

It dawned on me that I have not got around on the Boys of Summer blog site about the player awards & etc, so a quick recap is needed.

The season ended with the South Shore Fighting Imps defeating the Portland Microbrewers in the World Series, 4-1. We had our 2014 Annual BoS Draft take place on November 1st, which contained MLB players making their 2013 MLB debuts, free agents, and newly added free agents by being released by their prior BoS teams.

The top pick went to my Traverse City Panthers, we ended up drafting Yasiel Puig. At one point, last season, I debated (if I got first choice) in drafting Jose Fernandez or Puig. Could you imagine a rotation with Yu Darvish, Matt Harvey, Jose Fernandez, Julio Teheran & Corey Kluber?! But my senses kicked in, I realized I need some outfield studs, plus some much-needed offense -- who more exciting than Puig? He now teams up with a strong outfield in Giancarlo Stanton & Hunter Pence (acquired last season from Boston). I added some depth to my outfield to go along with Alejandro De Aza & Jarrod Dyson in sleeper Scott Van Slyke and surprise Tampa Bay Rays youngster Kevin Kiermaier.

The second overall pick would end up being Fernandez, who would be drafted by the Holland Hitchhikers.

The 2013 BoS Award Winners were led by Adrian Beltre, he took home the most hardware during the off-season. He won the 2013 N.L. Most Valuable Player Award, along with the N.L. Batting Title (.349 BA), A Gold Glove and Silver Slugger at his respective position, while helping his team, the Urbana Locomotives, to a N.L. best record of 104-58. The Locomotives also featured award winners N.L. Cy Young Award - David Price & N.L. Manager of the Year - Thomas Nelshoppen (from The APBA Blog). The N.L. Fireman of the Year went to Portland's Glen Perkins.

Adrian Gonzalez: Buffalo's other stud.

The big awards in the American League were led by the Buffalo YankeesMiguel Cabrera, who fell short of a triple crown. Cabrera lost the batting title & RBI race during the last two weeks of the regular season. Cabrera won the league's MVP honors, plus received a Gold Glove & Silver Slugger at this position (3B). His teammate first baseman Adrian Gonzalez would be runner-up to the league MVP, eclipsing Cabrera for the league-lead with a .319 batting average. Gonzalez also won a Gold Glove. The A.L. Cy Young  went to Ryan Vogelsong (Fairgrove Tigers) edging the Carolina Eagles' Justin Verlander by five votes. The World Champion South Shore Fighting Imps got two major award winners in A.L. Manager of the Year - Bill Gillam and Fireman of the Year - Fernando Rodney.

To check out, who all won Gold Gloves & Silver Sluggers, check them out below.

2013 BoS Gold Glove Award Winners


C - Yadier Molina (Washington)
1B - Adrian Gonzalez (Buffalo)
2B - Brandon Phillips (Washington)
3B - Miguel Cabrera (Buffalo)
SS - J.J. Hardy (South Shore)
LF - Andre Ethier (Fairgrove)
CF - Adam Jones (Fairgrove)
RF - Jay Bruce (Buffalo)
P - Matt Cain (Carolina)


C - Buster Posey (Hannibal)
1B - Freddie Freeman (Portland)
2B - Aaron Hill (Urbana)
3B - Adrian Beltre (Urbana)
SS - Yunel Escobar (King Road)
LF - Curtis Granderson (King Road)
CF - Andrew McCutchen (Sacramento)
RF - Justin Upton (Hannibal)
P - Clayton Kershaw (King Road)

2013 BoS Silver Slugger Award Winners


C - Joe Mauer (South Shore)
1B - Adam LaRoche (Boston)
2B - Robinson Cano (Bronx)
3B - Miguel Cabrera (Buffalo)
SS - Elvis Andrus (Fairgrove)
LF - Melky Cabrera (South Shore)
CF - Shin-Soo Choo (South Shore)
RF - Carlos Beltran (Washington)
DH - Matt Holliday (South Shore)


C - Buster Posey (Hannibal)
1B - Edwin Encarnacion (Sacramento)
2B - Aaron Hill (Urbana)
SS - Erick Aybar (Sacramento)
3B - Adrian Beltre (Urbana)
LF - Ryan Braun (Sacramento)
CF - Mike Trout (Portland)
RF - Josh Hamilton (King Road)
DH - Josh Willingham (Seattle)

2013 BoS Sultan of Swat Award

1B - Edwin Encarnacion (Sacramento) - 50 HR's

2013 BoS Batting Titles

A.L. - Adrian Gonzalez (Buffalo) - .319
N.L. - Adrian Beltre - .349

Once again, thanks to the great guys who joined my league, which I like to say is "our" league, by helping make this league a fun to league to participate in, and the fact that you do enjoy it makes everything so worth it! This league would be nothing without you.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Deconstructing Florida (Alternate 1993 Project)

The real-life 1993 Florida Marlins, where the players all went in this Alternate 1993 Project (what if there was no Marlins?)...

1993 Florida Marlins
SP - Luis Aquino (New York (A))
IF - Alex Arias (Philadelphia)
SP - Jack Armstrong (Detroit)
2B - Bret Barberie (Kansas City)
OF - Geronimo Berroa (Pittsburgh)
SP - Ryan Bowen (Baltimore)
OF - Greg Briley (Los Angeles)
OF - Chuck Carr (San Francisco)
OF - Matias Carrillo (San Diego)
OF / 1B - Jeff Conine (Detroit)
RP - Jim Corsi (Oakland)
OF - Henry Cotto (Toronto)
C - Steve Decker (Chicago (N))
1B - Orestes Destrade (San Diego)
OF - Carl Everett (Atlanta)
IF - Monty Fariss (St. Louis)
OF / DH - Junior Felix (Houston)
SP - Chris Hammond (Los Angeles)
RP - Bryan Harvey (Philadelphia)
SP - Charlie Hough (New York (N))
RP - John Johnstone (Philadelphia)
RP - Richie Lewis (Chicago (A))
C - Mitch Lyden (Cleveland)
3B / 1B - Dave Magadan (Seattle)
RP - Bob McClure (California)
C - Terry McGriff (New York (A))
C - Rob Natal (Philadelphia)
RP - Robb Nen (Seattle)
IF - Gus Polidor (Detroit)
OF - Scott Pose (Montreal)
SP - Pat Rapp (St. Louis)
IF - Rick Renteria (Atlanta)
RP - Rich Rodriguez (Minnesota)
C - Benito Santiago (Milwaukee)
3B - Gary Sheffield (Los Angeles)
RP - Matt Turner (Chicago (N))
P - David Weathers (California)
SS - Walt Weiss (Montreal)
OF - Darrell Whitmore (Texas)
OF - Nigel Wilson (Toronto)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Custom-Made Cards #1

It's been awhile since I made some custom-made cards, plan to make a few over the winter. If you are not aware of this little side hobby of mine (one of many hobbies, LOL!) than check out my site that I do plan to update soon - Captain Izzy's Famous Baseball Cards .

Buck O'Neill, who should be in the HOF.

Cap Anson - Izzy Legends (1977 Topps).

Cool Papa Bell - Izzy Legends (1977 Topps)
Sadaharu Oh - All-Time Japanese HR leader.

Monday, November 10, 2014

History in the Making

Beltran will try to lead Imps to a repeat.
So I think I just made history with this post, I think this is absolutely the longest I went between two posts, so it's a historic post, LOL!

Anyways, sorry for being out of action for a little bit, I hope I didn't lose any readers along the way. I have been busy with my Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League. We just finished the 2014 Draft (2013 MLB Players) and are about to start our second season. We had a short off-season, and will have one more short off-season after this upcoming season, and then we'll be caught up.

We have three new owners joining us this season, and 16 teams (one owner per team). Out is the Washington Filibusters, Carolina Panthers & Sacramento 66'ers (I still plan to get you a 66'ers hat -- Doug Schuyler!); In, we have the Swatara Eliminators, Brooklyn Mets, and San Diego Heroes.

The defending champion South Shore Fighting Imps have already made a trade, acquiring Carlos Beltran and Sean Burnett in their quest for a repeat -- while the Eliminators get a nice piece in return with Lorenzo Cain (who the nation got to see more of in the 2014 World Series, with the Royals). Reliever Caleb Thielbar also was part of the deal.

The funny thing is that we (the league) only had 4 transactions made during the first season, entering draft day. During draft day we had three deals alone, plus two more deals a few days later -- now there a grand total of 9 deals.

My Panthers during the draft traded one of my extra arms in Matt Garza to the Boston Bravos for a 6th Rd Draft Pick that actually used to be mine from a prior trade, and with that pick I drafted Oakland's Dan Otero (really looking forward to his 2014 card, nice amount of innings from the pen).

I thought I was loading up on arms, but the Chicago Nine may have the best batch of young arms in the league. They acquired pitchers Chris Archer and Guillermo Moscoso from Boston, in exchange for pitchers Kris Medlen and Bruce Chen. Archer and Moscoso join Tyler Chatwood, Tony Cingrani, Danny Duffy, Jenrry Mejia, Shelby Miller, Garrett Richards, Danny Salazar, Jacob Turner, Carlos Martinez, and Danny Salazar. The ace is "King Felix" Hernandez with a reliable vet in Jeremy Guthrie.

Chicago traded two veteran arms in Ubaldo Jimenez and Jeff Samardzija to the Urbana Locomotives; the deal helps both, as Urbana's starting rotation takes a dip compared to last season and Chicago got two draft picks in which one of the picks, picked up RP-Yoervis Medina. Chicago has been wheelin' & dealin', and should be a much-improved ball club, Chicago has now been involved in 5 of the league's 9 trades. The draft got kicked off with a one-for-one trade with DH-David Ortiz going to Chicago in exchange for OF-Carlos Gonzalez -- a deal that should work out for both teams.

My team (the Traverse City Panthers) had no power last season, and was built more for this season. My guys Josh Donaldson, Matt Carpenter, Brian Dozier, and Brandon Belt started to bloom in 2013 (MLB); Giancarlo Stanton will take a step back (particularly his batting average), while Jean Segura will be my everyday shortstop this upcoming season, hoping he can rebound for the Brewers though in 2015.
My outfield became a bit of a mess when I involved Austin Jackson in a trade that helped acquire starting pitchers Corey Kluber and Nate Eovaldi, and for a time I was considering drafting Jose Fernandez (if I ended up with the worst record) -- but I have enough pitching, and adding more would have been a bit too much. At the end of a nine-game losing streak, I traded Matt Harrison and Brandon Morrow to a contender in the Portland Microbrewers, along with Jackson. To get a little back in the OF department for the next season, I would trade for Boston's Hunter Pence. So now I have Stanton & Pence, the next closest guys on the depth chart after that was Alejandro DeAza and Jarrod Dyson.

Puig points the way for the Panthers.
As the season went on, I didn't realize how bad my team actually was, I really thought we would win 73-74 games. I did much worse than that, with a 45-117 record -- they actually had a worst record than my MWBL Traverse City Crusaders (but I ensure you, the Crusaders were much worse on paper). I ended up with the worst record of the BoS -- and possibly the ownership of a league worst record that won't be matched for some time.

Like I said, I had the pitching in place with Yu Darvish (my franchise's first player chosen in the inaugural draft), Matt Harvey, Alex Cobb, Corey Kluber, Julio Teheran, Henderson Alvarez, Nate Eovaldi & Tyler Skaggs -- so drafting Fernandez would be silly with the lack of power on my team, so I drafted the other star Cuban of the draft in Yasiel Puig. Puig didn't scare me with his August fade-out in 2014 for the Dodgers, Now I have a pretty good group of outfielders with strong arms in Stanton, Puig & Pence -- I have DeAza, Dyson, Juan Lagares (who I drafted in the 2014 draft) with Ryan Raburn (great 2013 card with punch on limited play). I also like my draft choices of Kevin Kiermaier (a pleasant surprise for the Rays in 2014) and Scott Van Slyke (yes, Andy's son) -- who is rumored to be in trade rumors for the Dodgers.

My bullpen will be pretty good in 2014 season (2013 stats) and will be better in 2015 (2014) with my 2nd round pickup of free agent Wade Davis to go along with my pen of (Royal teammate) Kelvin Herrera, Luke Gregerson, Otero, Cody Allen, Tanner Scheppers and Anthony Varvaro. Bullpens are as huge in APBA as in MLB Baseball, during my years in the IGAL, that is where my team started becoming a force, once I had a top-notch bullpen. It helped my Braves win titles in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 & 2008 -- yeah, I was that league's version of the San Francisco Giants with the whole other-year thing. At one point, I had Brad Lidge, Joe Nathan & John Smoltz in the pen -- now that's an opposing manager's worst nightmare.

My team has now conducted 3 deals, I believe. I believe it's better to be aggressive when it comes to trades than be too relaxed & sit still. I unfortunately sat a little too much in my 1989 MWWL Season for the Traverse City Tigers, hopefully we can get it together a bit before the end of the season -- but no return to the playoffs for us, and we can count on no winning record either -- but I think we can play better, so hopefully we can annoy some teams before 89' comes to a close.

Anyways, that's what I have been up to as of late -- also in the works of a new schedule being made for the upcoming season.

Other news on this league & my other APBA projects, coming soon...

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