Monday, February 25, 2019

The Perfect Team

Out of the Park Baseball 19 introduced the hugely anticipated 'The Perfect Team' to go along with its game. In the game, you start with 6 start-up standard packs of cards, which have 6 cards each. Apparently, its similar to MLB The Show's Diamond Dynasty.

With these cards you can plug them into your lineups and rotations as you see fit. The cards have overall ratings and attributes that play into the simulations. Through the game, you can earn "perfect points" which can help you buy more packs. You can also auction off cards for perfect points in the same manner as you would auction off something on eBay, or sell cards to the game immediately for its sell price, or in the auction do a "Buy Now" price for an card, or by setting a minimum on a card.

Like big league rosters my initial team has evolved over the first two months of the season. A season is done in only a week, with the first 6 days of the week being a day for each month. The 7th day, you play head-to-head with teams in the postseason, if you even get that far.

At the end of the week, after the playoffs, your team is suddenly thrusted into another league, which will be according to your competition level. There are 4 tiers of leagues, with many leagues in each tier. You can also check out your progress from season-to-season, with season records and season

Standard & Gold packs with their odds of certain card pulls.

I am currently in the Bronze .330 League. My team, the Traverse City Fighting Tigers (same name as my APBA UAL League team name) started off pretty bad, but we are inching closer and closer, slowly to the .500 mark... In fact, I will be thrilled beyond belief if my team finishes the season with a .500 record in its first season, but not counting fully on it.

We currently sit in last place in the N.C. Central Division at 37-43 (.463), 13.5 games out of first.

Your team is like a player trying to get to "The Show". I am on the bottom in B330. 

The tiers are also reminiscent of the big leagues, the Bronze Level (which I am in) is Rookie-Ball, while Silver Level is Single-A, Gold Level is Double-A, Diamond Level is Triple-A & the Perfect Leagues are Major League Baseball, "The Show", and that's the ultimate goal. However your team progresses, they get moved up or fall down a level. I don't plan to jump to another level anytime soon, there are some talented teams in the Bronze Level with multiple Gold & many Silver cards on each roster, and they are still in Rookie Ball... that gives you an idea of the competition, but I am always game for some competition & a good challenge.

By the way, there is more leagues than pictured above, you can scroll from left to right, I am in B-330. There are currently 413 leagues with 12,342 teams!

The Leagues: Teams are promoted & demoted.

At one time, I auctioned my 2018 Future Legends Card of Hunter Greene, earning almost 3,000 perfect points, in which I used to purchase 3 standard packs. If I happened to get to the 5,000 perfect points pack, I would have purchased one gold pack, which you are guaranteed a Gold Card. I still got a Gold card (which Hunter was) in Lance McCullers, Jr though, via the 3 standard packs.

I actually pulled a somewhat rare diamond card in Stephen Strasburg (90 rating) out of my 6 start-up packs, I could sell it to the game for an automatic 4,000 or try to auction off the card. I decided to check its auction stats, and this is what it came up with...

  • Average Winning Bid All-Time: 4,555 perfect points
  • Average Winning Bid (Last 5 Auctions): 4,700 perfect points
  • Highest Winning Bid All-Time: 11,999 perfect points (3 times the actual price of the card).
The chances of pulling a diamond card is 1:150 packs, once again I pulled it in one of my 6 start-up packs. The chances of pulling a 'perfect card' is 1:1000 picks, I heard the Roger Clemens 'perfect card' is a hot commodity.

I really love the historic cards, as you can see above, my Don Mattingly - 1985 All-Star card, his card was done in the 1987 Topps style (one of my absolute favorite Topps Baseball Cards).

Here is a look at some of the interesting cards from my team or reserves section, cards that you don't want on your 25-man roster, stay in the reserves section...

Vern Stephens / 1943 - Historical All-Star (Rating 65)

Vern Stephens has been a huge contributor once I called him up, I stalled for awhile to bring him up, due to his poor defense. I had a better fielder in Maury Wills, plus it's his record breaking steals season from 1962, plus making for a great lead-off man.

Eventually I got sick of Wills' weak bat, put him up for auction, hoping to maybe double his weak 25 perfect points value, and no one picked him up. Stephens, meanwhile has batted .327 with 5 HR & 10 RBI in only 13 games & 55 at-bats, with a 1.111 OPS! Stephens bats 5th in the lineup now, while Wills currently sits on the reserve roster with a .250 batting average & .570 OPS.

Maury Wills / 1962 - Record Breaker (Rating 65)

Carl Mays / 1920 - Unsung Heroes (Rating 61)

Carl Mays is on my big league roster in the 4th slot of the rotation, he is currently 4-6 with a 5.08 ERA, 27 K & 11 BB in 39 innings & 6 starts. Although I am not a fan of his stats, it's understandable facing tougher competition, while I don't mind his off-the-charts 109 for stamina.

Otis Nixon / 1991 - Unsung Heroes (Rating 61)

I was hoping that Otis Nixon would become the lead-off man once I tried to auction off Wills, he was batting good early on, but must have had a bad month, as he is now batting only .211 for the season through 33 games & 114 at-bats, while he only had 9 steals (on pace for 67 games & 18 steals)... well-below his pace that helped him swipe 72 bases for the Braves in 1991 at age 32. I reached back into the minors & called up Scott Podsednik's 2005 Unsung Heroes (Rating 57) in hope that he can do better.

The game also has One Hit Wonder cards, like Harry Kelley's card below. He was part of my rotation until I landed McCullers Jr.

Harry Kelley / 1936 - One Hit Wonder (Rating 60)

Doug Ault / 1977 - Unsung Heroes (Rating 49)

The Doug Ault card won't see the light of day on my big league roster, especially with Don Mattingly at first & Joe Mauer (below) at DH/1B for me. I will keep this card though until I get a better 70's stud, then I will likely sell it for its measily 5 perfect points. 

Joe Mauer / Live (Rating 63)

The 'Live' cards are the current MLB players' cards, as you can see I own a bronze rating 63 for Joe Mauer, sure I would love to have an early version of Mauer for sure... but he has done a really good job for me so far. Mauer is batting .289 with 7 HR & 33 RBI, while posting a .382 on-base percentage & .805 OPS. 

Plus he looks really cool in the Fighting Tigers' uniforms, don't you agree Eric Berg?!

Eddie Yost / 1952 - Historical All-Star (Rating 62)

At the moment, I have plenty at third base in Yulieski Gurriel, while David Bote can play there, as well as my starting second baseman Jeff McNeil from time to time. I plan to keep this Eddie Yost card in my reserves for now, as good depth to have in my back pocket.

Now onto my team MVP at the moment in Torii Hunter, who by the way is leading the league in All-Star voting for center field. 

Hunter's current league rankings (both conferences combined):
  • Runs Batted In - 61 (8th)
  • Slugging Pct - .571 (8th)
  • Doubles - 28 (tied/3rd)
  • Triples - 6 (tied/2nd)
  • Total Bases - 177 (6th)
  • Extra-Base Hits - 47 (tied for 2nd with Barry Bonds)
The Bonds' card by the way, is a Peak / Diamond - Historical Legends (Rating 96), Hunter's card is only a Bronze (68). 

Hunter was not the only Traverse City player among the statistical leaders, Jeff McNeil (Rating 68) is currently winning the Second Base job for the All-Star Game, while ranking 4th in batting average (.341) and on-base percentage (.415). Don Mattingly is 7th in runs with 55.

We just purchased Andy Pettitte / 1996 - Historical All-Star (Silver / Rating 77) for 600 perfect points on the auction board, slated to be our 3rd starter behind Strasburg (Diamond 90) & McCullers (Gold 83). Carl Mays and Matt Harvey will pitch from the 4th & 5th slots of the rotation.

By the way, it may come as  no surprise, you can also buy perfect points with actual money as well. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

The Perfect Night

On February 14th (Valentine's Day) & into the early hours of February 15th, I started rolling two of my three February UAL series. The UAL (Ultimate APBA League) is a mail-in league with 24 teams, in which the owners would play their home series, which consist of 5 games each. We currently use the 2017 APBA Baseball Cards, and play from October-March (April, if you qualify for the postseason).

My Traverse City Fighting Tigers (68-42 / .618 pct) had a rough home stand during the month of January, where we went 7-8. So we were hoping to kick off February just right against our upcoming opponents in the Ohio Cougars, Massillon Big Cats & the Florida Panthers. These teams of course, will be playing their home series against me (with my team being on the road).

The results were better than I could have imagined, my team went a perfect 10-0 that night.


Nelson had a lot to smile about during first 2 series.
My ace Jimmy Nelson (Grade B-XZ), who has been pitching better of late (after a rough first month or two to the season) was in total control, pitching a two-hit, complete game shutout with 6 strikeouts -- allowing hits only to Kelby Tomlinson & Jordy Mercer. My Tigers could only manage two runs, but that would be enough with Yoenis Cespedes going 2-for-2 with 2 doubles, a walk, run & stolen base.

In Game 2 of the series, my Tigers' Rich Hill (Grade B-XY) would be solid as well, allowing only 4 hits & one earned run, while striking out 10 Cougars with only one walk in 7 innings of work. Hill's lone run allowed was a solo home run to Manuel Margot in the top of the seventh. The Cougars would keep scratching at Traverse City's lead, with Edwin Encarnacion's RBI double in the 8th off of Tigers reliever Bryan Shaw -- cutting the lead down to 3-2, Tigers. My closer Ken Giles (entering the month with 28 Saves & a 2.41 ERA) would keep the Cougars at bay by retiring the side for the save. The Tigers' offensive hero that game was Marwin Gonzalez, going 2-for-3 with a double, single & sac fly, with 2 RBI for the day.

The 3rd game of the Ohio series, witnessed another solid pitching performance by the Traverse City Fighting Tigers as Jeff Samardzija (Grade C-XZ) pitched 8 innings, allowing only 5 hits, one run & 3 walks, while striking out nine. The Tigers' lineup pounced on James Shields (Grade D-Y), as he allowed 10 hits, 2 walks & 7 earned runs, while actually recording 10 K's in 6 innings. The Panthers would win easily, 8-1, behind Jose Altuve's excellent night at the plate. Altuve batted 4-for-5, which included a three-run homer on a 4 RBI night.

Gonzalez added two more hits, as he has gone 5-for-12 (.417 AVG) through the first 3 games of the series... A delightful sight to Tigers fans' eyes, who has watched Marwin for the most part this season under-perform his 2017 MLB numbers.

In Game 4, the Fighting Tigers picked up where they left off, by clobbering the Cougars in a 15-3 blowout! The Cougars' starting pitcher Dylan Covey (Grade D-W) got ejected early for arguing over a called ball during the bottom of the 2nd inning. Covey's replacement Nick Martinez (Grade D) would get banged around for his 3.2 innings of work, allowing 8 hits, 7 earned runs & 3 walks. The two Ohio relievers (Fernando Salas & Jim Johnson) that later followed didn't fare much better, allowing 6 earned runs combined, on 8 hits, in 3 innings of work.

Plenty of offense to go around - (here is a list of the Tigers stars in Game 4)...

  • Jean Segura (SS): 3-for-5, 2 doubles, BB, 3 RBI & 2 runs.
  • Jose Altuve (2B): 3-for-5, BB, 2 RBI, 4 runs & a stolen base.
  • Buster Posey (C): 4-for-6, 2B, 6 RBI & a run.
  • Justin Bour (1B): 3-for-5, 2 doubles, BB, 2 RBI & a run.
  • Patrick Kivlehan (DH): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI & 2 runs.
For Kivlehan, his 3 hits on the night were his first hits of the entire season, as he entered the night batting 0-for-13 (9 games), while he got his 2nd start of the season as well.

In the series finale (Game 5), the Fighting Tigers' 1st inning would get the ball rolling, with a sac fly provided by Yoenis Cespedes & Caleb Joseph's (playing third) two-run double. The Tigers would tack on a big 5th inning of 5 runs on Ohio starting pitcher Casey Lawrence (Grade D-Y), which included a two-run double by Ronald Torreyes & two-run single by Ehire Adrianza. Torreyes filled in nicely for Altuve (who had the night off), going 2-for-4, with 2 RBI & 2 runs.

The Tigers' spot starter / long-reliever Josh Tomlin (Grade C-ZZ) pitched 7 good innings, allowing only 6 hits & 2 earned runs & a walk, while collecting 4 K's. Bud Norris (Grade C-X) and Matt Belisle (Grade C-YZ) combined, didn't allow a hit or run during the last two innings, while getting some work due to another lopsided win. 

The Tigers outscored the Cougars, 31-6 during the final three games of the series, while collecting 43 hits... Ohio could only manage 17 hits during that stretch, while only earning 24 hits the whole entire series.

For the Tigers, it was a bit of revenge, as they lost their home series against Ohio earlier in the season, 3-2... To be fair to T.C., they were resting starters against a weaker opponent; Traverse City swept Ohio on the road, during that same month.


Jimmy Nelson had another solid performance, this time against the Massillon Big Cats, going 7 innings, allowing only 3 hits, 1 run & a walk -- to go along with his 7 strikeouts.
  • Jimmy Nelson's last two home starts combined: 16 innings, 5 hits, 4 walks & one run allowed, with 13 strikeouts (0.56 ERA).
Domingo Santana collected a two-run homer (during the 1st inning), while Caleb Joseph added one of his own (in the 7th). For Joseph, it's his 8th HR of the season, while it is his 6th HR at home this season... His 2017 APBA Baseball Card (Single-Column) has a good pop element to it, with a 11-6, 33-6 & 66-1. 

Joseph also has already duplicated his real-life total of 8 home runs, with 35 games remaining, although his playing time will be far less than it was earlier in the season, now that Posey got all of his days-off in for the season & can play everyday for the remainder of the year. The good thing is that Joseph can get some time at third, or behind the plate when Posey is fielding first base.

In Game 2, Rich Hill was simply untouchable! Hill went the rare distance for a complete-game 5-hit shutout, while striking out 14 Cougars, and allowing 3 walks. The Tigers' Gerardo Parra (2-for-4, HR & 3 RBI) & Jose Altuve (2-for-4, HR, RBI & 2 runs) for the lineup, as the Tigers win 6-0.
  • Rich Hill's (trying to keep up w/ Nelson) two starts combined: 16 innings, 9 hits, 4 walks & one run allowed, with 24 strikeouts (0.56 ERA).
Hill celebrates after a key strikeout against Massillon.
Game 3, both teams were tied 3-3 entering the 7th inning stretch. The Tigers' Taijuan Walker (who didn't pitch at home against Ohio) was rolling smoothly through 6 innings, allowing only 3 hits & 1 run, but like clockwork Walker would allow a two-run homer in the 7th. I can't tell you how many times that Walker (Grade B-Y) has hurt good pitching performances in the stat sheets, by staying in an inning too long. 

Walker still earned the win, as Keon Broxton's bottom of the 7th inning sac fly would help get him the decision. A three-run 8th inning, highlighted by back-to-back home runs by Domingo Santana (a two-run homer) & Ronald Torreyes would help the Tigers pull away with a 7-3 victory.

I have had a lot of luck with Torreyes with his HR totals, I have already doubled his real-life total of 3 home runs with 6 for the season (3 at home, 3 on the road)... Besides that, his other numbers are quite similar and on par with his real-life 2017 MLB totals (check it out, below).

Torreyes - Batting Average, On-Base, Slugging & OPS
  • Ronald Torreyes (2017 MLB): .292 AVG/.314 OBP/.375 SLG (.689 OPS)
  • Ronald Torreyes (2017 UAL / Entering FEB): .293 AVG/.312 OBP/.410 SLG (.722 OPS)
Torreyes - Basic Hitting Statistics
  • (MLB): 3 HR, 36 RBI, 35 runs, 15 2B, 1 3B, 11 BB & 2 SB (315 AB).
  • (UAL): 6 HR, 27 RBI, 38 runs, 15 2B, 1 3B, 8 BB & no SB (273 AB).
We play with games limits on position players (not at-bats), so by season's end he will have over his MLB total in at-bats, due to the fact that I rely on him starting more than the actual New York Yankees did in terms of usage.

Jeff Samardzija was pretty good against the Massillon Big Cats, especially during the first two innings where he logged 5 strikeouts, finishing the game with 8 for the night. Samardzija would go on to allow only 4 hits, along with 3 walks through 7.1 innings. Co-Captains Jose Altuve and Buster Posey contributed 6 of the Tigers' 8 hits, while Posey knocked in 3 runs. Ken Giles would come in for the save as the Tigers win 4-1, while Samardzija earned the win.

The Big Cats' Derek Holland (Grade D-W) pitched good for a D starter, allowing only 2 earned runs & no walks, on 6 hits through 6 innings of work, but the offense could not give him any run support.
  • Jeff Samardzija's two home starts combined: 15.1 IP, 9 hits, 6 walks & two runs allowed, while striking out 17 batters (1.17 ERA). 
Game 5 would be a close one, while Yu Darvish would give up his only two runs, both being solo home runs to the dangerous J.D. Martinez. It would be a lead-off double by Traverse City's Domingo Santana & a badly timed error by the Big Cats' Nick Markakis in left, that would break the 2-2 tie. Ken Giles would close the door to complete the perfect night of APBA dice rolling, leading to a 10-0 home record start for the month of February -- while winning 11 straight at home, dating back to the end of January.

The Fighting Tigers' Fiery Arms (Starting Pitching through 10 games):
  • 9-0 record (1 no decision)
  • 1.70 ERA (14 earned runs)
  • 0.834 WHIP
  • 43 hits allowed (5.2 hits per 9 innings)
  • 78 strikeouts, 19 walks
  • 74.1 innings pitched
  • 2 complete games
  • 2 shutouts
Now about Valentine's Day, the wife and I don't celebrate it, we feel love should not be solely slated for one day, but for all days, so we celebrate our love every day.

While my wife is always sweet on me, it turns out the APBA Baseball gods were sweet on me as well.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Your Heroes Would Have Done Exactly the Same

With this offseason, and well with many of the recent past offseasons for that matter, many of the crusty old school fans have been coming out in droves to constantly complain about today's salaries and the big amounts of money that the owners shell out. For me, it gets increasingly tiring to hear the griping and whining... because you know damn well you would have signed that contract without hesitating, and if you were an owner you would have tried to land that star player at all costs.

Today, one of the biggest free agent stars, Manny Machado (right) signed a huge 10-year deal worth $300 million. Some of these old school fans seem shocked by the number, even though for the past couple years these have always been the projected numbers. I personally believe Bryce Harper will sign for an even bigger contract in the neighborhood of $325-$340 million for 10 years, which will surely create even more belly groans.

Now do I agree with Machado's antics? No, but we have had many players throughout the past decades that were flawed as well, and created as many headaches as well.

I'm 42 years old, and as a fan, I get sick of the old school hating on today's game and today's players. I hate to break it to you, but your beloved Sandy Koufax and your flawless baseball god Mickey Mantle would have signed the same exact contracts without blinking. Don't you dare sit there and act like they wouldn't, you know damn well that they would. The Mick would use his Twitter account 'The Real Mick 7' and he would post something like "I'm very thrilled to start the next chapter of my career, thrilled to be in Boston." Could you imagine Reggie Jackson on twitter, he had no problem saying things like he was "the straw that stirred the drink" or "I'm bringing my star with me" in the old media outlets... imagine how polarizing he would come off in today's twitter outlets.. he would probably be the most hated player outside of Yankees baseball. So let's all not pretend that these guys would act any different in today's world.

I do think that MLB Baseball needs to make a free agency deadline of sorts, to end these long waits that is simply destroying the MLB off-season. The MLB used to have the edge over all the other major sports with their offseason activity. For some of us Baseball fans, the off-season used to be almost as exciting as the season itself.

When I was a kid, on Valentine's Day, my dad would get us boys, the latest MLB Preview magazines  such as The Sporting News and Street & Smith's, they would be sitting on the kitchen table at our spots, first thing in the morning. It was great to read them and see  who landed where and who was traded for who. I remember thinking "Wow, Andre Dawson is with the Cubs?!" -- You know, things like that, but with the last few off-seasons grinding at a snail pace, MLB Baseball finds themselves with no hot stove, or a stove for that matter.

This is what Max Scherzer had to say on the slow offseasons in a ESPN post on February 14th...

I do agree with the media knowing too much of who's talking to who, who is visiting who, I used to love the complete mystery of it all. It was just a few weeks ago when the San Diego Padres suddenly thrust their name into the Harper-Machado sweepstakes... If this was 1987, we would all find the news of today as a complete shock... San Diego?! Don't get me wrong, there was still a bit of that, but we did know they put their name into the hat, if this was 1987, we would never have known (outside of San Diego) that the Padres were attempting at signing one of these big guns.

I hope that the MLB finds a way to make the offseason what it once was, if they don't, it's just yet another thing to add to a huge list of things on why Baseball is losing to the NFL & NBA.

But back to my earlier point, can we stop blaming today's players for today's game? Can we quit bitching about launch angles & sabermetrics? These things are not going away, so you mind as well embrace it, even if it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. The game of baseball is always evolving, and although it may go through ugly spurts, it usually comes out as beautiful thing.

You know yesterday's players such as Willie Mays, if he played today's games, he would study these very things if it was to make his game better. Yesterday's owners and General Managers would have studied all the information of today's game to make their teams better.

Simply put, your heroes would have done exactly the same.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Gooden & Gibson Go Head to Head.

The APBA Tournament of Champions continues, and we had a dream pitching showdown for the ages between Bob Gibson of the 1967 St. Louis Cardinals and Dwight Gooden of the 1986 New York Mets.

The two matched up against one another in Games 1 & Game 4.

Game 1 (at New York (N))

  • Doc Gooden (NYM): 5.2 IP, 4 H, 5 ER / 5 R, 6 K, 1 BB, Loss
  • Bob Gibson (STL): 7.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER / 1 R, 7 K, 5 BB, Win
Game 4 (at St. Louis)
  • Doc Gooden (NYM): 9 IP, 6 H, 1 ER / 1 R, 9 K, 2 BB, Win / CG
  • Bob Gibson (STL): 4 IP, 8 H, 7 ER / 7 R, 0 K, 5 BB
Both teams were split 2-2 after the first 4 games, of the best-of-five series.

The combined games by each Gooden & Gibson:
  • Doc Gooden (NYM): 14.2 IP, 10 H, 6 ER / 6 R, 15 K & 3 BB, 1-1 record, with a 3.68 ERA & .886 WHIP.
  • Bob Gibson (STL): 11.1 IP, 11 H, 8 ER / 8 R, 7 K & 10 BB, 1-1 record, with a 6.35 ERA & 1.854 WHIP. 
Gooden overall got the upper hand and gave the Mets a chance at a deciding Game 5.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

BoS Shockwaves

The hot stove may be ice-cold like the Midwest in the real-life Major League Baseball, but in the Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League its been red-hot and very-much active!

The first couple trades happened during the last couple trades, which both included new owner David Branagan & his Delaware Blue Hens.

Seattle acquires Carlos Correa, reuniting him with his Astros teammate Jose Altuve. Nomar Mazara finds himself back with the same franchise roots that have initially drafted him, but the team was known as the Spring Branch Duffers at the time.

This is actually the third deal that Mazara was involved in, inside the last 365 days. Mazara was traded to the Traverse City Panthers during the 2018 BoS Draft for Traverse City's 5th & 8th round draft picks -- in which the Panthers just prior to the season beginning was traded to Seattle along with Traverse City's 2019 1st round pick in exchange for Justin Turner & Nelson Cruz. Turner & Cruz helped the Panthers win a BoS best 107 games, but would fall short in the NLCS, 4-1 to the eventual World Champion Portland Microbrewers.

Those same defending champion Microbrewers sent shockwaves through BoS Baseball on February 12th by trading the face of the franchise, the face of the league Mike Trout to the Seattle Rainiers in a blockbuster trade that watched Portland acquire three 1st Round Draft picks, while also re-acquiring their 1st round pick from Seattle as well, making it four total.

The deal also involved multiple other pieces as well...

Portland's owner Brad Stark mentioned that he never thought he would trade Mike Trout, I never thought he would either, as I had to re-read the trade like three times to fully process what I was reading. Then again, I never thought my Traverse City Panthers would put Corey Kluber on the trading block as well... 

So chances are this hot stove is not done baking.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

I'm Still Alive

Wow! It's been two plus weeks since my last post, with plenty to do in a short month.

For those that don't know, I have been on weight-limits while working with a sprained left shoulder. The injury has been very frustrating. I initially hurt it around December 4th, but didn't go to the doctor until mid-January, in which I got the diagnosis for the injury. During the time of December 4th through mid-January, I was still unloading food products from our truck deliveries.

Since the diagnosis, I have been off truck duty and am not allowed to carry anything over 10 pounds. Unloading trucks for another month after the initial injury may have hindered my shoulder even more, I should not have put off the injury, while I need to remind myself that I am 42, not 24.

I have not been happy with the progress of the left shoulder over the past 3 weeks, while I have another appointment tomorrow, in which I am going to request an X-ray while getting some blood work done.

The good news is that I'm still alive. Plus I have a wonderful, supporting wife, a roof over my head, and provided heat to keep me warm as I sleep during the awful cold weather in the mid-west.

Now onto some of the upcoming posts and projects...

2019 Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League

We are scrambling and putting things together in a hectic off-season. Our draft will be done differently this season via email, instead of a one-day, live draft. The reigns of the league was handed back to me, after Brad Stark (BoS Committe / Owner of the Portland Microbrewers) stepped down after doing an outstanding job the previous season.

The 2019 BoS Draft starts in early March, while the season will kick off sometime in April.

There has already been a few trades, while my Traverse City Panthers have put starting pitcher Corey Kluber on the trading block. He will only be traded though if the deal was right. The Panthers are retooling a bit, as we fell short in the National League Championship Series this past season, after owning the entire league's best record, going 107-55.

The Panthers' Giancarlo Stanton was on pace for 60+ homers at one point, but tailed off badly in the final month, watching real-life teammate Aaron Judge of the Holland Hitchhikers, pass on by & break the league's single-season HR mark (formerly set by Chris Davis) -- setting the mark at 58.

The Portland Microbrewers won their 2nd World Series, while reaching their 4th in 6 seasons. Portland became the 2nd BoS franchise to win two titles, joining the Fairgrove Tigers.

The league is entering its 7th season, this Spring.

2018-2019 UAL Season Update

I still have to play all my 15 home games this month for the Traverse City Fighting Tigers (UAL). We had a rough 7-8 home stand during January, and are looking to rebound in what should be a easier month for us, I believe. We were tied at the top of the National League standings and our division standings entering January, but now trail by 4 games in each... but don't worry, we still remain in strong position for qualifying for the playoffs.

The Fighting Tigers are 68-42 (.618) while on pace for 100 wins. My best player, Jose Altuve leads the entire UAL (all 24 teams) with 157 hits, 36 stolen bases & a .359 batting average; Altuve's .359 average is 19 points higher than the next best hitter, Dayton's Avisail Garcia. Altuve also has a .949 OPS, ranking just outside of the league's top ten.

The league uses APBA cards from the 2017 MLB Season.

1987 MLB Season Replay

I can't remember if I mentioned this in a previous post or not, but my brother Chris and I, will be replaying the 1987 MLB Season. He has allowed me to play the American League, while he will play the National League side. I have only done team replays such as the 2007 Detroit Tigers' season while I am replaying the 1981 Tigers & 1981 Reds in another replay. This will be a lot of fun, we will push and support each other, while I know we can do this.

We will be starting this sometime in the Spring.

2019 Greater Michigan APBA Baseball Tournament

The upcoming tournament will take place on March 2nd (Saturday), which is hosted by Pastor Rich Zawadzki. There will be 60+ contenders, playing teams from the 1940-1968 period (pitchers hit). I will be bringing the 1940 Detroit Tigers, I have yet to play some exhibitions with them, to get them ready for March. I was lucky enough to have won GMABT III back in March 2016, with the 1993 Atlanta Braves.

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