The Honorary Scooter

The news
Just came in
From the Holly of Wood
That a very loud GM
Has made a trade of a dude
The trade wasn’t very big
But it is setting the mood.

This may not seem
Very important, I know.
But it is. So I’m bothering
Tell you so.

A trade is quite catching, you see. Like a cough.
It just takes one trade to start other trades off.
NOW the news has come in that some GMs not of the ‘woods
Are trading a bunch of their stuff for dudes.

At this moment, right now,
On seven more blocks,
Great trades are in the works.
They’re working so hard they haven’t changed their socks.

That trade of that one little team is still spreading!
According to latest reports, it is heading
Across baseball fields, through sleepy night air,
Across the whole country toward every-which-where.
And people are gradually starting to say,
“Oh crud, I need something and I need it today!”

Trade thoughts
Are spreading
Throughout the whole land.
The time for night trade of free agents is at hand.
Up at San Mateo offices, where great Dean watches
And calculates and moves in coordinated marches,
the soon to be free players pack up their stuff(es)?
That Dean is just grand for trading at the clock
If you happen to be up that way with your block.

The news just came in from teams still in the Cup
That the lights are still on and waiting for deals to turn up.
The old dealmaker makers just said with a yawn,
“My deals are for making and they’re going to get made
‘Til the :robot: shuts it all down and ends this charade.
I can’t go to bed now. So somebody better
Come round with a pitcher of considerable stature.”

The number
Of traders
Is steadily growing.
Fort Worth is where
More and more people are going.
In Montana Springs, in the Old-Fogey’s Hall,
The Old-Fogey’s bats are all lined up on the wall.
The Panda’s Old-Fogey’s have called it a day.
They’re all packed up and ready to move on they say.
This is very big news. It’s important to know.
And that’s why I’m bothering telling you so.

Counting up trades ..?
Just how do we do it ..?
Really quite simple. There’s nothing much to it.
We find out how many, we learn the amount
By an Audio-Telly-o-Tally-o Count.
In a Slack channel, halfway between Reno and Rome,
We have a machine with a plexiglass dome
Which listens and looks into everyone’s home.
And whenever it sees a new trade pop up,
It writes it down with nary a hiccup.
Our commisioner counts these trades as he sips on his cup.
And that’s how we know who is down and who is up.

It’s a great night for hot takes! I just had a report
Of some boys who are tops in this cringeworthy sport.
The purveyor of hottest takes in all the fair land
Is @Kerry-Suckhead and his hot take of the day band.
This band can spit takes that are so far up river
So terrible they would make forty elephants shiver.

The news has come in from the Bay of Thunder
That Vidro is not available, in case you wonder.
And how is he able to make such a statement?
I tell you. I inquired last week and I found
That Vidro just sign a 6 year extension with player option to end it!

I’m running on fumes, so I’ll wrap this thing up.
Walt Coffman is coming back home to makeup.
Manoo to Vancouver is really fun to say,
As Mississippi unloaded a fair amount today.
Champ may be on the move to a new team soon
And now everyone is hoping their boys are immune
To the ravages and savages of August and Sepetember
For when they collapse Davey will help you remember.

“You’re doing great, Chros, really.”

The USBA Re-Draft

The league office has officially announced my punishment for collusion, cheating, and generally bad behavior. In short the league has been duplicated, and I’m forced to be in a new league, alone, with Cheese. Sigh.

First things first (or first thing after my whining), is a re-draft. Our two teams draft in a snake order with me drafting first.


Catcher

Davey – I was given the first pick so I’d be pressured into taking Divine Diablo. 38% of Cheese’s week consists of him getting me to compliment him/his team. As Gandhi famously said, “Fuck that”. With this pick I select Kameron Guangorena (San Mateo). The Austin, Texas born catcher brings a terrible attitude and I’m pretty sure he uses steroids. He’s also a good receiver coming off a 156 wRC+ season, and is 27 years old.

Cheese – I love my boy Diablo but he’s not the best left. Sorry Davey, you missed with your pick. Jerry Yates (Nashville) is a monster and the best catcher in the league. It was a toss up for me between him and Doug Allerdale from Greenville but Yates has over a .400 wOBA since the start of 2036 in all competition(Cup/League). I’m also a sucker for 8/9 contact guys and doubles galore. 

Also considered: Divine Diablo (Hollywood), Doug Allerdale (Greenville), Tim Stinson (NoVa)

First Base

Cheese – This is tough. But I have to go with the 30 million dollar man, Je-Myung Yu (Buffalo). He’s a mythical creature built of raw unchecked power and devastation. Since coming into the league he has not missed a game and has consistently been one of the best hitters.  Sure he was in the 3L for 3 of those seasons but he also put up over 200 wRC+ in 2 of those 3 seasons and is top 5 in most every offensive category. We’ll pretend he has a glove that works for this pick.

Davey – I don’t think we’ve had the proper reaction to Javier Sanchez. He was a regular at age 19 and a bonafide star at 21 (bona fide is latin for “good faith”, and the opposite is mala fide which we absolutely don’t use enough). He’s third all-time in WPA, first in doubles, and top ten in homers, RBI, and some other stuff I don’t feel like listing. It feels like he’s perpetually on the trade block and his popularity is Insignificant. Just feels he’s a surefire Hall of Famer that we’ve completely taken for granted. My pick is Johan Kroenig (Vancouver), who I’ll take over Mellor because Ed is a statue in the field.

Also considered: Ed Mellor (Kingston Township)

Second Base

Davey – Mario Castillo is the most non-italicized versatile player in the league, yeah? He’d probably be okay at shortstop, and I’m guessing ACKC would play him at catcher. I’m taking Eustacio Tafalla (Oakland) here because I love him.

Cheese – Jonas van Claveren (Phoenix) is better than Tafalla.  Davey has rose-tinted goggles going.  JVC is so good he’s the only player I’ve actively tried to trade for the night before a sim to avoid facing him.  I’m about 97.6% sure Phoenix is still in the 3L if he didn’t carry them single-handedly to the SL. He then proceeded to only bat .400 while nearly carrying the team to the PL.  He also won back to back MVPs. Did I mention he’s 23 and has missed less games in his ML career than Tafalla did last year?

Also considered: Mario Castillo (NoVa), Max “One Leg” Bortenschlager (Buffalo)

Third Base

Cheese – I was excited to pick first at Third Base, thinking there would be some big bats but they all seem to have tailed off or gotten picked as 2Bs except Yu-zeng Si (Oakland).  Outside of a 59 game stint for Buckhead in 2036 he has been one of the best bats in the USBA.  His glove is average but he is the preeminent elite 3B bat, averaging only 152 wRC+ and .396 wOBA across 8+ seasons.

Davey – Tula just asked Nova if she’d ever peed with food in her mouth. I’ll provide an update later. I guess the best I can do is Edward Sterrenburg (Boston). He can play 2B, so he can fill in for an injured Tafalla. He’s also a switch-hitter, which I like, and while his ratings say he can’t hit lefties his career splits are 124 wRC+ vs southpaws and 134 wRC+ vs northpaws.

Also considered: death, rather than having to pick from this paltry pool of players

Shortstop

Davey – The obvious conclusion to what Chicago has done over the past two-plus seasons is that nothing matters. But if we can take a life lesson from this, I think it’s the importance of not getting in your own way. The best trade is the one you don’t make. Just set it to auto-draft, Dave’s program is likely smarter than you are. Lineups and bullpen strategy don’t really matter, and even if they did you’re likely going to make the wrong decision. Melvin Thomas (Chicago) being played at first base is the most blatant misuse of a player in this league’s history.

Cheese – As has been discussed multiple times in #general, the quality of SS in USBA is pretty grim.  That being said, Colm Goodwill (New Orleans) is the top turd.  He does it all, +glove, +bat, +personality, and +driving Chase crazy.  He won the Platinum Stick 2 seasons ago and should do the same again this year.

Also considered: Richard Jost (Vancouver), Rio Mence (San Potato) (Cheese note: lol wtf, oh right I asked Davey to participate)

Left Field

Cheese – Dude, his nickname is Bambino and he has 10 power.  I don’t care if it’s Homerism, my man Kanko Umaba (Hollywood) is the greatest hitter in the USBA and you can’t convince me otherwise.  In the recent series vs Vegas he slashed a pedestrian.700/.800/1.600. He has had exactly 2 games all season being held hitless and been on base in every game but 1.  He has a WPA rating of Yes. Sure his glove isn’t the best but where else but left field can you care so little about a glove?

Davey – I’ll go with Jonathan Gunner (Chicago), even so slightly over Joey Coco. OSA had him as a 7/4/6 (contact/power/eye) when he was taken 19th in the 2032 draft. And then he was ignored into a superstar.

Also considered: Champ McCoy (San Potato), Craig Woods (Fort Worth), Joey Coco (Charleston)

Center Field

Davey – I’m not willing to compromise on defense here, so I’ll snag Yu-Shu Kang (Boston) here. Good speed and some pop help me feel okay about this pick, and when someone points out that he can’t hit I’ll tell them that batting average doesn’t matter and attack them personally.

Cheese – One of these days we’ll have a superstar centerfielder who can hit and field.  Until then I’ll settle for Ramon Rodriguez (Fort Worth) who can field and is a pretty good hitter.  It’s too bad Scooter broke his toy for a few weeks.

Also considered: Joey Coco (Charleston), Martin Talia (Phoenix)

Right Field

Cheese – Could you imagine if there was a team that had 2 of the best players in all of the league?  Well, Jorge Herrera (Thunder Bay) is one of those two. He’s a super mega ultra star.  I’m really glad salary isn’t a concern with these teams because I think between The Bird and Sabretooth Yu my payroll is already up around “my calculator doesn’t have that many zeros”.  I almost took Champ “Don’t Call Me Daniel” McCoy here but I secretly held out hope I could have him or Mellor at DH.

Davey – Because I took Kang with my last pick, I’m willing to play Champ McCoy (San Potato) in the field. When he was 25, McCoy hit .192/.273/.364. His OPS was 150 points lower than his previous low, during his age 23 season. His age 26 season he put up an OPS more than 300 points higher. It’s just the most Kerry thing I can think of.

Also considered: Where did all the good RF go?

Designated Hitter

Davey – Ed Mellor (Kington Township) offers 100-grade power, so he’s a no-brainer here. After having a borderline gold glove season in 2035, he’s been a negative in the field (according to ZR) the last two seasons. That’s really saying something given how broken our ZR is, and he should probably be DH’d in real fake life as well.

Cheese – CrosswordScooter has a ridiculous number of high caliber 23-year-old batters but Qing-nian Zexian (St. Louis) is the best of them all and really the best bat left.  His attitude makes a dumpster fire look like an inviting stove with hot cocoa and marshmallows but there’s no denying the man’s ability to hit. At 22 in the PL he put up 27 HR, 161 wRC+ and won the Platinum Stick.  Seems like an easy choice to take this 23-year-old.

Also considered: Scott Kerin (Hollywood), Dean Jackson (St. Louis), Mario Castillo (NoVa)

Starting Pitchers

Cheese – DisneyScooter baffled me this season by letting Jesus Vidro (Thunder Bay) start the season with a nagging day to day injury that lasted nearly a month.  So of course in that time he started 5 games, pitched 36.1 innings, and gave up only 10 runs.  He also has 3 elite pitches and a +curveball to go with pinpoint control and hasn’t given up a homerun since opening day. After Davey took Otero and Alfonso, the obvious choice was to take the only man who has beaten Vidro this year.  Matthew Fallows (Nashville) is disgustingly good and I hear for the right price this future 30+ million dollar man could be yours. Finally, I took Michael Machen (San Potato) because hot damn he’s good.

Davey – [Insert painful ice cold pun here]. My first pick is Jorge Otero (Phoenix), who judging by the latest communications from Planet Michael, is now available. Get to it, boys. Next up is Tony Alfonso (Charleston), whose walk rate continues to age very well. To get a lefty onto the staff, and to continue my secret strategy of acquiring every former Houston pitcher, I’ll take Zhao-ji Qiu (Buffalo).

Also considered: Eric Matson (Portland), Eddie Kop (NoVa), Miguel Rubia (NoVa), Rhys Maskell (Chicago), Ton Jobse (ACKC), Kevin Nogilny (Oakland)

Relief Pitchers

Davey – I find that almost every time a team “overachieves”, there’s an elite closer as an explanation. Raul Romero should have won the Golden Ball, but Kenji Aoki (Philadelphia) is our league’s best reliever. I, uhhh, also just realized that I haven’t taken any of my own players, so Brewster Warble (NoVa) narrowly over Yoshi Sugimoto.

Cheese – Uh this seemed like a no brainer, Raúl Romero (Portland) got robbed of his hardware last year and is only going to continue to anchor the elite Portland ‘pen. Shang-de Fu (Chicago) keeps protecting Brett from having to do anything other than show up on Slack and taunt people for losing to him.  I’m 93.4% sure that Brett also doesn’t know who he is.

Also considered: Scott Morrison (Charleston), Joe Khokar (Panama City)

USBA KNORTS 2038 Spring Training Extravaganza

Tom called me the other morning. I was on the train so I didn’t answer, but as it was a call before 8am I got to a quiet place as soon as I could and listened to the message – I don’t get a lot of calls that early in the morning.

Tom called to let me know he was in the hospital. He said it was nothing serious, just “routine tests”, but he said it in a way that made it clear he was trying to convince himself as much as he was trying to convince me.

He wanted to make sure Wanda picked up his mail while he was in the hospital. In my adult life I’ve never been concerned much with snail mail, we have the Internet after all. It’s just junk and bills that I haven’t set to email only yet. I imagine earlier in Tom’s life snail mail was more important/exciting, but that was much earlier in his life. I hate to be a skeptic, but were you just using that as an excuse to call, Tom? As an excuse to let me know you’re in the hospital?

Anyway I don’t know Tom or Wanda, but I hope he’s okay. I hope he gets his mail, and hope the tests say the things he wants them to say. Thanks to Cheese, Chros, Grogg, JJ, and Tyler for participating in this version of KNORTS.

1. Boston

Whatever. – Davey

Spent money on a big FA, lots of improving young players, probably pretty good. – Cheese

Should battle Oakland for the top of the PL. All eyes will be on expensive rookie IFA Freddy Diaz. – Chros

PL Champion-elect NE elite dominating franchise, the current Evil Empire to be admired and attacked. – Grogg

Still cruising on success built by terrible league settings to start the league as well as Dave kicking Troy. The 20 year head start likely keeps this team in the playoff. – JJ

I’m just as surprised as you are that I put Chicago above Boston. (ed. note: Tyler ranked Chicago 1, Boston 2. You can see everyone’s individual rankings here.)- Tyler
2. Chicago

They will always finish just ahead of Vancouver, it is destiny. – Davey

Maybe we can set our ticket prices appropriately to afford a PL team this year? – Cheese

Strong enough team to make the playoffs, but the big FA splashes made by Oakland and Boston keep them ahead of Chicago. – Chros

Playoff contender thanks to wildly expensive exclusive deal with the City of Austin to truck water in. – Grogg

I am not sure if Brett still exists or exports but his team is set up to challenge for the PL. – JJ

USBA’s 8th Best Team. – Tyler
3. Charleston

I have more concerns with Duck’s team than I do with his body. – Davey

Still a good team. – Cheese

One of the deepest offenses in the league which may carry them into the playoffs. That strong bullpen will have to carry the pitching staff. – Chros

Back-to-back PL runner-ups, ToC runner-ups, current ELO champion, and the people’s champion. – Grogg

This will be the season that Ducky Six-Pack finally gets over the hump and wins the PL. – JJ

Houston-grade bullpen. – Tyler
4. Oakland

Oakland will win the league because they are the champion you people deserve. – Davey

Could win it all if Space Unicorn stays healthy. But he won’t, so they won’t. – Cheese

Space Unicorn’s legs are on the verge of spontaneous hydroplosion, but as long as they don’t, he and the pitching staff can carry this team to a title. – Chros

The Nova-Oakland rivalry is my favorite thing right now. – Grogg

Probably added the best FA available in Space Unicorn. This should make his team viable going into the PL. – JJ

Made some 80-grade moves in the offseason but won’t be enough. – Tyler
5. Portland

Portland will not be as lucky in 1-run games this year, but more than that Buck’s hatred of his own team will start to have a negative impact. – Davey

Will have an additional 30 1-run wins this year to bust the metrics. – Cheese

Eventually the 1-run luck has to run out, as does the selling of their players. Misses the playoffs this year. – Chros

Hoping for a relegation, rebrand, and promotion but will be there or there abouts again. – Grogg

Takes a step back which hopefully includes a fall to the 3L, and a relocation. The ghost of IIMRAN is still stronk with this team. – JJ
6. Vancouver

Vancouver lost a lot, but I assume they’ll sign some guys in Spring Training and be fine. – Davey

I can’t tell if they’re going to be fighting for the ToC or relegation so this seems like a good spot. – Cheese

@vancouver_dave? Top SP prospect Arnie Harper looks just about ready and will add an ace to the top of the rotation. They’re going to have a ton of money to spend soon and can vault to the top of the league if they can get a few more weapons. – Chros

Model of consistent winning, basically Bobby Cox’s Braves. – Grogg

Dave may be one of the best GM’s in all of OOTP. His robotic instinct to be fiscally responsible, as well as not going all in will likely be what continues to keep him from a title. – JJ

Franchise could use a good infusion of humanoids. – Tyler
7. Greenville

I don’t know what’s happening here. – Davey

Traded away 3 of their top guys after nearly sneaking into the ToC following a dismal start last year. I don’t see a repeat barnstorming in their future. – Cheese

A lot of holes and unfathomably traded Umaba, but still some elite talent that will carry them and keep them in the mix. – Chros

Steady as she goes, reinforce, and roll the dice. Sits atop the best farm in the league. – Grogg

Bosma is likely going to make partner at his law firm Babip, Pecota, Vorp & Eckstein. It is and forever will be Greenville’s year. – JJ

This is Greenville’s year. – Tyler
8. Hollywood

They’re going to be very good and very loud and it will be very annoying. – Davey

I really like my team but I still think Chros is better and I don’t trust myself to not screw it up. – Cheese

Hollywood vs Buffalo is one of the best, if not the best rivalries in the league given its history and ongoing arms race. A brief recap: 2036, Hollywood sweeps Buffalo to knock them out of the playoff race on the final day of the season. 2037, they both fight to the end of the season for the 3L title. What? No one else cares? Fine. Hollywood is a deadbolt lock to win the SL. Thanks Markus. – Chros

With some help from the pen and he continues to draft Buffalo up the table. – Grogg

Added pieces after storming through the 3L. His budget build will eventually break down and fail him, but not in 2038. – JJ

HollyWOOOOOOOOOOD. – Tyler
9. Northern Virginia

My heart will never be in the PL. – Davey

Will win a 3-way tiebreaker for the final ToC spot over a Space Unicorn-less Oakland and a very frustrated robot. – Cheese

Miguel Rubia gives me hope that Juan Guillen won’t die anytime soon. – Chros

SL Champions, amazing feat for upwardly mobile meatless athletes. – Grogg

Davey made one of the worst decisions going into the offseason in allowing every one of his good players to walk out the door. He will be a shadow of himself this year, and likely lash out every time he sees Space Unicorn make big plays for Oakland. Like really dawg? You let them all walk when going into the PL? Smart move. – JJ

I can’t believe I’m putting this clown this high. #ClownGM – Tyler
10. Buffalo

Chros will crush you all eventually. – Davey

Best rotation in the USBA? Probably. Really good lineup? Seems likely. PL or bust? Definitely. – Cheese

Possibly the best rotation in the league. Guillen is back and it’ll be fun to see what he and Qiu will do together. Both spent time in the Top 3 of SP rankings last year. “Sofa King” Good arguably should have won Pitcher of the Year in the 3L last season and is the #3 starter. – Chros

3L Champion, the class of the league from top to the bottom. I expect them to challenge right away. – Grogg

Who is Buffalo again? I don’t know.. but this team should be fighting for the top of the SL. – JJ

What is dead may never die. Somehow not buried in the 3L still. – Tyler
11. New Orleans

I would say the SEC can suck it, but that would require me caring about the SEC. – Davey

Spent all his money on teenage boys, will be lucky to avoid relegation. – Chees

Definitely some nice young pieces to build around. It’s time for Gary Ashley to break out. – Chros

4th year in the PL can be a hard one. – Grogg

Robert Plant said it best “If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break…Going down, going down, going down”. – JJ
12. San Mateo

Potato. – Davey

Dean’s boys are aging fast and need some of this new FA class to step in and outperform their career numbers. – Cheese

Will they be able to keep Kameron Gonnorhea? I hope not. Hollywood and Buffalo are the favorites to win the league, but San Mateo has the weapons to make a run if things get all Markused up. – Chros

SL Champion-elect. – Grogg

Should win the SL…which is pretty meaningless, much like life. – JJ

Pretty impressive given this team was built upside-down. – Tyler
13. Philadelphia 17776

The nicest thing I can say is this was not a good offseason for P76. – Davey

I honestly forgot this team still existed, I don’t think they’re long for the PL. – Cheese

They have some good pieces and a very low payroll, but their top players are 30 or older so they need to decide what direction to take this team. – Chros

Relegation Fight. – Grogg

Is Josh still here? Pretty sure this team is bad and has no hope…Much like his beloved Minnesota Twins/Vikings. – JJ

Finishing last fo sho. – Tyler
14. St. Louis

Good team, will be back in the PL within 3 seasons if Scooter wishes it. – Davey

While I think 2 through 7 in the SL will be too close to call, I’ll give Scooter the nod. He’s good at puzzles and he has some really strong young talent. – Cheese

Absolutely loaded with young talent and if some of them develop more, I can see them overtaking San Mateo and Phoenix this season. Going to be very scary soon. I hope I get to see old pal Luis Vargas lolz. – Chros

Crossword dominance and midtable mediocrity. – Grogg

Crossword Scooter’s team is an emarrasment just like Provel cheese. – JJ

70-grade infield and that’s about it. – Tyler
15. Nashville

Yates and Fallows are great, but the depth isn’t there. – Davey

Fred has some impressive looking kids that may or may not prop his team up. – Cheese

Aren’t very far away, the foundation is very solid. If SP Craig Fitzgerald can fully develop that will go a long way towards getting them over the hump. – Chros

A new season means the annual required HR training is due, please have it completed by the 31st. – Grogg

Our friendly HR rep is going to touch so many butts this season on his way to league mediocrity. – JJ
16. Phoenix

I assume Phoenix won’t get promoted this year, at which point JVC will become USBA’s Mike Trout. – Davey

Michael will probably win the SL but I’m putting him here. – Cheese

JVC will fight for MVP with Umaba and Yu. Going to fight it out with San Mateo for 3rd and a spot in the promotion playoffs. – Chros

We need more Michael in Slack .(ed. note: :yes:) – Grogg

This team might be in Australia? I don’t know? But that could explain why it is a dumpster fire. – JJ
17. Thunder Bay

Vidro and Bird Herrera are great, but the depth isn’t there. – Davey

Disney Scooter has 2 of the best players in the league, but not a lot around them. – Cheese

What is Thunder Bay? I still don’t know where that is and I will continue to accidentally call you Tampa. – Chros

League medium. – Grogg

Should be a good year if David Smith can stay off the the DL. – JJ
18. Ft. Worth

Cattleman are getting a little long in the tooth, but this is a well-rounded outfit. – Davey

I have confidence Scoots will pickup some big name mercs to carry him back to the playoffs. – Cheese

Have been solid and on the cusp for years, and should finally be the favorites to take the 3L this season. – Chros

3L Challenger, Ft. Worth loves itself some Ft. Worth, 100 FI for good reason. – Grogg

I am surprised Ft Worthless Scooter was able to build a somewhat competent team. Like…shocked. I had no idea he had it in him. (ed. note: so say we all) – JJ

Best team in Texas. How are they this high? – Tyler
19. Panama City

Brian finally seems to be picking up on the advanced stats crash course I’m giving him, and I think he wins the 3L this year. – Davey

He’s going to pick up more wins against relievers and confound the pythagothingy into more victories. – Cheese

The advanced stats say they got very lucky last year, and them somehow owning Hollywood won me the 3L last season. The advanced stats also say they added 11 WAR this offseason. They seemingly lack a star player and are filled with role players, but they get the job done. – Chros

3L Challenger, hot tubs and central Texas just sounds like an ugly, dirty fight, with hot tubs clogged with long texan hair. Should be best race in the USBA. – Grogg

Brian could be better if he stopped playing with himself and started looking at more things than AVG, RBI’s and R’s. In his exile to South Carolina he is turning into Southern Troy… But hey….4 more years! – JJ

What ever they put in the hot tub water, it will probably work. – Tyler
20. D.C.

Worst team in the DC area. – Davey

Survived 2037 and avoided relegation but 2038 doesn’t look to be doing the Gerthy boys any favors. – Cheese

Kimi Okubo finally hit over .150 and looks to be developing into a solid player. – Chros

Gridlocked midtable or a campaign fight, typical bureaucracy. – Grogg

Another forgettable year for the Divided. – JJ

Needs help. – Tyler
21. Mississippi

I assume Lane Kiffin will be fine but honestly wtf do I know. – Davey

I do not foresee a lot of wins here. – Cheese

The Blue Jays moved to Mississippi? – Chros

SL Relegation Fight. – Grogg

Thats my purse! I don’t know you! *kick to the groin* – That is how this season will feel. – JJ

Mississippi doesn’t have a Houston to save them this time. – Tyler
22. Las Vegas

But they’re like 20th or 21st in my heart. – Davey

I could rank them lower, but this ranking already triples the number of times he exported last year. – Cheese

The Flamingos did such a good job of cleaning house that they can’t field a full lineup or rotation currently. – Chros

I think this is our Real Men of Genius candidate here, .500 in the SL. – Grogg

Broke, No idea how I will field a roster… Friends…the bloom is off the rose. But like Chumbawumba when the Mingos get knocked down…we will in fact (maybe) get up again… at least we have a plan. – JJ

Could get a break if things go their way. – Tyler
23. Seattle

They won’t score a lot of runs and they’ll win a lot of close games. – Davey

Had a solid run in 2037, didn’t lose a lot. Could be an early frontrunner. – Cheese

Consistently in the mix but can’t get over the hump. Adding zero players this offseason SHOULD help. – Chros

Starlink Friends and Family or early adopter plans yet? – Grogg

The Space guy has a team that should be competitive in the 3L…even if I still hate him and Vernon Claw after more than a decade <3. – JJ

Not sure how Boeing has retained the naming rights to this stadium but here we are. – Tyler
24. Cleveland

I only pick them this low because I don’t want to jinx them #BelieveLand. – Davey

Quietly building a contender, but we’ve all be talking about Grogg’s babies with great anticipation. Believeland is on the rise. – Cheese

I like big Bonner. – Chros

They’re just babies. – Grogg

Driving his way out of the celler, but not there yet. – JJ

At least they’re not Detroit Toledo. – Tyler
25. Athletic Club KC

ACKC’s sitting on a mound of money, so :shrug:. – Davey

Still has enough left to compete but not enough to win it all. – Cheese

Like Philly, they are stuck in neutral with a lot of cash and their better players aren’t getting any younger. – Chros

Will go as far as the arms, and the arms alone, will take them. – Grogg

Good rotation. Am concerned Andy was abdicated my aliens and had things put in his butt. When was the last Andy sighting? – JJ

Will continue to spin wheels and go nowhere. – Tyler
26. Echo Park

This is probably too low I’m sorry, Jordan. – Davey

Picked up some offense this offseason to go with solid pitching, definitely in the playoff mix. – Cheese

They’ve been around .500 for years and have a lot of money. Basically the Clippers? – Chros

I see them possibly sneaking into the playoffs. – Grogg

Jordan is doing things, and signing things, and hyping his team…but I am not sure I buy in. – JJ

Kovfefe going to need to bounce back if EP is going to have a shot at this. – Tyler
27. Brooklyn

Quietly building a contender. – Cheese

Yawn. – Chros

Dodgers intensifying, playoff contender. – Grogg

Brooklyn Sads. – JJ

A shell of its old self, this franchise may have a chance to regain some glory soon. – Tyler
28. Houston

Houston will lead the league in trades either this year or next. – Davey

Is there still a team in Houston? – Cheese

Melichar and Seco is a nice start, but the rebuild is underway. I recommend metal trashcans. – Chros

The ever delightful 3L playoff mixer. – Grogg

I don’t think Ty Guy has a plan. I have no idea what he is doing, and whatever he thinks he is going to do…won’t work, but hey…at least you aren’t Montana. – JJ

This team is so bad and their GM should feel bad. 30-grade 3L team. – Tyler
29. Toledo

Likely loser of the Rust Belt Cup this season. – Cheese

Pedro clearly forgot the KFC and rum for Jobu last season. Lets hope he remembers this spring. – Chros

:f: (ed. note: :f:) – Grogg

Toledo has been broken since it lost the SL title on the last day of the 2031 season, and as long as TJ continues to be a fan of this team….it will suffer. – JJ

Alf-Mart and a bunch of 20-grade nobodies. :f: (ed. note: :f:) – Tyler
30. Kingston Township

Ed ‘Velour’ Mellor is a national treasure but he’s buried deep underground here in KT. – Cheese

They have 3 SPs on the horizon in AAA. KT might be relevant soon. – Chros

Another top 3 pick candidate. – Grogg

Another year in the 3L. – JJ

Another season in this 3L squalor. – Tyler
31. Buckhead

A Biden-like trajectory for this franchise. – Davey

Buckhead will possibly have a worse team than Montana. But he won’t trade it all away at the deadline so he’ll finish slightly higher. – Cheese

Lowest payroll in the league and some great young bats. With a few more years of tanking, Buckhead will be great again. – Chros

Kerry is the latest to take the double trap doors, how low will he go? – Grogg

I don’t think Buckhead has a plan besides not spend money. – JJ

50-grade 3L team that will disappointly not get a super high draft pick. – Tyler
32. Montana

I think Pander will win some games, but I also think he will trade anyone who plays decent. – Davey

Next year Panda will have 40 picks in the draft after trading all these jabronies he picked up to eat salary. Envy him. – Cheese

I am looking forward to seeing what Panda does with all that cash and 3492 picks. Maybe he’ll trade all of them for shits n giggles. – Chros

Pandas gonna Montana, what will this year’s theme be? – Grogg

Bad team… They seem to be aquiring a lot of draft picks…I can’t wait till they trade them away for a bag of magic beans. – JJ

Still not worse than Toledo even without a C and 1B. 25-grade 3L team. – Tyler

 

The Night Before Tradesmas

:cheese_wedge:

Twas the night before Tradesmas and all through the league,
Not a GM was trading, not even our TeeJ;
The blocks were all posted neatly and with great care,
In hopes that some #trade-posts would be entered up there;
The players were all nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of extensions danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out in #general there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my keyboard to see what was the matter.
Away to my Windows I flew like a flash,
Tore open the Slack chat expecting a clash.
The night-mode kicked in, dimming my monitor,
Gave the lustre of midnight to objects upon it there,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a million trades and a friendly Pan-deer,
With so many traders so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment the deadline must end in a tick.
More rapid than dialup the offers they came,
As they whistled and shouted out their blocks by name:
“Take Pringle! Take Rubia! Take Manning and Valle!
Now Shamburger! Now Avino! And even Tsugahara Hori!
To the top of the PL! to the any which team!
Take these damn players, you know what I mean?”
As draft picks between the draft and the season,
Players were shipped with no rhyme and no reason.
So out of the hot tub the offers they flew
A trade was accepted with a bottle of lube–
And then in the twilight I saw in the chat,
A rare @phoenix-michael sighting. How about that!
As I made my pitch and tried to lock down a deal,
Down came reality, as he denied my appeal.
By the end of the night, all GMs were tuckered out,
But happily no one began to pout.
:robot_face: appeared, “Closed” he did write,
Happy Tradesmas to all, and to all a good night! 


2037 Buckhead Public Hall of Fame Ballot

UNNAMED LOCATION- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FROM THE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICE OF THE BUCKHEAD BOWTIES 

2037 Public Hall of Fame Ballot

“So many who remembered already forgotten, and those who were remembered them long gone”- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 7.6

The one thing that we all have in common is that we will die. It is an inescapable fate that befalls us all. In two generations everyone that remembers us will be dead themselves. Our time here is fleeting and we spend it chasing after things that don’t really matter. If we want to use our remaining days to power rank foolish human desires, chasing after Fame (as opposed to spending time writing a fake article about fake computer baseball players), might be at the top of that list. Anyways, here are the best real fake baseball players…

Don “Grim Reaper” Brown 

Mr. Brown not having a place amongst the USBA greats in Internets Town, USA (home of the USBA Hall of Fame) is the greatest injustice in this country since the disparity of crack and cocaine sentencing laws of the 1980s. When the USBA was formed in the dark ages of 2013 the original owners held up a conch shell to their lips and blew loudly summoning the greatest baseball players in the land to join. At the age of 34 the Grim Reaper answered the call and laid waste to the league into his 40s. Like our own Founding Fathers, Don Brown wasn’t perfect, but he did a great job with what he was given and you can’t tell the story of this league without him.

Michael Greene

The First True Boston Star hasn’t gotten the love that he deserves from the Halls voters. Michael patrolled the center field in Boston starting at the age of 29 when most in that position would start to decline. He was so sure with the glove that the only “E” was in his last name. Last year he got 69% of the vote, but putting him in the Hall this year would actually be “nice”. 

Manuel Villareal 

While pouring over the numbers in my mothers basement, I can come to only one conclusion, it is a Villa-real shame that he is not in the USBA Hall of Fame. In his defense, he put up 40 WAR in only 9 years, which are numbers that would make Henry Kissinger jealous.

Roy Robinson 

It is essential to judge each person by the standards of their times. When the worms are feasting on our bodies those above the dirt will be recording podcast about how dumb we are eating red meat, or have “educational” “institutions” sponsor American Football teams. When it comes to Roy Rob he is the best to ever have done it, and has only been held back by his manager. If throwing up a 367 ERA+ while nabbing enough rings to cover his knuckles doesn’t get you in the Hall, we should close its doors.

Todd Hines 

Though he hails from our friendly neighbor to the North, Hines was anything but friendly on the mound during his him in the USBA. Hines makes a claim for being the best starting pitcher to lace them up in history. The only thing he should be sorrey a boot is that he wasn’t productive after his 30th birthday. 

Sozen Raikatuji 

Another USBAer that joined the league later in life, but made the most of his time there. The Japanese fireballer had the best K/9 since the one that killed the terrorist back in October 2019. During his career he picked up two rings while earning the lowest FIP- of any starter not already enshrined in Internetstown.

Chester Henry 

My public statement from 2034 was true then, and remains true today:

“Though he burned brief, he burned bright. Henry was taken at the top of the 2014 first year player draft and wasted no time in claiming his spot as a great in the game. He posted a 2.8 WAR season at age 20 in the PL and never looked back. Sadly, Cheeto’s career was cut short by a tragic baseballing accident that nearly derailed the life of his GM as well. Prior to Henry rupturing his finger tendon in 2023 he was on his way to becoming the greatest pitcher in USBA history. From age 18-27 Henry put up 31.9 WAR. You have to assume he stays at that level until he is 55 at least giving him around 100 WAR. If you want to keep out a guy with basically 100 WAR you need to have your head examined.”

Guillermo “Grim Reaper” Garcia 

Garcia’s nickname serves as a stark reminder of the fate that awaits us all. For the first couple years of the leagues existence, his opponents felt they were on deaths door every fifth day when he was scheduled to throw. In the 2013 and 2014 seasons he put up more red numbers than the Enron balance sheets before Arthur Anderson got their hands on them. He played a big factor in the original Golden Ball voting, and if you have any you would vote him in too. 

Min-Heui Im 

Im was lured across the pond from South Korea for a contract that totaled up to $119,000,000 USD back in 2015. He stands up as the rare figure that exceeded those high expectations. After seeing that he ranked 3rd being two future HoFers in wRC+ I found it Im-possible not to include the lefty slugger in my Hall of Fame.

2037 Hall of Fame Ballot

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” – Gandhi or someone, I don’t know I’m not a historian.

Eduardo Alvarado

How ridiculous is it that Roger Maris isn’t in the Hall of Fame? He’s far and away one of the most famous baseball players of all time, let alone his time period. He held one of baseball’s most hallowed records for almost four decades, he was a two-time MVP, and he won three World Series.

Alvarado holds USBA’s single season home run record with 63 in 2015, a record that will never be broken.

Gary Bailey

Bailey also holds a record that might not be broken – three no-hitters. His first came on June 13, 2017 and his third came exactly 13 years later, which I imagine is a record for longest time between no-hitters. Aside from the no-hitters he was a pretty good pitcher, just shy of 45 career WAR. Unfortunately you could probably tell the history of USBA without him.

Don Brown

The Grim Reaper had the best two-year stretch in our league’s history ahhhh I say this same thing every year just vote him in already.

Bill Chambers

Bill Chambers was fine, outside of the position he played he’s a fringe HoFer probably – with playing for Boston being a big mark against him. But position matters, and not only was Chambers the best SS of all time, he’s BY FAR the best SS of all time.

Chester Henry

Cheeto is the epitome of Buckhead, probably more than any player for any other team. He was the league’s first number 1 pick, so he was full of hype. He had some good seasons, including a great 7 WAR season, but he was never the best. He suffered some minor injuries but nothing huge until at age 27 he fractured a bone in his shoulder. He came back the next year, only to rupture a tendon in his finger, suffer a setback, and retire. The most beautiful flowers bloom for a very short time. So Buckhead.

Todd Hines

He’s the best starting pitcher in the history of our league, and should be included on all ballots.

David Hudson

Hudson was fun but this is selfish, and this spot should probably go to Gene Kirkland. Fat Toad won the Reliever of the Year 5 times and from 2028-29 he put up 7.7 WAR as a reliever. He’s also a great reminder that if a reliever is the best player on your team you have problems.

Roy Robinson

He’s the best relief pitcher in the history of our league, and should be included on all ballots.

Marc Talamante

Brian always said that watching Marc track down flyballs was like watching the world’s greatest male stripper dance. Marc gathered a lot of balls and a lot of hearts in 14 seasons. He’s one of the two best fielders in the history of the league, so there’s also that.

Matt Webber

The best #8 pick in the history of the league.

Guys I Should Have Selected/Will Select Next Season

Bob Campbell – the most famous contract in the history of our league, played for a while and was totally fine.

Michael Greene – if he just played for Evil I probably vote him in this year, but Evil *and* Brett? I just can’t.

John Hill – hi Gerth!

Gonzalo Lopez – Maybe the second-best SS in league history?

Clay Rush – the worst fielder in league history (or close to it), and he still had 24 career WAR.

Ramiro Salazar – he was so good Dave retired his surname.

Manuel Villarreal – three-time gold glover and a career .406 OBP, he put up 40 WAR in 8 seasons, unfortunately for him before most of us were in the league.

Gene Kirkland – replace with Hudson if desired.

USBA KNORTS Preseason 2036

All other predictions can suck it, it’s KNORTS time. Thank you Cheese and Tyler for their participation, and due to complete apathy from the PL participants I have provided PL blurbs.

Wanna see what inferior prediction models put together? Well it’s your grave:

PL predictions
SL predictions
3L predictions

1. Boston

I’m not sure how Evil is going to organize his pitching, but he has a lot of depth and former 1-1 Firpo Mayberry on the verge of making the majors. – Davey

This team is gonna win games but not hearts. – Cheese
2. Buckhead

In a bold move, Kerry let his leadoff hitter walk and didn’t replace him (or anyone else). This unique brand of hands off management will lead to Buckhead’s first PL title. – Davey

PL’s Houston – Tyler

Going for second best 3x. – Cheese
3. Portland

Buck is nice enough and all I guess, but I’ll never pick Portland to win anything. – Davey

Payling didn’t get traded. This team is still good no matter how hard Brandon tries to not be good. – Cheese
4. Charleston

Duck is the best. He’s assembled as much top-line talent as anyone, especially if Bishara returns to form. – Davey

I hope you get relegated – Tyler

It’s Duck Season! – Cheese
5. Vancouver

The Wolves won’t allow many runs this year. – Davey

Proud owner of a new Onion. Hopefully he doesn’t fall off a cliff. – Cheese
6. Las Vegas

The Flamingos are getting old and they haven’t had a top system in what seems like forever, but JJ is the best and he has the two best players in the game. – Davey

The hot tub in Vegas seems to have lost some of it’s bubbles lately. – Tyler

Team theme song needs to be a Queen song. Team is probably still ok. – Cheese
7. New Orleans

Somewhat of a youth movement in Nawlins. It’s like a new gumbo recipe. – Davey

This team will either win the league or be in relegation playoffs. What a time to be alive. – Cheese
8. St. Louis

We’re all terribly excited to see the debut clubhouse cancer Qing-nian Zexian. The prediction will look silly when Scooter acquires Space Unicorn mid-season. – Davey

You know they’re not getting relegated. – Tyler

Scooter has a team. It’s pretty good. But so is every team in the PL. – Cheese
9. Philadelphia

Swain is so quiet I don’t even know what to make fun of him about. – Davey

I assume they’re still ok. – Cheese
10. Nashville

Well-rounded team that is really terrible at two spots. – Tyler

Fred spent an awful lot of money this offseason so this team better be good. – Davey

Gatekeeper Fred will keep the riffraff from taking the top spot in the SL. – Cheese
11. Greenville

Probably not Greenville’s year. – Tyler

Must be nice having the two best catchers in the league. – Davey

It’s Greenville’s year again but it’s Nashville’s year more. – Cheese
12. Thunder Bay

2nd best team in the 3L. A Scooter is running this team, so you know they’re not winning the playoff. [ed. note: Tyler has no idea what league Thunder Bay is in, I’ve left this in so you know how seriously you should take his predictions]- Tyler

Bird Herrera will be the SL’s best hitter this year, and Jesus Vidro will be the SL’s best pitcher. – Davey

I’m sure they’re better this year but I haven’t looked at the team so here they are. – Cheese
13. Houston

Trifone will lead this team to a mighty 5th place finish. Clown pithers will hold them back in this clown park. Bob Dickerson is still the King. – Tyler

I wonder what gimmick Tyler will adopt this year. Probably something that doesn’t bother Dave at all. – Davey

When you add a bonafide ace you should win the SL. Right? Will miss the playoffs on a blown save. [ed. note: legit LOL] – Cheese
14. NoVa

Will be interesting to see how NOVA spins this as some sort of narrative. “The man is holding us down” or something like that. Have fun with your 39 blown saves. – Tyler

I’m only picking myself this low to be modest, I honestly think I’m the best team in the league. – Davey

I guess this team is gooder now. But only stay in the SL good. – Cheese
15. Oakland

Oakland is coming to terrorize this league in be a thorn in Houston’s side. – Tyler

Dan continues to mystify me with his winning ways – Cheese
16. Chicago

Coming to avenge the death of the Gold Sux.[ed. note: Tyler picked this team as the eighth best team in USBA, which makes me think he has no idea who this team is] – Tyler

Just like his quest for Plat 4 in TFT, Brett will get distracted by something else and not accomplish anything in the SL. – Cheese
17. ACKC

I guess they’re good. They made it to the USBA Cup finals and then got relegated. I am the confuse. – Cheese

This team had no business getting relegated. – Davey
18. Mississippi

No one has ever regretted acquiring Druglord Ayala. Good luck, Beau. – Davey

Did Beau do anything with the team this off-season? Why did I rank them this high? – Cheese
19. San Mateo

Dean is better at this game than the rest of us. It’s probably only bad luck that keeps him in the 3L. – Cheese

I thought this team was already in the SL. – Davey
20. Hollywood

This team failed to do anything of value this off-season except trade for an expensive stopper. It’s probably for the best. The deals that didn’t happen likely left this team in a position to compete beyond 2036. Pretty sure it’ll be competing for a top 10 pick but competing for something. [ed. note: TL;DR]- Cheese

Going to smoke the 3L competition. Who knows if it will taste any good. Smoked Panda is probably good though. – Tyler
21. DC

Worst team in the DC area – Davey

Gerth may just be on the double demo train this year. Probably not but he could be. – Cheese
22. Buffalo

Winter came and Chros now has the scariest lineup in the 3L with Greenville gone. – Cheese

Chros will be good as soon as Chros decides to be good. – Davey
23. Echo Park

Worst team in Los Angeles. Not sure they ever bought bats for the team.[ed. note: :fire:] – Cheese2
24. Brooklyn

Erock spent big this off-season after a near miracle run last season. We’ll call it a nearacle and hopefully a fluke. – Cheese

No one has ever regretted giving Count Dante a lot of money in free agency. Good luck, Erock. – Davey
25. Seattle

USBA Cup champs and launcher of awesome rockets. – Cheese
26. Toledo

Alf Mart going to take them to the promiseland… the basement. – Tyler

They’ll be better than this if TeeJ continues to fail to trade his players. – Davey

Somehow TeeJ got this high in my rankings. Probably an accident but he did have a really good season last year so that must mean good things are coming, right? – Cheese
27. Cleveland

At least they’re not Detroit… They’re not Detroit! – Tyler

Grogg is the best, unfortunately you can’t start draft picks. – Davey

Cleveland is easily the 4th best city in Ohio and definitely the worst USBA team in the state, which is impressive since Toledo also resides here. – Cheese
28. Phoenix

Michael is a wonderful human being from our interactions. That’s all I have to say about Phoenix. [ed. note: I feel like we’ve talked to different people] – Cheese

Still trying to wash off the smell of ska and 8-course meals. – Tyler
29. Fort Worth

Scoots didn’t trade for any of my players so he won’t have a breakout veteran resurgence. How embarrassing. – Cheese

This team is doomed to stay in the 3L until they fill their massive AGM hole. – Davey
30. Panama City

This team belongs here in my uneducated opinion. – Cheese

Still trying to wash off the smell of ska and 8-course meals. – Davey
31. Kingston Township

This is not KT’s year. Maybe not even their decade. – Cheese

Stapled to the 3L. – Tyler
32. Montana

I think the real problem is Pandas are not native to Montana and thus it causes a lot of problems in their performance. – Cheese

Not sure why I didn’t just place Montana here from the start, but I did after ranking the Top 17 teams. – Tyler

I think Pander will win some games, but I also think he will trade anyone who plays someone decent for money ASAP. – Davey

Today In Trade History – May 9

Welcome to Davey Enterprises latest feature, Today In Trade History™! As always, thanks to our benevolent overlord for the amazing Trade Archive.

May 9, 2015
In-game date 11/24/18

California sends:
LF Tanya Kimura
$25 million
2020 3rd round pick (LF Curt Monroe)
2020 4th round pick (1B Carl Duncan)

Richardson City sends:
1B Jose Rodriguez

There have been five 1B Jose Rodriguez’s in the history of our league, and this one was probably the best. Rodriguez hit 60 home runs in his first two seasons, and in his one full season (2018) with RC, Rodriguez slashed .294/.391/.510 and was worth 3.4 WAR in the 3L. This was the first season of an extremely impressive 10-year run by the beloved Imran, including an SL and 3L title as well as ten consecutive top 4 league finishes.

Rodriguez never had a season close to his 2018 season – his next best year was 2021, when he hit 20 home runs between the Northern Virginia Retrievers (sic) and Athletic Club KC. He only lasted 30 games with California before being shipped to Louisville as part of a massive deal for Mike Silver.

Also, holy cats $25 million!


California sends:
RP John Watson

Brooklyn sends:
$13 million

Watson spent a total of 10 game days with California (traded along with John Wilkins for Ryan Davis) before being traded for $13 million omg what was going on with finances in 2018. Watson led the PL in saves with 27 the year before (he also led the 3L in saves in 2015), and was a totally fine reliever for the rest of his career.

Ian wasn’t done on this day.


California sends:
CF Chris Gregory (to Brooklyn)
RP Larry Lee (to Louisville)

Brooklyn sends:
2020 1st round pick (to Louisville, SP Vincent Hall)

Louisville sends:
SP Sozen Raikatuji (to California)

And I quote:

Welcome to the league, Jake!

May 9, 2017
In-game date 07/31/27

Chicago Gold Sox send:
CF Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles

Montana sends:
RP Decheng Sun

Sun was a pretty good reliever, finishing with a 3.48 ERA in 548 career innings. Miles, a former 3rd round pick, got hurt a lot but made the majors with Montana in 2029 putting up a 137 wRC+ and 1.3 WAR in 24 games. He was traded to Buckhead the next year, where he was terrible. He’s somehow stuck around with Buckhead’s AAA team, the Florida Men, to this day.


Thunder Bay sends:
$12.9 million

DC sends:
SP Leslie Brooks

Growing up with a name like Leslie will make you tough. Brooks was a really good pitcher in DC, helping the team go from the 3L to the PL and leading the SL in WAR along the way (4.97 WAR in 2024). He was not good in Thunder Bay, putting up a 6.11 ERA in 53 IP in 2027 and a 4.46 ERA in 103 IP in 2028.

Brooks ended his career in Houston, where he still lives. He now mentors young men with traditionally female names at the Boy Named Leslie Center for Adolescent Males.

Colby King: Tequila is Thy Enemy

Colby King sat in his seat squished between a snoring old man and a mother holding a crying baby. Major league players weren’t supposed to have to travel like this. Then again, it wasn’t clear he was still a major league player. If he could impress the GM of the Vancouver Grey Wolves enough, maybe he could regain that coveted major league spot, but after being waived from a hapless Menards’ League team and being picked up by a Premier League team… it didn’t look likely.

King laid his head back and allowed the noise cancelling headphones to attempt to do their job on his long flight from Florida to Arizona. He didn’t want to just cancel out the noise from the plane though, he wanted to cancel out the visions of his transgressions. Sure, he didn’t think they were that serious, but Fort Worth GM Scott Thompson had very different opinions. King felt it was an honest mistake. They were both drunk and she didn’t mention that Bart Lewis was her husband. She might have mentioned the name and her last name might have been the same, but she didn’t specify that he was her husband.

An honest mistake.

The harder he tried to push it from his mind, the more the visions clouded his every thought.

It was a warm spring evening. The team had just got done taking their equipment to the spring training locker rooms and Lewis’ had surprised everyone by saying that there was a team party at his house that night. Everyone was expected to be there, and the alcohol would be plentiful. Workouts had been cancelled for that next morning, so it was a demand that everyone have a good time and get to know each other.

King was nervous, but excited to get to hang out with his teammates again. Even though he had only played in 18 games with the major league team last year, he had become an instantly popular guy to have around. Always hustling, always wanting to learn from the others about the best way to hit at the clown park named Panda Park, or how to best turn on a fastball from Panda Montana. His work ethic had allowed him to keep pressing, even when the future prospects for a 27 year old utility infielder looked rather bleak.

When he got to Lewis’ house, about half the team was already there, and shots were being taken. He was one of the youngest guys there and couldn’t let the old vets in Edwards, Garcia and Baxter show him up. He took two shot glasses with tequila in them and downed them instantly. He had went to college in California. Tequila was not a foreign substance to him. He knew that two shots wasn’t going to cause a problem. As the nigh had wore on, he lost track of how many shots he had though.

Many girls were at the party, but most of them were wives’ or girlfriends’ of those on the team. So flirting with them was clearly out of the question. King knew this and didn’t press his luck. However, he noticed a young girl who had been helping serve food throughout the night. In his earlier state he was sure that it was Lewis’ wife. As the night wore on though, a nagging voice in his head said that maybe it was his daughter. Sure, Lewis was only 37, but if he had a daughter when he was 18, then she would be old enough, if just barely.

He saw the girl head back into the kitchen. Colby extracted himself from a conversation with Baxter and Mayfield and headed to the house pretending that he had to go to the restroom. His steps were slow and his vision shaky. He told himself he wasn’t that drunk though and pressed on. Once in the kitchen there was no one else there except the woman he had seen many times throughout the night.

He approached her from behind and put his arms around her. She stiffened slightly, but didn’t push him away. he doesn’t remember what he whispered to her. he doesn’t remember why she agreed. He doesn’t even remember who was the first person that caught them in the kitchen. He does know that Lewis had to be held back by Jorge Alou and Greg Davis. He does know that he left immediately after that in an Uber paid for by Robbie Baxter. he does know that Scott Thompson called him into the office the next day to tell him that he was going to be DFA’d and that his roster spot in AAA was unlikely to be there.

King shook himself back out of the memory he had replayed 100 times in the past week. He was lucky to be getting another chance with Vancouver. He was lucky to be still playing the game he loved. He was lucky Bart Lewis hadn’t actually killed him. He told himself no more tequila, but he knew that he wasn’t going to be able to keep that promise. King just hoped next time that he wouldn’t have sex with a teammates’ wife and that if he did, he hoped that he would at least remember it.

USBA KNORTS – Preseason 2035

Welcome to the second edition of USBA KNORTS! This time around we are joined by Grogg Gold Sox, Duck Battery, and Chros Express. – many thanks to them for keeping the KNORTS alive.

Due to litigation we are required to mention the OSA rankings, though I would like to state that Davey Industries totally did not rip off any of OSA’s ideas and those three senior employees chose to come to Davey Industries on their own volition.

PL predictions
SL predictions
3L predictions

1. Boston
Boston and Portland will soar higher than the rest, lock their talons, and fight the whole season while speeding towards the cruel flat earth. We can only hope the impact destroys them both. Boston wins the PL, Portland’s self-confidence is shattered – he retreats to the comfort of the Y to beat aging Polish men at basketball – Grogg
2. Portland
A huge extension to an ace pitcher on the wrong side of 30. How much will it hinder Portland’s window of success before it’s time to tear it down? Portland’s GM will have to get “creative” as he always does before the inflated payroll cut’s that window short. – Duck
3. Las Vegas
LV and NO round out the ToC. – Grogg
4. Buckhead
5. New Orleans
6. D.C.
7. Charleston
Bishara is a key addition to a team that played mostly small ball last season. Now they’re just an ace away from being an all-around solid team. Charleston has the farm and financial flexibility to add one, or will Aldo Raine/Jason Starkey be able to fill that void? Will Joey Coco build upon his rookie season and put up MVP numbers? Early favorite to win the SL championship if things continue to go in Charleston’s favor. – Duck

Charleston-Nashville-RC-THB playoff fight – Grogg
8. Philadelphia 1776
9. Vancouver
10. Chicago
Trapdoor, we just don’t look like we’re going to stack up. – Grogg

Huge signing of Qiu to pair with Alfonso at the top of the rotation. Will it be enough to fight into the ToC? – Duck
11. New Jersey/Mississippi
12. Thunder Bay
A couple of top prospects in Cornu and Slaybaugh get the call with a few others waiting in the wings. Key additions of Kyoji Hakoda and Jorge “The Bird” Herrera round out Thunder Bay’s team for a legitimate shot at promotion. – Duck
13. Athletic Club KC
A real threat to win the SL Championship. Shun Komatsu is a powerful addition to the middle of the lineup. ACKC could be the best lineup in the SL, especially if they can get a full season out of Pablo Hernandez. But will the pitching be enough? – Duck
14. Nashville
A solid team. The additions of Scott Kerin and Dorian Daly are huge for a team 10 games out of a playoff spot last season. Their rotation is arguably the best of the SL and the offense isn’t too shabby either. However, Nashville’s GM has only made one trade in league history since taking the reins. Will he pull the trigger to put the team over the top? Time will tell. – Duck
15. Houston
With the loss of Scott Kerin, Houston enters 2035 a little less #Stronk. PMJ returns after missing 2034, but expecting a top of the rotation performance would be asking a lot. Houston still bolsters a high-octane offense that could fight for a playoff spot, but a mid-season move might have to be made if Houston wants to avoid their slogan going from #Stronk to #Louston – Duck

SL Winner – Grogg
16. St. Louis
It appears that St. Louis’ GM has decided that one season in the SL is enough time away from the PL. The acquisitions of José Corona and Count Dante combined with upcoming talent could put this team right in the mix of the playoff hunt. Don’t even get me started on his farm system… Go ahead and take a gander. Just make sure you have some Kleenex and lotion at your side. – Duck
17. Richardson City
Richardson City has had a quiet offseason. Despite having a payroll of $52mil, RC had an interesting approach and decided not to take advantage of the tremendous FA class and will be debuting a handful of young guns instead – including top pitching prospects Joy-shan Men and Eugenio Piñeiro. The Big Tuna is not far behind either, and may join the big league club midway into the season. RC’s chance at promotion is probably still a season away, but a couple of trades could speed up the process. – Duck
18. Northern Virginia
It’s been a long time since NOVA has been in the SL. Excluding Space Unicorn’s 18m salary, NOVA has $25mil on the books. Looks like it’s all but a sure thing for the Rainbow Mermaids to win a trip to the ML for only the second season in franchise history. Will we see Space Unicorn playing for a different team to help speed up the rebuild? (ed. note: chances are slim) I hear Bolivians are huge fans of Duck. – Duck
19. Oakland
The Oaks will sit high atop the 3L and will fight for promotion at the end of this season – Chros

Oakland’s magic died towards the end of the 2034 season, falling out of the top spot. Will Oakland redeem themselves and earn a promotion to the SL? – Duck

3L Winner – Grogg
20. Greenville
Loaded with young talent and should be promoted to SL at the end of the year along with Oakland – Chros

It may actually finally be Greenville’s year. How many years will it be before the prophecy actually fulfills itself? – Duck

Montana-Greenville-Phoenix-Ft. Worth fight for promotion – Grogg
21. Toledo
Toledo has set themselves up with a pretty sweet rebuild, starting with the move of Tural Bishara. The team is still flush with veteran talent that could easily contribute to staying in the SL or used as trading chips to contribute to the rebuild. – Duck
22. Seattle
Looking like a favorite to be demoted to the 3L. Seattle was only 4 games up on the relegation playoffs last season and not many moves were made in the offseason to avoid falling to the 3L. Seattle’s only hope at this point rests on NOVA and Toledo’s shoulders. – Duck

Trapdoor season? – Grogg
23. Montana
The Pandas sold off a lot of assets and lost about 19 WAR, but remain projected to finish among the top of the 3L. I am rooting for them to get out of financial hell. – Chros

By far one of the most exciting teams to follow. Hoping to see Montana in the PL sometime in the near future just to see how bonkers this team could get with that budget. – Duck
24. Phoenix
Phoenix sucks. Hi Michael. Here by default because they were in SL last season. – Chros
25. Ft. Worth
Ft. Worth is projected to finish with he exact same 51-57 record as they did last year. They’ll continue to be in the middle of the pack of the 3L, and should probably look to deal some of their aging stars. – Chros
26. Wizarding
Yu will certainly perform like a guy that makes up 80% of the team payroll, but how the Wizords do this season and going forward will depend on if young players such as Vargas and Lazcano take a step forward. – Chros

Oh boy I cannot wait to see what Je-myung Yu does. – Duck
27. Brooklyn
Brooklyn had a busy offseason in the 3L, good enough to not be the absolute worst – Chros
28. Echo Park
Luis Diaz is a young stud, but has a bit of development to do and he has nothing else around him. – Chros
29. Quebec City
Quebec City had the busiest offseason in the 3L. They lost a nice player in Simpson, and hope to replace his production with guys like Vega and Mendoza. I believe in quality, not quantity, and in the end the improvements they made are marginal. – Chros
30. New Amsterdam/Hollywood
Diablo and Shamburger hope to break out to help revitalize this franchise. – Chros
31. Panama City
Panama literally did nothing this offseason. They will be bad again. – Chros
32. Kingston Township
Ed Mellor looks primed to have a breakout year. – Chros