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