2041 USBA KNORTS: The Story So Far

By | 2020-10-19

I had all weekend to come up with a writing exercise to help me write an intro, and I couldn’t come up with anything. Which is sad, because I know you people don’t just come here to read the blurbs about your own team.

Something Brendan Kelly said in his blog the other week really resonated with me. We can only put out what we take in. Maybe my diet of Mario Sunshine, endless Simpsons episodes, and making fun of TeeJ’s fake baseball choices isn’t a healthy one. Even Tyler eats better than that.

So be more cognizant of your mental diet. Read more, listen genres of music you don’t normally listen to, and try to understand what exactly TeeJ sees in his players. Or don’t, I don’t care, I’m not your fucking dad.

Thanks to Beau, Buck, Mack, Michael, and Pander for helping out this go around. That’s four new KNORTSers, and they were amazing! I’m so excited to watch you all fail next week.

Click here to see expanded rankings.

1. Boston

Boston won the PL last year with a $129M payroll, which has only been topped (bottomed?) three times in the modern era: 2037 Portland ($123M), 2029 Phoenix ($67M!!!), and 2028 Panama City ($107M). – Davey

They’re a really good baseball team. – Beau

I wasn’t here for the reasons why you all hate Boston. But I’m here now, watching them take over the PL again. Sad. – Buck

It might be chalk to expect that the champion will repeat, but this team is too good to bet against. They check all the boxes. Boston legend “Tawm” would approve. – Mack

An extremely well-rounded team. Although it won’t be easy, Boston has a good chance to repeat as PL champions. – Michael

Boston had a great offseason. They didn’t lose much important, added some good pieces to help on the fringes and will likely graduate some promising talent. Boston having a good offseason and then those players wilting under the pressure of being on a top flight PL team though is not uncommon. So I am not going to get too excited until i see what they can do in that unique ballpark. – Pander
2. Buffalo

Je-myung Yu has so many red spots on his S+ stats page they call him chicken pox. He’s got so much black ink Bic offered him more money than Chros did. – Davey

I wasn’t as impressed with them as others. Then they brought back Yu. I’m in love again. – Beau

Chros almost had it. Probably has a shot at it again. – Buck

Buffalo is well-built and likely got a little unlucky last year. Expect them to rise from the dead and seek vengeance. – Mack

Buffalo’s success will depend on the starting pitching performing and staying healthy. If it can, there should be a good battle for the PL championship. – Michael

Buffalo has the talent to take over. Re-signing (ed.note: I don’t even know anymore, I feel like it’s resigning) Yu likely needed to happen, but it came at the cost of an inflated contract. The money wasn’t going to be used elsewhere though as the biggest holes this team has were not able to be addressed with what is left in the market. Early FA was good to them and hopefully their additions can shore up one of the worst pitching staffs in the PL. – Pander
3. New Orleans

That sonic boom you hear is the Nawlins window is shutting so fast it just broke the sound barrier. – Davey

How good will Ashley be coming off injury? Gold ball contender? Or LSU’s defense? I side closer to the gold ball. – Beau

I don’t know. I don’t love this team. But again, the PL is meh. Maybe I’m as wrong about his team as he was about Guangorena hitting 40 points lower last year? – Buck

It took some time, but NO got rolling well into the season. Ashley is one of the best in the league and the rest of the rotation is solid. The lineup is also good. I expect the magic to continue. – Mack

New Orleans has a solid, if unspectacular, team. They should finish with a good record, but mid-table and a fight for a TOC spot is where this season is headed. – Michael

Chase didn’t do a lot in this offseason except add a solid, but unspectacular SP, an unproven IFA, and a SS who had a career year in Chicago. This team was already really good though, and if they have less injuries to the rotation than they did last year this team should compete for top of the PL. I put them third, but them finishing first would not shock me. – Pander
4. Hollywood

Hollywood finished third in Base Runs last year, but didn’t really add anything this offseason and instead seems to be counting on a boost from a full season of Kroening and Thicc. I wish I could trust Cheese more, but this sting of last season lingers. – Davey

Last year was an anomaly. Too much talent, specifically pitching, to not contend. – Beau

They have too much talent. Seven is probably low. Cheese told me my team has something to prove. But I believe Hollywood has the most to prove of all. – Buck

Most would say they underperformed last year, but none of us expect that to continue this season. Don’t be surprised if they shred this year. – Mack

After a disappointing season, Hollywood still has the talent to play spoiler and snatch the league away from Boston and Buffalo. – Michael

I would put this team fourth, but they lost pieces in the offseason and haven’t really replaced them. If Kroening and Trevithick fall back to earth then the pitching is going to have to work to hard to support the offense. – Pander
5. Cleveland

Cleveland only allowed 364 runs last season, nearly 40 less than second place. Yu, or even Space Unicorn, would have been a nice signing. – Davey

A double jumper with Mississippi. Great pitching, but worried about their fairly quiet offseason. – Beau

SL champs are still good. Coming to a mediocre PL should get them in the ToC. – Buck

This team is relatively young and full of confidence. They’ll look to keep the momentum in the PL. – Mack

In their first season in the PL, Cleveland looks to earn a TOC appearance. The pitching is good, offense solid, but the top of the PL is just too good for Cleveland to compete for a title. – Michael

I do not think we are going to see a double promoted team in the ToC this year. Cleveland rode the Cinderella run in the 3L playoffs to an SL title, but the magic might be starting to run out after a weak end of the year. The team has some high points in the OF, but a weak infield and average pitching staff doesn’t inspire confidence in a big run in the PL. The team still has some cash laying around, but they have been unwilling to spend it in the past, and the cautious approach the GM is taking does not look to be changing. Perhaps getting a second PL year will help them break out of their shell a bit, but that’s for next year’s KNORTS writers to decide. – Pander
6. Charleston

Mastery of USBA’s finances is young Duck’s last hurdle. – Davey

Some monster bats. Not crazy about the pitching depth. Maybe they’ll have a fire sale and Allerdale can come home. – Beau

I think the freefall Charleston had last year after finishing runner up in the USBA Cup carries over to this year. – Buck

With what looks to be a deadly middle lineup, the pitching staff will need to bounce back to be a major threat. – Mack

A solid offense could keep Charleston out of a relegation spot, but it should be a stressful season until the very end. – Michael

Pitching is what stopped this team from doing better last year and I don’t know if that question got answered in the offseason. The ToC chances for this team ride on Scott Morrison’s shoulders and you can decide if that is a place you want to be or not. They are a clear cut below the top 3 teams in the PL, but that’s not a huge knock on them. – Pander
7. Mississippi

Are Dean Jackson and Henry Madore still available? Boasting a near open checkbook, Mississippi’s biggest move was a trade. It’s going to be a fascinating season. – Davey

Maybe ToC? Maybe relegated? Two really good SP’s and Tuna but… hell if I know. – Beau

USBA hasn’t seen a villain rise this quick since Cheese joined. Big offseason means big expectations. – Buck

A good pitching staff, solid offensive lineup and defense where it counts is a recipe for success. – Mack

Mississippi has been great the past couple of seasons, but the starting pitching will have trouble holding up in the PL. Otero and the offense are looking to carry this team away from a relegation playoff spot. – Michael

Mississippi still has a lot of money to spend, but there is not a lot of talent left to cover the holes that they still have. The bullpen is one of the worst, if not the worst, of the teams that want to compete in the PL. Luckily they can improve their offense, but career years out of a lot of guys last year leave a lot of questions about this team. – Pander
8. St. Louis

“St. Louis is the 8th best team in USBA” – Tuner – Michael Scott – Wayne Gretzky – Davey

Shopping Zexian concerns me about slotting them here, but this just looks like a PL team. – Beau

That’s right. Going full blown Tuna here and predicting they win the SL. They may win it running away if my #2 SL team doesn’t break through like they could. – Buck

With a star-studded offense and good pitching, can we already crown them SL champs? Hey Chicago, wanna switch? – Mack

St. Louis dominated the 3L and should do well in the SL. Greenville is too talented to overcome, but St. Louis is the favorite to win the promotion playoff series and head to the PL. – Michael

St. Louis brings one of the most dominating teams we have seen in recent seasons in any league back for round two in the SL. This team is very good and will be a scary team in the PL next year with that PL budget bump. The worst thing you can say about his team is the bullpen is average and his catcher is not good, but winning the SL by 5+ games is expected and the benchmark he should be chasing. – Pander
9. Portland

Portland has finished with a sub-.500 record once in the last 13 seasons. – Davey

Could be a relegation contender, but also have some quality young talent. Simply because 2041 is happening around the holidays, I’ll take the fighting Christmas trees to stay safe. – Beau

The roster is mostly rid of the stench of the previous GM. – Buck

What more do you want in 2041 than a power hitting team with solid pitching? The offensive ceiling may depend on if Matsumoto can bounce back from a down year one. – Mack

Talented, but not enough to compete in the PL, Portland will be stuck in the middle of the table again. – Michael

If this team can score enough, and the rotation can go five innings without giving up too many runs they should stay up for another year, but those are huge questions. Losing Dotson take a huge bite out of their production on the offensive side of the ball and an injury to Romero could mean the end of a run that has seen them win numerous titles. Portland is one of the highest variance teams on this list, because no other team relies so heavily on such a small group of players that are not replaceable on the open market. – Pander
10. Greenville

Relegated with 53 Base Run wins, Greenville now has arguably the best team in SL with a $52M payroll and the best farm system outside of Boston. – Davey

If they can get 70ish games out of Ayala, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win the SL. – Beau

They have a real shot at getting back in the PL next year, reloaded with some really talented rookies. Despite the demotion, this is a team to watch. – Buck

A good offense and a great top three in the rotation. I think we are still waiting for that rotation to be filled, however? – Mack

Greenville has struggled the past two seasons, but there’s too much talent for the slide to continue. Expect a one year stint in the SL. – Michael

This is a team that should be a lot better than it has been. They have consistently top farm systems, but when it comes to get that talent on the field and producing they continue to have underwhelming, at best, performances. This team should be competitive in the SL, and honestly, they should be in the PL next year again, but it’s hard for me to get to hyped on them. That offense doesn’t look great and their pitching has the ratings to be fantastic, but has just been good in the past. The SL is not great though and it’s very possible that they run away from third place. – Pander
11. Northern Virginia

It’s going to be fine. – Davey

Davey is my 2nd favorite mermaid behind Ariel. I’m afraid he’s about to be “part of that (SL) world.” – Beau

Davey had me do this to rank him #1. Yikes… Seriously though, the team still has enough talent to hang around. – Buck

One of the more underrated teams in the PL, NOVA has the offense to make some waves. Do mermaids like waves? – Mack

Near the bottom of the PL, Northern Virginia will try to keep their spot in league. The team’s offense is decent, but can the starting pitching do their part? Expect a relegation series appearance and a chance to stay in the PL. – Michael

Where do you even start with this team? They were looking to be a ToC team last year before inexplicably selling off pieces to the highest bidder. They retained enough of their stars to stay up for at least one year, but this year is going to come down to the wire. Davey’s loves defense, and that might also be the downfall of this team. His starting OF is weak at best with the bat and if Castillo or Roersma get injured then they are hoping for Rob Brooks to become the second most important bat in a PL team. That’s not confidence inspiring. – Pander
12. Long Island, lol suck it Michael I’m better than you I’m the real Angel Kitten

Lawn Guy Land is currently ranked dead last in the system ranking, with no top 100 prospects. – Davey

If they can find a way to get promoted this year, the budget increase + Otero coming off the books would be a real game changer. – Beau

Broke But Good: A Long Island Tale. They should be pretty good but probably need to promote for financial reasons if they want to keep moving up the ladder. – Buck

If Roos returns to old form and Hodge continues to develop, this staff could be scary. The offense could be very good too. Watch out 3L. – Mack

Expect regression from some Long Island hitters, but the top of the lineup should be very good. If the pitching can hold up, Long Island can compete for the 3L title and at worst, will be a part of the promotion playoffs. – Michael

When you see a team going all-in like this in the 3L you think that they have to be Montana. Hopefully this version of going all-in works better than what it did for Montana. If Michal can pull a rabbit out of his hat and get a top flight closer then the 3L is over, but if he continues to rely on his question bullpen, then it leaves the door open just enough that he will lack the St. Louis domination from last year. – Pander
13. Toledo

Good offseason for Toledo, but that’s still not a good bullpen. – Davey

Ricky. Sellers. – Beau

May be one of the more balanced teams in the 3L. Bullpen help pushes them up the rankings. – Buck

The offensive powerhouse in the 3L with a solid rotation as well. It’ll be fun watching them and LI duke it out for the top spot. – Mack

The Fitzgerald trade should solidify Toledo’s rotation and have them, at minimum, competing for a promotion playoff spot. – Michael

If Toledo actually remembers to hire a trainer before 3/4 of the way through the season then they should be in better shape than they were last year. The question that is going to follow the team through the year is if that bullpen can perform better than it did last year when it was one of the worst in USBA. TJ’s unwillingness to really make that big move is what will likely hold them back, as Long Island has a GM that is not scared to push any and every button available to him. – Pander
14. San Potato

Michael Machen enters his 12th season, playing in his third city but all for the same franchise. Home life has been rough ever since he spent much of the 2039 season at home, recovering from injury. It became clear to him and his wife that they had grown apart and no longer loved each other, but they’ll wait until he retires to finalize the divorce. He’s been such an absent father he can’t tell his children – Meahgan, Mickenzie, and Morgan – apart, and he hates that he had daughters instead of sons. After his playing days he will move back to his hometown in Massachusetts, join the local Proud Boys chapter, and watch as many Tim Allen shows as possible. – Davey

A couple games away from promotion last year, but seemed to have taken a step back this offseason. Will they bring in help still available in FA? – Beau

The more I look, I may have them rated higher than they really are. Maybe I’m going off what they did last year? Either way, they should be in the mix for promotion. – Buck

A well-built team that is trying to get over the hump into the PL. Depending how the back end of the rotation is built, we could have a team that pushes for a promotion. – Mack

What starting pitching San Mateo has is good and could keep them in games. What the offense does and the rotation after #3 will determine whether this team finishes mid-table or towards the bottom. – Michael

San Mateo has been a team that is always around, but hasn’t been able to breakthrough. This season is shaping up to be much of the same unless they make some big splashes before FA is over. Their offense is lackluster at best and with the losses of Han and Kye that is not going to get any better. Their rotation and bullpen should be able to keep them in games, but as Portland can tell you, unless you score runs, then your bullpen doesn’t mean everything, and SM doesn’t have nearly the bullpen that Portland does. – Pander
15. Fort Worth

I’m pretty sure if you keep playing Kolby Hay in CF he’ll pick it up eventually. Let’s give him another five or so seasons to learn it. – Davey

Solid team last year, but like San Mateo, lost some pieces. If they make a move or two, they could contend for a playoff spot. – Beau

They may finally breakthrough. I’m not sure they want to yet, though. – Buck

If the pitching could continue to be good, they could make noise in the SL. Check the other boxes: good hitting and defensive play. – Mack

A solid offense that will betrayed by its starting pitching, Fort Worth still should finish with a decent record and have a chance to make the promotion playoffs. – Michael

Scooter is one of the most consistent GMs in the league, but that has also led to his teams not making that big leap to the next level. This year appears to be nothing different. Some nice additions, some hard losses means they will perform about what they were supposed to last year. If they don’t run over on base runs last year then they are going to be mired in the bottom of the SL, but a cut above the worst teams. – Pander
16. Nashville

Since their first year in back in the SL, 2034, Nashville has had Base Runs win differentials of +7, -5, +5, +5, +6, and -6. No team better fits their owner. – Davey

Nashville is a premier league city. Maybe the team becomes a premier league team this year. I like the Qiu and Pieterse signings. – Beau

Getting Qui could be nice. But 20 games under .500 is a lot to make up and just don’t think it’s there. A solid offseason could prove me wrong though. – Buck

A solid rotation and lineup and defense where it counts. They have tried to add pieces this offseason and will continue to do so. They think they are ready for the PL, do we? – Mack

Nashville has been bad the past few seasons, but they will take advantage of a weak SL. They still are in a playoff spot, but this time it’s for promotion and not relegation. – Michael

Nashville wasn’t very good last year, and they didn’t do much to get better. The addition of Qui and Pietrerse might be able to balance out what they lost, but even then they are the few bright spots on a mostly picked over roster. Nasvhille has maybe the worst infield in all of the SL, if not the USBA. If their bullpen can perform up to what they have the potential to, then I think they avoid getting tenth, but The confidence in which I make that statement is not strong and seeing them in ninth or tenth would be less than shocking. – Pander
17. Pittsburgh

Of all of Tyler’s faults, his most glaring has been timing. This is Pittsburgh’s best all-time team and the franchise’s most promising squad in nearly a decade, but it looks like a crowded group at the top of the 3L. – Davey

Love the rebrand and the signing of Starkey. Promotion contender for sure. – Beau

This could be an interesting team that I may have rated low. What’s the tagline this year, Tyler? – Buck

Newly branded Pitt is the definition of a well-rounded team. Solid all around, they’ll look to push into the SL. – Mack

Pittsburgh will compete for a promotion playoff spot in the 3L. Solid all-around, Pittsburgh has a chance to win those playoffs and advance to the SL. – Michael

A great defense, but inconsistent pitching led Pittsburgh to add Jason Starkey over the winter to a large contract. It’s the kind of risk that Tyler has taken before, but it’s not clear if it’s going to pay off. Letting Trifone go also means that the young players are going to have to step up on offense as the last bastions of the old Houston franchise are beginning to go away. – Pander
18. D.C.

Second-best team in the DC area. – Davey

Dotson should hit plenty of bombs in the SL. Hileman is a beast. I like this team a lot as a potential double jumper. – Beau

Dotson signing here all but kills his already slim chance at 300 PL home runs. Should mash in the 3L (ed. note: I’m not sure Buck knows they’re in the SL, and I’m leaving this here to embarrass him) though, proving he still has something left in the tank. – Buck

Pitching was quite good last year, but the offense will need to improve for DC to push to the top. – Mack

D.C. earned their spot to the SL last season, but they could struggle this season. Middle of the table for a middle of the road team seems likely, but they have some nice building blocks for the future. – Michael

This team was a surprise promotion from the 3L last year, but Gerth is doing what he can to make sure this team isn’t just a one and done. Adding Dotson to a substantial contract is the kind of move that either makes or breaks a team. If Dotson is the 5 WAR player he was in the PL before this most recent season then DC will do fine in the SL. If he is closer to the 1 WAR player he was last year, then DC is going to be more towards the bottom of the table. Also, keep an eye on that bullpen, it’s not great. – Pander
19. Thunder Bay

No longer responsible for the Bird Herrera contract and with an engrossing group of prospects reaching the upper levels of the minors, the seeds planted during the summer of Thunder Scooter are beginning to bloom. I’m terribly excited to be able to pass final judgement on this rebuild. – Davey

I feel like the SL is a little deeper than it has been in previous years. TB is an okay team, but could be looking at relegation without a couple moves. – Beau

After tearing things down a couple season ago, they are starting to look pretty good again. – Buck

Slaybaugh and Kringlen will look to continue carrying the offense, while the pitching staff looks to improve. With a bullpen that has just been ok, they may have to hit their way out of the SL. – Mack

Thunder Bay is a good offensive team with a bad starting pitching staff. The team hopes the offense can carry them to keep their spot, but they’ll need to win a relegation series to stay in the SL. – Michael

Thunder Bay has some of the best talents in the SL on the offensive side of the ball, but when you look at that team as a whole the lack of pitching becomes a glaring hole for the team. Only Las Vegas has a worse rotation and the bullpen is far from a strong point for the team. With almost not financial flexibility there isn’t an obvious way they are going to be upgrade unless they really want to dig into that farm system, but Scott hasn’t been one to do that in recent years. This team feels like it’s about to have another middling year in a middling league. – Pander
20. Brooklyn

Brooklyn has played four game 109s in the last 10 seasons. – Davey

My pick to win the 3L this year, assuming Holing can produce this summer and help with the stretch run. – Beau

They still have some good pitching. This is an old team though. It feels like any window they had open is closing and they may be better suited to sell. – Buck

This team is known for making two-pitch pitchers into viable rotation pieces and it may continue to work. The offense may just hit enough too. – Mack

A solid team, it seems as if Brooklyn will rely on multiple openers to fill out the rotation. If it works, the team should finish near the top of the 3L. – Michael

Ratings love this team, but results do not. After finishing fourth three seasons ago they have remained largely unchanged and finished with nearly identical records of under .500. Their rotation is very weak results wise, hitting is middling at best, and they had no money to add anything this offseason. They are going to have to hope that their stud CFer is ready to produce like an MVP at age 21 if they hope to compete for a playoff spot. The 3L below them is really bad though, so they should avoid sinking to the doldrums. – Pander
21. Seattle

Montana fans think the last two seasons in Seattle have been a little crazy. – Davey

Right now, they look like a promotion contender. Will they stay the path though, or will they sell high on guys during the season? – Beau

Is Tuna buying or selling? Probably both, really. Team will be interesting and should be in the SL (ed. note: WTF Buck) mix. – Buck

We’ve seen Seattle go through many phases this offseason. The pitching staff and lineup are fine, but is it enough to get them out of the 3L? I don’t even think Seattle knows. – Mack

With some solid players, but below average overall offensive and starting pitching units, Seattle will hover around .500. They could sneak into a promotion playoff series and make some noise. – Michael

Tuna is the most fun person as a GM since Montana actually still had credibility. They are selling, they are buying, and they are throwing darts at the wall all at the same time. I love what is happening with this team except when I have to try to predict how they are going to do this year. Even with the trade for Randolph the starting rotation is a huge question, and I am not sure if they are going to be stay in games when things go sideways. They have a good, but not great offense. I would feel better about this team if the offenses in the top of the 3L were weaker, but outside of Pittsburgh, I don’t have a lot of fear about how teams are going to score runs and so Seattle is going to have to make another trade if they really want to cement as a top team, so they likely will make another five trades. – Pander
22. Buckhead

Jesus’s 130 home runs in three seasons is a record, right? – Davey

Team has gone a little stagnate since the glorious 69 to 69 run of a couple seasons ago. – Beau

They should hit, but I’m not buying their pitching. Yet. – Buck

Team looks too be solid, with a nice top of the rotation and good middle lineup. The defense might be worrisome at times, especially when you get deeper into the rotation. – Mack

Buckhead is fairly average all-around and it should reflect in their record. They should be safe in a weak SL. – Michael

There once was a time that Kerry let a PL team fall down to the 3L from complete lack of interest. We are not quite back to that yet, but we are also not terribly far from it. This team has added nothing over the winter and the holes in pitching, both starting and relieving, are going to play a huge role in how this team does. If Kerry continues to ignore them, it is not inconceivable (ed. note: you keep using that word) this team gets tenth in the SL, but I am not ready to go that far, yet. – Pander
23. Kingston Township

Rayzor is the new Pander, providing a much needed ying to the other 31 owners yang. – Davey

I like their rotation for a 3L team. I like the Tafalla signing (if he can play even half the season). I know history isn’t on my side, but dang it, this team is getting promoted this year. – Beau

The all-time wins leader in the 3L keeps adding to his lead. – Buck

Pitching looks to be a stronger point and offense has flashes. However, they’ll need more than flashes to stand out. – Mack

Always talented, but under-performing, this will be the year it all comes together for Kingston Township. It might be a closer race in the 3L, but KT has the talent edge over Long Island. – Michael

If Quiad can have another amazing season in the 3L, if Unicorn can stay healthy, if Mellor has a ounce back year, and if they can get some breaks than this team might be able to compete for the playoffs. The issue is that a lot of those are really stretching. I want KT to get to the SL and if Unicorn can stay healthy and brings them there then that might be the greatest contract ever signed. If he is broken though, it’s going to be bad. – Pander
24. Las Vegas

Vegas has 66 wins over the last two seasons. I take back what I said earlier about no owner better fitting their team. – Davey

A franchise of futility recently. At least the night life is good. – Beau

The team came out swinging last year. Lineup is still solid but pitching could be an issue. Think they are toward the bottom of the SL, but should stay there at least another year. – Buck

What they lack in pitching, they try and make up for in hitting. With a potent lineup, they better be ready to win some shootouts. – Mack

The offense in Las Vegas is decent, but the pitching will keep them near the bottom of the table. Thanks to a rebuild in Colorado, Las Vegas should have a chance in the relegation series to remain in the SL. – Michael

I want to put this team higher. They have some of the best young hitters in the league and there is not a lot of weak spots in that lineup. Las Vegas is going to score and they are going to score in heaps. The issue they are going to run into is they are going to be giving runs up even faster. If I trusted JJ to do more with his pitching I could go out on a limb and predict them for eigth, but I just don’t have that confidence. – Pander
25. ACKC

I’m assuming the Ghostkeeper trade means the end of the rebuild? Can’t say for sure, Andy is so quiet his team is being renamed ACKC AFK. – Davey

I feel like the team has a good direction, specifically with the IFA market, just not quite there yet. – Beau

Ghostkeeper should help their lineup but they still look like a bottom dweller. – Buck

Lead by a good pitching staff last year, we’ll see if they can hold up again. Although very solid defensively, they lack speed, but who needs that in 2041? – Mack

This is not the year ACKC makes the leap. They have a good future, but that future is not here yet. Still expect a middle of the table finish. – Michael

This team would be a lot lower on my list, but the teams below them are really weak too, so let’s just flip some coins and see what happens to come up. Flipping coins is 100% what this team is going to be doing when it gets to late innings. Their bullpen is not good, but what team this low on the list has a good bullpen? Ghostkeeper is going to help that offense if he stays the whole year. This could easily be the team I am most far from reality on as they could end up in the Vancouver/Montana/Panama City range. – Pander
26. Oakland

$67.3M left until it’s the end of Si/Unicorn era. The healing has already begun. – Davey

I feel 2041 is going to be a breakout year for Gotaas. – Beau

Probably worse teams in the SL but not a great 3L team either. A middle of the road 3L team right now. – Buck

Pitching is a real weak point. Oh… having a position player hit over .270 would be nice too. – Mack

There is some decent young talent in Oakland, but not enough for them to compete. Expect a lower half of the table finish. – Michael

They traded away most of what made them competitive, have a good but not great farm system and didn’t add much in the offseason. They are not good, but the teams below them are even more not good. Dan had a great rebuild the first time around, so let’s see what he can do the second time. – Pander
27. Echo Park

Michael Machen thinks this is a sad team. – Davey

When I first joined this great league, Echo Park vs. Hollywood felt like a cool rivalry…. Yeah…. that’s all I got. – Beau

Really isn’t much to work with. Probably avoiding the bottom of the table with some decent pitching. – Buck

Solid pitching and solid hitting, but lack in defensive prowess. Hopefully making a run in the 3L is a walk in the park. – Mack

A bad offense will derail any hopes of Echo Park competing for a promotion playoff spot. There are a couple of nice pieces here, but not enough to compete. – Michael

A few seasons ago they looked like a team that was going to be headed to the SL for sure, but bad luck, tough financial breaks, and some underachievement has caused this team to flounder. They now find themselves muddling around in the 3L unable to gain traction. They lost some players over the offseason and don’t have anyone that looks ready to replace them. – Pander
28. Colorado

Colorado currently has no one on a non-arb major league contract for next season. Suck it, DMoney. (ed note: sigh, you people ranked Colorado higher than Chicago and ruined my bit) – Davey

Yet another great rebrand. That pitching is so bad though. Is this a case of accepting relegation or making moves to prevent it? – Beau

With a more active GM in Mack, they at least aren’t rudderless. Should struggle a couple more years but they’ll get there. – Buck

Rebuilding and rebranded, COL looks towards the future. Major pieces have been sold and a young core has been installed, but the pitching is extremely poor. They will be looking to “graze” by relegation. – Mack

Colorado hasn’t been good in a while and that will continue this season. There’s a bunch of young talent to keep an eye on in both the majors and the minors, but expect to see this team in the 3L next season. – Michael

The rebrand is fantastic. It was long overdue, but this team is not going anywhere this season. The most fun thing for them is going to be to watch the maturation of Magnus Belli. He has the potential to be a star, but if he can’t control those walks (7.2/9 last year) then he could just be a rating wonder that disappoints. – Pander
29. Chicago

Not accounting for arbitration players, Chicago has $6.3M on the books next season. This is what happens when you give a team to a guy with money in his name. – Davey

A 3L team in the PL. I do like the direction of the team though and feel like they’re building a strong farm system. – Beau

Worst PL team and it isn’t close. It’ll take a couple years, but D$ has already started well to try getting them back in the right direction. – Buck

The new owner is looking to take things in a new direction. Unfortunately, he’ll start the year in the PL. Don’t worry, it’ll be a quick decent into the SL as they get buried in soot. Do we have our rebrand, the Black Sox? – Mack

Chicago’s offense will be bad. The pitching will be bad. The rebuild is on and off to a good start, but the Silver Sox will get relegated to the SL. – Michael

The rebuild has begun, and it’s been an interesting one so far. They have cleared out money which allowed them to get some IFAs and some of the returns they have received have been pretty great. It’s too early to tell what the long term future for this team holds, but many in the league seem hopeful that it will workout, but with the turmoil this franchise has seen since moving from RC makes me nervous to say they are ready to really be a team in full rebuild. – Pander
30. Vancouver

Within two seasons the farm system will rival Boston and Greenville. – Davey

What will be higher at the end of the year, Vancouver’s win total or Vancouver’s FI? – Beau

In the 3L as intended. Probably going to be at least a two-year stay. – Buck

Not bad, Eh? Maybe Canadians will focus on hockey while this team rebuilds in the 3L. Nothing but up from here, right? – Mack

The pitching in Vancouver is bad. The offense is less bad. The rebuild was necessary, but it’s going to be a rough year in Vancouver. – Michael

They are not good, and they know that. It’s fine though, because the farm is continuing to get stacked with more promising talent. It’s still another real life year until this team starts to compete, but with the addition of lists to S+, watching your young guys every sim instead of your ML team has never been more enjoyable! – Pander
31. Panama City

Last season was the sixth time PC has finished 10th or worse in the 3L. This season will be the seventh. – Davey

Great beaches. Bad team. When is Wiesblatt coming up? – Beau

Fire up the hot tub, buoys! Might as well look forward to something this year. – Buck

The pitching is just solid. The hitting is just ok. They’ll need some standouts to put it all together and make a run in the 3L. – Mack

The misery in Panama City continues. The future is bright, but it will take them a few seasons to get there. – Michael

Finishing out the trio of not good teams in the 3L is PC. They are rebuilding, have some great looks boys on the farm and should be ready to compete in a few years. The best news for the franchise is that Marc Talamante got selected for the HoF. It’s great news and I think everyone is happy for Brian. – Pander
32. Montana

Montana turned a profit last season for the eighth time of Pander’s reign. – Davey

Rebuilding with a clear direction right now. Probably a couple years away from being a couple years away. – Beau

Not much talent in the organization. Maybe the ballpark change will work out? – Buck

Nice thing about rebuilding in the 3L is relegation isn’t possible. However, the depths of the 3L is still a very lonely place. Hopefully these Pandas have a thick coat. – Mack

Montana will struggle and finish near the bottom of the table. They have some talented players remaining and it will be interesting to see where they land. – Michael

No one cares. – Pander