100 Word Fan Fiction: A Strange Unease

Captain Dietrich could not understand his unease. His mission was a complete success.

Every attempt by Troy Moffitt & their men to escape during their trip to the Reich was foiled and as left the camp commandant’s office he could see their faces fall as the Colonel informed them of his unmatched record of success while the senior POW officer looked on resigned.

He had the oddest feeling that behind that frown a mighty laugh was suppressed. “Nonsense” he told himself as the staff car exited Stalag 13 beginning his long trek back to the desert. He was just tired.

We Interrupt our normal Haranguing for the tale of a Sunday Trip to Pastime Pinball in Manchester Vermont

If there has been on thing there has not been a shortage of these days it’s news but thanks to Covid , CCP Wuhan Virus there has been a shortage of places to play Pinball.

If not said virus for the last 5 days I would be at the 6th Pintastic New England this year scheduled to be in Boxborough rather than Sturbridge but alas it was not to be however yesterday morning my youngest informed me of a newly opened pinball arcade in Manchester Vermont which is about a 2 1/4 hour drive from where I live. So as we both had vacation days already taken, after mass we jumped in the car and took the long trek through ski country (God knows how people drive on those mountain roads in the winte) and foliage country to Pastime Pinball in Manchester Vermont. Where we were met by the owner who was kind enough to give us the tour…

…which had to be briefly interupted as a pair of customers came in. Given that you have a choice of a pay one price to play till close or a half hour sampler (buy the day pass because you KNOW you aren’t going to be satisfied with 30 minutes) you don’t want to keep people waiting.

However once the customers had their lanyards and were off playing the tour resumed.

It’s a very nice place with a good selection of 60 games starting from the very 1st flipper game ever made to the Munsters which came out last year. But for me as they have the following six games

  • Black Knight
  • Adams Family
  • Indiana Jones
  • Theater of Magic
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Wizard of Oz

They pretty much have the best there is.

One of the most interesting things they have is an old EM game with the clear cabinet that people can see how the workings work. I filmed my son playing it:

We got in about 4 hours of gameplay and played most of the games there. They regularly disinfected the games and had signs asking people to space themselves with a two game distance and they enforce the mask rule. It was a great time.

Alas due to Covid the hours are limited

In a case of really bad timing they had litterarrly opened just before the virus hit and with Pintastic cancelled they lost a prime chance to promote their new business.

So if you are a pinball fan who didn’t get a chance to hit Pintastic NE this year take in the Get yourself up to Manchester VT on a Friday Saturday and Sunday and indulge your Pinball fix at Pastime Pinball.

Hopefully by the time the foilage and ski seasons come they’ll be open daily keep an eye on their site for developments.

Outside food is not allowed in but the dogs and drinks are good, however if you decide you want something more substantial when your done, might I suggest the Zoey’s Double Hex right down the road.

It’s a local family restaurant and it seemed like the servers and host knew every person who came in. The food was absolutely perfect.

It you need a day, away from news, away from political stuff and the current insanity and would like to support a small local business that has brought great pinball to this neck of the wood, take a leisurely drive up to Manchester VT and scratch that pinball itch you didn’t know you had.

Dynasty Great Teams League Update NL Division B Report

This week we looking at the National League Division B in the All Time Any Time Great Teams League All individual stats were current at the time of writing.

All franchise are currently full if you are interested in picking up a team if one becomes available or to join the expanded Futility league when it starts up again leave a comment to this post.

National League

1985 St. Louis Cardinals 48-36 1st place

The Cardinals remain the only team in the majors who have been in 1st place since day one and don’t seem inclined to let anyone take it from them. Can they rule the 2nd half as they have the 1st?

Heroes: You can find Cardinals all over the league leader boards of the league Vince Coleman’s 78 stolen bases is more than every other team in the majors except Cincinnati Willie McGee leads in batting & Triples while on the mound John Tudor is tops in wins and Innings pitched.

Zeros: Some leader boards are worse than others and Jeff Lahti’s five blown saves (against 8 converted) leads the NL. Kurt Kepshire’s 7.67 ERA the WHIP 2.06 and 51 walks vs 39K’s won’t impress anyone. The Catchers spot has been adaquote behind the plate but at it Tom Nieto ( .208 0 HR 12 RBI ) and Darryl Porter ( .192 5 HR 30 RBI ) haven’t delivered.

Wild Cards: St. Louis is one of two teams in the NL that play on turf and their 26-13 record on the artificial surface reflects that skill. But more important has been their 22-8 record in the division that has kept them on top.

Coming Attractions: The Cards end short road tip in Chicago vs the tough Division C leading 2016 Cubs before heading home to host the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies, 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, the 1986 NY Mets and the 1997 Florida Marlins.

Injury Report: Third Baseman Terry Pendelton will miss the entire series against the Cubs but once he’s back the cards will be back to full strength.


1957 Milwaukee Braves 43-41 5 GB 2nd place

Milwaukee has kept pace with the Cardinals going 7-3 over the last 10 games and currently in a tie for the last wild card spot. Can they make a move and finally knock StL off the top of the heap?

Heroes: Hank Aaron is 3rd in batting 1st in hist and 3rd in RBI’s & 9th in HR in the league. Wes Covington may not be on the leader boards but his triple crown numbers (.306 avg 16 HR 47 RBI) are trouble for opposing pitchers. On the mound Don McMahon is the surest way to a Milwaukee win with 11 saves in 12 chances.

Zeros: Juan Pizarro (4-4 6.57 ERA .319 avg against 2.29 WHIP and 0-2 inn save chances) and Eddie Johnson (2-3 9.53 ERA .351 avg against 2.18 WHIP 2.18 & 1-2 in save chances) have been the anti McMahon this season. Frank Torre .219 avg is no better than Del Crandall but while Crandall has 11 HR 35 RBI & 3 triples Torre’s .3 HR 12, RBI & 11 walks mean that the table isn’t getting set.

Wild Cards: Milwaukee’s OPS is 2nd in the league behind Brooklyn in both slugging and OPS. The latter is really something when you consider that they are 2nd to last in OBP. They also don’t like turf very much with a .167 winning percentage on artificial surfaces.

Coming Attractions: It’s 3 at home vs the 2005 Houston Astros and three more against their wild card rival 1962 Giants before heading off to a short two city trip, first to Cincy to play the 1975 Reds and then to the Nations Capital for a shot at the 2019 Nationals.

Injury Report: All hands are all deck for the Braves


1997 Florida Marlins 42-42 3rd 6 GB

Florida is at .500 within striking distance of 1st and just a game away from a wild card stop. But .500 isn’t going to be enough to get to the post season. Will they rise, will they fall or will they stay where they are?

Heroes: Moises Alou 2nd in OBP, OPS and Batting (regularly trading places with McGee for 1st. Teammate Gary Sheffield leads the league with his .442 OPB and is 3rd in walks. 1st in hist and 3rd in RBI’s & 9th in HR in the league. Kevin Brown’s 8-8 with a 4.57 might not impress but he’s been an innings eater with 136 (5th) and has not been a Strikeout machine 4th in the league (135) & 5th in K’s rate (8.93).

Zeros: Rob Nen may lead the team with 8 saves but is also 7th in the league with 4 blown. that .297 avg against & 5.31 ERA likely has something to do with it. At the plate Devon White (.222 6 HR 27 RBI) Jim Eisenreich (.226 1 HR 23 RBI 18 runs) and Luis Castillo (.231 0 HR 17 RBI 25 Runs) are all failing to produce

Wild Cards: There’s no place like home for Florida who are a full 10 games over .500 when playing in the Sunshine state. But the real wild card on this team is reliever Felix Heredia. His 6.18 ERA is the worst on the team but put him in a save situation and he’s a perfect 5 saves in five chances.

Coming Attractions: Florida gets a chance to pad that home record with four series at home welcoming the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies, 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers the 1986 New York Mets and the 2013 Arizona Cardinals before hitting the road again.

Injury Report: With Luis Castillo off the DL Florida finds itself back at full strength for their 12 game homestand.


2019 Washington Nationals 34-50 4th place 14 GB

After threatening to reach .500 the nationals have gone 2-8 to sink to the bottom of Division B. Can they match the 2nd half that put them in this great teams league against tough competition?

Heroes: Patrick Corbin remains a strikeout machine leading the league with 151 & 2nd in k’s per 9 innings to go with a 7-4 record 4 Nationals Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto Trea Turner and Matt Adams are in double digits in HR and while Howie Kendrick is one shy but his 100 hits 54 RBI & team leading .309 avg makes up for it.

Zeros: Max Scherzer is still 3-8 with a 5.44 ERA and a .304 avg against, but might be on this list for the last time. Those ERA and avg against figures are the best he’s posted since opening week. He’s 2-1 in his last 3 decision has struck out 9 or more in his last 5 and leads the league in k’s per 9 innings and that ERA and avg against. Unfortunately that can’t be said for Anibal Sanchez his is 2-8 with a 6.46 ERA in 18 starts Or reliever Daniel Hudson who in 48 appearances is 6-8 with 3 blown saves in 4 chances.

Wild Cards: Despite their record this teams is dangerous. Their 98 HR is only one behind Milwaukee good for 4th in the league as is their slugging pct .425 (also 4th) and their pitchers have stuck out 732 batters 2nd in the majors (3 of the top 4 stops in K’s per 9 innings are held by Nationals starters) but their ERA of 5.05 is dead last and the 88 HR they’ve given up is also 4th in the league and their WHIP of 1.47 3rd. However until they learn to hit right handed pitching (14-40 vs righties) they aren’t going anywhere.

Coming Attractions: It’s the 1962 San Francisco Giants at home followed by the 1975 Cincinnati Reds before a quick trip to Arizona for 3 vs the 2013 Diamondbacks, then back home for series against the 1957 Milwaukee Braves and the 2016 Chicago Cubs

Injury Report: Danial Hudson will miss the series vs the giants but should be back before the end of the series against the reds.

Dynasty Great Teams League Update AL Division B Report

Starting this week the updates of the various Dynasty Leagues that I run will be one league (AL or NL) at a time due to the futility league completing their season. This week Division B in the All Time Any Time Great Teams League. American League. All individual stats were current at the time of writing.

All franchise are currently full if you are interested in picking up a team if one becomes available or to join the expanded Futility league when it starts up again leave a comment to this post.

American League

Texas Rangers 47-28 1st

When last we left the Rangers they had lost four of seven and asked if their rally was ending. With the team now almost 20 games over .500 I think it’s safe to say they intend to stay.

Heroes: Nelson Cruz leads the league in both batting .361 and slugging .625 and as you might Guess OBP oddly this is despite not making the top ten in either 2B or 3B & only 7th in HR (17) but 51 Runs & 66 RBI’s sets and clears the Texas table. Josh Hamilton (.310 15 HR 51 Runs scored) & Vladimer Guerrero (.317 12 HR 65 RBI) are doing their part to set and clear the table as well.

Zeroes: Matt Treanor has not only been unimpressive at the bat (.199 4 HR 14 RBI in 171 ab) but has allowed 26 of 29 runners who have tried to steal to get away with it. Meanwhile while Tommy Hunter’s record and ERA have improved his ERA is still 6.50 has still can’t muster an avg of 5 innings from his 14 starts likely due to the 23 HR given up, more than a 1/3 of the 67 Texas has allowed.

Wild Cards: Texas shines at night a full 20 games over .500 vs a losing record in day games. Texas’ owes a lot of their success to Division C where they are 19-5 while holding only a .500 record vs division opponents.

Coming attractions: The 1998 Oakland A’s and the 2013 Boston Red Sox finish up the current homestand then it’s off on the road for a trip to Detroit vs the 1968 Tigers followed by a stop in DC to take on the 1924 Senators.

Injury Report: All are whole and ready to go in Texas


1954 Cleveland Indians 41-37 7 GB 2nd place.

The Indians remain in second place where they were before but find themselves five games farther back and holding the 2nd rather than the 1st wild card spot. Will slow and steady win the race or will the tribe find themselves left behind?

Heroes: Larry Doby continues to pound the ball leading the league in RBI’s (80) 5th in HR (20) 4th in Slugging (.584) ads the league in both batting .361 and slugging .625 while hitting a more than respectable .308. Bobby Alvia .335 is 4th in the league his 62 runs 3rd and and his 112 hits 2nd. 4 e. Bob Lemon (11-4 2.18 ERA 1.09 WHIP) & Mike Garcia (8-7 3.03 ERA 1st in HR per 9 inn 0.30) lead a spectacular starting rotation.

Zeroes: Don Mossi despite 8 saves in 11 chances ERA of 8.08 & .301 avg against is a disaster waiting to happen. On most teams Early Wynn’s 5.32 ERA & 7-8 record with a .275 avg against would be no big deal but on Cleveland it is. Wally Westlake’s .182 avg .280 OBP 6 HR & 29 RBI’s is bad but his .942 fielding percentage with 8 errors in right, is worse.

Wild Cards: Only Baltimore has a lower ERA in the AL than the Indians and their great rotation leads the majors in complete games (29) It’s a good thing too because their 11 saves is 2nd worst in the league and with 8 blown in 19 chances is near the bottom.

Coming Attractions: Cleveland finishes a road trump in DC vs the 1924 Washington Senators before heading home for 3 each vs the 2015 Kansas City Royals, , the 2005 Chicago White Sox the 1993 Toronto Blue jays and the 1970 Baltimore Orioles.

Injury Report: The Indians are back to full strength again.


2013 Boston Red Sox 35-43 13 1/2 games back 3rd place

The good news for the Boston Red Sox is that for the 1st time in a while they are not at the bottom of the division albeit by only a half game. The bad news is instead of six games below .500 & 8 games back they’re 8 games below .500 & 13 1/2 games back. The Rangers went from the bottom so the RedSox, particularly once back to full strength can too, but clock is running.

Heroes: Daniel Nava leads the AL with a .429 OBP and his .332 batting avg is tied for 5th. David Ortiz (.318 18 HR 60RBI’s ) has found his stroke Closers Koji Uehara (1.84 ERA 5-7 in save chances 0.65 WHIP) and Craig Breslow (3.02 ERA 5-6 in saves 1.20 WHIP) are getting the job done, when they get to them that is.

Zeros: Jon Lester (4-8 5.63 ERA .310 avg .297 avg against ) isn’t doing the job to start but Matt Thornton 6.31 ERA, .310 avg against 2.05 WHIP) , Junichi Tazawa (6.45 ERA .294 avg against ) and Andrew Bailey 8.53 ERA .291 avg against 1.97 WHIP) aren’t getting the team to the closers. Will Middlebrooks & Mike Napoli are both hitting the ball far (10 HR each) but batting .198 (Middlebrooks) & .214 (Napoli).

Wild Cards: Boston’s team ERA of 4.94 is dead last in the AL and the 2nd worst in the majors. They also don’t seem to be able to handle daylight (6-13) or left handed pitchers (3-9)

Coming Attractions: It’s three games in Texas vs the 1st place 2010 Rangers then back home for series vs the 2002 Anaheim Angels , the 2009 NY Yankees and the 1998 Baltimore Orioles.

Injury Report: Time heals all wounds and pitchers Andrew Miller and Clay Buchholtz will be back in time for the homestand. Stephen Drew however will not be back until the Sox head back on the road


1968 Detroit Tigers 36-45 14 GB 4th Place

Detroit’s freefall has continued all the way to the bottom of the standings from the top where they began. With another full half to the season what comes down but what goes down can also go back up and they have 81 games to do it with. Can they?

Heroes: Willie Horton (26 HR) & Norm Cash (20 HR) lead the AL with a .429 OBP and his .332 batting avg is tied for 5th. Danny McLain is 5th in the AL in wins (9) and 3rd in innings pitched (143 2/3 ) 2nd in strikeouts (127) and walks per 9 innings (1.88) Mickey Lolich is right behind him in strikeouts (118) and 1st in the k’s per 9 innings (8.70)

Zeros: Earl Wilson’s troubles continue. His record is now 3-7 with a .285 avg against & 6.42 ERA remains among the worst of Detroit’s starters. Joe Sparma ((2-7) 1.78 WHIP 5.81 ERA .318 avg against) is the bottom fo the barrel. At the plate Don Wert has reached the Mendoza line at .200 with a .244 OBP. is bad news. Ray Oyler is down to .152 and consequently isn’t getting much playing time. Dick McAuliffe however is getting plenty but is only managing .206.

Wild Cards: Thanks to Cash, Horton and Jim Northrup (11 HR) the Tigers are 2nd in the league in HR behind the surging yanks however their .240 avg & .308 OBP are 2nd from the bottom in the AL. Their 4.84 is 3rd from the floor and no team in the majors throws out a smaller percentage of players trying to steal 094%.

Coming Attractions: The Tigers finish a long home stand with 3 vs the 1st place 2010 Texas Rangers, the 2002 Anaheim Angles and the 2009 New York Yankees before hitting the road again for stops in Oakland (1998 A’s) and Boston (2013 Redsox).

Injury Report: The tigers are back to full strength the question is can Al Kaline who has made two Trips to the DL already this season stay off it during the 2nd half?

Dynasty Baseball All Futility League West Divisions

The latest in our series of write-ups of the various leagues I am running. If you wish to inquire about future openings (all current spots are filled) contact me via the Dynasty system or leave a request in comments.

This weekend the All Futility 100 loss league West divisions. These results and standings were all current at the time of this writing

American League West

2008 Seattle Mariners 86-65 1st place

With three games to go and a two game lead Seattle has control of their own destiny. Will they be able to hold off the final late surge?

Heroes: Jose Lopez in addition to leading the league in hits & doubles is 4th in batting. Ichrio Suzuki is 3rd in runs and stolen bases and is top ten in the league in hits & triples with 9 OF assists thrown in. Seattle Closer Brandon Morrow is 3rd is saves (25) but more importantly has only blown 5 in 30 chances which makes all the difference.

Zeros: If Starter Miguel Batista had managed better than a 6.26 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP in 21 starts Seattle would already be resting starters for the playoffs. The same goes for Carlos Silva who with 30 starts is just under .500 thanks to a 5.58 ERA a .312 avg against plus almost 50 more hits given up than innings pitched

Wild Cards: There is no better illustration of the difference between getting good defense & run support and not than the contrast between starters Jarrod Washburn & Felix Hernandez both have a .260 avg against but Washburn is 13-7 despite a 4.63 ERA while Hernandez leads the league with a 2.96 ERA but is 10-14 with a full dozen unearned runs scored off him vs only 2 vs Washburn.

Coming Attractions. Seattle heads home to finish their season vs the 1982 Minnesota Twins. If they can win sweep the twins it’s a clinch no matter what.

Injury Report: Erik Bedard who has been out since July will not play again this season but if Seattle hangs on will be recovered in time for the playoffs.


1973 Texas Rangers 83-66 2nd place 2 GB

The Texas comeback from the bottom of the standings to within 2 games (and only one behind in the loss column) with 5 to play is one of the great stories of the season.

Heroes: Jeff Burroughs & Bill Sudakis are 1 & 3 in HR in the AL and in a 4 way tie for the RBI lead going into the final four games. Meanwhile the starting pitching duo of Jim Bibby & Jim Merritt are in a 4 way tie for the lead in wins & are sitting at 2-3 in League ERA. Bibby is also 1st in Avg against while Merritt is 2nd in WHIP.

Zeros: Jim Mason’s .212 avg with 0 HR & 18 RBI in over 200 ab isn’t impressive but if you want to know why Texas is still 2nd look no further than starter David Clyde (6-11 6.16 ERA ) in 25 starts and Charlie Hudson whose 6-4 record and 3.70 ERA in 43 appearance (4 starts) look good but six blown saves vs 7 converted saves is the difference between being 2 behind in the loss column and 0.

Wild Card: Texas has feasted off of AL East teams a full 20 games over .500 against them but they have not been so successful against left handed pitchers against whom their record is just below .500.

Coming Attractions: Texas Season is going to come down to their final two home games vs the 2005 Kansas City Royals and then a trip to Tampa Bay to finish their season with 3 games against the big bats of the 2002 Devil Rays.

Injury Report: Texas makes its dash with nobody on the DL but with a pitching staff desperately in need of a rest particularly Sonny Siebert.


1982 Minnesota Twins 79-72 3rd place 7 GB ELIMINATED

When last we left the Twins they were battling Seattle neck and neck, however a late 4-6 run has been just enough to put them five to go a single game too far back.

Heroes: There may be recriminations in Minnesota over their finish but Kent Hrbek Certainly did his part .343 (3rd) with 36 HR (6th) and 128 RBI’s (2nd) plus top 7 in Triples, Hits, Runs OBP, Slugging and OPS. On the Mound Robert Castillo is 1st in WHIP, tied for the league lead in wins 6th in ERA 3rd in Innings pitched 5th in strikeouts and 2nd in best avg against (.242) And Ron Davis’ 28 Saves vs 3 blows is pretty solid.

Zeros: Frank Viola may have a great future but his 7-11 record with a .325 avg against and 5.45 ERA is a big reason why Minnesota is eliminated today. It also doesn’t help that Terry Felton (5 saves in 9 chances) and Jeff Little (4 saves in 8 chances) couldn’t do the job when Davis wasn’t available.

Wild Cards: Nobody closed out games like Minnesota. They were 1st in the majors in saves while tied for the fewest blown saves in the AL. Unfortunately it’s a little tough to get to that save situation when you lead the league in both walks and Home Runs allowed.

Coming Attractions: Minnesota might be out of it but with their season finishing in Seattle against the 1st place 2008 Mariners they hold the destiny of the division in their hands.


2005 Kansas City Royals 76-73 4th place 8 GB ELIMINATED

Kansas City is playing for pride. One win secures at least a .500 record and they are but a single game behind Minnesota in the loss column. Can they manage to get out of the cellar in their final five games?

Heroes: David DeJesus is currently tied for the AL lead in doubles 4th in triples 10th in OBP & 7th in walks. Matt Stairs is 2nd in OBP 4th in Slugging and only injuries kept him out of bigger categories and Mike Sweeny’s .309 avg 33 HR & 122 RBI’s are nothing to sneeze at. Andy Sisco in 51 games out of the pen went 8-2 with 3 saves in as many chances & a 2.85 ERA

Zeros: Practically the entire Royals starting rotation can quality with only one starter managing an ERA under 5 but the worst offenders of the lot have to be Runelvys Hernandez (3-15 6.72 ERA .321 avg against & over 50 more hits than innings in 32 starts) and Jose Lima (8-12 7.03 ERA .315 avg against in 26 starts)

Wild Card: It certainly wasn’t offense that put Kansas City in last. They led the league in Runs, doubles, RBI’s OBP and OPS and led the majors in Avg and Slugging. However while they hit .290 as a team they also allowed their opponent to hit .290 against and converted the fewest saves in the AL while being near the bottom of almost every AL pitching category.

Coming Attractions: Kansas City’s offense will have a chance to decide how the division finishes as they play a pair in Texas against the 1973 Rangers before closing out their season against the AL East champion Chicago White Sox.

Injury report: The good news for KC is all of their potent bats are available for the close of the season, the good news for their opponents is so is all their pitching.


National League West

2012 Houston Astros 77-74 1st place

Houston won their two biggest games of the season sweeping Arizona for a pair giving them a 2 game lead with three to play. But with both San Diego and Arizona still alive with 3 to go they’ll have to go all out to guarantee a playdate against the 100 win Nationals.

Heroes: You won’t find a lot of Astros on the various leader boards but one is Wilson Lopez whose 16 saves are 2nd in the league. Another is Scott Moore whose .327 avg is 2nd in the league But Justin Maxwell’s 32 HR and steady pitching from folks like starter Jordan Lyles (14-8 1 sv 3.93 ERA 1.32 WHIP) and reliever Fernando Rodriguez (10-4 3.85 ERA in relief) played their part.

Zeros: If Xavier Cedeno (52 games 1 start 4-3 2 saves in 8 chances 5.58 ERA) .292 avg vs) Fernando Abad (33 games 6 starts 3-8 1 save in 4 chances 6.64 ERA .323 avg vs) & Rhiner Cruz (43 games 3 starts 3-5 0 saves in 2 chances .7.76 ERA .327 avg vs) had been even slightly better the NL West would be sown up today.

Wild Cards: Despite a -58 run differential (No team with a record better than 25 games under .500 has worse) and the worst fielding percentage in the majors (.977) the 2nd most blown saves in the NL and more of their batters striking on than on any other team they are two wins from a division title. Perhaps being 2nd in HR & RBI, in the NL have something to do with it.

Coming Attractions: It all comes down to a three games series in Milwaukee vs the 2002 Brewers. Win two and Houston punches their ticket to a series vs the Nationals.

Injury Report: Fortunately for Houston all three zeros on their list Fernando Abad, Rhiner Cruz and Xavier Cedeno are out till next year along with Buck Travis are out for the season and playoffs although there is a Tiny chance that Cedeno could be well enough to play before the end of the World Series. Francisco Cordero won’t be available vs Milwaukee but if Houston makes the Playoffs he might be able to be activated late in the Washington series if another Astro is injured.


2004 Arizona Diamondbacks 75-76 2nd 2 GB

Arizona managed to climb all the way from last to a tie for first with five games to go only to lose 2 straight to Houston. Can they pull off one final miracle in their last series?

Heroes: The question isn’t if Randy Johnson will win the NL CY Young. With the exception of Home Runs per 9 Innings (4th in majors 2nd in NL) and Innings Pitched (1st in NL 2nd in Majors likely to be 1st soon) he leads leads the majors in every non relieving pitching Category and by a lot. His 1.88 ERA is a full run better than the #2 his 335 K’s is 85 better than the 2nd best and he’s hte only pitcher with a WHIP under 1.00 (0.80) the question is does he win MVP too? Luis Gonzalez Brandon Webb and reliever Mike Koplove did their part but Johnson is the best in the majors period!

Zeros: To say that reliever Randy Choate (58 gm 3-10 1 sv in 3 chances) and starter Edgar Gonzalez (12 starts in 13 games 3-7 6.36 ERA .301 avg against 11 HR in 58 innings) have been bad is true but Casey Fossum line of 29 starts, .337 avg against 8.38 ERA 1.82 WHIP and a 5-13 record takes the cake. If they had collectively been 2 games better over their 41 starts and 59 relief appearances the Diamondbacks would control their own destiny.

Wild Card: If Arizona makes the playoffs Randy Johnson is the wildest card there is capable of beating any team at any time. Arizona as been a doubles machine leading the majors and it’s a good thing too because their 13 steal attempts (10 sb) are the fewest in the NL. On the mound they lead the majors in ERA (3.97) WHIP (1.33) avg against (.246) K’s (1259) fewest Runs & Earned runs (674/600) fewest hits (1282) and lead the NL in completed games. One guess why.

Coming Attractions: It comes down to a 3 game series vs the 1973 San Diego Padres. at home. Johnson will pitch once so it will come down to if the remainder of the staff can come through. Two wins forces Houston to win one. 3 forces them to win two

Injury Report: Danny Bautista will not be available for the SD series but if the team makes the playoff he’ll be recovered sufficiently to make the roster.


1973 San Diego Padres 74-77 3rd place 3 GB

It’s a credit to the relevancy of this Padres team that with a single series to play they are still in the playoff hunt but they not only need Houston to be swept they will need to beat Randy Johnson. Can they do it?

Heroes: Willie McCovery still has an excellent batters eye leading the league in walks and OBP. while hitting a solid .298 with 25 HR & 99 RBI. Young Dave Winfield has been a liability in the field (10 OF errors) & doesn’t have McCovey’s patience at the plate (31 BB vs 139K’s) but with 25 HR & 105 RBI he’ll do. On the Mound Dan Spillner has been the best of a good rotation 11-8 with a 3.78 ERA and a save in his only chance.

Zeros: Of all the teams I’ve written this is the hardest to pick out zeros because while many have performed below avg, no regulars stats have been horrible, but it’s fair to say that while their numbers aren’t horrible the inability of Padres relievers to convert saves like Bill Laxton (7 of 12 ) Lowell Palmer (4 of 8) and Mike Corkins (6 of 10) are a big reason why SD is a game away from elimination.

Wild Cards: No team has a more consistent set of starters 1-4. Spillner, Randy Jones (.261 avg 4.52 ERA) Dave Freisleben 4.72 ERA, and Bill Grief (4.91 ERA) have consistently kept SD in games. If only their manager’s health has been as consistent as their rotation.

Coming Attractions: It all comes down to the final three games against the 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks. One loss (or one Houston win) and they’re done.

Injury Report: San Diego goes into their final Do or die series with all hands healthy and on deck.


2002 Milwaukee Brewers 61-90 4th place 16 GB Eliminated

It’s been a disappointing season for Milwaukee which started strong but now could finish with the worst record in the majors. However they will play the deciding series for their division.

Heroes: Eric Young has been a runs machine scoring 104 while stealing 56 bases (3rd in the league) Despite 200 k’s Jose Hernandez 32 HR (4th in the league) & 94 runs makes him feared but not as feared as Rickie Sexton whose 25 HR 53 doubles (2nd in league) 112 RBI’s and 90 runs scored means he’s a danger both at the plate and when he’s on base.

Zeros: Ruben Quevedo’s 3-18 record in 34 starts is well earned with a 7.14 ERA a .291 avg against and a WHIP of 1.67. Nick Neugebauer 2-11 record .279 avg against 6.84 ERA & 1.86 ERA is only better because he’s had just 18 starts to do it. At the plate Ronnie Belliard at .218 2 HR 24 RBI & only 23 runs & a .281 OBP inspires little fear for a 3rd baseman.

Wild Cards: Milwaukee has earned their place in the league. They have the worst batting avg in the majors and the fewest hits which is trouble. Perhaps if they were on base more they’d be a tad more careful as they also lead the majors in being caught stealing. However in the field they don’t make such mistakes their fielding percentage of .985 leads the NL but it’s not enough to overcome NL’s worst ERA (5.07).

Coming Attractions: Milwaukee final three games at home will not only decide if they finish with the worst record in the majors but will also decide the fate of the NL West as they finish against the 2012 Houston Astros who need w wins to clinch without help.

Injury Report: Geoff Jenkins, Valerio de los Santos and Mike Matthews will all miss the final series of the season. Slugger Matt Stairs just might be healthy in time to play in the last game of the year

All Time Great Team League League Report AL & NL Div A

We are now 40 games into the season so let’s see how things are going since the last time.

AL Div A

1993 Toronto Blue Jays

When we last left the Blue Jays they were in the only losing team in a very tight division. Five weeks later Toronto is in 1st place 8-2 in their last ten and with the best run differential in the league (+40). Can they keep this pace up?

Heroes: Roberto Alomar may be down to .338 (from .404) but his OPS is still over 1.000 (1.008) leading the team in both runs and runs scored. Duane Ward has managed to convert 7 of 8 save chances but his WHIP & his ERA are both 0.59

Zeroes: When you say that Jack Morris has increased his winning percentage by .200 point, dropped his avg against by .053 points and his ERA by over a run and a half it sounds impressive until you discover his record is now 1-4 with a 7.02 ERA and an avg against of .336. Pat Borders .221 avg .267 obp and .257 slugging percentage with 0 HR and 15 RBI isn’t scaring anybody.

Wild Card: Toronto’s OPS of .788 is the highest in the American League and their team ERA of 3.76 is 2nd

Coming Attractions: The 1968 Tigers pay Toronto a visit before they Jaunt to Washington DC to face the red hot Washington Senators before returning home to host the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers for some interleague play.


1970 Baltimore Orioles

Toronto rose and Chicago fell but the Baltimore Orioles remained in 2nd place and a game out of the 2nd wild card despite going 7-3 over their last 10 Will slow and steady win the race or at least stay in it?

Heroes: Jim Palmer leads the league in ERA (1.94), Wins (7) Innings pitched (83 1/3) and strikeouts (76) while remaining top 7 in every other non relief category so no change there and while Boog Powell has still been a monster (.294 7 HR 32 RBI) Merv Rettenmund (.353 6 HR 33 RBI) is a monster who hits .59 points higher.

Zeros: Dave McNally has halved his previous ERA from 8.25 to 4.41 but he’s still 3-6 with the worst ERA on the team and 8 round trips allowed. To no bodies surprise Brooks Robinson leads the O’s in HR with 8 and his .967 fielding percentage and 2.72 range factor while both lower than expected aren’t completely horrible but his .169 Avg and .259 OBP, that’s pathetic.

Wild Card: Baltimore is dead last in the majors in doubles with 56 but 1st in walks by a lot with 230 (Stl & Fla tied with 191) & 1st in the AL in ERA (3.44)

Coming attractions: The O’s finish a 12 game road trip with 3 at Yankee Stadium vs the 2009 Yanks before coming home to host the Big Red Machine (1975 Reds) then heading off to Chicago for three against the 2005 White Sox.


2005 Chicago White Sox

A five game losing streak has the pale hose below .500 and down to 3rd place. Can they reverse the slide before they sink to the bottom of the division?

Heroes: On a team that’s not hitting pitching matters so Mark Buehrle 2.00 ERA 5-3 .240 avg against and a WHIP of 1.11 in 10 starts along with Jon Garland 3.19 ERA 5-2 .207 avg against and WHOP 1.08 are what will keep the White Sox in the race.

Zeros: Just as good pitching is vital on a team Orlando Hernandez 7.30 ERA 1.70 WHIP is why his record is 0-6. Scott Podsednik is still stealing bases when he gets on (12 without being caught) but when you’re hitting .222 with a .288 OBP and only 4 RBI’s there’s not a lot of chances to do it.

Wild Card: The White Sox don’t like extra work they have only played one game that has gone to extra innings and they are at the bottom of almost every offensive category but one steal percentage with 20 successful steals against only 3 times caught an .870 avg.

Turnaround: Jermaine Dye was on the zero list hitting .182 last time around he’s now at .250 with seven HR and 21 RBI.

Coming Attractions: The White Sox get nine chances at home to change their luck. Three vs the 2015 Kansas City Royals, 3 interleague games vs the 2013 Arizona Diamondbacks and then 3 more against the 1970 Orioles.


1988 Oakland A’s

Between Injuries (Terry Steinbach will miss the next 12 games) a sick manager and a power outrage worse than the NYC blackout of the 70’s the Oakland A’s are

Heroes: Jose Canseco has gone from Zero to Hero. After a .143 start He’s raised his avg to .280 2nd on the team has hit 8 Homers and has 31 RBI’s. Dennis Eckersley continues to impress with a 1.40 ERA and a .157 avg against.

Zeroes: Dave Stewart continues to fail to impress with a 1-6 record 7.71 ERA and a .306 avg against and a WHIP of 1.85. Curt Young’s ERA of 6.29 and 2-5 record is slightly better but his .311 avg against and 11 HR given up in 21 less innings is a worse.

Wild Cards: If anybody told me that the team that hosts the Bash Brothers would be dead last in RBI’s in the majors and only ahead of the powerless Washington Senators in HR’s in the American League I wouldn’t have believed you.

Coming Attractions: The A’s welcome the 2002 Anaheim Angels and then the 1986 New York Mets for Interleague play before heading across to the country to face another NY team the 2009 Yankees.


NL Div A

1975 Cincinnati Reds

A Change in the Managers seat had meant a change in their fortunes as they have leap frogged to the top of their division but can their luck last when their long homestands end?

Heroes: Johnny Bench continues to rule the roost with a .316 Avg 14 Homers and 45 RBI’s. While Will McEnaney’s 5-0 record in relief is superior to Rawley Eastwick’s 3-2 Eastwick edges him in ERA (2.05 vs 2.08) WHIP (0.91 vs 1.05) avg against (.170 vs .209) & HR allowed (1 vs 3)

Zeros: A 3-2 record might not sound too bad for Jack Billingmam but a 5.45 ERA .309 avg against and only 38 innings in 7 starts and 3 relief appearances aren’t a lot of help. Caesar Geronimo might be back in the lineup but with a .191 avg and only 2 HR and a .263 OBP opposing pitchers likely don’t notice.

Wild Card: Cincinnati might be 2nd in stolen bases in the majors but they’re 1st in caught stealing. the Reds 1.29 WHIP is 3rd in the majors.

Coming Attractions: The big red machines plays 3 vs the 2005 Houston Astros before going on the road 1st vs old foes the 1970 Baltimore Orioles for interleague play and then across the country for 3 against the 1962 San Francisco Giants.


1955 Brooklyn Dodgers

After a long stint in 1st place the defending Champion Dodgers find themselves in 2nd with a .500 record and tied for the last wild card spot. Can they get themselves back in the right direction?

Heroes: Duke Snyder is on a tear his triple crown numbers of .342 16 HR and 34 RBIs are a terror to pitchers everywhere. Don Newcombe 5-2 record and one save in a single chance is good and it certainly doesn’t hurt when instead of an automatic out you’re hitting .345 with 5 RBI on the days you pitch.

Zeros: Don Zimmer’s 9 HR & 23 RBI’s are good numbers but when the come with a batting avg of .194 (.176 with men in scoring position) they don’t mean that much. Clem Lebine may lead the Dodgers in saves with 3 but a 8.27 ERA & and 4 HR given up in only 16 1/3 innings are why he has two blown saves and two losses to go with it.

Wild Card. with 24 appearances Jim Hughes continues to be a workhorse extraordinaire out of the bullpen but not as big as the team leading the majors in HR with 60 to date. Brooklyn refuses to beat themselves as their .989 fielding percentage is tied for 2nd in the NL.

Coming Attractions: It’s three weeks of leap frogging as they welcome the 2008 Philles for three before Traveling out of the country for their inter-league series against the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays then back home for three vs the 2013 Arizona Diamondbacks.

1986 New York Mets

What a difference a few weeks makes the Mets find themselves with an empty DL, tied for 2nd in the division and back at .500. Will this turn of events continue?

Heroes: Wally Backman has been an on base machine with a .340 avg , a .398 OBP which is likely why he leads the team with 28 runs scored while till driving in 17 of his own. (now if they could only stop him from trying to steal he’s 0-4). There’s not a lot to cheer about on the pitching staff but Jesse Orosco’s six saves in 8 chances combined with a .230 avg against and a 3.42 ERA are all tops on the team.

Zeros: Rick Aguilera and Bruce Berenyi have been used both as starters and relievers but have not impressed in either spot allowing a .342 & .359 averages respectively along with a 7.01 & an 8.48 ERA. How Berenyi can be 1-0 with a save & Aguilera 1-2 is beyond me

Redemption: Ron Darling’s 1-3 record and 4.88 ERA might not sound impressive until you consider five weeks ago his record was 0-2 & his ERA 19.89

Wild Cards: You would think that being dead last in fielding in the Majors at .973 the Mets team ERA might not be bad but their 4.85 trails only Florida and the 2019 Nationals in the NL

Coming Attractions It’s off on the road for the mets with 3 in the windy city vs the red hot 2016 Chicago Cubs then to Oakland for their interleague series vs the 1988 A’s and then back to Philadelphia for a visit to the 2008 Phillies.


2013 Arizona Diamondbacks

3 straight losses and an 2-8 record over their last ten have dropped them to last will injuries and bad luck turn this cinderella team into the ugly duckling of the league?

Heroes: Paul Goldschmidt continues his tear a .311 14 HR and 34 RBI to a source of starting fear to pitchers while Willie Bloomquist has been a hell of a pinch hitter he’s appeared in 32 games with a .378 avg causing pitchers to worry off the bench. On the mound Trevor Cahill 4-1 record .218 avg against and 2.05 ERA in nice stars make a lot of other teams jealous.

Zeros: How bad has Joe Thatcher been? So bad that his .327 avg against and 7.62 ERA are both significant improvement (.441 10.57) over the last time we talked. Cliff Pennington was critiqued last time around for a high avg with no production behind it, he still doesn’t have the production, only 4 RBI’s and 4 runs scored but now doesn’t have the avg has he’s down a full .105 points to .228.

Wild Card The Loss of Brandon McCarthy for the season wasn’t good but the loss of starting 2nd baseman Aaron Hill for the next 20 series that’s disaster particularly when it’s likely that the slumping Cliff Pennington will be his replacement. Particularly for a team that’s tied for 2nd in the league in fielding.

Coming Attractions: It’s off on the road for Arizona as they travel 1st to San Francisco to face the 1962 Giants, then to Chicago to meet the 2005 White Sox in Interleague Play, then off for a set vs the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers before their final stop taking on the 1st place 1975 Cincinnati Reds, the big Red Machine.

Dynasty 100 Loss All Futility League Report: East Divisions

The latest of a weekly series on the teams in my Online (or in person) Dynasty baseball simulation leagues I run. If you have an interest in joining one leave a message in comments.

This week we visit the Dynasty All Pathetic 100 loss league consisting only of teams that lost 100 games in a season. We are in the home stretch here with about 40 games to go of a 154 game season.

AL East

1970 Chicago White Sox

With 38 games to go the Mariners are just one series away from tying. Can the White Sox continue to hold their lead with a few big bats and and the best pitching in the AL or will a suspect defense at the corners let them down?

Heroes: Bill Melton (29 HR 98 RBI ) and Ed Herrmann (30 HR 80 RBI) may be the 2nd best HR duo for a team but they have made the difference in game after game. Meanwhile on the mound Tommy John has been an innings horse 208 innings, 10 complete games and a respectable 3.72 ERA

Zeroes: Barry Moore has been much worse than his 5-5 record indicates, with a 5.69 ERA and a .296 batting avg against he’s kept many a door open. Meanwhile while Sid O’Brien has been acceptable at the bat when occasionally starting his .933 percentage at 2nd and .930 at 3rd has helped extend plenty of rallies but when it come to bad defense Walt Williams takes the cake with an .897 in left and a 917 in right.

Wild Cards: The best arms in the White Sox bullpen are looking tired as the season nears its end. That could spell disaster shortly.

Coming attractions: The Pale Hose finish a 4 city roadtrip with a pair against the 1st place 1982 Twins before a quick stop at home for a pair vs the 2003 Tigers before heading off to Baltimore for a 4 game series that will likely make or break the 2018 Orioles.


2002 Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Tampa under it’s new manager has risen to within three games of Chicago and on occasion even closer. Can the timely hitting overcome an average pitching staff?

Heroes: No question who the heroes are on this team Aubrey Huff leads the league in batting (.358) Slugging .631 OB+Slugging (1.053) and Runs Batted in. and is top five in Runs, Hits and On Base Percentage. The only reason he’s not a lock for the MVP is teammate Randy Wynn who leads the league in Runs, Triples, Stolen bases 2nd in Avg, .(356) Hits (172) Doubles (37) and is top five in two others.

Zeroes: Estaban Yan may have 21 saves but he’s also blown 8 on the way accounting 4.11 ERA & 6-10 record, and of course a lot of runs don’t help a lot when you have starters Joe Kennedy (6-9 ERA 5.00 AVG .302) and Tanyon Sturtez (7-7 ERA 4.99 Avg .304) helping the other guys along.

Wild Cards: Almost half of their remaining games are against teams currently in or tied for 1st place in a division.

Coming Attractions: It’s two in Minnesota against the 1st place 1982 Twins before a 9 game home stand vs 2008 Mariners (4), 2018 Orioles (2) and the 2005 Royals (3).


2018 Baltimore Orioles

Despite losing their manager early in the season the Orioles still have an outside shot (a very outside shot). Can this ship without a rudder steer itself straight in the closing weeks of the campaign?

Heroes: Jonathan Villar has provided the triple crown numbers for the team (.325, 21HR 71 RBI) while leading the team in runs by more than 40 and stealing 37 bases. While reliever Mychal Givens has proved to be not only a workhorse but one of the best closers in the league with 23 saves with only 4 blown and a 6-2 record to go along with it.

Zeroes: Having a great closer doesn’t help if you can’t get to him and the O’s boast the worst pitching in the AL as David Hess (7.58 ERA 19 HR allowed .316 avg) Dylan Bundy (5.95 ERA 19 HR .305 allowed ) and Andrew Cashner (5.22 ERA .290 AVG 13 HR allowed) just haven’t done the job.

Wild Cards: What as bad as having the worst pitching in the league, having the lowest fielding percentage in the majors (.978)

Coming Attractions: after a pair vs the slugging 1973 Texas Rangers the O’s have 4 at home vs the 1970 White Sox and then start a road trip that begins in Tampa Bay with a pair against the 2002 Devil Rays. If they are to climb back into the race this will be their chance.


2003 Detroit Tigers:

The math still says that the Tigers have a shot but with pitching only slightly better than Baltimore and Hitting that is meh. It will take a real run of luck for these cats to roar into the playoffs.

Heroes: Dimirti Young has been at the top of his game all year with 26 HR 91 RBI a .341 abg and an OPS of .992 On a bad pitching staff Wil Ledezma has managed to put together a 6-3 record mostly from the bullpen with a few starts for good measure and Chris Spurling has thrown 106 innings all in relief with an era under 4 on a team whose ERA is over 5.

Zeroes: While Omar Infante (.205 0HR 25 RBI in 111 games is an obvious choice if you list the Tigers pitching by ERA their four primary starts are at the bottom with only Jeremy Bonderman with an ERA below six (5.45) but Nate Cornejo (9-11 6.14 ERA .343 avg) Gary Knotts (3-10 6.28 ERA 16 HR allowed) and Mike Maroth (6-16 6.75 ERA 24 HR allowed .327 Avg) have been the gifts that keep giving to opposing batters.

Wild Card: Whatever is to blame for Detroit’s problems it’s not the glovework as the Tigers are tied for the best fielding percentage in the league.

Coming Attractions: If Detroit is going to make a move the best time for them is now with a pair at Chicago followed by 4 at home vs the last place 2005 Kansas City Royals and then back on the road for the 1973 Texas Rangers.


National League East

2009 Washington Nationals

The Nationals have dominated the National League since almost the start beginning with a pair of 4 game win streaks to start and never looking back. The only question left is can they sustain this level of winning when the playoffs come around?

Heroes: Adam Dunn has been a monster a the plate with 36 HR and 105 RBI’s meanwhile Morgan Nyjer has not only hit .335 but has stolen 63 bases and scored 96 runs meanwhile John Lannan’s 13-5 record is driven by a .203 batting avg against and 2 k’s for every walk 114 vs 57 (despite 17 HR)

Zeroes: It’s hard to find zeros on a team that has only lost 37 games but while starter Livan Hernandez has given up just one less HR than Lannan he’s also allowed a .312 avg against and a 6.41 ERA on a team that has outscored their opponents by over 175 runs certainly qualifies. How good is this offense? Their “Zero” in the hitting column Elijah Dukes is hitting .235 with 13 HR 83 RBI and 24 doubles. Even their least productive overall hitter Wil Nieves whose .261 avg 1 HR & 39 RBI in 353 AB are not impressive is hitting .315 with runners in scoring position.

Wild Card: Since acquiring their new manager the Nationals who were already solidly in command have won 12 of their last 14.

Coming Attractions: The Nats welcome the NL West with series vs the 1st place 2012 Houston Astros (2) and the 1973 Padres (4) before heading off to a three city Road stand that will take them to Milwaukee, Florida and Pittsburgh.


1998 Florida Marlins

If you moved the Marlins to any other division in the league they would be leading by anywhere from 3 to 8 games instead they find themselves 10 games back with 38 to play. Can they recover?

Heroes: The Marlins have won with pitching (3.72 team ERA) and Starter Livan Hernandez (12-9 2.68 ERA .140 avg .228 avg against) has been the biggest part of an excellent staff, it helps when your closer Matt Mantei is 14 of 16 in save chances with a 9-3 record and workhourse reliever Vic Darensbourg with a 1.51 ERA in 101 1/3 innings and a 9-2 record in relief. Of course Cliff Floyd’s 18 HR and 92 RBI’s haven’t hurt either.

Zeroes: The only dark spot on the rotation has been Andy Larkin (0-7 in 15 starts with an era of 6.63 almost double the team avg. At the plate Derrek Lee has 14 HR but has only hit .201, .180 with runners in scoring position and managed an OBP of .288 while Gregg Zaun has managed only .212 with 4 HR and 44 RBI.

Wild Cards: If you’re going to beat the Marlins you had better do it in nine innings. They are a perfect 15-0 in extra inning games.

Coming Attractions: Florida finishes a home stand with 2 against the 1973 Padres and a pair against the 2002 Brewers before heading on the road to try and knock the 2012 Astros off their perch at the top of the NL West.


2010 Pittsburgh Pirates

After a horrible start the Pirates have somehow managed to make it back to .500. With only 38 games to go can they rally to make a respectable finish?

Heroes: Brian Giles (.327 20 HR 72 RBI) numbers are nothing to sneeze at but for pure power i’s been Aramis Ramierz with 30 HR (2nd in NL) and 117 RBI (1st) that has really done the job

Zeroes: While the injury bug has not been kind to Bronson Arroyo it’s not a good excuse for an ERA 2 full runs over the team avg and a .310 avg .062 above the rest of the staff. Jack Wilson has been a disappointment with a .221 3 28 triple crown line and an OBP under .300 (.291)

Wildcard: The Pirates have been incredibly average everywhere with identical 29-29 records at home and on the road, but have blown 22 out of 56 save chances.

Coming Attractions: Pittsburgh’s quest to go beyond avg continues with a pair vs 2004 Arizona and then 4 at 2002 Milwaukee before they come home for a nine game set that begins with the 1967 Mets


1967 New York Mets

In a league of 100 loss teams the 1967 Mets have been a loser among losers as with 38 games to go they are a single loss away from being mathematically eliminated. Dare I say Amazing?

Heroes: No question who the hero is on this team Tom Seaver is 15-8 with an ERA of 3.36 and 167 K’s vs only 58 walks he’s also pitched 8 complete games which is seven more than the rest of the rotation combined. Despite playing in 103 games Bob Johnson has only managed 167 at bats but in those limited at bats he’s hit .365 with an OPS of .880

Zeroes: At the plate Jerry Grote has been the lowest of the low lights for the gothamites (.170 1 HR 26 RBI in 317 AB) on the mound despite Jack Fisher’s 2-16 record the biggest villains in the rotation are Don Cardwell (4-12 3.16 avg 5.58 ERA) and Dennis Bennett (4-10 6.26 ERA 19 HR in 100 2/3 innings)

Wild Cards: Polhittingly Correct The Mets bats are careful not to offend anyone. They are not only the last in the league in HR, but last in Runs, Doubles RBI’s OBP Slugging and OPS

Coming Attractions: the 1974 SanDiego Padres get the honor of trying to officially eliminate the Mets at their home but if they fail to do so, the 2004 Arizona Diamondback get four chances to do it in Shea before they head off to Houston to face the 2012 Astros.

Jon Tron vs Goop, Proving Christ, 9/11 vs Corona, Biden vs Trump, and nothing Newsworthy here: Under the Fedora

On Easter Sunday my son put on a video of the Internet comedian JonTron with his latest takedown of Gwenith Paltrow and her Goop people.

It was a hilarious takedown of what’s pretty much a bunch of people being grifted. There is a reason why he has 6.6 mil followers

The funniest thing about this? I’ll wager the vast majority of the people featured in this video would consider belief in Christianity foolishness.


Speaking of Christianity there was a great piece at Hillfaith linked by Instapundit with six proofs of the resurrection several of which I never thought of such as

The first witnesses to the empty tomb and the living Jesus were women: It’s a sad reality, but women only counted as half as reliable witnesses as men. So the fact all four of the Gospels present women as the first witnesses to the Risen Jesus is a strong indicator Matthew, Mark, Luke and John reported the facts, not what they thought would be the most credible claims

I should have thought of this myself but my favorite proof of the accuracy of scripture is one I used many years ago at my 1st personal blog:

Now lets look at the evidence. I am going to lean on Will Durant:

He first cites Josephus circa 93 AD and points out that the praise given to Jesus by a person out to please both Jews and Romans is a tad suspect but the big gun comes from a 1st man named Thallus.

Lets Jump to the Gospel of Matthew briefly:

From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “This one is calling for Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge; he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to him to drink. But the rest said, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.” But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit. Matt 27:45-50

Now Thallus the pagan isn’t going to put up with this. About 50 AD he states that the darkness is a purely natural phenomenon and just a coincidence.

Durant put this argument in its modern perspective:

the argument took the existence of Christ for granted. The denial of that existence seems never to have occurred even to the bitterest gentile or Jewish opponents of nascent Christianity.

And remember that particular fragment to the best of our knowledge predates the Gospel of Matthew that it unintentionally collaborates by two decades. The pagan provides the proof. Talk about working in mysterious ways.

You should really read the whole thing;


There are many candidates for some of the lamest arguments on twitter but this one is big

The answer to this is so obvious that it was almost a waste of time to tweet it.

Of course there is the possibility that this is a lab virus released accidentally in that case there is a murder to be upset at, but I’m sure he’d consider that racist.


As I mentioned during my midnight livestream podcast (available here) had a lot of fun with people insisting that Trump is a fool and this corona virus conferences are hurting him who are oddly not willing to bet $500 bucks and give me points to back up their beliefs. Apparently “experts” and those who don’t even like try know why:

Wallace noted, “In all of our [Fox News] polls for months, Biden had an 8-9 point lead, and that’s now gone. It’s dead even.” He continued:

It seems to me as this virus goes on, that instead of this being a choice between the president and Joe Biden, as a lot of elections are, I think that this election is going to end up being a referendum on President Trump and the handling of the coronavirus.

As we get into September and October after Labor Day, I think people are going to make a judgment, and they’ll understand, the president didn’t create the virus, so I think they’re going to be fair-minded about it. Do they think he handled the health crisis well? Do they think he handled the economic crisis well?

If they do, I don’t see how he gets beat. If they don’t, I don’t see how he could win.

And that’s not even taking into account that the polls have been undercounting Trump supporters from day 1


Finally, in a time of social distancing here is a story that surprised me:

 Around 400 people were at a party at an East Bakersfield apartment complex when dozens of shots rang out, wounding six people early Saturday morning, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.

Based on evidenced recovered at the scene, KCSO says, it appears at least one partygoer fired back at the suspects in a white sedan that fled the scene. Officials said nearly 100 empty shell casings of multiple calibers were recovered at the scene in the 3500 block of Pioneer Drive.

Even at a time of social distancing 400 at a party in an apartment complex is a lot. You would think that a story like this during social distancing time would be front page news everywhere but I suspect it will not be because of this line:

The suspects were only described by deputies as four black males, in a white sedan.

Now I could be wrong, we might see this as a lead everywhere and see the Governor of California condemn the lack of social distancing here, but I suspect I’d have a harder time finding a taker for a $10 bet on this than I have for the Biden election one.

Quarantine Board Game Suggestions (Besides Dynasty Baseball)

When functioning in the real world letting yourself get hooked on games can be considered a bad thing but when stuck in quarantine a game that can eat up time is worth its weight in gold. Now if you are a twenty something you likely don’t need a list like this, but if your fifty something and never owned a comic store in your twenty that sold board games or old Dos games it will come in handy. Here are a few suggestions some are current, most of which you’ve likely never heard of but are available for purchase on eBay. Today we do board games.

Family Business:

The Family business card game is quick and simple. You are the head of a 1920’s mob family and the object of your game is to eliminate everyone else to become the capo di tutti capi. This is done via hits, putting the finger on others etc, but watch out as the other mobs will be quick to go after you as well and might have cards ready to counter. for 3-5.

Settlers of Catan:

Simple popular game where you develop your civilization by using resource cards and getting points for doing so. Quick paced and with a million expansions it makes a great party game or is sutable for a small group.

Groo the Cardgame:

If the Groo comic series is a good one to read while in quarantine. Groo the card game is even better if you have a group of three or more locked together. The game faithfully follows the comic in the sense that you are the mayor of a town and your goal is to make Groo so somewhere else as he keeps accidentally destroying buildings, ships and killing your soldiers in frays. Get seven point of buildings up (or 10 in the long version) and keep them up by the end of a turn and you win, but with Groo nearby, it not easy at all.

Squad Leader/Panzer Leader family/upfront

If there are two of you the classic Squad Leader/Panzer leader games or the Advanced Squad Leader system will hook you bad. With the board and terrain systems you can literally re-create almost any small scale world war 2 encounter of different nationalities in any theater. This is one of the most complex and realistic game systems ever invented so be warned. If you want a less complex version the Upfront card game does the trick. The morale based system really makes the games come alive but if you’ve never played an Avalon Hill game it will take some getting used to.

Broadside:

This one you’ll definitely have to get on Ebay as it has been out of print from Milton Bradley for 40 years. For two players one commands a powerful 10 ship British fleet the other a less powerful American fleet during the War of 1812 but supported by shore guns and underwater rocks that can tear a ship open whose placement you know but the British don’t. The object of the Brits is to enter the harbor and sink a fleet of docked merchant ships, you need to sink the british fleet before they do. Defense vs Offense, a great strategy game for two.

Memoir 44 / Battle Cry (modern)

Sort of a poor man’s Squad Leader for those who aren’t into too much complexity, using terrain hexes you can recreate different world war two battles or in the case of battle cry, civil war battles. A lot less complex and cool miniatures are the advantages over squad leader and you’re not likely to get hooked spending thousands on expansions. Because of the divided game board it can be played with 2-6 rather than just head to head. WARNING do NOT confuse this modern version of Battle Cry with the Milton Bradley version that came out at the time of Broadside which is undoubtedly one of the worst board games every invented.

Solo Games

Of course if your stuck in quarantine, you are likely stuck alone here are a few excellent solo games of different complexity from the old Avalon Hill company

London’s Burning:

You are the the RAF in charge of the few and as the game runs the Lufwaffre sending waves of Bombers over England. Can you direct your meager supply of Spitfires and Hurricanes and even more meager supply of trained pilots to keep your cities airfields and radar stations safe or will the Nazi blitz be too much for you. Can be played two player.

Blackbeard: You are a pirate cruising the Caribbean , the gold cost and/ or Madagascar capturing ships, ransoming hostages and raiding towns. But you need to keep your ship/fleet in repair because kings commissioners with powerful warships are after you and the towns and ships are armed and ready for you, and of course you never know if you might find yourself in a duel. In the multi-player version you look to survive and retire with the most gold or the biggest reputation, but in the solo game you are Captain Blood with more skill than all the others and a odd resemblance to Errol Flynn and need to gain a high enough reputation score to win. Sorry Johnny Depp fans , this game predates all those movies so he’s not there.

Patton’s Best:

This is for the ASL Crowd. You are a tank commander who has survived Normandy , now you have to go day by day through the grind of battle. The system provides targets and opponents and you have to make the right decisions at the right time because if you don’t you’ll find an 88 ending your game in a hurry. Replace wounded crew members replenish your ammo and survive to be promoted, but be careful there because you never know if there is a hidden machine gun next or an enemy tank just over the next rise. This is a complex game for someone who wants to kill a lot of time.

Of course in an age of computer games and phones you might want something that will play on a PC That post will come later this week and will include a few games that are also available as board games.

Dynasty Players Choice League AL / NL Div B Report

Continuing our weekly reports on the teams in the various Dynasty leagues I run this week Division B in the all time any time great teams league

AL Div B

1968 Detroit Tigers

After a slow start the tigers find themselves at the top of the AL B standings with a game and a half over the defending AL champ Indians. Can they keep this winning pace up?

Heroes: Willie Horton is has been a one man wrecking ball with the bat with 8 HR and 22 RBI while playing an errorless left field adding an outfield assist into the mix. Denny McLain has gone 4-0 only allowing a .208 batting avg while leading the league in wins, and being top 5 in 3 other categories. Ray Oyler being perfect in the field at short is no surprise as his reputation for defense is well known but seeing him add a .364 to the mix has been a shocker.

Zeroes: Don Wert isn’t known for his bat so his .170 Avg might be forgivable but combine it with a .925 fielding percentage with as many errors as his net two teammates combined, now that’s a worry. Mickey Lolich & Earl Wilson both with 2-2 record as starters wouldn’t seem like likely candidates for this list but if their ERAs were not 6.84, and 6.17 respectively Detroit’s lead might be a lot bigger.

Wild Card: Detroit’s next three series are against teams with a combined 22-29 it’s s great chance to widen that league.

Coming attractions: The Tigers travel to Yankees Stadium for a 3 game set aginst the 2009 Yanks before heading back home for a 9 game homestand facing 1988 Oakland and the 2013 Redsox who are with striking distance before finishing the stand against the 1970 Orioles.


1954 Cleveland Indians

The defending AL champs are right in the thick of it again, a game and a half out of 1st place and currently holding a wild card spot which isn’t bad for a team that has played 80% of their games on the road to this point but can they turn on the heat on the surging Tigers?

Heroes: With a team ERA under 4 (3.97) it’s hard to name a single pitching hero but Bob Lemon with a 3-0 record and a 2.88 ERA certainly fits the bill, and that .750 batting avg in interleague play and a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage isn’t too shabby either. There are people hitting for a higher avg on the team than Larry Doby but when you are leading the team in both runs scores AND runs batted in along with HR, Slugging and OB+Slugging you are the really doing the job (oh and by the way 1.000 fielding plus two outfield assists and a range factor of 2.62)

Zeroes: It doesn’t look at that good for Billy Glynn as he both leads the team in errors and is sitting below the Mendoza line with a .195 batting avg but he has one thing going for him, at least he’s not Wally Westlake because not only is he batting a mere .184 but unlike Glynn who is hitting .286 with runners in scoring position Westlake is hitting a mere .130 when the big moment comes.

Wild Card: They only have one series against a division opponent in their next 8.

Coming attractions: the Indians bask in the glory of a brief 3 game homestand against 1st place 2015 Kansas City Royals before hitting the road agai to battle the 2005 White Sox and the 1993 Blue Jays.


2013 Boston Redsox

Boston had lost 4 series in a row before taking two of three from their arch rival New York Yankees. Will that be the spark that puts the team back on track?

Heroes: If anyone told you that after 18 games Danial Nava would lead the Red sox with a .389 average .500 OBS a .593 slugging percentage and be the only player on the team with an OPS over 1.000 1.093 while hitting only one HR you wouldn’t believe it. On the other hand John Lackey’s ERA of 2.38 and modest .264 batting avg against in 4 starts, that’s entirely believable.

Zeroes: Jon Lester was expected to be the Redsox ace but he’s so far been more akin to the twenty minuters  of WW1 infamy with a 1-2 record an ERA of 6.00 a hitting against avg of .309 along with five homers, one every 5 1/3 innings. Meanwhile Mike Napoli is not only devoid of HR with only 5 RBI in 16 games but with runners in scoring position is hitting an anemic .222, .125 if there are two outs.

Wild card: Boston has only seen a left handed starter once every six games, which is a good thing because they have yet to win a game against a lefty but at 4-2 they have the best record in the American league in one run games.

Coming Attractions: A quick trip to Oakland to visit the 1988 A’s is followed by a 3 game homestand against the 1970 Orioles before going head to head with Detroit and a chance to close the distance a bit.


2010 Texas Rangers: The Rangers broke a six game losing streak in style with a sweep of the (then) 1st place Washington Senators. Is this the start of better things to come? Or will the team without a manager continue to be rudderless?

Heroes: Vladimir Guerrero‘s reputation as one of the most feared bats in the game has not been affected by the Rangers poor record. His .408 avg and 18 RBI’s talk and opposing pitchers are listening. Even though the starting rotation has been a horror the Texas Bullpen has put up good number with Michael Kirkman leading the way. In six appearances he’s held opponents to a .205 avg while striking out 17 in 11 1/3 innings with a 1.50 ERA and no homers allowed and a win to his credit.

Zeroes: While his play behind the plate has been acceptable Matt Treanor has impressed nobody with his .216 avg and .313 OBP not to mention .200 with runners in scoring position but if you want to talk Zeroes you have to talk the starting rotation with Cliff Lee’s 5.13 ERA and .347 avg (despite a 2-1 record) C.J Wilson’s 16 walks in 28 innings and 5.97 ERA and if that’s not bad enough you have Tommy Hunter who has in 18.2 innings over 4 starts struck out fewer batters (6) than he’s given up homers (7) with a horrible ERA of 7.81.

Wild Card: Rich Harden was recently promoted back to the majors after a short stint down, can he return a semblance of steadiness to a rotation with a damaged reputation?

Coming Attractions: It’s a time away from the division for Texas as they conclude an 18 game road trip with three at the 2015 Royals and 3 more vs the 2005 Chicago White Sox before heading home to welcome the 1993 Blue Jays before facing a division foe again.


1985 St. Louis Cardinals

After a 9-0 start they have returned to earth going 5-7 since. Can that early lead hold up when the month of April is over or will they cool as the weather warms?

Heroes: Tom Herr’s line is deadly .407 avg 3 HR 26 RBI 10 sb with only one caught and an OBP of .484 and an OPS 1.089. Oh and he’s been perfect at 2b in the field with a range factor of 4.59. It’s the kind of performance that makes opposing pitchers crazy. It that wasn’t bad enough for St. Louis’ foes John Tudor is 5-0 with five complete games in six starts with a 1.94 ERA to drive enemy batters absolutely nuts.

Zeroes: It’s hard to find zeroes on a team that’s performed so well but St. Louis’ Catchers sure helped me along. Darrell Porter with a .138 avg in 12 games he wasn’t doing much before his injury and has failed to catch the only person trying to steal against him. Meanwhile while he was out Tom Nieto did the job and while his .209 avg was slightly better than Porter he not only was batted .200 when men were in scoring position but allowed seven of nine people to steal off of him while committing 2 errors.

Wild Card: St Louis has been patient at the plate, their 103 walks are a full 60% ahead of the #2 team and their stolen base total of 61 is 44 greater than the current runner up. That’s likely why they also have the most hits in the league

Coming Attractions: A huge series at Brooklyn against the defending World Series Champion 1955 Dodgers is followed by the 1986 Mets at home and then they travel to Florida for a shot at the 2nd place 1997 Marlins who are itching for revenge. Can the NL Div A do what Div B could not?


1997 Florida Marlins

If the 1985 St. Louis Cardinals did not Exist Florida would have both a winning record and the lead in their division. Instead they are at .500 and if the season ended today would not even snag a wildcard. Can they manage to expand their winning ways to include the Cards?

Heroes: Felix Heredia has stood out in a staff that hasn’t with two saves in as many chances, a 1-0 record more strikeouts than innings pitched and an ERA of 1.86 while in a team full of hitting hitters Moises Alou stands above the rest hitting for avg (.378) power (7 HR) and leading the team in RBI’s Runs scored and Walks.

Zeroes: While Devon White and Luis Castillo have both been excellent in the field they are hitting .131 and .183 respectively which is unimpressive to say the least although in fairness to White his eight walks have contributed to nine runs scored. Meanwhile in a team where no starter has more than one win there are many zero candidates but the biggest has to be closer Rob Nen with two blown saves a WHIP of 1.86 and a 6.43 ERA in the most critical moments of a game.

Wild Card: With Al Lieter injured and out for at least two starts can anyone in the rotation step up?

Coming Attractions: It a visit to the NL east with series at Brooklin vs the 1955 Dodgers and the 1986 Mets before coming home to face the 2013 Arizona Diamondbacks before their big rematch with St. Louis. Will they have a permanent manager by then?


1957 Milwaukee Braves

The Braves managed to turn things around after a dismal 1-9 start, but is that turn about permanent or was their defeat by the 2005 astros in their last series a sign of things to come?

Heroes: Nobody will be surprised to see Hank Aaron at the top of this list. With a .351 Avg 5 HR and 12 RBI the advice on how to pitch pitch to him: “Make sure nobody is on when he hits it out” seems awfully accurate. The second non surprise is Warren Spahn whose 3-1 record 2.54 ERA and 28 1/3 innings in five starts have done the trick.

Zeroes: Ernie Johnson certainly has been a workhorse for Milwaukee appearing in 10 of their 18 games. Unfortunately he’s also been a disaster in the bullpen with more than twice as many hits as innings pitch and ERA of 13.50 and a .417 avg against. Many people thought it would be a fight between Frank Torre and Joe Adcock for the starting job at 1st, but Torre’s .111 avg no runs batted in and two hits on the season certainly hasn’t given anyone a reason to leave him in a lineup.

Wildcard: Bill Burton’s injury is going to keep him out of the lineup for at least the next three series forcing Aaron to play center. This means that the Braves will see more of Andy Pafko’s unimpressive bat .171 avg but steady defense (2 assists) or Wes Covington deadly bat .318 avg but lead glove .846 fielding percentage in right.

Coming Attractions: The Braves visit the streets of San Francisco to face the 1962 Giants before coming home for 9 against the 1975 Reds 2013 Arizona and Division rival 2019 Nationals.


2019 Washington Nationals

Washington has lost 10 of their last 12 and are owners of the worst record in the majors, which is kind of what was the case in 2019 before the stormed back to win 1st the Pennant and then the series. Can history repeat itself?

Heroes: There is plenty of blame to go around for Washington’s start but neither Trea Turner nor Juan Soto deserve any of it. Turner has hit .342 stolen 3 bases in 4 tries and hit three HR while scoring almost double the runs of the next leading player who would be Soto who has crushed 5 HR and walked enough to get an OBP of .405

Zeroes: Max Scherzer has been a pleasant surprise at the plate with a .400 avg and a pair of RBI’s but the nats would happily trade that for the pitcher they expected as an ace. With a 1-3 record a .347 avg against and a .887 ERA and fewer strikeouts than runs allowed 19 vs 22 it’s been a dismal start. Meanwhile don’t let the fact that Daniel Hudson owns 2 of Washington’s 5 wins fool you. in 11 appearances his ERA is 11.68 his WHIP is a solid three and he’s managed to blow two saves in as many chances.

Wild Card. Both Gerardo Parra and Anthony Rendon have spent time injured early and Washington has a new manager who took over during their losing streak. Can these three men make the difference for a team that is 1-10 against right handed pitching this season?

Coming Attractions: Home has not been where the heart is for the DC team (2-10) while they’ve played .500 ball on the road, so a trip to Cincinnati to face the 1975 Reds might just be what’s needed, then after a brief stop back home to face the 2013 Diamondbacks it’s back on the road for 3 against the 57 Braves in Milwaukee and 3 against the 2016 Cubs at Wrigley.