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VOLUME:XLVII ... September 1, 2021


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Here it is already. We are heading into the end of this season as we revisit all our division rivals. I've made sure each of you has your current stats, so you are quite aware of exactly how much you can play every players. Free agency looms if you mess that up. We still only have one pennant race and not much action going on in the wildcard race either. Just jockeying for position.

 

HARWELL DIV: alb2

It's still a 20 game cushion for Albuquerque. The August scores saw the Horsemen post a 14-4 (6-3h) record and they still are undefeated in away series. I guess that +322 run diff is for real and we see if they can get to 125 wins. It's still Knob Noster boys chasing them. The Knuckleheads were also 14-4 (6-3h) in August and they have a +151 run differential. Way back of them, 19 games in fact back, is Havre de Grace. The Bucs were a solid 11-7 (5-4h) last month and lost ground as the battle to get their run diff back to zero. Just four games behind them is Kentucky who were just as solid with an 11-7 (5-4h) last month and the run diff here isn't pretty. In fifth is Uniontown six behind Kentucky and 49 out of first. The Raiders were a horrible 4-14 (2-7h) last month. Let's not talk about their run differential.

 

CARAY DIV: mustang2

THE pennant race. Laurel Highlands didn't exactly charge but kinda stumbled better into the lead. The Mustangs were lousy 8-10 (4-5h) in August but they do continue to outscore everyone by +179. Western NY is three back of them as they had a sad 7-11 (4-5h) record last month and lost two games. The North Stars continue to barely have a plus run diff at only +14. Third place and some 24 games out of second is Centralia. The Minefires had a horrible month going 5-13 (3-6h) and are being outscored by 150 runs. Syracuse holding down 4th place is now only four behind Centralia after their 8-10 (4-5h) month. The Blues are down 68 runs in run diff. Down in cellar is Lincoln and 10 games out of 4th, 41 out of first. The Lightning were 7-11 (3-6h) last month their run diff is -171.

 

ALLEN DIV: fatcats2

Ottawa cruising along with a lead even bigger than Albuquerque, now at 23 games. The Fat Cats were a hideous 16-2 (9-0h!) in August. They've got a +300 run diff. Second place still belongs to Bennett Run after a dreary 8-10 (3-6h) record last month as they struggle to keep their run diff on plus side. Six games back of them in third is Burnsville. The Blaze were equally lousy last month with an 8-10(4-5h). The run differential here is almost zero. In fourth, 7 behind the Blaze, we find Etiwanda after their 8-10 (4-5h) month. The Anteaters are not going to have a plus run diff. Sin City is at the bottom. They didn't have an 8-10 August. The Knights were only 6-12(2-7h). They are 18 games out of 4th place, and run diff is something they forgot about back in April.

 

WILDCARD: knob2 wny2 bm2

Knob Noster leading the parade in the wildcard fight. WNY is two behind them as they fight for playoff slot #4. Right now eight behind WNY is the wildcard standings is Bennett Run for the #6 slot. Chasing them, playing just a little under 500 ball, is Burnsville but they're six out. A small chance still showing for Havre de Grace being 9 out of the #6 slot.

 

rolzlogoON LINE GAMES: We're up to 196 on-line/face to face games for the year. The Horsemen have a 66 of those games getting a 55-11 WL record. Knob Noster & Uniontown at 57 games. Syracuse along with Laurel Highlands have played 55 then Kentucky with 48. Ottawa next largest amount at 45 and Western NY has played once for 9 games.

 

TEAM STATS: We have four teams with team ERA's in the threes and three teams in the fives. Albuquerque, Ottawa, Burnsville & Laurel Highlands. Albuquerque top dog at 3.45. At the other end Uniontown, Lincoln and Sin City in the fives and Sin City's 5.86 the bottom of the barrel. Sin City is taking Lincoln to the cleaners in the complete game fight. Lincoln has given up 500 more hits than Albuquerque. Sin City is nearly at two HR's allowed per game. Really tough to get a walk off Ottawa or Burnsville pitchers. Syracuse pitchers leading the K column and Ottawa guys must be throwing salad with not even 1000 yet. Home pitching is clearly a Burnsville showcase. They've given up 329 runs on the road but just 220 at home and leading everyone in home ERA..... On the hitting side Albuquerque just embarrassing the rest of the league with their offense. They're #1 in homers, walks, total bases, extra base hits and they have a 280 ISO%. That's your slugging minus your batting average which means if you eliminate singles they are hitting almost 300. Ottawa has outscored the Horsemen by 5 and outhit them by 35 along with being the best at putting runners on base with over 1700 of 'em. That's 400 more than Burnsville. There are 10 players with more steals than the entire WNY North Sloths. Kentucky wayyyy better than anyone else in stealing. Laurel Highland really killing themselves with GiDP stats. Just horrible defense at Havre de Grace.

 

PLAYER STATS: sotofreddie bieb It's still the Juan Soto (Lin) & Freddie Freeman (Ott) show. They are first or second in AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS. Wil Myers (Ott), the best of seven over 100 in RBI is pulling away as the leader. Freeman is second in that fight. Luke Voit (now LHi) is going to win this title and now it's just a matter of far over 60 does he go. No one is close to catching Freeman in hits and he's got a pretty good lead in extra base hits too not to mention he's #1 in walks. Maybe this only the Frederick show. It's a lock that Adalberto Mondesi will have the most steals. Can he get to 100? Another question is can he top 200 in whiffs? Renato Nunez (Utw) is not Freddie Freeman. He's leading the league in not reaching base..... Pitching board has four players with ERA's in the twos. Yu Darvish (LHi) pretty far out front of that group as he threatens to go into the ones. Two 20 games winners now, Jacob deGrom (WNY) and Dinelson Lamet (Alb). We also have two over the 200k mark. Aaron Civale (Sin) at 225 just a little ahead of Shane Bieber (Bur) at 221. Keeping with the two theme, Liam Hendriks (WNY) with 45 saves leads Brad Hand (Alb) with 40. In the stathead stuff Bieber top man in WHIP at 0.77 and it's Darvish trailing him at 0.86. Bieb's is also top dog in K/9 along with H/9. Marco Gonzales (Kno) name ends with an "s" and not "z" is top man in K/BB ratio at 9.0

 

PAGE TWO: profarGarrett Hampson (Utw) is 2 for 4 & one left yard but Jake Marisnick (Ott) is 12 for 26 (462) while Kolten Wong (Utw) is 0 for 21. Cavan Biggio (Ben) has been nailed in 7 of his 27 steal attempts and that's never happened to Trevor Story (LHi) who is 27 for 27. Keston Hiura (Lin) is the very best at getting hit by a pitch but not once in 570 plate appearances has Adalbeto Mondesi (Ken) been drilled. We've had 14 successful bunts this year & David Fletcher (Ben) has 4 of them. It's quite a good fight going on to see who can hit into more DP's. Anthony Rendon (WNY) and Manny Machado (LHi) have 24 and just one less for Rafael Devers (Bur) while Jesus Aguilar (Hav) has none in 131 AB's. Jurickson Profar (Hav) has made 26 errors but Trevor Story (LHi) is close at 24. Not counting Kolten Wong (Utw) who has yet to get any kind of hit, Nick Ahmed (Alb) has no extra base hits after 17 at bats. Freddie Freeman (Ott) sigh, is tops at scoring with 119 runs. Still waiting to play are 25 players..... Jacob deGrom (WNY) got destroyed last month at Ottawa so now the best 1000 WL% of the twenty-one undefeated guys is Noe Ramirez (Eti) at 5-0 and at the other end of this is Kyle Freeland (Utw) who has zero wins and 15 L's. Top of the chart in ERA is James Hoyt (Ott) and 0.76 on 23.7ip & Frankie Montas (Sin). who apparently throws underhand, has a 13.32 on 25.0ip. Aaron Civale (Sin) has 25 complete games of his 29 starts which has resulted in also leading us HR allowed with 47 dingers. Sonny Gray (Hav) has three shutouts. Trying to find the plate is Lance McCullers (Hav) who's walked 77 in 144.0ip. Jorge Alcala (LHi) has made it into 60 games and still looking for one we have 8 players.

 

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THE SHOW

 

The Atlantic League 61 feet 6 inches

 

atlanticIn early August, the eight teams in the Atlantic League embarked on one of the more scrutinized and polarizing experiments in the history of baseball. Their groundskeepers dug up the game’s sacred starting point, the pitching rubber, and moved it back 12 inches — 61 feet 6 inches from home plate. Professional pitchers have toed a rubber 60 feet 6 inches from home before delivering the ball to the batter for more than a century. But in eight stadiums in the Mid-Atlantic, the long-standing baseball math suddenly changed, part of a Major League Baseball experiment meant to increase balls put in play. What has followed in the weeks since the seemingly seismic shift has been a widespread feeling that the impact on gameplay has been minimal, though its impact on a player’s health and future still could prove negative, according to interviews with nearly a dozen Atlantic League players, coaches and executives. “There was a lot of talk about it at first. Pitchers were concerned,” Southern Maryland Blue Crabs Manager Stan Cliburn said. “But in all sincerity, it has not come into play.”

 

But many acknowledged that it is probably too soon to draw any trustworthy conclusions about how the move will affect the game and those who play it. A few weeks of data aren’t much of a statistical sample, and the changes to runs per game, hits per game and strikeouts have been minimal. As of Thursday, in 67 games played from 61 feet 6 inches, teams are combining for 6.37 runs per game, according to data tracked by MLB. Before the switch, they combined for 6.33. The strikeout rates MLB is hoping to suppress actually have increased somewhat in that tiny sample, from 18.3 percent to 18.8 percent. The walk rate has decreased from 12.4 percent to 11.3 percent. But pitchers from multiple teams said that while they don’t always notice the extra foot from pitch to pitch, they all noticed a similar unintended byproduct: Almost all of them experienced soreness in their lat muscles — the area down the rib cage and into the back of their throwing arm side — after their first few outings from the new distance.

 

Ex-Major Leaguer Matt Latos said. “I’m throwing 92 to 94, and I’m hurting a bit after. What’s happening with guys throwing 102? That could be a big deal. Still, to a man, the players and coaches said the unpredictability of the automatic strike zone being tested in the Atlantic League impacts the game far more often — and normally, in more frustrating ways — than the increased distance between home plate and the rubber. “It’s one foot. It’s not that big of a deal,” Menhart said. “But it’s more the mentality that it’s one more foot. The mentality of the pitcher, they have a predetermined excuse that if things go badly, it’s because I’m throwing further.”

 

MLB, MLBPA reportedly have new trading card agreement with Fanatics, will end partnership with Topps

 

toppsThe longtime partnership between MLB and Topps Co. is reportedly coming to an end. MLB and the MLBPA have reportedly agreed to hand over their exclusive trading card agreement to Fanatics Inc, according to Jared Diamond and Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal. The MLBPA's deal with Fanatics will reportedly begin in 2023. MLB's current contract with Topps runs through 2025. Once the deal is official, it will end a 70-year partnership between MLB and Topps, which has been the main baseball card manufacturer since the early 1950s, according to the WSJ. The forthcoming loss of the MLB rights is a massive blow for Topps, which just posted another big fiscal quarter and is about to go public. Basically everything they've done elsewhere has been on the back of its activities in baseball.

 

MLBPA head Tony Clark reportedly sent a memo to players Thursday discussing the new deal with Fanatics, according to the Wall Street Journal. In the memo, Clark reportedly mentions the deal with Fanatics is 10 times bigger than any deal ever struck by the union. Topps reportedly paid the MLBPA $20.4 million last year to use player likenesses on cards. It's unclear how much Fanatics will pay for player likenesses, or if Topps will try to secure deals with other professional sports leagues..... HOW DISGUSTING! There are 595 MLB players making over $1,000,000 per year and 121 of that group is making ten million a year. You really need even more? We have umpires wearing logos of freakin bit-coin company, MLB has Pete Rose & Shoeless Joe on it's restricted list but they want you to bet on whether Luke Voit yanks his jock once or twice when he gets on base. Whatever. I probably heard something about this before.

: "Money, it's a crime, share it fairly, but don't take a slice of my pie. Money, so they say, is the root of all evil today. But if you ask for a raise it's no surprise that they're giving none away". David Gilmour/Roger Waters