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VOLUME:L ... November 1, 2023






brandAs you all know last month after 40+ years Ken Brand resigned. He's talked about it for the past couple of years and sadly he decided this was the right time. Ken's first year was in 1982 season just a few months after I started my time in this league. dowrckIt always felt like the two of us were linked. That's not to say we are similar people. Anyone who knows us can attest to we're polar opposites about many things. One thing the two of us always worked at was making the RCMBA a great league. We often talked about what needed to be fixed and what was working toward improving the league. Driving from Missouri to Lancaster shows how much Ken cared about the league and seeing other managers face to face during our draft weekend. This isn't a eulogy. He's not dead, so let me say I hope he returns soon because I'm going to miss the challenge of competing against him, talking with him and seeing him at Lancaster. He'll always be a really good friend..... I also want to note that Bob Dowrick after 11 years decided it time to leave so he could devote more time to his stamp collecting business. Bob would fly in from Florida for our annual Lancaster gathering. Bob really liked the players he selected in our draft. Not many of them left because he stuck by them through thick and thin such as Sandy Alcantara. I hope that in the future Bob also return to the league..... We now have two new managers. Jeremy Fisher took over Bob's team. He's a tax accountant with Deloitte. By FAR, the youngest manager we have. He's only in his 30's. Taking over Ken's team is Doug Burg. Doug isn't in his 30's. He is a research scientist for Northrop Grumman and has worked on the Mars Rovers project, some other NASA things and U.S. Navy projects. We already know of him because he's the one that tracks and provides lists of "APBA 12" placement. He's also commissioner of YABL retro league currently playing the 1937 season.



win23lose23The Ron Clark Trophy has a new owner and it's my Syracuse PD Blue that claimed it's 9th title. The Blue opened their playoff run with a first round bye and in round two they swept Ottawa 8-5, 7-1, 9-5, 8-2 on 26 xbh/14 HR with 4 bombs from Judge. The other half of the Championship bracket was Knob Noster who beat Albuquerque in five games in their 2nd round games. In our World Series, Syracuse took the opener 5-3 scoring all five with 4 homers, one from Judge. Game two went to Syracuse 7-1 via 3 homers and Judge hit another one in that game. In Game 3 again Syracuse wins 3-2 on a walk off error. Judge homered early in the game and then in bottom of the 9th, he leads off with a walk then moved up on an FC. Next he steals 3rd and from there he scores on a grounder to short when the catcher drops throw home. In Game Four Syracuse completes the sweep with a 5-4 win. In the bottom of 8th Knob Noster held a 4-2 lead. judge99 with one out. Freeman then doubles, Judge walks, Ohtani gets on with an infield single to load the bases. Edmnudo Sosa drives one in the gap scoring all three on a triple. Helsley closes it out after a walk in top of 9th, retiring the next three and it's celebration time! Syracuse stat line was 19r/23h/17xbh/11HR (Judge 4HR/5rbi) and the Knuckleheads posted 12r/23h/15xbh/4HR.


During the clubhouse celebration reporters approached Syracuse owner John Briggs (photo left) trying to get his feeling about the title and all they got was him pulling off a pretty good Freddie Mercury imitation "We are the Champions. No time for losers for WE ARE THE....", well enough of that. Moving on, right next to him you see Knob Noster boss Ken Brand not exactly thrilled with all this. The reporters did find Blues Manager Buck Showalter who said "These guys won 8 straight games and every one of them played a role in this title and man Sosa doesn't play everyday but his hit was huge! The staff shut down all of their big hitters. We hit 11 homers. Ohtani! Freddie! The big #99 guy, whew! What's left to say about him?". On the right you see World Series MVP Aaron Judge (6 for 14, 4 HR, 2 walks, 1 steal, 5 rbi/7 runs) after being drenched by his teammates. When asked about the award, he said "I got good pitches to hit because with Shohei next, no one wanted to face him and I barreled up some of them. Oh man it feels good to return the Clarkie to us!"



mvpOn the left the MVP/CY votes that awarded the MVP to Aaron Judge (Syr) on his 80/154/326 slash plus 89bb/13sb.


CY went to Dylan Cease (Ken) who posted a 17-2 record and a 2.92 ERA on 32 starts/182ip/207k.


We set a few records this past year. The league 215 AVG & 285 OBP are now the worst we've ever had. Havre de Grace's 186 team batting average & 245 OBP are the worst ever. Albuquerque's 975 hits, the fewest ever allowed. Uniontown's 22 stolen bases are the 3rd fewest. Knob Noster's 2.98 ERA is 3rd best all-time. We had 3 pitchers collect no-hitters: Jordan Montgomery (Kno), Tony Gonsolin (Kno), Max Scherzer (Syr). All-Time Season records were posted by Dylan Cease (Ken) with the 10th best WL% of 895 on his 17-2 record. Andres Gimenez (Ken) 34 HBP is now 8th best. Marcel Ozuna (LHi) hit 160 and that's the 5th worst all-time. Aaron Judge (Syr) had several records. He hit 80 HR (2nd best), had 465 total bases (3rd best), and posted 1192 OPS (6th best), 776 SLG (5th best).




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The also ran Wildcard round saw Minnesota & Texas win instead of Toronto & Tampa. Then Houston despite not playing for a week, took care of business downing the Twins and the only over rested team to win in either league. Texas won it's 3rd, 4th and 5th straight games, sweeping Baltimore who waited a week to play. No sweeps next time as Texas won four road games to put Houston in the dumpster. Impressive run by the Rangers winning 7 straight, then disgusting the home crowd with 3 straight loses but bouncing back, in Houston for 2 more wins. Eovaldi & Montgomery pretty impressive. Don't forget Adolis Garcia hitting, styling, getting hit and starting a push rumble.



Their also ran derby saw two sweeps. Arizona took out Milwaukee & the Phillies did in Miami. Next round, Arizona shocked the world, sweeping of all things, the Dodgers who waited a week to play. Just as stunning, Philadelphia doing in the Braves in four. Maybe waiting a week to play a game might be an issue?. Kyle Schwarber hits the ball hard doesn't he. Next round, Philly goes up 2-0, on the road and then got Kimbrel'ed losing both games he pitched. After not using him, they won again to put the D'Backs on the ropes. Ever hear of "Rope a Dope"? Arizona at home, wins both games and moved to the big series. Ginkel is pretty good. Carroll woke up. Marte is really good and the Phillies are toast.



smoltzIt's fun seeing two teams that rarely see October baseball getting their chance to win the Trophy. Probably not what Fox TV wanted but no one cares about that. GAME 1: I am reminded of two things. One Fox is obsessed with giving us full screen shots and this year it is faces of the managers watching the game. Second one is how much I don't like listening to John Smoltz never stop talking. He explains every pitch, every strategy. John, it's TV pal. We got pictures. This game even gave him a chance to talk more into extra innings. Texas's Adolis Garcia ended the game going yard. GAME 2: Arizona showed everyone how they got here with 16 hits. Smoltz got had plenty to talk about in between hits and he did. Meanwhile Merrill Kelly was on his game shutting Texas down going 7 innings! How is that possible! Even-Steven now. GAME 3: Smoltz continued talking about history, how to pitch, manage, his opinions on how Pfaadt is incredible. The game actually went to Texas because he gave up a 3 spot and Arizona got Gray'ed out. GAME 4: Smoltz continues, "What he's doing is...". Sigh. Shut Up! I can see it. He had all kinds of time to talk as Arizona decided to see if instead of one pitcher they'd try 7 of them and they found more than one that didn't have it. Texas is now 10-0 on the road and a win from silencing Smoltz.