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VOLUME:XLVII ... April 1, 2021


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Well here we are about to begin the season. Looking at all the trading this past off-season, some of us had many problems that needed attention or just wanted something to do. I don't care anymore to go look up who got traded most. I also don't care to mention what team traded the most like it was a badge of honor. It doesn't matter if you make 1 trade or 50 trades so maybe it's something we need to look at..... The new MLB rules about relievers facing three and the man on 2nd for extra innings are now embedded in the Constitution at the beginning of the MLB Rules section so you can refresh your memory anytime. Time for our two loudmouths to give their thoughts but first the traditional kickoff to the season.... "For, lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; The time of the singing of birds is come, And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land .. Ernie Harwell

 

"Hello again RCMBA!! I'm back bay-bee! Hard to believe I've been doing this for about 20 years. I get all involved with NCAA March Madness and this is a welcome change of pace for me. Sometimes I'm even good at it but bottom line bay-bee, it's fun. My buddy Christopher will be here a little later but first we have to check out who's on the teams and three new teams this year.

 

dickiev"The Harwell Division is flat out loaded bay-bee. Albuquerque and the Master Motivator Michael Fisher has taken on some transfers this year and you talk about a loaded offense, this is PTP bay-bee. The diaper dandees Max Fried and Corbin Burnes are special. The big board banger Sal Perez is here. Corey Seager is gonna put on a show with his shake & bake and whoa T.O. bay-bee! We got the Rolls Roycer Bryce Harper on the roster now. Over at Havre de Grace Joe Jutzi has been working this off-season. He's got Lance McCullers handlin' the rock, the PTPer Eric Hosmer, the All-Velcro Xander Bogaerts, the diaper dandee Ryan Mountcastle. I salute the struggles Trey Mancini is going through. He's special bay-bee. At Kentucky Randy Prichard has the All-PacMan Blake Snell takin' care of the rock. He's got the AT&Ter Rhys Hoskins and Surf & Turf man Joey Gallo hittin' those trifectas. The All-Indy Adalberto Mondesi and you talk about with a capital D bay-bee Diaper Dandee Ke'Bryan Hayes! He's gonna be a star! I love him bay-bee! He's awesome! What do we have at Knob Noster this year for Kenny Brand? The All-Volkswagen Marco Gonzales with the rock. Mr MVP Jose Abreu is in the house. The All-Rambo Jose Ramirez at the top of the key and the blue chipper Mookie Betts. You talk about getting PTPers, he's got All-World B Free Mr D.J. LeMahieu. At Uniontown, he's back bay-bee for some X and O time. The blue chip Mr Ed Farmer and it's because of him you and I are here bay-bee!. Eddie's collected the All-Mystique Renato Nunez, AT&Ter Eugenio Suarez, you talk about the All R&R team you gotta have Tim Anderson on it plus Eddie has the diaper dandees Tony Gonsolin and Alex Verdugo."

 

"Let's check out the Caray Division. Centralia boss Jim Kockler has the super soph Joe Musgrove & the blue chip Kenley Jansen handlin' the rock, Didi Gregorius I love him bay-bee is at the point and two of the flat out best hitters in the game Charlie Blackmon and Michael Brantley. Going to the brand new Lincoln crew and Dennis Dvorak now a super soph this year. The All-R&R Fernando Tatis, Dow Joneser Anthony Rizzo, a glass eater in Alex Bregman and T.O bay-bee, there's the Rolls Roycer Cody Bellinger and the Three D Man, the youngster Juan Soto. Doughnut City and All-MIA on who's handlin' the rock though. On to Laurel Highlands and let's see what Mark Gaudiano has for this years one and done. Jimmy B's zone D is what I see. The All-Wacko Trevor Bauer, All-Mystique Yu Darvish. You talk about shooting trifectas and perimeter J's and you're gonna see something special bay-bee. Goldschmidt, Machado, and doin some dipsy-doo-dunk-a-roo's is Trevor Story. On to the snow capital Syracuse. Mr Briggs is looking at a doughnut offense and a bunch of Rip Van Winkles. I salute though what he has at the post in Gerrit Cole. He's got a couple of Human Spaceships in Luke Voit & Aaron Judge and the PTPer Christian Yelich. A couple of diaper dandees and Alec Bohm is gonna be a star bay-bee! Looking at WNY and Joe Reagan. He's got the Maestro Mr Jacob deGrom, the All-Volkswagen Carlos Carrasco and you talk about throwing strikes bay-bee there is Hyun-Jin Ryu. But wait, there's more because at NY we have Surf & Turf Franciso Lindor and All-Windex George Springer.

 

"In your Allen Division, there no cupcake city teams here. At Bennett Run "Capt" Ed Morgans has an All-Pac Man star in Kyle Hendricks and bringin in W's is Aaron Nola, the real deal bay-bee J.T. Realmuto is a true blue chipper, the All-Strawberry shortcake Mike Yastrezemski and the diaper dandee Kyle Lewis. At Burnsville Andy Jescke's crew is loaded. The All-Alcatraz Shane Bieber, the Three D Max Kepler, the big board banger Rafael Devers. He's got some diaper dandees too bay-bee. Sixto Sanchez is Three S bay-bee. He's super, he's sensational, he's scintillating and along with him, are you serious he's got the All-Rambo Randy Arozarena. Going to Etiwanda we see that Bob Dowrick isn't Cupcake City anymore. The blue chipper Walker Buehler, another All-Strawberry shortcake team member, Sandy Alcantara, hittin' area code J's he's got Justin Turner and you talk about the All-Bargain Basement stars you have to include Chris Taylor and Bobby has the All-Wacko diaper dandee Dustin May. I salute what's going on i the Great White North bay-bee. The returning champ Mark Featherstone. He's flat out ready to cut down the title neck again with zone D. The PTPer, All-Pac Man Clayton Kershaw, the Dow Joneser Dallas Keuchel, the diaper dandee Jose Urquidy, the All-Mystique Wil Myers and you talk about blue chip, the All Surf & Turf Freddie Freeman. We got a diaper dandee team here with Paul Miller's Sin City boys. He's done his X's and O's and he doesn't have much of a bench behind the All-Avis Lucas Giolito and Luis Castillo but you talk hittin' area code J's bay-bee! He has the All-Windex Nolan Arenado and your All-Dipsy-Doo-Dunk-A-Roo you gotta have Ronald Acuna Jr bay-bee!. Are you serious? I almost left out with a capital S the Surf & Turf, PTP, blue chip Mike Trout."

 

russoDickie V turns to Russo, "Alright Christopher what do you think about these teams"? Russo says, "Dickie here's the way I see it. In the Hawell division Uniontown and Have de Gwace have no hitting. The Have Gwace team does have nice bullpen but they aren't gonna get a chance to do much. So count those two out. To be fair Kentucky isn't much better but at they got some stawters but no pen and they'll beat out the other two. Young team though gonna be intwesting soon. That leaves two big ones. The Albaqout, ah Albutes, ah the Howsemen got all kinds of pitchers. Gonna be tough to score against them. Weally good hitting too. Not much to complain about here except How can you twade Goldschmidt and Awenado and Bichette ANDFORCRYINOUTLOUDTROUTINSAMEOFF-SEASON &EXPECT TO WIN!! I don't understand but let's be honest, this is a dangerous team. Moving on, the Knobbies got almost as much pitching but gee whiz look at that hitting. For cwyin out loud they could score 1000 wuns! Best offense in the league maybe. So I wrote down 5- Have, 4- Uniontown, 3- Kentucky, 2- Albies, 1- Knobbies even being that old win but it's gonna be a lot closer than you think..... In the Cawee division Centwailah, awful pitching staff and not good. The hitters ain't bad though. Lincoln, I see he weally likes pitching. A meeyon pitchers. Makes you wonder if they can fill out the lineup. They'll score some wuns but never gonna win much. Syracuse is, oh my goodness, THEY STINK!. How'd this happen Dickie? They can't hit. Did they even try to get somebody who can reach the grass? Pitching is tehwibble. Okay, to be fair Cole is good. Real good but he's not gonna get many wins. No excuse for this. NONE! WHATARETHEYTHINKING?! Western NY has deGrom and be honest now he might be the best in the league. Good bullpen too but I don't think they got enough with the bats, again. Lahwell  Highlands I think wait let me check to see who is there now. Okay. Wow he did get pitching. Lots of pitching. Maybe the deepest starting staff anywhere. Bullpen maybe not so hot but still good. He's gonna score a meeyon wuns with all that hitting. This is 5- Syracuse & might be wohst team in league, 4- Lincoln almost as bad, 3- Centwalia, 2- WNY, 1- Lahwell Highlands wins here..... Now the Awhen division is gonna be something to see except for Sin City cuz their gonna get beat up. The got couple starters, but gimme a freakin bweak. They didn't even twy to have a bullpen. What's goin on there? Too bad because they can score some wuns with Trout.  The Bennies got a meeyon relievers, a meeyone starters but I don't know if they can hit. Burnsville half a pitching staff and pwetty weak hittin too. They'll be pesky but can't get excited about them. Etiwanda, wenenber has been awful for years but not now. They got more good start innings than anyone in this bunch. Pens okay too. To be fair, they got some good hitters but can they score nuff because the gowilla lives here. Ottawa. Be honest now,  they don't have what the Ant guy has for pitching but they got almost that much. You want to see some hitters, look right there. Not a lot of big names jump out but jeez Dickie, we're pwaying APBA and he gets it. So where's my glasses? 5- Sin City, 4- Blazers, 3- Bennett, 2- Etiwandie, 1- Fat Cats take it..... Wildcawd. Albuqiulkickee okay. West New York yes. Etiwand last one. What's your take on this Dickie? Gimme your thoughts."

 

Vitale back to the mic, "Christopher I like your thoughts. I think Bennett Run has a shot to get in playoffs but yep. Gotta agree bay-bee. I got the call for the title and the final match, Albuquerque against Ottawa and bottom line, The Maestro Mr Fisher, wins in seven. Have fun this year guess and remember to enjoy Mr Seitz's beautiful game. It's a game and games are fun, bay-bee. I hope you all have the fun we had looking at your teams. Be safe. Get your shot. See ya next year bay-bee!"

 

YOUR SEASON OUTLOOKS but only about half the league chose to participate:

 

BENNET RUN:boiler2 "In a homer-happy baseball world, the Bennett Run Boilermakers are taking a different view of the modern baseball climate - the Boilers are going to try to win with pitching ... a ton of it. With Brad Keller (A) and Aaron Nola (Bxz) returning to bolster the staff, Bennett Run sought out as much pitching as possible in the offseason, carrying 19 hurlers north from Spring Training. Anticipating 145+ B or better starts and 300+ innings of A&C or better relief, the Boilers hope their accomplished staff can overcome a somewhat weak offense led by Mike Yastrzemski, Cavan Biggio, and J.T. Realmuto. New residents of the Allen Division, the Boilers are making their pitch for a playoff spot in '21."

 ant2

ETIWANDA: The team greatly improved their pitching staff in the draft but faces an uphill battle to try to stay out of the cellar in a tough division

 

HAVRE DE GRACE: bucks The Bucs are in for another pitching-challenged season, especially in our starting rotation, but have McCullers & Means headlining the starters showing at least some promise going forward. In the pen, Devin Williams and hard-throwing Tanner Scott lead the charge, but, as we found out on draft day, 2020 was a good year for relievers, if hardly anything else. On the offensive side of the ledger, Xander Bogaerts, Trent Grisham & Ryan Mountcastle head up the youth(ish) brigade, and Trey Mancini, a Bucs' legend, will look to return to form on the MLB side of the house, and make his comeback to the Havre de Grace lineup in good form for next season. Rowdy Tellez, a relatively late trade addition (twice), will join forces with veteran Eric Hosmer at 1B to actually provide the team with one of its more productive positions, on paper at least. No W/L predictions here, thank you. Oh yeah, our GM made lots of trades, with a little help from my friends.

 

LAUREL HIGHLANDS:mustang2 Flamboyant Laurel Highlands General Manager Maurice J. Minnefield. Has improved the culture at Laurel Highlands with the combination of young and veteran players that he has acquired in his five off seasons.. The Mustangs had their first winning season in 2020 since 2005. GM Minnefield feels that the Mustangs will win the Harry Caray Division in 2021, with improved starting pitching and offense and depth in a mediocre bullpen. The optimism in Mustang land is for a division title and with any luck go deep in the playoffs or even A RCMBA Title, with star players such as Trevor Story, Manny Machado, Paul Goldschmidt, Robinson Cano, Trevor Bauer & Yu Darvish, matched with youngsters such as Ian Anderson & Dominic Smith give the Mustangs, Minnefield & Murtaugh optimism for 2021 and beyond. 2021 PREDICTION 99 wins, 63 losses, 1st place Harry Caray Division.

 

LINCOLN:light2 Lincoln took a step back this season after having seven uncarded starting pitchers on the roster so Bellinger and Bregman were added during off years to upgrade the core of Soto and Tatis. Lincoln should have an average offense and the worst pitching staff in the league which will likely result in an early draft pick next year. Tatis and Soto should have fun cards as they have two of the seven best cards in the set. Lincoln loaded up on starting pitchers during the draft and will carry 17 starting pitchers this season.

 

OTTAWA:fat2 The Ottawa Fat Cat management team decided that pushing chips all in this year was a reasonable bet. After making some early big trades, they have watched divisional teams make their own moves to get themselves in a position for their own playoff run. All in all the Cats’ fans are nervously awaiting opening day. The Cats deep pitching staff and some "keep up with the Jones" offensive cards have the squad hopeful of a repeat playoff run knowing that once there, anything can happen. Good luck all and stay safe

 

SYRACUSE:syr2 Sigh. It's not gonna be pretty this year. We broke up almost the entire roster of last years team. Except for Voit, we can't hit the ball out of our hand. The only quality starters we have are Cole and Scherzer, the rest of rotation are lousy at best. The pen is okay. Nothing anyone is going to be afraid of though. What I do like is all the kids we collected. Carlson, Luzardo, Bohm, Taveras, Mize. Hopefully we get a big rebound of the vets like Stanton, Judge, Marte, Hader, Moncada, Correa. Maybe we won't lose 100. That's the only goal for this year.

 

WNY:nstar2 Manager Joe Girardi spoke for all of WNY, saying "We are just thankful that there is any baseball being played this season". The North Stars are poised to return to the RCMBA playoffs after missing out by one game last season. The North Stars lineup features On Base Percentage stalwarts Anthony Rendon, Brandon Nimmo, and Michael Conforto in the first 3 spots, followed by 1-1 sluggers George Springer, Wilmer Flores, Pete Alonso, and James McCann. Jacob DeGrom and Hyun Jin Ryu lead a very good rotation, and Liam Hendriks returns at the back of a deep bullpen. The North Stars defense is improved with Rendon, Lindor, Springer, and Barnhart added in the off season. WNY hopes to give Laurel Highlands a year long battle for the Harry Caray division crown, and if they fall short should grab a wild card spot

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THE SHOW

 

What do I think about the MLB season? Well I look at it this way

 

Snippets from Steve Rushin Sports Illustrated article

 

colon"Major league pitchers have been batting for 150 years now. Their walk-up music, in the mind’s ear, is “Entry of the Gladiators,” the theme of the Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus, for pitchers have often looked silly at the plate. Pitchers are unlikely to bat at all in 2022, when the universal DH is expected to be enshrined permanently in a new collective bargaining agreement. That leaves 2021 as their final trip around the bases, a valedictory lap for men who tend to run awkwardly, wearing warmup jackets, after reaching on an error, or a dropped third strike, or some form of suspected chicanery. In 1964 the severely nearsighted Reds pitcher Ryne Duren was accused by the Cardinals of thrusting his knee into a pitch to reach first base. It was more useful than his bat. As one writer put it, "[Duren] couldn’t hit the ground with a safe." Brooklyn pitcher Preacher Roe would take two strikes hitting right-handed, then often finish the strikeout left-handed. Roe retired in 1954 with 215 strikeouts in 620 at bats. On April 2, 1982, A’s righthander Steve McCatty approached the batter’s box in Yuma, Ariz., in the final week of spring training. Oakland manager Billy Martin didn’t want his ace to risk injury by swinging—or God forbid, to get a hit and have to run the bases—so McCatty strode to the plate with a 15-inch bat, purchased that night at the souvenir stand,

 

"In my opinion, there is nothing as dull in baseball as watching pitchers try to hit", said Hall of Fame first baseman George Sisler. "A pitcher isn’t expected to hit, and he knows it," Tigers pitcher Bill Donovan said in 1908. "Pitchers can’t hit,” Casey Stengel once said. “You can’t even teach ’em to bunt." So perhaps it is time—long past time—to confine them to the mound, to take away their bats, to turn the whole pitching profession into Lumber Liquidators.

 

But what of the guys who could hit? Hall of Fame Braves lefty Warren Spahn clobbered 35 long balls in his career, the third most all-time among pitchers. Said Dan Haren, "I'm adding to my HOF credentials," who had a perfect day at the plate for the Diamondbacks in 2010, "I’m the last pitcher in history to have a 4 hit game." Pitcher Madison Bumgarner, who has 19 career home runs, was so at ease as a Giants slugger that he blew a celebratory snot rocket after crossing the plate with his first grand slam in 2014.

 

More often, though, the pitcher’s slot in the batting order is like the ballad at a heavy-metal concert: a cue to use the restroom. “The time to get a hot dog and a beer is when the pitcher comes to bat,” Joe Altobelli said when he was managing the Orioles Sandy Koufax and Hank Behrman singled cleanly to the outfield but were thrown out at first base after standing too long in the batter’s box gazing in wonder and disbelief at the ball they had just put into play. There is a cognitive dissonance when pitchers connect with the ball, a disbelief in some cases. "The impossible has happened!" Mets announcer Gary Cohen shouted when Bartolo Colon, who more often swung out from under his helmet, went yard at Petco Park in 2016. Addie Joss’s ancient theory of why pitchers can’t hit. Joss, who pitched for Cleveland in the first decade of the last century, said "A man accustomed to watching a ball go away from himself cannot comprehend a ball coming toward him." Tony Cloninger could. On July 3, 1966, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, the hard-throwing Braves righthander hit two grand slams against the Giants, then added a gratuitous single. Cloninger had nine RBIs, one for every inning he pitched in a complete-game, 17–3 win. He became the first player in NL history to hit two grand slams in a game

 

durenSportswriter Jack Kofoed saw nearly everyone play during the decades that baseball was America’s pastime. "I used to think the worst hitter I ever saw was Eppa Rixey," who went 1-for-26 (with a double) in 1914. But then he saw Ryne Duren: "Rixey was a regular Joe DiMaggio compared with [Duren]." Duren made a spectacle of himself, in spectacles, for 10 seasons, three of them with the Yankees. He might throw his first warmup pitch 100 mph to the backstop, then use a handkerchief to theatrically clean his glasses. Catcher Elston Howard painted his own nails with Mercurochrome just so Duren could read the signs. When Duren was on his knees one time repairing the mound with his hands, Gus Triandos of the Orioles asked Yogi Berra what Duren was doing. "Trying to find the rubber," Berra replied. For a man who could hardly see, Duren managed seven career hits. Three of them came in 1963. But he wasn’t the worst-hitting pitcher of the 1950s and ’60s Bob Buhl went oh-for-1962, when—as a member of the Braves and Cubs—he was hitless in 70 at bats. In a 15-year career, Buhl batted .089 and slugged, if that is the right word, .091.

 

Many pitchers, however, were proud of their prowess at the plate. On his 1973 Topps card Jim Kaat is racing out of the box, bat still in hand, a baseball player, not a pitcher. Kaat won 283 games and had 232 hits. It was another White Sox pitcher, reliever Terry Forster, who was by one measure, the best hitting pitcher of all time. David Letterman infamously called him a “fat tub of goo,” but Forster’s lifetime average of .397 over 16 seasons is the highest among pitchers with at least 50 at bats and 15 years’ experience. Don Drysdale was a beast: His .300 average in 138 at bats led all Dodgers regulars in 1965

 

There was something noble, pure, even purposeful about a pitcher’s striking out. In a game that’s already too long, pitchers’ fanning expeditiously served a vital purpose. When Braves pitcher Larry McWilliams struck out twice in the same inning of a 1979 game, he performed a public service. Jose Canseco wasn’t a pitcher, but he also struck out twice in one inning, and what he said after should be chiseled on the headstone of every pitcher who swung in vain: "Somebody’s got to make the outs"