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VOLUME:XLV ... June 1, 2019



First checkpoint of the year comes with Memorial Day that shows two first place ties in the Caray & Allen divisions. We have four teams within 3 games of first place in the Caray division. We see that Ottawa hates playing on the road. Four teams have better away W-L records than at home. Western NY likes playing at home. Centralia and Etiwanda hate it. Syracuse has same record home or away. Overall in May the home teams won 105 games and lost 75.


wny2HARWELL DIV: Western NY still on top of this division. They were 10-4 at home last month but a puny 5-8 on the road. The North Stars offense is the worst in the league but their pitching is the best that is helped by not giving out walks. Four games back of them is Albuquerque. The Horsemen matched the WNY road and away records in May. They've got the league best ISO, total bases, homers and extra base hits. Their defense isn't pretty and their pitching staff gopher balls are an issue. Cinci in 3rd and now nine back of first was 8-6h/4-9a last month. The Redlegs bats aren't doing great but the staff is keeping them competitive and they've turned more DP's than the rest. In fourth is Ottawa. The Fat Cats offense is just about right in the middle of league stats but their pitching is horrible. They were 8-6h/5-8a last month and are 13 out of first. Kentucky is 15 back and in last. They've got one of the better hitting attacks but pitching is a major problem. The Bourbons posted an 8-6h/6-7a in May.


graysyr2CARAY DIV: Homestead a co-leader here with a middle of the road offense but one the best pitching in the league, was 9-4 at home but a horrific 3-11 on the road last month. That opened the door for Syracuse to tie them. The Blue was 9-4h/6-8a last month. They are the only team in league with over 800 runners on base and a top three pitching staff despite handing out tons of walks. In third just three back of those two are Bennett Run & Laurel Highlands. The Boilermakers struggle to get people on but can hit homers, were 6-7h/6-8a. The Mustangs are one of four with plus 100 dingers were 7-6h/7-7a in May. They lead the league in stealing. Their pitching isn't doing so well. Centralia in last are 8 behind first despite a really solid but not much power hitting attack. Stealing bases is not a priority for these guys. When you see 6 stolen bases for an entire team it's hard to believe but then you see 10 caught stealing and wonder how those six were even attempted. The Minefires were 7-6h/6-8a last month.


knolegend2ALLEN DIV: Knob Noster and Port St Lucie are tied for first place here and they are the two best hitting teams in the league. The Knuckleheads were 6-3h/4-5a and have the best slugging pct and OPS of anyone. The Legends were 5-4h/6-3a in May. They struggle a bit to get runners on base. Both teams have a little better than average pitching. In third 10 back is Miami Beach after their 4-5h/6-3a month. The Bears hitting and pitching are a little weak. Etiwanda is two behind them. The Anteaters were 4-5h/4-5a last month and their pitching is covering for a severe lack of offensive power. In the cellar is Burnsville but just a game back of fourth. They were 4-5h/2-7a in May. The Blaze offense isn't very good but they have a defense that doesn't make many errors.


PLAYER STATS: yelichfreeman We've got one qualifying 300 hitter and that is Jose Segura (Mia). There are four other hitting in 290s. Christian Yelich (Syr) is one of those and he's got a league best OBP, OPS and is 2nd in Slugging. Francisco Lindor (Ott) tops that Slugging chart, has the most extra base hits and he's tied for the lead in homers, 2nd in OPS. Scooter Gennett (Alb) has a pretty good lead in RBI's with a couple of teammates chasing him. Max Muncy (Ben) is tied for the league lead with Lindor in bombs. He is also the very best we have in whiffing, by a lot. Bryce Harper (LHi) is one of three over 20 in long balls. Nick Markakis (Cen) is the best at collecting hits. Freddie Freeman (Hom) is tied for second in RBI, one of the top 10 in hits and leading the league in doubles. Mallex Smith (Ken) the best in hitting triples. Adalberto Mondesi (LHi) has a substantial lead in steals right now with Whit Merrifield (Ben) next. Carlos Santana (Hom) is just a bit in front of Harper on the walks list. Curtis Granderson (Cin) is technically the worst qualifying hitter in the league but Justin Upton (Hom) is also hitting a pathetic 160..... Looking at pitcher stats means reviewing the Western NY staff. Jacob deGrom (WNY) is tops in ERA, K's, WHIP, H/9 and tied for lead in wins. Probably throwing strikes too. His teammates are everywhere on these lists. David Price (WNY) is 2nd in ERA, 3rd in WHIP. Chris Sale (WNY) is fourth in ERA, 2nd in WHIP, tops in K/BB and K/9. Oh yeah, Edwin Diaz (WNY) leads in Saves. Luis Castillo (Cin) has lost more games than anyone else. Mike Minor (Ott) is right at the very bottom of the qualifying ERA list. It's not close either.


PAGE TWO: castillo Edwin Encarnacion (Cen) & Paul DeJong (Mia) still hitting 1000 so let's focus on Maikel Franco (Ken). He's hitting 328 with 12 deep on 125 at bats and near the bottom of that list is Ramon Quinn (Hom) who is hitting 107 with 28 ab's. There are four guys at 000 with under 10 at bats. Bryce Harper (LHi) has scored 57 runs. Adalberto Mondesi (LHi) has yet to be caught stealing in 34 attempts while Jonathan Villar (Hom) leads the league in caught stealing with 5 after 27 attempts. Kris Bryant (Ott) has now been drilled 18 times. Scooter Gennett (Alb) & Brandon Crawford (Eti) have 5 sac flies. We've had two bunts this year by David Peralta (Ben) & Yadier Molina (Hom). Jose Martinez (Cen) has hit into 13 doubleplays during 260 at bats and Rhys Hoskins (LHi) hasn't done it once after 228 ab's. Cesar Hernandez (Cen) has made 16 errors. Austin Barner (LHi) has 2 extra base hits with 70 ab's. There are 50 players with zero games played..... There are 25 undefeated pitchers and Clay Buchholz (Ben) plus Jordan Hicks (LHi) are 4-0. On the other end of that scale we find 32 winless pitchers and there's four with 0-4 records. Seung-hwan Oh (Alb) has a 0.00 ERA after 8+ innings. Noteworthy here is Collin McHugh (Mia) who's at 0.39 (1r/23ip). Chasen Bradford (Cin) has a 9.72 ERA in 16.7ip. Drew Steckinrider (Bur) has been in 37 games and 45 are looking for their first appearance. Tyler Skaggs (Bur), Max Scherzer (Syr) and Luis Castillo (Cin) have 3 complete games. There are four pitchers with 2 shutouts. Mike Minor (Ott) has given up 22 Big Al's in 80.3ip. Jordan Hicks (LHi) with 25.0ip hasn't given up any. Zack Godley (LHi) has walked 49 in 84 innings. Kyle Crick (Kno) has 0 walks with 14 innings and he has a 0.29 WHIP on that walk total and 4 hits allowed. Diego Castillo (Hom) has given up 14 walks and 21 hits in 15.3ip which is a 2.28 WHIP.


You can check all the top tens and team stats on our STAT page which is updated on the 1st and 15th each month.







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Longtime major-leaguer Bill Buckner dies at 69


bucknerBill Buckner is one of five players to appear in a game in the 1960s and the 1990s, along with Carlton Fisk, Rick Dempsey, Nolan Ryan and Jerry Reuss, according to Elias Sports. Across 22 seasons, Buckner had 2,715 hits, 1,208 RBIs, 1,077 runs scored and 174 home runs. A two-sport star growing up in Northern California, Buckner was taken by the Dodgers in the second round of the 1968 MLB draft. He made his major-league debut the next year at age 19 in the first of eight seasons with the Dodgers. In 1977, the Dodgers traded Buckner to the Cubs, with whom he won the NL batting title in 1980, hitting .324. A year later, he was named to his only All-Star team. The Cubs sent Buckner to the Red Sox in May 1984.


Bill Buckner, who played 22 MLB seasons is best remembered for one error in one game, died Monday. Buckner let a ground ball go between his legs for an error in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series against the Mets that allowed New York to rally from a 5-3 deficit in the bottom of the 10th inning and prevented the Red Sox from breaking the "Curse of the Bambino" and getting their first World Series victory since 1918. The play on Oct. 25, 1986, lived in infamy for years in Boston and will go down as one of baseball's costliest errors. At the time of his error - on Mookie Wilson's bouncer behind first base - teammates noted that the Red Sox wouldn't have even been in the World Series without the efforts of a guy about whom Hall of Fame Dodgers manager once said, "Billy Buck loves to play baseball."


Still, Red Sox Nation felt a personal betrayal by Buckner's error, and when he retired in 1990 and remained in Massachusetts, he faced continuing criticism and taunts from fans and the media alike. He eventually bought a ranch in Idaho and moved there with his family. Two decades after the error - after the Red Sox won a World Series in 2004 - Buckner marveled that people continued to ask him about The Play. "It just amazes me. I don't quite get it. I have come to the understanding that it is here to stay, so I try to look at it in a positive way," Buckner told ESPN in 2006. "Everybody still remembers me, they say, 'Yeah, he was the guy that made the error, but he was a pretty good player.' So I guess that is a positive about it." The same year Buckner said that, the Red Sox invited him to take part in a ceremony at Fenway Park commemorating the 20-year anniversary of the '86 team. Buckner declined.


Two years later, however, after another Red Sox victory in the World Series, Buckner was among the Boston sports greats on an April day celebrating a second championship in four seasons by delivering the ceremonial first pitch, a strike to former teammate Dwight Evans as Fenway Park roared. Afterward, his eyes red, he paused occasionally because of the emotion and spoke about the moment. "I really had to forgive, not the fans of Boston, per se, but I would have to say in my heart I had to forgive the media," Buckner said of why he decided to return to Fenway. "For what they put me and my family through. So, you know, I've done that and I'm over that." It's a hallmark of the healing that Buckner underwent that he and Wilson built a unique kinship over the years.

On Monday, the player taken in the first round ahead of Buckner, Bobby Valentine, mourned his passing and alluded to Buckner's place in baseball history: "As I clear my head and hold back the tears I know I will always remember Billy Buck as a great hitter and a better friend. He deserved better. Thank god for his family. I'll miss u Buck! - Bobby Valentine.


from the "Sporting News"