Friday, March 28, 2014

Season 30 Wrap Up - Atlanta is the Champion!

Atlanta Smackdown (NL)
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Atlanta wins it all in Season 30! 

28 seasons, 4 NL pennants, but no World Series titles.   That was the history of Lightman's Cobb journey headed into Season 30, the season in which it all paid off with the franchise's first World Series title.  Lightman finally found a formula that worked, defeating the Durham Bulls in a tough seven game series to win the crown.   Atlanta came into the playoffs as the #5 seed in the NL, unable to pass Rochester for the NL East title.  After taking down sub .500 Charleston in the opening round, they had the daunting task of facing 7-time champion and #1 seed Omaha.  Edging out Omaha 3-2 seemed to seal their destiny, but it wouldn't be easy, winning a tough NLCS against Burlington in 6, and then Durham in the World Series in 7.  Congrats to Lightman on the title, it's good to see an owner who has put in so many seasons into the world without winning one, finally take it home!

Here were season 30's award winners:
Most Valuable Player
American League -  Don Nation, Baltimore - .327 AVG 49 HR 133 RBI
Another amazing season at the plate earns Nation his 2nd MVP award in 3 seasons.  Arguably the premiere hitter in Cobb right now, he made his 2nd All-Star team and won his 3rd Silver Slugger award this season as well.  At just 28 going into Season 31, he could have a couple of more trophies by the end of his run. 

National League -  Harry Tracy, Atlanta - .321 AVG 62 HR 148 RBI
In addition to a World Series ring, Tracy took home the NL MVP award as well, his first.  Looking at his stat line, it's not hard to figure out why.  The young slugger also made the All-Star team in Season 30, and looks to have many more tremendous seasons ahead of him. 

Cy Young Award
American League -  Juan Romano, Durham - 19-8 3.71 ERA 162 K
The 36 year-old hurler showed in Season 30 that he's still got something left, taking home the AL Cy Young Award while helping Durham make it to the World Series.  Pretty unusual to see a player take home their first Cy Young at age 36, but his incredibly solid numbers in a hitter's heaven ballpark got the job done.  He also made his 4th All-Star team in Season 30.  

National League -  Harvey Diaz, Omaha - 19-8 2.53 ERA 166 K
Diaz took home his 3rd Cy Young award in Season 30 for the top regular season team, Omaha.  Yet another impressive season for Diaz saw him make his 4th All-Star team.  At age 32 going into Season 31, he certainly has a chance to enter the elite group of 4-time Cy Young winners, but the question is will it be with Omaha or another team?  

That does it for Season 30, looking forward to another great season for #31 after a hopefully quick rollover!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Season 29 Wrapup - Montreal takes the title!

Montreal Lanterne Rouge (AL)
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Montreal is your Season 29 Cobb Champion!

Season 29 saw two first time World Series participants go head to head for the Cobb World Series title, which would give us our first new champion since season 22.  In the end, it was Montreal who erased an early 2-0 deficit by winning the next 4 to take a tight World Series victory.  Montreal battled through the playoffs playing 22 games out of a maximum of 24 as the #3 seed in the AL.  Every series was close, but in the end they came through, thanks in large part to an offense that crushed 59 homers during the post season, and a pitching staff that held its own throughout.  Fresno has a nice run as the #2 seed in the NL, winning a tight divisional series and then cruising through the NLCS.  They gave Montreal a good battle, but in the end couldn't stop the powerful Montreal bats.

In other news, the Season 29 award winners were crowned and they are:

Most Valuable Player
American League -  Orlando Gabriel, Durham - .353 AVG 24 HR 102 RBI 22 SB
At age 30, Gabriel had his best season yet and was rewarded with the Most Valuable Player award and his first Silver Slugger award.  Gabriel sported a stellar .443 OBP to go along with his .353 AVG and slugged an impressive .578.  He topped his career best OPS by 168 points.  If only he had been playing in Durham sooner, who knows what his career numbers would look like.

National League - Keith Wilkins, Omaha -.337 AVG 36 HR 104 RBI 25 SB
Although Wilkins could not lead Omaha to a repeat championship, he gets the NL MVP as a consolation prize.  He flat out crushed the ball this season in a pitcher's park, no less.  Now if this guy was in Durham, the numbers would be down right scary.   He still managed ridiculous numbers like .430 OBP and .658 SLG to take home his first MVP trophy.   At age 27, it would be a surprise if Wilkins didn't rack up a few more MVPs before his career is done.

Cy Young Award
American League - Jamie Hayashi, Memphis - 2.18 ERA 17-4 146 K
Hayashi showed this season that he is an ageless wonder, taking home the Cy Young Award at age 37 with a stellar season for Memphis.  This is his first AL Cy Young Award, however, it should be mentioned that he took home 4 Cy Young Awards in the NL, now putting him amongst Cobb's all time greats with 5 Cy Young Awards.  Hayashi is surely Hall of Fame bounds, although it looks like he still has a couple of good seasons left in the tank, and who knows, maybe a 6th Cy Young?

National League - Gil Elster, Charleston - 2.36 ERA 18-5 147 K
Elster took home the NL Cy Young Award, his first, in an extremely close race.  It's hard to argue that he wasn't deserving though, with his microscopic ERA and WHIP and a great win-loss record.  Elster is a crafty lefty who is only 26 years old, and looks to be a sure fire stud pitcher for the next several seasons.  Certainly, he should contend for the Cy Young regularly for the foreseeable future.

That's a wrap on Season 29!  Don't forget to renew your teams for next season to make it a quick rollover!   Thanks to all the owners for another great season. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Season 28 Wrapup - Omaha Wins Another Title!

Omaha Wins the Season 28 Crown!

It's been quite a while since the last article in the Cobb Times Herald, I guess we were just waiting for a big moment, and the Omaha Sluggers winning their 7th World Series crown seems to fit the bill.  The Sluggers rolled through the playoffs sweeping their first two series and losing only 1 in the World Series to compile an 11-1 playoff record.   Their pitching was fantastic throughout the playoffs, and Jade Stetter was perfect closing games going 8 for 8 in save opportunities with a 0.00 ERA.  Their offense was pretty solid as well, with several players contributing good postseasons.  As mentioned, this is the 7th Cobb title for the Omaha Sluggers.  After winning 5 titles from Seasons 7-13, the well dried up for a bit, as they needed to go through a rebuilding phase.  It's finally paid off, as they have won 2 out of the last 3 titles.  If anyone knows the formula for putting together a championship club, it's yanks21, who not only has 7 World Series championships here, but a staggering 25 total, one of the best in Hardball Dynasty history!

In addition to the World Series trophy, some other hardware was handed out, here's a recap of the winners:

Most Valuable Player
American League - Don Nation, Baltimore - .339 AVG 51 HR 147 RBI
After an impressive rookie campaign that won him Rookie of the Year honors, Nation exploded on to the scene in his 2nd season to take the MVP award.  The former #9 overall draft pick pounded the ball this season, winning the AL Triple Crown, as led the league in batting average, home runs, RBI, and also Hits, Slugging and OPS. He definitely looks to be primed to contend for MVP for seasons to come.  He also won a Silver Slugger award this season.

National League -  Stephen Hubbard, Charleston -.331 AVG 53 HR 143 RBI
Hubbard won a close race for the NL MVP, however with his numbers you can't really dispute him winning.  This is Hubbard's 2nd MVP win, he also won in Season 24.  Although his last three seasons were good, he stepped it back up to an MVP caliber lever this season leading the NL in Home Runs and RBI, and finishing 4th in batting average.  He also won a Silver Slugger award this season.  At only 27, a third MVP title isn't out of the question.

Cy Young Award
American League - Doug Dreifort, Kansas City - 23-5 3.02 ERA 157 K
At age 34, Driefort, who was a rock all season in the World Series runner-up Kansas City rotation, took home his first Cy Young Award.   His 23 wins led the league, and he also made the All-Star team.  The winner by a wide margin, Dreifort had a truly impressive season in capturing the AL's top pitching honors.

National League - Oswaldo Veras, Omaha - 23-3 1.72 ERA 191 K
Veras was a runaway winner of the NL Cy Young Award, posting a microscopic ERA, the third lowest all-time in Cobb, and an extremely low WHIP, while tossing 7 complete games and 3 shutouts for the World Series Champions.  He won the first three Pitcher of the Week awards, and easily made the All Star team.  At age 26, this could be the first of many Cy Young Awards for Veras, who was simply dominant this season.

Well, that wraps up Season 28, and the first blog post in ages!  We hope to have more content next season.  Don't forget to renew your team for a quick rollover into Season 29.  See you next season!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Interview with jvford

After exhaustive study and meticulous research, the Cobb Herald has recently learned that the Pawtucket G-Maniacs have recently gone through a change of ownership. How this coup d'etat managed to occur so stealthily may be a mystery forever. But, now that the deed has been exposed, it is the duty of this publication to reveal the heart and soul of this owner through a hard hitting interview to see just what make jvford tick.

Any advice for tdfactory – the newest member of the AL North?

-Don't worry about winning the division. It's perfectly acceptable to settle for a WC run when you're in a division with me.

If you are JVFord, when do you make varsity?

-Well, if I haven't made it by now, I don't really think I have much of a shot.

If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?


What is your favorite breakfast food and why should we care?

-Oatmeal. And nobody should care because it's what everyone eats for breakfast, right?

Which pitcher do you dread facing the most?

-Any of the Tampa starters.

Any Addictions, Disease or Other Destructive Behaviors?

-You mean besides HBD? I guess my enjoyment of options trading could qualify as an addiction.

Did Jesus get as tired of Tim Tebow as the rest of us or did he just suck Vs. New England?

-Actually, I think God's a football fan and got tired of Jesus screwing around with the game.

Hypothetical question. ' Say, there's something in a person's past that if it got out, would cause harm to certain football coaches at a large State University. Would it be wrong to place a wager against that team.....then file charges, or the other way around?'

-Based on the few times I tried it, any gambling on college football is wrong.

Can you comment on the rumor that you were “involved” in pieo’s disappearance this season?

-"Unless you have specific information backed up by irrefutable evidence, please refrain from discussing any possible involvement of my client in pieogate....or we may be forced to take legal action." -Johnnie Cochran, Jr. Attorney for jvford

Which Cobb owner have you trade-raped the most since joining this league?

-I think all of my deals were for high priced vets, so none of the deals look as good for me a few seasons later. But I did really like the deal for Dorian Woolf. Now if only I can acquire a stud 200 inning RP for a pupu platter. ;-)

You’re filling in you’re lineup card, who do you bat cleanup – Angelina Jolie? Or Scarlett Johanssen? And what position does she field?

-AJ.....and she pitches. Seems like she's a competitive bitch who's not afraid to throw inside. But I'd rather bang SJ.

Funaki spent virtually his entire career with the G-maniacs, hitting over 500 HR’s and achieving a career OPS of .888. What was the real cause of the breakup?

-He was looking for a LT deal and my stat guys told me his production was going to fall off drastically after this season. Sounds a little cold-hearted, but sometimes you have to make the tough decisions. I wish him luck.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Steamers move east

CLEVELAND (AP) -- A Cleveland judge has ratified a binding agreement between outgoing Steamers owner Pieo and his former wife Pia in their divorce case.
Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon on Thursday signed off on the settlement reached in November that calls for Pieo to pay his ex-wife $131 million by the end of April.
Pieo and Cobb Baseball agreed late last year that the Steamers and the team's media rights would be sold. The team filed for bankruptcy protection in December after the league rejected a television contract with Fox.
Among those who have expressed interest in buying the Steamers is a group that includes grissom97 who has already made arrangements to move the franchise to the east coast. Says new owner Grissom97, "This team and this city both need a fresh start, and that isn't going to happen as long as we remain in this community"
The franchise was welcomed at the Hartford airport by a strange man in a trenchcoat with a disturbing smile plastered on his face. The unidentified fan simply muttered a single phrase over and over again . . . "i can't believe he's finally gone . . . I can't believe he's finally gone . . ."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

You Thieving Bastards!

Kiko B. Real - Cobb Times Herald

Steals, swipes, SB's, whatever you want to call them there are few players in Cobb world history who have been able to steal a base with regularity.  To date, there are only 5 members of the 800 club, all elite base stealing artists who have used the fine art of theft to record their place in history.  In honor of Charlie Erving's eventual move into the top spot this season, today we are profiling the five top base swipers in Cobb history.

5. Marc Reagan - 800 Stolen Bases

Marc Reagan
Age: 37B/T: L/L
Born: Middle Island, NY
Position(s): CF/CIF/2B/OF/DH
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Bugs Moran
When asked which famous thief he most identified himself with, Reagan chose the notorious 1920's gangster Bugs Moran.  "Of course Bugs Moran is my thieving idol," he said, "for crying out loud, Bugs was the inventor of the drive-by, I mean, can you think of any more allegorical term for base swiping?   He was the inspiration behind my trademarked machine gun spray celebration every time I stole a base.  And it is a testament to my tommy gun and base stealing abilities that I never ran out of bullets." 

Reagan spent the bulk of his career with the Jackson Pollocks, and stole a career best 87 bases in season 10.  He was never an all star at the ML level, but was a notorious clubhouse prankster, and a great teammate by all accounts.  "I remember the time he put itching powder all over Woody Oleruds bed (a notorious neat freak at the time) and told him that it was probably bedbugs.  That was a riot!," reminisced former Pollocks SP Tori Person.

4. Alfredo Cruz - 801 Stolen Bases

Alfredo Cruz
Age: 35B/T: L/L
Born: Mineral, VA
Position(s): LF/DH
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Al Capone
Cruz had a very quick answer when describing his favorite thief of all time.  "Al Capone, because he gunned down Bugs Moran," Cruz explained, "You see, I never liked Marc Reagan, especially that stupid tommy gun business.  There is no place for that on the baseball field.  I vowed I wouldn't retire until I was insurmountable in my stolen base total, and once I reached my goal of 801 steals, I did it.  Now he will always be looking up at me in the rankings." 

The mercurial Cruz, who spent only 7 seasons in the major leagues, is also the single season base stealing leader, posting 211 stolen bases in season 8, a number that will likely never be topped.  "He was kind of a jerk, but man could he run," remembered SP Ralph Hill of his days in Scranton with Cruz.  "I think he was kind of offended by players like Marc Reagan showing off and thinking they were all that, when he was busy doubling their stolen base totals."  Cruz ultimately tired of playing baseball after being played at 1B for several seasons and then being demoted to the minors for "not posting a high enough OPS" by what he called the "idiot Bill James Moneyball Bastards" in the front office of the Philadelphia franchise at the time.

3. Al Rosario - 842 Stolen Bases (Active)

Al Rosario
Age: 34B/T: L/L
Born: Millers Creek, NC
Position(s): RF/1B/LF/DH
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Robin Hood
Rosario likes to compare himself to Robin Hood when it comes to thieves.  "I really like him because not only did he steal for good and all that stuff, but he was more than just a thief.  He was a ladies man with Maid Marian, could shoot a mean longbow, and used to be a knight under King Richard.  I would like to think of myself as a baseball version of that, I can do many things on the field, not just steal bases."

Indeed, Rosario is more than just a base stealing threat, having popped nearly 300 HR's in his career, is a 4 time all star, World Series Champion, and former Silver Slugger RF. His top basestealing year though came in Iowa City during season 14 when he pilfered 93 bases for the Corn Dogs.  He is still plying his trade for the Pawtucket G-Maniacs, and while his speed has slowed down, (only 50 SB's last season) he is still a very productive bat and veteran presence in the G's lineup. 

2. Charlie Erving - 881 Stolen Bases (Active)

Charlie Erving
San Francisco
Age: 33B/T: R/R
Born: Hatch, NM
Position(s): 2B/CIF/OF/DH
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Kaiser Söze
Erving is primed and ready to take over the top spot in Cobb all time stolen bases, needing only 7 more to reach that lofty height.  He compares himself to Kaiser Söze, saying, "You never know I have stolen a base until you look over to 1st and see that I am already gone."  Indeed, Erving is the best base stealer to date in Cobb, and still has several years of good baseball left in him.  "It is my goal to steal 1000 bases, and become the first player in Cobb history to reach that mark," Erving also remarked.

His Earthquake teammates describe Erving as a humble and quiet fellow, but fiercely driven.  "I came up through the system with him at the same time, and if it weren't for the fact that you could see him you would never know he is standing there," said teammate Andres Tatis of Erving, "He's a pretty complex fellow though, he watches foreign films and stuff like that, and even reads the Guardian.  I mean, what other baseball player do you know that reads a British newspaper?"  The multiple all star and silver slugger might not let you know it, but he certainly respects the milestone he is about the reach, and the man who currently owns it.

1. Emmanuel Castillo - 888 Stolen Bases

Emmanuel Castillo
Age: 37B/T: R/R
Born: Bani, DO
Position(s): LF/1B/DH
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Pancho Villa
When it comes to base stealing threats, there has been nobody in Cobb like Hall of Famer Emmanuel Castillo.  One of the greatest leadoff men to play the game, Castillo compared himself to Pancho Villa, the Mexican revolutionary general.  "I would like to think of myself as a great man, such as Villa, a hero to his people, who fought for what was right, and was a noble thief.  I stole the bases for the good of my team, but would do whatever it took to win, that was my role, just as Villa," said Castillo. 

Indeed, Castillo may soon be surpassed by Erving at the top of the list, but it will take some doing for Erving to surpass Castillo as a leadoff man and historical threat.  In addition to his stolen bases (4 seasons with 100 or more), Castillo scored 1,639 runs, was a 4 time all star, and a World Champion.  "Emmanuel was a class act," said former Corn Cleat teammate Ben Harris, "and as good a player to play the game as there was.  Having him and Marino Sierra at the top of the order was something to see, it was like watching two cheetahs flying around out there on the bases!" 

When asked about Eving breaking his record, Castillo was contemplative, "It will be hard to lose my place at the top, but time passes and the game changes, and it was bound to happen eventually.  Really though I am just glad it wasn't Marc Reagan, that tommy gun business was bush league, and Erving is a class act."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Season 21 World Series Preview

Lars the Greek - Special to Cobb Times Herald

Lars the Greek is back from his hiking trip into Afghanistan and subsequent 4 year imprisonment in Iran to offer you the Season 21 World Series preview.  This year we have the slightly above average NL East champ Wichita Wankers versus the AL West champ Tacoma Jerry Gang in a battle of fighting 4 seed wildcard warriors.  Both teams have ridden some stellar playoff play to the title round, and one lucky owner will end their long suffering playoff drought, as between these two there have been four previous World Series appearances with no hardware to show for it.  So who will lose the least and luck into their title?  Read on and find out!

Wichita Wankers
--The Wankers certainly didn't expect to be in this position, as they announced a rebuilding effort at the start of the season, and traded star Dorian Woolf at the trading deadline for prospects.  Yet some potent weapons still remain on the team, first and foremost SP Davey Silva.  Once again the future HOFer has been unhittable in the playoffs, and has been able to help dominate a short series to get Wichita to the final round.  If he can get support from just one other pitcher it is possible he could win three games all by himself.  In the lineup there certainly has been an unexpected hero in George Sears, who has been on fire in the playoffs, supporting Carlton Nelson and Vic Flores admirably.  But it has really been a group effort for the Wankers, with nobody outside of Silva and Sears truly distinguishing themselves. 

Tacoma Jerry Gang
--The Jerry Gang have proven their mettle in this playoff year, defeating the always tough Cleveland Steamers and the up and coming KC Seether on the way to the finals.  Juan Javier has been a house of fire for the lineup, with 6 HR's and 17 RBI's, and is clearly the driving force for run production for the offense.  The pitching has been led by a balanced rotation featuring no pitcher with more then 2 wins.  But Al Gomez certainly could have had some more with better run support, has he has posted a 1.00 ERA and a .81 WHIP in 27 IP in the playoffs, but with only 2 wins to show for it.  He has been unhittable and could be the foil to Silva. 

Lars Key to the Series
--On paper Tacoma has the better lineup, and Lars thinks that will show over time.  But Wichita has Davey Silva, whose numbers speak for themselves.  A lot will be asked of the Wichita ace if he is to earn his first World Series ring.  All it takes is one loss and suddenly Tacoma will be in the drivers seat regarding pitching matchups.  Silva has to be perfect, and if he is Wichita will win.  If not, the Wankers will be looking on as Tacoma denies them their championship for the fourth time. 

Lars Crystal Ball
--Lars wants to say that the Tacoma Jerry Gang will win, as their team is clearly more talented top to bottom.  But something about the Wankers this season is shining a bright beacon through his crystal ball.  The Wankers cannot be denied, and this is the year they will finally win, proving yet again in Cobb that a wild card team can be deadly in the playoffs.  Wankers in 6.