Monday, March 31, 2008

HoF or Not? - Catchers

Giullermo Santuci - Cobb Times Herald

Spring is the time when many young players show their stuff to prove they have what it takes to make it in the bigs. The established stars merely train to get in game shape, while many vets give it one last go before calling it quits. And when the big stars call it a day, the Hall of Fame beckons. Today we are taking a look at which Cobb World catchers have the potential to make it to Cooperstown when the day comes that they hang up their cleats for the last time.

Vernon Jones
Sioux Falls
Corn Cleats
Age: 26B/T: R/R
Born: Plainfield, NJ
Position(s): C/1B
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Vernon Jones - Sioux Falls Corn Cleats
Qualifications: 5 All Star appearances, 1 ROY, 4 Silver Sluggers, 1 Home Run Derby Championship, 283 HR's, 4.15 ERA
Detriments: None
HoF or Not: HoF - Duh, this guy's a lock. Barring a catastrophic injury he will post the best numbers of any catcher in the history of Cobb World, and he's only 26 years old. By the time he retires he could be the career leader in HR's, RBI's, and many other categories.

Vitas Newman
Age: 33B/T: L/R
Born: Oviedo, ES
Position(s): C/1B
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Vitas Newman - Louisville Tysons
Qualifications: 5 All Star appearances, 1 Silver Slugger, 246 HR's, 1.055 OPS
Detriments: 4.58 ERA
HoF or Not: HoF - Newman is about as close as a lock for the HoF as you can get at the catcher position. He has been one of the most feared hitters in the league, which offsets his average catching skills.

Fausto Pena
Age: 34B/T: R/R
Born: Rancho Viejo, DO
Position(s): C
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Fausto Pena - Omaha Sluggers
Qualifications: 1 All Star appearance, .305 BA, 1176 Hits, 4.17 ERA
Detriments: Light power numbers
HoF or Not: HoF - Pena has been one of the best defensive catchers in the game for a long time, which overshadows his fading as he ages. A good hitter too, Pena will be remembered for his ability to call a very good game.

Patrick Stanton
Age: 28B/T: R/R
Born: Bradley, IL
Position(s): C/DH
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Patrick Stanton - Vancouver Grizzlies
Qualifications: 2 All Star appearances, 1 Silver Slugger, 264 HR's, 4.10 ERA
Detriments: .269 BA, 22% Caught Stealing
HoF or Not: NOT - Stanton has all the potential in the world, but has underperformed to the point where he is a borderline candidate for the Hall. He is still young enough to turn it around though, and his power numbers are very hard to ignore.
Editor's Note - On second opinion the Cobb Times Herald staff thinks that Stanton is an HoF player, after further review of his defensive stats, it is obvious that Stanton is HoF material.

Eddie Helms
Age: 27B/T: R/R
Born: Sonora, TX
Position(s): C/DH
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Eddie Helms - Anaheim Sharks
Qualifications: 3 All Star appearances, 1 Silver Slugger, .322 BA, .962 OPS, 4.22 ERA,
Detriments: Light power numbers.
HoF or Not: HoF - Helms is still young for a catcher and the future looks good as long as he doesn't get hurt.

Lonny Boyd
Age: 28B/T: R/R
Born: Grandfield, OK
Position(s): C/DH
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Lonnie Boyd - Jackson Pollocks
Qualifications: 1 All Star appearance, .318 BA, 4.36 ERA, .999 OPS
Detriments: 75% SB against success rate, Small career totals in hits and power numbers.
HoF or Not: NOT - 1 All Star appearance isn't enough, and his stats are good but not as dominant as his contemporaries.

Benjamin Christenson
Rebel Riders
Age: 29B/T: S/R
Born: Hinsdale, NH
Position(s): DH/C
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Benjamin Christianson - Nashville Rebel Riders
Qualifications: 3 All Star appearances, 3 Silver Sluggers, 188 HR's, .926 OPS
Detriments: ERA of 5.46, 80% success rate for SB attempts, only 544 games played at age 29.
HoF or Not: NOT - Not yet anyways, if he can keep up his production for another few years this will probably change into HoF territory. He would help his cause by calling a better game, but in his defense he hasn't had the best rotations to work with.

Pedro Fernandez
Age: 35B/T: R/R
Born: Gorham, ME
Position(s): C/DH
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Pedro Fernandez - Seattle Seacows (Minors)
Qualifications: 3 All Star appearances, 1 Gold Glove, 1080 hits, .307 BA
Detriments: Career ERA of 5.40
HoF or Not: HoF - Fernandez was elite for the first 5 seasons of Cobb World, and we can only imagine what his career totals would have been if he had 5 more seasons in his prime on his record.

Bobby Griffin
Age: 36B/T: R/R
Born: Milton, PA
Position(s): C/DH
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Bobby Griffin - Retired
Qualifications: 1 All Star appearance, 1 Silver Slugger, .334 BA
Detriments: Career ERA of 6.60, only 772 hits.
HoF or Not: NOT - Griffin was good but not great, and although his ERA is inflated due to catching for Honolulu in season 2, he still wasn't quite good enough on the defensive end.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The__Kid - I love Coach Hiring!

Buster Gunns - Cobb Times Herald

In an announcement that came as a shock to absolutely nobody, Charlotte Dogs manager The__Kid held a press conference to announce the beginning of coach hiring. The__Kid exclaimed, "I love coach hiring! I look forward to it every year, it's like Christmas times ten baby!" He went on to present a powerpoint program detailing his plan to dominate all phases of coach hiring. The highlight was when the Dogs faithful were able to see the $20 million allocated to signing the best and the brightest coaches available. "We may not dominate every aspect of the game, but by George, we are going to dominate coach hiring and I have ensure that the Dogs have the funds to do just that," explained a confident The__Kid. Fans of the Dogs are hoping that the domination of coach hiring can carry over into the regular season against their division rivals in the AL South.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

International Dream Team

Cortez Mack - Cobb Times Herald

Season 7 was a banner year for international prospects, featuring the likes of Paul Jung, Sammy Bennett, Quilvio Suarez, Geronimo Liriano, Jimmie Julio, and a whole host of other great prospects. There is no doubt that many superstars were signed last season, but they still have a ways to go before many of them reach the major leagues. With that in mind the question arises of who are the all time great internationals in Cobb World? The Times Herald has assembled its starting lineup and rotation for you to review.

Jung Lee
Age: 22B/T: R/R
Born: Yokosuka, JP
Position(s): C/DH
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Catcher: Jung Lee - Huntington Hillbillies
--While only signed in season 5, Lee has made a big impact in his two full seasons at the big league level. His career batting average is .291, and his power is increasing each season. The future is bright, especially as his pitch calling skills continue to improve.
Honorable Mentions: Michael Ong - Louisville Tysons, and Geronimo Seguinol - Pittsburgh SSP, Jimmie Julio - St. Louis HoundDogs

Quilvio Suarez
Age: 19B/T: S/R
Born: Rancho Viejo, DO
Position(s): 1B
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1B - Quilvio Suarez - Huntington Hillbillies
--No real quality 1B prospects appeared until season 5, but the real monsters were reserved for season 7 when Quilvio Suarez was signed. Fetching an impressive 17 million dollar bonus, the young Suarez boasts bone crushing power and a very good eye. Time will tell if he produces, but he has all the skills.
Honorable Mentions: Vladimir Segui - New York Titans, Omar Rosado - New York Pick Pockets

Benny Pineda
Sioux Falls
Corn Cleats
Age: 25B/T: R/R
Born: Guarenas, VE
Position(s): 2B/3B
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2B - Benny Pineda - Sioux Falls Corn Cleats
--Signed in season 1 for a paltry 3.7 million dollars, Pineda has been producing at the Big League level since season 2, and has a career average of .297. He has been a solid run producer and OBP guy, and his defense has been solid. Truly a bargain at the 2B position.
Honorable Mentions: Omar Rosado - Louisville Tysons, Sammy Bennett - Tacoma Jerry Gang

Rico Estrada
New York
Age: 26B/T: R/R
Born: Santa Teresa, VE
Position(s): SS
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SS - Rico Estrada - New York Titans
--Opposite of the 3B position, there is a bounty of shortstops to choose from when trying to figure out the best international. We decided to go with the most titanic of the Titans, Rico Estrada. The guy does it all, could reach 3,000 hits, and has the coolest shades in the league. Truly worthy of a man-crush and a spot on our team.
Honorable Mentions: R. J. Cubillan - Pittsburgh SSP, Raul Palacios - Syracuse Beagles

Max Posada
Age: 26B/T: R/R
Born: Puerto Plata, DO
Position(s): 3B/1B/COF/DH
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3B - Max Posada - Huntington Hillbillies
--Without a doubt the weakest position for internationals, Max Posada is the best that there is to offer. That isn't saying much, as he is currently a role player backing up younger players. We'll just move on from here.
Honorable Mentions: None

Geronimo Liriano
Age: 20B/T: S/R
Born: Santo Domingo, DO
Position(s): LF/1B/RF/DH
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LF - Geronimo Liriano - Richmond Cohibas
--If Liriano develops he will be devastating at the plate. His bat projects to be supreme, and he has some big time power. The only knock is that he isn't a good contact hitter. But when you slug like he can, that isn't a big deal.
Honorable Mentions: None

Jose Cervantes
Age: 25B/T: R/R
Born: Boca De Soco, DO
Position(s): CF/CIF/2B/OF/DH
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CF - Jose Cervantes - Syracuse Beagles
--Cervantes is a power hitting home run monster, and he has the range and glove to be very good in the field as well. With 304 HR's to his credit at the age of 25, Cervantes could be the all time leader in that category by the time he retires. Not known for his contact hitting skills, his ability to work a pitcher deep into the count is renowned around the league.
Honorable Mentions: Paul Jung - K. C. KILL

Virgil Dominguez
Age: 20B/T: R/R
Born: Aragua, VE
Position(s): RF/1B/LF/DH
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RF - Virgil Dominguez, Richmond Cohibas
--This is a pick based on potential, and Dominguez has a ton of it. Dominguez looks to be particularly devastating against right handed pitching, and should be able to hit for a solid average versus lefties as well. He won't kill you in the field, and he is durable enough to play most days. The future looks good for Dominguez.
Honorable Mentions: Rico Cruz - Seattle Seacows, Al Morales - Richmond Cohibas

Ruben Montero
Age: 24B/T: R/R
Born: Punto Fijo, VE
Position(s): P (SP1)
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SP - Ruben Montero - Syracuse Beagles
--Montero has been the most consistently good international starting pitcher, racking up career ML totals of 51 wins and an ERA of 3.79 in four full seasons. The ace of a young and talented Syracuse staff, he is still improving, which is a frightening prospect for the rest of the league.
Honorable Mentions: Tony Cho - Wichita Wankers, Alfonso Vega - Louisville Tysons, Bernie Lopez - Huntington Hillbillies, Victor Gandarillas - Tacoma Jerry Gang, Pascual Mendoza - Sioux Falls Corn Cleats

Victor Romano
San Francisco
Age: 23B/T: R/R
Born: Mao Valverde, DO
Position(s): P (SuA)
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RP - Victor Romano - San Francisco Blur
--Romano is just coming into his own in the majors, and has a bright future ahead of him in the bullpen. He worked 78 innings in his rookie year and is looking to improve upon that total in future seasons. With his precise control and dominating stuff, especially against right handed hitting, he is a future all star.
Honorable Mentions: James Gao - Sioux Falls Corn Cleats

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Titans in Town

Tito McQueen - Cobb Times Herald

There are some new Titans in town, and there names aren't Cronos, Atlas, and Typhon, but Estrada, Leyritz, and Duran. The New York Titans forever alienated the fans of Boston when the former Heat franchise packed up their bags and left town in the middle of the night to move to the Big Apple. Fans in Boston were furious, and were considering filing a lawsuit with the Commissioner's Office. "I don't know what I am going to do now that the Heat are gone, all that is left in Boston during the summer is Lobster fishing and Car Talk on NPR. That's no way to live," said angry fan Marty O'Houlihan. "That owner furniss is a ****in ****!" yelled infuriated fan Hal Halloran. "If the Heat ever come back here, we'll **** them up!" screamed positively enraged fan Liam Loughlin.

Meanwhile the fans in New York were absolutely thrilled to get a winning AL team, after several years of watching the lovable losers of the NY Brokers. Excited fan Mike Lovecchio exclaimed, "Not only do we get a winning team, but we get to stick it to those losers in Boston. Sweet!" Indeed the mood was bright all over New York as the city welcomed it's newest team. A ticker tape parade was being planned for opening day, and Rico Estrada bobbleheads are already on order.

When asked how this would affect the fan base of the National League Pick Pockets, the common reaction from fans was, "Who are the Pick Pockets?," or, "We have an NL team?" Pick Pocket PR director Karl Wasserman issued a statement saying, "We look forward to having the Titans in New York, and to make sure that people realize that we play baseball as well as any American League team, we are doubling our advertising dollars to $32.46." The common opinion was that with the Brokers being a sleepy team, the Pick Pockets could grab the fans in this traditionally AL city, but they will have a harder time this season claiming a portion of the fan base.

As for the owner of the Heat, furniss13 was unavailable for comment at the time of the article, but the team issued a statement saying, "The NY Titans organization is thrilled to be playing in such a great city, and we hope that our park will be a big attraction to the local fans. As for our former fans in Boston, we enjoyed our stay, but with cable TV budgets being what they were, Boston just couldn't compete. Look for Titan TV, Titan Radio, and Titan Internet Media to be all over the NY airwaves soon!"

Omaha Sweeps Series

Buster Gunns - Cobb Times Herald

The Omaha Sluggers swept the Anaheim Sharks for their first World Series title. The series turned out to be a slugfest with the Anaheim pitching getting shelled in every game. The Omahalic fan contingency was able to witness the sweep at Rosenblatt Stadium, and were thrilled that the Sluggers were able to finish the sweep at home. Star pitcher Kazuhiro Ong won game 4, and was thrilled with the win. "This is a great moment in the history of the Sluggers, and the greatest moment professionally for me. I can't wait to get back on the mound and defend the title," Ong said. Sluggers star slugger Jose Barrios capped off an MVP season by having an outstanding series, and was also vocal in the clubhouse, "This is as sweet or sweeter than my ring from season 1, that team was loaded and expected to win, but Lars the Greek picked us to flame out. Obviously he is an idiot, and we are champs!" The mood over in the visitors clubhouse was somber, and pitcher C.J. Bones spoke for the team, saying, "Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature's delight." The final tally was truly delightful for the Sluggers however, and the party is still going on in Omaha.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Commisioner Speaks!

Cortez Mack - Cobb Times Herald

After a season of boycotting the media, Chicago Sabercats owner and Cobb League Commissioner daubs23 finally graced the Times Herald with an interview. An original owner in Cobb World, daubs23 was installed as the commissioner after metsmaniac2 ditched the league in dubious fashion. His Sabercats have never made the playoffs, but have arguably the most personality of any team in the league. Here is what he had to say:

daubs23, the Sabercats of Chicago are known for being a surly bunch, to what do we attribute their bad attitudes?
--Who says we have bad attitudes? Just because we refuse to talk to the media, it doesn't mean we don't have bad attitudes. The strippers that are here for the pre-and-post game spreads all seem to enjoy our company!

Of the Sabercats, who is the baddest dude in the clubhouse, the enforcer of locker room law, if you will?
--Kip Zeile. He obviously keeps everyone in place--or at least tries to. There was this rookie once who tried to talk back to him and he ended up getting sent down to Rookie Ball.

Kip Zeile
Age: 26B/T: S/R
Born: Poteau, OK
Position(s): 1B
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Will the Sabercats ever rise above 2nd place? Or are they destined to be lovable losers like some other Chicago teams we know and adore?
--Hey--any team can have a bad century! I mean...wait...any team can have a bad 7 years! If only we ever actually had Scouts to do any of our Scouting instead of those damn chimps....

As commish of the league, are there any reforms you would like to see introduced into the Cobb World of HBD? Name specifics if you can.
--I think there should be a cap on trades during the course of the season--it would level the playing field. I also believe the commish should get a sandwich pick every year to help his team make the playoffs.

Would you like to be known as a kind hearted commissioner, or the kind of commish who makes his subjects wallow in fear?
--I'm a kind hearted commissioner--as much as I would like everyone to fear me, it might make it harder to recruit other owners.

What are your thoughts about Fabrica del Beisbol del Diablos? Good products for fans, or bad times for players?
--Good for the fans--it really keeps the game interesting. Although, I don't think I've ever signed anyone from the Fabrica del Beisbol del Diablos. On 2nd thought, we should get rid of it until I sign someone!

As an original owner, you have managed the same team for eight full seasons now. Are there any trades you are proud of, and which one would you like back?
--I regret a little bit of trading Kory Arnold who may win Rookie of the Year this year. But since he was behind Zeile, I needed to move him. There are others like Moreno for Jed Maddux that don't look good now. Trading Richard Aoki wasn't my best moment.

I did like my trade of Morales back to mrploppie and I received Raymond Adams who should win Rookie of the Year this year!

Are there any of your original players from season 1 still stepping on to the field for the Sabercats today?
--Russell Stark and Ernest O'Malley have been with me since Day 1. Kip Zeile was in AAA in the first season. And that's about it.

What are your thought's about Kip Zeile's automobile collection?
--Have you seen some of those cars? That collection is UNBELIEVABLE!!! I wish I had cars like that when I was younger--imagine the chicks I could pick up with those!

There are rumours throughout the league that Zeile has some rage problems. Is this true, or is it hogwash?
--I'm not saying it's true, but I really wouldn't bring it up to him if I were you. *points to my nose*

What is the official soft drink of the Chicago Sabercats?
--Pepsi-Cola...and Jolt for all the solo home runs we hit!

Do you wish you could play in a ballpark other than the Cell? Old Comisky perhaps, or are you a Wrigley guy?
--See--this is why I've been boycotting the media for the past year! HELLO!!! Just because I play in the AL, doesn't mean I play at the Cell. Look--it says WRIGLEY FIELD. You dumb writers can't get anything right! Forget this--THIS INTERVIEW IS OVER!!!

*Comes back 10 minutes later* My agent said it's probably a better idea to finish this interview and my apologies for the rant. He also says "Next Question."

If you could appropriate any pitcher and hitter from any other team in the league, who would they be? And do you think they would get along with Zeile in the clubhouse?
--For a pitcher, I'd love to see Kazuhiro Ong on the Sabercats. Might make my pitching staff actually look good. I think Hades Booker would also look good in a Sabercat uniform. Getting along with Kip is another question...he has a thing against African-American players and Orientals...

Any minor leaguers that you are really looking forward to seeing make the leap to the pro team? a fellow owner once said, there are no minor leaguers in my system that are worth having. I'm interested in seeing Pedro Sardinha at the ML level since he's been excellent at every other level he's tried.

The question almost everyone wants an answer to regarding the Sabercats is, why on Earth did you trade for Lefty Groom?
--Ok, here's the confession. When I thought about making that trade, I was high as a kite--or drunk--or both. So, when I put the package together and got those two other pitchers (Kraemer and Bush), I thought I'd get another pitcher in the deal. I needed a Left-handed RP and thought Lefty would be a good fit to resurrect his career. After Lefty came to the team, did I actually realize a guy named Lefty threw Right-handed.

If daubs23 had official theme music, what would it be?
--Being a fan of AC/DC and Metallica, I would have to say it would either be Hells Bells, Thunderstruck, or One. But, it can't be Thunderstruck because the White Sox play it, so we'll go with Hells Bells since it's on my cell phone.

Who's your pick to win the World Series this year?
--WAIT--we play a World Series in our League? Who would have thunk that? I'm rooting for geltz because if he wins, he might take it easy on me and I might actually sniff the playoffs next season! (Editors Note - This interview was recorded prior to the Divisional Championship Series)

Manager of the Year - The_Kid

Armando Verdugo - Cobb Times Herald

In an announcement that came as a surprise to almost everyone, The_Kid has been named Manager of the Year by the Associated Press. The_Kid, manager of the Charlotte Dogs in the AL of Cobb World, led his team to an 81-81 record and second place finish in the "winnable" AL South, was a surprise pick by the news organization. "I think that he paid off the writers, and coordinated the transfer of a large sum of money into their accounts," said an anonymous source close to the Dogs. The_Kid was unavailable for comment at the time of the award posting, with his agent saying that he was at a charity golf event at Hilton Head.

AL Awards - MVP Madness!

Armando Verdugo - Cobb Times Herald

For the second year in a row there was chaos in the commissioner's office when the AL awards were announced. The MVP was the closest race in AL history as Helena Hellraiser Thomas Hill's nine votes were barely enough to beat second place finishers Ken Puffer of the Scranton Dragons and Samuel Kennedy of the Charlotte Dogs eight votes. Kip Zeile of the Chicago Sabercats finished 4th with four votes, and Alfredo Cruz of the Dragons had three. In the other awards Olmedo Contreras of the Anaheim Sharks dominated the Cy Young voting, Kory Arnold of the Sharks was the Rookie of the Year, and Randall Harvey of the Sharks was the Fireman of the Year.

Thomas Hill
Age: 26B/T: R/R
Born: Loudonville, NY
Position(s): CF/3B/2B/OF
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Although Hill was very happy to have won, the other contenders weren't as gracious. "If I weren't on a media boycott I would say this is Bull****," said Sabercat Kip Zeile. Kennedy was also blunt, "Heck man, I was great this year, and glad I won. But what the heck was up with Cruz even being on the ballot? He's not in my league. My man Orber Olivo should have been on the ballot, not that one dimensional base stealer!"

Olivo, who was at the ceremony with his teammate Hill, was quite frustrated. "I get Lil' John to be on my posse and play my songs. I bring national attention to the otherwise forgotten Helena metro-statistical area. I even hit 46 HR's in an OFF YEAR. I'm filing a discrimination suit!" voiced an obviously irritated Olivo. Scranton Dragon Puffer chimed in on the matter, saying, "I think I was hurt because those damn Boston fans started calling me 'Puffer the Magic Dragon,' which is totally a girlie name. If I had a more manly nickname I would have won, I know it." Finally Samuel Kennedy had to get his two cents in when he said, "Dude, I didn't win? Bogus!"

Olmedo Contreras
Age: 33B/T: L/L
Born: N Augusta, SC
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Contreras celebrated his first Cy Young award with a bottle of champagne, which some think was responsible for his performance in game 1 of the World Series. "This award goes out to all of my family, my friends, my teammates, my lawn keeper, my kids nanny, my shoe shiner, my personal theme musician, and my 3rd grade school teacher, Sister Francesca Quivaldes, who always believed in me, even when I was having my knuckles rapped by her ruler," said a jubilant Contreras. Second place finisher Albert Franco of the Pawtucket G-Maniacs congratulated the winner, "Perhaps if I hadn't have choked in the playoffs again I would be the winner. But it is what it is. Congratulations to Contreras."

Kory Arnold
Age: 23B/T: L/L
Born: Ft. Pierce, FL
Position(s): DH/1B
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In the Rookie of the Year competition Anaheim Shark Kory Arnold was thrilled to have won his first major award. "I had 42 HR's, played on a great team, and am now in the World Series, eat that Kip Zeile! Booyah!," screamed an ecstatic Arnold. Brace Davey of the Kansas City KILL finished second with 8 votes to Arnold's 12. "Maybe if I played on a world series team I would get some pub," he said, continuing, "and that was a low blow to Kip, the man is nice enough to refer me to some very nice doctors and car dealers, that was a low blow by Arnold."

Randall Harvey
Age: 35B/T: R/R
Born: Minnetonka, MN
Position(s): P (ClA)
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In the fireman of the year competition veteran Shark closer Harvey finished off a fine season where he converted 38 of 43 saves. "This is a great cap to my career," said the aging Harvey, "I will put this award in a place of honor on my mantelpiece."

NL Awards - The Usual Suspects

Armando Verdugo - Cobb Times Herald

Award winners were announced today at the Cobb World commissioners office, and there were no surprises in the bunch. Jose Barrios of the Omaha Sluggers won another MVP, Kazuhiro Ong of the Sluggers won another Cy Young, Wichita Wanker Milt Serafini ran away with the Rookie of the Year award, and Sioux Falls Corn Cleat Shane Parrish won the Fireman of the Year award.

Jose Barrios
Age: 28B/T: L/L
Born: Darillo, NI
Position(s): LF/1B/2B/RF/DH
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In bringing home his third MVP, and his second in the NL, Barrios reaffirmed his status as a future hall of famer, and avenged last years perceived snub, when he finished second to Louisville Tyson Dallas Kline. Barrios clubbed a phenomenal 69 HR's, had 178 RBI's, batted .300, and collected 95 walks. The award voting wasn't even close as the second place finisher, Corn Cleat Hades Booker, had only 6 votes to Barrios' 16. "I kept hitting homer after homer, kept taking my Flintstones vitamins, and I never gave up. Now I am MVP, where I belong," said a justifiably cocky Barrios. "I had a good year, but Jose was the man, and not only killed the ball but led his team to the World Series, he deserves it," said runner up Booker.

Kazuhiro Ong
Age: 27B/T: R/R
Born: Osaka, JP
Position(s): P (SP1)
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In the Cy Young race there was absolutely no doubt as Ong totally dominated the competition, winning with 23 votes to second place Tysons Talmadge Young's 4 votes. Ong finished with a 23-7 record, a 2.72 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP, and 276 K's. "I was so good, my agent says I should legally change my name to Cy Young," said the Japanese international. He continued, "Big ups to my peeps back in Osaka, and hollaz to my Harajuku girls and rockabilly dancer fans in Yoyogi Park!" His agent shuffled him away before he could say anything else.

Milt Serafini
Age: 27B/T: S/R
Born: Days Creek, OR
Position(s): 1B
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In the Rookie of the Year competition Serafini beat out fellow Wankers Tony Cho and Grant Keats, Seattle Seacow Wesley Hull, and Durham Pitbull star Louie Tarraga. It was a closer competition, but Serafini still more than doubled his next closest contender, with 15 votes to Hull's 7. Serafini was the NL batting champ, hitting .356 with 36 HR's and 122 RBI's. "This is a great individual honor for me, and I hope that our team can build on it next season and win the division," said a humbled Serafini.

Shane Parrish
Sioux Falls
Corn Cleats
Age: 25B/T: R/R
Born: Lexington, MO
Position(s): P (ClA)
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Parrish won the Fireman of the Year Award for the first time, finishing with 39 saves in 42 chances. He also recorded an ERA of 2.18, with a WHIP of .96 in 78.1 innings of work. He also struck out 96 batters. Sean Hill of the Sluggers finished second. "I had a great regular season, but unfortunately I couldn't carry it over into the playoffs. If I could have replicated that success vs. Louisville I would be a happier guy right now. Still, it's a big honor and I am thrilled to receive it," said Parrish.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

World Series Preview

Lars the Greek - Cobb Times Herald

We are down to the final two teams, and both are juggernauts. Omaha had the second best record in the NL, finishing one game behind Louisville at 113-49. Anaheim was the AL's #1 seed with a 112-50 record. Both teams boast loaded lineups, rotations, and bullpens. There really isn't any major difference between the two. Truly these are two top caliber teams in anyones book. Anaheim has the home field advantage. Lars says that it is the tipping balance and puts the edge in the Sharks favor.

Pick: Sharks in 7. These teams are equal, but with the powerful rotations I expect lots of pitchers duels, with being able to bat last being a major factor.

Omahalics Ready for Series

Buster Gunns - Cobb Times Herald

The fans in Omaha are ready for the teams first appearance in the World Series. Local leaders are declaring this week "Sluggers Week" in preparation for the games. Mayor Mike Fahey has given local government employees time off during the afternoon games to support the Sluggers. He exclaimed, "I'm not going to be in the office, I don't see why anyone else should either!" Local bars are also snapping at the opportunity by sponsoring "Omahalics Anonymous" meetings where patrons can sample the beers and big screen TV's of many downtown establishments. Slugger superfan Jan Karl Gesink said, "We are ready, Omaha is ready, The Sharks are going down! Sluggers rule, Sharks drool! Recognize!" The rest of the assembled fans were too drunk to give a coherent quote.

Omaha Reaches World Series

Tito McQueen - Cobb Times Herald

Omaha's superior pitching proved to be the deciding factor in finally pushing the Sluggers over the top the NLCS vs. Louisville. Kazuhiro Ong was especially impressive, throwing two shutouts in the series. Now the Sluggers take on the Anaheim Sharks, who have reached the World Series three of the last four seasons. Louisville simply had no answer for the deadly combo of ace pitching and good hitting that the Sluggers brought to the series, and now must face another long offseason wondering if their aging veterans are going to be able to have another season left in the tank.

"We showed the world what we could do in the All Star game," said 2B Bill Norton, "Now it's time to take it to the next level." Pitcher Ivan Canseco added, "Lars the Greek is a moron, I think we proved that, as did Anaheim. We are really looking forward to showing everyone that Omaha has what it takes." Outside of the usual take care of business talk in the clubhouse, the atmosphere was positively jubilant as the Sluggers celebrated reaching the World Series milestone. Champagne covered the players, coaches, and the floor, as the Sluggers deservedly enjoyed their hard won victory.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Anaheim Finishes Pawtucket

Tito McQueen - Cobb Times Herald

The Sharks of Anaheim clubbed their way to the World Series with a 9-8 victory in game 5 of the ALCS. The slugfest was out of character from the start of the series, which had all been pitchers duels. The victory marks the third time the Sharks have made it to the biggest stage in Cobb World, and with it a chance for the Sharks second title.

The players from the Sharks were jubilant in the clubhouse, but still focused for the last round. "This is a really great feeling to get back to the series after choking it last season," said reigning MVP Alan Peterson. "We want to prove to the world that we are a dynasty worthy of the name, and woe betide any who stand before us," quoted a surprisingly literary C. J. Bones. "Tonight we are going to party! Whooooooo!!!," screamed out Quentin Hardy. "Shut it rookie," declared clubhouse sheriff Ernie Jenkins, "The job isn't done." It definitely seems that the Sharks mean business.

Things weren't as bright in the G-Maniacs clubhouse. After another hard fought loss to the Sharks in the ALCS, the Pawtucket team was grasping at straws for a winning strategy. "I think next season I will cast my Fu Chu Fortune Sticks and let fate take the reigns, I'm at a loss," said frustrated bench coach Murray Nelson. "I don't know if I can take another season of this," said veteran catcher Hong-Gu Hernandez, "it might be time to hang them up." Dean Hernandez was more blunt, saying only, "This sucks."

Now the Sharks look forward to the outcome of the NLCS, where the Omaha Sluggers currently lead the Louisville Tysons three games to two.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ask Snoop

Buster Gunns - Cobb Times Herald

In what can only be considered a coup, the Cobb Times Herald was able to obtain an interview with famed rapper Snoop Dogg, who shared his thoughts on the game of baseball in Cobb World.

Q. Who is most gangster player in Cobb World today?
--I thizzle thizzle Kizzle Zizzle is onizzle bizzle dudizzle! (We think he meant Kip Zeile)

Q. If you could choose any uniform to wear in your newest video, which teams would it be?
--You knizzow T-H-to-tha-izzat Mexico Cities uniforms is pimpin! Chizzay out tha hats on tha logo!

Q. Who is your pick to win the MVP this season in each league?
--Jose Barrios has been dominat'n in tha National League, n Samuel Kennedy has bizzy off tha hook in tha American . Hollaz to the East Side.

Q. What are your thoughts about mrploppie?
--mrploppie is one crazy freak nasty dude! He is mental, but he is stizzill a chiznamp.

Q. Who is the pick to win the World Series this season?
--Anahizzle all the wizzle dizzle! West Coast!

Manager In Depth - mrploppie

Cortez Mack - Cobb Times Herald

***WARNING*** some of the material in this interview may not be suitable for children.

Today I was able to get ahold of the notorious mrploppie, owner of the Fargo Fug Nuts and season 7 world champion. Known for his trade cravings and addictions, as well as his stranglehold on the NL North, mrploppie has been creating his own brand of baseball havoc in Cobb Wold since season 1. Here is a transcript of our interview:

--Hello... who is it?

Cortez Mack of the Cobb Times Herald calling for our scheduled interview, remember?
--Oh hell and biscuits! What?

What was it like winning the world series, was it everything you ever hoped for and more?
--What the hell are you talking about? Who is this? I'm on the ' Do not call list'! Leave me alone.

Sir, you did commit to this interview...
--Winning the World Series was great if you need to know! Damn, just winning a playoff series was like hitting the lottery for my choking team.

You are perhaps more known for your severe addiction to trades than for the fact that you won the last world series. How does that make you feel?
--You're a nosy bastard aren't you ! Trades? Yeah I make a lot of them, but that's what has won me a lot of games in this league. If I'm known as someone who is always willing to make a trade then maybe I will be the first one , other owners will come to when looking to move some quality players.

Is Kirt Hooper related to Mr. Hooper of Sesame Street fame?
--Mr Hooper is dead you heartless bastid !

Even though you have traded away half your world series winning team, you still hold a slim lead in the NL North. Do you ever think you will ever relinquish the top spot, which you have held since season 2?
--Wait a minute while I put on some pants.
There that's better. What was the question?
Giving up the top spot ? Not going to happen!

Since you have made by far the largest amount of trades in the recorded history of baseball, which *three* trades were your best, and which three would you like to have back?
--The Corey Green for Jose Barrios deal was probably the best in this league's history. MVP for MVP. The deal that got me Wayne Wilson was sweet. And the deal for Kaz Ong gave me my first stud pitcher.
Trading Kenny Blair,Vernon Jones and Rosey Lowell (season 1).

Damn! You're making me think. I don't like to think !!

Do you find all of those trades hard to keep track of?
--Well, whenever I'm confused, I just check my underwear. It holds the answer to all the important questions.

Which TV character do you relate to best; Fat Albert, K.I.T.T., Fire Marshall Bill, or Steve Urkel?
--Eartha Kitt was great was Catwoman

Seeing as how in your will you have left your beloved Fug Nuts to FW_Kekionga, are you worried that he will collude with himself to trade all your best players to your arch rivals, the Sioux Falls Corn Cleats?
--Vernon Jones, Hades Booker, & Flip Heathcott ....could FW trade more talent to the Cleats than I have already done?

Speaking of the Corn Cleats and their string of second place finishes, which superhero sidekick do you think would look best in a Corn Cleat uniform?
--What kind of questions are these? Put down the pipe son! Superhero sidekick? Sancho Panza - The Cleats owner has been Dreaming the Impossible Dream for 7 seasons now.

Who is the ugliest player in the Fug Nuts system?
--Zephyr Burns is Fugly !

Zephyr Burns
Fug Nuts
Age: 24B/T: R/R
Born: Cattaraugus, NY
Position(s): P (T3B)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Name one pitcher and hitter that you haven't been able to trade for yet that you are desperate to have on your team.
--I have always been a big fan of Dallas Klein. He is a great hitter and fielder. Philip Brown - he just wins. I don't want to pay him - someone else can do that. I just want him for free.
Are we done yet? I have to watch Survivor!

Are you, in truth, an evil trading robot?

What was the best promotion night at Cash Field?
--Fan Giveaway Night - Winning fans were traded to Philly for his best players.

Marry, boff, kill: Paris Hilton, Brittney Spears, Lindsay Lohan.
--Been married too many times already. They're killing themselves, and who hasn't boffed them already ?

How has John Chang managed to stay on your ML roster since season 1?
--Too good to trade. My one constant SP. My soul mate. I love him in ways I don't want to talk about. Wait I have to put my pants on.

What work of classical literature best sums up mrploppie?
--Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It's classical as far as I'm concerned.

Better video: Holy Diver by Dio or the Hamster Dance?
--My Bologna not the video, it's a stupid question and I'm hungry.

Playoff picks for season 7, who represents each league and who wins it all?
--Pawtucket G-Maniacs - It's Geltz turn. and Omaha - It's Yanks turn.
Overall winner is........ Omaha because the NL rules !!!