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LEAGUE STANDINGS FOR 2016 CBA
 
Dawson                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2016 River Meadow RMD        34  36  .486 ----    92  
2016 Montreal MCD            33  37  .471  1.0        
2016 Belfast BBD             31  39  .443  3.0        
2016 Longue Pointe LLD       27  43  .386  7.0        
 
Rogers                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2016 Towaco TWR              49  21  .700 ----    92  
2016 New Jersey NBR          48  22  .686  1.0        
2016 Detroit DWR             30  40  .429 19.0        
2016 Essex EER               29  41  .414 20.0        
 
Carter                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2016 San Diego SSC           41  29  .586 ----    89  
2016 Joliet JJC              37  33  .529  4.0        
2016 Montcalm MCC            31  39  .443 10.0        
2016 Temple KBP              27  43  .386 14.0        
 
Schmidt                     WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2016 Stirling SRS            40  30  .571 ----    93  
2016 Philly PPS              40  30  .571 ----        
2016 Ottawa OOS              35  35  .500  5.0        
2016 New Hampshire NWS       29  41  .414 11.0        
 
Monday                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2016 Cooperstown CIM         44  26  .629 ----    88  
2016 Carolina CCM            39  31  .557  5.0        
2016 Ohio OOM                30  40  .429 14.0        
2016 Skokie SWM              29  41  .414 15.0        
 
Parker                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2016 Newton NBP              45  25  .643 ----    86  
2016 Brooklyn BSP            38  32  .543  7.0        
2016 High Bridge HHP         36  34  .514  9.0        
2016 Atlanta APP             18  52  .257 27.0        
 
 
SC Wild Card Standings      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2016 New Jersey NBR          48  22  .686 ----    78  
2016 Joliet JJC              37  33  .529 ----    89  
2016 Montreal MCD            33  37  .471  4.0        
2016 Montcalm MCC            31  39  .443  6.0        
2016 Belfast BBD             31  39  .443  6.0        
2016 Detroit DWR             30  40  .429  7.0        
 
CC Wild Card Standings      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2016 Stirling SRS            40  30  .571 ----    92  
2016 Philly PPS              40  30  .571 ----    92  
2016 Carolina CCM            39  31  .557  1.0        
2016 Brooklyn BSP            38  32  .543  2.0        
2016 High Bridge HHP         36  34  .514  4.0        
2016 Ottawa OOS              35  35  .500  5.0        
 
 
       OVERALL RECORD
Team   WON LOST   PCT  HOME  ROAD  LEFT RIGHT EXTRA 1-RUN   LAST 10   STREAK
APP     18   52  .257 11-32  7-20  6-12 12-40  4- 8  5-14     3-7     Won 1
BBD     31   39  .443 12-19 19-20 10-14 21-25  9- 1 14- 8     4-6     Lost 2
BSP     38   32  .543 20-20 18-12 10- 9 28-23  2- 4 12-11     4-6     Lost 5
CCM     39   31  .557 20-16 19-15 14- 6 25-25  2- 2 10- 9     5-5     Lost 3
CIM     44   26  .629 24-19 20- 7  9- 7 35-19  4- 1 16- 9     9-1     Won 3
DWR     30   40  .429 12-16 18-24  8-13 22-27  3- 4  8-13     3-7     Won 1
EER     29   41  .414 16-19 13-22  9- 9 20-32  6- 5 10-10     4-6     Lost 1
HHP     36   34  .514 20-19 16-15 10- 8 26-26  2- 6 10-13     6-4     Won 5
JJC     37   33  .529 17-18 20-15  7- 8 30-25  4- 4  9-12     6-4     Lost 2
KBP     27   43  .386 14-24 13-19  6-14 21-29  7- 5 11-13     4-6     Won 1
LLD     27   43  .386 14-21 13-22  4-15 23-28  2- 4  7- 8     4-6     Lost 1
MCC     31   39  .443 12-16 19-23 12-13 19-26  3- 5 13-11     5-5     Won 2
MCD     33   37  .471 17-17 16-20 13- 8 20-29  3- 7  9-13     5-5     Won 3
NBP     45   25  .643 28-14 17-11 13-12 32-13  7- 2 14-10     4-6     Lost 1
NBR     48   22  .686 28-10 20-12 16- 5 32-17  4- 6  9-11     7-3     Won 3
NWS     29   41  .414 13-21 16-20  9-12 20-29  1- 4  7- 8     4-6     Lost 1
OOM     30   40  .429 16-23 14-17  8-12 22-28  6- 3 12- 6     5-5     Lost 2
OOS     35   35  .500 11-20 24-15  7-16 28-19  2- 5  7-11     4-6     Lost 1
PPS     40   30  .571 15-12 25-18 12- 7 28-23  3- 5  8-11     9-1     Won 1
RMD     34   36  .486 17-15 17-21 10- 8 24-28  4- 5 10-10     6-4     Won 2
SRS     40   30  .571 14-10 26-20 11- 5 29-25  8- 1 16-10     4-6     Won 1
SSC     41   29  .586 21-10 20-19  3- 8 38-21  3- 3 14-10     7-3     Lost 1
SWM     29   41  .414 22-24  7-17  5- 8 24-33  3- 6  8-10     3-7     Won 2
TWR     49   21  .700 22- 9 27-12 12- 7 37-14  6- 2 10- 8     4-6     Lost 3
TOTAL  840  840  .500
HOME   416  424  .495
ROAD   424  416  .505
LEFT   224  236  .487
RIGHT  616  604  .505

 

Towaco Wolfpack Press Release

The Towaco Wolfpack are looking forward to 2016 with a much stronger starting staff and a mix of youth and veterans in trying to win our third Rogers Division pennant and a 2016 championship. Towaco is looking forward to having a healthy E. Goldschmidt this coming season. "When Goldy is on there isn't anyone better at 1B" bragged Kevin Gibson the Wolfpack manager. "He's the driving force on this club for sure." "Losing him for part of the stretch run almost did our team in but we recovered when he came back and it was just in the nick of time" said Gibby!
 
Towaco has some concerns regarding Alex Cobb's elbow. "He was struggling some last season and from what we've heard from him during the off season his elbows bothering him so we shut him down and sent him for further testing." "If there is a problem we may need to stretch out Warren to fill the void." Towaco is expecting improvement from Marco Estrada and Francisco Liriano and their young stud starter Noah Syndergaard who can really light up the radar gun! The Wolfpack are expecting Kris Medlen to bounce back from his second TJ surgery and are going to try using lefty Travis Wood out of the bullpen some this year! "We may look to add another starter or two to replace Georgie and add a little depth" said Gibby. The Georgie he's referring to is Jorge De La Rosa who was traded to High Bridge for veteran outfielder M. Byrd this off season.
 
Manager Gibson likes his two returning catchers and thinks they are one of the best catching tandems in the league. "We've added this 25 year old to play second base named Jace Peterson. We may need to platoon him some but he should see the bulk of his time vs. right hand pitching." "We love the way Marty plays third and we have Sogard and Reyes taking turns at SS." Kevin Gibson is really high on his young 21 year old left-handed SS Corey Seager. "This kid just tore up the minor leagues the past couple of seasons. I can't see keeping him down there again he's got nothin' to prove there anymore." "This kid is itchin' to do some damage so I'm gonna turn him loose!" "I may be able to work him into the mix at 3B with Marty."
 
As for the Wolpack outfield young Christian Yelich has leftfield locked up with great defense and a solid bat. Rightfield will have a platoon with returning veteran DeAza vs. righties and newly acquired Byrd vs. lefties. "Byrd gives us some much needed pop" says Gibby. Gomez and Davis should have centerfield covered but there may be some additional moves made before the regular season starts. 
 
Right now the Wolfpack bullpen has three potential closers in Smith, Cecil and newly acquired McGee. "I think all three will be pitching and competing in spring training before I figure out who will be assigned to which roll" said Gibby. "We'll have everybody ready by the time the season starts." "We're looking forward to winning this damn thing and that's what we are working hard to do!"

High Bridge Heaters Press Release

2015 was a disappointment for the Heaters. Although we lost Matt Harvey for the year, we thought great managing and a few good breaks would have been enough to grab a wild card.

Ohio proved to be too good to catch.  After falling behind in July, we came on strong at the end to finish 500. Some teams would have been satisfied to get the best draft picks possible, but the Heaters play to win!

Our team's tenacity and desire for excellence instils fear in our opponents. It's no accident that we have been transferred from both conference and divisions several times in the past five years. The league fears that if left alone in one division for too long, we would dominate for many years. We pledge to persevere in our quest to win the Parker division in 2016. We have a mighty line-up that's about to get mightier when a blockbuster trade is announce on February 8th. It should remind everyone of the deal the Dallas Cowboys made when they traded Hershel Walker. We are going to use our new draft picks to replace a stud SP with good, young pitchers who can also win now.  We are open t trades. but have already reshaped our team and will probably use the draft to sure-up our needs. Ours offensive stars this year include: J.D. Martinez with his new 3 rating in RF with that -3 arm.  Charlie Blackburn got 2's in the corners and crushes righties.  Kyle Seager lost his "1" , but is still in the top ten 3b's. Joe Panic has been rated in the top three 2b's this year ( a defensive "1" this year). Didi gets his "1" again and will platoon with Mercer at ss. We picked up the Mets' lucky charm in Juan Uribe to sure up the infield with his dominant bat against lefties. Veteran OF Josh Hamilton gets a second chance in High Bridge and we expect great things from him.  Jason Werth is coming off a disappointing season, although he cam on strong at the end. We predict Werth will be the Come-Back player of the year in 2016.  So-beware Parker Division, especially Brooklyn! We are ready to give you a run for your money.  Good luck all! See you on draft day.

 

Skokie Wolfmen Press Release 2016

What was once a great team (making the playoffs in 8 of its first 9 seasons
including 4 visits to the WS) is now a rebuilding team -

we expect to continue to rebuild in 2016 -

Starting Pitching is always a problem and for the most part the
Skokie starters are young with several with high potential and a group
of other young starters we see helping our future

With the draft coming up soon Skokie will continue to work
to add more youth following the models done in MLB by the Royals,
Houston and the Cubs --

prior to the draft or doing the draft we have holes to fill -
our 3B will be retiring next year - 2B is weak - and we have
no Catcher to speak off (hint hint if anyone has an extra
catch to trade with some PAs we might give a draft pick)

in any case we like our OF with Springer, Inciarite and Souza
with Blanco to backup and Beltran to DH/RF

we expect however either Beltran or C. Santana (or both) will be
traded (if anyone has an interest let us know) this year

we might have a left handed starter to trade as well

We don't expect another 100 lost season but we do
expect to find a way to fill all our holes - as always we
are open to trade and no player is untouchable if we
hear the right offer including any stars we have

as we offered before the #2 pick of the upcoming
draft is available - if the right offer is heard ...

there are some very excellent players, franchise
players you would be guaranteed to get at this pick

good luck to all the returning and new managers
of the CBA - would will be the 2016 champ - the trend
the last four seasons has been 1st time champs

From the headquarters of the Skokie Wolfmen
 

New Jersey Beatles Press Release

The New Jersey Beatles are now two years removed from their magical run to the CBA title, and what a difference two years has made. The Beatles advanced to the playoffs in 2014, bowing out in the first round, before struggling in 2015, compiling a 69-93 record. New Jersey has assembled an exciting mix of veterans, such as Felix Hernandez, Evan Longoria, and Justin Verlander, and young players, such as Carlos Correa, Starling Marte, Daniel Norris, and Byron Buxton. Their pitching staff has been hampered by injuries to Verlander, Norris, Cliff Lee, Matt Moore, Zach Wheeler, and prospect Dylan Bundy. They will need to acquire some pitching help in order to contend in 2016, but with GM Steve Adler wheeling and dealing, they should not be counted out. 

Essex Escapees Press Release

2016 Campaign:   the essex escappes escaped to first wild card birth in 2015 and look to build on that success. Bryan Swank assessed the rubble remaining from first round loss and determined to send yasiel fatman pig packing and wi yen chen off to greener pastures. Newly acquired nathans famous eovaldi and rubb one out de la rosa look to strengthen  staff . With scherzer ricahards colome and pomeranz we look to shut down opposition. Outfielders Cespedes and Polanco hunker the corners whilst machado turner and kendrick sure up infield with rollins and lindor at ss,  ryan howard adds depth. Fransisco Cervelli takes over catcher responsibility and adds obp. a couple platoons with blanks and ruf and the division title wont be tough,Gibson we are gunning for you, Look out!
 


New Hampshire Prospectus

The last few years have been rather dismal in New Hampshire.  The front office has tried to be aggressive, and  few things have not worked out as planned.  Matt Cain, Jared Cosart, Jurickson Profar, Charlie Morton to name a few, have not lived up to expectations.  Even an inexpensive gamble like Hanley Ramirez has not panned out.  We stayed aggressive in 2015 trading for Kolten Wong, Miguel Montero. Two years ago, there were a few snickers when the Cats drafted Jose Abreu 2nd overall. That is one thing that has worked out well.   Coming into this draft, the Wildcats have added Shelby Miller and young and upcoming SS Addison Russell.
 
The 2016 version of NWS should score its share of runs with the likes of Wong, Montero, Kendys Morales, Jose Abreu, Brett Lawrie, Danny Valencia and Kevin Kiermaier.   Our defense should be significantly better with an up the middle troika of Russell, Wong and Kiermaier.  Which can only help a very average pitching staff.
 
Pitching, well that will be our issue.  Miller will look good at the top but after that we have a bunch of 3 and 4 guys.  The future of this team rests on our staff pitching to its capabilities.  This season, who knows.  We will score a lot of runs, but we likely will give up a bunch to.  The future has something that Wildcats fans have craved for a few years, Hope. 
 
So heading into the draft, Pitching will be a priority.

 

 


 

Hall Of Fame Candidates for 2016 with profiles!

Clemente Finals: Newton over Ottawa 4 games to 1

Staub Finals: Towaco over Montreal  4 to 0.

                            WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#   ACTWON ACTLOST ACTPCT

2015 Newton NBP               12   4  .750 ----                96      66   .593
2015 Towaco TWR              10   7  .588  2.5               92      70   .568
2015 Ottawa OOS                 9   7  .563  3.0               99      63   .611
2015 Joliet JJC                      5   5  .500  4.0               95      67   .586
2015 Montreal MCD              4   5  .444  4.5               99      63   .611
2015 San Diego SSC            3   4  .429  4.5               99      63   .611
2015 Philly PPS                      3   4  .429  4.5              104      58   .642
2015 Ohio OOM                      1   4  .200  5.5               93      69   .574
2015 Essex EER                     1   4  .200  5.5               88      74   .543
2015 Brooklyn BSP                 0   4  .000  6.0               94      68   .580
 

  Ian Kinsler, who Gold Glove defense dazzled, hit 367 in 40 playoff ABs, hitting 4 Double and 3 HRs, 2 SBs and 11RBI - was selected the 2015 CBA WS MVP!

 Click on thumbnails below to see the press releases!

 

 

 
 

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -- Associated Press) 

 

As many CBA teams lick their wounds from a disappointing regular season or early playoff exit, the league's esteemed GMs are beginning to look forward to 2016 as they inspect every piece of the roster for future potential -- and future gaps in talent.  


 
Many fine players across the league are expected to change uniforms during what is sure to shape up as a busy off-season.  According to Philly GM Rob Hite, "I've been around CBA for a long time, and back in the golden age of the league many GMs chose to sit on their talent and build slowly. They would trade for a piece here or there, but they mainly built through the draft".  

 
But the institution of the CBA amateur draft changed everything.  With young talent at a premium, and harder to acquire in the regular draft, it is of utmost importance that a team draft kids who are 18 or 19, and follow them as they develop into CBA contributors.  Hite added, "sometimes we plan a positional need way ahead of time, and use the prospect pick to try to fill that need before it's really a need.  Like back when our all-time franchise greats Derek and Chase [Jeter & Utley] were getting older, we said -  hey we have a great middle infield but let's start addressing that so we'll be great there for the next decade after they hang it up".  

 
At the time, Philly also sported a perennial all-star Evan Longoria at 3rd, making one of the most potent infields in the Association.  But Longoria was packaged up to New Jersey in exchange for Bryce Harper, who Hite hoped would be his franchise slugger for the next 15 years.  That was a controversial move which many Philly phans wanted him run out of town for, as evidenced by the venom spewed on sports talk WIP radio in Philly.  Calls for the GMs head on a platter were plentiful as Philly not only dealt Longoria in the deal for the unproven hot-headed Harper, he also dealt ace Justin Verlander.  But the 22 year old Harper gamble paid immeasurable dividends this season, slugging a gaudy .330/.460/.649 slashline with 42 HR to boot.  So the consensus in Philly now is, Longoria who?  Didn't she used to star on Desperate Housewives?  

 
With an entire infield to rebuild in Philadelphia, Hite went on the offensive - drafting and signing a plethora of young infielders with hopes that a few would pan out and become the anchors that Jeter, Utley, and Longoria were.  

 
And today, the maligned Philly front office can flash a smug Cheshire Cat smile, because their young infielders have finally arrived.  In this 2015 MLB Fall Playoffs alone, there are 5 young players featured who will be competing for time at SS and 2b next year for Philly: 

 
Starlin Castro - the "old-timer" of the group at 25, is a few years removed from his great 207 hit season in 2011.  But Starlin, who hit .265 this year, has possibly found a new home at 2b and will surely deliver many all-star seasons ahead given his age.  
 

 
Wilmer Flores - Flores at 24 is still developing into his game, but his burgeoning power was on display in 2015.  With 16 HR and 22 doubles this year, along with much improved defense at short, Wilmer will be hard to keep out of the starting SS gig for Philly next season.  By the time he reaches his prime, 25-30 HR seasons will be the norm for this infield slugger.  
 

 
"Kike" Enrique Hernandez - Kike is a 22 year old superkid who can literally play 7 positions on the field.  A next generation Ben Zobrist, he can also hit the baseball better than Zobrist as witnessed by his .307 average and .490 SLG% this season.  It's quite a luxury having this kind of bat who can backup at 2b, SS, and 3rd in addition to quality OF starts in LF, RF, or CF.  This kid is a young star in the marking.  
 

 
Javier Baez -  Another great next generation SS/2B/3B, Baez is just 21 and has the greatest power potential of them as indicated by his prolific minor league power - 37 HRs in AA ball.  Baez has cut down on his swing to make contact in the major leagues, to a tune of a .289 average this season.  A Troy Tulowitzki-esque future awaits this stud. 

 
Addison Russell - Russell is the closest thing to Derek Jeter that Philly GM has found in this collection of young infield stars.  A mere Cub at 21 years old, he delivered 29 doubles and 13 homers in his first campaign, along with spectacular shortstop defense.  As his bat develops, his all-star appearances will begin to accumulate. The next great shortstop of this generation?  Time will tell.  He also plays 2b and a little 3rd should the glut of infielders pose a huge dilemma for GM Hite.  

 

 
What is GM Hite going to do with these 5 great young middle infielders? Surely nobody will be moved over to third on Philly, especially in light of two equally young and talented 3rd basemen just to the left of them in the infield of dreams: 
 
23 year old Maikel Franco (.497 SLG) and 23 year old run producer Nick Castellanos (33 doubles, 15 HR, 73 RBI).  

 
We asked Hite what his plans were for all of them, and he shared, 
 "Hey, I am in no rush to trade any of them because having a group of young stars is a unique luxury for us.  If we are bowled over with offers this Fall and Winter, we will listen.  But the good-ol-days of Former Commish Claude Lamarre legislating against positional hoarding in CBA are long gone.  I'm going to hoard away, baby!  Unless the other GMs offer up some of their blue chip outfield talent, then I may listen" 

 
Photo:  Young Philly Phantastics stars Addison Russell and Javier Baez


 

Final LEAGUE STANDINGS FOR 2015 CBA
 
Dawson                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#   ACTWON ACTLOST ACTPCT
2015 Montreal MCD            99  63  .611 ----  *WON*        93      69   .574
2015 River Meadow RMD        74  88  .457 25.0              100      62   .617
2015 Belfast BBD             64  98  .395 35.0               69      93   .426
2015 Longue Pointe LLD       61 101  .377 38.0               69      93   .426
 
Rogers                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#   ACTWON ACTLOST ACTPCT
2015 Towaco TWR              92  70  .568 ----  *WON*       103      59   .636
2015 Essex EER               88  74  .543  4.0               71      91   .438
2015 Pompton PPR             86  76  .531  6.0               89      74   .546
2015 New Jersey NBR          69  93  .426 23.0               89      73   .549
 
Carter                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#   ACTWON ACTLOST ACTPCT
2015 San Diego SSC           99  63  .611 ----  *WON*       102      60   .630
2015 Joliet JJC              95  67  .586  4.0               75      87   .463
2015 Temple KBP              76  86  .469 23.0               64      98   .395
2015 Atlanta LWD             69  93  .426 30.0               54     108   .333
 
Schmidt                     WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#   ACTWON ACTLOST ACTPCT
2015 Philly PPS             104  58  .642 ----  *WON*        63      99   .389
2015 Ottawa OOS             103  59  .636  1.0               97      65   .599
2015 Stirling SRS            74  88  .457 30.0               85      77   .525
2015 New Hampshire NWS       47 115  .290 57.0               49     113   .302
 

Monday                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#   ACTWON ACTLOST ACTPCT

2015 Ohio OOM                93  69  .574 ----  *WON*        98      64   .605
2015 High Bridge HHM         81  81  .500 12.0               97      65   .599
2015 Indiana IRM             74  88  .457 19.0               75      87   .463
2015 Skokie SWM              58 104  .358 35.0               87      75   .537
 
Parker                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#   ACTWON ACTLOST ACTPCT
2015 Newton NBP              96  66  .593 ----  *WON*        83      79   .512
2015 Brooklyn BSP            94  68  .580  2.0               86      76   .531
2015 Cooperstown CIP         82  80  .506 14.0              107      55   .660
2015 Carolina CCP            66  96  .407 30.0               84      78   .519
 
 
SC Wild Card Standings      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2015 Joliet JJC              95  67  .586 ----  *WON*
2015 Essex EER               88  74  .543 ----  *WON*
2015 Pompton PPR             86  76  .531  2.0       
2015 Temple KBP              76  86  .469 12.0       
2015 River Meadow RMD        74  88  .457 14.0       
2015 New Jersey NBR          69  93  .426 19.0       
2015 Atlanta LWD             69  93  .426 19.0       
 
CC Wild Card Standings      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2015 Ottawa OOS             103  59  .636 ----  *WON*
2015 Brooklyn BSP            94  68  .580 ----  *WON*
2015 Cooperstown CIP         82  80  .506 12.0       
2015 High Bridge HHM         81  81  .500 13.0       
2015 Stirling SRS            74  88  .457 20.0       
2015 Indiana IRM             74  88  .457 20.0       
 
 

View from the Crows' Nest                                                                                                           
Jones, Smolinski Added to Post-Season Roster
Montreal- After missing out on a post-season appearance a year ago by a loss to the Maine Express, now the Pompton Pythons, in a game 163, the Montreal Crows are back in the CBA championship dance. Of course, we all knew this officially a couple of weeks ago when they clinched the Dawson division. But, a top seeding in the Staub conference was unexpected. The door to that opened when San Diego dropped the last three of a four game set against Joliet while the Crows were continuing the torrid pace that began in June. Montreal and San Diego both finished with 99 wins. And, as they split the twelve games they faced each other, it came down to who scored more runs in those twelve games. The Crows edged out the Surf 43-38, and top seeding was capped off last night in Towaco with a 5-3 Crows win over the Wolf Pack.
     And so, with the season over and the view of the post-season in full focus, manager Robert Brunet must announce the 25 men who will undertake a run at a championship. Though there has been some time to consider who will be representing the Crows in this challenge, some last minute considerations have produced a few surprises.
     The pitching staff finished atop the CBA ledger with a stellar 2.78 ERA, but many of the arms that contributed to that mark must content themselves as biased spectators. The Brunets have settled on a 10 man staff to make room for some extra bats in an attempt to produce more runs. Although 635 runs is an all time high for Montreal, they sit far behind the numbers that the other nine play-off teams put up. The Ottawa Otters scored 874 times this season. That's 239 more than the Crows. All the rest scored over 700. So, the Crows will have to bring their league leading pitching and league best defense to each and every game. If they're to have a chance, they'll need a few more runs considering that most of these run scoring mammoths also finished in the top 8 in pitching.
     "You can expect everyone to be shortening up on the pitching," said Crows manager Robert Brunet. "Guys will go on short rest. Bullpen horses will be ridden. We've got to keep pace with that. I'd like to keep more arms, but we need more options on offense, because we'll be going up against the best pitching in the league, make no mistake."
     Brunet went on to name his ten pitchers, led by the starters. Jordan Zimmermann and Dallas Keuchel, the most consistent all season, will likely go 1-2. Veterans James Shields and Jered Weaver got off to horrid starts this season, but have been exceptional since the end of May and will be starting in the post-season. These four, according to the plan, are expected to comprise a 4 man rotation that will require short rest starts if series go long. Tom Koehler, who had a fine season in his own right, is not ruled out entirely, but will be preparing to come out of the bullpen.
     "I'm good with it," said Koehler when asked if he saw this as a kind of demotion. "Coach sat me down and pretty much said he's counting on my versatility to stay sharp for any situation. I'll do whatever he needs me to do."
     Koehler proved very effective in a swing roll a season ago, and that helped in the decision to go in this direction. Another helpful happening was the mid-season addition of Mike Fiers, who has been nothing less than outstanding and is capable of throwing multiple innings when called upon. Zach Putnam and Marc Rzepczynski will remain as specialists that will hopefully lead to the shut down tandem of David Robertson and closer Mark Melancon. Going with ten pitchers means the Crows will have to do without contributions from the likes of Antonio Bastardo, Matt Thornton, Neil Ramirez, Will Smith, and Roman Mendez, after having seasons all worthy of an appearance in the post-season.
     That leaves fifteen spots for position players. The unexpected additions include Garrett Jones and Jake Smolinski. The former spent most of the season on the disabled list, and only joined the team in September. Though he's still not 100 percent, his left-handed bat can figure in the mix and become an option as a designated hitter should Montreal manage to go far enough that one is needed. Smolinski is held over for pinch-hitting duties. He only amassed 76 at bats in short stints this season, but hit .329 with 7 doubles and 5 homeruns. Erik Kratz stays in, giving Brunet 3 capable catchers. That means more options in the late innings to go along with all the movable parts in the Crows defensive posture.
     Robert Brunet and his Crows must now wait to see who comes out of the clash between Joliet and Essex in the Staub wild card series. Up until the final days of the season, the odds makers were sizing up a match up with Towaco. However, the Wolf Pack have hotel reservations booked in San Diego, where they will begin a conference semi-final series against the Surf.
     While the Jackhammers and Escapees have a tilt, the Clemente wild card series will see the Brooklyn Superbas and the Ottawa Otters go at it. This, too, was something unforeseen. For much of the season, the Otters presented themselves in the guise of some elusive thing, a will-o'-the-wisp. But, as the wispy withered, the Phantastics were, well, fantastic. Philly charged to the top of the Clemente overall standings, knocking Ottawa into a wild card and holding up Brooklyn's intentions on the Parker title. Philly will watch for the winner of this series that they have so gracefully arranged. The Newton Bombs have the honour of receiving the defending Champion Ohio Outlawz.
     It promises to be an interesting post-season, with some new faces and some familiar ones. Nothing can be taken for granted.
    

 


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