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Final LEAGUE STANDINGS FOR 2017 CBA
 

Dawson                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2017 Montreal MCD            87  75  .537 ----  *WON*
2017 Longue Pointe LLD       78  84  .481  9.0       
2017 Belfast BBD             76  86  .469 11.0       
2017 River Meadow RMD        70  92  .432 17.0       
 
Rogers                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2017 Essex EER               85  77  .525 ----  *WON*
2017 Detroit DWR             84  78  .519  1.0       
2017 Towaco TWR              81  81  .500  4.0       
2017 New Jersey NBR          74  88  .457 11.0       
 
Carter                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2017 Joliet JJC             102  60  .630 ----  *WON*
2017 Temple KBP              90  72  .556 12.0       
2017 San Diego SSC           77  85  .475 25.0       
2017 Indiana IRC             68  94  .420 34.0       
 
Schmidt                     WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2017 Stirling SRS            98  64  .605 ----  *WON*
2017 Ottawa OOS              87  75  .537 11.0       
2017 Philly PPS              80  82  .494 18.0       
2017 New Hampshire NWS       71  91  .438 27.0       
 
Monday                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2017 Cooperstown CIM         85  77  .525 ----  *WON*
2017 Skokie SWM              82  80  .506  3.0       
2017 Ohio OOM                82  80  .506  3.0       
2017 Carolina CCM            65  97  .401 20.0       
 
Parker                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2017 Brooklyn BSP           102  60  .630 ----  *WON*
2017 Newton NBP              94  68  .580  8.0       
2017 Atlanta APP             88  74  .543 14.0       
2017 Harwich HWP             38 124  .235 64.0       
 
 
SC Wild Card Standings      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2017 Temple KBP              90  72  .556 ----  *WON*
2017 Detroit DWR             84  78  .519 ----  *WON*
2017 Towaco TWR              81  81  .500  3.0       
2017 Longue Pointe LLD       78  84  .481  6.0       
2017 San Diego SSC           77  85  .475  7.0       
2017 Belfast BBD             76  86  .469  8.0       
 
CC Wild Card Standings      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2017 Newton NBP              94  68  .580 ----  *WON*
2017 Atlanta APP             88  74  .543 ----  *WON*
2017 Ottawa OOS              87  75  .537  1.0       
2017 Skokie SWM              82  80  .506  6.0       
2017 Ohio OOM                82  80  .506  6.0       
2017 Philly PPS              80  82  .494  8.0   

 

Press Releases:

t has been a whirlwind week in the Portsmouth, NH offices of the New Hampshire Wildcats.  The team has engineered an overhaul of its roster this week.   With many CBA teams wading into the All Star break trade waters, the Cats took a hard look at this current season and put a critical eye to next.   New Hampshire's front office knew that for the rest of this current season their identity was just a pesky team that contenders were annoyed by, sort of like the nats and black flies that plague the summers in this otherwise idyllic coastal town.   But as the All-Star break approached, GM Chris Brazeau saw vast improvement in his pitching staff in for the 2018 season.  Assuming the likes of Robbie Ray, Zach Greinke, Lance Lynn, James Paxton, Areil Miranda and J.A Happ finish strong the Wildcats could be formidable.  However the offense was looking older, the outfield was a bit thin and defense could be an issue. The question was how to improve? Well, good pitching in a pennant race is always attractive.  So, the hard decision was made to put long time Wildcat J.A Happ on the block.  He was getting older and he was willing to accept a trade for a shot at a ring this year.
>
> First Trade - The Montreal Crows saw the advantages of adding a quality arm like Happ and came knocking and NH picked up Justin Bour and a #4 pick from the Crows. This looked like NH added to their log jam at 1b and DH, adding Bour to Hanley Ramirez, Danny Valencia and Kendys Morales.   But the chance to get a younger guy with his power was attractive.  However, there was another fire burning.  Enter Cooperstown for the Second Trade.  They were looking for outfield defense to bolster their playoff run and were willing to part with Matt Kemp.  A deal was worked out.  Cooperstown got Kevin Keirmaier and Danny  Valencia and NH got Matt Kemp and Albert Almora.   Win-Win for both teams.  NH added another big bat to the middle of their lineup and an young up and coming player in Almora who not only can throw the leather, but can hit.  The OF that, two days before looked like a weakness, was vastly improved.  The log jam a 1b/DH had thinned by trading Valencia.  But NH still had 3 guys for two slots.  So the Cats put Morales on the trade block hoping to pick up another outfielder.  Skokie came calling and Trade 3 happened.  NH sent Morales to Skokie which provided them a big bat for their playoff push.  NH gets Steven Souza.  In Souza, NH got a very good defensive player who is putting up some impressive numbers.  A.369 OBP, .280 Avg and 17 knocks at the break.  Yes, he strikes out a ton but pretty much everyone does these days, well except Buster Posey (has anyone noticed he has more RBI's then strikeouts!!). 
>
> Post whirlwind, the Wildcats starting  pitching still looks impressive next year.   Their bullpen will be a strength . The outfield now boasts Souza, Kemp, Haniger and Almora.  Their sluggish 1B/DH log jam has been dispersed, what is left is Ramirez and Bour.   NH also has  8 picks in the first 5 rounds next year.  With that cache NH will almost certainly be active in the offseason.  The Trade Committee was kept busy this week.  Clearly the Cats are steering towards 2018 and planning on being the team swatting away the nats and black flies on their way to meaningful games past April and a deep playoff run. 

 

Press release Stirling Red Sox

At the halfway point (as close as we get) we are 42-36.  We just finished going 3-9 in our last 12 games.


 
Being 6 games over .500 is a pleasant surprise.  We are hitting .261 as a team and have slugged 98 HR. Tyler Flowers who has just been a filler/backup catcher in the past has been hot.  He leads the team with a .333 BA (55 games played, 180 AB).  The story for our offense has been Adam Duvall.  The Red Sox has been lacking a power bat ever since the days of Carlos Pena.  He has cranked out 23 Hrs, driven in 65 and scored 45 times.  Dustin Pedroia who is suppose to be over the hill continues to hit. He and his DP partner Elvis Andrus since 2011 continue to play solid Defense up the middle.  They have only comitted 6 errors all season.  Speaking of defense up the middle Lorenzo Cain and Free agent signee Aaron Hicks have not committed an error all season in CF.

 
Our Bullpen has been solid and the staple of our success.  Led by Kensley Janson (despite his 4 loses and 3 blown saves) with 16 saves. Rookie Matt Bush has been outstanding. In 37 ip he's only given up 1 er (which was a HR), with a .76 whip. David Phelps has been solid in long relief.  He's picked up 5 wins 

 
Now this rotation has been sort of a sore spot.Overall we have a team era of 4.76 (starters only)  With so many young arms we have expected the growing pains.  Jon Gray, Sean Manaea, Brandon Finnegan, and Archie Bradley they only have 24 quality starts out of 55.  If we are going to make noise down the stretch it's going to be in the arms of these kids.

 
Other news Kyle Schwarber is going though rehab, and we have decided he will not play this season

 
Down on the farm: In Alamo City the Salado Creek Flames are having a good season led by the bats of Vogelbach and Bellinger, but the talk is about the pitching.  Berrios, Servino, Edwards, Estevez are looking MLB ready.  Look for some of them to get a call up in the second half to get some experience of a pennant race.

 “It’s a nice start but the division race will take more than a two-week run of good fortune.”  You can excuse Coach Blakely for not allowing team complacency with a 10-2 start of the CBA season. “I imagine Brooklyn will have much to discuss this week at the House of Pain.” 

 

This team was 55-107 in 2016 and returns most of the same players responsible for this fast start. The Phoenix sport a team ERA of 2.41 (3rd in the CBA) and is playing lights out defense; yet, Coach Blake is barking about the bats.  “We have hit when we needed to hit and pitched when we needed to pitch. But we have to become better at getting on base.”

Coach Blake worries that he may need to work on the lineup and move players around. But not until the record demands; Though Nolan Arenado (.186), Kole Calhoun (.180), Rougned Odor (.213), and Trevor Story (.188) have struggled early, all have hit well in the clutch when it was needed. Wilson Ramos, Mookie Betts, Luis Sardinas and Adeiny Hechavarria have picked up to help carry the offensive load. “Those guys will start hitting soon. I think. If not, I’ll have to order more firewood and a new set of mirrors for the pitchers.”  The pitching has been spectacular (third in the league with a 2.41 ERA) so far, and Blake is prepping for a tiring pitching staff. “Conley and Gibson are both good for 25 starts. The time will come when I have to find some guys to step up and fill those shoes.”  When asked if he has anyone in mind, Blake barks, “Oh yeah, just pick one or two from Seaver, Koosman or Matlack. Dumbass…”

 

“Alex Wilson will be a big help in the pen.  We gave up a future OF kid (Mitch Haniger) to the Hamp Cats (New Hampshire) to get Wilson. It’s worth it for now. Really wanted to see Mitch develop. Anyway, Wilson will help the pen and the pen has been solid so far.” The pen is not a collection of all-stars but a group of pitchers that, when used correctly, will produce nice results. 

 

Before leaving, Coach Blake wanted to talk about the rookies he got in the draft. “You know, if we can take care of business around here and keep up with our ’18 picks, we might really scare some people.”  Alex Bregman and Dansby Swanson are pounding away waiting to contribute in the future. “Don’t sleep on my red-head, Frazier; he’s gonna mash. He can fight you, too.”   Clint Frazier won a head-butting contest before leaving to join his minors team. Frazier was the only contestant in the contest without a batting helmet.  “Kid’s gonna mash, gonna mash.  Had a damn bad headache, though.”

 

And if the Atlanta Phoenix has its way, the rest of the CBA will suffer from headaches in 2017.


 

J. Michael Blakely
 
Detroit CBA Press Release March 25th, 2017
The press conference was starting about 10 minutes late. There had been a mention of a meeting with a legal team running over. 
Wheels owner Mitch Ryder finally stepped to the microphone, looking a bit disheveled and wearing dark sunglasses.
“Thanks for coming, we are looking forward to our new season. But do you know what really gets me? Those West End Dogs, 
they’re using my songs. That’s why our meeting just ran over, they’re using my songs, they owe me some serious royalties! 
They’re using my songs, WHY IF I GET MY HANDS ON THEM I’LL…”
A whine and loud thud were heard as the microphone was switched off and Ryder was escorted away from the 
press conference. Ryder could be heard continuing to rant as he walked away. After a couple of minutes the 
microphone was switched back on as Wheels General Manager Al Kaline stepped to the microphone. 
Looking a little bit dejected, Kaline spoke calmly to the assembled media.
“Thank you all again for coming to our preseason press conference. On behalf of the organization 
I apologize for Mr. Ryder’s reaction, he’s been a bit preoccupied lately with this particular legal issue. 
We have been trying to distract him by calling more meetings about the team, but he continues to be extremely 
concerned about that one issue.
“Anyway, the rest of us are certainly looking forward to the upcoming season. You know, someone, I forget 
who, called us ‘the best last place team in the league’ last season. I’m not sure how to take that, I guess sort of 
a compliment. We were in a tough division though and did show an overall record better than even we might have hoped for. It was good that we were able to move some players who were a bit disgruntled, rightly so perhaps, it was not possible to get Pujols, Fielder and Roidriguez in the lineup at the same time, at least in most of our games since the team was moved from the DH to the non-DH conference.
“We are glad to continue to have a strong ‘up the middle’ defense, with Wieters at catcher, 
Crawford and LeMahieu in the infield, and Maybin in center. Maybin is currently struggling with some nagging 
injuries though, so we are a bit worried about that. Pujols finally settles in as the regular first baseman rather 
than the rotating situation we had early last year, and Jake Lamb looks ready to take over as the regular
third baseman. Adam Eaton looks ready to take over as our regular right fielder, and we’re optimistic about 
Alex Dickerson growing into the left field job.ks again for coming and here’s to a new season.”
 

CBA Press release Brooklyn, N.Y...April 1st, 2017.................................................................................

The annual Brooklyn event known as Superba Daywas a spectacular success.  The Brooklyn fans took to the iconic park (design by Olmstead and Vaux) early Friday afternoon in anticipation of the events that were in store.  Giant satellitte broadcast screens were set in place for the what was to be a weekend celebration of music and baseball.  Fans ever so loyal.  Many fans felt that last year was a building year and were very pleased to compete once again finishing with 95 wins in yet another playoff season. 

   The weekend events featured 3 days of great division rivalry baseball between the Parker champ Newton Bombs and the Brooklyn Superbas.  Brooklyn eventually took 2 of the 3 games in spectacular pitching dominated games.  The atmosphere was festive as the crowsds in Prospect Park watched, oohed, aaah'd, and cheered when the Brooklyn pitchers managed to strike out an ever tough Bomb batter.

   Many camped overnight and took advantage of the great festival music from the great band lineups at the 3 day event.  Friday evening saw 'Michael Franti's Spearhead, Thievery Corporation, Ziggy Marley, and Warren Haynes reunited with Derek Trucks, and Dickey Betts in a grand finale alongside Stevie Ray Vaughn's Double Trouble bandmates.    Saturday after the game fans were treated to a rousing performance by the West End Dogs who tore it up playing a Mitch Ryder version of "Sock It To Me Baby".  They were joined onstage by Gary Rossington and Peter Frampton.  But the real kicker was the post game show Sunday night. 

    Live from Prospect Park, Sir Paul McCartney helicoptered unto the Botanical Garden Pit, and led an entourage featuring, Little Richard, Don Wilson, Brian Wilson, Wilson Alvarez, Al Kooper, and the band The Persuit of Hapiness, to the fileds where the faithful were gathered for the big concert and Superba rally.  After a light hearted, and heartfelt words, mocking the Kardashians, Paul led a supercharged version of Centerfield as he attempted to hit a homerun with guest artist MC Lyte.    All in all a fun weekend as the Superbas start their season on a positive and hope to be in the final mix for the playoffs in 2017.

 
 
 
 
 

STANDINGS FOR 2016 CBA Playoff
 
                            WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#   ACTWON ACTLOST ACTPCT
2016 Cooperstown CIM         12   6  .667 ----   147        101      61   .623
2016 Joliet JJC              10   5  .667   .5               92      70   .568
2016 Philly PPS               7   4  .636  1.5              101      61   .623
2016 Towaco TWR               9   7  .563  2.0              102      60   .630
2016 High Bridge HHP          3   4  .429  3.5               88      74   .543
2016 Brooklyn BSP             4   7  .364  4.5               98      64   .605
2016 New Jersey NBR           2   4  .333  4.0              103      59   .636
2016 San Diego SSC            1   4  .200  4.5               90      72   .556
2016 Newton NBP               1   4  .200  4.5              100      62   .617
2016 River Meadow RMD         0   4  .000  5.0               84      78   .519
 

CBA 2016 World Series Review

The Joliet Jackhammers and Cooperstown Iron Horses faced off in the 2016 CBA World Series. 

Game 1

A battle of aces, Jake Arrieta of Joliet squared off against Madison Bumgarner of Cooperstown in a classic pitching duel for the ages.  Each pitcher threw a complete game, giving up no earned runs and 2 hits each combining for 21 K's in 17 innings .  The difference maker?  A Marcus Semien 2 base error on a Justin Upton ground ball.  Fielder grounded to 2B to move him up to 3rd and Justin Turner hit a sac fly for the only run of the game.

Cooperstown 1 - Joliet 0

Cooperstown leads the series 1-0

Game 2

Harvey of CIM vs Quintana of JJC.  It started with 7 shutout innings but Joliet scored a run in the top of the 8th when Gose reached base and was driven in by Granderson double.  However, in the bottom of the 8th the Iron Horses got to Quintana and the trio of Kimbrel, Brach and Ross for 4 runs with a pinch hit 2 run double by Arencibia and another 2 run single by Justin Turner.

Cooperstown 4 - Joliet 1

Cooperstown leads the series 2-0.

 Game 3

Kershaw vs Samardzija.  Joliet picked up a run in the first, Cooperstown countered with a run in the 3rd.  Cooperstown took the lead with a run in the top of the 5th but Joliet tied it up in the bottom of the innings.  However, midseason acquisition Justin Turner came up big with a 3 run home run in the top of the 7th for what would be the difference making runs.

Cooperstown 6 - Joliet 3

Cooperstown leads the series 3-0

Game 4

Joliet and their Ace Arrieta trying to continue their season, Bumgarner and the Horses trying to win it all.  The Horses took the lead in the top of the 5th by scoring 3 runs but the Hammers tied it up in the bottom of the innings.  The Horses again took the lead in the top of the 6th with a run.  In the bottom of the 6th game the at bat of the game.  With 2 outs and the bases loaded Jack Frost decided to stick with Semien against Koji Uehara.  His instincts were spot on with a game changing grand slam.  Josh Reddick would add a HR in the 7th to allow the Jackhammers to sail to victory.

Joliet 9 - Cooperstown 4

Cooperstown leads the series 3-1

Game 5

Jason Hammel takes the hill for Cooperstown against Quintana  The Iron Horses jump out to a 4-0 lead scoring runs in the 1st, 2nd and 5th while Hammel threw 7 shutout innings.  He went out for the 8th but gave up a couple of hits before being pulled after 7 2/3 innings.  Jose Fernandez came in and gave up another hit before the game was turned over to Uehara.  Koji allowed a hit to let the third run score, but he escaped the 8th with Cooperstown clinging on to a 4-3 lead.  Cooperstown scored an insurance run in the top of the 9th and Uehara came out to close it out in the bottom of the innings.  Kris Bryant led off the innings with a walk.  Granderson and Davis followed with singles.  Grandal tied the game with another single bringing up Jean Segura with runners on 1st and 3rd and no one out.  Segura lofted a ball deep to the OF for what was a walk off sac fly.

Joliet 6 - Cooperstown 5

Cooperstown leads the series 3-2

Game 6

Cooperstown send their ace Kershaw to the mound against Samardzija.  The Iron Horses scored a run in the bottom of the 4th and that would be all the scoring through the first 7 innings as Samardija pitched 7 1/3 innings of 1 run ball and Kershaw took a perfect game into the 8th but after allowing Semien to reach base Jack Frost went to lefty killer Parker.  Stamets countered with Pedro Baez, Frost countered with Rendon.  It was Jack Frost who got the best of the chess moves this inning as Rendon hit a game tying double.  After a scoreless 9th it went to extra innings.  In the top of the 9th Granderson hit a swinging bunt in front of the plate.  The veteran Yadier Molina pounced on the ball and made a strong throw but it hit Granderson and rolled into RF allowing Curtis to head to 2B. Semien came up and hit a single to left to allow Joliet to take the lead in the top of the 9th off of Tony Watson.  

 

In the bottom of the 9th, the Cooperstown Iron Horses were down a run, knowing a game 7 would mean facing 20 game winner Jake Arrieta.  After Brad Bach allowed a leadoff walk to Justin Upton, Frost turned to his big arm Craig Kimbrel to face what would have normally been Prince Fielder's DH spot, but he'd been pulled earlier in the game favor of pinch hitter and backup catcher J.P. Arenciba. J.P. however is no slouch.  In 57 AB's during the regular season he hi .345 with a .684 SLG recording 4 HR serving as an extraordinary pinch hitter.

Kimbrel leaned in to take the sign, dangling his arm.  J.P. was locked in.  Kimbrel brought the 100 MPH heat but Arencibia was looking fastball and sent the ball sailing over the CF fence for a walkoff World Series winning HR off one of the best closers in the game.

Cooperstown 3 -  Joliet 2

Cooperstown wins the World Series.

 

FINAL LEAGUE STANDINGS FOR 2016 CBA
 
Dawson                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2016 River Meadow RMD  84  78  .519 ----  *WON*
2016 Montreal MCD            83  79  .512  1.0       
2016 Longue Pointe LLD    65  97  .401 19.0       
2016 Belfast BBD                59 103  .364 25.0       
 
Rogers                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2016 New Jersey NBR     103  59  .636 ----  *WON*
2016 Towaco TWR           102  60  .630  1.0       
2016 Essex EER                86  76  .531 17.0       
2016 Detroit DWR              77  85  .475 26.0       
 
Carter                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2016 Joliet JJC              92  70  .568 ----  *WON*
2016 San Diego SSC   90  72  .556  2.0       
2016 Montcalm MCC    73  89  .451 19.0       
2016 Temple KBP         56 106  .346 36.0       
 
Schmidt                     WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2016 Philly PPS             101  61  .623 ----  *WON*
2016 Ottawa OOS           84  78  .519 17.0       
2016 Stirling SRS            75  87  .463 26.0       
2016 New Hampshire NWS       61 101  .377 40.0       
 
Monday                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#   ACTWON ACTLOST ACTPCT
2016 Cooperstown CIM  101  61  .623 ----  *WON*       101      61   .623
2016 Carolina CCM              84  78  .519 17.0                0       0   ----
2016 Skokie SWM                65  97  .401 36.0                0       0   ----
2016 Ohio OOM                     62 100  .383 39.0                0       0   ----
 
Parker                      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2016 Newton NBP             100  62  .617 ----  *WON*
2016 Brooklyn BSP            98  64  .605  2.0       
2016 High Bridge HHP       88  74  .543 12.0       
2016 Atlanta APP                55 107  .340 45.0       
 
 
SC Wild Card Standings      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2016 Towaco TWR             102  60  .630 ----  *WON*
2016 San Diego SSC           90  72  .556 ----  *WON*
2016 Essex EER                   86  76  .531  4.0       
2016 Montreal MCD              83  79  .512  7.0       
2016 Detroit DWR                 77  85  .475 13.0       
2016 Montcalm MCC            73  89  .451 17.0       
 
CC Wild Card Standings      WON LOST  PCT   GB  MAGIC#
2016 Brooklyn BSP            98  64  .605 ----  *WON*
2016 High Bridge HHP       88  74  .543 ----  *WON*
2016 Ottawa OOS               84  78  .519  4.0       
2016 Carolina CCM            84  78  .519  4.0       
2016 Stirling SRS                75  87  .463 13.0       
2016 Skokie SWM              65  97  .401 23.0       
 
 



2015

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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