The Northern States League
Newsletter #445- August 31st, 2015
JUST LIKE THAT, LONGSTOWN LEADS THE MURPHY AGAIN. SPARROW LAKE & NORTH YORK TIED IN THE WINFIELD. GLENVILLE IS TRYING TO HOLD OFF KALAMAZOO AND NEW HUDSON. THERE WERE TWO NO HITTERS THIS MONTH. IT’S THE ALL-STAR BREAK- VOTE JUST ONCE!
It was another solid month for the league as we had 2 more no hitters and saw our division races getting tighter if that were possible. We’ve reached the 80 game mark and the All-Star break, and we can get pretty close to determining who might be a contender and who might be a pretender. Then again, with how close everything is, maybe not.
Series #9 results:
Key 3 at Cro 1, Cro 2 at Key 2 Alb 4 at NH 0, NH 2 at Alb 2
NY 1 at MC 3, MC 3 at NY 1 GB 2 at IN 2, IN 3 at GB 1
Kal 3 at Coa 1, Coa 2 at Kal 2 Mun 3 at NE 1, NE 1 at Mun 3
Fra 1 at GM 3, GM 3 at Fra 1 Yk 4 at Cle 0, Cle 4 at Yk 0
EY 1 at Lon 3, Lon 2 at EY 2 Dun 0 at Mar 4, Mar 1 at Dun 3
SL 1 at Cre 3, Cre 3 at SL 1 VT 3 at Gle 1, Gle 1 at VT 3
Series #10 results:
Gb 2 at Alb 2, Alb 4 at GB 0 Yk 2 at MC 2, MC 2 at Yk 2
Kal 1 at GM 3, GM 2 at Kal 2 Coa 3 at NE 1, NE 2 at Coa 2
Gle 1 at Mun 3, Mun 2 at Gle 2 EY 3 at Cle 1, Cle 1 at EY 3
SL 1 at Key 3, Key 3 at SL 1 Mar 0 at Lon 4, Lon 3 at Mar 1
IN 1 at Fra 3, Fra 1 at IN 3 Cre 2 at Dun 2, Dun 1 at Cre 3
Cro 2 at NY 2, NY 2 at Cro 2 VT 4 at NH 0, NH 3 at VT 1
The bad news in the Rice is that New Hudson didn’t win any home games and fell to third place in the division. The good news is that even so, they were 5-3 on the road and are still just 2 games behind Glenville. So while Michael goes shopping for new dice, the Greys continue to lead the division, but now just by a single game over Kalamazoo. The Greys chose this month to slide as they dropped 6 of 8 to Vermont and 5 of 8 to Muncie. It was a terrible month for the club and Scherzer took it on the chin not once, but twice. Speaking of needing new dice! The hottest team in the division is now your 2nd place team, as the ‘zoo took an Alaskan vacation (Chuck highly recommends it to everyone) and his team played .500 ball thanks to a 5-3 over Coastal before a 3-5 with division leading Green Mountain. It must be nice to play .500 and make up 3 games and one place. Frankfort was 6-10 as they dropped 6 to Green Mt before a solid split with Indiana. They are in last, but just 6 games behind Glenville. It will be competitive, that’s for sure, and there’s no clear top club at the half way point.
Speaking of competitive, who wants the Winfield? Well, apparently no one. Sparrow Lake and North York share the top rung, but both playing just .463 ball. It was the Lake on top when we last spoke, but just by a pair of games. The Warthogs had that huge start, then a terrible June/July, yet rebounded somewhat this month to make up the 2 games. How so you may ask? Well, the club dropped 6 of 8 to Magic City before a decent split with Crosstown. Yes, for those of you who do math, it was a 6-10 month. Not too good, right? But the Stallions faltered worse, as they went 2-6 with the top 2 teams in the Brett, Creekside and Keystone. No, we don’t expect Sparrow Lake to play this poorly the rest of the way, but either club can easily take the division lead if they’d just play .500 ball. How many teams can say that? This left a good shot for Marietta to get back into things, and it looked as if they would as they clobbered Duneland 5-3 in series #9. But, enter series #10 and a 1-7 against Longstown- ouch! Still, though, the Mud Dogs are just 2 games back and we all know that this division is anyone’s. Except maybe Cleveland. The Hit Men exchanged road sweeps with York before dropping 6 to East York. So they kept up with the division leaders, yet have slipped 18 back. Plus- we all know that the wild card is probably not coming from this group. Al and Kathy Rapp are in Hungary (no, not at a restaurant) as we speak looking for Hungarian talent. Sort of sounds like a rhapsody. Never mind…..
Another extremely tight division is the Brett. You’ll recall that Creekside got out to that huge start, yet for the last couple of months it’s been Keystone holding steady. This division may well be the anti-Winfield as the entire division is above .500 and a wild card may come from this grouping for sure. But, it’s still early, and the Comanche lead is just 3 games. The C’s took 5 from Crosstown followed by 6 from Sparrow Lake, yet the Crushers followed the same general format by beating the Lake 6 times and Duneland 5. So the lead is still the same, and thankfully for Scoop- we head into the 2nd segment of divisional play. We’ll see how the two clubs fare meeting up this time. Lurking in the shadows, 7 games back, is East York. Mick took 6 from Cleveland, after a poor 3-5 with Longstown and falling 2 more games back. Seven games is not too much but with two hot teams above them, the 66ers need to get rolling. Everyone’s hero is still in 4th (that’s last) place. Si will be okay with a pair of splits (Cle and MC), but although splits will keep him above .500, he won’t be making up any ground. The division, though, like the 2 previous, is wide open.
It seems as if Longstown is toying with the Murphy. No one picked them in the top 4 in the division and yet despite being challenged last month by Crosstown, the Prospectors turned to gold as they beat East York 5-3 before blasting Marietta 7-1. The team batting average is just .210, and they strike out too much, but somehow this club is leading the way, and their 5 game bulge is the 2nd biggest in the league. We all expect as we have for weeks, pressure from the ‘dales or Maulers. Yet despite last month’s view, nothing seems to be happening. Crossie is getting his feet on the ground here in Wilmington after his move, and perhaps the club will take hold as well. This month they went 3-5 with Keystone in a face to face match up before a 4 all split with North York. I think most every team in the league is looking forward to this 3 series set against the division, and none more so than Crosstown. Except maybe Magic City. The Maulers played their way back into things thanks to a 6-2 over North York and a split with Si- yet that was 2 games worse than Longstown and the team is now 6 out, one behind the ‘dales. Duneland has played poorly on the road (11-29) and that has cost them as they now trail by 18. 3-5s with both Marietta and Creekside will do that to you. Yet there is more excitement coming for Dan- and no, I’m not talking about a 10% stock market correction.
The main story in the Carter should be the Green Mt Canucks of Burnie and their gaudy 48-31 record. Yet, as always, it seems that the other Burnham has snuck into the headlines and continues to hang around with a 4 ½ game deficit to the elder brother. Both teams were 11-5 yet did it in different ways. The Canucks smashed Frankfort 6-2 before settling for a 5-3 over Kalamazoo. Meanwhile, Vermont waxed Glenville 6-2 before a 5-3 with New Hudson including a road sweep. Dave laments the fact that he has no pitching and Burnie does the same about his offense. But- as long as Duda is around the Canucks should be okay. Right? Well, maybe. The ‘varks went a rugged 5-11 thanks to Albany smacking them around 6-2 (which was expected), but Indiana also just teed off (rather walked off) against the beloved team in a 5-3 Imp success (maybe not expected). Watch out for that Indiana offense next year, boys! New England is struggling at this point and trail the Mountain by 22 ½. After a 2-6 with Muncie, the Elite went 3-5 with Coastal. No word if Bill has made any trades yet.
Finally we head to the division where there isn’t a race for the top, but there sure is one for the wild card. Albany went 12-4 in another ho-hum month for the Wildcats. They’ve been waiting for the playoffs it seems since opening day. But they beat one good team (new Hudson) and one bad team (Gulf Breeze) by identical margins. The race in this division is further down the ladder and although Muncie didn’t make up any ground- they are throwing their hat in the ring for the wild card for sure. Used Bob slapped New England around 6-2 before beating a very sound Glenville team 5-3. No one can think that Muncie will make up the 19 ½ game lead. But you can easily see this team getting into the dance with a solid performance the rest of the way as a wild card. Although Albany is on the schedule 14 more times this year, so is Coastal. We’ll see if the Black Wolf can hang in there. Indiana walked Gulf Breeze to death in series #9, taking a 5-3 series before a 4 all split with Frankfort. Coastal went 3-5 with the ‘zoo and split 4 with North York. Both these teams are tied for the cellar (or tied for 3rd if you prefer) and 5-6 games out of wild card contention. They might have the ability to make a run this month, but it will all start in their own division, and .500 won’t get it done.
We had two no hitters this month and now have 5 on the season. Glenville’s Miguel Gonzalez turned the trick at home with Vermont (the 2nd time Vermont has been no hit this year). Gonzalez walked 3 and was never in any serious trouble, whiffing 5. The Greys won the game 4-0 with Gosselin going deep. Then a no traditional no hitter saw Green Mt do the deed at Kalamzoo in a 3-0 Canuck victory in 11 frames. Price pitched the first 9 and Petricka the final 2. Combined, they walked 4 and struck out 11. I know the majors don’t recognize combined no hitters, but we do. Green Mt won this one on a 3R Ludwick bomb in that 11th. De Grom and 4 relievers deserved better for the ‘zoo. Congratulations to Burnie and Coach Kerr! The score sheets will be on the web page shortly if they’re not already.
The All-Star break is upon us, and the stats for your voting are on the web page already. Note that an All Star ballot is on the front page of the web page and can be used if you like. If you would rather just free hand it in that’s fine, just be sure you cover all the positions. Position consideration should be taken off the team stat sheet by position- not just a position you assumed the guy played. Also be careful to vote just for players from your conference- if you forget, the conferences are listed on the bottom of the ballot. Please have your ballots in here to Wilmington by the 15th. The game has been awarded to the Duneland Crusaders and Dan Wilburn. I’m unsure if Dan will play it at home or venture to Muncie to play it. Regardless, please get those votes in just as soon as possible. I can and will send you all team stat sheets if you’d rather have hard copy in hand vs surfing the web page. Just let me know.
The schedule throws you a couple of curveballs the next few months. This month, you’re back in your division with series against your in division rivals. Note that this is a 3-game home and away series (total of 6 games) instead of the usual 4-game home and away. As such, you will (as usual) have the same roster for both halves of each series number.
In October, we begin the home OR away series, where you play a different team away as you do home. They are 4 game series, yet you must use the same roster for both halves of the series number even though you play different opponents. Please let me know if you have any questions on this.
Mike and Leonna (Leo) cross have now moved to Wilmington. They live about 3 miles away, yet I’ve only seen them once since they got here. They are loaded with tasks to accomplish and Crossie has had to spend both weekends in Greensboro training for his new teaching job. We did get to spend some time with them last week and although things are hectic and stressful, it all should work out shortly. I was on vacation in Florida when they arrived in town and was unable to help them move in, but new Bob (Jones) was around to help them out. Word is that he worked pretty hard, so don’t let Jones tell you he can’t.
Dayna and I will be travelling to Vermont for some face to face action towards the end of September which will necessitate the league office closing for a few days. I’ll be playing my division rivals some games and afterward head to York for a day or two. Tentative schedule has me in VT September 18 and 19 and in York Sep 23 and 24. I’m sure I’ll give more details as the time gets closer.
Football has opened in more area than just ours, and Coach Kerr is back at it in Pennsylvania. I think they open their team schedule next weekend. Both Crossie’s local team and my local team are 1-1.
I mentioned briefly in the division write ups that Chuck and Marcie went on an Alaskan cruise for a while and had a great time. He said the temp was 48 one morning- can you imagine that in August? What a trip- Chuck says he recommends it highly. No word on whether the ‘zoo played any home games in the 49th state. Al and Kathy Rapp were at (last we heard) Budapest on a trip to Europe. My bet is that he’ll come back with a handful of prospects- likely soccer players. But heck, he’ll mold them in to what the Hit Men need.
So I hope everyone is well and have fun filling out your All-Star ballots!