The Northern States League

Newsletter #436- October 3rd, 2014

 

IS IT POSSIBLE?  4 OF OUR 6 DIVISIONS HAVE LEADS OF 2 GAMES OR LESS.  COOPER PASTES SCHMIDT IN 2014 ALL STAR GAME.  2 NO HITTERS SPUN THIS MONTH.  SILAR COMES TO TOWN AND EXCHANGES SWEEPS WITH COMISH.  THE MEETINGS ARE IN YORK THIS YEAR.

 

Dear Members,

 

September was a fine month for us as some division races got closer and the All Star Game was played.  But others in the league can point to their team being in the post season- i.e. Oriole fans.  In April, they couldn’t get 10,000 people in that ball park.  In October?  Yeah- you get the picture.  Of course my beloved Sawx put 35,000 in the stands every day in April, roughly 627 for games in September.  October games?  Yeah- right.

 

Series #10 late results:

Yk 4 at GB 0, GB 4 at Yk 0

 

Series #12 results:

GB 3 at SL 0, SL 2 at GB 1                           Can 1 at GM 2, GM 1 at Can 1 (1 rain)

NY 1 at Kal 2, Kal 3 at NY 0                         IN 1 at Pa 2, Pa 2 at IN 1

MC 3 at Lon 0, Lon 1 at MC 2                       NH 2 at Gle 1, Gle 0 at NH 3

Yk 3 at EY 0, EY 2 at Yk 1                           Dun 1 at Cro 2, Cro 2 at Dun 1

NE 2 at VT 1, VT 0 at NE 3                           Key 2 at Cre 1, Cre 1 at Key 2

Cle 1 at Mar 2, Mar 2 at Cle 1                        Alb 2 at Mun 1, Mun 0 at Alb 3

 

Series #13 results:

Key 1 at Yk 2, Yk 1 at Key 2                         Cro 2 at MC 1, MC 2 at Cro 1

Gle 2 at Kal 1, Kal 1 at Gle 2                         GB 2 at Cle 1, Cle 1 at GB 2

Alb 2 at Pa 1, Pa 0 at Alb 3                            GM 0 at NE 3, NE 1 at GM 2

Can 2 at VT 1, VT 2 at Can 1                         NY 0 at NH 3, NH 1 at NY 2

Cre 0 at EY 3, EY 2 at Cre 1                          Lon 1 at Dun 2, Dun 1 at Lon 2

IN 1 at Mun 2, Mun 1 at IN 2                                    SL 1 at Mar 2, Mar 1 at SL 2

 

Series #14 results:

Cro 3 at Lon 0, Lon 1 at Cre 2                       Mun 3 at Pa 0, Pa 1 at Mun 2

NH 2 at Kal 1, Kal 1 at NH 2                         Mar 0 at GB 3, GB 2 at Mar 1

NY 1 at Gle 2, Gle 1 at NY 2                         NE 2 at Can 1, Can 1 at NE 2

Dun 0 at MC 3, MC 2 at Dun 1                      Cle 1 at SL 2, SL 1 at Cle 2   

Key 2 at EY 1, EY 2 at Key 1                                    Cre 2 at Yk 1, Yk 1 at Cre 2

Alb 1 at IN 2, IN 1 at Alb 2                           GM 0 at VT 3, VT 0 at GM 3

 

In one of the most incredible moths in our history, 4 of our division races got tighter and one had a leader change.  Here’s what happened.

 

In the Yount, Albany finally put things together and blitzed through the division in a 13-5 month which not only closed the gap on Muncie, but made it a positive gap as the ‘cats took over the division lead by a game.  A pair of 5-1 series did it against the two Chalfants, but Chad was able to rise up and split with the new division leaders.  The Black Wolf didn’t do poorly against clubs not named Albany on the month, a split with Indiana and a 5-1 over Pa included, but it was enough and Albany made up 4 games in September.  Indiana now trails by 7, but only by 6 in the wild card, as splits against the top two clubs was fine, but a 2-4 against Pa hurt.  The Pounders now trail by 21 in the Yount but will still be a factor in the race as we already saw this month.  So it’s Albany by just a single game- as all divisions are in the Schmidt.

 

The Carter was no contest last month.  The Woodchucks were up by 7 and in fine shape going back in to divisional play where they were only 12-12 coming in to September, but another split would leave things in comfortable position.  Dave got just that with GM and Can, but unfortunately for him had to play New England, and Waller put the hurt on the leaders with a 5-1 series decision.  Bill also took 4 from Can and GM at the same time to close that 7 game gap to just one as we speak.  This might be as close as the Elite have been to the top in recent memory, and the fact that he made up 6 games in a single month doesn’t bode well for Vermont.  But hey- this is the Woodchucks and they’ve certainly been there before.  In other action GM took 3 of 5 from Canaan and made up 1 ½ games on the leaders as well.  The Polar Bears are now 12 ½ back, but even they made up ground (1/2 game).  Besides all this, New England is just 3 games out of the wild card as well.

 

So the story repeats itself.  Glenville was up 6 after August games and was on cruise control in the Rice.  Yet they pulled a Woodchuck imitation and suddenly the lead is- well as it is everywhere in the Schmidt-a single game.  What in the world?  Another 5-1 series is what happened- NH putting the hurt on the leaders in series #12.  Glenville still took 4 from Kal and split with NY, but Michael kept things rolling with 4-2 marks against post opponents.  So the Greys are wondering what is going on and the Nutjobs know that they had this in them all season long.  Who will prevail?  That’s why we play the games.  The ‘zoo made up a game and are now out by 13 as they walloped North York 5-1 in the “other” series of the month, the Wart Hogs now out by 16.  Just like the Carter, now New Hudson is just 4 games out of the wild card as well.

 

So you have it right- three divisions and three 1 game leads.  There are three “leaders” now swallowing hard and 3 contenders saying, “attaboy” as the nooses tighten.

 

So what can the Cooepr do to counter?  Well, one division played the game- in the Murphy Magic City split with the leading ‘dales, but cut a game off the Crosstown lead (now 2 games) thanks to a pair of 5-1 decisions, over Duneland and Longstown.  Crossie was able to repeat the 5-1 over Longstown, but went just 4-2 against Duneland and hence, the one game shave.  Longstown and Duneland split in the other series.  So this division at least has been this way all year long, with the ‘dales and Maulers apparently going to duke things out.  Longstown and Duneland have gained separation- but the wrong way trailing the top dogs by 20 and 23 games respectively.

 

Note to self- how in the heck are the Orioles doing this?  Young just hit a 3R double.  Must be joy in York.

 

So the mold has been broken in the Winfield, as the Breeze added a whopping 5 games to their divisional lead and are now up 14.  Yes- Gulf Breeze.  The good guys took a 4-2 decision over Sparrow Lake which helped, then 4 from Cleveland and 5 from Marietta.  A makeup series with York wound up 4-4 as both teams had road sweeps.  No pool game however due to inclement Meanwhile, the closest competition Stallions could only manage splits against the same two teams and found themselves down 14, with 56 to play.  It’s not over yet of course, as we’re talking Gulf Breeze here.  But things look better than last month and unlike the previous 4 divisions talked about, the noose is loosening a bit.  Marietta and Cleveland split in the other series, leaving them 20 and 27 games back as we speak, but just 6 and 13 games out of 2nd place.  But for now at least, the ‘varks are in control.

 

The other division to see a leader increase their lead was the Brett, where East York more than doubled their 2 game lead to 5.  Scoop was the first to mention it was a horrible month from 2nd place Creekside as they went 1-5 with EY and 2-4 with Key before a nice 4-2 against York.  The EY series was especially disappointing, as the 66ers didn’t play that well this month either, splitting with Key and dropping 4 to York.  But when all the slide rules had stopped for the day, the lead was 5 over Creekside, 6 over Keystone, and 7 over York, which tumbled from 3rd to 4th this month.  Fittingly, Key and Yk split in the other divisional series.  So Keystone played well (10-8) and East York duplicated that (10-8), but Creekside (7-11) and York (13-13) lost a chance to make up the deficit. 

 

So there you have the standings.  I just don’t remember ever having this many close races this late in the season.  It’s all good!  But not only this, but we have so much more going on this month.  Read on!

 

Our annual All Star Game was played this month in York at Comanche Field and the home of the Keystone club, J.B. in control.  He was “assisted” by Mick, Scoop, and Si in the endeavor.  You’ve seen the score sheet and J.B.’s write up on the web page, but I just had to note a few things.  Adam Dunn as the MVP- his 2 out 3R bomb giving the Cooper the lead, and Miguel Cabrera going 2 for 2 with as BB for the Schmidt.  Dunn’s blast came as Sanchez was inserted into the Schmidt lineup and the first pitch was his “see ya!”.  There were 16 hits and 10 BB in the affair, in a season which has been dominated thus far by pitching.  Batters did whiff 17 times though.  Anyway it was a close game and fun was had by all participants!

 

We had not 1 but 2 no hitters spun this month in another incredible event of September.  Chronologically, the first one was in series 313, game #3, North York at New Hudson.  In this one, All Star goat Sanchez did the job, allowing just a pair of base runners including the leadoff man in the first- both on BB.  After walking Ellsbury and having him advance to 3rd on a pair of ground outs, Anibal whiffed Yadier Molina and proceeded to retire 10 in a row before a Adrian Gonzalez E6.  A string of 14 batters then made out before Seth Smith walked in the 9th, immediately taken out on Ellsbury’s GIDP and that was it, a 3-0 New Hudson win.  Sanchez was backed by a Votto 2R double in the 4th and a David Murphy bomb in the 9th.  He struck out 11 on the day.  In series #14, still in the division, Eric took another one on the chin as this time Glenville’s Miguel Gonzalez dominated in a similar way- 2 BB and a runner on base with an error but he struck out just 2.  No matter though as he was dynamite, and Glenville won it 2-0.  So the two no hitters bring our total to 4 this year and Eric has the unfortunate record of being no hit in 2 out of 3 road games.  Sounds like time for a pep talk, eh?  Congratulations to both as well as Michael and Coach K.

 

Here are some news and notes from around town. 

 

The meetings will be held in York this year as most of you have suspected for some time now.  We look forward to another long weekend of fun and games from 2/25 (or before) to 3/1/15. 

 

Note to self- guess the Orioles really are for real.

 

Dayna and I were delighted to host the Silars last week and although the weather was a little rugged, we had a good time.  In our series #10 which had been delayed to allow the face to face encounter, Si took the first 4 at Gulf Breeze.  The next day I took all 4 from him at York.  Si was pretty happy as he rolled 3 straight shutouts against the First Caps- something I’m sure that has never been done before.  We didn’t hear any new words, but the old ones worked just fine and echoed Si’s feelings on the performance.  Luckily he made mudslides that took our minds off the series.  We were not able to play in the pool, though, as it was chilly and rainy.  But 2 runs scored in the 4 games was chilly and rainy for our hero. 

 

I had a nice talk with John Bushey a couple of weeks ago and he was still in the hospital at that time, and Burnie is to find out more today to see how the Head Polar Bear is doing.  John was a little frustrated when I talked to him as he has been in for longer than he wishes but we’re all hoping things work out well for him.  I played his games last month and will this month and John will take the reins back as soon as he is able, which we all hope is very soon.  Your thoughts and wishes for him would be wonderful- thanks in advance.

 

The game company has already announced a tentative schedule for the cards and disk this year.  It appears that the disk will be out around Thanksgiving and you can begin to preorder the cards on December 1st for shipping on 1/5/15 or thereabouts.  For more details check out the game company web site.

 

One of the things that is being bashed around are XCs- and the game company’s inclusion of same into all card sets.  It does not appear that you’ll have to buy the XCs this year- but in going forward I’m thinking that will be a given.  I know that all previous year sets will have XCs included in the basic set (at least 1989 and before at this moment).  This will lead us to a decision at some point if we’re going to include XCs in our league or not.  For those of you who do not know, XCs are the players over a team’s 30 that had any appearance at all.  So you’ll have cards for guys who PH one time, pitched 1/3 IP, that sort of thing.  That means that just like the disk, all players will be available.  Our decisions are up for negotiation ad should be discussed in advance of what I feel the game company will resort to at some point in the future.

 

Speaking of rule proposals, it’s a great time to get them out there and in the hands of either the rules committee or membership as a whole.  It is very important that your thoughts and idea are recognized by all- heck, many members might have the same thoughts and ideas that you have.  Give it a try!

 

Why in the heck are the playoff series first round games just best of 5?  Shoot- everyone has already had an off day after the wild card games (I can see them being just a one game thing) but that and ‘m not a big advocate of set schedules and all- didn’t we have like a 4 to 5 day void last year?  Heck- they’re used to playing every night, no reason to change it up here- just make ‘em play!

 

That’s what I have for you this month.  It’ll be hard to duplicate everything we had going on in September, but might as well try!  I hope everyone is well and enjoy the playoffs, as well as your NSL tilts!

 

                                                                        Best Wishes,

 

 

                                                                        Rich