The Northern States League

Newsletter #456- September 6th, 2016




Dear Members,


What in the world is up in the Yount?  It’s great that all the teams are within one game of one another, but the division leader(s) are 6 games under .500!  What gives?  Then check out the Winfield- all the clubs are within 2 games, but the leader (North York) is just a .500 team.  I’ve never seen one division let alone two that were this close/bad this late in the year.  But, it’s competitive, and that’s what we should strive for.  Here’s what is happening in the league.


Series #10:

Cro 1 at Key 3, Key 2 at Cro 2                                   GB 1 at EY 3 EY 2 at GB 2

NE 0 at Mun 4, Mun 3 at NE 1                                   NY 3 at Coa 1, Coa 4 at NY 0           

Fra 1 at GM 3, GM 3 at Fra 1                                     Alb 3 at NH 1, NH 3 at Alb 1

Yk 2 at Cle 2, Cle 3 at Yk 1                                       MC 0 at Kal 4, Kal 1 at MC 3

VT 2 at Gle 2, Gle 2 at VT 2                                      Lon 2 at IN 2, IN 0 at Lon 4

Mar 2 at Dun 2, Dun 1 at Mar 3                                 SL 3 at Cre 1, Cre 2 at SL 2


Series #11:

Cre 2 a t Coa 2, Coa 1 at Cle 3                                    Kal 4 at NE 0, NE 2 at Kal 2

VT 1 at Mun 3, Mun 2 at VT 2                                   Lon 2 at NH 2, NH 1 at Lon 3

NY 1 at Key 3, Key 3 at NY 1                                   Cre 1 at GB 3, GB 2 at Cre 2

MC 2 at Gle 2, Gle 2 at MC 2                                    Fra 2 at Alb 2, Alb 2 at Fra 2

IN 1 at GM 3, GM 1 at IN 3                                       Dun 2 at SL 2, SL 0 at Dun 4

Mar 2 at EY 2, EY 2 at Mar 2                                    Cro 4 at Yk 0, Yk 2 at Cro 2


Series #6 delayed: Coa 0 at Yk 4, Yk 2 at Coa 2


Series #9 delayed: GB 2 at Yk 2, Yk 0 at GB 4


We’ll start in the Carter this month, and although Longstown has now slipped to just the 2nd best record in the league, they’re in pretty good control of the division.  There doesn’t seem to be much pressure from Vermont or New England at this time, so Denny needs to focus on Burnie, and a 7 game lead at this juncture is pretty good.  Yet the Canucks are 12 games over .500 and would be leading either of the two remaining Schmidt divisions.  The P’s went 6-2 with Indiana and 5-3 with New Hudson in what has become a “usual” month for the team.  Green Mt. took 6 of 8 from Frankfort, but then stumbled vs Indiana and although a 4-4 with another contending team is fine, the net result is that the Canucks fell one more game back.  Luckily- the two have a 6 game series coming up.  The Elite have dropped steadily after their fine start, getting pummeled by both Muncie (7-1) and Kalamazoo (6-2) and are now just a game ahead of the cellar-dwelling Woodchucks- which showed signs of life in a 7-9 month, a split with Glenville being the highlight.  So for now at least, it’s Longstown with the #1 seed in the Schmidt and Green Mt- leaders of the wild card by a scant game.


New Hudson and Kalamazoo are tied atop the Rice as the ‘zoo put together an 11-5 record for the month to grab a share.  The newly relocated franchise took a 5-3 series with Magic City before a large 6-2 with New England, including a road sweep.  We thought all along that this division would be tight, and it is.  New Hudson is tied with the Black Knights as they split with Albany before dropping a 5-3 decision to Longstown- nothing to be embarrassed about there.  But still, 7-9 isn’t going to keep you atop many division not named the Yount.  Glenville kissed their sister this month with a pair of splits and hence, a .500 record for August with Magic City and Vermont being the competition.  The Greys have dropped 4 games off the pace- but now have 2 clubs to climb over.  Frankfort dropped 6 to GM before a nice rebound and a 4-4 split with Albany.  The 41-47 Cardinal record would be good enough to tie for the lead in the Yount, yet trail in their division by just 8.  So, Green Mountain is no lock for the wild card and perhaps 2 clubs will make the post season from this division.  Should be a fun intra-division September!


We did not save the best for last this time.  I’m unsure if the Yount has that even teams, or they just plain stink.  I guess I could see it if they were all say, 1-2 games under .500.  But 6 games under?  Well- it is what it is and guess what?  Only one club will come from this grouping to the post season unless the world ends that is.  This month, it’s Magic City and Albany ahead of Indiana and Muncie by 1 game.  Yep- just a singleton.  Top to bottom.  As Eric Wolfgang would so convincingly say, “oh brother!”.  This month it was Muncie doing the heavy lifting as old Bob’s charges smoked New England 7 out of 8 before taking 5 from Vermont.  Maybe the division is that good and they’re just beating up each other.  Not.  Indiana is a game back- tied for the cellar with Muncie going 2-6 with Longstown and 4-4 with Green Mountain.  But the Imps dropped out of the top spot and watched the bottom spot make up 6 games in 31 days.  Besides the Black Wolf, Albany awoke to become a contender and took a .500 record to the bank with splits against both New Hudson and Frankfort.  At the same time, Magic City was dropping 5 to the ‘zoo before taking 4 from Glenville.  So that’s the story- bottom to top.  Next month it might be top to bottom.


The league’s best team resides in the Brett, and that’s not really a surprise.  Yet the team that it is, Keystone may well be.  The club is up by a whopping 12 games at this writing and pretty much has things on cruise control.  After a 5-3 with Crosstown, JB throttled North York for 6 wins.  Everything seems to be going the C’s way at this moment, but this is a veteran division with some established managers.  Creekside is currently 2nd in the division and leads the wild card.  Yet the team turned in a pair of 3-5 results to fall back by 12, and actually become more worried about East York in 3rd than catching the C’s.  East York took 5 from Gulf Breeze before splitting with Marietta to make up a game on the Crushers, and further distance the club from the cellar.  That cellar is occupied by the York First Caps- in marathon action from delayed series Si went 13-19 to solidify their grasp on the bottom rung.  So there’s a good chance that the wild card comes out of this division, with an eye on the Murphy for the competition.  Yet there is only one wild card, and 2 contending division teams.


Gulf Breeze enjoys the 2nd largest division lead and despite just a 8-8 mark in regular schedules games, took 6 of 8 from York in delayed series #9 to look better than it would have been.  Crosstown is down by 8, yet still firmly in the wild card chase and had a nice 6-2 over York after a 3-5 with Keystone.  They’re down by 8 now, but just two out of the wild card.  Duneland just keeps hanging around.  The Crusaders lost to Marietta 5-3, but then came on strong with a 6-2 over Sparrow Lake.  This is not a club that is out of it, and Dan has some weapons still to fire, but he’d better get ‘em all firing soon.  Coastal has dropped 18 ½ off the pace.  What would new Bob do for some pitching?  The Dogs swept North York on the road this month for the highlight of their career, but dropped 6 of 8 to York in delayed series #6 and 5 of 8 to Cleveland.  Better days are ahead.


The Winfield is doing their best impression of the Yount.  Atop the heap are the North York Warthogs- winners of just 5 out of 16 contests this month.  Ouch!  Maybe Eric is sandbagging- maybe he’s resting everyone- who knows?  But the simple fact is that he’s now a .500 club, the division lead is precarious, and his boys are slumping badly.  Nothing like some fall weather to reenergize the troops!  Sparrow Lake and Cleveland are tied, just 1 game down to the ‘hogs.  Yet it’s the Hit Men on the upswing (10-6 this month) while Sparrow lake is ticking downwards (7-9).  Cleveland took series over both York and Coastal as Al fattened up on cellar dwellers.  Meanwhile, although the Stallions played great against Creekside (5-3), they faltered against Duneland (2-6).  Yet both clubs are out of first by just a game, and the wild card isn’t a runaway either.  Marietta has taken a tumble after their hot start, but even so trail the division by a scant 2 games.  The team was 9-7 for the month, including a fine 5-3 over Duneland before an East York split.  This team was so bad two years ago that it’s great to see Bo in contention.  But for everyone in the division, there are so many teams to climb over.  As with most of our divisions, this month with intra-divisional play will be a big determining factor.


One of the highlights of this month was hosting the York First Capitols here in Wilmington and some marathon play for our hero.  Si played new Bob and Crossie then finished up with yours truly.  With all the recent divisional changes, it’s been awhile since Si and I played one another, but it was rewarding taking 6 of 8 from him.  I have to tell you about the pool game- traditionally we’ve played the final GB home game in the pool and this year was no exception.  Si has had issues in the pool winning as of late, and as he nursed a 2 run lead into the home 9th, all looked well after he got the first two outs.  But a HBP got things started and a single made it a great time for a Travis Shaw PH performance, and he delivered with a “5” for a walk off 3R clout.  There was much rejoicing.  The baserunners were in my 2nd floor gutters and the scoreboard was washed over.  Our hero was beside himself.  You had to be there….


It is, of course, the All Star break and your ballot should be in to Mark by now, or at least pretty soon.  We’ll try the voting this way for a bit and see how it goes.  Mark has made a big effort to get it simplified, and nominating your players is a great new idea.  The ballot I saw was very easy to follow, and looking at my leader boards as I did it surely simplified the procedure.  Anyway, you’ll see the rosters on the web page when available, and I’ll announce the game host very soon after. 


Speaking of ballots, I think it’s time for your Hall of Fame ballot to be at Denny’s.  Have you sent yours in yet?  Please follow up with Denny should you have any questions.


We’re going to try something new with the meetings for a while.  We’re going to have the winter meetings here in Wilmington this year and in the immediate future, and have the summer meetings in York each year- roughly the same time, late June or early July.  I must say that I have not secured the beach house yet for this year but the plans are in motion.  It seemed like a good thing to try, perhaps makes travel easier on some of us, and quite frankly, at some point we would have been affected by weather in the north- I guess as we already have been from some of the horror stories of return drives to Indiana and Vermont.  This just seemed like a good thing to try for the whole of the league and we’re not snubbing York as a winter meeting place- we’re always welcome to go back there- but I think York hosting the summer meetings each year would be a fair trade.  No one is required to go to the meetings in either venue, but all of you should feel welcome to come to as many as you might be able to.  Let’s see how this works for the time being.  The winter meetings will likely be the final full weekend of February- subject to change depending on the beach house availability.  Summer meetings dates will fluctuate depending on who is available and when.


We have two things to keep in mind for the next couple of months play.  This month we have 3 series, and a total of 18 games.  It’s in your own division, so many will be played face to face.  But they are 6 game series, 3 away, then 3 at home.  You must have at least a 4 man rotation, so we should not see any pitcher getting 6 starts this month.  Please keep that in mind as we play September games.


In addition, October and November bring “home or away” series where you play one team at home in a numbered series, and one team on the road.  In these series, it is essential that you play the same 25 man roster in both halves of each numbered series, despite playing different opponents.  Please refer any questions to me.


We are having some of our best races ever!  Enjoy your intra-divisional series and we’ll be in touch in a month or so.


                                                                        Best Wishes,