The Northern States League
Newsletter #446- October 4th, 2015
POSEY AND STANTON LEAD THE WAY AS UNANIMOUS ALL-STAR PICKS. MAULERS’ MAURER THROWS PERFECT GAME. GLENVILLE INCREASES THEIR LEAD IN THE RICE WHILD CANUCKS TRY AND HOLD OFF ‘CHUCK PRESSURE IN THE CARTER. COMISH HOME FROM TRIP NORTH.
It was a great month for the league as our All-Star teams were announced and we had yet another no-hitter. Topping that off was your comish’s freeloading trip to the north, meeting up with their division rivals and actually taking 10 of the 18 games played. Of course, we all wonder where that has been all year long. But hey- free food and lodging works every time. Here’s what is happening around the league.
Series #11 results:
NE 0 at VT 3, VT 1 at NE 2 Alb 2 at Mun 1, Mun 0 at Alb 3
Cre 3 at Key 0, Key 0 at Cre 3 IN 2 at Coa 1, Coa 3 at IN 0
Gle 2 at NH 1, NH 0 at Gle 3 SL 2 at NY 1, NY 0 at SL 3
Cle 1 at Mar 2, Mar 0 at Cle 3 Cro 0 at Dun 3, Dun 2 at Cro 0 (1 rain)
Yk 0 at EY 3, EY 0 at Yk 3 Kal 1 at Fra 2, Fra 1 at Kal 2
GM 1 at GB 2, GB 1 at GM 2 MC 2 at Lon 1, Lon 2 at MC 1
Series #12 results:
Cro 0 at MC 3, MC 3 at Cro 0 GM 2 at NE 1, NE 1 at GM 2
Coa 2 at Alb 1, Alb 3 at Coa 0 NH 1 at Fra 2, Fra 3 at NH 0
Cre 2 at EY 1, EY 1 at Cre 2 NY 1 at Cle 2, Cle 1 at NY 2
Lon 2 at Dun 1, Dun 1 at Lon 2 Mun 3 at IN 0, IN 1 at Mun 2
SL 1 at Mar 2, Mar 1 at SL 2 GB 2 at VT 1, VT 1 at GB 2
Gle 2 at Kal 1, Kal 0 at Gle 3 Yk 1 at Key 2, Key 1 at Yk 2
Series #13 results:
Cro 1 at Lon 2, Lon 1 at Cro 2 Cre 1 at Yk 2, Yk 1 at Cre 2
Kal 1 at NH 2, NH 1 at Kal 2 Coa 2 at Mun 1, Mun 1 at Coa 2
MC 2 at Dun 1, Dun 0 at MC 3 VT 2 at GM 1, GM 0 at VT 3
Mar 2 at NY 1, NY 1 at Mar 2 Alb 2 at IN 1, IN 1 at Alb 2
Key 3 at EY 0, EY 2 at Key 1 GB 2 at NE 1, NE 1 at GB 2
Gle 2 at Fra 1, Fra 2 at Gle 1 Cle 1 at SL 2, SL 3 at Cle 0
Back in to divisional play, there were some very surprising results. We’ll start in the Brett this month and Keystone’s 3 game lead coming in to the month is now a 3 game deficit as Creekside put the 6-0 shellacking on JB’s club in series #11. Obviously, the two teams played even ball the rest of the month, but the Comanches will be thinking about this one series for a long time. East York dropped 3 games and now trail the Crushers by 10, and York is out by 13, dropping just a single game this month. But it was a fun month to be a Crusher with a nicwe 4-2 over East York before a split with York. Meanwhile, Keystone rightened the ship with a 4-2 over East York and a York split. For now, though, everyone is looking up at Creekside in the division.
In the Winfield- it was another hot club taking control of a division which appeared to be up for grabs. Sparrow Lake took 7 of 9 at home and 13 of 18 overall to take a huge 6 game lead in the Winfield. A pair of 5-1 wins over Cleveland and North York set the table and a 3-3 split with Marietta did no damage. The Mad Dogs stumbled to a .500 record for the month thanks to a 4-2 over North York after a 2-4 with Cleveland. They may still be in it, but the wild card doesn’t look to be coming out of the division and 6 games is a tough deficit. The Warthogs also stumbled- but dropped a place to Marietta with the highlight of the month a split with Cleveland. A 2-4 with Marietta and 1-5 with Sparrow Lake pretty much decided where they would be at the end of the month. The Hit Men had a nice month in contrast- a pair of splits and a 1-4 with the division leader leaves them 17 games back. So for now at least, the Stallions are up 6 and 7 over Marietta and North York respectively, but it’s time to consider stepping on the gas pedal for these two trailing clubs.
Turning our attention to the Murphy, Longstown lost 3 games on their lead, yet still are leading which as Denny would say is a miracle in itself. 2nd place Magic City split with the Prospectors in series #11, then the two teams took different paths as Lon went 4-2 with Duneland and 3-3 with Crosstown (decent enough) while the Maulers clobbered the ‘dales 6-0 and Duneland 5-1. So the 2nd place club went 14-4, and made up 3 games, but still look up at the leaders. Magic City is 4 out in the wild card as Keystone holds that slot. This should still be a nice race- as the Prospectors continue to write a new chapter. The ‘dales were awful this month- a 6 game sweep at the hands of the Maulers (including a perfect game by a D pitcher against them- more on that in a minute) and 0-5 with Duneland (1 rain). Their lone series which was at least decent was a 3 all split with the division leaders. Crosstown has tumbled 11 ˝ back at this point and need to completely reverse their fortunes. The Crusaders had a great series with the Clydesdales by taking all 5, but faltered against Longstown (2-4) and Magic City (1-5).
The Rice Division has been one of those groupings which is always tight year after year. This year was no exception- until the month of September, though. The Greys of Glenville stormed through the group with a 13-5 record and took the division by the neck with now a 2nd best in the league 7 game lead. This was totally out of character for the Greys and despite a split with Frankfort, posted a pair of 5-1 marks over New Hudson and Kalamazoo. The rest of the division may well be stunned, but it’s time to shake it off. The 2nd place club this month is Kalamazoo, and they played .500 ball with the exception of the 1-5 against Glenville. .500 used to be good enough in this division, but not in September of 2015. Frankfort played a pair of splits then from out of nowhere they trounced New Hudson 5-1. Not too bad as the Cardinals attempt to get back to .500. But New Hudson may be as much of a surprise as Glenville, but for the wrong reasons. The Nutjobs split with the ‘zoo- that was okay- but a pair of 1-5 series with Glenville and Frankfort were not, and as a result, the leaders at one time are now the trailers. Maybe that’s only temporary, but a 10 game deficit stares Michael in the face today.
The Carter had all face to face play this month, and the net result had 2nd place Vermont shave 3 games off the Green Mountain lead and the deficit is now just 1 ˝ games. The series of the month was #13, with the ‘chucks and ‘nucks squaring off and the younger Burnham took 5 of 6 to set the stage for what should be a fine race to the wire. The Canucks still lead, and had a nice 4-2 with New England and a split with Gulf Breeze, but 8-10 isn’t going to hold off Vermont for long. The Woodchucks are hot- and after taking 4 from the Elite, somehow managed to drop 4 to Gulf Breeze- maybe trying to get me out of town? Could be. The ‘varks now are out 12 ˝ and actually had a nice 9-7 month in the northeast kingdom, with 4-2 successes against both Vermont and New England. The Elite were consistent if nothing else, dropping all 3 series 2-4 this month. But 6-12 is better than they’ve played the previous 80 games. Vermont is fully in control of the Schmidt wild card, but they’re searching for something more.
It’s been a given since opening day that the Wildcats would trounce the other Yount clubs and it continues to be that way as their lead is a whopping 24 ˝ over 2nd place Muncie. Yet another huge month, 13-5, lengthened their lead by 5 more games and the only thing they have to worry about is a complete meltdown. The other division teams are still in the division at least, but the battle is clearly for 2nd place. That place is held this month by Muncie by 3 games over Coastal and 8 over Indiana. Indiana’s reverse Albany (5-13) mark for the month is perhaps the most baffling story in the division this month as they were beaten by Coastal and Albany 4-2, and dropped a 5-1 to Muncie. The Black Wolf enjoyed that Indiana series and that kept them ahead of Coastal. The Bulldogs played well against Albany (2-4) but were just 3-6 at home. Yet a 3rd place finish would be a positive for new Bob.
The All-Star voting has been completed and the teams are posted on the web site for you. Posey of Muncie and Stanton of East York were both unanimous picks. The game will be played sometime this month by Dan Wilburn and the Duneland Crusaders. Yes, the league will get a kickback for supporting the Valpariso economy with the award of the game to Dan.
Brandon Maurer of Magic City threw a perfect game (the 4th in league history) against Crosstown in series #12. Maurer is a D and had a 9.00 ERA going in to the game and it was his 3rd career NSL start. He struck out 11 and dominated the ‘dale every day lineup. A copy of the score sheet is on the web page. Congratulations to all the Maulers!
As we press on with our 2015 campaign, it’s tough not to notice that our league batting average has dipped below .240 (now at .239) although HR appear to be on pace. This is certainly a function of MLB, shifts, guys eating too many donuts, etc., but I find it interesting that the average seems so low. The league ERA of 3.61 also reflects that and walks seem to be a little more under control. I don’t know what conclusions, if any, can be drawn from this, I just thought it was interesting to see the low league average and the lower numbers needed to get on the Conference leader boards in batting average.
As mentioned, Dayna and I travelled to Vermont to meet our division mates in face to face action. We had a great time with Dave, Bill, and Burnie. You may have seen the picture of Bill & Lori along with the two Prays in front of the Vermont state capitol. Man- that place was dead for a Friday night and getting a picture in front of the dome was easy. It is true that in Vermont, you have to drive ˝ hour to get anywhere! Maybe not really, but overall we had a fantastic time and wanted to thank all my Vermont buddies for their hosting. We then proceeded to York and met up with most of the York guys. Once again we were able to pull off a free meal or two and had a great time hanging out at the Silars. Some of you already know but they have a face so face league that meets there every Wednesday night, and it’s always fun to sit with those guys and tell stories about the “travelling league”. It was a great trip for us and thanks again to everyone who made the Prays feel so welcome.
The annual NSL winter meetings are here in Wilmington this year, February 23rd (Tuesday) through the 28th (Sunday). Most all of you know the routine, but I thought I’d just review for any of the new guys who may not know anything about the meetings. This year we’ll be in a beach house which will sleep quite a few guys, for a minimal charge of like $20 or $30 for as long as you want to stay. The league does pick up a portion of that rental. There are also several beds at my house for no charge- I think we can put up 4 or 5 here comfortably. This year, Bruce Taylor, the founder of the league will also be here and it will be fun seeing him. Generally, we eat meals as a group which might cost you a few dollars, but otherwise it’s nothing but a great time and almost like when we were kids- close quarters with some of your best friends. I’m happy to explain anything else you need for the meetings, we do have guys who get here as early as Tuesday and most everyone has cleared out by Sunday AM. Guys like Kerr come Friday night and leave Saturday afternoon, but I don’t recommend that. Make your plans now- it’s always a great time.
Most of you know that Mike Cross has moved to my town, and after some stumbling things seem to be fitting back in to normal. We’ve been watching the Colts on Sundays where we solve most of the world’s problems. Of course today we had one half of the game without satellite reception and like 6 inches of rain in a 10 minute period that we were lucky enough to be walking to the car in. Lots of laughs! But Crossie is settling in and next thing you know he’ll like the Carolina Panthers.
This month is the first of two where you play one opponent on the road and another at home. It’ll be a little tricky, but you’re big boys and can figure it out. Your roster for both halves of each numbered series must be the same- even though you are playing two different opponents. You can, of course, make roster changes between any numbered series. Please let me know if you have any questions on this.
Today closes the regular season in baseball- always an ugly day for me as I live for the regular season, and the playoffs do little for me- especially with the Red Sox out. I’ll be able to look forward to next year, however, and am assured that Boston will be back strong- with or without Hanley. But heck, who will take that contract from them anyway? Or Sandoval. Or Porcello. Or Kelly. The list is endless. I’m sure your favorite team can share the same bad contracts. Luckily, our NSL contracts with players are driven simply by us “real” managers.
So that’s what I have for now. I could mention that we’ve had nearly 8 inches of rain in the last 3 days- but that would be rubbing it in to our California franchises. Hey wait- we don’t have any California franchises. So- yes, we’ve had 8 inches of rain in the last 3 days.
I hope everyone is well and good luck in your October series!