The Northern States League

Newsletter #461- January 2nd, 2017

 

TRADING OPENS AND WE HAVE NO TRADES TO REPORT!  DISK REVISON WILL BE OUT SHORTLY FROM OLD BOB.  COOPER PLAYOFFS SET WITH FACE TO FACE ENCOUNTER IN ATLANTA- ALL 4 PARTICIPANTS IN ATTENDANCE.  SADLY, WE SALUTE ERIC WOLFGANG AS HE LEAVES US.

HAPPY NEW YEAR AS WE ROLL IN TO 2017!

               

Dear Members,

 

As promised, here is a short newsletter to get you up to date and in to 2017.  There is not an awful lot to talk about, but we’ll hit the issues randomly as we prepare our teams for the future campaign.  Chances are that none of us got 4 A starters in our Christmas stocking, so I’m guessing it’s time to start preparing for the draft.  So as usual, in no particular order, here we go.

 

Eric Wolfgang has resigned from the helm of the North York franchise.  Eric helped us out immensely after Mayor’s death, keeping the franchise in great shape while doing us all (and the mayor) this wonderful service.  Perhaps Eric will join us again down the road someday- we all know I have a spot for guys who have been here before, but I salute Eric and the job he did for us.  It hurts that I’ll no longer get “Postmaster- please rush, series stats enclosed” mailings from E- then again, maybe my mail lady will be okay with that.  She doesn’t rush very often.  Regardless, thanks for your service Eric- you will be missed!  Eric will vote on the All-League ballot and hopefully will do so on the Hall of Fame ballot.  To show you what a guy E is, he has already donated his cards to the league for sale.

 

Work has begun on Eric’s replacement and I’ll inform you as soon as the position is offered and accepted. 

 

JB and I are travelling to Atlanta on the 20th to meet up with Al and Mark to play our playoff series.  This will be yet another positive first as I don’t recall more than one playoff series being played at one time.  Yet here we’ll have 3 series- both Division Series and the Cooper Conference series.  As always, it is then hoped that we’ll have the face to face Championship Series at the meetings.  We’ll update you through the web page with the playoffs as they occur, with Lon/Gle and Alb/Kal being the other divisional matchups.

 

You likely know (especially if you’re reading this) that newsletter #460 was posted on the web page a couple of days ago, and hopefully, Bob can attach this one to #460 to have a double edition.  Other things included from that newsletter and in to the web page itself are the 2016 team statistics, league leaders- for both the team and individual, your career W/L page updated and new “Top 100” lists.  Please enjoy them all. 

 

We should all take our hats off at some point to Bob Chalfant and the job he does with the web page.  Sometimes you just have the right guy doing the right thing- and this is obviously the perfect place for Bob- and more importantly for us.  Bob almost always has things posted on to the web page immediately after I send it to him, and his incredible attention to detail and ability to get the job done is just so beneficial to all of us.  Bob does this as a labor of love, but through his efforts we are all much better informed and he is another great reason that the league is so enjoyable for us all.  Hats off to you, old Bob!  We couldn’t do this without you!

 

The divisions for next year are not set yet.  They will be set as soon as I can do so, and that depends on a few factors.  I’ll let you know through the web page when they are set.

 

As mentioned in an e-mail to you, dues are $30.00 for the coming season.  I update the standings page pretty much nightly through the entire off-season, so you can see if your dues are in.  I also have columns for the All-League ballot and the Hall of Fame ballot- neither of which is ready to be voted on.  Guess I just got ahead of myself.

 

Should you have any rule change ideas or proposals, they should be forwarded to a rules committee member for discussion and consideration.  Once again, we will have to decide on the basic game starting pitcher batters faced limits this year at some point.

 

Trading will open now as long as your dues are in or other arrangements have been made.  Once again- you can track the teams that have paid dues through the web page standings sheet.  We will handle trades the same way this year as we did last, I’ll post the trade when I get it, then update the web page through Bob that evening.  At that time, you’ll have 3 days to protest a trade (the trade will be highlighted in yellow on the Trade page on the web page) and after the three days, the highlight will be removed and it will be a done deal.  I’ll also update changes to the draft order(s) as trades are made- again through Bob.

 

So, in case Waller didn’t hear me, “trading is open”.

 

The lottery will be held on Saturday, January 14th.  I’ll plan to have it here and I’m sure Cross, new Bob, and old Bob (he’s in North Carolina for a month) will participate.  I have no time yet, but will, of course, keep you updated and informed immediately after the lottery as to the draft order.  More on this, and likely an e-mail or two, as we get closer.

 

There have been some issues with the new e-mailed disk from the game company.  As you may or may not know, the company offered disks sent to you in e-mail format ($20) or a cd ($40).  The cd has not made it to me yet, but the e-mailed one has been sent out- now at least twice.  The original e-mail disk has many pitcher j-factors incorrect.  It also had a bunch of steal ratings incorrect.  Thirdly, it appears that there is at least one card issue (Lobaton has a 14 at 12).  The people who received the original e-mailed disk received a 2nd one, which corrected the j factors and the steal allowance letters.  As far as I know, Lobaton has not been addressed yet.  Bob sent out a disk a week or more ago now which has NSL franchises, and was built off the original e-mailed disk.  So if you loaded that (and that’s fine…) you’ll need to do some correcting as we go forward.  Please note that when the company screws up like this, they usually send a patch.  But since the cd version of the disk and the cards themselves have yet to be released, they just sent out a newer disk.  Simply loading that 2nd disk does not appear to fix the initial problems. 

 

What you will have to do is completely delete the original disk and NSL files that Bob sent.  Bob will send a 2nd version in the next day or two which includes the j factor fix as well as the

Steal allowance letters.  We’ll deal with the Lobaton change (if any is announced) when it occurs.  But again, if you simply take the 2nd disk Bob sends you (not sent to you yet- will be in a day or two) and restore the org, you will not get the corrected changes that were the reason for the 2nd disk in the first place.  I know this is cumbersome- please drop me a line if you’re confused (not you, Si). 

 

I implore everyone every year to buy the disk.  It is not right for you to simply sit back and wait for someone to buy the disk, set it up with the NSL then send it to you, likely without even a thank-you. 

 

So- the correct way to do all of this is simple.  1) Delete the entire 2016 disk (and NSL), 2) Load the 2016 disk that you purchased from the game company in either e-mail or cd, then , 3) restore the org with Bob’s 2nd NSL disk.  Note that doing this will drop the ‘U-‘ from the beginning of your 2016 organization.

 

This appears to be all that is on my desk to push in to 2017.  I hope everyone had a great holiday and let’s enjoy our off-season, playoffs, trading, and everything else that goes with it until the meetings.

 

 

                                                                                                            Best Wishes,

 

 

                                                                                                            Rich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Northern States League

Newsletter #460- December 30th, 2016

 

ALBANY NOSES OUT MUNCIE BY A GAME TO TAKE THE YOUNT.  SPARROW LAKE GRABS THE COOPER WILD CARD WITH A LATE CHARGE.  KEYSTONE & LONGSTOWN REMAIN THE FAVORITES IN THE POST SEASON.  POSEY WINS THE BATTING CROWN, ARENADO THE HR AND RBI CATEGORIES, GREINKE THE ERA TITLE.  HAPPY NMEW YEAR AS WE CLOSE OUT 2016!!!

               

Dear Members,

 

It was another fantastic finish for the league as the final playoff slots were gained and the post season match ups set.  We will as usual limit this newsletter to finishing off 2016, and come up with another newsletter in the next few hours/days to open up 2017.  Here’s how the races finished up this year.

 

Series #20:

Cle 3 at Mar 1, Mar 1 at Cle 3                        GM 1 at NE 3, NE 0 at GM 4

Coa 1 at GB 3, GB 2 at Coa 2                                    Alb 4 at MC 0, MC 2 at Alb 2

Mun 3 at IN 1, IN 2 at Mun 2                                    Cre 3 at Key 1, Key 3 at Cre 1

Dun 0 at Cro 4, Cro 2 at Dun 2                      Gle 3 at NH 1, NH 2 at Gle 2

NY 1 at SL 3, SL 2 at NY                              Kal 4 at Fra 0, Fra 1 at Kal 3

Yk 3 at EY 1, EY 2 at Kal 2                          VT 1 at Lon 3, Lon 2 at VT 2

 

Series #21:

Key 3 at Yk 1, Yk 2 at Key 2                         Cro 1 at Coa 3, Coa 1 at Cro 3

NE 2 at Lon 2, Lon 3 at NE 1                                    Mun 2 at MC 2, MC 3 at Mun 1

Cre 0 at EY 4, EY 2 at Cre 2                          GM 4 at VT 0, VT 2 at GM 2

Gle 2 at Fra 2, Fra 1 at Gle 3                          Cle 2 at SL 2, SL 2 at Cle 2

Dun 1 at GB 3m, GB 1 at Dun 3                    NH 0 at Kal 4, Kal 2 AT NH 2

Mar 2 at NY 2, NY 3 at Mar 1                       Alb 2 at IN 2, IN 2 at Alb 2

 

Series #5 makeup:

EY 1 at Coa 0

 

Our best finish was in the Yount.  This division was fairly well balanced through most of the year, before first Indiana then Magic City began their fades.  But the division would be decided by neither of the top 2 teams, but would go through Magic City, where the champions of 2 years ago would decide the title by how they played against the two teams.  Sure enough, the City rose to the occasion with a 5-3 decision over Muncie in series #21 after a 2-6 mark with Albany in series #20.  Muncie took 5 from Indiana in series #20, but Albany was able to grab a split with the Imperials in series #21 to win by a single game over the Black Wolf.  Muncie had their chances, and Bob traces back to a game against Magic City where he was comfortably ahead, rested the starters, and back came Magic City to take the victory, one which basically can be traced to the division title.  We all knew the wild card wasn’t coming out of here, and sure, Albany and Muncie struggled to finish above .500, but it was a nice comeback by Albany as they charge in to the post season with the worst record of the 8 playoff teams, yet as hot as anyone else.

 

In the Carter- you’ve heard me state all year long it was a Longstown cake walk.  Yes, New England started well, and both Green Mountain and Vermont showed flashes- but flashing isn’t good enough (well, not this kind of flashing) and the Prospectors won handily with a league best 107 wins and home field throughout the playoffs.  The Canucks kept the pressure on the ice runner up for the wild card, but Burnie just couldn’t get the club to get over the hump and they finished 5 out of the w3wild card.  But make no mistake- this is Becker’s division for now and we’ll see how things progress in January baseball.

 

The Rice was a curious division most of the year.  All 4 clubs were competitive from the start, but Frankfort faded in mid-summer and New Hudson did so in early autumn.  That would leave Kalamazoo and Glenville to duke it out.  Interestingly, all 4 clubs in the division had losing records on the road and 3 of the 4 had home winning records.  This was the ‘zoo’s division in late fall, though, and Glenville tried to hang on, more so for the wild card than the division.  Chuck’s secret weapon- Tomlin, had a fantastic finish and backed by Cano’s terrific year, the ‘zoo charged to the 2nd best record in the conference and held off Glenville fairly easily with a 5-3 series in #19 helping out.  But Glenville hung in as they always seem to do, and grabbed the wild card by 5 games over Green Mountain, thanks to a pair of 5-3 series to finish things off, never really giving the Canucks an opening. 

 

So the Schmidt is set with #1 seed Longstown against Glenville with the former holding the home field.  Kalamazoo will match up with Albany, again with the home field to the former.  The Prospectors W/L record over Glenville in the regular season was +17, Kalamazoo’s over Albany +13.  Yet in a short series… well, you know the rest.

 

Switching venues to the Cooper, and Gulf Breeze held off the challengers to win the Murphy by a surprising 10 games.  At the beginning of the season, we knew that Duneland had the best pitching in the division and Crosstown the best offense.  Neither of those won out, and the Breeze took the division with the same road record as Duneland, yet 10 games better at home.  Just like the Rice the Murphy “boasted” all teams with a losing record on the road.  Duneland finished a game ahead of Crosstown, and both had mild pushes for the wild card, but finishing below .500 didn’t get it done.

 

The Winfield became a Rapp division this year with Sparrow Lake charging hard late to challenge Cleveland.  The two split the final 8 games of the campaign, handing the home field to Gulf Breeze against the Hit Men and propelling the Lake to the wild card.  First off, Cleveland.  The Hit Men took control of the division in mid-summer, and although they never ran away, they kept everyone at arm’s length and wound up winning the division by 3.  Sparrow Lake had a fine finish and thought they had a shot at things for the division title, but Cleveland took 6 from Marietta while the Stallions took 5 from The Warthogs, and it was basically over.  But, Sparrow Lake remains the hotter team as we plunge in to the post season, and they held off both East York and Creekside fairly easily to win the wild card.  It was an interesting season in the division, though, as North York started out the strongest and was on top in early summer, leading Marietta which also had a fine start, but both turned in the el foldo down the stretch and it became a division Rapped up (he-he).  Word is that the Rapp house was not destroyed by the series #21 face to face play, and Kathy is smiling- likely from the end result of a split.  I mean she’s not smiling because she’s fixin’ to go on a cruise, right?

 

We wrap it up in the Brett.  I’m not sure that Keystone winning by 25 games is that big a surprise, but… hey wait a minute.  Yes it is!  The Comanches busted out early- basically winning the division during trade season when they picked up the ERA leader for the season in Greinke.  Couple that with a Triple Crown contender in Arenado and it was remarkably an extremely easy division title for the C’s.  The only fly in the ointment might be that they fell a single game behind Longstown for the best record, and hence, the home field advantage went to the P’s.  But C’s and P’s aside, you have to get there first, right?  Defending champion Creekside and East York both finished the day at .500, pretty much disappointing seasons.  Not that they finished at .500 I guess, but the fact that they never really pushed Keystone for the division crown.  Both showed some interest in getting in to the wild card race, but by the time they did, Sparrow Lake was hitting on all cylinders and they couldn’t string together a hot streak.  York used 100 starting pitchers this year and was never really in it, though the offense kept stride.

 

So it’ll be Keystone against Sparrow Lake and Gulf Breeze matching up with Cleveland in the Cooper playoffs, the C’s and ‘varks holding the home field.

 

With the completion of the 2016 regular season, the team stats have been posted to the web page as well as the league leaders for 2016.  For the first time that I can recall, there were no records broken in the league, either individual or team.  That’s not to say there weren’t come great performances- just check out Arenado, Greinke, and Kershaw.  But all records are safe for yet another year, to be challenged sometime in the future.

 

Mark has already touched base with you about the end of the year vote which will include MVP, Nolan Ryan, and Rookie of the Year awards.  Mark will send this information out to you as it becomes available, please be sure to follow up with him just as quickly as you can.  He’ll be conducting the vote similarly to the All Star vote of this year which seemed to work very well.  The only thing to keep in mind is that your Manager of the Year vote (vote for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices) should come here rather than to him.

 

You may also notice on the web page a new career winning percentage sheet updated through this 2016 campaign- our 38th season.  Looks as if Dave is about to join the 3000 win gang and I’ll likely be the first to 3000 losses early next year.

 

Although likely more for 2017 than 2016, we need to decide on the Starting Pitcher Fatigue Chart for next year- used in the basic game only.  We can, of course, vote it out or if we don’t vote, will have to incorporate it as it is part of the basic game.  This is something for you to discuss, and rules committee- please take notice.  There are other things from the basic game that we have not incorporated, and it is fine if that’s what we decide to do, but it will need to be addressed.

 

Tim donated a slew of cards to the league and they’ve been sold on eBay and the profits folded in to the treasury.  I join all of you in thanking Tim a lot for his generous donation.  It’s a great way to keep the treasury filled up!

 

As you are well aware, the 2017 Winter Meetings will be held February 22nd through the 28th, with the FA draft on the 26th (likely moved up to 5 PM), and the rookie draft on Saturday the 27th.  Much more about the meetings as we get in to 2017, but figured you’d want to keep the dates in mind. 

 

So this newsletter will finish off the 2016 regular season.  I will have another one posted, or perhaps in your mail box as early as this evening which will open up 2017 and our next campaign.  I hope everyone got what they wanted for Christmas, and best of luck to all the playoff participants as we head towards crowning our 2016 champion!  Oh yeah- Happy and SAFE New Year!

 

                                                                                    Best Wishes,

 

 

                                                                                    Rich