The Northern States League
Newsletter #438- December 4th, 2014
JUST 16 GAMES TO GO AND NO ONE HAS CLINCHED YET! INDEED- FAR FROM IT. NEW HUDSON REMAINS 1 GAME AHEAD OF GLENVILLE AND IN THE BRETT- ALL 4 TEAMS ARE WITHIN 5 GAMES. MAGIC CITY AND KEYSTONE ARE TIED FOR THE COOPER WILD CARD. THE DEFENDING CHAMPIONS DOWN TO THIRD IN THE DIVISION, YET JUST ONE OUT IN THE WILD CARD. BIG PANDA IN BEANTOWN? YOU BETCHA.
Sorry to be a tad late this month. We did have a few late series and especially some tardy mailings, but things have been tied up neatly and we’re set for the final 16. What a season it has been- we always, I mean almost always have someone clinched by the December (November) newsletter. It’s not to be this year!
Series #17 results:
MC 2at Mun 2, Mun 1 at MC 3 Pa 1 at Cro 3, Cro 3 at Pa 1
Cle 3 at Can 1, Can 2 at Cle 2 Key 2 at NY 2, NY 1 at Key 3
GB 2 at NE 2, NE 2 at GB 2 Mar 1 at GM 3, GM 2 at Mar 2
Dun 1 at Alb 3, Alb 1 at Dun 3 SL 2 at VT 2, VT 2 at SL 2
Cre 1 at Gle 3, Gle 0 at Cre 4 NH 2 at EY 2, EY 2 at NH 2
Kal 1 at Yk 3, Yk 2 at Kal 2 Lon 0 at IN 4, IN 3 at Lon 1
Series #18 results:
MC 2 at Pa 2, Pa 2 at MC 2 GB 1 at Can 3, Can 2 at GB 2
Alb 2 at Lon 2, Lon 3 at Alb 1 VT 4 at Cle 0, Cle 2 at VT 2
Cro 2 at IN 2, IN 2 at Cro 2 Dun 0 at Mun 4, Mun 4 at Dun 0
NE 2 at Mar 2, Mar 1 at NE 3 SL 3 at GM 1, GM 2 at SL 2
Cre 2 at NY 2, NY 2 at Cre 2 Key 2 at Gle 2, Gle 1 at Key 3
Kal 1 at EY 3, EY 2 at Kal 2 NH 2 at Yk 2, Yk 3 at NH 1
Series #19 results:
Key 4 at Yk 0, Yk 3 at Key 1 Cle 1 at GB 3, GB 2 at Cle 2
Mun 2 at IN 2, IN 1 at Mun 3 Pa 0 at Alb 4, Alb 1 at Pa 3
VT 2 at Can 2, Can 2 at VT 2 Cre 4 at EY 0, EY 3 at Cre 1
Kal 1 at Gle 3, Gle 1 at Kal 3 NE 4 at GM 0, GM 2 at NE 2
NH 3 at NY 1, NY 3 at NH 1 SL 3 at Mar 1, Mar 1 at SL 3
Cro 3 at MC 1, MC 2 at Cro 2 Dun 3 at Lon 1, Lon 1 at Dun 3
It’s December. We all know that from the excitement in our houses and the packed streets and shopping areas. We also know we wish we had hung on to that 100 at bat utility guy instead of the dead armed reliever that you thought might make it back. Alas- we must deal with what we have and come in on the numbers- enough to keep anyone on edge in the league.
Let’s start this month in the Yount which boasts the team with the best record this year. You’re probably guessing Albany- the defending champions- but you’d be oh so wrong. Hmmmm. Must be Indiana then with their big offense! Nah- 3 strikes and…. Yes- you connected if you said Muncie and not only do the Black Wolf have a 2nd biggest divisional lead, they’ve also chopped Indiana off the schedule to finish things up. A whopping 23-9 mark against the Cooper isn’t the best in the league, but it’s why Bob is atop the heap. This month Muncie took out Indiana 5-3, but only went 3-5 with the Maulers. It was a 8 game sweep of Duneland in series 18 which took care of things and made the club nearly a lock to finish it off. Likely, the Davis’ had some disagreements as they grew up, but nothing like the one they’re staging this year. But it started right at series #18 with Chad taking 7 of 8 over Longstown . No matter that he went 7-9 the rest of the month- that was against 2 first place teams. But one would assume there would be some trash talking as the Albany/Indiana series this month may be for more than bragging rights. They are behind Muncie by 6 and 7 games, and still in it, but it’s the wild card where the attention will be turned- with Indiana leading Albany by a single game. New England lurks just 3 out of the WC, and Glenville is hanging on. The Wildcats just couldn’t get any traction this month which started in a 4 all split with Duneland. Albany further complicated things by dropping 5 of 8 to Longstown before grabbing 5 from Pennsylvania. It was a tough time for a mulligan, but the team still controls its playoff possibilities. Pennsylvania had an absolutely killer schedule- first dropping 6 to Crosstown, then a more than decent split with Magic City before a 3-5 with Albany. Who made that schedule? You can thank me later, Jack!
We’ve all been amazed this year that Gulf Breeze has been at the top of the Winfield- for that matter we’re amazed that they’ve even been competitive. Now we’re amazed that they may lose the biggest lead in their existence as the Stallions are charging after a dormant start. Oh sure, the Breeze opened the door with a lousy month, but Sparrow Lake played well enough to keep the fires burning mainly thanks to a 6-2 over Marietta. Otherwise the lake was good with a 5-3 over the Canucks and a nice split with Vermont. Meanwhile, yours truly was turning in a .500 month- thankfully the best month of the last 3. Taking 5 of 8 from Cleveland in series #19 took the sting off a 3-5 with Canaan. The month started out well with a New England split. So the lead is six, with 16 to play, only trouble being that 8 of the 16 are against Sparrow Lake. I can hear the fat lady warming up now. Marietta and Cleveland have a battle going on for the cellar, or I guess technically not for the cellar. The two have 8 games scheduled this moth as well. So this division won’t boast the wild card, and it’ll be win or go home for one of the Auburn graduated not named Bo.
Our best battle remains the Rice, where this month it’s New Hudson up by a single game heading in to the final 16. This has been such a tough battle all year long, and in so saying, we noted where both clubs were under .500 for the month where everything is on the line. But, Al Davis coined, “just win baby”, and the Nutjobs are doing their best to make that happen. They had nice splits with East & North York, but dropped 5 to the “other” York. But, it happened that that was enough as Coach K dropped 5 to both Creekside and Keystone before a ‘zoo split. It might be time to ask if anyone wants the division- sort of like the NFC south- as both these clubs have a true danger of finishing below .550. So it is likely that there will be no wild card from here- and the two have 8 head to head games down the stretch. If one of them could get hot, I mean maybe warm, well- settle for average??? Kalamazoo is holding on to third waiting for Kluber to get his A&C (yeah, right) but should probably be more worried about Sabathia’s knee. North York rounds it out as E gets back in to the swing of playing. So, all our eyes are on that NH/Gle finale.
Try as he might, Dave just cannot shake New England this year and the Elite are showing true to their nickname. New England cut a game off the Vermont lead, and trail by just a trio with 16 to play- 8 head to head. I just played NE on join.me and I can vouch that this is a pretty good club. Ryu shut me out for 18 innings- see if you can top that! But still the NE/GB series was a split, one that probably should have gone New England’s way. NE took 5 from Marietta, and just when it seemed they needed a spark, they got it from a huge 6-2 over Green Mountain. Meanwhile, back at the talc mines, the ‘chucks are all rested and ready for the final surge, but a quick check of the rearview shows an object appearing closer- that would be the Elite of course. So, Dave has his work cut out for him as he decides where in the lineup to put guys and keeping all the studs happy with playing time. In addition to the Elite, Vermont has arch nemesis Green Mountain standing by for 8, so it will not be easy. The Canucks took a step backwards this month thanks to NE’s 6-2 in series #19. They also dropped 5 to Sparrow Lake, but grabbed 5 from Marietta. The Canucks are still over .500, but have a 9.5 game deficit to make up, and the wild card is likely only a dream. Canaan rounds it out, trailing GM by 9 for 3rd place. The club took 5 from Gulf Breeze, lost 5 to Cleveland, and split with Vermont. I’m sure the head polar bear would be happy with a .500 month, ‘cause that’s what we got for him!
Sometimes we have to try and believe in what we write- things like, “Gulf Breeze is really a good team”, or “Buddy Biancalana will put us over the top”- stuff like that. We don’t have to make anything up in the Brett- just check it out. Five games top to bottom. In French, that’s cinq. You likely could care less about French as I did in college, but you have to care about the tight battle these 4 clubs are waging. East York continues to lead, but just by 2 games now and over a different club. Keystone actually had the best month in the division and that can all be traced to a 5-3 with York in series #19. The Comanches fired their defensive coordinator- oh wait, that’s A&M. The Comanches played better than the rest of the division taking 5 from both Eric and Coach in addition to the 5 from Si. Out of the depths to 2 games back, and tied with Magic City for the wild card. York also had a pair of 5-3 series with the ‘zoo and ‘jobs but dropped that in the 3-5 with Keystone. Si is just 3 back, and just 1 out of the wild card. Creekside hung in there when it looked as if they were fading last month. Scoop took 5 from Glenville and East York with a North York split between them. The Crushers are 8 games over .500, 3 out of the wild card, yet in last place in the division. He does, of course, control his future. Meanwhile we’ve said nothing about the 66ers. The division leader had a tough month with 3-5s against both Kalamazoo and Creekside, after a New Hudson split. So they still lead, but let everyone, and I mean everyone in the division back into it.
Crosstown has circled the wagons for their victory dance as they now lead Magic City by 8 in the Murphy. No, nothing has been clinched yet, but the ‘dales are in excellent shape and have already removed Magic City from the schedule. They beat the Maulers 5 out of 8 I series #19 to add that breathing room in, and had a 6-2 with Pa and a split with Indiana to set up the month. These ‘dales may well be for real despite not having a captain Ricky. Magic City has hit a bump in the road as they dropped those 5 to Crosstown, after a 9-7 total with the brothers Chalfant. But it’s no time to be upset about the Crosstown series as the Maulers have been tied in the wild card by Keystone, with York just 1 back and Creekside 3 out. Bryan can only hope that the Brett does an SEC on itself down the stretch and he grabs the wild card. Or- gets on a huge roll and unseats Crosstown. I’d have to wager on the former. Longstown and Duneland are deadlocked for 3rd place with 16 left. Interestingly, both teams’ highlights this month might be related to Albany, as Duneland split with the ‘cats and Longstown took 5. Yet it all came down to series #19 when Duneland clobbered Longstown 6-2. Both teams have identical finishing schedules so let’s see if they can do damage to the frontrunners.
In case you missed it, Denny has a new e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
December has traditionally been a huge month for everyone with so much going on in the “real world” and so little time for your league commitments. Try and stay caught up through the exciting times and see if we can’t get through on time. Throughout the final week of December and early parts of January you’ll be updated with all-league voting, trading opening, lottery, you know, all that jazz.
As you know, all players on the rosters are active for the December series, except of course, no cards. If you don’t want a player used in your away series be sure to mention that in your instructions. As we all know, keep a good eye on your limitations down the stretch- it’s so easy to “forget” about what a player has left in the final games.
Playoff teams- do not do anything until you hear from me, likely in a bulk league e-mail. You will want to reread the constitution section on the playoff ad think about your playoff roster. I’ll give you all the post season details when we get there- just as soon as possible after the season ends.
That’s all I have for this month. Enjoy your final series and best of luck to all as we finish up strong!