The Northern States League
Newsletter #464- April 30th, 2017
LONGSTOWN LOOKS TO REPEAT AS THEY TAKE A 6-2 SERIES OVER 2016 RUNNER UP CLEVELAND AND IS OFF TO LEAGUE’S BEST RECORD. RICE DIVISION IS ALL WITHIN 2 GAMES. REALMUTO IS LEADING THE SCHMIDT BATTERS- NO KIDDING. JUSTIN TURNER IS DOING THE SAME IN THE COOPER. SUMMER MEETINGS DATES SET, WE LOOK FORWARD TO A GREAT TIME. MURPHY DIVISION FEATURES FIRST EVER BIG PLAY DAY
Just like that, we’re away and have nearly 10% of the schedule in the books. No team is really out of it yet, but a few have to make some adjustments to get back into the thick of things. But it is incredibly early and I don’t think Carter will hit 70 HR. But then again, you never know.
Starting in the Winfield this month, a couple of teams have some work to do. Due to a quirk (not Jamie) in scheduling, this month saw the league champion Prospectors meet up with the runner-up Hit Men. Longstown took 6 of those 8 games and also took 6 from Marietta to take a 2 game edge over Sparrow Lake. The Stallions could only gain a split with Cleveland in series #1, but then showed they’d be a true force in the division by clubbing Marietta 6 out of 8. The Hit Men are at 6-10 then, some 6 games back already, and Marietta is struggling on the road (0-8) tied with a pair of clubs for the worst record in the league. But did I mention it’s early?
Jumping to the Murphy, and I was happy to host a Big Play Day for my division mates last weekend. It was fun being together and even though the ‘varks tumbled quickly to the cellar, but the rest of the division should be fun to watch. Coastal and Crosstown made big splashes and were both at 9-7 after April games. Coastal took 5 from Gulf Breeze and split with Southport while Crosstown took 5 from Gulf Breeze before a Southport split. Both the leading clubs have great offenses, but the Bulldog pitching might be without a true bulldog at the top. Meanwhile, Crosstown has enough pitching to make a splash- at least Crossie hopes so. Old Bob went .500 for the month with a pair of splits against the top 2 teams, and a battle with last place Gulf Breeze coming up. I think Bob might have the best all-round team in the division, but those other 2 offenses will pile up the runs.
I’m not sure who I would favor in the Brett at this point. We know it might be a struggle for Creekside, and Scoop didn’t disappoint by going 4-12. I’m sure this winning percentage won’t last, but it might be a tough season in Creekside. Scoop played okay against Keystone (3-5), but York was all over him by a 7-1 count to start the season. No fun there. But it’s East York at the top of the division as we speak, albeit by just a singleton (not Ken) over both York and Keystone. Mick split series #1 with Keystone, but then throttled York 6-2 in series #2 to build that lead. Meanwhile, York could not build on their euphoria of the series #1 7-1 count, and then 2-6 debacle against East York makes you wonder which York team is with is this year. Keystone struggled on offense and played a nice 5-3 over Creekside, and honestly had a decent split with East York in the opening series. So I don’t think we should be crowning Mick yet, but this division may be more competitive than last.
The Rice is our most competitive division to date. The total record at home for the division this month was 23-9, have to love that home cookin’! Plus, it’s really tough to pull a favorite out of the hat on paper before the season starts, and certainly after April with the 2 game difference being all there is from top to bottom. But Glenville won the division last year, purged the team in the off season, and leads the division at this writing. The club enjoyed a 5-3 over the ‘zoo and followed that with a split against Frankfort- a team which also had to be rebuilt. New Hudson and Kalamazoo are both at .500. Chuck’s charges took 5 against New Hudson, but dropped 5 to Glenville to settle one game back. At the same time, New Hudson slotted the same with their 5-3 over Frankfort pacing the .500 month. The Cardinals are in the cellar, but hardly buried as they are just 2 out of the top slot. They were just 1-7 on the road this month however.
Magic City is off to a great start in the Yount, and I’m not sure any of us saw this coming. But Bryan always puts together a competitive club, and despite the fact they have yet to play Albany in the division, they’re in great shape. The club sleepwalked through a 5-3 against Codorus, but then bashed Indiana 6 games to 2 to build the biggest divisional lead in the league. Second place Codorus Creek celebrated joining the league with a .500 month, the MC series aside they blitzed Albany by a 5 to 3 game count. Albany struggled, posting a 7-9 mark and already 4 behind Magic City in the division, with 8 games coming up against them in series #3. The Big Papi tour has begun in Indiana and the Imps will have to ride that big bat to stay in the hunt. That plus hosting all the giveaway days on the road as NSL clubs will likely try and honor him with overpriced gifts.
The ice has finally gone out in the frozen tundra of the Carter Division and it seems to be headed in the direction most of us thought it might. Nomad Duneland has joined the grouping, and took the lead off the bat with an 11-5 mark after April. It all started with a huge 7-1 over New England, before a competitive split with Burnie. I’m sure New England is not that bad, and I’m likewise sure that Duneland is not that great. Well, they’re great. But won’t play .700 ball all year… or will they? The ‘chucks had a nice opening month as they also won the New England series (5-3) after a fun split with brother Burnie. Green Mountain stayed at .500 after those two series and is still in great shape in the division. The Elite were not so this month and have dug a hold for themselves. Yet it is a rugged division and there is plenty of time.
Stat wise, Justin Turner is burning up the Cooper with a gaudy .479 mark. He’s followed by all-world Blackmon of SL at .443 and Walker also of SL at .404. For those of you counting at home, yes, the top 3 batters in the Cooper are all from Sparrow Lake. Longstown’s Jarrod Dyson already has 10 SB (he had 30 in 2016) and Villar also of Longstown has 6. In similar fashion, the Comanches boast the top two HR hitter in the Cooper- with Arenado and Trumbo tied at 6. It’s tough to beat Longstown’s Niese (0.00) ERA mark and Kershaw has 32 punch outs.
In the Schmidt, how many of you had Realmuto in the batting crown lottery? Yeah, right. But, Magic City’s catcher checks in at .426 after April, Glenville’s Prado at .418. Carter (Dun) and J.Upton (MC) have 7 HR each and the later has 21 rbi along with Duvall of Glenville. Danny Salazar’s 0.92 ERA (Glenville) leads that category, with teammate McHugh close behind (1.06). Scherzer paces the league in strikeouts (34) and Bedrosian of Glenville has 7 saves.
Not much usually comes across my desk in the first months of the season, and this one is no different. There are a couple of things to put out there however, let’s see what they may be.
As you know from the direct e-mail of JB, the rules changes have been addressed. In a nutshell, 1) the Pitcher Fatigue addition to the basic game was defeated, 2) you can now use different rosters when you play different opponents in a series, and 3) the minor wording on playoff limitations has passed. Please contact JB with any questions on the voting.
The kilg internet stat sight appears to be shot. For those of you who do not know, it was a site where you could track your players daily and keep your team stats up to the day. Bryan was nice enough to “draft” all our teams and you were able to log in under his name and see how your players were doing. I’ve read several things about the site and its’ demise, yet it is possible that it reappears at some point in the future. A belated “thanks” to Bryan for setting us up for the last few years, and if anyone hears anything about the site, either send that to me or post it on the web site bulletin board.
Our annual summer meetings will be in York, Pa starting June 28th and lasting to July 1st. It’s still early, but if you’d like to find out more- just let Si know. Generally what we do is get together and play some of our series and just have a great all-round time. I’m sure the Wilmington guys will be there at some point and hope that everyone feels free to come on over and have some fun. Get this date on your calendars as soon as you can if you haven’t already.
There is an alternative to join.me and the other programs like that we use for “face to face” on line play. TeamViewer is a program I used the other day and is fantastic. In join.me and the others, you have that slight lag time, and when two people are moving the mouse at the same time things are a little sluggish. But in using teamviewer- I saw none of this and it was the best experience I had playing on line. Consider it when you are looking to hook up with your opponent. The only drawback I saw was that it has a 3 hour time limit (but free) and there is no huge program to download and install. I think Michael knows much more about this program than I, and he’d be a good resource if you’d like to try it. But for those such as I who are frustrated with GoToMeeting or join.me, it’s a great alternative.
I have a question for all you guys. This year- “real” world- games at Texas. What in the heck is wrong with the Texas outfield? It looks as if maybe there was some graffiti there and they tried to color it with green ink. Does anyone know the real story?
The 10-day disabled list really caught me by surprise. I had no idea that the 15 had been reduced to 10, and wonder how it will effect things. But honestly, don’t you think during the season that we’re gonna have a lot of fake injuries to starters to get them to miss a start and not cost the team a roster spot? I surely feel that way and can see it being used like that as well as around the All-Star break to rest those good starters. I don’t think you have to prove diagnosis or anything like that to get a guy on to the d.l. I can see all teams using their full 40 man rosters all year long with countless d.l. stints. What do you think?
I don’t feel the Red Sox have enough offense. The Big Papi thing is what it is, but they just appear to have no one ready to step in to that intimidating figure. Pedroia is not a lead-off hitter (solved that by moving him to 6th) and Betts should not be a #3. Funny thing- they made such a big deal of Betts not striking out since mid-September last year, and I think he’s whiffed 6 times this week. But- looks as if these teams will not be in contention- SF, SD, Cin, Atl, TB, CWS, KC, LAA, Sea, and Oak. Maybe you can put Tor in there with their horrible start. More competitive and possibly factors- Phi, Mia, Pit, Mil, Min, Bal. Then the teams I believe will be in it… 6 NL teams- NYM, Was, StL (can’t be as bad as they started), Cubs (but they won’t win it all), Arizona in a surprise, Dodgers (but they’ll be a first round and out), and a surprising Colorado. In the AL- I also have 6 hanging in- Bos (see Dodgers above), Yankees- youngsters playing over their heads, so I feel a fade is coming, Cle, Det, Texas, and Houston.
Just my opinion- as we all know what that is worth.
That’s it for this month- good to be back at the newsletters. Enjoy your May series!