The Northern States League

Newsletter #452- May 3rd, 2016

 

MUNCIE, GREEN MOUNTAIN, AND LONGSTOWN ALL OUT TO .750 STARTS- THINK THEY CAN MAINTAIN IT?  PERENIAL SOLID VT & MC DOWN BY 10 GAMES AFTER 16 (THAT’S NOT GOOD).  ESTRADA OF MUN WITH A 0.00 ERA (THAT’S GOOD!).  REMEDIAL STAT WORK CALLED FOR

 

Dear Members,

 

With all the excitement of a new spring comes the beginning of the NSL championship campaign.  We’re away in season #38 with some awfully surprising results over the first month.  It’s way too early to get too excited or too upset, but we have 3 teams playing .750 ball and 2 playing .125.  Not surprisingly, all in the same conference.  Here’s what is happening in the league.

 

Series #1:

Key 2 at Yk 2, Yk 2 at Key 2                                     GM 4 at VT 0, VT 2 at GM 2

NE 2 at Lon 2, Lon 2 at NE 2                                                IN 1 at Alb 3, Alb 0 at IN 4

Mun 4 at MC 0, MC 0 at Mun 4                                 SL 2 at Cle 2, Cle 4 at SL 0

NY 1 at Mar 2, Mar 2 at NY 2                                   Kal 1 at NH 3, NH 1 at Kal 3

Coa 1 at Cro 3, Cro 3 at Coa 1                                   GB 2 at Dun 2, Dun 1 at GB 3

Gle 4 at Fra 0, Fra 2 at Gle 2                                      Cre 4 at EY 0, EY 2 at Cre 2

 

Series #2:

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

Yk 2 at EY 2, EY 3 at Yk 1                                       MC 1 at Alb 3, Alb 3 at MC 1

Mun 3 at IN 1, IN 3 at Mun 1                                                SL 0 at NY 4, NY 2 at SL 2

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

Cre 0 at Key 4, Key 1 at Cre 3                                   GB 3 at Coa 1, Coa 1 at GB 3

Fra 2 at Kal 2, Kal 1 at Fra 3                                      VT 0 at Lon 4, Lon 4 at VT 0

 

We’ll start in the Yount, and a division which is a full 10 games from top to bottom as we speak.  There is nothing quite like beginning a season with an 8 game sweep (or being swept), but that’s exactly what Muncie did to Magic City in series #1.  Old Bob followed that up with a split against Indiana, getting them off to the best record in baseball at 12-4.  Indiana pulled a fast one on brother Nathaniel as they won 5 in series #1 before the nice split with Muncie to be just 3 games back, and Albany also is 3 back with a nice 6-2 over MC in series #2.  That leaves the champions of 2 years ago an astounding 10 games back already in the division cellar.  Wil would prefer to have his old division back I’m guessing. 

 

But as weird as that division was, we see double that in the Carter.  Longstown buried Vermont by an 8-0 game count in series #2, giving them a 12-4 record after their 4 all split with New England.  Defending league runner up Green Mountain also checks in at 12-4 with a pair of 6-2 series wins, over VT and NE.  So, kudos to the schedule maker as Longstown and Green Mountain will square off in series #3, the first time out of 3 that they’ll butt heads this year.  Like Magic City, the Woodchucks have fallen 10 games off the pace, and just like Magic City- they’ll be able to rectify things.  It would be one thing if MC and VT weren’t established, very good franchises, but they are, and we expect a return to form very soon.  Meanwhile, sandwiched in the middle is the Elite- at 6-10 after a tough opening schedule against the 2 leaders of the division.

 

Things are more “normal” in the Rice where all 4 teams are within 2 games of one another.  Glenville & New Hudson are both at 9-7 and the Nutjobs got the better of the Greys in series #2, a 5-3 series win to solidify the tie.  NH had started the year with a split against Kalamazoo.  Glenville took 6 from Frankfort then dropped the series to New Hudson.  Frankfort took 5 from the ‘zoo in series #2.  So it all shakes out as a tough as usual division with two 9-7s vs two 7-9s.

 

Then we can repeat that in the Brett as the division closely mirrors the Rice.  In this grouping, it’s defending champion Creekside knotted up with Keystone at 9-7, while East York and York check in at 7-9.  The two top dogs met up in series #2, and it was the C’s getting a 4-0 sweep at home on their way to a 5-3 series success over the champs.  A split with York in series #1 may have cost them a chance at the outright lead, and East York dropped 6 of 8 to Creekside in series #1.  So I’m not sure this is a “2 teams at the top and 2 at the bottom” for the rest of the year, and obviously every team is so close that a nice series is all that is needed to vault one to the outright lead.

 

In the Winfield, it is a surprising Marietta club atop the heap after 16 games thanks to a big 6-2 series success over the Hit Men.  Couple that with a 5-3 over North York, and there is your division leader by a pair of games.  North York is a very competitive 2nd on a 9-7 mark, thanks to a big 6-2 over Sparrow Lake which included a home sweep.  Cleveland which has lost Gordon and Schwarber in the “real world” got out of the gate fast by pummeling Sparrow Lake 6-2 including a sweep at the Lake.  Defending division champion Sparrow Lake holds up the rest of the division with a 4-12 mark.  This will be a competitive division throughout the year I’m betting.

 

The Murphy has been realigned and there was a lot of face to face play as a result.  Both Crosstown and Gulf Breeze took out Coastal 6 games to 2.  Crosstown’s other series was a 3-5 loss to Duneland, while Gulf Breeze was taking 5 from the Crusaders.  It will be a fun division- I think Cross has the offense and Duneland has the pitching.  Cross and I will meet up in series #3.

 

We had some trouble getting things put together this month as is often the case as the rust comes off and we start to play the games again.  I ask you to please check your stats before you send them in- seems as if we had an awful lot of team A had 30 hits, team B gave up 28- stuff like that.  Those errors are tough for me to catch although I will get them eventually.  As you already know- Bob posts the stats on the web page (the individual team pages) just about 10 seconds after I get them to him.  Lots of good reading and scouting can be done there.

 

I received word that Kevin Lanphear’s wife has passed.  Susan was always fun to talk to when Kevin was in the league and I regret that I have no information to pass on to you.  I met her here one year at the league meetings as she made the trip down with Kevin, and she always enjoyed my Hall of Fame write ups.  Surely keep Kevin in mind if you can as we go through our busy lives.  For those of you who do not know, Kevin was a 1986 expansion manager and drafted the Jericho Roscoes (now Kalamazoo).

 

We’ve had a few guys move over the last month or two, and we’ve updated the directory a couple of times.  I know Chuck will be moving as well here fairly soon, and I’ll be sure to update again when he does.  The zip + 4 addresses are courtesy of Bruce Taylor- what else would you expect from a mail guy?  He does frequent the web page often.

 

I have no problem should you ever want to delay a series if it is with good reason.  It sounds as if they’ll be a summer play day (week) in York this year, and if you’d rather try and play games up there face to face, it’s fine with me.  I ask that you let me know so I can post it on the standings page, and keep your stats up to date with that series missing.  For example, Longstown and Muncie will delay their series #4 this month and play in July.  So in their case, I’d need 32 game stats this month instead of 40.  Just communicate please!

 

I know I owe you a Hall of Fame ballot.  Team histories are due to be updated this year as well.  We’ll see how things go as I have to get the archives caught up first then I can do the HOF, then the histories.  I’m trying.

 

With the adjustment of the schedule back to two months of 3 series play- you’ll notice that May is back to a 3 series month.  Please take that in to account so you can keep up in a timely manner.

 

I’m not sure where I left off with the cards sale, but in April we sold Mick’s cards (net $44) and old Bob’s cards (net $45).  I think I mentioned that Chuck gave us a bunch of cards as well, and they netted out to $170.  Thanks very much guys!

 

I wanted to review my monthly schedule with you guys for a bit.  Deadline for series to be played is the 20th of the month.  All month long I update the standings nearly nightly, and continue to do so through the finish of play.  Bob is immediate when I send him the standings, so you can figure you’re pretty much up to date.  If your stats column is not checked- that means that either I don’t have your stats, or can’t balance them as I’m missing something.  By the way- thanks a bunch to all you guys who are using my stat sheet now.   You can probably figure out where I’m hung up if your stats are not posted yet.  Once the stats are all in (deadline is the 25th), I generally take a couple of days to get the leaders done and get the stat sheets in to Bob.  Sometimes- as in this month- there were enough issues that it took much longer.  But the standings sort of remain “frozen” for a few days until I get the stats done and turned in, and follow that with a newsletter- generally the first few days of the next month.  Of course if the stats come in fine and there are no issues, the newsletter can be at the end of the month before.  Once the newsletter is out, I start posting the following month series and so on.  So- if the standings aren’t being posted even though you’ve sent in a series, it will be in this general time frame.  Feel free to ask any questions which you may develop.

 

As always, I’m sure I’ll think of something I wanted to say after I’ve sent the newsletter in, but for now I’ll just say have a good month and remember we’re on a 3 series month!

 

                                                                                    Best Wishes,

 

                                                                                    Rich