The Northern States League
Newsletter #471- December 2nd, 2017
RICE AND WINFIELD ARE STILL ANYONE’S DIVISION TO WIN. COOPER WILD CARD HAS JUST A ONE GAME LEAD WHILE THE SCHMIDT WILD CARD IS DEAD EVEN WITH JUST 16 TO PLAY. ALBANY’S RICH HILL THROWS NO HITTER AGAINST MARIETTA. ALTUVE TO BAT .400?
It was moving month in the NSL this month. Nah- I’m not talking “Two men in a Truck” kind of moving. I’m talking about teams getting into the playoff fray and others exiting. At this writing, 14 of the 24 NSL clubs still have a shot at the post season. Guess this means there will be some tears later in December. Here’s what is happening in the league.
Series #17 results:
Yk 3 at GM 1 Gle 3 at Sou 1 Mar 0 at Alb 4 Kal 4 at Coa 0
Lon 2 at MC 2 Sou 0 at Kal 4 NH 0 at GB 4 IN 1 at SL 3
Dun 2 at Key 2 Key 3 at VT 1 Fra 1 at Cro 3 CC 1 at Lon 3
Alb 3 at Cle 1 MC 3 at Mar 1 SL 3 at CC 1 GM 4 at Cre 0
Coa 2 at Fra 2 Cre 2 at Dun 2 NE 1 at Yk 3 GB 3 at Gle 1
VT 2 at EY 2 Cle 1 at IN 3 EY 1 at NE 3 Cro 2 at NH 2
Series #18 results:
NH 1 at Sou 3 Alb 3 at Lon 1 Gle 1 at Coa 3 SL 2 at Alb 2
GB 2 at Kal 2 Fra 2 at GB 2 MC 1 at SL 3 NE 2 at Key 2
Cle 0 at MC 4 Key 4 at GM 0 Kal 1 at Cro 3 Cre 3 at NE 1
Lon 2 at IN 2 CC 3 at Cle 1 IN 3 at Mar 1 Sou 2 at Fra 2
EY 2 at Dun 2 Mar 0 at CC 4 Dun 3 at Yk 1 Cro 2 at Gle 2
GM 1 at EY 3 VT 3 at Cre 1 Yk 3 at VT 1 Coa 3 at NH 1
Series #19 results:
CC 2 at Alb 2, Alb 3 at CC 1 NH 2 at Kal 2, Kal 2 at NH 2
Key 1 at EY 3, EY 4 at Key 0 Mar 1 at Cle 3, Cle 3 at Mar 1
Dun 2 at GM 2, GM 1 at Dun 3 Yk 2 at Cre 2, Cre 2 at Yk 2
Fra 2 at Gle 2, Gle a 1t Fra 3 Lon 2 at SL 2, SL 2 at Lon 2
GB 1 at Coa 3, Coa 3 at GB 1 NE 4 at VT 0, VT 1 at NE 3
IN 1 at MC 3, MC 2 at IN 2 Cro 4 at Sou 0, Sou 1 at Cro 3
Our closest divisional race is the Rice, where presently Kalamazoo leads New Hudson by 2 games with Glenville down by 5. New Hudson is presently dead even with Vermont in the Schmidt Wild Card, with Glenville 3 out. The ‘zoo had a nice sweep of Southport at home and coupled with a sweep at Coastal made it a perfect series #17. They would need it as they were just 3-5 in #18, then split with New Hudson in series #19. Good enough for sure, but a chance to really put some distance between them and the rest of the division was lost. But it’s a 2 game lead at this point, and Chuck will take that. The Nutjobs got a new team logo- check it out on the web page! But the road was not kind to them as they were 1-7 in 17 and 18 combined at GB and Southport. They then went 3-5 at home in the same segment before the 4 all split with Kalamazoo. Michael has to be kicking himself as the division was there for the taking, but the team is too good just to go away and the wild card is a nice backdrop if needed. Coach Kerr finished up feetsball season but the Greys did not respond well to him being around all the time. 3-5 at home in 17 & 18 was at least countered with a 4-4 on the road, before a 3-5 with Frankfort in series #19. Just like New Hudson, the Greys had a shot to make hay, but… Frankfort played as well as anyone in the division this month with a 12-12 mark, one that Tim will be delighted with, including that 5-3 over contending Glenville.
Duneland has become the first team to clinch their division as Dan waltzed to the top of the heap and stayed there since early summer with a 14-8 mark this month. The Crusaders have the best record in the league and are simply waiting for it all to play out so they can start setting up their post season rotation. Yeah- like it’s not already been set. Vermont stayed in 2nd place, and although they lost their wild card lead, they’re still tied for that mark with New Hudson. Vermont was smashed by New England 7 games to 1 in series #19 to account for most of the slide, but even so they’re still in that hunt. 7-9 in the rest of the month didn’t help much either. Rising from the ashes, New England closed to just 2 games behind Vermont and that being said, 2 games behind the Schmidt wild card as well. You can trace it all to the 7 games they made up to Vermont with face to face play against the ‘chucks, but New England has been sneaking around all season long and it appears are not going to simply go away. 7-9 in the rest of the November games was very Vermont-like, but even so, I’m betting if you asked Bill he’d say “fine with me”. 2 games is the deficit with 16 to play. Brother Burnie rounds out the 4 pack going a dismal 3-9 at home this month albeit against some top competition. He can’t be too upset with a 3-5 against Duneland.
It’s far from over in the Winfield. Sparrow Lake and Longstown are batting down to the wire, and a 4 all split in series #19 showed how evenly matched the clubs are. But the Prospectors have been on top for a long while now, teasing Sparrow Lake it seems like monthly before reasserting themselves and keeping the Stallions at arm’s length. The ‘spectors played .500 for the entire month, including 4-4 in series #17 combined while the Lake was able to close the gap on the heels of a 11-5 series 17/18. So they made up 3 games in November. They need to do the same in December. But both clubs have identical schedules against both Marietta and Cleveland. The Wild Card is not out of sight either. Marietta and Cleveland are battling for the cellar and Cleveland got within shouting distance of 3rd place with a 6-2 success against Marietta in series #19. Both clubs have 19-31 marks in the division, and as they play it out, bragging rights seem to be in order. Right now, the Lake is 6 ˝ out of the Wild Card and would need some help to capture that. The 2 ˝ game deficit in the division seems to be the better option.
Albany has flipped the switch to “on” and is this far from clinching, up 14 with 16 to go. After a positively awful October, the ‘cats have rebounded with a bang, going 6-2 at home and away in series 17 & 18 before a decent 5-3 over Codorus to reassert themselves. The bad taste of October is gone, but we still have to wonder which Albany will show up for the post season- as long as they get there. The only challenge left for Albany is in the hands of Magic City, which went 15-9 this month to hang around, even if it is just a little late. The Maulers did go 5-3 with Indiana, and still have Albany on the schedule, so I guess anything is possible. Indiana and Codorus Creek are in a dead heat for 3rd in the division and are playing similar baseball of late. They’re not stinkin’ it up, but neither is pulling away from one another either. Chances are their December meeting will be the decisive series for the large payout of league funds. Yes, believe that.
So when we last talked, Keystone was on top of the Brett with East York and York battling right behind. In case you were on sabbatical this month, nothing has changed. The best things for Keystone are that they maintained most of their lead and also got East York off the schedule. The lead is down to 6, but now there are just 16 contests left for JB, against York and Creekside. On the down side- a 1-7 mark with East York was horrific and does not speak well should the 66ers get to the post season dance. But for now it’s no matter- the C’s will take that lead and ride it to a hopeful champagne shower. Then there is the epic East York/York battle. With the 66ers huge 7-1 over Keystone, they pulled a game ahead of York in the standings. Otherwise they were just a .500 team against the Carter. York hung around despite a 4-4 split with Creekside, and are currently 1 behind East York and 7 out of the top slot. These two will meet up again in December with a 8 game set, with York facing Keystone and East York meeting Creekside in the other series. York went 10-6 outside the division in 17 & 18 which was good enough to stay “right there”. Scoop has his work cut out this month as he plays 2 contenders and tries to avoid 100 losses. A home sweep at the hands of Green Mountain didn’t help, nor did a 1-3 with Vermont. But a nice 3-1 at New England helped to ease the fans’ lethargy. But big series on the horizon- the road to the playoffs goes through Creekside!
Crosstown has all but locked up the Murphy. The team is hitting on all cylinders right now and gone is that putrid first half for a team that could go a long way. Under .500 as late as July, the ‘dales ripped Southport 7-1 in series #19 to all but sew it up. They finished against the Schmidt with a 23-9 record, making it tough for Gulf Breeze’s 24-8 to make up much ground. But the Breeze is playing their best baseball of the year at a time where it’s all over but the ticker tape parade. The Breeze could gain just a split with Coastal but that was good enough to stay ˝ game ahead of the Bulldogs and in 2nd place. Coastal took it on the chin at home with Kalamazoo (0-4) but played 5-3 on the road in 17/18 to stay in contention, yet needing some help at some point. They still have 8 with Crosstown on the schedule as does Gulf Breeze. Southport continued their tumble and are now 22 ˝ out. The dagger was the 1-7 in face to face play on Black Friday with Crosstown. Bob said he’d rather have gone shopping.
Congratulations are in order to the Albany Wildcat organization as Rich Hill tossed a no hitter against Marietta in series #17. Rich walked just one on the day and punched out 11 in the gem, backed by 4 doubles by his offense and a 9 hit attack. Wade Miley took the loss, but this was a day for Hill to shine. The score sheet is on the web page and the league no hitter list has been updated.
Word has come from Burnie and Bryan that the aol Instant Messenger or whatever it is called now is being discontinued on December 15th. Many of you use that as a means for communication with the league and we’ve used it- with mixed success- for Waiver Drafts and even the Rookie/FA drafts. It was okay for what we wanted, but hardly what we needed. I have Dave looking in to alternatives and he is also going to do some research on the beach house modem which I honestly don’t think is an issue. I will say that as far as I can tell- the beach house modem is not capable of taking on 20 devices at a time or anything… just my 2 cents worth. But- we’re working on both the house and an alternative to the pager thing- we’ll see if I have more information by the next newsletter.
Bob Chalfant was nice enough to donate his 2016 cards to the league which we sold on eBay for $78.00. That money, after expenses, has been put in to the treasury and will be used to buy the Pray household a nice Christmas gift! Maybe not- but still- thanks, Bob!
The original stat program that many of you use has been found to have a few flaws in it- I believe it is series #13 in the pitcher error column and perhaps a 2nd one found by Dave Burnham related to figuring the pitcher’s IP left on a couple of players. The pitcher one found by Dave has been corrected, but we haven’t verified the pitcher error one yet. It is a program which I do not use, but that being said, you are, of course, responsible for your stats and limits no matter the way you compound your stats. We also found an error this month on the stat sheets that I send out- again I had a pitcher’s IP left compounding wrong. Yes it was my fault, but yet again, you are also responsible for your stats and limits.
As we wind down another successful campaign, many of you will want to jump ahead to 2018 just as soon as possible. I know, I know… we’ve been through this many times. I beg you to allow me to finish up 2017 first, get the post season underway, and then plunge into 2018. I usually do a pretty good job of knocking things out to finish the season, but it’s Christmas here at the Pray house also, and I do need some time to enjoy that, as well as move on to 2018. Your understanding would be appreciated! Dues will be announced, trading will open, the lottery will be held- all of these when they work their way into the NSL schedule.
As most of us know, the disc will be delayed by the game company until at least mid-January. The cards will be released 2 weeks before that, and I understand that APBA Go is already up and running with the 2017 cards, so you could actually “scout” your teams with APBA Go- I think it costs $20.00 for some sort of account or membership- something like that. You need to check with the game company on that. Regardless, obviously this has been done to cut down on the “assumed” pirating of the disc, especially before the cards come out as the company likely has the same issues with “sharing” of the discs as the big companies do with their software. Regardless, you will see the cards first should you choose to get them, and then roughly 2 weeks for the disc. This is all something you should follow as the game company is certainly pushing the APBA Go thing- which is basically playing the basic game on line against someone else, or against a computerized micromanager. Perhaps someday it will replace BBW- who knows? But my bet is should the game company stop supporting BBW and it moves to new platforms (i.e. not compatible with Windows 8846584) we’ll have to look deeper in to it. I can guarantee that should BBW not be supported anymore by the game company, they still have this game out there and someone will make discs for it in the future. That is- there is no way despite what you hear that APBA will just give up on BBW and the discs as long as they can control the use of it to one disc per person. This is all a very interesting subject which we’ll surely hear much more about in the future. BBW was released more than 20 years ago now and is still one of the top baseball sim games out there. It will survive in some form. If not- cards and dice and/or APBA Go might be something we look at in the future. That’s the future as in years from now.
The game company also has a new directory. If you get the e-mails from the company, there is a place to sign up and you’ll be listed alphabetically and also by state. Good idea, no charge, and in looking at it recently I see a APBA player right up the road in Burgaw. Anyway, if you wish to be recognized by the APBA community it might be a good idea to get on the directory pages.
As I type this my confuser is making a bigger racket than all those Dawg fans at the SEC championship game a few hours ago. I’m sure it’s something minor, but if not, just pay attention to the web page and Bob will let you know if I go off line and for what anticipated amount of time it may be. I believe it is just the fan- I believe I can fix it (think Burnie fixing the lights at Si’s house a few years ago) and the computer will live a 2nd life. Yes- I have everything backed up.
Sorry to ramble away but there were some things to get out there. Enjoy your last series of the year and the ensuing playoffs. You’ll be informed of things happening through bulk e-mails or the web page for the next few weeks. Above all, have a wonderful holiday and I hope you can spend it with the ones you love!