The Northern States League

Newsletter #455- August 7th, 2016

 

INDIANA AND MAGIC CITY NOW TIED FOR THE TOP IN THE YOUNT.  KEYSTONE NOW WITH THE BEST RECORD IN THE LEAGUE- LEAD CREEKSIDE BY 7.  NORTH YORK HANGING ON IN THE WINFIELD AS SPARROW LAKE CLOSES.  SUMMER MEETINGS A HUGE SUCCESS.  FRANKFORT TOSSES A COMBINED NO-HITTER AGAINST MAGIC CITY.

 

Dear Members,

 

Our division races have tightened a bit since last month and the biggest lead seen at this point is 7 games.  As we race towards the All-Star break and the traditional halfway point, only a few teams are truly “out of it” and 18 of 24 are within single digit games from their respective top spots.  Here are the July results:

 

Series 4 delayed result:

Mun 1 at Lon 3, Lon 2 at Mun 2

 

Series 8:

Cle 0 at GB 4, GB 2 at Cle 2                          NY 2 at Cre 2, Cre 2 at NY 2

SL 3 at Cro 1, Cro 1 at SL 3                           GM 2 at MC 2, MC 4 at GM 0

VT 2 at Alb 2, Alb 1 at VT 3                          IN 2 at NH 2, NH 2 at IN 2

Mun 0 at Kal 4, Kal 2 at Mun 2                      Key 3 at Coa 1, Coa 1 at Key 3

Fra 3 at NE 1, NE 2 at Fra 2                           Dun 2 at EY 2, EY 2 at Dun 2

Mar 0 at Yk 4, Yk 2 at Mar 2                         Lon 1 at Gle 3, Gle 1 at Lon 3

 

Series 9:

Cle 2 at Dun 2, Dun 1 at Cle 3                       Mun 2 at GM 2, GM 3 at Mun 1

EY 1 at NY 3, NY 0 at EY 4                         SL 2 at Coa 2, Coa 2 at SL 2

NE 3 at NH 1, NH 4 at NE 0                         Kal 2 at Lon 2, Lon 2 at Kal 2

Gle 2 at Alb 2, Alb 2 at Gle 2                         Key 3 at Mar 1, Mar 0 at Key 4

MC 3 at Fra 1m, Fra 1 at MC 3                      IN 1 at VT 3, VT 2 at IN 2

Cro 3 at Cre 1, Cre 2 at Cro 2                         GB/YK delayed until August

 

Rarely have we had such a “fun” divisional race as the Yount division.  Sure, it’s close- just 6 games from top to bottom, and a dead heat (IN and MC) for the top slot with Albany just a game behind.  But- the teams are all under .500 and not just under .500, UNDER .500, with the two leaders checking in at .472  Obviously at this point we won’t see the wild card out of this grouping, so it’s an intra-divisional clash that should show some excitement as we head in to the summer divisional matches.  Indiana checked in at 7-9 this month to fall 2 games further from .500, but the story of the month was Magic City, as the Maulers played like, well, Magic City and by posting a pair of 6-2 series, erased that ugly 6-18 start in the division and tied for the top.  Albany mirrored Indiana with a 7-9 mark, so it’s easy to say that the Maulers are the chosen leaders, yet they started so poorly, one could assume another poor month could be at hand.  Regardless, it’s Imps and Maulers tied, ‘cats a game back, and Muncie slipping downhill thanks to a 5-11 mark against Kalamazoo and Green Mountain.  Yet we see where the Black Wolf might be unleashing their bullpen and Bob thinks that may help his chances.  We’ll see about that.

 

Longstown no longer has the best record in the league, but they have the best record in the division as well as the conference as they split with both Glenville and Kalamazoo then went 5-3 in a make-up series with Muncie.  Hardly a stellar performance, yet good enough to keep the Canucks 6 games back.  Actually, Burnie had a great chance to make up some ground, but a 2-6 with the ‘zoo was followed by a 5-3 over Muncie, and a net 7-9 month.  But no reason to rule out the defending divisional champions, as the weather starts to cool off, the Canucks and their elk fan base should start getting warm.  The Elite took a step backwards this month with a pair of 3-5 marks against Frankfort and New Hudson.  Still, New England is just a couple of games under .500 and still in the mix of the playoffs.  Things are improving a bit at the Talc Mines as Vermont went 10-6 for his best month of the year, but out by 16 at this juncture, it would be time for a few 16-0 months.  A 6-18 in the division has to be changed round next month (September) if Dave will be a contender.

 

The Rice has- as usual- another great race on their hands.  It seems that the final margin is usually just a game, so everyone in the division is clearly still in it.  This month, New Hudson leads the grouping as a 5-3 over New England saved a fairly lackluster month (4-4 with Vermont), yet still enough to keep the Nutjobs at the top.  Continuing their upward climb, Kalamazoo went 10-6 including a 6-2 over Muncie.  It seems like the ‘zoo likes their new home in the ‘zoo.  Hee-hee.  Glenville always seems to be right there and with feetsball starting, it’ll be tough for Coach not to lose focus.  A .500 month kept them behind New Hudson- now by 5- but certainly clearly within hailing distance.  Frankfort had a nice 5-3 over New England to start the month off on the right foot then stumbled with a 2-6 against Magic City to close out the month and drop into the cellar.  But, they are just 7 out and that’s the same gap between 1st and 2nd in the Murphy and the Brett.

 

Gulf Breeze continues to lead the Murphy and with a delayed series against York on the slate for next month, had just a series with the Hit Men which they won 6-2, including a home sweep.  The Breeze is now a gaudy 23-9 at home, yet just 15-17 on the road.  Second place Crosstown just hasn’t put everything together yet.  The division consensus is that Crossie has the best offense in the division, and maybe so with the long ball, but an abysmal .223 batting average has really cost them.  The ‘dales stumbled to a 2-6 series loss against the Stallions this month, before a 5-3 series success over Creekside in face to face play.  The gap is currently 7 games.  Duneland posted a 7-9 this month with a split against East York followed by a 3-5 with Cleveland.  The Duneland pitching (3.86) is fine, but not dominant like it would have to be.  The Crusaders are 11 back, yet just 4 behind Crosstown  New Bob had a nice split with Sparrow Lake in series 9, but preceding that was a 2-6 against Keystone and the club is looking up at a 14.5 game deficit.

 

In the Winfield, it’s as tight as the Yount, but still a 3 game lead for the Warthogs.  Eric turned in a losing month this month (7-9) which gave the rest of the division something to shoot for.  North York lost 3-5 to East York after a 4-4 split with Creekside.  So, how did the rest of the division react?  Start with Sparrow Lake, and the Stallions are making some noise after a season long slumber.  Mark took a 6-2 series over a tough Crosstown squad before a 4-4 split with Coastal.  In doing the math, you see they made up 3 games and now trail by just 3.  They were the biggest mover in the division.  Marietta & Cleveland are tied for 3rd, both 6 games back.  Marietta has slid slightly since their fast start, losing 6 against York, but a devastating 1-7 with Keystone capped a dismal 3-13 month, and time for a rebound.  The Hit Men are tied for last in the league in HR (with Muncie) and had a nice 5-3 against Duneland after a 2-6 with Gulf Breeze.  It’s easy to write these two clubs off, but they’re only 6 games back, Marietta had a huge early win streak, and North York is not playing great baseball.  This should be a division that percolates the rest of the way.

 

Keystone has vaulter to the best record in the league thanks to an extremely successful month (13-3) over Coastal and Marietta.  The schedule gods were in JB’s court this month and the C’s made quick work of their opponents en route to a 7 game lead over Creekside.  The Crushers suffered a 7-9 mark with a NY split and a face to face 3-5 debacle against Crosstown.  So, the one game C lead is now 7, and Scoop is scratching his head trying to figure out what can be done to straighten things out.  Meanwhile, East York had a 9-7 month to make up 2 on Creekside, but still drop 4 more to the Comanches.  Mick split with Duneland before beating North York 5-3.  The team of 25 starting pitchers brings up the rear in the division- a perfect place for everyone’s hero.  But the good news is that the Caps had a fine 6-2 mark for the month, with a Gulf Breeze series delayed.  Marietta was the competition and Si caught Bo at the right time, grabbing 6 and maintain a “sort of within shouting distance” 14 games back.  Playing 200 games in a couple of weeks here will give a greater indication of which way the York entry will head.

 

Frankfort put together a combined no hitter this month, as they beat Magic City 3-0 in series #9.  Arrieta started things and was great through 7 frames (3 BB, 6 K), followed by Caminero and A.Ramos- both one perfect inning each.  The Cardinals had 2 long balls in the contest (Ar.Ramirez and Jh.Peralta) to pace the attack.  The score sheet was on the web page already and the no hitter list on the web page has been updated.  Congratulations are in order for the Cards and Tim!

 

The Hall of Fame ballot (Class of 2015) is on the web page for your review.  If you want or need hard copy, please let Denny know, and all voting goes to him.  I’m sure he’ll be in touch should you not get the ballot in on time.  Remember, this is the ballot you should have had in November.  You will have a class of 2016 ballot this winter.  Keep in mind as you go through the ballots that the top 100 in most every stat category are on the web page as well, though I tried to list most of the guys that were in the top 20 of most stat categories in the ballot.  I hope you enjoy working through the voting process.

 

This month will be the All Star break month, and the stats will be posted for your voting.  I anticipate being a little behind as I will be on vacation again next week and Si will be coming for a visit in later August.  Regardless, we’ll do the stats as fast as we can and get them to the web site for your review.  This year, Mark Rapp has volunteered to handle the voting, and I’m excited to see what changes he comes up with.  Assignment of the All-Star hosting franchise will be during next month at some point.

 

Sorry to be a little late this month, but many of us had a great time in York for our summer meetings,  Old Bob, Chad, Cross, and myself all ventured to Southeastern Pa and it was so much fun seeing everyone and playing some games.  Some of those series were a little late to get reported on and hence one reason for this month’s delay.  I know that you are enjoying Bob’s web site pictures of some of the activities from the long weekend.  It was fun!

 

John Bushey’s widow, Olivia, sent me a new master game boards set which I’ll be happy to get to anyone who might want it.  Please just let me know.

 

Windows 10 has been on everyone’s minds for some time now.  I’m sure many of you upgraded and likely just as many are having no issues with it.  The APBA gossip boards seem to indicate there are little or no problems with the new platform and the game is readily playable on Win 10.  I have chosen to stay with Windows 7 on my home computer, yet anticipate no issues interfacing with anything from Win 10.  Since the free upgrades are no longer available from Microsoft, I’d guess that guys who were going to change already have.  But as far as the game goes, we can assume no issues.

 

We’ve had a couple of issues over the last year of bad playing rosters and I guess I need to retouch the subject.  Your active roster is 25 for every series until the last 3 in your own division.  The schedule is clearly marked.  What is happening is twofold: 1) computer game players are not benching or simply releasing the inactive players/or simply stating that they know who is active and who is not and 2) basic gamers are just winging it with 35 men face up, using up to 25 as needed.

 

But as I said, we’ve had some issues with the rosters- usually where 26 men are getting in to a series or a guy who is not active appearing in a game.

 

For #1- (the CG player), it has been asked that you send a list of non-active players to the CG player before your series, that saves them from looking all over the 35 man roster to see who is active and who is not.  I’m well aware that this does not always happen in the real world, and sometimes as a CG manager you just have to figure it out before you start.  I personally do not think that benching a player is the way to go- I simply release the player off the roster for your series at hand.  I keep the “original” NSL org (I know there are several- just whichever one you choose), and every series I restore the org with that original file then drop the players.  That doesn’t affect your original file, and in fact, would keep us from these awful “extra games on a series ‘cause I didn’t reset the schedule or the stats”.  The choice is obviously yours, bench ‘em or drop ‘em, but be sure to do this before your series.

 

Basic gamers- it’s pretty simple really, just turn over the inactive player cards and the 25 facing up are active.  Couldn’t be much simpler, could it?  But these are events that need to happen BEFORE you play the series, and leads us to the correct 25 man rosters for all.  Legit instructions would help as well, addressing the 25 active of the 10 inactive.  Once again, I wouldn’t be commenting on this if it were not an issue.

 

Remember that there is a error factor which is in use for the NSL basic game players.  This error number is found on the team rosters that APBA posts on their web site, and has been +1 for as long as I can remember it.  This number actually tells you that with one out, any error becomes a hit.  That is, a E6 on the boards would actually be a single, 2 base E7 would be a double, etc.  So- in the basic game- it is IMPOSSIBLE to have an error with one out in the current make-up of the basic game. 

 

The league has always incorporated changes to the basic game and computer game (when it was being updated) that the company builds in over time.  For that reason, we’ll have to consider fully the new batters faced for starting pitchers numbers which are printed on the player cards.  The decision this year was to let it go as we did not have enough time to vote on it, and it should be reviewed by the rules committee this year.  If we want it, fine, if not, we need to vote it thumbs down.  There have been others issues we have not incorporated (last I remember is the pitcher advance rules, which we’ve reverted to the original rules), but generally we play the game as is with updates included.  The batters faced limits would also be in use for the computer game players- the CG will not automatically monitor it of course, but the league managers would have to.  Like it or not, it will be a subject we need to discuss.

 

Once again I will be out of the office from August 9th thru the 16th.  I’ll post that on the web page as well.  I will have internet access, but will not have my documents with me, so I won’t be updating the standings after the 8th until the following week.

 

So as you kill time watching the US basketball team beat a foreign country 153-12, and watch the thrill of the modern pentathlon or fencing, just keep in mind that this is our All-Star break on the horizon, and stats should hopefully come in on time.

 

I hope everyone is well and stay cool!

 

                                   

                                                                                                Best Wishes,

 

                                                                                                Rich