The Northern States League

Newsletter #435- August 31st, 2014




Dear Members,


It was another fine month for the league as most everything was in on time and we got the newsletter out in the “correct” month yet again!  Thanks to all!


Series #10 results:

Alb 3 at GM 1, GM 3 at Alb 1                       VT 2 at Pa 2, Pa 1 at VT 3

Cro 3 at Cle 1, Cle 1 at Cro 3                         NH 1 at Mun 3, Mun 2 at NH 2

Gle 3 at NE 1, NE 2 at Gle 2                          SL 1 at Lon 3, Lon 3 at SL 1

EY 2 at MC 2, MC 2 at EY 2                         IN 2 at Kal 2, Kal 1 at IN 3   

Dun 1 at Key 3, Key 3 at Dun 1                     NY 2 at Can 2, Can 1 at NY 3

Cre 2 at Mar 2, Mar 2 at Cre 2                        GB/Yk delayed until 9/14


Series #11 results:

Gle 3 at Mun 1, Mun 3 at Gle 1                      GB 1 at Cro 3, Cro 3 at GB 1

NE 3 at Pa 1, Pa 2 at NE 2                             Can 0 at Alb 4, Alb 2 at Can 2

Kal 1 at GM 3, GM 2 at Kal 2                        EY 2 at Cle 2, Cle 1 at EY 3

Yk 1 at MC 3, MC 3 at Yk 1                          SL 2 at Key 2, Key 2 at SL 2

Cre 3 at Dun 1, Dun 0 at Cre 4                       NH 1 at VT 3, VT 2 at NH 2

Mar 1 at Lon 3, Lon 2 at Mar 2                      NY 2 at IN 2, IN 3 at NY 1


Magic City had a great month.  But compared to Crosstown, it was merely okay.  The Maulers bashed York 6 out of 8, and split with division leading East York.  Trouble is, the ‘dales coupled a pair of 6-2 series together to now lead their division by 3.  Bryan continues to be amazed at what his team is doing, and looking at C.Davis’s stats one has to be impressed.  But 6-2 with both Cleveland and Gulf Breeze says something about the Crosstown entry and that something is “look out league- we’re for real!”  Meantime, MC’s Parker threw a no hitter at York, allowing just a BB to mark Ellis in the 6th of an otherwise perfect game.  So who is it going to be in the Murphy?  This month should tell a lot as the two face off for 6 games as well as all the other division games.  Longstown moved up a rung with a fine month- a 6-2 over SL and 5-3 over Marietta.  Now Becker has teased us before with good play when it is not expected.  Despite losing a game in the standings to the ‘dales, they know they have to at least catch MC for the post season.  Duneland collapsed like the economy of Libya this month and won just 3 times. 


The Breeze had a short month- and it was a lousy one as they dropped 6 of 8 to Crosstown.  Thankfully, Sparrow Lake couldn’t make up any ground and remain 9 games back.  The Stallions took it on the chin to Longstown as they dropped 6 of the 8 contests before a decent split with Keystone.  But if they’re going to contend, it’s time to put up or shut up.  Hey, at least Auburn is 1-0, and Mark was there to witness it.  The Maddogs did one game better than the Lake and now trail the Stallions by 6 games for 2nd place.  A nice split with red hot Creekside was the highlight of the month.  Cleveland had a tough schedule this month, and dropped 6 to Crosstown and 5 to East York as they battled two division leaders.  Yes, retirement is still great!


When we last spoke, East York was up 3 games on York.  This month, East York is up just 2 games, but on Creekside.  After a pedestrian 4-4 with Marietta, Scoop managed a 7-1 over Duneland and took the monthly nod of hottest team in the division.  The Crushers are now 10 over .500 and just 2 out of the top slot, occupied by the Mick and the 66ers.  A 5-3 over Cleveland was nice after a competitive 4-4 with Magic City for East York, and they are ready to face Creekside for a 6 pack this month to see who will be in charge at the next newsletter.  Meanwhile, York slipped a bit as he played just 8 games (series with GB postponed until September) and dropped 6 of 8 to Magic City, including a home-rolled no hitter.  Yikes!  Keystone has actually tied York for 3rd in the division and are in last place, but are just 6 out of the wild card and over .500 at this point.  The All Star hosts split with Sparrow Lake but took 6 from Duneland.


The Yount remains as it did last month from top to bottom.  The only change really is that Albany shaved a game off the Muncie lead, and now trail Bob by just 3 contests.  A split with Green Mountain was followed by a 6-2 series over the Polar Bears allowing that one game difference.   So the defending league champions are in good shape as they head in to the mid-season face to face short series.  Indiana likewise made up a game on Muncie as their travels included a pair of 5-3 successes, with Kalamazoo and North York.  They now trail by 5.  The Pounders did not make up a game, in fact they lost a game to Muncie as they dropped 5 to Vermont and the Elite.  Which brings us full cycle to Muncie- up by 3 games and loving it.  After a 5-3 with New Hudson, the Black Wolf split with a tough Glenville team .  But three teams over .500 and a series of intra divisional series this month will do more to point out the best club.


Vermont is doing what Vermont does.  At least for the last 10 years or so.  That is they’re padding their lead and this month are up by 7 over the Elite.  It started with a nice 5-3 over Pa, and then the series mark was duplicated with New Hudson.  They’re now tied with Muncie for the best W/L in the conference and just two behind Crosstown now for the overall league lead.  Surely we haven’t seen the end of New England’s charge, have we?  The Elite could muster just a .500 month thanks to a 5-3 over Pa, and despite a 3-5 with Glenville.  It’s not over yet, but 7 games to Vermont is something that needs to be shortened- and quickly.  Burnie is playing fine ball at this point as a split with Albany and 5-3 over Kalamazoo can attest.  The elder Burnham is down 9 to David at this point, and 2 games under .500, but remain a factor in the wild card chase.  John is in the hospital (more on that in a second) and have tumbled 13 games behind your leader.  Canaan dropped 6 to Albany and 5 to the Warthogs.


Coach Kerr and the Greys had a rugged schedule for this month, but continued their solid play.  After taking 5 from New England, they took a well-earned face to face split with Muncie.   That doubled their lead to 6 games over New Hudson which hit a wall this week.  Well, maybe not a wall, but didn’t play so well.  Of course the schedule gods took Michael to the cleaners as he played division leading Muncie first (3-5) before a 3-5 with Vermont.  So it could have been worse, but dropping 3 games in the standings to a hot Glenville club is tough.  The ‘zoo and ‘hogs are tied for 3rd as the North York boys made up a pair on our Michigan connection.  NY’s 3-1 at home with Canaan might have been Eric’s first home series win this year.  He also played well with Indiana despite dropping 5.  Kalamazoo did their best to imitate Duneland this month with a pair of 3-5 marks, with Green Mountain and Indiana.  Both clubs trail Glenville now by 14.


It is the All Star break, and you’ll find all the stats and the ballot on the web page.  It is not necessary that you use the original ballot, but if you do not, be sure to vote for 3 starting and 3 2nd team OF, 2 starting and 2nd team SP, and remember those pesky positions that you sometimes leave off (C and DH).  The ballot must be here by September 15th, and the game will be played on September 17th, hosted by Jim Barnes and the Keystone Comanches.  This is the ballot where you can only vote for players in your conference, the list of that is at the bottom of the ballot. 


John Bushey is in the hospital and has been for a little while now.  John was to have a heart procedure done and although it was completed, I believe he is at another hospital closer to home now for rehabilitation.  Dave and Burnie went to visit him last week and one of the first things John was worried about was his NSL team.  Got to love the head polar bear!   Needless to say your thoughts and prayers for John would be a positive for him and we all hope he makes a quick and complete recovery.  For now, anything involving the Polar Bears should come to me, and we’ll get John back up and running the club when he is ready.


We plunge in to September with a lot going on.  Back to school, end of summer, shoveling snow (ha- it’s coming you Yankees….) but also 3 series this month and the All Star ballot.  Lots to do!  But kindly keep in mind that you need to be running at least a 4 man pitching rotation, and I shouldn’t see less than that on your stats.  Like the Geico commercials, everyone knows that your rotations begin with your away ½ of a series then your home ½ of a series, so let’s see correct rotations please!  It should be fun to be back in the division with lots on the line.


The GB/Yk series was postponed and will be played this month when Si and Mary come to visit.  The All Star stats for York and GB are short 8 games, but that will be the way it is for this vote.  Of course, neither of us have many players to consider anyway.


I was on vacation 2 weeks ago (I know- vacation from what?) and was in Pensacola.  I got to take in a Blue Wahoo game vs. the dreaded Montgomery Biscuits.  The Pensacola park is one that was funded in part by the BP oil spill, and it is a wonderful park for AA ball.  The park juts out into Pensacola Bay, and though not as dramatic as SF or Pit, it’s a nice place to watch a game.  The Blue Wahoos are talking up the “Bakersfield Bunch”- that is most of their players made the jump from high A Bakersfield to AA Pensacola.  The club is a Cincinnati farm team, and honestly, I didn’t see many prospects.  Kyle Waldrop is an OF and to me at least appears that he’ll make the big dance someday.  Lou Marson is on the roster, but he didn’t play.  The team is coached by Delino DeShields.  I was hoping Brandon Phillips would be there for rehab- but it appears he may have been in AAA.  Maybe there are some hurlers that I didn’t see that might make it also, but it wasn’t that good a crop.  Watch out Reds fans.  The Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay) did nothing for me- looked as if everyone was 27 or 28.  Then again- wish I was that age again.  They play 5 game series- not sure I’ve seen that before in the minors.  Certainly cuts down on travel.


We’ve had to assign a free agent to East York for this year.  Mick will be very short on SS atbats and games so we’ve assigned Luis Cruz to his roster.  The problem came up first with East York trying to just get by with Sean Rodriguez ad Jose Reyes.  But the pure excitement (?) of the Waiver Draft had Mick drop Rodriguez and pick up Donnie Murphy.  Paying attention to games and not atbats, Mick thought he could make it and obviously now cannot.  I’ve never assigned a FA to a club during the season, but it’s the only way he’ll get by with SS limits.  So add Luis Cruz to the EY roster, and leave Donnie Murphy on it as well.  Both will be FA at the end of the season.  Mick will have his rookie draft adjusted as a penalty.


We’re having some of our best races in recent years and as we plunge in to the huge September games, I ask that you keep things on the great roll that we’ve been order the last two months and stay on time.  Thanks.


Bob continues on his efforts to get his new house in ship shape.  Word is that the kitchen is just about finished and although there is still a long way to go, the place is shaping up.  No golf course in the back yard, though.  Bill Waller heads back to school and will be out of Lori’s hair for a while.  Bill is a school resource (I think I have that correct) at a school there close to home.  Last I heard, Coach Kerr had given up coaching.  It’s time to spend time with the family and get his Grey team playing well, in that order.  Looks like Chuck is planning out his winter as he’ll be going to Florida right after the winter meetings- maybe for a couple of months.  No word as to which team asked him to scout Grapefruit League games for them.  As mentioned previously, Mark Rapp went to the Auburn game yesterday and we would assume he waited through the hours of weather delay.  Word is the game was hot.  Not necessarily the game, but the temperature.  Anyway, we’re 1-0.  Al had the excitement of going to Cleveland a few weeks ago on business (I know- he’s retired).  To no one’s surprise- including his own- there was plenty of down time in Cleveland.  No response yet from JB on (1) the Aggie huge win over South Carolina or (2) the SEC network.  Chances are he’s become a SEC network junkie. 


I hope everyone continues to have a great Labor Day weekend!


                                                                                                Best Wishes,