Browsing the blog archives for March, 2007.

The 2005 Playoffs: World Series Recap

Game Recaps

22 October 2005 – It’s the start of the Fall Classic, and two rounds and three weeks of postseason play have pared down the competition to the final two, with no surprises – the regular-season leading Daly City Montis of the Universe League, and the Canon Image Stabilizers of the Shinto-World League.

Daly City rolls in with a pitching staff filled with top-flight starters that had faltered a bit of late – Nathan Yan had been rolling along, but Josiah Leong had been pounded, even more so than usual – four postseason starts, a 1-3 record, and not a single quality start. Things hadn’t been supremely better for Terrence Zhao – he pitched a decent 2-run, 6 2/3 inning start in his first start, but was then hit hard in his worst start of the season, a 12-hit, 3-walk, 7 run 6-inning outing against the United States. Zhao also faltered with a 3-run, 6-inning outing in the league series against Europe. Wade had been the only other starter with a decent playoff record thus far, throwing 3 quality start wins. With only half of their all-star staff running at full force, the previously unstoppable Daly City team began seeming vulnerable, just barely getting past the worst-seed United States in a full 4-3 series, and struggling for a 4-2 win over sub-.500 Europe.

Game 1 started with a well-rested Nathan Yan, on 5 days rest for the first time since July, getting the start against Canon’s #2 Max Allen. Canon jumped ahead with a run to lead off the 1st, one of the few times Yan had found himself behind early. Daly City bounced back, however, and on 2-4 days by Ortiz, Puzon, and Liu, and a 3-4 day by the resurgent Derek Lew, Daly City emerged with 6 runs on 10 hits, while Yan eked out a challenging 2-run start.

Game 2 was grittier battle. Josiah Leong made the start, but against the 6.21 ERA Mohamed Arthur, he was about evenly matched, with a 7.48 ERA of his own. The teams battled back and forth throughout the game – again Canon led off with a run in the first for an early lead, which was answered back by a 3-run 2nd inning, from a huge Sam Lau homer. Canon hit back with a huge 5-run 6th, however, putting Daly City in a 3-6 hole. Daly City hit back with a run in the bottom of the 6th from a Joey Wong HR. 3 more runs in the bottom of the 8th gave Daly City a tenuous 7-6 lead, and only 3 outs away from a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. By this time Samantha Chin had since replaced Leong, who had given up 6 runs in 5 2/3 innings, and she had pitched flawlessly for 2 1/3 innings so far. With one out in the bag, she yielded a run to C Francis Cote, and with Daly City unable to respond to the tie score in the bottom of the 9th, yielded another two in the 10th, handing Canon a 9-7 win and tying the series 1-1.

Game 3 saw Terrence Zhao matched up against the best pitcher from the Shinto-World league, Canon’s 20-year-old Justin Ramage, who had finished the regular season with a 24-3 record and a 2.48 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. Based on Terrence’s shaky recent starts, the prospects didn’t look good. Daly City hit the Image Stabilizers early, with a Derek Lew HR and Mr. Nghe double to put the team up 3-0. Zhao was hit by Gates Skywalker’s 2-run homer, but managed to stave off the Image Stabilizers, going 7 innings and giving up 2 runs for the eventual 4-2 win.

Sean Wade pitched game 4, and right from the get-go, Daly City exploded – Derek Lew hit three doubles in a 3-4 day (although he didn’t driven in any runs), while Nghe and Lau both hit homers and Ortiz stole three bases. Daly City went on to win 9-2, on a complete-game win by Sean Wade, and with a commanding 3-1 lead, and Nathan Yan starting the 5th game, fate seemed all but certain.

Yan would pitch game 5, and with the entire Image Stabilizers team already demoralized beyond hope, Daly City trounced Canon to the tune of a 9-1 win, to win the series 4-1 and win the league championship (Their 3rd in 3 years of play).

Stay tuned for a report on the season awards, and a team recap!

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The 2005 Playoffs: Divisional Series Review

Game Recaps

10/10/05 – After 7 games, the divisional playoff round comes to a close, abound with some absolutely shocking results.

U.S. takes Daly City down to the wire in 3-3 showdown!
Perhaps the most heavily one-sided matchup in the playoffs, the Daly City team, bolstered by both the best offense and pitching in the league, got clobbered by the Patriots in game 1.  With ace Nathan Yan resting from pitching the last game of the regular season, #2 Josiah Leong took the mound against the Patriot’s John Coyer, a 10-14 starter with a 5.08 ERA and 1.44 WHIP over the regular season.

The results were disastrous – Leong took a heavy beating, giving up 4 runs in the 1st inning.  Meanwhile, the offense was unable to muster much of anything, going scoreless for the first 6 innings.  Leong appeared to take smooth control thereafter, but hit trouble again in the 6th inning – he gave up 2 runs of his own and 2 more on errors, allowing the U.S. an 8-0 lead. Daly City clawed its way back up to 6 runs, mostly on the strength of back-to-back homers by Joey Wong and Derek Lew, but ultimately fell short, suffering a shocking 12-6 defeat at the hands of the Patriots.

The next three games saw strong pitching performances from Terrence Zhao, Nathan Yan, and Sean Wade, who went on to lead the team to 9-3, 14-1, and 19-1 victories, putting them just a game shy of advancing to the next round.  Around this time, the offense also exploded, with huge games by Derek Lew, Rudy Puzon, Cristian Ortiz, and most surprisingly, Francis Chen.

With Josiah Leong up for another turn, the Daly City Montis suffered another lost, although this team Leong pitched a decent game, throwing 7 1/3 innings while giving up 4 runs on 5 hits and 5 walks.  However, it was the hitting that did the team in – the Patriot’s Camilo Belmonte shut out the team, allowing only 3 hits and 2 walks, and emerging with an 0-4 win.

The next game, with Terrence Zhao pitching against the lowly Craig Oberle, seemed to be a lock.  Daly City jumped out to a lead early, scoring 5 runs in the first four innings.  The U.S. answered back with 2 runs, but scored FIVE more in the 6th, where Terrence Zhao got shelled by an Andrew Amey 2-RBI double and a couple of triples.  With Daly City down 5-7, they put in 2 runs in the 8th from an Aubrey Cubilo double and Joey Wong HR to tie the game up at 7-7, and bring the game into extra innings. Samantha Chin, who had come in after Zhao’s disastrous 6th, gave up a homerun in the 10th to Juan Truex, and as all seemed lost, Kelvin Chang is replaced with Sam Lau, who successfully draws a walk to first, and gets replaced by Cristian Ortiz.  Cubilo advances him to 2nd on a single, and they both double-steal to get on 3rd and 2nd.  With the game on the line, Francis Chen of all players knocks in a sacrifice fly to bring Ortiz home, and tie the game up.  Daly City is unable to score another run, however, and in the 13th the United States scores a run off of a William Brown double, giving the United States a 9-8 win in 13 innings, and just like that, tying the series up at 3-3.  With the team’s entire playoff hopes on the line, Daly City’s Nathan Yan steps up to the mound for game 7, delivering a beautiful 1-hit, 2-walk shutout for a 3-0 win, and moving Daly City (just barely) onto the league series round.

Over in the other Universe League series, Europe delivered not only a surprising upset over the Apple Septic Tanks, but swept Apple with a 4-0 series win.  Europe delivered on the pitching, with an excellent win by #1 Wilfredo Raposa, but also two solid starts by #2 Justin Pucci, who won both of his games and pitched 15 1/3 innings, with a 2.35 ERA and 0.78 WHIP.  Closer David Avila also pitched extremely well, closing out all four games while not giving up a single run.

Things were a bit more predictable in the Shinto-World league – with an absolutely abysmal performance by Richard Eager (.105-.227-.158, 2 RBI, 1 Run), Nikon could hardly muster any offense, and the Vibration Reducers lost the seriese 1-4.  The Tokyo-Paris game, as expected, was a tight one, which drew out into a full 7 game series, which included three 1-run games and an extra inning game that was won 12-3 on 9 Tokyo runs in the 10th inning.

The next series sees a Europe vs. Daly City matchup, and Paris vs. Canon matchup as we progress to the Final Four league series round.

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The 2005 Playoffs Preview

League Review

With the end of September comes an end to the hopes and dreams of many a team.  16 teams in the league, but the playoffs hold only room for an elite eight.

There weren’t many huge surprises in the last month of the season.  The Daly City Montis, who dominated the league, emerged with a 125-37 (.772) record and 29 games ahead of runner-up Apple Septic Tanks, who finished with a 96-66 (.593) record.  The Microsoft Longhorns, who went 19-7 (.731) in the last month, came up just a bit short, two games behind Apple, although a whopping 17 games of the Terran Division winner, the Europe Cricketeers, and 24 games over the Terran wildcard, the United States Patriots.

Over in the Shinto-World League, Canon ran away with the Photomaker Division crowd and finished with a 96-66 record, 14 games over wildcard and archrival Nikon.  In the World Cities Division, Tokyo emerged victorious from the season-long Tokyo-Paris struggle – the two teams were tied for much of the season, all the way until the final two games – Tokyo won both games and Paris lost its two games, making Tokyo the division winner by two games, although both teams will be in the playoffs.

A season recap will come later, but it’s time for the postseason – an exciting postseason preview comes your way!

Here’s how the things look on the Universe League side:

Daly City Montis, 125-27, .772, Team ERA: 2.94, Team OPS: .853
United States Patriots, 70-92, .432, Team ERA: 4.85, Team OPS: .708

This matchup looks a bit lopsided – Daly City possesses a 55-game lead over the United States in regular season play.  In the regular season, Daly City faced the United States 23 times, winning 18 of the contests.  Looks to be a cakewalk for Daly City, but let’s look at the projected lineups and staff:

US Hitting: The United States is led by sluggers Juan Truex (.297-.361-.574) and Andrew Amey (.280-.391-.537), but aside from those two solid hitters lack much of any supporting cast – the only other decently high OBP on the team is .354, and no one else slugs over .500.  It’s part of the reason why no player on the Patriots has amassed more than 85 RBIs or Runs this season.

DC Pitching: Daly City looks to go to a four-man rotation, or possibly even three – the masterful Nathan Yan, followed up by the mercurial Josiah Leong and the dominating Terrence Zhao, and finally the consistent rookie, Sean Wade.  With luck, it could be a 1-2-3-4 shutout series, with strong starting performances.  If not, Alvina Chu is well-rested and ready to pitch from the bullpen, although the shakiness of Zubeda Khan (5 blown saves out of 34 opportunities) means that a few of the close, late games might slip away.

US Pitching: The US pitching staff doesn’t look much better, either – no one on the pitching staff is under a 4.00 ERA, or even remotely close.  Closer John Galey has a 5.57 ERA and setup man Isaias Rodrigues has a 6.90 ERA, and based on those gaps in the bullpen alone, the US doesn’t seem like they’ll ever be able to close out a win over Daly City.

DC Hitting: The Daly City lineup ended the season on a declining note – after an explosive start to September, many of the veterans slowed down, in particular stalwarts Joey Wong and especially Derek Lew, who tanked with a .176-.211-.308 September, easily one of his worst.  Several other players have stepped up, however – Rudy Puzon, Henry Nghe, and Jonathan Chee all had solid performances in September.  Overall, the team looks to be in good shape, with explosiveness coming from one player or another, and the is after all still the #1 offense in the league, by a wide margin.  It should have no problem handling the weak US Pitching staff.

Apple Septic Tanks, 96-66, .593, Team ERA: 4.00, Team OPS: .747
Europe Cricketeers, 77-85, .475, Team ERA: 4.33, Team OPS: .724

EUR Hitting: Europe, unsurprisingly, lacks much punch in the offensive department.  They have one true star, catcher Rolland Hochstetler, who was one of the top hitters at .327-.430-.559 this season, and another decent slugger in Renato Trujillo (.281-.312-.534).  The #.276-.367-.456 Frank Cristobal is also a decent on-baseman.  All-in-all, the batting isn’t horrible – certainly not as bad as many other Terran Division teams, but their ability to score runs consistently will be severely tested when they face Apple’s strong pitching staff.

MAC Pitching: The Septic Tanks had one of the strongest pitching staffs in the league this year.  They were led strongly by Kyle Katarn, who at 22-8, 2.45 ERA (1.01 WHIP), would have been Cy Young any other year.  He’s followed by two fairly capable starters in #2 Wedge Antilles, and #3 Jeffrey Reese.  The bullpen is also one of the stronger ones in the league, with long reliever Ambrose Ackbar, as well as Mohammad King and quite possibly the best closer in the league, the 2.26 ERA Padme Amidala.

EUR Pitching: The Cricketeers are led by staff-ace Wilfredo Raposa, who ranked among the top pitchers this year with a 3.49 ERA and 8.7 K’s per 9 innings.  After him are mediocre pitchers Justin Pucci and Joshua Hack, who have on occasion pitched extremely well.  Europe has also got one of the better bullpens in the league, with Napoleon Chien (3.67 ERA) and Dwight Fenton (2.84 ERA), and 3.40 ERA, 28 save David Avila as the closer.

MAC Hitting: Unlike many other teams, the Septic Tanks have composed an extremely well-rounded hitting lineup.  They have a few star players, notably RF Chewie Gonzales (.327-.362-.547), 3B Hans Blik (.290-.345-.528).  Raposa aside, the Europe pitching staff might have a tough time taming the Septic Beast.

Overall, the series seems heavily slanted in Apple’s favor – even Europe’s star Raposa seems as if he’ll be neutralized by starting against Apple’s Kyle Katarn, who pitched at a full one run lower per game than Raposa.  Over the course of the season, Apple leads the series 13-10.

Canon Image Stabilizers, 96-66, .593, Team ERA: 4.04, Team OPS: .798
Nikon Vibration Reducers, 82-80, .506, Team ERA: 4.32, Team OPS: .768

As the 1st and 4th seeds in the Shinto-World league, the two archrivals waste no time in duking it out in the divisional playoff round.  The two have butted heads all season, and while Canon seems to have a dominating regular season lead, Nikon actually leads the regular season series between the teams 13-12.

NIK Hitting: The Vibration Reducers are led by Nikonian CF Richard Eager, who was a dominant force in the league with a .355-.437-.705 line, not to mention 21 steals and a low 44 K’s.  He’s backed up by fellow superstar and youngster Brandon Wroten, who started the year off slowly but caught fire at the end of the season.  The two players more or less carry the team, however – three other players set the table with OBP’s in the .340 range, but no other players has a higher OBP than .350 or a SLG higher than .500.  The Vibration Reducers will rely heavily on the back of Richard Eager to provide the offensive production needed to overcome Canon’s heavy-hitting lineup.

CAN Pitching: Canon is led by star pitcher Justin Ramage, who posted a 2.48 ERA and 273 K’s in 272 2/3 innings this season.  Beyond him, however, Canon is sorely lacking – the rest of the rotation seems extremely awful, save perhaps for Max Allen, who seems to have enormous potential with a 1.95 September ERA.  Canon also has the best closer bar-none in Lee Thornton, who saved 27 games with a 1.62 ERA.  Justin Ramage certainly has the right stuff, but it’s an open question as to whether any of the pitchers will be able to contain Nikon’s Richard Eager.

NIK Pitching: The pitching staff is about average – they’re led by Tim Barnes, who put up a good 20-win season and 3.59 ERA, but most of his success came early on – he’s posted consecutive 4+ ERA months in August and September, and at this point looks like a very vulnerable starter.  The rest of the staff doesn’t exactly bleed confidence – they have a strong closer in William Brunetti, who saved 30 games with a 2.81 ERA, but there doesn’t seem to be any other dominant force on the staff, which looks like it’ll bode well for the Image Stabilizers.

CAN Hitting: The Canon lineup is led by none other than the infamous Gates Skywalker, who dominated the league with a .328-.452-.737 line this season.  Skywalker alone would be enough of a force to level many other teams in a 7-game series, but in this he’s matched up against no other than Richard Eager, who more or less equalizes Skywalker’s production.  Skywalker, however, is surrounded by a couple of star hitters in catcher Francis Cote (.316-.393-.516) and RF Wilfredo Martinez (.314-.358-.550) – Nikon has a tough task if it hopes to limit Canon’s core lineup enough so that their one-man offense Eager can score enough to win the game.

Tokyo Samurai, 90-72, .556, Team ERA: 3.98, Team OPS: .743
Paris Forfeiters, 88-74, .543, Team ERA: 4.41 ERA, Team OPS .751

PAR Hitting: Paris is led by SS Lamont Sanchez (.322-.450.-.565) and is a high-OBP offense – their .331 OBP was 2nd in the SW league behind Canon, and third overall behind Canon and Daly City.  The Forfeiters also have 2B Cristian Lee, and two >.360 OBP men, although they’re missing a big table setter in their CF James Talmage, who went out in early September with a broken wrist, and will be out of the playoffs.

TOK Pitching: Tokyo has a strong pitching staff, that’s led by Willard Weiler (3.29 ERA, 1.08 WHIP), but also includes a #2 in Michael Contreras that’s as good as many others #1.  It’s anybody’s guess who will win out in a battle between consistent OBP hitting and lights-out pitching domination.

PAR Pitching: Paris has a decent pitching staff, filled with starters who middle around the 4.00 ERA mark.  However, their #1 starter Rex White, a 21-year old rookie, has been steadily improving all season, and closed off with a 2.98 ERA in September.  Paris also has a dominant closer in the 39 save, 1.96 ERA Garfield Yocom.

TOK Hitting: Despite Ronald Peterson’s 51 HR season highlight, the Tokyo offense is about a lot more.  Kevin Harwell (.297-.397-.470) is a strong force alongside Peterson (.307-.393-.615).  Tokyo also boasts a rash of inexperienced half-season players, who have put up good numbers so far, although it’s anybody’s guess how well they’ll stick.

It’s an all-out battle between two very good teams that have duked it out all season.  For what it’s worth, Tokyo leads the season series 15-8, although Paris, relying on consistent OBP production rather than Tokyo’s individual flair and flash, could pull off a series win, especially if Tokyo’s season-long reliance on unproven half-season players backfires.

Update in about two weeks (game time!) with round two of the playoffs.

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Season-so-far: September 1st, 2005

Team Review

It’s been a long time coming from the last league update – it’s still September 1st, 2005, and the league is set to come barreling down the stretch run towards the playoffs.  The picture’s become pretty clear for the league-leading Daly City Montis – on the strength of a dominant pitching staff and an all-around good lineup, they’ve cruised to a 104-32 record (.765) and have a magic number of 3 going into September.

You’ve read all about the state of the league, now how have the players of the home team done over the past months of June and August?:

Sam Lau, Catcher: After a resurgent summer swell in June, Sam exploded out of the gate in the month of July, hitting a blistering .402-.479-671.  Lau cooled off quite a bit in August – he posted a .248-.319-.455 line, although he still managed to drive in 20 runs and score 19 himself in Daly City’s high-octane offense.  His currently line of .294-.386-.485 looks to set a career high for Sam Lau, who at just 17 years of age is cementing himself in a league of hard-hitting catchers.

Tina Quach, backup catcher, utility outfielder: Playing well after the all-star break, Quach began playing extremely well in limited duty throughout July – playing only 11 games and garnering 42 plate appearances, the utility player clubbed a .400-429-675 line, driving in 12 RBIs.  The streak led to Quach’s first full time role in August, where she played 24 games, mostly in the various outfield positions, and performed excellently – a .355-.434-.516 line, while driving in and scoring 17 RBI’s & runs.

Derek Lew, 1st baseman: After going out with a horrific fractured knee in mid-May, the star 1st baseman has been making a slow and painful recovery back to the starting line up.  He returned in early July, and picked up a .282-301-.615 pace, although lately Lew has been in a month-long funk that’s resulted in a .254-269-.509 line – league average numbers, considering the extremely low walk percentage.  Despite this, Lew has still been a run machine, bashing in 20 RBIs and scoring 15 Runs in a ¾ July month, and leading the team with 25 RBIs and 23 Runs in August despite fairly pedestrian numbers.

Rudy Puzon, backup 1st baseman: After storming into the league with a huge first rookie month, Puzon suddenly experienced a sudden power and batting eye outage in July and more severely in August.  After slugging at a very impressive .588, .500, .576 in consecutive months, Puzon dipped to .470 in July and an even more concerning .395 in August.  Puzon has also seen a big dip in walks – after getting bases on balls 13, 15, 14 times, Rudy dipped down to 10 and then bottomed out to a scant 4 in August, resulting in an OBP of .299.  The young 1st baseman/DH is just settling down, however, and with a .301-.373-.509 line and 95 RBI’s so far, he looks like a good candidate for rookie of the year.

Cristian Ortiz, 2nd baseman: Ortiz didn’t start out the second half with his best performance –rather than continue his steady hitting pace, Ortiz hit a huge slump in the first half of July, and started to see minimal playing time as minor-league callup Kelvin Chang began to take away some starts (talk about a short hook!).  Faced with the prospect of losing his starting job, Ortiz turned on the guns in the last half of July, bringing back his dismal early numbers to a respectable .288-.319-.394 for July, along with an impressive 12 steals in only 18 games.  Ortiz’s hot streak continued all the way throughout August, where Cristian put up perhaps his best month yet, going .300-.385-.511, while scoring 24 runs and swiping 15 bases.

Henry Nghe, shortstop: The unstoppable “Mr.” Nghe kept chugging on his record-breaking pace throughout this second half.  Continuing on his impressive “rookie” year run, Nghe went on to post a .333-.402-.432 line in July, and then absolutely exploded with a huge .414-.439-.638 August.  With a batting average of .361, he’s #2 in the league, and constantly a threat to chase star third baseman Joey Wong for the batting average title.

Kelvin Chang, backup middle infielder: 
The old (18 years!) utility middle infielder has spent much of his time in AAA, where he had batted .353-.437-.588 in 340 at-bats thus far, scoring 90 runs. With Ortiz and Nghe wearing thin on fatigue, Chang gave a much needed rest and gave a little reinvigoration of his own in July, batting .333-.359-.617.  Chang began to cool off into August, however, and performed as expected – at .217-.217-.261, a part time, passable fill-in for the middle infield positions.

Joey Wong, third baseman: Continuing on his steady pace throughout the season, Wong mashed in a whopping 90 runs+RBIs in July and August, while posting up a .351-.395-.559 July and an amazing .429-.491-.612 line in August.  For the year, he’s on a .367-.427-.566 pace, good although his power numbers are a bit off his career line.  Without big hitters Ho and Tienturier in the lineup, as well as missing powerhouse Lew for a big portion of the year, Wong’s run production has gone down significantly, although he still leads the team with 101 RBI and 102 runs.

Joanna Maung, backup saung-gah-basewoman: Without significant playing time, it’s hard to be consistent, and Maung has been up-and-down all year.  She started out with two great months, batting well over a .300-.400 AVG-OBP, and then dipped to a mediocre .265-.306 in June, only to bounce back with a big .361-.395-.583 July.  She slipped down in August, hitting .238-.333-.238, but on the year she’s posted up a solid .317-.386-.439 line, career highs and encouraging numbers for a possible move into a full-time role next year.

Jonathan Chee, leftfielder: After that abysmal first month, the wunderkind Chee has been nothing short of consistent – he’s posted >.400 OBP in each of the following months, with no small thanks to his knack for getting hit by pitches – his 38 through August have already set a league record, and he’s far and away ahead of the #2 guy.  Chee’s on pace to set career highs in all categories – his line is a somewhat hilarious .296-.425-.389, although his power numbers have improved along the years.

Aubrey Cubilo, leftfielder: After a blazing first half on the basepaths, grabbing the lead-league in steals and serving as the team’s leadoff hitter, Cubilo faltered quite a bit in July, sinking down to a .248-.294-.297, while seeing her steals total dip down to 9 (she had stolen, 14, 22, and 12 the previous months).  She appeared to return to form in August, hitting .308-.327-.423, but went down with a strained hamstring muscle that forced her out for two weeks.  She’s back in the lineup for the stretch run, but she’s dropped back to the bottom of the order after the emergence of some solid hitters at the top, along with a greater emphasis on OBP.

Francis Chen, rightfielder: Ah, Francis, Francis.  Where to begin?  The one-time super-prospect has fallen to greater and greater depths of failure with each passing month – he hit .130-.259-.304 in July, and tallied up only a scant 23 at-bats in 8 games.  He rebounded in August, however, with a .200-.347-.525 line, his best yet, although even this falls a bit short of the potential he was expected to have.  Only time will tell if Chen continues to develop, but with everyone returned from injury, Chen might not see another chance to prove himself until after the off-season shuffle.

Tiffany Ho, outfielder: The rookie outfielder has been plodding along steadily all season, and her .275-.303-.349 is decent, if lacking a little punch.  Ho performed nicely July, going .356-.383-.378, although she dipped down to a more average .256-.273-.372 in August.

Jason Liu, outfielder: After a strong showing throughout the first half, Liu found himself on the dreaded DL in early July, a 5-week pulled anterior cruciate ligament injury.  Despite this, Liu came back roaring in mid-August, busting out 8 homers in only 60 at bats en route to posting an outstanding .350-.379-.767 line.

Nathan Yan, #1 starter: The lights-out ace continued his streak of dominance, going 11-0 so far in the second half, while posting a 1.10 ERA and 0.51 WHIP in July, and an even more impressive 0.68 ERA and 0.53 WHIP in August.  Yan also continues his dominant K-lead, including three straight 15+K games in his last 5 starts

Josiah Leong, #2 starter: The erratic #2 starter has been all-over the map – his WHIP has been as high as 1.58 in June before the break, and he posted a 1.45 WHIP in July immediately after. Despite this, with a lot of luck Leong has somehow managed to keep his ERA to a decent 4.03 in July.  Leong appeared to finally settle down in August, however – he posted a 3.07 ERA and 0.92 WHIP, and went 3-1 in 4 starts.  It remains to be seen whether this consistency can continue into the month of September, and hopefully, the playoffs.

Terrence Zhao, #3 starter: Zhao continued to dominate through the second half – he went 3-2, somewhat unluckily, in July, while posting a dominating 1.66 ERA and 0.82 WHIP.  He followed this up with an amazing 0.42 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 5-0 run in August, a run which garnered him his first pitcher of the month award – he’s now on a 7-game win streak, and through the month of July and August held a 5-game shutout streak.  After a shaky 4.14 ERA rookie year, and a promising 2.94 sophomore follow-up, it seems as if Zhao has finally, and a bit unexpectedly, broken out into one of the best ace starters in the league.

Sean Wade, #4 starter: After the season began amazingly for the rookie starter, Wade has of the late regressed towards the mean – after returning from the all-star break Wade posted a 1-4 record and 5.60 ERA.  His August looked a bit better, with a 4-0 record in 5 starts, albeit with a merely average 3.69 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.  The main culprit seems to be a lack of luck on the road– so far Wade’s splits have been 7-3, 1.73 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in 10 games at home, and 9-4, 4.01 EA and 0.99 WHIP in 14 road starts.  Still, with a 3.00 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and a current 16-7 record, Wade appears to be a mainstay with the team for years to come.

Samantha Chin, #5 starter: Chin continues her bad-month good-month streak – she’s now posted ERA’s of 7.33, 2.57, 4.44, 2.21, 5.76, although throughout this she’s only lost a single game. Most recently, Chin has struggled with her control – in August she totaled a 1.44 WHIP (overall she’s at 1.15 for the season), while giving up 11 walks, twice her monthly average.  Given that September is an odd-numbered month, Chin might see another good month soon.

Miguel Pardo, #6 starter: The magic had to run out eventually for Daly City’s story of the year, and the enigmatic Pardo finally settled into his old form in the second half – he’s posted 5.50 and 5.06 ERA’s in the two months since, and has been absolutely hammered – his WHIP has been 1.67 and 1.50 those two months, and his record has still been a good 4-2 overall.  With the top starters making a run to stack up their start totals in the last month, Pardo may very well see his starts minimized in September.

Helen Yamamoto, mopup reliever: Coming back from a 6 1/3 inning shutout month in June, Yamamoto posted what is perhaps the worst season on record for a closer – through 5 1/3 innings, Yamamoto posted a 4.69… WHIP.  This in turn led to a 20.25 ERA.  After another bad start in August, where she tallied a 5.40 ERA and 2.10 WHIP in 2 games, Yamamoto was out and demoted down to AAA.  With the expansion of rosters to 40 players in September, she’ll probably see a call-up, although it’s an open question as to how many opportunities she’ll actually get.

Katie Clayton, mopup reliever: Clayton saw an uptick of innings in the mopup role, and this led to an abysmal 5.23 ERA month, although it should be noted that Clayton has not yet passed her 9.00 ERA career average in any month yet, a remarkable improvement over previous years.  Clayton then followed up with an amazing 1.59 ERA August, over 5 2/3 innings – for the season so far she’s at exactly half of her 2003 and 2004 ERAs, posting a 4.50 instead of her usual 9.00.

Angel Poon, middle reliever: Poon was a star reliever throughout the summer months of June and July – she built on her 1st half success with a 2.31 ERA and 0.94 WHIP.  Things started to fall apart for Poon in August however, when her stuff seemed to disappear as she posted a 5.40 ERA and even more atrocious 1.68 WHIP.

Alfred Vong: The rookie long reliever faltered a bit in July, as part of an overall bullpen meltdown – he posted an 8.18 ERA and 1.64 WHIP.  He rebounded back in August, however, with a 2.00 ERA and 0.78 WHIP in an 18-inning month that also included the long reliever’s first career start – with Pardo’s magic fast running out, Vong made a substitute start, pitching a good 8 1/3 inning start, while giving up 3 runs and 8 hits, earning himself a win.

Alvina Chu, setup reliever: After developing a nickname as “the vulture” in the first half, Alvina has backed off a bit of her win-stealing opportunities – she’s registered no wins in the second half, although she lost 2 games in August.  Overall however, she’s remained the most reliable reliever, posting WHIPs of 0.88 and 0.87.

Zubeda Khan, closer: The enigmatic rookie closer has been all over the place – after a May and June of >6.00 ERAs (and >1.70 WHIPs), Khan pitched 7 shutout innings in July, while saving 7 games.  Even more perplexingly, Khan went back to a 4.66 ERA, 1.55 WHIP form, and still managed to save the same 7 saves!  So far in the season, Khan has racked up 26 saves, far short of 2003 Absalon’s 46 saves and 2004 Leong’s 40 saves.

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League-in-Review: September 1st, 2005

League Review

It’s September 1st, 2005, and down to the home stretch towards the playoffs.  With five months down and just one left to go, things have taken a firm shape in three of the four divisions in the league, where the Daly City Montis (Galactica Division), the Europe Cricketeers (Terran Division), and the Canon Image Stabilizers (Photomaker Division) all lead by 11 games or more.  The game is much tighter in the World Cities Division, where the Tokyo Samurai, the division leader for much of the season, holds on to a slim but narrow lead over second place Paris Forfeiters.

The wildcard race is also structured fairly well.  The 2nd-place finishers from each division make it into the playoffs – currently in the Galactica Division, the Apple Septic Tanks at 80-55, .593 are in the lead, although the Microsoft Longhorns, starting off slowly, have put together a decent season and are 6 games behind.  In the Terran Division, where all of the teams save Europe have been thoroughly dominated, it appears that either the United States Patriots (58-77, .430) or the Caribbean Pirates (56-79, .415) will be making what could only be a surefire loss to the league-dominating Daly City Montis.

Over in the Shinto-World league, things are much spicier.  Paris and Tokyo are in a dead heat for first place, and with current third place Venice Carnivale 11 games behind Paris, it looks like both will enter into the playoffs, either as division winner or wildcard runner-up.  In the Photomaker division, however, Nikon and Paris are both within a game of each other.  Nikon, so close to the division lead earlier on in the season, had  been hurt by an injury to star centerfielder Richard Eager, who is currently third place in OBP, second place in slugging, and first in batting average (he adds a healthy 21 steals and a low 36 K’s to boot). Pentax, meanwhile, has been humming along steadily.

With the playoff picture looking about set, barring any surprises in the last month:

Universe League Projections:
Galactica Division
Division Winner – Daly City Montis (dominating at first, 23 games in the lead at 103-32, .763)
Wildcard – Apple Septic Tanks (Microsoft Longhorns a moderate longshot, at 6 games back)
3rd place – Microsoft Longhorns (possibly the Apple Septic Tanks)
4th place – Mozilla Firefoxes (last place pretty much all season)

Terran Division
Division Winner – Europe Cricketeers (At 69-66, .511, a feeble playoff team).
Wildcard – Caribbean Pirates (An abysmal .415 team, but likely to make it)
3rd place – United States Patriots (they lead the 
Caribbean by 2 games, but have been falling hard ever since star slugger Juan Truex went out for the rest of the season)
4th place – Asia Giants (far and away the worst team in the league)

Shinto-World League Projections:
Photomaker Division
Division Winner – Canon Image Stabilizers (far and away in the lead)
Wildcard – Nikon Vibration Reducers/Pentax Shake Reducers (pretty much a dead heat)
3rd place – Nikon Vibration Reducers/Pentax Shake Reducers (pretty much a dead heat)
4th place – Sony Super SteadyShots (last place all season)

World Cities Division
Division Winner – Tokyo Samurai/Paris Forfeiters (toss-up between the star power of Tokyo and the steady consistency of Paris)
Wildcard – Tokyo Samurai/Paris Forfeiters (toss-up between the star power of 
Tokyo and the steady consistency of Paris)
3rd place – The Venice Carnivale (
Las Vegas looms only 4 games back)
4th place – 
Las Vegas Valleys (could jump back to third if HR-hitter Luciano Ferrant, who missed most all of August, comes back into form)

With the standings aside, the more interesting stories are likely the stories of the individual players, and the league leaderboards.

Batting Title (Highest batting average – best contact hitter)
Universe League: Daly City 3B Joey Wong, a .369 career hitter, has led the league all along, and stands at a comfortable position with a .365 AVG.  The complete surprise candidate, however, has emerged as teammate SS Henry “Mr.” Nghe, who has been humming along steadily all season and hit .414 during August to bring his average up to .360.  Either Joey or Nghe will end up taking the title, and may even be within distance of breaking the Daly City team record, Norman Ho’s .375 mark in 2003.  Current third-place is RF Chewie Gonzales of the Apple Septic Tanks, at .335, so it looks like someone from Daly City will emerge with the batting crown.
Shinto-World League: Nikonian CF Richard Eager has dominated this category all year – his current mark stands at .359, far far ahead of his Canonite arch-rival LF Gates Skywalker (.328), and current third-place C Francis Cote (.327)

Universe League: As the league-leader in hitting, Joey Wong is in the lead with 189 hits, although Henry Nghe isn’t too far behind with 181 hits.  Both seem to be sure locks to reach 200 hits, although Wong doesn’t appear to be anywhere near the 248 hits he set as a record in 2004.  Boba and Jango Fett of the Microsoft Longhorns, at 171 and 167 hits respectively, are #3 and #4, and if they continue their season pace could just reach 200 hits as well.
Shinto-World League: With only Richard Eager anywhere near the league leaders in the Universe League, Las Vegas’ Hector Valdivieso (batting .322) has only 155 hits (9th most overall) to lead the Shinto-World League.  Richard Eager, after missing two full weeks has only 154 hits, but now that he’s back healthy should be able to easily surpass Valdivieso, although 200 hits seems a very long shot.  A scattering of players are all in the 150-140 hit range, and could all conceivable wind up in 2nd or 3rd place

On-base Percentage
Universe League: Despite having some of the best hitters in batting average, the Universe League is not high on walks.  Catcher Richard Hochstetler, really the only decent hitter on the Europe Cricketeers, has a firm hold on the lead at .437, while Daly City players Joey Wong and Jonathan Chee are tied for 2nd at .424 each.
Shinto-World League: The Image Stabilizers’ all-world leftfielder, Gates Skywalker, has dominated in this category all season, racking up a .457 OBP (with a .518 OBP in August).  Lamont Sanchez of 
Paris is second at .442, with Richard Eager not far behind at .438. 

Slugging Percentage (most power)
Universe League: One category that has been dominated by all the hitters from the worst teams, last-place Asia’s Alex Quiros has absolutely dominated in the UL, slugging at a .668 clip (including a month slugging .932!), and looks to walk away with the slugging crown.  USA’s Juan Truex, out for a month, hangs in at .586, while Matthew Glenn of Mozilla (.570) and Maul Foundation of Microsoft (.569) are closely in third place.
Shinto-World League: Locked in a season-long battle, Canon’s Gates Skywalker currently leads Nikon’s Richard Eager by a score of .717 to .688.  Homerun leader and 
Tokyo’s sole offense,Richard Peterson, is 3rd at .643.

Universe League: The Universe League’s bash brigade is led by Asia’s Alex Quiros, who has mashed 42 homers this year, and has a shot at making the 50 HR mark.  Mozilla slugger Matthew Glenn is second at 40 homeruns, with Microsoft’s catcher Jabba Desilijic Ture and USA’s Juan Truex, both of whom have been sidelined by injuries, tied for 3rd place with 36 HR each.
Shinto-World League: 
Tokyo rightfielder Ronald Peterson has been mashing his team to the playoffs, and they’ll need all the help they can get.  The .313-.403-.643 slugger has hit 46 homers so far, and based on his monthly totals, seems sure to make a 50 HR season and lead the league.  Canon’s Gates Skywalker is close behind with 42 HR’s, and Richard Eager, although tied withLuciano Ferrant at 35 HR’s, is probable to get third-place after missing so much time from injury.

Runs Batted In
Universe League: Microsoft’s SS Maul Foundation has been pounding in the runs, with 118 RBIs, no doubt due to the fantastic lineup of hitters batting ahead of him in the Microsoft batting order. Alex Quiros, by far leading the league in HR and slugging, is 2nd with 112 RBI’s, and would no doubt have a lot more if he had a halfway decent lineup in Asia.  Mozilla’s Matthew Glenn is 3rd with 103 RBI.
Shinto-World League: The top 3 in the SW league is a crowded field consisting of Paris’ Lamont Sanchez, Canon’s Gates Skywalker, and Tokyo’s Ronald Peterson, who have 102, 102, and 100 RBI’s respectively.

Universe League: Microsoft’s #3 hitter (in front of Maul Foundation), Jango Fett leads the league with 108 runs, while Daly City’s Joey Wong is in 2nd place with 101, with teammate Henry Nghe3rd at 96.
Shinto-World League: Gates Skywalker leads here with 106 runs, followed by Lamont Sanchez of Paris at 98.  Richard Eager is at 90 runs.

Stolen Bases
Universe League: Though she’s been out for two weeks with a hamstring injury, Daly City CF Aubrey Cubilo still leads the league over Apple’s Ben Kenobi, with 60 steals to his 56.  Daly City 2B Cristian Ortiz has been a distant but steadily gaining basepath threat all season, and is solid at 51 steals.
Shinto-World League: 
Venice’s Alberto Munoz has been speeding along to a dominant 50 steal season, far ahead of 2nd place Gabriel Cardillo (34) and 3rd place Joseph Harmon (32).  The most amazing thing is that all three players have extremely sup-bar OBP, with Munoz at .277, Cardillo at .264, and Harmon at .307.

Universe League: This category has been so dominated by 
Daly City LF Jonathan Chee that it almost isn’t even worth discussing – he leads the league with almost double the HBP’s, a league-leading 37 HBP (which has been a large contributor to his OBP).
Shinto-World League: 
Paris’ Anthony Reyes leads the league with a measly 13 HBP’s, although Francisco AmaralFrancis Cote, and Joseph Burkett aren’t far behind at 12-11 HBP’s each.

Earned Run Average (overall pitcher effectiveness)
Universe League: It should be no surprise that Daly City ace Nathan Yan once again dominates the league, with a 1.14 ERA – a continued development from his 1.46 ERA 2003 and his 1.20 ERA 2004, and setting the ERA record for the third consecutive year.  Teammate Terrence Zhao, however, is no slouch either – after a substandard May (3.97 ERA), Zhao has turned up the heat, throwing 5 shutouts in the last two months (including 4 in August alone) to bring his ERA down to a miniscule 1.69 – the best mark outside of Yan that Daly City has ever seen.  Kyle Katarn of the Apple Septic Tanks is far behind at 2.31.
Shinto-World League: The dominating starter of the SWL, Canon’s Justin Ramage has dominated his league with a 2.27 ERA, far ahead of #2 Augusto Figueroa (2.96 ERA) and #3 Michael Contreras (3.28 ERA).

Walks and Hits Per Inning Pitched (WHIP)
Universe League: It shouldn’t be any surprise that Nathan Yan once again dominates this category with an other-worldly 0.51 WHIP.  What may surprise everyone else, however, is rookie pitcher and teammate Sean Wade at #2 on the list, with an impressive 0.95 WHIP.  Terrence Zhao finishes out the all-Daly City sweep with a 0.97 WHIP, although Microsoft’s Kernel Tyranus at 0.99 and Apple’s Kyle Katarn at 0.99 are within biting distance.
Shinto-World League: Canon’s Justin Ramage holds a commanding lead in this category, with a 0.98 WHIP, perhaps the only dominating number in the SWL, where Tokyo’s duo #2 Michael Contreras has a 1.10 WHIP and #3 Willard Weiler has a 1.13 WHIP.

Universe League: Despite all the ERA and WHIP numbers, perhaps nothing defines the league’s best pitcher as much as wins.  That said, Nathan Yan currently dominates with a league-high 24 wins, while the aces of the Galactica Division – Apple’s Kyle Katarn, Microsoft’s Kernel Tyranus, and Daly City’s Terrence Zhao – are all tied with 18 wins apiece, although it should be noted that with DC’s 6-man rotation, both Zhao and Yan have starts less than the other starters.  Europe ace Wilfredo Raposa and Daly City rookie Sean Wade, at 16 wins each, shouldn’t be discounted either.
Shinto-World League: Like Yan in the UL, Justin Ramage of Canon dominates with 22 wins, leaving 2nd place Trent Barnes of Nikon 2nd place at 18 wins.  Tokyo’s Michael Contreras and Pentax’s Augusto Figueroa are tied for 3rd with 17 wins apiece.

Universe League: It should be no surprise that Nathan Yan absolutely dominates here – with 368 K’s he’s more than 100 strikeouts ahead of 2nd place Robert Kroger, Mozilla’s ace pitcher, who has 231.  Yan also looks to break the strikeout record – he’s on pace for 458, which would break his old record of 444, set in 2003.  Apple’s Kyle Katarn and Europe’s Wilfredo Raposa have 222 and 221 K’s, respectively.
Shinto-World League: Justin Ramage once again dominates here, with 234 K’s, well ahead of 
Venice starter Gerald Freeman at 221.  Las Vegas’ Joseph Moser, who also leads the league in walks, is tied with Augusto Figueroa in 3rd place with 198 K’s each.

Strikeouts per 9 Innings
Universe League: Nathan Yan dominates with a career high 14.9 K’s per 9, well ahead of teammate Josiah Leong at 11.5 K’s per 9 and Robert Kroger at 10.6.
Shinto-World League: Las Vegas’ Joseph Moser barely edges out Justin Rammage, with 9.3 K’s per 9 to Ramage’s 8.9.  Gerald Freeman is at #3 with 8.7.

Quality Starts
Universe League: Perhaps the model stat for consistency, Nathan Yan leads this category with 25 out of 26 starts being quality starts.  Terrence Zhao is not far behind, with 23 of 25 starts behind quality starts.  Kyle Katarn is 3rd with 22 of 28 quality starts, although percentage-wise it’s rookie Sean Wade, with 20 quality starts out of 24 starts.
Shinto-World League: In the SWL, Justin Ramage leads with 24 of 30 quality starts.  Augusto Figueroa, Michael Conteras, and Willard Weiler are all in a pack behid him, with 21-20 quality starts and 69-72% quality start percentage.

Complete Games
Universe League: Moving into the measures of pitcher domination, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Nathan Yan currently leads with 19 complete games.  Europe ace Wilfredo Raposa and Microsoft’s Kernel Tyranus are 2nd at 12 complete games each.
Shinto-World League: Surprisingly, this is one category where Canon’s Justin Ramage and Nikon’s Trent Barnes are neck-and-neck, with 11 complete games each.  Pentax’s Augusto Figueroa, as well as teammate Reinaldo Valdejuli and 
Tokyo starter Willard Weiler are tied for 3rd with 10 complete games each.

Universe League: Separating dominance even further, we enter into the realm of shutouts, where it’s no surprise that Nathan Yan leads with 10 of them.  Terrence Zhao, hot off of his 5 consecutive shutout stretch, a streak of unimaginable dominance, is in 2nd with 7 shutouts.  The who’s who of UL pitching follows next with Kernel Tyranus, Kyle Katarn, and Wilfredo Raposa, who each have 4 shutouts.
Shinto-World League: One tier below Zhao and another tier below Yan, Justin Ramage is in his own category at 5 shutouts, just ahead of teammate Robert Bone who has 4, although Bone has put himself out with an injury for the next 5 weeks (essentially until the playoffs).  
Tokyo’s Pete Fajardo and Nikon’s Josue Huerta have 3 each.

Universe League: Apple’s Padme Amidala and Microsoft’s Richard Pendergast are neck-and-neck at the top of the league, with 35 and 34 saves each, although Amidala has been a far far better pitcher (2.08 ERA vs. 3.20 for Pendergast).  The two of them appear to be the only starters close to the 40-save mark.  A slew of closers, including United States’ John GaleyEurope’s Davor Avila, and Daly City’s Zubeda Khan have between 26-27 saves.
Shinto-World League: 
Paris’ Garfield Yocum leads with 31 saves, followed by Pentax’s Gonzalo Bolanos with 28, and Nikon’s William Brunetti with 27.

That’s it for the league summary.  Stay tuned for the Daly City team log next, chronicling the headlines of the past two months, including:

Rookie Wade’s second-half meltdown!
Zhao’s 5-shutout domination!
Pardo’s magic finally runs out!
Yamamoto’s July – worst month ever?!
Injury plague – Lew, Liu, Cubilo, and now Leong?!
Cubilo’s (possibly Ortiz’s?) march to the steals record
Yan setting the strikeout record – again!?
Wong, Puzon, Liu, Lew, Lau? – who will win the HR crown?

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History of the Monti Bizarro League


After a brief hiatus to simulate 52 years of history, we return to baseball!

While the modern-day Monti Bizarro league was reborn in the year 2003, its roots actually go back much further, back to more than a century ago.  Monti Bizarro baseball was born in 1900, with 32 teams (16 per league) compromising most of the geographic United States, including teams from Alaska, Honolulu, and even Puerto Rico.

1900-1916: The Early Years
The league’s inaugural season was an exciting one, and electrified the nation into what would become one of the defining cultural phenomena of the early 20th century.  Starting out with a random draw of players, all teams were evenly matched throughout the whole season – the best team was .593, and the worst was .401, and a full 12 teams were between .480-.520.  The Salt Lake City Jazz of the NL Central, the league’s best team at .593, ended up winning the championship over .525 San Antonio of the AL South in a 4-3 duel.  Several players emerged in the inaugural season, who would dominate and define much of the league’s early period.  1B Mitchell Thomas of Fresno almost won the batting line crown, posting a .367 AVG, .444 OBP to lead the league, and narrowly missing the slugging crown with a .678 SLG.  The biggest story of the year, however, was Leonard Bowers of Green Bay, a young 2B slugger who set the bar at 64 homeruns in his rookie season, far and away above the second highest total, 45 HR by Fresno’s Mitchell Thomas.  On the pitching side, Raleigh’s John Deleon dominated the league with a 2.39 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, en route, not to mention 22 wins and 286 K’s – 1 K shy of a triple crown.  Over in the NL, a mix of players topped the headlines – Fayetteville’s Rory Smith, a fantastically young RF, projected to be the golden boy of baseball’s era, had a strong first season, and Albany’s Bill Coleman played the role of dominant veteran hitter, putting up a .305-.452-.603 line.  Los Angeles’ Juan Lamere, the steady OBP machine, topped the league with a .454 OBP.  The inaugural season also saw Indianapolis’ Robert Tookes win the pitcher of the year award with a 2.51 ERA and 0.98 WHIP, while St. Cloud’s Lee Turner began a streak of four seasons leading the league in strikeouts.

The team to beat in the first few years was Fayetteville.  Already adorned with baseball’s golden child, Rory Smith, they also saw the steady rise of SS Kevin You, who started with the team in 1900 as a scrawny defensive SS and steadily developed into one of the best contact and power hitters in the game.  Fayetteville, led by the Smith-You duo, won back-to-back championships in 1903 and 1904, but an injury late in the season sidelined You, and the Fayetteville Musketeers declined to sign him for the following season.  Even without You, Fayetteville went on to win the championship again the following year, this time with Smith joined by surprise Triple Crown winner Blake Yelle, who overwhelmingly won the Pitcher of the Year and Triple Crown (tops in wins, K’s, and ERA) that year.  The magic would run out soon after that however – the team managed to muster a rousing 100-win season in 1907, led again by strong performances from Smith and Yelle (another Cy Young for Yelle).  They would lose to Los Angeles 4-2 in the league series, and staff ace Yelle would leave in the offseason for Johnson City while Rory Smith began a steady decline after 1908 and Kevin You emerged as the best player in the league for league rival St. Cloud, and the Fayetteville Musketeers faded back to the mean, but not before securing their place as the first dynasty team – the league would not see another such team until the Fresno and Elmira powerhouses more than a decade later.  How much longer their run could have lasted had they retained Kevin You, however, will never be known – certainly an uninjured You in 1905 would have won the championship, and a Smith-You-Yelle combination would have assuredly dominated for the 1907 season.

Overall, the first few years in the league were a tumultuous one – many of the players who had entered, especially in the inaugural season, tended to have shorter careers, and the quality of pitching was extremely erratic.  Several players settled down, however, and cemented their place as the founding fathers of the league:

Rory Smith (inducted into Hall of Fame 1914), Fayetteville Musketeers Rightfielder: Projected as the face of Monti League baseball from the start, the 24-year-old rightfielder failed to disappoint in a steady career that spanned 14 seasons.  He stayed with his original team, the Fayettevile Musketeers, for his entire career as their franchise player, and led the club to championships in 1903 and 1906, while winning the Batter of the Year award in 1905.  He retired with a .278-.417-.582 line in over 1,975 games after the 1913 season, as one of the best and most consistent players in his generation.

Shawn Whitcher (inducted into Hall of Fame 1915), Lake Charles Regals Leftfielder: The switch-hitting leftfielder had very humble beginnings.  He was the first ever non-inaugural year player, being the first pick of the 1901 rookie draft.  He broke into the big leagues that same year, playing 68 games and accumulating 222 at bats to a .266-.337-.387 line.  From there, Whitcher would begin a steady pace of development, breaking out with 28 homeruns and .344-.415-549 line in his first full season the next year, and continuing a power climb to 34, 41, 47, 52, and finally 63 homeruns in 1907.  Whitcher would top 50 homers four times, and top 60 homers twice, en route to winning the 1908 Batter of the Year award.  Despite this individual success, Whitcher was never able to lead the Regals to success – the team often dipped below .500 and never came close to making the playoffs.  Nonetheless, Whitcher remained with the team and retired with the second highest career HR total at the time with 552, along with a .297-368-.573 line.

Leonard Bowers (inducted into Hall of Fame 1916), Greenville Vikings Second Baseman: The unlikely Leonard Bowers burst onto the scene in the first 1900 season, smacking a .318-.387-.717 line with 64 homeruns en route to winning the first Batter of the Year award.  The Roger Maris of the early era, after this amazing one-year performance, Bowers quickly settled down to normal levels, perhaps accelerated by the mysterious power drought of 1901.  He came back roaring in 1902, with a .336-.417-.659 season and another Batter of the Year award (becoming the first ever two-time winner), but never reached the same level of production after that.  Unable to reach the same raw homerun levels, Bowers subsequently remade himself into one of the most consistent doubles hitters in the game – over 14 full seasons he failed to reach 40 doubles only three times, and retired as the career leader in doubles with 630 (he also had 490 homeruns), along with a nice .295-.377-.560 line.

Juan Lamere (inducted into Hall of Fame 1916), Los Angeles Jams Second Baseman: A completely different brand of hitter, Juan “Scoops” Lamere played a steady and calculated ball.  Over the course of 16 full seasons (only 13 of them full), he hit a steady stream of homeruns, although he only surpassed 40 twice, but remarkably led the league in walks six times, and never placed lower than 3rd.  He also led the league in OBP seven times, and never placed lower than 6th in his career.  He won the Batter of the Year award in 1903, and finished far and away the league leader in walks and OBP, and while playing the Los Angeles was a consistent playoff contender (making the playoffs 10 out of 16 seasons), although they never won a championship (bittersweetly, the Jams would finally go on to win the championship in 1916, the year Lamere retired.  Lamere retired with a .299-.452-.529 line, and never had an OBP under .400 until his last three (all part time) seasons.

Daniel Burpo (inducted into Hall of Fame 1917), Austin Cowboys Leftfielder: While few could have predicted it, the quiet and steady-hitting Daniel Burpo, over his long career, would become far-and-away the all-time career home run leader.  He retired after the 1916 season having accumulated 661 homeruns, more than 100 more than his closest peer.  Surprisingly, however, he led the league in homeruns only once in 1910, although he placed in the top 5 consistently (12 times in 15 full seasons).  He also placed in the top 5 of slugging 12 times, and the top 5 in OPS 9 times, won his only championship with Pittsburgh (his first team) in 1905, and was selected as Batter of the Year three times in 1907, 1910, and 1912.  He retired with a .294-.399-.587 line.

Johnny Hutchings (inducted into Hall of Fame 1918), Enid Bandits Leftfielder: One of the most prolific power hitters of the era, Hutchings had a relatively short career, spanning only 11 full seasons.  He won the rookie of the year award in 1905, with an impressive .305-.351-.541 debut.  He proved the following year that his standout rookie season wasn’t any kind of fluke – he exploded with a .317-.373-.633 season, just reaching the 50 homerun plateau, and winning the Batter of the Year award.  From then on, Huchings went on a rampage, hitting 50 homeruns for SIX consecutive seasons, and once more in 1913, a feat that didn’t come close to being equaled until the power era decades later.  He was named Batter of the Year a then-record five times from 1906 to 1913, and placed either first or second in homeruns eight times over his 11-season career.  Despite such a stellar career, Hutchings retired having never won a championship, losing in consecutive years in 1913 and 1914.   His career effectively finished after 1916, and he retired at 34 with 514 homeruns and a .298-.373-.577 line.

Kevin You (inducted into Hall of Fame 1919), St. Cloud Angels Shortstop: Baseball’s second golden child, Kevin You rose to prominence as Rory Smith’s side-kick in the Fayetteville organization.  You started out slowly, hitting a quiet .236-.304-.334 as Fayetteville’s shortstop in 1900.  From there, he began to rise steadily, and by 1903 the team knew it had another potential superstar on its hands.  That season You hit .368-.470-.602, mostly on the strength of singles (only 35 doubles and 29 homeruns) Combined with Rory Smith, Fayetteville proceeded to dominate the next season, winning its second consecutive championship, while You emerged as the postseason hero (Smith was injured late in the season) and Batter of the Year, and arguably an even bigger star than franchise player Smith.  With momentum going into the 1905 season, and a healthy Smith, big things were predicted.  You was proceeding onto another career season when he was sidelined with a shoulder injury in early May, and Fayetteville failed to repeat its championship streak.  In perhaps the most shocking move in the history of the league, Fayetteville allowed You to enter the free agency market, where he signed a $25.7 million per year deal with St. Cloud.  The move proved fatal for both Fayettevile and You – after a surprise resurgence, Fayetteville would plunge in the standings with more free agent departures and the steady decline of Rory Smith.  You, meanwhile, finally had his definitive season in 1906, when he hit .360-.468-.719 and 56 homeruns and 162 RBIs to win his second Batter of the Year award.  His St. Cloud teams, however, partially burdened by the enormity of the $25.7 million contract, could never muster the ability to compete – he would go to the playoffs only twice with them in 1906 and 1912.  After 1911, as new talent washed in, You began to struggle, and he faded into the obscurities of washed-up veterans for his final six seasons.  Over his career, You won two championships with Fayetteville, won three Batter of the Year awards, and led the league in AVG four times.  Discounting his final few years, You also carried one of the highest career batting averages ever, topping .360 four times.  He finished with a .306-.408-.528 line, with 530 homeruns, 3078 hits, and 2049 runs (career leader at the time).

Clayton Sing (inducted into Hall of Fame 1919), Enid Bandits Starting Pitcher: A rarity in the early era, Clayton Sing began in the 1905 season and emerged as perhaps the only consistently dominant pitcher in the era (he’s the only one in the Hall of Fame).  From 1906-1912, Sing absolutely dominated the league, leading the league in ERA four times and leading the league in WHIP six times, while never placing worse than 2nd.  Like Hutchings, however, Sing was stuck on mediocore Enid teams throughout his career, and as a result led the league in wins only once, and won only two Pitcher of the Year awards in this span.  He retired after 1918, after a short 13 full seasons, with a 230 wins, 3.30 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 3000 K’s in 3408 innings.

Warren Brown (inducted into Hall of Fame 1920), San Antonio Hombres Leftfielder: Playing for three teams (San Antonio, Los Angeles, and Boston) over his career, Brown never brought particular dominance in any aspect of his game.  What he brought instead, however, was a five-tool act that could both hit for power and speed along the basepaths.  Brown’s .278-.371-.527 was good, but not great, but along with his 515 homeruns Brown also successfully stole 442 bases.  He never won the Batter of the Year, nor any championships, and retired in 1920.

Timothy Gagnier (inducted into Hall of Fame 1921), Fayetteville Musketeers Centerfielder: Over a fairly long 15 year career, the multi-talented Timothy Gagnier put together an impressive collection of stats.  Most notably, he would break Leonard Bowers doubles records, and grab the steals title by a very large margin.  He entered the league in 1904, and after several years in Austin, settled with Fayetteville in 1911 as the team’s new franchise player, just around the time of Rory Smith’s decline. Over his career, he won Batter of the Year twice in 1909 and 1914, and hit 3079 doubles, 754 doubles, 220 triples (to this day the career leader), 444 homeruns, and collected 684 steals while putting up a .299-.349-.544 line.

1917-1933: The Pitchers’ Golden Era
Beginning in 1916, and coming full force in 1917, a dramatic shift in the game occurred.  For most of baseball’s early era, the balance had been evenly matched between batters and pitchers.  In 1916, however, Barry Staub of the Los Angeles Jams  posted the first-ever sub-2.00 ERA season, with a 1.93 ERA.  The following year, Anthony Rakestraw led the league at 2.16 ERA, while Staub and two other players all rounded out the top four with ERA’s in the 2.30s.  What followed was an unprecedented 11 seasons with at least one leading pitcher’s ERA under 2.00, and was highlighted in 1922 when four pitchers posted sup-2.00 ERAs, including Bradley Hawkin’s record 1.08 ERA for Honolulu.  The era would also see several dynasty teams founded on the dominant pitching of the era.  In particular, both Elmira and Albuquerque had strong three-peat teams (Elmira from 1919-1921, Albuquerque from 1926-1928), while Fresno was one of the best teams throughout the whole era, winning 5 world series and losing another 2 from 1915-1929.

A record 6 starting pitchers were admitted into the Hall of Fame during this era, compared to only one (Clayton Sing) before and two (Gilbert Doney, Robert Carmichael) in the years after.

Booker Bateman (inducted into Hall of Fame 1925), Alaska Oilers Shortstop: One of the most prolific power hitters of his era, the longtime Alaska shortstop hit 564 homeruns in a career that overlapped much of the pitcher-dominant era.  He began his career in 1905, but it wasn’t until 1915, coincidentally the start of the pitcher’s era, that Bateman really emerged.  He would lead the league in slugging and OPS for the next four consecutive years, and over his career he would lead the league in homeruns five times, with such low totals as 44 in 1918, 36 in 1919, and 42 in 1920.  Disappointingly, the low budget Oilers were never competitive – Bateman played in the playoffs only twice in 1909 and 1912, before he really emerged as a difference maker. Nonetheless, he won four Batter of the Year awards in 1915, 1916, 1918, and 1920, and retired with 564 homeruns and 2847 hits in a late-blooming career, while putting up a .284-.394-.525 career line.

Scottie Smith (inducted into Hall of Fame 1925), Nashville Guitars Leftfielder: Often paralleled with Timothy Gagnier, the multi-talented Scottie Smith was a talented leftfielder who could both hit and steal.  He also ultimately endured far longer than Gagnier, something which enabled him to become the league’s all-time hits leader with 3756 hits and the league’s all-time steals leader (by a large margin) with 917 steals.  He finished with a .291-.364-.430 line.

Daniel Briner (inducted into Hall of Fame 1926), Raleigh Colonists Leftfielder: A consistent power hitter his whole career, the hard-hitting Briner never flashed huge homerun numbers (he only led the league twice), but by the time he retired was #2 all-time on the HR list, despite playing a significant portion of his career in the post-1916 pitching climate.  Briner dominated as the best hitter for much of the 1910’s – from 1911-1920 he led the league in slugging eight times, and was never out of the top 10 (a streak he actually maintained from 1910-1921).  He also led the league in OPS 7 times in that same span.  Briner finished with a .297-.370-.534 record, and won four Batter of the Year awards and the 1909 championship with Raleigh.

Barry Staub (inducted into Hall of Fame 1926), Los Angeles Jams Starting Pitcher: One of the pioneers at the start of the Golden Era, Staub posted the first ever sub-2.00 ERA season in 1916, and for that fact alone he might be enshrined into the Hall of Fame.  Staub broke into the league in 1908, was sent back down to the minors for 1909, and finally made his way back up in 1910.  In his first four seasons, he posted ERAs of 6.00, 5.89, 4.18, and 4.04.  He finally broke out in 1913, however, with a 2.65 ERA, 1.22 WHIP season.  From 1913-1922, Staub would lead the league in ERA 7 times, and also led the league in WHIP five times from 1916-1922.  He left his original team Defiance in 1915, and started with the Los Angeles Jams in 1916, the same season where he broke out with a 1.93 ERA and led the Jams to their first championship (the year after Juan Lamere’s retirement).  Staub ended his career with 242 wins and a 2.86 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, along with 3275 K’s in 3525 innings, while winning the Pitcher of the Year award four times.

Bradley Hawkins (inducted into Hall of Fame 1929), Honolulu Surfers Starting Pitcher: One of the better pitchers of his era, Hawkins was a workhorse pitcher (leading the league 7 times in inning pitched, and finishing with 4529 innings) who had sporadic eras of dominance.  In 1919 he broke out with a 1.43 ERA while winning 30 games, and in 1922 he posted the league record 1.08 ERA.  He won the Pitcher of the Year award four times (1915, 1919, 1920, 1922) and led the 1924 Honolulu Surfers to the championship.  He retired with 335 wins and a 2.67 ERA, 1.16 WHIP in 4529 innings.

David Roles (inducted into Hall of Fame 1930), Honolulu Surfers Third Baseman: The latter era’s Juan Lamere with power, David Roles put together a long 20 year career.  While winning batter of the year only once and winning the 1924 championship with Honolulu, Roles put together a combination of power (three slugging crowns, four homerun crowns, and 588 career homeruns (#3 at the time)) and patience (consistently top 5 OBP, walks leader five times) to become one of the most well-rounded batters of the era (six OBP leads from 1915-1925).  He retired with a .257-.398-.511 line and broke Lamere’s walk record with 2350 of his own.

Gary Trudell (inducted into Hall of Fame 1931), Merced Swordfish Starting Pitcher: While never a WHIP or ERA pitcher (he led the league twice in 1915 and 1924 in both categories), Trudell was the most prolific strikeout pitcher of all-time, amassing 5008 K’s over 4904 innings, although he only led the league three times.  He won the Pitcher of the Year award in 1924, and won a championship in 1922 with Merced.  He retied with 317 wins, a 3.24 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 5008 K’s in 4904 innings.

Anthony Rakestraw (inducted into Hall of Fame 1932), Fresno Cornhuskers Starting Pitcher: Hands-down the most dominant pitcher ever, Rakestraw starred throughout his career, winning the Pitcher of the Year award 6 times.  He led the league in ERA seven times, WHIP ten times, and K’s eight times.   From 1922-1927, Rakestraw posted not only six consecutive seasons  with a sub-2.00 ERA, but also six consecutive seasons with a sub-0.90 WHIP.  Rakestraw cornerstoned the Fresno dynasty that dominated throughout the era, winning 6 championships (including the 1913 championship that isn’t even a part of this era).  He retired with 345 wins, a 2.41 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and 4801 K’s in 4687 innings.

Clifford Hare (inducted into Hall of Fame 1935), Fresno Cornhuskers Second Baseman: Perhaps the biggest victim of the pitcher’s era, Clifford Hare emerged in 1918 as the second baseman for the Fresno Dynasty.  He played only 15 full seasons, but in that span absolutely dominated the league by wide margins.  He led the league in slugging five times, topped the league in RBI’s five times, and led the league in homeruns eight times.  What is shocking is the sheer power Clifford Hare demonstrated during this era – he topped 50 homeruns three times in an era where the league leader often struggled to hit 40.  In 1924, for example, Hare led the league with 54 homeruns, while runner-up Darin Cooper hit only 38 (and the next-best AL hitter hit 33).  In 1930, Hare hit 53 homeruns while 2nd place William Evans hit only 37.  Nonetheless, his dominance during this era won him a gaudy seven Batter of the Year titles, including four consecutive from 1922-1925, and he joined Rakestraw to lead the Fresno dynasty to three championships.  Despite his dominance, Hare ended his career with only 548 homeruns and a .280-.334-.518 line.

Matthew “Gasoline” Sheffer (inducted into Hall of Fame 1938), Seattle Waves Starting Pitcher: One of the most lights-out pitchers of the era, Sheffer not only challenged the all-time K record at 4902, but is undoubtedly had the best K rate – he pitched nearly 5000 K’s in only 4423 innings, making for a 9.97 K/9 innings career rate.  He also led the league five times, won the Pitcher of the Year award in 1926 (a hard feat among Rakestraw and Staub and Hawkins).

1933-1951: The Re-emergence of the Hitter
Radical changes began in 1933, as the league intervened to bring the hitting side of baseball back into balance.  Within the span of a few years, the balance shifted radically back to the side of the hitters – players such as Kenton McClinton and Thomas Harvey entered the league and began to pound away at pitching, resulting in a shattering of many of baseball’s hallowed hitting records and a complete havoc on many pitching staffs.  No team emerged to really dominate the era, and at the end of the 1940s, the rampant hitting and other-worldly statistics made obvious the pervasion of steroid use in the league.  With fans disgusted and the statistical conventions threatening to go haywire, the league folded after the 1951 season.

Gilbert Doney (inducted into Hall of Fame 1942), Lake Charles Regals Starting Pitcher: While he started his career in the Golden 20’s and was already very well-accomplished by the time that era ended around 1932, what separates Doney from the rest of the pack is his continued success after the Pitcher’s era and into the Hitter Re-emergence.  Doney led the league in wins four times between 1935-1939, and dominated the complete games category sporadically throughout his career.  He won a single Pitcher of the Year award during the Pitcher’s era (in 1927), but subsequently dominated with three Pitcher of the Year awards later in 1932, 1935, and 1937, all while well into his 30’s.  He also won championships with St. Cloud in 1925 and Lake Charles in 1938, and finished with 333 wins, a 3.38 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 3985 K’s in 4786 innings.

Kenton McClinton (inducted into Hall of Fame 1951), Lake Charles Regals Catcher: The hitter who came to epitomize the 1933-1951 Hitter’s era, McClinton broke onto the scene in 1935, right around the start of the period, and ignited the baseball world with an other-worldly .352-.443-.806 line, with 71 homeruns.  From then on McClinton proceeded to absolutely dominate the league – he won the Batter of the Year award 8 times, including a five-time span between 1935-1939.  He won the Triple Crown twice, and perhaps put up the most impressive season in history with his 1942 season: 203 RBI’s, 166 Runs, 88 Homeruns, 56 doubles, and a .396-.495-.993 line for an unheard-of 1.488 OPS.  Over his career, he led the league in AVG three times, OBP three times, SLG eight times, OPS seven times, homeruns seven times, and RBI six times.  He won three championships with Lake Charles, and retired with a .323-.419-.700 line and an astounding 944 homeruns.

League Records

Most World Series Apperances

Team WS Appearances WS Wins
Fresno Cornhuskers 8 6
Los Angeles Jams 8 3
Indianapolis Racers 7 2
Fayetteville Musketeers 6 4
Flagstaff 6 3
St. Cloud Angels 6 3
Albuquerque Prarie Dogs 5 4
Lake Charles Regals 5 3

* Denotes active player at the end of 1951

Most Batter of the Year Awards

Player Pos Team Batter of the Year
Kenton McClinton C Lake Charles Regals 8
Clifford Hare 2B Fresno Cornhuskers 7
Johnny Hutchings LF Enid Bandits 5
Daniel Briner LF Raleigh Colonists 5
Booker Bateman SS Alaska Oilers 4
Edward Quimby* SS Enid Bandits 4
Gus Paine* LF Albuquerque Prarie Dogs 4

Most Pitcher of the Year Awards

Player Team Pitcher of the Year
Anthony Rakestraw Fresno Cornhuskers 6
Maurice Fowles* Minneapolis Colts 6
Barry Staub Los Angeles Jams 4
Bradley Hawkins Honolulu Surfers 4
Gilbert Doney Lake Charles Regals 4

Career Hits

Player Pos Team Hits
Scottie Smith LF Nashville Guitars 3756
David Mayer 1B Elmira Desperadoes 3742
Stan Wall 2B Pittsburgh Raiders 3509
Daniel Briner LF Raleigh Colonists 3456
Gregory Jenkins CF Fayetteville Musketeers 3431
Mohammed Loggins* 2B Fayetteville Musketeers 3375
Kevin Daub SS St. Cloud Angels 3281

Career Homeruns

Player Pos Team Homeruns
Kenton McClinton C Lake Charles Regals 944
Wayne Rommel* CF Raleigh Colonists 674
Daniel Burpo LF Austin Cowboys 661
Daniel Briner LF Raleigh Colonists 610
Thomas Harvey CF Alaska Oilers 589
David Roles 3B Honolulu Surfers 588
Edward Quimby* SS Enid Bandits 573

Career Doubles

Player Pos Team Doubles
Daniel Briner LF Raleigh Colonists 848
Lemuel Rhoton* LF Kansas City Kings 791
Donald Jerome 3B Defiance Pinstripes 785
David Roles 3B Honolulu Surfers 784
Raymond Wideman 1B Pittsburgh Raiders 773
Timothy Gagnier CF Fayetteville Musketeers 754
Kenton McClinton C Lake Charles Regals 709

Career Triples

Player Pos Team Triples
Timothy Gagnier CF Fayetteville Musketeers 220
Lemuel Rhoton* LF Kansas City Kings 163
David Kelly CF Lincoln Presidents 158
Marvin Florio CF Kansas City Kings 147
Milo Paiva* 2B Seattle Waves 138
James Hodges RF Kansas City Kings 133
Robert Hollingshead LF Pittsburgh Raiders 130

Career Walks

Player Pos Team Walks
Kevin Daub SS St. Cloud Angels 2749
David Roles 3B Honolulu Surfers 2350
Roy Bonner SS Fresno Cornhuskers 2180
Jeromy Brown LF Johnson City 2176
Juan Lamere 2B Los Angeles Jams 2005
Donald Miles CF Pittsburgh Raiders 1970
Joseph Slape RF Raleigh Colonists 1905

Career Steals

Player Pos Team Steals
Scottie Smith LF Nashville Guitars 917
Milo Paiva* 2B Seattle Waves 762
Timothy Gagnier CF Fayetteville Musketeers 684
Jerry Yung SS Minneapolis Colts 669
Thomas Rosinski RF Indianapolis Racers 640
Jamie Charette SS Indianapolis Racers 583
Joseph Wilis SS Minneapolis Colts 574

Career Wins

Player Team Wins-Loss/Starts
Maurice Fowles* Minneapolis Colts 387-178/682
Antony Veale Elmira Desperadoes 350-173/651
Anthony Rakestraw Fresno Cornuskers 345-130/575
Bradley Hawkins Honolulu Surfers 335-135/560
Gilbert Doney Lake Charles Regals 333-179/610
Gary Trudell Merced Swordfish 317-202/664
Ali Barrett Green Bay Vikings 298-156/569


Career Strikeouts

Player Team K (K’s per 9IP)
Gary Trudell Merced Swordfish 5008 (9.2 K/9)
Jeffery Dufrene Flagstaff 4951 (9.4 K/9)
Matthew Sheffer Seattle Waves 4902 (10.0 K/9)
Anthony Rakestraw Fresno Cornhuskers 4801 (9.2 K/9)
Ali Barrett Green Bay Vikings 4200 (9.0 K/9)
Matthew Kroger Nashville Guitars 4097 (9.4 K/9)
Joseph Parente Elmira Desperadoes 4034 (8.1 K/9)
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