Diamond Notes- July 1, 2029- Johnson League Atlantic Division


July 1, 2029

Atlantic City Gamblers

♦ I think it’s fair to say that the Gamblers are one of the bigger surprise teams in the Brewster this year. They’ve lost Mingo Boone and Hiroyuki Rin to season ending, major injuries and they’re still in first place. How? A really balanced offense, and one of the top bullpens in the league. Still, it’s been a bit confusing that with two big time starters going down they haven’t sniffed the Trade Block for almost a month.
♦ Jesus Feliciano is proof positive that sometimes a pitcher just isn’t cut out to be a starter. Unfortunately for him, between Huntsville and Atlantic City, he’s spent the better part of his career proving just that. In his first year as a closer, he’s been absolutely filthy. Kudos to Ryan Scott for avoiding the temptation to return him to the rotation to mask the injuries there.
♦ Observers around the league chuckled at the Gamblers’ plan to start Rule 5 Draftee Sosho Konu at shortstop, but the plan has worked out as expected. Despite his horrific offense (55 OPS+, wowza), he’s actually producing a +0.2 WAR based on his outstanding defense at shortstop. Of course, this impacts the pitching staff positively as well.

Montreal Blazers

♦ If the Gamblers are overachieving, it’s fair to say the Blazers are underachieving. Weird to say, given their offensive production (2nd in runs), and pitching production (2nd in runs allowed). It just seems that a team that talented should be winning more. Point to their two major warts offensively- they aren’t hitting homers, and they aren’t drawing walks.
♦ John Callahan has been active on the trade market, dealing Craig Browning today and looking for a new home for Dani Lopez . Seems like deja vu for Lopez, as he keeps getting squeezed out by a teams top prospect (first William Moreland in Des Moines, now Ettienne R. LaFitte with the Blazers).
♦ Don’t look now, but Montreal looks to have found another young starting pitcher. Lefty Cam Palacios is leading the Blazers in wins (11) at the mid-point, and posting a wonderful WHIP (1.19).
♦ Since the Blazers moved Anastasio Santana to second base four years ago, he’s posted double digit +ZR’s in every season, and he’s well on pace to do it again this year.

Jacksonville Hurricanes

♦ One thing I’ve liked about Tyler Simmons’ approach to his surprising W-L record this year is that he’s taking it with a grain of salt. The ‘Canes are out-winning their pyth, and everything points to a second half slump. While some might be tempted to go all in on 2029, Simmons is taking the long view approach.
♦ Remember all that talk that Bertram Hahn would never develop enough to be worthwhile?
♦ This isn’t looking great for 35 year old Benjamin Franklin Pierce, even though all scouts insist the tools are still there.
♦ Hasn’t Jefferson Darcy proven all he needs to prove at the AAA level?

Brooklyn Robins

♦ Brooklyn is exactly what you’d expect from a .500 ballclub. They need multiple upgrades in order to make a real run. In the Robins’ case, they need a power hitter, and they need some relief help (ideally a proven closer). They’re trying to deal from among their many pending free agents, which doesn’t give them a lot of negotiating power in acquiring true impact players.
♦ Nathan Forrest is like a cockroach. He just won’t die.
♦ Why did the Robins’ trade for Edgardo Jaso if they weren’t going to use him? This team needs power, and there sits Jaso on the bench.
♦ Is reality finally setting in for catcher Sam Adams? Always appeared he was outplaying his talent, but season after season the results were there. Now…not as much.

Charm City Jimmies

♦ That the Jimmies are 39-43 at the midpoint as an expansion team is impressive. That they are doing it with the league’s worst pitching staff is amazing. The struggles of Jose De La Cruz are mind-boggling. It seemed he would be a really nice building block for their staff, instead he’s closer to a demotion or change of scenery deal.
♦ On the flip side, it’s been exciting to see Hyun-hi Son pitch admirably as a starting pitcher in his rookie year after being mostly a reliever in the EBA.
♦ The Jimmies have a stud closer in Felipe Soto, the Robins need a stud closer. Just saying.
♦ Holy hell, Don Logan is one hell of a player.
♦ How is Cisco Reyes doing this?

Carolina Kraken

♦ It is odd to say the least to see the Kraken struggling like this. Below an expansion team? How has this happened?
♦ For one thing, Frank Thomas III batting .247? Is this bizarro world Brewster?
♦ Catcher Juan Castillo, a five time all-star, is also having the worst season of his Kraken career.
♦ Some good news? Billy Chapel, Jr. is himself again after a tough 2028 season.
♦ Steve Metcalf is the Kraken’s fifth starter. He’s started 13 games, and sucks big time. He has an endurance of “1”. Something smell fishy here?

Halifax Hawks

♦ So, there are certain situations that I know will never get better without some bold moves. I kind of want to give up my team, take over the Hawks, move them back to Washington (as the Bobwhites), and make them great again. Who here even remembers the sheer dominance of the Bobwhites way back in the day? The current Hawks are pathetic. C’mon, Tim- make something happen!!! Wakey wakey, hand off snakey!
♦ Sancho Delgado is never going to be a top-line starting pitcher, and I’m still not quite sure why.
♦ Rafael Cruz is your #3 starter? Can you show me where your bathroom is, I don’t feel so good.
♦ Well, at least you can say that Jacky Voorneveld is doing pretty well. I mean, not Elroy Hinson good, but pretty good.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas- MBWBA Style

by Mike Calvaruso, GM, Birmingham Bandits

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the league,
Not a GM was stirring, not even Ben Teague

The owners were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of the playoffs danced in their heads

When out from the standings there arose such a clatter,
big trades and maneuvers that all seemed to matter

Away to my computer, I flew like a flash
Just hoping and praying my export didn’t crash

As I watched the screen brighten and come into focus
I glared at the standings that wanted to choke us

A small group of the teams, all lively and quick
Were vying for a title, from both the Johnson and Frick

Stronger than Lions and as mean as the same,
I yelled and I cursed and called them by name

On Halifax, On Brooklyn
Now Omaha and Cali,

On Carolina, On Vegas,
On Seattle and Indy

To the top of the standings these teams they had risen
including the wildcard that had been some other teams vision

making the rest of wonder “why is it so damn tough”
to get out of the cellar and stop chipping from the rough

The Phantoms , Gamblers, Crawdads and Sluggers are all teams with a chance
Could maybe get into the playoffs with just one break at first glance

But it quite obvious to everyone that it’s more than just luck
Which means the rest of us have no chance, we are all just fucked.

Because every year is the same, the games just get tougher
This league has no pushovers and winning gets rougher

But we all begin each season with excitement and hope
Cause a Landis on your team banner sure would be dope

But alas not all can be winners or even second place
That’s why we play games and act like it’s a race

So keep prancing a pawing, and clawing to the top
Because fame can be fleeting, but a Landis title is not!

European Baseball Alliance Teams Available

European Baseball Alliance

We’re now staffing the European Baseball Alliance with Human GMs. This will serve as a place for folks waiting for a team to stick around, or for folks who don’t want to have to meet minimum 15 PP per season but still want to be part of the community.

If you’re interested, the following teams are open and I’ll assign them randomly. Just tell me you’re in.

Brussels Eagles Rome Raiders

Defeating the Baseball System since 1973!

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