Sticking Points 2039.1: Rockville Falls Short In Quest For Three-Peat

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Sticking Points 2039.1: Rockville Falls Short In Quest For Three-Peat

Post by aaronweiner » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:19 am

In the history of the BBA, nobody has ever won three straight BBA titles. After 2038, that is still true for at least two more seasons. The Rockville Pikemen were bounced from the playoffs in six games by the Las Vegas Hustlers in the JL Cartwright Cup in six games, ending a stellar season from the team and their chance to be the first team ever to three-peat.

"It's been an amazing year in Rockville," said starting pitcher Arthur Dempster, who lost the deciding Game 6 by a score of 3-2 to the Hustlers at Owen's Ordinary. "We wish we could have had another shot at a title, but making it this far is always a great season and we're looking forward to what we can do next year."

The loss also came with the shocking revelation that manager Chet Rouse, who has guided the team to a near-record five straight Cartwright Cups, was retiring after the game. Rouse had kept this information quiet among his family, but announced the retirement after the game.

"I feel that this loss is somewhat my fault, but I also thought it was time to hang up the cleats," said Rouse, 61 years old. "I feel that I've guided this team well for five seasons and that it's time for someone new to step up and manage the team."

It is unknown whether team infighting led to Rouse's decision, as the clubhouse was often tense at times. New hire and Hall of Famer Duane Whitley will be brought in to try to ease the tension in the clubhouse.

"Well, sure, it's tense a little bit, we a lot of superstars on this team," said shortstop Chip Puckett. "That's a lot of strong personalities and we clashed in the clubhouse at times, so yeah, it's not perfect."

The Pikemen were one of the league's most feared juggernauts, finishing first in offense and first in pitching, but were unable to win all of the close ones in the Cartwright. More shockingly, Rockville, who went 60-21 at home, lost two out of the three games played in Owen's Ordinary.

"We're still in shock that we lost two out of three at home. We're pretty sure that didn't happen all year," said Dempster. "It's been a long time since I can remember that happening."

The Pikemen are also facing the facts that it will be hard to keep the team together. Based on their arbitration projections, they may be able to keep one or both of Yi-ke Zang and Jin-song Xuan, their starting right fielder and center fielder, but it is highly uncertain that they will definitely be able to do this. Certainly, team anchor Mario Guerrer will be gone, as he may find a nine-figure contract in free agency.

"It's been an amazing run for all of us, and I stuck around mostly to see if we could get into the record books, but all good things must come to an end," said Rouse. "Having the opportunity to manage this team was the greatest thrill of my life, and so many great memories, but it's time to give someone else a chance."

The Pikemen unfortunately came to the same conclusion. They are still the first team ever to win three straight pennants in either league, and they're just the second to make five straight Cartwright Cups (ye olde Vegas made six straight from 2001-2006). But 2038 was the Edmonton Jackrabbit's year, not Rockville's.

"It just proves that you can't assume anything in the BBA," said Puckett. "We were heavily favored, but we knew we'd still have to do it when it counted, and this time we just couldn't get it done. It's a great league and we're proud to be a part of it."

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Re: Sticking Points 2039.1: Rockville Falls Short In Quest For Three-Peat

Post by recte44 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:59 am

We caught lightning in a bottle. Congratulations on a truly elite three year run.
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Re: Sticking Points 2039.1: Rockville Falls Short In Quest For Three-Peat

Post by aaronweiner » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:58 am

It's so hard to win them all. Worst part is that I thought this year was my best team.

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