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              2014 Season                    Edition No. 1           April 17, 2014

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Brethren:

 

As we wait for this False Spring to bloom into the real thing, I offer a short From the Bullpen for your reading pleasure. 

 

STANDINGS THROUGH 2-3/7 WEEKS

 

Through games of Wednesday, April 16, the standings in the Hot Stove League look like this: 

 

1.

Wahoos

1292.00

2.

Monarchs    

1223.40

3.

Skipjacks

1170.90

4.

Chiefs

1138.90

5.

Tribe

1090.30

6.

Cubs

1086.10

7.

Bombers

1081.20

8.

Bums

1072.70

9.

Senators

1033.00

10.

Tigers

1008.00

11.

Blues

893.60

12.

Redbirds

860.10

13.

Bears

817.70

 

While the owner at the top of the leaderboard—whose name need not be mentioned here—has been bellyaching more than Babe Ruth after consuming a dozen hot dogs, there has been very little mention made that his Wahoos are in 1st place primarily on the backs of Charlie Blackmon and Anthony Rendón, both of whom are in the top thirteen in points scored to date, and both of whom can only be described as acorns that have been scooped up by a blind squirrel.  I didn’t realize that squirrels were a member of the possum family, but I guess you learn something new every day on this earth. 

 

And now for the Top Fifteen Hitters and Pitchers in the league through 16 days of play:

 

TOP HITTERS

 

1.

Alexei Ramirez

Cubs

89.4

2.

Giancarlo Stanton

Skipjacks

82.7

3.

Chase Utley

Bombers

81.1

4.

Freddie Freeman

Wahoos

80.4

5.

Mike Trout

Chiefs

80.1

6.

Paul Goldschmidt

Tribe

78.6

7.

José Batista

Monarchs

77.0

8.

Carlos Gómez

Bombers

74.7

9.

Joey Votto

Wahoos

74.5

10.

Adrián González

Blues

70.0

11.

Carlos González

Senators

69.5

 

Anthony Rendón

Wahoos

69.5

13.

Charlie Blackmon

Wahoos

69.0

14.

Michael Cuddyer

Tigers

66.4

15.

Justin Upton

Bums

65.7

 

TOP PITCHERS

 

1.

Félix Hernández

Tigers

136.0

2.

Johnny Cueto

Monarchs

117.0

3.

Andrew Cashner

Tribe

112.0

4.

Masahiro Tenaska

Senators

99.0

5.

Yu Darvish

Tigers

93.0

6.

José Fernández

Skipjacks

92.0

7.

Mark Buehrle

Senators

90.0

8.

Julio Teherán

Wahoos

89.0

 

Scott Kazmir

Wahoos

89.0

10.

Tim Hudson

Senators

85.0

 

Scott Feldman

Senators

85.0

12.

Chris Sale

Tribe

83.0

 

Aaron Harang

Skipjacks

83.0

14.

Michael Wacha

Redbirds

82.0

15.

Sonny Gray

Tribe

80.0

 

David Price

Bombers

80.0

 

MAN WITH HAIR ON FIRE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

     

Will Ernst has recently been called upon frequently in relief of the wafer-thin Mount Michael pitching staff, and when he takes the bump, he pitches like a man with his hair on fire.  And this season, Will actually has a head full of hair that could catch fire, different from his previous buzzed-globe looks.  Most recently, Will came in to relieve in the bottom of the 7th against Fremont Bergan on a blustery Tuesday night, with the Knights holding a 2-0 lead with 2 Bergan baserunners to contend with and one out.  Will promptly fanned the next hitter for the second out, but then gave up a single on about a 15-pitch at-bat to make the score 2-1, with runners at the corners.  He then walked the next batter on a 3-2 count, on a pitch that seemed to be perfectly placed on the outside corner at the knees.  With the bases juiced, Will ran the count to 1-2, and then threw a perfect pitch on the outside corner to end the game, to the lusty cheers of the Mount Michael throng.  Except that the umpire called it a ball. 

 

Kill the bum!  String him up!  Life in prison is too good for this scallywag! 

 

With all of the pressure of the world seemingly mounted on his not-inconsiderable shoulders, but with ice water in his veins, Will then reared back and tossed an absolutely unhittable pea right past the Bergan hitter, notching the third strike and the final out of the game to rack up the save for his brother Knights.  After the rescue squad jump-started his father’s heart, dad and son had an excellent conversation on the drive home, including a brief detour to the Valley Dairy Queen. 

 

I’m not sure what I’ll do once Will’s baseball career is over.  I guess it’s a damned good thing I’m getting married. 

 

Have a great week. 

 

 

Skipper

 

 

P.S.  I am looking forward with great anticipation to seeing what Underbelly has in store for us next week in The Bellyflop!