<%@ Language=JavaScript %> The Jiggernaut






2016 Season


   Edition No. 15     

June 16, 2016




Happy Summer to all! It’s great to once again be in the throes of another baseball season, another golf season, another drinking season, and it’s high time we have some fun, for just once in our life.

It’s time for each and every one of us to take a step back and realize just how much joy we derive from competing with this band of brothers in the elusive chase for the annual HSL crown. Why is it that time? Because this league sustains us, defines us, motivates us, excites us, binds us, occupies an inordinate amount of our time, creates our identity, measures our self-worth, gives us hope, lets us escape, determines our mood, creates interesting dialog (or in some cases diatribe) and is flat out fun.

But its also time because we’re getting a bit long in the tooth, fellas. The statisticians and actuaries have crunched the numbers, like the Possum with a newly released batch of BABIP or FIP data, and they have come to an undeniable conclusion: nobody’s getting out of here alive. And that made me think…. since we’re all going to die, and I like to gamble a bit, why not combine these two truths and create the first ever HSL Dead Pool? That’s right, you may think I am a bit morbid, but as the Skipper and I were recently discussing the myriad of health maladies now befalling the lion’s share of the league members, we were speculating as to the most likely candidate to move on to that HSL in the sky. It was only natural that I should place some odds on the likely order of departure from this planet of this diverse group of baseball aficionados.

So without further ado or fanfare, in a format that can only be appreciated by those that have bought the Blue Sheet or the Gold Card at Fonner Park or Aksarben, here are today’s picks for order of exit:



2016 HSL Dead Pool




Order of "Finish"


Inside Info


4 to 5

The early favorite. Corporate stress and requirement to constantly kiss Walter Scott's ring have taken a toll on his Blood Pressure, and banging wives at the Country Club has created a posse of scorned husbands seeking his hide…plus his insides haven't been the same since that breakfast in Cleveland.  As Hawk Harrelson would say......he gone.



2 to 1

Physicians haven't seen this much salt in a body since Lot's wife; refusal to leave the safety of his house and ability to bench 440 are mitigating factors in his favor, but not a good sign when Morton Salt keeps calling about endorsements.  Window for the HSL crown could be shrinking fast...suggest you use those innings up.



3 to 1

The years have not been good to him; gambling, drinking, smoking cigars, poor diet.…what could go wrong here?  Swelling extremities, rotting teeth, and jaundiced eyes are early indicators he may not last…as someone once crowed in Cleveland....You can have him!  But I must say, he has had some fun along the way.



10 to 1

An ice cream and Valentino's mashup form an excellent Plaster of Paris for clogging the veins. The Vegas "Sharps" are coming in heavy on these odds. It's also a proven fact that lack of sleep is unhealthy, so transactions at 3:45 am (along with maybe a couple excess pounds) do not bode well for this Ginger.



15 to 1

Odds would be significantly lower if not for his ability to hire five personal physicians for 24x7 care. Recent pledge of $2 million to the Archdiocese also has culled favor with the man upstairs and likely has bought him some extra time.



20 to 1

After recent surgeries, now has more plastic parts than Meg Ryan.  Thinks he's in "great shape", (well, round is a shape) but a recently surfaced video of him racing his wife in a Scottsdale parking lot clearly indicate any vestige of athletic ability or rudimentary fitness has completely and utterly vanished. You gotta see the video.



25 to 1

Trump election victory could change everything and raise him up the chart…has publicly stated "over my dead body" will the Donald get in…. this is gonna be huuuge for him.  Also has special relationship with the convent working in his favor.



30 to 1

Chance meeting with Skeezix turned the tables on his fate; has not quit smoking Camels since the St Louis train ride and has never been known to turn away a whiskey. That said, has held up fairly well in spite of these truths and numerous other vices and risk factors which shall go unnamed. Medicinal Marijuana seems to be helping.



40 to 1

Should be at least ten years before investors realize he Madoff'ed them and come calling with hatchets…. luck has always been on his side.... can you say "made a deal with the devil" and think it is anyone other than Possum? Plans on using this table for investment in viaticals.



40 to 1

"Dead Man Walking" only applies to the draft. McBlunder’s penchant for nipping at the bottle and snoring at 80 decibels would seem to rate him higher, but mountain climbing and league trip planning have kept him active and youthful.  Likely cause of death: jousting accident.



60 to 1

In spite of the gray mane and skin pallor, and all those bodily fluids expelled in college, Mouse remains in relatively good shape and is a longshot for an early exit. Risk factors that could expedite include disgruntled, underpaid Thermo King truck driver "forgetting" Mouse was locked in cold storage unit


Big Guy

75 to 1

The one-time favorite has slid rapidly down the list based on decision to eschew French beers. Sharp memory and virtual recall of all HSL events over the last 30 years indicate brain is functioning properly…. some of his draft picks indicate the contrary. Good genes indicate he's not going anywhere.



99 to 1

Youth and clean living on his side…there wasn't that much trouble to be had in Iowa, which likely bought him 20 years on the rest of this field…has pledged not to keel over until Kirk Ferentz and he win a championship in the same year, meaning Methuselah's record could be in jeopardy. May actually win first HSL title by being the last man standing in a one-person league.




Now you may agree or disagree with that order, and I want to make it abundantly clear that:

1.) This is not my “preferred order”
2.) I do not wish death upon any of you
3.) There could be reversion to the mean and we could all die at the same time


There is just a stark realization that with my life at least 2/3 over, (some may speculate a number closer to 90%) this league and these relationships are special, and we should all savor the experience to the fullest until our number gets called. As the Mick once said,” if I’d known I was gonna live this long, I would have taken better care of myself”. Your comments and your very own prognostications are most welcome. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.


On to some baseball matters…


I am flabbergasted by the personnel decisions, negotiation skills, and financial recklessness of some MLB GM’s, as evidenced by these candidates for “worst contract of all time”. To wit, this year:


2016 Salary

2016 Results

Jose Reyes

$22 million

Highly unlikely to play

Troy Tulowitzki

$21 million

Hitting .204 and wouldn’t bet it goes much higher

Matt Cain

$21 million

57 innings, 1-5 record 5.34 ERA

Melvin Upton

$16 million

.246 average

Carl Crawford

$35 million

0 homers, 6 RBI, released

Ryan Howard

$25 million

.148 average

James Shields

$21 million

16.71 ERA

Bobby Bonilla

$1.2 million

Yes, that Bobby Bonilla, still getting paid



Speaking of James Shields, in his last three starts, he has given up 23 Earned Runs. In Jake Arrieta’s last 25 starts, he has given up 22 Earned Runs…. Big Game James has had some really BIG games, if you are looking at ERA, that is.


After Bobby Bonilla retired, he signed a deal that would defer what he was owed and pay him $1.19 million annually until 2035. For a while in 2013, he earned more than any of the Mets outfielders on their active roster….and he was 50 years old


I want to know where a guy can go to get paid an outrageous sum of money like this and not contribute anything to the organization……. other than First Data or West Corporation.


Congrats to Ichiro for collecting hit number 4257 and becoming the all-time hit king…. sorry Pete, had to do it. By the way, who cuts your hair?


Kudos to Millard West’s Cole Stobbe for recently being drafted with the first pick of the 3rd round. Savannah and Madi’s good friend and classmate has spurned Dave Van Horn and the Hogs to sign with the Phillies, reportedly for around $1.1 million. I have informed my daughter that she has done an extremely poor job of selecting boyfriends. Expected entry into HSL: 2019


Speaking of draft picks, does anyone remember this guy getting drafted by the Expos as a catcher in the 18th round back in 1995, the same year Darin Erstad went #1



One look at the Skipper’s team and the HSL mantra of “hitting is everything” gets validation. How else to explain the likely unprecedented situation of an individual, as recently as last week, having 3 out of the top 4 pitchers in league scoring (Arrieta, Strasburg, and Cueto) sitting in 8th place in the standings?


Clayton Kershaw is certainly the best pitcher of our generation, and arguably the best of all time……. total dominance almost every time out.


Who the hell is Adam Duvall? An extremely savvy pickup (or nice surprise) for the Bears. Hopefully he is not asked for a urine sample any time soon. 18 homers in a scorching first 1/3 of the year.


y love for Shelby Miller has cost me dearly. I just can’t part ways with him and his 7.09 ERA


I have much more to say but am up against a deadline, so that will do it for the Jiggernaut this year.


Enjoy the game, enjoy the competition, enjoy the rush of that 150-point night (so I hear), and enjoy your HSL brethren. This ain’t gonna go on forever!