SIZEMORE BREAKS BANK WITH MONTREAL
One of the most sought after free agents in Shoeless Joe history finally decided on where he'll be playing in S19. However, it probably won't be where you thought it would be.
The two favorites to land Sizemore was the Salem Lights and the Cincinnati Blue Darters. Both teams are former employers of Sizemores, and both have made it quite clear that they wouldn't mind his services once again. However, when the dust finally settled, one team came out on top.
The Montreal Olympians, owned by bbwinksdaddy, won Sizemore's services with a max bid of 5 years/$110M ($20M per/$10M bonus). The max bid was expected, where he's headed wasn't.
There's still plenty of time to go in the free agency period, so that means there's still time for Montreal to add even more talent to their roster. What this could mean, is that we may have a new major player in the NL.
WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!
The Colorado Springs Grizzlies, led by jstnklly, defeated the Chicago Rooftops, led by alogman1, in the Shoeless Joe S18 World Series.
This season was a first for jstnklly and his franchise. They won 98 games this season, the most in franchise history. They also won the AL West Title, their first in franchise history. The old saying goes that everything comes in threes, so for the hardcore superstitious types, the Grizzlies' Championship was inevitable.
A lot of their success was due to the emergence of Greg Field. He surprised pretty much everybody with his display of power, leading the team with 55 HR and 127 RBI. Al Small was their most dependable pitcher, winning 18 games with a 3.37 ERA. The Grizzles got their title, now they have to work on defending it.
The SJ Blog would like to congratulate jstnklly and the Colorado Springs Grizzlies team on their title win.
NEW HOME RUN CHAMPION?
Through 103 games in S18, we're on the verge of witnessing a collapse of one of the longest standing records in Shoeless Joe.
Cincinnati Blue Darters C/DH Eugenio Cortez is currently hitting .341 with 51 HR and 117 RBI. He's 1st in the ML in HR by 6, 1st in RBI by 16, and is 3rd in BA. Just the thought of possibly going for the triple crown is impressive enough. However, we're all amazed at the power output that Cortez has been able to provide so far.
With 59 games to go, Cortez needs 24 HR to tie Hector Rodriguez' record of 75 in one season. Imagining a record being broken that was set all the way back in S1, that alone tells you just how remarkable this feat is. H-Rod's RBI record of 191 seems safe at the present time, but you never know with Cortez' hitting abilities.
The SJ Blog will be keeping an eye on this story as the season goes.
FREE AGENCY WINNERS/LOSERS
We happen to find ourselves in this same position every season, so it seems. The franchise, led by jstnklly, always manages to pull out the blank check and is willing to do whatever it takes to improve his team. He did just that, signing the likes of Hal Bynum, Gus Keagle, and Matt Perez to improve the rotation. Also coming aboard are Otis Warden and Alex Borders, who will greatly improve their bullpen.
This team hasn't been relevant in the Shoeless Joe world since their S7-S8-S9 mini dynasty run. After several seasons of mediocrity, owner bobkordecki is dedicated on getting this team back on the right path. I like a lot of their signings, including Sean Thurston and Harry Rivera. Good talent at cap-friendly costs, that's the name of the game. Add Geraldo Saez and Ty Crain into the mix, and this team looks to improve by leaps and bounds.
Their moves didn't make as big a splash as others, but solid across the board. Veteran talent looking to make an impact, and that's where Louisville enters. The message was crystal clear: improve the bullpen. Pablo Ramirez gives them another Long Relief/spot start option, and there are few who can do it better. Grady Diaz and Don Morris makes the bullpen tougher to crack. However, is it enough to overtake Austin in the AL South? Stay tuned.
They lost a boatload of talent at FA time, as management preferred to let them walk and scoop up the compensation picks. We're not necessarily saying they're basement bound, but any team that loses the likes of Keagle, Perez, Warden, and Miguel Johnson has to be considered a loser.
Sometimes it's difficult to decide who to keep and who to let go, especially when it comes to players you've had for a while. I'm sure it wasn't easy letting James Katou go, a mainstay in the Padre organization for the past 13
seasons. Cincy quickly scooped up Robin Key, while the pitching staff took a hit with the losses of Bynum and Pat Torres.
We're aware that this could be a 'reloading' situation, but they lost some key talent. The loss of Hooks Webster might be the biggest, as he leaves a big hole in the rotation. Thurston and Jose Valdes are big-time bats that will
produce for their new clubs, Valdes especially. He got the big time contract that he was looking for, and he'll put up the stats to match.
WELCOME TO S18!
Welcome folks, to yet another fantastic season here in Shoeless Joe. First off, we would like to congratulate scottie14 and the Montgomery franchise for winning the S17 World Series, defeating the Austin franchise in the process. Well done, indeed.
A few small changes heading into S18. First of all, we said goodbye to a long standing owner.. Shobob. For 13 seasons, Shobob guided the Austin franchise to 9 playoff trips.. including 9 AL South Division titles, 4 AL Titles and 2 World Series titles. We wish Shobob nothing but the best in his HBD career.
We welcome 2 new owners into S18... pbsilver11 and sergei91. The undaunting task of continuing Austin's success now rides on pbsilver11. He's a fellow owner in another HBD Trifecta world (Doubleday), and there is no doubt he'll give the rest of the AL South all they can handle.
The Houston franchise is now guided by sergei, a longtime owner with lots of success in HBD. The franchise has only seen 6 playoff trips in its history, and I have no doubt that sergei will eventually take the team to where it needs to be.
With budgets now finalized, let's make S18 the best season yet!
NEW S17 CHAMPS!
The Montgomery Smooth Skies won the S17 World Series in dramatic style, coming back from the brink of elimination to win the final two games and defeat the Austin Bats.
It was clear before the series even started that superstar SP Hideki Shin was going to pitch in games 1-4-7. You have a guy of Shin's caliber, you need to pitch him. Austin was aware of this, and they showed in Game 1 that they were up for the challenge. The Bats scored 5 runs off Shin, going on to win 12-11. The Bats led the series 2-1 before Shin's next start. Shin was more Shin-like, going 7 IP and giving up 1 run and 3 hits, sparking the Skies' 4-3 win.
Eugenio Cortez took the Bats one game away from the series win with his huge performance in game 5, propelling the Bats' 6-3 win. Down 3-2, the Skies needed one more win to get to game 7, and another Shin start. Ken Owens stepped up big and the Skies won 4-1. Then, it was Shin time. Austin actually led 3-1 heading into the 6th, until the Skies scored a run in the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings, respectively. The Bats couldn't come back, and the Skies win the game 4-3, and the series in 7.
Congratulations goes out to scottie14 and the Montgomery Smooth Skies for winning the S17 World Series. Congratulations also goes out to shobob and the Austin Bats for winning the AL Championship.
THE ALL NEW BLOG
Here we go folks, the all new Shoeless Joe World blog.
Still under construction, but I definitely feel this blog will be much better than the old one.
I wanted to get away from the blogspot.com blog, that everybody and their mother seems to have in HBD. I wanted to be different, and most of all, I wanted a better (and easier) site to work with. I think I succeeded.
So please, bare with me. Be patient, and we'll have this blog as active as it once was. Thank you.
over Milwaukee, 7 games