Monday, September 28, 2009

Ten Straight In Boise

Wolf Industries and the management team would like to officially congratulate the Shadow Wolves on their first ten game winning streak in Boise. Earlier in the season saw the Shadow Wolves lose ten straight, and it looked like this season was going to be a step back for the franchise. Now with just over forty games left in the regular season, Boise is playing some of the best ball in franchise history to the delight of the owners and fans alike. Early season call-ups Santiago Martin and Victor Flores have made a big impression, and are partly responsible for the turnaround. The pitching staff as well has picked up their game in recent weeks, and Boise is now in the hunt for a wildcard spot.

The Shadow Wolves also recently traded away sophmore SS Alex Suh and prospect James Tamura to New Orleans. The fans were sad to see Suh go and were looking forward to seeing Tamura try to crack the big league roster in spring training next year, but 26 year old Don Wang coming into Boise has added weight to the bullpen for years to come. He's looked great on the mound in the seven games he's already appeared in, and Boise couldn't pass up this opportunity to add him to the team. With SS Naruda ready to make the jump to the bigs next year and SS Dennis Huang also looking for a spot on the roster, and the minors being a little thin on strong set-up pitchers, this deal made sense for both teams. We wish Suh and Tamura all the luck in New Orleans, and welcome Wang to the Shadow Wolves with open arms.

Good Luck to the Shadow Wolves down the stretch, and the fans and management team are looking forward to seeing them continue to improve.

Thank you from Wolf Industries and the Shadow Wolves management team.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Back to Black

In a major deal completed just before the trade deadline, the Atlanta Bandits re-acquire Gregg Black.

Atlanta Bandits and New Orleans Voodoo

Atlanta gets: OF Gregg Black
New Orleans gets: IF/OF Carlton MacDougal, CF Manuel Trinidad

Analysis: Black helped lead the Bandits to a World Series title last season, and the Atlanta front office is hoping he can do it again. He's having a down year as far as run production, but he's still hitting and getting on base; in a deep lineup he can still be a force. In return, New Orleans gets MacDougal, a 32-year-old veteran who has been a colossal disappointment after signing a 5-year contract to stay with Atlanta in the offseason. Trinidad may or may not hit enough to be a force in this league- if he can't, he's a speedy, defensive center fielder. He'll have a place on a roster.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Salem's GM Reflects on the End of an Era

Salem general manager trailjon541 held a press conference to announce the trades of Nate Cox, Dwight Salmon, and Dave Dunwoody. These three had been the key parts on a team that had won 3 division titles, made 5 playoff appearances, and won a World Series in six seasons, but saw themselves relegated to last place this season. Trailjon541 started with the standard announcement of the trade, thanks for the aforementioned players for their contributions to the team over the years, and expressed hope for the rebuilding to come, but then threw in a bit of an odd reflection on the Dunwoody/Salmon/Cox era:

"One of my favorite sayings is about George W. Bush, that when he was elected, he thought that he had hit a home run, and didn't realize he had been born on third base. My winning the first season as a rookie owner is a lot like that. I was given a team with Cox, Salmon, and Dunwoody. I kept plugging along with them, thinking that at any time I made the playoffs, I could win it all with two stud pitchers and a mediocre team. Didn't work. So, now I blow it up to start all over... At least I had a better seven years than Bush".

The reporters chuckled awkwardly at the last sentence, not sure if it had been meant as a joke or a political statement.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Major Trades

We've seen a slew of trades in the last week or so, a few of which could very well affect the pennant races. Here's what we've seen:

St. Louis Silly Nannies and Trenton Traffic

St. Louis gets: CF Gary Nelson, IF Miguel Cerveza

Trenton gets: RF Butch Russell (AAA), SS Ted Kelly (AAA)

Analysis: St. Louis gets a CF of the future in Nelson- he's good defensively and will hit enough. He may not hit for a great average, but he'll provide some pop. Cerveza may be the happiest guy in this trade- Trenton expected a lot out of him after signing him to a big free-agent deal last season, but he lost his starting job this season and was getting booed by fans. He'll get a shot at a regular job again in St. Louis, this time likely at third. Trenton gets Russell, a speedy corner outfielder who needs to prove he can hit enough to be productive in the majors. Kelly is a good defensive shortstop who won't be a star offensively, but Trenton thinks he'll hit more than enough to hold the position eventually.

Milwaukee Manic Maulers and Salem Sacrifices

Milwaukee gets: CF Nate Cox

Salem gets: IF Pascual Alonso (AAA), SP Nerio Branson (AAA)

Analysis: This is a good addition for the Maulers. They're not having the season they had hoped to have, but they're only 4 back of St. Louis for the division lead and have the inside track at a wild card spot even if they can't catch the Silly Nannies. Cox was an MVP-caliber player in the NL and adds a bat to a lineup that has been in the middle of the AL pack this season. The only question is whether Cox or superstar Luis Martinez will have to move out of CF, although that shouldn't be much of a concern. As for Salem, I'm not sure they got enough out of this deal. Alonso seems to be a below-average shortstop defensively and doesn't hit enough to justify playing him anywhere else. Branson will be a bottom of the rotation type guy in the ML.

Atlanta Bandits and Chicago Snake Tamers

Atlanta gets: CF Paul Turnbow

Chicago gets: CF Shea Omlansky (Hi-A), IF Cody Smart (AA)

Analysis: Interesting move for Atlanta, since they already have a good defensive centerfielder in Lynn Abernathy, but stocking up on talent is rarely a bad move. Turnbow has disappointed a bit on offense, but he's only 24 and may not have peaked yet; defensively he's already in Abernathy's class. It will be interesting to see which one moves to LF to replace the departed Vicente Romero. As often is the case, Atlanta GM cantarski may be ahead of the curve here, as he may have grabbed Turnbow (originally a 1st round draft pick of division rival Trenton) in preparation for Abernathy approaching free-agency after the season. Chicago gets Omlansky, who could be a big-time hitter if he can put it together on the major league level; he's a few seasons away. Smart reminds scouts a lot of Alonso (see above)- a psuedo SS who won't hit enough to justify playing him anywhere else.

Salt Lake City Shakers and Trenton Traffic

Salt Lake City gets: SP Alex Sanchez

Trenton gets: RF Tito Harris (AAA), IF Joey Hartman (AAA)

Analysis: Sanchez provides depth to a staff that reguarly goes with a 4-man rotation- if he can find the form he had back when he was with Atlanta, this would be a steal for the Shakers. He struggled with Trenton, but still has plenty of ability. This was a little bit of a roll of the dice for Salt Lake City, but it's tempered by the fact that they didn't give up a great deal to get him. Harris is a corner outfielder who hits well against lefties but is average against righties, and Hartman is a guy without a set position.

Trenton Traffic and Salem Sacrifices

Trenton gets: SP Dave Dunwoody, SP Dwight Salmon

Salem gets: SP Tito Mercedes, SP Sammy Garrido (AAA), CF Curtis Smart (AAA)

Analysis: And now the previous two deals from Trenton make sense. The inclusion of Cerveza and the dealing of Sanchez was motivated in part to clear cap room so they could pull off this one. Dunwoody and Salmon may be 32 and 33, respectively, but clearly Trenton believes they both have something left and can make them dangerous in a short series. This shifts Trenton onto the short list of contenders and puts them in a win-now mode. On Salem's end, this marks the end of an era, as they dealt their most high-profile guys from their title team with this deal and the Cox deal. The good news is, this deal gives them some pieces they can use to rebuild. Garrido may never be Dunwoody or Salmon, but he's got top of the rotation potential. Smart is a good defensive CF who Trenton deemed expendable with the emergence of Watty Miller; he may not replace Cox, but he'll be a mainstay for season to come. Mercedes may never become the star that scouts once projected, but he's a solid starter/long reliever.

Seattle Killer Whales and Chicago Snake Tamers

Seattle gets: 1B Osvaldo Johnson, RP Frankie Ligtenburg, SP Marty Lane
Chicago gets: SP Slash Ruffin, IF James Palmer(AA), SP Murray Crane(AAA)

Analysis: Johnson is the biggest name here. He was among the NL leaders in homers and RBI and adds to a fairly deep lineup. Ligtenburg is tough on lefties and Lane may be overrated, but he provides more depth for the pitching staff. I think Seattle would have to be considered the odds-on favorite to represent the AL in the World Series at this point. Chicago looks to rebuild- they could do far worse than these three. They'll get talented 22-year-old rookie starter Slash Ruffin, potential 5-tool infielder James Palmer, and enigmatic but potentially good starter Murray Crane.

Friday, September 18, 2009

All-Star recap

We think the technical difficulties we've been having here at the Trenton office of TBDN have been worked out, so we're ready to resume publication.

Here's a recap of the last two days at the All-Star Game in Milwaukee:

Home Run Derby:

AL: Denny Moss (Sea), Wilton Petrick (Bos), Julio Diaz (Buf), Trever Russell (Bos)
NL: Monte Duvall (Hou), Nate Cox (Sal), Osvaldo Johnson (Chi), Calvin Chang (SJu)

Round 1

Round 1 was highlighted by Duvall's back-to-back monster shots (487 feet and 512 feet)- he tied Denny Moss for first with 10. Nate Cox hit 8 to put himself safely into round 2. The drama came as Johnson and Petrick both finished with 7 to tie for the last spot, necessitating a sudden death swing-off. After both hitters homered on their first overtime swing and missed on their second, Petrick homered to left-center to put himself into round 2, leaving Johnson, Chang, Diaz, and Russell behind.

Round 2

Round 2 was the Denny Moss show. He hit 5 homers on his first 5 swings, then closed the show with a towering 528 foot shot to rightfield. This capped a Josh Hamilton-like performance in which he hit a total of 17 for the round. His 27 homers for the two rounds combined easily put him into the finals. Duvall hit 9, as did Cox, but Duvall's total of 19 trumped Cox's 17, so Monte went on the the finals against Moss.


Duvall and Moss may have both tired themselves out in the previous rounds. Duvall managed 5 homers (two of them massive shots), but Moss only could manage 4. So the story of the Derby was Moss's second round, but Duvall took home the title.

All-Star Game

Seattle's Junior Bennett and Fargo's Javier Henriquez drew the starting assignments for the game. Things looked good early for the National League, as a 2nd inning Calvin Chang (San Juan) home run gave the NL a 2-0 lead. But it was all AL after that, as a 6-run outburst in the 5th was the death blow for the National Leaguers. Amp Palmer (Louisville) led off with a solo shot to tie the game at 2, then RBI singles from Luis Martinez (Milwaukee), James Dixon (Anaheim), Kevin Kim (Helena, 2-run single), and Steven O'Malley (Louisville) blew the game wide open. The American League finished with a 9-3 win. Daryl Cashman (Boston) got the win; Lonny Gates (Houston) wound up with the loss. Louisville's Ernest Montgomery also homered and was named the game's MVP.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fargo acquires Chicago's Marin

Dirtbags get 2-time All-Star pitcher for Williams, prospects

The Fargo Dirtbags and division rival Chicago Snake Tamers have agreed to terms on a deal that sends 2-time All-Star pitcher Orber Marin to Fargo for Dirtbags' starting pitcher Willie Williams and prospects Don Chong and Roger Hamelin.

The trade bolsters an already strong Fargo pitching staff as the 32-year-old Marin will now join Javier Henriquez, Sammy Pierce and Manny Christians to form one of the best staffs in the league (Fargo's 3.52 team ERA trails only Atlanta and Houston for best in The Bigs) . Marin has posted a 9-5 record to this point in the season for Chicago, with a 3.28 ERA. He will take Williams' spot in the Fargo rotation as the number four starter. The 30-year-old Williams was 2-5 with a 5.29 ERA for Fargo.

The main fetch for the Snake Tamers in the deal is pitching prospect Don Chong, who was drafted #38 overall by Fargo in the season 5 amateur draft. Chong projects to have outstanding control with average splits and four pitches. His stamina and durability could make him a valuable inning-eating #3 starter in the major leagues when he's ready. Hamelin, Fargo's first-round pick in last season's draft, projects to be an elite defensive centerfielder with gold glove potential and an average ML bat.

The move frees up some cash in seasons 8 and 9 for the Snake Tamers who, despite having the highest payroll in The Bigs, have fallen out of playoff contention, sitting 17 games behind the division-leading Dirtbags.

Fargo management has said that Marin could replace Christians' spot in the rotation next season should setup man Christopher Siddall decide to opt for free agency rather than re-sign with the team. The Dirtbags could possibly use Christians as their setup man next season in Siddall's absence in that scenario.

Orber Marin
Age: 32B/T: L/L
Born: Frisco, CO
Position(s): P (SP4)
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Monster Nets 100

In just his seventieth game in AAA ball this season, the Monster, Barry McEnroe has knocked in his 100th RBI with a two run double. Unfortunately the Shadow Wolves minor club lost the game 3-2. Shadow Wolves fans are salivating at the potential of this kid and even some are wondering why he isn't playing in the majors already. Especially with the dismal home performance of Boise this season. Luckily many Shadow Wolves fans have been able to watch all the away games on direct TV and a lot of games on the local station. The Shadow Wolves have been much better on the road, where they recently beat the dominant dirtbags in fargo two out of three and even swept the snake tamers, who admittedly are struggling this season after finishing strong the last two seasons in chicago.

When asked why the Monster isn't playing on the ML club, Shadow Wolves GM, Michael "the Wolf" had this to say, "You have to have all the layers of a cake in the right position before you put the icing on the top, otherwise you're just wasting the icing." We're not sure if he's talking about baseball or baking, but he was a little more forthcoming when we pressed him on the subject, "Lets just say that by this time next year, the Monster will be making major league pitchers cry themselves to sleep at night." I'm sure everyone is looking forward to his big debut. At least all the Boise fans. The other teams around the league are probably glad he's been given so much time to develop in the minors.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Helena Unloads Hartman

The Grotto Gottos trades Clarence Hartman to the Vancouver Golden Otters for Edwin Corey and Glen Bush. Helena had been rather disgusted with Clarence's production for sometime. They couldn't figure out what the problem was for a long time, even sending him to AAA last year trying to fix the problem. After 38 games the numbers were the same as previous seasons. Management decided they just didn't have the resources to put him in a productive situation any longer and found a suitor in the Golden Otters. Management thinks Vancouver could be a very good fit for Clarence and hopes he does well there. The Grotto Gottos likes the looks of Edwin Corey as a 3B/COF needing a little time to develop. Also obtained in the deal was pitcher Glen Bush, the Kitties are hopeful he can become a contributor at the ML level as early as next year.

Edwin Corey
Grotto Gottos
Age: 20B/T: R/R
Born: Monahans, TX
Position(s): 3B/IF/COF/DH
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Glen Bush
Grotto Gottos
Age: 21B/T: S/L
Born: Deer Park, WA
Position(s): P (SP6)
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Clarence Hartman
Golden Otters
Age: 29B/T: R/R
Born: Gridley, IL
Position(s): C/DH
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