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2022 Season Awards Predictions

(GAME DATE — Oct. 30, 2022) — The results are not yet finalized, but GM voting for the end of season awards for 2022 is nearly completed, and we have predictions on some of the potential winners.

Most notably is the GM of the Year Award, which is widely predicted to go to Ohio Oxen GM Dylan M. The Oxen showed a massive improvement through 2022, going from last place in 2021 with a 53-109 (.327) win-loss record, to a near .500 finish at 80-83 (.491), forcing a tie-breaking game 163 against the Milwaukee Hops for the 2nd wild card slot, winning it 6-4.

Dylan’s post season was short as the Oxen exited in the Elimination Round after falling 3-0 to the Chicago Pit Bulls, and getting outscored 20-11 in the three games of the best-of-five series. But the team performed fairly well overall against some of the toughest teams in the LL, save for Chicago. The Oxen held winning records against the New York Dragons, Montreal Metros, Toronto Nomads, and every ML team they played against in inter-league play, including 3 game sweeps of the St. Petersburg Admirals, Washington Freedom, and 2021 MLCS champions, Calgary Inferno.

Milwaukee Hops GM, Jason P, will likely be a noted runner up for the GMOTY, as despite suffering the most injuries in terms of IL days, his squad managed to finish with winning records over two division rivals, and force the Oxen-Hops tie-breaker by keeping pace with Ohio at the end of the pennant race.

It is almost a certainty that Chicago’s RF John Rambo will repeat as LL Carl Simms MVP Award winner, and voting could be unanimous. Knuckles Malone, who was traded from Toronto to Minneapolis early in the season, then injured just before the postseason, will likely pick up his 5th consecutive LL Sandy Koufax Award after his 17-6 season, with a 3.59 season ERA to lead the LL.

Tex “Red” Rudman is looking like a solid ML Rookie of the Year after slashing .309/.385/.573 and bashing 28 homers in his BBL debut with the Arizona Cowboys, all while impressing fans and foes alike with his defensive prowess in CF.

End of season awards will be announced shortly.

 

Pit Bulls Threepeat!

(GAME DATE — Oct. 28, 2022) — The Chicago Pit Bulls (106-56) have won their third consecutive Bull Cup championship, achieving a feat that has not been done since the former New York Minutemen went back-to-back-to-back from 1997 to 1999.

The Pit Bulls, who went into the playoffs as the favorite and predicted to face the equally potent offense of the Nevada Speeders, eventually faced the wild-card entry California Tidals (89-73) in the championship series. The underdog Tidals took the Pit Bulls all the way to Game 7 after coming back from a 3-1 series disadvantage.

California indeed proved a tough opponent for Chicago, taking Game 5 by a lopsided 10-5 score, then downing the Pit Bulls 7-3 in Game 6 to force the deciding 7th game.  The Tidals outscored Chicago 39-35 during the series, and saw solid offense all through their lineup, with five players earning 10 or more hits against Chicago pitchers.

Rambo was named Bull Cup MVP for 2022, for his 2nd time in just 3 years.

But in the end, it was the Chicago power hitting that saw them through at the end, with two-time Triple Crown winner and probable repeat LL MVP John Rambo homering in each of the first 4 games, before adding a 5th in the deciding Game 7. His playoff performance earned him the series MVP nod as well.

The Pit Bulls relied on deft bull pen handling, making use of opener and followers for many games, limiting the batters faced and going to fresh arms whenever things looked shaky for them. It’s a strategy that did not always work, but was flawlessly executed in Game 7, opened by Morgan Marley, who threw 1.1 IP, allowing just a hit and a run before handing over the mound duties to James Andree, a capable lefty who weathered 4 California runs, just 2 of which were earned, and 7 hits, but got sufficient run support to get the W.

California defense was frenetic and solid most of the series, accumulating OF assists in Games 1 and 7, as well as several double plays throughout the set of seven.

GM Scott Davis was pleased with the 3rd championship, but acknowledged California was one of the toughest teams his squad had faced in the postseason, and noting that they were difficult to prepare for as they had played no inter-league games against the Tidals during the regular season, and several trades during the preceding year had put very capable former Chicago players in the Tidals lineup.

Ben Bunker, the Tidals GM, was said to be ecstatic and surprised at his team’s placing in the finals. It became clear that the team would be a playoff contender not long after the All Star Game. Though it would mark the Tidals third consecutive postseason appearance, they were once again going to be going as a wild card entry, overshadowed by the more dominant Nevada Speeders (107-55), who had spent the 2022 season battling with Chicago for the best record.

The Speeders did indeed win a record number of games in 2022, but were shell-shocked at being swept out of the MLCS by California, marking the second season in a row they failed to break through the MLCS.

The Pit Bulls and the Tidals can now focus on 2023, with Chicago of course aiming to become the first team to four-peat, and the Tidals hoping to make Bull Cup finals appearances a lasting trend and perhaps gather a third franchise championship trophy.

 

 

Chicago, Toronto Tee Up 5 Player, 3 Draft Pick Deal

(GAME DATE — May 16, 2022) — The Chicago Pit Bulls and the Toronto Nomads have agreed to a blockbuster five-player, 3 draft pick trade, the 14th trade deal struck in 2022 and the 8th involving the busy Chicago team.

The Nomads will send former star closer Nate Kremer, a 2015 Woodchuck Trophy winner, and Dong-kyoon Kim, an effective and disciplined hitting second baseman, along with both a second and third round pick in the upcoming 2022 draft, while receiving 25-year-old slugging first baseman Makanaakua Mano, who was a first round pick for Chicago in 2018 and who won Rookie of the Year just last season, and two AAA-level budding stars, Miguel Perez (LF) and Shannon Stone (1B) along with Chicago’s 3rd round pick this year. Continue reading “Chicago, Toronto Tee Up 5 Player, 3 Draft Pick Deal”

Malone Goes to Minneapolis in Blockbuster Trade

(GAME DATE — May 16, 2022) — Toronto ace Knuckles Malone, the four-time Sandy Koufax Award winner, will join the Minneapolis Ravens as part of a blockbuster five player deal that will execute in the next few days.

The 32-year-old right-handed knuckleballer has spent his entire major league career, now in his 8th season, at the top of the Toronto Nomads rotation where he has cemented himself in the team’s records books in multiple pitching stats, including career bests in ERA (2.49), wins (91), winning percentage (.705), pWAR (55.6), completed games (69), shutouts (21), and WHIP (1.01). Continue reading “Malone Goes to Minneapolis in Blockbuster Trade”

2022 Draft Pool Talent Preview

(GAME DATE — Friday, May 13, 2022) — The Bull League annual amateur draft is usually loaded with talent every June, and 2022 will be no different. We take a sneak peek at some high potential draft pool candidates before the official draft pool list drops on May 15.

The league has two top end college leagues, the NCAA Division I, and the Pacific Rim College League (PRCL), the latter of which is comprised of top international sports-focused post secondary 4-year institutions around Asia and the Pacific. There is also a junior college circuit, the Can-Am College League, and of course, the sports-intensive high school league, the Nor-Am High School League. Continue reading “2022 Draft Pool Talent Preview”

The Ox Ranch in Cinci Finishes Offseason Renos

(GAME DATE – April 4, 2022) — Just in time for Opening Day, the Ohio Oxen have completed much needed renovations to their relatively new stadium, The Ox Ranch in Cinci.

The stadium had its right field fences rebuilt closer to home plate, and a shockingly large, 70-foot tall, wall installed in left field, where the outfield is much shorter. Continue reading “The Ox Ranch in Cinci Finishes Offseason Renos”