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Big Daddy Baseball League

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slant.gif (102 bytes) From the Desk of the Commish


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December, 2014

2014: The Year in Review

Congratulations to the Superfriends alliance of Tom DiStefano and Gene Patterson for winning the 2014 BDBL championship.  I grew tired of congratulating Tom a long, long time ago, but what can you do except tip your cap?  He is now averaging one trophy every three years or so, and Gene is the only other active owner besides Tom to have won multiple trophies.

It seems appropriate that the Superfriends would be the ones to end this season with a win, given that it was their announcement that shook up the league at the very beginning of the season.  Immediately following the Southern Cal Slyme's World Series victory (i.e. World Series loss number five for the Cowtippers), Patterson announced that he was ditching his beloved Atlanta Fire Ants franchise after spending thirteen years at the helm.  Although he was leaving his franchise, he announced, he was not leaving the BDBL.  Instead, he would be taking over as manager of the Allentown Ridgebacks.

DiStefano affirmed this change in management, and relocated the team (for some inexplicable reason) to Wyoming.  Days later, the league announced that Tony Chamra would be re-joining the league as the new owner of Patterson's Fire Ants franchise.  Chamra spent twelve years as the owner of the Villanova Mustangs (now the Cuenca Strangegloves) before resigning in the middle of the 2012 season.

The Strangegloves franchise has been a revolving door since Chamra's departure, and that door continued to revolve when Michael Quinn resigned, only three weeks into the new season.  A months long search ended when Kyle Robinson was introduced as the new owner in April.  Although it was a struggle for him to adapt to the league without owning the Diamond Mind software, he will be fully onboard in 2015.


It was business as usual for new-look Wyoming Ridgebacks in the winter of 2013.  In a series of trades, they added impact bats Hanley Ramirez and Carlos Quentin, and aces Anibal Sanchez and Alex Cobb.  They shed a ton of salary by trading Ryan Braun and Carlos Santana (among others) and had $21 million to spend in the auction.  They used all that cash to land three catchers: Miguel Montero, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Chris Iannetta.  Then DiStefano flipped one of those catchers (Salty) in exchange for another impact bat, Aramis Ramirez.

Those off-season moves paid huge dividends for the Ridgebacks.  Hanley Ramirez enjoyed an MVP-caliber campaign, hitting .340/.391/.606 with 21 home runs in only 335 at-bats.  Quentin hit .294/.386/.528, and had a big impact in the post-season.  Aramis Ramirez hit .277/.366/.485.  Cobb went 15-5 with a 3.71 ERA.  And the biggest impact of all was by Sanchez, who went a remarkable 20-2 with a 1.98 ERA in what will likely be a Cy Young season.

With Patterson taking over for the MP that usually managed the franchise, the Ridgebacks got off to an impressive .600 start over the first two chapters, and owned a 47-33 (.587) record at mid-season.  Incredibly, however, they did not finish any of the first three chapters in first place.


The Great Lakes Sphinx were supposed to be an also-ran in 2014.  In pre-season polling, Wyoming received nine votes to win the division.  Kansas received eight votes, and Great Lakes received not a single vote.  In my pre-season preview, I predicted a last-place finish for the Sphinx, and labeled their pitching staff as "subpar."  Defying all expectations, that pitching staff ended the year with the best ERA (3.26) in the Eck League.

In a "From the Desk of the Commish" column in April, I wrote: "Of course, these [Sphinx] pitchers can't possibly maintain this pace, and regression will come swiftly and severely to Great Lakes...But for now, it makes for a fun story."

The Sphinx proved me wrong, again and again, month after month.  At the all-star break, they led the division by one game over the Ridgebacks.  Wyoming managed to catch them after the next chapter, and the two rivals finished Chapter Four with identical 64-40 (.615) records.  It wasn't until Chapter Five that Wyoming finally put some distance between the two teams.  Wyoming went 19-9 that chapter, while Great Lakes went a respectable 16-12.

The Sphinx finished the season with a 19-9 record, giving them 99 wins on the season -- 11 more than the franchise record.  Two Sphinx relievers (David Purcey and Rex Brothers) finished the season with ERA's below 1.00.  Four more relievers owned ERA's under 2.00, and three others had ERA's under 3.00.  Their no-name starting rotation combined for a 3.32 ERA in 982 innings.  The 2014 Sphinx delivered perhaps the most unexpected performance in league history.


Without a doubt, the hottest trending topic in BDBL social media all season was the New Milford Blazers' new ballpark.  After three years of playing in a custom ballpark with factors that defied every law of nature, GM Anthony Peburn created an even more unrealistic park prior to the 2014 season.

This new park gave left-handed hitters a huge advantage across the board: +11% for singles, +20% for doubles, +15% for triples, and +20% for home runs.  Not only that, but the park also punished right-handed hitters across the board as well: -7% for singles, -5% for doubles, -25% for triples and -25% for home runs.

Naturally, Peburn filled his lineup with left-handed hitters, and his pitching staff with left-handed pitchers.  The result was completely predictable.  For the second year in a row, the Blazers won 80 percent of their games at home, tying the all-time record.  They played sub-.500 baseball on the road throughout the season, and sported a 28-32 road record heading into the final chapter before turning it around in Chapter Six.  Their 14-6 record in away games that chapter gave them a 42-38 (.525) record for the season, providing Peburn with a talking point to add to his season-long protest that his home/road split was irrelevant.

Regardless of his protest, that 275 point difference between home and road winning percentage smashed the old BDBL record by a comfortable margin.  The issue remained front and center throughout the season, culminating in a league vote in September to ban all custom ballparks.

On the field, it was yet another successful season in New Milford.  Coming on the heels of three straight division titles and back-to-back 100-win seasons, the Blazers were considered to be the favorites to win the Butler Division by a 14-3 league vote.  They went into the winter with a solid core of players and added to that core through trade, acquiring Jason Castro, Mike Napoli and several other key players.  They then signed free agents Robinson Cano (for $12 million), Shin-Soo Choo ($11MM) and Joe Nathan ($5MM) in the auction.

Perhaps Peburn's biggest trade of the year happened during the draft, when he picked up James Loney from the Cuenca Strangegloves in exchange for a couple of C-grade prospects.  No one suspected at the time that Loney, a .299/.348/.430 hitter in MLB, would become one of New Milford's best hitters.  He finished his BDBL season with a .343/.382/.434 batting line, and ranked fourth on the Blazers with 86.7 runs created.

In typical fashion, the Blazers swept the Opening Day series against the Salem Cowtippers, and got off to a 19-9 start.  The Cowtippers then returned the favor in Chapter Two, sweeping the series in Salem, and by the end of that chapter the two teams were tied for first place in the division.

The two long-time rivals battled it out for the rest of the season, with New Milford managing to stay just ahead of Salem for most of the year.  In the end, the Blazers easily captured their fourth straight division title by six games over Salem, winning 100+ games for the fourth year in a row.

For the third year in a row, and fourth time in five years, the Cowtippers had to settle for the OL wild card.  It was an oddly disappointing year for a 100-win team given the expectations the team had after signing big-name free agents Max Scherzer and Yadier Molina.  The Molina signing was particularly aggravating, as his $12 million price tag was only made possible by a single bid: a $12 million bid by Tony Chamra.  That one bid upped Molina's salary by a whopping $5 million, robbing Salem of the funds they would need for additional firepower.

While Salem battled for first place in the division throughout the season, they maintained a slight lead in the OL wild card race from beginning to end.  At the all-star break, the Cowtippers led the Mississippi Meatballs by only two games.  That lead grew to six games by the end of four chapters, but with one chapter remaining in the season, the hard-charging Bear Country Jamboree had narrowed that lead to only two games.


It was an odd year for the Jamboree.  After five straight seasons of playing sub-.500 ball and wallowing in the shadows of the Los Altos Undertakers, Sylmar Padawans and Flagstaff Outlaws, the Jamboree had high expectations for 2014.  They went into the winter with a fully-stocked starting rotation filled with aces, and merely needed to fill out their lineup.

GM Matt Clemm made a huge move to fill that lineup on November 21st, when he traded his best young player (and best hitter) Yasiel Puig to the Chicago Black Sox in exchange for MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera.  It was a controversial move, as Puig was still in his option year and Cabrera's salary pushed Bear Country's cap beyond its limit.  But Cabrera was worth every penny.  On the year, he hit .348/.430/.679 with 56 home runs, 129 runs scored, 128 RBI's and 170.6 runs created.  He led the Ozzie League in on-base percentage, slugging, homers and runs created.

The very next day, Clemm announced that he added another big bat through trade, acquiring Matt Holliday from the Southern Cal Slyme in exchange for Lance Lynn.  Although Holliday (.272/.367/.434, 21 HR, 70 RBI, 78.3 RC) added another solid bat to the Bear Country lineup, he also added $8.5 million in salary.  That put Clemm in a position where he was forced to dump salary.

After an eight-player trade was struck with the Los Altos Undertakers (in which Clemm parted with his top prospect, Albert Almora), the Jamboree were left with just $1.3 million to spend on free agents.  In need of a pitcher following the trade of Lynn, Clemm re-acquired Ricky Nolasco from the Ravenswood Infidels in a deal that cost him Dellin Betances, Nick Kingham and Kevin Plawecki.

In league polling, Bear Country received seven out of the nineteen votes to win the division, which was exceeded by Flagstaff's ten votes.  After one chapter of play, the Griffin Division was all knotted up with a three-way tie between the Jamboree, Outlaws and Undertakers, each sporting a 14-14 record.  Then, inexplicably, Bear Country stumbled in Chapter Two, winning only a dozen games out of twenty-eight.  They fell six games behind in the division race, and it appeared as though their season was a lost cause.

The Jamboree bounced back in Chapter Three, winning more games (17) than any other team in the BDBL.  Despite that effort, however, they still trailed the division-leading Outlaws by four games in the division.  The team got off to a 13-11 start to the second half of the season, and Clemm was faced with a decision: wave the white flag or sacrifice the future for a shot at the post-season.  He made his decision at the Chapter Four deadline, dealing Oswaldo Arcia to the Undertakers in exchange for Torii Hunter.  A chapter later, he another bold move, dealing Pat Corbin, Wade Miley and Jacob McGee in a three-way deal for Mat Latos.

Latos (4-2, 3.00 ERA in 60 IP) was brilliant over the final two chapters, far exceeding the illogical disappointment of Corbin, whose atrocious BDBL performance (3-12, 6.25 ERA in 126+ IP) was among the biggest mysteries in league history.  Bear Country really picked up the pace in Chapter Five, going a league-best 21-7.  At one point in the chapter, they put together an 18-2 stretch, and went 29-3 over a 32-game stretch.  Yet, incredibly, the Outlaws kept pace with them, and the Jamboree failed to pick up any ground in the division race.

They had, however, snuck up on the Salem Cowtippers in the OL wild card race, and managed to reduce their deficit in that race to just two games with one chapter remaining in the season.  In a crucial series against Flagstaff in early October, the Jamboree won the first game on the back of Latos, but then lost the next three.  Two days later, they headed into Salem with one last shot at the playoffs.

In the first game of that series, they overcame a 7-1 deficit and rallied against the Salem bullpen to pull out a 9-8 win.  But the Bear Country bats died at that point, and they scored just six runs over the next three games, losing all three.  The Jamboree finished the chapter with a 16-12 record, which gave them 93 wins on the season.  They finished seven games behind in both the division and wild card races.


No division race in recent years was ended more dramatically, or with more controversy, than the Benes Division race of 2014.  Coming into the season, the Ravenswood Infidels were heavily favored to win the division over the Mississippi Meatballs by a margin of 11-7 in league-wide polling.  The Infidels featured a very strong lineup on paper, highlighted by the slugging Chris Davis, who enjoyed a career year in MLB.  The Meatballs featured a starting rotation headed by one of the game's best pitchers, Chris Sale, and a bullpen headed by perhaps the game's best reliever, Craig Kimbrel.

The Meatballs made an early statement by winning three of four against the Infidels in head-to-head play, and finished the first chapter with a division-best 17-11 record.  The Infidels managed to win three of four against the Meatballs the following chapter, and took over the lead in the division.  The two teams continued to trade places in the top spot in the division throughout the rest of the season.

At the Chapter Three deadline, the Meatballs added Jered Weaver in a trade with Chicago.  The next chapter, Ravenswood saw that ace and raised them one, acquiring Jon Lester in a deal with the Los Altos Undertakers.  At the final deadline, Ravenswood GM Brian Potrafka made another bold move, adding Clay Buchholz.

With Meatballs GM Nic Weiss having difficulties with both his schedule and his laptop, the Meatballs were managed by the MP for much of the second half of the season, and yet managed to stay within striking distance of first place.  With one chapter left in the season, Mississippi trailed Ravenswood by just one game.

As Weiss continued to struggle with laptop issues, Ravenswood struggled in the standings.  They fell to 9-15 on the chapter, and had only one remaining series -- against the Meatballs -- on their schedule.  With seven days left in the season, Mississippi still had six series left to play.  Finally, on the very last day of the season, Ravenswood and Mississippi met head-to-head, with the Infidels needing to win three out of the four games -- on the road -- to force a one-game playoff.

Chris Sale took the hill for the Meatballs in Game One, and easily defeated Corbin as Mississippi cruised to a 6-2 win.  In the battle between newly-acquired aces, Lester beat Weaver in Game Two.  Buchholz then won Game Three for the Infidels, combining with two relievers on a 5-0 shutout.  Game Four would decide the fate of the 2014 Benes Division race.

Yovani Gallardo took the hill for Mississippi, but was so limited in usage, he was only allowed to throw a single pitch.  That pitch was roped for a single by Coco Crisp, who eventually came around to score.  Ravenswood scored three times in the first, and added three more in the second, en route to a 9-2 win.  For the first time since the 2000 season, the last spot in the playoffs would be decided by a one-game playoff.

Once again, Sale took the ball for Mississippi.  He was rock-solid all season, compiling 17 wins and a 2.49 ERA in more than 234 innings.  For Ravenswood, their fate lay with Buchholz, who was virtually unhittable (1.85 ERA in 34 IP) since his acquisition.  On this day, however, he was anything but solid.  The first four batters he faced all reached base, on three walks and an error committed by Buchholz himself.  One runner scored during that circus, and two more then scored on a two-out double by Jay Bruce.

Ravenswood managed to get one of those runs back in the bottom of the first, but Mississippi then pounded Buchholz for five runs in the second inning, putting the game out of reach.  They would win by a score of 10-4.

Controversy erupted when Potrafka asked the league to take a look at Mississippi's usage during their final six series of the season.  In total, four players on the Meatballs exceeded their allowed usage, and should have been suspended for play.  Because of the timing of the league results being posted, and the MP nature of play during that final week of the season, those players were allowed to continue playing after their suspensions.  It's possible -- likely, even -- that the results of those games would have been the same if those players had been suspended.  Unfortunately, we'll never know.


Of the six division races, no race was won by a wider margin than the Person Division's.  The defending-champion Southern California Slyme were supposed to have a more difficult challenge ahead of them in 2014.  The Niagara Locks, St. Louis Apostles and South Carolina Sea Cats all went into the season with teams that looked very competitive on paper.  Instead, SoCal locked up their seventh division title by the end of September, and won the division by twenty two games.

GM Bob Sylvester didn't take the rest of the winter off after winning his first trophy.  Instead, he went right to work on his second trophy.  Over the winter, Sylvester made several key trades in which he added Allen Craig, Zack Greinke, Lance Lynn, Brandon Belt, and Jean Segura, among others.

The Slyme got off to a blazing 18-10 start to the season, and never slowed down.  By the end of Chapter Two, they were playing nearly .700 baseball, and already owned a double-digit lead in the division.  Craig hit over .400 (.405) in the first half of the season, and finished with a .351/.401/.490 triple-slash line.  Mainstay Andrew McCutchen hit .311/.382/.494, and led the team in homers (23) and runs created (117.9).  Belt (.294/.388/.498) also created more than 100 runs.

Over in the Hrbek Division, the Chicago Black Sox were expected to run away with the division title.  In pre-season polling, they received 16 out of the 18 votes to win the division.  But sticking with what seems to be the franchise's tradition, Chicago got off to a slow start, posting a sub-.500 record (13-15) in the first chapter.  They turned it around in a big way in Chapter Two, going 20-8 and taking over first place.

By the all-star break, GM John Gill was feeling so confident in his team's chances of winning the division, he traded Jered Weaver in exchange for a shortstop with little present value, Starlin Castro.  The team began the second half of the season with a 12-12 record, but maintained their hold on first place, as the Akron Ryche and Cleveland Rocks continued to produce mediocre results.  Down the stretch, the Black Sox went 33-23 over the final two chapters, and easily won their sixth division title by a comfortable 14 games.


Off the field, the BDBL chose Phoenix, Arizona as the site of this year's BDBL Weekend festivities.  Eight league members -- the largest turnout since 2007 -- were joined by two non-league members to witness three Cactus League games and enjoy the warmth of the Arizona spring season.  We laughed, we argued, we ate lots of unhealthy food and drank lots of beer.  In short, a good time was had by all.

2014 will be remembered as the Year of the Pitcher.  The league scored just 16,092 runs, which is the lowest total on record (nearly 300 runs fewer than the previous record.)  Batters hit just .254/.317/.395 overall, which is the lowest batting average, OBP and slugging in league history.  Naturally, the league ERA of 3.88 is also the lowest on record, shattering the old record of 4.05 by a wide margin.

Two long-held individual records were broken this season.  New Milford ace Clayton Kershaw went 32-7 on the season, shattering the old BDBL record for wins.  He enjoyed an amazing season, as he posted an ERA of 2.14 (the 6th lowest of all time), and allowed just 195 hits and 51 walks in 252+ innings, with 258 strikeouts.

Salem's $14 million investment last winter paid huge dividends, as Max Scherzer set a new BDBL single-season record with an ERA of 1.79.  He went 20-8 on the season, with 152 hits and 71 walks allowed in 235+ innings, and led the league with 276 strikeouts.

Wyoming's Anibal Sanchez finished the season with a 1.98 ERA -- the third lowest in league history.  Cuenca's Yu Darvish struck out 317 batters, becoming only the fifth pitcher in league history to do so, and the first since 2010.  And Wyoming's Koji Uehara saved 53 games -- the fourth highest total in history.


The 2014 BDBL post-season will likely be remembered for the stunning number of upsets that took place.  The Slyme came into the post-season with the #1 rank in the Eck League after finishing the regular season with 106 wins.  They faced the 89-win Chicago Black Sox in a Division Series that seemed like one of the biggest mismatches in post-season history.  To no one's surprise, the Slyme won the first game, thanks to the stellar pitching of their ace, Felix Hernandez.

In Game Two, one of Chicago's two 20-game winners, Madison Bumgarner, shut down the potent Slyme offense, and the Black Sox emerged with a 7-1 win.  Chicago found themselves in a 4-1 hole heading into the fifth inning of Game Three.  A two-run home run by Bryce Harper made it a one-run game.  Then, in the sixth, Yasiel Puig stepped to the plate for Chicago with two outs and delivered a shocking blow.  His three-run blast gave Chicago the lead, and seemingly changed the momentum in the series.  Chicago went on to win that game by a score of 6-4.

The Slyme evened the series with an easy 8-2 win in Game Four.  Then, in Game Five, Chicago mounted an improbable rally against Southern Cal's elite closer, Aroldis Chapman, and took the series lead with a crucial win.  Bumgarner struggled for Chicago in Game Six, yet the Black Sox still managed to pull off the stunning upset, winning by a score of 6-5.

Over in the Ozzie League, an equally impossible upset was taking place in New Milford.  With their 32-game-winning ace on the hill in Game One, in a ballpark where the Blazers won 80-percent of their games, the outcome of the game seemed set in stone before the first pitch was thrown.  However, the Meatballs managed to eke out a 4-3 win in the opening game.

New Milford managed to win the second game of the series, but just barely.  It took them twelve innings and a ridiculous two-out bloop single by their relief pitcher to do it, but the Blazers managed to tie the series.  When the series shifted to Mississippi, the Meatballs won another 4-3 nailbiter to take the advantage once more.  New Milford countered with a one-run win in Game Four, ensuring that the series would return to Cartoon Network Ballpark.

Shockingly, for the second time in the series, Mississippi managed to beat Clayton Kershaw, winning Game Five by a score of 5-3.  Needing only one more win to pull off the upset, the series shifted back to New Milford.  The Blazers won Game Six by a score of 5-3, forcing a deciding seventh game.

After several days of excruciating delay, the series finally resumed.  The Meatballs turned to their lefty ace, Chris Sale, who was working on only three days of rest.  New Milford opted not to use Kershaw on short rest, and went with Jose Quintana instead.  The Meatballs took an early lead and carried it all the way to the end.  After all the hype, and all the controversy, the New Milford Blazers' season was over.

No two teams in the post-season were more evenly matched than the Flagstaff Outlaws and Salem Cowtippers.  The two rivals split their season series, featured righty-heavy lineups, similar ballparks, and finished the season with similar numbers across the board.  Fittingly, these two teams played an epic series, featuring a classic come-from-behind effort and the longest game in post-season history.

On the first night of play, the Cowtippers took three of the first four games, with Salem's ace, Max Scherzer dominating two of those games.  Scherzer held the powerful Flagstaff lineup to just five hits and a walk through seven shutout innings in Game One.  Then, pitching on three days of rest in Game Four, he stifled Flagstaff's bats once again, shutting them out for six innings.

With their backs up against the wall, the Outlaws sent their ace, Ubaldo Jimenez, to the mound to stop the bleeding in Game Five and send the series back to Flagstaff.  A late Salem rally tied the score at 3-3 in the eighth inning...and the score remained 3-3 for the next seven innings.  Flagstaff managed to put a runner in scoring position with two outs, but had no one left to pinch hit for their pitcher.  Newgard called upon pitcher Tyson Ross to grab a bat, and Ross responded with a clutch RBI single, giving Flagstaff a key victory.

Salem ace Stephen Strasburg struggled for the second time in the series in Game Six, forcing a Game Seven.  For the third time in the series, Salem handed the ball to their record-breaking ace Scherzer, and he delivered once again, extending his shutout streak to nineteen innings.  But a double by Flagstaff slugger Josh Hamilton in the seventh inning broke the scoreless tie, and Salem's bats never awoke from their slumber.  The Outlaws walked away with a 1-0 win.  For the first time in franchise history, the Outlaws were heading to the Ozzie League Championship Series.

The Division Series between Wyoming and Great Lakes was considerably less exciting.  Wyoming won the first three games of the series -- two by one run, and one in extra innings.  The Sphinx managed to eke out a 5-3 win in Game Four, but that simply delayed the inevitable.  Wyoming's ace, Anibal Sanchez, took the ball in Game Five, and Great Lakes never had a chance.  Sanchez won his second game of the series, striking out nine in seven-plus innings without allowing an earned run.

After two thrilling OL Division Series, the OL Championship Series proved anticlimactic.  The Meatballs were outgunned by the Outlaws from the very first pitch, and Flagstaff cruised to an easy series victory, sweeping Mississippi in four games.  The Meatballs scored a total of seven runs in the series, and held a lead only once (for one inning) in the entire series.

The EL Championship Series was a bit more exciting, as the Black sox pulled off an upset win against Anibal Sanchez in Game One.  Game Two was a twelve-inning thriller that ended with a walk-off double by Wyoming's Josh Satin.  Wyoming then carried that momentum into Chicago, where they won the next two games.

Chicago pulled off an extra-innings win in Game Five, sending the series back to Wyoming.  Ridgebacks starter Jake Peavy held Chicago to just one run over six-plus innings in Game Six.  Wyoming took an early lead, and their bullpen managed to hold that lead as Chicago's bats fell silent.

Wyoming and Flagstaff split the first two games of the World Series.  The Outlaws' bats fell asleep over the next two games, as they managed just twelve hits and two runs against Peavy, Bronson Arroyo, and the Wyoming bullpen.  Flagstaff held a 4-3 lead heading into the sixth inning of Game Five, when the Ridgebacks erupted for four runs in the top of the sixth.  Flagstaff managed to get two of those runs back in the bottom half of the inning, but Koji Uehara and the Wyoming bullpen proved their mettle once more, with Uehara notching his third straight save of the series.

Once again, the Ridgebacks celebrated on the field.  For the first time in league history, it wasn't the Cowtippers slowly shaking their heads back and forth in the opposing dugout.


I'd like to thank you all for another fun and exciting season.  Many thanks to my "assistant commissioner", Greg, for all the work he does for this league.  Thanks to Tom for keeping track of our contracts and salaries, and managing our in-season free agent drafts.  Thanks to DJ for his timely usage reports, and thanks to Peburn for stepping in for DJ late in the season.  Usage Secretary is the most despised position in the BDBL, so it is a natural fit for Peburn.

A shout-out goes to all of you who attended BDBL Weekend this year.  It was especially nice to meet Scot Zook for the first time.  It was so much fun, I plan to do it again this coming spring.  I'd like to thank "Kyle Robinson" for being a fictional character that I made up, just so that I could get Francisco Liriano in trade.  Many thanks to Jim Doyle for providing us all with some comic relief.

And last, and least, many, many thanks to Tony Chamra for forcing me to pay FIVE MILLION EXTRA for Yadier Molina.  Bite me!