The Batting Crown Race

 Godzilla Garcia  is not only threatening to hit .400 but he is actually raising his average as this past week saw his batting line go from .420 to .423.  In last evenings contest he went 3 for 4 against the Neptune’s with a double.  Toledo managed to win 6-1 as their challenger for the batting title, Carl MacNiven went 2 for 4 with his own double to ease his average back up to .389, yet at the same time quieting conversation about whether he might hit .400.

Sourface MacNiven is hitting .107 points above his average for last season and still has a shot at .400.

 

 

If this were a horse race you might hear the announcer using the classic vernacular of the sport  something akin to ‘they are around the far turn’ and you would know that these two batting giants are about to head to the stretch.  But, if you were not paying attention you might miss some activity, say, ‘coming up from the rear’.

Not to be out done,  the face of the GLBL is making his own bid for another batting crown as the two time Lake Superior Award winner and two time Lake Erie Award winner, and seven time all star (aka every year) is preparing for the stretch run with a vengeance.

Shotgun Time!  He was hitting .256 near the end of April but he’s been classic Silas since then and is now batting .375.  So the question is as we head to the stretch, ‘who can go the distance’?

McNiven presses on

After 59 games he was hitting .395.  Having played 106 games Carl is now at .396 and definitely capturing the attention of stat freaks all over the Great Lakes area.  Is the 36 year old second sacker distracted with all the media attention?

Carl had this to say. ” Are you serious?  We’ve got a pennant to win.  Anything else is back seat stuff, mister.”

Showdown Time

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The Toronto Maples seemingly own the Hamilton Mounties by virtue of their 14-8 edge over the season.  The last time the Maples visited Hamilton they dropped the first two games of the series but somehow pulled out a 3-2 win in the finale managing but 2 hits as the Mounties wasted a fine performance by Tate Crosby (8 IP/2 hits/1 BB/8 K’s….but 2 HR’s).   Prior to that contest Hamilton had a 5 game lead over the 37-39 Toronto club.  But, things have flipped since that June afternoon.

Hamilton will have to do without their big bat and 4 time All Star Dave Teague for this series.  Meanwhile, the Maples will do without a bevy of players and not the least their big first baseman Stephen Gilbert (22 HR’s in 116 games).

How close are these teams?  Toronto has a season run differential of +17 while Hamilton one of +19.  The Maples are 28-20 post all star while the Mounties have struggled with a 22-25 record.  The teams are separated by 2.5 games so clearly Hamilton must win at least 2 of 3.

The Mounties have been averaging +37,000 crowds during their 30-24 home season and tickets will be scarce for this set.  The Maples actually play better on the road at 35-29.  Should be a good one!

The #1 Pick…

…selected by the Toledo Neptunes is Todd ‘Rusty’ Bonnaud

Todd  Hailing from St. Catherines, Ontario  Bonnaud will be the ‘property’ of the Neptunes, at least into the foreseeable future. The 6′ 2″ 200 LB. twenty one year old has the potential to be a Starting Pitcher who commands three pitches including a cutter that tops out between 93-95 mph.  With the late movement on his pitches ground ball outs are to be expected.

This collegian from British Columbia University in Vancouver logged 113 innings in 2016 striking out 170 while walking just 24.  Translated to 9 IP that’s 13.5/1.9.  Gaudy numbers for a guy that won 11 and lost just 1.  Described by his college coach as  a’baseball rat’ who is the first one on the field and last one off,  it may not be long before the Great Lakes area gets to see this young phenom in action.

A view from outer space

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There are two sides to every coin and conversely there are two views of every GLBL franchise.  For those unfamiliar with the veteran GM William Atteberry, GM Toledo,  it would be easy to dismiss the 2015 version of the  Neptunes as a ‘Lost in Space’ franchise.  The parent club is 18-74, AAA Harbor Springs 34-53, and Sandusky Navigators AA 35-51.  And, while #2 in Team Prospect ratings they seem light years behind the Toronto Maples, who have incidentally won 20 more games than Toledo.

But those who have followed the savvy GM Atteberry over the years know full well he is not a guy who fell off the turnip truck and landed in the GLBL.  There is a plan at work,  Always, the plan.  The young prospects, the blue chip players working their way through high school and college that are being evaluated, the heavy reliance on staying in the black…seemingly innate forces at work that will form a consolidation.

So, before you experience the ‘huh?, what?, where did those guys come from?, remember this post and know that the vision on the ice blue planet sees the GLBL through its own lens.  A lens that will come into focus faster than you can say…….just a guess….not a prediction….2018.