Architects, Again!

By the time the 2039 season ended, the city of Chicago had captured its league-leading 7th championship, beating the Caribou in four of six games.

The Caribou provided plenty of drama themselves this season.  Predicted to finish dead last in Canada,

They started hot (49-28 over the first three months) before fading down the stretch (28-39).  They had done enough early to keep themselves in the wild card hunt and swept Hamilton to end the season and clinch their playoff berth.

Thunder Bay  spat on their sub .500 Pythagorean record, finishing 10 games above .500 and doing so without any players having superstar seasons.  Just two finished above 3.0 WAR, both pitchers. Starter Jose Gonzalez managed 4.7 and had Jack Morris workman-like stats, starting 31 games (a league high) and pitching 200 innings.  He also kept the ball in the park, giving up just 0.2 HR per 9 IP, leading the league.   Kyle Wolfe had one of the all-time great seasons for a closer, managing a 4.2 WAR and a league-high 42 saves.

The Caribou had limped to the finish line but were defying expectations.  That would continue in the Canadian Championship series.

The clear underdogs against Kingston, Thunder Bay made quick work of the favored Comets with dominant pitching and defense.  They allowed just six runs over five games and outscored Kingston 24-6.   It looked like they had found that early season magic.

The series against Chicago would not go their way, but it was a much closer series than most expected and closer than the final result would indicate.   Chicago would take the first two but narrowly escaped a split in the home opening series with an extra inning win in game 2.  The Caribou stampeded back with a game three shutout.  They looked like they might be ready to tie up the series in Game 4 until a late comeback changed things, putting the Architects up 3-1.

The Caribou managed to win their last one at home, another shutout, their fourth of the playoffs. With the series at 3-2 Chicago Ace Antonio Mendez would hold the Caribou to 1 hit and two runs (one earned)  in 6.2 innings.  It was more than enough for Chicago to close out the series and end Thunder Bay’s storied season.

Chicago had the opposite season trajectory of the Caribou, stumbling a bit out of the gates but finishing strong to the point where most GLBL fans felt that they had seen this too often.

Chicago got consistent performances from names that we are used to hearing in the Windy City. David Huffman led position players with 5.6 WAR, slugging 23 HR and a .850 OPS.  Starting pitchers Everton Mounsey (15-4 2.58 ERA) and Antonio Mendez (13-4, 2.98 ERA) are competing for pitcher of the year.

A couple of other new names had a big impact on Chicago’s season.  A midseason signing of Eric Orr seemed to be a catalyst for the turnaround.  Though he started just 53 games, Orr earned 2.1 WAR had a .878 OPS and smacked 10 HR.   But the biggest may have been rookie CF Antonio “The Terrible” Mendez.   At just 20, he had a 105+ OPS but his standout defense in center helped make him the second most valuable player on the championship team with a 3.9 WAR and a likely lock for Rookie of the Year.

The Architects have been in the championship conversation every season of this decade, missing the playoffs just once.  WIth an aging roster, and one that will be getting more expensive by the year, how long can they continue to stay (and some would say “overstay their welcome”) into the next decade is anyone’s guess.

Chicago, back to the Top


Were they the best team in 2030?  Some might argue that they were not based on the overall record and the fact that it was Toledo that won the USA League Championship.  But, it might be more important who you are at the end of the season as compared with the rest of it.  Because, it was Chicago who was able to match up against Toledo, a team that specializes in grinding up their opponents on their home field.  That doesn’t happen by accident, it takes a plan.

Alex Wobbema, the brains behind the team, guided his Architects to their third GLBL championship.  The first two belonged to Al Borie who now heads up Alex’s old team, the Hamilton Mounties.  With Wobbema’s championship, his second overall, he becomes the first GM to win in both leagues having accomplished the feat in 2021.

If there was a player who stood out it might just be the one year wonder, Phillipe Janin.  The 29 year old had 7 seasons in Windsor before inking a $13. million dollar one year deal with Chicago.  His 4.7 WAR was a career high.  Janin has since bolted for Kingston, ironically the runner up in the finals.  It will be interesting to see if Phillipe can work his magic back to back.

Kurt Peterson, GM of the Comets, is hoping it’s true.  Prognosticators cite his team as the most improved over the off-season.

Janin tied two other Architect players for the team lead in round trippers with just 13.  He led the club in doubles with 47, Runs with 91, and was second in RBI’s with 83.


The GLBL salutes Alex and his Architects for their successful 2030 season.



Up Against it? Or, Right where they want them?

The Chicago Architects are trying to win their 3rd title but are down 0-2.  History tells us being down in the playoffs means very little to this team.  They have rallied from 0-3 deficits before so 0-2 probably seems inconsequential, or at least it does not evoke the feeling of doom that some GM’s might feel in this position.

Chi GM Al Borie had this to say this morning, “Oh, they’re off to a decent start. In their case they won’t have a chance to lose one at home until Game Six, and they may have wrapped it up by then. You gotta like their chances.
But I like mine too. I have no idea who the better team is, but mine has always had a tendency to fall behind and come back.”  The small sampling of 4-0 in the regular season points toward Hamilton as the favorite, especially up by two games.

But, the Hamilton Mounties are all too familiar with being the last minute bridesmaid and not the bride as they, more than any other ball club, have come the closest to winning a championship only to fall just short.  Witness last year as they took a 2 run lead into the bottom of the 9th only to see the game tied before losing in extra innings to the Duluth Sea Gulls.  Hamilton has never had a losing season and this is their 4th trip to the post-season with many wondering, if not speculating, that maybe it just might be their year.  The unlikely hero of game two was light hitting George Huffman batting .143 for the post season but it was the two singles in the 2nd and 4th that accounted for two runs batted in and the difference in the 3-2 win.  He was but 1 for 21 heading into yesterday’s contest.

The series heads to the Windy City where Arvin Northeast will take the hill while being opposed by Roosevelt Gilbert, coming off a stunning 8.1 IP shutout of Toronto.  At the same time it was Arvin Northeast who slammed the door on Toledo with his 8.0 IP/ 0 Runs effort that punched the Architects ticket to the Championship Round.

“Read the highlights and thought HAM was off to a decent start, but you’re never in trouble til you lose at home – so they say!”, were the comments of Owen Sound GM David Jones, but in the case of Chicago they not only can’t risk a loss at home but they have to win on the road.  Using the above logic the Mounties simply need to take care of business in Hamilton to earn the status GLBL Champions for the first time in their history.  The roadblock?  Chicago loves to come from behind and is famous for crushing the dreams of their opponents.


City of Champs!

chicago-walk-about-475 The Architects 2018 GLBL Champions

After two second place finishes in 2015 and 2016 (one Championship Series appearance) the Chicago Architects fell to 58-82 in 2017.  It was the third straight year they reduced the payroll ($114M).  Following the mandate of the owner Gregory Boquet they reduced the 2018 payroll even further to $101M.  But, then the team got busy.

Todd Walter was inked to a 2 year extension  (2.52 ERA)

Nathan Ball signed a 5 year deal (35 saves 0.79 ERA)

Ivan Diaz signed a 4 year deal (3-3/3.07 ERA)

Greg Myers 1 year deal (5-0, 1 Saves, 2.25 ERA)

Cyrill Leclerc 2 year deal (.283/.360/.511 w/27 HR’s)

Larry Dares 2 year deal (.278/.345/.438)

Lewis McTeel 3 year deal (7-10, 3.10 ERA)

Chris Dunlap signed in June (4-1, 2 Saves, 1.56 ERA)

Traded for Jean Cheron (3-2, 2.70 ERA for CHI)

With existing stars C Bill Durand, SP Arvin Northeast, SP Carl Cardny, Edward ‘Avenger’ Hudson, the Architects were the ball club with the most wins in the regular season (84) while winning both of their playoff series by  4-1 margins over Milwaukee and then ultimately the Canadian champs Windsor, 4-1.

Congratulations to Al and his Chicago Architects, 2018 Champs!

The League Championship Series

USA      eagles_0060B6_FF0000_FFFFFF_0060B6_0060B6_FFFFFF_0060B6_FF0000 shrunk   VS   chi logo shrunk

The Stats:

  • Eagles led the league in Slugging
  • Architects led the league in Homers and Runs
  • Architects steal almost 2x more bases than the Eagles
  • Eagle Catchers are more than 3% more efficient in throwing runners out
  • Eagle pitching yields the least amount of HR’s and total Runs
  • The teams committed an identical amount of errors, 63 to lead their league
  • Team vs Team….Architects hold the  edge 18-10

CAN   hamilton_mounties shrunk  VS   thunder_bay_caribou shrunk

  • Mounties led the league in Runs Scored
  • Caribou led the league in Homers
  • Caribou led the league in Walks
  • Mounties led the league in Runs surrendered (fewest)
  • Caribou led the league in ERA
  • Mounties led the league in fewest errors and largest ZR
  • Caribou Catchers throw out 10% more base runners
  • Team vs Team….Mounties have the 16-12 edge

Use your imagination and….

retail-and-entertainment-complex@2x      chi logo shrunk you never know what you might see.   A few weeks back no one dared imagine….any other reality than a Milwaukee Eagle pennant…..going away.  Just one month ago the Eagles had a comfortable 16 game lead over Chicago with the third place T-Birds 16.5 GB.  Slam Dunk, right?  Play out the season and try and stay away from injuries.

Well, one third of that lead has evaporated and the Chicago Architects are one game away from a single digit deficit in their pursuit of Milwaukee.  They have won 11 of 13.  They have been on a tear, simply put, but beyond the hot streak there is one stat no one in Milwaukee likes to face.  Chicago has a 12-7 advantage in head to  head play.

This might get interesting.