Summer League Journaltm

1994 Review/1995 Preview

Can the Cannibals repeat?

DEKALB(AP) - Jimmy Key racing home...John Valentin, World Series hero, held high in Cannibal coach/first base coach Steve Balboni's arms...Ken Griffey accepting his World Series MVP award... all images of victory left imprinted on a nation's mind. However, for every victory there was a defeat...Jim Gott, Pipe Dream reliever, his head hung in shame after yet another blown save in the Series...Ken Klein, Rhinelander Blue Coat manager, his jersey torn to shreads in a one-game playoff loss. Another APBA season with it's highs and lows, with some amazing finishes and boring battles for the cellar. What will happen this year?

Last year, the strongest division was the Klein division, as expected, with Keith topping Ken in a one game playoff, with Chris just off the pace, acting as spoiler (which he seemed to relish) down the stretch. The division included the top three offensive teams, which resulted in some explosive finishes. The other division, the Norris Division, was a division that played the "inside" game. Bunting, the hit-and-run, stealing, all tools that needn't be used in a 6 team league, dominated this division. The Cannibals pulled away early and held off the field, while the Tahiti Border Patrol, led by Brian Boice, and Dan Casper's Tallahasse Turmoil battled for the cellar, with Brian's team coming out on top (or was it the bottom?).

After compiling the league's best overall record and winning the Series in 7 games, the Cannibals' manager says anything less than a repeat would be a disappointment for his squad. "True, we have no players returning, but I still think we have a solid nucleus to win it again," said Greg Nims, manager, GM, vice president in charge of baseball operations, and head talent evaluator of the Cannibals. Nims is already pumped for the upcoming season, sighting the new Buhner he's growing as a sign. "Yeah, Jay is a valued member of the franchise, and we hope to see him back," said Nims. Asked of the snub that Tim Salmon and John Wetteland received when it came to post-season awards, his feelings were "They might have lost out on the balloting, but they each had rings to comfort them in the off season. And nothing can ever bother THE SALMONATOR!!!" He sees no hurdles or stumbling blocks in their quest for the title, other than Reinhold Danger. Nims was quoted as saying, "He can always put a crimp in my managerial style."

The Jamaica Pipe Dreams came in a hard fought second, with a rough battle for the division title taking too much out of the squad for a serious effort in the Series. "We had a good team, but we Gott screwed in the end," said Keith with a wry smile. Once again, Keith will have the most knowledge about the league, but will misuse it in the end.

Ken, self-proclaimed king of APBA, lost a one-game playoff to Keith, and instantly attributed the loss of luck. "BUNCH OF SCRUBS!! THAT'S WHO THEY ARE!! SCRUB-A-DUB-DUB!!!" said a calm, composed, shirtless Ken in the makeshift press conference of the generator room. "LEAGUE MVP? THE PIPE DREAM BAT BOY!! HE GAVE THE BATS TO THE SCRUBS WHO HIT ALL THE HOMERS!!!" This year, Ken will, once again, be the favorite, but will be too busy schmoozing with the fans to win it.

Chris, the only foreign franchise, gave a good effort, but didn't have the time or the circumstances to win it. "Yeah, I didn't want to win anyways," said Chris, "but at least Ken didn't win. HAHAHAHAHA!!!" Chris doesn't seem to have a shot this year, as sitting on a toilet in a stall while talking on a cellular phone isn't the greatest position to manage from.

Dan, in his rookie effort, overcame some mental boners to field a competitive team. "YEAH, JOHN VALENTIN WAS SERIES MVP! WHO DO YOU THINK DRAFTED HIM?" said a humbled Dan. This year, Dan has his sights set for the playoffs, with the championship as an outside goal. "Luckily, we're picking all new teams. Where's my chew-ski?" Dan said with a grin.

The former owner of the Border Patrol, sighting "family" circumstances, has withdrawn his franchise from the league. In his place will be fantasy league legend Jim Frank. From football, to baseball, to basketball, Jim has stunk at them all. It boggles the mind to realize how bad some of Jim's teams have been. You'd think that by luck alone he'd be all right at something. However, his luck seems to be changing. His basketball franchise will finish in the first division, and his fantasy league baseball team was quoted as being "not so bad" by a competing GM after the spring draft.

The word out of Las Vegas is Nims, say most experts. $, the oddsmaker formerly know as Brian Boice, fingers the Cannibals as the team to beat. "Yeah, I think he'll win it, he has such a great baseball mind," said $. Asked of his new 'name', $ said, "I was just tired of the old me. I'm now uptown, shake-em bake-em, $, oddsmaker to the money makers and rump shakers."

$'s odds to win the Series

Jim9 million:1

Spring training officially starts on Sunday, May 14, Mother's Day, the last for managers to report. Estimated draft day is Monday, May 29, Memorial Day. 15 days of scouting, evaluating, wheeling and dealing are expected before the draft. But many questions are still up in the air. What is the rule about steal frequency? What is the AIM position the league will take? Any limitations or just anything you can get out of your players? How many games on the schedule? What is the right balance of a big schedule, but not too boring in the end? Will Nims win the Series in 4 games, or 5? These questions, and more, will all be answered this summer. Play ball!

Written and published 4/95 by greg nims.

Back to main SL page