Summer League Journaltm

Fall 1996 Hiatus Edition

Death of the Summer League?

Could Series be a Zima zweep?

DEKALB(AP) - After another successful season by the Hannibal/Pocatello/Toronto/Yuma franchise in the Summer League, the future of the league is in question. Will league owners once again receive a lesson from Nims? The season was full of promise over the future of the league, yet certain drawbacks loom large. Admitting Gostman was the first mistake. Yuma owner Greg Nims was adamantly opposed to this move, yet the league allowed it and continues to pay the price. The league expanded its playoffs from 33% of the league to a whopping 57%, with dire consequences. The league will have a sub-.500 team in the playoffs for the first time. Once again, Nims opposed this rule, and the league suffers. When will the owners learn who to turn to? Luckily, the Klein Commision listened to rules proposals about games played limits from Nims, and is basking in the newfound labor peace. Unfortunately, with league successes, the business side looms as important as the games.

As for the games, Yuma, unsurprisingly, has just about wrapped up the regular season's best record. For Nims, this could be his 4th best regular season record in 4 tries. Borrowing from the tradition started by the annoying Bulls-lovin' Chicago media to create stupid puns, Yuma merchants have begun producing "Fourshadow of thingz to come" t-shirts. Led by the play of John Cangelosi, Zima really turned it on in the second half. Bolstered by the acquisition of Craig Biggio and Cangelosi earning the starting DH spot from Ozzie Canseco's brother, Zima swept a crucial mid-season series with Cape Hatteras and never looked back. "Sure, Cape Hatteras thought it was a big series," stated Nims, "and felt demoralized after we whipped their butts. To us, its just another series. You get sort of used to it, being #1." Nims prides this team as his most satisfying, taking a young, scrappy underacheiving team that he thought 'zucked' to a division title. The team eeriely resembles Keith's Xanadu Honeydews, which Keith despised early on, yet took to his lone league title. The key, as he is every year, is Buhner. Jay is the greatest player in Summer League history, if you go by winning (how else do you measure a player?). So far, Jay has 4 rings. Will he pull Zima to the top, and earn the elusive thumb ring?

Following Yuma in the Schmank Division, Cape Hatteras is in a struggle to even make the playoffs, with the surprising Smoka Tokas having Gostman's best (and last) season. Saskatchewan pulls up the rear, hitting mucho dongs along the way. The Cape had a down year, marked by Ken Klein's severe depression, that even cut into his beer consumption. Klein wreaked his revenge on the fledgling Continuous League, shocking the greatest team ever, the Hannibal Cannibals, to hold a commanding lead in the second half of the season, not to mention that he is leading both divisions. The Smoka Tokas could have used some managing more than once a month. Saskatchewan could have used a manager that was awake.

In the Brother Jim Division, draft day cheers turned to All-Star break tears when rookie manager Kobe Bryant surprised the league by having his Keystone Keggers in the playoff hunt the whole season. Oz and Evanston front offices broke out the bubbly on draft day while Keith and Chris did their best Yogi Berra-Don Larsen imitation, only to sweat out the season before earning playoff positions. Maybe if Jay Bell didn't bat cleanup so much, with Bonds batting ninth, the Keggers could have won the extra couple of games needed to pull even with Evanston. Oz has a few games remaining, but it is a safe bet (unless you play for Boston College) to win the division title, which would be Keith's 3rd in 4 seasons.

Ther playoff discussion (contrary to the Buzz) centers around Yuma. Heavy favorites to win the Series, Zima players insist they feel no pressure. Even if they don't win, Nims views the regular season as the true test of a team. Anything can happen in a playoff series (see this year's MLB Series), but a team's mettle is truly tested over a vigorous schedule.

Postseason individual awards don't exist to Nims. "Players are just pawns in a chess game," states Nims, "They are meaningless, just a means to an end." Rival owners always give little attention to players from the Nims franchise when is comes to the postseason balloting, which doesn't bother Nims the least. "They can have all the plaques they want, we'll be happy with a ring."

Odds to win the Series

Greg2:1Favored yet again
Keith5:1Hosts first round
Ken6:1Opens on road
Chris10:1Plays Yuma first round
Kobe50:1Prayer to get playoff spot
Dan100:1Playoffs more probable, yet questions surround team
TommynoneBeaumont's lil' darlings

Written and published circa 8/96 by greg nims.

Back to main SL page