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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:13 pm 
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By Hamish Campbell
Evening News Staff Writer
2028-09-18

The Claymores are on the brink.

On the brink of clinching an Imperial League Wild Card spot, on the brink of making the playoffs for the first time since joining PEBA in 2021 from Japan, on the brink of challenging for the Trans Atlantic Division lead.

On the brink, in other words, of history.

Last week’s unexpected sweep of two division leaders – Havana and West Virginia – helped put the Scottish 12 games ahead of Arlington in the Wild Card chase and shrunk their “magic number” for securing a playoff spot to one. In other words, any Scottish win or Arlington loss in the remaining two weeks of the season will put the Claymores over the top.

“It’s unbelievable, really,” said Scottish veteran Terry Dumont, who has suffered through some truly terrible baseball in recent seasons. “I mean, we lost 99 games last year, so who could have expected this?”
Terry Dumont



Manager Hayato Sasaki, for one.

“I felt this club had some special players – some of whom had been here for many years, and some of whom had just arrived, such as myself,” Sasaki said. “And we have had much adversity this season – many terrible injuries that cost us important players – but we have pulled through. And we are stronger for it.”

Indeed, the team will need to persevere through another set of serious injuries that occurred during last week’s winning streak. Third baseman Bob Swift and starting pitcher Roger Keller, both key free agent pickups during the summer, are out for the remainder of the season and the playoffs with shoulder injuries.

Keller will be back next season, having just signed a reported $1 million contract extension, but Swift is a question mark. His contract is up, and rumor has it he’s been asking for upwards of $8 million – a figure that management is unlikely to cough up.


An emotional Swift talked to reporters the day after the May 16 injury against West Virginia. His right arm was in a sling to relieve pressure on his ailing shoulder.

Bob Swift



“This is so disappointing,” he said, his voice quavering. “I have never played in the post-season, and this was something I was ready to savor – and now it’s gone, just like that.”

Keller, too, was unhappy, but spoke hopefully of next year. “I’ll be back and better than ever – and so will this team,” he said.

One undeniable bright spot from last week was the play of slugger Don “Jasper” Mercer, who has been in something of a funk since his arrival in Edinburgh from Duluth. Word in the clubhouse was that Mercer was still smarting from being traded away from Minnesota.

“I won’t lie,” Mercer said last week. “I was shocked. I mean, I know the Warriors needed to save money and I know my contract is big, but Duluth was home. I never thought I’d leave there in a million years.

“But I’ll tell you one thing – I am thrilled to be a part of this team. It’s the best clubhouse atmosphere I’ve ever been around, and we have been playing damn fine baseball.”

Last week, Mercer did, too – finally demonstrating why the Scottish were willing to take on his $34 million salary. Mercer hit 3 home runs, including a grand slam against West Virginia, and knocked in 13 runs.

Don "Jasper" Mercer



“No question, Jasper picked us up and put us on his back last week,” said shortstop Naomi Honma. “He’s a big reason we went 6-0 – and why we’re where we are right now.”

And where they are is someplace special.

The Scottish have already matched the best win total in franchise history, a mark set in 2017 when the team was known as the Fushigi Yugi Celestial Warriors and made the LRS championship series, but lost to Neo Tokyo 4 games to 2.

Now, should the Claymores win just two of the 13 remaining games in the season, they would crack the 90-win barrier for the first time ever.

“That would be a special accomplishment,” said Sasaki. “I would very much like to be able to do that for our fans.”

The team also is excited – and a little amazed – to find themselves in the hunt for the division title, just three games behind Havana.

“It seems like we’ve been between 10 and 7 games behind them the whole season,” said star outfielder Vince Powell. “Now, we’re breathing down their necks. I don’t know if we catch them or not, but it’s sweet to be in the chase.”

And that, finally, is a sentiment shared widely on this team: partly because of everything they’ve been through, the winning has been particularly sweet.

“But we ain’t satisfied yet,” said second baseman José Escobido, who’s currently leading the majors in hitting with a .340 batting average but also is nursing a sore elbow. “This team is hungry, and we’ve got a lot more to accomplish before we’re done.”

The Claymores, you see, are on the brink.

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Scottish Claymores


Last edited by Claymores on Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:44 am 
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An early Congrats Vic!!!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:04 am 
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Well-written as always Vic. Thrilled to see Jasper (finally) heating up over there, and suffice to say we miss the guy.

Rooting for a historic postseason for the Scottish!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:15 am 
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Thanks, guys. Jasper is still very upset about “transactions” but his morale is “great”, so go figure. Just so long as he hits some long balls, I’ll be happy. He did have a monster week. Finally.

I’ve got to credit James Mathis of Canton, who was the caretaker GM of the Scottish before I joined PEBA, for making some really excellent free agent signings: Guillen, Escobido, Barron, and poor Francisco Robles, among others. Those guys made a real difference in the roster.

I got lucky with a few, too: Swift, Keller, Guthrie, Talley all helped greatly.

It’ll be interesting to see how they hold up under post-season pressure!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:16 pm 
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Claymores wrote:
The Scottish have already matched the best win total in franchise history, a mark set in 2017 when the team was known as the Fushigi Yugi Celestial Warriors and made the LRS championship series, but lost to Neo Tokyo 4 games to 2.

And... Don't look now, but we can have an 'LRS Rematch' as a Rodriguez Cup Final...

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:11 pm 
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Nice job by Scottish to close the gap to 3. Gotta get some popcorn to see how this whole things unwinds. Should be fun! :clap:

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