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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:06 pm 
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GM Dan Vail will be using this as the team's official media forum.

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Last edited by Bears on Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:21 pm 
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2028 SL Wild Card Playoff Preview

Bakersfield, CA. Oct 3, 2018.

As the champagne soaked deeper and deeper into the locker room carpet, and the crowds in the streets of Bakersfield began to dissipate, the Bears front office continued the debates that had been keeping both player and staff up at night: who is making the playoff roster? With 31 players and eight outfielders on their roster, there simply were not enough spots and not enough at bats to go around. Outfielders Jesus Lopez and Antonio Garcia will not be making the trip to Neo Tokyo, but the Bears will feature six outfielders and completely different outfields against left and right-handed hitting pitching. Rookie slugger Clyde Stinton forced his way onto the playoff team by slugging .750 against right-handed pitching on an offense that often struggled to score runs, while rookie 2B prospect Ramon Guzman was not able to displace veteran Bryan Cleveland despite a very comparable offensive showing. The Bears will also not be utlizing fifth starter Lance Harris, at least during the Wild Card series.

The Bears and the Akira have split their season matchups, each winning six games. The Bears come into the series after a very successful September run where they won 20 of 27. The Akira had a more challenging month going 13 for 27 but were able to win 8 of 15 against playoff teams. For a more in depth discussion of this series and the IL series, check out the PEBA podcast here.

C
Akira
Atsumori Kichida 0.293/0.322/0.749 (AVG/OBP/OPS)
Héctor Rodríguez 0.212/0.262/0.602
Bears
Connor Clavell 0.209/0.313/0.701
Steve McDonald 0.217/0.335/0.682

Advantage: Bears

McDonald has underperformed this year, but remains a solid offensive player while framing for and supporting one of the best pitching staffs in PEBA. Rodriguez remains an excellent defensive catcher, but has taken a step back in power this year and has been a weakness in an otherwise potent Akira offense.

1B
Akira
Chuck Glass 0.275/0.311/0.721
Koshiro Nakashima 0.251/0.326/0.765
Bears
Alex Bothwell 0.278/0.345/0.869
Clyde Stinton 0.231/0.268/0.832

Advantage: Bears
The arrival of the Red Hook in Bakersfield marked a change in the defense-first mentality of the Bears. Since arriving at the trade deadline, Bothwell has continued his steady offense by hitting 14 home runs while calling the notoriously pitcher-friendly Yum! Field home. Baby-faced 20-year-old rookie 1B Stinton fared well in his second call-up of the year, with an OPS+ of 214 on a BABIP of just .188 in September. Akira's first basemen were steady if limited players, but cannot match the power production Bakersfield sports at the position.

2B
Akira
Fernando De La Garza 0.313/0.358/0.825
B.J. Gassaway 0.263/0.337/0.781
Bears
Bryan Cleveland 0.217/0.241/0.584
Gilberto Valdéz 0.220/0.259/0.588

Advantage: Akira
Neither youth nor experience excelled offensively at 2B for the Bears this year, while Akira second basemen tore the comparative cover off the ball. Gassaway's 23 home runs and 128 OPS+ would have been sufficient to outclass the Bears here alone, but were supplemented by De La Garza's 141 OPS+ in limited play.

3B
Akira
Guillermo Justavo 0.255/0.278/0.719
Bears
Rudy Brown 0.184/0.246/0.628
George Kelly 0.213/0.259/0.600

Advantage: Akira
The story is much the same at the hot corner, as Bears third basemen struggled at the plate to the tune of a combined .191 AVG while Justavo hit 28 home runs and produced 3.6 WAR even as several of his teammates made his solid season look relatively meek.

SS
Akira
Brian Coleman 0.280/0.334/0.724
Miguel Rinlón 0.228/0.267/0.582
Bears
Javier Torres 0.232/0.261/0.605

Advantage: Akira
While both Coleman and Torres are known best for their excellent defense, Coleman produced 5.2 WAR compared to Torres's 1.6 on the merits of his bat. Coleman made his first all-star appearance while stealing 22 bases, hitting 33 doubles, and 9 triples.

OF
Akira
Jeffrey Grier 0.286/0.370/0.746
Cal Morrissey 0.203/0.249/0.509
Tomás Martínez 0.273/0.322/0.819
Yasuhiro Nagai 0.264/0.292/0.664
Ramiro Reynoso 0.278/0.327/0.823
Bears
Stephen Hooper 0.235/0.350/0.679
Germán Jáquez 0.225/0.292/0.668
King Bailey 0.226/0.274/0.671
António Figueroa 0.245/0.293/0.709
Jarrod Ricks 0.231/0.302/0.728
Mark St. John 0.233/0.320/0.654

Advantage: Akira
Led by 24-year-old phenom Tomás Martínez, the Akira outfield is lefty dominant and may well feast on Bears righties in this series. Leadoff hitter Grier had a spectacular rookie season, hitting .286 while walking at an 11.7% clip. The Bears outfield is something of a mess, featuring a clash of defensive gurus and veteran sluggers. Led by deadline acquisition Jarrod "Merlin" Ricks and speedster António Figueroa, the Bears will need all of manager Wayne Kedsch's extensive experience to maximize the talent of this bunch. Merlin has hit well since reaching Bakersfield, slugging .519, and Figueroa has stolen 53 bases - a number which pales in comparison to Grier's league-leading 88 thefts. The Bears need to hope that their veteran experience can make up for some of the talent gap between these groups, or Bears pitching might be in for a rough series.

SP
Akira
SP José Fernández (L) 211.2 IP in 33 GS, 119/4.8 (ERA+/WAR)
SP Javier Ferreira (L) 222 IP in 32 GS, 95/3.3 (ERA+/WAR)
SP Alfonso Ramos (R) 177 IP in 32 GS, 112/2.8 (ERA+/WAR)
SP Luigi Bright (R) 160.2 IP in 30 GS, 87/2.8 (ERA+/WAR)
SP Júlio Díaz (R) 183.1 IP in 32 GS, 102/2 (ERA+/WAR)

Bears
SP Neil Maes (R) 224.1 IP in 33 GS, 181/5.2 (ERA+/WAR)
SP Fred Womack (R) 219 IP in 31 GS, 180/4.6 (ERA+/WAR)
SP Erik Watson (L) 194.2 IP in 32 GS, 93/3.2 (ERA+/WAR)
SP Declan Littleworth (L) 205 IP in 32 GS, 109/2.9 (ERA+/WAR)

Advantage: Bears
It seems that no one can figure out the mystery of mid to late career breakout seasons by Bears starters Neil Maes and Fred Womack. Maes is striking out a career low 4.3 batters per 9IP and Womack is not much ahead at only 5.5 K/9, yet both sport identical 1.89 ERAs. Whether Akira bats can figure out how these two are leading a Bears staff that has allowed less than three runs per game is the crux of this series. Akira ace José Fernández will have a lot on his shoulder(s) as the lone Akira starter with a season FIP below 3.

SP
Akira
RP Jorge Martínez (R) 50 IP in 47 G, 1/247 (WHIP/ERA+)
CL Júlio González (R) 57 IP in 67 G, 1.14/118 (WHIP/ERA+)
CL Cleve Douglas (L) 57.1 IP in 44 G, 1.01/205 (WHIP/ERA+)
RP Adrik Glindzich (L) 67.1 IP in 62 G, 1.26/106 (WHIP/ERA+)
RP Katsuhito Hayashi (L) 88.2 IP in 61 G, 0.95/134 (WHIP/ERA+)
SP Kitahachi Noda (R) 81.1 IP in 44 G, 1.23/91 (WHIP/ERA+)
CL Ramón Contreras (R) 39.2 IP in 60 G, 1.61/98 (WHIP/ERA+)
RP Hayden Rudder (L) 69.2 IP in 43 G, 1.35/86 (WHIP/ERA+)
Bears
RP Sadakuno Nakagawa (R) 85.1 IP in 75 G, 1.09/215 (WHIP/ERA+)
RP Bob O'Higgins (R) 64 IP in 58 G, 1.17/135 (WHIP/ERA+)
RP Oliver Martínez (R) 44.2 IP in 24 G, 1.28/121 (WHIP/ERA+)
RP Matthew Powell (R) 60.2 IP in 35 G, 1.2/164 (WHIP/ERA+)
RP Toru Yamada (R) 63 IP in 45 G, 1.24/159 (WHIP/ERA+)
RP Hideaki Hara (R) 58.2 IP in 55 G, 1.24/131 (WHIP/ERA+)
RP Juan Ochoa (R) 53.2 IP in 30 G, 1.64/64 (WHIP/ERA+)

Advantage: None
The Bears and the Akira, as they have been overall this year, are very evenly matched in relief. Each squad features a veteran closer with top end stuff and over 40 saves. Each features a deep stable of effective middle and back end arms. If there's an advantage to be had between these two pens, it may as well come down to the humidity for how much effect it has on paper. In what appears to be a very evenly matched series, the dice can offer as much prediction as the season history between these two squads. We can only hope the Wild Card series plays out as well as the season matchups have so far.

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Last edited by Bears on Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:07 pm 
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Nice break down, Dan. Looking forward to seeing this series play out!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:15 pm 
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Best of luck Dan! Enjoyed the analysis.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:25 am 
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awesome run down!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:54 pm 
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Clyde Stinton - PEBA's Baby Boomer

Clyde Stinton has never been afraid of the stage. On Thursday, October 5th, 2028, with all of baseball's eyes watching, the 20-year-old rookie started his first playoff game in the coveted #2 spot in the Bears lineup. Bakersfield has struggled to score runs all year, finishing 13th of 13 Sovereign League teams in runs scored even after acquiring veteran sluggers Alex Bothwell and Jarrod Ricks at the deadline. The Bears also faced a one game deficit after dropping a close game one in the five game series. Asking this kid, who wasn't legally allowed to fully partake in the Bears' playoff-clinching celebration just days prior, to spark the league's meekest offense on the playoff stage was, at least, a big ask. Clyde, though, has answered big asks before in his young career. He saw success immediately as a 17-year-old English immigrant in his time at short season A ball in Cold Bay. He was asked to skip over A ball in proceed directly to AA after only 122 plate appearances as a professional player. He responded by hitting 24 home runs and crushing AA pitching as an 18-year-old. He made it to AAA that same year and posted on OPS+ of 111 in 158 appearances. The next year, he savaged AAA pitching to the tune of a 183 OPS+ and 33 home runs. He earned his first call up to the Bears in July of 2028, and while he struggled slightly in that brief stay, it only seemed to encourage growth. Clyde likely said goodbye to the minors for good just days after turning 20 as he was one of five Bears September call ups. Stinton took the opportunity to force his way onto the playoff roster, posting a 1.061 OPS in sporadic appearances, and providing life to an offense that could go days without scoring multiple runs (and still see the team win - the Bears won three 1-0 games in September). Stinton played barely over two full seasons in the minors and accrued two player of the month awards, four player of the week awards, and two all star appearances. On Thursday, he showed those awards were probably not the last of his young career, as he did just what as asked of him. With one on in a tight 1-0 game, Stinton expanded the Bears' thin lead with a 370 foot shot over the right field wall. He would repeat that feat in the 8th with a towering 430 foot solo blast to put the Bears up 6-2. When reached for comment, the young bloke from the distinctively British-sounding town of Waterlooville, England, demurred from the spotlight and noted that the three runs he drove in were technically not significant since the Bears ended up winning by five runs. Stinton's teammates harshly disagreed with the rookie's opinion of his impact, even as they ushered him toward the inner clubhouse, insisting it was "past his bedtime".

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:32 pm 
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That was Stinton's first multi hit game at the PEBA level. Nice way to introduce himself to the league! Of course, we already knew about him as he hit a home run in his only at bat against us. :shake:

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:41 pm 
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Badgers wrote:
That was Stinton's first multi hit game at the PEBA level. Nice way to introduce himself to the league! Of course, we already knew about him as he hit a home run in his only at bat against us. :shake:


I didn't realize that was his first multihit game, but it makes sense. The dude is certainly an aggressive hitter.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:15 pm 
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Hamada Out, Bears Hire Fujii as Scouting Director

October 9, 2028

Former Bakersfield Director of Scouting Ryutaro Hamada was fired Monday after refusing to discuss a potential extension with the organization. Bears GM Dan Vail decided to move on sooner rather than later, hiring former Reno Scouting Director Sojuro Fujii in the middle of the team's Wild Card berth, while refusing to comment on the details of the separation. It has been rumored that Hamada wanted a bigger role within the organization, but it appears any potential power struggle was decided upon swiftly and unceremoniously. Vail spoke highly of Hamada during the announcement and thanked him for his three years of service to the organization, stating "while I wish we could have found a way to keep him in the fold, we wish Ryutaro the very best in his future endeavors."

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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 12:23 pm 
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Bears Swing for Tall, Oddly Proportioned Fences with Acquisition of Webb

November 14, 2028

The re-shaping of the Bears into a better-than-worst offense continues as GM Dan Vail traded away a long term pitching asset in starter Declan Littleworth for the rival Evas' starting 3B, Christian Webb. After posting a career high 6.8 WAR, hitting 23 home runs, and finishing third in the SL Royal Raker voting in 2025, Webb has regressed somewhat, accruing 2.9 and 3.2 WAR in the last two seasons. The Bears hope that he can return to his higher form in a new home as he earns $50M over the next two seasons, though the salary burden is lessened somewhat by the inclusion of cash in the deal, which was a contentious facet of the negotiations. Third base was vacant for the Bears as the platoon that covered the hot corner for the 2028 Bears was either traded (George Kelly) or retired (Rudy Brown). When individually asked about the inclusion of a late round pick swap, the GMs of the Evas and Bears each replied cryptically, "it is as it should be, praise Bauer."

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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 6:08 pm 
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Steep Price Paid to Shed Lopez

December 26, 2028

RF Jesús López was supposed to be the slugger that kept the Bears out of the run production basement, but new management in 2028 did not see him as the offensive savior that was promised. After accruing only 23 at bats after GM Dan Vail took over at the 2028 trade deadline, Jesús López opted into one of the more expensive contracts in PEBA - a two year, $56 million dollar contract option. With no spot on the roster for him and no bidders on his new deal, the Bears considered releasing him and paying the entirety of that contract during the 2029 year. That move would have greatly limited roster flexibility and likely pushed Vail onto the hotseat with the Bears ownership. Before any final decisions were made, though, PEBA announced the expansion of the league in a move that brought the Manchester Maulers to the game's largest platform. The Maulers front office simultaneously recognized the talent on their roster was not enough to compete right away and instead expressed interest in acquiring assets that would allow it to compete for a championship several years down the road. Bakersfield, having won 94 games in 2028, is in win-now mode. A spark of creativity and vision from both front offices led to a deal that would send two high level picks and PEBA-ready CF prospect Scott Carpenter to Manchester in exchange for their agreement to take on López's salary. While Bakersfield clearly wanted to go in a different direction, many believe there is still some juice left in López's bat. In Manchester, he'll have the opportunity to prove those believers right and show what is likely to be a very youthful clubhouse what leadership and professionalism look like. In Bakersfield, rumor has it that newfound salary space will not stay unused for long as several marquee free agent sluggers remain unsigned. While this is something of an unusual deal, the hope is that both organizations will further their goals and turn out better because of this exchange.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:00 am 
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That's the start of a baseball movie right there. I can see Lopez walking in to the clubhouse for the first time.

Interesting trade!

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:09 pm 
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Warriors wrote:
That's the start of a baseball movie right there. I can see Lopez walking in to the clubhouse for the first time.

Interesting trade!


It might start with the uproar in the Bakersfield clubhouse when the trade was announced. The players were pissed!

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:25 pm 
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A good move even if he lights it back up this season, and a good article too. ;-D

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:56 pm 
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The Blockbuster with No Stars
Bakersfield, CA – 10 February, 2029

Bears GM Dan Vail set the ancient hard-line telephone receiver down into its seat with a careful but exhausted clink and sighed reflexively. The final piece of the puzzle that brought his target into the Bakersfield organization was set into place, and a pair of trades that may be looked back upon as pivotal in the coming years were complete. After working tirelessly with the front offices of the Florida Featherheads and Charleston Statesmen, Vail was able to rest a bit knowing he’d secured one of the most highly regarded prospects in PEBA, 17-year-old catcher Mauro Mata out of Venezuela. The Bears had essentially worked a three-team trade, rare in PEBA transactions, by first acquiring the sixth pick in the 2029 draft in a massive trade with Florida that saw seven players change teams alongside that pick and a hefty sum of Bears’ cash. In all those numbers however, perhaps the most interesting is one: one player in that trade had more than a full year of service time to his name, 31-year-old left fielder Mushanokoji Matsumoto. Far from a star, Matsumoto has played consistently for Florida in a limited role, demonstrating perhaps his most valuable skill – dependability. He joins a Bears outfield that has been in flux ever since Vail took over midseason last year. The Bears played six different outfielders in their playoff series against Neo Tokyo, having traded for two of those at the deadline. They have since traded five outfielders and now received two in trades. The Bears also acquired rookie LHP Pedro Marquis in the trade, whom will be the only LHP the Bears have available for bullpen work. The last piece the Bears added was 18-year-old 3B prospect Emílio Ibarra, formerly of the SS-A EWA Beach Imperialists. The swap with Florida is made all the more impressive after the infamous swipe of Bears legend Steve “Steve Hott” Hott from waivers after what can only be called a crucial filing error on the part of the Bears.

Florida, for all their trouble, received a bounty that was headlined by LF Eugenio Zúñiga and advanced catching prospect Roberto Ortega, whom in just one year managed to advance from second round pick to 21-year-old AA prospect by mashing SA and A level pitching to the tune of 144 and 147 wRC+, respectively. Zúñiga is a player that was never able to find a place in the crowded Bears outfield, despite doing nothing but smash AAA (and PEBA, in limited opportunities) pitching and has amassed a 140 wRC+ over 1703 ABs at the AAA level over several years. A source inside the Bears indicated that the organization did not feel that Yum! Field, with its expansive outfield and deep, high walls especially in left field, was a good fit for Zúñiga’s skill set. The Bears also passed along two advanced AAA/AA RHPs in Steven Miller and Cuban fireballer Manuel Serrano. Lastly, the Bakersfield brokered the sixth pick in the 2029 draft to Charleston in exchange for Mata.

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