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VOLUME:L ... April 2024






Time to kick off the 50th RCMBA season! A whole bunch of the Harwell Division has been playing games since early March. I got their cuts to 36 early and almost everyone turned in theirs early. The way the last couple of March's have gone, I believe we should change our opening day and end trading around March 15th. Most managers are pretty much done with roster tweaking by then and it'll give everyone an official extra two weeks for those first 40 games. I'll get that up for a vote at some point this year..... Looking at our trade activity this off-season, we ended up just over 200 trades which is becoming the norm. Top trader you ask:? Duh! This year Mark dealt 124 different players. Kepler, Edman & Jesus Sanchez were sent packing three times. Witt, Arenado and twelve others hit the road from Hopwood train station twice. League wide the most popular trade bodies were Mr Gurriel, Tommy Edman and Brendan Rogers. They got shipped out 11 times. Hard to imagine the reason for someone to be tossed around like that.....This year I've provided player photo's for your regular season roster page. I had a couple hundred player photos already for who knows what reason and now I've easily tripled that but at least now I've got a reason. Note that when our regular season ends I'll delete those pix because I am not going to flip Lourder Gurriel or anyone else from team to team 10 or 11 times during the off-season trading frenzy..... If anyone needs help on their instructions (getting 1 page printout), let me know & I'll help fix it. I've sent all of you stat compilers, recaps, and updated rosters along with a league directory..... Seems strange to begin the year without Ken Brand.


Before turning this over to Dickie V   his loud friend, it never hurts to remind everyone:

It's time for some fun with Dickie and the Mad Dog.


dvI'm back bay-bee! I beat Lymphoma and melanoma in 2021. I beat Dysplasia on my vocal cords in 2023. Are you serious!? Me not being able to talk for months! But I'm 100% now bay-bee and now I get my baseball fix in with you guys for your 50th season. Fifty! That's half a century and you've got 4,751 players into game and your record book! Awesome bay-bee! Alright time to check the X's and O's and see what this fiftieth season looks like.


Harwell division: The Maestro, Mr Michael Fisher has his Albuquerque boys ready again. He's got the Rolls Roycer Bryce Harper, the M&Mer Yordan Alvarez, the truly remarkable Luis Robert, the PTPer Max Fried, Marcell Ozuna hittin' those AT&Ters, and he has got the diaper dandee Jhoan Duranin..... Atlanta's Roberto Fenili, "Citi Milli" to some has the blue chip Brandon Woodruff and you talk about trifecta's bay-bee Austin Riley hits them all day and night. He's got the R&R Corbin Carroll, the board banger Blue Jay brothers Vladimir Guerrero and Bo Bichette, the All-Alcatraz Kyle Tucker. He's gonna break out this year bay-bee! T.O. this is the home of the Rolls Roycer flat out scary Ronald Acuna Jr. He's a Delta man. He's awesome bay-bee! I love him!! He's a star!..... "Country Milli" Randy Prichard Kentucky boys are stacked. He's got Mr Cy, Blake Snell, the All-Avis Zac Gallen, Q.T. Luis Castillo and doin' some Dipsy-Doo-Dunk-A-Roo's is the Surf & Turf Kyle Schwarber and you talk about diaper dandee's how about Spencer Steer!..... Speaking of Diaper Dandees we got a manager version this year in Doug "Mars" Burg. On board with him is All-Blender Kevin Gausman, blue chip Jose Ramirez, Rolls Royce Mookie Betts, the All-Indy Trea Turner, the All-Isolation Jose Altuve and T.O. bay-bee! Are you serious? He's got the Three S Man Mr Michael Trout. He's super! He's sensational! He's scintillating bay-bee!.... Uniontown boss Ed Farmer, the Frank Lloyd Wright who created this RCMBA for you has the All-Volkswagen Framber Valdez, the youngster Justin Steele, the old codger board blender Charlie Morton, JD Martinez hittin' trifecta's, All-Avis Max Muncy, All-Softball Randy Tellez, the Dow Joneser Jorge Soler, the December man Ian Hamilton and little engine that could CJ Abrams.


Caray division: Laurel Highlands Marco Polo Gaudiano once again living the One and Done story. This time he's got the diaper dan-dee Brayan Bello with the rock beside All-Soph Jesus Luzardo. There's All-World B Free Spencer Torkelson, All-Windex Nolan Gorman, the shake & bake Jazz Chisholm, the All-Potential Ke'Bryan Hayes and William Contreras bay-bee! He's a star!..... Manhattan's Dennis Dvorak, I salute him for being a cancer survivor like me. Double D's has All-Rambo Alex Bregman, blue chip Manny Machado, All-MIA Cody Bellinger. You talk about truly remarkable he's got the ageless Justin Verlander. Oh but wait! T.O.! bay-bee. Uh,oh unbelievable, he's on fire! Somebody call the Fire Dept, He's got Juan Soto bay-bee!..... Philadelphia's Jeremy Fisher is rebuilding around Diaper Dandees everywhere! Hunter Brown, Gabriel Moreno, Taj Bradley, Bryson Stott plus the MIA Christian Yelich, All-Windex Nathaniel Lowe and his mom says don't call him Nate. The high riser Carlos Correa. The All-Potential Jarred Kelenic..... Joe Reagan's Rochester Robins are chirping bay-bee. You talk about who's on my AT&T you can't have one without Pete Alonso. He's AT&T awesome bay-bee! He has the PTPer Frankie Lindor & the All-Velcro Nolan Arenado, diaper dan-dee Francisco Alvarez, he's gonna be a star! On the mound the Q.T. George Kirby, the flat out scary Corbin Burnes, the All Surf & Turf Aaron Nola but uh-oh! Where's Jacob deGrom and Edwin Diaz?... Syracuse's top man Johnny Briggs trying to make it cupcake city and cut the nets down again. He's still got the PTPer Freddie Freeman, the Human Space Ship former MVP Aaron Judge. He's added the Rip &Run Bobby Witt and Esteury Ruiz. The Maestro behind the plate is Adley Rutschman. T.O.! bay-bee! I can't believe how good this guy is, the truly remarkable Shohei Ohtani. He's a star! I love 'em baby. Not only him but handlin' the rock is Mr Cy Gerrit Cole and the Surf and Turf Zack Wheeler. Closing is the Pac Man Josh Hader. Are you serious!? How can he have all that? Call Mr Policeman! He's got to be stealing from somewhere.


Allen division: Ed "Capt" Morgans Bennett Run team is flat out loaded. He's got All-December Merrill Kelly and Michael Wacha. The Capt of the All-Rambo team Josh Naylor. Rolls Roycers Marcus Semien and Corey Seager and some Diaper Dandees in Josh Jung plus Rip Van Winkle Bryce Elder... Burnsville's Andy Jeschke has quite the offense this year with Matt Olson hittin' area code J's, the All-Engine Luis Arraez. You talk about what's a PTPer well look no further than Rafael Devers or Randy Arozarena. Diapper Dandee's Evan Carter and Grayson Rodriguez. He's gonna be a star!... Iron City boss Jim Kockler has some work to do but he's already got the flat out awesome Sandy Alcantara. The All-Rambo Justin Turner. All-Delta Andrew McCutchen and the bargain basement star Bryan Reynolds along with the diaper dandee Bobby Miller. .... Let's go north of the border to Ottawa & see what Mark Featherstone has, eh!. He's got the PTPer Mr Clayton Kershaw and the All-Rambo Maxwell Scherzer. Logan Webb makes it brick city for hitters, the Three D man JT Realmuto. Julio Rodriguez bay-bee doin' his shake and bake! and the Diaper Dandee Anthony Volpe. He's All-Indy bay-bee! Jake Fraley's gonna be doing some AT&T work.... Havre de Grace is no more? T.O! Oh wait Joseph Jutzi has moved his crew to Sarasota and into a new division and he's ready for Q.T. bay-bee with the M&Mer Chris Bassitt, the youngster Kyle Bradish, the blue chip Nathan Eovaldi. Drillin Reggie's is Eugenio Suarez. He's got the diaper dandee Gunnar Henderson who's flat out a star bay-bee!. Are you serious? He's also got the #1 pick in the draft Elly De La Cruz. You talk about awesome! He's All-Windex bay-bee!


My voice needs a little rest so let me bring in the Surf & Turf, the All- Dipsy-Do-Dunk-A-Roo Christopher Russo. Chris I've gone over who we need to know about What do you see?


russoFiwst off I want to say it's good to see you back at mic pal. Alwight let's go. Hawell Division, Gee whiz this a close one. Albuds, let's be honest, can hit weally good. Alvawez leads a weally good homer hitting team and best team OPS of anyone but not much speed and awful pitching wotation but to be fair, a big time pen with tons of innings. Atlanta has Acuna but he's only pawt of the most power and speed that anyone in the league has and a weally good team OPS plus the deepest pitching in the league, period. Kentucky has Schwaber but I don't see what else sticks out. It's okay but it can't match the first two and their pitching is okay. Snell pwetty good. Can't complain there. Lancaster, pwetty decent OPS, power and speed and listen, that 3B Jose, is the most undewated guy in the game. Not much to talk about pitching but not bad either. Uniontown, pwetty good hitting but besides Mawtinez not stars like the other guys but gee whiz, they got pitching! Deep all around there. .... Cawee division. Lauwell Highlands, I just don't understand what's goin on. Every year folks it's Who's on fiwst. The guy twaded away Oneil Cwuz, Hunter Gweene, Bobby Miller, Luis Robert, Tawik Skubal and twice Nolan Awenado and Bobby Witt. GIMME A FWEAKIN BWEAK! WHAT IS HE DOING!? Moving on. Manhattan has Juan Soto and listen pal, not too many better than that kid plus he's got tons of other power, good OPS and their pitching is just as good as anyone with deep wotation and pen. Philadelphia isn't very good hitting and only Lauwell is worse pitching but looks like a lot of good kids to webuild around. Wochester, the home of the Polar Bear isn't weally gonna match with the top two but has okay hitting. Same on the mound. Searweecuse has Judge, Ohtani and can we all welax about this guy being Babe Wuth. Calm down! Stop it! He ain't. Not yet! This team's got a widiculous hitting lineup, a meeyon stolen base guys and Cole, Wheeler & Hader on the mound. Be honest now, gonna be hard to beat..... Allen division. Bennett Wun has a good team. Power with Seagwer leadin em, good team OPS, good pitching, zero speed. Buwinsville has a weally good offense. Got power, got speed and that Cawter kid looks special. Listen, in a year or two that kid Gwayson Wadweeguiz is gonna be a star but oh my right now, no pitching. Zero, Nothin. Bednar is gonna be bored. Iwon City is in for a long year. Worst offense and pitching in entire league but I tip my cap to Alcantara and that Miller kid looks special. Ottawa offense a little shaky beyond Julio but yeah they can wun. Pitching is gonna be a big pwoblem. Sawasota has pop and you might be looking at a future MVP in Gunnar Hendweson. The team has good speed but not so much on-base. Pwobably the best wotation and pen in this division.


clarkieMy pwedictions. Harwell, be honest, this one is pretty close to see who is 2nd because no one is going to keep Atlanta from winning this pennant. Albukwickee's hitting and pen get them 2nd. Uniontown, Kentucky and Lancaster fight for who's 3rd. I'll say Lancaster 3rd just bawely ahead of Uniontown & Kentucky... Caway: Searweecuse has the pitching, has the bombs and gee whiz they can steal bases. Easy win. Manhattan is pwetty good but a little light on pitching finish 2nd. Not even close in 3rd is Wochester wishing they had more of anything. About 20 games behind them and the only weason Lauwell Highlands isn't last is because of Phildelpia? Two weally bad teams. I'll give you a meeyon dahlurz if either one is 3rd... Allen gwoup is gonna be fun to watch. Housewockers nope, last again. Ottawa, nope not enough pitching. Buwinsville, not winning anything either with that pitching but hit their way into 3rd. This one is between Bennett Wun and Sawasota. I mean gee whiz this one close. I'm gonna say Bennett Wun comes out on top... What do ya think Dickie? Gimme your thoughts. Go ahead pal


Christopher I think you got the bottom line correct bay-bee. I'll take the Playoffs and who's gonna cut down the net bay-bee. Altanta, Bennett Run, Syracuse with pennants. Albuquerque, Manhattan, Sarasota wild cards. No cupcakes in those six. Final four is Atlanta, Albuquerque, Syracuse and Bennett Run. Who's get the Ron Clark Trophy this year? Bennett Run no. Albuquerque pitching bumps them out. It's gonna be Altanta & Syracuse in the World Series. Syracuse surprised me last year and I don't think they can repeat. Bobby Fenili is gonna get his Strawberry Shortcake bay-bee!. That's it for me this year.


Remember this was just me having some fun and that's what a game is made for. Fun. So bottom line bay-bee, make sure you take the time to really enjoy Mr Seitz incredible game. See ya next year.





ATLANTA: atlanta2An interview with Paul Richards by Furman Bisher, Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I sat down with Paul Richards for his opinion on what to expect from the Black Crackers this season. As you know, when awake, the Black Cracker GM obsesses about pitching. I suspect when he sleeps, he dreams of pitchers. Last winter, he set his sights on two quality pitchers: Spencer Strider and Tarik Skubal; he also believed that Royce Lewis was one of the two best young prospects in the world."

(Q) "Paul, how do you feel about your club this season?". (A) "Furman, I am excited about Strider and Skubal's additions but I'm not sure how much Tarik can add this season. We hope he will be available in August and September. Lewis is slated to spend most of his time at Savannah. We got all three, but the price was dear; it cost the Black Crackers two young pitchers and last year’s highly touted rookie infielder Nolan Gorman. On the plus side, Tyler Glasnow had a great spring in West Palm. We think our bullpen is stronger and we are looking forward to seeing how Corbin Carroll is over an entire season. On the downside, we are hoping that Brandon Woodruff’s arm injury can be cured with rest and platelet transfusions and that we will see him in midseason. We are also concerned that Shane Bieber has lost a few ticks off his fastball. We are hoping he can work things out at Savannah. I know he is not happy about being sent down."

(Q) "What about those young quality arms the Crackers have added?". (A) "Furman, we have high hopes for Olson, Whitlock, and Javier but they will not help us this season. (Q) "Do you expect the Crackers to be in the playoffs this season?" (A) "Well, Furman, I am not too optimistic that the B Crackers are there yet. We have moved into Harwell division. While the owners are happy with the fact that Albuquerque and Kentucky are big-time draws, the fact is this Division is much more difficult than the Allen Division although I will not miss playing Ottawa so often. While our goal is 90 wins, I am not sure with the injuries that we will make it. I also don’t think that 90 wins are enough to make the playoffs. I see us doing a few games better than last season"


BENNETT RUN: ben2Optimism reigned in the Boiler Room again in 2024 after a solid offseason that saw acquisitions of 2B Marcus Semien to partner with real-life double-play partner Corey Seager, as well as OFs Ian Happ and Christopher Morel. Draft Day went far better than expected, with the Boilermakers adding top young talent in 3B Josh Jung, C Yainer Diaz, 1B Josh Naylor and several B starting pitchers. The back end of the starting rotation might be a question mark with C-starters Jameson Taillon and Clark Schmidt getting the ball for 40+ starts. But a deep bullpen should help when they falter. Overall, it's a team that should contend at least for a wild card spot, but Boiler backers have said that before and been disappointed. Will '24 be different? Only the dice know.

blaze2BURNSVILLE: My 2024 outlook is simply stated in 1 word- rebuilding.


LAUREL HIGHLANDS: lhi2Flamboyant Laurel Highlands General Manager Maurice J. Minnefield. Has improved the culture at Laurel Highlands but needs to improve on 2022’s 48 improved with 64 wins in 2023 and may win more in 24. The Mustangs are in another rebuild as GM Minnefield did not get the job done coming into this season. The Mustangs have experience mixed with younger starters, a questionable bullpen but an offense that may do some damage in 2024. The optimism in Mustang land looks bright for 2024, with possible future star young players such as Spencer Torkelson, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Vaughn Grissom, Colton Cowser, Luis Matos, Brian Bello, Jesus Luzardo, Jazz Chisholm, Nolan Gorman, Luis Campusano, Ke’Bryan Hayes, William Contreras, Elehurls Montero & Henry Davis. The Mustangs Minnefield & Murtaugh are hopeful beyond the 2024 season. 2024 PREDICTION 4th place in the Harry Caray Division


MANHATTAN: man2The 2024 season has fans hoping for a return to the playoffs after a long 2023 season. Lincoln moved to Manhattan in hopes of getting back on track to compete with Syracuse for the pennant. The Marauders should have one of the best offenses in the league led by Soto, Bellinger, Wander Franco, Bregman, Jeffers and Ketel Marte. They have four B starters with Eury Perez, Lugo, Verlander and Miley. The bullpen is loaded with four A or better relievers.


OTTAWA: cats2The 2024 Ottawa Fat Cats are in decent shape but clearly aware of the various juggernauts around the league. Some, but not a lot, top end talent (and cards) are spread through the roster as new fan faves Volpe, Julien, Suwinski and Benson join existing players from previous eras like Julio Rodriguez, Kershaw, M Chapman, D Moore, Darvish and Yarbrough. The jury is still out on predictions however fellow managers have encourage the Ottawa manager to see the possibility of a playoff spot in a division that lacks a top 2 World Series threat. Perhaps with much luck the Fat Cats might secure their 5th pennant in their 15th year in the league.


phi2PHILADELPHIA: The Quaker rebuild has begun. Rookies Gabriel Moreno and Logan Allen will lead a team of youngsters with sights set on the future. Fielding will be one of the few strengths of the Quakers this year.


ROCHESTER: robin2Outlook: Like the classic song from Stealer's Wheel, the Robins are stuck in the middle. Good starting rotation with Burnes, Kirby, Senga, Nola, and Berrios; but the bullpen is below league average. The lineup features good power and defense, but finding other ways than home runs to score may be a challenge. Long term thinking ruled the day in the draft process, netting Francisco Alvarez, Riley Greene, and Brett Baty. It's a big middle in the RCMBA this season, and maybe Rochester competes for the last Wild Card, mainly due to not playing in the "Group of Death" Harwell Division.


SARASOTA: sar2In between moving the Bucs/Buc-O's from Havre de Grace to Sarasota, first-round draft picks Elly De La Cruz and Triston Casas joined the crew. Catcher Will Smith and pitcher Cole Ragans were key post-draft additions and will likely play a bigger role in future seasons. As for upcoming RCMBA season, 88 wins is my best guess based on strong starting rotation, with sufficient support from the bullpen and a solid, if not elite offense 1 through 9. So, looks to me like a top 2 finish in the Allen Division and a possible division title or wildcard appearance for a strong start in the friendly confines of Jacob Field. Finally, other key players to help the Buc-O's cause will be Gunnar Henderson and Jose Siri, bringing much-needed power to the lineup, and Kyle Bradish leading 3 full-time B(z) starters in the rotation and closer Matt Moore leading the charge in the bullpen... Go Buc-O's!


SYRACUSE: syr2A rotation with Cole, Wheeler & Ohtani looks swell but I need the Greene kid to help add depth. The pen is rock solid with Hader closing and Scott's gonna play a big role plus Clase isn't chump change. We’ve still got the big pieces from last years offense. Anytime you can put #99, Ohtani & Freddy in your lineup, is a good feeling. Rutschman and Torres don't get the press but really good to have around. We made a couple of good moves since this off-season adding Witt, Burger & Ruiz. Some pop and we're gonna test your catcher's arm. A lot. I think we make the playoffs.




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This off-season got pretty interesting with hideous amounts of money tossed around. Shohei Ohtani busted the $700M ceiling and almost all of it is deferred until 2034-2043 when he doesn't have to pay taxes on it because he'll be in Japan. Wanna bet where he'll live? Sorry, shhh. The NY Mets are paying out $297M for 40 players and the Yankees $290M. Nine teams have $200M+ payrolls but the RSN's issue worry many. Ten teams are under $100M with the Athletics at $45M. Speaking of the A's, "Viva Las Vegas!" beginning in 2025. Where they will play those 2025 games is up for grabs but just one more year of the Toilet Park. The Yankees traded for Juan Soto. Joey Votto returned to his homeland and is now a Blue Jay. Scott Boras did his best to destroy the careers of Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery. The Brewers traded Corbin Burnes to the Orioles. Still some players dumb enough to try and beat steroid testing.


My MLB predication for 2024: