Congratulations to the 2064 Weaver League Champions, the Cairo Scorpions!
The drive for Cairo’s 3rd Weaver Cup in 4 seasons was fueled by the bitter taste of falling short to high expectations. Entering 2063, the Scorpions were the prohibitive favorite to complete the three-peat but were upset in the BLCS by the upstart Rio de Janeiro Jaguars. With an aging core, the fanbase and pundits all around the league were wondering: could Cairo once again recapture the magic?
Scorpions management wisely used an incremental approach to shore up their roster. Veteran RHP Georgi Krastev was traded at the start of the season for a 1st round pick; 2 months later, that pick was eventually flipped to Calabria for key pitching depth in the form of RHP Bobby Diering and LHP Rick Daughters. LF Harry Plantier was also acquired from Honolulu after the All-Star break to provide power at the bottom of the order.
While the record book shows that Cairo finished the regular season 7 games ahead of Entebbe, the gap between the two squads never really felt that close. Staff ace LHP Blake Snell (24-3, 1.46) claimed the Cy Young Award, while RHP Jacob DeGrom (11-12, 1.97) helped lead a pitching staff that posted a collective 2.64 ERA (1st in the BL). On the offensive side of the ball, the Scorpions offense was powered by 4 power hitters who nearly split the MVP vote amongst themselves by hitting over 30 HRs each: SS Edison Roman (MVP, .281/43/110), RF Henry Heffner (.259/39/100), and 1Bs Buck Leonard (.299/37/105) and Scott Coffman (.276/33/67).
In the BLCS, Cairo faced old nemesis Vancouver and proceeded to eke out clutch 4-3 wins at home. In Game 1, LF Frank Barlow hit a towering walk-off HR in the bottom of the 10th to claim victory, while in Game 2, RHP Jacob DeGrom managed to extinguish any Mounties rallies before they gained traction. Vancouver fans hoped that a venue switch might give their Mounties the benefit of home cooking, but instead, the Scorpions offense shifted into high gear: in Games 4 and 5, Cairo managed to plate 11 runs on 23 hits, while keeping the hapless Mounties scoreless.
Cairo’s 2062 Weaver Series opponent, the New York Nukes, were hoping for redemption in this year’s rematch. Instead, the 2064 iteration of the Scorpions just served up more punishment, sweeping the Nukes 4-0. LHP Blake Snell added to his trophy cabinet by winning Weaver Series MVP: in 2 starts, Snell posted a 0.60 ERA on 15 IP, striking out 13 along the way. At the plate, 1B Buck Leonard paced the Scorpions offense with 3 multi-hit games to start the series (7 hits total).
While the dream of a 3-peat is DOA, the idea of winning 4, 5, 6, even 7 titles in a short time window certainly isn’t. Can Cairo keep the competitive juices flowing, or will their rivals continue to chip away at their invincible aura? Whatever happens, I’m sure it will be fun to watch! Congrats again Cairo!