2019 STORIES...

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Editor Jim Lockwood

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Monday, April 1, 2019
Story by Jim Lockwood

SAN JOSE (AP) - There are three certainties in life: Death, Taxes, and the Weaver League Preseason Power Rankings! Here is the 2019 edition, straight from Weaver League Galactic Headquarters in San Jose, California. As always these rankings are for entertainment purposes only so please, no wagering...

1 TOKYO Can the Tsunamis become the first team in Weaver League history to three-peat? I've got three reasons why they can: McLain, Carlton and Guidry. Their offense took a bit of a hit this offseason but it's plenty good enough with their pitching staff.
2 BERLIN The Lockwood Division race will be a battle to the death this season, with four teams having a legit shot at the division crown. Berlin was able to hang with N.Y. and L.A. to the bitter end in 2018, and this could be the year Berlin finally breaks through win their first division title.
3 NEW YORK With the retirement of Willie Mays, the focal point of the Nukes offense is now 2016 MVP Frank "The Tank" Weik. Although Weik and the rest of the Nukes offense should still put up big numbers, the absence of Mays could be enough to keep the Nukes out of the postseason in the deep Lockwood Division.
4 LONG BEACH The Lobsters returned to the top of the Roehm Division in 2018 and go into 2019 as the odds on favorite. Former Bora Bora pitching phenoms Johnny Hubble and Todd Corsby anchor a solid rotation, and the Lobsters offense is significantly stronger than it was at this point last season.
5 LOS ANGELES Their offense lost some potency with the retirements of Josh Homme and Ron Wright, but they've still got plenty of weapons (Speaker, Schaefer, Santos, etc). Having Dazzy Vance and Jeff Jose in your rotation doesn't hurt either. But like the rest of the Lockwood Division they'll have their work cut out for them.
6 BOMBAY The Elephants survived a September scare by the surging Amity White Sharks last season. The Polanski Divsion race will be an even closer battle between these two teams this year, but Earl Zavaras and the Elephants are still favorites to win their third straight division title.
7 STOCKHOLM The Swedes have come quite a long way. They finished their first winning season in franchise season last year, and are looking for bigger and better things this year (although asking them to unseat Tokyo at the top will be a tall order).
8 TEHRAN The Knights could be a sleeper pick this year. They underachieved in 2018, but this offseason they added All-Timer Hal Newhouser to anchor their rotation. They added some offense via a deal with Rio, notably acquiring CF Jake Mills.
9 AMITY The White Sharks were busy in the hot stove, adding talented young outfielder Alan Donnersberger from Tokyo and veteran Kris Kotsopalous from Edmonton. They'll be right there with Bombay all season.
10 HAVANA Havana will go as far as their talented young hitters will take them. Milt Fisk and Phil Whitcher look like they're ready to contribute in a big way this year.
11 JAMAICA You heard it here first: Ed Paskert will win the BL MVP this season!
12 HONG KONG The core of their 2013 championship team is getting up in years, but they're passing the torch to some solid young players. But it'll probably still be a few seasons before Mike Eisenriech, Sonny Andrews, Joe Callahan and company contend for the division title.
13 EDMONTON Will Lee Valdes ever see .500? The former #1 draft pick had 100 losses by his 25th birthday. Although Valdes and the Orcas turned things around together over the past five years, his career record stands at 104-159.
14 MOSCOW Watch out for Bunny the Cosmonaut! Young pitcher Bunny Triandos had a rocky rookie season but looks like he could make an impact with the Cosmos this year.
15 CHERNOBYL Well I made my BL MVP pick earlier, I might as well make one for the IL too. Buddy Tyler will emerge as not only the best shortstop in the IL this season, but as it's MVP as well.

In his MLB days he was known to chase firetrucks, was easily bribed with toys, and had a clause in his contract not to eat crackers in bed. A Weaver Times story waiting to happen if there ever was one... Welcome Rube Waddell to the Weaver League.

17 RIO DE JANERIO The Sam Drudge watch begins. Rio's offense looks pretty damn solid, their pitching not so much. How long before the highly touted Mr. Drudge gets the call to join the Capys' rotation?
18 HONOLULU Albert Pujols will build on the successful debut he had with the Volcs last season. Look for something in the neighborhood of 50 home runs, 120 RBI this year.
19 COZUMEL They'll be in the thick of things... in 2021. Right now the division is too deep for them to make a move.
20 BORA BORA This team used to be the mighty Belfast Bombers. Oh how the mighty have fallen.
21 VANCOUVER My first instinct was to rate the Mounties lower, but some of their hitters are better than I thought, and who wouldn't wanna have Dick Wirts on their staff? But it's still a long way to the top for this team.
22 ARGENTINA With Carlos Guillen gone, Les Deering is now officially "The Man" in Argentina
23 SICILY There's Chico Buttery... and not much else. George Witt and some others in their low minors looks like they'll make an impact down the road, but this season is gonna be a long one for fans of the Godfathers.

The Steelmen have gone down! (inside joke)

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