2023 STORIES...


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Editor Jim Lockwood

ICQ # 1850917
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Monday, September 4, 2023
THE NEED FOR SPEED
Story by J.J. Wurz

EDMONTON (AP) - The value of speed is significant, as only a dozen or so players can swipe a base, beat out a double play grounder, or cover cavernous outfields. Not only is speed key, but keeping those fleet-of-foot runners from leaning too much at first base. A good pickoff move is just as important as a good jump from first. So, after sifting through the Weaverball rosters, and this is the dream speed team and the pitching staff to hold them close. We asked Weaverball Hall of Famer Ty Cobb to be honorary coach and set his lineup and pitching staff.

CATCHER: ED PASKERT, LONG BEACH LOBSTERS
Far and above any other catcher in terms of the 40. Though, while the slowest member of this roster, his arm is unparalleled, making him not only the best offensive threat at his position, but defensive elite as well. He’s got great contact and power, but not Ruthian, so he bats in the five hole.

FIRST BASE: ALAN DONNERSBERGER, AMITY WHITE SHARKS
While normally in the outfield, I saw that he played first base for the Long Beach State Dirtbags back in college. So, I gave him the oversized mitt and stuck him in the infield for this squad. He has the most power of the lineup, but with less plate discipline than most, thus he bats eighth. His defensive replacement though, and honorable mention here, is Sonny Andrews of the Hong Kong Dragons.

SECOND BASE: TERRY WHITTED, COZUMEL MAYANS
Clearly the fastest member of the team, but not the best bast. Still, great defense and a heck of an arm make his selection easy. I thought to make the 6-7-8 just as intimidating as the 3-4-5, so he bats sixth. That way when Paskert cranks that bases clearing home run, another base gobbling guy is free to steal his way to third.

THIRD BASE: BOB PICONE, VANCOUVER MOUNTIES
Since it is all about speed, this guy is hands down the best runner. His defense and arm are killer to, so he makes the team. Screw the bat speed and muscle, I didn’t need it. A bunt is as good as a hit and when you are batting ninth, you’ll do anything to reach base.

SHORTSTOP: TERRY FITZPATRICK, TEHRAN KNIGHTS
Great bat, great pop, great glove, great arm. He’s a step slower than everyone else here, but probably would be the fastest guy on many other rosters. Here he bats fourth and will have so many RBIs it’d make Hornsby and Musial jealous. Arguably the best shortstop in Weaverball and I bet he will finish his career where he started it.

LEFT FIELD: RAY LINTON, ACAPULCO TEQUILAS
Here is what I call a ‘solid’ player. Young kid too, but not too cocky. Five tools, plus he won’t kill you in the outfield. He would have hit cleanup if it wasn’t for Fitzpatrick. So, the next best place is seventh, to knock in Whitted and anyone left on ahead of him.

CENTER FIELD: CAM LOWE, BORA BORA SURFRIDERS
Defensive marvel in the outfield that just closes on a ball faster than a seagull into a Randy Johnson pitch. He has a quick bat and, despite his lack of experience in the Weaver League, knows how to take the ball the opposite way. So, with that kind of eye and plate discipline, he is penciled in at the number two spot.

RIGHT FIELD: FRED HAWKINS: NEW YORK NUKES
There are better gloves out there, sure. Heck, I bet I could put on the stripes and field better than this guy. But, he’s got the arm for the right side, and his ability to hit for average and home runs is clearly apparent. He’s even a little faster than Linton on the other side. I stuck him third so hopefully I can pull the triple steal one game.

DESIGNATED HITTER: LANCE HINSLEY, LOS ANGELES RIOTS
Though he usually roams in center, I thought he’d be best just concentrating on leading off, taking pitches, making contact, and getting on base. Clearly the best option to setup this team and put runners on base immediately.

HITTER RATINGS

The pitching staff is fairly intimidating. However, the starters clearly need to go deep into games since the bull pen is a little shaky. Still, these players were picked for their expertise in keeping base runners close, not just their mound performance.

PITCHER RATINGS

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