Friday, October 31, 2014

RRIT Championship - Preview

WASHINGTON, D.C.Things have taken a weird twist in the Ronald Reagan Invitational.  Reagan’s dislike for all things New York may have finally pushed the mild mannered Californian over the edge.

“This can not continue.  The Yankee reign of terror must come to an end.” said Reagan speaking at a press conference called by the tournament director today.  “I will enter an executive order that will see this atrocity of Yankee APBA wins does not continue.”

In 12 tournament games, New York is hitting .272/.337/.439.  The Yankees have shown a mix of power and speed with 16 home runs and 18 stolen bases.  They are averaging 5.0 runs per game.  Don Mattingly has had another great tournament, .386/.472/.705, while leading the team in runs (11) and RBI’s (13).

The pitching staff, as a whole, has been respectable with a 3.60 ERA.  Ron Guidry (4.76) has not performed well, with his 0-4 record.  Phil Niekro (3.60) has been good at times and Joe Cowley (2.37) has been outstanding in Game 3’s.  The strength has been in the pen.  Righetti (1.80) has been very good, but Fischer, Scurry and Shirley have been great, delivering 10 scoreless innings of relief. 

The Cardinals have a similar stat line as the Yankees, .289/.338/.422 over the 7 games they’ve played.  The Cardinals have flown under the radar in the tournament, quietly going about their business eliminating teams and advancing like a #1 Seed should.

The primary issue for St. Louis in the tournament is the only weakness they had in real life.  Jack Clark has 3 home runs, but no one else has any.  Tommy Herr .467/.500/.733 has been unreal, with 8 doubles, 8 runs and 7 RBI’s.  Speed never goes in a slump.  The Cards have played just over half as many games as the Yankees, but have 2 more stolen bases (20). 

The Cardinal pitching staff has been good, 3.38 ERA.  But if you factor out Danny Cox’s bad outing, that number drops to 2.87.  Ace John Tudor’s 1.40 ERA is fantastic.  The biggest disappointment has been closer Jeff Lahti’s 6.75 ERA in 5.1 innings.  Still, even with some bad appearances, Lahti has earned 3 saves.

“In order to defeat Yankee Boy and his band of thugs, the Cardinals need another power hitter in their lineup.  They also need more consistency in their starting rotation, beyond Tudor.” Reagan told the crowd.  “In order to accomplish these goals, I will hang up my suit and tie and suit up with the Cardinals for the Championship Series.”

Reagan’s announcement came as a shock to everyone in attendance.  Finally, one bewildered reporter asked, “Mr. President, what position will you play?” 

“Well, I’m glad you asked that.  I will pitch Game 2, and play in the outfield the rest of the time.” said Reagan.

A hushed silence fell over the crowd.  Finally, one brave reporter spoke up, “Mr. President, with your less than impressive tryout for the Pirates earlier in the tournament, do you think you are able to help the St. Louis rotation?”

“Well, I’m the tournament director and President of the United States.  As director, I’ve contacted Bob Lemon of the Cleveland Indians and been working with him to improve my pitching skills.  More importantly, as President, I’ve contacted Steve’s APBA card generator, and ordered a new card consistent with my athletic abilities.”  At this point, Reagan revealed his APBA card.

“My addition to the batting order and pitching rotation will insure victory over Yankee Boy and his minions!”, Reagan cried out.  “This can not continue!  Democracy must prevail! The Yankees and that Boy will go down!”

At this point, Reagan assumed a very un-Presidential pose and shouted, “NEENER, NEENER, NEENER, THE YANKEES ARE ALL WEENERS!” into the microphone.  The shocked and stunned press corps sat unsure what to make of the bizarre turn of events.  Reagan, highly excited and possibly a little light headed, left the podium and fell down the stairs as he exited.  Medical personnel were on the scene immediately and transported the injured President to George Washington University Hospital.

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