FARMINGDALE–After an extremely competitive but tumultuous 2012 that bade farewell to three franchises–the Bears, Arsenal, and Ancient Maroners–BEML continued on course for its 21st season last Sunday with a draft here at Barracudas headquarters.
For 2013, the BEML welcomed two new teams to the fold: Cause Mickey Loves Ya and the Grove Street Villagers.
The defending champion Snowmen squad accepted their long-awaited 2012 trophy before the draft and went on to draft a team that should be in the mix for a repeat in 2013. A formidable outfield of 2012 ROY Mike Trout, Carlos Gonzalez and Josh Hamilton will back up what should again be one of the best bullpens in the BEML: Kimbrel, Papelbon and Axford. With Hamels, Greinke and Weaver on the mound, take this to the freezer…Snowmen are in it to win it again.
The Craydawgs have never gone four years without a title (’95 to ’99 being the longest dryspell) and will have to win in ’13 to keep the streak alive. The Dawgs should again field the League’s best offense with reigning MVP Ryan Braun, Evan Longoria, Billy Butler, Ryan Zimmerman, Dustin Pedroia and Matt Holliday. The Dawgs have also made an attempt to upgrade on the mound, opening the coffers to sign reigning Maddux Award winner David Price to a hefty new contract ($3.25) to go with Max Scherzer and Chris Sale on the mound. The back end of the rotation is a little sketchy with Brandon Morrow, Anibal Sanchez and Alexi Ogando, but the Dawgs should again contend.
The Dirty Dogs nipped the heels of the BEML title last year until the Snowmen stole their bone. Heading into 2013, the DDs appear to be a little short on power but have speed to burn with Jacoby Ellsbury, Elvis Andrus, Angel Pagan and Brett Gardner bedding down in the Shelter. The Dogs may have the best pitcher in 2011 Maddux Award winner Justin Verlander, and the best first baseman in 2010 MVP Joey Votto. Look out for Filth.
Determined in 2013 to spend early and often, the George Kents went on a spree at this year’s draft, paying full value for 30/30 threat Andrew McCutcheon ($4.50), Troy Tulowitzki ($3.75), Yoenis Cespedes ($3.25) and Prince Fielder ($4.75). The Kents refused to open the wallet for starting pitching, however, though they may have come up with some nice bargains in Mat Latos ($1.00), Jordan Zimmermann ($0.75) and Yovani Gallardo ($1.00). The Kents are driven to prove that the 2005 title was no fluke.
The Barracudas felt shut out of the closer sweepstakes but have proven in the past they can dig deep for saves when they need to. On the other hand, they loaded up on starting pitching and have the League’s most expensive–and most talented–rotation ($12.75) in Clayton Kershaw, Cliff Lee, C.C. Sabathia, Gio Gonzalez, Matt Moore and Yu Darvish. The Cudas’ offense is nearly as talented, ignited by Jose Reyes ($4.00) and Ian Kinsler ($3.00) with the dangerous though oft-injured Matt Kemp, Jose Bautista, and Carlos Beltran patrolling the outfield. Expect the Cudas to get back to their winning ways in 2013.
Cause Mickey Loves Ya made a splash early on in this year’s draft, shooting the moon on the consistently great Miguel Cabrera ($6.50). Combined with the power bats of Giancarlo Stanton and Jay Bruce, CMLY should lead the league in homers this year if everything breaks right. With a very talented pitching staff that includes Johnny Cueto, Madison Bumgarner and Kris Medlen, they should feel pretty comfortable in ERA and WHIP this year as well. Burgess Meredith would be proud.
Last but not least, the Grove Street Villagers managed to land the top catcher in Buster Posey, the top second baseman in Robinson Cano, and Albert Pujols (probably second only to Miggy) in the 2013 draft. Unlike the Ancient Maroners last year, the Villagers intend to let Stephen Strasburg loose this year under the tutelage of vets James Shields, King Felix and Jake Peavy.
BEMLBlog is going to go out on a limb yet again for 2013 and sees the top three going as follows: 1. Craydawgs; 2. Barracudas; 3. Snowmen.