Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Manny and the Sandman Round Out ’17 BEML Hall of Fame Class

February 18, 2017

EAST MEADOW — The BEMLWA has announced the final entrants to the BEML Hall of Fame. Manny Ramirez (1995-2011) and Mariano Rivera (1997-2013) join Jim Thome and Ken Griffey Jr. in the 2017 Class. Sammy Sosa, Chipper Jones, John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez each fell just shy of the ultimate baseball honor. Trevor Hoffman, Rogers Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro will need to muster even more support next time around. Sosa, Clemens and Palmeiro may have been held back by steroids allegations.

Manny Ramirez was drafted into the BEML in 1995 by the Nor’Easters and hit .308 with 31 HRs with 107 RBI. Sixteen years later, Ramirez had racked up an impressive 525 HRs (6th place all-time) and 1,737 RBI (2nd), with a .311 BA (11th all-time, min. 1,000 PA). In 2005, he helped lead the Ballbags to the championship after a trade from the Bears, hitting 45 HRs with 144 RBI and a .292 BA. A coveted slugger during his illustrious career, he had 11 seasons in the BEML with 100+ RBI, and holds the BEML single-season record for RBIs (165 for New Breed in 1999). Manny goes into the Hall as a Nor’Easter, the team that he started his illustrious career with and for whom he cranked 135 HRs from 1995-1998.

manny-hall-of-fame-portrait

Just Manny being Manny.

manny-stats

beml-hall-of-fame-visitors

The scene at the East Meadow Public Library for the unveiling of the official Manny portrait. “What’s up with his eye?” “Not sure.”

Mariano Rivera (1997-2013) was a BEML badass, ripping off a BEML-record 633 saves over his 17-year career. He won three BEML titles (2000 Craydawgs, ’05 Ballbags, ’11 Barracudas) but did most of his damage with the Bears over the 2001-2010 seasons, racking up 189 saves over eight years at the Bear Den.

mariano-rivera-stats

mariano-rivera-hall-of-fame-portrait

“Enter Sandman” (into the BEML Hall of Fame, that is)

Junior Griffey Blasts into BEML HoF

February 13, 2017

EAST MEADOW — Joining Jim Thome in the BEML Hall of Fame Class of 2017 is Ken Griffey, Jr. “The Kid” rides into the Hall mainly on the basis of his stellar early BEML years on Legion of Doom (a/k/a Team Bill), for whom he cranked 190 HRs and 499 RBI between 1994-1999.

ken-griffey-hall-of-fame-portrait

Junior gives the stink eye to his official portrait artist.

Despite missing the 1995 season, Griffey crushed 340 HRs in the BEML’s first eight seasons, hitting 40+ dongs in seven of those years. Though he never won the MVP, Junior racked up four BEML championships, leading Legion of Doom to their lone 1994 title. Fittingly, he enters the East Meadow Public Library as the lone representative of the Legion of Doom in the Hall.

griffey-stats

Griffey was oft-injured but carried a potent stick when healthy. To wit, after several years on the DL from 2001-2004, he returned to health in 2005, took a league minimum salary and carried the Ballbags (a/k/a Haus of Thrones) to their only title, hitting .301 with 35 HRs.

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The Kid acknowledges BEML fans outside the East Meadow Public Library (home of the BEML Hall of Fame; ask for directions to the basement) during the 2017 HoF induction ceremony.

Jim Thome Enters Hallowed BEML HoF

February 12, 2017

EAST MEADOW — The Big East Meadow League Hall of Fame has opened its hallowed doors for Jim Thome. “I can die now,” said Thome as he embraced previous inductees Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson and Barry Bonds.

jim-thome-hall-of-fame-portrait

Jim Thome’s portrait was hung featuring a Love the Drake cap, naturally.

Believe it or not, Jim Thome (’94-’09) has the third most homers in BEML history (487) behind only fellow Hall of Fame Barry Bonds (572) and Alex Rodriguez (600+ through 2016). He also collected the fourth most RBI (1,338) and won three titles (with Love the Drake in ’96, Team Phil Chu in ’07 and the Craydawgs in ’09). Thome hit a respectable .285, but you didn’t roster him for his ability to collect singles; drafting him meant you were after some of the most unadulterated power to be had.

thome-stats

Thome broke in with the 1994 Love the Drake squad and went out on a high note, capturing the ’09 title with the Craydawgs. Though he never won an MVP award, he hit 30+ homers in 12 of his 16 seasons. Thome’s career reached its apex in the 2002 season, when he hit .304 with 52 HRs and 118 RBI for the Bears.

“Thomer” spent his first eight seasons in the Love the Drake family. He proudly donned the LTD cap for his official HoF portrait, hung in the basement of the East Meadow Public Library. He is the first BEML Hall of Famer for the Love the Drake franchise.

BEML Hall of Fame Seeks to Expand in 2017

February 5, 2017

With only three members of the BEML Hall of Fame (Maddux, Bonds, Randy Johnson) in the league’s illustrious history, it’s high time to honor other worthy candidates. Submitted here for your evaluation are 11 highly decorated former players who will be inducted if a majority of current BEMLers approves:

JIM THOME (’94-’09)

Believe it or not, Jim Thome (’94-’09) has the second most homers in BEML history (609) behind only Alex Rodriguez (687 through 2015). He also collected the fourth most RBI (1,678) and won three titles (with Love the Drake in ’96, Team Phil Chu in ’07 and the Craydawgs in ’09). Thome hit a respectable .278, but you didn’t roster him for his ability to collect singles; drafting him meant you were after some of the most unadulterated power to be had.

Thome broke in with the 1994 Love the Drake squad and went out on a high note, capturing the ’09 title with the Craydawgs. Though he never won an MVP award, he hit 30+ homers in 12 of his 16 seasons. Thome’s career reached its apex in the 2002 season, when he hit .304 with 52 HRs and 118 RBI for the Bears.

SAMMY SOSA (’94-’07)

So, Sosa tested positive for steroids and his bat exploded in 2003, exposing its cork-filled innards. But steroids and adulterated bats were never outlawed in the BEML, and fellow juicer Barry Bonds is already in the BEML Hall. If we look past the performance-enhancing drugs and tampered bats, we find in Sosa an extraordinary legacy of fantasy baseball statistics: 572 home runs (4th in history), 1,526 RBI (7th), 167 steals and a .280 BA.

Sosa began his BEML career with a bang, hitting .300 with 25 HR, 70 RBI and 22 steals for the ’94 SeaWolves. He went on to win the 1998 Bonds MVP Award with the SeaWolves, cranking 66 HRs along with 158 RBI, 18 steals and a .308 BA. Slammin’ Sammy’s only BEML title came in his final year with the ’07 Team Phil Chu squad, but he hit 35+ HRs for 10 straight seasons from 1995-2004 and left behind one of the greatest careers the BEML has known.

MANNY RAMIREZ (’95-’11)

Manny was drafted into the BEML in 1995 by the Nor’Easters and hit .308 with 31 HRs with 107 RBI. Sixteen years later, Ramirez had racked up an impressive 555 HRs (6th place all-time) and 1,831 RBI (2nd), with a .312 BA (11th all-time, min. 1,000 PA). He helped lead the ’05 Ballbags to the championship after a trade from the Bears, hitting 45 HRs with 144 RBI and a .292 BA. A coveted slugger during his illustrious career, he had 12 seasons in the BEML with 100+ RBI.

KEN GRIFFEY, JR. (’93-’09)

Qualifications:

  • 543 HRs (7th)
  • 1,492 RBIs (10th)
  • 124 Steals
  • .279 lifetime BA
  • Hit 40+ HRs in seven of his first eight seasons
  • Four BEML Championships: ’93 Griffons, ’94 Team Bill, ’01 Team Phil Chu, ’05 Ballbags

RAFAEL PALMIERO (’93-’05)

Qualifications:

  • 474 HRs (9th)
  • 1,414 RBIs (20th)
  • .285 BA
  • BEML-best six titles: includes four in five years for the Craydawgs (’99-’00, ’02-’03), one for Team Bill (’94), and another for the Firemen (’97)

CHIPPER JONES (’95-’12)

Qualifications:

  • 468 HRs (11th)
  • 1,623 RBI (6th)
  • 150 Steals
  • .303 BA
  • Four BEML Championships: ’02, ’07, ’10 Team Phil Chu (’10 as Seymour Gardens), ’05 Ballbags

PEDRO MARTINEZ (’94-’08)

Qualifications:

  • 219 Wins (10th)
  • Lifetime 2.92 ERA, 1.05 WHIP
  • Three Maddux Awards (’97 Firemen, ’99 Legion of Doom/Barracudas, ’00 Barracudas
  • Three BEML Championships (’95 Craydawgs, ’97 Firemen, ’05 Ballbags)

ROGER CLEMENS (’93-’07)

Qualifications:

  • 202 Wins (13th)
  • Lifetime 3.36 ERA, 1.22 WHIP
  • 1998 Maddux Award (Barracudas)
  • BEML-best (tied with Palmeiro) six BEML Championships (’94 Legion of Doom, ’98, ‘04 Barracudas, ’01-’02, ‘07 Team Phil Chu)

JOHN SMOLTZ (’93-’09)

Qualifications:

  • 156 Wins (28th)
  • 154 Saves (47th)
  • Lifetime 3.26 ERA, 1.16 WHIP
  • 1996 Maddux Award (Love the Drake)
  • Three BEML Championships (’96 Love the Drake, ’02 Team Phil Chu, ’08 Barracudas)

MARIANO RIVERA (’95-’13)

Qualifications:

  • 652 Saves (1st)
  • 82 Wins
  • Lifetime 2.21 ERA, 1.00 WHIP
  • Three BEML Championships (’00 Craydawgs, ’05 Ballbags, ’11 Barracudas)

TREVOR HOFFMAN (’93-’10)

Qualifications:

  • 601 Saves (2nd)
  • 61 Wins
  • Lifetime 2.87 ERA, 1.06 WHIP
  • Three BEML Championships (’95, ’00 Craydawgs, ’05 Ballbags)

BEML Record Book to be Rewritten in 2016?

September 23, 2016

EAST MEADOW — As the 2016 BEML campaign winds down (10 days to go), there are a number of BEML records that might be under siege:

  • Home Runs
    • Record: 390 (Pogues, 2001)
    • The Newbreed has 378 and needs just 13 HRs to set a new standard for big flies
    • Probability of success: 85%
  • Hits
    • Record: 2,445 (Craydawgs, 2014)
    • Haus of Thrones is at 2,305 and needs 141 hits to surpass the record
    • Probability of success: 25% (14 hits a day is a tall order)
  • Strikeouts
    • Record: 1,589 (Team Dave, 2015)
    • Dirty Dogs has 1,492 and should easily break the record with 113 IP left to pitch — if they use up their 1,500 IP allotment
    • Probability of success: 33% (95% if Dirty Dogs can reach the 1,500 IP limit)
  • Saves
    • Record: 195 (Snowmen, 2006)
    • Dirty Dogs has 186 saves and — with five closers in the pen — has a good chance to pick up the 10 saves needed for the record
    • Probability of success: 60%

2016 BEML All-Stars Announced

July 13, 2016

EAST MEADOW, NY — After significant speculation and heavy interest throughout the fantasy baseball and BEML communities, the BEML Writers’ Association has announced the 2016 BEML All-Stars:

160713 BEML All-Stars 2016

And the reserves…

160713 BEML All-Start 2016 reserves

Did you know? This marks the fourth year in a row for All-Stars Trout, Kershaw and Sale, and the third year in a row for Altuve and Cueto.

Heading into Week 15, the defending champion Craydawgs maintain a daunting lead:

160713 beml standings

Of course, anything can and will happen in the BEML. Good luck in the home stretch.

BEML All-Time Stats 1993-2015

February 4, 2016

BEML All-time thru 2015

2015 BEML All-Stars Announced

July 14, 2015

EAST MEADOW — The 2015 Big East Meadow League All-Stars have been announced. First, the starting squad:

Pos Player Team Runs HR RBI SB BA
C Buster Posey Dirty Dogs 46 14 58 1 .314
C Russell Martin Craydawgs 49 12 41 4 .251
1B P.Goldschmidt Team Dave 60 21 70 16 .340
2B Dee Gordon Untouchables 46 1 22 33 .338
3B Todd Frazier Villagers 54 25 57 8 .284
SS H. Ramirez Newbreed 48 19 46 3 .276
CI J. Donaldson Mayhem 65 21 60 3 .293
MI Brian Dozier Barracudas 67 19 50 9 .257
OF Mike Trout Dirty Dogs 66 24 53 9 .309
OF Bryce Harper Villagers 59 26 61 4 .339
OF JD Martinez Team Dave 53 23 57 2 .284
OF G. Stanton Mayhem 47 27 67 4 .265
OF C. Blackmon Dirty Dogs 46 10 37 22 .288
DH N. Arenado Villagers 52 24 70 0 .293

 

Pos Player Team W S K ERA WHIP
SP M. Scherzer Villagers 10 0 150 2.11 0.78
SP Z. Greinke Dirty Dogs 8 0 106 1.39 0.84
SP D. Keuchel Barracudas 11 0 114 2.23 1.00
SP Sonny Gray Mayhem 10 0 108 2.04 0.96
SP Chris Sale Team Dave 8 0 157 2.71 0.95
SP Gerrit Cole Team Dave 12 0 108 2.34 1.13
SP J. deGrom Team Dave 9 0 112 2.14 0.92
RP M. Melancon Untouchables 1 29 31 1.47 0.95
RP Glen Perkins Dirty Dogs 0 28 36 1.21 0.83

…and the reserves:

Pos Player Team Runs HR RBI SB BA
C B. McCann Villagers 35 14 55 0 .258
1B A. Rizzo Craydawgs 48 16 48 12 .296
2B J. Altuve Craydawgs 45 8 38 25 .292
3B M. Cabrera Barracudas 43 15 54 1 .350
SS T. Tulowitzki Mayhem 43 9 48 0 .311
OF Ryan Braun Barracudas 49 14 53 12 .273
OF Nelson Cruz Dirty Dogs 44 21 53 2 .308
OF S. Marte Barracudas 43 13 49 16 .274
Pos Player Team W S K ERA WHIP
SP Chris Archer Team Dave 8 0 132 2.93 1.05
SP Jake Arrieta Craydawgs 9 0 113 2.77 1.01
SP C. Kershaw Craydawgs 6 0 160 2.85 1.02
SP F. Hernandez Craydawgs 11 0 112 2.84 1.07
SP David Price Barracudas 9 0 115 2.38 1.12
SP J. Cueto Barracudas 6 0 109 2.80 0.91
RP H. Street Craydawgs 3 24 36 2.27 0.93
RP Wade Davis Newbreed 5 9 44 0.46 0.87
RP T. Rosenthal Villagers 1 26 45 1.49 1.18

At the All-Star break, it’s a dead heat. Five team in the hunt, with three tied at the top, and a lead change nearly every day:

 

7-14-2015 1-18-07 PM

 

You’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat… To Haul All These Championships: Barracudas Edge Craydawgs To Win 5th BEML Title

April 5, 2015

FARMINGDALE — Led by 15 players with double-digit home runs and a strong surge from rookie BEMLer Corey Kluber, Farmingdale’s Barracudas brought home their fifth BEML championship, three years after their last title. The 2014 champions wrested the lead from Team Phil Chu in Week 12 before being surpassed by the Craydawgs briefly in Week 22. The Cudas quickly regained their footing in Week 23 and edged the 2013 champs in the end, 56 points to 54.5.

The Barracudas' owner leads the rioting in downtown Farmingdale.

The Barracudas’ owner leads the rioting in downtown Farmingdale.

The Cudas’ success stemmed from a solid core of keepers, including outfielders Starling Marte (.285/11/48/29) and Jacoby Ellsbury (.272/16/70/40), infielders Kyle Seager (.262/19/77/5), Edwin Encarnacion (.270/34/98/2) and Paul Goldschmidt (.301/19/69/5), and closer Kenley Jansen (44 saves, 101 Ks, 2.76/1.13). At the draft, the Cudas added in perennial Fish Jose Bautista (.287/34/102/6) and slugging catcher tandem Evan Gattis (.262/22/50) and Carlos Santana (.231/27/85/5). The Fish scored big with cheap quality starters at the draft table, bringing in Johnny Cueto (18 wins, 209 Ks, 2.41/1.00) and Kluber, who were joined by studs David Price (13 wins, 256 Ks, 3.48/1.10) and Madison Bumgarner (17 wins, 203 Ks, 3.04/1.10).

It was not an easy swim for the Fish. The team lost CarGo for significant time and Goldschmidt went down during the stretch run. The Fish adapted quickly, acquiring free agent Charlie Blackmon (.256/10/44/18 in 411 ABs) and overcoming a consistent years-long league-wide collusion to keep the Fish out of closers by picking up Sean Doolittle (17 saves), Santiago Casilla (10 saves) and Hector Rondon (7 saves). In the end, the Fish led the league in HRs (324), steals (197) and wins (103), and set a BEML record with 1,548 strikeouts. Incredibly, the Cudas took the title while posting the league’s worst batting average by far (.256).

The Craydawgs fell short of repeating and settled for second place. The Dawgs were able to put a scare into the Fish in weeks 20-21 by surging 6.5 points into first, but relinquished the lead for good in week 22. The 2014 Dawgs used a foundation of franchise pitchers — Max Scherzer (17 wins, 246 Ks, 3.25/1.19), Chris Sale (12 wins, 208 Ks, 2.17/0.97) and Adam Wainwright (20 wins, 179 Ks, 2.38/1.03) — together with a solid stable of closers led by Huston Street (41 saves, 1.37/0.94). The team led the league in saves (174) but fell short of the record (195) set by the 2006 Snowmen. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez (.275/27/113), shortstop Ian Desmond (.258/24/91/23) and outfielder Andrew McCutchen (.313/25/83/17) helped pace the Dawgs to the league lead in BA (.279) and RBI (1,159). Churning through 54 players on their 2014 roster, the Dawgs cobbled together BEML records for at bats (8,755) and hits (2,445), breaking the Cudas’ former records in those categories (8,234 at bats in 2004 and 2,395 in 1996).

The Dawgs dealt with difficult injuries to high-priced sluggers Jay Bruce (.216/17/61/12) and Matt Wieters (.310/5/17), and were burned badly by trading away stars Anthony Rizzo and Adam Jones for a pitching boost from ace Masahiro Tanaka, who quickly got injured and missed the majority of the season. The Dawgs backfilled well with free agent hitters Michael Brantley (.339/11/57/15 in 395 ABs) and Corey Dickerson (.291/8/25 in 134 ABs) and pitchers Garrett Richards (2.77/0.97 in 45 IP) and Cody Allen (12 saves, 1.93/1.07), but fell just short of the prize. Four wins and a couple of Dirty Dogs steals (who finished one steal shy of the Cudas) would have made the difference.

Did you know? The Dawgs' owner once suited up in pinstripes.

Did you know? The Dawgs’ owner once suited up in pinstripes.

Massapequa’s Dirty Dogs grabbed the bronze for the third time (’08, ’12, ’14) in the franchise’s eight-year BEML history, finishing six points off the lead. The Filthy Ones led the league in runs and finished top three in seven of the ten categories. The Pups were anchored on offense by Miguel Cabrera (.309/25/107), Nelson Cruz (.270/33/92/4) and Carlos Gomez (.286/23/70/34), but suffered disappointing performances from Chris Davis (.185/14/46) and Joey Votto (.254/6/22). On the mound, Justin Verlander did not live up to his lofty salary (5.22 ERA), though Jon Lester did his best to make up for it (15 wins, 190 Ks, 2.10/1.03). But for Verlander’s collapse in 2014, the Dogs perform better in ERA, Wins and WHIP and contend for the title. Fortunately for them, the DDs squeaked past Team Phil Chu in the season’s final week to claim the bronze.

In honor of the Dirty Dogs' third-place finish, All-American Burgers created "The Dirty Dog."

In honor of the Dirty Dogs’ third-place finish, Massapequa’s All-American Burger created “The Dirty Dog.”

Team Phil Chu finished in fourth, making a strong showing in 2014 after finishing in last place the prior three seasons. The final standings don’t show it, but TPC led the league for most of the first half and even led as late as Week 18 before falling to fourth in the final week. The cornerstone of the ’14 TPC squad was pitching. TPC shattered the BEML record for ERA (2.77), surpassing the 3.02 ERA set by the 2005 Barracudas, and edged the 2011 Snowmen (1.11 WHIP) for the BEML WHIP record (1.08). Clayton Kershaw (21 wins, 232 Ks, 1.69/0.84) led Team Phil Chu while garnering the league’s 2014 Bonds MVP Award and Maddux Awards. At the dish, TPC was led by ’14 batting title runner-up Victor Martinez (.333/31/99) and Justin Upton (.271/29/102/7), but the team’s Achilles’ heel was a lack of speed — TPC finished last in the league in steals (129).

TPC's Kershaw brought home the Maddux Award and the Bonds MVP Award.

TPC’s Kershaw brought home the Maddux Award and the Bonds MVP Award.

While the top four teams finished within 7.5 points of each other, there was a big dropoff to fifth (29 points back), where Team Dave landed in their inaugural season. Team Dave drafted the ’14 BEML Rookie of the Year, Jose Abreu (.316/35/105/3) and secured cornerstone first baseman Anthony Rizzo (.287/19/44/4 in 314 ABs) via trade from the Craydawgs. Abreu was the only player to secure 500+ at bats for Team Dave. TD scuffled near the bottom of the standings for much of the season but at a certain point turned the page to 2015 by acquiring core players Rizzo, Jose Altuve, Neil Walker and King Felix via trade to try to make a run next season.

Dave TV won the coveted broadcast rights to Team Dave's 2015 games.

Dave TV won the coveted broadcast rights to Team Dave’s 2015 games.

Mayhem rejoined the league after a two-year hiatus and finished sixth. Just three points out of first through Week 15, Mayhem hit the skids and then surpassed the league’s 1,500 IP limit, taking an eight-point hit in the final week. The tailspin coincided with a July injury that shelved shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (.343/21/51) together with a mid-season trade of MVP contender Mike Trout (.287/36/111/16) to Team Phil Chu. Mayhem will regroup and head into 2015 with prime keepers Giancarlo Stanton (.282/36/97/12), Josh Donaldson (.256/28/92/8) and Anthony Rendon (.287/19/73/17).

Mayhem went over the 1,500 innings limit.

Mayhem went over the 1,500 innings limit.

The 2014 Grove St. Villagers came off a season of promise in 2013, in which the GSV had the fourth best finish (.486) by an expansion team in BEML history (surpassed only by the 2012 Ancient Maroners, the 1994 SeaWolves and the 1996 Outbreak teams). In 2014, however, GSV nearly went wire-to-wire in last place (save for a Weeks 10-12) and actually set the BEML record for futility (.100) for a drafted team (the 2002 Ballbags and 2013 Arsenal teams had worse records but drafted their teams after the annual draft). GSV finished last or next-to-last in nine of the 10 categories (the exception: steals, where GSV finished fourth). The team never seemed to gel as 63 players suited up but were traded with such frequency they never had time to get to know each other. Only Howie Kendrick (.287/4/60/10) had more than 500 at bats for GSV, and only Mike Leake (3.91 ERA) registered more than 150 IP. Grove St. will look to turn it around in 2015 with keepers such as Todd Frazier and George Springer.

Villagers fans are getting restless for victory.

Villagers fans are getting restless for victory.

 

BEML Second Half Preview

July 18, 2014

Through 15 weeks (with 11 remaining), the BEML is a dead heat — the Barracudas, Dirty Dogs, Team Phil Chu and Craydawgs are in an unprecedented four-way mosh pit for first, with Mayhem just three points back. Team Dave and Grove St. Villagers are in a battle to stay out of the basement:

140716 standings

The Fish lead the league in HRs and Steals, with strong showings in Runs, RBI, ERA and WHIP. BEML All-Stars Paul Goldschmidt (.308/16/61/8) and Edwin Encarnacion (.277/26/70/2) have powered the offense, and a couple of key free agent moves — Charlie Blackmon (.281/7/30/10) and Gregory Polanco (.266/3/13/6 in 113 ABs) — have not disappointed. The Cudas are also keeping the pond well stocked with keepers, including Brandon Moss (.258/18/50/1) and Brian Dozier (.242/13/38/12). On the mound, the Scaly Ones hit the lottery with All-Star Johnny Cueto at the minimum salary (9 Wins, 115 Ks, 2.31/0.93). Free agent acquisition and closer Sean Doolittle (10 Saves, 2.61/0.48) has bolstered the back of the pen and has helped put the Toothy Predators in line for a 5th BEML title in 2014.

The Barracudas want "one for the thumb."

The Barracudas and Team Phil Chu want “one for the thumb.”

The Dirty Dogs made a big move in Week 15, rising six points to grab a share of first place. The Hounds of Dirt bring it filthy from the mound, as they lead the league in Strikeouts and Saves. but also feature the second highest scoring offense (behind Mayhem). The Dogs are benefiting greatly from their efforts to build up for 2014, as several cheap keepers have helped the Dogs rise to the top of the BEML; All-Star Billy Hamilton (.288/5/37/36), Hunter Pence (.296/10/25/6) and fiery All-Star Carlos Gomez (.307/14/47/17) are getting shiz done. All-Star Ian Kinsler is not joking around at 2B (.302/11/50/10). On the hill, the Dogs strike out more than a batter an inning, and are led by keepers Jon Lester (8 Wins, 116 Ks, 2.03/1.02), Aroldis Chapman (20 Saves, 2.20/0.77) and David Robertson (23 Saves, 2.76/1.01). Yu Darvish (8 Wins, 142 Ks, 2.97/1.21) and trade acquisition (via the Cudas) Stephen Strasburg (7 Wins, 149 Ks, 3.46/1.22) pump gas all day long. A recent injury to Joey Votto cannot help, but reigning Bonds MVP winner Miggy Cabrera (.302/14/73/0) has not yet shown us his best. All told, this could be the Year of the Dirty Dog.

Carlos G is hustlin' toward the Dirty Dogs' first BEML title.

Carlos G is hustlin’ toward the Dirty Dogs’ first BEML title.

Defending champions the Craydawgs may be rising with the fortunes of Andrew McCutchen (.322/17/61/14)and Adrian Beltre (.337/13/51/1), who are heating up as summer goes along. The Crays lead the league in BA, but contend strongly across all categories. The Dawgs have suffered devastating injuries to Matt Wieters and trade acquisition (via Team Dave) Masahiro Tanaka, but have backfilled with some key free agent acquisitions in Michael Brantley (.348/6/23/2 in 135 ABs), Ian Kennedy (2 Wins, 3.92/1.33), and–over the All-Star Break–closer Cody Allen and starter Garrett Richards. The Dawgs are led on the mound by The Big Dawgs: All-Stars Adam Wainwright (12 Wins, 115 Ks, 1.83/0.91) and Chris Sale (8 Wins, 102 Ks, 2/08/0.84) and Max Scherzer (11 Wins, 146 Ks, 3.35/1.17). The Dawgs hope that recent trade acquisitions Albert Pujols (via Team Dave) and Ryan Braun (via Villagers)–each of whom has previously won titles with the Dawgs–can help bring Title Nine to New Jersey.

Team Phil Chu has held at least a share of the lead in every week except Week 9 (Mayhem). The Chu is the top pitching team in the league and is currently poised to shatter the all-time BEML record for ERA (2.94; current record is 3.02, set by the 2005 Barracudas) and WHIP (1.08; current record is 1.11 by the 2011 Snowmen). Chu’s success begins with reigning Maddux Award winner and All-Star Clayton Kershaw, who is well on his way to a second consecutive Maddux Award despite being injured for the first month of the season (11 Wins, 126 Ks, 1.78/0.83). Jose Fernandez and King Felix were aces until being injured and traded (to Team Dave), respectively. Free agent closer acquisitions Mark Melancon and Zach Britton made Craig Kimbrel available for trade (to Mayhem, for the remarkable All-Star Mike Trout). TPC has been involved in the trades of 26 players this year and has yet to miss a beat in their drive for a 5th BEML championship in 2014. At the dish, Victor Martinez (.322/20/51/2) and Justin Morneau (.331/12/57/0) have been resurgent, and young Todd Frazier has rounded into form (.287/16/50/13) at third base. Catcher Devin Mesoraco has been a livesaver off the free agent wire, hitting .274/12/28/0 in just 146 ABs.

In fifth place but only three points off the lead, Mayhem have dominated at the plate, leading the BEML in Runs and RBI. All-Star Mike Trout (.310/22/73/10) may be the league’s best hitter–and was thriving in Mayhem’s system–but was recently traded to Chu for elite closer Craig Kimbrel (29 Saves, 1.91/0.88) and starter Jeff Samardzija. Still, there’s plenty of offense left to go around, including Giancarlo Stanton (.288/20/57/8) and Troy Tulowitzki (.349/21/51/1). Free agent pickup Dee Gordon has helped on the basepaths (.269/1/15/24).

Team Dave has recently taken the lead over the Grove St. Villagers in an epic showdown to remain out of the basement. TD features the BEML’s worst offense and is last in BA, Runs, RBI and Steals, despite the heroics of blue chip slugger (and BEML All-Star) Jose Abreu (.290/28/71/1). Jose Altuve (.381/0/5/17 in 105 AB) has ignited TD since coming over in trade from the Villagers, but TD was really hurt by a season-ending injury to Prince Fielder. TD remains competitive on the hill, leading the league in Wins and recently acquiring Maddux Award contender and BEML All-Star King Felix from Chu (11 Wins, 154 Ks, 2.12/0.91).

Team Dave opens their second half with Coffee Cup Night.

Team Dave opens their second half with Coffee Cup Night.

The Grove St. Villagers are the mirror image of Team Dave, with a sub-par pitching staff and decent offense to date. The Village Denizens are last in every pitching category except Saves (second to last). Much more was expected of James Shields (3.93/1.33) and Justin Verlander (4.80/1.49), and Cliff Lee has been hurt for much of the year. On offense, rookie George Springer has been a bright spot (.231/19/47/5), but the Village has been disappointed in the performances of Everth Cabrera (.259/1/5/4), Martin Prado (.261/2/21/1) and many others. Still, the Villagers are well-positioned to battle their way out of the basement over the final couple of months.

George Springer hopes to ignite the Villagers... out of the basement.

George Springer hopes to ignite the Villagers… out of the basement.