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.


2014 BEML All-Stars Announced

July 10, 2014

EAST MEADOW–The 2014 BEML All-Stars have been announced by the BEML Writers’ Association.

First, the batters:

*"Who's Giancarlo Stanton?" -- The Bears

*”Who’s Giancarlo Stanton?” — The Bears

…and the pitchers:

140710 all-star pitchers

Week 13 Report — Hot in Herre

July 2, 2014

At the midway point (13 weeks), the BEML is a logjam at the top; an unprecedented five teams sit within two points of the lead:

140630 beml standings

Mayhem dropped 2.5 points and out of first on a horrible pitching performance in Week 13 (5.21 ERA); Scott Kazmir (21.00 ERA), C.J. Wilson (10.39 ERA) and Sonny Gray (9.00 ERA) all got lit up… Team Phil Chu and the Barracudas remained deadlocked and are now tied for first…  

It's getting hot in herre. In fact, I'm going to take my clothes off.

It’s getting hot in herre. In fact, I’m going to take my clothes off.

The Craydawgs catapulted three points in BA by hitting .332 for the week; Adrian Beltre (.332/9/42/1) hit .600 (12-for-20), and streaky Jay Bruce (.393 in Week 13) might be finally warming up… Dirty Dogs led the league in RBI (60) as Ian Kinsler (.307/10/42/8) hit .478 with 2 HR and 7 BI… Team Dave clawed out of last place with a dominant 1.54 ERA/0.82 WHIP performance in Week 13, led by Tim Lincecum’s no-hitter… Did you know? Jose Altuve is hitting an incredible .510 (26-for-51) with 12 steals since being acquired from the Villagers; Altuve had 10 steals in Week 13 alone.

Team Dave's Mascot of the Week(TM): Wendy's Dave Thomas

Team Dave’s Mascot of the Week(TM): Wendy’s Dave Thomas

BEML Gives Tribute to Gwynn

June 21, 2014

EAST MEADOW – The BEML said a sad goodbye this week to one of the BEML’s all-time greatest hitters, Tony Gwynn. Gwynn passed away while surrounded by family and by the owners of several BEML teams, including Legion of Doom and the Craydawgs, with whom he spent the bulk of his BEML career (1993-2001).

Gwynn salutes the crowd during his record-setting '94 season with Team Bill.

Gwynn salutes the crowd during his record-setting ’94 season with Team Bill.

Craydawgs’ ownership would not confirm the rumor that Gwynn’s last words were to the Craydawgs’ owner and involved a plea to “win it for Gwynnie.”

Gwynn spent several years toiling in Major League Baseball before joining the BEML for its inaugural 1993 season. He quickly established himself as the league’s dominant hitter for average and featured prominently in the 1994 championship run by Team Bill (Legion of Doom), hitting for an all-time BEML record .394 batting average that year. After spending the formative years of his BEML career with Legion of Doom, Gwynn was traded during the 1996 season to the Craydawgs. Gwynn stayed with the Dawgs through the 1998 season, and enjoyed his finest year in ’97, hitting .372 with 17 homers, 119 RBI and 12 steals. Gwynn’s production tapered off after ’99, and he spent his final year (2001) riding the pine for the Craydawgs.

gwynn's all time beml stats

Gwynn led the BEML in hitting in ’94, ’95 and ’97 and will likely forever hold the BEML career batting average record – an incredible .359 over 3,277 career at-bats.

At Gwynn’s request, his cremated remains will be spread around the home plates of every BEML ballpark this week in special memorial ceremonies.

Gwynn's ashes will be distributed to every BEML team for ceremonial purposes.

Gwynn’s ashes will be distributed to every BEML team for ceremonial purposes.

Cuda Rookie Polanco Tears Up BEML In Debut

June 14, 2014

FARMINGDALE–The Barracudas beat first place Team Phil Chu’s waiver claim on rookie Gregory Polanco this week, and it paid off handsomely last night. Polanco went 5-for-7 in his debut performance, with a home run and two RBI. The Cudas will need the rookie’s help to rise to the top of what has become a very tight race in the BEML. Five teams are separated by just seven points here in Week 11:

2014-06-14 standings

Week 8 Report: Chu’gging Along

May 26, 2014

The Week 8 results:

140526 Week 8 standings

…and the overall standings through eight weeks:

140526 Week 8 YTD standings

Team Phil Chu continues to get it done and is well en route to a wire-to-wire smackdown of the BEML, though Mayhem, the Barracudas and Craydawgs continue to seek a path to the top. The key to Chu’s success to date has been the pitching, where they lead the league in ERA, WHIP and Ks. King Felix has been his reliable self (6 Wins, 2.60 ERA) but Jeff Samardzija has surprised with a 1.45 ERA. Justin Upton (.291/13/30/4) has led the Chu offense. May free agent pickup Devin Mesoraco has hit just 2-for-23 in his first action for TPC.

Mayhem remains just two points back and leads the league in HR, RBI, Runs and BA. However, in Week 8, Mayhem pitching led the way with a 1.66 ERA despite only 22 Ks in 43 innings. Jered Weaver picked up a complete game victory in Week 8, but Sonny Gray has been the story so far with a 1.74 ERA on the year.

Despite the team's early success, the Mayhem dugout can still be a depressing place to be.

Despite the team’s early success, the Mayhem dugout can still be a depressing place to be.

The Barracudas were the big gainers (5.5 points) and now sit just four points back. Edwin Encarnacion (.254/14/40/2) surged in Week 8 with five homers and nine RBI. May free agent acquisition Charlie Blackmon went 1-for-13 and has hit .253/4/15/2 for the Fish this month. The Fish just picked up closers Sergio Romo (via trade from the Dirty Dogs for Stephen Strasburg) and Sean Doolittle (free agent pickup via trade from the DDs) to bolster the back of the ‘pen. Julio Teheran dominated over 15 scoreless innings in Week 8 and carries a 1.77 ERA for the season. The Fish stole no bases in Week 8.

The Craydawgs led the league in BA (.343) but trailed in HRs (8) in Week 8. The Dawgs have to hope Adrian Beltre (12-for-23, 2 HR, 6 BI this week) and Ian Desmond (.320/2/4/2) are finally heating up. Adam Wainwright ripped off 17 scoreless innings with 21 Ks for two wins this week. He now has eight wins and a 1.67 ERA on the year.

Keyboard Cat will rock the Dawg Pound this week for a homestand against the Barracudas.

Keyboard Cat will handle organ duties at the Dawg Pound this week for a homestand against the Barracudas.

Don’t count the Dirty Dogs out. The Filthy Ones led the BEML in HRs (14) and Steals (11) over the past week. Nelson Cruz did some damage (.500/3/6) and Carlos Gomez is looking like he might go 30/30 (.320/10/26/9). With Aroldis Chapman back from the DL, the Dogs parlayed their abundance of closers to attain ace Strasburg from the Fish.

Team Dave tumbled 8.5 points in Week 8 despite leading the league in Wins (6) and Ks (70). The wins and Ks came at the expense of some ugly innings as TD posted a league-worst 4.71 ERA. The erratic Francisco Liriano gave up 10 ER over 10 IP. Big Papi went 1-for-21 but David Wright (12-for-25) and Yasiel Puig (12-for-23) showed signs of life.

Dave Matthews rocked the national anthem before Team Dave took on the Villagers last week.

Dave Matthews rocked the national anthem before Team Dave took on the Villagers last week.

Despite Team Dave’s troubles in Week 8, Grove St. Villagers could not take full advantage, dropping two points in the standings. GSV racked up a league-leading 57 runs this week with a .307 BA, but were hobbled by the struggles of Justin Verlander (8.73 ERA over 11.3 IP in Week 8).

Jose Fernandez’ Elbow Chu’ed Up

May 16, 2014

HOLBROOK — First-place Team Phil Chu just got back 2013 Maddux Award winner Clayton Kershaw, only to learn that young ace Jose Fernandez’s season is over due to elbow problems. “It’s shredded,” was the official diagnosis from the Chu’s medical staff.

Jose Fernandez' diagnosis: "spaghetti elbow."

Jose Fernandez’ diagnosis: “spaghetti elbow.”

Team Phil Chu leads the BEML with 50 points and has looked great so far, even with injuries to Michael Cuddyer and Josh Hamilton. Will the Fernandez injury break the Chu’s back? BEMLBlog will keep you updated.

Meanwhile, Mayhem is duking it out for first, five points back. With power to spare, they recently dealt slugger Big Papi Ortiz (.303/11/25) and  Francisco Liriano (0 Wins, 41 Ks in 40 IP, 3.60/1.23) to Team Dave (6th place, 16 points back) for Carl Crawford (4-for-18, 0/1/1) and Scott Kazmir (5 Wins, 42 Ks in 51 IP, 2.28/0.97). Team Dave continues to have the least original name since 1993’s Team Bill.

Team Dave is quickly building a tradition of inviting various Daves to throw out the first pitch at home games. Tonight's honoree: Dave Navarro.

Team Dave is quickly building a tradition of inviting various Daves to throw out the first pitch at home games. Tonight’s honoree: Dave Navarro.

Week 2 Update: Chu-ing It Up

April 14, 2014

BEML XXII is underway and Team Phil Chu is off to a strong start, with a league-leading 2.57 ERA, 12 wins, and 1.04 WHIP. Justin Upton has hit .375 with four HRs and King Felix has 30 Ks and three wins in 21 IP. All this with ace (and 2013 Maddux Award winner) Clayton Kershaw still on the mend.

The owners of (l-r) the Craydawgs, Barracudas, Mayhem, Team Phil Chu, Team Dave, Dirty Dogs and Grove St. Villagers embody a murderer's row of fantasy baseball talent.

The owners of (l-r) the Craydawgs, Barracudas, Mayhem, Team Phil Chu, Team Dave, Dirty Dogs and Grove St. Villagers embody a murderer’s row of fantasy baseball talent.

Mayhem took a couple years off to strategize for 2014, and their efforts have paid off so far. The team leads in BA (.286), HRs (30), runs (111), RBI (97) and Ks (176) through two weeks. Giancarlo Stanton (.291/4/16/2) and Freddie Freeman (.442/4/10) have dominated BEML pitching, while Sonny Gray has shut it down (0.94 ERA, 19 Ks in 19 IP, 2 wins).

AROUND THE LEAGUE: The third-place Craydawgs have been led by Adrian Gonzalez (.377/5/14/1) and Chase Utley (.500/3/10)… Dirty Dogs figure to be in contention this year and are sitting in fourth place; they pulled off a Week 1 trade with Mayhem to acquire Bryce Harper for closer Grant Balfour… the BEMLBlog is picking the fifth-place Barracudas to vie for a fifth title in 2014, but a 4.09 ERA and .243 BA are holding them back so far… There’s been a power outage on Grove St., as the Villagers have just 14 HRs through the first two weeks… New addition Team Dave has also had an anemic beginning, with a .241 BA and just 60 RBI…


Team Dave is developing a fan base among the world's Daves including Diamond David Lee Roth.

Team Dave is developing a fan base among the world’s Daves including Diamond David Lee Roth.

Craydawgs Fillet Feisty Fish for Eighth BEML Title

March 26, 2014

HIGHLAND PARK — October 1, 2013 — The Craydawgs, New Jersey’s favorite mutts, have fended off their archrivals the Barracudas for their eighth BEML title and their first championship in four years.

As chronicled on the BEMLBlog this year, the Dawgs were fueled in the first half of the season by Chris Davis (.286/53/138 on the season, 27 HRs in 285 ABs, .315 for the Dawgs) and Carlos Gomez (.284/24/73/40 on the season; .288/18/55/30 for the Dawgs) before the Pups traded them off for Justin Verlander, David Wright and Joey Votto. Despite losing their best player Ryan Braun to a doping scandal, the Dawgs got ample support at the plate from Evan Longoria (.269/32/88), Alex Rios (.278/18/81/42) and Matt Holliday (.300/22/94/6).

On the mound, the Crayhounds rifled through 23 pitchers led by a dominant year from Max Scherzer (21 Wins, 240 Ks, 2.90/0.97). Chris Sale (11 Wins, 226 Ks, 3.07/1.07), David Price (9 Wins, 147 Ks, 3.39/1.11) and Anibal Sanchez (12 Wins, 163 Ks, 2.68/1.14 for the Dawgs before trade) rounded out the saltiest rotation the Dawgs have featured since the ’09 championship.

Max Scherzer leads the celebration in the Craydawg clubhouse.

Max Scherzer leads the celebration in the Craydawgs clubhouse. The Craydawgs’ owner has since recovered from his stroke.

After finishing second in 2011 and 2012 to the Barracudas and Snowmen, respectively, the Dawgs finished first in Runs (1127), RBI (1139) and Wins (106) to help salve the bitter psychic wounds of those prior defeats.

The Dawgs pulled out all the stops to secure precious victory, doling out most of their protected slots for 2014 and jettisoning top talent in Davis, Gomez, Sanchez, David Robertson and Shelby Miller in their quest. And why not? Vexilla in aeternum volant (“flags fly forever”).

Nazareth ripped into the Craydawgs' anthem "Hair of the Dog" at the post-victory ticker tape parade in Highland Park, NJ.

Nazareth ripped into the Craydawgs’ anthem “Hair of the (Cray)Dawg” at the post-victory ticker tape parade in Highland Park, NJ.

For the Barracudas, who lost by the narrow margin of two points (67-65), Clayton Kershaw’s Maddux Award-winning, contract-year campaign (16 Wins, 232 Ks, 1.83/0.92) went for naught. Similarly, Paul Goldschmidt’s epic season at the dish (.302/36/125/15) and Edwin Encarnacion’s power-mad homer binge (.272/36/104/7) are lost to history, doomed by staggering injuries to Matt Kemp, Brett Lawrie, Jose Reyes and Andrew Bailey. The pitching-rich Fish led the league with a 3.17 ERA, a league record 1,474 strikeouts, and a 1.16 WHIP, but were hamstrung by an early inability to find closers and ended up with just two points in that category. Nevertheless, the Fish will return to contend in 2014 with the formidable Goldschmidt and Encarnacion in the infield, together with speed merchant Jacoby Ellsbury and flamethrower Kenley Jansen.

The Cudas' owner bestows the 2013 Maddux Award on Clayton Kershaw.

The Cudas’ owner bestows the 2013 Maddux Award on Clayton Kershaw.

The defending champion Snowmen secured their fourth third-place finish in the past five years but never really sniffed a repeat title despite leading the league in HRs (299) and BA (.284). Mike Trout (.323/27/97/33), Carlos Gonzalez (.302/26/70/21 in just 391 ABs) and Adrian Beltre (.315/30/92) were forces at the plate, while Craig Kimbrel (50 saves, 1.21/0.88) put up vintage Eckersley numbers. Unfortunately, the high-priced Josh Hamilton fell off the wagon map (.255/19/69), and the Snowmen once again stubbornly refused to play the trade game, perhaps shooting themselves in the proverbial snowfeet. The Snowmen will not return in 2014, so third place should be up for grabs.

The George Kents finished a respectable fourth in 2013, though their season was colored by management’s puzzling protest of the fact that Dirty Dogs decided–in June, too early for the Kents’ liking–to pack it in and build a roster for 2014. Though it is acknowledged by the BEML that the Kents have been treated completely unjustly throughout the years, the Kents managed to field a decent team in Andrew McCutchen (.317/21/84/27), Prince Fielder (.277/25/106/1), Mat Latos (14 Wins, 187 Ks, 3.16/1.21) and Mike Minor (13 Wins, 181 Ks, 3.21/1.09). Like the Snowmen, the Kents will leave the BEML in 2014.

The fifth-place Grove St. Villagers made a formidable showing in their first year, and even flirted with first place and a league-record ERA title during the early part of the season before things came undone. The Villagers employed 33 hitters and 19 pitchers, with only four players accumulating 500+ ABs, and only one with double digit victories (Hiroki Kuroda, 11). Did they tinker too much? That’s the question heading into 2014. Grove St. made a number of trades, even acquiring the eventual Bonds MVP Award winner Miguel Cabrera (.347/44/136/3), but it was not enough to compete in their first year. It takes a village to win the BEML crown, and in 2014 this village will include a core of Greg Holland (22 saves, 1.66/0.89), Homer Bailey, Addison Reed (38 saves, 3.67/1.09) and Anibal Sanchez (14 Wins, 202 Ks, 2.57/1.15).

Dirty Dogs came in sixth place in a calculated move to make things happen in 2014. Dirty Dirty struck deals to acquire Chris Davis, Carlos Gomez, David Robertson, Matt Moore, Zack Wheeler and others, and racked up 14 protected roster slots heading into ’14. The Dirties were filthy on the basepaths, leading the BEML in steals (212) with three players with over 30 steals: Elvis Andrus, Starling Marte and Jacoby Ellsbury.

The 2013 Dirty Dogs were filthy on the basepaths.

The 2013 Dirty Dogs were filthy on the basepaths.

Cause Mickey Loves Ya got knocked out. Seventh place. CMLY vied for the HR title (297) but could not balance out the power with strong enough pitching.

Arsenal missed the draft but did their best to roster some cheap players for ’14, picking up Jean Segura (.294/12/49/44), Michael Cuddyer (.335/13/56/8) and Bobby Parnell, among others. While the last place finish was not unexpected under the circumstances, it was the third such finish in a row for the storied BEML franchise of many monikers.