ARHCERS WIN! ARCHERS WIN!!!
The S11 St. Louis Archers made the best of their third Capra World Series appearance in five straight seasons by winning their second World Series Championship. They did it the hard way by losing the division title, and a first round bye, to our arch rivals, the Los Angeles of Anaheim Anteaters. The Archers blew the division lead in the last few days of the season but made the playoffs by taking the first wildcard spot with a 103 win season. "Losing the division title after having a commanding lead all season was tough," said bench coach Ober Gonzalez. " But the 14-4 run in the playoffs and to take the WS in six games made up for that division title shortfall." The Archers look forward defending their title but recognize season 12 will be an uphill battle.
Season 12 roster sports several league all stars.
CF -- Hong-Gu Hyn (S6-RoY, S8 & S9-MVP, 6 time Silver Slugger and 7 time All Star Player)
LF -- Melvin Martin (2 time All Star and Silver slugger)
RF -- Rick Abbott (Archers single season HR record)
C -- Mateo Pena (All Star)
1B -- Jumbo Urbina
2B -- Rudy Hayes
3B -- Benito Johnson
SS -- Andy Palmer
C -- Karim Mateo (back-up, Gold Glove catcher)
All Star and gold glove second baseman Rudy Carver left the Archers to test free agency. Rudy holds many of the Archers offensive category career stats, having broken out with the team in our inaugural season. Carver was losing playing time to Hayes in recent seasons, but the coaches credit Carver's leadership for our two World Series trophies. The Archers let go J.P. Roth, the team's utility player, over contract demands.
The S12 Archers pitching staff is largely intact from our S11 championship team. The starters are lead by All Star pitcher, Ted Davis, along with strong performances from Ralph Cosby and Howard Kapler. The bullpen is anchored by 2-time Fireman of the Year and 4-time All Star, David Wanatabe. David is #3 on the Capra all-time saves list, and at just 31 years old and possessing a 89 % save/opportunity ratio he has the potential to eclipse 500 lifetime saves. David's success in S11 was due in part to Kevin Myers set-up abilities which landed him on the S11 NL All Stars list. Jarrod Newson has reached the final year of his contract at age 37. He has pitched his entire career with the Archers. It was his performance out of the pen that was the key to our S11 championship. From a long relief position he recorded a 5-0 record while pitching 29.1 innings with a 1.19 WHIP and a 1.53 ERA. Carl Wilkerson posted a fine rookie season and the team has high hopes for call-up reliever, Paul King. Long time Archers Moises Melendez and Carlos Paniagua continue to show a lot of promise, but they have yet to post good seasons.
A full list of S12 pitchers includes:
SP -- Ralph Cosby, Ted Davis, Howard Kapler, Moises Melendez and Carl Wilkerson
LR -- Paul King, CarlosPaniagua, and Bobby Swann
Setup -- Alan Dorsey, Jarrod Newson and Kevin Myers
Closer -- David Wanatabe
The club let go relievers Bo Jensen, contract expiration, and Todd Parish, option buy out. Both relievers were saw limited action with Kevin Myers logging 70+ appearances and 120 innings in relief. With Kevin's beastly performance it was not cost effective to carry these veterans. They will contribute to the lucky teams that pick them up as free agents.
Management is looking for a utility player and some defensive backups to fill out the 25 man roster. The S12 salary was set @ 82 MM, a 9 MM reduction from S11. While management would like to pick-up a strong veteran pitcher but we'll concentrate on fielding positions. Most of our S11 ML coaches are returning so fans have every right to expect good things from the S12 Archers.
With a core of returning players the Archers should figure prominently in the NL-West division race. The St. Louis Archers haven't won the division title since S8, and it would seem our arch rival The Los Angeles of Anaheim Anteaters have the secret formula to win the division. The S11 performance of the Vancouver Maintaineers showed promise so the NL-West looks to be a three horse race in S12. No doubt the Seattle Picards rebuild will put them in the race soon. The Archers are planning to win the division outright and repeat as the Buzz Capra Champions.