BNBL Team Previews - Season 1
Bedrock Boulders - Duke's Boulders are ready to rock the Pacific Division, Fred Flintstone style. Marvell Wynne and SS Billy Consolo lead the offense with help from solid C Sammy White (who leads the team in actual HRs), and good corner infielders Dave Bergman and Jerry Royster. Dave Morehead is the ace of the staff and should be one of the top SPs in the league. Terry Forster leads a strong bullpen that will be tough on opponents in the later innings.
Stogies tag Jim King with an extra season, saving him from mandatory retirement
California Bears - Ryan's Bears (named after the original Bad News Bears) are going to make some noise in the Pacific Division with their bats. It looks like Ryan focused on HR power in the draft, with the likes of Ron Kittle, Walt Bond, and Barry Foote (who tore up Coach's Spring Training league) ready to hit some bombs. It's not just those three, though, as the whole lineup has power. Opposing pitchers beware! The starting staff is led by Stan Bahnsen and strikeout king Cy Seymour.
Charlestown Chiefs - The Coach is at the helm of the Chiefs, whose name comes from the cult Hockey Movie "Slapshot". He doesn't have the famous Hanson Brothers, or Paul Newman on this version of the Chiefs, but he does have some good bats up and down the lineup, including solid Catcher Jim Essian, OF Tony Gonzalez, and 1B Pat Putnam. Watch for Mickey Klutts at 3B too. The pitching staff has a couple solid pieces at the top, with Steve Renko and Tommy Boggs causing trouble for their Eastern Division foes, and the rest of the league, too.
Cleveland Charlie Browns - The Commish will have to overcome not one, but two bad teams that this team is named after, the terrible Cleveland Browns, as well as the fictional bumblers of the Peanuts Comic Strip (although Snoopy was always a good ball-player). The BNBL version of the Browns will do battle in the Eastern Division with an offense led by OFs Bombo Rivera and Bill Tuttle, as well as DH Pat Kelly. Converted outfielder Johnny Briggs will get the regular 1B assignment. Leading the starters is Ray Moore, while the bullpen has Dick Stigman and Johnny Klippstein looking after the late innings.
Durham Bulls - Inspired by the Bull Durham movie, this team doesn’t have Crash Davis or Nuke Laloosh, but Majestic does have some other characters who should keep the Bulls in the thick of things in the South Division. Jim Nash and Doyle Alexander are the 1-2 punch in the rotation with Ron Davis and Ken Patterson leading the charge out of the ‘pen. The hitting starts with the two Teds in the outfield, Savage and Uhlaender, with help from Rich Reese at First Base and Junior Ortiz behind the plate. Speedster Jose Cardenal could give opposing catchers fits and just might lead the league in steals this season.
Fayetteville Flibbertigibbets- With the weirdest team name and the weirdest team logo and an owner named Super, nobody is quite sure what to make of the Flibs. But it looks like Super has put together a pretty good squad of mediocre players. First overall pick Tom Phoebus is the ace of the staff with help from Jose Pena and Mel Queen in the 'pen. The left side of the infield is solid with Rick Joseph and Gene Michael. Ed Ott at Catcher, along with Jerry Hairston and Ollie Brown patrolling the outfield also bring some good bats. The Flibs will be tough to beat in the South.
Galveston Gunslingers - aka Husker's Home Run Kings. This team is stacked with long ball power, with no less than SIX starters who hit more than 20 dingers in their real-life "mediocre" season. The big six are catcher Gus Triandos, 3B Dave Rader, DH Gorman Thomas, and a killer outfield of Gus Zernial, Tony Armas, and Rob Deer. Starting pitchers are led by Bob Buhl and John D'Acquisto, while Shane Rawley will be the Gunslingers' closer. Will this slugging happy, low average posse terrorize the South Division? We'll soon find out!
Gashouse Gorillas - In the classic Looney Tunes flick, the Gorillas crushed the Tea Totallers, but Bugs Bunny defeated them single-handedly 96-95 with an amazing catch for the final out. The original Gorillas intimidated both opposing teams and umpires and used massive trees for bats, but Rainman's BNBL version will rely more on pitching and defense than big bats. These Gorillas have great defensive numbers, and the solid pitching staff is led by starters Joey Jay and Clay Kirby, set up man Diego Segui, and closer Danny Frisella. The good gloves will do some hitting too, with the Iorg brothers, corner infielders Joe Lis and Ken Reitz, OF Don Lock, and great names Bucky Dent and Jesus Alou. The Midwest Division better be more Bugs Bunny than Tea Totallers when facing these guys!
Lick Skillet Rednecks - You just might be a redneck if your handle is ExpatBama and you're returning to the south to manage a mediocre ball team in Lick Skillet. When these guys aren't bellying up to the local diner for some breakfast grits, they'll be bringing their slick fielding, singles-hitting talent to the South Division. 'Bama doesn't have anyone on the roster who hit 10 HRs during the real-life season they're using, but he does have some good AVG guys. 3B Pancho Herrera and SS U.L. Washington lead the hit parade, while Johnny Grubb and Marv Throneberry do provide a bit of pop. The Rednecks will be running too, as they have four different 7 Speed guys in the lineup, so catchers beware. Starters Pete Redfern and Bart Johnson, and reliever Greg Minton lead the Redneck hurlers.
Metropolis Meteors - It seems fitting that owner Metsnfins chose the Metropolis Meteors. That's a lot of "Met" in one sentence. The only thing more fitting might have been if Super had chosen them, since they're named after the fictional baseball team from the Superman comics. It remains to be seen if this team will be Supermen in the East Division, but they do have a little bit of everything in their lineup, some good speed in OF Von Hayes, 3B Len Randle and SS Ivan DeJesus, some pop in Aurelio Rodriguez, Wally Post, and Mike Adams, and some great defense in Rodriguez and DeJesus. The only thing missing is some high average guys, but their strengths might make up for that. Mike Kekich and Steve Hargan are the top two starters, while Jack Aker is tops in the bullpen.
Mudville Nine - The team name, of course, comes from the famous "Mighty Casey" poem. This version of the Nine doesn't have a Mighty Casey, but they do have a Mighty Coco Laboy and a Mighty Cookie Rojas! Doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it? But owner Dommod does have some really good pieces to work with, including one of the best pitching staffs in the league. Starters Morton, Hawkins, LaPoint, McAnally, and Stange are all solid, plus they'll get help when needed from a top-notch bullpen that includes John Curtis, Ron Schueller, and Gary Kroll. The offense will be led by 2nd Overall pick and speedster CF Billy North, along with Luis Quinones, Jim Ray Hart, Vic Power, and Cito Gaston. Oh, and special mention should be made of their opening day starting SS, Mario Mendoza, the 2nd last overall pick in the draft, who may not stay in the lineup for long, but surely is a good news story that will have Mudville fans falling in love with this team.
New York Knights - Gman's Knights are named after the ragtag team from the movie "The Natural". That team had Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) come in to save the day. These Knights don't have Hobbs in the lineup, but they do have two of the best starting pitchers in the league in Tim Lollar and Van Mungo. Pete Falcone is a very good 3rd Starter too, while the bullpen arms include Dave Heaverlo and Randy Moffitt. On offense, Don Kessinger brings speed and defense to the SS position, while the bats include Johnny Ray at 2B, Reno Bertoia at 3B, and OFs Jim Northrup and Lee Walls. We'll see if the highest ranked team in the BNBL (according to the SIM) can live up to the hype!!
Petaluma Roadkill - The team name doesn't inspire confidence, but that could just be a ploy to lull the competition into a false sense of security. The Roadkill do have some good bats in the lineup, led by C Butch Wynegar, 1B Gene Larkin, OF Danny Cater and a full left side of the infield with Freese, Fregosi, and Pagliarulo battling for playing time. Starters John Montefusco and Jay Hook lead the staff with bullpen help from Dave Pagan and Archie McKain.
Silver City Silver Sox - Owner SinCity got a team named after him! After all, the whole concept for this league was his idea in the first place. The Sox have some good offensive players in OF George Vukovich and 3B Bob Bailey, and they should get some long balls from C Earl Williams and OF Andy Kosco too. A good-looking batch of Starting Pitchers is led by Mike Mason, while the bullpen is anchored by Eddie Solomon and closer Mike Proly.
Springfield Isotopes - Named after the hometown ball team of TV's The Simpsons, this team could go nuclear at any moment!! They'll have Dancing Homer atop the dugout, working the crowd into a frenzy to cheer on some of the best names in the BNBL: Dud, Yank, The Only Nolan, two Rustys and Rowland Office. There's some talent there too with Yank Robinson being a base-on-balls OBP machine, and speed up and down the lineup with Jim Walewander, Lee Lacy, and Jack Graney tearing up the basepaths along with Yank and Dud. Bruce Benedict is a good bat at the catcher position too. The starting staff boasts Jim Nuxhall and Ken Brett, and a very good bullpen includes Frank Reberger, Gary Waslewski, and newly acquired Dave Goltz.
Toledo Mud Hens - Chubbach is ready to bring this long-time minor league team to the big time. Made most famous by being the favorite team of Max Klinger (of M.A.S.H. fame), these Mud Hens look solid up and down the lineup with great defense up the middle in Billy Gardner and Mark Belanger to go with the bats of Tom Hutton at 1B, Boots Day in the OF, and Bobby Pfeil and Eddie Williams fighting over the 3B job. The pitching looks pretty good too, with quality starters Bo Belinsky and Jerry Johnson, and a good bullpen led by Jim Winn, Dave Tomlin and Elias Sosa. Holy Toledo! These guys could win the Midwest!!
And that's your Team Previews for the inaugural season of the Bad News Bears League.