Ambiano bambini, let’s win today’s game, go Bambinos!
So begins the Belleview Bambinos’ team cheer, played each home game to the tune of Dean Martin’s That’s Amore. Management thanks the team’s avid fan base as we excitedly await our 4th season.
Despite what has felt like a continual series of ups and downs within each season, the team’s yearly performance has been linear: from a dreadful 24 games below .500 in 2021, to a bad 14 games below in 2022, to a mediocre four games below last year. Our 2024 goal is to stay on that straight-line path by winning 84 games — six games over .500. Of course, we won’t mind if this once the curve bends upwards.
This year, due to the DDL’s retirement of Fenway Park, we’ll be moving to the Instituto Bambino, shown below, which will feature the new name of “Bambino Park at Something Short of Mile High.”
The 2024 Bambinos won’t match their 2023 team’s rotation that featured six shut-down starters with a weighted ERA of 3.06. This year’s starting staff by comparison will enter the annual draft with a weighted 3.63 ERA, still credible in our estimation. Still, we expect the team will improve in hitting, fielding, and relief pitching, which we hope will more than offset the shortfall in SP performance. Compare the 2024 Bambinos with their 2023 counterparts:
Team batting average before the annual draft: .249 (2024) vs. .234 (2023)
Team OPS before the annual draft: .745 (2024) vs. .685 (2023)
Team relief ERA before the annual draft: 3.84 (2024) vs. 4.53 (2023)
Team relief WHIP before the annual draft: 1.26 (2024) vs. 1.39 (2023)
Put differently, in 2024 we expect to be playing many 5-4 games, compared with last year’s frequent 4-3 and 3-2 outcomes.
The upcoming year will also feature vastly more stability among our position players. Where 2023’s Bambinos had a grand total of three position players who had 400 or more ABs, the 2024 team features eight such players even before the 2024 draft!
Before closing the book on the 2023 Bambinos, we note the following accomplishments:
- Besides an all-time best of 79 wins, a team-record 42 home wins, 37 away wins, and +5 home vs. away record
- Team-best performance in extra-inning games (.444 record) and one-run games (.512 record)
- Team-best batting performances in average (.247), hits (1333), triples (31), stolen bases (57), and fewest strikeouts (1348)
- Team-best pitching performance in shutouts (10) and fewest walks (541)
- Best individual performances in ERA among starting pitchers (Dylan Cease’s 2.99), wins (Yu Darvish’s 13), and strikeouts (Cease’s 215
Management also looks forward to seeing the entire DDL community in person at this coming April’s 2nd annual Jackie Robinson Memorial hot dog lunch (invitations to be sent in March) and, if all goes well, individually across from the table from you during face-to-face Strat series.