Approaching their 3rd season, the Belleview Bambinos have proudly progressed from being awful in their first year (24 games below .500) to being just plain bad (14 games below .500) in their second.
After finishing 2021 with a 1,000 AB and 500 IP shortfall, the Bambis focused during last year’s off-season on fielding a constitutionally sufficient team. Bambino management’s many trades – virtually all designed to reduce those deficiencies – didn’t materially set the team back. So now, seeing vastly fewer gaps entering 2023, the Bambis’ large fan base is filling local talk radio with predictions of the team’s first winning record. By contrast, management will be pleased with simple mediocrity, namely .500 baseball.
The DDL learning curve is steep. Bambi management admittedly still has a ways to go, but can no longer claim ignorance as an excuse. Even so, we continue to believe in the same 3 Truths we announced in last year’s Clubhouse, and which we hope the three newbie owners will quickly heed:
- To win, it helps to have hitting, pitching, and defense
- Bad teams find ingenious ways to lose
- The dice know which teams are good
We suspect there’s a fourth Truth out there, namely that it feels better to win than lose. The 2023 Bambinos hope to put that potential Truth to the test.
The Bambino franchise archivist has documented the team’s many improvements made in the past year, among them:
- Switching league leaders from a hitter who led the DDL in Ks in 2021 (Yoan Moncada – 230) to a pitcher who led the DDL in saves in 2022 (Jake McGee – 43)
- Improving from a -5 home/away record to a +4
- Establishing team batting records in average (.246, up from .232), hits (1,292, up from 1,227), OPS (.733, up from .707), and stolen bases (50, up from 21), and by reducing the number of Ks (1433, down from 1635)
- Improving team defense in double plays made (133, up from 125)
- Improving pitching in team saves (51, up from 38), Ks/9 innings (9.0, up from 8.9), and in blown saves (14, down from 23)
And new Bambino individual records were set in the following areas:
- Batting average: .318 (Bryan Reynolds)
- Runs: 95 (Jonathan India)
- OPS (>400 AB): .940 (Bryan Reynolds)
- Stolen bases: 13 (Jonathan India)
- Strikeouts (pitcher): 209 (Yu Darvish)
- Wins: 12 (Yu Darvish)
- Saves: 43 (Jake McGee)
Bambi management’s one disappointment last year was that we played only two of you (Big Papa Don Semple and the soon-to-be-missed Brian Werner) in person. If all goes well, we look forward to playing many more of next year’s matches in person. Until then . . .