and “balanced” and once again congratulate the Lacey Township Backdoor Sliderz for their many years and half-years of success. Which are now over. Because I fucking WON which shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to you cretons, I’ve done so a buncha times since I’ve been in this god forsaken league. To the point that my victory season may be the very thing that brings the Backyard to its knees. Well it was already on its knees so it’s more likeeee this may be thing that murders it once and for all. The very thought of the blog wielding the championship would have, years ago, been a truly terrifying prospect. Just week after week of me tooting my own horn throughout a probably unsuccessful title defense but ALAS the world has changed. I’ve grown bored with the blog and likely with fantasy sports as a whole so INSTEAD, instead what you’re getting is a ~review~ for historical preservation purposes but one where I likely keep referencing how I don’t want to write these things anymore over and over. One thing I’ll just add once is as far as I’m concerned this league should have been a $20 buy in years ago and so ULTIMATELY, for the rest of my life I’m going to feel like each and every one of you owe me $20. So think about THAT next time you try and criticize me, you bastards. And now withour further adieu, onnnn with the review thingie……..




8.5 – 5.5

[BRACKET MVP — Salvador Perez [LL] (12 Rs, 9 HRs, 22 RBIs, .414 OBP) *Please note this was all for naught BUT, had the Leviathans won the whole shebang, they would have had Salvy’s HR tear to thank in many ways. Interestingly the LL’s backup C (Yasmani Grandal) also went off over the course of their playoff run (12/22, 8 Rs, 2 2Bs, 5 HRs, 15 RBIs, friggin .633 OBP) but again, history gets to be written by the victors so history shall forget the really great work by these Lakehurst catchers OH WELL…..

MVP:  Jeimer Candelario  –  Didn’t really see this one coming BUT Jeimer put up the finest numbers of anyone in the BCS and that’s how this works so take your crown JC. 10/27, 7 Rs, 3 2Bs, 1 3B, 2 HRs, 7 RBIs, .433 OBP     **MVP OF BCS OBVIOUSLY**                

LVP: Matt Manning    Mr. Manning did the Leviathans no favors, with the ugliest ERA in an overall ugly ERA battle between these two teams.  3.2 IP, 8 ER, 1 K, 19.64 ERA **LVP OF BCS OBVIOUSLY**     

Bears Hitter Of Note:  Akil Baddoo was kicked to the curb by the Slugs, perhaps at a time when he was being heavily platooned, and he’s still being pretty steadily platooned, but WHATEVS the Bears were moreee than happy to pick him up Baddoo is a Baddood (sry)(6/20, 6 Rs, 2 2Bs, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs, .417 OBP).

Bears Pitcher Of Note:  Blake Snell suckeddddd for a large portion of the year but conveniently turned it the fuck on come playoff time and that is appreciated (7 IP, 0 ER, 10 Ks, 1 QS, 1 W, 0.00 ERA).

Leviathans Hitter Of Note:  This is truly the first I’m learning that Jorge Polanco has 27 HRs this season, and well two of them came in the BCS matchup (7/22, 4 Rs, 2 2Bs, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs, .360 OBP).

Leviathans Pitcher Of Note:  A one Matthew Boyd had the second-worst ERA for the Leviathans and really I just want to note that the 3 Tigers starters they trotted out gave them ERAs of 10.80, 11.25, & 19.64 GO ROOT FOR THE CLEVELAND GUARDIANS INSTEAD SHANE (4 IP, 5 ER, 6 Ks, 11.25 ERA).

ASSORTED MUSINGS/ANALYSIS:  I WON AND YOU ALL LOST AND I WON… Because I was involved in this one (moreso because I WON this one), and because it’s been so longgg since the thrilling matchup nobody paid attention to (I was going to write something weeks ago but yanno, didn’t, so now I’m just doing it for historical documentation) I’m going to cover it OLD SKOOL STYLE, the way I covered it back when I gave more of my time to the blog and back when my good friend and former co-owner Mike Odom won his first solo championship. Which means covering it day by fucking day…….


Monday – Bears: 5 Rs, 2 2Bs, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs, .286 OBP13 IP, 13 Ks, 5.54 ERA, 3 S, 1 H Leviathans: 5 Rs, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, .240 OBP14 IP, 10 Ks, 5.14 ERA, 1 W, 1 S, 1 H

Prettttttty BLEH start for both storied franchises (the Leviathans stories are mostly about how bad they were in the earlier years of their existence but STILL, stories…) as both teams failed to crack .300 OBP and both teams pitched like shit. The latter would become a pattern. On the bright side of things all 4 of the Bears RP-type spots contributed, 3 Saves and 1 Hold on a Monday as an early sign of the solid Bear Bullpennin’ to come.

Tuesday –  Bears: 8 Rs, 4 2Bs, 2 HRs, 7 RBIs, 1 SB, .358 OBP14.2 IP, 20 Ks, 1.84 ERA, 1 QS, 2 W, 2 S, 1 H Leviathans: 6 Rs, 2 2Bs, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, .321 OBP12 IP, 13 Ks, 9.00 ERA, 1 S

Tuesday saw the Bears put together the most complete pitching line prrrrobably of the whole matchup, which again had absolutely terrible pitching. But Blake Snell was a beacon of bright light all playoffs for the Bears and he did good work here, and the Bears notched a Win a Save and a Hold out of their 3 SP-eligible relievers. Bullpens win championships.

Wednesday – Bears: 16 Rs, 5 2Bs, 1 3B, 5 HRs, 11 RBIs, 1 SB, .574 OBP4 IP, 6 Ks, 2.25 ERA, 2 S, 1 H Leviathans: 8 Rs, 4 2Bs, 2 HRs, 7 RBIs, 1 SB, .358 OBP10.1 IP, 13 Ks, 1.74 ERA, 1 QS, 2 W, 1 S

The best offensive day for either team came on Wednesday and belonged to the Bears, whomst ~at this point~ were feeling pretttttttty good about their chances as they had managed to pull away in several offensive categories. a 3B and HR from Max Muncy and a 4 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI performance from Nick Castellanos helped spark a Bears offense that hummed along to a .574 OBP and I am sure Shane was displeased with this day. Despite the fact that the Leviathans quietly had a fine offensive showing themselves, as well as their best pitching day, but none of this is really about them now is it.

Thursday – Bears: 6 Rs, 1 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBIs, .289 OBP8.1 IP, 12 Ks, 1.08 ERA, 1 QS, 1 H Leviathans: 7 Rs, 2 2Bs, 2 HRs, 8 RBIs, 1 SB, .442 OBP3.2 IP, 1 K, 19.64 ERA

A light-ish Thursday that saw the Bears go another +2 in the HR category, while grabbing their second and LAST quality start (a QS total that would be matched by the Leviathans, again this shit was ugly). The matchup felt pretttttty well at hand from the Island Beach perspective if you were to stop things right here. Shoutout to Matt Manning for doing his best to sink Lakehurst’s ERA once and for all and forever.

Friday – Leviathans: 12 Rs, 2 2Bs, 7 HRs, 12 RBIs, .411 OBP9.2 IP, 11 Ks, 5.59 ERA, 1 S Bears: 9 Rs, 4 2Bs, 1 3B, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs, .309 OBP11.2 IP, 9 Ks, 10.03 ERA, 1 W, 1 S, 1 H

Friday rolled around and WHOAAAAA signs of life from the Leviathans. Without earlier in the week padding the margins this 7 HR barrage from Lakehurst might have been a devastating start to the weekend for the Bears, and while certainly not a welcome sight they emerged from Friday night still on top. An additional triple helped sooth matters, and the pattern continued of grabbing bullpen stats in the midst of an awful ERA week. But credit where credit is due for the Leviathans offense, they went bonkers on Friday evening due in part to that Nolan Arenado guy they stole and his 2 HRs. WHERE is the criminal investigation into that trade, I ask you all….

Saturday – Leviathans: 12 Rs, 2 2Bs, 5 HRs, 13 RBIs, 1 SB, .586 OBP22.1 IP, 19 Ks, 6.45 ERA, 1 W, 1 Hold Bears: 8 Rs, 4 2Bs, 2 HRs, 7 RBIs, 1 SB, .358 OBP13.2 IP, 18 Ks, 8.56 ERA, 2 W

Saturday came and went with another ONSLAUGHT from the Leviathans bats, with the Bears chipping in a solid day in a lesser performance just to maintain a bit of a freakin leaddddd here. Things looked far less in the bag heading into Sunday, again a testament to a Lakehurst squad that showed a bit o’ heart in their weekend performance. 2 HRs out of Salvy Perez that dong-hitting madman of an old man catcher, I dunno what the fuck THAT was out of him but I don’t like it. Witchcraft.

Sunday – Leviathans: 10 Rs, 1 2B, 4 HRs, 9 RBIs, .373 OBP8.1 IP, 4 Ks, 3.24 ERA, 1 QS, 1 W, Bears: 7 Rs, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HRs, 9 RBIs, .304 OBP9.2 IP, 7 Ks, 9.31 ERA

Sunday was oneeee lastttt day of the Leviathans bats outclassing the Bears bats and like the entire weekend before it amounted to the Bears holding on to just enough cats…. Pussy Magnet Costume : Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry

to sneak away with the victory. VALIANT comeback attempt by Lakehurst but they were ultimately undone by the cruel hands of fate, falling too far behind mid-week, etc. etc. etc. If this series had gone another two days or so the Leviathans might have completed the comeback but that isn’t how this series work I AM YOUR CHAMPEEN EMPEROR BOW BEFORE ME YOU PEASANTS. Ahem.

AND SO IN THE END…….In the end the X*Rayz Bears BLOG finally completes its destiny. While it probably would have been better for ~the Backyard~ and for humanity if Shane’s hard work as League Commish and guy that had to turn around a terrible team (to be fair a lot of that was of his own creation) was rewarded with a championship, that’s not what the fuck happened now is it. And I can confidently say that was a karma thing for this Arenado trade, a trade that may TORPEDO THE WHOLE LEAGUE AS WE KNOW IT. But it’s not about the #1 seed Lakehurst Leviathans, who engaged in shady trade dealings with owners that may not even be real people, it’s about the #2 seed Island Beach Bears that took them the fuck out and it’s about me typing this thing up like A MONTH after the fact just to clear it from my “things I was maybe going to get around to doing” schedule even though I am typing into the fucking void right now. It’s been real, void.

For the X*Rayz Bears this marks their franchise’s FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP and their owner’s FOURTH OVERALL championship, his first since the Great Dynasty Split of whatever year that was……that split occurred prior to the 2015 season, is when that was. Let the record show Mr. Odom Me has now stood atop the Backyard Mountain at the conclusion of 4 of 7 14 seasons in the Backyard, folks. Let’s Go To The Bear Parade.

Let's Go To The Bear Parade: Molly McIntyre: 9780997730524:  Books


First let’s just re-run what I wrote the last time I thought I was done writing these things up…..

What’s next for the league or whatfuckingever? I imagine it will continue and I imagine I will continue to be in it. Which is okay I guess. Either way on that one, tbh, but what I’m really interested in opining about is what’s next for this horrifically named blog.

When I started this blog in 2015 I wante….jkjkjk I didn’t start this fucking thing, Mike did. Hence the ridiculous name. I think there was another wordpress named “Backyard Views” or “Views From The Backyard” or some shit and it was just filled with bad poetry, and honestly I prefer that one. ANYWHO, BEHOLD Mike’s first post:

“Oh hey guys.

This site is here to continue with the overwhelming information stream that we already have for our fantasy baseball page, and life in general. I’ve been thinking about making this for a while, mostly to track some of the happenings on the site, and really to give everyone a forum to post, well, anything they want really. Mainly we will focus this thing on the fantasy baseball page, but hey, go nuts with whatever you’d like.

Please note: This will be a good storage site for all of our favorite stories, rankings, T’d Up episodes, Trade Block discussions, etc.

There’s also an app, so maybe it’ll be good. I’ll check it out and let you know.

Feel free to make an account and post something. Ya know.


Wow wouldjya look at that Mike was even sort of ENCOURAGING poetry to be posted on here, is how I read that. Can’t believe Brian continues to let that opportunity go to waste.

ANYWHO when I look at that post now there’s a picture of an enlarged prostate just below it (“Urologist: Enlarged Prostate? Do This Immediately (Try Tonight), and that feels pretty fucking fitting here. This thing has gotten a bit longgggg in the tooth, as have I, and we’ve grown together… and this thing. Both for the worse. I’m FAR TOO indispensable a County employee to continue to hastily bang out reviews whilst @ work, and also FAR TOO busy being fucking cool (or napping or drinking or something) when not @ work so it’s tough to say…..what the future holds…..for this blog. Also, if I’m being perfectly honest WordPress’ new format fucking sucks a spiky one. I am DISGUSTED by the spacing on these latter posts of mine and I have no plans to learn how to properly format these things, and the blog deserves better. Deserves better spacing. Deserves better effort all around.

There’s a temptation to Viking Funeral this thing but also that sorta defeats the purpose of whatever it was I was attempting to do this year, by putting out shitty reviews of the Backyard Bracket and such. So it stands as some sort of historical record. And PERHAPS there’s some sort of collaborative effort to reclaim its glory as something capable of making an owner quit the league, but the key word there is “collaborative” and you’re all lazy fucks so uhhhh….yea. BASICALLY I’m just saying this thing might get pretty dusty in the 2021 fantasy season (I guess we are gonna have one of those?) and this is me making peace with that. If this is my last post my only regret is not saying meaner things about Dochney in it. Cuz




STILL HOLDS UP, I gotta say. And I feel like it was something I was comfortable leaving asmy last blog post and then I just haddddd to go and win the next season and so naturally I needed to make sure that was properly documented in the internet’s permanent ink and so here were are. For those reasons I don’t want to write over top of it too much but I’ll just add, beyond all that stuff above, I just need to add that I that I reserve the right to stick to my occasionally-voiced vow to retire if I won the championship in 2021. Because I won the championship in 2021. And so I can quit if I want to and nobody can stop me.

AND EVEN IF I do not retire in 2022, that is if there is even a league to not retire from, this………must…..end. At least the part of it where I write this stuff up, it seems like Shane was keeping up with the weekly records pretty solidly which is commendable because he works like 7 jobs and has like eleventeen kids so I don’t think I should be complaining about having less time at work to write these things up (I mostly refuse to consider doing it on *actual free time* but it’s like DOES SHANE EVEN HAVE THAT?!). But yea really I want to blame WordPress’ wonky piece-of-shit new writing format for the slow decline and eventual death of this blow these days. Put THAT on their conscience yanno? I SHAN’T wrestle with this buggy bullshit any longer.

It’s hard to write this thing coherently when I give so little of a shit about this post and it’s hard to not close this with a nod to Kurt Cobain’s suicide letter and it’s better to burn out than fade away. And this thing has sorta been doing a bit of both of those things over the past two-ish years (much like our planet), hence me quarter-assedly writing a post that I will not like “advertise” in a Backyard chat I do not exactly check up on regularly (just about never, clearly, but let it be known I appreciate you all IRL but these MOBILE PHONES mannnn…..they’re the devil I tell you….not sure if anyone’s suggested this yet). So it’s time to hang up the ole’ typewriter gang, and maybe down the line examine why I use so many parentheseseses when I get the time. This is perhaps the most hideous post I’ve ever posted and I think that’s the best way to sign off. Rock and roll can never die.

YOUR 2021 CHAMPEEN (and don’t you chumps fucking forget it)(see here’s the parentheses thing again, they have no business being featured in this many sentences and I kind of do it in texts and at work at times and it’s like WHAT IS THIS ABOUT REALLY?),

The Island Beach Bears

This was beautiful work Brian gotta say….
Less beautiful but still appreciated…



Where will last year’s X*Rayz rank (asterisk and all)?  I WILL DECIDE AND ONLY ME


Consider this a bit of a Troll For Champions, as I’m sure everyone feels like their team was the best championship team OF ALL TIME and mostly everyone there is wrong. It is also a bit of a troll because I am doing VERY LITTLE research here. So finally, as a labor of love, and since we finally have 10 league champions, I will rank them all. The last troll article had some rules let’s get some more rules in here.

The Rules:

  • FIRST RULE, is more of a statement and that statement is I don’t have access to any league pages before like 2013. So really I am the worst possible person to compile a top ten. HERE IT IS ANYWAYS.
  • Previous season result MATTERS, in the obvious ways you will expect it to matter. aka teams that win multiple years in a row should obviously be PRAISED BY ALL.
  • Regular season stats matter A BIT, particularly since I only have that to go off of for a couple of seasons. 
  • But playoff run also matters, particularly since I only happen to know the playoff runs for a couple of seasons. Alright let’s get to it, I don’t even think I needed to list rules but I copy and pasted the top from last time for some reason ANYWAYS HERE WE GO…








2017 – POINT LOMA X*RAYZ:   10-6-2


Notable Performers:  Jose Ramirez, Dee Gordon, Billy Hamilton, Elvis Andrus, Daniel Murphy, Chris Archer, Robbie Ray, Jeff Samardzija, Edwin Diaz, Dellin Betances


Why They’re Number Ten:  BECAUSE THEIR BCS #NimmoGate CONTROVERSY NEARLY RUINED US ALL. I love this particular roster and was a big fan of their playoff run, but lets face it the BCS uhhh “incident” was a bit o’ a shitshow. And since that shitshow was mostly due to a terrible rule established by this team’s OWN OWNER that kinda seals their fate as the number ten here. Which doesn’t at all take away from the fact that Odom has taken home the chip (or co-taken co-home) in 4 of 7 seasons in the league which is plenty fucking impressive. And I thank him for Rhys Hoskins in a roundabout way (assuming Rhys works out).





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Notable Performers:  Mike Napoli, Elvis Andrus, Michael Young, Carlos Gonzalez (half the season), Hanley Ramirez (the other half), Joe Mauer (the other half but also always hurt), CC Sabathia (half the season), Cole Hamels (the other half), an erratic Ubaldo Jimenez, David Robertson

(special thanks to Odom for helping me remember some guys)


Why They’re Number Nine:  REGULAR SEASON RECORD is what does this team no favors. Despite a fan favorite name and an impressive championship in their eventual inaugural season as owners, the facts are the facts and the facts are this is the only team to ever win a championship with a sub-.500 regular season record. I am also going to claim this team INVENTED THE BLOCKBUSTER, because this thing is full of wild claims without sources. A midseason deal sent That record CC and CarGo to the WVU Bombers or whatfuckingever for Mauer, Hanley Ramirez, and Cole Hamels and those three would be staples on the team for YEARS TO COME. Mauer would go on to homer in a first round matchup against WVU which was amusing because he hit all of 3 HRs that season. But YEA THE RECORD, the record gave the doubters plenty of fuel with which to doubt. DOUBT THAT WOULD PROVE FOOLISH. clearly it was a star, t from humble beginnings for the Odom/Sean dynasty to be.





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2009 – SCARLET KNIGHTS:   15-7


Notable Performers:  JASON BAY, Brian Wilson ALLEGEDLY for the latter half, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada, Travis Hafner maybe?, Vernon Wells maybe?, Miguel Tejada maybe?, Dustin Pedroia for part of the season? Some other closers? I dunno how the fuck should I know…


Why They’re Number Eight:  PRE-COMPETITIVE ERA. Because while a 15-7 record is nothing to sneeze at, they played in the pre-competitive era free of minor league systems and excessive numbers of keepers and so on and so forth. Also their BCS victory came at the hands of a notable idiot with a 12-10 record, unlike the next 15-7 team on the list that defeated a fellow 15-7er to capture a crown. FUN FACT: I won the fantasy football championship this season thanks to a one CJ2K. So that is a fun fact.




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2010 – TOMS RIVER TAKEOVER:   15-7


Notable Performers:  CLAYTON KERSHAW I AM SURE, Roy Halladay and his NINE CGs I am sure, Justin Upton, Jon Lester, Juan Pierre?, injury-hampered Justin Morneau? injury-hampered J-ROLLLLLLLL, Dan Uggla?, Tim Hudson?, hopefully kept Kelly Johnson through the tough times cuz 2010 was his masterpiece?


Why They’re Number Seven:  SUPERIOR BCS MATCHUP. AGAIN this comes in the era of a bunch of shitty owners shitting around, BUT this particular 15-7 squad edges the previous due to a seemingly more challenging BCS matchup. No idea who really made up this roster (heavy speculation based on ’08 draft above), but I DO see they dropped a ridiculous 81 RBIs (still the all-time record) and 70 Runs on their poor Week 16 opponent. So I suspect they had some strong offensive players. Feel pretty confident in this guess.





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Notable Performers:  Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Mookie Betts, Todd Frazier, Trea Turner, Ian Desmond, Corey Seager, Jose Fernandez, Francisco Rodriguez


Why They’re Number SIX:  GENERAL ROSTER TALENT. This team had done such an excellent job of SQUANDERING their elite talent for years that I campaigned a few times for them to change their name to the LessWithMores, but in 2016 they finally got it done. They entered the playoffs as the #4 seed and advanced out of the first round via a tie with the #5 seed but BY GOD, they still got it done. Mostly unimpressive playoff performance aside. They got it done. Good for them. I rank them this highly simply because they got it done in THE COMPETITIVE ERA and also because their roster was good enough to likely beat pretty much any other team on this list (provided they weren’t MISMANAGED INTO THE GROUND).








Notable Performers:  Anthony Rizzo, Jose Abreu, Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Chris Davis, Jose Bautista, Jon Lester, Garrett Richards, Jacob DeGrom, Zach Britton


Why They’re Number Five:  POSTSEASON DOMINANCE. The interesting thing to ME here is I’ve been able to look at a few “roster summaries” here and this one appears to be one of the more unimpressive ones stats-wise (pitching especially) AND YET can’t deny this postseason performance. Not only did the Cuban Missiles grab the #1 seed, but they won their two playoff matchups by a combined score of 23-3-2. I dunno that feels like it may be some kind of record. The Missiles defeated team rmac 11-1-2 in the second round and the fresh on the scene Barnegat Banana Slugs 12-2 in the BCS, effectively steamrolling the competition in a way that needs to be acknowledged here. And it has been acknowledged. So now lets move on.







2008 – RIVER CITY MASHERS:   19-3


Notable Performers:  I mean NO IDEA one might think, because I am blocked from accessing these old rosters. BUT, I can piece together the probable notable performers from a recap of the league’s first draft and so here they are – Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, David Wright ‘scuseeee me, Mark Teixeira, Adam Dunn, Jhonny Peralta, Raul Ibanez, Roy Oswalt, Brad Lidge


Why They’re Number Four:  HELLUVA RECORD. Truthfully this team may have earned the right to be higher (NOT MUCH HIGHER) but I just wasn’t involved back then and I just do not know what to tell you. But yea, 19-3 is a nice fucking record and a little league history blurb from the blog tells me they whomped Cliff in the BCS (11-2-1) after narrowly edging out Ryan’s “Tar Heels” in the second round (7-6-1 on a .3812 to .3810 OBP advantage) and good on them. Looks like a damn fine year. Way to go Mashers.




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2012 – TAMPA BAY TWO-TIME TWO-TIME (strange name):   11-9


Notable Performers:  FUCKING AARON HILL (everybody look up Aaron Hill’s 2012 please, he had two cycles that year, thank you), Edwin Encarnacion, Hanley Ramirez, Joe Mauer, Nick Swisher, Cole Hamels, an erratic Tim Lincecum, Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen,David Robertson


Why They’re Number Three:  BECAUSE WE WENT BACK TO FUCKING BACK. Has yet to be repeated, is a very tough thing to do I believe time has told. Our second championship team merely flipped the record from our first championship team (from 9-11 to 11-9) but put together a solid postseason run and grabbed their second in a row AND THAT IS IMPRESSIVE. Allllll the years previous and alllll the years since that hasn’t been done (not counting our third in a row), so that needs to be rewarded with this particular ranking.





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2014 – PINE LAKE SWINGMEN:   16-3-1


Notable Performers:  Carlos Gomez, Paul Goldschmidt, Justin Upton, Adrian Gonzalez, Anthony Rendon,  Dee Gordon, Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, Sonny Gray, Greg Holland (team was fucking stacked though I should more or less list the whole offense)


Why They’re Number Two:  This team impressed the shit outta me because of their SUB 100 MOVE SEASON. Also the team was stacked and set multiple season records including Runs, HRs, and Strikeouts (Ks being an all time record to this very day). But back to the moves, maybe this wasn’t always the case but in the modern era here movement is life; all serious competitors routinely hit triple digits with their moves in-season. The Pine Lake Swingmen of 2014 only needed 98 moves to grab the #2 seed in the regular season (13-6 record, 3Peat Offendaz #1 at 14-7) and then march through the playoffs on the way to Ryan’s 2nd championship in five seasons. OF COURSE one will never know what might have happened if this team ran into the 3Peat Offendaz in the championship, as the 3PO lost to a 4 seed of questionable character in a strangely lazy 2nd round performance. The 3PO would have beat the #3 seed though, I think we all know that. ANYWAYS REALLY IMPRESSIVE YEAR BY THE 2014 PINE LAKE SWINGMEN, very nearly the most impressive of all time.






Image result for three peat


2013 – TOMS RIVER 3PEAT OFFENDAZ (clearly named post-parade):   16-3-1


Notable Performers:  Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Donaldson, Hanley Ramirez, Brett Gardner, Matt Carpenter, Cole Hamels, Anibal Sanchez, Mariano Rivera, Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman


Why They’re Number One:  SEEMS PRETTY CLEAR TO ME. This is the first and probably the last 3peat team this league ever saw, it started off 2-3 before winning a remarkable 14 in a row, it defeated a 16-4 #2 seed Angels in the TROUTfield via a TIE in the BCS (also defeated the TROUTfield in both regular season meetings). In case there is strangely still any doubts about this as your top team o all time, they defeated the River City Mashers in the 2nd round THIRTEEN-ZERO-ONE. I could write a thousand words about this particular season but trying this new brevity thing.





So there you have it folks, no real surprise about the particular TEAM in the top spot but….

HAHA TOOK THAT STRAIGHT FROM THE LAST TROLL SERIES POST. But yea, shouldn’t be a surprise. Feel free to try and educate me about the teams from the years of softer competition because I am sure that would be a fun and educational GroupMe conversation for the league but yea. Really this whole thing was written just to point out how impressive that 3peat season was/how impressive that 98 move season of Ryan’s was. Mission. Accomplished.



News GIF



The History of the League – 2011-2013 SPECIAL DYNASTY EDITION

Poor Lou Marson was unfairly portrayed during year 3 of our reign so at least now I will show that he actually held onto the ball during this collision. GOOD ON HIM.

Playoff time is a special time in the Backyard League, and surely nobody can look at the two teams currently relaxing on first round byes without feeling a SLIGHT hint of nostalgia for dynasties of yesteryear.  YEA, IT FUCKING HAPPENED YOU FUCKING LOSERS.  Ahem….prior to the 2011 season, Mike Odom and Sean McLaughlin joined forces with an original Backyard League owner (and unfortunately loosely shared a living space) and helped re-tool his roster because he was a tool.  That tool’s fall from grace perfectly coincided with Odom/McLaughlin’s rise to power, and for three straight years the league could only look on in exasperation as the little ESPN trophy icon thingie kept ending up in Odom/Sean’s fantasy quiver (yea we never got the league to adopt a real trophy until after we were split up not bitter or anything).  No team had ever won back to back championships in the Backyard League in the years prior ( or since, best of luck to the River City Cuban Missiles as they attempt that feat this year  🙂 ) and yet the Sean/Odom dynasty won THREE YEARS IN A MOTHERFUCKING ROW.  Given current league standings and given my boredom while on my well-earned bye, I felt this 3 year run deserved a fond look back and I have rebooted Lobman’s now defunct “The History of the League” TO DO JUST THAT.  Let’s take a trip down memory lane shall we?

Year 1  —  Rise of Jimbo’s Vulcan Death Grip

Dramatic Re-enactment.

Year 1 of the Odom/Sean/Other Guy partnership was not without it’s growing pains, as Odom and Sean attempted to navigate the inherent challenges with reshaping a roster formed by an idiot.  It became very apparent very quickly that the roster management decisions would now be shared solely between new ownership, with the third owner instead focusing his time on petty theft and pettier “borrowing” and thinking of ways to justify his erectile dysfunction in casual conversations.  The Sean/Odom partnership slowly found its footing and learned there was value in making as many moves as required/possible, in a league where other owners often times chose to stand pat.

FAST FORWARD to the end of the season:  The team name has changed from “Team Dy Young” and whatever the fuck else it became at various times to “Jimbo’s Vulcan Death Grip,” an homage to our brave hero Jimbo choking out our impotent former third owner at a Netzer pool party of sorts (I could write a whole entire article about how funny it was watching said third owner slowly walk around alternately looking for his keys and apologizing to a not-having-it Jimbo but I think its best we put the references to earlier ownership to bed at this point).  The Odom/Sean Ownership Partnership has dragged its way into the playoffs as the #5 seed, with a much-derided 9-11 record that no doubt annoyed the PURISTS who prefer all of their playoff teams to be over .500 (which is kinda understandable).  Sean/Odom made 326 moves this season, 57 moves more than the previous league record set by Lobman in its inaugural season and 153 moves more than the next highest owner in 2011.  And some of those moves paid immediate dividends in the playoffs, such as a trade with the WVU Bombers that brought Joe Mauer and Hanley Ramirez to the JDVG; in Round 1, the #4 seed WVU Bombers were handily defeated by JDVG with a RARE Joe Mauer HR (these were exceedingly rare in 2011) adding insult to injury in the matchup.  Round 2 saw Sean/Odom match up with what would become a familiar playoff foe in the years to come, and thus the start of a familiar trend of playoff victories over Lobman was born.  To be honest I don’t remember much about this matchup but to be honest I don’t remember much of anything these days (SAY NO TO DRUGS).  With Lobman dispatched, all that stood in the way of a dynasty’s humble beginnings was MY VERY OWN BROTHER.  My very own brother lost to us and lost handily, and JDVG secured a rather unexpected championship in its first year in the league.  Mikey T’s postseason recap post didn’t know what the fuck to do with itself, and it would increasingly give up hope in the years to come.  To make matters worse (for everyone else), Sean/Odom did it all as one of the lowest seeds to ever do so (probably) and also did it all as the only Backyard team to ever win a championship with a sub .500 regular season record (maybe).

Year 2  —  “World F’in Champions” to Back to Back Backyard Champs

We were inspired by Chase Utley’s declaration and in subsequent years I have been inspired by his hat

Year 2 of the Odom/McLaughlin reign started with YET ANOTHER name change, this time in tribute to that time Chase Utley used a swear word during the Phillies World Series celebration (apologies to the Rays).  I also recall a brief period where we changed our name to the FaceEaters to honor that zombie guy in Miami, but the picture Odom attached upset me and discouraged roster moves because I didn’t want to look at it anymore.  So that had to go.  ANYWHOM with the entire league mostly viewing title #1 as a fluke, the “World F’in Champions” didn’t do much to dispel that rumor by battling their way through an up and down season.  FANTASY IS A CRUEL MISTRESS.  In the end, your fearless defending champions were able to improve their playoff seeding by one (#5 seed in 2011, #4 seed in 2012) and flip-flop their record from the year previous (9-11 in 2011, 11-9 in 2012) as they made their way to the postseason once again.  Once again,  Odom/Sean relied on outpacing the rest of the league in moves (346, next highest was Lobman at 221) to scrap their way to as many wins as possible.  Well like, 11 regular season wins.

FAST FORWARD to the aforementioned playoffs:  Once there, they quickly dispatched of Greg Heroy’s Youth Movement (remember that name) in Round 1 before once again running into the #1 seed River City Mashers.  In perhaps a SIGNATURE win for this franchise, the importance of teamwork was on full display as Odom and Sean worked together to eke out a tight victory over the Mashers.  The defining moment of this battle would be a decision to sit key personnel during the Sunday night game (DANNY ESPINOSA) to preserve an OBP advantage, a decision that was deliberated between the two owners via cell phone while Sean was in a Folly Beach tequila bar hitting on a pink-haired waitress (sadly this is a bit of a recurring theme).  Ultimate Espinosa sat (“bush league” was the term Lobman used to describe the brilliant strategy) and JUST LIKE THAT the top-seeded Mashers once again were sent home at the hands of Sean and Odom, and just like that Odom and Sean were once again on their way to the Championship Round.  This time, it was the shocking #6 seed Somerville Sluggers that opposed them.  As I recall the commissioner was making a lot of ballyhoo about how the Somerville Sluggers would be the first team to win the championship with a sub .500 record even though we had just done that very thing THE PREVIOUS FUCKING YEAR.  DISRESPECTFUL!  Long story short SeanOdom beat Pete Mitchell’s ass, and while I can’t recall the specifics and can’t look back on the league history from that year I am fairly certain it was a comfortable victory.  I don’t recall being stressed.

AND JUST LIKE THAT, Odom/Sean became the first team to win back-to-back championships in the Backyard’s pathetic history and the Tampa Bay TwoTimeTwoTime!  were (briefly) born.


Year 3 — Back to Back to BACK?!?!?!  3PO Rises

Year 3 of the McLaughlin/Odom reign of terror began much as year 2 did, with other league members pointing to mediocre regular season records and clinging YES CLINGING to the belief that somehow this team had just gotten lucky for two consecutive postseasons in a row.  OH how that would change in year 3, when the dynasty took its final form.  The TwoTime TwoTime opened up the 2013 season by going 0-2 (losing to Ryan and Rojo), surely to the delight of the other league owners that had grown accustomed to relatively quiet regular seasons from the back-to-back champeens and hoped that this time perhaps they would sit out the postseason.  They quickly rebounded by evening up their record at 2-2 before dropping another game (to a one Brian Smith) and ending up at 2-3.  AND THEN…..and then they didn’t lose another motherfucking game all motherfucking season ladies (and mothers).  The juggernaut that was the 2013 Sean and Odom Connection won 14 straight games from May 6th to August 18th, in the process renaming themselves as the F’in Freight Trains and immortalizing Lou Marson forever.  Only a Week 20 matchup with their old foe the River City Mashers even so much as attempted to slow them down, as they battled Lobman and his gang of baseball men to a 6-6-2 tie.  It was the equivalent of putting a (green)penny on the train tracks and expecting it to derail an entire freight train.  The Freight Trains as they were known showed a bit of restraint in the moves department in 2013, failing to amass 300 moves for the only time in their history (295 moves, Lobman lead the league with 344).  In the end they ended up as the #1 seed with a 16-3-1 record, narrowly edginge out the Angels in the TROUTfield (eye roll emoji) for the top seed in the playoffs WHICH WOULD PROVE RATHER IMPORTANT (The AitT went 16-4 in 2013, 0-2 against SeanOdom).

CUE THE PLAYOFFS ONCE AGAIN:  For the first time in their history, Odom and Sean got to sit back and relax during Round 1 (kinda like this year) and awaited their Round 2 opponent as the number 1 seed.  Naturally Round 2 brought the River City Mashers as usual, and THIS ONE practically deserves its own article folks but I wouldn’t want to take away from the greater narrative….. 13-0-1.  The only reason the F’in Freight Trains didn’t record a CLEAN SWEEP of the categories against those sorry Mashers of River City is because they failed to record a complete game, which probably haunts me in some small way (many things do).  But AT LEAST, in their third playoff tango, Sean/Odom were able to hand Lobman the worst playoff loss this league has ever seen or will ever see (probably).  The F’in Freight Trains found themselves in the championship game for the third straight season, this time against their most dominant opponent yet in the Angels in the TROUTfield.

As mentioned, the AitT went 16-4 in 2013 and they have for years boasted one of the more impressive on paper rosters in all of the Backyard League.  This was the year they put all of that on paper talent together, and if not for their second loss to the Freight Trains in the regular season they may have entered this championship matchup in position of the higher seed and thus the tiebreaker.  BUT THAT 2ND LOSS HAPPENED.  And it would end up costing the AitT dearly.  Heroy’s squad was relentless early and dominated the HRs, RBIs, and OBP categories.  However the Freight Trains were able to keep pace by staying out in front in ERA, strikeouts, and wins.  Employing Mets closer Latroy Hawkins in a weekend with a Saturday Mets doubleheader helped the Freight Trains snag a lead in saves that they would not relinquish, and this matchup ultimately ended up tied heading into a Red Sox v. Yankees Sunday night matchup.  Willing to betray all of his loyalties for just one sweet sweet matchup, Heroy employed rando Red Sawks relievers like Craig Breslow in hopes of grabbing a hold that would tie the holds category and give Heroy the gold.  This did not happen, and once Ichiro Suzuki’s FINAL INNING (I think) steal was ruled fielder’s indifference (Heroy had Ichiro, steals were tied 7-7) it became clear that there would not be a new champion this year.  Odom/Sean and their Freight Trainers had gone BACK TO BACK TO FUCKING BACK, something they to this day feel confident will never be repeated in such a cutthroat league environment (just ask us about it!).  The 3peat OffendaZ were born.

Year 4 — “All That Shimmers In This World Is Sure To Fade Away Again”

the only reason I am even COVERING year 4 is so that I could look for the most emo written out “Shimmer” lyrics (from super-band Fuel)

Super-band Fuel once said that all that shimmers in this world is sure to fade away again.  Which you should know since I just quoted it above.  And they…. were right.  Riding the high of their 3peat, the 3PO casually rolled their way to another #1 seed and first round bye in 2014.  I say “casually” and I mean it, as they ended up with a MERE 244 moves in 2014 (Lobman once again leads the league with 344 that year).  After their Round 1 bye the 3PO met the newly-formed Whitesville McGibblets, who were only in the league because the Somerville Sluggers never recovered from their crushing championship loss to Sean/Odom and abruptly retired shortly thereafter.  OH SWEET IRONY.  The McGibblets shocked the world by defeating the 3PO 8-5-1 in Round 2, in a matchup where the 3PO’s performance was so incredibly bland that I can’t even think of an excuse to blame as to why it happened.  The 3PO probably should have stolen more bases or something.  ANYWAYS, at least the McGibblets lost in the championship to Ryan McLaughlin’s “Swingmen” but that is not what you are here to read about.  Nobody watches the Nirvana “Behind The Music” to hear about how Pearl Jam was doing at that time.

In the end, the league seized upon the 3PO’s shocking Round 2 loss and a need for another owner to break apart the dynastic partnership mere months after they suffered their only playoff loss in 4 seasons.  Today Odom and Sean act as friendly opponents, rooting from afar for the success of their other former co-owner but also focused on their individual teams.  With this year’s byes ending up in their familiar hands, one can only think back on A THREE YEAR NIGHTMARE FOR EVERY OTHER LEAGUE OWNER and wonder if Odom and Sean might find themselves in the championship game again this year…..this time………………………………………………….as opponents……………………………………….


The History of the League – 2011-2013 SPECIAL DYNASTY EDITION