South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (0-0)
The 2022 Finalist South Oakland Ducks open their season at home tonight vs. Cranberry. Cranberry always plays South Oakland tough, and tonight should be no different despite a tumultuous offseason for Cranberry which led to significant turnover for the team from Butler County.
The Ducks welcome back some familiar faces this season, sparking a non-controversy over stealing players that ignited an argument in the preseason league meetings. We will return pretty much the same roster with a few additions. We hope to win more games in the regular season this year so we don’t have to win six straight playoff games in the losers bracket to get to the finals again. We should be in the mix late, but there are some great teams in our division. Lets have a look.
Off-Season Happenings Around the League
Bandidos steal Bulldogs manager from Bulldogs, improve uniforms. Eric and John Friend are being fined for player tampering after engaging in premature negotiations with former Bulldogs manager, and occasional Ducks tournament player, Colin “Cups” Dougherty while he was still under contract with himself to play for the Bulldogs. Gregg Friend was quoted, “I don’t know what my family is doing.”
Pittsburgh D2 added mercurial slugger and perennial MVP candidate Luke Gapinski [sic] from Sheraden. This addition brings a solid middle of the lineup bat, and makes a great pitching staff even better. I’m sure they will all get along just fine.
Speaking of the Jays, after their waiver requests were denied, along with their initial attempt to play in A, they decided to play in AAA with three active college players on their roster rather than stay in AA with one active college player. When asked for comment, the jays manager said, “SCARED!” Stunning lack of accountability.
Speaking of college players, the Eagles are off to an 0-2 start. They stayed in AA after winning the title, but supposedly had to cut two of their ringers. But at least they have last year’s MVP who was probably the fifth most valuable player on his own team and maybe the fourth best catcher in AA. I guess he got on base a lot for the Point Park kids. The Eagles will be good again this year, but our catcher is better.
Speaking of the Devils, I think they will surprise some teams this year. Or maybe they will continue their slow, steady decline since their 2019 title. In a parallel universe, they would still have Luke and that guy from Carrick and they would fight everyone and then be forced to move to the Daily News League due to a brawl in the stands or an on-field stabbing.
Tonight’s opponent, Cranberry, saw half their roster leave and form a new team, the Butler Buccos. There is still a non-zero chance both Cranberry teams fold, though I imagine they will both pull it together and play .500 ball this summer. Butler will probably be good, but they don’t have a field permit yet. They have one of the worst nickname and uniform combos I’ve ever seen in an adult sports league. It’s offensive. Though they only narrowly edge the Warriors for worst uniforms.
Speaking of the Warriors, they cheat. The have a storied history of questionable roster moves in the playoffs. They get away with it because no one will call out other teams on having illegal players until the game is over, which is not how the rule works. The only team I’ve seen successfully challenge an illegal player is the Warriors, who did it last year in the Single A Finals against the Lions who were super pissed. Be ready to ask for IDs.
I’m not writing about Keystone Oaks in protest of their 6:15 weekday time slot. I may be forgetting a team entirely. If so, I’m sorry.
This is our 20th anniversary season. I’ve been a Duck for 20 years. Our youngest rostered player is 19. I am humbled to play another season with and against much more accomplished players than myself. This is an unforgiving game, and I’m happy I can still contribute at 42.
We have a couple question marks with Tony and Casen on the shelf with arm injuries to start the season, but we have contingency plans in case they can’t get on the field. Hopefully they heal up by June and get their 7 games in before playoffs.
I think we will be motivated this season after coming so close last year. If we get some bounces, we could make another deep run. We have pitching depth and a solid lineup.
Bad News for Everyone.