2018 Season

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2018 Bull League Season

May 13 to September 7, 2018

Number of games 100

Number of teams 20
Draft
Top draft pick Scott Cichon

Selected by Arizona Cowboys
Regular season
League postseason
Bull Cup Champions
Seasons
← 2017

2019 →


The 2018 season of the Bull Baseball League is the 24th season played since the league began its modern era in 1995. The season opened on May 13, and is scheduled end on September 7, 2018. The postseason will begin on September 9.

The 2018 All-Star Game is scheduled for July 16, and will be hosted by the Calgary Inferno and played at Inferno Park.


Schedule

The 2018 schedule was announced in March 2018. The schedule is essentially identical to the one introduced in 2017, and consists of 100 games for each team, with an even split of 50 home games and 50 away games. Every team will play every other team within their division a total of 14 times (7 home, 7 away). Teams will play opposing division teams a total of 8 times (4 home, 4 away). There will also be a 4-game home-and-home series played against an interleague team.

The season started on May 13, and is scheduled to end on September 7.

Managerial changes

General managers

Offseason

Team Former GM Reason for Leaving New GM Story/Accomplishments
Arizona Cowboys Matt Johnson Fired Kevin Norris Matt Johnson was fired on October 2, 2017, after four seasons as the Arizona Cowboys GM. The team had finished in last place in each of those seasons. Johnson had a reputation for blowing the budget on international free agents, but saw little return as the minor league development lay neglected year after year. Josh Lander was interim GM until Kevin Norris was hired on November 17, 2017.[1][2][3]
Battle Creek Attack
(renamed: Louisville Sluggers)
Aaron Thompson Demoted to Asst. GM Josh Hicks Aaron Thompson was demoted to assistant GM after the team hired sparkplug GM/manager Josh Hicks, who immediately set to work convincing ownership to relocate the team to Louisville, KY, as part of a part overhaul of the team. Thompson had been a GM of the organization since 2015, and briefly stepped to the Assistant role in May of 2017 when William Shea took over for the opening of the 2017 season. But Shea quickly left, and it was Thompson who drafted top names such as Ben Price, and Les Groves in the 2017 Bull League Draft, and also signed 1B Setsuo Kimura to a 2-year, $15.8 million deal.
Kingston Cannons
(Now the Miami Storm)
Ernst McAlister Fired Troy Vogel Ernst McAlister was fired on December 31, 2017, and replaced by Troy Vogel. McAlister had come to Kingston on October 11, 2017, after a lengthy career with the Boston Brawlers as GM, where he turned the team around from its lackluster early years, and brought them to four playoff appearances between 2009 and 2016. He was then named Team Canada GM for the Summer College Tournament, where the team went 2-1 and won the tournament championships. However, Vogel convinced the Kingston Cannons he was ready to take the team in a new direction, to coincide with their planned move away from the Lake League, and McAlister's 5-year contract was bought out before he was able to implement any major changes.
Montreal Metros Michael Smith Resigned Danny Desrochers Smith was GM and manager of the Metros through 2017, and briefly managed The Netherlands in World Cup of Baseball, but resigned due to family reasons. Rookie GM Danny Desrochers, a native of Montreal, took over the team during Spring Training, 2018.
Rimouski Fighting Moose Bob Weinberg Hiatus Dylan Hall On January 19, Bob Weinberg announced he was taking a hiatus from the GM and manager role with the Fighting Moose, and Assistant GM Dylan Hall has stepped up to replace him in the interim. Hall was previously the GM of the Hamilton Industrials/Hamilton Crusaders from 2006. He was made assistant GM with the arrival of Weinberg prior to the 2017 season. Weinberg led the Moose to their first playoff since 2015, taking the team to a 54-46 record and a wild card spot in the LL. He was also the GM who brought Nick Seer and Lou Bricknell to the Moose in 2017.[4] There is no word on when he may be returning.
Seattle Salts Jerry Perelli Fired Dave O'Brien The team brought in new blood to try to ride the upward momentum and get a playoff berth for 2018. Perelli previously worked as Assistant GM under Rex Randy, who was GM through the 63-37 run in 2017. He was made GM after the departure of Randy in August, and it was Perelli who signed 2B Jesse Nelson to a 2-year, $31.6 million contract extension in the fall, and who engineered the Mike Jennings trade with Battle Creek. Ryan Vallis was also extended 4-years at $30.8 million. Under Perelli, the club made three big free agent signings: Reliever Bill Henson, who signed a 2-year deal at $5.36 million; Ricky Jalapeno at 2 years and $28.8 million; and 3B Hoshi Mizuguchi at $17.9 million over 2 years.

In-season

Team Former GM Reason for Leaving New GM Story/Accomplishments
Arizona Cowboys Kevin Norris Resigned Chris Meadows Norris resigned due to personal reasons midway through June, after accumulating a 19-24 record as GM. Norris had notably signed Barry Janmaat to a one-year, $1 million deal last December, and in March traded minor league outfielder Andy Creeps and minor league shortstop Chris Crockett to Toronto in return for reliever Kevin Faith, which was seen as a good move for Arizona's bullpen. But Norris had effectively handed over major decisions to Meadows, who was Assistant GM at the time, by draft day in June.
Louisville Sluggers Josh Hicks Resigned Aaron Thompson Thompson returned to the GM role after Hicks suddenly resigned at the end of June 2018. Before his resignation, Hicks led the Sluggers to a 15-27 (.357) record over the opening two months of the season, and 14-22 (.389) during spring training.
Seattle Salts Dave O'Brien Resigned David Cuellar O'Brien hung up the towel midway through the season citing personal reasons, leaving assistant GM David Cuellar to run the club. Under O'Brien, the Salts were 38-31. During his time at the helm, O'Brien was responsible for adding reliever Sam Quinn to the bullpen, where he has been an effective innings-eater, as well as drafting Dylan Rodrigues out of Anguilla Prep with the team's first draft pick, in round 2.

Major events

Collective bargaining agreement

A new CBA was signed during the off-season and preseason, which came into effect for the 2018 season. Among the changes:

  • League minimum salary increased to $535,000
  • Disabled list reduced to 10-days (from 15-days) for minimum days off 25-man roster, with no change to the 60-day list and days off 40-man roster
  • All-Star game winner no longer determines home field advantage for Bull Cup Championship Series
  • No more A/B type free agents. Free agents are now either compensation-eligible or not.
  • Draftees may only sign minor league contracts
  • Other minor changes to draft pick compensation rules

Anniversaries and special events

The following teams will mark special events and anniversaries this season.

Team Occasion
Calgary Inferno 2018 All-Star Game
2017 Bull Cup Championship
New York Dragons 10th Anniversary of 2008 Bull Cup Championship team
20th Anniversary of 1998 Bull Cup Championship team

Hall of Fame Induction

On January 7, 2018, pitcher Jacques Papierclip was inducted into the Bull League Hall of Fame in a Seattle Salts uniform

One player was inducted into the Bull League Hall of Fame for 2018, pitcher Jacques Papierclip. The former starting pitcher, who was named an all-star eight times during his career, and won a batting award, was inducted after receiving 82.5% of the votes in his second year of eligibility.

Papierclip amassed a win-loss record of 98-66 through 17 seasons in the Bull League, in which he played for Chicoutimi, Seattle, Hamilton, Richmond and then Nevada. He was regarded as one of the best two-way pitchers, having started in the era before the DH rule, and won the Gold Crown Award in 1997 after batting .270 with a home run and three doubles in 39 plate appearances that year. His 5 career homers leads all pitchers except for Dick Slurve (who missed election to the Hall this year by just 0.2% of the votes).

The left-handed Papierclip spent eight seasons with the Seattle Salts, and still holds numerous team records, including single season ERA (1.86 set in 2003), career ERA (2.89), career wins (50), career WAR (22.3), along with career records in starts, shutouts, innings, and WHIP.

Reorganization

    See article: 2018 Reorganization

The Bull League underwent a reorganization for the 2018 season that saw several teams change cities, leagues and divisions, and adopt new nicknames.

  • The Kingston Cannons relocated and were moved out of the LL East and into the AEL East. The team relocated to Miami and became the Miami Storm. Their new stadium is the Stormcenter.
  • The Jacksonville Ravens relocated and were moved out of the AEL East and into the LL West, becoming the Minneapolis Ravens. Their new stadium is Twin Cities Stadium.
  • The Toronto Nomads were moved from the LL West to the LL East. Their stadium did not change, but it was renamed from Portlands Stadium to GTAGunSafety.com Stadium.
  • The Rimouski Fighting Moose were moved to the LL East from the LL West. They were to have been moved to that division last year, but the schedule had already been set and thus the team spent 2017 in the West.
  • The Detroit Motorheads were moved to the LL West from the LL East.
  • The Battle Creek Attack relocated to Louisville, KY, and were renamed the Louisville Sluggers. Their new stadium is KFC Stadium.
  • The Ohio Oxen relocated from Toledo, to Cincinnati, OH. They did not change names or divisions. Their new stadium is The Ox Ranch at Cinci.

In addition, a number of Cow League teams changed their affiliations, and some relocated or were renamed.


Milestones

Batters

Pitchers

Award Winners

Players of the Month

Award Month American Eagle League Lake League
Player Team Player Team
Batter of the Month May Earl MacPherson Norfolk Sharks Guido Groeneveld Boston Brawlers
June Chitoji Yamada Nevada Speeders Gabel Reyes Minneapolis Ravens
July Tak-keung Yang Arizona Cowboys Les Groves Louisville Sluggers
August
September
Pitcher of the Month May Robby McWeeney Arizona Cowboys Knuckles Malone Toronto Nomads
June Jose Soto St. Petersburg Admirals Jim Torelli Toronto Nomads
July Al Mota Nevada Speeders Ron Alder Montreal Metros
August
September
Rookie of the Month May Chris Zerkle St. Petersburg Admirals Jorge Chavarria Toronto Nomads
June Tak-keung Yang Arizona Cowboys Evandro Cerigo Minneapolis Ravens
July Tak-keung Yang Arizona Cowboys David Herbst Chicago Pit Bulls
August
September

Minor Leagues

Cow League (AAA)

The AAA-level Cow League opened on May 27. Its regular season runs until September 2. The Cow league All-Star Game is scheduled for July 12.

Heifer League (AA)

    See article: Heifer League

The AA-level Heifer League also opened its season on May 27, and ended on August 15. The Heifer League All-Star Game was on July 2. The Pasture League fell 4-1 to the visiting Barn League.

The Heifer League playoffs began on August 17th. The playoff tree as of August 23:

League Championships
Best of 5
Heifer Cup
Best of 5
                 
Pasture League    
E  Tampa Tempest 3  
W  Sacramento Marauders 0  
 
    PL  
  BARN  
Barn League
E  Hughes River Bats 2
W  Cedar Defenders 2  
Heifer League Player Awards
Barn League Pasture League
MVP Pitcher Reliever Rookie MVP Pitcher Reliever Rookie
Joshua Browne (SPO) Carlos Vargas (SAV) Ben Dorey (SPO) Tony Fraijo (SAG) Jason McGeehan (ANC) Brendon Starratt (NAS) Mike Rogers (ANC) Jason McGeehan (ANC)

Calf League (A)

The Single-A Calf League opened on May 27. Their 82-game regular season wraps up on August 22. There is no All-Star Game for Single-A. However, this level plays a split season format. The first half ends on July 11.

Milk League (Short Season A)

The short season A-level Milk League's 50-game season opens on July 1, and ends on September 2. There is no All-Star Game or playoffs.

Florida Rookie League (Rk)

The rookie-level Florida Rookie League (FRL) began its regular season schedule on April 17. The 84-game season ends on July 15. There is no All-Star Game, but the FRL plays a split season format. At the close of the first half, which ended on May 31, the division leaders were: Miami Motorheads, Ft. Lauderdale Nomads, Clearwater Sluggers and the Tallahassee Storm.

College and High School Leagues

Pacific Rim College League

The Pacific Rim College League (PRCL) season began on January 15, and ended on March 16. The season was followed by a two-round playoff. The two conference, four division PRCL plays a 54-game schedule, and the playoffs include only division leaders, with no wild card qualifiers.

The PRCL 2nd annual All-Star Game took place on February 13. The Japan-Korea Conference (JKC) All-Stars defeated the Australasia-Oceania Conference (AOC) All-Stars 4-0, evening the series between the two conferences at 1-1.[5]

The 2018 PRCL World Series champions were the Pyongyang Stellar U Continentals, who defeated the Manila U Aztecs 3 games to 1.

NCAA Division I

The NCAA Division I season began on February 11, and ended on April 14. The Indiana Hoosiers won the first NCAA College World Series.

CANAM College League

The Can-Am College League season began on February 28, and ended on April 24. Following three rounds of playoffs, the Grand Canyon College Spirits won the Can-Am College World Series.

Canadian Interuniversity Sports

The Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) season runs in the fall, in the first week of September. The 2018 schedule has not been announced. There will be an All-Star Game played between the two conferences the week before the season opens.

Nor-Am High School

The Nor-Am High School League season opened on March 1, 2018, and came to an end on April 3. The playoffs began on April 5, with the Division Round. The Niagara Academy Fighters played a one-game playoff game against the Georgia Sports HS Blue Chips, defeating them to advance to the Conference Round. In the other Division Round game, the Dutch Colonial Academy Gunners defeated the 2017 champions, Guadalupe HS Slashers, and also advanced to the Conference Round.

In the Conference Round, the Central Chicago Prep Bankers, who had earned the bye with their first place finish, faced Niagara Academy, defeating them 2-1, and advanced to the High School World Series. The Gunners beat the International Conference's leader, Cancun HS Cervezas, in the best-of-three round, 2-1. The Gunners faced the Bankers in the World Series, but lost in two straight games. The Bankers were crowned the second World Series champions for the Nor-Am High School league on April 14.

References

  1. Cowboys Clean House, Fire GM. Bull Baseball News. http://bullleague.org/league-news/cowboys-clean-house-fire-gm-and-manager/. 2 October 2017. Accessed: 19 November 2017.
  2. Cowboys Sign Josh Lander as GM. Bull Baseball News. http://bullleague.org/league-news/cowboys-sign-josh-lander-as-gm/. 11 October 2017. Accessed: 19 November 2017.
  3. Kevin Norris Takes Over in Arizona. Bull Baseball News. http://bullleague.org/league-news/kevin-norris-takes-arizona/. 17 November 2017. Accessed: 19 November 2017.
  4. Weinberg Stepping Down Temporarily. Bull Baseball News. 18 January 2018.
  5. JKC Takes 2nd Pacific Rim All-Star Contest. BNN. http://bullleague.org/college/jkc-takes-2nd-pacific-rim-all-star-contest/. 13 February 2018. Accessed: 21 February 2018.