— Official ULB (@ULB_Commish) December 20, 2014
Voting for the 2009 ULB All Star Game Starters closes on Sunday, and there are still tight races being run. Fans can vote at online here. Here are your current leaders:
C Alfonso Delgado, PHO
1B Alex Crooks, OKC
2B Jon Fulton, STP
3B Howie Clark, OKC
SS Lan-Fang Li, OKC
OF Carlos Carrasco, OKC
OF Ichiro Suzuki, LV
OF Richie Robnett, CHA
C Joe Mauer, NM
1B Albert Pujols, HOU
2B Jake Busch, JC
3B Brennan King, LA
SS Josh Murray, SJS
OF Jason Harrison, SL
OF Clinton King, POR
OF Josh Womack, WAS
The 2008 ULB All Star Game Voting Period has ended, and here are the winners for the 14th edition of the ULB Classic.
C Alfonso Delgado PHO
1B Alex Crooks OKC
2B Gerard King LV
3B John McCurdy SJJ
SS Stephen Drew CHA
OF Josh Hamilton MIL
OF Mark Folsom CHA
OF Ichiro Suzuki LV
DH Kenneth Payne PHO
C Andy Burress WAS
1B Eron Morrow POR
2B C.J. Henry NO
3B Mark Schramek JC
SS Mike Peeples SJS
OF Jason Kubel LAS
OF Jason Harrison SL
OF Albert Pujols HOU
DH Jody Gerut JC
Brian Apolskis has been suspended 10 games by the Office of the Commissioner of Union League Baseball for a violation of the Banned Substances Policy. Since Apolskis spent 2007 as a member of the MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays, he was suspended under the Non-ULB Free Agent Provision, which has slightly reduced penalties. Had Apolskis been a ULB Player in 2007, he would have been subject to an increased 30 game suspension which takes effect in 2008. Apolskis had previously been a member of the New Orleans Gold Sox, Oklahoma City RedHawks, Houston Apollos and New Mexico Suns in the ULB before signing with the Rays in 2006. This will be his first season with the Washington Senators.
He had a career line of .297 with 205 home runs in his first ten seasons in the ULB. In his two seasons with the Rays, he played in 229 games and hit .301 with 21 home runs. He had no comment on his suspension, and is eligible to play in spring training with the Senators.
We come to our second selection of our trio of outfielders, and we’ve selected one off the most popular players to be traded twice in his Union League Baseball career. Being traded usually means you’re a coveted piece of the puzzle, and this guy qualifies as a key piece of several contenders.
Outfield: Bobby Abreu (Buffalo Blizzard 1996-1998, Boston Colonials 1998-2003, Houston Apollos 2004)
Abreu was drafted in 1996 by the Buffalo Blizzard with the #4 pick, and quickly rose through the ranks before getting a September call up to the ULB. In 25 games, he would hit .379 with 8 home runs and 20 runs batted in, announcing his residency in the Big Leagues.
In 1997, Abreu would hit .349 with 34 home runs, 92 runs batted in and 24 stolen bases. He put together a 22 game hitting streak in September that year for a hapless Buffalo team that would go on to finish 77-77. He would lead the league in hitting that year, and also pick up his first major trophy by winning the 1997 Federal League Rookie of the Year Award. His 379 total bases would lead the league and set a then league record. (It was broken the following year by Orestes Kindelan’s 383, however.)
In 1998, he would start off hot for the Blizzard, hitting .393 in 28 games before the Boston Colonials GM Steve Horner would make Buffalo GM Curt Rogers an offer he couldn’t refuse. Abreu and teammate Curt Schilling would be traded for 2 top prospects and draft picks on May 3rd. Buffalo would not contend again until 2001. With Boston, Abreu was selected to the All Star Game 4 times, 3 as a starter. In six seasons, Abreu would bat .303 with 947 hits, 188 doubles, 30 triples, 184 home runs, 582 runs batted in and 526 runs scored.
Abreu would again be traded, this time to Nick Strongbad’s Houston Apollos club in 2004. He would go on to have a career year, with 199 hits, 43 doubles, 6 triples, 43 home runs, 115 runs batted in, 113 runs scored and a .323 batting average. He would lead the league in hits, runs scored, batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base plus slugging percentage while enjoying a trip to the All Star Game for 5th time and his second trip into the postseason. The Apollos would run into a brick wall in the Union Cup playoffs, losing 4 games to 1 to the Portland Pioneers in the Divisional Cup. Abreu would be named the Federal League MVP in 2004, and would then promptly be traded to the Bees by his new General Manager Trevor Wills following Strongbad’s retirement, ending 2004 on a sour note for the Apollos.
Abreu has been part of three franchises, and has been a clubhouse leader in all three. His offensive production has led to him being a Rookie Of The Year Award winner, an MVP and a 5 time All Star. He’s been a main stay, and could very well be a future ULB Hall of Famer. Time will tell.
Houston Apollos shortstop Marlon Trigg Jr. is engaged to socialite celebrity Paris Hilton, according to reports from TMZ. The controversial shortstop, who has been known for his wild partying in the past, has been dating Hilton since mid 2005. They met during the time he spent on the DL with a strained shoulder in May.
Los Angeles Stars owner Walter O’Malley is reportedly upset about the engagement, as Hilton is the heiress to her father’s company, Hilton Hotels, which has a sponsorship deal with the Stars.
“We’ll definately be looking at this. We have a deal with Hilton Hotels, but I don’t like the idea of a star player from a rival being associated with the company that owns the naming rights to our stadium.” said O’Malley to reporters outside during the ULB Winter Meetings.
Her father, Richard Hilton has no comment regarding the spat with the Stars, but said that the family liked the Junior Trigg, and that he had gotten along well with Trigg’s father, who died in 1999.
I guess I’ll see you next year. This [expletive deleted] sucks.”
-Houston’s Marlon Trigg Jr. on his broken kneecap
Union League Baseball Commissioner Steven Greenberg and Major League Baseball Commissioner George W. Bush have outlined several changes to the MLB/ULB Joint Drug Policy.
Both agree that the discipline for the use of performance-enhancing drugs in both Major Leagues should be exactly what both leagues determined will be applicable to players in the Minor Leagues in 2006: 50 games, 100 games and a permanent ban. Amphetamines should be banned under the program and considered performance-enhancing substances for the purpose of penalties. That both leagues should increase the frequency of testing, and agree on a single, independent administrator who is responsible for all aspects of the program.
Under the current agreement with the MLB/ULBPA, players are suspended 10 games for a first time offense, 25 for a second, and 50 for a third offense. Conress has found these penalties lackluster, and encourage Baseball to enforce stricter rules regarding performance enhancing drugs. If the leagues do not come to an agreement in a timely manner, Congress has threatened to act on federal legislation that has been introduced by Congressman Stearns and the committee chairman, Congressman Joe Barton.
Longtime Apollos general manager Nick Strongbad is heading for greener pastures after resigning from his post. After 10 years in Houston, Strongbad is moving on from the constant grind of the life of a Baseball GM to spend more time with his Family. He will join ESPN in a consultant role.
Lifetime, Strongbad guided the Apollos to 3 playoff appearances, winning the PL East in 1995 and 1997 and gaining one of the two wild card spots in 2004. Though his Apollos were never able to advance past their intial opponents in the playoffs, Strongbad gained a reputation for being savy on the business side of things, bringing in bright stars to keep the crowds coming in Houston. Strongbad will be succeeded by Trevor Wills, an associate of Oklahoma City RedHawks GM Mark Bauer.