Fall Tourney: Cinema Style
Winter break getting you down? The long off season ahead putting you in a bad mood? Fear not weary GMs. Competition is just ahead! Over the next 3 months you have a chance to participate in a bracket style tournament to help decide the best baseball movie of all time.
A group of 16 pre-selected films have been randomly pitted against each other as we vote on head to head matchups and eliminate movies we love, so that movies we love more can advance another round until we, as a group of baseball-and cinema-lovers, determine the ultimate baseball movie!
Get your ballots ready. Voting begins on November 3rd!
For more information, see our BASEBALL'S BEST MOVIE TOURNAMENT page.
ACBA PREPARES FOR
ALL STAR DEBUT
The 2015 season will be a special one because it's the league's 15th. But the summer will be a little extra special as the league debuts the first ever All Star Game during the July layoff.
Florida and Senhollow managers, Mitch Smith and Sam Siegel, respectively, will share the honors of managing their division in the inaugural exhibition following their Division Championship from the 2014 postseason.
"I'm super excited about it," one owner recently told us following the late summer announcement. "It's just another example how the league continues to push out further and improve in any way possible."
The All Star Game will take place on the Sunday before the break. Owners will vote the offensive players in from their own divisions, while the Commissioner will appoint the best possible pitching staff, all of whom will be scheduled to pitch on that day. The players will be traded onto the All Star teams for the day and the manager will decide on his lineup. The rest will be up to the players and the winners gets the bragging rights as the power division.
"It should be a fun experience and we'll have to wait and see how it plays out," the Commissioner said. I think the owners will get a kick out of it even though it's just an exhibition."
Mark your calendars. The game is scheduled for Sunday, July 12.
DOMINION OVER THE ACBA
An Interview Florida owner Mitch Smith
ACBA News correspondent Roy Hobbs sat down with Florida Solomon's Dominion owner Mitch Smith following their recent World Series Championship. After a round of 8-ball, in which Smith handily won, and a couple of Southern Comforts to ease them into their high back chairs, the interview ensued.
ROY HOBBS: Mitch, it's been a while. But it's good to sit down with you again and shoot the bull. Anytime you can talk about baseball, it's a good day. But to be able to do this during the off season-----what better way to just kill time?
MITCH SMITH: I know you're of the same mind set that I am Roy...I hate the off season.
I'm a big sports fan and have been my whole life but there is just something different about Baseball...I love it. It's still a boys game played by men and there is still something innocent and pure about it that no other sport has. So, having said that, let's talk baseball...
RH: You're obviously fresh off your club's second title. Let me repeat that.....Second Title, (Smith smiles as Hobbs pauses to let it sink in). What have these last couple weeks been like for you and your players?
MS: You get so caught up in each moment of each game that it has taken these couple of weeks to just have the reality of what occurred to set in. We've all had to step away and look at what happened from the outside looking in to really grasp how amazing the second half of the year was. And then to sweep the World Series?Well, that just doesn't happen. The fact that we did that, it's pretty remarkable. Something we're very proud of and still I can't really believe it.
RH: What's the biggest difference in your two championship runs?
MS: This year, early on, it was not looking real good for us. We struggled to get all the guys going at the same time and our pitching was inconsistent. Then some key injuries really had us down. It was like May 20th and we were in
5th place with a 19 - 22 record. Things were not looking good. But everything came together at once, finally. All the dealing, strategic planning meetings, conditioning...it all jelled. And we started winning. So you ask what was the difference? The second half of the year was nothing less than magical this time. It was very special.
RH: You're the longest tenured owner in the league--currently, and ever. Your team has played every regular season game that has been scheduled in the ACBA - 903 to be exact. What would tell a new owner who might be coming in and getting ready to play their 1st game in the ACBA?
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MS: That's a great question Roy because there is
so much to this league. Learn the rules, learn the rules, learn the rules. Make a short term and a long term plan and stick to them, and prepare for the long haul. This is not a league to join flippantly. It's a lot of fun, with a great bunch of owners, but very competitive. So get in, but get in to stay!
RH: The league has evolved quite a bit over the last 15 years. You've seen some changes. What is the biggest difference now from what the league was like back in 2001?
MS: Each year that we have evolved either with adding new owners, new scoring changes, whatever it may be, we have always stayed true to one thing: keeping our league and all that we do as close to real baseball as possible.
There isn't really anything that we have implemented over all these years that has driven us away from the real heart of the game like some leagues do. Real baseball. That's what it is all about. But I would say that the biggest change and one that I love is adding our minor league system to the mix. Again, much like real baseball, we have our own minor league teams to manage as well as the big club. I love that. You don't find that in most fantasy baseball leagues.
RH: How big is it to be the first manager in the All Star Game next summer?
MS: Huge. A complete honor and very humbling.
RH: Do you have a special place for the September Classic Award?
MS: I am building an added wing to the house. There will be a table in the middle of the room. The only thing on it and the only thing in the entire room actually, will be the table with my trophy sitting in the middle of it. A spot light above will highlight it 24/7 until opening day 2015....then we make room on the table for another.
RH: Any big plans for the winter or are Mr. and Mrs. Smith going to lay low and bask in the glory of being number 1?
MS: Lay low, but always thinking and planning for next year. Our league is so competitive that if you stay out of the mix for too long you will find yourself at the bottom of the standings next year. Always thinking and planning....
RH: Everyone wants to know: Will Florida repeat in 2015?
MS: I can promise you this.....I will give us every opportunity to succeed. There is no resting on this championship. We're a target now, to have the title ripped from us by every other owner in the league. I will do everything in my power to keep that trophy here and to add another. My players and fans deserve nothing less.
RH: I know you've been a pretty active owner and try to make it to as many games as possible. What do you think of adding another West Coast team to the league and will that affect your travel plans or will you hit the road with your guys?
MS: Being an owner/manager for all these years I have learned one thing in particular. It's crucial to be involved in the players lives, in their families lives, etc. So I do travel with them. That's how you connect and team build. You have to know what you've got and what you don't. You can't do that from a distance.
RH: The charity golf tournament you started a few years ago and host, right up the road from here in Tallahassee, any big names playing this time around?
MS: Nope. Like in baseball I like to focus on the young kids coming up and give them a chance to make a name for themselves.
So a lot of amateurs who are right on the cusp of turning pro and are looking for a venue to catch a break, I try to provide that for them. We've seen some youngsters come through here and get a shot at the big time. Anything that can help open a door to someone that deserves it, I'm all for it.
RH: The Solomon's Dominion fan base has spread through much of the south and could be said to equal the area to that of King Solomon himself. But it seems Texas has been a stronghold for the American East for sometime now. Is there any push to expand farther west?
MS: I don't put my team or our fan base in a box brother! If we have opportunity to expand our horizons with our team, minor league systems
and our fan base, we will do it. Change is our friend as well as expansion, my friend!
RH: Well that was a great segue into my next question, Mitch. Thank you. It's no secret the Commissioner is pushing for another expansion and the league will soon be voting on this during the Winter Meetings. Do you have an opinion on the matter?
MS: Much like what I was stating about my own team, to stay still is to go backwards. I am for expansion and believe it makes our league stronger and better. We just have to be very careful and discerning on good ownership. Potential owners must not only be baseball smart, competitive and committed but they must be a good "fit" for our current league and it's current owners. That's a must. But, expansion is a positive for me. No question about it.
RH: Mitch, always a pleasure and finally, congratulations on your 2014 Championship!
MS: Thanks Roy. We'll see you in spring camp.
by Leroy Estep
The season never ends for us. While owners in other so-called “fantasy leagues" are hanging up their spikes for the year, we're already planning, calculating, and looking ahead to 2015. You’re part of a proud tradition and you know it… so SHOW IT. Annoy your friends, wife, and coworkers with this handsomely designed ACBA T-Shirt. These 100% cotton quality screen printed garments are guaranteed to remind your loved ones of what an obsessively misguided freak you really are.
Even big fat guys like myself can join in on the fun because these babies are available in sizes up to 6XL!
$19.95 plus shipping and handling.
Contact Leroy (Utah Golden Spikes) for more details.
On Sunday November 2, the league will gather for another round of Winter Meetings on the Fantrax chat board. On the docket this off season are 3 main topic points that owners should be prepared to vote on, although some discussion time for each will be available.
The first will be the format of the draft. Over the last 2 seasons, we've drawn out the first and second rounds, offline, over a 2 week period to allow more time for owners to peruse and even engage in trade talks. At the start of the 3rd round, we then came together for the online draft for the remaining rounds.
The option on the table is whether to scrap the offline draft completely or continue with the current format.
The second topic is the third relief pitcher spot on the starting lineup and subsequently the scoring category HOLDS. The 2014 season was a test run on the new position/scoring category and appeared to not go over well by a seemingly majority of the owners. It's not a given that this rule is wiped off the books, but the indication is that that will be the case.
Finally, the third major topic will be regarding a 2016 league expansion to 14 teams. In 2012, the league to 12 after an 11 year run with 10 teams. The expansion was successful and seamless in transition in all aspects and after two seasons feels like it's been that way all along.
The owners will vote whether to keep the league at 12 teams or again add 2 more. The Commissioner has declared that if the league votes this new expansion through, it would be the final expansion for the ACBA. "This will not be a 16 team league in the future," Cheslock said. "I feel that 14 teams would be good for the league, but I don't want to burden the owners with a third expansion at any point in the future." He added that "while the 12 team structure is great, two additional teams just creates more competition and adds more personalities to the league. If we learned anything from the last expansion, it's that more personalities is a good thing, thanks to the exceptional ownership from Sheets and Ford."
Cheslock is wary of how the league feels about this but is hopeful the owners will see the upside and not focus on the potential negative perception of another expansion.
In addition to these changes, the Draft Lottery will be announced and the new replacement owner will be officially welcomed. All owners are encouraged to be at the upcoming Winter Meetings and they are reminded that whoever is not present foregoes their right to vote on league changes.
Atlantic Coast Baseball Association 2014 ©