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Unaffiliated Happenings

Unaffiliated Happenings: 07-04-2022

We’re a day late because of the holiday, but nothing stops the unaffiliated news, at least this week.

A Most Valuable Player is Shown the Door

Baseball is, possibly above all else, a very fickle game. Nowhere is that more true than in the world of unaffiliated professional baseball. It’s only in that realm where a reigning MVP would find himself staring down the barrel of a release following a long injury layoff and a couple of bad outings. That’s the situation reigning Korea Baseball Organization MVP Aríel Miranda finds himself in as reports are that even his own manager on the Doosan Bears has stated it is time to move on from the hard-throwing lefty. Only in unaffiliated ball can you be the best one year and find yourself on the trash heap the next.

Mounds Issues Galore

It’s not just the Lexington Legends that are having mound issues this season. Their Atlantic League compatriots in the Gastonia Honey Hunters had to pause a game last week while they tried to fix the problems with their mound. Then later in the week, the Windy City Thunderbolts of the Frontier League found themselves in the same boat. I’ve come around to understanding and not being bothered by the all-artificial fields that a lot of unaffiliated clubs in the United States play on these days. Still, perhaps there’s something much larger amiss when there’s a sudden rash of mound issues all centered around teams with those surfaces.

Greatness in Our Time

Alazanes de Granma took home the 61st Serie Nacional de Béisbol championship last week. They did so against the heavily favored Cocodrilos de Matanzas and without a number of their key players, like possibly the greatest Cuban pitcher of this generation, Lázaro Blanco. It’s the Alazanes’ fourth title since 2018, and it’s about time folks start talking about them as another modern dynasty in the unaffiliated ranks. The Granma club simply keeps winning and there’s no reason to suspect they won’t remain in the mix for the SNB title, and the Serie del Caribe title with Cuba’s reentry into that tournament starting in 2023, year in and year out.

Lead artwork courtesy of Pedro Carvalho

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Bill Thompson
Father (human/feline/canine), husband, Paramedic, Socialist, writer Internet Baseball Writers Association of America and Off the Bench Baseball; freelance writer at various online and print publications. Member Internet Baseball Writers Association of America & Society for American Baseball Research.

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