Wednesday, December 20, 2017

P-Town Axemen Ready for Foray into Mike McClurg-Mason Dixon Tabletop League

First baseman Joey Votto is expected to anchor a powerful P-Town Axemen
lineup that will take the field during the 46th year of the Mike McClurg-Mason
Dixon Tabletop League.

The P-Town Axemen -- loaded with a high-powered collection of returning players, including Joey Votto, Justin Upton and Zach Greinke -- are gearing up for their manager's first year in the Mike McClurg-Mason Dixon Tabletop League, which has been rolling since 1973.

"It's a great honor to be invited into the MM-MDTL," said Axemen GM and Manager Rob Priewe.

The Axemen are comprised of the roster that formerly competed as the County Road Rebels, under the direction of Terry Evans of Tishomingo, Mississippi. During 24 seasons in the MM-MDTL, Evans compiled a record of 2157-1731, including five championships. Whoa!

Easing the transition will be a roster bursting with talent, both in the field and on the mound.

"I can't thank Terry enough for the team he has handed off to me," Priewe said. "I can only hope to have the kind of success that Terry's squads have enjoyed over the years."

At present, the Axemen depth chart looks like this:

Catcher - Gary Sanchez
First base - Joey Votto
Second base - Marwin Gonzalez, Logan Forsythe
Shortstop - Trevor Story, Adrelton Simmons
Third base - Josh Donaldson
Outfield - Justin Upton, Jackie Bradley Jr., Steven Souza, Kevin Kiermaier 
Designated hitter - Nelson Cruz
Gerrit Cole

Starting pitchers - Gerrit Cole, Zach Greinke, Sonny Gray, Ivan Nova, Kevin Gausman, Joe Ross, Steven Matz, Brandon Finnegan

Relief pitchers - Brad Hand, Kyle Barraclough, Trevor Rosenthal, Hector Rondon

The MM-MDTL Draft/World Series is set for Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, beginning at 1 p.m. ET. 

The MM-MDTL is a 20-team APBA baseball game league, which uses the basic game with modifications and a 25-player roster.


Monday, December 18, 2017

Loggers Struggle to Stay Even in Sunrise Baseball Association

Nolan Arenado once again led the Loggers offense with 33 home runs and 115 RBI
 during the 2017 season of the Sunrise Baseball Association.
Photo credit:

A year after playing in the SBA World Series, the P-Town Loggers struggled in year two to stay at or above .500, eventually falling to fifth-place with a 79-83 record.

The Loggers finished 14 games behind the Eastern Division-winning Reno Gamblers (93-69), managed by my brother, Phil Priewe, also in his second year in the Sunrise Baseball Association. Ultimately, the Tidewater Skippers led by Pat Lowery took home this year's SBA Championship.

While improving in most hitting categories, especially batting average and on-base percentage, the Loggers had a significant drop-off in home runs, along with a decline in pitching from the year before, when they came within two games of winning it all in the 12-team APBA dice baseball game league.
Leadoff hitter Brandon Crawford set a new
team record, scoring 99 runs in 2017.
Photo credit: Rawlings

Similar to the year before, the Loggers' offense centered around third-baseman Nolan Arenado and shortstop Brandon Crawford. Batting lead-off, Crawford set new team records for hits (177), runs (99) and triples (15). Arenado set a new team record with 115 RBI, to go along with 33 home runs and 79 runs. However, he batted only .225, and his home runs were down from 51 the year before.

The most frequently used Loggers lineup looked like this:
  1. Brandon Crawford, SS, .266, 18 HR's, 99 runs, 45 doubles
  2. Starling Marte, LF, .293, 11 HR's, 79 runs, 55 stolen bases
  3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, .277, 13 HR's, 79 RBI
  4. Nolan Arenado, 3B, .225, 33 HR's, 115 RBI
  5. Yangervis Solarte, 1B, .269, 10 HR's, 45 RBI
  6. Sean Rodriquez, RF, .204, 25 HR's, 66 RBI
  7. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF, .214, 4 HR's, 38 runs
  8. Jason Castro, C, .215, 12 HR's, 39 RBI
Marte set team records for batting average and stolen bases, while Pedroia set a new team record for on-base percentage at .337.

Overall, the team raised its batting average to .234 and on-base percentage to .294. However, slugging fell to .387, while home runs dropped to 164 -- a tally the Loggers don't want to repeat in 2018.

The Loggers' pitching also declined from the previous year.

Kendall Graveman led the Loggers with
12 wins in 31 starts. Photo credit: Topps
Newcomer Kendall Graveman led the team in wins with 12, followed by Collin McHugh (10), Steven Wright (9), and Gerrit Cole (8) and Marco Estrada (8), who was acquired mid-season in hopes of helping push the Axemen to the playoffs. Unfortunately, Wright set a new team high for losses with 13. James Paxton went 6-8 and Lance McCullers posted a record of 4-8.

The bullpen continued to be one of the Loggers' strengths, led by Blake Treinen's team-high 20 saves in 57 games, a new team record. Paced by Treinen (3-3) and his 2.15 ERA, the relievers compiled a combined 2.76 ERA. Hansel Robles went 3-4 in 61 innings, followed by Tyler Clippard's 3-3 record and 3 saves in 54 innings. Mark Rzepczynski was 6-7 with 4 saves in 48 innings.

Hitters' higher batting averages and on-base percentage were aided slightly by a new league rule resulting in a single on a bases empty 65-35 dice roll, which league members instituted in part to combat the league's abundance of A- and B-grade pitchers. (The league voted to discontinue the 35-65 rule for 2018 ... Bummer!)

Two-thirds of the way through the 2017 season the Loggers stood at 57-57, with some hope of making the playoffs. However, P-Town went 6-12 versus their arch rivals the Gamblers and never fully recovered.

Onward to 2018!


Click here to see the full 2017 P-Town Loggers stats.