The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


As the new MLR Season is already 2 sessions into the books, we've learned a lot. There's a lot that has overwhelmed and underwhelmed us, and definitely quite a few players and teams that have either caught our attention or let down their expectations. Over the course of the last 20 days of Fake Baseball, let's take a peek at what's been really good, what's been really bad, and what's been, unfortunately, really ugly.

The Good

The Detroit Tigers are off to a hot start

Coming off a shaky 8-8 season, the Detroit Tigers, who still have never made the playoffs in their franchise history, were not looking poised for a lot of success in Season 5. With the losses of Edward Freeman, Mackin Tosh, and Pete Goldinger, They did hire a new General Manager in Xerxes Dalin, but they couldn't land very many attractive free agents, and it looked like they would have to rely on questionable rookies and aging veterans to get the job done. Suddenly, these pesky Tigers are 2-0 to start the season, relying on the hot bats of rookie Ax Finesse (3-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI) and veteran Sevag Vapor (2-for-5, 1 HR, 1 2B, 2 RBI), the Tigers have launched themselves into being an early Playoff contender. While their offseason moves were seen as questionable, Dalin has proven that this team is a force to be reckoned with.

Wee Laddy Donkus is very good at hitting

Coming off a season where they hit .143 while driving in just 1 RBI in 12 games, Twins outfielder Wee Laddy Donkus has without a doubt been the most productive hitter in the league to start out Season 5. Thus far, Donkus is 4-for-7, with 3 Home Runs, 5 RBIs, and a ridiculous OPS of 1.857. With this hot start, Donkus is already appearing to be a candidate for Comeback Player of the Year, as well as the AL All-Star team and maybe even MVP! Keep an eye on Donkus as the season progresses.

Like usual, the Cubs are on fire

Once again, the Chicago Cubs are looking like one of the teams to beat in the National League. They had an unfortunate exit in the Season 4 Playoffs, losing to the eventual champion Los Angeles Dodgers in the Divisional Round. Now, the Cubs are back and already appear to be new and improved, already 2-0 to start the year. Pitcher Velvet Scarlatina is picking up right where she left off last season, already with 5 innings of scoreless pitching to their name. Likewise, free agent signee Einhorn has already thrown 5.1 innings of 1-run baseball. On the other side of the team, Season 4 All-Star outfielder Miroslav is starting the season off hot, already 2-for-5 with a couple singles, while rookie Doc McBiggins is looking strong, also starting off 2-for-5 with a double and a single. The Cubs are looking great through two games. Let's see if they keep it up.

The Bad

The New Dodgers off to a rough start

While the Dodgers certainly don't look awful in their 1-1 start to the season, their new signees look abysmal. The Dodgers opted to trade away all of their draft picks this season in order to create roster space to bring in some big name Free Agents, but so far none of them are working out too well. Season 4 AL MVP Edward Freeman is currently 0-for-5 to start the year, with a DPA of 344.4. Journeyman outfielder Dominus Nominus joined the Dodgers this offseason, but has been a non-factor, currently hitless in his 2 plate appearances with the team. Former All-Star catcher Picov Andropov also has struggled out of the gate, as he is currently just 1-for-4 with a single and no productive at bats to his name. Ayden Davis, who was acquired in a trade with Houston, is also hitless in his two plate appearances thus far. Even two-time All-Star hurler Andrew Peters is boasting an ERA of 6 to start the year. Overall, these new additions to the Dodger lineup aren't proving to be the success story their fans were hoping for.

The White Sox aren't living up to expectations

Despite a promising overhaul of the roster this offseason by GM Valeria Lisova, the White Sox are ice cold to begin the year. The team finished last season at 10-6, but managed to just barely miss the playoffs thanks to an unlucky tiebreaker. Fans were looking at the White Sox to be a sure-fire favorite for the AL Central in Season 5, but that does not appear to be the case, as the team is 0-2 to start the season. The White Sox have looked good on the mound, with strong starts from All-Star Charles Magnus and newcomer Caleb Athen, but the team has had almost zero offensive production at all. The team has combined for a total of six hits and one run so far in their two games, with the lone run-scoring hit being a double from Free Agent signee Katia Wolfe. The team is going to need a burst of offense in these next few games if they want to remain a Paper Cup contender.

The Curious Case of John Valor

Red Sox co-General Managers Jordan Peppers and Dixon Uraz entered Season 5 as an under the radar team with a low floor and high ceiling. While the team has struggled out of the gate, starting out the season 0-2, the worst part of it all is the tale of now-former Red Sox infielder John Valor. On numbers alone, Valor has had one of the best starts offensively of anyone this season, as he is currently 2-for-5 with a WAR of .476 and 8 total bases to his name. However, controversy has been rampant around the draftee since the end of Session 2, when he publicly defamed his teammates and General Managers for the way they contributed in the team's extra innings loss against the Mariners. As a result, the Red Sox designated Valor for assignment and placed him on waivers. Here's hoping Valor will get another shot with another team and maybe watch his mouth from here on out.

The Ugly

Kansas City has been a Royal failure

The reigning American League champion Kansas City Royals have definitely been one of the biggest let-downs this season. We knew the organization might struggle without the likes of Tyler Gordon and Robin Reynolds in their lineup this season, but we didn't think it would be this bad. The Royals are currently 0-2 with crushing losses to the Twins and Yankees. The Royals also have a run differential of -8. Pitchers Zander Ackley, Ulysses Rove, and Syd Kidd have combined to give up an average of 12 runs per game. While the team has seen a little offensive production, especially from rookie Adrian Young, the team has defensively struggled like no other in the American League. Here's hoping the Royals can turn it around soon.

Local Fish in Miami in Bad Mood

If you think you've had an unlucky few weeks as of late, try being the Miami Marlins. In Session 1, the team headed to Atlanta to play in what should've been a cake walk for the reigning NL East Champions. However, they were not ready for what was to come, as free agent signee Whitt Bass and veteran Artanis Jones would combine to give up 9 runs as the team was shut out against the Braves. Then in Session 2, the team failed to capitalize on an outstanding start from All-Star hurler Fish Fingers, falling to the Mets in a 2-1 nailbiter. And if all that wasn't bad enough, rookie Zachary Hommes was recently permanently banned from the MLR for usage of multiple accounts. Suddenly, the Fish are 0-2, have just 1 run offensively to their name, and have to play the Reds, Dodgers, and Phillies in their next three games. The Marlins are not looking too hot here in Season 5.

The Cardinals are even worse than we thought

Heading into Season 5, the St. Louis Cardinals were expected to be one of, if not the, worst team(s) in the National League. However, the Cardinals have proven to exceed those expectations, but not in a good way. The team opened its season suffering an 11-0 blowout defeat against the Reds, followed by an 8-1 torture session against the Twins. The three Cardinal pitchers, All-Star Filib Al'Anhar Jr., newcomer Cy Hadd Jr., and free agent signee Warren Andrews, are currently boasting ERAs of 10.80, 18.00, and 6.86 respectively. The team's -18 run differential is easily the worst in the league. While the team stands a glimmer of a chance this upcoming session against the 0-2 Milwaukee Brewers, don't count on this team winning a game for a long time at this rate.

Written by Kyle Corbett

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