Marty Fiehl – (3/1/2007) I am sad to announce, that due to health reasons, Bill Gettins will no longer be able to continue as manager of the Keystones. Bill's health has been going downhill for a while now, and the liver transplant that he was waiting for hasn't been as timely as he would have liked. Bill has been giving it a good fight, but at this point, he's not optimistic to improve to the point to be able to take part in the Rookie, Free Agent draft, and the upcoming regular season. Bill will go down in the leagues history as one of the most successful managers ever. He's been in the playoffs each and every year that he was at the helm of the Pennsylvania franchise. And he goes out on top, as the current TCBA Champion!
Our best wishes go out to Bill and his family. He has been an asset to our league, a classy winner, an even classier loser, and it’s been a pleasure 'gaming' with him for the last few years. Bill wishes the league and managers all the best.
Jim McEneaney – (3/28/07) ....I spoke with Cindy Gettins, Bill's wife, this morning, and she informed me that Bill passed away last night. She asked that I express to everyone how much Bill enjoyed his association with our group, and thanked us all for our kind words and prayers.
It was a most fortuitous set of circumstances with one of my godchildren that brought me to Bill's neck of the woods just over two weeks ago. I learned I'd be driving to Pennsylvania at about 8:00 on a Saturday morning, and was visiting with Bill at his home by 2:00 that afternoon. He was clearly very weak, but was ever so glad to see me and we spent a very pleasant hour chatting about baseball, TCBA, and good friends. Bill thanked everyone for extending him such a warm reception into TCBA, and expressed sadness that he'd be unable to see everyone this past weekend. There was only the answering machine when we called from Oneonta, and Bill's wife later told me he'd been admitted this weekend to Hershey Medical Center. Still, even from there, she said he sent his regards.
I will be sending out a mass card (Bill was, after all, a minister) and sympathy card on behalf of the league in the next day or so. I suspect I'm feeling just a little more melancholy than usual, but I've been to way too many wakes, funerals, and hospital visits with dear friends in the past few months. As such, I can say I enjoyed this past weekend all the more. Stay well, my friends.
Jeff Hobbs - After two years in which I lost a total of 216 games while trying to build an eventual contender, I all of a sudden found myself with a team. Not a great team by any measure, but still a group of guys I could expect to go .500 and with a little luck win the then-weak Atlantic division. In the auction I bought SP Josh Johnson for $91K, and I then used the #1 overall pick in the free-agent draft to take another starting pitcher (Chuck James), who didn't last long in the majors but was a grade 13 for that season. I also traded Kevin Youkilis to Scranton for SP Cliff Lee and RP Sean Burnett. I made another deal with Marty later in the season - a payment of $36K for SS Rich Aurilia. He provided a major upgrade over Bobby Crosby, who was a starter simply by default, but the upgrade wasn't enough. We lost the division to Brooklyn by five games.
Speaking of Brooklyn, this was their inaugural season as the Binghamton Triplets were now out of the league and rookie manager Brian Asper was in. Newcomer Patrick Hickey moved the Pennsylvania franchise to Lawton at this same time.
Marty Fiehl – (Introducing new member Brian Asper)…Brian tells me they finally finished all that construction around the Reading area. Figures....after 20+ years of going down there and getting held up in that quagmire, they finish it once we find another place to hold our meeting. No more Sinking Springs.................... :-(
Brian Asper will be taking over the Binghamton Franchise in the Atlantic Division.....his team will be called:
Brooklyn Legends. Reminds me a little bit of Anthony's Hoboken Zephyr franchise.....except that the average age of Brian's team comes nowhere near the 39 or so of Anthony's squads!<G>
TCBA Encyclopedia – Mike Ober was here and then he wasn’t. His Disney All-Stars never played a TCBA game before an unfortunate series of events led to his departure from the league.
Marty Fiehl and an Inconvenient Truth – As Al Gore might speak of certain inefficiencies that we as a nation are perpetuating, and about our wasteful habits that cannot be sustained for much longer in the future; I write to you tonight speaking of OUR wasteful disposal of a precious resource; a fellow APBA manager.
I regretfully must announce that Mike Ober has tendered his resignation to the TCBA.
Mike joined us on short notice, re-drafted his team expeditiously, studiously prepared for both the Rookie and Free Agent Drafts in record time, volunteered to join the league’s most talent-stacked division, and looked forward to the challenge of building a competitive team for the future.
In short, he did everything I asked of him, and did it with zeal and enthusiasm.
And yet today, he resigned.
I have a luxury when I look for new managers that many other league Commish's don't have:
I can point to the fact that we have an established league that has been in existence for over thirty years, with a fair number of original managers still in it. I have considered this a great selling point. Until today.
What good is thirty years of experience if we don't put any of it to use?
How did we go thru all of our growing pains, internal strife, flame wars, and ultimatums of the first decade or two of our existence and not learn from them?
Mike made a mistake in the wording of an email.
I DO understand how it irritated a number of you, it irritated me too.
I am not saying it didn't happen or that it should be ignored completely.
But there are ways to handle this.
Ways that could have allowed us to save face for all involved and we would have been 24 strong today instead of 23.
We failed as a league in this situation.
We failed as experienced members to recognize this situation for what it was.....an unfortunate email comment gone bad. Yes, it could have been better worded, and in the end I'm sure it would have been remedied. But instead of working thru a process, we 'gathered the villagers with pitchforks and torches and stormed up the hill in search of the Monster'.
Well, the Monster turns out to be not Frankenstein, but in this case, more like a docile Shrek, making a poor choice of words while his stubby, green fingers tapped the keyboard. Instead of burning him at the stake, we could have been a bit more patient, a bit more flexible, and a bit more forgiving.
Mike would have been a valued member of the TCBA for many decades to come if we handled this differently. Its going to be very hard to find a replacement of his caliber.
As someone who personally has written more corrosive league-wide letters than anyone; someone whose stubborness to compromise has at times led to some ugly pissing contests; someone who has been as petty, impatient, and quick to judgment as any four of you put together: I say we must get better at this for the next time.
At present, I have no prospective managers in the pipeline. The open franchise will be micromanaged and auto-played until I can find someone to take it over.
From APBA –
LANCASTER, PA - 02/09/07 - APBA International, Inc. (APBA Games) of Lancaster, PA announced its acquisition of the Baseball for Windows property along with other related items from Miller Associates, Inc. Baseball for Windows is a popular baseball simulation product originally developed and introduced as a DOS product for IBM compatible personal computers in 1984. The game evolved into its first version of a Windows edition in 1993. Currently the product is up to version 5.5. Baseball for Windows is based on the historic and popular APBA Pro Baseball board game. The simulation with its amazing accuracy and flexibility has garnered a passionate following.
Baseball for Windows has been used as reference material for sports writers in predicting World Series outcomes, pre-season predictions and was even given an entire chapter in a book highlighting World Series Game 7's. The game was used to replay the game 7's and its results were compared to the actual results that had occurred.
APBA's immediate plans for Baseball for Windows include an upgrade by the start of the 2008 baseball season. "APBA has long desired to acquire Baseball for Windows," APBA's President Marc Rinaldi was quoted saying."We're very excited about this acquisition. We plan to use it as a spring board to begin implementing our next generation of games. Besides our board game products we envision a complete electronic sports gaming center driven by quality, intelligent, accurate and fun online products."
"APBA has a long and durable history of community building," said Kenneth Miller, president of Miller Associates and with his brother Roswell, the original developers of game. "This helps assure that the electronic version of this game will reach a second generation of fans, much like the board game is into its third generation."
APBA began in 1951 with the release of the APBA Pro Baseball board game. The game became wildly popular and helped establish the popularity of sports stat and strategy gaming. For more information on APBA visit their website at www.APBAgames.com or call them at 1-800-334-2722.
Marc A. Rinaldi, President APBA International, Inc.
Dan Warren - I'm running a bit behind - my wife of 49 years passed away quietly last night after being in the ICU for the past week. It wasn't unexpected, as her health had been deteriorating for several years. I've played three of the games (and they are a wonderful diversion from personal cares......) and will get the other two finished in the next day or two, if that's OK. Still looking forward to seeing you in 2 weeks....
Eric Lundeen - I have to regretfully say I will not be attending the activities in Oneonta next month. In fact at this point in time I will probably not be able to attend any of the meetings. I have absolutely no support whatsoever from my wife when it comes to APBA. She firmly thinks it’s nonsense. So I have to respect that she feels that way.
Unofficial Marty Fiehl - Damn, I gotta get this guy on Oprah. Are you kidding me? What about HIS wishes?! She can't give him a day or two for something HE likes?!
Eric Lundeen - I would really hate to have to leave the league but I feel that if you have a waiting list you should consider whether or not someone else would be better suited in the league then I.
Unofficial Marty Fiehl - Doggone it. This just shouldn't happen in the 21st century. The guy’s gotta burn his bra and demand a little 'me' time.
Official Marty Fiehl –I'm sorry to announce that Eric Lundeen will be stepping down as manager of the Binghamton Triplets due to family and time constraints. Eric was another of our newer, more successful managers, as he was in the playoffs in two of the last three seasons. (Maybe it’s not a good omen when the team wins too much in the beginning.)
Eric's enthusiasm for his team, the Binghamton Triplets, was evident in his write-ups, and there is history in that team name, as there actually WAS a real life minor league team right next door in Johnson City, that went by that name. I believe it was a Yankee affiliate and a lot of their famous ballplayers all blazed a path thru our neighborhood in the fifties and early sixties. The Triplets of our TCBA kept the winning tradition alive again this year, narrowly eeking out the sixth Wild Card position in the Playoffs as they beat out two other teams in the last week of play to advance.
It’s been a pleasure having him in the league for the last couple of years, and we wish him well in his future endeavors.
Applications – Hi. My name is Dick Zarse & I have a combined 186 years of APBA experience. I would work best taking the reins of both clubs for you & can almost guarantee a combined .500 record between the pair. I would call my teams the High Almighties and the Basement Dwellers. Trades would be most welcome, and I look forward to your quick response... or, you can just give me your telephone number, and I will call you at all hours of the day and night to wear you down until you can see the wisdom of trading an Albert Pujols-type for someone rock steady, like, say, one of the Molina brothers.
Looking forward to making your life miserable.....
Marty Fiehl’s Response - Dear Dick..........Although tempting as it may be, filling both openings with one Dick, I'm going to pass at the moment and head back to rehab.
Stu McCorkindale - Just a short note to let you know I am alive and kicking.
I was blindsided last weekend when Susan suddenly announced she wanted to end our 20 years together and I’m afraid I did not handle this unexpected situation well and did some stupid stuff to help cover my grief. Thankfully I’m not as good at harming myself as I am at winning baseball games <VBG!> and I’m starting to get things back into perspective and want to focus on preserving my family. Accordingly, I will be back on board as soon as circumstances allow but I do not have any idea of whether I’m looking at days or weeks at this point.
I want to personally thank Bob Wood and Tom Meade for their phone calls and offers of support. I’m sorry I was unable to talk or return your calls what with me being preoccupied with my effort to end it all <G!> And thanks to all of you for treating the Barflies so well in my absence. In the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back!”
Thanks again for your patience and understanding.
Bill Kirwin - Resigned from TCBA at the end of the season. Well, he really didn’t resign, he just faded away. He reappeared in 2014 as a member of the TCBA family, contributing comments to the league’s Facebook page from time to time. In May of 2014, Bill spent some time in the VA hospital. He was visited by his son, Billy, who had been to several Lancaster meetings when he was much younger.