The Stickball Tribune- Part 1- Bronx D'Backs

The Diamond Backs.  Not the Major League Franchise who stole a World Series Ring from the New York Yankees in 2001 with a blooper from Luis Gonzalez; but the Bronx D-Backs Stickball team who has come a long way since their entrance into the New York Emperors Stickball League (NYESL) as “Nothing Personal, Starling A.C.”.  The D-Backs are now entering their 8th season sitting at a combined record of 105 wins, 119 losses and 44 ties (105-119-44) with an average win percentage of .243.  Numbers don’t mean anything for this team as they have recently been playing some really good ball over the years.  They are coming off their best year yet with a record of 7-13-4 (.375 win percentage) and have their best run differential with a -30 posting for 2014.  This is all good news for a team that has been playing together for a number of years.  

2015 won’t be an easy task for the D-Backs.  They have one of their main players not returning this year.  “Unfortunately, one of our mainstays, Tutu, elected to sign up with the Brew Crew for the upcoming season. Although this was a shock, we wish him the best- and he is always a part of the family- that will never change.” Says Ty, Captain and Board member from the D-Backs.  Tutu was definitely one of the prominent members of their squad and also someone who contributes to the success of the league as a board member.  He will now take his lefty swing to the newly formed Brew Crew to take on a new task in his Stickball chapter.  
However there is some good news for the D-Backs for the upcoming season.  They have 2 players returning to them who helped bring the D-Backs into the league in 2008.  “With a loss, there is always a gain- and we were happily glad to welcome back Mark and Joey Gonzalez back into the camp.” Says Ty.  Mark and Joey are brothers who originally played with Nothing Personal and Ty says they are honored to have them back on the squad.  Mark is a veteran who brings knowledge of the game and Joey is a seasoned outfield who has always been a big threat at the plate.  This could be huge for the D-Backs.  They have a very young and talented outfield.  With Mark and Martin coming back for 2015, Joey will bring the leadership Ty thinks is needed out there to take control of their outfield.  Mark is youngster with plenty of potential coming off his first away-from-NY tournament appearance playing with the Royals in San Diego.  Martin is developing into a feared threat at the plate as well as a sure handed player in that outfield.  Look out for these guys to continue to grow this year.  The D-Backs are excited for 2015 with players like Naz, 2014 All Star Naz Jr. and Chris returning.
“Jay, Schenk and myself are looking for a big year out of all our players” says Ty.    Most notably they are looking for improvement in every position and are looking for Brandon to be more assertive and active this year.  They also would like Dave to do the same.  They felt like they let a lot of games get passed them last year and strongly believe they are a middle of the pack team, which is their primary goal.  They feel confident in 2015 and look for this year to be their best yet.  
-Kevin Santana