Friedman fires first shot of offseason
LA PORTE- The Maple City Magic have quite a bit of momentum coming off their inaugural
season in the Old Republic Wiffle Ball League. Despite finishing 12-30, last place in the American League, the future looks bright for the upstart franchise. Coming in at the last minute to replace the Minutemen, American League Manager of the Year Alex Friedman guided the team to big series wins over traditional ORWBL powers, Pterodactyls and Newts, in the second half. Zach Liberatore (11-17), ace of the Maple City staff, led the entire ORWBL in strikeouts, fanning 14 batters over 147.1 innings pitched. The highlight of the summer came after the ORWBL season had concluded, when the team made a surprise run to the Elite Eight of the City Championship. The Magic were eliminated by eventual champions, Ambassadors of Plastic. Now, the future has become even brighter this offseason, as the Magic have made a huge splash in the free agent market. Friedman has signed Drew Luther and Shane Anderson, each to three-year deals (with fourth-year player options). Both players are leaving the Wills Township Federalists to come to the Maple City. Appearing in 21 games, Luther hit .529 last season. He also belted 31 home runs and drove in 60 runs, both totals were second on the team behind National League MVP Tony Koch. Luther pitched 54 innings for the Federalists, earning a 7-2 record on a 8.67 ERA. Anderson leaves behind his managerial role with Wills Township. In two years, he compiled a 54-30 record at the helm, leading the Federalists to two National League pennants. On the field, he batted .387 with 18 home runs and drove in 40 runs. "The Magic are going places this year." Anderson said. These comments and the departure of these key contributors has drawn the ire of Koch, who will replace Anderson as manager. Given the recent events, there seems to be great potential of an interleague rivalry between the two clubs. Undoubtedly, the league office will take notice, and both sides should anxiously await the release of the 2012 schedule to see when it can be settled on the field.