Madawaska Mud Hens

BDB 2019:  82-80

I’m going to say it right now, Owner Todd Kuiack is the Tony Robbins of BDB.  From walking on coals, to having the best coffee served in BDB, and the use of X-Country skiing for team physical training, everything is about making every player be the best they can be. Kuiack can be heard saying things like “In life you need inspiration or desperation”, or “If you can’t, you must, if you must, you can”. Todd is kind of like Yogi Berra but way more positive.

“All about being positive — flow of energy” claims Kuiack

He has this way that motivates his team to believe that they have the ultimate destiny to be BDB Champions, despite a struggle to measure up talent wise.  Kuiack has gone on the record to say he is no fan of WAR, but instead values the little things about baseball … bullpen management, riding hot streaks, sitting down players who forgot to wish everyone well, walking on coals as a team, making sure that the English players have translators to help with the Spanish … that kind of thing.  It is a very clubhouse as Kuiack works hard to make sure every at bat counts and every inning count; and, more important than all of those things, is make sure you have fun doing it.  If there is a team that does the best to better their luck during the “Lucky” 9 games … chances, are they squeeze the best out of those nine games. Last year the team was counted to do much, and although there was hope for another Wild Card position, it was just out of reach.

This talent gets better and better …

BDB 2020:  80-82

German Marquez6.2
Kyle Hendricks5.1
Lance Lynn3.5
Kyle Freeland2.7
Cristian Javier1.4
Tanner Houck1.2
Jose Abreu7
Trevor Story6.5
Ian Happ5.1
Willson Contreras2.6
Teoscar Hernandez4.1
Brandon Nimmo3.2
Michael Brantley3.2
Jon Berti1.7
Josh Donaldson1.7
Isiah Kiner-Falefa1.3
Tucker Barnhart0.7
Brett Gardner0.7

However, as every owner knows, it’s one thing to manage, but it’s another thing to be the General Manager and make sure the team on the field is the best it can be.  The truth is, the book is not out on this newish owner, as it takes many years to figure out how to build a winning roster … and let’s be honest, winning teams are not measured by finishing above .500 year after year, but the amount of post season hardware the team takes in.

Kuiack has managed a few interesting trades over the years, Severino for Corey Seager, Corey Seager for Josh Donaldson and for this past season, bringing in Ian Happ.  However, is it enough?  If there is a knock on Kuiack is that he exists far too much in today, and doesn’t give enough thought to tomorrow.  Case in post, dropping Tommy Pham from the roster this Draft Cut out date, when there was clearer better suited players to be let go, but the most glaring one is the first round choice of Kiner-Felafa.  It’s not that he isn’t a serviceable player, but chances are, he is a more of a fifteenth-round pick.  The draft had youngster Alec Broom, Willi Castor still hanging who had far greater upside, but really, who knows?  Nobody had German Matquez on their top round draft list, and that move is still paying off.

This year’s team has some great offense at their disposal, led by AL MVP Jose Abreu (.316-52-162), Michael Brantley, Teoscar Hernandez, Trevor Story and Ian Happ.  The issue is going to be pitching, which I am sure MudHen management will disagree with (here come the “WAR, what is it good for” chants.  The starting staff of Hendricks, Lynn, Javier, Marquez and Freeland won’t need a lot of help inning wise, but for this league, are too mediocre.  Beyond Marquez, there just isn’t the shut down aces that a team needs to contend. Look for the team to put in a run for the final Wild Card spot, but truth of the matter is, Langley is not the push over they once were, and North Bay is not without teeth. To contend, Hamilton will really need to fall apart, and Langley will have to throw in the towel, as Madawaska doesn’t have a lot of pieces to trade during the season.

Its commendable that Kiner-Falefal – made the transition from catcher to infielder … not sure its enough to make a difference in the Win Column

Hope for the Future.

BDB 2021: 73 – 89

Marquea and Story are the shining stars of the team, but beyond them, agism and lack of top flight talent has this team sinking more than swimming. Let’s see what a few high round draft picks can do to change the fortune of this team.

German Marquez3.9
Lance Lynn3
Kyle Hendricks2.6
Kyle Freeland1.6
Josh Fleming1.5
Michael Lorenzen1.2
Trevor Story4
Josh Donaldson3.5
Ketel Marte3.3
Michael Brantley2.9
Brandon Nimmo2.5
Willson Contreras2.4
Ian Happ2.3
Jose Abreu1.8
Teoscar Hernandez1.8
Brett Gardner1.8
Tucker Barnhart1.7
Tim Locastro1.5
Pundits aren’t sure how positive Story — the team’s best player — will be if the team doesn’t make plans to go beyond 80 wins.

BDB 2022: 72 – 90

German Marquez4
Lance Lynn2.4
Kyle Hendricks2.1
Kyle Freeland1.5
Daniel Norris1.3
Cal Quantrill1.3
Trevor Story3.8
Ketel Marte3.1
Brandon Nimmo2.5
Ian Happ2.4
Michael Brantley2.4
Willson Contreras2.4
Josh Donaldson2.1
Teoscar Hernandez1.6
Tim Locastro1.4
Leody Taveras1.3
Jose Abreu1.2
Brett Gardner1.2
O’Neill aka Popeye hope to add wins and HR alongside Gold Glove

Truthfully, there not a lot of Hope (beyond Tony Robbins hope that is) that this team is ready to make an advance in the next few coming years. There are a few young guys, but not any with high ceiling talent that can change the destiny of a BDB Team. Ian Happ is the most talented of the youth movement, but the team also has Leondys Taveras, Tyler O’Neill (think Dave Kingman and Christian Javier as their top young talent. Future wise, this team is going to have to plug a few more holes if they are going to catch the eventual Jenkins King, the Langley Spartans.