You have heard me mention several times that I long for the day we return all 32 teams from year to year. You may think it's because I think it makes for a stronger league or so we can get rolling right after the world series. The truth is, I'm really just lazy. If we don't get new teams, I'm off the hook from writing this article.
But alas, here we are again. We had to fill 6 spots last season but only had 3 vacancies this season. That's progress. And, I know it's only been a couple weeks, but I like what I see from these new owners. They don't seem to be afraid to ask questions in the forums or make controversial trades. Good luck guys. You will probably need it.
Dover Blue Crabs (testudo34) Philadelphia Black Sox (bkdries)
We were sad to lose bkdries after 11 seasons of service but we really only have one person to blame. Mdukes! Yes, Mdukes has dominated the AL East since the beginning of time winning the division every year but one. Bkdries took his Sox to the playoffs several times but always as a wildcard. Enter testudo34. A complete newbie to the HBD world but a successful, experienced manager in Hoops dynasty boasting 121 seasons and 2 national championships. Testudo's first move was cutting his team's salary by about $20M and his free agent strategy has pretty much just been resigning his best players. Seems like a smart strategy for a guy who is taking his first lap around the HBD track. Also, this is the first time I have played with a team from Dover. They have nice hats.
Boise Barstool Prophets (rounders31) formerly Tacoma Twilight (hbdgirl)
Apparently, we were too smart for hbdgirl because she decided to go back to school after one season with us. In a short time, she was able to get this team above .500 for the first time since season one. But this franchise is still looking for its first playoff appearance and rounders31 doesn't seem to be wasting any time getting there. The Prophets have hit free agency and the trade block hard and spent some money in this offseason. While their pitching was good last season, it could be even better this season. But they still had one of the worst hitting teams in the league last season which hasn't really been addressed yet. Rounders31 has bounced around in a bunch of worlds racking up 16 seasons of experience but has currently only in 3 worlds and hopefully will stop the one-and-done ownership that has plagued this team for the last 3 seasons. That said, this is still a young team moving in the right direction.
Tampa Bay Tornados (tk21775) formerly Montgomery Mastodons (hooner65)
This franchise has had a one-and-done owner for the last three seasons, too. This team hit well last year but the pitching squad was one of the worst in the league. And that's exactly what tk21775 focused on this offseason. He spent a lot of money to get seven pretty good (if not terribly young) pitchers via free agency. This should be an interesting team to watch this year. Hooner had a pretty good season last year but got frustrated that he wasn't winning in that tough AL South (which, by the way, still has 3 original Hunter owners playing in it). Tk21775 is pretty new to HBD. He is in 9 worlds but has not completed a season yet in any of them. Hopefully, he'll have good luck here and, when his wife realizes how much money he spent on this game, he'll decide that Hunter is the world to stay with.