Author: Todd Bonzalez
The Pudge Nakamoto era is over.
In a bittersweet move, the fans of the Kansas City Breath Mints yooted their “star” leadoff batter to their fierce rival, the Charleston Shoe Thieves, but not before giving them a significant boost on their way out the door. Pudge will always be remembered in Kansas City for replacing star hitter and beloved league superstar Boyfriend Monreal, and in their six seasons with the Breath Mints, Pudge was never really able to escape Monreal’s shadow. Pudge finished their time in Kansas City with a .232/.256/.388/.644 slash line, with 74 home runs and 13 stolen bases.
They now are the only player with a chance of Roamin’ to another team at the end of each season., giving each team in the league a chance to bask in the warm friendship of Pudge.
Also moving on from KC is star hitter Jessica Telephone, who put up vintage numbers in two seasons with the Breath Mints and appeared multiple times on the league batting leaderboards despite batting 10th in the lineup. She joins the Mexico City Wild Wings in exchange for Joshua Watson after the Wings won the Plunder blessing.
On paper, this might look like a terrible blow to the Mints’ lineup, as Watson is rated a full three batting stars worse than Telephone, but Watson boasts some incredible defensive ability that Telephone simply cannot match, and is a pretty productive hitter in his own right. Despite his mediocre star rating, Watson has been able to consistently put up On-Base Plus Slugging totals around .900 year in and year out, and should do a fine job of replacing some of Telephone’s production at the end of the lineup.
Onward, to Season XIII
As Mints fans look forward to Season XIII, they should have some hope that new leadoff hitter Hewitt Best will be able to recapture some of the magic of Season 7, when the Mints finished atop the Mild League with their speedy Boyfriend leading off. Best is well-known as one of the premier base-stealers in the game, finishing with 50 in Season 12, and is followed by a very productive hitter in Rodriguez Internet, who should be even better next season after being the beneficiary of a Party.
Other notable Mints’ Partiers in season 12 included Lenny Spruce, a solid slugger, and pitchers Mooney Doctor II and PolkaDot Zavala. They still have Winnie Hess in the rotation, and she is coming off one of her finest seasons on the mound in which she tied her career-best ERA with 2.33, and had an outstanding WHIP of .737.
Throw in Oscar Vaughn and the always enigmatic Leach Ingram, and the Mints boast one of the better pitching staves in the League, backed by an always minty-fresh defense.
The Mints, like all teams, will have a chance to modify their Ballpark during next Season’s Earlsiesta, so look for some new amenities at the Kansas City FreshDome for Tax Purposes next week. The Mints will also have a chance to test their abilities against the Baltimore Crabs for the first time, as the Crabs joined the Mild Low as one of the Expansion Teams.
In the end, the difference-maker for the Breath Mints will be if they can squeeze any production out of cleanup hitters Eizabeth Guerra and Stew Briggs, who form an extremely weak one-two punch in the middle of the lineup. The outlook for Season XIII, at least for this beat writer, is Death. Look for the Mints to finish around the middle of the pack again, unless they don’t.