Oct 24 2032: Phoenixes' Hall of Fame welcomes #74 - by Endrju on July 18th, 2017
September 19th 2024
Pembroke Pines Killer Bees, who will move to Warsaw next season and become the Phoenixes, play a League VI.25 game against Frederick Ravens. In bottom of 7th Cesar Tamayo gives up a run to make it a 4-3 game. Bees' bullpen is active, and in bottom of the 8th young Chad Anderson, who was having a great season as middle relief, comes in to close out the game for the first time in his career. He gives up three hits but gets the job done.
There were several worried voices after this decision, mostly about how can you give a closing job to a guy that throws 87mph fastballs. Little did anyone know, that this guy will become the best closer in Phoenixes' history.
October 23rd 2032
It's game 160 of the season in II.2. After a long pennant battle, which was a 4 horse race for most of the season, we are guaranteed 3rd place in the League. Before the game, players of both teams make a lane for Phoenixes' starting pitcher to go into. Standing crowd of more than 40 000 people, most dressed in artificial beards or holding a "Fear the Beard" banner, with ovation welcome Chad Anderson on the field. It's his first and last start for Phoenixes. After today, those banners will no longer be valid.
Thank you for those seasons Chad. Your number, 74, is now officially retired.
But as usual, something ends, something begins. Closing games is now a job of Alonzo Cazares. So far he follows a similar path to Chad, called up at 23, started closing midway through 25 season, due to good performance. He is not Chad though, for 2 main reasons:
1) he does not have a beard (and claims he will never grow it)
2) his fastball is sizzling
It's always tough to take over a spot that has just been left by a club legend, but we feel the kid has what it takes.
Jun 20 2031: Winning streak ends at 16, Menendez makes history - by Endrju on March 30th, 2017
Back in 2026, when we finally rebuilt the team, we had a record season. We crushed league VI.25 with 128-32 record. We grabbed almost all league awards. We had a 13 game win streak. Merrill notched 28 wins, Menendez hit 170 RBIs. The numbers from that year set the bar so high, we thought they will never be beaten.
Well, we were wrong.
Five years and three league levels later, we put together an unbelievable run. A run that will be remembered for generations to come. In tough and competitive league III.4, we manage to win 16 games in a row.
Win number 16 came on June 19th, 2031. In the top of 7th, Menendez hit a two-run blast into right field, basically securing the win, and the crowd in Denton went silent. Too bad it did not happen on our turf, as the stadium would have gone wild. That hit put Menendez on top of Phoenixes all time RBI list, passing the 2010s legend Oswaldo Castillo. And he's only 30. What number will he end at?
The preseason plan of not demoting remains in place. This league is so even, we could go on 10 game losing streak anyday. But if we keep playing the way we do now, only sky is the limit.
Nov 04 2028: We'll be back - by Endrju on September 16th, 2016
Even the worse pessimists in the clubhouse did not predict such ending to first season in league IV. After almost a whole year in 2nd place, Phoenixes drop last 6 games and go back to league V.
Such demotions are painful, especially looking at East / West discrepancies. All East teams have positive run differentials, only one team in the West. Five out of six East teams finished the year above .500, in the West - two. Phoenixes' record would give us 2nd place in the West. In addition we lost our ace Merrill for the final month, and one of our best hitters, Casillas, for the final week. With them in our lineup it's likely we would steal a few more wins and stay in this crazily offensive league.
So, did we deserve the demotion? Of course not.
Are we happy that we demoted? Of course not.
Will we hang our heads in shame or resignation? Of course not.
We keep fighting. We will be back for 2030. You guys have my word.
Oct 20 2027: A legendary day - by Endrju on June 20th, 2016
October 19th 2027 will be a day that the Phoenixes franchise will remember forever. Only two days after securing promotion to league IV for the first time since 2005, in our last home game of 2027 we say goodbye to one of our legends.
Immortal Wayne Preston threw his last 104 pitches in the Phoenixes uniform.
It didn't matter that he got the loss. It didn't matter that he allowed 8 runs (4 earned) and committed an error. All that mattered was standing ovation of over 30 000 Phoenixes supporters when he was leaving the field in the top of 6th inning. Wayne had tears in his eyes, as I'm sure many of our fans did too.
16 years in the franchise, 12 on major league roster. 1 Cy Young award (2018). 131 wins, 28 complete games, 8 shutouts. 3.30 career ERA with 1754 strikeouts. 5 seasons with over 200 innings pitched. One of only two Phoenixes pitchers that managed to get 200 Ks in one season, and the only one to do it twice (2018, 2023). Top three in all lifetime franchise statistics.
But Wayne was more than just numbers. He was a role model for all young pitchers that are now playing a major role in the team. Without him, Merrill and Morita wouldn't be where they are now. Even though on the field Wayne seems to not play a big role in our two latest promotions, off the field he did his job.
Jan 15 2027: In search for the right word... - by Endrju on April 11th, 2016
The Chairman was sitting in his office, clearly dissatisfied. For the past 6 hours he was writing a 2026 season summary for a local paper. He thought it was weird to ask him this, isn't it the journalists' job after all? He agreed, but didn't know how much of a challenge it will pose.
It wasn't the main part of the story that was the challenge though.
He wrote about all 2026 great milestones and team records.
He wrote about 130 wins quest, and how it failed.
He wrote about losing only 4 series the whole year.
He wrote about Menendez' triple crown numbers that won him the MVP.
He wrote about Merrill's triple crown numbers that won him the Cy Young.
He wrote about Cedillo's rookie numbers that earned him a spot in All-League team to go with Rookie of the Year.
He wrote about dominating the Cy Young voting by having 4 of 5 candidates there and dominating All-League with 6 of 12.
He wrote about all numbers and stats that the team was best in the league at, and they were the best in almost all of them.
Yeah, the Chairman was always good in numbers. This is why he got interested in baseball in the first place.
But if you're good with numbers, you're usually bad with words. And it were words, that he was struggling with for the past few hours.
Or one word, to be exact. The title. How to pack all 2026 action into just few letters.
'Domination' was the first instinct. After some thought, it lacked the punch. 'Destruction'? 'Demolition'? It all seemed too soft, too timid...
The Chairman sighed and lighted up another cigarette. After few moments, he reached for his phone and called his secretary.
'Anne, can you help please?' he asked. 'I'm trying to...' and suddenly it struck him. It was there all the time. How could he not see it for so long?
'Yes boss?' Anne was clearly confused.
'Erm... Nothing Anne, thanks!'
'Hm, no prob...' started the secretary, but the Chairman hung up already.
He butted his cigarette and opened up the article. On the first page he wrote one word: