1 Tigers---Teddy Roosevelt. A true badass, a war hero, a cowboy, a guy that rode a moose like a horse just for the hell of it. After riding up San Juan Hill and achieving military glory, the Republicans had to put TR on the 1900 ticket, an assassin’s bullet then put him in the White House. The first president of the Progressive Era, many of Roosevelt’s accomplishments still affect our everyday lives. The Pure Food and Drug Act, the Meat Inspection Act, recognizing a worker’s right to strike. Conservation boomed under Roosevelt, the National Forest Service was created and without Teddy much of our western forests would’ve probably been clear cut by timber barons. The building of the Panama Canal and the American recognition of Panama as an independent country when it separated from Colombia helped shape world trade in the 20th century.
This Tiger team is bully and bully is what they’ve done to a very good AL Central featuring 2 60 win teams. We all know Pat’s penchant for wheeling and dealing and the result is this monster in the Motor City. Wade Davis and Andrew Miller at the back of the pen, Arreita and Sale at the front of the rotation and a Goldschmidt/Freeman/Stanton/Seager/Turner 3-7 with Altuve leading off. I’m terrified of this team and I don’t even play in the AL. Good lord.
2 Pirates---Ronald Reagan. A second rate actor who became a first rate president, Ronald Reagan owes his political career to two things: the HUAC hearings while he was president of the Screen Actors Guild and a speech he gave for Barry Goldwater in 1964. Reagan’s domestic agenda legacy is murky. From firing the air traffic controllers, to the War on Drugs (which was spearheaded by Tip O’Neil after Len Bias overdosed), to whether or not trickle-down economics is actually something that works, once can debate his legacy there. It is on the foreign policy front, as the Cold Warrior that took down the USSR that one cannot dispute. From the Iran hostages being freed as he was being inaugurated, to Star Wars and the SALT treaties, to the Brandenburg Gate speech that spurred the eventual tearing down of the Berlin Wall, President Reagan set the Soviets up to be defeated when the decade ended. This will always be his legacy and the fact that nuclear annihilation is not a factor in our everyday lives anymore is a testament to Dutch.
The last time the Pirates didn’t win the NL Central was 2008, when Nate’s Reds took him the crown. Since then Pittsburgh has ruled the senior circuit, winning 3 championships. JP has been wheeling and dealing the shore up a suspect bullpen and with Mike Trout back, the lineup is deep. The rotation is solid all the way through but after Carlos Martinez and Quintana there is a pretty big drop off in starter quality. If this team is going to be beat in October, it will be from someone getting to their starters early.
3 Blue Jays---FDR. There are two schools of thought on FDR. Some think he is an awesome president that brought the federal government into our everyday lives in a capacity never before seen in American history that saved us from the Depression and got us through World War II. Others think he was someone who failed at every attempt to end the Depression and was only saved by the wartime economic boom post Pearl Harbor and as a commander in chief during the war was someone without the genius and foresight of a Churchill who used American economic power to bully an ally that had a much better grasp on the war. Like everything in life, there are shades of gray. FDR was the first president to go beyond the precedent of Washington’s 2 terms and stepping down. What would his excuse have been for running for a 5th term in 1948 had he still been alive? When a constitution amendment is added specifically because of you that means something. For all of his attempts at government intervention stopping the Depression, none of FDR’s alphabet soup agencies got the economy rolling. Some, like the TVA that electrified the South, still touch millions of lives today. Others, such as ordering farmers to kill off livestock and not allow them to feed their families with the meat, lost Democrats a generation of farmers. His attempt at packing the Supreme Court so his decisions wouldn’t be ruled unconstitutional, his trying to get the entire gold reserve of the British in exchange for some obsolete destroyers when Britain was hanging on by a thread in Europe and the only thing keeping the continent from being dominated by Hitler, much of what FDR did was controversial and asinine.
Dan has been a fixture in the playoffs for the last decade, though he has yet to break through and get to the World Series. The class of the AL East this season, the Jays have opened up a sizeable lead on a very good Baltimore squad. The Jays have a deep, veteran team. Dan’s most glaring weakness is currently rotation depth, with Price’s elbow and now Felix going on the DL, a trade or two might be very beneficial. FDR could hide his polio, but a pitching shortage can’t be hidden in October.
4 Padres–Richard Nixon. Tricky Dick was an anonymous member of the House until rising to fame during the Alger Hiss case during the HUAC hearings in 1948, which propelled him to be named Eisenhower’s running mate in 1952. Nixon probably should have been president in 1960, but a lot of shady shit went on to get JFK elected and Nixon felt he was robbed (and might have been) and that is when the paranoia set in. In 1962 Nixon lost the election for California governor and in his gracious way, told the press they “Wouldn’t have Nixon to kick around anymore.” His career was over. Nobody thought about him, he was working at a law firm in Palm Beach and would be a footnote in history. While everyone ignored him, he was making speeches for the Rotary Club and other civic organizations and gearing up for 1968, when he completed the greatest political comeback in history. Sure he did it by sabotaging Vietnam peace talks in Paris and extended the war for another few years, but he was president damn it! And he was a good one. Without Watergate he may be considered the greatest president of all time. Ah but Watergate, because of his paranoia after being robbed in 1960, Nixon wanted to make sure he won big in 1972. So he had his political operatives undermine every Democratic candidate until George McGovern was nominated. Nixon won 49 states. Then the Watergate break-in went wrong and everything fell apart. Nixon resigned in disgrace.
Bren is making his own comeback now. During the early years of the IBC he was a powerhouse in the AL East, winning the title in 2003. Only a major upset by Gabe thanks to the first head to head World Series in 2006 prevented him from being the first 2 time champion. But then Bren quit, but came back. Then he moved to SD for a rivalry with Nils that never became a rivalry and stopped paying attention for a few years and tanked, having survived multiple discussions about getting the boot for inactivity. Tanking resulted in having the top picks in the draft which led to Kris Bryant, Manny Machado, Carlos Correa, etc. With a young rotation and strong pen, the Padres will be tough to beat as they coast into October with a double digit division lead. Glad to see good things happen for someone that basically ignored the league until the draft for years and took months to respond to PMs. But a Nixon comparison wouldn’t be complete without looking back at Bren’s power hungry, scandal ridden leadership. The Sammy Sosa/Mark Teixiera loan trade with Gabe would’ve gotten anyone that wasn’t running the league kicked out. Renouncing his Red Sox fandom on the old board in 2004 when they were down 3-0 to the Yankees. Fighting against the installation of the ExCo.
5 Phillies----George Washington. The Father of our Country started the French and Indian War as a 21 year old militia colonel and failed upwardly the rest of his life. During the Revolution he lost most of the battles he was involved in but after Francis Marion, Isaac Shelby, John Sevier, Nathaniel Greene and Daniel Morgan got done whipping Cornwallis’ army he surrendered to Washington. Unanimously elected president, Washington’s importance was setting the precedents for every president that followed. Alexander Hamilton’s domestic policies led to Washington having to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in on the Pennsylvania frontier, which spurred many to move to Kentucky to get further from the law and is why Kentucky is where the best bourbon is made. The Jay Treaty got the British out of their forts in the west and on the Great Lakes. Other than that Washington’s main accomplishment was getting the US to stay afloat and establishing good credit, as well as keeping us out of the wars that developed out of the French Revolution. The biggest thing Washington did was peacefully abdicate the presidency, setting up the precedent of a peaceful transition of power that has happened ever since.
Nick isn’t the Father of the IBC, but as the first champion way back in 2002 we would probably award the Nick Perry Trophy to the champion every year if we had one (ExCo maybe we should discuss this?). After last season’s NLDS loss, Nick considered a quick rebuild and trading off his older yet effective players. He decided for one last rodeo and the Phils have surged to the NL East lead. This team has this year and maybe one more year of contention left before Nick has to think long and hard about a rebuild, but for now this is going to be a tough, tough team to beat if they make it to October.
6 Angels---John F. Kennedy. The youngest elected president’s best career move was being assassinated, as his legacy gets rewarded for the accomplishments of others. If you get around the myth of the Kennedy family that has been built up since November 1963, what you say is a man that didn’t get a whole lot done while in the White House. JFK could give a hell of a speech, but following up on that by accomplishing his speeches, well not so much. The fact is JFK gets a lot of credit for things that got done while Lyndon Johnson and Nixon were on the clock. JFK would’ve never got a civil rights bill passed because he wasn’t good at working with Congress the way LBJ was. Most of NASA’s accomplishments took place under LBJ and Nixon and started under Eisenhower, but the Mercury program got men into space under JFK mostly to keep the space program alive because Kennedy wanted to terminate it (read The Right Stuff sometime). Kennedy did an amazing job during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but if he hadn’t so badly screwed up the Bay of Pigs then the Soviets wouldn’t have had an excuse to put missiles in Cuba. Kennedy created the Peace Corps, but it was also under Kennedy that we started to get involved in Vietnam.
It is hard to believe Stephen has been in the league 7 years, and he is still one of the newest members of the league! Go us! For those seven years, the Angels have been rebuilding and the prospects have finally reached the point where they’ve matured and are contributors. Trevor Story, Tommy Pham and Votto give the Angels a solid middle of the order for next year but expect some fall off from the rest of his lineup. The pitching staff, while sporting Cole and a finally healthy Dylan Bundy, is being led improbably by Jerad Eickoff and his sub 2 ERA. It remains to be seen if Stephen can get the job done in October. Kennedy had good luck in October during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but struggled in November. Will Stephen give us an October surprise or will he fall short of his goal like Kennedy continually did?
7 Athletics---Lyndon Johnson. This LBJ isn’t a crying little bitch like the one in Cleveland. Lyndon Johnson knew how to get shit done. Most significant civil rights legislation got passed while Lyndon Johnson was in office. When someone was given the Johnson treatment (his secretaries got the Jumbo treatment but that’s another story) they usually voted the way Lyndon wanted. We can argue for days over the achievements and failures of the Great Society or the escalation in Vietnam but Johnson always had to fight with the fact he wasn’t Jack Kennedy. But Jack Kennedy was all show and no go, whereas LBJ got shit done. LBJ escaped poverty thanks to public education and made sure to support it and doubled the federal education budget (as a teacher we need someone like that in office again, right Pat Tullar?). Without the escalation in Vietnam and having that budget drain, his War on Poverty may have turned out much better, though we all know when the government declares war on a noun it doesn’t go well.
Jag sits just a couple games back of first place in the AL West despite two players in his starting lineup having an OBP over .300. The pitching is carrying this team. The lineup doesn’t have a single player performing at their projection level, so the Angels better be looking in their review mirror because if that happens they may be left in the dust. Right now the A’s have a very good chance at being the wild card. Jag has made moves to bring in offense but there must be something in the water at the colosseum as even big bats brought in to produce aren’t hitting. LBJ called his dick Jumbo but with this limp dick offense, the A’s are going to have to keep pitching lights out.
8 Orioles----Harry Truman. A virtual unknown when he became VP for FDR’s final term, Truman set the US up to win the Cold War with his policies while in office and history has been kind to him in hindsight, even if he was disliked upon leaving office. The Marshall Plan rebuilt Europe and kept Western Europe from going communist. Truman’s accomplishments are too many to go into detail on so here’s a partial list: the UN, recognition of Israel, the Berlin Airlift, NATO, dismissing MacArthur, desegregation of the military. Truman was the last president to not be a wealthy man and refused many cushy corporate job offers upon leaving office because he thought it was beneath the presidency to do so. As a result he lived on $112 a month from his army pension and lived with his mother-in-law, as there was no pension plan for former presidents at the time. Keep that in mind the next time someone charges $500,000 for a 15 minute speech.
Steve has been one of the best teams in the IBC for the past few years and he has done it while in one of the toughest divisions in the league. With a strong pitching staff, led by Grienke, Porcello and Carlos Carrasco in the rotation and a bullpen anchored by Britton and Cody Allen, it is going to be hard for anyone to score runs off of him. The only road to October for the O’s is going to have to go the Wild Card route.
9 Cardinals---James K. Polk. The only Speaker of the House to become president, Polk was a political dark horse. A protÃ©gÃ© of Andrew Jackson, Polk is considered by historians to be a near great president. He served one term, accomplished all of his goals and decided not to run again. His domestic policy was primarily lowering the tariff to where it paid for the government but didn’t protect northern industry since he didn’t feel it fair one geographic area benefitted from something at the expense of the rest of the country. Polk was a proponent of Manifest Destiny and was the perfect president to see that become a reality. Texas was annexed and became a state at the beginning of his term. The Oregon boundary dispute was settled with Britain which opened the Oregon Trail and eventually led to all of us killing too many buffalo to fit in our wagon before dying of dysentery around South Pass. The Mexican War allowed for the Southwest and California to be acquired. Polk accomplished all of this in 4 years. Hard to imagine what he could’ve done in 8. He contracted cholera in New Orleans on a goodwill tour of the South and died 3 months after leaving office.
The IBC Cardinals are a near great franchise. With one title 10 years ago, and losing the series the next year in 7 games, and losing an extremely tight NLCS in 7 last year, this is a franchise that has been on the precipice of greatness but never quite got there. This year, the Cardinals are again in the shadow of the Pirates but boast the 2nd best record in the NL. An underperforming lineup still boasts dangerous bats like Arenado, Schoop, Yelich and Cain. Only one position player that starts is over 30. The rotation survived having 4/5 of it on the DL at the same time and is getting healthy, even though ace Aaron Sanchez has started 4 games all season. If the Cards can’t run down the Pirates and survive the play-in game, they are a dark horse to have a banner on the front page this winner.
10 Nationals---Woodrow Wilson. The last of the Progressive Era presidents, Woodrow Wilson is the only academic to serve in the White House, having been president of Princeton before becoming governor of New Jersey. Without War War I, the progressive accomplishments of Wilson would’ve shaped his entire legacy. Creating the federal reserve system, the federal income tax, pushing the Clayton Antitrust Act through Congress, prohibition (hey it wasn’t all good and he wasn’t in favor of it), women’s suffrage, it is a laundry list of sweeping social change. Wilson would be defined by World War I though, keeping the US out of the war as long as possible until the Zimmerman Note finally pushed us beyond the brink. Some of his war measures still affect us, like Daylight Savings Time. It was in the postwar world that Wilson proved a failure. His Fourteen Points were all splendid ideas, but Wilson was not well received at the Versailles Conference by his Allies since they had done most of the fighting and Republicans at home refused to ratify the treaty. Without US backing the League of Nations was never a viable entity and Wilson’s belief that he was the smartest man in the room doomed him, as did not taking any Republicans, even stalwarts like Henry Cabot Lodge, crippled any hopes he had of the US being major players at the conference or of getting the treaty ratified. Wilson’s actions are what led to the isolationism of the US up until World War II.
In June it looked like the race in the NL East was over as at one point the Nats had a 9.5 game lead and now find themselves in second place. Injuries crippled Z for a stretch but he has also been retooling on the fly to adjust to those injuries. For a team in contention, Brett has traded a lot of guys that would’ve pushed him to the playoffs like Quintana, seemingly most of his bullpen, Hanley Ramirez. The Nats can still win the division and it looks likely they’ll be one of the wild card teams. Will these trades be looked back on like the progressive legislation of Wilson or like his bungling at Versailles? We’ll find out in 2 months.
11 Reds---Andrew Jackson. If Old Hickory had never ascended to the presidency he would still be one of the more important figures in antebellum history. The hero of the Battle of New Orleans, the man who fought more duels than just about anybody, a self-made man of the frontier who rose from abject poverty and being orphaned to become a wealthy planter, general and senator. Jackson was cheated out of the presidency in 1824. He won the most popular votes, but in the only election ever decided by the House, John Quincy Adams won the presidency. Four years later, with voting rights expanded beyond property owners, Jackson won easily and served 2 terms. His inauguration party looked like something out of Animal House as well wishers trashed the White House and Jackson snuck away to stay in a hotel. The death of his wife after the election, which he blamed on attacks from Adams and his followers, made him a hard and bitter man. There may not be a more controversial president. His refusal to follow the Supreme Court’s decision in Worcester v Georgia led to Indian removal and the Trail of Tears, even though the Cherokee had almost fully assimilated into white Southern society and even fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. His war with Henry Clay and Nicholas Biddle over the charter of the Second Bank of the United States led to the Panic of 1837. His political war with Davy Crockett led to his election defeat and his road to the Alamo and immortality. When South Carolina threatened to secede over the tariff, Jackson threatened to invade the state. He fired his entire cabinet because the wives of his cabinet members shunned Peggy Eaton when she married Secretary of War John Eaton due to the fact she had previously worked as a barmaid. It was under Jackson that the spoils system thrived. It seems everything Jackson did was controversial. When he died, his pet parrot had to be removed from the funeral service at the Hermitage in Nashville because it was cussing throughout the service.
The Reds are in unfamiliar territory, sitting far back in the race for the NL Wild Card than any time in recent memory. We are all used to Ken getting way more out of his players than he should and anyone that has played him head to head over the years can attest to his DMB devil magic. He has a strong, deep lineup this year and his trade for Cole Hamels bolstered a suspect rotation. If he gets into the Wild Card game, throwing a legit ace like Hamels in conjunction with his lineup may have his opponent swearing more than Jackson’s parrot.
12 Royals---Bill Clinton. Was Bill Clinton successful because of his own ideas or because he had to work with a Republican Congress? People will be arguing that forever. Clinton won in 1992 thanks in part to the third party candidacy of Ross Perot. He stumbled out of the gate by pushing healthcare reform and putting his wife in charge of it. He signed the Brady Bill and NAFTA into law during his first term. On the foreign policy front, he missed opportunities to take out Bin Laden but did guide the US through operations in Kosovo to end genocide. Of course there’s the impeachment and the Lewinski scandal but we’re all old enough to have watched SNL back then and remember everything.
If Ian was really like Bill Clinton then we all know Jason and Pat would’ve died mysteriously by now. One of the newer members of the IBC and much like Bill Clinton made a splash in his first national exposure, Ian is in the thick of the WC race his first full season in the IBC, he’d probably be leading if Bumgarner didn’t decide it’d be awesome to go ride dirt bikes. The lineup is aging but building a rotation around MadBum and McCullers is a good start. The Royals should compete the rest of the year, if they fall out there is no going on Arsenio to play the saxophone.
13 Twins---James Monroe. The last president to the Revolutionary era, James Monroe presided over what is known as the Era of Good Feelings. The Federalist Party had died and no worthwhile opposition had formed, so he ran unopposed for his second term and won all but one electoral vote. During Monroe’s time in office, the Missouri Compromise happened, banning slavery north of Missouri’s southern border. Florida was acquired from Spain. The biggest policy of Monroe’s was the doctrine that bears his name. It established the US as the dominant power in the Western Hemisphere. Monroe presided over a turbulent time in American history and navigated those rocky waters. He also almost dueled notorious pussy Alexander Hamilton but Aaron Burr talked him out of it, later taking care of the task himself.
Jason is trying to make his 3rd playoff appearance, and it is an odd year so that bodes well for him. His mixture of veterans and prospects that are graduating to the big leagues is winning a lot of ballgames, but the American League Wild Card race is very tough. He is not running unopposed like Monroe in 1820. There is no Gudim Doctrine because right now the AL Central lies within Detroit’s sphere of influence. James Monroe’s deadline acquisition of Florida cemented his legacy. Jason could use a Florida for his rotation. Hell at this point he could use a Gadsden Purchase for his rotation because that is the weak link on this team, as the back end is filled with Guam and the Northern Marianas.
14 Brewers---John Tyler. The only president to not be mourned when he died (because he was a member of the Confederate House of Representatives), John Tyler was a ticket balancer for the Whigs that became the first VP to assume the presidency. With William Henry Harrison, the Whigs needed someone from the South to get southern votes and Tyler was the choice. With his death a month after taking office, Henry Clay assumed he would be the power behind the throne, but Tyler spent his entire term doing things his way, alienating the Whigs and never being accepted by the Democrats. Having neither party wanting to work with him limited Tyler’s accomplishments, but he made the annexation of Texas become a reality under Polk, started the process for the eventual annexation of Hawaii and had the boundary dispute between Canada and Maine settled. His most important accomplishment was merely assuming the presidency, establishing the precedent thereafter that when a president died in office, the VP became president.
The Brew Crew has been a pleasant surprise this year, competing for the first time in Jared’s tenure and still in the Wild Card race in August. The lineup is old, with only a couple starters under 30 and the rotation is underwhelming, so the fall to the back of the pack of contenders may continue. Given the strength of the Pirates, Reds and Cardinals and the age of this roster, selling off these pieces to contenders if the Brewers fade in the next couple of weeks may be the wise decision.
15 Yankees---Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln used vastly superior manpower and a huge manufacturing advantage to lead the Union to victory in the Civil War. The Homestead Act was also passed under his watch. Fun fact: the tyrant mentioned in “Maryland, My Maryland” is Lincoln, who imprisoned many Democrats in the state who would have favored secession before a vote could be held. While he maintained the Union at bayonet point, Lincoln left no real lasting legacy on the presidency from his actions as he was focused on the war effort for the entirety of his terms in office.
With 11 straight playoff appearances, JB’s squad was the standard bearer for excellence in the IBC. We all waited with baited breath for his old roster to finally crumble and his rebuild. Then he stole Bryce Harper, will have a monster projection from Aaron Judge next year and well, have you ever considered going to the theater for a night out JB? I hear “Our American Cousin” is pretty funny. The lineup will be loaded next year, a mixture of great young players like Harper and Judge and productive vets like Beltre and Zobrist, his greatest strength, the equivalent of suspending habeas corpus and putting political prisoners in jail without trial. The one weak point is the pitching staff, like Lincoln’s weakness was the back of his head.
16 Mariners---John Adams. The only Founding Father to have an HBO miniseries made in his honor is also the only Founding Father that was a shitty president. It is best to remember Adams for the good things he did during the Revolution and not for his term as chief executive, such as helping draft the Declaration of Independence, getting Holland to recognize American independence and serving in the Continental Congress. As president, well, the less said the better. The Alien and Sedition Acts made it illegal to criticize the government and he nearly led us into war with France. The only good thing he did was build the US Navy 6 frigates, name John Marshall Chief Justice and peacefully leave office after losing the election in 1800.
Brennan is a Founding Father of the IBC and like Adams, we must look at his early works as opposed to the current incarnation, excluding last year’s run to the World Series. While the M’s are above .500, they’re nowhere near a playoff spot this year and are playing out the schedule. The roster is filled with solid hands and prospects that never panned out like Byron Buxton. The M’s would be best served to trade off pieces that will help contenders, and there are a few of them and retool for 2018 or 2019. John Adams would’ve been best served by not signing legislation into law that reads like Donald Trump’s wet dreams.
17 Giants---William McKinley. The last president to have served in the Civil War, William McKinley won a hard fought election against William Jennings Bryan in 1896. McKinley is sometimes overlooked due to the fact that his assassination allowed Teddy Roosevelt to become president, but he was an able executive with far more successes than failures. McKinley put the US on the gold standard thanks in part to the Klondike gold rush in Alaska. But it is in the realm of foreign policy where McKinley made his mark. He annexed Hawaii after Grover Cleveland refused to do so. His Secretary of State John Hay instituted the Open Door Policy with China, allowing all nations to have free trade and eliminating spheres of influence. The biggest event to happen on his watch was the Spanish-American War and the acquisition of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines (he couldn’t find them on a map). American imperialism truly thrived under William McKinley and only an assassin’s bullet kept him from becoming a potentially great president. It was McKinley that built the Republican coalition that stayed in power until the Great Depression and it was under McKinley that the American economy boomed and territory expanded, but when you death brings Teddy Roosevelt into office, it is understandable that one gets swept aside.
The defending champs sit on the very edges of the NL Wild Card race. Back double digits in his division, the odd year Giants curse seems to be manifesting itself. With a Corey Kluber/Sonny Gray top of the rotation and middle of the order of Posey/Thames/Cespedes, the Giants should be contenders next year, but in trading Jake Arrieta they have officially waved the white flag on 2017. Will the Arrieta trade be the start of a total rebuild? The pieces are there to get a haul in prospects similar to American territory gained after the war with Spain.
18 Dodgers---Dwight D. Eisenhower. Ike cut his political teeth by being Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during World War II, having to massage the egos of men Patton and Montgomery. It would come in handy during the early days of the Cold War. Creating the Interstate Highway System changed the American way of life. Eisenhower created NASA in response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik. Eisenhower’s foreign policy, propping up pro-US governments in the Middle East would be a US hallmark for the next twenty-five years. The war in Korea came to an armistice under Ike’s watch. The Soviets knew better than to push Ike’s buttons to see what they could get away with because they knew he was the real deal from WWII.
Shawn created the IBC’s version of the interstate with the website. Those of us that can remember the early days of the IBC know how hard communication was before that. The Dodgers currently sit in the aftermath of their division titles, holding pieces that would help contenders but not having enough pieces to be contenders themselves and face a threat much like the emerging Soviet Union that Eisenhower faced in San Diego. Shawn better adopt some new policies pronto or else he may get pushed around.
19 Rockies---James Madison. The Father of the Constitution and author of the Federalist papers and Bill of Rights was probably the worst president of the Virginia Dynasty. Tasked with following George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, Madison had to fight an unnecessary war with Britain in 1812. Thankfully they were distracted by Napoleon and we faced their JV team or else American independence would’ve lasted a generation. Washington was sacked and burned and it would’ve been worse if not for a tornado that hit the British. Indian uprisings in the Northwest and South threatened the frontier. Only Andrew Jackson crushing the Red Stick uprising amongst the Creeks and the Battle of New Orleans after the end of the war saved American honor because 3 failed invasions of Canada and the Hartford Convention for secession by New England sure didn’t (hmm, secession is okay when New England is butthurt during a war but not okay when the South has economic protests during peacetime. Interesting).
Much like James Madison had his biggest impact before gaining office, Nate had his biggest impact before moving to Colorado. It has been nearly a decade since Nate made the playoffs, granted there was a stretch of that time where he wasn’t in the league. With Bren an emerging power in San Diego, there doesn’t appear an easy route to October for Colorado in the near future. The Rockies are partially through a rebuild and have some good young talent and a lot prospects on the farm, but they are a ways off from contending.
20 Astros---Calvin Coolidge. What do you think of when the Roaring Twenties comes to mind? Gangsters, speakeasies, flappers, other cool shit? Do you know who the president was throughout the decade? A total square. Coolidge was named VP in 1920 as an act of defiance by delegates at the convention who chose Warren G. Harding as the Republican nominee. After Harding’s death, Coolidge took over. His lassiez-faire policy awoke a sleeping economic giant and led to the economic boom of the 1920s and also allowed for the speculation that led to the crash and depression that followed. He granted Indians citizenship and signed the meaningless Kellogg-Braid Pact and otherwise believed the government shouldn’t intervene in anything, even natural disasters like the 1927 Mississippi flood. He was out of office and Hoover got the blame for Coolidge’s policies coming home to roost.
Jake would probably be considered the best GM to never make the playoffs, though he lost a one game playoff for the NL West crown once upon a time. Since then he has struggled, but we have a potential sleeping giant in the biggest city in Texas. There are some nice young building blocks for the offense like Benintendi and Gregory Polanco and the Astros has 8 picks in the first 2 rounds in this draft. With a good draft Jake could set himself up to be a powerhouse. We’ll have to see if he rises like the 1920s stock market or crashes. The policy that he implements will tell the tale.
21 Marlins---John Quincy Adams. One half of the first father and son duo to be president, John Quincy Adams was afforded every advantage in life and was a skilled diplomat. He was also batshit crazy. He went skinny dipping in the Potomac every day, okay fine that’s not too weird. He wanted to fund an expedition to the hollow earth through the North Pole. That’s pretty weird. Since he became president as a result of the Corrupt Bargain with Henry Clay, there were many who never thought he was legitimate in the White House. He was far more effective as a diplomat before living on Pennsylvania Avenue than as a president. When 1828 rolled around, Jackson destroyed him at the polls and Adams eventually went back to serving in the House, the only former president to do so.
Nils was a powerhouse in the IBC’s early years, serving as co-commissioner and being one of the few members of the league with access to the sim. This resulted in greatness, including the first IBC title for the NL. Since then Nils has fallen off considerably. He has moved around a bit the past few years, going to the AL, missing the NL style of play and finally settling in Florida and also settling near the bottom of the standings. Nils has never went full on rebuild and some of his stud prospects didn’t pan out so he is stuck currently waiting for his prospects to mature but not having a lot of pieces to sell off to contenders.
22 White Sox---Jimmy Carter. The peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia is the only president to have a much bigger impact on the world after he left office than when he was in it. Through Habitat for Humanity and other charitable endeavors, Carter has helped countless people around the world. His team in office, well, he may be the worst president of the 20th century. Carter was the governor of Georgia and a Washington outsider and after Watergate that seemed pretty good. Problem was Carter brought all of his Georgia cronies with him and didn’t listen to people that understood how Washington worked. He also had problems delegating, always thinking he was the smartest man in the room. While he did work out the Camp David Accords and get Israel to finally be recognized by one of their Arab neighbors, most of what we remember Carter for is bad. The Energy Crisis, the Iran Hostage Crisis, the malaise speech, giving the Panama Canal back. Jimmy Carter is a great man, but he was in over his head.
Jim is entering his 11th year in the IBC. He is no closer to contending now than he was then. He gave away the IBC version of the Panama Canal when he traded away Clayton Kershaw for John Danks and Alexi Ramirez. Jim likes to have White Sox on his team and it has been to his detriment. While the White Sox are young and have some nice players, there is nobody there that makes you think they’re getting out of the AL Central cellar anytime soon. Jim’s had more of an impact in the IBC through his permanent ExCo spot than on the field, much like Carter had more impact in humanitarian work than through the presidency.
23 DBacks. George HW Bush. Few men in history have had a more extraordinary life than George Bush. He was the youngest fighter pilot in the Pacific Theater in World War II and survived being shot down. Seriously go read number 1 on the list of the hyperlink, I’ll wait. He played in the College World Series, became a successful oil man, ambassador to the UN, director of the CIA, Vice President all before becoming president. As president, Bush was an excellent foreign policy president. He removed Manuel Noriega from power in Panama to allow the first democratically elected president of Panama to take office. He spearheaded the Gulf War and quickly drove Iraqi troops out of Kuwait. Maybe he should’ve removed Saddam Hussein from power but as we’ve seen, a strongman was needed to keep Iraq from falling apart. He actually won the war too quickly, because if the Gulf War was still going on during the 1992 election he wouldn’t have lost to Clinton, as no sitting president has ever lost an election during a war. Where Bush failed was domestic policy. His years in Congress and with the CIA gave Bush a great deal of foreign policy experience. But when his promise that no new taxes would be added to pay for the Gulf War had to be broken, the American people didn’t forget. High unemployment and a sour economy led to Bill Clinton defeating him in 1992.
After a two year hiatus, Gabe has returned to the IBC and much of his old roster was still intact. For a roster that was pretty much ignored for the last 3 years, Gabe still has some nice pieces and most importantly still has Clayton Kershaw. Plus in a move shocking to all of us, Gabe is actually attempting to have a farm system, which would be like Bush being good at domestic policy as well as foreign policy. Almost makes you want to throw up on the prime minister of Japan from excitement! Gabe has work to do but as we saw 11 years ago, if you give him a good team, he can win.
24 Cubs---William Howard Taft. Quick, name one fact about William Howard Taft! Did you say it was that he was a fatty that got stuck in a bath tub? You did didn’t you? Well he was also a fatty that was president and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, so suck on that! Taft’s entire presidency was marred by the fact he wasn’t Teddy Roosevelt, even though he was his handpicked successor. You can’t replace a man with that much charisma. Teddy was known as a trust buster. Taft broke up many more trusts than Roosevelt. But he screwed up when he fired Gifford Pinchot, who was head of the US Forest Service, which brought Roosevelt out against Taft and spelled his doom. TR ran as a third party candidate in 1912 and took enough votes away from Taft to allow Woodrow Wilson to enter the White House.
Pat has been in the IBC since the beginning but it feels like he has always been overshadowed by bigger figures, much like Taft was overshadowed by Roosevelt. Whether it was JB and Bren in the AL East or JP in the NL Central, it never stopped Pat from winning, including the 2008 title. Success has been harder to find in the Windy City than it was in Toronto. Pat his an ace in Dallas Kuechel, but his old strategy of putting a bunch of platoon guys out there and letting them mash and living off good projections isn’t working now. Curtis Granderson was dealt after 15 years, a full blown rebuild could be in the works. Pat is going to be stuck in the NLC cellar for a bit, but at least he’s not fat enough to be stuck in a tub.
25 Rays---James Garfield. James Garfield was a Union general during the Civil War, though he was elected to Congress during the war in a gerrymandered district in Ohio and started his political career. He was minority leader of the House once Democrats regained control after Reconstruction and won the 1880 election by a couple thousand votes, though through the old Republican tactic of “waving the bloody shirt” he secured the Electoral College victory easily. Garfield was focused on civil service reform and education for freedmen in the South, but was shot in the back at a train station in DC and died after a few months in office. We’ll never know what he would have accomplished, though his assassination did lead to the Pendleton Civil Service Act that ended the spoils system.
Matt is our newest member of the IBC. We don’t know much about him. Given his controversial trades of Andrew Miller and Joey Votto and the small return he got, so far he’s shot himself in the back. When that happened to Garfield, well-meaning doctors ended up killing him trying to get the bullet out, which led to infection. If Matt doesn’t start getting a better return on trades, no doctor in the world is going to be able to save his team.
26 Mets---James Buchanan. Considered by many to be the worst president in history, James Buchanan was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Heading the Democratic ticket in 1856 as a reward for years of loyalty, nobody knew sectional differences would split the country apart during the next 4 years thanks to the Dred Scott case, John Brown’s Raid and other factors. If he were president prior to 1856, he would be a forgettable Millard Fillmore or Franklin Pierce. He war against the Mormons in Utah is often overlooked as well. Buchanan did a poor job in office and his response to secession as a lame duck president was the blame Yankee agitators for causing Southern secession (he wasn’t wrong) and doing nothing to stop the Deep South from leaving the Union.
*If Andrew were still with us he would’ve gotten Buchanan since historians are fairly certain he was gay*
John had some initial success in the IBC when he managed the Rockies, barely missing the playoffs. Since his move to Queens, having to rebuild a team that was built for Coors Field, has been a longer and harder task than he probably imagined. He has some really nice prospects in his system and with Nick’s team getting older, Brandon and Nils being in just as bad of shape as the Mets, there is finally some upward mobility for John. He is doing a far better job of handling the hand he has been dealt than Buchanan did with his.
27 Red Sox---Grover Cleveland. The most badass nickname in presidential history belongs to Grover Cleveland, whose opponents called him the Buffalo Hangman from his time as sheriff of that city. The only president to serve nonconsecutive terms, Cleveland is considered the bright spot in the period of mediocre presidents between Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. In an era marked by corruption at the highest levels of government, Cleveland was honest. His first term he signed the Interstate Commerce Commission into law and in his second term he refused to annex Hawaii after the queen was removed from power by powerful American planting interests. Cleveland was an above average man in an unremarkable time.
After 4 consecutive playoff trips from 2011-2014, Pat has decided to embrace rebuilding. With George Springer and Cody Bellinger, the foundation for the future offense is there. Springer may be in decline before the scores of prospects Pat currently has are ready, but he should fetch a nice price if he is ever dealt. Patience and the passage of time are what is needed for Pat to be good again. His first 4 year term was good, he’s hoping that his next 4 year term in the playoffs leads to a banner on the front page.
28 Braves---Gerald Ford. The only president never to have been elected to executive office, Gerald Ford had the task of bringing the nation together after Watergate. Ford was a 2 time national champion at Michigan and turned down contracts from the Lions and Packers to go to law school. After serving in the House as minority leader, he was chosen to replace Spirow Agnew as Nixon’s VP due to his reputation in Congress for his honesty and character. When Nixon resigned and he assumed the office, he reminded Americans that “they were getting a Ford, not a Lincoln.” Ford’s approval rating was high, as people loved the fact he wasn’t Nixon and seemed like a decent man. That goodwill went out the window when he pardoned Nixon, as many thought it was the 20th Century version of the Corrupt Bargain. Ford was in over his head as chief executive and lost a close election to Jimmy Carter in 1976. Hindsight has allowed us to view Ford more favorably, as a man that sacrificed for his country and did the best he could in an impossible situation.
Brandon has been in an impossible situation for a while. His rebuild is still in progress, though it started in the previous decade. Trading away Bryce Harper and Chris Sale for without a much of a return has not helped. Brandon is being more active now and hopefully that will help the rebuild. Right now, this team is a Ford, not a Lincoln.
29 Indians---Herbert Hoover. An orphan that became president, if he didn’t have the shitty luck to have taken office right before the Great Crash, he would be a story all schoolchildren learned. He became a millionaire as a mining engineer and led relief efforts to ward off famine in post-World War I Europe. With the stock market ever rising and the Republican success of the Roaring Twenties, Hoover easily defeated Al Smith. Then the stock market crashed due to rampant speculation and the economy was in tatters. It was up to Hoover to fix it, but he didn’t believe it was the government’s job to do so. With a quarter of the country unemployed and local charities unable to help everyone in need, Hoover became the scapegoat. Jackrabbits became Hoover hogs, shanty towns became Hoovervilles and FDR whipped Hoover in 1932. In a different time and under different circumstances, Hoover could’ve been an effective executive but nobody could have handled the hand he was dealt and he couldn’t fold it.
Danny has been slowly building the Indians. Being in a strong division with the likes of Pat, Jason and Ian relegates the Tribe to the bottom of the division. Danny has drafted well and made some nice trades and has good, young arms on the way like Walker Buehler and Beau Burrows. There are nice pieces to build around, but right now this team is a Hooverville. Give it a couple years and Cleveland won’t be a shanty town any longer.
30 Rangers---Zachary Taylor. Old Rough and Ready had a far larger impact on American history as a general than he did as a president. When the Whig party wanted to win the presidency they nominated a war hero. The biggest hero to come out of the Mexican War, Taylor never voted before becoming president. The Whigs nominated him without knowing his political leanings and he ended up ignoring many issues the Whigs considered vital to their platform. His biggest accomplishment during his short time in office was his handling of the Mexican Cession, all of the lands acquired from Mexico after winning the Mexican War. At a 4th of July celebration, Taylor ate a bunch of cherries and drank a bunch of milk and since it was the 1800s that ended up killing him.
BP is in another rebuild. The two time IBC champion had a very successful rebuild upon entering the league which led to 4 AL pennants and 2 titles. Now BP has a well-stocked farm system and has to play the waiting game. Give it another 3 years and this team will be very dangerous, not dangerous enough to win something the size of the Mexican Cession, but an AL West title will be in the cards.
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