Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bulls Season Preview

The Bulls hope for a repeat in Season 14, having secured their first World Series title by dethroning the 4-time champs, the Cincinnati Reds. The Bulls return 21 of the 25 members of the S13 squad, which was transformed by several in-season blockbusters last year.

C- Ricardo Gongora will see a good amount of time behind the plate against RHP and as a late-inning defensive replacement who can keep Pedro Martin fresh for the playoffs. Martin's DUR is the only thing that keeps him from being recognized as one of the best C in the league.

1b- Horacio Lopez & Wascar Martinez will split time, with Lopez getting the majority of the at-bats (hopefully 450), with Martinez helping out in LF to get him around 300 Abs.

2b- Two seasons, two MVPs, one WS title – yeah, Albert Johnson was worth the max contract.

3b- Oswaldo Santos took home his 3rd consecutive Gold Glove award with the usual excellent offensive production. Tony Bolivar backs up at 3b, 2b and SS in a pinch.

SS- Esteban Galarraga won the Gold Glove in his first full season and was robbed of the ROY award. He'll hit 9th, score a bunch of runs and play outstanding defense as he grows and matures.

LF- Rafael Almanzar signed to provide some pop as a 2b/LF/1b platoon partner for Martinez & Lopez and a backup to Al's Johnson.

CF- Offensive superstar Ramon Ishida platoons with defensive superstar Albert Gonzales, at least until some kind of full-time option can be procured via trade.

RF- Harold Bonds looks to build on a very good first full season in the majors.

DH- The incomparable Frank Gates returns, his skills slowly eroding and certainly dropping his career OBP below .500. But since he'll still get 200 hits and 100 walks, he'll play until those ratings really start to slide.

SP- Venerable warhorses Britt Swindell , Dwight Johnson and Cam Anderson return to anchor the rotation. Anderson retained enough value after his late-season TJ injury to be-resigned to hold down the 3rd slot. Bobby Ray Fox returns to provide depth and a fresh arm, either in the rotation or as the mop-up man, with Mac Hampton as the “just-in-case” last man on the staff.

SP/RP- Bulls management has a fondness for guys who don't have enough DUR/STA to be starters but would be wasted in some other teams' bullpen from underuse. Chris Koehlert , Roy Little and Chad Sanders will combine to throw 450 innings this season, as tandem starters in the 5th spot, LRAs and SuA.

RP- Mixing & matching parts in the bullpen, the Bulls will look to Moises DeJesus , Raymond Marte Heath O'Brien and Tom Waters in the late innings. Waters will likely earn most of the saves, but Marte is probably the relief ace.

Overall, the Bulls look to be slightly worse from last season's champions. Downgrading from Winston Ulrich to the Martinez/Almanzar/Lopez clusterbuck might costs the team runs scored, while saving a few on defense. Billy Ulrich will be missed for his bat against RHP, as Gongora is not a good hitter. But the hope is the increase in PC and control of the running game on defense will help offset things. The pitching is just a year older...and prone to injury. But if everything goes well, and the young guys continue to improve, there's no reason Durham can't take home World Series title #2 in Season 14.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Royals With Cheese

This year's Kansas City Royals are largely unchanged from last season's 91 win team. The franchise finally won their first playoff game, but have not won a playoff series yet. The team will feature it's usual strong hitting and defense, with the hope that the bullpen can keep games from being lost in the late innings.

C - Steady Spike Pellow will see most of the action, while defensive specialist Quilvio Martin will help against lefties.

1B - Season 13 HOF inductee Dallas Payton will look to give the Royals a reason to sign him to an extension. At 35 years old, his power numbers will be down, but he will find a way to keep his average and OBP at normal levels.

2B - All-world Jesse Brennaman added a gold glove in S13, as well as another All-Star selection to go along with his ROY and Silver slugger awards in S12. Jesse looks to be a mainstay at 2B, perhaps forcing other prospects to find a different position to break into the majors.

3B - Chun-Lim Satou and Dustan Daneker will compete for playing time. One of these two may find their way to another team if the bullpen does not carry their weight.

SS - Defensive-minded Sammy Saenz will once again patrol the middle of the infield. Backed up by all around utility Esteban Valentin, both can contribute with the glove, as well as knocking in a few runs at the bottom of the order.

LF - Vin Veras signed a 5 year contract that will keep the 3-time GG winner in KC for a long time. With enough defensive skills to fill in all over the field, Vin finds enough challenges to keep the game interesting. Coming off of a career high in HR and RBIs, this 25 year old is looking to elevate his game to MVP levels. Marshall Hunter, the team speed demon will back up Vin, and will fill in at 1B when Dallas needs a breather.

CF - Season 13 proved to be Matt Pierce's breakout year, winning his first Silver Slugger award, along with his 3rd All-Star appearance. Posting 32 HR, 114 RBIs, and a BA of .350, tells us that the future is bright and steady in CF.

RF - Franchise poster boy Lonny Waltman led the team with 120 RBIs and rock-steady leadership. His statistics aren't jaw dropping, but his positive clubhouse influence keeps this team on an even keel.

Starting Pitching
Nicky Sierra - needs to improve on his 5.12 ERA
Vic Lee - The old war horse hasn't declined much, and is looking to impress for an extension.
Fausto Almanza - Time for the youngster to grab the reigns and guide this team to the playoffs.
Carl Baker - Another 34 year old veteran who hasn't seen much decline in his abilities.
Tomas Valdez - Led the team with 16 victories. Another 16 would help this season's march.

Closer - Jeremy Russell led the team with 20 saves and posted a 4.11 ERA. Hardly stopper material.

Alan Raush and Diego Molina lead a mediocre bullpen that may have to be supplemented if the performance does not improve.

My prediction for the Royals is an 88 win season since the pitching staff is too fragile to compete with the power pitching teams in the NL. This team will soon have to look at putting together a rebuild on the bullpen if they do not put together a strong season.

The Little Red Machine season 14

Although the Reds lost several key players to free agency this off-season management is still optimistic about the Reds chances of making the playoffs. Fans however are not so pleased with the new look Reds. Obviously the loss of multiple cy young winner Yamil Pulido as well as impact players such as Jeff Brooks, Lee Coleman and Bruce Kinney will make the Reds a less competitive team this year but if you listen to the front office rumblings they feel they still have a good core of players that can work well together and scrap out some wins.

The line-up for the Reds has an obvious different look.:

C - Chris Duran is back in what may be his final tour with the Reds and while still a potent threat with the bat and an above average defensive catcher he's shown he can't handle the everyday rigors of catching in the bigs so he'll be spelled often by Luis Maduro who by all rights could still be a #1 catcher on many teams. There have been rumors of a one year extension for Duran but so far that is just all talk. Duran may also wind up batting 2nd this year which will be a whole new role for the veteran.

1b - under-used and unproven Bret Perez will likely get a shot as the opening day 1b this year. His .396 average and more than respectable slugging through 101 ab's last year made him the favorite to be one of the power bats the Reds are looking for in the middle of the order. He'll have to work his way up to win that spot though. GM erff isn't overly impressed with Bret's defense but thinks he can ofset what is lacking there with his bat.

2b - Edgardo Castillo is a veteran who was brought in last year and still has a few years left on his contract. He looks like the likely lead-off man at this time, replacing Lee in that role, and if the Reds fall out of it may be the first potential trade candidate.

3b - Young Sam Charles late season injury last year coupled with the Reds new respect for defense (at certain positions mind you) forced a move from SS to third for Sam. The Reds are looking for a little more production at the plate from Sam this year.

SS - Howie Daily, illegitimate love child of Chris Sabo and Ozzie Smith, will likely be the opening day SS this year. He always forgets his bat in the locker and has to use those 18" mini bats but his glove work is to die for. We'll see how this new D at SS theory works out for the Reds.

LF - ROY winner Domingo Jose moves from 3rd to left this year in a move that just made way too much sense for these crazy Reds coaches. Looking for another big year at the plate and far less adventures in the field with him roaming left instead of manning third. He has been quoted as saying he'd like to do a wall climb and high five a fan though ala Manny.

CF - another potential trade candidate if the Reds lose it is Miguel Rodrigo. He'll be moving from second into center this year in an attempt to get a little more range out there in the small park.

RF - Roger Merrick returns to play right field. He also could be moved if needed but as long as the Reds stay in it they expect Merrick to not only put up good numbers but be a leader type for the younguns on the squad.

Bench: other than Maduro the Reds have veteran and HoFer Omar Nixon to roam left and first, Wolf Latham to PH and play a little 1b, Jeff Figga, a late season waiver pickup last year, and Chipper Montgomery, both of whom can play multiple positions well.

The Starting Rotation is what will make or break this team this year. With Yamil and Bruce gone and Reds management deciding to see what one more year would bring a last minute decision to retain the services of one Harry Owen was made. After him it's a little shaky and we all know that Harry's constant guitar playing tires his arm out every time he has to pitch so he can't go that deep.

Harry Owen
Fausto Alomar - needs to step it up
Ismael Azocar - same
Mariano Bourbon and either Victor Chavez or Leonardo Evans (resigned for questionable sentimental reasons)

either Leo or Victor
Jaime Phillips (option picked up
Jorge Owen (very dubious)
Santiago Mangual ( a stud that will likely be traded if need be)
FA pickups Rigo Piniero and Antonio Wanatabe
and closer Midre Davis who so far has been filling in quite nicely for the traiterous Mitchell Ray.

Look for the Reds to compete but don't look too closely as the shame of defeat will be bitter. Here's to introducing the little Red Machine.

Pirates Season 14 preview

After another playoff disappointment last season, the Pirates are ready to do battle in the NL North again. With the Reds losing Yamil, Pirates management feels the team has a fighting chance this year.
Key additions: Bruce Kinney, Don Benson, Clarence Valentin, Brandon Walton, Miguel Chavez, and Dallas Hyzdu
Key departures: Kent Heredia, Brian Baker, Marty Benoit, and Mariano Costilla
Losing Heredia hurts. Hopefully Kinney and Benson can pick up the slack.

The Pirates season 14 opening day roster:
C: Andy Reagan, backing Andy up will be: Happy Hayes
1B: Max Fuentes will start against righties, against lefties Dallas Hyzdu and Tim Roberts will get some at bats
2B: Luis Cruz moves back to 2nd this season to make room for Clarence.
SS: Don Gong backing Don up will be Juan Bonilla
3B: Clarence Valentin gets a shot at 3rd, Oswaldo Guillen will backup at 3rd and the OF
LF: Juan Carrasquel, spelling Juna from time to time will be: Tim Roberts
CF: Bernard Shelley, it's his job to lose
RF: Alex Richardson

Pitching Staff
SP1: Tim Loewer
SP2: Omar Elcano
SP3: Jimmie Torres
SP4: Bruce Kinney
SP5: Don Benson
Mop up: Miguel Chavez
Long Relief: Alex Espinoza he'll get some starts when needed
Setup: Javy Urbina, Albert Villafuerte, Brandon Walton, and Geraldo Rosa
Closer: Andres Coronado

Coming up later on in the season sometime after the all-star break will be: David Gomez. Management will find a spot for him, probably in LF and move Carrasquel to 1st.
Hard to make a prediction for this team, a lot depends on how Kinney does in PNC park. The team needs key contributions from youngsters: Valentin, Shelley, and Walton.

Monday, November 9, 2009

World Series Bout!

Well, the dust has settled and we have a rematch of last years fight, Durham Bulls vs Cincinnati Reds.
The LCS was quite remarkable as St. Louis couldn't hit and the injury to Everett Hill early in game 3 quickly led to the Tards downfall. So who will win in the rematch? The money lies with the Reds experience and know-how. But lets not forget that the Bulls have been here before and are hungry. The answer will be pitching, can the Reds shut down the Bulls offense. Can the Reds offense score enough runs to come out on top one more time? Stay tuned as this series could be remarkable.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Crystal Ball Picks Update

We are down to the LCS and it is time to look at my Crystal Ball picks at the beginning of the season. Funny how I can determine who will be in just by looking at one report and not even look at a teams roster. So. How did I do?

This is how I saw the AL at the beginning:
1. St. Louis Barracudas
2. Durham Bulls
3. Syracuse Sycamores
4. Anaheim Angels
5. Monterrey Corn Dogs
6. Detroit Detroit

Teams to fear: Las Vegas, Helena Hot Pockets, Austin Fightin' Armadillos, Dover Dung Beetles

Biggest prediction: The wild cards will have more wins than the #3 and #4 seeds.

What happened in the AL at the end:
Well, in the end it is St. Louis and Durham, so I must not have been far off. Syracuse ended up one game out in an unflattering East race. Detroit was the biggest disappointment as I thought they would have played better and Helena sneaking in was a big surprise. Almost got away with that wild card prediction also, lol.

This is how I saw the NL at the beginning:
1. Santa Fe Tard Parks
2. Cincinnati Reds
3. Atlanta Pork-N-Beans or Trenton Ball Hogs
4. Kansas City Royals
5. Chicago Cubs
6. Pittsburgh Pirates

Teams to fear: Oklahoma City Kevin Durants, San Antonio Stars, Cleveland Indians

Biggest prediction: Oklahoma City will win 70 games.

What happened in the NL at the end:
I really thought Santa Fe would be the #1 seed but still it is the Reds and Tards in the LCS. I couldn't make up my mind between Atlanta and Trenton, but an early injury in Atlanta may have spelled their doom. A lot of comments were made about the choice and placement of the Pirates and Cubs. In the end it was close and really right on the mark in essence. Okie City let me down by 4 games in the biggest prediction. The biggest surprise was the Texas Rangers and maybe Tarhorn07 should have been Manager of the Year in the NL.

The new updates will probably have no effect on the playoffs this season. Next season however could be a different ball game entirely. Will it actually have much effect at all? I have kept up with the forum and they seem to think so, but I really don't see that much of a change myself in all reality. To me the biggest thing is the power guys that carry a .250 average and hit 70+ homers will be a thing of the past, other than that I don't see anything that is really detrimental. I am not sure the proposed error rates will have that much of an effect in the end.

My Predictions
Who am I rooting for in the LCS? It is really too close to call in all reality but I like St Louis and Santa Fe in 6 games. I like Santa Fe to win it all. Why? If I use the same crystal ball method that is how it will turn out, but this is the playoffs and strange things happen. Did I just doom them both? Guess we will find out soon enough.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

GM of the Season


Erffdogg - Cincinnati Reds
  • On pace for a 12 win improvement
  • NL North champs
Wholck - Trenton Ball Hogs
  • On pace for a 8 win improvement
  • NL East champs
Kingjohndevi - Santa Fe Tard Parks
  • On pace for a 5 win improvement
  • NL South champs
Josepaco - Chicago Cubs
  • On pace for a 7 win improvement
  • Wild card

Cmchristians - St. Louis Barracudas
  • On pace for a 16 win improvement
  • AL North champs
Edham55 - Monterrey Corn Dogs
  • On pace for a 7 win improvement
  • AL South champs
Mal247 - Anaheim Angels
  • On pace for the same record as last season
  • AL West champs
Soxfan121 - Durham Bulls
  • Wild card

Friday, October 23, 2009

Injuns Prepare for Next Season

The Indians have been watching their minor league rosters most of the season. Many fans thought there would be some earth shattering call-ups but management thought better of it. The reasoning was simple, post season play.

The AAA team played with a lot of enthusiasm but little in the prospect department that can help the ML club. How they accomplished a winning record is beyond me and the winning onus can only be laid on the coaching staff. Well really, maybe everyone elses AAA team is that bad.

The AA team however is loaded with offensive prospects that may see ML duty next season. They have claimed the crown and the #2 seed with 3 games to go. Deivi Silva, Trace Wallace, Albert Valenzuela and maybe Virgil Lee have more than a probable chance at starting for the ML club next year. Though the chances are very good they will all start in AAA for part of the season next year. A lot of it will depend on the off-season and Spring Training.

The High A team captured the #2 seed a long time ago but is mostly comprised of good veteran rejects. There is a couple that have a future at the ML level but a few years away.

The Low A team has captured at least the #2 seed and is mainly comprised of the best rookies from last year and Internationals signed this year.

The Rookies have captured the #1 seed and how is actually beyond me in a sense. Though I have come up with a winning combination there, it's all in the draft.

The Indians plan is simple once all the minor league playoffs are out of the way. The poor players at AAA (most of them) will get their walking papers to somewhere in the minors or released out right. All other rosters will advance 1 level. No log jams here for a change.

The ML Offense/Defense
The offense just never hit together is the best way to describe the team this year. Maybe next year with a couple additions to the roster might help their woeful run production.

The Pitching Staff
Like most teams this year, the pitching staff has been a huge disappointment. Daniel Blackwell was moved to closer because he was being over used as a setup and Kory Governale just wasn't getting the job done effectively. Boomer Thomson, Posiedon Marte and Quilvio Olivares have been surprisingly solid in the pen. Brant Brede is the only starter that is relatively consistent. The Indians more than likely will be going after big FA pitching signing in the off-season if there is one as there just isn't much in the minors to help.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Post Season Race Is On!

It is the home stretch for the playoffs this season. This has been one of those seasons that could be best described as humiliating.

The NL
At the moment there are 6 playoff spots and 7 teams. Could an interloper suddenly make their presence known? The most frightful thing this Halloween is the fact that only 8 teams are above .500 and 4 of them are in the North.

Okay, The Reds lead, no surprise here as I predicted and the injuries won't cause them to lose the division but it could hurt come playoff time. The Cubs and their "woe is me attitude" are in second and a very probable wild card. The Pirates are quietly in third and a likely candidate for a wild card spot. The Brewers are bringing up the rear, but one of their patented playoff runs could be eminent.

The Ball Hogs are in first with no surprise and the Beans are right there as predicted. The Beans need to step it up if they are going to the playoffs as they either need to win the division or overtake the Pirates. The Indians have languished all year with no hope in sight this time around. Somehow I knew that was coming at the beginning of the year. There is no reasoning behind their lackluster play other than the fact it is the only team I have seen that can have 16 hits in a game and only score 5 runs.

The Tard Parks are having a great season in their Little League Stadium. We can't say they are winning because of that either as they have won more on the road than at home by a slim margin, they are just plainly good. Can they break their jinx in the playoffs this year? I figured the Marlins could have been vying for a playoff spot this season but that didn't manifest.

The Royals have things pretty well wrapped up but just doesn't seem all that encompassing this year. The Durants are streaky but can still make the 70 win projection.

Still at stake: The #2 seed between the Tard Parks and Ball Hogs. The East between the Ball Hogs and Beans. The Wild Card race between the Beans, Pirates and Cubs.

1. Reds
2. Tard Parks
3. Ball Hogs
4. Royals
5. Cubs
6. Pirates
7. Pork n' Beans
8. Brewers

The AL
Like the NL, the AL could have a bigger Fright Night for Halloween. To put it bluntly, there are two teams then there is everyone else. However the race for the other four spots is on and anything can happen. This is HBD and we know anything can and will happen.

The Barracudas hold the top spot with only the Blue Jays nipping anywhere close to their heels. The Blue Jays are in the running for the last wild card spot. Can the Barracudas hold them off as predicted? I really thought this division would be much tighter than it is.

The Dung Beetles hold the top spot in this ho hum wacky division for now. The Athletics or Sycamores could suddenly get hot and make a quick run and claim the top spot.

This season the Corn Dogs hold the top spot as we all can hear the quiet yelling and screaming from Edham55. The Bulls are right there of course and won't give up that easily. Who will win and who will be the wild card, the race is still on.

The Angels have flapped into first but the Hot Pockets are closing the gap quickly all of a sudden. With the 51's still hanging around, it could be a three team race to the finish line.

Whats at stake: The North between the Barracudas and Blue Jays for the #2 seed and likely #6 seed. The East where three teams have a chance at the division title and the #4 seed. The South where the two behemoths go head to head for the #1 and #5 seed. The West where three could still battle it out for the #3 seed and #6 seed.

1. Corn Dogs
2. Barracudas
3. Angels
4. Dung Beetles
5. Bulls
6. Blue Jays
7. Hot Pockets

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

RoY update part 2. National League.

Part 2 of Roy race update. This is done before Simmy decides the RoY candidates at which time (part 3) will likely only deal with them.

Standouts in the NL include:

Sam Charles - Cincy - Sam was on the list last time. Sam has raised his average from .252 to .277 since our last update. He has 26 home runs and 76 rbi thru 411 at bats mainly hitting in the 7 and 8 holes for Cincy. he also has 10 stolen bases.

Greg Woods - OK - Woods average has dropped some from .272 down to .264. not a huge drop but we wanted to see it go up to warrant strong consideration. He has had 409 at bats. i picked him to be on pace for 60 hr and 120 ribs for the year and with 34 home runs currently and 81 rbi he might hit the rbi mark but the home runs seem unlikely. Still a very strong candidate he's sure to collect some votes. add 8 stolen bases to his resume too.

Richard Anderson - TEX - Richard is an addition to the list. He has had 396 at bats for Texas in which he's hit .260 with 26 home runs and 72 rbi. Very similar numbers to Sam Charles in slightly less at bats. He doesn't have the steals tho (sitting on 1) and plays a corner outfiled position instead of shortstop. Might have an influence on the voters, might not.

Domingo Jose - Cincy - Ok so this writer is obviously biased (and frequently drunk) but Domingo is my pick right now. Only 364 ab's due to a short DL stint Jose is batting .321 (down a tick from his .329 last time) and has 29 home runs (2nd to Woods among NL rookies) and an impressive 99 rbi (first among NL rookies) No steals due to his lead feet, i don't think he needs them to be leading the pack right now.

Harry Cora - Florida - One wonders why Cora was sent down to get 123 AAA at bats this year as good as he's been at the ML level. New to the list this time he only has 291 ab's due to the AAA time but in those limited ab he's hit .309 with 23 homers and 69 rbi. I'd like to see what he could be at if he spent the whole year in the bigs. probably on top right now. He'll definitly be a factor in the end and in fact i'm torn between him and woods for 2nd right now. His 20 steals are an added bonus too.

I'm going to add 2 pitchers to the list this time. Diego Nunez of Florida and Ivan Johnson also of Florida.

Diego is a starter who thru 16 starts has only a 5 and 3 record but a 1.21 whip, 3.19 era and 65 K's make him stand out among other rookie SP this year. Ivan, as a set-up guy, may not garner many if any votes due to that but he has an impressive 1.12 whip, 2.62 era and also 65 K's thru 82 innings.

Erff Rankings as of now:

1. Jose Domingo
2. Greg Woods
3. Harry Cora
4. Sam Charles
5. Richard Anderson
6. Diego Nunez
7. Ivan Johnson

dropped from the list:

Spike Pellow
Curtis Farrell
Ivan Durazo
Don Cintron
J.C. Welch

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Power Rankings

1) (1) Cincinnati Reds - 5 - 5 over their last 10. Come on Erff you can do better than that.

2) (2) Monterrey Corn Dogs - Recently lost 2 of 3 against the Austin Fightin' Armadillos. Edham must have cried a little after losing a series to the Armadillos.

3) (4) Santa Fe Tard Parks - Really coming on strong over the 2nd half of the season.

4) (3) Durham Bulls - Added ace Britt Swindell to a relatively mediocre staff. Nice addition.

5) (5) Trenton Ball Hogs - Other than the Reds the Ball Hogs are as good (or better) than any other team in the NL. Which doesn't bode well for my team.

6) (6) Chicago Cubs - Nice .600 record but still 12 back of the mighty Reds.

7) (7) Pittsburgh Pirates - Relatively disappointing season for the Pirates thus far. Assembled arguably the best rotation in the league, a solid lineup, but still sitting in 3rd in the NL North.

(10) St. Louis Barracudas - Great team that is a small step behind the CDs and Bulls in the AL. Decent rotation, but lacking a true ace.

9) (8) Atlanta Pork N Beans - Celebrating and rioting in the streets ensued in Atlanta after taking 2 of 3 from the Reds.

10) (UR) Anaheim Angels - Adding Pasqual Martinez and Doug Cambridge was a smart move. Great bullpen.

Dropped Out:
Kansas City Royals

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Push/Pull Update

For the most part, the Push/Pull rating is accurate. 63% of the time, my team hits to their push/pull rating as can be figured out from the box scores. After keeping track plotting the entire team for a while which becomes quite intensive and did it only til draft time as I stopped to do the draft review and house remodeling got in the way.

The only surprising thing was Home Runs as 60% of them tend to go to Center Field regardless of a players push/pull. Well I do have one that tends to hit them opposite field off Pesky Pole.

Now here is a funny tidbit though it would be better if it was a Timbit and coffee. I bought a new TV for the living room in the remodeling quest. Everything seemed to go wrong in this aspect in a way. I had a 60" projection TV that was 10 years old, takes up a big space and can only be placed in two inconvenient places and has been worked on several times during its illustrious career. Thank goodness for maintenance contracts as the parts cost more than the original cost of the tv I think. I bought a Sony Bravia to take its place, much smaller but fits the room and budget much better. Went to set it up and the cable box wouldn't power back on. So off to the cable company for a new box. Went to hook up the 5 pin monster of a cable and the pin labeling don't exactly match up. Had to call the cable company to get the new box synced anyway and asked them and they said the color codes should match up, well guess in a way it would have if their pin bank was in a single cluster and marked right in a way you can read it. So then I go to hook up the DVD player, another mess as on the old TV I could hook it into a three pin component slot. Not this time, only one special bank would work. All well and good almost, I need that bank for the Wii. Off to Wally World for a HDMI cable. Wouldn't you know it, there has been a run on HDMI cables lately so had to go to Radio Shack who only had two left. Now I am a proud owner of a HDMI cable that cost more than the DVD player but it works fantastically. Hopefully I don't run into any problems with the Wii when I get around to it. Why a Wii, ask the wife.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Power Rankings #2

1. (1) Cincinatti Reds - Much better than I expected. Impressive 12 game winning streak finally ended by the Tards.
57 - 19

2. (2) Monterrey Corn Dogs - Every bit as good as the Reds. Maybe better. My pick to win it all.
55 - 21

3. (3) Durham Bulls - Tons of offense, no pitching. If they can find some pitching the Bulls would be tough to beat.
50 - 26

4. (8) Santa Fe Tard Parks - Finally turned things around after a mediocre start to the season.
48 - 28

5. (6) Trenton Ball Hogs - The loss of Jeff Wolcott hurts, but they continue to win.
44 - 32

6. (10) Chicago Cubs - Very good team that needs to find a little more offense if they plan on catching the Reds.
44 - 32

7. (4) Pittsburgh Pirates - Great rotation, decent lineup, crappy bullpen.
43 - 33

8. (UR) Atlanta Pork N Beans - Need to find a way to score some runs.
42 - 34

9. (5) Kansas City Royals - Great lineup and decent pitching. I predict they will move on up before the season ends.
43 - 33

10. (UR) St. Louis Barracudas - Decent pitching and hitting. Defense is a little weak, but does it really matter?
42 - 34

Dropped out:
Cleveland Indians
Tampa Bay Rays

Friday, September 25, 2009

Season 13 Draft Review

As I said in the Commentary I am doing the draft review a different way this time around. Instead of doing it by selection, I am going to do it by team in alphabetic order.

1. Anaheim Angels: With no first round picks of any kind, their first pick was at 94. They selected Jim Hinchliffe, a SS that I cannot see and has yet to sign. The remaining picks were of little value at the ML level.

1st Pick: Unknown
Overall: D+

2. Atlanta Pork-N-Beans: Atlanta had 10 picks total in the first 5 rounds. They had no actual first round pick but did have 4 sandwich picks. Their first pick at #41 was Corey Cashner. A CF that can play the position adequately and hit for average but has little power. For the most part they went after pitching and did pick up a ML setup man with pick 46 and several fringe pitchers. Is money still a problem? For what they gave up the supplementals wasn't that good.

1st Pick: B+
Overall: B+

3. Austin Fightin' Armadillos: With the 5th overall pick they chose Sammy Hitchcock. A power PC defensive catcher and the best position player in the draft. With only three picks and picking up a couple minor league fillers at best.

1st Pick: A+
Overall: C

4. Chicago Cubs: With the 24th pick the chose Jayson Tewksbury, a pitcher that I can't see. With three sandwich picks, they did pick up a pitcher that could have ML potential if he develops but a risky pick that is probably severely overpriced and a 2B (sic LF) that may have ML potential. The second round saw them take a SS that could become a bench utility player due to his defense. Value gained was almost nil.

1st Pick: UNK
Overall: C-

5. Cincinnati Reds: With the 30th pick they chose Diego Ayala. A catcher whose defense won't be great but fits the Reds theme of good power hitting. With two sandwich picks and an extra second round pick, they didn't fair badly but nothing tremendous. Of course they normally workout for the Reds for some reason.

1st Pick: B+
Overall: B+

6. Cleveland Indians: With the 23rd pick they chose Dean Boone. A left handed starting pitcher with ML potential, he may have a less than desirable vsR but has the control, FB and pitches to make up for it. Did pick up some probable ML bench players in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

1st Pick: B
Overall: B-

7. Detroit Detroit: With the 14th pick they chose Peter Jang. A potential ML shut down closer and should develop nicely. With a sandwich pick and a 4th and 5th round pick they picked up nothing in real value.

1st Pick: A
Overall: C+

8. Dover Dung Beetles: With the 19th pick they chose Chris Fontenot. A 2B that I cannot see. Having 2 sandwich picks and 8 total picks in the first 5 rounds, pickings were slim. Other than a possible ML pitcher in the supplemental and a catcher in the 5th round that I think is a steal was the only real value.

1st Pick: UNK
Overall: C

9. Durham Bulls: With their first pick at 61, they chose Tino Rupe. A possible ML closer though I rarely have success with very limited stamina pitchers. Nothing of any real value drafted.

1st Pick: C
Overall: D

10. Florida Marlins: With the 10th pick chose David Satin. A pitcher that I can't see. Rumor has it that he may not sign. With the 17th pick they chose Rick Owens. A 2B/CF that has good range but glove is weak. Has the speed and great hitting ability to be a premier lead off hitter at the ML level. Tried to find some pitching in the supplemental and 2nd round and may have came away with a potential long reliever. Then tried to find a future catcher but found that effort turned fruitless as they came away with a possible DH in two tries.

1st Pick: UNK
Overall: B-

11. Helena Hot Pockets: With the 8th pick they selected George Donatello. A right handed pitcher of dubious quality with decent splits and two good pitches, will it be enough to support such a high pick? Going after pitching was their theme and a couple may have ML potential but nothing outstanding.

1st Pick: B+
Overall: B-

12. Kansas City Royals: With the 26th pick they chose Andre Sturtze. KC went out on a risky limb knowing he probably wouldn't sign, along with the supplemental. They both want a lot of money even to be considered. The question remains whether KC thinks they are worth it and if the money is available? With the remaining picks, not much value.

1st Pick: UNR
Overall: C-

13. Las Vegas 51s: With the 21st pick they chose Josh White. An outstanding powering hitting 1B. Could easily be hitting homers at the ML level after two or three minor league seasons. Remaining picks could have some impact at the ML level but in limited capacity. The backup catcher in the 5th round could be a nice addition one day.

1st Pick: A
Overall: C+

14. Los Angeles Duffers: With the 7th pick they chose Rob Key. A very good power hitting speedy LF that could probably play RF also as well as 1B, a very good combo. With the 33rd pick they chose Richard Cedeno. A good hitter with very little power but lots of speed. Listed as a RF but I think too weak to play the outfield, to play him at 1B may not be an option and could be a conundrum at some point. The supplemental and remaining picks didn't garner much in value even though they chose from the HS level.

1st Pick: A
Overall: B-

15. Milwaukee Brewers: With their first pick at 28 selected Johnnie Donovan. Doubtful that he will make it as a starter but could at long relief. The next pick was at #31 and took Vic McPherson. He could make it as a closer but his control may cost him that job and end up as a setup. With 9 picks the Brewers did a very nice job, the 2nd round pick is very oddly interesting.

1st Pick: B-
Overall: B+

16. Monterrey Corn Dogs: With their first pick at #45 they chose Harold Dingman. Although a possible defensive standout at 2B/CF, hitting may be another story. Not much else of value was picked up along the way.

1st Pick: B-
Overall: C-

17. New York Mets: With the first pick at 6 they selected Dwight Ramirez. Keebo is right, with the money spent I would demand a refund. Ramirez isn't all that bad but nowhere near #6 consideration. The rest of the draft was so-so to ugly.

1st Pick: C+
Overall: D-

18. Oklahoma City Kevin Durants: With the 3rd pick they selected Vance Knowles. Will make it probably as a #2 or #3 starter, could throw hitters for a loop with his awkward pitching style. Went out on the risky limb and may have came up empty handed.

1st Pick: B+
Overall: C

19. Omaha Lancers: With the 9th pick they selected Darren Lowry. Can play 2B or CF and may wind up in CF. His low contact could be problematic along with his health. Picked up a very nice DH in the supplemental and some possible ML pitchers later, last but not least is a Gold Glove SS that may not hit well..think he needs glasses....

1st Pick: B+
Overall: B

20. Philadelphia Athletics: With the 15th pick selected Alfredo Barrios. A very defensive SS and could easily be a Gold Glove winner. At the plate he makes contact with some power but may not be well hit, may wear a "Pitcher Beware" sign. With 8 picks they went way out on the limb and it snapped as some of the picks want more money than they are worth.

1st Pick: B
Overall: UNR

21. Pittsburgh Pirates: With the 21st pick selected Larry Levis. Iffy as a starter but may provide long relief duties. With the 29th pick they selected McKay Malloy. Actually better than the first pick, but the stamina may also relegate him to long relief at the ML level. Having 8 picks and four in the first round, it seemed an effort to try and bolster the pen for the future and may have succeeded early.

1st Pick: B-
Overall: B

22. Salt Lake City Multiple Spouses: With the 2nd overall pick they chose Winston Maxwell. I had a hard time deciding who was the best pitcher in the draft, but Winston was my #1. Doesn't have that real great finishing pitch but will suffice as he throws hard with off speed breakers that will leave hitters whiffing. Cy Young capable if he progresses well and definitely a #1 starter. Snuck in a surprise position player in the supplemental, but where to play him could be tough, maybe weak 3B or RF. With five picks did a good job.

1st Pick: A+
Overall: B+

23. San Antonio Stars: Since the GM is MIA and the picks were all High School, even though I can see the first two (not sure how well), will pass at the moment.

1st Pick: UNR
Overall: UNR

24. Santa Fe Tard Parks: Selected Doug Rath with the 27th pick. Although I don't consider him an outfielder per se as his range is too low, he does have the arm however. Should hit well, especially righties, but not in the long ball category. In the supplemental they picked up another RF that is almost a mirror image of the first. Other than that it looks like decent minor league fillers.

1st Pick: B-
Overall: C-

25. St. Louis Barracudas: With the 16th pick selected Dizzy Fitzgerald. A catcher that is better at the plate than behind it for sure. Defense will be so-so at best. At the plate though should bat for average and garner an even number of walks to strike outs with some power. Should make a great #2 slot hitter. With the 18th pick they selected Collin Kirkland. A good defensive 1B that has all the power in the world. Has a good eye, but may not be strong enough against righties to be real dangerous. Picked up a fringe LF in the supplemental.

1st Pick: B-
Overall: B+

26. Syracuse Sycamores: With the 12th pick selected Victor Milliard. Should become a good PC catcher though he might have a little trouble in the theft department to be considered truly outstanding defensively. Doesn't have the big power, but the eye, splits and contact will cause him to walked a lot and a very good #2 slot hitter. As the 4th position player taken and second catcher already displays how weak the draft was in the hitting department. Needing catchers seemed to be a theme in Syracuse as two more defensive PC catchers were selected in later rounds that could become good backups.

1st Pick: A
Overall: B-

27. Tampa Bay Rays: With the unlucky 13th selection, Paul Pecina. A good starting #3 pitcher in my books, his position of his 3rd pitch could be undesirable but his control could mask it well. The second pick may over the cost window as they went for pitching and didn't fare well but I do like the 4th rounders chances as a LR.

1st Pick: A-
Overall: C+

28. Texas Rangers: With the 1st pick overall and needing a franchise pitcher, they selected Paul Berroa. I had Berroa ranked second just because Maxwell had better pitches, but Texas may not have seen both. Berroa will be just as good and could vie for a Cy Young one day with the great splits and outstanding control. With the 32nd pick they bolstered their pen by selecting Adam Anderson who could become a shut down closer if he stays of the DL. With the 34th pick selected Kirt Blasingame who could also help the pen in as a setup man and possible closer if he signs. Taking pure power hitters that may or may not have a chance at the ML level rounded out their draft.

1st Pick: A
Overall: B

29. Toronto Blue Jays: Their first pic was at 39 and selected Walt Washington. He may have a good chance in a LR role in the future. Other than picking up a possible setup man in the third round, the draft had slim pickings from the HS realm in the late stages.

1st Pick: B-
Overall: C

30. Trenton Ball Hogs: Taking a chance with the 25th selection was Elvis Wainhouse. He dropped so low due to wanting to play B-Ball but could be a big pick up albeit costly if he signs as he was the 3rd best pitcher in the draft. Their 2nd round pick (90) was also a bit of a shocker as I expected him to go much sooner but he does have some unwanted issues. Three possible solid bench players rounded out their draft.

1st Pick: UNK
Overall: C+

31. Vancouver Canadians: Taking Ross Banks with the 11th pick gives them a very nice closer of the future. With the remaining picks trying to find some pitching help did come up with some possible talent.

1st Pick: A+
Overall: B

32. Washington D.C. Senators: With the 4th pick selected Todd Walker. Not sure he was worth a top 5 pick, as his pitches are a bit lackluster but all the other tools are there to be good. Not fairing well looking for pitching in the later rounds.

1st Pick: B-
Overall: C

Season 13 Draft Commentary

Since most found this draft rather bad, I have decided to do the review a different way. I really didn't find the draft all that bad as I have seen much worse. Was more strange than bad. To start, there were almost as many supplemental picks than actual 1st round picks. There is a lesson to learned from that as many of those sandwich picks were owned by winning GM's. However, was there value in their extra draftees for what they gave up?

Just like the trade I did with Milwaukee, I had to think about that one for a bit, as Huang will be a FA next season and probably a Type A. He didn't want to resign and he never played to his potential in Cleveland either. I got a good player that was actually a big upgrade at another position that I really needed badly and I didn't have to pay any money this season or next.

As the Indians looked over their draft board initially. I was surprised as many others were I imagine that there wasn't many outstanding position players and few good ones either. Since we didn't spend any money on college, that should have meant that High School was loaded. Even odder was the fact that I came up with 13 pitchers, mostly starters, that had first round potential. I was really aiming for a setup type when I ranked them, but actually got a low end starter with the 23rd pick which was a surprise and better than the setup man I figured I was going to get. I really didn't have a position player I would have considered first round material except for a catcher that was drafted 12th. The better part was my next two picks, I actually picked up two position players that was in the top 4 on my board. Either they were not on other teams boards or other teams had different plans I am not sure, but it made me happy. Though I didn't consider either one as first round picks, I did consider them supplemental or early second round picks. To me they were better selections than those drafted before them by a long shot.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The International Market

Miguel Berroa signed by Oklahoma City for $17M seemed like the real deal, however he blew out his elbow and is gone for the season.

David Tanaka signed by Florida for 12.9M could be good if his health holds out.

Victor Seanez signed by Dover for 9.6M may be a cheap pickup, though his makeup was a turn off by competing clubs.

Giomar Johnson signed by Las Vegas for $8M is a decent hitter and best of all can play any position well.

Luis Bennett signed by Omaha for $7.9M is a Giomar Johnson look-a-like. Indians Management sends their best regards to the wino however as they got a nasty message and got no chance to up the ante.

Enrique Saenz signed by New York, Mets that is, for $6.8M could be a setup man one day as closer looks very doubtful.

Juan Montero signed by Las Vegas for $6M and may have scored a closer with their second foray into the market.

Polin Medrano signed by Las Vegas for $6M and might make a funny (good one day awful the next) 5th starter or long reliever.

Kiki Serra signed by Kansas City for $5.7M and could be a good starter but his pitches was a turnoff by most competitors.

Lariel Jacquez signed by Philadelphia for $5.6M should be a shoo-in for a setup job if he develops.

Geraldo Gonzalez signed by Helena for $4.5M and could be a steal at the moment.

Daiki Xaio signed by New York, Mets that is, for $4.3M and found an overrated SS sic 3B.

Junior Blanco signed by Oklahoma City for $4M and has great potential if his health holds out.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

NL Cy Young

Yamil Pulido - Reds - We all know who this guy is. On pace for #8. The rest of this list is just a formality. Its his to lose.

Johnny Collier - Canadians - Great young pitcher. Statistically a bit behind Yamil in pretty much every category. A 2.30 era, 1.18, and 5 wins in 9 starts is impressive. Should be a candidate in his 1st full season in the majors.

Omar Elcano - Pirates - Everyone knows who this guy is too. One more complete game than Yamil, but a touch behind in most other categories. Definitely should be a candidate.

Harry Owen - Reds - Impressive 7 - 0 in 9 starts. On pace for a great season, but I dont see him keeping it up all season.

Pinky Clayton - Kevin Durants - He will collapse at some point in the season. Great start to the season though. Probably won't be in the running at the end.

Tim Loewer - Pirates - His 4 - 3 record is not great, but the rest of his stats are as good anyone on the list. Well not quite up to Yamil. I predict he will be the dominant pitcher in the NL next season if Yamil ends up in the AL.

Xavier Hart - Cubs - Returning to form after 2 good but not great seasons. He will probably cool off at some point this season. Should be candidate, but a notch below Yamil, Loewer, and Omar.

Alex Ayala - Cubs - Solid young pitcher. He may fall off at some point opening the door for a few other guys to take his spot.

Good pitchers off to a slow start:
Pedro DeSoto
Kent Heredia
Bubba Rose

My take:
1. Yamil

2. Elcano
3. Everyone else

Friday, September 18, 2009

Rookie of the Year update

now that we are close to a third of the way through the season let's see how our rookies are doing.


In the NL we have 8 candidates that stand out right now.

Sam Charles - Cincy - Through 45 games Sam has 11 home runs and 29 rbi's playing short for the Reds this year but his average is only .252 and he's committed 16 errors thus far. If he wants to be there at the end he'll need to raise that batting average some and keep hitting homeruns and driving in runs as well.

Domingo Jose - Cincy - Currently on the 15 day DL before he was hurt Domingo put up a .329 batting average with 9 bombs and 35 ribs thru 35 games. he'll be back soon and if he keeps up his pace hitting in the middle of the Reds order he has a chance to be near the top of the NL ROY list at the end of the year.

Spike Pellow - KC - Spike is hitting well. At a .382 clip in fact. add 5 home runs and 22 rbi and Spike has to get consideration, as of now at least. He's played in 43 games thus far but with a 73 durability he won't be able to keep up that pace. He should definitely be a candidate at the end of the season though.

Greg Woods - OKC - Greg Woods is going to be a monster. He already has the ratings to top this list though with a .272 batting average right now he may need to raise that considering some of the other rookies higher averages. his 18 home runs and 40 rbi top the list though and he's done that through 45 games. If he keeps it up it should put him over 60 hr and 120 rbi for the year.

Curtis Farrell - Trenton - Trenton has 2 candidates also as of now. Curtis is one hitting .316 with 7 dingers and 23 steaks through 43 games. He's been stealing some bags too which helps. Not bad but it doesn't put him on top yet.

Ivan Durazo - Trenton - Ivan is Trenton's other guy. Hitting .318, similar to Curtis, he has more rbi with 31 but only 3 homers though only through 35 games. I'd put them close to even right now which means they are both in the running but not in the lead.

Don Cintron - LA - Like Greg Woods, Don is playing for a team with a losing record which is not usually a factor for voters in a ROY race but who knows with these voters. Also like Spike and Ivan Don is a catcher that hits well. Currently with 10 homers, 24 knocked in and batting .314 through 45 games he's definitely in consideration.

J.C. Welch - Florida - The 2nd shortstop on this list and doing a bit better than Sam, J.C. is batting .315 with 6 home runs and 29 rbi through 38 games. He's also on the DL like Domingo but expected to back soon. His hitting will only get better as he progresses so look for him to climb the board this year.

If i had to rank them right now i think i'd go:

and leave the other 5 about even.


Not as many on the list in the AL.

Helena has 3 rookies in the running...

Vicente Estrada - Helena - Although his average is down at .258 11 homers and 33 rbi's through 45 games put Vincente in the running. He also has 8 steals which will help.

Stephen Henley - Helena - perhaps not one you'd expect to be in the mix Stephen gets consideration due to his 24 ribs, 2 home runs, .284 average, and the kicker.... 39 stolen bases so far through 45 games. We may have a record in the making which may influence some votes come ballot time.

Cookie Olivares - Helena - Considering the scouting report on Cookie noone is sure how he's hitting .380 but he is. add 4 home runs and 19 rbi through 43 games and he gets a look. Can he keep that average up long enough to top the pack though is the question.

Abdul Riggs - Salt Lake - Those ever lovable Multiple Spouses have a couple guys on the list the first being Abdul (i want 100 multiple virgins) Riggs. 45 games played and only 1 home run, 20 rbi and a .277 batting average makes him a contender but not a favorite.

Tom Fordham - Salt Lake - The "veteran"" of the bunch Tom is already 27 years old but is a decent hitting 1b. It can be hard to vote for a first baseman for an award like this but Tom is trying to get some votes with his .368 batting average, 10 home runs and 28 rbi through 40 games played.

Brendan Hartman - Omaha - Brendon is batting .272 with 9 home runs and 18 rbi through 45 games. decent for sure but not stellar. we'll have to see how he fares at the end.

preemptive ranking:

and the rest...

We do have 4 pitchers in the AL and NL combined that are eligible for ROY but so far none have impressed this voter enough to be considered. The lone exception there may be George Obermueller of Tampa Bay who is having a decent year thus far, 3 - 0 3.86 era and 39 K's but i'll wait till the 2/3rds mark to see if he is keeping it up.

Next update the lists will be trimmed and there may be new additions as well as there were several guys getting significant playing time that could make a run.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Power Rankings

1) Cincinnati Reds - They lose Rocky, one of the leagues best hitters, but still keep winning. Will they win their 5th? Probably.
28 - 9

2) Monterrey Corn Dogs - Quite possibly the best team in the league. Should be a great battle between the Bulls and CDs for the AL South title.
27 - 10

3) Durham Bulls - Best lineup in the league. Pitching is good, but not great. Could be tough to pass the CDs without an upgrade to their rotation.
26 - 11

4) Pittsburgh Pirates - Probably the best rotation in the league. Still think they will will take the NL North.
22 - 15

5) Kansas City Royals - Up and down all season. Better than their record suggests.
22 - 15

6) Trenton Ball Hogs - Props to Wholck. The Ball Hogs have improved in each of the last 5 seasons. On track for a franchise best winning percentage.
23 - 14

7) Cleveland Indians - Solid team. A little more offense wouldn't hurt.
22 - 15

8) Santa Fe Tard Park - Got to wonder if the move to a tard park has hurt more than it helped.
22 - 15

9) Tampa Bay Rays - As good as the Rays have been they are still sitting in 3rd in the AL South. They may finish with a .600 or better record and still finish 3rd.
21 - 16

10) Chicago Cubs - Another good team in a strong division. The cubs will probably finish 3rd in their division.
21 - 16

11) Dover Dung Beetles - Honorary member of the power rankings. Find some pitching and this likely a top 5 team.
19 - 18

HOF Votes

Vote Count:
Dallas Payton - 13
Mitchell Ray - 9

Bryan Mcdowell - 5
Randy Lamb - 2
Mel Wagner - 2
Dwight Johnson - 2
Chris Hardy - 2
Javier Santayana - 1
Quinton Schilling - 1

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

HOF Candidates

Chris Hardy

Career Accomplishments:

  • Single season HR record (104 HR)
  • All-star

Quinton Schilling

Career Accomplishments:

  • 431 career HRs
  • 1 all star

Mel Wagner

Career Accomplishments:

  • 187 wins
  • 2nd all time in wins
  • 3 time all star
  • CY Young winner

Bryan McDowell

Career Accomplishments:

  • 352 saves
  • 2nd all time in saves
  • Career leader in save percentage
  • 7 time all star
  • 6 time fireman of the year

Randy Lamb

Career Accomplishments:

  • 504 HRs
  • 3rd all time in HRs
  • 2 time silver slugger

Juan Castro

Career Accomplishments:

  • 499 HRs (323 SBs)
  • 5th all time in HRs
  • 2 time all star
  • 3 time silver slugger

Javier Santayana

Career Accomplishments:

  • 3rd all time SBs
  • 492 SBs
  • .310 career BA
  • 4 time all star
  • 1 gold glove
  • 1 silver slugger

Dallas Payton

Career Accomplishments:

  • 492 HRs
  • All time leader in RBI
  • 1521 RBIs
  • 6 time all star
  • 2 time MVP
  • 5 time silver slugger

Rocky Spencer

Career Accomplishments:

  • 382 HRs
  • .338 career BA
  • 4 time all star
  • 2 time silver slugger
  • 1 gold glove

Mitchell Ray

Career Accomplishments:

  • All time save leader
  • 2nd in career save percentage
  • 401 saves
  • 8 time all star
  • 5 time fireman of the year

Dwight Johnson

Career Accomplishments:

  • 178 wins
  • 3rd all time in wins
  • 1 CY Young
  • 5 time all star

Todays History Lesson

Ever wonder who was the lowest pick to ever grace the ML? Who was the lowest pick that made a big impact on the ML? Well now, I was curious, so here they are.

Lowest pick: Miller Boyd who played 2.103 seasons for the NY Mets and was drafted in round 23 with the 768th overall pick in season 2. He played in seasons 5 thru 8.
Edgard Camacho was a season 2 21st round 702nd pick that played 1 season with the old Syracuse franchise in season 7.
Harold Allen was drafted in season 5 Round 24 pick 763 by Washington and has played off and on for 1.017 seasons and is still on their AAA affiliate.
Rocky Buchanan was drafted by Austin in season 5 round 22 with the 723rd pick and has 1.042 of ML service and is still active on their AA affiliate.

Biggest Impact: Augie Holbert drafted in the 17th round with the 564th pick by Las Vegas in season 5. Entering his 5th season in the Las Vegas pen has become a premier closer.
Harry Butler was drafted in the 18th round with the 576th pick of season 4 by the old Kansas City franchise, now Tampa Bay. He plays DH (if you call that playing) where he has amassed 170 hrs and a .292 average in 5 plus seasons.
Olmedo Moreno and Vinny Thurman were both drafted in the 17th and 18th round of season 4 and play for the Washington.
Oldest Active: Hector Campbell of the Texas Rangers who was drafted in season 2 round 17 with the 560th pick by the old Norfok Mets sic Cleveland Indians.
Butch King was drafted in the 17th round with the 552nd pick in season 2 and is currently with Durham in AAA. He was a DITR in the Cleveland franchise and would have been a super pitcher if he was given a decent durability to go with his outlandish projected pitching abilities.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Another Blue Chip Intl Signs

The Oklahoma City Kevin Durants signed Miguel Berroa for $17M. Miguel comes to the Oklahoma City franchise from San Cristobal, DO. Many teams had an eye on him as the price was driven way up. He is just about everything you want in a prize pitcher. However, he is delegated to the pen, many hoped he would be a shut down closer, though I don't exactly see him as one. His stamina is good but his durability is low for the position. His pitches are also a bit light for the closers job and a bit out of sequence. However, in the a setup role he should be dominating. Grade A+

Friday, September 4, 2009

Intl Signing

Although the reports was a big splash as HBD thinks he is a Blue Chipper, this reporter doesn't exactly see it. At any rate, the Helena Hot Pockets are proud to announce the signing of Geraldo Gonzalez for $4.5M and a MLB contract. My scouts tell me he can't cover CF all that well but can catch it if he gets there. If he wasn't left handed he would be great in the infield but that relegates him to the outfield as he is much too strong for 1B. Hitting is somewhat mediocre having a decent eye and very good contact, but the splits and power are nothing special. His push/pull indicates he will hit some long singles, doubles and an occasional dinger to the corners or a lucky gapper. Grade B to a C+

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Blue Chip IFA Signs

Polin Medrano became the first blue chip IFA to sign in season 13 as the Las Vegas 51s signed him for $6M.

Fielding: Can't cover a bunt, can field if a ball is hit at him, can hold runners at first.
Physical: Very Good.
Pitching: decent control, good vsR, GB neutral, pitches are good but less than appealing for a movement pitcher. Good chance he will give up a lot of gopher balls.
Grade B-.

A little about the grading system for an IFA. The letter grade is a comparison as to where he could have fell in the amateur draft, the marker indicates effectiveness. Still very subjective as to how I interpret what my advance scouting tells me.

A = Top 16 pick
B = Second tier pick
C = Supplemental
D = 2nd Round pick or later

Plus = Very effective
None = effective
Minus = less than effective

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Reading Victor Seanez

Okay sports fans, time to tear apart an IFA using my 20/10 rule and Victor Seanez looks like an ideal candidate. He looks like he could be a good left handed ML pitcher one day. My scouting is $10M in the INTL department so the projected can't be trusted all that much.

Remember you have to trust the current ratings.
Durability - the increase is 10 points, so that should be fine and obtainable and hopefully correct.
Patience - an increase over 20 points so I question that, but with the starting point of 57 it doesn't matter that much, 10+ point gain will be good.
Health - is high already with no increase, so that is already okay.
Makeup - is low with not much gain and is a huge turnoff, of course this could be due to scouting. Even with a 10 point increase is far below what I like to see for a pitcher.
Stamina - almost a 30 point increase and 20 points is acceptable.
Control - 20+ points but expect between 10 to 15 max and is acceptable enough.
vsL - is already good enough and any increase will do.
vsR - shows a 20 point increase, a 10 point increase is not enough as you really would like to have 13 to 15 minimum. Not out of the way though but could be tough to get.
GB - could be a little light for my taste but is in the GB range already.
Pitches - Has 4 decent pitches and a rarely used throw away but they really don't get much better.

His potential shows to be an overall 83 by my scouts, but after applying my rule his potential is about a 75 max and a long way from that 83. He is only going to gain about 5 points total from fielding and general and about 10 from a pitching standpoint. The worrisome point is his makeup which will hurt him the most.

If the scouts are wrong about his makeup and pitch potential than what is shown, then he becomes a very good buy. The question is, do I take a chance? Well, with the money I have got to play with, there just isn't much reason to go after him above his opening price as the war could go to $10M+ plus easily. I made an initial offer to mark his appearance then withdrew it. The reason is to see how many cycles he goes through before signing. If he gets a good offer, he may sit there hoping for a bidding war for three days or it could be three days of bidding war. Which will it be?

Ok, now that he has signed I can tell you what my advance scouting sees at 16.

His Overall shows to be a 77, not far from the 75 I predicted.
His Durability turned into a negative misdemeanor and the 10 points is no where to be seen.
His Patience seems to report well, not as high as before but still over 20.
His Makeup showed an increase of an unhelpful 3 points that is not existent, so that is no help.
His Stamina dropped to a 24 point increase and 15+ might be the best he will develop.
His control turned out to be a 15 point increase possible, chances are good he will 10.
His vsL was already good enough and shows a 17 point increase, probably about 10 to 12 will be max.
His vsR was a problem and the projected dropped to 14 points acceptable if he gets there, the drop as I expected.
His GB potential dropped 2 points not much of a big deal really as 5 should be easy to get.
His pitches was a bit of a surprise as pitch 1, 2 and 4 actually increased in potential a little but really needs to max them out and that could be tough for a couple of them.

The Dover Dung Beetles signed him for $9.6M, I actually expected a little more than that but not much. If he develops well, he could be a very good starter for the money as I think it was a good buy. Grade A

For those wondering, he showed up on the PM cycle on 9/1 and signed signed 9-6 on the PM cycle which makes it 29 cycles if I counted correctly. I wonder how many cycles he set there with the high bid?

Durham Bulls Preview

After a disappointing loss in the WS to erff's Reds in S12, the offensively gifted Bulls return to the title hunt with some new arms and a couple long-awaited arrivals.

C- Pedro Martin (vLH) and future HOF'er Billy Ulrich (vRH) will split the catching duties. Defensive wizard Ricardo Gongorra lurks in AAA for the stretch run & playoffs.

1b- Richard Yamada was shopped quite heavily by Bulls management in the off-season, but he returns to play mostly 1b with a bit of LF. Future HoF'er Posiedon Warden will back up Yamada at 1b and provide some PH during interleague play.

2b- Reigning MVP Albert Johnson returns to 2b for another season of superlative offensive production.

3b- Two-time Gold Glover Oswaldo Santos brings the leather & lumber back for another season of .315/.360/.500 production.

SS- Esteban Galarraga supplants S12 GG winner Albert Gonzalez at short. Gonzalez will back up the infield and get some at-bats against LHP. Bulls management is very excited to see how Galaragga develops as a major league SS - his fielding looks above-average and his offense should be just fine at the friendly confines of Bull Parky.

LF- The underrated Teddy Bibby will get most of the time in left, being backed by fellow DUR-challenged super-subs Warden & Ramon Ishida.

CF- Jeff Brooks remains the gold standard of the league in CF, despite his pending FA and decline in DUR. He'll be backed by Ishida and Gonzalez in the late innings of blowouts.

RF- Prized youngster Harold Bonds played most of the 2nd half in Durham last season after playing a key role in the S11 playoffs. Hopes are that he can replace the contributions of the departed Juan Castro.

Starting Rotation:
SP1 - Hub Strange is not the best pitcher on the Bulls staff, but his value lies in his tremendous DUR/STA. He will be skipped around the rotation in an effort to limit everyone else's innings and we'll hope for similar production to the last two seasons.
SP2- Cam Anderson had a great season in S12 and will be counted on to deliver similar results in S13.
SP3- Victor Guzman might have trouble finding the strike zone from time to time, but with the depth of options behind him, Bulls management is hoping to limit his awful outings and coax a league-average line out of him.
SP4/5/6 - Jake Owens, Bobby Ray Fox and Chad Sanders round out the rotation. Owens & Fox will get most of their starts against teams Bulls management feel are advantageous for them. Sanders will be given a chance to show last season in DOV was a fluke but might end up in the bullpen because he's best suited for it among these three options.

LRA- Tony Gong comes to DUR from LA with the hope that he can handle the job of "keep the offense in it" between the 3rd and 6th innings.
LRB- Louis Bunch comes over from TRE and will be given lots of low-leverage innings in blowouts.
SuA- Raymond Marte & Cy Bruske will handle the 6-8th innings. It'll be interesting to see who Sparky uses more, as they will have identical settings.
SuB- Jaime Philips was a key contributor to the S11 Bulls but blew out his TJ ligament for the 2nd time in early S12. He recovered not a single point (despite recent updates by Site Staff) and will be entrusted with the late 4 run leads and back-up closer duties.
ClA- Moises DeJesus just gets the job done at the end of games and will be nailing down things in the 9th again this season.

Bulls management knows Monterrey got better this off-season and despite a historic offensive season in S12, barely held off the Corn Dogs. Austin is much improved and Tampa remains a threat with Ken Shumpert on the hill. There's no way that Durham wins more than we did in S12 - it's just about impossible. So, we hope for 95 wins and another chance at the post-season.