Friday, February 27, 2009

Hot Pocket Preview (Spoiler alert: Keep frozen until you put them in the microwave)

After the worst season in the franchise history, the San Diego Dirt Bags decided to get the hell out of dodge and were rechristened the Hot Pockets of Helena, Montana (the ultimate small market team). That's not the only change this season. A busy offseason of trades, Rule Vers, FA leaving (I'm not paying $5.3m in arb for a bad 1st baseman) and promotions has left the Hot Pockets only a slight resemblance of the former DB's.

The Team
Catcher - Last year's starter was traded away for the rights to up and comer Louie Neruda. He will join Jeffrey Fleming in a platoon situation behind the plate.

1st - Last year's starter left to languish on the FA worries, because young gun Jamey Perez gets his shot in the bigs. Rule Ver Walt Mills will backup.

2nd - Thank God for the Rule V draft because both starter Phil Ganzel and backup Sean Carlson were hijacked from other teams.

3rd - Will Jackson will get a shot at 3rd this year...last year I had about 245 3rd baseman on the roster, but trades and other moves have made this position a little thin.

SS- Another high (over) priced FA let go, another young one (Larry Williams) steps up to fill in while other prospects mature one more year.

OF - The staples (Lee Coleman and Trevor Stevenson) are joined by two acquisitions from last season (Don Garcia and Doug Wise)

The Starters - A vastly improved starting 5 includes a big IFA from last year (Carlos Espinoza), a IFA who just got promoted to the big leagues after ripping up the minors (Benji Alfonseca), a trade acquistion (Al Blanco) and two solid performers from last season (Brady Garcia and Pedro Bolivar).

The Pen - The biggest glaring weakness this year is the pen. Not a lot of great relievers on the team unfortunately. However, John Savage, Adam Riggs, Jerry Goodwin, Daryn Lambert, Russ Thomas, Earle Magadan and Lawrence Mitchell will do their best to hold it down when the HPs get a lead.

Prediction - Last season was a Florida Marlins-esk blowup that saw a lot of established players leaving and a lot of new ones coming in. This season looks to be much brighter, but we won't be popping champagne in all likelihood.

Predicted Record: 75-87 (a 10 game improvement from last season)

Team Song: Obvi...the Hot Pocket jingle

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Season 11 Pirates

 Season 11 will be a battle for the Pirates in the very tough NL North
division. The Pirates opening day roster for season 11 is:
C:  Raymond Strong had another solid season
2B:  Marty Benoit might lead off this season
SS: Matt Wise steady vet back for another season
3B: Jesus Quixote aquired in a trade with Vancouver
CF: Efrain Yoshii  signed him to an extension will probably hit 2nd
3 Tim Loewer solid first season for the youngster
4 Jimmie Torres had some high and lows in his first season
5 Jake Owens a mentor to some of the young pitchers on this team
SuA: Max Warden free agent signing
SuB: Charlie Smith fan favourite
Fans and management are hoping for a competitive team that is able to challenge for a wild card
spot this season. Right now i'd say were on the outside looking in, but with a few lucky breaks
who knows.

Season 11 Reds overview

After winning back to back WS ala the 75-76 Reds fans wonder if this Reds team will hit a 14 year WS drought like their real life counterparts. As the roster stands this team should be close to as good as last season but will it be enough. GM erff would not even comment as to a guaranteed division win this year which has some fans questioning his confidence.

As usual the Reds made several trades this off-season in attempt to improve not only the big league club but bolster the farm system as well and even one lone FA signing which is a rarity in Cincinnati.

The most shocking and somewhat controversial move was sending Tony Torrealba to Santa Fe for prospects Jose Domingo, Charles Chang and Moises Pascual. RP Jorge Owen and CF Raymond Hughes were also included and sent to Santa Fe. "Although Tony's bat will be missed we feel we have adequate power throughout our line-up and we've improved our defense up the middle with a couple other guys we've got in the mix for 2nd base." GM erff had to say. "We felt that this is a good move for the future of this club. Chang should fit in well in our rotation soon and we have high hopes for Domingo in the near future. Pasqual may end up being that leadoff guy we've been looking for for a while now." Some fans are not too sure.

Other key addition were catcher Luis Maduro who will be used to back-up Chris Duran, the role FA Ryan Holtz held last year. Two guys were aquired to battle for the second base opening. Ugueth Cruz and Jerome Sobkowiak were both aquired for prospects and Jose Guzman was brought in with Cruz to be a solid defensive shortstop in the late innings. Another head scratching move was the Carlos for Carlos trade. Santiago out and Ortiz back in had Reds fans puzzled until they woke the following morning to find that Orlando Delgado, the promising RP prospect packaged with Ortiz, was promptly include in a deal which netted Veteran ace Paulie Sanders to fall in behind Yamil as the Reds #2. Spot Starter Harry Owen and prospect Mel Woods were also sent to Louisville in exchange for Paulie. Most fans believe this to be the move of the year and Sanders jerseys are already flying off the rack. However a select few believe the Yonder Diaz trade to be the move that will make this team invincible! Cubs fans were in outrage after hearing the news.

The Reds lone FA signing was veteran RP Stephen Fonville who should help fill the holes vacated by the Owen boys.

predicted opening day line-up:

Ugueth Cruz - 2b, so far he seems the front runner over Sobkowiak
Miguel Rodrigo - CF
Rocky Spencer - LF
Omar Nixon - 1b
Chris Duran - Catcher, to be backed up by Maduro
Roger Merrick - 3b, should be interesting to see roger play 3rd.
Julio Uribe - SS
Carlos Ortiz - RF

if Merrick struggles at third you may see prospect Denny Terry brought in and Merrick back in right. another option that may be available is moving Uribe to 3rd if another quality SS can be found.



Starting Rotation:
Yamil Pulido
Paulie Sanders
Mariano Borbao
Bruce Kinney
??? possibly Victor Chavez


Midre Davis
Harry Torcato
Charles Kinney
Doug Cambridge
Stephen Fonville
Tom Waters
and closer Mitchell Ray.


record: 105 - 57 first place in the division. 118 will likely be unattainable again.
moves: Merrick back to right, Ortiz benched or waived, Terry or Chipper called up.

"We're optimistic," GM erff said, "but you have to realize we have the Cubs and Brewers in our division. Hell even the Pirates could be trouble this year. They've got a good team over there in steel town. That Loewer kid can throw boy. I say we'll win it and we got the team to win it but I reckon it'll be mighty tough again here in the NL North. As long as we play baseball and keep DJ's sister out of the damn clubhouse we'll be fine. She's the Cubs problem now anyways."

Brewin' Up A Preview

After dropping to a franchise-low 70 wins in Season Eight, the Brewers re-tooled and have won 85 and 94 games in the two seasons since. Last year, Milwaukee was a Wild Card team and upset the highly favored Astros before falling to Atlanta.

The question this season is, without any major additions to the roster, can the Brewers still be a playoff team? The answer is yes. Last year, the Brewers were second in the National League in pitching and defense. With the same lineup in place, figure those trends will continue. However, look for a slight improvement on offense.

Last Season: 94-68 (.580), 3rd place NL East; Wild Card
Key Additions: None
Key Losses: Tommie Paul, Patsy Wheeler, Louis Hume
Will Make the Playoffs If: Veterans play to form and three youngsters round out the roster with solid performances.
Will Miss the Playoffs When: Younger pitchers take step back in development. Top of the lineup continues issues with OBP.
Team Song: "Safety Dance"

By Position:

C: Hector Ramirez dropped off in production (from 49 HRs to 21). New long term contract should bring him back to 40-HR level.

1B: Enigmatic Pedro James alternates weak seasons with good ones. He's due for a good one after a paltry 19 HR last season.

2B: Another enigma, Pascual Berroa dropped from 18 HRs two seasons ago to 7 last season. Plays solid defense and can run well. Plays every day.

SS: The Brewers prefer glovemen at SS, and Pablo Romero is a former Gold Glove winner. He also is the most consistent offensive performer in the League, statistically. Hi Hatteberg is the backup and also plays good defense.

3B: Jimmie Torres is one of the all-time Rule V picks. He has 102 HRs the last two seasons and can mash.

LF: 27-year old Zachrey Jerzembeck had an MVP-type season (.324, 51, 139, 22 sb, 124 runs).

CF: Gregg Presley is emerging as a more consistent performer. Needs to get on base more at the top of the lineup.

RF: A brutal start limited Matthew Hollins to 387 ABs last season. But he rebounded and finished with a .905 OPS. With a quicker start, he has 40/40 capability.

SP: Hard-luck Donald Satou is an ace by any definition. Won only 11 games (2.68 ERA), but excelled in the playoffs. 23-year old Joaquin Villano won 14 last season. Edgard Espinosa is just 25 and won 15 games. Cookie Sardinha is 67-44 in 5 seasons. Ozzie Chang is the 5th starter and made the All-Star team last season.

RP: A very deep bullpen. Five set-up men pitched 48-75 innings. Cooper Benes finally gave the Brewers a dependable closer, and he converted 32 of 35 save opps.

Fighting for roster spots:

Juan Gonzalez is a Rule V pick who could stick if he gets on base and steals bases.

Horacio Aquino is a versatile youngster who can hit a little.

Eswalin James projects as a decent major leaguer, but is still just 19.

Ismael Soriano is just 20, but looks ready to be a 4th outfielder.


Coaching: B+. Josh Harris is in his 7th year as the team's bench coach, and all 7 coaches were with the organization last season (6 in the majors).

Offense: B-.

Pitching: B.

Defense: A-

Outlook: 95-67. NL Wild Card.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Colorado Rockies Preview

With the Franchises 3rd city change in 7 seasons, the Rockies remain an offensive force wherever they would play. A deep, veteran lineup, rotation, & bullpen make this a team capable of going far in the playoffs and also of catastrophy. GM kb after years of trying and being conservative for the most part, took a risk and increased payroll 20 mil. The Rockies aquired some aging, but quality veterans to add to an already strong team. Still with a high training budget to keep injuries to a minimum, the medical staff has been slashed and the Rockies will need a little luck to make it through unscathed. Core players Spud Hoyt, Charlie Stone, & Rico Dali are in their prime or entering their prime so the franchise expects to compete as long as they have their trio to build around. Gm kb always tends to make efforts to keep his core players and moves around the fringe guys. Barring catastrophic injury this team should finish with a win total in the 90s for the next 3 or 4 seasons as all are their vets are signed and of high quality. A championship caliber team with aspirations for the title.

Here are your season 11 Colorado Rockies:

C- William Hernandez & Vicente Unamuno are a two-headed beast that will share time between catcher, DH, & 1b. Hernandez will start as he calls the best game. While neither has the range to play anywhere but catcher, thier bats dictate both will be in the lineup as often as possible.

1b- John Bang & Andrew Spencer will man 1b when Hernandez or Unamuno aren't playing there. Bang will get lefties and Spencer righties. Both are legends in their own rights in the twilights of their careers. They are both great hitters.

2b- Spud Hoyt will be the starting 2b. Hoyt is the team captain, an all star, and leader in many franchise all time categories. Just signed to a 5 year extension, he will be on the franchise for all of his productive years. Had his best all around season last year.

3b- Carlos Santiago will start at 3b. Santiago was aquired in a last minute deal with cincinnati shoring up a hole at the position. Aquiring Santiago was costly, with young reliever Orlando Delgadoand vet OF Carlos Ortiz going to the Reds. The Rockies expect 2 big years out of Santiago while he trys to gain steam in negotiations for his last big contract at 35.

SS- Charlie Stone is the shortstop and franchise jewel. An All star in his first two seasons, narrowly missing the rookie of the year in season 9. The Rockies expect the same for many years to come. Has some chance at MVP.

LF- Dallas Payton is an MLB legend and HOF canididate with tons of hardware and no doubt more to come. What more can be said?

CF- Sidney Kotsay is a solid veteran CF who may qualify for the HOF by the time he is done. Signed to a 2 year contract as an FA he earned a 2 year 7mil extension with his play at the age of 34.

RF- Juan Castro is the RF moving over from 3b. Castro is a long time slugger probably surpassing 450 hrs this season and signed for 2 more. He is a HOF canididate and will no doubt surpass 500 and has an outside chance at 600 career HRs.

DH- Wascar Sanchez will be the full time DH. With a move to Colorado and able to focus entirely on hitting, the Rockies expect some huge numbers from this guy. My guess as the season 11 silver slugger/all star DH.

Utility/Bench- Kerry Thurman & Derrick Lackey are solid, veteran utility guys who could start on a lot of teams and are great insurance in case of injury. Both are very good hitters to boot.

Starting Pitching- Rico Dali,
Dick Reed, Don Benson, Chad Sanders, & Nicholas Perry comprise the rotation. Dali will be mentored by the other 4 solid veterans taking a lot of pressure of him and opening the door for a big season. While unspecatacular, the starting 5 from top to bottom are very solid pitchers.

Bullpen- Long Relievers Randy Halladay, Raymond Marte, & Frank Kim, will bridge the gap to setup men Louis Bunch, Bill Roth, & Shigetoshi Martin. Miguel Owen will return for a 3rd season and close. He has 2 straight 40+ save seasons.

Overall the pitching is a solid, veteran, staff that keeps the ball in the park. They are durable and talented. While not the best staff in the league they are certainly one of the most solid top to bottom. Almost every pitcher is a vet with a proven track record of success.

The Colorado Rockies have every intention on returning to the playoffs and hopes that the veteran additions can put them over the top and win that 1 more game to get them into the World Series. This isn't the end of the line as stated in the beginning, but the franchise has a 2 or 3 year window and then will have to rebuild. Hopefully Gm kb has done enough.

Atlanta Pork N Beans Preview

After last seasons impressive regular season the PnBs made several off season acquisitions that should without a doubt guarantee them their 1st world series title. Not really. As a matter of fact they made some really dumb moves like signing Homer Lieberthal as a backup catcher.

C - Max Lima - Impressive power but struggles against RHP.

1B - Zoltan Mercedes - Arguably one of the best 1B in the league.

2B - Raymond Neal - Other than his 2 trips to the DL last season he had pretty solid season. He will probably spend some time at CF too.

3B - Slash Kroeger - Had the best season of his career last season.

SS - Vernon Rooney - Last season he really struggled at times. Impressive in the playoffs though.

LF - Junior Bocachica - Absolutely crushed the ball over the 1st part of last season only to disappear over the 2nd half. Cant complain too much though about a player who hit 50 HRs.

CF - Rich Munoz - I took Northerns advice and signed Munoz. Hopefully he can help the PnBs who struggled last season against RHP.

RF - David Guardado - Came back nicely last season after a pathetic season 9.

Pedro Fernandez - Should see some time at CF and 2B. Most importantly though this is his last season under contract.

David Colin - Same as Pedro except his contract doesnt run out until season 13.

Jimmie Pascual - Recent addition. Not sure how he will fit in. May end up starting at 3B.

Homer Lieberthal - Backup catcher who cant play catcher. Should see some time at 1B and LF.

Starting Pitchers:
Bubba Rose - Quite possibly my favorite fake player. Not necessarily a great pitcher, but very good.

Britt Swindell - Didn't bring me that WS ring like I was hoping. Still one of the leagues best starting pitchers.

Russell Spence - His durability absolutely sucks, but a very good pitcher.

Michael Ming - He miraculously managed to keep his era below 5 last season.

Gary Wyatt - Eats up a lot of innings.

LRA - Max White - The typically reliable White was horrible last season. Dont trust people with the last name of White.

LRA - Groucho Rogers - He was stinking it up in a setup role last season, so he was moved to LR. Doesnt really have the stamina, but the change seemed to work.

LRB - Archie Obermueller - With a health rating of 33 it is only a matter of time before he dies.

Setup A - Dan Stearns - Could probably close for 90% of the teams in the league. This season he will shift between setup and closer.

Setup A - Willard Farley - Eats up a lot of innings out of the pen. A relaible but unspectacular reliever.

Setup B - Heath O'Brien - Absolutely horrible last season.

Closer - Rick Dickson - After shifting to the closer role halfway through the season he was a perfect 14 for 14 in save opportunities. His durability limits him though.

Power Rankings

1. Cincinnati Reds - Should we start calling the Reds "the Big Red Machine v2"? The Reds have done a superb job of replicating the Reds teams of the '70's. Last season they won their second consecutive world series title, and had their 10th consecutive 100+ win season. They made several trades this off season that appear to be geared toward the future.

2. Monterrey Corn Dogs - As impressive as the Corn Dogs are now they only stand to get better. The CD's are filled with talented young players. Last season they managed to win an AL title, and had their 3rd consecutive 100+ win season.

3. Houston Astros - The Astros put together an impressive season last season only to be knock out in the 1st round. This off season they made one huge trade in which they acquired last seasons NL Cy Young winner Omar Elcano. The Astros have the potential to win it all. They have three of the leagues best hitters in Everett Hill (who was robbed of an MVP last season), Heinie Watkins, and Sid Bryant. They also have three of the leagues top pitchers in the aforementioed Elcano, Mel Wagner, and Dan Hitchcock.

4. Colorado Rockies - The Rockies (Royals) won their 1st division title last season. This added some very talented players including William Hernandez, Dick Reed, Raymond Marte, and Derrick Lackey.

5. Chicago Cubs - The season 7 and 8 world series champs appear to be fading a bit. Maybe its Dwight Johnson distracting sister. Still a very talented team that should be battling for a division title.

6. Las Vegas Slobs - Last season the season 6 world series champs failed to win their division for the 1st time in 9 season. Quiet off season but they didn't have too many holes to fill. They could use a little more offense, but they do have a hell of a rotation.

7. Atlanta Pork N Beans - They won their division again. Yeah. They got crushed by the Reds in the NLCS. Yeah. Nothing like being above average.

8. Milwaukee Brewers - Its been a rather impressive turnaround for the season 1 world series champs. This has been a really quiet off season for the Brewers which is a bit of a surprise considering their relatively mediocre offense last season. The Brewers do have an excellent rotation though.

9. Pittsburgh Pirates - Yeah I know its been five seasons since the last time they finished over .500, but I believe the Pirates are on the verge of a breakthrough. Dont let me down Chase.

10. Santa Fe Good Will - Soxfan did a superb job last season of turning around what was previously one of the more mediocre franchises in the league. This earned him the AL GM of the season. Tony Torrealba from the Reds should be a nice addition to an already solid lineup.

Just missing the cut:
Louisville Swingers, St. Louis Barracudas, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Salem Volcanoes

Meet The Injun Night

The Cleveland Indians are back for another exciting season. Could this be the year they finally break that .500 barrier and win the division? Has the roster and pitching been upgraded over last year? Everything is a question mark at this time, but meet the Season 11 Injuns any way.

Starting Lineup:

1B - Rodrigo Gonzales: Improved last year but are expecting more this year.

2B/OF - Jae Dong: Had a disappointing season last year and we are hoping he will up his game.

3B/2B - Hideki Huang: Expecting much more with his big contract.

SS/3B - Karim Quevedo: We are hoping he can handle the SS duties well enough to start at this position this year. His hitting should vastly improve.

LF - Albert Tapies: Hopefully he will put up better MVP contending numbers this year.

CF - Howard Washington: We are hoping his defensive play will be an upgrade to the position this year.

RF - Giovanni Jackson: Less that stellar performance last year in all aspects of the game. His glove work will need to improve to regain control of CF.

C - Thomas Baxter: He is still a little upset at the organization but plans to have a great year.

C - Dean Hill: Will share the catching duties.


Utility - Wes Kelly: We were unsure of his ability last year after the trade, but found out quickly that he can handle it.

1B/COF - Harry Brock: Excited to be back for another great season. He may be asking for a trade if playing time becomes a problem.

1B/COF - Max Crede: Done a wonderful job as a spot player last season and we expect the same this year. He is the oldest member of the team entering his 11th season. He doesn't expect to be back in an Indians uniform for a 12th though.

Bubble Position Players:

1B/LF - Tony Brown: Could become a bench player/starter if an injury occurs or a trade of Harry Brock or Max Crede.

1B - Don Webster: Has a remote chance but could find his way onto another teams roster.

CF - Benito Cerveza: Was signed to a contract in case of injury and could see ML action this year to fulfill his dream.

Starting Pitchers:

SP1: - Brant Brede: Enjoying his new contract and the probability of being the opening day starter.

SP2: - Tomas Camacho: Was unsure at first but loves it here now.

SP3: - Victor Guerrero: His attitude has changed and plans on bettering last years performance.

SP4: - Jose Crespo: A FA that chose the Injuns because he thinks we can win and he is going to do his best to see that it happens.

SP5: - Hub Strange: Back for another season but could find himself in the unemployment line if things go badly again this season and he knows it.

LR: Garry Magnusson: Was having his greatest season ever then got his desired contract before a freak injury almost ended his career. At this time we have him as a long reliever to make sure all is well before we put him back into a SP role.

LR: - Rob Ramirez: FA signing to bolster the pen and maybe as a starter if certain things don't work out.

Setup: - Lawrence Dawkins: Came out of no where last year to take over setup duties.

Setup: - Quilvio Olivares: Doctors have looked him over and has given him a clean bill of health. Management has been disappointed in his lack of success and leadership.

Setup: - Butch King: An unaccomplished DITR that management sees possibilities. He is just happy that he gets a chance to prove himself.

CL A: - Daniel Blackwell: It is not known at this time which role he will end up in.

CL B: - Kory Governale: The man no one wanted has found a home and performed his mastery all season as last years closer.

Setup: - Lucas Thomson: Called up to fill as a left handed setup role.

On the Bubble:
Setup: Boomer Thomson: His club house and field tirades are legendary but management wants to give him a chance.

Setup: Posiedon Marte: Coaches say he is not ready yet.

SP: Tito Gao: Management and Coaches both agree he is not ready, but in an emergency there may be no other choice.

Relief: Steven Haynes: A good spring and the failure of Lucas Thomson could give him a chance.

Team Song: Please Mr Custer

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Again Congrats Erff!!

We know how much enjoy wearing panties!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

For the Pole (poll)

Yeah not all are listed. Too bad. I selected the best of the best.

Reds Win!! Again

Game 6 of the World Series ended in a 6-1 triumph for the Reds. The Reds retain the trophy for another year as has become the norm for teams. Can the Reds three-peat is the question going into next season. Can they become the next true dynasty since Austin? The series is actually tied 5-5 in the ten season history. Their will be plenty of debate and plenty of competition next year.

Season 10 WS Game 5

The Corn Dogs forces a game 6 after snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Showing their long ball ability with 4, they scored two runs in the bottom of the 8th to seal the 8-7 victory. Maybe erff was too comfortable in his panties to worry about the outcome (or were they riding up?) as other GM's debated this amazing discovery.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Season 10 Ws Game 4

The Reds vowed not to be lackadaisical like the previous night as they powered their way past the Corn Dogs 11-3. Yamil wins his 5th game of the post season and the offense provided a 4 homer barrage. The Corn Dogs got a run in the 2nd inning. but the lead was short lived as Omar Nixon home run capped off a 5 run explosion and the Reds never looked back and the Corn Dogs couldn't get much going. One more game in Monterrey with their backs against the wall. Will Orlando Ozuna come in to send the series back to Cincinnati?

Season 10 WS Game 3

The wind was blowing in Monterrey as the Corn Dogs used timely hitting for a 13-12 come from behind win in the 9th inning. Many had already turned their TV sets off as the Reds were up 2 runs going into the bottom of the 9th with Mitchell Ray coming in to close the game out. The TV announcers were discussing site seeing trips on tomorrows agenda to keep fans entertained after the Reds gained a 10-5 lead going into the 7th inning stretch. The Reds were smacking the ball around pretty good at that point having 21 hits on the night (Corn Dogs only had 12) but were turned back several times with runners in scoring position. Corn Dog fans and those money jar shakers, next game I am taking my ear plugs. The Corn Dogs never gave up and the fan faithful didn't either as the Corn Dogs kept up their attack to keep it somewhat close. Then the inevitable happened as the the NL FOY melted down in the 9th, literally. He needed IV supplements after the game to recover from the oppressive heat they haven't seen in almost two months.

Season 10 WS Game 2

The Corn Dogs bats woke up in game 2 early but the pitching staff couldn't shut down the Reds offense. As the teams traded runs early, The Reds offense provided starter Bruce Kinney, now 3-0 in the post season, a one run lead in the 5th. The Reds pitching staff then closed the door shutting down the Corn Dogs offense for the rest of the game. While adding 2 insurance runs in the 7th for a 6-3 win. The series now shifts to Monterrey. If the Corn Dogs have a chance, they must now make their home field a winning advantage. That could be a tall order since the Corn Dogs were better on the road.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Season 10 WS Game 1

Corn Dogs were humbled by the Reds, 10-0, in a premier match up of staff aces. Yamil Pulido remains perfect in the post season advancing his record to 4-0. CY award winner Orlando Ozuna, 1-2 in playoff action, looked nervous again as the Reds got to him early and his own error didn't help his cause.

Award Winners Announced

The Season 10 award winners have been announced. No surprises really, however 3 of the top 4 prizes went to players on a non-playoff team. All awards were by landslide votes also.

AL MVP - Vladimir Julio, first MVP award after winning ROY and a Silver Slugger last year.
NL MVP - Albert Johnson, 2nd MVP award, last was in season 8.
AL CY - Orlando Ozuna, wins his first award at the ML level. He previously won the CY at AA in season 1 witht he Devil Rays.
NL CY - Omar Elcano, easily beat Yamil in a landslide vote. This is his first major award of any kind.
AL ROY - Oswaldo Santos, his first award of many to come maybe.
NL ROY - Everett Hill, easily won the award and finished tied for second in MVP voting. Next year could very well be the front runner for MVP.
AL FOY - Augie Holbert his first award of any kind.
NL FOY - Mitchell Ray, his fourth FOY but first since season 6.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Season 10 WS Preview

It comes down to the best two teams in either league. Both are impressive and the outcome could depend on a gust of wind at the wrong time. What will happen is any ones guess. Last year the Reds won the WS in 7 games against Toronto, who had beat the heavily favored Corn Dogs. It is tough to repeat and experience really favors neither team as the Corn Dogs finally made it to the big Show on their third try. Didn't the Reds have that problem?

#1 Monterrey Corn Dogs vs #1 Cincinnati Reds - All indicators points to the Reds as being slightly favored in all aspects except defense. Home field is not a real advantage as both parks are pretty simialar. With that being considered, it would seem the Reds should win the series 4-3. If the Corn Dogs garner a split in the first two games, it could boil down to defense and pitching in Monterrey. Look for a great series. This could be a first as Shelby, the prognosticator of all cats, chooses Monterrey in an upset. What can you say, she didn't have to wait on the sun to predict 6 more weeks of winter, she sniffed the snow, touched the snow that got her paws wet and cold, ran back through the door and curled up on the bed and went to sleep.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Minor Leagur World Series Reports

#2 Las Vegas Slobs crowned champions after downing #2 Oklahoma City Kevin Durants with 3 run 8th in game 7.

#2 Philadelphia Athletics crowned champions after being down 3 games to 2 over the #2 Trenton Ball Hogs.

Hi A
#2 Las Vegas Slobs are crowned champions after aerial assault on the Trenton Ball Hogs in game 6. The Slobs hitting attack accounted for 13 doubles and 11 home runs in the 6 game series.

Low A
#5 Huntington Good Will crowned champions after defeating the Trenton Ball Hogs, 4-1.
Trenton didn't give up easily as most games were close but pitching couldn't get the job done and clutch hitting disappeared.

#6 Cleveland Indians crowned champions after defeating the #2 Las Vegas Slobs, 4-3. Turning point was game 5 with the Indians down 3 games to 1. Little did anyone know the seventh inning rally to take the lead 7-5 would be the turning point. Tim Patrick of the Slobs closed the gap with a home run in the 8th, his 9th of the post season. The next two games saw the Indians pitching dominance, as the Slobs had 5 total hits and 6 total base runners in the next two games and only 1 reached second base.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

LCS Prognostication

What a LCS we will have in Season 10. It should be a barn-burner for sure with the two number 2 seeds facing the two number 1 seeds. Phil saw his shadow and went immediately back into hibernation after stealing all the twinkies from the local 7-11. Why do we need a pesky varmit anyway? Anyone can look outside and make the prediction. I don't even look outside, I look at the calendar and say "Yup, 6 more weeks til spring!" Oh gee, sorry, wrong prognosis. Paging Dr House!..oops wrong show also. Lets get on to the real SHOW!

#2 Kansas City Royals vs #1 Monterrey Corn Dogs - Corn Dogs look mighty tough. The Royals are no slouches either. Corn Dogs win in 6 games as I think the Dogs have a better starting rotation and pen.

#2 Atlanta Pork-N-Beans vs #1 Cincinnati Reds - Both are very good teams. The P&B's are not good enough though. Reds win in 6 games after the defense loses a game and Yamil gets pounded, just because it happens.

IFA Propects and MLB Contract Change

Had to give this a lot of thought before figuring out why there was a needed change. Along with the ramifications of their actions. Luckily, we were at a point that it really didn't hurt us as bad as a few others.

The Reason for the IFA and Amateur Draft MLB contract change. It was noted by the MLB Players Union that many blue chip prospect players were being signed to long term MLB minimum deals short-changing their arbitration payoff in years 4 and 5 of their contract. After long labor intensive negotiations it was decided that a player could be offered a minimum MLB contract for 3 years but for a longer contract, it must be initiated by the player or his agent. It was determined that compensation for years 4 and 5 of a long term contract would be commensurate with that of a ML FA.

In simple terms, year 4 and 5 of a long term contract would be a minimum of $5M and not exceed the $20M cap. In retrospect an error occurred where all 5 years of a long term contract had to meet the $5M minimum without the players consent, though the intent was about as clear as mud. Supposedly this is fixed and now works as planned. I have tested and you can offer a 3 year MLB deal at the ML minimums. I have no way of testing for years 4 and 5 as of yet and whether only years 4 and 5 require the $5M minimum or in fact all 5 years.

After thinking about the change and its intent, someone at the Players Union needs to go back to college IMHO. As it stands, if a blue chip prospect player is signed to a MLB contract and put onto the ML roster immediately and before the 23 game deadline then yes he could be short-changed by two years. In most cases however, he would only be short-changed by possibly 1 year at the most. Currently this change would possibly affect maybe one or two players per year at the most. The chances of seeing a player requesting a long term contract will only be slight if at all.

Although I do see the intent if a blue chip prospect is 22+ years old but there are few of those also as most are 18 to 20. A younger players 5 year MLB contract would expire and he would be Rule 5 eligible but not a 6 year minor league FA and not arbitration eligible either if he doesn't have the ML service time under the old rules. A 22+ year old would be 27 or older and probably have the ML service time before the contract expired, but possibly by only 1 year.

Now a blue chip prospect player would only have a 3 year contract and probably gains nothing or maybe even less. So a wise GM will actually beat them at their own game in the end and the players will still go home empty handed.

Is it possible there are plans that more International prospect players may be older and ML ready? Very few players are currently scouted that are over 20 years old where a 5 year MLB contract could have actually hurt a player. If this is the case then we need to watch and see what happens.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Prospect Fix

They have fixed the problem with the IFA MLB and amateur draft MLB contracts. The rules are very similar to what we were used to. You can offer a player a three year MLB contract at either the 54K or 327K minimum. You cannot offer a 4 or 5 year deal without the players request. If a player does request a long term deal then I assume the amount will be $5M per year minimum up to the $20M per year cap and supposedly for year 4 and 5 of the contract.