Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Draft Grading

Due to this seasons draft, I had to come up with a new way to grade players. I have been through 4 drafts and they all have one thing in common. Four to ten players that may be a shoo-in as a ML player and many maybes depending on development and some fringe players. Many are flawed, some heavily, in one way or another. The best pitchers have been relievers. Some GM's decided to lower their risk level in the early rounds hoping these players wouldn't sign and be compensated next season.

So here is how the grading works this season.

A - Shoo-in or probably a ML player in some capacity.

B - Probably a ML player depending on development

C - Fringe ML player

D - Career Minor League player

F - Better stay home under momma's care

Analysis, AL East

The Syracuse Sycamores find themselves in first place at the moment. Will they stay in first will be the question. Hitting is really the only thing going for them. Pitching is not great. Fielding is very inept.

The Boston Red Sox find themselves currently in 2nd Place, struggling. Defense is very solid. Hitting is good. Pitching for some reason is getting eaten alive. It may not be the greatest pitching staff but just not living up to expectations. Look for them to be in it at the end. Could it be the schedule?

The Dover Dung Beetles are in third place and struggling also. Pitching is better than stats show. Fielding is strong. Hitting is good but very inconsistent. Biggest issue is at starting catcher. Can't stop running teams and the starting staff is suffering.

The Washington D.C. Senators once again find themselves looking up at everyone else. Defense hurts as the stats show. Hitting is not helping. Pitching at home should be better than it is but without support things run down hill fast. This is a place one must understand the park. Defense needs lots of range and glove. It isn't a home run park so power is not of the essence at home but everything else needs to be high and speed helps.

Season 15 Draft, 11-20

11. Footsie Carew: Las Vegas, P - Could be the best staring pitcher in the draft IMO, just don't tell Cincy that. It depends on development once again but has a better chance at getting closer to projections than the others so far. I like off-speed pitchers with control, splits and pitches, might make me a little biased though.

Grade A

12. Daniel McClain: Omaha,P - Unknown

13. Bill Wasdin: Toronto, P - He doesn't have all the requirements to be a good pitcher in Toronto IMO. Does have the control, vsR and ground ball needed. Pitches and vsL are lacking however for a hard thrower.

Grade B - Could make a #4 or #5 starter but I doubt it will be in Toronto.

14. Chuck Harris: Milwaukee, P - Depending on development and not hitting the DL early in his career, could develop into a good Middle to Long Reliever. Should have the control, power and pitches desired by the GM. Splits should end up to be adequate.

Grade A - Good middle relievers are actually hard to come by.

15. Carlton Hodges: Anaheim, SS - First non-pitcher taken for a while. Scouting says he will not be a very good SS as he will have a weak glove and probably arm also. Glove may be good enough to play 2B but that depends on development. Chances are better inclined to say he is a 3B. Hitting should be good though not outstanding.

Grade A - With all the pitchers taken already and not many great position players available, looks to be a very good safe draft pick.

16. Johnnie Good: Houston, C - Unknown. Knowing VL as a GM, I wouldn't be surprised if it is a power hitting pseudo catcher.

17. Mike Jackson: Helena, P - A possible starter as a #4 or #5. He has everything but the splits and the fact he is lefty working against him. Chances of him being viable in Helena could prove interesting.

Grade B - Even though it is getting slim pickings for a pitcher.

18. Felipe Benitez: Tampa Bay, P - Scouting tells me he is quite awkward. He may be much better than what I see. May lack control and splits with out of sync pitches.

Grade C - I am not that enamored with this pick.

19. Jesus Martinez: Philadelphia, C - Philly once again steals my future trade bait player. As a catcher, he is not great defensively but good enough as a starter due to his powerful hitting abilities.

Grade A - His projected defense may be better than I see, so I am giving the benefit of the doubt plus a weak position player draft.

20. Johnny Baker: Minnesota, P - This is the first pitcher I have seen so far that could in-fact be labeled as a #1 starter. Such a find this late in the first round. Will he develop is the question, as I don't think he will get that close to his projected splits and end pitches.

Grade A+ - The potential is there

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Season 15 Draft. 6 -10

6. Mitch Knotts: Tampa Bay, P - Unknown

7. Denny Boyd: Seattle, P - An excellent choice for Seattle. Should have every thing needed to be a good middle reliever to closer.

Grade A

8. Nicky Paige: Cincinnati, P - Could be a very good starter if projections are met. Will have good control and a good pitch selection, splits may not materialize as projected but should be sufficient.

Grade A - Maybe a #2 or #3 starter

9. Quentin Henry: Vancouver, P - Could be a good starter but could suffer if the control remains lacking in development. Splits should be good and pitches are decent if they develop also.

Grade B - Much depends on development

10. Ringo Janish: Texas, P - I see him as a Quentin Henry look alike, maybe just a tad better but not much.

Grade B - Much depends on development

Monday, March 29, 2010

Season 15 Draft, 1-5

This seasons draft was messy to say the least. Outstanding hitting position players was a very slim commodity and pitching was there but not great. Like most of the drafts I have seen, it seems the players were more attuned to the new non-steroid era before the little update. Several of the position players had major flaws that downgraded them to chancey supplemental or second round picks. Pitching, while abundant, was not all that great and no true #1 starters compared to our old way of thinking. Most players, by current looks, may take longer to properly develop and even getting close to projections might be a chore.

1. Quinton Payton: Arizona, P - A hard thrower that could have very good control and good splits for a lefty. His pitches don't look exceptional however. The key to his success will be in development.

Grade B - I am not sold on the idea he could be a number 1 starter.

2. Michel Delgado: Detroit, SS - Capable of being a very good hitter. Slim chance that he will develop into the needed SS in Detroit. There is a better chance for 2B but more than likely he will end up at 3B which is still a prize in my books.

Grade A - Overall he gets a big boost of confidence from me.

3. Jim Griffin: Salem, CF - Capable of being a very good hitter. Development could be tough on this kid. Hitting wise he is about a season and half away from the majors probably. Defensively, he needs a lot of glove work to be successful at the CF position and may not come to fruition. This is the first player I have seen where you really don't want a particularly good rollover at seasons end.

Grade A - Overall I think he could be great but development could wind up leaving a GM in a tricky position.

4. John McInerney: Mets, 2B - Could be a pretty good hitter. 2B looks far fetched to me but should make a pretty good COF. This is a kid that needs a good first rollover otherwise development will be further slowed.

Grade A - Just because he was probably the best position player left on the boards already.

5. Wes Barnes: Washington, P - Another hard throwing lefty that could have good splits but maybe a bit light on control. Pitches doesn't look to help any either.

Grade B - Iffy as a starter and may wind up in the pen.

Team Analysis AL North

Minnesota finds themselves in first at the time being. Defense is not the greatest. Starting Pitching is sound. Hitting is solid with a good mix of hitting types. The key to the Twinkies is getting the lead and the pen is very good at keeping it. Big gaps can be found in the infield, so hit the ball on the ground or in the air to the CF power gaps and challenge the outfield arms.

Toronto finds themselves in second place. The update hurt this team starting pitching wise but the pen is there to back them up. Defense is pretty good all the way around. Hitting is not exceptional in the power department but can slap hit any team to death. The key is team speed and they know how and when to use it.

Seattle is in third. Seattle is a bit of a mystery to me. Defense is good at the key points but not so hot at the COF and 1B positions. Pitching is not the greatest. Hitting is relatively strong. For the most part, the team is built for Seattle, why they can't win at home and do better on the road is the mystery. Actually the strong hitting might be the answer but I really don't see it that way.

Detroit brings up the rear. After looking things over on this team, they aren't as bad as one would think. The factors of Tiger stadium has to be understood to be successful. It is a slap hitters park that takes superior defense, decent doesn't cut it as one can see especially at SS. Pitching is key and Detroit is lacking in this area. Old Tuck's contract runs out this year, that will help, and some help coming from the minors.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Team Analysis NL North

Well Sports Fans, I am back again maybe. Another wild ride with the doctors again guessing what is wrong. But who cares about that right? Back to the story.

WIS strikes again with that little Home Run update. At first I didn't think it was a big deal, so what if the top 20% hits about 10 more dingers a season. But it has far more reaching effects than that. It actually lowers all other facets of the game and that extra 10 dingers also raises the bar on other hits and hitters as well. If you think I am joking, all other aspects has to be lowered to make it happen not just raising a percentage somewhere to certain players. Did they go too far? Probably, and they probably won't tell you if they lower it some the next time around just to reach the proper middle ground. In my view they raised it enough to keep the whiners at bay and allowed those position players with no real defensive skills and iffy ones at best back in the game at positions they really can't play. The stats are also skewed a bit by the report they show to everyone because it looks to me like it is against neutral parks. If they are basing it on neutral parks, will the rest of the parks even it out? If you ask me, the teams with minus parks have a bigger advantage in this case. The plus 2 or better parks also if you have enough power hitters at each position and enough pitching to control it. Ok enough of this BS.

NL North

Pittsburgh is on top and are going to be tough to beat. They are a solid team in every aspect of the game. Best chance of beating them is in their own park playing small ball. Weakness is 2B. Best chance of beating them away from home is getting past their starting pitching with a bevy of power hitters and that isn't easy.

Cincinnati stands in second place. Hitting wise they are solid and that is how they win. Defense and pitching is not exactly a strong point. I had problems against them at home because of a tired pen. An injury, a 1-run game and 2 extra inning games in a row will cause that. Beating them is not all that hard either home or away, put the ball in play and have good ground ball pitchers.

Chicago is in third and struggling. Hitting wise they are good, not great. Defense has some big holes. Pitching is not exactly stellar. I have always struggled pitching in Cub land and don't know why and this year was no exception. The best part is I don't have to go back. I will take my revenge latter.

Milwaukee is in rebuild mode yet again and they are as bad as their record indicates.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Real Defensive 1B's Please Stand Up!

It is 33 games into the season. They posted the best 1B's by fielding percentage. What a joke that is and someone probably should put things in proper perspective. So who are actually the top five fielding 1B's? (minimum 200 innings)


1. Omar Garrido - Syracuse: 0 Errors, 7 Plus plays

2. Artie Butler - Tampa Bay: 0 Errors, 4 Plus Plays

3. Doug Wise - Helena: 0 Errors, 3 Plus Plays

4. Albert Tapies - Durham: 0 Errors, 3 Plus Plays

5. Pepe Crespo - Toronto: 0 Errors, 1 Plus Play


1. Marshall Hunter - Colorado: 0 Errors, 2 Plus Plays

2. Gorkys Diaz - Salem: 0 Errors, 2 Plus Plays

3. Juan Carrasquel - Pittsburgh: 0 Errors, 1 Plus Play

4. Tony Suarez - Chicago: 1 Error, 1 Plus Play

5. Steven Matheson - Milwaukee: 1 Error, 0 Plus Plays

*Note: Cleveland has 2 1B's that have 0 Errors and 7 Plus Plays between them but neither meet the innings requirement.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Waahoo Warrior Report

It is a good time to let the fans know what is on the minds of the their favorite team from management. It hasn't been a fun ride so far early in the season to say the least. So this is a report on happenings and things that has happened.

Early Season Trades

We traded with Houston for Matt Pierce. We were originally going to target Everett Hill but we think Matt is a better fit for us in CF. In a way we gave a lot to get him, big contract and Dean Boone with Lance Barnes and Johnny Brown. We had actually slotted Boone as a starter once the first bump occurred at AAA. The trade was simple in our minds, as Matt is a more mature player and will be around for quite a while in an Injun uniform. Boone was a lefty, which we are not very high on in Cleveland, he could be great and then again maybe not. We were not very impressed with either Brown or Barnes.

Mendy Hughes for Albert Valenzuela was a blessing in disguise for both franchises. It was hoped Mendy could play the role of closer which may or may not happen, it is the lefty thing, but is very solid in the pen. We know Albert is taking advantage of being a starting catcher in Vancouver as we tried to make him a backup which was wrong.

B.C. Bennett and Antonio Tanaka for Jesus Rivera and Clyde Buck. We had no room on the ML roster for Bennett and we liked what Rivera had to offer. Tanaka was the real prize for Washington maybe, and getting rid of Buck. Rivera got in our "Outback Teepee" early with his bumbling play at SS causing 3 errors in one inning losing us a game. It gave Washington more power and defense at the 1B position than they had before. Finding the right niche for Rivera has been interesting but we came up with the solution. Buck, well he will ride in AAA with his meager contract, never know he just might come in handy at some point in time.

The season so far.

We opened in New York with the Mets. We haven't a clue why we can't win there, but it has been a thorn in our side every year. The pitching was good, the offense was asleep. Starting the season 1-3 was not in our plans.

On to Philly where we thought about moving to ourselves but decided against it, shhhh don't let the fans know that. Winning two of three was a great come back after the disastrous 1st series.

Home at last and facing Arizona. A good way to open the season at home. Losing the first two games by 1-run wasn't our idea of fun. First the Rivera fiasco, then a pitchers duel. Where is the offense we hoped for? We won the third game rather handily.

A tweak here and a tweak there and we are ready for the Braves. The first game of the series looked like the tweaks had an adverse effect losing 9-1, but Atlanta doesn't want to come back anytime soon after the next two games were over.

Off to Florida, oh no, they are hot. Winning two of three there probably didn't sit well with them at all.

Off to Salem from there and another somewhat hot team. Winning two of three there put our minds at ease a little as we shut down their offense.

Home again, about time. Oh shit!, the Pirates!. Things are never easy, luckily it is their only trip to the Lake Front this season as we would rather play them in their confines. We won the first of the four game set, then two rather close loses had our hopes up for a split but that didn't happen.

We welcomed the Brewers in for a three game set. Winning the first two but dropping the last one was a heart breaker. Where was the offense?

Now the Rangers are in our visitors club house. What will happen with this three game series is anyones guess.


The defense is great, take out the pitchers mistakes and the Rivera bumbling antics and the 12 errors dissolve into 8. We lead the league in Plus Plays with 27 and have not committed a minus play.


The offense is not in sync what so ever. Bart Ross is in a huge slump. Giovanni Jackson is showing signs of coming out of his. Matt Pierce has been lackluster at the plate also and shows no signs of beating the slump. Pascual Berroa has been utterly awesome in the lead off spot. He is also tied with the team lead in HRs with 5 surprisingly. Trace Wallace also has 5 HRs and was actually penciled in as a backup when the season started. With Deivi Silva not being able to hit an exercise ball with a bat, we moved him to the bench and inserted Wallace at 1B. We know what the problem with Silva is, but playing time may become an issue til next season.


Pitching has actually been more bad luck than bad. Jose Crespo went on the DL in his first outing from the pen but has settled down after returning. Anthony Riley was better last year as a starter than in the pen. His starts this year haven't been great so it is back to the pen for further evaluation. Mendy Hughes was brought in to be the closer and although he did an admirable job in the slot, the pitching staff thinks he would be better used elsewhere and so far they are right. With that move, Boomer Thomson becomes the closer. Pablo Castro was brought in to shore up the pen but didn't like that notion and replaced Pedro Roque in the starting rotation. Pedro has gone on to replace Riley in the rotation for now.

Things to do better.

0-6 in 1-run games is our problem, once that is solved look out.

Minors Watch

While Crespo was on the DL, Manny Wagner was called up from AAA. He did a splendid job and could be an option later in the season.

Felix Higashioka has been hitting and fielding well at AA.

Low A has taken some heavy damage from the DL as two starters are lost and has taken a toll on the pen.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Here is the "tweak" and my thoughts on it.

Following the “end of the steroid era” update, the HR/G rate at the big league level continues to drop. At this point, it’s a bit below what we had projected. This update will bump the rate up a bit. Prior to the update, the HR/G for two teams was ~2.80. As of this week, it had fallen to ~2.02. We are striving for ~2.40. And, remember, the drop off is only at the top. Those power hitters that were hitting 80+ homers will come back to Earth a bit (with everyone else falling into place). This HR/G rate can be monitored on the World Snapshot page:

I really think something unexpected happened that they didn't think would happen. If you had a guy that had 90+ (85+ even) power but the rest of his hitting ratings were mediocre at best, he could still hit up to 50 home runs a season. If he was a decent enough catcher it would be a big help to any team. Some of them were 1B's that had maybe 35's across in their defensive ratings. Some were even hidden in RF. Even though these guys would average .230 to .255 a season and maybe less, their HR production would produce enough to cover their fielding problems. Think about it, 100 hits a season, half of them or more HR's, some of the rest doubles. Their run production would be near or over 100 easily.

Basically this was taken away in three ways. First they lowered the HR rate for those types of players. Then came the error rate/plus/minus play. Third was a boost in SB's. Suddenly those players had no place in the game. So they were moved to out of the way places, like the minors. To take their places were those good non-power defensive speed hitters who didn't have a place to play because of the power guys. Thinking about everything, it may have put 30 to 40 players or more out of a job.

Some crafty owners realized that the stats they garner for the report look like they are based on neutral parks. So at world rollover, they moved to a more hitter friendly place if the pitching staff could handle it.

Of course the rate of HRs per game is going to drop off drastically after all that, especially owners that saw what was happening quickly. What WIS was searching for in their quest probably was perfect for about 30 or 40 games. After that was an unexpected rate drop that probably had them scratching their heads. So to fix what they wanted to see was to tweak the rate upwards. Maybe leaving it alone would have been a better idea, giving more time for the owners to adapt before saying it was too low.

So was the "tweak" good enough to put those players back in play? To me I kind of doubt it.

As for this world it may look like the HR rate is up but one must look at the overall picture so far after the "tweak". After looking at the top 25 HR leaders I really don't see anyone out of place. The HR total for players look up but one must look at where they play also. The Las Vegas ones bothered me the most, but 2/3 of their HR's have been hit on the road in more favorable conditions which is normal. Yes, Texas is a better place to hit than Houston and what can you say about the "Tard Parks" in Colorado and Durham. As for the Indians who have almost hit the fewest and given up the fewest. The best hitter friendly parks we have been to this season so far is Atlanta and Philly which isn't saying much. But with three games in Colorado, Chicago and Houston in the next 20 things could change.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

IFA Market News

Vic Morales became the highest paid IFA so far this season with a $18.2M bonus and a ML contract. Happily signed by Florida, if he gets near projections he will be one tough hombre on the mound.

Vicente Vega accepted a contract from Toronto for an $8M bonus. Could be very good setup man in the pen or possible closer.

Manuel Tapies signed with Colorado with a $6M bonus. Wondering if he will ever hit a homer at the ML park, but who cares as his defense and other hitting skills are in vogue.

D'Angelo Perez signed by Dover for a $4.4M bonus. Could be a good setup man one day.

Felipe Redondo signed with Austin for $4.2M in bonus money. My scouting says he is nothing more than a 1B while LF is a stretch, not great hitting right-handed pitchers but hell on wheels against lefties.

Max Aguilar signed a $1.7M bonus contract with Tampa Bay. Scouting tells me he could be a great 3B and a fine hitter but SS looks too weak.

Thru the First Twenty

It has been a season of another big adjustment as owners and GM's find the right mix. So far how has the early predictions gone.

NL North

The Pirates and the REDS! Who would have thought that but the season is early. The Cubs are floundering a bit. Bringing up the rear is the Brewers.

NL East

Tight-knit group. The Mets have had their early success as usual and have fallen off the pace.

NL South

Florida looks real good so far but Texas will challenge if they can figure out the home woes. St Louis will play ball and don't underestimate them. Houston has been hurt by injuries but trying out a new strategy.

NL West

Vancouver has to believe as a mentor put it. Colorado is very dangerous while Arizona is very lucky. Salem is still hampered by pitching but can't be taken lightly.

AL North

Blue Jays and Twins, wasn't hard to figure out from the start. Seattle looks to be an upstart. Detroit is Detroit, with ole Tuck probably in his inglorious last season.

AL East

Three horse race as predicted, which of the three will make it to the photo-finish first? Don't count Washington out yet, could they find the one player they need the most?

AL South

Durham still has the ability to out hit everyone at home. Kansas City has still got to realize home park strategy. Tampa Bay still struggles at home along with Austin.

AL West

Another three team horse race, which of these three will break a leg coming around the bend? Omaha struggles.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Things I Have Learned-Post Steroid

Whether the intention was right or wrong it did have some very unwanted effects when the steroid era ended. It left GM's and skippers scrambling to find a more reasonable way to do business. Many probably didn't pay attention to what was happening and left them scratching their head and ass trying to figure out what to do.

What really happened? All those 80 and 90 power guys that didn't have the matching ratings didn't produce the Home Runs they used to. Those big bat marginal power 1B's actually became a hindrance instead of a help. Many of the 40 and 50 Home Run range saw their production cut in half. The focus became one of defense and pitching or should have.

So what now? How do I fix things? That is entirely up to you. Many teams are left with big contract players that are next to useless to some extent. Who was the big beneficiary? The AL that is who. They have they luxury to get some very good DH's if the money is available and sometimes cheap. However, there is a rumor floating around that in real life this could be the last year of the DH. How big a change would that be to HBD? One could only guess.

Ok, what I have seen throughout my Worlds.

1B - A marginal 1B, one that has ratings below the minimums is actually a hindrance to the rest of the infield. It used to be the thinking that a big power bat at this position would override his deficient fielding ratings. Not anymore as his deficiencies are spreading to the rest on the infield. The 40's across the board as the chart shows is bare minimum and is really marginal, I would consider 50's minimum myself these days.

2B/3B/SS - This hasn't really changed much unless you have a weak fielding 1B. Though I would highly recommend one that exceeds the minimum in range. You can fudge a little on glove by a couple points but the range better exceed. Under ranged players won't see errors or even minus plays in most instances but can lead to a slew of hits getting by.

RF - The minimums are ok, but you can't fudge on them anywhere. If you put in a high range/glove, you can get away with a weaker arm without to much consequence. My answer to this is to use a marginal 3B or better at this position. If you think you can hide that marginal 1B here think again. This position has fewer opportunities than before until you try to fudge the position.

CF - This one actually becomes a bit complicated. Under range/glove is ok if you have very over ranged RF/LF with good gloves and arms. I wouldn't go too drastic here with that statement though, I am only talking about 5 points short at the most. If your CF has a 90 range and 75 or better glove that is adequate these days, won't win him any awards. I have seen decent CF play from a 80 range but the RF/LF range needs to be 75 or better.

LF - Definitely can't hide the marginal 1B here anymore either as more opportunities are way up. Matter of fact I recommend 60's across the board in defense to start.

C - Can you hide your deficient 1B here? If you have a good starting pitching staff then it is possible but I wouldn't go below 45 in pitch calling for a starting catcher. A solid hitting starting catcher is not a bad idea. His defense can be a little less than minimal..errr in some cases a lot less, I am not saying horrific btw. Stolen Bases are way up, see what I mean. However, when it becomes late in the game, 7th inning, you better have that defensive PC catcher ready to come in. I really mean ones that don't allow the passed balls, stop the SB's and the PC should be 80+.

Basically the defense has got to be much better to succeed these days, marginal or minimum just won't cut it. The days of his offense will overrule his bad defense is over. You also have to think smarter with the management settings.

The pitching has changed also. Did anyone notice? I doubt it. There should be more emphasis put on control and pitches than splits. This where a a very good defensive PC catcher comes into play. I am not saying the Cy Young pitchers will suffer any harm, but marginal pitchers will enjoy a better life. Pitchers that have an 85 or better control with two pitches in the 80's or 90's/70's with a third decent pitch, can have splits in the low 50's and be successful. Actually a pitcher with 75 plus control and good pitches can be very good if the splits aren't too bad.

As far as hitting goes in general, I find that those marginal and lousy hitters that play good defense have a tendency to get that all important hit to win games.

One last thing, when was the last time you read the HELP screens? There is good info in there but you have to put 2 and 2 together and read between the lines sometimes.

Coaches - I have run into an anomaly dealing with a 1B coach. Had one with good strategy, base running in the 60's with pitching skills in the 50's and 40's hitting skills. Before you ask, he asked to be the Bench coach the next season. What I thought originally was happening was a failed hit and run attempt as runners kept getting thrown out with 75 speed and below. I finally caught on when a 55 speed guy got thrown out with a low contact hitter at the plate. Yes I had SB's set to average with Hit and Run to aggressive. I had to change the SB setting to infrequent and Hit and Run to average and Base Running to aggressive to counter.

Other things I have finally determined about coaches: Major rating at their skill of course and a high loyalty helps if you want to keep them for more than two seasons is a good idea. But discipline and patience is dependent on your team chemistry. A younger team you will want a high patience. A more mature team needs a high discipline. Of course it always helps to get all three or four but seldom is that the case. A high patience works well in the instructional leagues while more discipline needs to be added in the minors. I have heard that one will override the other but I don't see that happening. I still think a bench coach is the most useless thing at the ML level but I could be wrong. I have had good ones and bad ones recently in terms of ratings and in all reality after the season was over you couldn't tell the difference by the way the team played or progressed.

If your wondering, I had 6 teams that pretty much ran on the same schedule. Out of the 6, all were .500 and above, two missed the post season by 1 game, three made the playoffs, two went to the LCS (now I just need to get one over the hump). This time around I only have four teams and three are in ST. Real life will be interfering heavily starting in May and I plan to drop two more because I won't have the time like I do now. This is one I plan on keeping just so I can be a pain to everyone But if you see the AI on and I haven't signed in for 10 or more days don't go finding a replacement.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

With a Calculated Guess

First the AL where things might be easier. Well maybe.

AL North

The big thing here is whether the move from St. Louis to Minnesota is good or bad. Did Toronto solidify their team enough in the off season? Seattle is hard to judge at the moment and Detroit got better. But this is how I see it.

I am picking the Minnesota Twins by a smudge again, with Toronto in their hip pocket all season long. Seattle will contest this but I don't think they have the pitching/hitting to win on the road. Back to Detroit after a very dismal season in Toledo but it may not help.

AL East

This will be a fight between Boston and Syracuse and could come down to a dead heat. Look for Dover to be in contention but a close third again while Washington brings up the rear.

AL South

The heated rivalry gets hotter as it will be between Kansas City and Durham once again or maybe not. Believe it or not I pick Kansas City to rule the roost this season even in a new City and under new management. It is possible that Durham winds up in the cellar from my point of view with Tampa Bay and Austin fighting it out for 2nd.

AL West

This is still the most contentious division in the AL. I think Helena takes it this year with an above .500 record with Las Vegas, Anaheim and Omaha all tied for second.

This is how I see the playoffs at the beginning of the season.
1. Kansas City
2. Boston
3. Minnesota
4. Helena
5. Austin
6. Syracuse

NL North

The once toughest division in MLB is now left with Pittsburgh and perhaps another challenge from Chicago. Cincy and Milwaukee will fight it out for 3rd place.

NL East

Trenton is now in Philly but the scenery may change heavily in this division. The fight will be between Cleveland, Atlanta and Philly once again. Cleveland may have the best offense in the division and possibly the best defense in the NL but is the pitching up to the task? Will Atlanta find themselves in third where they think they belong? Will the Mets play wonderball this year? So I guess the scenery won't change that drastically except for the team on top. I like Cleveland myself, but that is prejudice speaking. Will all three make the playoffs? That would be a good bet to make.

NL South

Texas more or less bought a contender this season. Will it help? I think there could be some disappointment in the air as that was tried in real life and failed miserably, but this HBD! I think Florida remains the team on top but Texas a strong second with Houston and St. Louis rounding it out.

NL West

The big question, does Colorado win all its preseason games? If they do, will it be more than their home record in the regular season? Ok, enough poking fun aside. Believe it or not this division could really be topsy-turvy, especially how I am going to pick them. I like Vancouver this season followed by an annoying Salem's Lot. I actually pick Colorado to wind up in third if they behave themselves with Arizona last. Is that odd enough?

My best guess.

1. Pittsburgh
2. Florida
3. Cleveland
4. Vancouver
5. Texas
6. Philly

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

News From Indian Towne

The Indians recently acquired Pablo Castro from the FA market. His role is still in question however. Apparently the coaches did not like what they saw from Matt Brooks and demoted him to make room. Coaches are also not impressed with Ivan Blasco so far in the preseason. The coaches are giddy about the preseason that Posiedon Marte has had, but still are cautious as to whether it will spill into the regular season. Kory Governale has also made a few rumbles this year after getting into the coaches dog house a season or so ago. The biggest surprise however is the way Lonnie Dipoto is pitching and could actually oust another of the short leash pitchers.

There are rumors flying around camp that a possible change in the configuration of the lineup and pitching staff could be eminent. Normally the Indians enter the season with 12 position players and 13 pitchers, rumor has it that it might abruptly change before or during the season. If so, will they wait to call up Felix Higashioka or recall B.C. Bennett. Will Marte or Blasco be sent down or both? Will Kory or Lonnie be called up to replace them? Or will it be a combination? Guess those are some questions that will have to wait and see how things develop.