Saturday, December 31, 2011

Who Has a Shot in the NL?

NL North

The North could very well wage all out war. Pittsburgh may excel overall but I am not just giving them the title either. The Brewers, Reds and Cubs are in the mix also. Chicago has a powerful offense I am just not convinced of the pitching. Actually the Reds and Brewers fall into the same category.

1. Pittsburgh Pirates
2. Milwaukee Brewers
3. Cincinnati Reds
4. Chicago Cubs

NL East

The East is up for grabs by three teams IMO. I would toot my horn and claim the spot myself, but there was spring training and we looked horrible except for defense. The Phillies look like the team to beat again even with half the team on medicare. The Mets look good on paper but that is about it. The Indians could play spoiler but the pitching doesn't look redeeming. The Colonels has a leaders in Mendoza and Rauch but their new digs could cause problems with the pitching staff.

1. Philadelphia Phillies
2. New York Mets
3. Cleveland Indians
4. Louisville Colonels

NL South

The fight once again will be between Houston and Florida. Mexico City can't be ruled out at all and will cause some distinct problems from the get go. All three could very well be post season contenders. St Louis is on a big learning curve and didn't have much to start with., Trivia question that probably no one knows, did Honus Wagner drive a Moline-Knight?

1. Florida Marlins
2. Houston Astros
3. Mexico City Diablos Rojos
4. St. Louis Hawks

NL West

Can anybody in the West stop Salem? I don't think so. Arizona could win 90 games and still be 20 back at the end. Second place will be fought for heavily between Arizona and LA with San Fran bringing up the rear.

1. Salem Super Sequoias
2. Arizona Diamondbacks
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
4. San Francisco Giants

It could be a problem choosing 6 teams because it could be nasty and be between 10 teams. Yup, sportsfans that many.

1. Salem Super Sequoias
2. Florida Marlins
3. Pittsburgh Pirates
4. New York Mets (just because I can)...sigh
5. Houston Astros
6. Arizona Diamondbacks

Who Has a Shot this Season in the AL?

AL North

The North doesn't look much changed from last year and don't expect much of a change. Seattle may boast the best starting rotation in the North as well as all of the AL and the offense is just as good. They will be tough to oust for the North crown once again. Minnesota could make some waves but don't expect them to take the crown. Toronto may have taken the course to rebuild as they have dumped most of their overpaid underachieving offense. The Tigers will keep their chins held high as they improve over last year.

1. Seattle Mariners
2. Minnesota Twins
3. Toronto Blue Jays
4. Detroit Tigers

AL East

The impact here could hold a dangerous fortitude. What does that mean? Well just a bunch of jibberish if you ask me. I really like the looks of the Atlanta Braves this year to take the crown. I have picked others here before and Boston always finds a way to take the crown. I am actually giving 50-50 odds of any one of the four taking the crown. Having a winning record could even be tough IMO. I think the Senators have the best rotation but the worst pen and the offense is shaky at best. Boston and Dover are about even across the board. The Braves on paper are the best but that doesn't guarantee a crown.

1. Atlanta Braves
2. Boston Red Sox
3. Dover Dung Beetles
4. Washington D.C. Senators

AL South

The Tampa Bay Rays actually lived up to my billing last year. I really expect them to be in a fight this year with the Texas Rangers. Remember them? Came out the middle of nowhere and tied for the playoff spot with how many teams? Kansas City and Little Rock are improved but don't look for that much excitement.

1. Tampa Bay Rays
2. Texas Rangers
3. Little Rock Heads
4. Kansas City Royals

AL West

I usually mess this division up or maybe it is a conspiracy. The bad part about this is all four teams are good and to choose one is really tough. Las Vegas surprised me last year, Helena melted down again last year, the Padres fell just short and Anaheim mystified themselves. I choose Helena because they are the best team on paper but they have to get over that late season meltdown. I am going out on a limb here this year totally

1. Helena Hot Pockets
2. San Diego Padres
3. Las Vegas Slobs
4. Anaheim Angels

Since I am kind of a glutton for punishment in AL realm here is my final predictions. maybe another kinky four way for the final spot?

1. Seattle Mariners
2. Helena Hot Pockets
3. Texas Rangers
4. Atlanta Braves
5. San Diego Padres
6. Tampa Bay Rays

Hall of Fame Inductees, 22

Almost a unanimous voting decision to put Albert Johnson and Yamil Pulido into the Hall. After that it became a little murky as owners couldn't decide and the votes became scattered for their beloved sons of the diamond. Furio Lombard and Sid Bryant couldn't be persuaded into the Hall even with the vigorous campaigning that changed the mind of some.

Johnson and Pulido join Frank Gates and Mitchell Ray, who were inducted in season 20, as our honored guests in the Hall of Fame.

Pirates Season 22 Opening Day Roster

After a short off season celebrating the teams first world series championship. The Pirates are ready to defend their title. With an aging roster and financial pressures, there was some changes to the roster this off season.
Key additions: Cesar Martin came over in a trade with Toronto. Javy Nunez, Oscar Miller, Jonathan Diaz, and Omar Garrido were all free agent signings. Harry Richardson and Eric Francis are up from the minors.

Departures: Luis Cruz, Ryan Stewart, Geraldo Rosa and Esteban Valdes all left as free agents.

C: Andy Reagan and Glenn Knepper will platoon at this position.
1B: Javy Nunez will get most of the starts here Jonathan Diaz will be a key pinch hitter and see some time at first
2B: Bernard Shelley probably his last season with the team
SS: Harry Richardson late call up last season, he's here to stay this year. Will see some time at 3rd when Riley plays
Bill Riley on the bench this season
3B: Cesar Martin key season for Cesar as Pirates have to decide to resign him or let him walk Oscar Miller will be backup in the IF
LF: David Gomez
CF: Lance Howard
RF: Omar Garrido after he declined his option, we thought we lost him, but we got him back Alex Richardson 4th outfielder this season

SP1: Tim Loewer doesn't get the respect he deserves
SP2: Emil Sosa all he does is win
SP3: Ken Shumpert hoping for one more good season
SP4: Jimmie Torres had a disappointing regular season but turned it up in the playoffs
SP5: Felix Carter
LRA: Roger Mulholland
LRB: Dennis Wingo
SuA: Daniel Blackwell him and Coronado after that its pretty thin
SuA: Flash Leonard
SuB: Eric Francis
SuB: Todd Wolf
CLA: Andres Coronado not bad for a rule 5 pickup

The Pirates see no problem winning their NL North division title this season. This will give them 9 division titles in the past 11 seasons. The offense is stronger this season. The bench is deeper this season. The starting pitching remains strong. The bullpen is weak, but it was like that last season. Defense will be weaker with Riley on the bench, but this should even out with Riley not swinging a bat. Once in the playoffs some luck is needed, but the Pirates do have the Starting Pitching and a deeper, stronger offense to go on a run. I like our chances.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Final FA Report

Omar Garrido was finally picked up by the team that let him go, the Pirates. Evidently they didn't want to see him go for a box of crakerjacks.

Abdul Riggs was picked up for his quality CF play by Anaheim fro a relatively low prie. I am betting his other attributes will be greatly appreciated in the end also.

Cy Bruske remained unclaimed til the end when his old team intervened, Little Rock. He was worth more than the bag of ball they paid for him.

Paul Keeler remains the only unsigned player that was on my radar scope.

Hall of Fame Voting

A lot of chatter on the boards for voting this year. As always a very good sign indeed. The big problem is a max of only 5 can make it if the votes aren't spread. Yamil Pulido and Albert Johnson are considered consensus Hall of Fame vote recipients by just about everyone. After that things could get a little cloudy. After reading all of the chatter I did change my vote, but probably not everyone.

Doug Cambridge - 7 time All-Star, 7 WS Rings. By his stats, he was only the bonafide closer in 5 of his 17 seasons which makes his 315 saves look more impressive. He never won a FOY though which I can't figure out. In season 19 he had the better numbers but the award was given again to Pascual Solano. You could make a case that he was on great teams, which has to be true, but still, he did his job to make sure his team was great.

Yamil Pulido and Albert Johnson - what needs to be said?

Furio Lombard - So I changed my vote from Wagner. 11 All Star appearances is hard to not notice him. The two GG's at 3rd are impressive but he was a lousy SS in my books though can't fault him for that.

Sid Bryant - Well, in the end I conceded the fact he had more going for him than Warden.

Ozuna and Robinson are not chopped liver either btw.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hall of Fame

I was looking over the nominations for the Hall this morning. I know, I know, suppose to be looking over the Rule V Draft and checking it twice, except I am not drafting anyone. There are a couple worth drafting for a change, nothing great but worth a long look. Now, back to the nominations.

I looked at the list of pitchers, my eyes got real big fast. The great Yamil is there, enough said right? There are a host of starting pitchers deserving of the vote also, about 20 in fact. I looked at saves for the relievers and Doug Cambridge was there, another great choice. The catch with Cambridge is that he wasn't exactly a closer, he more or less got pushed into the role for a while. You won't find many closers with a 67-71 record and over 300 saves.

Afterwards I looked at the position players. My wondering eyes saw Albert Johnson and a bunch of memories came flooding back. Such nostalgia! Randy Lamb was there of course and his 627 dinger total, about the only reason he would be on the list if you ask me. Then I saw Posiedon Warden on down the list, he looks rather unassuming at first. Some memories came flooding back and the tears also I am afraid to say. There are still a few here that understand, especially jose, even VL. Anyway back to Posiedon, his last year was on the Durham Bulls and the team that stopped erff from getting his 5th straight WS Ring. It was late in the season, Durham was trying to chase down the Corn Dogs led by edam55. Posiedon needed a few hits to reach the 2000 hit barrier and Soxfan needed a roster spot. I had the Cleveland team and a spot opened on the roster because of an injury. Since a trade was out of the question, Posiedon was released so I could pick him up and get him the AB's needed, I of course released him at the end of the season. Posiedon is about 6th on the career Walks list also, the reason his OBP is higher than Albert.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Meet the Season 22 Mets

The Mets fans and news wires around the Big Apple are very upbeat on the upcoming season. They were very disappointed last year that management couldn't make a deal for Wilfredo Oliva that may have made them playoff bound. Extolling that the price was too steep had many fans in disbelief although finances was more of the problem. Did management make enough moves to bring home the crown and go into the off season as a champion? The minimum I expect is the division crown.

Team song: I love New York


C - Rob Webster : One of the best backstops in this world. Unfortunately his durability limits him to about 115 starts.
Bip Phelps is just as capable defensively, just not as good in the pitch calling department.

1B - Leo Rodney proved himself competent last season and management is expecting a great season from him. Domingo Jose will be his backup.

2B - Emil Flores has won 3 GG in RF in Salem. The coaching staff thinks he can do the job here as well as 3B. J-Mac was a bit of a disappointment fielding wise last year.

3B - Chun-Lim Satou had a great season last year. Coaches are hoping that he can step up his game a bit more.

SS - Guy Oquist is penciled in.

RF - John McInerney is going to be moved form 2B to play this spot unless his arm starts to be a problem.

CF - Clarence Valentin gets to roam the wide expanses.

LF - Domingo Jose and Dan Radke will share the duty fro awhile.

Utility - Tomas Trevino and
Carlos Mesa can play many positions well.

Pitching Staff:

R.J. Bellhorn is hoping to improve upon last season.
Wesley Ray replaces the FA hole created by Cervantes. Management hopes he gives us his best as they gave up a lot in the trade for him.
Danys Candelaria was signed from the Free Agent Market to be a Long Reliever. However he is a probable candidate in the starting rotation right now.
George Atkins seems fully recovered finally from his injury two seasons ago. The coaching staff hopes he can return to form.
Harry Rodriguez actually pitched great as a starter last season but had a dismal record to show for it. This season we hope luck befalls him.
Anderson Henley may have been a flash in the pan last season. We are very hopeful that it wasn't!

Clinton Cedeno gets the nod as Long reliever and sometimes starter.
J.D. Kennedy, Al Limon and Ted Maxwell will get the long setup position.
Wayne Hampton and Don Zhou get the short setup routine.
Dom Tabaka needs 38 more saves to hit the 400 mark for his career.

More FA's Sign

Fernando Cerda was paid big bucks by the Cubs with a guaranteed 1st year of $14.5M and 3 more at $11.5. Not a prolific long ball hitter but hard to keep him off the base paths and has the speed to steal. His defense at 2B is not great maybe a little sub par actually. Who knows who the Cubs were fighting with for his services.

J.C. Welch was picked up rather cheaply by the Rangers with a 3 year deal for $5M. Did the Rangers make a ploy against Cerda to get Welch on the fly? He can solidify the infield at the hot corner while producing at the plate. Expect his SB efforts to be greatly enhanced also.

Emil Flores was getting a little worried as his agent had him seemingly overpriced but as his demand dropped the Mets became interested. Taking more or less of a big pay cut, he did end up with a tidy $26M 4 year deal however. The question remains whether his hitting will improve in the Big Apple.

Fausto Alomar took it in the shorts as many shied away from the lefty. The Angels saw a bargain as they offered a
3 year deal at $4.9M. Can he sustain his unique ability in another pitchers park?

Galahad Mercedes signed with busy Texas with a 3 year deal for $5.2M. This big guy has pitched well the last few years for a lefty. Hopefully this stint in Texas turns out better than the last.

Joseph Wang, another colorful lefty joined the Old Timers Association in Philly. Signing a 3 year deal for $17.6M sits well the Philly faithful.

Lorenzo Astacio was captured by Arizona in a war with unknown enemies. Agreeing to a 4 year deal for over $25M is a lot of wampum for a short reliever that is not considered a closer.

Luis Cervantes, yes he made my list for a reason, was picked up on the highway by Little Rock with a squeamish sum of $4.3M for two seasons. The Mets were hoping to pick him up dirt cheap once again though he may have turned his nose up at their paltry offer regardless.

Mark Wang and Sidney Garcia were taken by Atlanta, though no one knows it yet.

Who we think is going to sign for big bucks yet?

The left handed power hitting LF in Omar Garrido has yet to be signed. His demands hasn't dropped so a bidding war must be going on.

The no one wants us group?

The underachieving Paul Keeler is getting a bit antsy.

Cy Bruske has a very long face as his services seem to be in the tank.

Abdul Riggs is still waiting by the phone with tears running down his cheeks. Probably one of the best starting utility men in the business, well OF and 2B at least.

Bob Montgomery is wondering what he did to get black listed.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Big Payday

Cesar Hernandez signed with the Tampa Bay Rays under a structured 4 year deal. His first year entitlements includes a guaranteed $6M signing bonus to go with his $8M salary. Linda Loo was foaming at the mouth amongst other places after hearing the news. Seems like a trip to the Batter Box is in order to see DJ's sister.

In other news, Joey Tracy is worried that he won't get a chance to hit Home Run number 750 as his phone has been dead silent in the off season so so far.

Free Agent Signings

I had a large list of targets this year so I could write about the top signings. Well it is a pretty bleak market in most aspects.

Wilfredo Oliva: I really thought he would go for more in my estimation.The Cubs got him cheap at 7.9M for 5 years.

Harry Torcato: Scarfed up by Little Rock with a 2 year deal for 5.8M.

Larry Hinske: Grabbed by Boston in a 2 year deal for $5.6M.

Paul Pecina: Snagged by Milwaukee in a 3 year deal for 5.6M.

Danys Candelaria: Yanked the chain of the Mets for a 4 year deal at 5.8M.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Coach Longevity

dilo - 22
northerngaul - 22
josepaco - 21
dpj0122 - 21
VegasBombers - 21
SLOBS - 21
cmchristians - 19
sjr456 - 19
**firesign34 - 18
***boydndahood - 17
*edham55 - 17
*yoker70 - 16
chase39 - 15
*aireball3 - 15
wholck - 15
thomas36is - 15
jsholmes - 14
davisbrian - 14
dhyatt1080 - 14
sdhizzle - 12
mal247 - 11
dakar - 10
hatton98 - 10
pfontaine - 9
tylermathias - 9
kpmarti - 6
wrecks - 5
robertbaron - 5
***luckystrike - 4
sjpratt - 4
molineknight - 1
claighton3 - 1

* Different organizations and break
** Different organizations
*** Different IDs

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hanging Up the Old Cleats

Normally we don't mention much about who retires as we know it is forthcoming sooner or later. However this season is just a bit different as several probable future Hall of Famers are in the class. This class includes:

Javier Santayana: 21 seasons (although one was lost to injury) mostly in the majors and only played for Toronto which upon itself is an unheard of feat. Over 2900 hits and 698 stolen bases to his credit.

Yamil Pulido: The Great One has hung them up. 7 Cy Young awards to go with his 4 WS Rings amassing 281 wins. Lets not forget his post season record of 25-8.

Orlando Ozuna: May not have been a household name but was awarded 2 Cy Youngs in the AL along with his 247 wins.

Albert Johnson: What can con say about AJ, 5 MVP's, 0ver 3400 hits with over 2000 runs and RBIs and lifetime batting average of .346. The only thing more popular were his two cousins, DJ and his sister.

Bruce Kinney: Maybe not great but did pitch on the Big Red Machine and has 4 WS Rings to prove it. 185 wins is nothing to smirk about. Staying in the game as a coach starting out for the Toronto RL team

Friday, December 16, 2011

Season 22 Starts

Low and behold we couldn't get one then two arrive at the same time. Welcome molineknight the new skipper for the St. Louis Hawks and claighton3 at the helm of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Both show to be newbies, though we all started somewhere and I started in this world also. One thing to note for newbies is that this game can be very overwhelming to start so don't be afraid to ask questions. Also the ever present HELP tab is available. Also the Help Manual under Admin Office is available.

As wholck said some of my old posts about the beginning of the season are in the May 2008 section of the blog. I looked them over and are still relevant even with all the changes. Matter of fact there are several blogs posts in 2008 that are still very relevant. I haven't really wrote much about playing the game but more of what is going on around our World.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Roll Over

Things the Mets would like to see at rollover. Of course we are only looking at the youngsters.

Leo Rodney: His range increasing would be a boon for sure. Six points would be great in that area but chances are maybe 2 or 3 would be likely. Power would be next on the list, 3 or more would be great. He really doesn't have much growth anywhere other than those two areas that we can see but can improve a point overall. Spring training could only help in glove and maybe a contact point.

Well, he did improve but not like we had hoped. One point in Range, two in Durability and Power, beggars can't be choosey.

John McInerney: The only thing that can help him is a point or two of range also. Under the circumstances it may be needed for him to retain his 2B position.

Nothing, nada, zilch. So unhappy with that news.

Carlos Mesa: His health is weak and no help in that regards that we can see. Durability can go up along with his power, both would be good but not enough to make a big impact. Scouting says he could improve up to 10 points overall yet but I don't see much more than 3 happening.

Big improvements, the best is the single point in Range but six in Durability and four in power. Might be a big push to put him at 2B.

Guy Oquist: Range is a must and be defensively helpful. More in durability will help also. Power increasing is kind of a who cares issue but would help with his overall. Improving his splits during spring training would help more than anything else I think.

A point here and there but nothing to write about really.

Dan Radke: Other than a couple durability points he just doesn't have much to improve upon. Most of his points a relegated to splits and glove.

Was just enough to make a one point overall adjustment.

R.J. Bellhorn: Stamina is about the only thing left and a few points here would help a bit. Everything else that is improvable is in the hands of the pitching coach and that isn't much.

Got a couple points to help his cause.

Anderson Henley: Not much to say about this guy. Has some improvement left but we aren't expecting much. We aren't exactly counting on a repeat performance of last season either.

Nothing here.

Harry Rodriguez: Another youngster that is about maxed out also. We feel that he is a better pitcher than his record indicates BTW.

His increases were a bit odd if you ask me.

Ted Maxwell: Although there isn't much improvement to be had a couple points here and there could really help. The injury to begin the season took its toll and time to really get back. A good spring and just maybe he could be strong enough for the starting rotation.

Still a bit behind the eight ball from his injury.

Marc Redman: He became a special case calling him up at the end of the season. His defense sure could use the rollover boost for sure. He shows a lot of promise as a lead off hitter but didn't exactly impress us in his short visit.

Something is better than nothing.

Lonny Moreno: Has a ML future but needs a good rollover especially in durability along with fielding help.

Had a decent rollover but not great.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pirates Do It!

The Pirate dream finally comes to fruition with a 4-1 World Series. Their first title with an unbelievable season in their second try. In season 16, if you remember, they were the best team in baseball that year and lost the World Series to Boston in 7. It was almost a surreal repeat match up had Boston beat Las Vegas in the ALCS. Congrats Chase!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Manager of the Year

It should be that time to vote on Manager of the Year. It could very well be a tough decision. Remember send your votes via TC to SJR!!!

NL - A lot to choose form for sure

dilo - Led the Brewers to their first division title sine season 2.
chase39 - Held the Pirates together and a Wold Series engagement.
boydndahood - Wrestled the division title away from Florida.
sdhizzle - 8 straight playoff appearances.
jsholmes - Winningest team this season.
wholck - 5 straight division titles, 6 straight playoff appearances.

tylermathias - First time team has been above .500 since season 9.
firesign34 - First time team has been above .500 since season 2.
hypnotoad - Took over franchise and almost put them playoff bound.


dakar - Winningest team in AL this season.
SLOBS - Surprising World Series agenda.
wrecks - Led team to first ever division title.
cmchristians - Surprise ending for a playoff spot.
pfontaine - 8 straight playoff appearances.
thomas36is - Kept team in playoffs avoiding a total meltdown.

edham55 - Speaking of surprise endings but ended up short on tie-breakers.

Finally, We Are Here

The final series of the season has come upon us. What should have come down to a rather uneven bout in the World Series suddenly changed. The Pittsburgh Pirates sudden euthanasism (umm youthanism is more like it) upsetting the seemingly one-siddedness in the NL has brought an unknown aspect into the series.

And what of the Las Vegas Slobs? They tout the oldest player in this years series with Dan Hitchcock. Can he have a Billy Chapel performance to hang onto his youthfulness (umm usefulness) one more time? Of course the Slobs only have 6 players that have 10 or more years experience. The Pirates have 10 if your counting.

Did experience trump youth in the NL? In the AL it would seem rather likely also except for the fact Boston had the more experienced team. While Boston didn't put up much of a fight the Pirates had their backs against the wall down 3-0. Was the youthful Salem team over confident they would win easily, look out next year as they will want to prove a point.

The Pirates could have the advantage overcoming Milwaukee, Houston and Salem in their unexpected playoff run. Las Vegas had to overcome their division nemesis Helena before wrecking Tampa Bay and Boston. The odds in this series is: pickum
For those wanting to know, extra doctors, ambulance crews and healthcare maintenance teams have been summoned to keep players and equipment functioning at peak performance during the series.

Here ya go for this years big vote! What is the best baseball movie of all time? Here is a list of some of the best in my opinion, not in any order though For Love of the Game is my personal favorite. Send vote via TC of firesign34.

1. For Love of the Game
2. Major League
3. Bull Durham
4. Field Of Dreams
5. Eight Men Out
6. Mr Baseball
7. The Rookie
8. The Final Season
9. The Stratton Story
10. Damn Yankees
11. A League of Their Own
12. The Scout
13. The Pride of the Yankees
14. The Pride of St Louis
15. Fever Pitch
16. The Kid From Left Field
17. The Natural

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

End of Season Tweets

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Milwaukee Brewers - Take one down, pass it around. Nominate me too!
Pittsburgh Pirates - Shumpert, what was I thinking?
Cincinnati Reds - Those turkeys above have another thing coming next year.
Chicago Cubs - Rebuild? More like teach these turkeys how to play.

Seattle Mariners - Where can I buy Fantasy Baseball Insurance?
Minnesota Twins - No bout adoubt it, we are for real!
Toronto Blue Jays - All that money spent and I have to speak to Peggy.
Detroit Tigers - This didn't work, that didn't work, what does work?

Boston Red Sox - The good, the bad, the ugly, we are all three.
Dover Dung Beetles - Suburgatory!
Atlanta Braves - I shot an arrow into the air! Oh!
Washington D.C. Senators - Donkeys and Elephants don't make good mascots.

Philadelphia Phillies - B-day cake anyone, well roasted. AARP Insurance sold here.
New York Mets - Financial lockouts suck!
Cleveland Indians - Turkey, stuffing, noodles, taters, cranberry sauce = off day!
St. Louis Browns - WTF? We were railroaded.

Tampa Bay Rays - No more frustration. No more jinxes.
Texas Rangers - Shhh while we unique up on dem.
Little Rock Heads - What do you mean there were no IFA's?
Kansas City Royals - .276 batting average, for and against.

Houston Astros - VL would have been so simple.
Florida Marlins - We bought IJ's sister a thigh master. He came in 9 sizes even.
Mexico City Diablos Rojos - Shouldn't have ate those turkey tamales.
Charlotte Knights - I think I get it now.

Las Vegas Slobs - I wanted a bye...Waaaaah.
Helena Hot Pockets - Almost blew it again.
San Diego Padres - Oh so close but no cigar.
Anaheim Angels - Thoroughly disgusted.

Salem Super Sequoias - We are the best, lets prove it.
Los Angeles Dodgers - Compassion doesn't work in baseball does it?
Arizona Diamondbacks - Next year we cut down the trees.
San Francisco Giants - Number 1 pick! Oh yeah, Number 1 pick! Proof positive DH's don't work.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

AL Finally

What a dramatic finish for the AL Wild Card. BTW, it took me 25 minutes to figure out the tie-breakers. I have seen a 3 way tie but that is the first 4 way, almost sounds kinky. Anyway this is how it played out against the predictions:

1. Seattle - A correct prognostication.
2. Tampa Bay - We just didn't have them this high and no jinx.
3. Las Vegas - Wow, we had them in the 6th spot.
4. Boston - So they moved down a slot.
5. Minnesota - The surprise entry and what a final push.
6. Helena - Had them winning the division but barely survived another meltdown.

I believe the Manager of the Year for the AL should be between (What ya think SJR?):

dakar - Best team in the AL
wrecks- Finally! Organizations first division title and only second playoff.
cmchristians - Surprising everyone into the playoffs
edham55 - 21-3 to finish the season and come from way back just to fall a tie-breaker short. Hear that noise? No? That was curses from the silent one.

Player Awards

AL MVP - I am leaning toward Raymond Barr just because he had better numbers across the board. 40 HR's, 39 SB's .292 Avg and played a good CF. Shayne Marte and his Avg just turns me off. Will have to think about Jesse Brennaman, may not have the HR production but the rest of the numbers are very good.

AL Cy Young - Tony Lansing, a shame Matthews only has a 14 durability.

AL ROY: Chong is FOY so I am going with Ronny Gant just because he plays a better 1B.

Player Awards

Well, I was gonna write about the AL finals versus the predictions but they just can't decide on a 5th and 6th seed yet. Such a mess that is, could wind up as a 4 way stop. If the Twinkies and Padres win it is simple they are in. A 3 or 4 way tie is too complicated to look up and decipher. According to kp though, the Padres must win it outright for them to go.

What I was originally going to write about before I was sidetracked by the AL mess was the NL player Awards. I thought it was pretty cut and dry until I started looking things over.

NL MVP - Greg Woods is superman this year, there is no denying it. Is top in Home Runs, RBIs, Hits and Average and not by a leetle bit either but a wide margin. He plays a mean 3B also, 8 plus plays and only 10 errors. I know a couple will vote for their own players in the NL, but he should win by a large margin.

NL Cy Young - Ivan the Terrible is at the top of the list. Yup, he had his normal season though I think maybe he might be just a little overworked. I have no qualms about voting for Megias as his stats look pretty good. I don't think Nixon is that great in all reality, just on a great team and reaps the benefits. Knotts stands up to the test by my standards, pitching in Houston with those stats make him really good. Loewer, I thought at first didn't have enough wins until I looked at the stats. On a decent team with a sub 1 WHIP and OAV and only gave up 8 dingers makes it a tough choice. I may wait to hear from the peanut gallery before I decide.

NL ROY - Yes, Henley had a great Rookie season and I will vote for him because he is mine. However, he just may have had the best season he will ever have, who knows, his abilities ain't that grand. Betemit is actually my choice, he looks to be a great all-a-round player for years to come if you ask me.

Near the End

With a game to go, the race in the NL is over. A few surprises but not much more than expected really.

So how did the early predictions turn out?


1. Salem - Was the early favorite and turned out right on the money.
2. Houston - A bit of a surprise was expected to be the 5th seed.
3. Brewers - Right on target.
4. Philly - Malingered but made it anyway.
5. Florida - We really thought Ivan the Terrible would keep them in the 2 slot but alas, we thought wrong.
6. Pittsburgh - After 7 straight titles it was time for a change even though we thought Arizona would take this spot, they did challenge it.

Biggest surprises:

Dodgers - Hypnotoad did a fantastic job taking over and almost put them in.
Arizona - Not really a surprise to me but above .500 for the first time since season 9.
Mets - Above .500 in a Mets uniform and the first time since season 2.

I believe the Manager of the Year for the NL should be between (What ya think SJR?):

jsholmes - Best team in Season 21.
Hypnotoad - Taking over a good franchise and nearly putting them in the playoffs.
tylermathias - Putting that beleaguered franchise on the map.
firesign34 - Finally giving New York fans hope.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sweeping Mayhem in the AL

Just when we thought the AL was sorta set, a sweeping mayhem upsets the balance. The Twinkie sweep of Helena caused the first problem in the AL Wild card race. We definitely did not see that coming. Furthermore we did not expect a Texas sweep of Las Vegas either. Those two sweeps combined with San Diego splitting Atlanta caused an uproar that has a couple owners very disgusted with their teams.

Will the South champs try and rest their stars or try and slow down the peaking Rangers? With 6 to go and only the Rays and Heads in their way of a possible Wild Card and we suddenly mean "WILD". Can they maintain their win streak?

The Twinkies have the Tigs and Jays in their way, so we can't rule them out of a possible trip to the playoffs either.

Helena has the Padres and Slobs while the Padres face the Angels to finish the season. The Helena - San Diego series takes on a whole new meaning. Both will be in a must win situation.

What will happen is very interesting to watch.

In the NL things went like we expected, well almost. The Mets were hoping for a Houston sweep or at least a 3-1 series win against the Phils. That didn't happen, while the Mets split their series with the Cubs in a couple weird and whacky games. Both have the Indians and Browns upcoming. The Phillies are in luck because they have a 1 game lead and thee Mets must finish in first alone.

Arizona split with the Pirates as they needed a sweep to make it. That split didn't help the Dodgers either as they split their series with the Reds. Although the D'Backs and Dodgers are not out math wise, they both must face Salem and Frisco.

Pittsburgh has the Cubs and Brewers left on their schedule. The Brewers have the Reds next in sight. The Brewers are in the cat bird seat in the North needing a win and a Pirate loss at the least.

Boydndahood is shaking in his cleats, worried about impending doom from the Marlins. Houston plays Mexico City while Florida plays Charlotte before the inevitable match up between the two. 10 pounds of sunflower seeds have been delivered trying to calm him down.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Disgusting 10

Why Disgusting? There are 10 games left to play and the final push for a playoff spot begins. Who is still in the race and who will be disgusted at the end.

NL North

The Brewers have a 4 game lead over the Pirates. Basically the Brewers need 3 wins to gain a playoff spot. The Pirates could overtake the Brewers but it will be tough.

NL East

Philadelphia has a one game lead over the surprising Mets. New York has their fingers crossed as the schedule does favor them.

NL South

The Houston lead is 4 games over Florida. Both are in the playoffs already. The winner gets a bye with the #2 seed. We don't see this changing btw.

NL West

Salem is the best team in the league this season and have the division and #1 seed all to themselves.

Wild Card

The loser of the South wins the first Wild Card spot. Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Arizona are all fighting for the final spot. Pittsburgh has a 2 game lead and the schedule favors them in all reality. Baring a total Pirate collapse the NL should look like this.

1. Salem
2. Houston
3. Milwaukee
4. Philadelphia/New York
5. Florida
6. Pittsburgh

Not really all that much drama in the AL as the only battles left is for the wild cards.

Seattle has won the North and the #1 seed.

Boston has won the East.

Tampa Bay Has won the South.

Las Vegas needs to win one or two to wrap up the West

Helena needs a combination of 5 wins to wrap up a wild card spot, easier said than done sometimes.

San Diego needs a combination of 7 wins to wrap up the wild card spot, also easier said than done.

Texas and Minnesota would almost need to win out, not impossible but very unlikely. Though we can see Texas doing just that.

Baring something unusual, like a complete collapse from Helena or San Diego or both the AL should look like this:

1. Seattle
2. Las Vegas
3. Tampa bay
4. Boston
5. Helena
5. San Diego

More IFA Money Spent

Yorman Reyes became an overnight sensation when he was paid $23.3M by Little Rock for services to be rendered. Well overpaid is more like it, though sources tell me there was high and heavy bidding going on. Should play 2B relatively well and has some speed. Hitting on the other hand could be an interesting entity as he has below average eye, doesn't hit right-handers particularly well but could be a tougher strikeout victim than one thinks. Home run hitting ability is a non-threat also. Best part, it shouldn't take too long in the minors to get up to snuff.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Another IFA Signing

Las Vegas spends 6M for Tomas Arrojo. Another splash that is just rippling along. Good splits, pitches and control. Has good velo and forces ground balls but those splits might evoke some consternation for coaches.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

IFA Signing

Linda Loo reporting live from Angels headquarters were the signing of Al Gil has just been announced. I wasn't really up for another interview as the last few have been wanna be dreamers. Something about those long legs, big arms and boyish face, girls, ya know what I mean.

I wasn't impressed with his hitting style as he struck out with me. He did however rebound quickly hitting several deep ones. Still hear them screaming, lol. He had a thing for the blondes which left me out in the dark, cold and hungry. It is very apparent that he can juggle them and toss with ease.

Overall I think the $13M was well spent. We will give him a flattering SS grade of an A+ (gold glove power SS are hard to come by) but only receives an overall B+ from the judges (something about being blind in one eye and can't see out the other (maybe that is why he goes after blondes).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Twenty Game Season

How much of a change was caused in the last 10 games? Another quick look as the season winds to a screeching halt. 9 of the remaining 20 is within the division.

NL North

Brewers didn't help themselves what so ever. Then again the Pirates had to put up with the stingy Mets that didn't help their cause. The Reds did make a bit of a move and are still in contention for a Wild Card.

NL East

This has turned into a horse race whether anyone wanted it or not. Phillies have somewhat of an easier schedule, but....

NL South

Houston seems to have staked their claim to the title but still too close to call. Houston seems to have a bit of a tougher schedule. Florida has a 10 game lead on the Wild Card so they aren't that worried about the post season.

NL West

Salem walked away with the division a few days ago. A 9 game lead for the #1 seed looks very convincing.

NL Wild Card

Florida claims the first spot if they can't over take Houston. That leaves six teams in contention for the final spot and all are within 5 games of Pittsburgh. That should make these last 20 games a furious battle.

AL North

Seattle is close to clenching and also has a 6 game lead on the #1 seed, both are inevitable I do declare.

AL East

Boston has made a move and has a 7 game lead. But things could get ugly before its over but I don't expect it.

AL South

Tampa Bay has a 13 game lead and doesn't look like they are going to throw it away this year.

AL West

Las Vegas moved out to a 9 game lead that looks very imposing.

AL Wild Card

This looks like a three horse race at the moment and you might see a lot of biting and snapping before it is over. 2 of the three leading contenders are in the same division, you know what that means: hatred. The Twinkies also face one of those 2. Fun FUn FUN!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Flushing Miracle

First and foremost on Mets fans minds is the fact we are in FIRST! That hasn't happened this late in the season since, well, like maybe NEVER. Not in Shea at least, though there is some contention since season 2 they could have been. Since becoming the Mets however, they have never been in first place and have not had a winning season even. As an organization, not since season 1 when they where in Syracuse. Could this season break the curse they seem to have acquired? With 23 to play, we can only hope.

We have already met two goals this season and the third is within striking distance. The first was to win 65 games, should be any teams first goal. Second was to beat last years win total, well we will do that with one more win. The third goal is to be above .500, we have a good chance to do that. Fourth goal is to win the division, we are very optimistic (or pessimistic, hell, just fill the damn glass up and get on with it is my answer) on that one.

Hynotoad brought up an interesting question about Anderson Henley. I really don't understand it either and it may be why Keebo always had problems. George Atkins became the first 15 game winner for the Mets in years during season 19. Injured in season 20, he has never pitched with decent quality since. I wouldn't call him great but a cut above average, in other words I would say he should win about 13 to 15 games a year. Now why is Henley 16-2? The answer seems to lie in history. All the winningest Met pitchers have something in common, their abilities are basically alike and they match Henley's. Other than that I am completely buffaloed for any other answer. That is why I say it is the mystique of Shea.

It is kind of an odd story on how Henley actually ended up on the ML roster in the first place. He was slated to pitch in AA this year and had a good spring. Ted Maxwell was injured in the third game of the season and I needed a replacement and Henley was the only thing remaining that looked like a starting pitcher. He was placed as the B pitcher in the tandem rotation. When we broke out of the tandem I decided to leave him as the starter and the rest is history. Believe it or not, he is already tied for fourth place all time for wins in a single season.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Dirty Thirty

Yup, we are down to the last 30 games of the season. Who has a chance and who is a pretender remains to be seen. We will take our best shot however. The NL has only one team getting ready to print their playoff tickets, while a couple others know they are in but not sure where and a couple fights are starting to simmer. The AL on the other hand is still a hotbed of contention for the most part.

NL North

Brewers are in first but not a comfy one. The Pirates are scrambling and hanging tough even though they had an ugly 2-12 stretch. The Reds were hot but not lately and may have slid out of contention.

NL East

The Phillies are mostly cold as of late and barely keeping their heads above water. The Mets are very streaky but are at .500 once again and were tied for first for a while, very few remember the last time that happened this late in the season.

NL South

Houston is in first but only by two. Florida hangs close. This one may not be decided til their last series but both are playoff bound.

NL West

Salem is in coast mode and only need 9 games to wrap up the division. 11 games up for the #1 seed, we don't see that changing either.

Wild Card

Florida or Houston will take the #5 seed as the best guess at the moment. The Pirates, Dodgers and D'Backs are all fighting for the final spot. The Mets and Reds look like pretenders in the Wild Card race.

AL East

Seattle has bulged to a 14 game lead in their division but only aq 5 game lead for the #1 seed. Is that comfy enough? Well, yes and no. Twinkies could make it interesting but that is a pretender thinking.

AL East

Boston is up by 4 games, not so comfy by any margin. Dover could sneak up and take it yet but need to get going. Atlanta still has its chances also. Who will get hot and who could go stone cold could cause an interesting situation here.

AL South

Tampa is up by 13 and looks like a shoo-in.

AL West

Slobs are up by 6 and that is well, intimidating, for this division. Helena is not out and will fight tooth and nail til the end. Padres have mounted a come back before, so we can't rule them out either.

Wild Card

At the moment the Wild Cards are being fought over by the Pockets, Twinkies, and Padres. We will call those ones even favorites at the moment while the pretenders are Dover, Toronto and Anaheim.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

And The Fans Scream

Okay, time for another history type lesson. So I was looking at the Home Run leader, Greg Woods and wondering if he had a chance to be the all time long ball champ. A little dissecting is in order. First he is 30 and makeup is not that powerful and it is possible that his ratings might start declining as early as next year sometime. Even with that, he has a chance to hit close to 200 dingers in that time before serious deterriation begins. That will put him in the neighborhood of over 600 long balls. Maybe we should call in Dr Long John now? Our current Long Ball King is Joey Tracy, who has mounted a career on masterful dingers to the tune of 745. We are expecting this to be his last year btw, 750 is still possible though. Giving Greg at least 425 total after this season and maybe a couple more than that, he would still need about 325 to surpass Joey. Five or six more years, he would need to average 50 a year to come close, not impossible but I think maybe unlikely.

Of course we need to acknowledge a few other of Joeys feats, like eclipsing 2,000 RBI's and 1,600 runs to go with the Home Run King accomplishment. Take a bow Joey, you deserve it!

Things Stolen in the Night

Sometimes things happen and I get curious and that is how this story goes. I really like history, so the search goes on. I was checking John McInerney and his stats when I noticed he had 168 stolen bases already. No surprise really but I got to wondering who had the most stolen bases in a Met uniform, of course that escalated in the end.

So the search started, what I did find out was somewhat amazing. I found out that his last stolen base put him fourth all-time for a Met in that department. I looked at the list and went, WOW!, startled the old lady even. Tony Duran is actually the Mets stolen base leader with 863 thefts. Matter of fact he leads the World in that department. I was actually surprised. Is he HOF material? I really think so on that aspect alone, but his resume other than that is pretty bleak. Marshall Hunter is second on the list with 785 thefts. Marshall could have been the all time Theft King but his sudden anemic hitting left him out in the cold in season 20 or maybe it was greed. Louis Hiljus is third on the list with 759. It looks like a trip to the DL and his poor glove work ended his career early as he had a chance to be Number 1 all-time. He does hold the theft percentages as he only got caught 34 times.

So, is there anyone that could actually vie for a shot at all-time Theft King? Not exactly sure but a little research shows that Jeff Kline leads the majors this season and has done superb job the past few seasons. But alas, his age and and not so hot hitting style will probably leave him in the top 10 when his career ends. Second on the list is Stephen Henley. With 608 stolen bases and counting already, very good hitting abilities and only 30 years old, could very possibly be sitting on the throne before his career ends.

For the most part, a lot of stolen bases occurred in Seasons 9-12. It didn't matter what kind of catcher you had, short of a land mine in the sliding pit, anybody with any ability at stolen bases wasn't going to be stopped. That is why these guys aren't considered HOF material. Here ends a history lesson in Thievery 101.

Things Are Heating Up!

A little less than 40 games to go and things are getting a little heated. In the NL things are a bit tight knit as two races are shaping up to be barn burners. The AL has looked rather strange all year long and anything can still happen.

Seattle has control of the AL North, 10 more wins could easily put them out of reach and with the #1 seed even.

Boston is in the cat-bird seat in the AL East as streaky Dover struggles to get above .500 and remain close. Atlanta is not down and out yet, could they catch fire?

Tampa Bay looks rather comfy in the AL South, of course we said that last year and look what happened. This year is different however and it is called a 14 game deficit.

AL West looks like it did last year, Slobs and Pockets duking it out over first, Padres twiddling their thumbs (well maybe something else also). Will it end with the same drama?

The Wild Card has three contenders above .500 for two slots and a host of pretenders, this could wind up to be a wooly show in the end.

NL North is seeing a lot of action this year. The Brewers have been entrenched all year but just can't seem to pull away. Then came the Pirates lack of enthusiasm all of a sudden. The Reds are on a roll so things seem a little shaky yet.

The NL East appears to be the laughing stock as the Phils are in first and can't win. The Mets are in second get to .500 then quit playing.

Florida and Houston are still lamenting over who should be in first and who will get the wild card in the NL South. Do wish they would make up their minds.

Salem has all but mathematically wrapped up the NL West and the #1 seed.

A four team race for the final wild card spot, looks like some fur will fly for that one.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Best of AAA?

I was temporarily in aah of the best prospects the showed up a couple days ago. Like wow man, I would love to have those guys available for my team. Then I took a look, blah was all I could think of. Most of them don't even have a career in the majors. So I decided to take a look at the AAA leaders to see if there was some outstanding candidates worthy of submission. It wasn't an easy task by any means.

First I looked at home runs, it took awhile in the list but finally found two that have ML written all over them. Del Alvarez plays for KC, though maybe not a great 1B (okay maybe he sucks is more likely), he should succeed as a DH. We think he needs at least another year of development as he is not exactly burning things up at the plate. Manuel Camacho could very well turn out to be a pitchers nightmare. A good rollover and spring could allow him to be on the ML roster next year and at 3B at a minimum also.

Okay, I didn't search all 25 but this was the best of the top 15, so I looked at BA next. Surprise, another Cleveland stand out in Carl Mattingly. Looks like they have been hoping for him to get his fielding habits in perspective but it just hasn't happened. Of course his health has a little to do with it maybe, but he could definitely play RF. How Will Palmer has a .323 average is beyond me (just had to mention that Dilo). Robinzon Aguilera may have a great career in SD where huge power is not a must at 1B. Vic Rios may have a hard time getting a job at the ML level even though he is or could be a very good hitter and play a great 1B and run. What can you do with a guy that can terrorize right-handed pitchers with low power but lefties befuddle him?

I thought pitching would be easy, but there I go thinking once again. Willie Ellis has the most wins and has failed at the ML level already and at the age of 31 might consider retirement. Willie Pascual has potential at least.

Victor Guerrero leads AAA with 39 saves but not sure he is actually closer material. Ramon Nakajima is more likely to be a closer and could join the ML ranks next year. Graham Jensen is a very likely candidate but needs a couple more years to develop.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Bad Broadway Musical

The Mets are back to .500 once again which is probably the best news of the season, well, for us anyway. That and we are only two behind the struggling Phillies. We can still do it, but then again one has to overcome disaster. The disaster occurred after last nights game against the Knights. Domingo Jose had to have knee surgery, what a setback for a team trying to get to the post season for the first time in years. It didn't happen during the game (well it wasn't in the box score), it just happened which seems to me like a first.

I was thinking about a move anyway, though this was not what I had in mind for sure. Carlos Mesa was brought up to take his place with the open roster spot. I had a choice and thought a left-handed bat in the lineup was the best solution. I do worry about Carlos and his anemic health however. He did suffer a playoff ending injury last season and most of this year so maybe the worst is behind him.

I am a bit financially bound to get a player from the Waiver Wire, sorta my fault but there isn't much I can do. Besides, I am not really wanting to give up the precious young talent that I do have. So I am bit cornered with no way out...egads!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ding Ding Goes the Dinger

Juan Carrasquel hit his 600th home run of his career! That is a great milestone for any player and Juan is a great player. How many would he have had if he played his home games in a plus park I wonder?

How does he stand on the all-time list I am not sure but he is not in the top 5 yet. Joey Tracy is number 1 with 745 long balls and still counting but his days are almost numbered. Can he reach 750 before the end of the season? Can he play first base next year and still be a quality player? We will have to wait and see.

Willie Pizzaro is number 2 on the list and is also still active with 656. He is really upset in his role this year and isn't getting much playing time.

Randy Lamb, the Met great, hit 627 homers and currently ranks number 3 on the list, all of them but 1 in a Mets uniform also. How he accomplished that feat is questionable.

Omar Nixon also hit 627 home runs and is number 4 on the list. His rapid decline at the end of his career signaled a quick end. A steroid monster was always questioned.

Rocky Spencer is 5th on the list but will move up to number 3 with 629+ dingers at the end of the season. It will be his last we suspect as his durability and health just won't sustain much more.

Given Juan's current age and abilities, it is very possible that he could wind up second all time. That is only 57 more and I think he can do it with ease.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What Trivial Dribble

Look! Did you see that? The Mets with a winning record after All-Star break! Is it the end of the world? You would have to go back all the way to season 2 for the trivia answer BTW. Then again they weren't the Mets then but called the Empire, does that count? or maybe the proper answer may be never? Is it a first? Debatable, organization wise it could be season 2. The older owners might remember if they were above .500 during season 3. They accomplished the feat in weird fashion also. First, they hit the long ball which is more than a strange feat. Such a surprise they have hit 13 home runs in the four game win streak. The way things normally go, 13 home runs might happen in 10 games or more, mostly more. More surprising, most of them happened in Shea against Salem. Secondly, they handed Salem its second three game losing streak of the season and the first time they have been swept so far this season. Third, the Mets opened the season with a 8-17 record at home. It has taken a lot of doing, but really have figured out how to win at home as we have gone 16-8 since. I have so many different lineups it is funny, takes a lot longer to set than normal also. All I can say is "WOW"!

With the schedule we have, can we maintain a winning record? is another story. Hopefully we can but it will be a struggle.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Indirect Madness

AL North

The Mariners have the lead and one of the few teams to have a winning record at home in the AL. The Twinkies are still trying to stay close but the annihilation in Seattle hurt. The Blue Jays got their heads above water and suddenly looked like they were gonna jump back into the fray. Going 2 and 6 at the hands of the Mariners and Twinkies has ruffled their feathers. Detroit may have a tiger by the tail but it is still asleep.

AL East

The East looks like a disaster waiting to happen. Are the Republicans making a move? Any of them get hot and take over. The Red Sox have stinky feet, the Dung Beetles just plainly stink, the Braves have their tomahawks at the ready but can't get out of their own way.

AL South

Don't look now but the Rays have built up a 10 game lead. How? 34-15 on the road is how. Lo and behold, the Rangers are above .500 at home, now that seems really strange when the road record is 22-27. KC and the Heads are fighting a battle to stay out of the cellar. They have a plan though, identical records.

AL West

The Slobs found a novel way to take over the division, beat everyone else. Still a tight bunch and two have winning records at home and they are all above .500! Hot Pockets have an inside track, we might have to wait until the microwave goes "DING" though. We also know what happens when the Padres get hot. The Angels aren't gonna go away either and look out because they have a deal with Victors Secret.

NL North

The Brewers drank too much at All-Star break and have hit skid row. The Pirates, Reds and Cubs have taken advantage to siddle up the board. Yes, the Cubs, but I wouldn't take them serious. The Pirates may raid their wares before the season ends. The Reds struggle at times but remain within striking distance.

AL East

The Phillies were happy until the 3rd game with the Mets. They looked at the schedule and looked scared. The Mets aren't happy with their schedule either...uggggh is the word but their could be joy as it is mostly a home schedule. The Mets did hand Salem their worst loss of the season. Cleveland can't win at home and the latest losing streak have them on edge. The Browns need to win the rest of their games to get to .500, no one sees that happening.

AL South

The Astros are doing everything humanly possible to pull away from the pesky Marlins, it just ain't happening. The Marlins are actually getting a little worried as things are getting a bit complicated in the NL. Mexico City and Charlotte are relaxing, so would I at 20 plus games back. Can we say "Where is the beach?".

AL West

Salem needs about 20 wins for a lock on a playoff spot already, that seems absurd. They were none too happy about their latest loss. The Dodgers have awakened from a deep sleep and are putting a fright to a couple teams. The D'Back have their rattles shaking but are suddenly fangless. The Giants and Browns are in the same company and are fighting it out for next years first pick.

Rant Rant Rant!

I don't know, just seems like a good title to start with. Well actually it is just how I feel at the moment for some reason. Where to begin is just one of those things also. I guess the first thing is to tell y'all about some minor stuff in the International market.

The big splash, well that is how it was billed. The signing of Pedro Cueto by the Browns. Like, um, wow, to me it wasn't even a good ripple to be noteworthy. Not many seemed interested in the kid and only $7.5M signing bonus to boot. So what that he is the fastest thing on two feet, from the looks of things he has to get on base first. Might have a good eye and contact but he just isn't overpowering at the plate. His fielding isn't going to get him very far either at 2B, very good range but he keeps tying his shoelaces to the webbing of his glove. Maybe that was a joke his teammates pulled on him. Very bad joke as he landed on the DL. Maybe we need forensic evidence as to his real age, they can tell ya know.

J.P. Nieves was singed by the Red Sox for $13.8 M. A middle reliever with some very good abilities and could be a future star. Linda Loo said in a text that he probably isn't 18, more like 23. She hasn't been able to walk or talk for three days since the interview that didn't get aired.

(Insert five minutes worth of commercials so everyone can go to the bathroom and get munchies.) Now for the Rant part.

Have you ever wondered about college sports and where the NCAA gets off? It's all about money of course, plain and simple. Think of it this way, a big Div I school, the average ticket price to a football game is $50. The stadium seats 100,000 that is an easy $5M. Lets say everyone spends $10 on food (and that is low probably with the prices they charge), that is another $1M. Souvenirs also, another 20 maybe, another $2M. Parking, can't let that slide and shuttle service in most instances. Big game, nationally much is that worth (LSU-Alabama)? Another $5M maybe, more in all probability. Somebody is making some big bucks for a season. Amateur athletes on a scholarship, seems like they are being paid to play to me and for cheap. Seems to me, one game can cover the expenses for an entire season and the scholarship for four years. Why not protect it to squeeze every last cent.

Oh well, enough with the stupid rant.

The Mets are actually having a good year. Well, that depends on who you ask. If you ask me it is another lousy season. Yeah, we will probably do better than last year, that was the goal. If you look at the numbers right now, they tell a different tale. 4th in the NL in pitching, 5th overall. 5th in the NL in fielding, 8th overall. The unfortunate part, we are almost dead last in hitting. Why? I haven't a clue. Yes our splits against right-handed pitchers aren't sublimely great but is that actually the problem? We have power and can't hit home runs, hell, we can't even hit doubles. We have speed and can't steal bases. We are having trouble getting seeing-eye hits even, go figure. All we had to do in Philly was hit the ball in the air to center field, for the most part we couldn't hit the ball in the air. Matter of fact we can't hit the ball in the air against FB pitchers, figure that one out.

I went looking at the stats and found a couple things that shouldn't be if you ask me. George Atkins for instance has a 77 GB/FB rating. He has given up a team leading 15 home runs in the pitching department. Okay, why do his stats indicate that he is a fly ball pitcher? All of my staff is pretty good in the GB arena. R.J. Bellhorn is about the lowest with a 62 GB/FB rating and is relatively on target if you ask me. He is good at getting inning ending DPs. Anibal Bennett on the other hand was listed as a pure FB pitcher even with a 60 rating. Of course with him you could make the case that he was always wild high. I dumped him back to AAA because he kept walking batters.

Leo Rodney is having trouble getting the ball in the air. You could make several cases for him though. One he is not ready for ML pitching, but he has to learn sometime. I am not sure he would have gotten much better left down in the minors. He was kind of a special case in my books. I didn't need another LF and he isn't a very good one at that and doubt he ever will. So why not bring the big bat up and play 1B. Just needs time to adjust I think. Hey, he replaced Pedro Johnson and anything is better than him in the hitting department, just ask the Republicans.

I waived Dale Stevenson to bring up Guy Oquist. Not the greatest hitter but another decent defensive SS was needed. The Dodgers were the recipient of the waiver case, insurance just in case as he went to AAA.

Poor Sun Hasegawa was dumped back to AAA and he was pretty pissed about that. The reason was to make room for Jesus Lee, whom I piked up off waivers. I was hoping he would be a masher at the plate, well that didn't turn out all that well. Then again maybe I was asking too much. Substandard PC which really didn't hurt that much on the bottom line for a change. What has gotten him in the dog house is his arm or lack thereof. You will find him on the waiver wire after the deadline.

The big stretch is coming in the schedule. Salem, Houston, Milwaukee and Florida just to name a few. I didn't do well the last time, will it be any better? I hope so, if I want to contend. Philly can still fall as their schedule isn't much better. I was hoping to gain ground but ended up losing. Such is life in this game as it can be rather contentious.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Interesting Facts

An interesting thing happened on the way to the Forum.....ummm what is a Forum anyway? Is there such a thing anymore? Well, on the internet there is it

So anyway I was looking at my lone All-Star, Dom Tabaka. and thought he had some nice career save numbers. So I went poking around to see how good his numbers were. Other than being the all time career Saves leader for the Mets, I was wondering how he stood against the big names.

Vinny Post has 523 saves to lead the World and is retired. Why isn't Vinny in the HOF?

Pascual Solano is second and currently has 479 saves and is currently on the Toronto Blue Jays. He could possibly become the all time saves leader for a while.

Mitchell Ray had a total of 454 Saves. He also had a 39-43 won-loss record which is impressive for a closer. Also a member of the HOF when he was inducted in Season 20.

Zeus Singleton currently has 426 Saves playing for the Philadelphia Phillies. Since Zues is still young at the age of 31, he will probably end up as the leader before his career is through.

Augie Holbert has 362 Saves and Plays for Las Vegas. Amazingly he had 104 Saves while playing in Colorado for three years. Although not in the closer role this season he is still adding a few saves.

Dom may actually be next on the list with 341 currently and they are all with the Mets (might be the biggest Mets bright spot). A good finish this year could easily put him in a position to overtake fifth next year. With at least 3 seasons left in his career, he could easily see 450 career saves. Not bad for a lefty!

So I went looking at who was leading the Save arena this year and I found a couple surprises. Just look at the numbers on Benji Franco and Harry Beltran. All I can say is wowzers!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Who's Who in Defense

NL C: Greg Owen: Might get his 1st coveted Gold Glove in the majors. Houston with a PC catcher, who would've thought?

AL C: Juan Espada: Tough to decide but wins out because of his Assists and Caught Stealing ability.\

NL 1B: A tie between Jorge Marmol and Pepe Crespo: Crespo is more of a 1B than the over qualified Marmol. Both have 13 plus plays but Marmol has an error, don't ask how, think someone tied his shoelaces together. Crespo barely makes the list due to lack of playing time.

AL 1B: A tie between Deivi Silva and Cesar Martin: A race between these two for sure but Ronny Gant may wind up being the best in the end.

NL 2B: Bernard Shelley: The front runner at the moment but don't get comfy.

AL 2B: Vernon Leach: A whopping 14 plus plays and only 3 errors.

NL 3B: Peter Alexander: I chose him over a couple others because of his DP stats.

AL 3B: Billy Valentin: His PO's and Assists got him named.

NL SS: Raymond Hartman: More games and no minus plays and it helps being second in assists and DP's.

AL SS: Kane North: All I can say is wow, 13 plus plays and not the leader in that category but only 3 errors.

NL LF: Charlie Stone: Only 6 plus plays (why so few?) and no errors.

AL LF: Jesse Brennaman: A beast in LF but really underqualified anywhere else. 13 plus plays and only 1 error.

NL CF: A tie between Jim Griffin and Arthur Donatello: I just couldn't choose, plus I like Collier in Cincy also.

AL CF: Shayne Marte: Easy call.

NL RF: Karim Quevedo: 6 plus plays and no errors.

AL RF: Esteban Santos: If you ask me a RF has not been easy to come by.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Can't Leave the AL Out

The AL North has had two contenders from the start so far albeit a surprise. The surprise Twinkies started out of the gate quickly but a persistent Mariners team has finally caught up. The Jays can't win at home as they were the preseason ponderance to possibly overtake the Mariners. The Tigs aren't all that bad but don't think they can mount a comeback.

The AL East had a surprise out of the gate also as Dover got on top and looked to run and hide from the pack. Boston was the favorites for some odd reason and have taken over control temporarily maybe. The Braves were on the move but have cooled off recently. The Senators are still fighting amongst themselves but aren't out the race yet.

The AL South looks like the bitter shambles that resembled last season suddenly. Winning at home isn't their forte for sure. Then again, on the road isn't making for happy times either. The Rays are the best team, but can they be there in the end or crumble like last year? Look out for them Rangers, they will sneak up on anybody. Little Rock keep talking enough to fool anyone then zap, there they are. KC is a mystery, just like the Jays (its Black Bart I tell ya).

The AL West is in their ordinary fight, can't count anybody out until the last pitch is thrown. Helena and Vegas keep swapping spots and can't be focused on each other. History tends to repeat itself here, so the Pads and Angels are by no means out of contention.

IFA's In Retrospect Season 8

Juan Carrasquel was the top winner in the Season 8 IFA Market with a $19.8M signing bonus. Spending 11 seasons in Pittsburgh, he holds the teams career record and single season record in Home Runs. Now playing with the Angels should eclipse the 600 Home Run mark this season. With a few seasons yet to play he could eclipse the 700 mark, but is declining. With many accolades other than a Wold Series ring should easily become a HOFer.

Cesar Rincon was signed for $17.5M in a signing bonus. Still young at the age of 31, has a few years yet to play. Has put together some good seasons and has a 140-103 record.

Damaso Estrada was signed for $17.3M in signing bonus. Having an ugly glove and hitting that has proved inconsistent, never lived up to his ability or potential.

Pascual Solano was signed for $11.6M. Has enjoyed more success than several other who were paid more money. Four time Fireman of the Year and five All-Star nominations to his credit. Has 473 saves to his credit, could he surpass 500 this year? Seems unlikely but should easily accomplish that feat before his career ends.

Mets Singing New Song?

Interleague play is now over and the Mets had a plan. Not sure if the plan really worked though we did have a 7-5 record. The plan was actually a necessity more than anything else. The durability of the offense is pretty low in most instances and I was running 14 pitchers. That meant I had to get a little more offensive/defensive support so I could rest players. Since I was running tandem pitching and nothing seemed to bother that setup I decided it was time to make the move and drop a sour pitcher and bring up a couple rookies into the lineup. This I think helped the offense but the pitching suffered a bit.

Just as soon as interleague play started the pitching staff became doomed even though they were well rested. Playing a 14 inning game followed by an 11 inning game tends to do that. Recovered from that rather well until lo and behold it happened again. Funny that it was in the same sequence, a 14 inning game followed by an 11 inning game. That caused me to have to pull out of the tandem pitching sequence as the pen took gas. An off day got everybody back and I figured that things would get back to normal. There I go thinking again as we had a 15 inning game followed by a 10 inning game. That is right, 6 extra inning games out of the 12, we won 4 and made me rather ecstatic.

My question is, did I throw simmy into a tizzy not knowing what to do all of a sudden with the change in the consistency of the team? Was the extra inning games a backlash or to force me into another change or both? Well, at least we were 4-2 in those extra inning affairs.

All jokes and wondering aside, 20 games till the All-Star break. It is gonna be a tough 20 game schedule for us with the D'Backs, Astros, Reds, Sequoias and Giants.
Don't take the Giants for granted, they have real good pitching the offense is just shaky.

There is 90 games plus 1 left already. Playoff teams will win 60 percent of their games at a minimum, that is 54 wins or 6-4 out of 10. That means the Mets could have 88+ wins yet. Will that be enough? To be on the safe side compared to previous years, it is close. If we can stay close or gain a little ground on the Phillies then we have a shot at the division title if things go well right after All-Star break. I don't think it will be enough to gain a wild card though. That is why the next 20 games are very important to us.

Basically in the NL the picture looks like this already. Three teams are already out as it would take a miracle for them to get back in at this point.

The NL North is still in a three way fight, though I think the Reds are a bit iffy. The Brewers and Pirates would both need to collapse. The Pirates started out cold but have come on lately, could they go cold again?

The NL East is a bit of a surprise as the Mets are staying close and the Injuns are an up and down team. Do the Phillies have enough to hold on?

The NL South is between the Astros and Marlins again. Chances are both will be playoff bound, so that takes away a wild card spot. The Knights and Diablos are hanging tough and hopeful.

The NL West has Salem walking away the title and the #1 seed already. The rate they are playing they could wrap up a playoff spot before All-Star break. Meanwhile, the Dodgers and D'Backs remain hopeful candidates for a wildcard spot.