Thursday, April 28, 2011

The AL Foretold

The AL has always given me problems in predicting the outcomes and I am not sure why. Maybe with the DH, the AL prides itself on hitting more than pitching. So without much more fanfare, how did the AL stand out against the predictions so far.

AL North

Seattle Mariners: 20 game lead. That is actually a big surprise in a way but not by much.

Toronto Blue Jays: Might be 20 behind first place but only a couple away from the heavily contested Wild Cards.

Detroit Tigers: This team mystified us when the owner came up missing and that put the team in a bit of a hole. Still in the thick of things however.

Minnesota Twins: I think they mystified everyone including the owner who declared a rebuild is in order.

AL East

If you thought the North was mystifying, just look at the East. I was up in the air before and it has proved that way so far.

Dover Dung Beetles: In first today.

Atlanta Braves: Tied for first tomorrow maybe.

Boston Red Sox and Washington D.C. Senators: Tied for first next week maybe.

AL South

Kansas City Royals: In first place because Bart Ross has single-handedly willed them there again. Huh, he could get on base in Cleveland but really wasn't that great a hitter, what is up with that?

Little Rock Heads: Took the advice well and has put together a good team in Little Rock. Even so, I think they are playing a little over their Heads.

Texas Rangers: Failed in the FA market and decided to retool but still put together somewhat of a winning attitude.

Tampa Bay Rays: Don't ask, Don't tell.

AL West

Anaheim Angels and Helena Hot Pockets: It could be this way til the end of the season.

San Diego Padres: We can't count them out either.

Colorado Rockies: Gopher balls hurt, win or lose but not out of the race.

The only thing I can say right at the moment is .... egads what a mess with maybe two or three teams out of the mix. My predictions other than Seattle may not hold water at all.

AL Surprise: Little Rock Heads, I didn't think they could contend yet.
AL Disappointment: Tampa Bay Rays, got to figure out how to win on the road.
Leading Manager of the Year Candidate: dakar, but only if he gets the team to the WS

The NL Foretold

How has the preseason predictions held up so far? With 56 games to go anything can still happen.

NL North

Pittsburgh Pirates: With an 18 game lead they are plundering their way to a top 3 seed as predicted.

Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds: Both are duking it out for second place. Currently 12 games back of the nearest Wildcard doesn't help their chances very much.

Chicago Cubs: I thought they were in rebuild at the beginning of the season. Their owner had a different perception but alas they are as bad as I perceived them to be.

NL East

Philadelphia Phillies: It took them a while to get in gear but haven't looked back once they took over the division lead as predicted.

St. Louis Browns: They had a hot start then went cold, maybe all the rain put their fire out. When I had them, they stayed in contention until the end before they fizzled.

New York Mets: 70 wins was a lofty goal but is still doable and next season may not be much better, it is gonna take some time.

Baltimore Orioles: Somehow I figured they would be much better.

NL South

Florida Marlins and Houston Astros: It might come down to the final series before a definite candidate rises from the ashes. I still think the Florida veteranship outlasts the young guns.

New Orleans Zephyrs and Mexico City Diablos Rojos are having a tussle staying out of the cellar.

NL West

Salem Super Sequoias: I figured they would have a 10 game lead by this point. Instead they are barely holding their heads above water in first place.

Los Angeles Dodgers: I didn't expect them to be only 1 game out at this point. Remember, I couldn't choose between them and the next.

San Francisco Giants: I really thought they could be right there with the Dodgers, I am sadly mistaken so far.

Arizona Diamondbacks: They are getting better and it is only a matter of time. Chances of a non 100 loss season looks very good and that is a start in the right direction.

So far the season has gone pretty much as predicted with little fanfare. 5 out of 6 in the prediction market, may not finish in my exact order as predicted.

NL Season Surprise: Los Angeles Dodgers
NL Season Disappointment: Milwaukee Brewers

Leading NL Manager of the Year Candidate: dylandash

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Mets Opera

It is All-Star break and it is time to analyze the organization. The last 20 games has been an embarrassment to say the least. I was expecting to win a couple of those games but they just slipped right on by. I was hoping to have 41 or 42 wins at the break. Now I am just not sure how the rest of the season will unfold. The way we are playing, 70 wins is a pipe dream and 63 might be tough. This team is better than it looks. Maybe we can muster some wins against the after All-star break division slug fest.

C - Gary Stanley has been handling the pitchers to the best of his abilities IMHO. His backup sucks, but that is beside the point. Nothing in the minors to help either.

1B - Tomas Guerrero hasn't been stellar at all. Less than adequate at 1B and horrible against right-handed pitchers.

2B - John McInerney stats look bad all the way around. Our feeling is that he was brought to the majors too soon. We think after this season with a decent rollover he could be elite at his position. He should be batting lead-off but his durability says otherwise at this time.

3B - Daiki Xaio has won this positions contest. He isn't a great hitter but plays the position the best.

SS - Tomas Trevino isn't a superstar by any means but is having a great season and was awarded with an All-Star appearance.

RF - Kirby Priddy was Mr Met at one time but those were the days and they are numbered. Gets a good bye tour for the rest of the season.

CF - Abdul Riggs has played CF well and has been pretty good at the plate also.

LF - Rodrigo Cerda has won the job when he isn't on the DL.


Pascual Zapata hasn't performed well at all and will join the unemployment line next season.

Jay Richard hasn't performed well enough to justify his big contract and will find himself in that unemployment line next year also.

Pedro Johnson actually needs more playing time and will probably get it soon enough. Was going to make him the everyday 3B but need someone to back up SS and 2B and he can't do all three.

Dan Radke has really surpassed our expectations. He could be a ROY candidate but may not make the list because we can't find a position he plays well. So now he plays 1B in place of the ineffective Tomas Guerrero.


Most of the problems with pitching is due to the limited amount of offense generated. For the most part they are talented enough but get few breaks.

Minors Watch

Anibal Bennett might be wild but could have potential in the pen.

Jarrett Tobin was found lurking around on the inactive list for 2 years, not sure why. Might make a RF out of him yet.

Ted Maxwell is destined to be a star we think. It will take some more time but is getting there.

Harry Rodriguez is on our watch list at least. We are not sure whether his control and pitches can mask his horrible splits.

Hi A
Carlos Mesa will be great at 3B in our opinion if he stays healthy.

Leo Rodney was our #1 pick, of course he is on the list along with everyone else. We started him out in Rookie ball were he did great to our thinking. He just didn't fit in with the team and opponents wouldn't pitch to him.

Low A
R.J. Bellhorn is upset he didn't make the All-Star team and I agree. He is a lefty however and I detest them but RJ has a chance to make me rethink that position.

Anderson Henley did make the All-Star team just because. We are watching but not sure he actually has what it takes.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

EMSN International Report

True Luck Duck reporting with this special news bulletin. The Kansas City Royals have signed the latest big name IFA in Tomas Ordonez for for the cheap sum of $9.7M. Rumor has it that the Mets allowed for the cheap signing after their #1 pick in the draft signed.

Monday, April 18, 2011

EMSN International Report

Linda Loo reporting live from the beaches of the Dominican Republic in place of True Luck Duck who is in the hospital with food poisoning err alcohol err for what ever. Two new Internationals have been signed after lengthy tryouts. By the way, I have found out why you don't interview prospective players on sandy beaches wearing my wicked weasel.

The first is Javier Amaro, a pitcher whose next stop is with the Helena Hot Pockets. A nice kid with octopus arms and nice splits but let me tell you he left with a gooey hot pocket as his control is definitely an issue. Maybe a few months of Helena pasture hospitality will calm him down.

Control: D
Splits: C+
Pitches: C-
Medical: Clean

Notes: For $5M a definite gamble.

Next up was Pedro Lopez who signed for $6.5M, who is the newest oompa loompa for the Boston Red Sox. He didn't have the staying power and only got to 3B but it was a hell of a ride for awhile.

Fielding: C+
Plate Awareness: C+
Power: C
Contact: D+
Medical: Clean

Notes: Nice arm but the accuracy is a little bothersome getting to 1B. has a good eyes for the ladies but tends to strike out a lot.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Mets Opera

The Mets were on a tear for awhile getting themselves back into contention in the NL East. Winning 10 of 12 from the AL South caused spirits to run high as they positioned themselves to possibly make it to .500, but alas the Brewers and Dodgers ended that dream. With back to back series with Houston, Pittsburgh and Florida, that seems like a pipe dream now and the cellar awaits once again.

On the bright side, our first round draft pick signed. Hip Hip Hoorah! (that gets lost in translation a bit, but sounds real exciting in baritone) He currently became the highest paid draft pick at $5.75M, we think he is well worth it.

Defensively we are one the best, a firesign trait. Though we have noticed unsolvable problems here and there.

Offensively things are a mixed bag. 78 games into the season and still haven't figured out the best lineup. Consistently inconsistent is the best way to describe things. Even in the 10 game win streak, hitting wasn't what you would call robust or consistent.

Pitching has been funny. Just like the hitting, pitching has been consistently inconsistent. Damaso Espinoza is the most hard luck pitcher I have seen. 8 quality starts in 15 tries with two wins, 2 complete games and a 2-9 record. One of the complete games was a 1-0 loss.

So it goes on, the teams play is decent, but the inconsistency is driving me bonkers. Of course the only way to combat the problem is to get better players. With the remaining budget left for prospects, we are quickly driving the price up hoping there will be a good prospect we can get our hands on at the end of the season that fits our needs. Either that or we spend it on our second round pick.

EMSN International Report

Linda Loo reporting from Cubs headquarters in Chicago where a major signing has just been announced. David Manzanillo was signed to a MLB contract for $16.7M and three years. The Cubs immediately threw the 23 year old to the wolves as he joined the ML club to start his career in the States. Chances are great that the Houston Astros will find out how good he is on todays first pitch as he is expected to lead-off in the Cubs lineup. Some Cubs were not rejoicing as he immediately becomes the best SS in a Cubs uniform.

Range: A
Glove: B+
Arm: B
Speed: A

Plate awareness: B+
Power: C

Medical Info: B-

Notes: His stats will improve but not by a large margin and should turn into a quality SS. His health is of main concern.

True Luck Duck reporting live from the sunny Caribbean beaches (job has its perks) where scouts and owners are going gaga (not Lady Gaga ) over Tomas Ordonez, a hard hitting 1B. Rumors have circulated that his signing bonus has already exceeded $10M.

Range: A
Glove: A
Arm: C
Speed: D

Plate awareness: B-
Power: B

Medical Info: B

Notes: Nothing really special as far as a quality power 1B.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Season 19 Draft

It is time to summarize the Season 19 draft, good or bad from my perspective. I am going to break down my thoughts on the first position player and pitcher in the draft. Remember, I only have 14's in my scouting departments across the board for those that have higher may see something better or worse that I don't see. I also don't know what your board looked like so it is hard to really second guess.

1. O.T. Kirk, P, Little Rock Heads.

His Overall is a 60 which is a good starting point but his projected is an 80. After looking over the potential areas I don't see an 80 happening, 77 at the most.

Fielding is not of great concern for a pitcher. However, he does have good Range and Arm, his Glove can receive the ball from the catcher and swat the gnats rather well but on bunts or ground balls would be better advised to bare hand the ball or duck. Will be very tough to steal on.

His Durability shows to be maxed, a 2 point gain would be rather nice and maybe possible. Health is good and shows a decent enough improvement. Patience, Temper and Makeup shows fantastic growth, though the Patience is probably unattainable but definitely will be good enough.

Hitting is not much of a concern to owners for pitchers, especially the AL. His continued improvement in his bunting ability could come in handy one day though.

Pitching ability is the meat of things. Stamina is very good and could become outstanding in time. Control could max out at 100, but I don't see it happening. I think 92 at the most, 90+ for any pitcher is fantastic. His splits show to be light for a great lefty. I see him at 64 max on the right well short of 70, how close he really gets should be a concern. The left split should be quality enough. Throws with power which is good and will be much better in the future. His Ground Ball capability will be decent, not great. The biggest issue is his pitches. Currently they show to be good but improvement shows to be awkward and low. This could be due to my scouting. A rule, power hitters love power pitchers! When this type of pitcher doesn't have that great first pitch and good second pitch bad things usually happen. The first pitch is actually mediocre at best while the second and remaining pitches are good.

Analysis: The fact that he was a lefty and his pitches didn't wow us made him unappealing to the Mets organization. In our minds he wasn't a top 5 pick. The big caveat here was the fact there wasn't any great starters in the draft. For a team that is probably pitching starved, he may have been the best choice. With an 18 in scouting, he may be better than I am seeing also. Might take a great pitch calling catcher to make him all that he can be.

Grade B

2. A.J. Rooney, P, Mexico City Diablos Rojos. Fielding is good. Medical is great. Stamina, control and splits are good. Bit of a Fly Ball pitcher with moderate power. Pitches are not so hot.

Analysis: I do expect him to break into a starting rotation maybe as a 4th or 5th starter. I don't expect him to win many awards however with his pitches being weak.

Grade B

3. Joshua Callaway, 2B, Arizona Diamondbacks. Fielding is okay. Medically sound. Plate awareness is good.

Analysis: For a 2B he doesn't have the glove. Durability may be a factor. Has the speed and expertise to be a base stealing threat at any time. Has a good eye, splits and power though contact might be low for a great hitter. After looking at the D'Backs budget I get the feeling I may not be seeing the whole picture correctly.

Grade B

4. Clark Parrish, 2B, Kansas City Royals.

His Overall is a 53 and could grow to a 90 if my scouts are right. Though in reality it may reach 85 and that is pretty damn good in any ones book.

Fielding: Has the range to make the plus plays and the Glove to go with it. Arm isn't strong which is a characteristic of a 2B but has great accuracy which is a plus.

Durability is weak but has every game potential. Helathy, very fast with a great makeup. Patience and temper are moderate.

Hitting which is the guiding factor for a position superstar looks good. Should grow into a good Eye and Contact. Power should easily obtain 40+ homers at the ML level. Splits could cause a raise for concern but should develop nicely so that he isn't a big strike out victim. His Diamond Presence could cause problems with his speed getting caught stealing bases. Won't be helpful in the bunting department either. A Push meaning he is generally an opposite field hitter.

Analysis: Chances are good he can be a Gold Glove 2B. He could actually be used as an emergency SS or 3B in my estimation, he wouldn't be great but wouldn't stink up the joint. Playing CF is not out of the question either. Hitting with power with an average above .280 makes for a very good all round player. Definitely worthy of a top 5 pick.

Grade A

5. Leo Rodney, LF, New York Mets. His fielding won't win any awards in LF. Chances are he will be groomed to play a Gold Glove 1B. Medically sound for an every day player. Great Eye, Power and Contact. Splits are well above average. A 50 homer season could be expected with a .280 average. Bunting is out of the question along with base stealing but the diamond presence says he can stretch singles to doubles on an unaware opponent. Pull gap hitter but not to the power allies. The big question to the Mets is how much money he will want to sign.

Grade A

6. Tom Anderson, P, Baltimore Orioles. Fielding is good and could play some 1B. Medical should be good though durability could be higher. Could be a bit of a let down obtaining projections especially Control.

Analysis: Should make a very good pen pitcher in middle relief. Uncertainty about making his control projection lowers his grade a bit.

Grade B+

7. Elrod Cedeno, P, Tampa Bay Rays.
Good fielding and medically sound. Control and Splits might be a little weak for this off-speed ground ball pitcher. However, his pitches should mask his shortcomings.

Analysis: May be the best starting pitcher in the draft in my eyes. The projections are obtainable, how close is another story.

Grade B+

8. Osvaldo Reynoso, 2B, St. Louis Browns. Fielding leaves a lot to be desired other than COF. Medically sound. Not a speed demon by any means. Very good eye and contact with good splits geared toward lefties.

Analysis: Chances of winding up in the outfield is good. Hitting for average makes him a good fit.

Grade B

9. Jack Rivers, P, Washington D.C. Senators. Good fielder. Medically sound. May not have the stamina for a starting rotation job. Control and splits could be very good where as pitches might hamper.

Analysis: Control and Splits need to mask the pitches for this power ground ball pitcher.

Grade B

10. Martin Robertson, P, San Francisco Giants. Fielding is okay. Medically sound. Projections could easily be met.

Analysis: Good Control, splits should be good and pitches are good. Power fly ball pitcher temps fate even in Frisco. I like the pick though and should be a good #2 or #3 starter.

Grade B+

11. Hugh Perez, P, Dover Dung Beetles. Fielding is good although rangeless. Medically sound with excellent durability. Excellent control and pitches. Splits are admirable.

Analysis: Splits need to be better for a closer but should do fine as an 8th inning setup man.

Grade B+

12. Wilt Pagan, SS, Cincinnati Reds. Fielding is good but not for a SS. Medically great. Has good plate awareness.

Analysis: Don't think he will develop into a SS, but a Gold Glove 3B is in the equation. Hitting should garner him 20+ home runs and a .275 average. With the splits and a good coach should make him a great OBP hitter and a big threat to steal. Might be good enough to be used as a lead off hitter if proper development occurs.

Grade B+

13. Ruben Posada, SS, San Diego Padres. Fielding is good. Medically sound. Plate awareness is a bit of a mixed bag.

Analysis: May find out in the end that his arm and glove are a bit weak for SS. The next best thing though is a Gold Glove CF, 2B or 3B and he could do all three me thinks. Bigger drawback is his durability that may limit him to 135 games. Hitting might be troublesome as he has a good eye, but splits need to develop well and contact could be lacking but does have some power.

Grade B

14. Jerry Leary, 2B, New Orleans Zephyrs. One of those very iffy picks. Wants a large fortune and may not sign anyway. Range has to be better to play 2B. Health is an issue. Plate awareness is pretty good and could develop into a decent hitter.

Analysis: He should meet projections but New Orleans is in a hole and will need to meet his demands if they can. In my estimation they may hope he turns it down and use the pick next year.

Grade: C+ if he signs as I don't think he is worth the money. B- if he doesn't sign and they get a pick next year.

15. Alan McEwing, P, Chicago Cubs. Fielding is okay. Medically okay as durability could be better. Pitching wise could have good control, decent splits and some nice pitches.

Analysis: He is on the fence as a starter as the stamina and durability is not a prime mix. Cubs are really tempting fate with a fly ball pitcher to boot. Overall I think projections could be close.

Grade B-

16. Mike Jakubauskas, P, Kansas City Royals. Fielding is good. Medically sound. Pitching ability is pretty damn good.

Analysis: I had him as #2 on my board for a reason. Should make a great middle reliever. Has the control, splits, pitches, heavy ground ball. A great second pick in the first round.

Grade B+

17. Doc Coco, P, Atlanta Braves.
Good fielding, Medically sound though durability could be better. Another good common middle reliever in this draft.

Analysis: Great control and some good pitches. Right split could be problematic for this lefty.

Grade B-

18. Victor Julio, P, Minnesota Twins. Fielding is good. Medically sound. Projections seem a little strange to me, obtainable but very odd.

Analysis: Has a long way to go to meet projections that are not really out of bounds. The big thing is, he looks like a good lefty in disguise. Pitches are good if they weren't awkward. Me thinks the kid need psychoanalysis.

Grade B-

19. Tomas Ramirez, CF, Texas Rangers. Fielding could be very good for CF. Medically speaking of a health issue. Plate awareness is very good.

Analysis: Has the power and ability to hit 30+ homers in Texas. Eye and splits are good enough to be an on-base presence with a .285 average. Has the speed to be a base stealing threat but not the know how.

Grade B-

20. Geraldo Rondon, 1B, Colorado Rockies. Fielding is good enough for 1B. Medically sound. Oh wow for the plate awareness.

Analysis: Colorado will probably need to open the purse strings to sign this lad. With a good rookie year and a good rollover, could actually find himself on the ML roster next year. 50+ homers and an average of .300 is possible.

Grade A

21. Jamie Beltre, SS, Helena Hot Pockets

22. Kennie Jorgensen, SS, Anaheim Angels. Fileding doesn't look like a possible SS, 3B is a maybe along with RF. Medically very sound and may be his best redeeming value even though his picture looks like he has hemorrhoids or he was starring at his sister again. Plate awareness is above average with a little power.

Analysis: A good fielding RF can be tough to come by and Kennie just might be one. Might hit .270 with a few dingers. Nope, I be not impressed.

Grade C+

23. Artie Slotnick, P, Cincinnati Reds. Fielding is good. Medically good, patience tends to run this quickly. Good control and pitches.

Analysis: A left handed closer to setup type. The operative word left should clue people in quickly. That means poor right split. Will the control, ground ball and excellent pitches mask the problem?

Grade B-

24. Sherman Everett, P, Milwaukee Brewers. Good fielding. Medically sound though makeup could be higher. Good control, decent splits and 1 good pitch at least.

Analysis: Middle reliever that might be good or not depends on what side of the bed he gets out of each day. Control should be good, splits decent but power and fly ball is not a good mix in Brewer land. Couple that with 1 good pitch and one decent pitch with a couple jello shots and disaster could strike.

Grade C+

25. Chuck Lee, P, San Francisco Giants. Fielding good. Medically sound. Good control, above average splits. Power ground ball with a good pitch or so.

Analysis: Middle reliever and possibly spot starter. He isn't a super star but has a chance in Frisco.

Grade: B-

26. Matt Rath, 2B, Boston Red Sox. Fielding is no where near 2B. LF is more along the lines and maybe RF. Medically is a health risk. Plate awareness is why he was selected but the Red Sox might be a bit disappointed in the end.

Analysis: Ok, so he winds up in the outfield, big deal. Health could be a problem or not. Taking a chance on a possible power hitter this late is worth the pick.

Grade B-

27. Mariano Vargas, P, Detroit Tigers. Fielding is good. Medically a health problem. That health problems extends to fans, mascots, coaches, well just about everybody as his control is as good as Detroits economy. Splits and pitches are pretty good.

Analysis: If his control was better he might have a chance. But then again, if he gets a pitch across the plate can a hitter hit it.

Grade C-

28. Hoss Newman, P, Boston Red Sox. Fielding is ok. Medically sound except for the durability. Good control, good splits, good pitches.

Analysis: If Hoss can get to his pitching projections he could be good. Not as a starter mind you, but as a closer. Yes indeedy wondering people, an every day closer even. It was worth the pick to find out.

Grade B-

29. Marvin Weiss,P, Florida Marlins. Fielding is adequate. Medically speaking is superior. Good Control, decent splits, , power ground ball, couple decent pitches.

Analysis: An iffy pick to say the least and the money wanted is a bit much but less than an IFA with the same characteristics. Current to projected looks a little high to attain in some areas and low in others but could be very close.

Grade B

30. Carl Monroe, SS, Philadelphia Phillies. Fielding is bore suited to 3B than SS. Medically good. Eye is good, splits are a bit below average, great power, contact could be below average.

Analysis: The Eye says he will hit some dingers but with the splits and questionable contact probably means about 25. Average should fall in the .260 range with many strike outs.

Grade B-

31. Lou Rauch, LF, Salem Super Sequoias. Fielding is great for LF. Medically sound. Good eye and contact with some power.

Analysis: His range is good but glove may be a bit low in the end with a decent enough arm. I wouldn't hesitate using him at COF. Capable of hitting 25 home runs and is pretty decent against right handed pitchers. Could easily have a .270 - .240 split.

Grade B-

32. James Saitou, LF, Pittsburgh Pirates. Fielding is not so hot. Medically is sound. Plate awareness is great.

Analysis: How did this prospect slip so low should be the first question? The answer is easy in my mind, average power. What does that have to do with it? His fielding will fail at LF I think which leaves 1B. 1B is usually reserved for a power hitter which kinda leaves him out in the cold a bit. His hitting abilities though is top notch and would be a great OBP and .320 hitter. He is suited to hit in the top three slots of the line up but his durability could push him to seventh to get maximum games.

Grade B+

33. Eugene Stottlemyre, 2B, Salem Super Sequoias. Fielding is great. Medical problems is a concern. Plate awareness is a powerful so-so.

Analysis: Salem is in kind of a bind pitching wise for the Rookie league. A lot of the pitching prospects drafted wants way too much money to even be considered. Solve problem one before spending with a tight budget. Drafted as a CF but wants to play 2B and could do either. Could be a DL disciple though. Has speed for theft and power to hit the long ball and loves lefties. With this in mind could have a .260 - .270 split with 35+ dingers.

Grade C+

34. Neifi Hooper, SS, Atlanta Braves. Fielding looks to be limited to COF. Medically sound. Plate awareness is above average.

Analysis: Eye is just average but splits aren't bad with decent power and contact if it develops. Fielding doesn't come close to a SS and arm may not be good enough for 3B even so that leaves RF.

Grade C+

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Heads Talk

OK—got into this fantasy baseball league. The other owners have no idea what they are in for. 20 years of APBA, 24 years of Rotisserie, hundreds of baseball books read, hundreds of games attended, thousands of games on TV, dozens of pre-internet hours spent in public library micro-fiche collections reading day by day accounts of entire seasons. I knew of Bill James when the guy was self-published.
This should be easy. I have literally played fantasy baseball for over 40 years.
I named my team in honor of the greatest, all time, American Rock band, Talking Heads.
Holy Crap---these are NOT real players! They are all avatars of software of some sick baseball dude’s imagination. Deep breathes. I can figure this out.
I need a freaking budget?  To play baseball?  Seriously? I haven’t balanced my checkbook since 1983.
What are all these deadlines in the League Schedule? I love baseball because it has no clock. This is like some sick baseball Disney world, where all the trains run on time and everybody but me seems to know where they are going.
But, how hard can this really be?
Wait. Each player has like 30 separate criteria to evaluate?  What is OAV? Who is AI? Why won’t my draft settings save? How come a CF can play shortstop? How much does catcher ERA matter? Don’t all agents lie; so why does the price for these free agents actually keep going up? Why is my home record worse than the 20th century French military? Are my Latin guys actually as old they say they are? Why does Curt Mayberry look like that?
Why is there a baseball team in Little Rock? Why are my players so old, so bad, and so expensive? Was the previous owner Harry Frazee? 
How do I get good?
Don’t panic. I just need some time to………….
So, when I inherited this franchise, I compared it to the top teams. I realized I had a few prospects, and no ML ready CA, 3B, CF or RF. I had no starting pitching at any level. I had no relief pitching. I don’t mean at the ML level; I mean in the organization.
I traded off the old expensive guys, got way younger, way cheaper, and while I got some good young talent, the team got way worse. Some things were happening that defied understanding. Why was my home record way worse than road record?
The Cleveland Organization sent me info about Roy Winder Field. It was a blog post. It stated that though my home field was, on paper 100% neutral, it had the following quirks:
My pitchers must have +80 in control, and + 65 in GB/FB. If they were even higher than that, they could succeed with low splits.
Ray Winder Field must have great corner defense, and strong defensive outfielders. I need to get me some of those.
My home field favors a strong eye and excellent contact. This is on my to do list.
I began to build------or, re-build the Heads according to this blue print. We have had some success this season. But the Heads have a long way to go. A very long way to go.
 At this date, the ML Heads are:
-Second to last in the league in OAV.
-16th in range.
-28th in arm accuracy
-29th in make-up
-26th in contact
-24th in power
-30th vs LHP
-26th vs RHP
-9th in batting eye
-31 in ML bullpen
The Heads major league team has the lowest avg. salary, the least years of ML experience, and is the 3rd youngest team in the league.
But, we are optimistic. We have passed the first hurdle.
We now know what we don’t know.

The Mets Opera Draft

Mets fans will be delighted to know that we took the best player on the board with our first pick. It was a real toss up between Leo Rodney and Wilt Pagan for a while as to which would be #1 and #2 on our board. In our minds, we didn't expect either one to be on the board with the fifth pick. After much discussion, we wanted Rodney because he is already capable of playing at the major league level. Plus he has something we seriously lack in the lineup, power. Wilt slid all the way down to 6th on our board as a result.

Mike Jakubauskas made it all the way to our #2 slot as we thought he was the best pitcher on our board, though their were several with better overall ratings. We think he will be a bullpen star one day. Falling to the sixteenth pick was a surprise. As for starters it was our feeling that Elrod Cedeno was the best pitcher available. O.T. Kirk just didn't appeal to us. A.J. Rooney just didn't have the pitches for us to make him a top prize. However, if Tom Anderson was on our board it would have been a much tougher decision to make.

For those wanting to know, Joshua Callaway and Clark Parrish were not on our board and we know nothing about them.

Esmerling Pujols taken at #46 in the supplemental has potential but it might be a long shot. Otis Dickerson taken in the second round has ML potential for sure but wants #1 pick money to sign. Ok, so he wanted to be drafted in the first round and became one of those iffy picks. He makes it a paradox, offer the money hoping he doesn't sign or hopes he signs and turns out to be great. It is gonna be a wait and see effort on our part as we will see what happens on the IFA front.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

AL Power Rankings

1. Seattle Mariners: Preseason favorite and the #1 ranked team who would have thunk it?
2. Helena Hot Pockets: Second best record so they are deserving, will a late season melt down occur again?
3. Anaheim Angels: Staying hot on Helena's shirt tails waiting for the melt down.
4. Atlanta Braves: So they lead the East..umm big deal at the moment.
5. Washington D.C. Senators: 17-9 at home, now to win on the road.
6. Kansas City Royals: King Bart is at it again but the rest of the team is mediocre.
7. Toronto Blue Jays: Never count the Blue Jays out.
8. San Diego Padres: Not a surprise to me.
9. Detroit Tigers: Winning record despite being ownerless for a while.
10. Boston Red Sox: Best hitting team and one of the worst pitching staffs so far.
11. Dover Dung Beetles: Hitting is escaping.
12. Colorado Rockies: Hitting isn't the problem, no brainer-Coors and pitching
13. Little Rock Heads: Surprise team in the standings but can't let that go to their Heads.
14. Tampa Bay Rays: Letting me down once again.
15. Texas Rangers: Hitting is great, pitching is another matter.
16. Minnesota Twins: Rebuild to suit.

NL Power Rankings

1. Pittsburgh Pirates: The preseason favorites and displaying they are deserving.
2. Florida Marlins: Stats say they are a so-so team, home field advantage makes them a winner.
3. Salem Super Sequoias: Hitting wins games with good pitching.
4. Houston Astros: As long as Florida is in front, Houston remains a passenger.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers: Good pitching with good hitting also wins games.
6. Milwaukee Brewers: Pitching has to improve.
7. Philadelphia Phillies: The hitting is starting to turn around.
8. St. Louis Browns: Same team, different city, same horror story. Have hitting no pitching, have pitching no hitting.
9. Cincinnati Reds: Didn't I say the Reds could finish second?
10. San Francisco Giants: Something missing but nobody knows what.
11. Baltimore Orioles: Crab cakes or is it just a case of the crabs?
12. New Orleans Zephyrs: Help me Rhonda, we need a closer.
13. New York Mets: Mets are on a roll but it won't last long, all those recent wins were against struggling teams.
14. Arizona Diamondbacks: Fourth in hitting next to last in pitching, think we know where the problem is. Vets look out, unemployment line is just a minor phone call away.
15. Mexico City Diablos Rojos: Pitching isn't that bad, hitting is so far south of the border that Mexico City is a place up north.
16. Chicago Cubs: Didn't I say they looked like a rebuild at the beginning of the season?

Friday, April 8, 2011

EMSN International Report

True Luck Duck reporting live for Little Rock where the talking Heads have just announced a major International signing. Pablo Solano is the newest Head and probably the cornerstone to which they will build their organization around. What do the Heads get for their $22M future? Maybe a Gold Glove 2B and MVP if things pan out and possibly SB champ to go with those honors, he has the capability. There will be plenty of talk in the future of who had the best signing between him and the Yoshii. My money is on Solano at the moment because he can play a more justified position. This signing breaks a record for this World as there has been three $20M plus bonus babies signed this year. With six bonus babies already signed over $10M, it will only take a couple more to exceed the record set in season 8.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

EMSN Special Report

Linda Loo reporting live from Mexico City where the Diablos Rojos win on a walk off home run in the bottom of the 14th. The real story is of course about Dale Stevenson. At the ripe age of 31 made his major league debut late last night. After 10 plus seasons in AAA with the Mets organization and finally gets the call to join the big league club must have been a huge surprise. His debut was remarkable, one he will cherish for a life time. It wasn't just an ordinary 18 pitch relief stint either. 18 pitches, one walk, facing 10 batters, spanning 3 full innings is a remarkable feat in anybodies book. He was speechless and walking on cloud nine. His comments, "The pitching coach told me to throw strikes, so I did. Phelps told me to pitch around Saez, I did. Always listen to the catcher, he knows. It is a dream come true!"

Monday, April 4, 2011

EMSN International Report

True Luck Duck reporting from the Dominican Republic where Pablo Solano is showcasing his talents to would be owners. The cry here is someone had better have a deep pocket to sign this kid. His tryout shows that he has some talent, both at 2B and at the plate.

Range: C+
Glove: C+
Arm: C-
Speed: A

Plate awareness: C+
Power: B-

Medical Info: B

Notes: Can I have him...huh ? huh ? huh?

The Mets Opera

ACT VII Draft Revisited

With the 5th pick overall I was very hopeful that I could get my hands on a sure fire player to start building a franchise around. I was ecstatic at first glance that it would be rather easy, then reality set in as I pondered over those so-called great prospects. It looks to be a deep draft at least and coming up with three good players is a definite possibility. The way I see things happening I have about a 1 in 3 chance of selecting my #1 overall. I don't see him being selected #1 overall but maybe #2 or #3. My thinking is that I have a 99% chance for my #2 choice. With 3 picks in the top 75, chances are excellent they will come off the top 25 on my board.

Was really hoping for a catcher to build around but was sorely disappointed that none was worthy of a top 5 pick let alone one being in the top 25 on my board. At least adjusting the board wasn't difficult as it took me about 30 minutes.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Mets Opera

Ever wonder what an owner is thinking during the season? Well, this is what I was and still thinking as the season has progressed.

Act I Budget

The idea here was to max everything and leave the rest in Player Payroll. Not a bad idea overall and am pretty sure that was the correct thing to do.

Act II Hiring Coaches

Hiring coaches usually isn't all that hard. But me thinks it was a harbinger of what is to come this season. Finding the coaches I wanted was not an easy task and I really didn't succeed in all reality. The ML staff is pretty good, the minors though is downright pathetic if you ask me, then again I wasn't worried as there really isn't much to coach.

Hitting Coach: Bud McIntosh: Was malingering at AA, didn't hesitate taking the ML job even at his tender age of 38. Should get much better before he hightails it out of New York for greener pastures.

First Base: Tony Cruz: Was at KC last year and was looking for a Hitting Coach job at the majors. To tell the truth, he is under qualified for a hitting coach job and over qualified for First Base and should probably coach Third Base. Over paid the position, but it was a last cycle signing as I couldn't get anyone else.

Third Base: Winston McDowell: An exact mirror image of Tony Cruz.

Pitching Coach: Luis Lee: Had been in the position for the last 6 years and really was only 2 points short in his major discipline and everything else was what I was searching for, so I kept him on.

Bull Pen: Harry Suarez: Harry and I had a disagreement in Cleveland, he wanted to stay at HiA and I wanted him at AA, so he left for New York. He took the job with little urging this time around. Really, a little under qualified for the job but should grow into it nicely before wanting the Pitching job.

Bench Coach: Darrell Wright: Tried to find a minor league coach to take the job as always. Believe it or not I was either turned down or they were coaxed away to another team several times. Over paid to get last years Brewer in the last cycle.

Fielding Dude: Julio Ortiz: Okay, for this position I kept last years staff in tact. He seems to do an okay job but will find out more in a week or so.

Act III Free Agency/Arbitration

I didn't sign any of my Free Agents or Arbitration eligible players. The only one worth signing was Raul Izquierdo, but he didn't have a place to play. I think Boston is loving his DH hitting. Maybe I can pick up a good player in the supplemental for him.

As for the Free Agency period I only acquired Charlie Hicks. I was hoping he could help the pen and be a spot starter if need be.

ACT IV Line Up

The line up consists of one potentially great player and a couple good players. Most are in the line of good eye, splits and no contact or bad eye, good splits and good contact. Most of them would make good defensive backups on most teams because they can play a multitude of position. None of them have much in the way of power either. We do have some speed however. Didn't have anyone that could remotely play CF either, the trade for Abdul Riggs was a win-win for us. The trade for Pascual Zapata wasn't necessary but was better overall than the three existing 3Bs on the roster.

Act V Pitching Staff

This has been a sore spot so far this season. Have done a lot of tweaking. Think I have narrowed down the starting rotation finally. Thirty games in you would think it is about time. The staff isn't all that bad, just too many lefties and not enough righties. The minors are filled with lefties to boot. Since the offense is lacking, they are usually pitching from a hole and that is hard to overcome. Give them a lead and they are hellbent on keeping it.


Decided at the beginning of the season that we would go after one good IFA about the $12M mark was our goal. As it is, the minors need hitters, specifically power hitters and position doesn't matter as we don't have any. Career minor league players are a must sometimes.

Act VII Draft

We draft 5th and a supplemental which isn't bad. Not sure what the board will look like, but first option would probably be a super starting pitcher. Odds of that are slim with the 5th pick believe it or not. Best chance in the pitching realm is probably a middle reliever/spot starter which may not be a bad idea. A great catcher would get our attention for sure.

Act VIII Epilogue
The object was to win 70 games this season. I can hold out hope but I don't see it happening and could turn into a struggle to win 60. Well at least it will be a fun season and there is no pressure.

EMSN International Report

Linda Loo reporting live from the Diablos Rojos headquarters in Mexico City. The signing of Kevin Yoshii for $21.5M has just been announced. Inside sources tell me it was a bitter dispute with Little Rock for his services and that Mexico City had to dig deep into their pockets. Do they enough stashed away to sign their 1st round pick is the question now?